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Literature / Ladies versus Butlers!

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Clockwise: Sanae, Kaoru, Sernia, Akiharu, and Tomomi.

Ladies versus Butlers! is a series of light novels written by Tsukasa Kozuki and illustrated by Munyu, which were published from 2006 to 2012. An anime adaptation by Xebec aired on AT-X in the winter of 2010, and there's also a manga adaptation, also written by Kozuki and illustrated by Nekomaru Nekoyashiki.

Akiharu Hino has been living with his uncle since he lost his parents, but when he notices his uncle is after his parents' money, he decides to attend Hakureiryou High, a school training the young ladies of tomorrow. They've recently added a new section for butlers and maids. It's this section that Akiharu will be joining. On his first day, he runs into Sernia Flameheart, a drill-haired girl who lives up to her name, and his childhood friend/tormentor Tomomi Saikyo, whose mother has since remarried. Throw in a clumsy maid and a crossdressing butler, and the stage is set.

Ladies versus Butlers! provides examples of:

  • Accidental Marriage: After yet another accidental pervert moment with Ayse Khadim, Akiharu finds that he has to consummate a marriage he doesn't want. There is a loophole, but Tomomi and Hedyeh deliberately hold it back, albeit for different reasons. Tomomi's reason is obviously to see Akiharu suffer for her own fun, Hedyeh's reason is she knows that Ayse really does love Akiharu.
  • Accidental Pervert: Once per Episode for Akiharu. On his first day he made memorable first impressions by accidentally molesting the entire female population of his new school. Seriously, there's a Thanks for the Mammary in the very first scene.
  • Anime Chinese Girl: Suiran Fou, though it only comes up a few times. It's pretty heavily exaggerated in the manga, however, wherein Fou's first appearance involves a Chinese dress and Odango Hair.
  • Anime Hair: Flameheart, with those gigantic spindly things that cause Akiharu to refer to her as "Drill" sometimes.
  • Berserk Button: Don't call Sernia "drills" if you know what's good for you.
  • Betty and Veronica: Tomomi and Sernia, respectively, to Akiharu's Archie. There's an interesting variation on this in the fact that Tomomi is a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing.
  • Bifauxnen: Kaoru Daichi, Akiharu's roommate.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Tomomi, who, while showing herself to be the most upstanding girl in school, loves to make Akiharu's life a living hell and has no problem making trouble for Selnia, either.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Toichiro has this. Spraying from his crotch.
  • Blush Sticker: It's important to note that all the girls have these. Including Daichi.
  • Boob-Based Gag: Sernia boobs are the main source of this. For example, in episode 5, when Sanae trips once again falling onto Akiharu, dessert from his tray lands on Sernia's chest. And it was standing. Even lampshaded by both Tomomi and Akiharu.
  • The Bully: Tomomi was this for Akiharu when they were children. Now that they're grown up, she doesn't torment him... as obviously.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Shingo, the taller of the Two Guys, always finds himself in the center of misfortune. Some of which were meant for Akiharu. Of course, he's usually asking for it.
    • Akiharu; the principal uses his life vicariously as some kind of H-Game, is often the subject of increasingly fantastic rumors, and is more or less SOL regarding his Love Triangle.
  • Buxom Beauty Standard: Episode 5 implies that Tomomi is jealous of Sernia's much curvier body and larger breasts.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Akiharu, who can get drunk just off of a single liquor-spiked chocolate. This causes him to become... daring.
  • Casting Gag: It's not the first time Ami Koshimizu (Sanae's VA) has voiced a Cute Clumsy Girl before.
  • Chess Master: Tomomi just needs to say a few easily-misinterpreted words and you're going to be doing her bidding whether you know it or not. See Magnificent Bastard on the YMMV page.
  • Chick Magnet: Akiharu, who is in a Love Triangle with Sernia and Tomomi, but is also desired by Ayse and Daichi and Mimina.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: A good portion of the cast, though the one that comes to mind the most is Saori.
  • Color Failure: Happens to Sernia in episode 3, when she finds out that Akiharu already got a card, and again when she humiliates herself in Episode 8 due to not realizing Akiharu was not there to serve but to observe.
  • Covert Pervert: Sernia's mind always jumps to the worst conclusions. This is helpful in one case, where she knows exactly where couples are likely to be having sex in the school. This became more understandable when you see how not-so-covert her father and maids are.
  • Crazy-Prepared: As a butler or maid, you must be prepared to serve your future masters in various ways from waiting on them hand and foot, help save them from drowning, to help save them from drowning while fighting off enemy guerillas… Justified in that one of those becomes useful in a later episode.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Sanae Shikikigami. She is a tad bit worse than the other maids/butlers at servicing the nobles, as she is very clumsy, and ends up either spilling the contents of the tray she was carrying or tripping (especially onto Hino in a compromising position).
  • Date Peepers: Sernia (and by extension, the Shikikagami sisters, Pina, and Mimina) for episode nine.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Very loudly and publicly declared by Shingo in the middle of the classroom after looking at a photo spread by the main girls.
  • Delinquents: Akiharu averts this despite his scar, face, and hair helping him look the part, but try telling that to the girls.
  • Didn't See That Coming: For all her Chess Master-caliber intuition and planning skills, Tomomi apparently never seriously considered the possibility that:
    • Akiharu and Sernia might grow to like each other.
    • Also, she apparently never realized that Aki once had a crush on her until the guy said it himself,
    • or that she might be in love with Aki without realizing it.
  • Does Not Like Men: A good chunk of the girls at the school do not like Akiharu due to his appearence.
  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: Episode 4 has Akiharu tied up and whimpering "stop" while a girl who already knows he doesn't want to marry her undresses him. All played for laughs of course.
  • Elaborate University High: The school used to be an all-girls institution, but has recently started accepting men. Things are still kind of awkward, since the girls have been having lewd photos of themselves appear on the market and Tomomi mentions they've also been losing certain items.
  • Erotic Eating: The suggestive event at the sports festival with the hot dogs. With Mimina.
  • Expressive Hair: When Sernia is annoyed, her drill-curls will sometimes flap around in tandem with her speech. When she's REALLY steamed, they'll start spinning (with appropriate sound effects). The ribbons in Osawa's hair also have a habit of going dead straight from the side of her head when she's upset in some way.
  • Expy: The principal has long blue Idiot Hair, Cat Smile and a love for dating sim tropes? Why does this sound so familiar?
  • Fanservice:
    • Take a shot everytime you see it. Your liver'll be shot within five minutes. For example, Sanae's bare arse in the page pic.
    • The anime specials manages to one up itself in a series already heavy with fanservice and panty shots
  • Face of a Thug: Downplayed. Akiharu's face suggests a delinquent, though it's more noticeable in the manga (where Tomomi's surprised he used to be the same kid that she knew). Either way, the scar on his face has tendency to immediately lead others to mistrust him.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: SO form-fitting that even the nipples and areolae are perfectly defined through shirt and bra.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Pina. Also Sernia (of the drill-variety) and Sanae (of the braid variety).
  • Golden Snitch: During the sports festival, there are four tasks the teams have to fulfill. Turns out the last task is worth 1000 points, which is more than double the other three's worth combined.... The principal has quite a demented expression on her face when the others learn about it.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: Done a few times. One of the more memorable ones comes from the Blu-ray special #3.
  • Hidden Depths: Akiharu beats Sernia five times in a row at chess, meaning he's either rather good or that Sernia is really, really bad.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Mikan to Kaede.
  • Hypocritical Humour / Irony: In episode 7 Sernia gets upset when she sees how women are portrayed in doujinshi.
  • Idiot Crows: Akiharu gets that threatment after foolishly trying to appease Selnia and Tomomi in the ending. Though the crows are not seen, merely heard.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Mikan is downright deadly with her pens.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl:
    • Saori Shikikagami, Sanae's sister, sees no problem with taking her clothes off anytime, anywhere. Even in the middle of a crowded room
    • Both Shikikagami sisters are Innocent Fanservice Girls.
    • Shameless Fanservice Girl might be the more accurate title for Saori, depending on how you interpret her. Consider this line that Sanae gives us from episode 2/manga chapter 4:
      Sanae(After falling on top of Akiharu while trying to wash his back and being told to get off): "But my sister told me that once a girl takes the mount position, she can't get off until she's finished with what she needs to do!"
  • James Bondage: Akiharu is kidnapped by Hedyeh and tied up for sexy reasons.
  • The Klutz: Sanae gets into trouble out of plain clumsiness on her part.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Shingo. Akiharu casually describes him as a "Super Pervert".
  • Love Letter Lunacy: Kaoru in episode ten and saying the right thing at the right time to Sernia just to watch her twitch doesn't count? of course it does.
  • Love Triangle: Episodes 8 through 12 feature one between Sernia and Tomomi over Akiharu.
  • Meaningful Appearance: Mimina has a heart-shaped beauty mark above her tailbone. Actually, this is what's called a "Mongolian spot", a mark common in Asia that often appears directly above the buttocks and almost always disappears by the time a kid turns six. Thus, this acts as additional evidence of Mimina's immaturity.
  • Meaningful Name: You might think Sernia merely has a kickass name at first until you remember she's the Tsundere so her name fits her very well. Saikyo also means "the strongest," in Japanese, so it's fitting that it's Saikyo's style to always win.
  • Meido: In the whole servant-ed, there are only four boys. The rest are girls, who are all this. Sanae is one most focused on.
  • Mirror Character: Episode 5 is all about how Sernia and Tomomi are both high-achievers who have ended up in a rivalry with one another. Sernia's jealous about Tomomi's edge in academics (she's been under pressure to exceed her entire life) and Tomomi's jealous about how Sernia's prettier and gets along with everyone better than she does.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Best example are Sernia, the most buxom character in the series and prone to embarrassing situation with Akiharu and the two Shikikagami sisters.
  • National Stereotypes: The show briefly ricochets off of foreign culture with the Flameheart family, which is English. During a brief introduction to Selnia's father, Akiharu is mildly put off by the excessive cheek-kissing between him and Selnia. This is not an English thing. This is a French thing. And the English would hate you for attributing French behaviors to them.
  • Ninja: Although not stated outright Mikan-sensei fills this trope pretty well:
    • Throws pens like shurikens.
    • Appears at any given moment without notice.
    • Scares the crap out of everyone.
  • Ninja Maid: Hedyeh, who wields a scimitar with great precision, including giving Akiharu a Close-Call Haircut.
  • No Ending: The status quo of the cast at the end of the series more or less identical to the way it was before Episode 8, though Selnia and Tomomi are cagier around Akiharu.
  • Not a Date:
    • Akiharu and Tomomi had one. The reason? She wanted to know whether she really had feeling for him or not. In the end, she concluded that she doesn't, until he confessed that he liked her when they were little, at which her face turned very red. Luckily for her, Aki didn't notice.
    • Also counts as a subversion of No Sparks, as the entire date was an attempt to confirm whether there were any feelings there, and she'd decided there was nothing right before her conversation led him to admitting that he'd liked her in the past.
  • Oblivious to Love: Dammit Aki, notice it already!!!
    • Recent events suggests that he's probably still traumatized from the past experiences with Tomomi when they were kids. Just look at his words when the guys tried to help Daichi about romance.
    • Went up to eleven in the ending where Akiharu gave Sernia the ticket since she won. He then gave the other ticket to Tomomi. Cue slap FROM THE BOTH OF THEM. And you thought Natsuru was bad...
    • The guy didn't even consider using the waterpark ticket to ask a girl out on a date, let alone Sernia or Tomomi. In order, the people he ponders inviting are: one of the guys, Mimina, and the Shikikagami sisters.
  • Occidental Otaku: Pina Sformklan Estor, princess of a small island nation, is a fan of all things anime. Apparently, so is the majority of her countrymen. She's also a Cosplay Otaku Girl.
  • Ojou: Half the school, and the two leading ladies.
  • Older Than They Look: Mimina is 19. Not that you'd ever be able to tell.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: In the very first episode, Tomomi lets everyone know how Akiharu wanted to be a bride when they were children. She neglects to mention that this happened because she went out of her way to convince him that "bride" was a sexless term. Also, Akiharu's Accidental Pervert moments in the beginning of the series get him pegged as a scary Delinquent pervert by the rest of the academy.
  • Only Sane Man: Akiharu. Doesn't save him from having Idiot Ball moments though.
  • On the Next: The preview is delivered by any two characters at the same time.
  • Spell My Name with an S: [S/C]e[l/r]nia F[l/r]ameh(e)art. "Sernia Flameheart" is the official spelling. Also Ayse/Aisyah.
  • Stern Teacher: Mikan-sensei has a stern and composed demeanor.
  • Sweet on Polly Oliver: Averted in the anime, but in the manga, Akiharu has one of these moments towards Kaoru:
    Akiharu: He's unexpectedly handsome... he seems almost timid. Maybe if he was wearing some female clothing- WHAT AM I THINKING?!
  • Take That!: Around the time the disc releases were being prepped there was a Moral Guardian wannabe railing against fanservicey TV shows; one of the on-disc extras, which are all fanservice just short of porn, ended with text specifically calling that person out, lawyer-friendly censor blips aside.
  • Thanks for the Mammary: The first scene kicks things off with this. Several more follow it.
  • Those Two Guys: Shingo and Mitsuru, Akiharu's friends in the servant class.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Mimina and Pina. In the manga, Mimina is also a Third-Person Person.
  • Training from Hell: The butler/maid training courses are pretty intense. One lesson involves swimming in the water in full suit. That's before the waves start rolling in.
  • The Trickster: Tomomi always likes to play tricks on other classmates, especially Akiharu.
  • Two-Teacher School: Mikan and Principal Kaede are the only faculty members that are ever seen, and the former is the only we've seen teaching.
  • Unknown Rival: Sernia and Tomomi to each other. To clarify, Sernia hates Tomomi because she gets better grades than Sernia and mocks her about it, while Tomomi hates Sernia because of her massive bouncing (seriously, take a look at how friggin huge they are). And now they're both hoping to win Akiharu's affections.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: It's not conclusive yet, but the relationship between Tomomi and Akiharu is currently less than romantic...
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: When Akiharu asks Heydeh where she pulled out a giant scimitar, and Heydeh bashfully responds by saying "please don't ask me that kind of question".
  • Yaoi Fangirl:
    • Kaede Tenjouji, the chairman, spends most of her time playing boys' love games instead of getting work done.
    • Episode four shows that Kaede isn't averse to yuri either.
    • Another thing is that she seems to like anything involving Akiharu and a girl, especially if it appears scandalous. It seems that, to her, dealing with him is like playing an H-Game.
    • As of episode 7, all bets are off. She's a full-blown Otaku.
    • Then there is the Sports festival. That principal is insane.

Alternative Title(s): Ladies Versus Butlers