Follow TV Tropes


Manga / A Centaur's Life
aka: Centaur No Nayami

Go To
Being a teenaged centaur can be rough sometimes.

Himeno Kimihara is a rather shy but friendly Japanese high school girl, the only daughter of an average middle-class family. She goes to a normal high school, hangs out with her close friends Nozomi and Kyouko, and generally has the same dreams and worries a girl her age is expected to have — like falling in love or simply mulling about whether or not she overeats everyday.

However, Himeno also happens to be a centaur. This in itself isn't much of a big deal though, when literally everyone else on the planet display characteristics that might mark them strange if they lived on our world — like wings, tails, and animal ears.

Written by Murayama Kei and serialized in Comic Ryuu magazine, A Centaur's Life (Centaur no Nayami セントールの悩み lit. Centaur's Worries) follows Hime as she experiences first-hand the highs and lows of being a teenager along with her friends.


Although at first glance just another Slice of Life series that replaces humans with fantasy races, it soon becomes apparent that the author put a lot of thought into figuring out just how such races would act, live, and even interact with each other in a contemporary setting. The Worldbuilding is impressive, to say the least, and likely the main draw to non-Slice of Life fans.

The manga is being released in North America by Seven Seas Entertainment. An anime began airing during the summer 2017 anime season. It is available for legal streaming with subtitles on Crunchyroll here, and with an English Dub on Funimation here. The Simuldub premiered on July 31st, 2017.


A Centaur's Life gives examples of the following:

  • Advanced Ancient Acropolis: The Antarcticans were the first civilization on Earth. It wasn't the Antarcticans' idea to become a Hidden Elf Village, rather their isolated home in Antarctica couldn't be reached easily before the invention of the plane. Between chapter bonus notes in volume 11 theorize their civilization may date back to before the super-continent Pangaea broke up into continents of today.
  • Affectionate Nickname
    • Himeno's closest friends typically call her "Hime," while her young cousin Shiho calls her "Hime-nee-tan."
    • Himeno calls Manami "Tama-chan," an abbreviation of her family name.
  • Alliterative Family: Manami's little triplet sisters Chigusa, Chinami and Chiho, to the point that she refers to them collectively as "Chi-chan".
  • Alternate Universe:
    • Hime's world is very similar to ours, but evolution took a slightly different path that led to most land vertebrates being six-limbed and Antarctica being inhabited by intelligent reptiles.
    • In chapter 56, Hime and Shino are summoned to a fantasy version of Dark Age Europe, and are magically capable of understanding the humans there and vice versa.
  • And Now For Something Completely Different: Many chapters focus either on world building, or things totally unrelated to Hime and friend's little slice of Japan. Or the setting for that matter.
    • Chapter 8.5. Seemingly set in the real world (meaning there are ordinary humans in it), it focuses on a puppy (with a girl's face) being taken care of by the daughter of the family.
    • Several chapters focus on the shenanigans that the Antarcticans have been doing behind the scenes, which among things, include trying to influence other races via proxy (as shown in the Sea God festival), experiments in reviving extinct subspecies (the Tiger-centaur chapter in China), or fighting aliens (the Midwestern US chapter).
    • Himeno and Shino are at one point sent into an alternate world where magic is real but everyone is human, this is also implied to be an Antarctican or alien experiment gone wrong, as a giant Antarctican shows up at the end shoots the two with a gun of sorts and they wake up at the same place and time they disappeared with no memories. Though they were transported there by an alien looking creature, so mileages might vary.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: Antarcticans are suspected of secretly running world governments from the shadows because of their mysterious nature and long history that possibly predates humanity. However according to Sassassul, all these conspiracies are groundless since Antarcticans have only recently been able to establish contact with humanity thanks to the invention of airplanes. While the authorities have been doing their best to ban literature that supports these theories and help Antarcticans adapt into human society, most people still remain be suspicious towards them.
  • Armor Is Useless: In chapter 47, Hime's warrior ancestor fights various Europeans in pursuit of his enslaved sister. His feats include sword cuts that go right through the European soldiers' iron helmets and cuirasses, splitting one man from the top of the head down to the waist, and cutting another in half with a horizontal strike through the abdomen. The next scene shows him sinking a hostile warship with nothing but one arrow from his bow, at which point Nozomi becomes incredulous about the story's accuracy.
  • Baseball Episode: Chapter 9. Unsurprisingly, centaurs make excellent baseball players.
  • Beach Episode: Chapter seventeen.
  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: Hime (girly), Kyouko (sensible) and Nozomi (tomboy).
  • Bifauxnen: Nozomi and her cousin, Akira. Omaki even more. Some minor characters really look like boys.
  • Big Fancy House: It turns out that the father's side of Hime's family owns one of these, a holdover from the time where the family were still landed Samurai.
  • Blatant Lies: One side-story had Kyouko as a Black Mage, killing a chicken-shaped "vegetable" for a magic spell.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Kyouko, Nozomi and Hime, respectively.
  • Bowdlerise: Due to the anime adaptation's Anarchic Order, these examples may also fall under Adapted Out.
    • Episode 6 (Chapter 47 in the manga) has Himeno omit a few details of the legend of how she got her red hair, such the fact that the kidnapper was also red-haired, implying that's how her mother's ancestor's hair was red. The second half of the chapter which shows that the princess' rescuers having to deal with other people calling them "animals pretending to be people", them brutally killing slavers to set free the centaur slaves in their journey were also omitted.
    • Manga chapters that show the centaurs' history of being treated as actual horses by being constantly bound and wearing a horse-face mask so that their upper body would look like a horse's head were not adapted. Napoleon setting free centaur slaves in exchange for aiding his revolution/conquest was one example.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Nozomi. Justified, as she finds maintaining long hair like Hime's a big bother.
  • Breast Expansion: Probably not intentional and almost certainly not in-universe, but checking out early and latter chapters it's hard not to notice that Hime went from being merely "pretty buxom for a middle-schoolar" to having gag boobs that sometimes appear to be individually larger than her head.
  • Bridal Carry:
    • Done by a longear for his siren/mermaid girlfriend at the end of Chapter 7. Seeing this causes Hime to wish someone would do the same for her, which prompts the response below:
      Kyouko: You'd have to date a crane (the construction vehicle)!
    • In chapter 1, Hime recalls the time she played a princess in a class play when she was in elementary school. The guy playing her prince is holding her like this (albeit with his arms under her abdomen rather than her back, since she's a centaur) and clearly about to collapse from the strain.
    • Chapter 48 is dedicated to the catboy Koma and the mermaid Shizuura from Chapter 7 going on a date like this; at the end Shizuura contemplates getting a powered walking device that would allow her to get around on her own, but gives up when she realises how much Koma likes carrying her.
  • Two-Fisted Tales: The backstory includes a Lost World populated with snake-men, a modern Aztec empire, mass UFO sightings and neo-nazis: not your average Slice of Life setting (even if you ignore the centaurs).
  • Five-Token Band: Invoked and Exaggerated In-Universe. All of the Magical Girl anime for young girls (though it can be reasonably assumed a great deal more cartoons besides) in this world, as an unwritten rule, must have a supporting cast containing a magical girl of each race, with the main character's race changing every episode.
  • Buxom Is Better:
    • Hime. She gets a love letter that actually it's just an appreciation of her bosom. Nozomi agrees.
    • Amusingly, the merfolk seem to have it inverted. Most merfolk girls have big breasts — a fact that some of Hime's male classmates were very interested in during the field trip to the merfolk school — and they go topless in public unless they have non-merfolk visitors. In chapter 35, two mer-boys are appreciating a gravure magazine featuring swimsuit pics of girls from other races, and get asked by two female classmates why they'd need to look at boobs in a magazine when they see boobs all the time. The boys pretty much imply that they like smaller boobs better, and think that boobs are more special when they're covered. A third girl named Eri appears partway through, and just like that the boys are ignoring the two big-breasted girls to oggle Eri's small chest instead. The boys add the observation that the sense of embarrassment about nudity which Eri learned from growing up in the mountains is more erotic to them than how most of the girls they know who treat toplessness as no big deal.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: After performing a cleansing ritual on a box and having to (very uncomfortably) ask for a donation, Manami returned home to her father. Out of guilt for having to beg for donations despite feeling like she hadn't actually done anything, she lashed out at her father's work ethic and painting hobby. She laid down an ultimatum and told him to either to quit his day job and be full-time real painter, even if it means her resenting him for it, or quit his painting and work full time to support the family of himself and five children (including Manami herself and the youngest, Ill Girl Suetsumu).
  • Cat Girl: A whole species of them. The Class Rep's father and her triplet sisters are examples of these.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: There's hints this may happen. There appears to be a rather horrifying X-COM-esque Alien Invasion going on quietly in the background, and the main characters are beginning to notice some strange things.
  • Chainmail Bikini: Chapter 50 shows Hime, Nozomi, and Kyouko adventuring in a fantasy dungeon wearing bikini armor, with Nozomi lampshading how chilly it is and Hime acting embarrassed. Things only get naughtier from there, up to and including a slime monster that dissolves all their clothes. At the end of the chapter this all turns out to be taking place inside a story that Akechi wrote and is currently letting everybody read. While Kyoko's critiquing everything about the sorry Nozomi adds that the bikini armor is also implausible. Akechi takes a suspiciously long Beat to sheepishly reply, "Good point!" In-universe Author Appeal was clearly involved.
  • Cheerful Child: Himeno's cousin Shino, and class rep Manami Mitami's triplet sisters.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Remember the movie that scared little Hime in chapter four? The Fear from Antarctica comes back to play a role later.
  • Clarke's Third Law: In chapter nineteen Kyouko discusses the similarities between really advanced science and magic with Sasasul derailing the scary storytelling and turning it into a skeptic's meeting for a moment.
  • Class Representative: Manami Mitami. Lampshaded in-series in how she was pretty much born for the role.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Shino doesn't want to share her cousin with anyone.
  • Cool Big Sis: Manami to her four younger sisters, and Himeno to her cousin Shino, while Shino is this to an even younger centaur girl from kindergarden, Maki-chan.
  • Cool Down Hug: Kyouko does this to her big brother after he is depressed from losing a baseball game. He makes some comment about her being really flat-chested to break the serious atmosphere.
  • Cosplay Otaku Girl: Akechi. Will find just about any excuse to dress her classmates in the dresses she made. Works out in her favor during the Cultural Festival, when she is put in charge of the costumes.
  • Costume Porn: A lot of thought went into designing extremely fashionable outfits for a centaur.
  • Crapsaccharine World: A world similar to our own, where cute monsters go about their business peacefully, and tolerance is a basic requirement. Sounds good! Except...
    • There are a million seemingly innocent things that can get you jailed for "hate crime", including accepting a lift from a centaur friend (you slave driver!) or being an angel who cut off the wrong bit of hair (you're rejecting your race! You are guilty of hate crime against yourself!). Made worse by...
    • The fact that talking about hate crime is a hate crime. Not only could you could be arrested without having any idea what you did wrong (after all, no-one's told you about it...because they're not allowed to), but you could be arrested for trying to warn something that their actions might be illegal.
    • Japanese hate crime laws are so strict that just insulting or stereotyping someone based on racial characteristics can result in the death penalty.
    • A flyer early in the series mentions "a royal license for reproduction". So...who gets this license and who doesn't..?
    • Scary looking armed guards accompany a group of teenagers on a school trip.
    • On said school trip, the guard is standing in front of a sign which states that anyone caught littering will be shot on sight! Looks like Kyoko really wasn't joking about being executed for accepting a ride from Hime...
    • The society is so hyper-sensitive to race issues that they fail to notice other glaring inequalities — such as the inequality between genders. Kyouko's mother claims that girls shouldn't set their sights too high because they'll always be outdone by men. While she is an unpleasant character, her daughter can't deny that there is a certain amount of truth in what she says, suggesting that this society ignores gender inequality even as it obsessively polices race relations.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: While she's far from a moron, Hime is usually a Shrinking Violet. When trapped in an alternate universe, she keeps a level head bordering on aloof stoicism and shows a surprising amount of cunning, competence, and strategic planning.
  • Date Peepers: Himeno, Nozomi, and Kyouko follow Sasasul on a date at an art museum. Various security/intelligence agencies are also following the Antarctican and the three friends are almost picked up as terrorists.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Several chapters don't feature Hime at all, and instead focus on her relatives (her cousin Shino), her friends and classmates (Sasassul and Manami the class rep), or their families (Manami's younger catgirl sisters). One chapter even focuses on the Recurring Extras, a catguy and mermaid couple who've appeared in the background several times.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In chapter 4, Himeno and her parents watch a news report about the first centaur president of the United States being elected on the Democratic Party ticket, and Himeno's dad remarks that the guy's got a lot on his plate, between foreign affairs, military deployment, and his efforts at health-care reform... sound like anyone we know?
  • Doing In the Wizard: Despite what it might look like angels, imps, centaurs, cat people etc. are nothing but human subspecies naturally evolved, nothing magical or mythical here. Even the angels' halos are explained as just Idiot Hair with a funny shape.
  • Dramatic Irony: A teacher gives a political speech thinly disguised as a biology lecture. In it, she states that if only quadrupeds had survived, humans wouldn't look significantly different from each other, except for slight variations in skin and hair colour. She gravely asserts that if this "perfect" world had existed, the lack of serious differences between humans would have meant that the world would never have had the serious racism problems that their own world faces. By contrast, one of the inmates in the chapter set in the Holocaust observes that even if everyone were the same species, they'd find something else to use as the basis for discrimination.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Some of the boys look like girls, similar like some of the girls look like boys.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Ironically, the two most classically "mature" characters come from families like these — in both cases, the girls have been forced into adult roles by lazy or incompetent fathers. Kyouko's dad is so lazy and disorganized that she's effectively his secretary. Her mother abandons the family, only turning up in order to insult Kyouko's life choices and remind her that she'll always be inferior to boys. Meanwhile, Manami has taken on the role of full time mother of her sisters, as well as working to provide the family with an income while her father tries to become an artist, avoiding his parental responsibilities in the process. And that's before Manami expresses a desire to be treated like her father's ''wife''...
  • Eyes Always Shut: Kyouko and the rest of the Naraku family.
  • False Dichotomy: Manami uses this against her father during her Calling the Old Man Out speech, telling him to either neglect his family to become a full-time painter or quit painting altogether and get a full-time day job.
  • Fanservice:
    • Whenever present-day Hime takes a bath.
    • The chapter focusing on the merfolk festival can be taken as this, as males and females both typically wear nothing but "bikini bottoms" and the females tend to be bustier than the average for other races, while the males appear toned. Of course the beginning of the chapter is two mermen looking at a magazine with girls dressed more modestly in bathing suits.
  • Fantastic Racism: Racial equality is a relatively modern thing in this Alternate Universe and still a sensitive topic, as seen in the overly strict anti-hate laws - e.g. riding a centaur is illegal, the centaur being willing notwithstanding, because of a past history of centaurs being enslaved to be used as mounts. The "serpentines" (reptilian inhabitants of Antarctica) still face prejudice outside their native continent, as do the South American amphibians. We see a lot of the human species either whispering or thinking in thought bubbles very unkind thoughts about the Antarctican character (in particular, they're usually unduly suspicious that she'll report them to some government office for no reason).
  • Fauns and Satyrs: One of the humans sub-species, not any more wild or debauched than any of the other sub-species. Kyouko is a satyr, but since her legs are regular "human" legs, not goat legs, she's probably a case of Mixed Ancestry.
  • Felony Misdemeanor:
    • Laws concerning the race are strict, you can expect really harsh punishments for riding on a centaur or even if an angelfolk cuts his halo - made of hair. Also in chapter seven there's a sign that's shows that so much as littering will get you shot.
    • Himeno once mention how a teacher mistakenly thought she was dyeing her hair and demanded she stop. He got fired for racism.
  • Fiery Redhead: Inverted. While Himeno is carrot-topped, she's actually more of a Shrinking Violet.
  • Foreign Exchange Student: At the end of the third volume Quetzalcoatl Sasasul, a serpentine girl, tranfers to Hime's class.
  • Funbag Airbag: Right after Shizuura the mermaid observes that her breasts have grown larger again, Koma (who's carrying her) trips over a stone and finds out for himself. He agrees that they did indeed get bigger.
  • Funny Background Event: Once in a while soldiers could be seen around, reflecting the desegregation laws.
  • Ghost Story: Chapter nineteen has Hime and the crew telling each other ghost stories as a kind of courage test at the suggestion of the Occult club's vice-president.
  • Girlish Pigtails: How Himeno styles her hair when she goes to school. Turns into Mega Twintails at one point due to how long her hair had become.
  • God Guise: When Himeno is summoned to a fantasy version of Dark Age Europe, she uses her supreme archery skills to convince everyone she is a divine being to intimidate the humans.
  • Happily Adopted: One angel CEO was, in his youth, a concentration camp prisoner. When the US Army liberated the camp, a soldier saved him from prisoners who wanted to kill him for being a traitor and later adopted him.
  • Heinz Hybrid:
    • The various human subspecies can interbreed successfully, although some combinations may have high rates of congenital defects, as is the case with centaur/angel pairings. In accordance with Mendelian inheritance laws the offspring may belong to one of either parent's subspecies or it might have traits from both parents, as seen in the youngest of Manami's sisters, Suetsumu, who has angel wings from her mother's side and cat ears and tail from her father's side. It's even possible for traits of grandparents or earlier to manifest themselves, and all humans are said to possess some amount of genes from all races; as such there are rare occasions where humans are born with the traits of three races, and theoretically it's possible to be born with traits from all races.
    • The nameless House Familiar has every feature of the bipedal subspecies.
  • Heir to the Dojo: While it's glossed over in-series, Nozomi is part of a well-known family of martial arts practitioners.
  • Historical In-Joke: A mention of a possible centuar-queen of Russia is a shout-out to a rumor that Ekaterina the Great liked to ride horses.
  • Hive Caste System: The Antarctican government system (soldiers are apparently legless, only the queen lays eggs).
  • Holy Halo: A racial attribute of the Angels. Subverted in that it's actually just a piece of hair, that can even regrow when (accidentally) cut off.
  • Horned Humanoid: Of different types too. Kyouko for example is a satyr-type, while Michi's like a unicorn.
  • Horse Archer: Pun aside, this is apparently a traditional role of Himeno's family. Both her mother and her aunt are these as well. Likely connected to how Japanese centaurs actually served as Samurai cavalry in this world's history, as well as how centaurs are associated with archery in Greek mythology.
  • Hostage Situation: In chapter eight, with the bad guy using Manami's younger sister, Sue as a Human Shield.
  • Huge Schoolgirl:
    • Himeno. Justified in that she is a centaur, and towers over all of her classmates barring some of the guys like Komori.
    • Sasasul is even taller than Hime, even though most of her height comes form her long neck.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Kyouko's apparently this to her father, having almost single-handedly eased the workload of his editors, and helps him keep focused enough to always submit his drafts on time.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: Manami's triplet sisters can be told apart by their hairstyles; Chigusa has braids, Chinami has a ponytail, and Chiho has a shoulder-length bob.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Himeno doesn't mind really kissing Nozomi.
  • Ill Girl: The Class Rep's youngest sister Suetsumu gets tired easily, and sometimes gets a fever if she over-exerts herself. Current medicine has yet to determine what's causing it. May actually be a Disability Superpower or Cursed With Awesome property because the House Familiar said only Suetsumu can sense her existence.
  • I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Apparently has happened to Suetsumu a few times, including being mistaken as a new 'doll' by a dog she and the Chi-triplets had been playing with when visiting a friend.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Despite the Point of Divergence being in evolution, many things worked out the way they did in our world—for instance, Frankenstein and Dracula were both written by the same people at the same time, and adapted into the same movies, with the only difference being that the creatures are an Angel and an Imp respectively.
  • Incest Subtext: Played for Laughs when Kyouko's older brother had her make him a lunch for school once and she decided to put 'LOVE' in big bold letters on it to embarrass him when his friends assumed this trope.
  • Info Dump: Chapter sixteen has Sasasul explaining to her school mates what Anctartica is like.
  • The Internet Is for Porn: In chapter 0, Nozomi's first idea for settling Himeno's anxiety over how her private parts look is searching the internet for porn, but Himeno's family doesn't have a computer.
  • Interspecies Romance:
    • A real possibility, as Manami's family demonstrates by having a catfolk father and an absent angel mother. One of Manami's younger sisters, Suetsumu, is half catfolk and half angel as a result.
    • The very first line in the prologue is a angel confessing his love to our centaur protagonist. He wouldn't have done that if he hadn't known it could work.
  • Lecture as Exposition: Chapter 5.5, a primer on evolution and race relations in this alternate reality.
  • Like Reality, Unless Noted: Despite the obvious differences, the world is not much different from our own. They seem to have the same geography countries and cultures. Much of the appeal of the manga is noting the small differences having so many different species living together would make to our society.
  • Little Bit Beastly: The centaurs aside, some of the other races like the Satyrs and Angels look mostly like normal Humans except with some animal attributes, like tails or wings.
  • Lizard Folk: The Antarcticans, or "serpentines". Somewhat demonized and antagonistical, they are the only species shown some silent prejudice. They are even rumoured to be of alien origin (in fact, they're of the dinosaur family, like birds).
  • Long Neck: The Serpenti— ahem, Antarticans have necks about 3 feet long. A big part of why they unsettle everyone else (besides being, y'know, snake people.)
  • Ma'am Shock: Midoriko apparently strongly prefers that her niece, Himeno call her "Midoriko-nee-chan" rather than "Midoriko-baa-chan," since the latter makes her sound old. That said, when Himeno ends up having to correct herself, Midoriko sadly notes that she's getting used to it.
  • Mama Bear: Manami's reaction to someone taking her youngest sister hostage at their own shrine? Asks for (and is given) a spear and threatens to kill the idiot if he doesn't let go of the hostage that instant.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: The Mitama family qualifies, being made up of a single father and five daughters (three of whom are triplets). Manami, the oldest, usually has her hands full looking after her four younger sisters.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane:
    • While it is strongly implied that that she was the local shrine's god, just who or what was the seventh kid who played with Manami's sisters?
    • Was it really a god that appeared at the mermaids' festival?
    • Antarctica is up to some wacky stuff: dissecting aliens, masquerading as other species, reconstructing the extinct tiger-taurs, etc.. Science is probably involved, but how much is from their science and how much is research into the supernatural?
  • Meaningful Name: Guess who gets compared to a princess, and usually gets the role during dramas or plays? Himenote , of course. This does create problems when the script calls for a Princess Carry, though.
  • Meganekko: Hime's mom during her high-school years. Later on Miura, the mermaid class rep during their class' summer trip.
  • Miko: Surprise, Manami the Class Rep is also Manami the shrine maiden. Apparently her family maintains the local shrine.
  • Missing Mom: The absence of Manami's mother is very noticeable, especially when one considers the size of the family (five girls all told).
  • Mood Whiplash: With its Like Reality, Unless Noted setting, sometimes reading chapters feels like reading a feel good local story in a newspaper, then flipping the page and reading about a mass shooting in a foreign country.
    • An early side story is a cute and heartwarming look at a girl who takes care of a human-faced dog. Then the girl gets a phone call from her mother. The mother verbally abuses her and tells her to get rid of the dog, even if she has to kill it.
    • Chapter 42 starts out as slice-of-life with political overtones, focusing on a farming family in America. Then it goes into sci-fi horror with aliens infesting/replacing people, and no real ending. Chapter 43 is a cute four page short sharing a story about the Chi-triplets.
    • Chapter 49 is a story about a boy in a Nazi forced labour camp. It's back-story for the elderly businessman that shakes hands with the amphibian business man in Chapter 33. Chapter 50 is a story written by Akechi that's laden with fanservice and takes jabs at RPG tropes.
    • Chapter 56 starts out with Himeno teaching her cousin how to use a bow in a tournament... and then they find an alien dog that teleports them into a medieval fantasy world, Army of Darkness style. It gets weird from there.
  • Mukokuseki: Merpeople find Kyouko's looks "exotic", although besides her "eyes always shut" face she is drawn just like the rest of the cast.
  • Mundane Utility: Angel wings can apparently be used as an extra "mantle" to warm themselves during winter. Obviously the Class Rep gets annoyed whenever someone else tries to use hers in this manner.
  • Mysterious Antarctica: Although serpentines do have diplomatic relations with other countries, their civilization and how do they survive in the frozen continent are complete mysteries. Sasasul clears some of those mysteries in chapter sixteen. Between chapter notes in volume 11 offer further information about what is known and theorized In-Universe about Antarcticans.
  • Nipple and Dimed: The mangaka is not afraid to show nipples on females, regardless if they're children, teenagers or adults.
  • No Ending: The anime adaptation ends with Himeno winning an arm wrestling competition, without even understanding why they were holding one. Cue ending credits and a "Thank you for watching" card with a picture of Himeno waving.
  • No Longer with Us: In chapter 44, Shino's classmate Mii says her dog Ichiro "went away" and "is up in the sky," leading Shino to think the dog is dead and to treat Mii with extra kindness. At the end of the chapter, Ichiro turns up alive: he'd been staying at a kennel while the family waited for pet-friendly housing.
  • No Swastikas: In the anime adaptation of the story set in the Holocaust, anything that would indicate that the people in charge of the camp are Nazis or even Germans is censored. In fact, the people who attack the camp are called the "liberation army," and the soldier who adopts the angel boy offers to take him to his home country, rather than Montana.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: Discussed during the marathon; as a centaur, Hime is by default far faster than even the fastest biped (she says she could run 100m in about 9 seconds, which would make her as fast as or faster than Usain Bolt) but when she tried out for the track team she was left in the dust by the other runners (who were, of course, all centaurs) because by centaur standards she's absolutely nothing special, possibly even a bit on the slow side.
  • Oh, Crap!: The reaction of everyone at the shrine during the New Year's festival when some hooligan not only causes a car crash in front of it, but also takes the Class Rep's youngest sister Sue hostage.
  • Our Angels Are Different: They're just one of the many humanoid species, sharing a common ancestor with the rest. Apart from obvious physical issues that halos and wings cause and their societies' reactions to them, they're not really more special or bizarre than any other race.
  • Our Centaurs Are Different: They are just a human sub-species and not particularly violent or rowdy, unlike their fantasy counterparts. Their equine looks is just evolutionary convergence (this world's horses are actually hexapodal). However, like their fantasy counterparts they're closely associated with archery; Himeno comes from a long line of archers. This is also a wordplay: the Japanese motto of mounted archery is "jinba ittai": "man and horse in one body".
  • Our Demons Are Different: "Draconinds" can have bat-like wings, horns, and arrow-pointed devil tails, but are just another human sub-species like the other fantasy humanoids in the setting, having no powers or personally traits inherent to them.
  • Our Humans Are Different: All humans are a Little Bit Beastly or are Cute Monster Girls. This ranges from people with cat ears and tails, to centaurs, to merfolk who appear similar to real life humans until their legs merge at the knees. The explanation given is that in this version of Earth's past, six-limbed creatures became dominant instead of those with four limbs, giving humans diversity based on how that extra pair of limbs developed (whether that be extra legs for centaurs or wings for angelfolk). Highlighting the distinction, there are also anthropomorphic frog people, snake-like Antarcticans and Starfish Aliens, but they are all explicitly not human.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: They look normal until about knee-level when the legs merge into a sea serpent-like tail, they need to breathe air like any other mammal, and they kind of slither around in waist-deep water at their school.
  • Our Nudity Is Different: The mermaid population that lives near the sea have no large issues with female breasts or nipples. Both sexes tend go about topless when weather permits, and tops are worn either for fashion, warmth, rituals, or when they know they will be interacting with people from the mountains. This is a direct reference to real but vanishing Ama AKA "Pearl Diver" Japanese subculture's tradition of working topless.
  • Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions: Antarcticans don't believe in the supernatural.
  • Parental Incest: Unlike Kyouko's prank on her brother, definitely not played for laughs. Manami's life takes an incredibly worrying turn when she comes on to her own father. It's hinted that this is a result of being forced to take on a parental role in the household — after all, she already sees herself as the triplets' and Su-chan's mother, so what's the next step? Surprisingly, when she tells a classmate about what happened, said classmate shrugs it off as her dad sending "mixed signals" and tells her to dial down her sex appeal in front of her father...
  • Parents as People: The "parents are flawed" variant:
    • Himeno's mother seems to have a certain amount of jealousy towards her daughter...which isn't surprising, as Himeno has been the center of her father's world since she was born. She can be quite scathing about her daughter, complaining about her to an old school friend, yet she also loves Himeno. We also see her discussing stocks, shares and investments with Himeno's aunt.
    • Manami's father is shown as incredibly selfish, if sympathetic: he desperately wants to be an artist and paint, but doesn't make much of an income from it. Instead, he dithers between "proper" work and painting, leaving the overly-busy and incredibly stressed Manami to assume the role of breadwinner. Even if he's at home painting, he takes little part in raising his own children — again, he leaves his eldest daughter looking after the Chi-chan triplets and the sickly Suetsumu.
    • Kyouko's mother is a particularly unpleasant variant, showing up to play the role of "mother" only when it interests her, and mocking her daughter for setting her sights too high. She tells her that as a mere girl, the highly intelligent and talented Kyouko doesn't have a hope of achieving as much as her much-less competent brother, simply because as a male he has an automatic advantage, and Kyouko shouldn't try to fight the system: she should try to marry rich instead. Unsurprisingly, Kyouko has little but contempt for her mother.
  • Playing Doctor: Nozomi convinces Hime and Naruku to engage in a round of "I'll show you mine if you'll show me yours" in Chapter 0. They're quite a bit older than most kids playing doctor but the "I wonder what she looks like under her clothes" motive is the same since they are an imp, a centaur, and a satyr respectively, and the motive is to ensure Hime that her genitals, which she has never seen, doesn't resemble a cow's. Given that this is the prologue readers may be forgiven for assuming this is a hentai manga.
  • Pointy Ears: A trait of the "Imps", like Hime's friend Nozomi, and their classmate Komori.
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: Because of their physical differences, this world is plagued with a history of even worse racism and violence than our own. The races seem to live together in peace now (with the exception of some of the more "exotic" or isolated races), but Japanese anti-racism laws are so strict that, for example, riding a centaur is a hate crime even if the centaur is the one offering, and all magical girls shows must include magical girls of every race with the main character changing every episode. Japanese society even stresses "unity" over individuality. A particularly alarming example is that if a salon accidentally cuts off the hair that forms the "halo" on an angelfolk individual, the angelfolk person themselves can be arrested for hate crime against their own race if they don't have the correct paperwork on them to state that there was an accident.
  • Promotion to Parent: Manami has pretty much been forced to stand in for her mom in taking care of her younger sisters and looking after the house. Possibly meant as a deconstruction; this leads to her literally seeing herself as their mother and presumably contributes to her developing an Electra Complex on her father.
  • Properly Paranoid: The characters constantly measure how "accepting" they are of other races, terrified of doing anything that might be categorized as "discrimination" — such as panicking when confronted with a Snake person's open, fanged mouth inches from their face. However, given the anecdotes that the girls mention in passing, such as the teacher who was fired for mistaking Himeno's hair as being dyed, this seems to be the only way to keep them safe from the law.
  • Quirky Curls: Hime's hair. Akechi points out however that with some effort, it can turn into Regal Ringlets.
  • Racist Grandma: A hot-tempered and racist old angel woman slaps Himeno's hind quarters and complains about an "animal" like her taking up all the space and making seniors stand. At that point, the woman's daughter-in-law claps a hand over her mouth and claims the older woman doesn't mean that, at which point Himeno and her friends discuss old people's attitudes toward the young.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Himeno's impressive fall of hair.
  • Recurring Extra: There's a catguy and mermaid couple that show up once in a while. Chapter 48 is even dedicated to them and names them (Koma Takamichi and Shizuura "Lulu").
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: As mentioned above, the Antarctican serpentines face segregation due to this view and their mysterious, isolated culture.
  • Same-Sex Triplets: Three of Manami's younger sisters, Chigusa, Chinami and Chiho, are identical triplets.
  • Schoolgirl Lesbians:
    • Not Hime and her friends, but their classmates Akechi and Michi. No one seems to find it strange though.
    • When Nadeshiko walks in on Akira asleep wearing only a T-shirt, she takes a good long look between her legs and blushes. Later, Nadeshiko states she might be bisexual and that if Akira was a boy, she'd kiss her. Akira blushes and says in that case she'll have to wear boy's clothes more often.
    • Manami and Omaki, too. Which is all the more interesting given how put-off Manami was by Akechi and Michi's public displays of affection, earlier (albeit partly because public displays of affection are taboo in Japan), and her claiming that "big girls don't kiss".
    • Ayaka, Hime's Kouhai at her archery dojo, has a fairly blatant tsundere crush/rivalry with Hime herself: when Ayaka is getting worked up about a competition and becoming too nervous to shoot straight, Hime (on advice from one of her friends) promises her that she'll go on a date with Ayaka if Ayaka wins the competition. This is apparently a great incentive, as the end of the chapter shows them heading out on a date.
    • Karasuba, a new first-year student introduced in volume 11, has a blatant crush on Manami, and later develops one on Ayaka (to the point of literally inviting Ayaka home to have sex). In volume 16 she outright declares herself to be a lesbian.
  • Security Blanket: Mr. Steppy, the bathroom stool Hime used to use as a child.
  • Security Cling: Hime and Sasasul momentarily cling together while watching The Fear From Antarctica.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: Hime and her friends can give the Lucky Star girls a run for their money at times. Chapter 54 consists almost entirely of a discussion of armpit hair.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Single-Minded Twins: Three of the Class Rep's little sisters, who are identical triplets, are almost a hive-mind. So much so that they're collectively called "Chi-chan" as if they're one person, anyway. Chapter 38 shows they even dream in unison.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Despite the problems mentioned under Crapsaccharine World, on the whole the work is on the Yotsuba&! end of the scale.
  • Snake People: The Antarcticans. Fantastic Racism against them is taking longer to die down than most others, since Reptiles Are Abhorrent.
  • Space Cold War: The Antarcticans are depicted somewhat as the old USSR, opposed to this universe's USA.
  • Space Jews: While actual Jews exist in the setting (and have even suffered their own equivalent Holocaust in Europe during WWII at the hands of an angelic Hitler), the merpeople in Japan incidentally occupy a cultural niche not dissimilar to that of the European Jews in our own world. Their water-dwelling nature made them particularly suitable to trading along rivers and sea-routes in older times, resulting in them becoming stereotyped as rich merchants while simultaneously being reviled as greedy thieves or mistrusted as outsider in land-dweller communities. Furthermore, their very different habitation needs (e.g. the entire town needing to be flooded) mean that even in modern times they're always living apart in their own communities - which are even gated and guarded by the government, much like Jewish communities in some countries, in order to defend the occupants from hate crimes.
  • Spirited Competitor: Manami is very competitive, and takes even friendly softball games and arm wrestling matches quite seriously.
  • Straying Baby: The Chi-chan triplets wandered 20 kilometers away within five hours of taking their first steps.
  • Stunned Silence: Pretty much the reaction of everyone in Hime's class when Hime kisses Nozomi for real during play practice.
  • The Talk: The first chapter is basically Nozomi and Kyouko heroically reassuring Hime that she is normal "down there" (or rather, "back there" where she can't see).
  • Technically a Smile: Sasasul's smiles are horrifying.
  • Theiss Titillation Theory: In-Universe example in chapter 35 with a group of mermaid boys looking at a magazine of a girl in a bikini. It becomes this trope because, as noted in Our Nudity Is Different, mermaid girls go topless unless they have to do otherwise.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: There are neo-nazis in this alternate world, and they have their old penchant for secret weapons.
  • Tomboy:
    • Nozomi gives this impression. Her short and boyish Messy Hair does not help matters any.
    • Omaki as well. She looks even more boyish than Nozomi.
    • Akira looks virtually identical to Nozomi, except she has a satyr's hooves and horns, and an even more boyish figure.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: Nozomi's cousing Akira has the exact same face and hair like her. The main difference is that Akira is half-imp and half-satyr; she has horns, goat legs and wears glasses.
  • Unscaled Merfolk: The tail doesn't begin until knee-level (their bodies are normal above that, avoiding The Mermaid Problem), it is long like a sea serpent's, and they kind of slither around in waist-deep water. At least in school, to keep the books dry. They do originate from the sea, from aquatical primates.
  • The Un-Smile: Sassassul's attempts at smiling like a human are disastrous.
  • Vertebrate with Extra Limbs: All land vertebrates on this Earth come from a lineage of hexapodal amphibians (including humans), although some (like tigers and cats) may have lost some of them in the evolutionary road. However, even those that only have four limbs still have internal remnants of central limbs, which either evolved into other organs or are just too small to see from outside.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Hime is afraid of Antarcticans since she saw The Fear from Antarctica when she was a kid. She gets over it after she gets to know Sassasul, an actual Antarctican who's nothing like the monster shown in the film.
  • Winged Humanoid: "Imps" and "Angels". Himeno's friend Nozomi is an example of the former, while the Class Rep is an example of the latter. Downplayed in that their wings cannot actually be used to fly.
  • Wings Do Nothing: The angels and imps have wings, but they can't actually use them to fly.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Manami the Class Rep is way too serious and world-weary for a teenager her age. This is due to all the responsibilities she's had to take up at home, like taking care of her younger sisters and looking after the finances of the local shrine, on top of the ones she holds at school.
  • Worldbuilding: An impressive case with regards to its setting, given how this is technically a Slice of Life story about teenaged girls.
  • Xenofiction: A rare total example in the medium.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: The manga is mostly in black and white, but if one of the volume covers is to be believed one of the child characters has green hair - and since she's a centaur that also means ears, tail, and fur. Odd, considering that Hime's red hair is seen as noteworthy and has an explanation.

Alternative Title(s): Centaur No Nayami


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: