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Manga / Again!!

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Imamura Kinichiro is graduating from high school, having spent the entirety of his high school career without joining a club or making any friends. On sudden impulse Imamura visits the room occupied by the Cheer Club (ouendan in Japanese) before it closed for lack of members his freshman year. A misunderstanding with fellow graduate Fujieda Aki seemingly results in a fatal accident for both of them... until Imamura wakes up on his first day of high school. Thinking it nothing more than a Dying Dream, he goes through his first day of school for a second time, but before he can put himself back on the path to have a miserable three years he tells cheer club captain Usami the words he never could in his first loop: "The Cheering Squad... is it fun?".

Again!! is a manga by Mitsurou Kubo about the spirit of the Japanese ouendan, time travel, high school, youth and second chances. It originally ran from 2011 to 2014 in Weekly Shonen Magazine, and received an official English translation in February 2018 by Kodansha USA.

Not to be confused with the visual novel of the same name.

Again!! contains examples of:

  • All Just a Dream: Imamura and Aki initially thought they were dreaming. Ultimately subverted: in later chapters, falling down a flight of stairs sees Imamura wake up in the original timeline while his body in the Again timeline goes into a coma. He also discovers that he was able to partially alter the memories of several people he met during Again.
  • Alpha Bitch: Abe Tamaki, the Cheerleading Club's leader. Usami technically counts, but she's far dorkier and more hotblooded than the social butterfly the trope describes, though.
  • Butterfly of Doom: Unfortunately, Aki's life is pretty much ruined because she had a good life; she sets about trying to recreate her relationship with her boyfriend, but her overly familiar behaviour ends up pigeonholing her as a stalker. Trying to convince people of what happens three years into the future also makes others think she's crazy.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Mitsurou Kubo has a very definite talent for not relying on any facial templates when she draws.
  • Color Failure: Reo suffers a major one when she realizes that Imamura is a lot more popular with the girls than anyone expected.
  • Delinquent: His appearance and quick temper make it hard to convince people otherwise, but Imamura really isn't one.
  • Cute Sports Club Manager: Mineko. Is it any wonder why Suzuki fell for her?
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Surprise! Hiro was also in an Again. And he just began monologuing at precisely the wrong moment i.e. when the entire ouendan including Imamura came round the corner.
  • Down to the Last Play: After an unbelievable comeback, Suzuki is rounding the bases to tie the game with two outs. He's tagged out at home plate. Despite the loss, he and the Cheer Squad are more popular than ever.
  • Face of a Thug: Imamura. This is the primary aesthetic reason why he never made any friends during his three years in high school.
  • Fanservice Model: Taka, who is an idol singer and a gravure model.
  • Friendless Background: Imamura at the start of the manga.
  • Guile Hero: Imamura.
  • High School: The setting of the manga.
  • Insistent Terminology: The time travel is always called the "Again".
  • Irony: Usami is very strict about upholding the Cheering Squad's traditions, but the very fact that she's a girl who's a member of the club is decidedly untraditional, since Japanese cheering squads are typically all-male.
  • Japanese School Club: The Cheering, Cheerleading, and Baseball Club feature prominently.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The basis of Imamura's Character Development is him turning from an antisocial cynic into a more outgoing person thanks to this trait. Aki, initially a stuck-up girl, also proves to be this as she helps Imamura fix the past.
  • Lovable Jock: Suzuki, the baseball club's ace.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Reo likes Imamura, who has a complicated relationship with Usami, who is the object of the affections of the Ouendan's butt monkey. Suzuki initially likes Mineko, but later develops feelings for Reo which almost leads to a fight with Imamura. Gets slightly more complicated later on when Taka, who was a pop idol before the Again occurred and is currently the president of the Drama Club, also falls in love with Imamura. He kindly turns her down though.
  • One-Word Title
  • No Accounting for Taste
  • Pride: Usami's Fatal Flaw. Her exacting standards led her to drive away the other members of the cheer squad, and when she tried to single-handedly cheer at a major game her side lost, the shame of failure (and the blame of her peers) made her quit school.
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Par for the course, Imamura and Aki are both capable of remembering events that happened in their original timeline while changing the course of history in the Again timeline. This is slowly subverted as they and other characters begin experiencing memory alterations in the form of "visions" once they successfully change the past. Hiro later tries using this for his own personal gain, although most of his schemes fail anyway.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: For Imamura, the Again is a second chance at the energetic highschool life he never had in his original timeline.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Taka, a famous pop and gravure idol before the Again happened, used to be an unpopular Gonk in high school. Meeting Imamura and Hiro changed all of that, beginning with a little makeover courtesy of Aki.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The Cheerleading Club and Cheer Squad do NOT get along, but both plan to do their best for their team.
  • Time Travel: The main premise of the manga.
  • Tomboy: Usami. The fact that she's in the Cheering Squad at all is a pretty big tip-off that she's this, since ouendan are typically all-male. It's to the point she has a minor heroic BSOD when she has to cheerlead.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Usami and Tamaki. Unlike most examples of this, the two of them cannot stand each other.
  • Training from Hell: Usami tries this in their training retreat, making the club do a long run... and ends up having to be carried across the finish line herself.
  • Unusual Eyebrows:
    • Imamura has no eyebrows, making a big contrast with Usami who has very thick eyebrows for a girl.
    • Suga Rakki has Big Ol' Eyebrows. He and Usami also have very imposing personalities.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Imamura gets this a lot whether his schemes succeed or fail. Aki too, on occasion.