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Manga / Amanchu!

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"FUN for ALL. ALL for FUN."

Hikari Kohinata is a cheerful 15 year-old girl who lives near the ocean and she spends much of her time diving as a result. On her first day of high school, she meets a teacher who also likes scuba diving. There's also a 16 year-old classmate, Futaba Ooki, who gets dragged along in Hikari's maelstrom as soon as they meet at school. Most of the manga so far details the relationship between the two girls, which quickly seems to move into Pseudo-Romantic Friendship territory.

Amanchu! is perhaps most notable as a creation of ARIA's Kozue Amano, running in Monthly Comic Blade from 2008 to 2021. Rather than being located on Neo-Venezia, however, it takes place in the modern-day Japanese town of Ito in Shizuoka Prefecture, although Amano also put in some well-known landmarks from other places in that region. It focuses on scuba diving and high school life. The manga itself, Hikari in particular, uses a lot of diving jargon even when not diving.

Received a 2016 anime adaptation produced by J.C. Staff, with a second season released in 2018.

This manga provides examples of:

  • Ahoge: Hikari has three.
  • Author Appeal: Water-based recreational activities? Cats? Magical realism? Yep, it's a Kozue Amano manga.
  • Bait-and-Switch Lesbians: Amano spends a lot of panels depicting Futaba and Hikari holding hands, locking eyes and outright declaring deep feelings for each other, which led many readers to believe that a relationship upgrade was on the horizon. Alas, Amano outright hates this idea, and she subsequently decided to turn Kokoro into a boy, with Futaba vouching to support him to woo Hikari, even though he is several years younger. This obviously doesn't sit well with fans who followed the series because of Hikari and Futaba's interesting chemistry.
  • Butt-Monkey: Mild-mannered Makoto often bears the brunt of his sister's more violent side.
  • Cherry Blossoms
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Hikari. Ai too, to some degree.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: Suprisingly, crucial to the resolution of the Neverland arc. When Tawano-sensei sees Ai's blue-striped panties, it reawakens a memory of his time-shifted astral body, Peter, also seeing them hours earlier, yet also thirty years ago. Did we mention this is about scuba divers?
  • Commuting on a Bus: Ai and Makoto appear less and less as the series progresses.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Ai, to some extent.
  • Expy: Hikari is ARIA's Akari, but with the weirdness ramped up considerably. The likeness is emphasized by her school uniform, which looks very much like the outfits worn by the undines in ARIA.
    • Akari appears directly as well, on a tourism poster (for Palau of all places) on the clubroom wall.
    • Not to mention the one-shot character Akane, one of Futaba's/Dotty's old friends, who looks exactly like Akari.
      • Chizuru, another one of Dotty's friends from Tokyo, resembles Aika, especially with her Super-Deformed face.
      • Taken up to eleven in the anime as the staff asked the same actors to voice them.
  • Face Fault: All the main characters have one.
  • Fanservice: Fairly mild—but then there are the covers of the manga volumes.
  • First-Name Basis: Hikari skips all that and decides to call Futaba by a nickname straight away.
  • Genki Girl: Hikari. Ai has some of this as well.
  • High School Rocks: At least Hikari seems to think so.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: The school uniforms are very striking, but perhaps not so practical for people who have to sit in them all day.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Flashbacks show that Kino, Hikari's grandmother, was a quite the slender beauty, making a striking appearance in her wetsuit when diving was still seen as a novelty.
  • Iyashikei
  • Joshikousei
  • Limited Social Circle: None of the characters seem to have much of a life outside of high school and club activities.
    • Later on, the group is enhanced with two of Futaba's Tokyo friends.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Averted. Hikari may be a bit eccentric and is not seen with friends outside the diving club, but she has a warm and sociable personality.
  • Magic Realism: Although this is mostly a Slice of Life affair, some not-so-ordinary occurrences pop up now and then, such as a boy's ghost haunting the school festival.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Hikari's Genki Girl ways tend to cause others to start having fun too. Especially Futaba, who learns to enjoy her life in a new town thanks to Hikari's antics.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Hikari's grandmother.
  • The One Guy: Makoto. Poor chap.
  • One of the Kids: Katori-sensei, to some degree.
  • Parental Abandonment: Hikari is raised by her grandmother and her parents never get any mention. Futaba's parents are also conspicuously absent.
    • Hikari's parents (and her two siblings) finally show up in chapter 45, with no reason given for their absence in previous chapters. Her grandfather was also introduced in the previous chapter.
  • Pose of Supplication: Done by Hikari and Futaba toward Ai, to prevent her from beating them up.
  • Real-Place Background: Amano extensively uses locales on the Japanese Izu peninsula, the town of Ito first and foremost.
  • Rubber Face: Ai loves doing this to Hikari.
  • Scenery Porn: Of course — it wouldn't be Amano's work without it.
  • Sensei-chan: As advisor of the Yumegaoka High School Diving Club, Katori-sensei likes to get rather familiar with its members, and is not even above some competition with them, especially Hikari. She also loves to take the gang on outings, whether it's for diving or just sightseeing.
  • Ship Sinking: Many fans got rather upset when Futaba exclaims that her love for Hikari is different from Kokoro's, since Kokoro is a boy, and later Kokoro and Hikari indeed appear get ever closer as the series progresses. Fan speculation has it that Amano Kozue is not pleased that her manga had been seen by fans as a yuri manga.
  • Shout-Out: Several characters from ARIA have appeared on posters the background, including Akari and the president cats.
    • Bonus points for Tea-sensei actually being NAMED Aria, like the president of Aria Company. As of Chapter 16, Aria gets a companion/betrothed kitten named Hime.
    • Katori-sensei's car is the Pokoteng III, which has President Aria's last name.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Ai and her twin brother, Makoto.
  • Slice of Life: Most of the time, although some weirdness tends to creep in at times.
  • Subtext: Between Hikari and Futaba, although it gets toned down to an extent later on in the series, although it flares up occasionally (see Chapters 16 and 17).
  • Super-Deformed: Hikari's SD face is a bit jarring.
  • Techno Babble: There is a lot of talk about the technical issues surrounding diving.
  • Two-Teacher School: Actually, Katori-sensei is the only teacher shown teaching throughout the series.
  • The World Is Just Awesome: The art and feel of the manga express' this many times.