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Manga / And Yet the Town Moves
aka: Soredemo Machi Wa Mawatteiru

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From left to right, Hotori, Kon, Sanada, Toshiko and Uki the Head Maid. Haribara and Moriaki-sensei missing.

"Even the most grand and luxurious of cafes are nothing but empty shacks if they don't provide what the customer seeks."

Seaside Maid Cafe in the Maruko Shopping District at first glance seems normal. Maybe too normal; except for its waitresses wearing maid uniforms, it's a regular coffee shop (it doesn't even serve tea). But its staff is rather odd: Hotori Arashiyama aspires to be a detective, Toshiko Tatsuno is a perfectionist, and Uki, the owner, is an old woman with an unusual voice.

Business is slow, too: three regular customers from the neighbourhood, Hotori and Toshiko's classmates Hiroyuki Sanada and Harue Haribara, and their sempai Futaba Kon are apparently the only clients of the joint. But worry not: Hilarity Ensues.

How many Slice of Life shows feature Special Guest appearances by Egyptian gods?

Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru (Yet the Town Keeps Going or And Yet the Town Moves) is a Seinen manga written and illustrated by Masakazu Ishiguro. The comic was serialized in Shōnen Gahōsha's Young King OURs from 2005 to 2016, with sixteen bound volumes by the time of its completion. The anime adaption by Studio Shaft aired during the Fall 2010 Anime season.


Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru has examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming:
    • It's Eri not Ebi!
    • Toshiko doesn't like being called Tattsun.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Haribara and many of her middle school acquaintances couldn't get through to Kon, especially after an incident in middle school closed Kon off from people. While many see an invisible "wall" that can't be surpassed, Hotori, with her lack of knowledge concerning Kon's backstory and her earnest attempts to befriend her, ends up the closest person in Kon's inner circle.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The anime does this with a few of the chapters, adding on slightly different endings or expanding on minor scenes wholesale (ie. The rest of the neighborhood reacting to Hotori's accident).
  • All Love Is Unrequited: It's nothing serious and romance isn't exactly the most important thing in the series but: Toshiko has a crush on Hiroyuki, who has a longstanding crush on his childhood friend Hotori, who seems to have a thing for their homeroom math teacher Mr. Moriaki, who frowns on the idea of a student/teacher relationship as immoral (and who would probably shoot himself if he had to deal with Hotori for the rest of his life). Two teachers outside of the love line, Mizoguchi and Nishi, also have unrequited crushes on Moriaki. Takeru and Eri may be the only exception.
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  • All Men Are Perverts: Hotori's class is only able to get sign-ups for the Sports Festival when she places Tatsuno in the running for the bread-eating portion of the obstacle course. The boys recognized that she'd be jumping up and down multiple times, and then started to pick events that wouldn't get in the way of their watching Tatsuno participate. Their efforts were in vain, as Hotori running off to save what she thought was Kon getting blown away makes the class substitute Tatsuno for her, while Hotori takes her place in the bread race.
  • Alone Among the Couples: Sawada, eventually. By the end of his second year of high school, two of his friends had gotten girlfriends while the third, despite being single, graduated and wouldn't be able to share Sawada's lonely bachelorhood.
  • Alternate Universe: The "Fantasy Novel" two parter has Hotori dream about going into a universe where she was never born. As a result, Seaside never becomes a maid cafe and the sign isn't broken, Kon and Haribara grow closer even after middle school, Kon takes up a job at Seaside, Tatsuno and Sanada get together, Yukiko is named Hotori, and Shizuka never becomes the mystery writer Umekazu Kadoishi. Going by the penultimate chapter, this universe may be a result of Hotori wishing herself out of existence.
  • Anachronic Order: Both the anime and the manga do this, to the point where Ishiguro had to put out a timeline of events that he felt made the most sense.
  • Art Shift:
    • With Studio Shaft at the works, this is aplenty.
    • Murder on Jelly Island is told in a picture book style, despite the story's supposed violent nature.
  • Author Appeal: Mysteries. While we all know how crazy Hotori and Takeru are over mystery works, in general the series is filled with mysteries to solve and riddles to crack.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Despite the occasional family scuffle, Hotori can be really nice to her siblings.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • Moriaki, upon seeing that Hotori won't put any effort into math unless she relates it to detective stories, uses those as a basis for recontexualizing problems. One montage later, and Hotori has finally answered all of her questions...only to come up with nothing for both her metaphorical "case" and her work.
    • Chapter 40 opens with the Arashiyama siblings fretting over their burned house. The rest of the chapter explained that it wasn't the family home that burned down—rather it was Josephine's doghouse, which caught fire due to her putting an active sparkler inside among other flammable items.
    • Chapter 130 shows Hotori overjoyed at finding her number on a college board, but the chapter reveals that the number is Kon's and she was the one that got in. From the same chapter, we're led to believe that Kon is leaving the country after she graduates, but after the move we see her with her parents in Japan. She turns out to have moved to the town over.
    • The last chapter seems to be a followup on the one before it, with all of Hotori's classmates discussing residual memories of a girl they can't remember. It looks to be the aftermath of the world after Hotori erases herself from existence, but in reality they were rehearsing for their third year class play. Hotori is very much alive, and she was even the one who wrote the script.
  • Bathtub Bonding: Hotori and Takeru bathe together in Chapter 19/Episode 7.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • Hotori makes a small but surprisingly good one despite her academic ability. Over the course of two days, she posts arrows all over the town which would lead curious customers to the Cafe. Three men, curious to know what the arrows were for, walked into the cafe. Hotori explains the purpose of the arrows, but they scoff at the idea. What they didn't realize is that by following the arrows, they've been submitting to Hotori's trick the whole time.
    • Takeru also employs this trope, proving that detective genes run in the family. When Yukiko lost her Nintendo DS, Takeru gave her a bunch of acorns to play with, knowing that she'd put them anywhere she frequented. He also took into account the neighbors getting annoyed by Yukiko's pranks and coming to Seaside to complain about it— Hotori being as nosy as she is, she'd try to learn more about the situation and then talk about her findings at home, cluing Takeru in on the areas Yukiko went so he can make a proper map of likely locations she left her game system.
  • Battle Aura: Probably a signature of Meidojutsu users.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Sanada in Chapter 133. When Hotori is being manhandled by a teacher jealous at what she thinks is a romance between the former and Moriaki, Sanada jumps from a two story window just to protect her.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Kon's old senpai, Zanari. While she was very nice to Kon during her time in Ping-Pong club, Kon being chosen for the club's lineup while Zanari wasn't makes her attempt to injure Kon before the game. This incident closed Kon off from people for a while, until Hotori came along.
  • Bland-Name Product: PumaCapybara sport gear, SeikoSekoi clocks, LipovitanNapovitan energy drink, GoogleGogol. Averted with the Montblanc fountain pen.
  • Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Hotori plays the boke, usually with Toshiko playing the Tsukkomi.
  • Book Dumb: Despite having high grades in most subjects, Hotori seems to be impossibly dumb when it comes to anything involving math or logic. It's a miracle she made it to high school.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: When Sanada and Takafumi recall paying for a window they broke as teens, Arai handily breaks panel to point out he got extorted in that very same scene for the other boys to have money to pay for the window.
  • Brick Joke: The Spooky Photographs. At first, we learn that there are machines in the afterlife that perfectly edit existing photos on Earth to include any old haunting picture, which Hotori wants to use to scare Kon. At the end of the escapade, Kon looks at an old photo of her and Hotori confirming the photo was indeed made haunted— but it's Hotori who gets the creepy hand behind her, not Kon.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Arai. If anyone gets in trouble or is the recipient of comedic hits, it's going to be him.
    • Out of all the child characters, poor Maki gets hit with this trope a lot. He's the scapegoat for the class, the subject of his girl classmates' mockery, and is usually ditched whenever Takeru gets involved with Eri.
  • Call-Back:
    • During the school festival, Hotori brings up her "Murder on Jelly Island" mystery as an idea for a class play. Toshiko's less than enthused to hear about it again.
    • Chapter 31 references the Treasure Hunt through Hotori's mention of Shigasato Itoi, who she previously mistook for a military general. Sanada also comes to the same conclusion.
    • The context of Hotori's failed Chocolate of Romance confession mentioned in Chapter 1 is brought back by Chapter 58.
    • Makki's habit of always pulling scissors in a Rock–Paper–Scissors game was first established in Chapter 54, before being brought up again in Chapter 117 to help Eri win a game.
    • Shizuka is shown with the same make of watch as her old Mystery Club contemporary chapters before.
    • When Hotori is called to look over more of Moriaki's grandfather's artwork, she runs into the self portrait series again.
    • The subject of Chapter 133, a teacher in love with Moriaki, has her origins told (and referenced) in Chapter 9 as the student Moriaki rejected advances from. From the same chapter, Gran gives Toshiko curry to soothe her heartbreak over realizing she'll never be as important to Sanada as Hotori is.
  • Call-Forward:
    • Chapter 84 features Sanada recounting the story of the ramen shop he visited when he was younger as part of a conversation on mysterious childhood circumstances. Hotori brushes this off, saying she can't solve two mysteries at once— which she won't until Chapter 31, chronologically.
    • From the same chapter, Yukiko gets lost following a mysterious boy around thinking he was Takeru, and leaves the family Nintendo DS on an engine before leaving. This is the set-up for her acorn pranks earlier in the manga.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Even with Generic Cuteness seeping into the main girls' designs, every significant character in the story has a distinct look and build.
  • Celestial Bureaucracy: The Japanese afterlife is the only known one to have a setup like this. Other afterlives look a little more fantastic, going by the few Hotori stumbled into on her way there.
  • Celibate Hero: Moriaki's as celibate and disinterested in relationships as they come. Chapter 25 shows that even when prompted to test if he can see his love's initials in his coffee, he can only think of π. However, for the volume 9 cast introductions, he's shown not being adverse to the idea of a relationship if he and his partner can mutually improve each other.
  • Central Theme: For Volume 8, the theme was "things Hotori can't solve".
  • Childish Older Sibling: Hotori is very much this. While Yukiko and Takeru may be bratty kids, Hotori is even worse than them, to the point where they'd never dream of considering Hotori as someone they can rely on in a pinch.
  • Close-Knit Community: The Maruko Shopping District is fairly intimate with one another, with many of the shop owners knowing the customers and buying from each other's stores. Played for Drama in Volume 8, which implies that their getting closer is the result of business slowly dying thanks to supermarkets becoming more common.
  • Cloudcuckoolander:The further a problem is from logic and the mundane, the easier is for Hotori to solve it. She's not alone in the show, though; just listen to the Head Maid's deductions on the painting mystery...
  • Comically Missing the Point: Kon goes on a tangent explaining why her parents aren't home often and why her house has so many foreign objects in it. All Hotori got out of it was...Kon being a quarter English.
  • Cosplay Café: The series is set in a Maid Cafe.
  • Crossover Cosmology: Anubis makes a special guest appearance in "And Yet the Town Moves". It's heavily implied if not outright stated that other religions' afterlives and gods exist on the post-mortem plane, but they're tailored to certain cultures.
  • Cultural Cross-Reference
    • Sanada saying he's become a Jedi.
    • Hotori confusing a scanner with Scanners.
    • Kon was apparently a Sith Lord of Ping Pong in middle school.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Hotori. She can make clumsy combos. And when she dies, she gets into the Ancient Egyptian afterlife rather than the Japanese.
    • Exploited in the early chapters. Toshiko, recognizing that Hotori has the potential to invoke the "Clumsy Maid" archetype for extra gap moe, tries to make her trip on purpose when serving customers. However, it doesn't catch on due to the locals being desensitized to Hotori's usual antics.
  • Dancing Theme: Seen during the OP. And rather than being just another Idol-inspired theme and choreography, it goes for a Broadway Musical Theatre style.
  • Discussed Trope: Hotori invokes The Summation and Moriaki-sensei expresses his dislike about it.
  • Distant Finale:
    • "Epilogue" presents itself as a look into the lives of the characters ten years after the current story, but in reality was the result of Hotori adding a backstory to her "make a room you'd live in" assignment. The most obvious give away is the fact that Hotori has a successful detective agency, but other than that it's surprisingly plausible.
    • The real epilogue takes place a couple of years after the main cast graduates high school. Not much has changed in the shopping district, but Hotori eventually started submitting mystery novels to the publisher Shizuka works at, and wins an honorary mention for her book Shadow Town.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: While the opening theme is a cover of an already existing song, "Maids Sanjou!", the ED, has the main girls singing and performing on their instruments. There is something just so right about Hotori rocking out on the accordion.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Kon is seen watching Hotori ride by in Episode 2. She doesn't appear until "Cat Boy", which is chapter 10 in the manga.
  • Eureka Moment:
    • "Wait! What if you think of it as more than a painting...?" (See Extra Eyes below)
    • In Chapter 29, after lamenting that she doesn't have a map, Hotori suddenly has the smart idea of looking at the "antique" drawing she uses for the treasure hunt as the actual map for it, remembering that the branches on the picture look exactly like the placement of the rivers on the map of the town. The only branch with a flower on it then becomes their destination.
  • Everybody Hates Mathematics: Hotori puts no effort into math, on the grounds that it's not a necessary skill for a detective. The fact that she has a crush on her math teacher certainly doesn't help her focus either.
  • Everyone Can See It: Takeru's class, at least the girls, have already noticed Eri's crush on him. Likewise Sanada's friends are all too familiar with his crush on Hotori.
  • Expy:
    • Hotori shares a lot with Tomo, with a dash of Osaka. And looks like Yotsuba&!'s Fuuka. Add to this a teacher that looks like a long-haired Kimura with his mouth shut and the occasional use of very familiar face expressions and it seems like someone is a fan of Kiyohiko Azuma.
    • Also Toshiko looks like Yomi.
  • Extra Eyes: One chapter dealt with Hotori and Moriaki discovering the truth behind an unusual painting. The one Moriaki had on hand was of a man with three eyes, which was allegedly a self portrait of a gambling addict painter. When they figured out the man made multiple portraits and had them split among his three kids, they also learn that most of the portraits are of him with multiple eyes corresponding to the number of each face of a die. Putting the paintings under a black-light reveals that the paintings have even more eyes, as a means of being the numbers to open a safe.
  • Face of a Thug: A classmate of the girls, Joshima, is one of those tall kids with piercings and a shady reputation. He's actually one of the sweeter characters in the series, as he'd been spending weeks bouncing around his friends' houses trying to find a home for a lost puppy he can't keep due to apartment rules. The girls end up helping him out by advertising the dog.
  • False Camera Effects: Fisheye Lens and Lens Flare being the most common ones in the anime.
  • Fanservice with a Smile: The point of a Maid Cafe, after all.
    Toshiko: Luring men with the illusion of gentleness, and taking their money. Such is the way of meidojutsu!
  • The Fellowship Has Ended: Chapter 136 marks the end of Cafe Seaside's two-year tenure as a maid cafe, since Toshiko spent the last of her third year preparing for exams.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Hotori, arguably the most tomboyish of the female cast, is absolutely horrible at cooking, and the best she can do is make food good enough to fill one's stomach but not to taste. "One or Eight II" has her try to make a house special with the male shop owners, and none of them can get it right. In contrast, Toshiko, who's more feminine, is a much better chef than her. Played with near the end, as Kon is also a decent cook.
  • Four Meido Band Concert: The girls and Haribara form one for the School Festival in Chapter 21. It's not a real rock band, more a mismash of different instruments.
    • The ED also features this group. Part Image Song, part Heavy Meta, all... enka rock???
    • Also in Episode 8, with the B-Side of the ED song single, which has more of a Celtic Rock feel.
  • Flat "What": Happens sometimes after Hotori makes a stupid comment.
  • First-Name Basis: EbiEri switches to this during the Not a Date, and wants Takeru to do the same (see above).
  • Former Teen Rebel: Sanada's dad and Takanori used to be real punks in their teenage years. While they started a lot of fights and got on people's nerves, they made sure to protect what they liked with just as much ferocity and often roped Arai into their misadventures. Arai's wife used to be a troublemaker, too.
  • Funny Background Event: Plenty, as the anime is a Studio Shaft work, after all. Take the random "helicopter recon" event on the first episode, for example.
  • Gag Series: No highly visible plot in this show. Everything's about making viewers laugh.
  • Gainaxing: Toshiko in episode 8.
    "They were like Water Balloons.."
  • Genius Ditz: Hotori is mostly an idiot, not just in math and logic but also common sense, but is quite adept at non-linear thinking and can solve unusual mysteries where the more straight-thinking people around her cannot. And her Batman Gambit didn't just come from nowhere.
  • Genre Savvy: Hotori gets a little and tells the rest of her family that her TV experience says that a prolific actor is most likely to play as a criminal characterinvoked.
  • Gilligan Cut:
    • In chapter 86, Asai asks Sanada if he wants to hang out by the pool, which the latter completely ghosts due to being offered to hang out with some cute girls. Cue cutting to the pool, and who Asai is actually hanging out with—none other than Sanada's crush and her school chums.
    • Arai once offers to give Hotori and co. a ride in his truck, in an effort to look like a reliable adult. The very next panel features them taking Takanori's truck instead, and Arai looking ashamed with a welt on his head.
  • Girls Have Cooties: The reason Sanada and Hotori stopped hanging out as kids is because he recognized her as a member of the opposite sex, and tells her they can't play together anymore since she has cooties. Sanada really regrets saying that now...
  • Giving Radio to the Romans: As part of a peculiar Compound Interest Time Travel Gambit, a man from two hundred years into the future began distributing a "Crunchy Goo" candy he liked from a closing sweets shop and distributed it everywhere he could. The snack proved popular enough for interest to drum up, but too hard to be reproduced by regular current day cooking; obviously someone managed to do it before 2310, as when he comes back to his home time the snack is commonplace.
  • Gonk: While there are a lot of unconventional looking characters in the series, the standout among the female cast is Haribara.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: Moriaki-sensei pictures them as hand-puppets.
  • Go into the Light: Invoked, but it carried somebody else away instead of Uki's dead husband.
  • Heavy Meta: The ending song is largely about the song itself.
  • Henpecked Husband:
    • "Day of Josephine" has the titular pet come to this conclusion, seeing Mr. Arashiyama as the lowest on the family totem pole. For what it's worth, Mr. Arashiyama thinks so as well. Chapter 29 only justifies his opinion more, as he has an allowance his family takes from without his permission, and any opinion he has is instantly drowned out by the rest.
    • Hotori's older neighbor Shizuka discusses this with her. She jokes that since boys like to pick on girls when they're young (referring to Sanada), it's only fair that they eventually get wrapped around girls' fingers when they're older.
  • Hidden Depths: Arai knows how to swing nunchucks like a true professional, and has learnt to do it since high school. Sanada and Kakuchi refer to it as his "useless talent".
  • Hot for Teacher: Ever since Moriaki-sensei lectured Hotori at the Seaside Maid Cafe, Hotori has been shown to be thinking of Moriaki-sensei. Her love will stay one-sided though; he's her math teacher, and Hotori thinks math is useless. For a man who takes everything match seriously, her idiocy keeps her on his shit list.
    • And she hasn't even been the first one to crush on him. Alas, (Man + Woman) / Morality = 0. She is named Nanami Mizoguchi, and she comes back in Chapter 133.
  • Identical Stranger: Sanada resembles an actor Toshiko is fond of, which is why she has a crush on the boy.
  • Idiots Cannot Catch Colds: Referenced by Hotori when Kon has a cold. When she later finds out that most people except her have caught it, she despairs and pretends to be sick.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun:
    • Hotori attempts to replace "maido!" (Osakan for "thank you!") with "meido". Toshiko and the Head Maid aren't amused.
    • Hotori receiving a flower in the Japanese afterlife originally had her getting a kushinashi (gardenia) only because "dead men tell no tales". In an English translation, this was changed into receiving a daisy because she's pushing them up now. Either way, she pummels the official who tells her that joke.
    • Lame puns in Japanese are "cold puns". Now you know what Kon was talking about in Episode 3.
  • Indirect Kiss: Sanada anticipates this from Hotori when she gives him her lunch and used chopsticks to eat them. He never gets the chance to use the sticks, since Hotori bumps him into a mud puddle where the sticks dropped.
  • In Name Only: Seaside Maid Cafe is barely even that. Before Toshiko came along, the only things that identified it as one were that fact that Hotori and Uki wore maid outfits. They had no idea about the culture and archetypes associated with such a restaurant, and even when they got a comparative expert on the crew the cafe still feels more like a hometown hangout.
  • In-Series Nickname: In their old middle school ping-pong club Toshiko, Haribara and Kon were known as the Faerie, the Reaper and the Sith Lord. Serious Business!
  • Insane Troll Logic: In chapter 9 of the manga, Hotori's answers on Moriaki-sensei's math test are so incredibly awful or nonsensical that he gets physically and mentally ill just from reading them.
    1 = 0
  • Interrupted Declaration of Love: Sanada tries to confess multiple times, but the worst of it has to be Chapter 114, where he had virtually no distractions but still got cut off due to a ghost pushing Hotori into the elementary school pool.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: Hotori tries calling out for Shunsaku by announcing a thief on the loose, convinced that all officers would fall for that trick. Cue Shunsaku coming out of nowhere, chastising Hotori for expecting him to appear conveniently like a fictional character.
  • Ironic Name: Neither Cafe Seaside (the main one and the one in G Prefecture) is actually near the sea, or a body of water for that matter.
  • Irony: Sanada and Joshima end up hanging out with some girls from St. Helens Academy, and completely ignore Asai's offer to hang out by the pool; the result is their ending the night without any girls and general dissatisfaction. Meanwhile, Asai wasn't expecting anything out of the pool trip, but he walked away having a nice time, hung out with Sanada's crush, and ended up bonding the girl who would eventually become his girlfriend.
  • Joshikousei: It's not really a schoolgirl story, but Hotori, Toshiko and Kon are definitely of this variety.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: Kon, who Hotori first mistakes for a pretty boy in middle school.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The final chapter ends with Hotori rushing down the school hallways, crying about how she can't think of an ending for her class' play. Fitting, since the story similarly ends with a few loose character arcs and is rather inconclusive as noted in No Ending below.
  • Lens Flare Censor: Hotori's tripping towards the cafe's entrance door has turned her upside down. Whatever upskirt that's anticipated is blocked by afternoon sunlight lens flares.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Takeru, much like Mr. Arashiyama, gets put into a situation where a girl that likes him pushes him around while he's helpless to protest.
  • Look, a Distraction!: Hotori distracts Shunsaku from pestering her and Sanada about sharing a bike by pointing him in the direction of a burglar. He turns around, only to find a poster of a thief instead, while the kids make their escape.
  • Magic Skirt:
    • Surprisingly for such a fanservice-heavy genre, upskirt shots are obscured by darkness or random happenstance. The anime walks the very fine line of titillation, leaving anatomy lessons for other shows. Let's just say it's all about the laughs.
    • Also, see Kon in the picture above.
    • Completely averted in the manga and in episode 12, where panties are shown just fine.
  • Meido: Obviously.
  • A Million Is a Statistic: Invoked during Chapter 136. When the higher dimensional being informs her that 3000 people will die as a result of an incoming typhoon, Hotori first asks it if anybody she knows (including she herself) will die. It doesn't answer, so she can make a judgement for herself. Ultimately, she decides to erase herself, due to her thinking about how her family would take a tragedy of such an epic scale.
  • Mistaken for Index:
    • Mistaken for Dog: Josephine, the Arashiyama family pet, is actually a Tanuki they all think is a dog. It takes Kon laughing about the absurdity of putting her on a leash for Hotori to get the picture. Subverted when we see where she came from; she really is a dog, albeit one that has fur looking like a tanuki's. It's implied that she'll look more canine once she becomes fully mature, as can be seen by Hotori's aunt's similar looking dog.
    • Mistaken for Pedophile: Moriaki, when Hotori attempts to get his attention in a crowd by pretending to be his student lover. Everyone else assumes he's creeping on a middle school kid due to how young Hotori looks.
    • Mistaken for Romance: While Hotori does have a crush on Moriaki for a while, and sometimes does things that would make anyone else think they're a couple, the one time it backfires on her specifically is when Nanami Mizoguchi assumes they're having a Teacher/Student Romance, and attacks Hotori for "achieving" what she could not as a student.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • The "And Yet the Town Moves" two-parter (adapted into the last episode of the anime) has quite a few. It starts out with the typical comedic tone and ends with everyone in Hotori's life grieving over her when an accident renders her comatose. To a lesser extent the manga version of the incident begins just as silly, but we turn up on scenes of the Arashiyama family grieving only in the middle of an otherwise sweet but funny journey through the afterlife.
    • Chapter 31 starts out with Hotori on a one-on-one date with Sanada to find a soba restaurant he went to when he was younger, then suddenly goes serious as he reveals it was one he went to after his mother died. Hotori spends the rest of the chapter making a soba dish for him in memory of that event, but the dish is so bad that he goes home to puke, sending the story right back to comedy.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
  • Mundane Afterlife: The Japanese afterlife. There are other afterlives that are shown, such as the Egyptian afterlife, and many of them are exactly as described. The Japanese one however is a very bureaucratic affair since they downplayed everything in the Showa era. Hotori, upon getting there, has to wait three weeks before getting a ticket to Heaven.
  • Mundane Fantastic: You'll have Tanuki as acceptable pets, aliens casually dropping off their weird tech, and trips to the afterlife being bureaucratic messes. Despite all that, it's taken rather normally.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    • Toshiko has a knack for making anything into a Melodrama, from a teacher quoting school rules being set up as a psychic assault to merely stepping into the Seaside Cafe for the first time. But so does Hotori, and Moriaki-sensei.
    • The ping pong rematch between Haribara and Tatsuno.
  • My Life Flashed Before My Eyes: Parodied. You can't really say that they "flashed", given that angels just flipped through images of the deceased's life as they ascend. Hotori calls them out on it.
  • The Nicknamer
    • Hotori - Eroyuki, Tattsun, Catboy...
    • Sanada calling his teammate Donkey Kong.
  • Nightmare Face: The G Prefecture residents regularly make creepy, shadowed stares at the main cast when they show their interest.
  • Nobody Here but Us Statues: Only works on people with strong Weirdness Censors.
  • No Ending: The final serialized chapter concerns Hotori's class practicing a play...and that's it. No real character arcs were solved (at least chronologically) and life goes on. The epilogue chapter included in the last volume, however, wraps up Hotori and Shizuka's arcs.
  • Not a Date: Takeru is not on a date with Eri. No one believes it.
  • Not Me This Time: When the shop owners and neighbors all find acorns around their belongings, they initially suspect Hotori of doing it. She has to repeatedly exclaim she's not responsible, but she later learns that an Arashiyama did pull off those pranks—Yukiko.
  • Not So Great Escape: Takeru narrowly avoids social death at the candy shop.
  • Oblivious to Love: Hotori to Sanada. Sanada to Toshiko. Takeru to Eri.
  • Older Than She Looks: Hotori is constantly mistaken for a middle school student by the elderly (and even some children), due to her short stature, childish behavior, and energetic personality.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: Takeru had once spotted Hotori with her nose in his jersey in middle school, causing him to think she had a crush on him. When we see that same scene at the end of the chapter, Hotori turned out to have been sneezing on the jersey. She didn't know who it belonged to and went to the room on a whim.
  • Onion Tears: And Pepper Sneeze, too.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: The town has multiple rumors of ghost boys and girls running around. Several chapters are dedicated to the cast confirming the legends, and most of them being real in the end.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Japan's Mundane Afterlife employs kids and teens to do the job.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: The customers of Cafe Seaside have this whenever the waitresses have exceptional service; since they're notorious for being a rowdy, lousy bunch, customers often get suspicious of their true aim when they actually act like a proper maid cafe.
  • "Reading Is Cool" Aesop: Chapter 113 is basically one long advertisement about the joys of a library and reading books.
  • Repeat Cut: Hotori getting smashed in the face by Toshiko and the cafe owner is shown crudely at three different angles.
  • Ret-Gone: Hotori in Chapter 136, in order to save Kanto from a nasty typhoon. The universe that resulted from this is largely the same, but Hotori was able to reassert herself into the natural order by inspiring Shizuka to finish her debut novel as Umekazu.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Chapter 46's punchline is that Yukiko's interest in Kamen Liger Shigure only extends to her love for the rival "Liger", Omega. During the stage show, she is the only child cheering for Omega to finish Shigure off. invoked
  • Sadistic Choice: Chapter 136 features one. A higher dimensional being, completely out of random, selects Hotori as the choice maker for whether or not a typhoon will hit Kanto and destroy part of the region. It posits only two options—press a button to avert the disaster, but at the cost of your own existence; and don't press it, but be a part of a natural disaster to the tune of 3000 dead and over 10,000 involved. Hotori chooses to erase herself and press the button, which is implied to have created the "Fantasy Novel" universe. To be fair, it's not entirely self-motivated and the being wasn't trying to be malicious about it.
  • Santa's Existence Clause: Chapter 23 deals with Hotori and her family trying to avoid making her sister Yukiko learn the truth about Santa Claus after Takeru picked up the pieces quickly the previous year. They were ultimately successful, if only for Takeru taking advantage of Hotori's slip-up and making it look like he'd chased Santa out of the house trying to catch him.
  • School Festival:
    • Chapter 58 (which Episode 8 covers) features Hotori helping out the Science Fiction club make a short film about a Kaiju attack.
    • The Sports Festival is covered in Chapter 77.
  • Sempai/Kohai: Subverted. Kon's rank doesn't seem to play a part on her relationship with Hotori except for making her sweat after her faux pas. The other girls, specially Haribara, do treat her as a sempai.
  • Serious Business
    • Toshiko thinks being a maid waitress is something not to be taken lightly. Meidojutsu. And just watch her playing the violin in the ED.
    Toshiko: Arashiyama-san, let's don our war clothing!
    • Bad math makes Moriaki-sensei physically ill.
    • High school Table Tennis for Kon, Haribara, and Toshiko in Chapter 32, and a small candy treat in Episode 9.
  • The Seven Mysteries:
    • Takeru and Yukiko's elementary school has one in particular that comes up in the story: a creature called "Messie" that lives in their Nature Pond. Most kids think it's a Stock Ness Monster, which the janitor encouraged by saying that a dinosaur lives in there, but the truth is that it was actually a shape made out of the least until we actually see it, where it resembles a bipedal algae monster.
    • Later on, Hotori investigates an old Film Club video that referenced the Seven Mysteries of her high school some 26 years ago. One of the mysteries, a well a student died in, becomes the focus of the chapter due to the fact that there was no well on the modern campus.
  • Shmuck Bait:
    • Arrow posters which was essential for Hotori's plan. See the Batman Gambit entry above.
    • The "freebie" in Episode 8's omake.
  • Shout-Out:
    • While trying to make a unique new flair, Hotori does something similar to a Vulcan salute, which happens to be an "M" for "Maid".
    • Hotori takes a ride on a borrowed scooter she personally names "Tetsuo".
    • "Help me, Muriyaki-sensei!" comes from a little known show about psychic powers called Night Head Genesis.
    • Josephine Joestar, JoJo!
    • They're coming outta the goddamn walls!
    • Tsukiko and Hotori play Resident Evil in Chapter 36.
    • "Buyoujin! Buyoujin! Buyoujin! Jin! Jijin! Jin! Lets go!" from the Ori Raji comedy duo.
    • It's the Konami Code!
    • At the beginning of Episode 9, Shizuka has just finished reading The Gift of the Magi.
    • Kon, Haribara, and Tattsun all agree that Hotori's face, overprepardness, and huge backpack remind them all of Doraemon and his Fourth Dimensional Pocket. There's also the Magnifying Glass, one of Doraemon's more infamous toys.
    • The three arrows of Moori Motonari was referenced in Akira Kurosawa's Ran.
    • The arcade in the afterlife features such games as King of Angels 1994 and Puni Puni.
    • Among the words Uki tries to entice Hotori and Shizuka with is "Biscuit Hammer".
    • Takeru once has a fever dream about Eri and two of the store owners posing as a traditional Time Bokan Terrible Trio. It's more than likely a Yatterman reference, as Eri (much like Donronjo) professes her love for Takeru, the protagonist of the dream.
    • Throughout both the manga and the anime, Bruce Lee often comes up. Hotori tries to imitate him in chapter 66, and the opening references her and Arai's attempt to swing nunchucks in his style.
    • A crying child refers to Hotori as "Pooh Bear" for her goofy face resembling a bear mascot's.
    • A poster of Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla is displayed in the local movie theater.
    • In a popular MMO Hotori plays, there exists an old guild called The League of the Hawk, originally led by a guy named Griffin.
    • The volume 7 Author's Note features a picture of Hotori bursting through the dental clinic's sign in a manner reminiscent of Astro Boy.
    • Due to Hotori's love of the mystery genre, there's quite a few shout outs to mystery:
      • "Meitantei Yukiko"
      • Shunsaku's cellphone's ringtone comes from the famous 70s/80s cop drama Taiyou ni Hoero! (Bark at the Sun!). He also calls his boss Yagurama Yama-san, the nickname of a major recurring character on the show.
      • Hotori's desperate pleas to be a part of Hiroto-sensei's next novel has him internally remarking that the situation will "turn out like Misery".
      • When she starts acting up after getting her clothes wet, she starts acting out references to the Akakabu Kenji mystery novel series.
  • Shipper on Deck: Uki the Head Maid is a supporter of Tattsun x Sanada.
  • Show Some Leg: Invoked by Hotori in Episode 2 Omake of the anime.
  • Straight Man: Moriaki-sensei. So square that he's a loonie.
  • Talking in Your Sleep: Kon, when sick, murmurs about wanting her mom while Toshiko is attending her. When she realizes this, she tries to kill her and Hotori, as they've seen too much.
  • Talking to the Dead: Seaside Maid Cafe owner Uki talks to her dead husband as though he was there... He's listening, though.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: An instrumental version of "DOWN TOWN" can be heard as part of the soundtrack.
  • Through His Stomach: Inverted. Sanada offers to try out Hotori's food because he's learned from fiction that girls love it when the guys they like eat their food without complaint. Too bad Hotori doesn't like him, and that the food he's preparing to eat is vomit inducing...
  • Town with a Dark Secret: The residents of Shikohone act especially suspicious towards outsiders, and are always watching them when they visit. They also refuse to answer any direct questions about the village and try to hide a major secret from them until they trust them enough to stay with the village. Subverted, as it's a perfectly normal prefecture.
  • Treasure Hunt: Chapter 29 features the Arashiyamas and friends going off to find a hidden treasure based off of clues in a painting Hotori bought. There was no treasure there; in reality, the gold they sought after was the golden view of Shikohone's lake during sunrise. The whole map was a gimmick to make tourists want to visit.
  • Triang Relations: Type 5. Toshiko likes Sanada, who likes Hotori, who likes Moriaki-sensei.
  • The Triple: "That was mean! It really hurt! It was spherical!".
  • Trying Not to Cry: Hotori tries to hold back tears as she helps Kon pack up to move, but she breaks when she's thanked for being such a good friend.
  • Tsundere: Takeru's female classmate Eri/Ebi mocks his friends for playing card games, is rude and snobbish to them, and looks down on Takeru in school. However, outside of it, she secretly likes him and forces him to take her on a date, throughout all of it hitting him when he doesn't call her the right name and forcing him to buy her ice cream. The only upside is that she gave him playing cards near the end of it.
  • Two Shorts: Each episode of the anime is divided into two short acts, each one adapting a chapter of the manga. The chosen chapters don't follow the manga's publishing order, instead being grouped by theme or character.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Sanada to Hotori.
  • Verbal Tic, poko: Hotori's pet tanuki Josephine always ends its sentences with -poko.
  • Yonkoma: The Mr. Poorman omake.
  • Yuki-onna: Chapter 35's mysterious traveler, Yuki Onda, is one. She wears traditional clothing, can't stand heat, only drinks cold water and seems perfectly fine in the freezing weather, and nearly fainted when a priest chanted prayers over her. She also seems to be immortal; the chapter centers around her looking for a man she met in the summertime, but when she finally sees him she learns it's been 30 years since her last visit—and he's become quite old while she didn't change at all.

Alternative Title(s): Soredemo Machi Wa Mawatteiru


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