Boarding School Juliet, also known by its Japanese title Kishuku Gakkou no Juliet, is a romantic comedy manga by Yousuke Kaneda. The series started serialization in 2015 note and was released in English by Kodansha.
The Black Dogs of Towa and the White Cats of Principality of the West, although they have warred for generations, have much in common: pride, fiercely martial spirits, and Dahlia Academy. This elite boarding school sits on the countries' border, teaching their children both academia and patriotism. No one has ever wanted to end the war, or ever tried...
Until Romeo Inuzuka and Juliet Percia fall in love. Now, these teenagers must navigate politics and the usual romcom misunderstandings as they try to keep their relationship secret.
An anime adaptation is set to air on October 2018, animated by Liden Films.
This manga includes the following tropes:
- Absurdly Powerful Student Council: The prefects decide anything that other students can't. The head prefects have authority that equal that of the teachers. Hence the protagonists' goal to become prefects so they can end the 'war'.
- As of Chapter 89, their goal has been achieved as they are both voted in as the newest prefects.
- Anti-Climax: Best shown during the exhibition match between the new prefects (Romio, Juliet, Leon, Aby, Scott and Hasuki) and the retiring ones (Airu, Sieber, Cait, Rex and the Wang twins). Romio and his team are practically at the enemy goal, and he is gearing up to power-throw the winning ball into the gate with maximum force and style, with all the school cheering him on. Right before he does though, he trips and falls flat on his face, with the ball ending up rolling and just barely touching the goal. Everyone is struck silent at such a ridiculous display.
- Arrowgram: Percia and Inuzuka often use arrows to send messages to each other.
- A Simple Plan: Chapter 12 has Percia trying to bring food to her sick boyfriend. It ends with her running- while dripping wet and screaming like hell- from dozens of angry schoolgirls chasing her through the hallways.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: For all the cultural differences between the two countries, one thing both sides agree on is that the most badass students should be the ones in charge. Inuzuka and Percia are the leaders of each dorm and seem to be the best fighters of their year, seeing how much damage they can dish out. The head prefects for their respective dorms are the strongest students in the school, with Airu habitually beating up Romeo and Romeo admitting that he stands no chance against Cait.
- The Beautiful Elite: Everyone is so pampered and aristocratic that they can spend about 80% of their time fighting a 'war' with no practical purpose. One wonders if they're doing it out of ennui.
- Book Dumb: Seems to be a chronic problem with the Black Dogs, at least among those from the first year. When they are doing a study session for mid-term tests, most of the dormitory falls asleep in seconds. With that being said, Those Two Guys are the only recurring characters from this dorm who are portrayed as also being dumb outside of academic matters.
- Cerebus Syndrome: Comedic moments remain common, but as the series progresses more overtly cruel characters are introduced and the effects of racism are clearer.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The Black Dogs' and White Cats' uniforms.
- Covers Always Lie: The covers of the manga before Volume 12 and the posters for the anime show only the female characters, which is a trademark practice of harem series. In reality, it's a romantic comedy where the ratio of male to female characters is more or less 1:1.
- Elaborate University High: Being essentially two schools smooshed into one, Dahlia is huge. It includes a hedge maze, a bell tower, and architecture that wouldn't look out of place in a housing magazine.
- Elevator School: Dahlia Academy is this, having facilities and students from elementary all the way to high school.
- Empty Nest: Mrs. Percia visits her daughter during the school festival as a surprise, and is a little hurt (though understanding) when she finds out that Juliet already made plans with her boyfriend.Char: There they go...
Mrs. Percia: Yes...But this is how it's meant to be. (sobs loudly) It's meant to be!
- Everyone Has Standards: As much as the Black Dogs and White Cats hate each other, bringing the Non-Lethal Warfare back to Lethal is a line nobody is willing to cross. When Percia and Inuzuka managed to convince the others that they were seriously fighting to kill each other, everyone freaked out.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Zigzagged. In the oneshot manga, the Cats and Dogs are explicitly from England and Japan, respectively. In the official serialization, the countries' names were changed to The Principality of the West and Towa, but the characters are national stereotypes (i.e, Dogs using katanas, Cats upholding a code of chivalry and sipping tea) still.
- Flower Motifs: Dahlia Academy is an Elaborate University High for children of the elite, so it's naturally named after a flower that symbolizes dignity and elegance.
- Foe Romance Subtext: Invoked. Due to Inuzuka and Percia's web of lies to conceal their Secret Relationship, it is currently believed that 1), he sexually harassed her, and 2) he wants her dead. For some reason, nobody finds these two 'facts' contradictory.
- Foil: The Black Dogs and White Cats. The Black Dogs are often loud, rowdy, and less organized, and many of the Black Dogs characters either have Non-Uniform Uniform or delinquent-esque attire and hairstyles (although the color theme of their uniforms are consistent). The White Cats, by contrast, are more structured and disciplined, follow a code of chivalry, and often keep their appearance neat. Their fighting styles are also different, as the Black Dogs fight aggressively, like delinquents. The White Cats are more organized, and duels they intiate take a Let's Fight Like Gentlemen approach.
- Forever War: In theory, the war between Towa and the Principality of the West ended years ago. In practice, the two countries are as hostile as ever and merely switched to Non-Lethal Warfare.
- Generation Xerox: Of the "parents' feelings being reflected in their children" kind. The adult characters' time at Dahlia was just as dramatic, according to exposition. And more tragic.
- Gilligan Cut: In chapter 3, Percia explains to Inuzuka that disguising herself to go on a date with him would be too risky:Percia: You can't sway me with your tears! No means no!
(cut to her wearing the disguise)
- Great Offscreen War: The war between Towa and the Principality of the West, which influences the entire plot of the manga. While for the most part the remaining hostilities are a source of comedy due to the Non-Lethal Warfare, it's occasionally portrayed seriously, as the fact that the two countries are still not in friendly terms years after the war ended means that there is real social repercussion for "siding with the enemy", putting the main characters in constant risk. One couple between two countries in the past highlights this.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Is not that Inuzuka is huge, but Persia is tiny compared to him, as she only reaches his chest.
- Kiss-Kiss-Slap: Justified. Romeo and Juliet definitely love each other, but they will only show their affection in private for good reasons. In public or with friends, they often end up beating the crap out of each other, often resulting in Amusing Injuries.
- Last-Name Basis: Notable, Juliet and Romeo are called by their last names by most people close to them. This includes the couple themselves when they address each other.
- Lighter and Softer: A romantic comedy with a high school setting vaguely based on a tragedy by Shakespeare.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: At first glance Inuzuka and Percia look like the exact opposite of this trope, but when they are alone they are arguably an even better example than their namesakes. Inuzuka is hopelessly romantic, has an idealized vision of how a relationship works, and gets embarrassed easily when he is with his girlfriend. In contrast, Percia is serious and practical, constantly has to remind Inuzuka that his romantic ideas are risky for them, and has more controlled reactions than him when she is the one who gets emotional.
- Meaningful Echo: In the beginning, Inuzuka confesses to Percia during the sword duel at the fountain, back when she was hesitant about the relationship. 78 chapters later, Percia is the one that confesses to the amnesiac Inuzuka purposely reenacting the same duel, now having grown to love him the same.
- Mistaken for Gay: When Maru finds a naked Eigo and Kento in the hallway (their clothes had been cut off by Hasuki), Maru immediately locks the door and leaves them outside.
- Non-Lethal Warfare: Neither side fights to kill, despite the abundance of swords being waved around (it's that kind of story), and certain moral standards are strictly upheld. Even duels to prove loyalty like the one fought in chapter 18) are more about showing you're willing to risk killing your opponent. The prefects step in to prevent lethal wounds...usually.
- Noodle Incident: It's never explained why the Great Offscreen War between Towa and the West started, or why they eventually made peace...though if the leaders during that time were half as pigheaded as their descendants in the present day are, they wouldn't really have needed a reason.
- Not Worth Killing: A downplayed version. The Black Dogs and White Cats fight because that's all they've done for generations, and it's the only way any of them know how to interact with someone from the opposing side. Cats can only be important to Dogs as rivals, and vice versa. So Percia interprets Inuzuka's going easy on her as a 'rejection' of her, a statement that she doesn't matter to him in any way. The Irony is that Inuzuka acts like that because he is in love with her, and by being Oblivious to Love Percia managed to mistake his feelings for this trope.
- Oblivious to Love: The two lead characters are really dense. Right at the start of the series it's made clear that Percia had no clue that Inuzuka was in love with her. She also never notices that there are other people with feelings for her, and Inuzuka is equally bad in this aspect.
- Out-Gambitted: While under surveillance by Airu, Romeo pulls this by pretending to be compliant, but secretly planned to sneak away to meet Juliet. However, Airu anticipated that Romeo planned this and manages to intercept him, beating him up and locking him in the shed. Romeo still manages to one-up his brother in that regard, as he also reasoned that Airu would do this, and enlists Kochou and Teria to help him escape.
- Phenotype Stereotype: Nearly all of the White Cats have pale hair and eyes, being English expies. The exceptions are the "low-class" Aby (redhead) and Somali, implying that it's an aristocracy thing.
- Rule of Funny: In chapter 7 of the manga, a sword explicitly pointed out to be a replica with no edge manages to cut the clothes of two persons to shreds. Without doing a single scratch to their skins.
- School of No Studying: There may be actual schooling going on the school. We don't know. We certainly never see any.
- Slobs Vs Snobs: The Black Dogs and White Cats, respectively. Juliet is actually surprised that the former have a library.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Far on the former end. The only conflict caused by anything more than ignorance is the war, and even that isn't an actual war anymore and conducted with scrupulous honor on both sides.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Should be obvious, given the inspiration for the series. The main characters are in love, but the war between their countries has left a strong hostility between its inhabitants even after a peace treaty was signed. If their relationship is discovered, it would be the end of their social lives.
- Percia's mother reveals back during her days in the academy a Black Dog and a White Cat couple were exposed and socially pressured to drop out of school. Consequently they returned to their home countries and never were able to see each other again. As later revealed, the couple was Romeo's mother and Percia's father.
- Sweet on Polly Oliver: Percia disguises herself as a boy so she can hang out with Inuzuka without anyone knowing, but this causes several boys and girls to be attracted to "him".
- Talk to the Fist: After rescuing Percia from Maru's ambush but seemingly being mistaken for the assaulter by her, Inuzuka gets so pissed with Maru's group that he punches the daylights out of them before they can even finish complaining about how he ruined their plan.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Inuzuka and Maru are always at odds with each other. But when they're forced to work together during the final event of the sports festival, they become utterly unstoppable.
- Tsundere: Percia's mother goes in denial when meeting her daughter that she only happened to be passing by to attend the school festival, not because she wanted to see Percia. It's so obvious it's a lie that all the witnesses realize this...except Percia.
- Women Are Wiser: At least on the Black Dogs side. Hasuki has the best grades among the first year students of her dormitory, and the twins Teria and Kochou are both Child Prodigy that are already in second year of high school at 14. In contrast, the head prefect Airu seems to be the only named male characters of the Black Dogs that isn't Book Dumb. On the White Cats side, women may not be wiser, but at least they are more prudent. Anne Sieber is the Only Sane Man among the prefects of the dormitory, and Juliet is repeatedly shown to be more rational and self-controlled than her boyfriend. The Aby and Somali duo are the only characters to clearly avert this trope.
- Young Love Versus Old Hate: Another thing the manga borrows from Romeo and Juliet. The two countries have already signed a peace treaty, but there is still plenty of hostility between them. When Inuzuka and Percia fall in love in spite of being in opposite sides, they are hesitant because they would be shunned by the entire school, but ultimately they decide they want to be together even if they dont know when or if their relationship will be accepted.