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Manga / DearS

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There are aliens among us, and they're hot.

DearS is a shonen ecchi manga by Peach-Pit, which ran in Dengeki Comic Gao! from 2001 to 2005. It was adapted into a 13-episode anime in 2004, which was licensed by Geneon and later relicensed by Discotek Media.

In the not-too-distant future, humanity is minding its own business when a huge alien spacecraft suddenly makes a crash-landing in Tokyo Bay. Its passengers look very much like humans, with a few key differences: The vast majority of them are incredibly beautiful young females, and they all wear large, distinctive collars around their necks. While they appear to "come in peace", their nature and origins are a mystery they don't seem eager to reveal. Lacking the knowledge to repair their ship, they decide to integrate into human society through a government-funded "home stay" program, picking up human languages and customs with surprising speed. Their eternally friendly, helpful, and accommodating nature earns them the nickname "DearS".

One year later, Ordinary High-School Student Takeya Ikuhara is still suspicious of the alien "invaders", though most of his friends are infatuated with them. Walking home one afternoon, Takeya notices a girl huddled under a blanket at the side of the road, on the verge of collapsing from hunger. Taking pity on her, he carries the strange girl back to his apartment, only to discover that she is one of the very aliens he so distrusts. But "Ren", as Takeya nicknames her, is no ordinary DearS: She seems completely oblivious to even the most fundamental human customs (e.g. wearing clothes), and she eagerly explains to anyone who will listen that Takeya is now her "master", and she is his "slave".

As more and more characters (both human and alien) take an interest in Ren and her "master", it looks increasingly unlikely that Takeya will ever get his life back to normal. It's up to him to figure out just why Ren is so different from the other DearS, and make a tough decision on whether he even wants Ren in his life at all.

So in short, Alien Nation as a romance manga with Newcomers wanting to be slaves.

Crunchyroll is streaming the anime in both dubbed and subbed formats, which is viewable here for people living in the US and Canada.

Tropes in DearS include:

  • Above the Influence: Ren explicitly offers to have sex with Takeya when he starts to feel turned on by her presence. Yet, because she's an alien and (primarily) because he feels that Ren isn't really doing it out of love, he politely (for him, anyway) declines.
  • Adaptation Distillation: A 12-Episode Anime wasn't enough for the full story of the manga, but the romantic comedy elements worked just fine.
  • An Aesop: The story has a really unsubtle moral that boils down to "love only happens if you aren't trying so hard for it to happen."
  • Anime Hair: Ren and Miu, Miu's being especially noticeable in her bath scenes. That much hair should not be possible. Could be justified in that they're not human and they're genetically created for beauty. Something in their genes could be for 'impossible hair'.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Natsuki.
    • China shows this a bit at times, but not quite to Nia's level.
  • Art Shift: All over the place in the manga. Even the main characters often become little more than stick figures in scenes where they don't feature prominently, and sometimes even when they do feature prominently find themselves turning to stick-figures in lieu of suffering a Face Fault.
  • Artistic License Linguistics: The title itself is this as in-universe DearS is a combination of "dear" and "friends". Even though the only letter the two have in common is the s at the end, likely meaning that the creators didn't really understand how English plurals work and that "dears" is the plural form of "dear" anyway, so the "friends" connection is pointless.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Nia, nya. Her attention wanders quite a bit, but her curiosity is often rewarded with food just for how cute she is.
  • Babies Ever After: In the final chapter we learn that not only does this occur, it was always supposed to be that way because Ren is The Gate, and was the only DearS from the ship with the ability to reproduce.
  • Baby Factory: Played for Laughs in the final chapter when Ren finds out she's fertile and immediately declares she will devote her life to making babies from now on.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: Ren and Miu kiss in the OP. In the series, not so much.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Just look at Ren and Mitsuka. Really. Look.
  • Big Eater: All the DearS.
  • Bland-Name Product: A coffeeshop by the name of "Starpucks" is introuduced to Takeya's town in the story. Some translators have replaced this with the popular chain "Starbucks."
  • Blank Slate: Ren, who learns (slowly) about the world as the series goes on.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Mitsuka-sensei. This little tidbit, said during one of her (ahem) "displays", sums it up the best.
    Takeya: (dryly) "It's amazing she hasn't gotten fired yet."
    Hikoro: (equally dry) "It's amazing she got the job to begin with."
  • Butt-Monkey: Takeya suffers quite a lot of misfortune over the series.
  • By the Hair: In chapter 34, Ren gets her hair caught in the pool drain and almost drowns. This happens so frequently to people that have hair far shorter than hers that it's a well documented pool-hazard.
  • The Casanova: The minor character Hirofuni recurs often enough to provide a contrast to Takeya, always with a girl who can't resist having 'coffee' with him. Though he attempts to seduce Ren, and later gracefully concedes, he winds up the focus of Xaki's attention.
  • Cat Girl: Nia, who ends every sentence with "-ni".
  • Cat Smile: The DearS girls seem to display them from time to time, although Nia seems to have a permanent one.
  • The Chew Toy: Takeya again.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Neneko is the Unlucky one.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Miu, who seems a little bit jealous that Ren already has a master despite being "defective". Takeya's sister Natsuki also doesn't like it when she first finds out about his "relationship" with Ren.
  • Closet Sublet: Ren takes to staying in Takeya's closet, since sleeping there was, technically, the first order given to her. She even has a bed set up there.
    • Any other DearS that temporarily stays with Takeya usually sleeps in the bottom half under Ren.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: The DearS' forehead crystals contain a powerful "gravity manipulation device", allowing for effortless telekinesis and flight (though these are only used when absolutely necessary). Presumably this is also the source of the DearS' healing powers. The collar also stores the entire latex space suit when not needed.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Nia. She claims to be hunting for Ren, but then almost immediately forgets about it for various reasons.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Ren is subjected to this, by her fellow DearS no less, after she's captured and taken by force from Takeya's home while they tell her that he abandoned her. The torturer gets no punishment for it, aside from a gentle scolding.
  • Comic Sutra: In episode 9.5, Miu heads over to Takeya's house to check in on Ren, only to find her "Watching porn to study Takeya's preferences in the earthling ways of sex."
    Ren: Holy cow, that looks pretty complicated...
  • Compressed Adaptation: The anime more or less takes a chainsaw to the sci-fi plot and turns it into a straight romantic comedy.
  • Continuity Cameo: China pops up in the last episode of the anime to say hi on a TV screen.
  • Cypher Language: DearS language (a substitution cypher for hiragana) is used for episode titles and at various other times. Example: Ren's serial number in episode 1.
  • Dancing Theme: The ED. All the main girls in the cast are doing very simple dancing, but it qualifies since that's ALL that they're doing.
  • Deconstruction: Two of them. One is of the concept of a slave race, which the DearS set themselves up to be, and the reasons why are rather disturbing. The other, somewhat less serious one is Mitsuka-sensei, a deconstruction of the Teacher/Student Romance trope. She is, objectively speaking, good looking, but in both the anime and manga she takes hitting on her own students so far even the hormone addled males find her to be Fetish Retardant.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Mitsuka-sensei. Her depravity is called out a lot, and she flirts with just about anything that moves.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Takeya when he first encounters Ren, who is completely naked except for a thin blanket. He also gets uncomfortable when he sees her breasts.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The odd capitalization of "DearS" is explained as the way the race combined two words to make their name, but then there's the Slave Collar around the S in the logo, the two capitalized letters being D & S, and the DearS themselves being a Slave Race.
  • Double Entendre: The show loves this trope, to the point where most of the episode titles can count as examples.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Takeya's sister Natsuki cannot stand it when she finds out that Ren and Takeya are living together. While she's implying using physical force or wrestling moves on Ren, she actually does it to Takeya instead. Apparently Natsuki learned it from their mother, who also punishes her similarly from time to time.
  • Do You Want to Copulate?: When Ren senses Takeya's sexual desire, she points it out to him and says she will be his partner.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Mitsuka-sensei in chapter 23.
  • Dude, She's Like in a Coma: The ambiguous wording of some of Ren's statements in episodes 5 and 6 can be taken to imply that she tried to boink Takeya while they were sleeping together.
  • Dynamic Entry: Natsuki does this to Ren, and is on the receiving end of this by her mother as well.
  • Ecchi: Very much so. The Hot Springs Episode in particular really skirts the Hentai line. It was banned from airing on Japanese TV, although it's tame compared to the actual nudity found in modern anime series.
  • Endangered Species: Turns out the DearS on earth may be the last of their kind, owing to the gigantic space war that swept up their previous host race.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Ren. Subtext plus Skinship Grope with Neneko, subtext plus opening-credits kiss with Miu, and explicitly the case with Mitsuka-sensei. ("I don't care if you're a girl, that body was made for love!") Also, she gets several fangirls at school who constantly urge her to leave Takeya and hang out with them instead.
  • Expy:
  • Fan Disservice: In-Universe, Mitsuka-sensei qualifies as this, with her constant sexual come-ons and tendency to strip in front of her students. While she is quite physically attractive, she consistently turns her students off with her behavior.
  • Fanservice: Aplenty.
  • First Kiss: Ren uses one on Takeya to confirm their master-slave relationship in the first episode.
  • Foreign Language Title
  • Game-Breaking Injury: After being tortured by her fellow DearS, Ren loses the ability to osmose knowledge of her surroundings, reading, writing, spoken language, cooking, etc., and has to be retaught, from kindergardner level up, step by step.
  • Gecko Ending: The anime overtook the manga, so it has a different ending.
  • Genki Girl: Natsuki.
  • Gratuitous English: The opening song in the anime. Mitsuka-sensei also often has her class read her erotic writings in class for her English lessons.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Miu gets extremely upset when she finds out that Ren was mistaken as the DearS transfer student to their school instead of her. She also seems to hate how despite Ren being "defective", she somehow already managed to herself get a master in Takeya.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Unbeknownst to humanity at large, the DearS are a genetically engineered "slave race". By design, they are uncomfortable with making their own decisions, and derive happiness solely from satisfying the needs of their masters, a task to which they are selflessly dedicated. They hide their true nature to avoid angering their new human "masters", since they have determined that most humans abhor the concept of slavery.
    • The manga expands on the situation and adds an extra complication: DearS don't just want to be pleasing, they are symbiotes who literally need to be loved to live.
  • Harem Ending: Takeya gets all the female DearS who ever took any kind of liking to him. Admittedly this is primarily to create the next generation of DearS and something Takeya did ''not'' ask for.
  • Harem Nanny: Neneko. Unlike most Harem Nannies, however, she is very much a potential love interest, and while she's the most mature of the cast, she's not above a bit of Tsundere behavior from time to time.
  • Healing Hands: As Miu explains, it's more a transferring of life force.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Just look at the picture. In-canon, Ren and Miu just get teasing subtext, but the opening credits feature a noncanonical fanservice shot where they kiss.
    • The manga throws in a little male-male subtext, too, first with the effeminate DearS Khi telling Takeya he'll happily accept any order from him (and tearing up when he gives an almost-order). Later there's the burly DearS Xaki who stays stuck like glue to school heart-throb Hiro. When asked why, Xaki only responds by murmuring "The Gift", referring to the legend of a DearS who chose their own Master. Y'know, love.
  • Hot Springs Episode: The unaired "Episode 9.5", included in the DVD release.
  • Human Aliens: The DearS, most of whom could be mistaken for unusually good-looking humans were it not for their collars. In a flashback provided by Miu, the unnamed alien race that created the DearS also appears to be outwardly identical to humans.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: They all have "Ball" in them somewhere.
  • I Kiss Your Hand: Ren does it to Takeya when she's being cute.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Nia. She's supposed to capture Ren, but Once per Episode she goes out and completely forgets just what the hell she's doing, often to chase after a Delicious Distraction.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Ren, though she eventually comes to understand the concept of "dressing appropriately".
  • Irony: The one person who originally wants nothing to do with the DearS, obtains a harem full of them when leaving for space at the end of the manga.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Takeya wants nothing to do with the DearS, but he's still too nice of a guy to actually dismiss them, and actually comes to Ren's aid several times, despite finding her extremely Dandere personality annoying.
  • Karma Houdini: None of the people who are shown on-screen abusing DearS receive any real punishment. Especially not Takeya's own father who makes Takeya look like an absolute saint by comparison, and only saw the DearS as nothing more than test subjects for all forms of experimentation, including implied vivisection.
  • Lap Pillow: Ren insists on serving as a "knee pillow" for Takaya in the manga, which is less than pleasant since she takes it literally. When Takaya relents and lets her do so, but convinces her he's supposed to lay his head a bit higher up, Ren asks why it isn't called "thigh pillow".
  • Large Ham: Miu in the anime tends to speak in this manner when talking to Ren.
  • Latex Space Suit: All DearS have one, and they leave little to the imagination (this includes the male "Biters").
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Mostly the show behaves normally, ignoring the viewer. But the over-the-top Fanservice Hot Springs Episode skirts the edge when they discuss who else to bring.
    Miu: 'Since it is a bath house, a woman would be better than a man.'
    Ren: 'A woman would be better?'
    Miu: 'Of course,' turns to look directly at the viewer.
    Ren: 'Is that so?' moves in front, also looking at the viewer.
    Takeya, Art Shifted: 'Um, who are you talking to?'
  • Lethal Chef: Ren's cooking was so bad that any humans who ate it cried tears of blood. Apparently, however, other DearS (or, at the very least, Miu) find it to be heavenly. Ren's cooking does improve... sort of.
  • Likes Older Women: Takeya, or at least he's mercilessly teased about being one after Ren blurts out the contents of his Porn Stash to his classroom.
  • Lost in Translation: The final page of the English manga includes a sentence ("Now, let us depart for the front, Takeya") that is so seemingly out of place (due to the word "front") that one scanlation group included a full paragraph note on that sentence and what it may have actually meant in the original Japanese.
  • Loveable Sex Maniac: Mitsuka-sensei
  • Magical Girlfriend: Ren.
  • Manchild: Let's face it, Takeya couldn't even survive without Neneko and Ren's help, and not just because the rent's good. One might say that the whole series displays him being dragged kicking and screaming into adulthood. He's actually better than his own father in this regard.
  • Marry Them All: At the end of the manga, Takeya chooses to Stay with the Aliens... and ends up being the only eligible male on a ship full of alien women whose biological clocks are going off. Half of whom were already in love with him. He's understandably overwhelmed as we cut away...
  • My Hero, Zero: In the DearS' language, "Ren" means "zero" or "nothing". It's the first digit of Ren's identification number, because that's how the DearS indicate "defective units".
  • My Sensors Indicate You Want to Tap That: DearS can sense emotion from their masters, including any desires they might have.
  • New Transfer Student: Ren and Miu. The fact that Ren joins the school and ends up stealing the spotlight on the day that everyone knew Miu was going to join causes Miu to demand a competition where the loser must leave the school. In the end, they both stay.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Miu in the anime.
  • Ojou: Miu, again. Refined speech patterns, frilly and girlishly princess-like decor and clothing. Although when you take certain factors into account, you realize that she's compensating for something...
  • Once an Episode: In the anime, Hirofuni is seen from time to time each episode seducing a girl, even though he has no relevancy for most of the show.
  • Only You Can Repopulate My Race: Technically it starts off as "Only You Can Unlock My Race's Ability To Reproduce Through The Power of Love", but nobody tells Takeya that until they're on a spaceship containing only the now-fertile female DearS and Takeya.
  • Otaku: Neneko has shades of this, as shown in Ep. 9.
  • Overly Long Name: Ren's full name is Ren Ren Ren Nagusaran Rensia Rurunnren Nakora, and Miu's full name is Sia Nostal Ren Naguregyug Thanast Useim Ruki Miu. Justified due to You Are Number 6 (see below).
  • Pet the Dog: Mitsuka, at one point in the manga, takes a brief break from her usual pervy ways to fashion a swimsuit (a decent one, at that) for the youngest DearS so she can have fun swimming like everyone else.
  • Please Put Some Clothes On: Mitsuka-sensei simply cannot keep her clothes on in front of her students... or cameras. Meanwhile, Ren just doesn't get that she needs to wear clothing.
  • Polyamory: By default, Takeya literally ends up with all the DearS who decided to return to space.
  • Porn Stash: Takeya works at a video rental store, which allows him to secretly swipe the latest adult releases, "renting them out" to his friends. A more typical example happens when Ren finds one of these videos beneath the kitchen sink and proceeds to watch it for "research" on Earth sex.
  • The Power of Love: Near the end of the manga it's revealed that DearS literally need to be loved in order to live.
  • Promotion to Parent: Neneko is in charge of being Takeya's mom, never mind that she's his age and a potential Love Interest.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Ren and Miu in all matters.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Plot!: Ren and Miu's contest. Ren loses the first two contests by the rules, but nobody cares. (Miu conceded on the Cooking Duel...or something. Ren won the ball game.)
  • Sex Slave: Ren wants to be one. Takeya isn't into it.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Mitsuka-sensei is this in spades, and even the horny male teenagers in her class are turned off by her (despite being very attractive aesthetically) because of how far she takes this trope. It also might have something to do with Mitsuka being what Japan calls a Christmas Cake, meaning over the age of 25, and thus automatically unappealing because they are "unmarriable". The series on occasion pokes fun of the concept.
  • Slave Collar: All DearS have one.
  • Some Call Me "Tim": One look at Overly Long Name tells you why they're called "Ren" and "Miu" for short.
  • Spit Take: Takeya, especially in episode 3 when Ren goes to his school to bring food for him.
  • Stay with the Aliens
  • Take a Third Option: After Ren is mistaken for the New Transfer Student, Miu demands that she be kicked out. However, the Principal decides that both girls can attend.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Subverted: Mitsuka-sensei acts in defiance of school rules and decency in her constant attempts to come on to her students, but they find her annoying and embarrassing, frequently wondering aloud how on earth she manages to keep her job.
  • Third-Person Person: Ren, to demonstrate her childishness.
  • Too Hot for TV: Episode 9.5 was only on DVD.
  • Tsundere: Neneko, though she's a lot more subtle about it than most; she prefers to yank Takeya's chain (mainly by making him do stuff for Ren) instead of directly attacking or insulting him.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Ren and melon bread.
  • Unwanted Harem: Three girls all want Takeya, though a couple of them Cannot Spit It Out.
  • Verbal Tic: Nia the Cat Girl. Sometimes the only thing she says is "Ni!". "Nya" in the dub.
  • Wham Episode: Chapters 41 and 42 are just one big wham after another.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: When they first come to earth, its believed the DearS are incapable of feeling love or knowing what it is. Later, when Ren and Miu fall in love with Takeya, its revealed that Ren changed the DearS so they could feel love.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Mostly Played for Laughs with Takeya's seemingly harsh treatment of Ren by female classmates.
    • Takeya calls out Natsuki on this after she tries to get Ren kicked out of his apartment, as well as his school.
  • You Are Number 6: The DearS' Overly Long Names are actually identification numbers, expressed in their native language. Few DearS seem to have true "names" that aren't shortened versions of their numbers.

Alternative Title(s): Dear S