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Manga / Domestic Girlfriend

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Upset when his teacher, Hina, does not return his feelings, Natsuo loses his virginity to Rui, a girl he meets at a mixer party. She's the one who suggests it, simply wanting to know what sex is like, and does not want to start a relationship. Things get much more complicated when Natsuo's father gets married again, and his step-siblings turn out to be Hina and Rui.

Domestic Girlfriend is a Shōnen manga by Kei Sasuga, author of GE - Good Ending. Running serialized in Weekly Shōnen Magazine since 2014 and ending in 2020, it was given an animated adaptation as part of the 2019 Winter Anime lineup.


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Domestic Girlfriend provides examples of:

  • A Date with Rosie Palms:
    • Natsuo accidenally sees Hina doing this, while muttering her ex-lover's name.
    • Momo innocently reveals that she "does it" almost every night.
    • Natsuo's two friends, while showing Rui around the various sports clubs, absentmindedly mutter to themselves "I'll definitely fap to club activities (specifically, the sweaty girls doing sports) tonight." Cue the shocked look on Rui and Natsuo's faces.
    • Serizawa gets depressed and puts on some romantic movies and does this after she's told she's not seductive.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Hina gives these to Natsuo on several occasions.
  • Age-Gap Algebra: At the start of the series, Hina's 23, and Natsuo is only 17. By the criteria of "Half your age plus seven", he's a little young for Hina. It is one of the reasons why she is reserved about pursuing a relationship with him. This only gets resolved by her coma letting her match up to Natsuo's mental age by the time she wakes up.
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  • Almost Kiss: Natsuo tries to kiss a passed out Hina during their first night together under the same roof, but is stopped when Rui walks in on them.
  • Amicable Exes: Natsuo and Rui remain on very good terms after their final breakup. They even live together for eight years platonically.
  • Attempted Rape: Alex forces himself on Rui when he gets drunk.
  • Bishōnen: Kiriya-sensei and Hagiwara Shuu.
  • Big Applesauce: Rui moves here for a good chunk of the manga to further her cooking career.
  • But Now I Must Go: Rui leaves with Haruka at the very end so that Natsuo and Hina can have a normal married life together.
  • But We Used a Condom!: Happens to Natsuo and Rui.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Subverted. Natsuo is very straightforward about his feelings with his love interest. Most of the girls are the same, except for Miu.
    • Inverted with Rui in chapter 85. She straight-out tells Natsuo that she's taking the initiative.
    • Played straight with Serizawa who is always afraid to tell Natsuo her true feelings. And when she does she backtracks by saying she just got caught up in the moment.
    • Subverted with Hina after she comes back from exile. She actually did, but she was drunk and can't remember doing it. Played straight afterwards.
  • Cassandra Truth: The old couple that run the Bed & Breakfast Natsuo and Rui stay at. They tell Natsuo and Rui that the key to a successful relationship is good communication and working together to solve whatever problems may arise (since some inevitably will). Natsuo and Rui then spend the next 150 chapters doing the exact opposite of that, and as a result they end up breaking up (twice).
  • Catholic School Girls Rule: In one chapter Hina puts on her old school uniform and has sex with Natsuo while wearing it.
  • Cheerful Child: Haruka
  • Chekhov's Gun: The ring Natsuo gives Hina on the night they first get together is what wakes her up from her Convenient Coma at the end of the series.
    • There is also the promise ring that Hina gave Natsuo when they were dating and Natsuo returned to her when they broke up. After Hina is hit by a car the doctors find the ring on her body and give it to Rui, who then shows it to Natsuo. Hina always carrying it on her provides the indisputable proof that Hina never stopped loving Natsuo.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Yuya and Kine, Natsuo's best friends in the early part of the manga, simply vanish after Hina is forced to transfer to another school.
  • Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends: By the end of the story, most of the main cast is not left wanting for a relationship. Al goes back home and hooks up with a girl he used to know named Lily, Kiriya and Miu begin a partnership as writer and editor respectively (with a lot of relationship teasing implied), Kajita and Rui work together in his restaurant and have a decent (ambiguous) relationship, and Miyabi moved on and became a successful actress.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Rui, but very subtly.
    • It becomes more and more of a problem as time goes by, and Rui's realization as to this problem is a big factor in why she eventually breaks up with Natsuo.
  • Convenient Coma: Hina ends up in one for five years near the end of the series after an attempted vehicular homicide. While Hina makes an absurdly stunning recovery from her five year coma, she still has brain damage and it takes a long time for her to heal. Six months pass before she can even speak, and then she takes three more years of hellish rehab to be able to walk again.
  • Cosplay Café: During the school festival, the Literature Club organizes a Maid Cafe, with Rui, Momo, Miu and Alex dressing themselves as maids.
  • Death Glare: Rui is quite good at using this. In chapter 9, she (along with Natsuo) gives one to Shuu. She occasionally glares at Natsuo when he seems to be intimate with another girl. But the best one must be in chapter 2, when she catches Natsuo trying to kiss a sleeping Hina.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Rui starts off the series as fairly cold and anti-social, but begins warming up and gaining friends the more she hangs out with Natsuo.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Subverted with Ryuichi Nara. Despite being openly bisexual and a sadomasochist, he ends up being one of the kindest, most pleasant, and helpful characters in the entire story.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Two big examples involving Hina:
    • Hina breaks up with Tanabe and he responds by trying to stab her to death on the street.
    • Okunagi gets fired after Hina exposes his unethical research and he runs her over with his car.
  • Distant Finale: The final couple of chapters take place first five and then eight years in the future.
  • Driven to Suicide: Natsuo and friends fear this is true for Yuka and race to prevent it. Fortunately averted.
  • Easily Forgiven: Alex is almost immediately forgiven for attempting to rape Rui. Granted he was drunk and he was stopped, and really regretted his actions afterwards.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Hina goes through hell and back over the course of this series, being forced apart from her true love as their teacher & student relationship gets exposed, leaving him, her home & family, as well as rejecting him later by telling a painful lie in order to protect his future, only to return and find out he had gotten together with her sister. After she is nearly killed by a crazed stalker and Natsuo ends up nearly dying saving her, she unconditionally dedicates her life to making him happy while hurting in silence deep down, yet still content on being besides with him as his big step sister with him not knowing that she never truly stopped loving him while doing everything in her power to see him succeed as an author. She then ends up in a coma for five years by protecting Natsuo's future again from a potential scandal while sacrificing herself for the lives of her sister and her unborn daughter. This is when everyone discovers how deep her love and selflessness ran and Natsuo commits himself to her. Hina wakes up and finally realizes her dream of marrying him after keeping her feelings bottled up for so long. It was the only way for her to truly find happiness.
  • Embarrassing Damp Sheets: In Chapter 79, there's an unusual case with Natsuo - one of his wet dreams results not in Nocturnal Emission, but in a nosebleed so severe he has to wash his shirt and pillowcase in secret. Rui notices him sneaking into the bathroom and follows, first making a quip about him having a period, then wondering just what he was dreaming about to get a nosebleed that huge. It was her.
  • Entitled to Have You: Kengo Tanabe, the man Hina's mother set her up with. He starts stalking Hina, repeatedly giving her gifts even after she returns them, and accosts her at work. When he is banned from her workplace, he hires a number of people to call over and over to harass her. This is all out of some insane attempt to "prove" that she needs him.
  • Everyone Can See It: Virtually everyone they come across notices that Natsuo and Hina have strong feelings for each other. Several after meeting them for just the first time. Similarly, when Hina breaks up with Natsuo and says she doesn't love him in order to protect him from the blowback from their relationship, everyone (save Natsuo himself) can immediately tell she's lying.
  • Fan Disservice: Alex in a maid outfit.
  • Fanservice: Panty Shots, French Maid Outfit, Hot Springs Episode, etc. And the (rather tastefully and hilariously done) Furo Scene. Additionally, some very steamy omake in the original magazine.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The man who Hina's mother sets her up with is polite, friendly, and always smiling, but also subtly controlling and manipulative. When things don't go his way, the "subtle" part goes out the window, and he bluntly tells Hina that he's spent enough time and money on her that she's basically already agreed to marry him. While still smiling pleasantly.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Rui and Momo are quite good at cooking. Hina also tries cooking by herself, with mixed results. In fact for Rui, it is this trait that Rui decided that she would pursue a path of Italian cooking, inspired by her biological father.
  • Flirty Stepsiblings: When Natsuo and Rui had sex the first time they met, they didn't know of their parents' relationship. And Natsuo had feelings for Hina even before that. Later on, Hina returns his feelings. And after they break up, Rui too.
  • Food Slap: Shuu, the married man Hina was having an affair with, gets a glass of water thrown in his face after his first meeting with Natsuo and Rui.
  • Gayngst: Yuka suffers from this. When she first realized she was a lesbian, she vomited from the fear of what it would mean for her socially. She starts to get better with the help from her best friend Miyabi and the rest of Forester.
  • Genre Shift: The story starts out as a Sibling Triangle. After Natsuo and Rui start dating (after Natsuo and Hina break up) that part is sidelined, and it becomes mostly a Slice of Life story.
  • Glamorous Single Mother: Tsukiko prior to marrying Akihito was this as a successful career working woman. Her own daughter Rui follows in her footsteps by the end of the series when she becomes a single mother as well.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: One of signs that Natsuo and Hina will end up as the final couple is that they have a better and more active sex life than Natsuo and Rui do. Their first time Hina even comments on how good Natsuo is despite his lack of experience and later Maki comments how about they are having sex a little too much.
  • Gratuitous English: It isn't obvious in fan translations, but Alex's dialogue is sometimes peppered with English words, especially when he's excited.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: After Rui finds out about Natsuo and Hina's relationship, she runs away in the rain.
  • History Repeats:
    • See Teacher/Student Romance entry.
    • When Kusumoto Saki offered to give herself to Kiriya-sensei, he was shocked, abruptly rejected her advances and avoided seeing her after that. This caused the girl to feel humiliated and make several ill-advised decisions. Later, when Momo does the same to Natsuo, he is much more level-headed, figures out the causes behind her actions and helps her deal with her problems.
    • When her love is unrequited, Kusumoto Saki began resenting Kiriya sensei, and sabotaged his job. Rui briefly tries to "hate" Natsuo when he does not reciprocate her feelings, but later decides against it and to treasure the moments they have together instead.
    • Natsuo gets stabbed and nearly dies protecting Hina. Hina breaks down at his bedside and vows to dedicate her life from now on to him. Some 80 chapters later, Hina gets hit by a car and nearly dies protecting Rui. Natsuo breaks down at her bedside and vows to dedicate his life from now on to her.
  • Hotter and Sexier: From the author previous work GE - Good Ending note . Here, like the premise says, it took only one chapter for Natsuo and Rui to have sex with each other, and most of the color pages leaned towards sexuality.
  • Incest Subtext: Natsuo/Hina/Rui normally don't count, since they all knew each other before they became step-siblings, but Natsuo does get very hot and bothered when Rui calls him onii-chan. Leo, on the other hand, is clearly in love with his sister Mao, and still sleeps in the same bed as her.
  • Identity Impersonator: Rui tries impersonating Hina to break up with Shuu. However, when Shuu answers the phone, her inability to string together a sentence quickly torpedoes that plot.
  • Immoral Journalist: Okunugi. He tries to disgrace Natsuo and ruin his career, and when Hina fights back and gets him fired, he hits her with his car and nearly kills her.
  • Important Haircut: Happens a few times.
    • Hina cuts it when she's forced to break up with Natsuo and then grows it back when she makes the decision to move back home and try to get back together with him.
    • Rui grows her hair out after Hina leaves because she thinks Natsuo prefers longer hair and cuts it again after she returns and Natsuo remains loyal to herself rather than get back together with Hina.
    • Miyabi cuts it after she finally works up the courage to tell Natsuo she loves him, only to get rejected.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Togen, who soon succumbs to lung cancer.
  • Intimate Healing: By Natsuo to Rui. When she had a high fever (nearly 40 degrees Celsius), no one else was at home and the only fever medicine available in the house was suppositories (meaning it is to be inserted into the rectum). Cue a lot of blushing and sweating before he manages to get it done.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Used by Momo to get Kusumoto Saki to admit she was the one who sabotaged the Literature Club room.
  • Instant Sedation: Liquor has this effect on Natsuo.
  • Introduction by Hookup: The inciting event of the entire series is when Natsuo loses his virginity to Rui.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Hina dedicates her life to Natsuo's happiness at the cost of her own. In the end Rui returns her the favor.
  • I Wrote Our Story: In one Flash Foreward, Natsuo is shown to have written a story about how the love story of him and his wife. The last chapter reveals that this book is indeed Domestic Girlfriend, and the love story was that between him and Hina.
  • "Just Joking" Justification: Hina does this a lot. She will suggest something daring and/or reckless only to back off with this excuse when Natsuo responds unfavorably. One such example being when she considers eloping with him after her mother warns her not get in a romantic relationship with him, but there are many others as well. Since we have access to Hina's thoughts most of the time, we know she usually wasn't joking.
  • Kissing Under the Influence: Done by Alex to Natsuo and then to Kiriya-sensei. It is revealed in the flashback that this is also how he lost his first -and only- girlfriend.
  • Know When to Fold Them: After Hina is hit by a car, Rui realizes that she will never be able to "beat" Hina for Natsuo's heart and surrenders.
  • Lewd Lust, Chaste Sex: The bonus epilogue chapter of "Memories with Rui/Days with Hina", is an example of this. While both Rui and Hina are major love interests for protagonist Natsuo, "Memories with Rui" is depicted as pure carnal desire and is the most sexually explicit of the two stories; meanwhile, "Days with Hina" only features one implied sex scene, happening after establishing a First-Name Basis and declaring their love for one another.
  • Male Gaze: When Natsuo's friend offer to show Rui around the school's clubs, they pick the sports clubs first to ogle the girls being sweaty and/or clad in skintight swimming suits.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Natsuo's mentor Togen dies of cancer.
  • Messy Hair: Natsuo has a ridiculously ruffled bedhead when he doesn't sleep well. Later on, it happens to Rui as well.
  • Mood Whiplash: Chapter 53, as Natsuo is being upset with Hina's worry about their age difference, he is treated to the sight of Rui's thong-clad butt as she slips and falls over. Blood gushes out of his nose and Natsuo thinks to himself "This emotional jumping around will be the death of me!".
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Mao's brother Leo is extremely protective of her, which is why she's still single despite being a shameless flirt.
  • Naked First Impression: Maki introduces herself to Natsuo wearing nothing but a Modesty Towel which she then drops as a means of testing his faithfulness to Hina. He passes.
  • Never My Fault: When Natsuo goes to visit Kengo Tanabe in prison, Tanabe thinks his trial is a formality and he'll be out soon. After all, he didn't mean to hurt anyone, it was Natsuo's own fault for jumping on the knife.
  • Nipple and Dimed:
    • While the first few chapters did show Rui's nipples, by the time Natsuo and Hina start dating the manga begins to offer fully uncovered views of multiple characters breasts without even a hint of nipples or areola.
    • The weekly chapter releases in Weekly Shounen Magazine have censored nipples. The volume releases do not.
  • No Social Skills: Rui at the start of the manga. She starts to get better with the help of Natsuo.
  • Nosebleed: Natsuo suffers from this quite often, considering how many hot women he typically hangs around with.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Roughly halfway through the manga Natsuo and Rui graduate from high school. Natsuo goes to college and moves out. Rui starts a career as a chef. Hina quits as a teacher and returns home. Most of the existing supporting cast becomes Out of Focus and whole new group of college friends and co-workers are introduced to take their place. As a result, the entire manga can be roughly split into two parts.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Natsuo sees Miu trying to takes a speck of dust off Kiriya-sensei's eye, and mistakenly thinks they are kissing.
  • Out of Focus: All of Natsuo's non-related high school friends when he moves onto college.
  • Painting the Medium: The segments taking place in America have all the word bubbles horizontal and placed as they would be in western comics, which contrasts heavily with the standard vertical bubbles in Japanese segments.
  • Panty Thief: In the chapter in which Alex is introduced, he helps Natsuo catch one of these.
  • Police Are Useless: Invoked but Averted. When a rich man starts stalking Hina, she has no idea what to do, and she keeps getting more and more depressed as she feels cornered. Then her coworkers convince her to call the police, they believe her, and they give the stalker a formal warning. When he attacks her later, he is caught and sent to prison. Hina lampshades that she should have just called the cops in the first place.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Ben is openly racist and sexist, and takes it out on Rui.
  • Porn Stash: Natsuo calls them old-fashioned, since the internet exists. Fumiya does have a physical collection, however, and asks Natsuo to hang onto it while his cousins are around. Natsuo reluctantly agrees, ends up roping most of his friends into helping, and when that fails burns them in order to keep Rui from finding them. He misses one magazine that features busty older women. Hina finds it and assumes he still has feelings for her.
  • Pretty Freeloaders: Deconstructed: Natsuo takes in a young woman he met at a mixer who has nowhere else to go. She ends up being a drug runner and both of them end up kidnapped by gangsters and nearly killed after they catch her stealing some of the supply for her own personal use.
  • Really Gets Around: Momo. Before meeting Natsuo, she dated at least thirty guys one after another (and it's implied that she slept with quite a few). This is primarily due to her loneliness, which Natsuo helps her overcome.
    • Nene even moreso.
  • Right Through the Wall: Downplayed; even with a gag in Rui's mouth, Rui and Natsuo are loud enough that their father hears. Thankfully, he just assumes Natsuo was watching porn.
  • Sex as a Rite-of-Passage: The series starts with Natsuo and Rui having sex just for the experience of it and in Natsuo's case, to try & forget about crushing on his teacher. They quickly realize it hasn't actually made them any more mature. In fact, most of the least mature people in the series are the most sexually experienced.
  • Sex for Solace: Natsuo and Rui often have make up sex in order to mask their relationship problems as opposed to actually talking things out and dealing with the problems. Eventually this quits working.
  • Shout-Out: In chapter 53, Natsuo tells Alex that his argument with Rui was about whether eggs should be eaten with soy sauce or salt (an argument that happened between two people who were dating).
  • Shower of Love: Hina and Natsuo. Twice!
  • Sibling Triangle: Hina and Rui for Natsuo. To make things more complicated, they become his step-siblings.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Rui is cold, emotionless, a loner, logical, professional, clean, selfish, a Daddy's Girl, rather plain, a great chef, and values career over love. Hina is passionate, emotional, social, immature, something of a slob, selfless to a fault, close to their mother, drop dead gorgeous, a terrible cook, and values family over career. A large part of the Character Development of both sisters is learning to understand the other.
  • Spicy Latina: Daniella, Rui's Mexican-American housemate.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Hina and Rui look very similar, except for hair length and chest size. Natsuo notices it when he first meets Rui, but assumes he's just projecting his feelings for Hina onto her and doesn't make the connection. Much later, it becomes clear that both girls take after their father in appearance.
  • Surprise Pregnancy: Happens to Rui after some bad condoms.
  • Sympathetic Adulterer: Played with. Shuu is cheating on his wife with Hina and is in an unhappy marriage where his wife is insufferable and controlling, in addition to him only marrying her because he was indebted to her professor father. And in-person he doesn't come off as a bad or antagonistic person and eventually steps aside when it's clear Hina has chosen Natsuo. However, his actions are notably not justified by the narrative itself and both Rui and Natsuo don't show him any sympathy for his situation.
  • Teacher/Student Romance:
    • In Kiriya-sensei's backstory, Kusumoto Saki had an unrequited crush on him. It didn't end well.
    • Hina had a crush on Shuu when he was a teacher at her high school. However, they didn't start dating until she graduated from university.
    • Natsuo wants one with his teacher/step-sister Hina. They do eventually get together.
  • The Sociopath: Kengo Tanabe. He is someone capable of appearing to be a charming man, when he turns out to be selfish, egomaniacal, and with a great lack of empathy. And it only gets worse with time.
  • Too Hot for TV: The BD is uncensored with full sex scenes.
  • Unwanted Harem: Unfortunately for the girls, Natsuo only has eyes for Hina. And then gradually toward Rui instead, after Shuu lies to Natsuo by saying Hina's completely moved on from him.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Rui slowly begins to believe that Natsuo and Hina are meant to be together. After Hina ends up in a coma saving her and her unborn daughter, Rui decides she can't fight fate anymore and pushes Natsuo to marry Hina.
  • Wedding Finale: Hina and Natsuo's.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Natsuo gets drunk in a club and wakes up in bed next to a naked Juri with no memory of what happened.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Natsuo and Rui call Hina out for having an affair with a married man named Shuu. They try to convince her to break it up, but she ends up silencing both of their arguments. She changes her mind after the two's first meeting with Shuu, and how he was a bit condescending towards them in addition to constantly stringing her feelings along.
    • Natsuo is subjected to this when Rui finds him at Hina's apartment, after he lied again about being at Fumiya's place. The tears in her eyes and the reaction in her face says more than words could during this moment.
    • Natsuo gives an epic rant to Hina after he endangers herself and her family by not telling them that she has a stalker.
    • While he is an opportunistic jerk about it, the reporter who tried to expose Natsuo's relationship with Hina does genuinely call her out for knowingly putting her hands on a minor while still acting as his teacher and says the consequences of that are her own fault.
  • Write What You Know: In-universe, all of Natsuo's stories are based on things that have happened to the people around him. Authors suggest he interview interesting people to expand his knowledge base. His best stories usually have Hina involved in some way:

    • "Well, see you." where he puts his feelings for her and subsequent pain of losing her into his writing, the story wins him a fairly prestigious award and gets his career as an author started.

    • "Shades of Tomorrow" where Natsuo uses his experience and material Hina provides from a certain stalker-event, where she ends up almost getting stabbed and Natsuo takes a knife for her. She also handles a bunch of chores for him to allow him to meet the deadline.

    • "Pathways" where Natsuo completes the book of his now-deceased mentor, Togen, where while Hina doesn't provide material this time, she returns the manuscript symbolic of his discarded dream that she hanged on to and offers full emotional and domestic support to make sure he can fully focus on writing again. When completed, he is so grateful that he seeks her out in order to let her be the first to read it.

    • When Rui notes he hasn't written a story about her, he jokes that it will be erotica. After they start dating, he does write an erotic story about her, with her permission, although it's treated as a gag-piece food report by Togen and never brought up again .
    • At the end he writes a book called Domestic na Kanojo about his life together with Hina.


Alternative Title(s): Domesticna Kanojo, Dome Kano

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