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Manga / Failed Princesses

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Failed Princesses is a yuri manga by ajiichi.

Nanaki Fujishiro is one of the most beautiful and popular girls in school, proud of her looks and her boyfriend. All that comes crashing down when her boyfriend is caught cheating on her and dumps her in short order.

At that moment, in comes Kanade Kurokawa, the girl Fujishiro looks down upon for being plain and unattractive. While their dislike is mutual, Kurokawa ends up helping Fujishiro, causing the two to gradually become friends, and possibly something more than that.

The manga ran on Takeshobo's Manga Life Storia Dash website from April 2018 to August 2021, for a total of 37 chapters. Seven Seas has licensed the manga for North American release.

Not to be confused with Rejected Princesses.

The series contains examples of:

  • A-Cup Angst: Kurokawa feels a bit uncomfortable around the better-endowed Fujishiro, Izumi and Akazawa.
  • Alliterative Name: Miki's full name is Miki Midorikawa.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Fujishiro in Chapter 5, after dying her hair black in order to hang out with Kurokawa. At this time, Fujishiro has broken up with her Gyaru group and Kurokawa wants to stay with her Otaku friends, leading to Fujishiro being isolated.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love:
    • Izumi to Fujishiro in Chapter 19. Fujishiro turns her down.
    • Fujishiro to Kurokawa in Chapter 31.
  • Armor-Piercing Response:
    • In Chapter 10, Izumi intervenes to help Kurokawa, and Miki demands to know what Izumi means. Izumi then tells Miki that "Taking it out on [Kurokawa] isn't going to make Nanaki come back." All Miki can do is demand an explanation as Izumi and Kurokawa walk away. Once they've left, Izumi tells Kurokawa that Miki still admires Fujishiro, and thus can't accept how Fujishiro has changed.
    • In Chapter 28, Maho encounters Fujishiro and asks her to apologize to Miki so that they can be friends again, only for Fujishiro to insist that Miki has to apologize to Kurokawa for bullying her. Maho then says, "What're you on about? Miki was just repeating what you used to say," leaving Fujishiro at a loss for words.
  • Bathroom Stall of Overheard Insults: A variation happens in a flashback in Chapter 33. Kurokawa is using the bathroom when she overhears two girls gossiping about Fujishiro. She lampshades the trope by thinking that they should have checked to see whether anyone was in the stall before insulting Fujishiro.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Kurokawa ends up befriending Fujishiro and Akazawa this way- the former by comforting her after her boyfriend dumps her, and the latter by offering to let her read manga at the Kurokawa house. In Fujishiro's case, Kurokawa even succeeds without even intending to, since she still hated Fujishiro at the time.
  • Beta Bitch: Miki is an unpleasant person who practically worships Fujishiro, and while she and Fujishiro are at odds for much of the series, it's due to Miki's disillusionment with Fujishiro. Maho points out that Miki only started bullying Kurokawa because Fujishiro did it first.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Fujishiro gives one to Kurokawa in Chapter 31 following her Love Epiphany.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Downplayed. While Kurokawa's eyebrows aren't comically huge, they are larger than Fujishiro considers attractive.
  • Book Ends: Fujishiro and Kurokawa's first real conversation occurs at the top of the stairs, and they return to the spot at the end of the series, with Fujishiro crying both times. The first time is just after Hiro broke up with Fujishiro while admitting he never loved her, while the last time is when Kurokawa tells Fujishiro that she loves her.
  • Blunt "Yes": Recounted in an offscreen exchange between Izumi and Miki.
    Izumi: Back when you were suspended, I asked Miki this question. "Let me ask you this, Miki... So you don't consider Nanaki your friend anymore, is that it?" Like that.
    Fujishiro: Why did you even ask her that?! With how things are between us, of course she'd say yes!
    Izumi: Yeah, and that was exactly what she said.
  • Book Dumb: Fujishiro isn't stupid, per se, but gets a 19 on the test in Chapter 24, well below the 30 point cutoff for remedial lessons.
  • Brainy Brunette: Kurokawa is a brunette and scores a 90 on the exams in Chapter 24.
  • Break the Haughty: The first chapter is this for Fujishiro, involving her boyfriend turning out to have been cheating on her, forcing her to find comfort in the one person she hates most.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Akazawa stands up during the Furo Scene and calls it "The obligatory bath scene in all school field trips!" Kurokawa then asks her who she's talking to.
  • Brutal Honesty: Fujishiro is not shy to admit that if it was her instead of Kurokawa, she would have told her friends about finding out that the girl looking down on her has been dumped by a guy. Likewise, she was secretly happy that Kurokawa has been pushed out by her friends, as this meant that Kurokawa and her could become closer.
  • Broken Pedestal: According to Izumi, Miki's bitterness toward Fujishiro is due to her once admiring Fujishiro.
  • Bully Turned Buddy: Fujishiro goes from being one of Kurokawa's tormentors to one of her closest friends. The trope is deconstructed, however, in that people don't simply forget about Fujishiro's past mistreatment of Kurokawa, and the lingering repercussions put a strain on their friendship.
  • Childhood Friend: Iro Akazawa is this to Kurokawa, since they've known each other since they were young.
  • Class Trip: The main characters' school goes to Kyoto, Nara and Osaka, from October 28 through 31.
  • Cliffhanger:
    • Chapter 20 ends with Fujishiro passing out in the bath.
    • Chapter 30 ends with Kurokawa's old friend Aki asking her to go out with him.
    • Chapter 31 ends with Fujishiro making an Anguished Declaration of Love to Kurokawa.
  • Cool Big Bro: Fujishiro gets along well with her older brother, who also takes a liking to Kurokawa.
  • Don't Call Me "Sir": Fujishiro insists that Kurokawa, who calls her "Fujishiro-san," drop the "-san" and simply use her last name.
  • Easily Forgiven:
    • Subverted. Despite comforting Fujishiro, Kurokawa initially wants nothing to do with her. It's only after Fujishiro sticks up for her around the time Kurokawa's own friends cut ties with her that Kurokawa starts seeing Fujishiro as a friend.
    • Kurokawa's Otaku friends have not forgiven Fujishiro for making fun of her appearance. In this case, it is a bit hypocritical, as Fujishiro becoming nicer to Kurowaka and hanging out with her led them to throw Kurokawa out of their group.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Fujishiro is shown being greeted by her friends, who gush over her in a magazine shoot, before casually making fun of Kurokawa's eyebrows.
    • Kurokawa gets home late and tells her mother that she wasn't out shopping for clothes. She then wonders why she helped Fujishiro, whom she hates.
  • Fatal Flaw: Kurokawa's most frequent issue is her poor self-esteem and how she tends to put Fujishiro on a pedestal, even while she hated Fujishiro. As a result, it's difficult for her to see Fujishiro as an equal or get closer to her, and she rejects Fujishiro's Love Confession for this reason.
  • Furo Scene:
    • The girls have one while on the trip to Nara. Akazawa calls this an obligatory part of all school trips.
    • A subsequent bath scene happens in Chapter 20. Surprisingly, Fujishiro passing out in the bath ends up being Played for Drama and setting up a Cliffhanger.
  • Girls Are Really Scared of Horror Movies: Fujishiro and Kurokawa end up Holding Hands during a horror movie, which they chose to see together on the basis that it was a genre that they both hated.
  • Gyaru Girl: Fujishiro and her friends all dress and act in a way typical of this trope.
  • Hate Sink: Hiro, Fujishiro's ex-boyfriend. He cheats on Fujishiro, and when confronted, callously dumps her.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Kurokawa in Chapter 5 as she is cast out by her Otaku friends. Luckily, Fujishiro breaks her out of this by dragging her away.
    • Another one in Chapter 8 as she and Fujishiro are caught in the disciplinary check. Gets broken by Fujishiro hitting the teacher with her bag.
    • Kurokawa again in Chapter 10 after being on the receiving end of Miki's "The Reason You Suck" Speech. This time, it is Izumi that breaks her out of it.
    • Fujishiro has one in Chapter 11 after finding out that Kurokawa in the past has also comforted Akazawa in a similar way to her, meaning that she is not special. She runs away in response instead of going home together with Kurokawa and Akazawa. Izumi finds her and breaks her out of it.
  • I Just Want to Be Beautiful: Fujishiro: No matter the time or place... I've got to be cuter than everyone else.
  • Innocently Insensitive:
    • Kurokawa asking Fujishiro in Chapter 12 whether she is mad at her and complaining that they had not really talked to one another since the end of Fujishiro's suspension leads to Fujishiro snapping at her that this is due to Akazawa always being around Kurokawa since yesterday - the day her suspension ended and Akazawa transferred in.
    • In the next chapter, Kurokawa wonders why Fujishiro is again cold to her, not realising that her rejecting a First-Name Basis with Fujishiro during lunch break - resulting in Fujishiro being the only one with her on a Last-Name Basis - might have something to do with it.
  • Ironic Echo: At the start of the series, after Hiro dumps his girlfriend Fujishiro, Kurokawa tells Fujishiro that "Anyone would feel sad when the person they love says such horrible things to them!" In Chapter 35, Kurokawa's words come back to her in a flashback, helping her realize how much she hurt Fujishiro by pushing her away after the latter made a Love Confession to her.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Izumi is saddened by Fujishiro's rejection, but accepts her decision.
  • Jerkass:
    • Fujishiro starts off this way, looking down on and making fun of Kurokawa for being plain.
    • Hiro's revealed as this. He's not only unrepentant when confronted with evidence of his cheating but even mocks Fujishiro.
    • Miki continues to be this for much of the story, turning against Fujishiro as she befriends Kurokawa and possibly becoming even crueler to Kurokawa over time.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Maho's cutting "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Fujishiro is rather harsh and makes excuses for Miki bullying Kurokawa, but she's not wrong when she says that Fujishiro was the one who started the bullying, that Fujishiro can't assume that Kurokawa has forgiven her or that Fujishiro's sudden change of heart seems incomprehensible to Miki.
  • Jerkass to One: Miki is a rather unpleasant person, but she reserves most of her vitriol for Kurokawa since she hates Kurokawa for taking Fujishiro away.
  • Last-Name Basis: Fujishiro and Kurokawa call each other by their last names for the entirety of the series. In fact, when Izumi, whom Kurokawa has just met, proposes using first names, Kurokawa realizes Fujishiro is the only person close to her who calls her "Kurokawa." This changes in a post-series extra chapter, in which Fujishiro insists that they start using first names instead.
  • Love Confession: Occurs at the end of Chapter 31.
  • Love Epiphany: Fujishiro finally has one regarding her feelings for Kurokawa in Chapter 31.
  • New Transfer Student: Akazawa transfers in to the main characters' high school midway through the series.
  • Nice Girl:
    • Zig-zagged with Kurokawa. While she's definitely not a bad person, she admits that she hated Fujishiro and hadn't intended for her remarks after Fujishiro was dumped to be a kind act.
    • Izumi is one of the nicest characters in the cast, and one of the only real friends Fujishiro has.
  • Oblivious to Hatred: In the early chapters, Fujishiro doesn't realize that Kurokawa still hates her for bullying her, assuming that Kurokawa comforting her after her breakup was meant as an act of kindness. Over time, however, the two girls do become friends.
  • Odd Friendship: A vain and somewhat superficial gyaru becomes friends with a plain-looking and unpopular Otaku.
  • Oh, Crap!: Fujishiro gets two in somewhat rapid succession in Chapter 24. The first is when, after hearing that the students with scores below 30 will have to take supplemental lessons, she checks her paper and sees that she got a 19. The second is when she reports to the lessons, and sees that the only other person there is her former friend Miki.
  • The One Thing I Don't Hate About You: While Kurokawa disliked Fujishiro for being a Jerkass at the start of the series, she found Fujishiro beautiful and admired her confidence.
  • Otaku: Fujishiro, who is an avid reader of manga.
  • Positive Friend Influence: According to Izumi, Fujishiro changed for the better for two reasons- because she wanted to change and because Kurokawa was there for her.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Izumi to Kurokawa in Chapter 35 of the fan translation.
    Izumi: Kanade. Anyone. Can change.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Fujishiro gets one from Hiro when she confronts him over two-timing her, and shows him Izumi's picture of him with another girl.
      Hiro: Nanaki, I'm done with you.
      Fujishiro: Huh?
      Hiro: She's my main girl. Since you confessed to me, I decided to go out with you and keep you as a backup. But I didn't think you'd be this stupid. I mean, you'd never have noticed without seeing that picture, would you? You may look pretty, but really, who would want to date such a boring girl like you? Bye.
    • Kurokawa gets a vicious one from Miki when the latter is badmouthing Fujishiro.
      Miki: Kurokawa, right? You really think you can be the same as Fujishiro Nanaki? I heard you've been trying to be equal to Fujishiro Nanaki, right? Seriously?! That's funny as heck! She's pretty enough to be interviewed by a fashion magazine, you know. Just changing your hair and putting up a little makeup doesn't get you even near to being like her. You better wake up and face the truth, girl. Nanaki will always consider both you and us to be beneath her.
    • In Chapter 28, Maho gives one to Fujishiro, calling her out over her past treatment of Kurokawa, as well as her staying angry with Miki over the latter's treatment of Kurokawa.
      Maho: What're you on about? Miki was just repeating what you used to say.
      Fujishiro: Huh?
      Maho: You're the one who started dissing on that Kurokawa girl first.
      Fujishiro: I-I... I already apologized to Kurokawa...! And she's forgiven me...!
      Maho: Haha, sure. That's what she says. But who knows what she's really thinking inside? Can you be sure there's no longer any bad blood between the two of you? Miki didn't know you and Kurokawa were friends when she says that. She was just trying to please you. A friend she thought she understood suddenly changed overnight. Miki, being who she is, couldn't understand it no matter how she tried. Do you get it yet? You may see yourself as a better person, but to Miki, you're just a backstabber. Same for Kurokawa. Just cause you're friends now doesn't mean she'll forgive all the insults you gave her.
  • School Swimsuit: Much to Fujishiro's dismay, Kurokawa wears hers to the pool.
  • Second Love: Izumi was once in love with her best friend Yukari, and after Yukari jokingly described Izumi as her girlfriend, Izumi asked her out. When Yukari's reaction showed that she wasn't serious, Izumi tried to play it off as a joke, but their friendship never recovered.
  • Second Year Protagonist: All the main characters are in their second year of high school, and the series ends at the conclusion of the school year.
  • Secret-Keeper: Kurokawa keeps the fact that she saw Fujishiro crying after her breakup a secret.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Kurokawa. Foreshadowed by Fujishiro musing that Kurokawa is not ugly and could pull off any look if she tried, but just doesn't take care of herself.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: When Kurokawa stands up to Miki in order to defend Fujishiro, she gets a "The Reason You Suck" Speech in response.
  • Skewed Priorities: Fujishiro considers making her hair just right to be way more important than her attendance record. Also, "eyebrow leave" should be a thing, according to her.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Fujishiro is not Easily Forgiven for bullying Kurokawa. While her desire to befriend Kurokawa is genuine, several other characters continue to hold her accountable for her actions, and Kurokawa is initially bitter about the bullying.
    • When Kurokawa and Fujishiro end up wearing makeup to school, they get caught in the morning inspection, unlike how many anime and manga characters get away with violating the dress code. When Fujishiro loses her temper and bashes the teacher on the head, she gets suspended for a week.
  • Sustained Misunderstanding: For the first few chapters, Kurokawa unwittingly gives Fujishiro the impression that she's actively being nice to her. Eventually, Kurokawa stops trying to correct Fujishiro.
  • Switching P.O.V.: The chapters generally alternate between Fujishiro's POV and Kurokawa's POV.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: Played with. While each of the main couple's actions can be more understandable when you see things from her perspective, Kurokawa's first POV chapter reveals that she actually hates Fujishiro and "helped" her for personal reasons.
  • Time Skip: Midway through the final chapter, the story jumps ahead three months to the end of the year, when Kurokawa finally accepts Fujishiro's Love Confession.
  • Title Drop: A bit like Puella Magi Madoka Magica, each chapter is named for a line of dialogue in it.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: After being dumped by her boyfriend and pitied by the one person she hated most, Fujishiro becomes a nicer person.
  • Unrequited Love: Izumi, towards Yukari. After Yukari joked about having Izumi as her girlfriend, Izumi asked if they could go out. When Yukari gave a "Huh?" in response, Izumi tried to play it off as a joke, but their friendship never fully recovered.
  • Wall Pin of Love: Fujishiro does this to Kurokawa when offering to pay her back for her kindness by making her cute.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Both Fujishiro and Kurokawa end up ostracized from their former groups of friends for various reasons. Later on, Kurokawa ends up back together with her old group of friends, as a result of a rift forming between herself and Fujishiro.
  • Wham Line:
    • The end of Chapter 30.
      Aki: Kurokawa... I... like you, a lot! I never could say this when we were kids. But now, I must ask you. Kurokawa... will you go out with me?
    • Midway through Chapter 31, Kurokawa tells Fujishiro about what she heard from Aki, and then...
      Kurokawa: I'm going to tell him no.
  • Whole Episode Flashback:
    • Chapter 19 shows how Izumi met Fujishiro, and tells about her Unrequited Love for Yukari.
    • Chapter 33 shows how Fujishiro made an impression on Kurokawa, who admired her confidence and beauty despite disliking her personality.
  • Will They or Won't They?: The central plot of the series is about whether Nanaki and Kanade will become a couple. They do, but it sure takes a lot of twists and turns before they finally get there.
  • With Friends Like These...: Kurokawa's group of friends are quick to kick her out after they see her associating with Fujishiro, and most of Fujishiro's friends are equally fickle.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: Kurokawa is a fan of gay manga.

Alternative Title(s): Useless Princesses