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Haruna Nagishima focused heavily on playing softball all through middle school, but her love of shojo manga led her to wanting a romance of her own come high school. However, given her total lack of attention to style and flirting situations up until high school, she's an utter train wreck in trying to find a guy. Her best friend, Mami, points out that when she had similar problems in softball, she got better via advice from a coach. Haruna, instantly seeing the wisdom in this, thinks immediately of the perfect guy to ask, one who helped with her shoe when it broke the other day.

Enter Yoh Komiyama. A Deadpan Snarker that all the girls watch from a distance, he is said by everyone close to him to know what style works for anyone. He's like a Japanese schoolboy Simon Cowell, with the addition that girls just typically annoy him. Haruna's insistence wins him over, and he agrees to coach her on one condition: she can't fall in love with him.

Just how long do you think that will last?

A shoujo manga by Kazune Kawahara (who would later write My Love Story!!), the series ran in Bessatsu Margaret from 2003 to 2008. A live-action film adaptation was released on April 1, 2011.

This series has examples of:

  • Action Girl: While not actively on a sports team anymore, Haruna still exercises regularly, goes to batting cages to clear her head, and sees no problems jumping down a full flight of stairs to catch up with people. After physicals are done, she's shown to be the strongest girl in her whole school in all categories. Yoh speculates that he stops getting girls approaching him because they're afraid of Haruna.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Not just a dye job, actually. Compare the Fumiya from the manga to the Fumiya from the Live-Action Adaptation.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Haruna worries about this after reading some of her younger brother's magazines when she's just innocently invited Yoh on an overnight trip. Fortunately for Haruna's nerves, Yoh manages not to live up (or down) to the stereotype.
  • Aloof Big Brother:
    • Yoh can be like this to Asami sometimes.
    • Miyabi is a gender-flipped example. She is bitter, rude, and hates her younger brother Akito for getting special treatment because he was "cuter" than her. As a result, Akito blames himself and is convinced that if he was never born, maybe his sister would have been a nicer person.
  • Artistic License – Biology: In-Universe example: A first year boy kisses Haruna, sending her into catatonic depression. He comes to school the next day with his head shaved, asking Yoh to hit him, and promising that he'll take responsibility if she's pregnant.
  • Bishie Sparkle: If Yoh isn't actively scowling, he's emitting these. Asaoka and Fumiya also have them occasionally.
  • Blatant Lies: Haruna has no poker face. Yoh in particular finds her an open book, but she's pretty incapable of fooling anyone who isn't The Ditz. As a milder example, when playing a bluffing game (from what's shown, some variant of President), Yoh admits that he only calls every third bluff of Haruna's to keep the game from becoming too boring (given that Haruna gets last place, the others apparently catch her pretty easily, too).
  • Blue with Shock: Haruna's standard reaction when she finally realizes something. She even does this on the cover of one of the volumes.
  • Bullying a Dragon: The junior and senior girls who decide to make Haruna suffer after she and Yoh start dating did not think their plan to get violent all the way through. In flashback, it's shown that Haruna didn't even have to go on the attack for all of them - one hurt her head trying to headbutt Haruna, and another injured her wrist trying to punch her in the stomach.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: When Haruna does finally realize she's fallen for Yoh (it takes two full volumes), she tries to hide it because she's afraid, due to his "no falling in love" condition, she will lose him entirely if she confesses. As he reveals in the last volume, Yoh had a case of this, too, although he gets over it after Haruna finally confesses.
  • Class Trip
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Go ahead, just try mistreating a girl in Fumiya's presence. Also his Berserk Button and, in the present time incident involving Asami...
  • Crying Wolf: Asaoka is rarely serious about anything he says and makes promises only to manipulate a loophole in his words. So when he confesses to Haruna, even after promising Yoh he wouldn't, she just smiles at him and says, "I'm not falling for that!" Possibly subverted, since there's no way of knowing if he was being honest.
  • Cute Bruiser: A non-combat example. Haruna's build is, outside of a couple panels early, not appreciably different from any of the other girls in the series. That said, she's still a powerhouse - there was the result of the three-on-one fight against her seniors in school in which at least two of them hurt themselves when they landed blows that Haruna shrugged off, plus the time she had Yoh doubling over in pain inadvertently when she gave him a couple of lighthearted pats on the back. The few times she does start seeming angry, people are genuinely scared.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Yoh. In fact, Haruna gets worried about him when he stops snarking.
  • Defrosting Ice Prince: Yoh mellows considerably after spending more time with Haruna.
  • Dirty Old Man: Haruna's second-year teacher is rumored to be one, as she notes that several pretty girls are placed in the front row. Haruna then notes that she got placed near the rear of the class. He's also disappointed when Haruna gets picked to be class representative.
  • The Ditz: Haruna is pretty spacey, but even she's not as bad as Fumi, who's described as the most clueless person on the planet (Haruna being a close second).
  • Does Not Know Her Own Strength: Haruna is a milder case, and usually for side gags. She seems blissfully uncaring about the fact that she tops all of the female strength tests during her physical, hurts Asami when she demonstrates the difference in their grip strength, and nearly knocks the wind out of Yoh at one point when she playfully slaps him on the back.
  • Face Palm: Yoh's understandable reaction when he finally pieces together that the reason that his ex-girlfriend (who is ordinarily a huge Shrinking Violet) has been so insistent on pursuing him has been because his current girlfriend, Haruna, has been encouraging her... and Haruna didn't know who the ex-girlfriend had been pursuing.
  • The Gadfly: Asami. And how! The girl goes out of her way to provoke 'interesting' reactions from Haruna, mostly out of jealousy for stealing away Yoh's attention.
  • Genki Girl: Haruna, full stop. When it is almost Haruna's 17 birthday, her parents reveal that Haruna has been very energetic since birth.
    • Leona is also very energetic and tries to beat Haruna at any competition, even when they are on the same team.
  • Generation Xerox: When Yoh and Asami's mother is finally introduced, it very strongly seems like this applies to Yoh and his mother, who look rather similar. When it comes to personality, though, it quickly becomes clear that this is definitely the case with Asami and her mother.
  • Generic Cuteness: Haruna is supposedly plain-looking.
  • Gonk: Haruna's second-year teacher.
  • Graduate from the Story: Yoh, Fumi and Asaoka graduate at the very end.
  • Heroic BSoD: Asami pretty much freezes into a Jaw Drop when Haruna asks Yoh on an overnight trip. Asami returns the favor when she tells Haruna that such trips are usually planned for sex.
  • Hot-Blooded: Haruna, and it's even noted that her body temperature is similarly warm.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy:
    • Haruna eventually gets over Fumiya and quickly grows to support his relationship with Asami.
    • Subverted. Asaoka decides not to confess to Haruna, only to do so, but she doesn't take him seriously because he's always such a joker.
  • Idiot Hero: Haruna, who will fall for any trick pulled on her and who misses the bleedingly obvious, like how Yoh actually falls for her first.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Several of the so-called "cute" characters (most notably, Leona) don't appear all that attractive. This may be Values Dissonance, though—maybe the "so much eyeliner, she looks like a raccoon" look is popular in Japan right now.
  • Jaw Drop: The entire Nagishima family when Haruna asks if she can go on an 'overnight trip' with Yoh, despite her not knowing what it truly means. Later in the same chapter, their entire circle of friends repeats the jaw drop when Haruna asks Yoh on said overnight trip. Asami holds the pose for several panels.
  • Little Sister Instinct: Though she may not always show it, Asami genuinely cares about Yoh and is protective of him.
  • Locked in a Freezer: A mild example. Leona locks up Haruna and Yoh, hoping they'll quarrel over the meager resources and break up as a result. It backfires - rather than argue over limited resources, both Haruna and Yoh try to pull Greater Need Than Mine, until they agree to share and become closer from it.
  • Love Bubbles
  • Love Triangle: One pops up a little less than half way through the manga between Yoh, Haruna, and Asaoka—who may or may not really be in love with Haruna.
  • Made of Iron: Played for Laughs - as noted under Cute Bruiser and Bullying a Dragon, Haruna is not just strong, but she can shrug off blows fairly effortlessly, and she doesn't even seem phased by what few blemishes she got from said fight. Granted, the assailants in question are normal teen girls, so how much power they could put into their strikes isn't as much as, say, a fellow former athlete, but it's worth noting that two got injured from Haruna just tanking their blows.
  • Men Are Strong, Women Are Pretty: Reversed. Haruna is noted for her physical strength, while Yoh is noted primarily for his looks.
    • But typically played straight in the selection of class captains for the Sports Festival. It's a "beauty contest" for the female captains, while the male captains are usually rugged sporting types. The other male captains are shocked when Yoh is selected to represent his year.
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: Haruna worries about this and tries to hide her physical competence at one point.
  • Oblivious to Love: Part and parcel of being The Ditz, Haruna doesn't catch on to when people are crushing on her at all. This comes up in particular when she helps with freshman orientation.
  • Otaku: Haruna's kohai still tell stories about her binging, buying ten manga in a single visit. She's also obsessive about studying very hard on whatever she's focused on—whether it be softball or finding a boyfriend or going on dates.
  • Romantic Wingman: Mami, who helps Haruna to the best of her ability (which, by her own admission, is pretty limited) with how to pursue relationships and, later, how to handle being in a relationship with Yoh. Haruna draws pretty clear parallels to how Mami used to do that on the softball field - Mami was the catcher who would give Haruna, the pitcher, the instructions to make the most of her talents.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Yoh and Haruna. Gender-inverted with Asami and Fumi.
  • School Festival: The school athletic festival becomes a major focus in Haruna's junior year, in large part because Yoh becomes captain for his team.
  • School of No Studying: The closest anyone in the main cast ever comes to anything academic is when Yoh ponders what to study in college. The only official school events that even get brought up are a ceremony to welcome incoming freshmen, a school athletic festival, and a graduation speech. Otherwise, school just seems to be where they all hang out and have lunch, and homework is never an issue.
  • Second Love: Haruna falls for Fumiya before realizing she's developed feelings for Yoh. Also, Yoh towards Haruna.
  • Shrinking Violet: Yoh's ex-girlfriend, whose retiring personality inspires Haruna's protective and nuturing instincts.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang:
    • Yoh and Asami, though they have their moments of being alike one another.
    • Akito and Miyabi. They look nothing alike and act nothing like.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl:
    • Haruna becomes close friends to Yoh's sister Asami, who is rather feminine.
    • Also, Yoh's first girlfriend, who ends up asking Haruna for advice on how to get Yoh back, has this dynamic with her.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Miyabi ends up becoming this towards Yoh after her resentment turns to affection.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Yoh.
  • Temporary Bulk Change: When Haruna is led to believe that Yoh wants to break up with her, she starts eating huge amounts of food and appears quite rotund for about half a chapter. In the next chapter, she is seen jogging in a "sauna suit" to work off the weight and already appears normal.
  • Two-Teacher School: Heck, a teacher isn't introduced at all until Haruna reaches her second year. That said, most of the in-school scenes happen at lunch or between classes.
  • Unknown Rival: Leona, who played on a rival softball team that couldn't get past Haruna's pitching, ends up at the same high school as everyone else and constantly tries to challenge Haruna. While Haruna is well aware that Leona wants revenge (well, eventually is well aware), she's blissfully ignorant of how obsessed Leona is with topping her.
  • Unwanted Harem: Surprisingly, Haruna, of all people, gets one when three first year boys—a mute Bishōnen, a delinquent-looking ladies' man, and a Yoh fanboy—each take an interest in her.
  • The Voiceless: Akito. He finally talks in Chapter 39.