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Manga / Hitohira

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A very shy girl and a School Play. How are these two going to fit?
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Well, that's the whole point of Hitohira.

Asai Mugi has just joined her new high school. She's still unsure on what club to join, when she was spotted by Ichinose Nono, president of the Drama Research Society, and was force drafted into the club herself. The problem is that Mugi is extremely shy and easily cracks under pressure, especially when talking to many people — which at times even leads to her fainting. And now she is pressured into performing at school plays, which doesn't bode well for either her well-being or that of the club she got pulled into.

To complicate matters further, the Drama Research Society's existence is threatened by the Drama Club, which it is a splinter of. There appears to be much personal animosity between Nono and the president of the Drama Club, Sakaki Mirei — but things are not as straightforward as they first appear.

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Hitohira provides examples of:

  • Beach Episode: The very plot-heavy kind.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Not even when Nono and Risaki start beating each other up.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Don't get Nono angry. She's that scary.
  • Bittersweet Ending: So, so very much. Ouch.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Kai does this in the manga after his sister Risaki says something that totally contradicts the aesop of the story.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live:
    • In Kai's case the call is embodied by his sister, who pressures him into joining the Drama Research Society.
    • And then of course there's Nono's insistence that Mugi should join her club.
  • Changing of the Guard: The sequel Sakaki Mirei no Tame nara Boku wa...!! which focus on characters who graduated after Hitohira, has Mirei as the protagonist, though Nono, Risaki, and Takashi still appear as supporting characters.
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  • Character Development: In spades, and not only for Mugi.
  • Cherry Blossoms: "Hitohira" means "flower petal". Do the math.
  • Club President: Nono and Mirei, of their respective clubs.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: Shy school girl—check. Situation that forces change—check. Affectionate friends to help her—check. It's still very well done, though.
  • Dream Sequence: Used to great effect in the above-mentioned ending.
  • Friendly Tickle Torture: Early in the anime, Chitose has Kai restrain Mugi while she tickles her. She does this to help her improve her voice.
    • She gets her again towards the end of the anime series.
  • Friends All Along: Nono and Mirei. It's a long way before it actually shows, though.
  • Furo Scene
  • Gecko Ending: The anime actually only covers the first 3 and a half volumes of manga, and while the end of the anime does correspond well with events in the manga, Mugi's Character Development was rushed in the end because of this reason.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Nono. Really, don't make her angry.
  • Huge Schoolgirl:
    • Risaki, who appears to be just fine with it.
    • Mirei is also rather tall.
  • Informed Ability: Nono's supposed fighting skills.
  • Joshikousei
  • Locked in a Room
  • Motifs:
    • The bridge is used as a symbol for entering the next stage in life and is literally described as such.
    • And then of course there are the cherry blossoms.
  • Necessarily Evil: Mirei is trying to get Nono out from acting and close down the club because she's trying to preserve Nono's vocal cords.
  • Performance Anxiety: The plot revolves around Mugi being convinced to join her school's drama club, and she has a tendency to get so nervous in front of people that sometimes she faints.
  • Put on a Bus: Kayo.
  • The Quiet One: Mugi, initially.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: This series provides that page's image.
    • Mugi and Nono's relationship quickly evolves into this.
    • Mugi and Kayo seem to be like this for a while too.
    • Nono and Mirei give off the vibe as well.
  • School Festival: What better opportunity to perform a school play.
  • School Play: The central premise of the whole show.
  • Serious Business: School plays surely seem to be.
  • Show Within a Show: Nono's play, also called "Hitohira", which is clearly inspired by the happenings in the Drama Research Club and which she wrote as an encouragement to Mugi.
  • Shrinking Violet: Mugi, which doesn't deter Nono in the slightest.
  • Slice of Life
  • Student Council President: A very hyperactive one, too. She is shown announcing the competition between the two drama clubs.
  • Training from Hell: The Drama Research Society practicing trip.
  • 12-Episode Anime
  • Two-Teacher School
  • The Voiceless:
    • This trope applies in so far that Nono is in danger of permanently becoming one due to her vocal cord paralysis.
    • Mugi had difficulty speaking within the first few minutes of the anime, to the point where she made no audible sounds, only mouthing words.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Showing Chitose, Kai and a confident Mugi during a new school year.

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