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Manga / Lady!!

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Lady!! is a Japanese shōjo manga by Youko Hanabusa. It was published by Akita Shoten in the magazine Hitomi Comics from 1987 to 1993 and collected in 12 tankoubon volumes. The manga series was adapted into two anime television series, entitled, Lady Lady!! and its sequel Hello! Lady Lynn, produced by Toei Animation Co., Ltd.

Its main character is a five-year-old girl named Lynn Russell, the daughter of an English Lord (Sir George Russell aka Viscount Marble) and his Japanese second wife (Misuzu Midorikawa). During The Roaring '20s, Lynn has lived all of her life in Japan, but when she's five her mom decides to travel to England with her so she can meet up with her dad. Too bad that, as Lynn and Misuzu were on their way, their car gets in an accident and Misuzu dies while shielding Lynn...

Lynn wakes up at the hospital and George is next to her. He doesn't tell her off the bat that Misuzu has just kicked it, though; since she's too young to properly understand death, he just tells her she's gone to a "far away place since it was God's will" and doesn't clear it up. Then he takes Lynn to the family home, Marble Mansion, where she has to adapt herself to the British way of life. Though she has the support of her father and her half-sister Sarah Russell, Lynn is bullied by her paternal cousins Thomas and Mary Wavebury, and the Wavebury's mother Baroness Madeleine doesn't like her either. However, even after properly realising that her mom has died, Lynn decides to not give up and promises to her mom's spirit and to herself to become a proper lady and reach for her happiness.

The early Lady manga/series has the following tropes:

  • Alternate Character Reading: Lynn's name is written in kana and can be read as "Rin". Sometimes she is also referred to by the name "Rin Midorikawa", coming from both this and her mom's maiden name.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: Supposedly taking place in the 1920's, the manga has things such as push-button phones (when candlestick phones would be the norm) and characters dressing in more contemporary fashion.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: If their surname is Wavebury. Duke Warbawn is also quite mean due to his pride, pressuring George to go the Gold Digger way via marrying Madeleine and refusing to meet Lynn due to being the kid of George's second marriage and half-foreigner.
  • Big Fancy House: Several, but specially Marble Mansion. Which is sold-off later, and that becomes a plot point in Hello!Lady Lynn as Mary manipulates Lynn via promising to help her get it back but only if she relinquishes her bid to the Lady's Crest.
  • Cats Are Mean: Subverted and played straight. Mary's cat Prince is quite the meanie, but Lynn's cat Queen is much sweeter. When Mary disowns Prince, he's adopted by Lynn and behaves a little better. Later, Prince and Queen have kittens together.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: The Russell sisters and the Brighton brothers seem to be going this way. Sarah and Arthur are already good friends, Lynn also gets along with Arthur (and Sarah even gets kinda jealous at first), and Edward becomes quite fond of her too...
  • Coming of Age Story
  • Cool Horse: Alessandra
  • Cool Old Lady: Countess Isabelle Montgomery.
  • Creepy Changing Painting: Not exactly creepy, but the portrait of Lady Frances seems to shift and show Frances expressing sadness at the situation her daughter finds herself in.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Arthur and Edward refer to Lynn as "that Chinese girl". This isn't intentional racism, more like them simply not having met a Japanese person before.
    • Also, Duke Warbawn is pressures George to marry Madeleine to have a "proper heir" since full-English Sarah is a girl as well as sickly and half-English Lynn is the kid of "an unknown Eastern woman". Sexism and racism, yay!
  • Hey, You!: Edward calls Lynn a "shrimp" more often than not, since she's so small.
  • Get Out!: During her first day at Marble Mansion, Lynn wanders into Sarah's room and gets this as a response.
  • Gold Digger: George is pressured into becoming this via marrying the very rich minor noble Madeleine.
  • Greeneyed Monster: Sarah rejects Lynn at first because she fears that, since Lynn is much more of a Genki Girl while she's a sickly Shrinking Violet, she'll win over everyone's affections and Sarah herself will be all alone. She gets over it rather soon, however.
  • Jerkass: Thomas and Mary, and Thomas moreso.
  • Lost Wedding Ring: More exactly, stolen-as-a-cruel-prank "Lady's Key".
  • Locked Out of the Loop: George refuses to fully explain Misuzu's death to Lynn at first, as he believes it'll hurt her way too much. As said above, this doesn't last too long. And in a Kick the Dog moment, the ones who tell Lynn that her dear mom is dead... are Madeleine and her kids. (More like they drop the bomb on her not knowing that she's in the dark about it, then the kids start mocking her until a rather tearful Sarah explains what happened in a much gentler manner.)
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: The Duke did NOT want George to marry Misuzu. Hence why he refuses to meet Lynn.
  • Meet Cute: Sort of. Lynn was searching for flowers and got lost, then she saw Edward fall off his horse and on a bush near her. With Arthur following soon after.
  • Missing Mom: Sarah's mother Frances is implied to have fallen victim to Death by Childbirth, as she died soon after Sarah was born. And then there's Misuzu, whose death is vital to the plot.
  • Nouveau Riche: Madeleine is only a minor noble, and fits here rather well. She wants to marry George to become a full-blooded noblewoman and acts as if Marble Mansion is already hers. They eventually do marry in the manga.
  • Phenotype Stereotype: The half-English Lynn is a blonde with green eyes, rather than dark-haired like her mother. (Though in the anime, her eyes are reddish instead)
  • Princely Young Man: Arthur Brighton. Edward is heading there but he's more cheerful and teasing.
  • Proper Lady: A vital part of the manga plot is to have Rin become one of these. Sarah also wants to be one, specially since her mom Frances was a perfect example of the trope.
  • Race for Your Love: Not romantic example back then: Edward and Arthur pull this to convince Lynn to not escape from home and return to Japan. In the anime movie, Sarah and George do it instead.
  • Shoujo: To the core.
  • Smug Snake: Madeleine
  • Spoiled Brat: Thomas and Mary.
  • Time Skip: The first part takes place when Lynn is a little girl, the rest when she's a pre-teenager. And the end happens several years later.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Lynn's "Lady Key", a jewelry piece that originally belonged to Misuzu. It's actually the key that opens a vault keeping a valuable heirloom of the Russell clan, but it's not revealed until almost the end of Hello! Lady Lynn.
  • Tsundere: Sarah starts as a non-romantic Type A to Lynn, acting cold to her at first out of fright and envy.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The car accident that cost Misuzu her life and sent Lynn to Marble Mansion was caused by their car swerving to avoid hitting a child chasing after her and her friends's wayward ball. (In the anime, their car collided headlong with a truck instead.)
  • Wicked Stepmother: Madeleine is George's would be-girlfriend and prospect third wife. She not only spoils her kids rotten, but she treats Lynn like shit and isn't much kinder to Sarah either.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Misuzu, being born and raised in Japan, is this.

The following tropes are more specific to the second part of the manga and the Hello Lady Lynn TV series:

  • Abusive Parents: Sophie's mother Jeanne doesn't hesitate to manipulate her to try getting into Countess Montgomery's good graces.
  • Alpha Bitch: Vivian Spencer, though she softens up later.
  • Cool Horse: Andrews, which first belonged to Vivian and later to Lynn.
  • Impoverished Patrician: The Russells, in the second part. Since George ultimately refused the Arranged Marriage to Madeleine, which would've cleared his massive debts, Marble Mansion is sold; Sarah goes to live with Duke Warbawn, Lynn goes to live with Countess Montgomery.
  • French Jerk: Sophie, the French granddaughter of Countess Montgomery. Later shows a more vulnerable side, as her very difficult relationship with her mother is showcased.
  • Girl Posse: Mathilda and Phyllis.
  • Lonely Doll Girl: Sophie, who cuddles wit a doll given to her by her abusive mother.
  • Love Triangle: Lynn and Edward seem to be this close to a Childhood Friend Romance. However, Vivian likes him too.
  • Promotion to Parent: One of Lynn's classmates, Suzie, is being raised by her eldest brother Eric, alongside her other siblings Paul and Nancy.
  • The Rival: Lynn has several for the Lady's Crest, the trophy for her school's best and more ladylike sportswoman. Vivian, Sophie, Catherine (Friendly Rival) and Mary are among them.
  • School Idol: Vivian Spencer.
  • Shoujo
  • So Proud of You: The Duke finally accepts Lynn almost at the end of the series.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Mary Wavebury returns to the cast in episode 22 of the TV series, after having spent some years in a Swiss Boarding School. A mere Spoiled Brat in the first part, she becomes Vivian's Dragon with an Agenda and The Rival to Lynn, as well as a massive Smug Snake.
  • Well Done Daughter Girl: Sophie has SEVERE issues with her mother Jeanne, who tries to use her as a pawn to inherit the Montgomery fortune and threatens to send her back to France if she doesn't play along, whereas Sophie only wants her mom's love and approval.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Andrews hates, hates squirrels, due to a trauma in his past.