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Manga / Love So Life

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The place where I feel happy for a moment might not be where I belong, but even if it's not forever, this is my one precious place.
Shiharu Nakamura

Love So Life is the story of Shiharu Nakamura, a first year high school student who, one day, is hired to work as a nanny for two adorable twins left in the care of their uncle, Seiji Matsunaga. The story follows the daily lives of the makeshift family as errands are run, memories are made, and relationships are kindled in a romantic slice-of-life. Be warned, cuteness saturation reaches critical levels in every chapter from the twins and the adult cast in equal measure.

The series was serialized in the magazine Hana to Yume from 2008 to 2015, being compiled in a total of 17 volumes. It was followed up with a sequel titled Life so Happy, which featured Aoi and Akane as fifth graders.

Love So Life is provides examples of:

  • A Friend in Need: When Shiharu is targeted for bullying, she tries to distance herself from Rio to prevent her friend from being harassed too. Rio is having none of that, and confronts the girl instigating it head-on.
  • Almost Kiss: Between Shiharu and Seiji in Volume 1, things are paced slower significantly after that however.
  • Beta Couple: Rio and Takeru
  • Bland-Name Product: In chapter 23, the shop Seiji visits is called Peach Jean, a play on famous Japanese lingerie shop Peach John.
  • Blatant Lies: When Seiji drops by the orphanage to check on an injured Shiharu, Nao claims she's not home.
  • Childhood Friends: Shiharu and Nao, Seiji and Takeru.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Nao does not like other guys getting close to Shiharu
  • Cuteness Overload: Aoi and Akane trigger this once or twice per volume, most often for Shiharu (and the readers).
    • Only once or twice?? Their cuteness does not end!
  • Disappeared Dad: Aoi and Akane's. Until he comes back and receives fistfuls of Seiji's rage.
  • Fountain of Youth: Happens to Seiji in Chapter 75's extra.
  • Good Parents: Don't go looking for (much) Adults Are Useless here. Almost all parents and other caregivers are shown trying their best (with occasional missteps.) The few times where this isn't so, it's presented as a bad, abnormal situation.
  • Heartwarming Orphan: Shiharu.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Nao is this towards Shiharu. Despite the fact that they've known each other since they were children, Shiharu only loves Nao in a familial manner. When he finally got around to confessing to her, she was already deeply in love with Seiji by that point.
  • I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: A non-cute variety; Seiji says this almost verbatim in response to seeing Shiharu's babysitting skills.
  • Indirect Kiss: Rio claims Seiji biting off a piece of Shiharu's churro to be this.
  • Is That Cute Kid Yours?: Anytime she's out with Seiji and the twins, she will end up being mistaken as the twins' mother.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Shiharu towards Seiji when she believes he may be dating the model Miuru Sakurai.
  • Just Friends: Shiharu insists this is her relationship with Seiji, especially since a scandal would hurt his career.
  • Like Brotherand Sister: What Shiharu believes her and Nao to be.
  • Love Epiphany: Shiharu, Nao, and Seiji come to their realizations at different points.
  • Love Confession: Rio to Takeru, Seiji to Shiharu.
  • Marry the Nanny: Seiji (who has custody of his young niece and nephew) eventually falls in love with their babysitter Shiharu, who reciprocates. This relationship is further complicated by the fact that Shiharu is only in high school.
  • Meaningful Name: Akane is upbeat and energetic with a bit of rambunctiousness in her while Aoi is more calm and passive.
  • Meet Cute: Seiji and Shiharu. When he sees how well she gets along with the twins, his desperation to hire her leads to hilarity.
  • No Antagonist: Other than the girl who bullies Rio and Shiharu for a couple chapters, there's no primary antagonist. The closest approximation is Aoi and Akane's grandparents, who plan to take over raising them. Shiharu and Seiji aren't happy (both at losing care of the twins and the excuse to be near each other,) but the grandparents are portrayed as excellent caregivers with very valid reasons for wanting to take them in.
  • Nose Bleed: Shiharu sometimes gets one whenever she is particularly overwhelmed by the twin's cuteness.
  • Oblivious to Love: Shiharu to Nao. She also isn't aware of Seiji's growing feelings for her (though to be fair he isn't very obvious about them).
  • Orphanage of Love: Where Shiharu and Nao live.
  • Parental Abandonment: Aoi and Akane's father disappears following their mother's death, leaving them in his brother's care. This also happens to Nao as a part of his backstory.
  • Patient Childhood Love Interest: Nao tries, and fails, to be this.
  • Pædo Hunt: Shiharu worries that Seiji might be perceived in the wrong light if she's not careful around him, given their age difference
    • A pedophile tries to kidnap a young, naive Shiharu, but is stopped when Nao's cries for help brings none other than Seiji to the scene.
  • Playing House: Mentioned to be a regular game played in the Matsunaga household.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: When questions are raised about the nature of their relationship, Shiharu insists that she's just Seiji's babysitter.
  • Sailor Fuku: The uniform of the school Shiharu and Rio go to.
  • Shipper on Deck: Rio. Also Oikawa, to an extent. And as of recent chapters, Takeru has seemed to have joined the bandwagon as well.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Rio to Takeru while he's still in shock from the confession.
  • Sleep Cute: Aoi and Akane regularly fall asleep on or near each other in the most adorable fashions possible.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: So far on the idealistic end, it gently rises into the air and floats away into a land of bunnies and kittens...
  • Squee: Whenever the kids do something adorable. Or the adults. On both sides of the fourth wall.
  • Will They or Won't They?: For now they won't but the future looks to be the latter.