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Manga / Me & My Brothers

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Sister Complex x 4.

Me & My Brothers (Onii-chan to Issho) is a shoujo manga written and illustrated by Hari Tokeino, which ran in LaLa from 2004 to 2009. It was licensed in English by Tokyopop.

The story revolves around Sakura Miyashita, a second year middle school girl whose grandmother, who she lived with, recently passed away. Sakura then spent her days alone in her grandmother's big house until one day, she came home to find four strange men she has never met before living there! They explain to Sakura that until she was three years old she had lived with them, along with their mother and father.

There's the oldest brother Masashi, a romance novelist who crossdresses when he isn't writing. The second brother is Takashi, who becomes a teacher at Sakura's junior high. The third brother is the brash Tsuyoshi, a high school graduate and ''full-time part-timer" with a dream of owning his own shop. The fourth and youngest brother is Takeshi, a current high school student.

At first Sakura finds their presence to be intrusive, and is especially alarmed when she accidentally learns that she and her brothers are not blood related. Eventually, she grows to appreciate their dedication to her as a little sister and values all of their moments together as a family.

As time goes on, Sakura graduates junior high and enters highs school. She finds herself becoming even closer to one of her brothers ... and not as a sister.

This manga provides examples of:

  • Anime Hair: Mizusawa, the dark-skinned blonde. Also Tanaka, Rin, Masashi, and Sakura during the fireworks festival with their Girlish Pigtails (below).
  • Arranged Marriage: The family's aunt Michiyo, who raised Masashi after the death of their parents, arranged an omiai for Masashi for her husband's business associate's daughter. However, Masashi informed Michiyo he would turn the daughter down for Sakura.
  • Author Avatar: Portrays herself as a wind-up clock in the side columns in the manga.
  • Big Fancy House: Kouzuki Masumi's father's mansion.
  • Big Little Brother: Takeshi is the youngest of the four brothers, but physically the largest.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Happens very often around the brothers, and occasionally other characters, male and female.
  • Biting the Handkerchief: Rin when Tsuyoshi once rebutted her advances, and Masashi in reaction towards Sakura's coldness.
  • Blush Sticker: Consistently used throughout the series by virtually everyone, even more so than the also often used Luminescent Blush (below).
  • But Not Too Foreign: Rin inherited her blonde hair and blue eyes from her Swiss father. Her mother is Japanese.
  • Butt-Monkey: Suzuki against Sakura's overprotective brothers, which is always Played for Laughs.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Sakura's first attempt at confessing to Masashi. Masashi, on the other hand, does not want to admit his mutual feelings to himself.
  • Cool Big Sis: Masashi tries to have Sakura identify with him as a big sister and calling himself such by wearing fashionable women's clothing, doing his hair, and taking Sakura clothes shopping. This is all so that he could distance himself from Sakura's growing affections towards him.
  • Cherry Blossoms: Seen throughout the series. Also seen right after Sakura's and Masashi's First Kiss.
  • Cultural Translation: Footnotes are provided regarding Japanese culture and terms in the manga.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Sonomura.
  • Delinquents: Katagiri was close to becoming this, until Sakura talked sense of responsibility into him.
  • Doppelgänger: Murakami Michi, a women's magazine employee interviewing Masashi - who looks like Sakura's deceased mother Fumiko - informs him that, afer meeting Sakura, she is not interested in men and delightedly says that Sakura is "just her type." She fawns over Sakura whenever she has an opportunity.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Masashi usually doesn't have to try too hard to look feminine. Even when he's not being a Wholesome Crossdresser he can take advantage of his face and long hair to look either very feminine or very masculine. Also Rin, with Girlish Pigtails, feminine face and clothes.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Mizusawa falls for a crossdressing Masashi and calls him "Boss Lady". This does not desist even when Masashi is dressed in masculine clothing. In general, most men who do not realize Masashi's true gender are attracted to him. Additionally, from Tsuyoshi's point of view, this trope also applies to Rin, his Unlucky Childhood Friend.
  • Face of a Thug: Coach Matsubara. Mistaking Masashi as a woman, he proposed to him. Matsubara is a widower and wanted to find a new mother for his young daughter Haruko. Tsuyoshi can also be considered for this trope as he often gets annoyed with Masashi's antics. Oosaki-sensei fits this trope as well.
  • Festival Episode: There are two. Sakura and her brothers first went to a traditional Japanese festival, where Sakura ended up being a temporary Peggy Sue (except she keeps her current age) with a fourteen-year-old Masashi. The second festival is the fireworks festival that she and Masashi attended.
  • Fiery Redhead: Tsuyoshi as a male example.
  • Filler Villain: Asada Tomoaki, self-proclaimed rival novelist to Masashi. He kidnaps Sakura in order to neutralize any energy she had been giving Masashi towards his writing and take some for himself.
  • First Kiss: After suffering amnesia and cutting his hair short, Masashi seeks out Sakura at the park, cups her head in his hands, tells her she is not his sister, and they kiss - all in the second-last chapter of the series.
  • Flower Motifs: Seen often on the manga covers, drama CD cover, and as backgrounds in the manga. Sakura and her brothers wear daisies in their hair on the cover of Volume 1. Cherry Blossoms are often seen as well.
  • Foreshadowing: Not long after Taizo tells Sakura she looks like his ex-girlfriend, who he lost long ago, she and her brothers find out he is her long-lost biological father.
    • Masashi and Sakura's inevitable Relationship Upgrade is about as subtle as a sledgehammer to the face. Anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of shoujo cliches/tropes can see it coming from a mile away, what with every friggin' chapter making a point to remind the reader that they aren't ''actually'' blood-related, a chapter in the very first volume dedicated to Masashi's lost love for Sakura's mother (whom Sakura resembles mightily), that same chapter explaining that the then-three-years-old Sakura declared she would marry Masashi—a dead giveaway—and many more tip-offs.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Nana.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Tanaka, Rin, Masashi (very often; normally his hair is done up in a single ponytail). Sakura had very short pigtails with hair pins during the fireworks festival. See Anime Hair above.
  • Half-Identical Twins: Nana is the brother and Nene is the sister. While Nana's hair is short and Nene's long (Nana calls her "samurai hair") , they have identical faces. Nana used this to his advantage once by wearing a wig, disguising himself as Nene to fool Sakura.
  • Hint Dropping: Sakura does this a lot towards Masashi, as she is still working out her own feelings.
  • Important Haircut: Masashi does this just before seeking Sakura out and having their First Kiss, listed above.
  • Indirect Kiss: Sakura worries over this when trying Katagiri's cooking with the spoon he was using to eat with. This also happens with Masashi at the fireworks festival when he offered her his bitten candied apple.
  • Little Miss Snarker: Tanaka, often towards Suzuki, when she's not being the Plucky Comic Relief.
  • Love Bubbles
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Sakura learns her biological father is Fukasawa Taizo, the coffee shop owner / barista she befriends. This is foreshadowed when Taizo tells Sakura she looks like an ex-girlfriend whom he loved deeply. See Parental Abandonment below.
  • Luminescent Blush: A constant in this series, done by almost everyone. Even more prevalent is the Blush Sticker (above).
  • May–December Romance: Masashi is eleven years older than Sakura.
  • Meaningful Name: Sakura, whose name was decided on by her brothers, stepfather, and mother while viewing Cherry Blossoms, before she was born.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Sakura's grandmother and Setsuko.
  • Mistress and Servant Boy: Mizusawa is the one who enthusiastically fawns over "Boss Lady" Masashi, who is not amused with this. See Even the Guys Want Him above.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Masashi.
  • Not Blood Siblings: The manga takes great pains to remind the reader nearly every chapter that the heroine is in fact not blood-related to the titular brothers, despite the also-incessant reminders that they are all family and that Sakura is their "little sister." This is used quite blatantly so Sakura can be obsessively fawned over by her new guardians—and eventually fall in love with one of them—without the squick.
  • Ojou: Masumi, who has a weak constitution. She considers "Takashi-sama" to be her prince.
  • Older Than They Look: Takeshi is often mistaken as the oldest brother due to his goatee and quiet demeanor.
  • Parental Abandonment: When Sakura was three, her mother and stepfather died. Years later when she lives with her brothers again, she finds out her biological father is Fukasawa Taizo, who runs his own coffee shop. He left Sakura's mother Fumiko in order to become the "ultimate barista," and always missed her. He first tells Sakura not to think of him as her father and left for Italy, but returns when he changes his mind and is now a part of her life.
  • Parental Substitute: Michiyo, Masashi's Oba-san, who raised Masashi after his family's parents died.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Tanaka, Rin, Masashi.
  • Promotion to Parent: Mainly Masashi and Takashi towards Sakura. Masashi admits this more than anyone else.
  • Samurai: Nana sometimes calls his twin sister Nene "samurai hair," likely due to her wide bangs off her forehead and long straight hair. Tsuyoshi also dresses as one during Sakura's field trip to Kyoto.
  • Shōjo
  • Sidekick: Suzuki and Tanaka, for Sakura.
  • Slice of Life
  • Stalker with a Crush: Sonomura towards Katagiri, who she likes and looks up to since junior high. Nothing over the top, she was just too shy to talk to him.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Taizo, Takashi, Takeshi.
  • Temporary Love Interest: Katagiri, who confesses to Sakura before he moves away. He is grateful to Sakura for talking him down for his delinquent behaviour in the past, while his parents were getting divorced.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Nana and Nene.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Sakura.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Rin, towards Tsuyoshi.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Masashi, and averted for Rin. Masashi feels that, as a romance novelist, if he dresses and acts femininely he can better understand the female mind and use this in his writing. Rin, who is transgender - as she admits she is a woman at heart - is the Unlucky Childhood Friend of Tsuyoshi, whom she likes.
  • Wingding Eyes: Masashi is the most guilty of this. Michiyo also does this when once reminiscing about Masashi growing up, with stars in her eyes. Setsuko does this when she first sees Tsuyoshi and mistakes him for a younger version of her deceased husband.
  • Yakuza: Hearing that Sakura is the temporary manager of the boys' soccer team, the over-protective brothers arrive at her school dressed in various yakuza styles. Masashi, of course, dresses as a female leader in an elaborate kimono. Mizusawa, mistaking Masashi as a woman, develops a crush on him and calls him "Boss Lady", much to Masashi's chagrine.

Alternative Title(s): Oniichan To Issho