Kazama Masamune is a 23 year old bachelor with an ordinary job. He had an old flame, Youko, who left him for some unspecified reason. But one day, he hears that Youko has passed away, leaving a child behind in the care of her mother. HIS child, who he didn't even know existed, and who also happens to be the reason Youko abandoned him because she didn't want to bog him down.
A manga by Sahara Mizu, it combines decent art with a heartwarming, captivating story. Also has a drama adaptation.
Provides examples of:
- Adult Fear: A child runs from home.
- Affair Letters: Inverted; it is Youko's unsent letters to Masamune that confirm that she loved him from a distance for the last 5 years of her life.
- Animal Motifs: Throughout the story, ladybugs are used to symbolize Youko and Masamune's love for her. Later, black cats are used to symbolize Katagiri, as she tries to bond with Koharu
- Cheerful Child: Koharu.
- Children Raise You
- Distant Finale: The final chapter of the series is set a few years after the penultimate chapter. It reveals that Koharu got into her mother's middle school and Masamune and Katagiri, while not married, have more or less formed a family unit with Koharu.
- First-Name Basis: Koharu calls her father "Masamune-kun". Justified in that she didn't start living with him until she was at least five, so she's not familiar with the word "father", plus this is what Youko would call him when she told Koharu about him.
- Eventually, she begins calling him "Dad" after she runs away from home.
- Generation Xerox: Youko's mom is also a single mother.
- When she's younger, Koharu resembles her mother a great deal. This is to the point that when she excels in arithmatic, very much unlike her mother, Masamune is somewhat happy.
- Later, when she gets into the same middle school that Youko attended, a picture of Koharu and Masamune at the entrance ceremony shows that Koharu's face is now shaped more like Masamune's.
- Girlish Pigtails: Koharu's preferred hair style.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Masamune is prone to this.
- Koharu desperately playing Shipper on Deck for Masamune and Katagiri since she feels that she can't take care of Masamune alone.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: The reason Youko didn't tell Masamune about her pregnancy and ditched him (he was 18 at that time and she didn't want to ruin his future).
- I Will Wait for You: Sadly, The Grim Reaper couldn't care less.
- No matter how many times he told Youko he'd wait for her, she still pushed him away.
- The Lost Lenore: Youko's death is the catalyzing incident that leads to Masamune taking care of Koharu; he's her last living parent, much to his surprise.
- Luke, You Are My Father: A unique case, in that Masamune is first told by Youko's mother that Koharu is his daughter. He doesn't believe it until Koharu herself tells him and then throws all of Youko's unsent replies to his letters in his face.
- My Secret Pregnancy: Youko hid her pregnancy from Masamune.
- Promotion to Parent
- Real Men Wear Pink: Masamune is good at sewing (he made Koharu a reindeer costume for her Christmas play), handycrafts (he made ladybug shaped erasers that he gave to Youko as gifts), and cooking (at least, according to Shuu).
- Second Love: Masamune with Katagiri. Played for Drama for all its worth.
- Sink-or-Swim Fatherhood: Subverted; Masamune gets a lot of help from Youko's mom and his own parents (Although his mom is quite snarky about it).
- Slice of Life
- Tsundere: Masamune's mother is familial, older version of a tsundere; she tends to mock and tease her son and husband, or otherwise complain about them, but that's a front; as Masamune's father says and her actions show, she truly loves her husband, her son, and her newly discovered granddaughter. When aspects of her softness show, she tends to get very flustered as well.