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Manga / Nameless Asterism

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Starting left: Washio, Shiratori, and Kotooka

Tsukasa Shiratori, Nadeshiko Washio and Mikage Kotooka are three incredibly close-knit friends in junior high. For almost a year, Tsukasa has been harboring a secret she can't tell anyone: she has a crush on Nadeshiko. She resigns to keep it locked away forever, but then discovers that Nadeshiko has a crush on Mikage. Not wanting to mess up their current relationship, Tsukasa decides to support Nadeshiko in any way she can. However, Mikage has a secret of her own that she can't share with anyone.

Nameless Asterism (Nanashi no Asterism) is a 2015 yuri manga written by Kobayashi Kina and published by Square Enix. The series completed with five volumes released. Seven Seas Entertainment will release the manga in English.



  • All Love Is Unrequited: Practically the subtitle of the series as every main character has an unrequited crush on someone else.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: The extent of Subaru's lack of social grace seems to indicate this.
  • Ambiguously Bi:
    • Tsukasa is in love with Washio, but she does seem genuinely happy about Asakura's feelings for her.
    • Averted with Kotooka who dates many guys but only to try and "fix" herself.
    • Subaru ultimately becomes a particularly complex example. To start with, his relationships with both Asakura and his sister give off some vibes of romantic attraction on his part. On the other hand, as Asakura later suggests, he may be asexual, as he seems to find liking someone at all "creepy". Finally, to complicate matters further, by the end of the series, he appears to actually have developed some feelings for Asakura.
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    • Though Asakura likes Tsukasa, he finds himself becoming attracted to Subaru as well, and becomes very confused as to whether or not it's simply because they look so similar.
      • A humourous, most likely non-canon bonus comic by the author has Subaru outright confess to Asakura.
  • Arc Words: "I have a secret."
  • Armored Closet Gay: Kotooka is a lesbian, and she is convinced the only way she can be happy, as well as maintain her friendships with Tsukasa and Washio, is to keep dating boys until she becomes "normal". It's played with to some extent, as Kotooka acknowledges that there's nothing wrong with being gay, but feels that everything would be much easier if she wasn't.
  • Chick Magnet: Asakura.
  • Closet Geek: Asakura is a huge fan of the same superhero show that Subaru is into.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Kotooka's attempts to be "normal" by dating boys, as well as her attempts to ensure that neither Washio nor Tsukasa act on their feelings, stem from a traumatic experience in elementary school. She used to be in another trio of girl friends, and developed feelings for one of them, but when she confessed her feelings, her friend responded (apologetically) that she was "normal" because she didn't like girls. Not only did this end up destroying Kotooka's friendship with both girls, but she felt incredibly lonely since they remained best friends with each other.
  • Determinator: Washio is aware that Kotooka is constantly trying to reject her but has decided that she is going to keep trying because she is just stubborn that way.
  • Disguised in Drag: Subaru poses as his sister and goes out with Kyousuke, and attempts to act as repulsively as possible in an attempt to sink any interest Kyousuke might have in Tsukasa.
  • Freudian Trio: Kotooka, Tsukasa, and Washio. Kotooka is the Id, being the most emotional (during the series' climax, her emotions boiling over incites a fight between herself and Washio that nearly breaks up their trio for good) and somewhat selfish (see It's All About Me below). Washio is the Superego, being so stoic to the point where her apparent aloofness causes problems in the girls' friendship. Finally, Tsukasa is the Ego, being the most balanced of the three, and ultimately playing peacekeeper during Kotooka and Washio's fight.
  • Gayngst: There's a fair amount of it all around, with most of it coming from Kotooka and, later on, Asakura.
  • Genre Mashup: The manga is a combination of the yuri, yaoi, and otokonoko genres, as well as a middle school story involving comedy, drama, and angst.
  • Heel Realization: While Kotooka is certainly not a bad person, she initially convinces herself that her desperation to keep under wraps the feelings she, Tsukasa, and Washio have for each other is for the good of everyone. However, following the stress of their secrets nearly wrecking their friendship, and a What the Hell, Hero? speech from Tsukasa, she comes to realize that she is being selfish due to her own past issues and insecurities.
  • Incest Subtext: Subaru's feelings and possessiveness of Tsukasa certainly boarders the trope if not outright makes it text. His family refers to it as a "sister complex", and he himself questions what exactly his feelings for his sister are a couple of times.
  • Identical Twins: Tsukasa and Subaru Shiratori are twin brother and sister who look damn near identical, especially when Subaru cross-dresses. Once when younger, Tsukasa masqueraded as Subaru to get a bunch of kids to stop bullying him.
  • I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship: Kotooka wants to get a boyfriend, have Washio get over her, and have Tsukasa hook up with Asakura so that the trio's feelings for each other don't destroy their friendship, as her past experience has convinced her will happen.
  • It's All About Me: Tsukasa calls Kootoka out on this, saying that while Kotooka's feelings shouldn't be ignored, Kotooka herself has a big habit of just seeing events in how they affect her, while not bothering to think of how others might feel.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Tsukasa likes Washio, but keeps her feelings to herself and tries to help her hook up with Kotooka.
    • Also, Kotooka likes Tsukasa, but pushes her to be with Asakura. However, this ends up being subverted, as she is afraid that acting on her feelings will ruin their friendships with each other and Washio.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Tsukasa likes Washio, who likes Kotooka, who likes Tsukasa. Meanwhile, Asakura likes Tsukasa, and Subaru...somethings her.
    • Also, by the end of the series, Asakura and Subaru appear to develop feelings for each other as well.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Tsukasa to Subaru.
  • Left Hanging: Not only is the Love Dodecahedron left entirely unresolved, none of the characters even come clean about their secrets. The biggest example is probably the lack of payoff to Subaru crossdessing as Tsukasa to turn Asakura off her. It is implied, however, that their secrets will come out eventually.
  • Nice Guy: Kyousuke Asakura is probably the nicest guy on the planet. This causes problems for Subaru, as Asakura's niceness makes him feel guilty about pretending to be Tsukasa to turn him off her.
  • No Romantic Resolution: The manga ends with none of the main characters getting together. Tsukasa gives up on her feelings for Washio once and for all, and Asakura and Subaru start developing feelings for each other, but otherwise the situation isn't too different from how it started.
  • Odd Friendship: Big Man on Campus Asakura becomes good friends with introverted loner Subaru. Although, by the end of the series, they both appear to no longer see each other as Just Friends.
  • Please, Don't Leave Me: Subaru has recurring nightmares of Tsukasa moving on with her life and abandoning him. Since he feels that she's the only who truly understands him, he's terrified of this happening.
    • This also turns out to be much of Kotooka's character motivation. Since her developing feelings for a friend in elementary school ultimately destroyed her friendship with both of her best friends at the time, she does everything she can to prevent the same thing from happening with Tsukasa and Washio, so that she doesn't end up alone again.
  • Secret-Keeper: Tsukasa learns of Washio's feelings for Kotooka but agrees to keep it secret.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: Kotooka knows about both Tsukasa's feeling for Washio and Washio's feelings for her. Additionally, Washio knows that Kotooka knows about her feelings, and that Kotooka is trying to subtly reject her. But Kotooka doesn't know that.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Tsukasa is outgoing and likes sports, while Subaru is reserved and less active.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Subaru and Asakura, especially later on.
  • Stellar Name: The three main characters are named after the Summer Triangle. Shiratori (white bird) refers to the constellation Cygnus (swan), Washio (washi meaning eagle) refers to to Aquila, and finally Kotooka (koto being a Japanese string instrument) refers to Lyra, the harp.
  • Stepford Smiler: Just about everyone in the main cast has secrets they keep to themselves, but most of them keep up a cheerful, friendly outward appearance as to not break up their friendship.
  • Town Girls: Tsukasa (likes sports, knows nothing about fashion, had Boyish Short Hair until middle school) as the butch, Kotooka (likes fashion, cooking, and dating boys) as the femme, and Washio ("cool", her main interests are astronomy and other sciences) as neither. In a twist on this trope, however, Tsukasa is the most warm and friendly while Kotooka is the most rude and bitter and Kotooka is an armoured closet Lipstick Lesbian while Tsukasa ends up with an unnamed and unseen boyfriend in the distant future.
  • Triang Relations:
    • Tsukasa, Washio, and Kotooka have a type 5 triangle with Tsukasa as A, Washio as B, and Kotooka as C. But it turns out that it's actually a type 2 triangle when Kotooka's feelings for Tsukasa are revealed.
    • Tsukasa, Subaru, and Asakura have a type 3 triangle with Tsukasa as A, and Asakura and Subaru as B and C note . It later evolves into a type 9 triangle as Subaru and Asakura grow closer.
  • Walking Spoiler: It's a bit hard to talk about Kotooka without spoiling some of the plot as well as a few twists.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Washio and Kotooka think Shiratori's brother Subaru looks pretty good when he cross dresses.
  • Yaoi Genre: While the main plot is a love triangle between three girls, Suburu and Asakura have a romantic subplot that oftentimes takes the spotlight.
  • Yuri Genre: It is a manga about a love triangle between three girls, all best friends.

Alternative Title(s): Nanashi No Asterism