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Manga / No Bra

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No Bra is a teenage romance manga written and illustrated by Kenjiro Kawatsu that was serialized in Monthly Shōnen Champion from 2002 to 2004.

It tells the story of Masato Katoka, a somewhat dimwitted high school student, whose childhood friend Yuki Nomura moves in with him one day. Because of Yuki's cute face, girlish clothing, and apparently feminine features, Masato is extremely happy with his new life — until Yuki's mother calls Masato, and tells him that Yuki previously lived as a boy. The story revolves around Masato's relationship with Yuki and his slowly disintegrating reluctance to develop romantic feelings for him. Complicating things further is the growing attraction between Masato and his female classmate Kaoru Oozora, along with interference from his friend Hideki, the conniving freeloader (and teacher) Mizutani, and Yuki's mischievous cousin Mizuki.

Not to be confused with Vapor Wear. Contrast Prunus Girl and The Secret Devil-chan, which explore similar themes.

No Bra provides examples of:

  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Yuki is so feminine that Masato frequently has to remind himself that Yuki is not a girl.
  • Betty and Veronica: Gorgeous housewife-in-the-making Yuki is Betty, while stunning athletic Kaoru is Veronica.
  • The Big Guy: Hideki, Masato's best friend, who towers over the rest of the cast, is built like a sumo wrestler, and has a major crush on Yuki, but is also a firm supporter of Yuki's love for Masato. Hideki's also pretty unique in the Big Guy department for not just clearly being fat, and not just clearly having consequences of such (sweating, overeating, etc.), but the fact that everyone still treats him like a normal person.
  • Black Comedy Rape: First Mizuki does this in her first appearance to get information out of Masato, then Mizutani does it to get to stay in Masato's apartment, both despite his protests to stop.
  • Blatant Lies: Masato tries to cover up his cohabitation with Mizutani from Yuki's cousin with a couple of these. She doesn't really believe him, but the only reason she cares at all is because it makes him squirm.
  • Cassandra Truth: For the first couple of chapters, Masato tries to inform people that Yuki is male.
  • Chekhov's Gun: "Maa-kun's" dislike of frogs.
  • Childhood Friends: Yuki and Maa-kun. For the first half of the manga, Masato believes he is "Maa-kun," but upon investigating with Mizuki, it turns out Kaoru is "Maa-kun", as her family name was Masato before her parents' re-marriage.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Yuki has been in love with Maa-kun since they were five. As the manga goes on, Yuki is shown to be infatuated with Masato, when the real Maa-kun is Kaoru. When Yuki learns the truth, however, Yuki doesn't develop or have any feelings for her.
  • Ecchi: Chapters 12 and 22 feature Mizutani topless and uncensored, unlike the Barbie Doll Anatomy in the rest of the manga.
  • Even the Guys Want Him / Even the Girls Want Her: Yuki towards the end. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Masato and Yuki's teacher, Miss Mizutani (who moves in with them to keep from having to pay rent), spends most of her time when not working drinking.
  • Hartman Hips: Yuki has a noticeably feminine figure, including wide hips.
  • Hot for Student: Well, not quite played straight in that Mizutani has started throwing herself at Masato not because she has feelings for him or actually wants him, but because she doesn't want to get kicked out of the apartment (see Pretty Freeloaders), and knows Masato has trouble saying no to a girl if she's getting physical with him.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Both Yuki and Hideki have this attitude towards their respective love's Love Triangle partner.
  • Kavorka Man: Masato is quite plain but has relationships (of a sort) with Yuki, Oozura, Mizutani, and Mizuki. Yuki is infatuated with him because she thinks Masato is "Maa-kun", Oozura genuinely likes him, Mizutani is manipulating him into letting her live with them, and Mizuki just likes to see him squirm at her forwardness.
  • Masturbation Means Sexual Frustration: In chapter 31, Masato masturbates to relieve his frustration over losing the chance to have sex with Oozora.
  • Mistaken Identity:
    • Masato and "Maa-kun" are not the same person. The real Maa-kun is Masato Kaoru, a.k.a Oozura Kaoru, who is not only a girl in reality, but Masato's girlfriend.
    • How Masato lands Oozura as a girlfriend. Oozura apparently fell for him because "he" saved her from a molester on a train. Well, she thinks it was him because of the Hawaiian shirt her savior wore and Masato is constantly wearing Hawaiian shirts. Masato, however, is pretty sure he never did anything that heroic and thinks that the guy Oozura saw was probably a plainclothes police officer.
  • Moment Killer: Mizutani is good at this, and gets a dose of it herself in ch. 22, as the real estate agent catches her about two seconds from going down on Masato.
  • Official Couple: For most of the manga, Masato and Kaoru are dating, but they break up when it's discovered Masato and Yuki live together. They get back together in the last chapter.
  • Pair the Spares: Minor one, only revealed near the end of the last chapter: Hideki ends up dating Mizuki.
  • Pretty Freeloaders: Mizutani once she moves in with Masato and Yuki, under the pretense of safeguarding Yuki's "virtue".
  • Punched Across the Room: Oozora hits Masato hard enough to send him halfway across the classroom when she learns about he and Yuki living together.
  • Raging Stiffie: Represented by a mini-shark. And it talks.
  • Romantic False Lead: The first few chapters of the manga paint Yuki as Masato's main love interest, then it's a back and forth battle between Yuki and Kaoru. At the end of the manga, Yuki seems to have either given up or rationalized she doesn't like Masato and Masato and Kaoru get together.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: Yuki not only makes the main character question his sexuality with regards to trans people, but most of the male readers as well. The manga seems hellbent on making people realize that their sexual orientation isn't as black and white as they like to think it is.
  • Their First Time: Oozura offers herself to Masato this way. Masato runs away, but later on gets (and takes) a second chance.