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Manga / Nukoduke

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From top to bottom: Sasame, Yuuya, and Kei.
Cat-like hominidae nicknamed "Nuko", a species that has evolved to be closer to humans than cats.

Nukoduke! is an ongoing shoujo manga by Iro Yugi, which began serialization in Hana Lala Online in 2012. It's the heartwarming story about the daily lives of a freeter named Yuuya and his two part-cat, part-human pets known as Nukos.

Contains Examples of:

  • Abandoned Pet in a Box: Kicks off the plot. In the first chapter, Yuuya found Kei and Sasame abandoned in a box on the street, and decided to adopt them.
  • The Ace: Yuuya is extremely skilled in various arts and crafts (e.g. cooking, sewing). A lot of his acquaintances wonder why he's still a freeter when he's so talented.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: While Kana has a crush on Yamato, he isn't interested due to being different species as well as her age.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Downplayed. While Yuya can be cold at time to Haruki, once even telling Haruki he cares for his Nukos more, it is shown he does care about his brother. If anything his current attitude is possibly a side effect of Haruki's obsession towards him.
  • Ambiguously Related: Both Kei and Kana demonstrate Big Brother Instinct towards Sasame, but there has never been a confirmation that Sasame is biologically related to the other two, who are explicitly Half-Identical Twins.
  • Animal Motifs: Cats for Yuuya. Even his Nukos are amazed that he's even more cat-like than them.
  • Bifauxnen: Sasame is often mistaken as a boy, and is a natural charmer towards girls.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Kei is very protective towards Sasame and frequently tries to "protect" her from Kana's irresponsible influences. Kana is likewise protective of Sasame, and doesn't want her to be taken advantage of by guys.
  • Big Brother Worship: Yuuya's younger brother Haruki loves and admires him very, very much.
  • Big Eater: When it comes to sweets, Yamato is a black hole.
  • Born Unlucky: Yamato. It's revealed Yamato's mother is a terrible cook but is great at arts and crafts while his father is a great cook but a horrible artist. Yamato is horrible at both of cooking and arts and crafts.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: It's easy to forget that Kana's owner is a very rich and successful Chairman, seeing his extremely happy-go-lucky attitude and childlike enthusiasm about everything.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Yamato gets so easily intoxicated that he actually pass out from smelling alcohol from Sasame's fur when the latter came to greet him.
  • The Charmer: Sasame is an expert sweet-talker, and can easily charm girls into her favour with her prince-like behaviour. Even Kana is not immune to this.
  • The Cutie: The Nukos.
  • Cute Ghost Girl: The ghost of Inori, Yuuya's cute girlfriend, occasionally shows up to hang out with the Nukos and exchange stories.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Anyone that is in close proximity to a Nuko will immediately start commenting on how cute and adorable they are.
  • Dogs Are Dumb: Averted. Ginjirou, the landlord's dog, is a very intelligent dog. He's even capable of going shopping for his owner.
  • Doting Parent: Yuuya often acts like one towards Kei and Sasame. Kana's owners are also extremely doting towards her.
  • Drop-In Character: Kana frequently comes and visit Yuuya and Yamato, and sometimes acts as though the latter is her owner, despite the fact that she belongs to a rich family unrelated to any of the main characters.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Characters often mistake Kei for a girl, much to his dismay.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Yuuya and Haruki's mother is said to be a beautiful woman who were never around for her sons, spending more time with her boyfriends. Yet, early on, way before Haruki's introduction, we see a single panel flashback depicting Yuuya's mom as a regular housewife.
  • Face of a Thug: At first, the Nukos were extremely intimidated by Yamato's father because he looks perpetually angry and scary. However, he's actually a nice guy.
  • Fiction 500: Kana's owners are immensely rich. She mentions that, when she asked for a book for Christmas, they got her enough to fill a whole library. Then, when she wanted a kotatsu, they got a custom-sized one that takes up an entire room. They also have things like a personal ice-skating rink.
  • Foil: Word of God states Yamato was created as one for Yuya. While Yuya is lazy but incredibly talented, Yamato is hardworking but lacks talents.
  • Food as Bribe: Back in their high school days, Yuuya would bribe Yamato with sweets to let him off the hook for being lazy/irresponsible.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: They're not actual siblings, but Yuuya and Yamato qualifies, as people see them as brothers. Yuuya is the irresponsible lazy bum who constantly steals cooking ingredients from the home economics club and frequently skips his chores, while Yamato is the responsible Vice-president of the student council whom the others go to rant at whenever Yuuya acts up.
  • Frozen Face: Yamato's father seem to have his face locked in a Perpetual Frown, bearing a stern expression even when he's happy. He actually have to use his hands to make a smile.
  • Genki Girl:
    • Inori, to the point she's still incredibly energetic despite being dead.
    • Takumi Yukimura, to the point he set off fireworks when the Nukos visited his school
    • Showing this is a genetic trait, Yamato's mother, who is related to Takumi, is one as well.
  • Good Parents: Yamato's parents are this. Being very loving and kind, to the point they acted like surrogate parents for Yuya and Haruki in the place of their absent mother.
  • Half-Identical Twins: Kei has a twin sister named Kana, who looks exactly like him.
  • Helicopter Parents:
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Yuuya and Yamato are Childhood Friends and neighbours. They often hang out with each other, and crash at each other's place seemingly at whim. Yamato can't maintain long-term relationships with girls because he's too busy taking care of Yuuya, while Yuuya himself almost never goes out with his girlfriend without Yamato tagging along. Inori remarks that they're inseparable.
  • House Husband: Although Yuuya is not married, the fact that he's so good at housework lead to Kei and Sasame viewing him as their mother (to his annoyance, since he'd rather be seen as their father). During his high school days, he'd also cook for his girlfriend Inori instead of the other way around.
  • I See Dead People: Nuko can see ghosts, and according to them Yuuya, Yamato, and Haruki gets followed by ghosts everywhere. This is also why they can communicate with Cute Ghost Girl Inori.
  • Kind Hearted Cat Lover: Yuuya is a Nice Guy who loves his "cats" very much.
  • Little Bit Beastly: The Nukos are basically tiny people with cat ears and tails.
  • Lethal Chef: Yamato has the ability to make everything blow up, even when he is just pouring tea. Apparently, he got it from his mother, who is just as bad.
  • Like Brother and Sister: A flashback chapter showed that Inori and Yamato were childhood friends, but the reason their relationship remain platonic is Yamato acted like her father.
  • Long Hair Is Feminine:
    • Among the Nukos, Sasame has short hair and is the manliest of them all, having a Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy dynamic with Kei and a Tomboy and Girly Girl relationship with Kana, both of whom have very long hair.
    • Between Yuuya and Yamato as well. The former has longish hair and is such a good House Husband that his pets see him as their mother. The latter has a short and tidy hair, and is sometimes mistaken as the Nukos' father.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Sasame is a girl, and Kei is a guy, but people often get their genders switched. They're also frequently drawn in crossdressing outfits.
  • The Lost Lenore: Inori has aspects of this for Yuuya; he makes a point of going to her grave every year, and finds it difficult to talk about her with the Nukos.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits:
    • Kana demonstrates some shades of this in Chapter 75, where Sasame considers falling in love, and Kana's immediate reaction was to immediately demand who the bastard is.
    Kana: Who is it?! Where is he? I'll never forgive him!
    • This is the reason why Haruki is so hostile towards Inori (when she's still alive, that is). He understands that she's a Nice Girl, but at the same time, he's so certain that she'll break his heart at some point that he'd rather she leave him before he gets too involved with her.
  • Never Gets Drunk: Unlike Yamato, who has a really low alcohol tolerance, Yuuya never gets intoxicated no matter how much he consumes.
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: Yuuya doesn't have a permanent job and has a different employment almost every chapter, depending on what sort of plot development is required.
  • Odd Couple: The Nukos are amazed to see how polar opposites are Yuuya and Yamato from each other: Yuuya is irresponsible and lazy, Yamato is reliable and hardworking. Yuuya is extremely skilled in all forms of arts and crafts (including cooking), while Yamato is a Terrible Artist and Lethal Chef. Yamato is also a Sweet Tooth, while Yuuya seem to prefer bitter and savoury.
  • One Degree of Separation: It seems that everyone knows everyone in this series, and no newly introduced characters are complete strangers. The first main character we see outside the central trio is Yamato, who is Yuuya's best friend. Then we're introduced to Kana, Kei's twin sister, and Haruki, who is revealed to be Yuuya's brother. The strange ghost girl whom the Nukos meet is Inori, Yuuya's girlfriend. Kana's mysterious owners whom she often mentions are Inori's family (specifically, her father and cousin). Later turns out Yamato's mother is related to Takumi Yukimura, Inori's father and Kana's owner, making Yamato and Inori related.
  • Only Sane Man: Kei is often the first person to comment on the other characters' weird quirks.
  • Parental Abandonment: Yuya and Haruki's mother was rarely home and spent most of her time with her boyfriends.
  • Parental Substitute: Due to their mother often neglecting her sons, Yuuya is this towards Haruki. This is why Haruki admires his brother so much.
  • Precocious Crush: Kana has a crush on Yamato.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: The Nukos' eye glimmer like this if they want something.
    Yuuya: No mortal can resist those eyes...
  • The Reliable One: People always come to Yamato for help whenever Yuuya or Inori is in trouble.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Nukos.
  • Rule of Cute: The Nukos run on this.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Yuuya and his girlfriend Inori got along really well, and their friends and teachers like to tease them about how sweet they are together. They never really do anything together without Yamato, though, which detracts the effect of this trope somewhat.
  • Sleep Cute: Whenever the Nukos sleep, no one can be so heartless to wake them up.
  • Sleepy Head: Yuuya can barely wake up without his Nukos, and if left to his own devices, would fall asleep during baths or in the middle of the street.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: The Nuko aee capable of speaking with other animals. Justified as they're part animals themselves.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Kana's owners are insanely rich and willing to do whatever it is to please her. Yet she stays a good girl who just wants to have fun with her friends and siblings.
  • Stalker Without A Crush: Haruki can act like this to Yuya. Haruki is obsessed with his big brother having let it slipped he keeps tabs on Yuya.
  • Supreme Chef:
    • Yuuya is a very good cook. Even Kana, who lives with a rich family and most likely has professional chefs making her food, says that his cooking is the best.
    • The landlord of the building where Yuya and Yamato live in is also this. She was Yuya's teacher
    • Turns out Yamato's father is a good chef, being the head chief of the Inn that he and his wife runs.
  • Sweet Tooth: Yamato loves sweet and can eat a whole bunch of cookies and cakes without getting sick.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Accordingly, Yamato is very popular among girls. He's 183 cm, dark haired, handsome and is very cool and reliable.
  • Terrible Artist: All of Yamato's attempt at "art" would invariably turn out as an abomination. He even made a snapshot picture of the Nukos look creepy because his hands are so shaky. He apparently inherited this trait from his father, though the latter is at least a Supreme Chef.
  • Third Wheel: In the past, Yamato would frequently tag along with Yuya and Inori when they go out on dates, which dampens the couple's otherwise Sickeningly Sweethearts dynamic.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Sasame is rather manly and wants to become like a Prince. Kana, meanwhile, is just as girly and princess-like as her twin brother.
  • Tsundere: Kei.
  • You Taste Delicious: A rare not creepy example, the Nukos lick off chocolate that got on Yuuya's face while they were eating.