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Manga / Sensual Phrase

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Play misty for her, baby.

Aine Yukimura is an Ordinary High-School Student with rather low self-esteem, who is good only in one subject at school: Japanese. Her dream is to become a song writer, and as practice she writes some very raunchy lyrics for a song and goes to the post office to send them for a contest. On the way there, Aine is almost run over by a car...

The driver is Sakuya Ookuchi, lead singer from a band named Λucifer that is known for its sexy music (Aine herself isn't exactly a fan, but she knows how famous they are). He grabs a hold of the lyric sheets and takes them with him... and, after singing the song on-stage in front of a bewildered and confused Aine, he manages to convince the girl to become the songwriter for the group. Aine reluctantly accepts, aware that her life will take a turn for either the worse or the best, as she and Sakuya become involved in a very tormented and complicated relationship: not only is the poor girl completely unprepared for the bitterness of fame, but Sakuya turns out to be extremely screwed up...


According to The Other Wiki, Sensual Phrase (Kaikan Furēzu) is a shōjo manga series created by Mayu Shinjo. The manga was published by Shogakukan in Shōjo Comic between 1997 and 2000, and collected in 18 bound volumes. It was adapted as a 44-episode anime television series by Studio Hibari, a CD drama, and as a series of novels.

To promote the anime, two real-life bands were formed: Λucifer, the band the story focuses on, and e.MU, a rival band. Both bands continued after the anime ended before disbanding. Within the series, Λucifer’s original name is Lucifer, which is changed to Λucifer (using the Greek letter lambda) when the band decides to go international.


Sensual Phrase has examples of the following tropes:

  • Art Evolution: The anime's art drastically changed after episode 32.
  • Ascended Extra: Yuka gets quite more spotlight in the anime than the manga.
  • Babies Ever After: At the end of the manga, Aine and Sakuya are married and have a son named Shion. And in the special chapter of Love Celeb it is revealed that they have another child on the way.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Sakuya and Yuki and all the band members in the final concert, in the anime.
  • Bastard Boyfriend: Sakuya is a Conflicted type, aka "Troubled, but Cute with a Really Bad Past and an Even Worse Attitude".
  • Bath Tub Bonding: Averted: Aine and Sakuya try to do it in the manga, but Sakuya's huge height and the small size of the traditional furo tubs ruin their chance.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Yoshioka, the president of Astarot Productions, and Aine's rapist, attempts to invoke this when Sakuya declares, in no uncertain terms, his intention to kill Yoshioka slowly and painfully. Yoshioka, already wounded by Sakuya, goads him into killing him instantly by taunting him about Sakuya's mother's rape and how he himself was conceived by it, topping it off by telling Sakuya that he used contraception while raping Aine. All this sends Sakuya into a berserk rage... however, Ralph's people and the tax investigators intervene before Sakuya can follow through.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Both Towa and Atsuro show flashes of temper more than once. Here's an example:
    Atsuro (to Riri): "If you want to make my relationship with my older sister public, then do it. But if it hurts her feelings... If so, I will personally make sure your life is a living hell. For my sister, I can even be a devil."
  • Big Brother Mentor: Yuki and Towa take turns at this.
  • Broken Ace: Sakuya. Handsome, sexy, popular, a great singer, and so damn fucked up.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: It's implied that Tomoyuki had unrequited feelings for his dead younger sister Yumi. Which would explain a LOT about his obsession with Yumi's Identical Stranger, Aine.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Santa
  • Camp Straight: Towa, who in the manga is dating his stylist and Victorious Childhood Friend Miya.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Aine can be this for Sakuya. It doesn't help that Sakuya is a Crazy Jealous Guy.
    • Also, Sakuya's ex-girlfriend Ayako Sakura.
    • Idol Singer Riri Kinoshita from the manga is one for Atsuro, going as far as forcing him to make a rather scandalous news report with her, in exchange for not revealing his and Yuka's Flirty Stepsiblings bond. She then verbally attacks Yuka, which makes Atsuro snap - see Beware the Nice Ones.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: For Aine, sort of.
    • Break the Cutie: Ends up closer to this, specially after she's raped and then tries to kill herself twice.
  • Compensated Dating: Sakuya is a rare male example, and in fact this is how he got hooked up with Ayako in the past.
  • Cool Big Sis: Yuka, specially in the anime
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Aine, though she already was a Covert Pervert judging by her lyrics.
  • Cute Bookworm: Aine, a quite cute girl with quite the songwriting talent.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Sakuya is supposed to be this. Whether it works or not...
  • Demoted to Extra: Aine only appears in the second half of the anime.
  • Distressed Damsel: Poor Aine, specially in volume 16 where she almost gets killed in front of Sakuya.
  • Distressed Dude: Sakuya once gets whacked with the Distress Ball thanks to Ralph
    • I Have Your Wife: The aforementioned culprit attempts to blackmail Aine after capturing him.
  • Driven to Suicide: After she gets raped, Aine attempts suicide twice.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Sakuya's mother Reiko, after being abandoned by her husband, drank herself to death.
  • The Dutiful Son: Yuki is supposed to be this, but he refuses.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Towa, much to his embarrassment.
  • Fangirl: Sakura-chan, a girl whom Aine befriends but their friendship is strained when she learns about Aine and Sakuya, right when they're going in a rather harsh spot. She gets to date Sakuya... but it's a sort-of Secret Test of Character from him to try seeing if Sakura-chan can handle the pressure of dating a super-star and teach her a lesson about her treatment of Aine.
  • Flat Character: Poor Santa never gets real development.
  • Fiery Redhead: Santa
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Flipping the Bird: Sakuya, to Ralph. Alongside a nice "Fuck you!"
  • Flirty Stepsiblings: Atsuro and Yuka, in the manga. They get symbolically married in the end.
  • Forceful Kiss: Ralph, on Aine.
  • Generic Cuteness: Aine seems to think lowly of her looks as she's not as gorgeous as other girls in the media. Miya also has this trouble.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: Though Sakuya's... goodness is very questionable.
  • Happily Married: Yuki, in the manga. Later Sakuya and Aine, then Atsuro and Yuka
  • Heroic Bastard: Sakuya isn't only this, but he was born from rape.
  • Heroic BSoD: Aine suffers a bad one after she gets raped.
  • Hypnotize the Princess: Tomoyuki hypnotizes Aine into thinking she's his sister Yumi and forgetting about Sakuya. Sakuya almost dies to try get her back.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Sakuya is much taller than Aine. Once they try to share a hot bath and they barely fit into the tub because of Sakuya's size.
  • Intercourse with You: Λucifer's songs. And how.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Yumi to Santa, in the anime.
  • I Will Wait for You: In the manga. When Λucifer is slated to go to the USA and Aine cannot follow them, Sakuya asks if she can wait for the day he'll return to her as a world sfaous star. Aine gives him a hug and says she will.
  • Jerk Ass: Sakuya, both in the anime and the manga.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Towa is androgynous and pretty, Miya is tomboyish and considers self plain-looking
  • Meaningful Name: Aine means love sound, no wonder she falls in love with a musician.
  • Meaningful Nickname: Santa's nickname comes form him being born in Christmas.
  • Near-Rape Experience: Sakuya nearly rapes Aine in a fit of misguided jealousy.
  • Parental Abandonment: Milked for LOTS of drama:
    • Sakuya: ( His father rapes his mother Reiko, her husband leaves her prior to his birth, and Reiko subsequently drinks herself to death in few years. He's adopted by Reiko's landlord, but Sakuya quickly realizes that the man wants him as a tool to get Reiko's debts paid.. He shows the SEVERE effects of this and has to deal with meeting his remaining family ( specially, his evil half-brother Ralph) as an adult.
    • Yuki is disinherited for choosing the band above his family duty of Noh acting, but the family still obviously love each other and turn to each other in times of difficulty. When Λucifer is disbanded, he returns to them and willingly retakes his acting career.
    • Atsuro is kicked out of the house for similarly choosing the band over more sensible options, but after some loud arguments and intervention by his adoptive sister Yuuka (totally sister. In conclusion, sister) he returns home.
    • Towa is mysteriously estranged, but he reacts strongly to the others not trying to maintain relationships with their parents. Side materials imply that, being the youngest of several sons, Towa was pretty much Raised as the Opposite Gender as a little boy since his parents desperately wanted a daughter, which made him distance himself from them as he grew up.
    • Aine's parents are preoccupied with their own relationship difficulties to the point of being criminally negligent, but they do occasionally feel the need to provide appropriate parental censure. They mellow out when, after Aine's highschool graduation, they invite Sakuya to have dinner with them and he manages to convince them that he and Aine will be happy together.
    • Santa's situation is the only one that plays the trope perfectly straight — his parents never appear, and are never mentioned.
  • Rape as Drama: Aine gets raped by the president of Λucifer's label in an attempt to break Sakuya. Sakuya's mother was raped by an American and Sakuya was born from that.
  • Rich Bitch: Misa
  • Romantic False Lead: Several, but Aine's first love Kiminobu fits the most. To the point that he proposes to Aine.
  • Secret Keeper: Aine finds out about Atsuro and Yuka and promises to be this. She does her best to keep her word, but then they get caught by some paparazzi. Whoops.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Santa and Yuki, Sakuya and Yuki. Atsuro and Towa... sort of
    • Also, Yuki and Maria's son Yukihiko and Sakuya and Aine's son Shion.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Yuki
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Sakuya
  • Tender Tears: Aine is prone to tears, and you would be if you were in her shoes.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Aine and Yuka, though more in the anime.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: Aine, when she doesn't know if she can remain as Λucifer's lyricist.
  • Tsundere: Yuka, a Type B (deredere)
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal: In the manga, Λucifer producer Hitoshi Takayama is so pretty that Aine thinks he's yet another Sakuya fangirl at first.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: Aine compliments Sakuya on his blue eyes to cheer him up.
  • When She Smiles: Aine is said to have a very pretty smile. This causes her some angst later whens he becomes the post girl for some ads and can't give a true smile.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The last volume of the manga.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Towa
  • Your Cheating Heart: In the anime, Santa was dating the vocalist of his and Yuki's former band, Yumi. When she cheated on him due to emotional abandonment, he and Yuki left the group.
  • Yandere: Sakuya, his first girlfriend Ayako Sakura, Tomoyuki and others.