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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...

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:

  • Adaptation Deviation: The anime adaptation. In the manga Aine is the main character, and the focus of the story is the drama surrounding her relationship with Sakuya, with the band Λucifer having minor focus. The anime however made Sakuya the main character, the exploits of Λucifer became the primary focus, and Aine didn’t even make her first appearance until the second season. As a result many characters, rival bands, and storylines from the manga were Adapted Out.
  • 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.
  • Bath Tub Bonding: Aine and Sakuya try to have sex in the tub 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.
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 Fancy House: In Volume 18, after Aine and Sakuya got married, they live in a huge mansion that Aine thought it's scary, because she's used to live in a typical Japanese small house.
  • Demoted to Extra: Aine only appears in the second half of the anime despite being the main character.
  • Driven by Envy: Ralph tried his best in destroying his half-brother, Sakuya's, life as he is implied to be jealous of the latter being favored by their father (despite the latter is not a legitimate son).
  • Driven to Suicide: After she gets raped, Aine attempts suicide twice.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Sakuya's mother Reiko drank herself to death, after her husband abandoned her and her baby Sakuya upon discovering Sakuya's parentage.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Aine and Sakuya. Before meeting Sakuya, despite she came from a quite normal and stable family, Aine seemed lonely as her parents constantly bickered each other, thus became neglectful to her. She is also not popular in her school, thus once going public as Sakuya's girlfriend, she went through so many obstaclesnote . Sakuya definitely fits the trope; he was born from rape, his mom neglected him until her death, financially abused by his mother's former manager that he grew cold, aloof and carefree. But, ever since he met and fell in love with Aine, he's changed to be more caring about others and certainly becomes loving and faithful as Aine's boyfriend-turns-husband and father to their son, Shion. After going through so many trials and tribulation in their relationship, they eventually earn their dream happy lives.
  • 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.
  • Hypnotize the Captive: Tomoyuki hypnotizes Aine into thinking she's his sister Yumi and forgetting about Sakuya. Sakuya almost dies to try get her back.
  • I Will Wait for You: In the manga. When Λucifer is slated to go to the Europe and Aine cannot follow them, Sakuya asks if she can wait for the day he'll return to her as a world famous star. Aine gives him a hug and says she will.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Towa is androgynous and pretty, Miya is tomboyish and considers herself plain-looking. They are a couple.
  • More Experienced Chases the Innocent: Former High-Class Call Girl turned rock star, Sakuya, chases after the virginal and innocent Ordinary High-School Student, Aine. He initially plans on just selfishly using her and is a Fetishized Abuser for much of their early relationship, but he eventually falls in love with her for real.
  • Near-Rape Experience: Sakuya nearly rapes Aine in a fit of misguided jealousy, something he almost immediately and immensely regrets and apologizes to Aine shortly after.
  • Parental Abandonment: Milked for LOTS of drama:
    • Sakuya: (His mother, Reiko, was raped and him as a result, her husband as well as his stepdad left them upon discovering his parentage. Subsequently, Reiko drank herself to death in a few years. He's adopted by Reiko's landlord, but Sakuya quickly realized that the man wanted 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.
  • 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.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Tomoyuki, the frontman singer of Jesus, a band rivaling Λucifer, has his eyes on Aine, a dead ringer to his recently deceased sister Yumi, who he was in love with. Despite being the Arc Villain for a few chapters before disappearing from the story after being forced to come to terms with his sister's death, his attempts at stealing Aine for himself not only drive Aine and Sakuya into living together, but also cause Aine to be put under scrutiny by the media and cause her and Sakuya's secret romance to come to light.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Sakuya is widely loved for both his musical talents and his striking natural blue eyes. However, later he reveals to Aine that he used to think his blue eyes were a curse, because it's the main cause of his stepdad walked out on him and his mom resulting his mom to neglect him, blaming him for it. Even in the epilogue, it is revealed that when he was a child he was also bullied by other children for it as he looked weirdly different.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: Aine, when she doesn't know if she can remain as Λucifer's lyricist, or whenever the trials of being Sakuya's girlfriend weigh down on her.
  • 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's blue eyes to cheer him up when Sakuya opens up to her about the dark side of his blue eyes; a curse that made his stepdad walked out on them and his mom blamed him for it resulting her neglecting him until her death.
  • When She Smiles: Aine is said to have a very pretty smile. This causes her some angst later when she becomes the post girl for some ads and can't give a true smile.
  • Yoko Oh No: Not only was Aine attacked by Λucifer rabid fanbrats, but in the manga she actually lost a friend named Sakura when the other girl found out she was Sakuya's girlfriend. Sakuya was NOT happy when he found out and played a small Batman Gambit to punish Sakura and teach her that Aine wasn't having it easier.