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Manga / Suzuka

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Yamato Akitsuki moves to Tokyo to attend an athletics-oriented high school. On his way to his aunt's girls-only apartment building, he stops to admire a girl practicing the high jump.

One of his aunt's tenants turns out to be the jumper he was ogling earlier, Suzuka Asahina. He makes a bad first impression. And a bad second impression. Then he saves her life, which only makes things worse.

But since he is a Dogged Nice Guy he perseveres, joining the track team to be near her. And in turn his Unlucky Childhood Friend joins the team to be near him.

Hilarity Ensues.

The original manga by Seo Kouji, author of A Town Where You Live and Princess Lucia, was serialized in Weekly Shonen Magazine from 2004 to 2007 and compiled into 18 volumes. A 26-episode anime adaptation, which covers the first nine volumes of the manga, aired in 2005.

Has a sequel of sorts in Fuuka.

This show provides examples of:

  • Accidental Athlete: Yamato Akitsuki, sort of. We as the audience don't see any initial signs of his athletic ability until he wins a race against one of the track team bigshots. But the characters later discover that he'd competed in athletic events in the past.
  • Childhood Marriage Promise: Between Miho and Yamato.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Yasunobu Hattori.
  • Color Coded Timestop: Episode 11 of the anime where Yamato begins to stagger behind during a sprint race.
  • Cool Big Sis: Yuka. Sure she's a lush, but she's got no shortage of worldly advice for the youngsters.
  • Distant Finale: A mild example in the manga, which skipped over a year between the last two chapters, between Yamato and Suzuka getting legally married by turning in a form in chapter 165, and having a church ceremony a year later in 166 after they'd saved up enough money
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Yamato admits his feelings for Suzuka relatively early on, but she is unable to reciprocate. Despite this, he persists in trying to win her affections.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: Minor, but worth mentioning. During the dubbing process, someone apparently overlooked the order-of-magnitude difference between tenths and hundredths of a second, which of course is Serious Business in the world of track. Luckily this only happens a few times. But at one point after Yamato runs a race in 10.68 seconds, the dub gives his rival's time as "eleven point nine" (11.9) seconds where the real time is 11.09 seconds. This gives the false impression of a much larger gap between the two runners.
  • Everyone Can See It: Suzuka's probably the only one who didn't see Yamato's initial interest in her. Once Honoka moved in on Yamato and took his attention away, then suddenly it was only Yamato who couldn't see Suzuka's newly-developed (and oft-denied) interest in him.
  • Fakeout Makeout: A variation. At one point, a kiss is initiated to deter a romantic rival from entering the scene and interfering.
  • Fanservice: Although not as much as the first few episodes would have you believe.
  • Fear of Thunder: Played straight in the episode Eye of the Storm.
  • First Kiss: Yamato, being a few spikes short of a full cleat, wonders "if it counts."
  • Flashback: To explain the photograph mentioned below.
  • Flashback Effects: Of the "sepia tone" variety.
  • Funbag Airbag: Courtesy of Megumi.
  • Green-Eyed Epiphany: Suzuka doesn't start getting interested in Akitsuki until she hears he is dating someone else. Later in the manga she admits that she liked Akitsuki at first sight, and fell in love with him when he first encouraged her to keep working on her high jumping.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Yuka Saotome, along with her friend Megumi Matsumoto.
  • Idiot Hero: Yamato. Numerous characters comment on his carelessness throughout the series, but nevertheless admire his earnestness.
  • Indirect Kiss: Both Yamato and Honoka become flustered by one of these in an early episode.
  • Informed Ability: Hattori is stated early on to be a ladies' man. However, aside from him giving Yamato romantic advice, he's not really shown being the kind of stud around women that the audience might expect him to be. Even when he has scenes with some of the other girls like Honoka, it's almost always in a friendly and platonic context without Hattori giving off any hint that he's the Chick Magnet he's made out to be.
  • Kissing Cousins: See Childhood Marriage Promise, above. Never sees any development or consummation.
  • Lethal Chef: Suzuka is a low-key one who does things like boiling eggs in the microwave (creating what Yamato sometimes calls "egg bombs"). She gets better. Yui, who works at a cafe, is... much worse. Her vegetable soup, for example, has a fish head staring out of it. For a "hidden taste." She never notices anything wrong.
  • Love at First Sight: Yamato pretty much falls for Suzuka immediately, and despite how Suzuka acted, she admits that she liked him the moment she met him too, mostly because of how much he looked like Kazuki. It wasn't until he began helping her with her high jump practice that she began to actually love him, and took even longer for her to actually move on from her grief of Kazuki's death and accept/give her love to Yamato.
  • Love Hurts: A major theme of the story and main roadblock to Yamato winning Suzuka's heart. Suzuka did like Yamato in the beginning, but the grief of losing her first love caused her to develop Philophobia (fear of falling in love or growing emotionally attached to someone) and was afraid if she loved Yamato, she'd lose him and feel that pain all over again. Thankfully, she manages to get past it and give Yamato a chance.
  • Love Triangle: Suzuka, Yamato, and Honoka
  • Loving a Shadow: Early on, Suzuka's only interest in Yamato seems based entirely upon his resemblance to her dead not-quite-boyfriend/sempai, down to the way they set up to run a race. Made more dramatic that the said semapi was going to confess his feelings towards her on the day of a track tournament, which was also the day he died. She got better though, saying goodbye to her late sempai at his grave and moving on to Yamato.
  • Shrines and Temples: Akitsuki takes Suzuka to his favorite one on their first Not a Date.
  • Shy Blue-Haired Girl: Honoka, minus the blue hair.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: While Suzuka is having a major depressive moment of missing her previous love, Kazuki mand struggling with the acceptance of her new love for Yamato and fearing losing him as well, Yamato forces a smooch on her which results in her slapping...then slapping a second time...then a third time...altogether she gave him six slaps for kissing her.
  • Stalker with a Crush:
    • Yes, Yamato, it still counts as stalking if you're listening through your own door to hear Suzuka leaving her apartment.
    • Chapter 95 of the manga focuses on Miho's (Yamato's cousin) classmate who is very stalkerish towards her, especially on Valentines Day. He's like an extremely creepy Deconstruction of Yamato's own early Dogged Nice Guy behavior towards Suzuka (minus the "nice"), and even resembles Yamato a little.
  • Stripperiffic: Miki's "sprinter outfit," which resembles a bra-and-panties ensemble, or rather, more appropriate for beach volleyball than track and field. It's not necessarily impractical for running, but it's worth pointing out that no other female on the track team dresses that way. Amazingly enough, if you actually see an international track and field event, one or two of the female sprinters are usually dressed like that, the rest are slightly more covered up with shorts and longer shirts.
  • Those Two Gals: Yuka and Megumi are this.
  • Title Drop: Obviously the mention of Suzuka as a character doesn't count, but the final episode's title uses the same kanji characters as Suzuka's name and the series title, only with a different reading.
  • Tonight, Someone Kisses: You can't get much more obvious than the title of episode 13, "Lips."
  • Training Montage
  • Tsundere: Suzuka is a Type A1. She's much more relaxed by the end of the manga, though it may very well be the pressure of a sudden pregnancy and having to drop their college plans to raise the child. An Omake in A Town Where You Live, another work by the same mangaka, shows Suzuka and Yamato together two years on, and they're arguing about the proper shape for mochi (a sort of rice cake made of rice pounded into a paste and then molded) when put into zoni soup, a traditional New Year's dish.
  • Unknown Rival: Inverted: Yamato actually becomes one of these for awhile when he picks a fight with a star athlete from another school.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend The series isn't titled "Honoka," after all.
  • Unlucky Everydude
  • Your Door Was Open: The number of people who make their way into Yamato's room while he's away is staggering.