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Manga / Ten Yori Mo, Hoshi Yori Mo

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Ten Yori Mo, Hoshi Yori Mo (As High as the Sky and the Stars) is a shoujo manga by Michiyo Akaishi, which was serialized in Shueisha's Ciao magazine from 1986 to 1989.

Mio Mizumori is an Ordinary High-School Student, a sweet short-haired girl who lives her life normally with her parents and her pet fish. The only abnormal things are how the water in the fish tank sometimes seems to react to her moods, and a certain dream where she meets a Long-Haired Pretty Boy...

But Mio is in for a rude awakening, when her apartment suddenly blows up and is engulfed by fire. Mio survives due to a strange fact: the fish tank water enveloped her all of a sudden and shielded her from the heat and fire. Her parents and neighbors aren't as lucky, so Mio is left alone and must go to live with her maternal relatives, the Shijou family — whose most notorious member is her handsome cousin, Tadaomi.

The problems don't finish there, though: few days later, Mio is suddenly kidnapped and while trying to escape, she finds hersef cornered under a water tank. And then someone comes to her rescue: a long-haired man who sweeps in his hang-glider and helps her out, but doesn't give her his name. Later on, Mio meets Rei Narumiya, the beautiful School Idol... who looks a lot like the stranger who saved her, despite claiming not to be him. And later she finds out that the guy's name is actually Shou — as well as more secrets about him.

What's going on? What's up with Tadaomi, Shou and Rei? Also, what about the dreams that Mio keeps having, and how water seems to react to her...?

Some tropes from this manga are:

  • Abduction Is Love: In Tadaomi's book, anyway.
  • The Ace: Rei Narumiya. Tadaomi makes himself pass as one, too.
  • Adults Are Useless: They cause more problems than they ever solve.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Completely averted. In fact Tadaomi might have stood a better chance in his Student Council President persona.
  • Asleep in Class: The series starts with Mio being scolded for sleeping in class.
  • Battle Couple: Mio and Shou sorta become this trope towards the end, using their powers very much in tandem... but focusing less on fighting evil and more in protecting the city of Kamakura from being consumed by fire, an earthquake, and ultimately a tsunami. They succeed, but then they go the Together in Death way.
  • Big Fancy House: Both the Shijous and the Narumiyas own Western-styled mansions, though the Shijous have recently fallen on hard times.
    • Also, the Fujiwaras. Unlike the others, theirs is a normal Japanese complex.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Tadaomi
  • Bittersweet Ending: Mio and Shou will have to wait till another life to finally be together.
  • Break Up Demand: Tadaomi repeatedly (and more and more menacingly) tries to get Mio to stay away from Shou.
  • Bridal Carry: Mio gets carried by Shou and Tadaomi more than once. The series itself ends with Shou carrying a wounded Mio under tragic circumstances.
  • Chastity Couple: Mio and Shou never go beyond kissing. The closest they get is a Sleep Cute.
  • Chick Magnet: Shou, after he ditches the Rei diguise. Subverted in that, while he indulges the local girls's fantasies and flirts with them a little, he never cheats on Mio.
  • Cock Fight: Due to Tadaomi's hax powers, Shou is usually on the losing end of this.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Mio, by her own admission
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Subverted. The aloof Rei claims to have had a twin brother named Shou who died when they were kids. Thing is, "she" is Shou under a disguise, and is telling such things to Mio so she won't learn the truth.
    • Played straight with Miyabi's older brother, though.
  • Death of the Hypotenuse: How the love triangle is resolved. Also happens to Miyabi, who falls in love with Shou and dies saving him from a plane crash
    • Inverted by Mio. Once she is this close to stab Tadaomi to death when he's unconscious, but she can't bring herself to do so.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: And vice-versa, due to the Bittersweet Ending.
  • Disguised in Drag: To hide how Shou Narumiya was the member of the Narumiya clan who had wind powers, when he was almost killed by the Shijous as a kid the Narumiyas made it look like their son Shou died but they adopted a girl named "Rei" to replace him. Thus "Rei" is actually Shou under a female disguise.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Shou saves Mio without pausing to ask who she is and why she's being chased. She lampshades it when Shou appears as she's watching the stars near a tall rooftop's edge and catches her, mistakenly believing she's about to jump; she then tells him "Thought so! You do appear like this!"
  • Dysfunctional Family: Tadaomi wears the pants in his family because of his powers, and his parents are terrified of him.
  • Enfante Terrible: Tadaomi got and mastered his powers early and attempted to kill Shou when they were very young.
  • Heroic RRoD: Mio and Shou suffer of it in the end. Not helped by how Mio was bleeding to death when it happened.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: It seems to take Mio a short while to properly use her water powers. Even when she does manage to learn the basics, there are times when her emotions trigger them. i.e, once she got pretty upset at school, and the nearby water faucets starting working on their own.
  • Important Haircut: After Shou's dad is killed, Shou decides it's useless to keep hiding himself — so he cuts his blond hair and dyes it back to black, shredding his disguise.
  • Inspector Javert: One of these appears almost at the end. He has a sort-of Heel Realization, but not before playing quite the role in the Bittersweet Ending.
  • Japanese Delinquents: Mio finds out very early on that Tadaomi is the head of a gang of these. In fact, the water tank incident was his idea: he wanted Mio to use the tank to defend herself, and likely have a breakdown over that.
  • Kill It with Fire: Tadaomi's solution to anything and anyone he doesn't like. It's... really not pretty. As proved by how he burns Rei/Shou's dad alive.
  • Kissing Cousins: Tadaomi's father and Mio's dead mother were siblings, so a Tadaomi/Mio match-up would be this. Tadaomi wants it badly, but Mio does not.
  • Love at First Sight: Mio confesses to feeling this way for Rei within a few chapters.
  • Love Confession: Mio is surprisingly bold and honest, for a shoujo manga heroine.
  • Love Triangle: Mio, Tadaomi and Rei, though Tadaomi is very clearly not welcome.
  • New Transfer Student: Mio attracts a lot of attention for both being new and for being related to School Idol Tadaomi. Subverted by Shou, who presents himself as one first (even wearing a different uniform) but the readers already know he's not. Not to mention he doesn't fool Tadaomi or Mio.
  • Official Couple Ordeal Syndrome: Mio and Shou go through hell in both lives, with bad endings both times.
  • Reincarnation Romance: The Love Triangle actually is a repeat of another one that happened centuries ago. Tadaomi was a high-class nobleman (hinted to be Minamoto no Yoritomo aka the first shogun of the Kamakura Shogunate) Shou/Rei was a samurai (hinted to be Yoritomo's brother and rival Minamoto no Yoshitsune), and Mio was a princess (hinted to be Yoshitsune's mistress Lady Shizuka): former!Shou and former!Mio fell in love and tried to run away, former!Tadaomi tried to chase after them, and it got worse.
  • Relationship Sabotage: Tadaomi tries every method possible to make this happen. Also tried by Miyabi Fujiwara, a rich and naive young girl who falls in love with Shou, and whom Tadaomi manipulates so she can both get Shou away and deliver Mio to him.
  • Replacement Sibling: After the Narumiyas lost their son Shou in a fire, they adopted a girl named Rei to take his place. This is actually a front, and Rei is just Shou in disguise to protect him.
  • Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now?: Mio and Shou/ Rei consciously avoid going to school once it gets too dangerous with Tadaomi there.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Tadaomi is Miosexual.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Mio likes Shou because he protects and helps her.
  • Smitten Teenage Girl: Mio doesn't even attempt to hide her crush on Rei.
  • Snow Means Love: Mio and Rei have a moment where they hug and then snow suddenly begins to fall around them.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Will Mio and Rei/Shou ever get together? The easiest reply: Not this time. The next one, yes.
  • Student Council President: Tadaomi's position in school, although all the main characters stop going to school once things get, aha, heated up.
  • Taking the Bullet: The first and last act of kindness Tadaomi performs in the whole plot (save for the Distant Finale) is this.
  • Third Time's The Charm: Since Tadaomi gives up right before dying as well, they might have more luck in their third reincarnation.
  • Together in Death: Mio and Shou.
  • Took a Level in Badass: While Mio doesn't reach proper Action Girl status, her control over her powers does noticeably grow. In the third volume, among other things she puts down a whole building that's on fire via first telekinetically controlling the firemen's water hoses, then summoning enough rain to finish the job. In the seventh volume, when the car she and Miyabi's father are in plummets into the ocean, she manages to create a protective bubble to pull the car out of the ocean, saving Mr. Fujiwara and herself. And in the eighth (and last) volume she repeats the rain trick on a burning shrine and raises the nearby water to protect the people, before she and Shou die protecting everyone else.
    • To put it on perspective: Tadaomi is ultra powerful because he's been training in his pyrokinetic abilities for years, Shou controls his wind "magic" fairly well too though we're not sure of how long he's been working on them... but after Mio finds out that she has water powers, she manages to control the basics in few days and with next-to-none proper training.
  • Transfer Student Uniforms: Averted, since everything Mio owned was lost in the fire that killed her family.
  • Unrequited Love Lasts Forever: averted in the end, as Tadaomi appears to have finally given up.
  • Unrequited Tragic Maiden: Miyabi Fujiwara, a rich girl who falls in love with Shou and is killed in a plane crash caused by Tadaomi to kill Shou. (Who survives, but barely.)