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Manga / The Gentlemen's Alliance

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Counter-clockwise: Maora, Haine, Shizumasa, Ushio, Maguri

Ex-Yanki Genki Girl Haine Otomiya's tale is typical of a shōjo series. She fell in love with a young man, Shizumasa Togu, as a child, and after a certain point she decided to transfer to the prestigious school he attends and try to win his love. Much to her despair, however, he is unexpectedly cold to her and claims to not remember her.

She ends up joining the student council he heads, and becomes his bodyguard and fake lover. Over time, he appears to warm up to her, and she befriends the other members of the student council as well. There are still many obstacles to be had to her and Shizumasa's romance, however - including the obligatory shōjo Love Dodecahedron, Shizumasa's strange, seemingly completely random changes of heart, and Haine's own family issues.

Shinshi Doumei Cross (or The Gentlemen's Alliance Cross, as it's known in English) is a shoujo manga by Arina Tanemura (of Full Moon fame), which ran in Ribon from 2004 to 2008. The manga was compiled into 11 volumes, and is licensed by Viz Media and fully available in English. It's notable for being the first of Tanemura's series to not include any Magical Girl elements at all.

This series provides examples of:

  • Age-Gap Romance: Ushio the high school girl and Senri the school physician enter a relationship.
  • Always Identical Twins: The Togu family has tons and tons. The way their tradition of testing the twins keep running, they seem to have a set at least once every generation.
  • Arranged Marriage: Kazuhito forces Maika to marry him. However, he's still incredibly kind to her, and it's clear that he loves her very much. It turns out that she loves him back, after she regains her memories.
  • The Beautiful Elite: The series is full of handsome Bishōnen and pretty girls.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Haine and Takanari almost have sex during a trip, leading to Haine awkwardly rebuking his advances. Later, a distressed Haine tells Maora that she should have just told him she didn't want to, and he would have stopped. Maora then remarks that he wouldn't have stopped (with Haine) even if she had told him to.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Haine and Maguri for Shizumasa. Little do they know at first, he's really Shizumasa's older identical twin brother, Takanari.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: The reason the Togu clan has so many sickly members is because brothers and sisters were married to keep the bloodline pure.invoked
  • Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends: By the series' end, almost everyone—minor characters included—has a relationship.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Haine and Maguri deliberately act clingy in an attempt to break a relationship up. Ushio and Komaki are also frequently seen jealous when Haine spends too much time with other people, but it's only romantic in Ushio's case (who takes it much farther).
  • Death Equals Redemption: Shizumasa tries to invoke this by refusing to ask for the bone marrow transplant that would cure his leukemia and save his life. He's doing it to make reparations for abandoning Takanari during their trial (thus making him the shadow in the first place) and let him become the Togu family heir.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Ushio, towards Senri and even Maora. She completely defrosts around Haine. Takanari can also be said to be a male example for Haine.
  • Delinquent: Haine was a delinquent during her Yanki days.
  • The Ditz: Haine; Arina herself saidinvoked that she's an idiot. But she says that's what she likes about her.
  • Elaborate University High: The Imperial Academy. (Even its name demonstrates this trope!)
  • Everyone Is Related: A vast majority of the entire extended cast is a member of the Togu, Otomiya or Kamiya family, the three of which are connected.
  • Fake Relationship: Takanari/Shizumasa makes sure to maintain a fake lover at all times, so as to avoid the school's female population constantly jumping his bones. He had one in Maguri, has one initially in Haine, and Komaki briefly poses as his fiancĂ©e.
  • Love Triangle: The love dodecahedron eventually turns into this between Takanari, Haine, and Shizumasa.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: Sort of. Haine is in love with Shizumasa, but the person she thinks is Shizumasa is actually Takanari. He ends up falling in love with her as well, but is forbidden from expressing it openly.
  • Lucky Charms Title: The manga's title uses a "+" to stand for the word "Cross".
  • Mythology Gag: Two characters from Tanemura's previous work, Full Moon, make cameos - Mitsuki is mentioned in Chapter 15, and Jonathan appears in a panel in Chapter 29.
  • Oblivious to Love: Most every character is to at least one other's affections, though the two greatest are Takanari/Shizumasa in regards to Maguri's feelings for him (who is open about them to every other character, but goes into Cannot Spit It Out mode around Takanari/Shizumasa himself) and Maguri with Maora's (though it works out for them anyway).
  • Older Than They Look: Haine's teacher dresses in a bunny hood and often acts like a child, including having a crush on a cat.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Haine gets shot by Toya in Chapter 46, but the bullet only grazes her left shoulder.
  • Only Six Faces: In classic Arina Tanemura style. Considering the large cast of characters, it actually becomes a legitimate problem.
  • Pair the Spares: Yep, pretty much everyone gets paired off in the ending. Kasuga suddenly crushing on Kiriaki comes right out of nowhere.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • The mailman looks almost exactly like male Maora - because he IS him. Haine and Maguri failing to discern his true identity is pretty hard to believe.
    • Deliberately invoked with the Warden being the high school principal. Haine even remarks that his uniform is in the corner of the office.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Haine's dress for the dance.
  • Really Gets Around: Ushio.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Senri taking an interest in Ushio due to her looking like the woman he was once engaged to (Takanari and Shizumasa's mother, naturally) is maybe just a little creepy.
  • The Reveal: The big one comes right at the end of Chapter 22.
  • Second Love: And how! Takanari for Haine, Ushio for Senri (and vice versa), Kazuhito for Maika, Ryokka for Itsuki, Komaki for Kusame, Maora for Maguri.
  • Secret Relationship: Maika and Itsuki had one when they were in school. When Kazuhito found out, he got Itsuki ousted from the Emperor position and forced Maika into marrying him instead.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Everyone's surprised when Kasuga shows up well-dressed to the hospital.
  • Sibling Triangle: Twins Takanari and Shizumasa are in a love triangle with Haine
  • Straight Gay: Maguri.
  • Student Council President: Takanari/Shizumasa. The president is referred to as "Koutei" ("Emperor") at the school. Meanwhile, Komaki is the SCP for the middle school, with Kusame as her vice-president.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: Kasuga can even make a gay guy like Maguri blush. She is related to the Togu twins, mind you.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Senri for Ushio. It takes some time for her to reciprocate.
  • Theme Naming: All major characters have 宮 (miya, ku/gu) in their surnames. This kanji means "royalty" or "palace" - fitting for their rich bearers.
  • Titled After the Song: Word of God states that the manga is named after the Hiroko Yakushimaru song "Shinshi Doumei", and just added a "+" for "Cross".
  • Took a Level in Badass: Haine, when she rejoins the mafia.
    • Also, when Haine was shot in Chapter 46 and just sort of shrugged it off.
  • Twin Switch: The Shizumasa that we follow for most of the first half of the manga is actually his older identical twin, Takanari; the real Shizumasa is chronically ill with leukemia and can't go to school, so Takanari is sent in his place. Once the brothers start appearing in the same scenes, Takanari's hair is shaded a bit darker so that they can told apart.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: Haine is shocked to learn Maora's true gender. It causes her some angst the next chapter, as she worries that she might've offended Maora with her (over-)reaction to this revelation.
  • Unwanted Harem:
    • Takanari/Shizumasa has this in THE WHOLE FEMALE (and some of the male) BODY at school, to the extent where he claims to be gay and maintains a fake lover at all times. Haine (initially) and Maguri count as being in it, too, though he never clues in to the latter's affections.
    • Haine also had one—as is lampshaded after Ushio's kiss, everyone in the student council except Maguri had some degree of feelings for Haine at one point or another in the story. Shizumasa and Kusame do and did at one point, too.
  • Uptown Girl: Gender Flipped: Haine is poor, Shizumasa is rich. Played with in that Haine is not poor in any real sense; she's just significantly less wealthy than Shizumasa. Still, it plays just as the trope is described.
  • Yakuza: Maguri and his brother Yukimitsu are the sons of a Yakuza family.
  • Younger Than They Look: Based on their appearances and the dialogue, it's pretty hard to believe that the main characters are only 15.

Alternative Title(s): Shinshi Doumei Cross