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Manga / The Gentlemen's Alliance
aka: Shinshi Doumei Cross

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Counter-clockwise: Maora, Haine, Takanari/Shizumasa, Ushio, Maguri
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Ex-Yanki Genki Girl Haine Otomiya's tale is typical of a shoujo 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 both his bodyguard and fake lover, anyway. 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 shoujo 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 an 11-volume manga by Arina Tanemura (of Full Moon o Sagashite fame), licensed by Viz Media and fully available in English. It's notable for being the first of her series to not include any Magical Girl elements at all.

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This series provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council
  • Age-Gap Romance: Ushio the high school girl and Senri the school physician.
  • 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 pretty much forces Maika to marry him, in every respect. However, he's still incredibly kind to her, and it's clear that he loves her very much. And it turns out that she loves him back, after she regains her memories.
  • The Beard: Takanari/Shizumasa makes sure to maintain one of these at all times, so as to avoid the female population of his school jumping his bones. He had one in Maguri, has one intitially in Haine, and Komaki briefly poses as his fiancee.
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  • The Beautiful Elite: The series is full of both handsome Bishōnen and pretty girls.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Touya
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Togu family, full stop. The Kamiyas too, though they do get better.
  • Bi the Way: Maora is attracted to both Haine and Maguri.
    • Ushio, too, ends up with Senri and is shown dating (and implied to be sleeping with) scores of boys - but the latter turns out to be a ploy for Haine's attention, who she's in love with. She even manages to guilt her into a (brief) relationship.
  • 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 twin brother, Takanari.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: The reason there were so many sickly members of the Togu clan is because brothers and sisters were married to keep the bloodline pure.
  • Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends: By series' end, almost everyone — including minor characters — has a relationship.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Haine and Maguri deliberately act this way 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 Takanari for the bone marrow transplant that would save his life. This to let his brother become the heir to the Togu family and making reparations for abandoning Takanari during their trial, therefore causing him to become the shadow in the first place.
  • 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 during her Yanki days.
  • The Ditz: Haine. Even Arina herself remarks that she's an idiot. But Arina says that's what she likes about her.
  • Does Not Like Men: Ushio claims this for a good part of the series.
  • Elaborate University High: The Imperial Academy. (Even its name demonstrates this trope!)
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Haine.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Takanari.
  • Hair Decorations: Haine, Komaki, and Maora.
  • 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.
  • Heroic Bastard: Haine.
  • Hot for Student: Senri for Ushio. It takes some time for her to reciprocate.
  • Ill Girl: Shizumasa, a male example.
  • Inter-Class Romance: 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.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Maika.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Yukimitsu.
  • Love Bubbles
  • Love Dodecahedron
  • Love Triangle: The love dodecahedron eventually digresses into a triangle 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 openly expressing it.
  • Lucky Charms Title: The manga's title uses "+" to stand for the word "Cross".
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Itsuki to Haine.
  • Madwoman in the Attic: Takanari in the basement!
  • Malaproper: Haine, big time.
  • Mythology Gag: Two characters from Tanemura's previous work, Full Moon o Sagashite, 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 is shot in the shoulder and just shrugs it off.
  • 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 is particularly random.
  • 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.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Maika.
  • 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.
  • Romantic False Lead: Komaki, seemingly.
  • 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 basically forced Maika into marrying him instead.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Everyone is surprised when Kasuga shows up well-dressed to the hospital.
  • Sibling Triangle: A very large one, at that.
  • 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.
  • The Reveal: The big one comes right at the end of Chapter 22.
  • 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 and can't go to school, so Takanari is sent in his place. Once the brothers start appearing in the same scenes, Tanemura shades Takanari's hair darker so that the reader can tell the two apart.
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal: Haine - as are most readers, probably - 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 homosexuality 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 sans 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.
  • When She Smiles: Ushio
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Maora.
  • 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 difficult to believe that the main characters are only 15.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Haine has a pretty nice ratio.

Alternative Title(s): Shinshi Doumei Cross

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