The Wallflower (Japanese title: Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge, or "Perfect Girl Evolution") is a shoujo manga by Tomoko Hayakawa, which ran in Bessatsu Friend from 2000 to 2015.
The story is about Sunako Nakahara, whose first love, in response to her confession told her "I don't like ugly girls". In response, she took to shunning light forever, hiding her face behind long black hair and devoting her life to horror, gore and darkness. That is, until her well-meaning but melodramatic rich Aunt sets Kyohei, Oda, Yuki, and Ranmaru — her harem of teenage Bishōnen — on Sunako with the task to turn her into the perfect lady. In exchange for this, they will get free accommodation in her Big Fancy House whilst the Aunt jets around the world in search of her true love. If they fail, they must pay triple rent for the accommodations they have used. (With the costs of housing in Japan, this is a dire penalty indeed.)
Unfortunately for the boys, Sunako has absolutely no intention of playing along with them. She's a Creature of Darkness and damn well proud of it. The issue is made worse because she can't look at "Bright Creatures" like them without getting a nosebleed, and this predictably puts some stains on their relationship.
Though she can eventually deal with living with the other three, Sunako and Kyohei's relationship isn't the best, resulting in some early murder attempts on Sunako's part, lots of bickering, fighting, occasional saving each other and...you guessed it, everyone in the cast trying to set them up.
The manga received a 25-episode anime adaptation which aired from 2006 to 2007. The anime is directed by Shinichi Watanabe (Nabeshin from Excel♡Saga) who makes cameos as various side characters and... totem poles?
A live-action version began airing in January 2010, and finished airing with 10 episodes.
Warning: The manga, at least, is completely food-obsessed. You will probably get hungry reading it.
This page is for all examples from the manga/anime/drama.
This show provides examples of:
- Absurdly-Long Limousine: One shows up in the anime adaptation. In a twist, a limousine of normal length appears later, but it is as wide as it is long.
- Abusive Parents:
- Kyohei's mother apparently said a ton of terrible things to her son when he was still living with her. Her husband mentioned offhandedly to Sunako that the mom was bipolar, but whether he was serious or exaggerating was difficult to tell. This is partly justified since growing up everyone would comment on Kyohei's looks while asking how a woman like her could give birth to him, Making her feel horribly ugly.
- Meanwhile Oda and Ranmaru's parents have pretty much set their lives out for them.
- Accidental Kiss: And a First Kiss to boot.
- Accidental Marriage: Sunako was frighteningly close to being a victim of this in one chapter. (We say 'frightening' because it wasn't to Kyohei.)
- Adorably Precocious Child:
- Takeru in the JDrama.
- Kyohei in the time travel chapter.
- Animation Bump: The last episode sees a massive improvement in art and animation... which is to say the characters only look Super-Deformed 10% of the time instead of 75%.
- Arranged Marriage: Both Ranmaru and Sunako have partners arranged for them at some point. Ranmaru's fiancée sticks around, though, unlike Sunako's fiancé.
- Artistic Age: All the members of the main cast are supposed to be 15 years old while looking like 20-somethings.
- Ascended Extra: In the anime, the Goth Loli Sisters were given the role of comic relief and appeared Once per Episode. In the manga, out of the 100+ chapters, they've only been seen a couple of times.
- Attempted Rape: The anime and drama were toned-down a lot, but the manga insinuates rather heavily that there were successful rapes in the case of Kyohei.
- Attractive Bent-Gender: Yuki in particular, though Oda and Ranmaru also get this treatment when Kyohei is kidnapped (because what rescue mission doesn't involve crossdressing?); they're all described glowingly by onlookers. When Noi sees Takenaga, she goes all Even the Girls Want Her / inverted Sweet on Polly Oliver on him.
- Author Appeal: Bishounen boys, horror aesthetics, and the look of visual kei bands are clear preferences of mangaka, Tomoko Hayakawa; her notes in many chapters are about seeing concerts, in fact. Each of the main male characters is based on some aspect of Hayakawa's favorite musician, Kiyoharu, with the most attractive one (Kyouhei) resembling him the most. At one point Kyouhei is even seen wearing Kiyoharu's exact outfit from SADS' "Porno Star" PV. One can also presume by its prevalence that bondage scenes involving such boys are also one of her fetishes.
- Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Though Sunako and Kyohei's relationships is made up mostly of bickering and fighting, it's obviously clear in many moments that they place each other's well-being on a very high level, admitting it to themselves or not.
- Battle Couple: Kyouhei and Sunako. Perhaps most prominent in the live-action adaption.
- Beautiful All Along: Played with extensively. The boys are charged with turning Sunako into a lady against her will, even though she wants nothing to do with it. An early chapter/episode even subverts this trope by showing Sunako's face behind her bangs to be quite pretty, only to then show that it only looked that way because of some flour that had fallen on her and that she actually has bad skin. (Which is only because of her poor hygiene and self-neglect, and not a dermatological problem per se.) However, later on, it does turn out that Sunako really is Beautiful All Along whenever she gains enough confidence to break out of her Super-Deformed mode.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Sunako and Kyohei.
- Berserk Button: Busunako note . After Kyohei unleashes Sunako's rage unintentionally in the TV series, he starts invoking this trope on a regular basis whenever the mooks of the week need to be beat up. Sunako does this once to herself.
- The Big Damn Kiss: At the end of the drama.
- Big Fancy House: The members of the main cast live in a huge mansion owned by the protagonist Sunako's rich aunt.
- Birds of a Feather: Sunako and Kyohei, particularly in their mutual loves of violence and food.
- Bishie Sparkle: Turned up to 11.
- Bishōnen: Kyohei, Ranmaru, Takenaga, Yuki and apparently, when his glasses are off, the gloomy Prince.
- Black Comedy: Abundant in this series, what with Sunako's obsession with gore and her pitifully low self-esteem.
- Black Comedy Rape:
- Valentine's Day. None of the boys are actually raped, but with all the clothes-tearing, kidnap-attempting, and stalking happening on the day, it's presumed that if they weren't constantly saving each other, this would happen.
- A PG version of this seems to happen to Kyohei on a regular basis, especially when he was in middle school; people would follow him home from school and try to force kisses on him, resulting in him having to be escorted by the police.
- A supremely disturbing chapter had Auntie trap Sunako and Kyohei in a bedroom and refuse to let them out until they'd made use of the bed. To make matters even worse, Takenaga tried to hypnotize Kyohei into having sex with her so they can all get free rent. What the hell, you guys!?
- Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: The interaction between Hiroshi, an anatomical model, and the Bishōnen boys in the Cold Opening of every episode takes on the character of a manzai routine.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall:
Kyohei: "This segment was totally pointless. . . ."Narrator: [sheepishly] Sorry!
- Common in the anime, especially during the Road to Womanhood segments.
- "If this weren't a comedy, we'd be dead for sure!"
- Bring My Brown Pants: The Goth-Loli sisters do this in Episode 23.
- Can't Live with Them, Can't Live without Them: Sunako and Kyohei. So, so much.
- Celebrity Paradox: In chapter 107, a character mentions the actor who played Kyōhei in the live-action TV series. The best part is that instead of mentioning his name, she says that he played Kyōhei on TV, directly referencing the TV series based on the manga they exist in.
- Childhood Marriage Promise: From chapter 119:Kyohei: When I grow up... I wouldn't mind marrying you.Sunako: *smiles* I can't wait.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Sunako enjoys the company of mannequins, plotting murders (primarily Kyohei's), and going on corpse-hunting adventures, and was befriending bears and demons from a young age. By her own admission she lives in "the world of darkness" — beauty and "lightness" are glaringly bright to her — but her logic, too, is a bit alien (thinking gothic Victorian wear will make her "fade into the darkness"; her brain redefining "naked" after Kyohei sees her nude; gaining muscle so she'll resemble an anatomical doll).
- Comic-Book Time: The mangaka certainly loves Halloween- and Christmas-themed storylines, but the characters are all still 15.
- Cooking Duel: The literal variety occurs later on in the manga, with Sunako battling Kyohei's Instant Fan Club. Subverted somewhat in that she wins through modesty. Not going to happen at home, though; Sunako's cooking is excellent while none of the boys seem to manage anything above functional.
- Crazy Jealous Guy:
- You can't help but wonder why Kyohei seemed to be in such a bad mood when Sunako kept hanging around that constellation guy... And that was NOTHING compared to how he reacted when he thought Sunako and the biology teacher were secretly dating...
- Ranmaru and Takenaga were viciously pissed off at each other when each got into a compromising situation with the other's Love Interest.
- Defiled Forever: How Sunako felt after kissing a creature of the light.
- Demoted to Extra: Noi in the JDrama. While she was a very prominent character in the manga and anime, often accompanying Sunako and the boys on their adventures and provided much-needed female friendship for Sunako, she shows up about every other episode in the drama and doesn't really do much except talk (except for the one time she took Sunako shopping).
- Deus ex Machina: Auntie.
- Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: Takenaga sings part of the ending theme on a karaoke machine in the ninth episode of the anime.
- Distressed Dude: Kyohei is kidnapped very frequently.
- Driven to Suicide: Sunako, often. The only time it's taken seriously is when she's about to leap off the balcony after she can't find Hiroshi.
- Eerie Anatomy Model:
- Sunako considers herself a creature of the dark ever since the boy she liked called her ugly. She's basically a hikikomori whose most important friend is an incomplete anatomy model she's named Hiroshi. As per Chapter 44 (or Episode 20), after she was called ugly she found it among the trash of a school and took it home, which was the start of her macabre collection. Her other friends, in order of importance are the skeleton model Josephine, the limbless anatomy model Akira, and the skull model John. They are joined in Chapter 50 (Episode 18) by another skeleton, George Maximilian du Veloce, who is Josephine's brand new husband. She interacts with them as if they are alive, presenting her inner ponderings as their words to her, and most people close to Sunako join in on that kind of projection. In the anime, Hiroshi is alive as the episode's presentator. He also dances during both outros, and is joined by Akira and Josephine in the second one.
- Sunako visits an abandoned school building in Chapter 25 in the hopes of meeting ghosts, including a walking anatomy model, but to her dismay there aren't any.
- Even the Girls Want Her: In an absolutely hilarious twist of events in Chapter 73, Sunako becomes this trope. And to a much lesser extent, in an earlier chapter which has her becoming a Bifauxnen.
- Even the Guys Want Him: The reason Kyohei can't keep a job is because his bosses always sexually harass him, be they male or female.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep":
- The Landlady's real name is Mine Nakahara. Justifed, since in Japan, it is common practice to address older women unrelated to the speaker "Auntie" (oba-san) . Plus points is that she is Sunako's paternal Aunt.
- Also, Ranmaru's fiancée's driver is always called Driver.
- Everything's Better with Sparkles: All the pretty people are represented with sparkles, which is referenced by Gorn-loving protagonist Sunako; the people that do this are known as "people of light" (Sunako is one of the "people of darkness", of course).
- Expy: Sunako Nakahara is an Expy of Sadako Yamamura.
- Faceless Masses: Essentially everyone in the series have been depicted as such, frequently for the majority of the episode.
- Feminine Women Can Cook: Played with; normally Sunako is a Supreme Chef and is Beautiful All Along, but is outwardly not the most feminine of girls. When she eats a magic mushroom and turns into a real Yamato Nadeshiko, her cooking suffers and she becomes a Cordon Bleugh Chef (despite her food looking like it normally does).
- The First Cut Is the Deepest:
- Sunako being rejected by her first love made her adverse to any ideas of future romance.
- Partially inverted in the live action adaptation, since she was actively bullied after being called ugly, giving her more grounds to become a hermit.
- First Love: If Kyohei really is in love with Sunako, then she would be his first love. However, hilariously, due to the time slip in chapter 119, even if he's not in love with her now, he proposed to her when he was a small child, making her his first love regardless.
- Food Porn: The manga is especially obsessed with food, and Sunako, being the Team Chef and Supreme Chef, makes some very delicious sounding (and looking) food.
- From Roommates to Romance: As part of the premise, Sunako moves into her aunt's mansion where four very handsome high school students live. Throughout the series, Sunako has neverending Unresolved Sexual Tension with Kyohei, one of the guys living with her.
- Giving Up the Ghost: Sunako in the manga when her aunt tries to get her to sleep with Kyohei.
- Gratuitous Foreign Language: Auntie/The Landlady is fond of spouting various European languages, particularly as greetings.
- Happily Married:
- Sunako's parents.
- The landlady and her husband, until he passed away.
- Harem Genre: Only one of them is really a love interest for her, but there are definite nods to the genre.
- Head-Turning Beauty: The guys provoke this kind of reaction from just about every girl who's not Sunako. And quite a few guys too.
- He Will Not Cry, so I Cry for Him: In the last episode of the anime, there's a brief flashback of the Landlady right after her husband died. She tells the child Sunako not to cry for her, to which she replies, "I'm going to cry enough tears for you too, Auntie."
- Hikikomori: Sunako to the point of using her hair as a veil to keep her isolated even when she's right next to someone.
- Hot Springs Episode: With Sunako seen bathing alone, since everyone thinks that she's a ghost.
- Housewife: despite her scary demeanour, Sunako is an excellent homemaker, something the boys realize every time she's not cooking for them and cleaning up after them. She's also good with money and getting bargains on things, and looking after kids.
- Immodest Orgasm: "SO DEPENDABLE~"
- Imagine Spot: Often. Taken even further in the manga- nearly every chapter has had one of these at one time or another, with the rest of the cast frequently commenting on their implausibility.
- Implausible Fencing Powers: Sunako can shred an opponent's clothes completely with a single leaping sword attack.
- Improbable Food Budget: In an inversion of the normal trope, that it's so low, given the opulent surroundings and Sunako's aunt's seeming extreme wealth. Most likely it's the aunt's way of making sure the boys are broke enough for the prospect of cheaper rent to motivate them, and to encourage them to get Sunako to cook for them and thus socialize.
- Irony: Aside from her crippling lack of self-confidence and mania for the horror genre, Sunako already *is* a perfect Japanese lady. The irony comes when her aunt needs to learn how to be a proper Japanese housewife. Her instructor? Sunako.
- It Doesn't Mean Anything: Sunako and Kyohei towards their kiss(es) and (denied) feelings for each other.
- Ladykiller in Love: It's hinted that Ranmaru's becoming this, in regards to his fiancée by an arranged marriage, Tamao.
- Lampshade Hanging: Towards the end of the anime, one of the boys comment on the amount of kidnapping in the storyline.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: When Sunako is drawn in the same style as everyone else usually is, shit just got real.
- Like an Old Married Couple: Sunako and Kyohei lapse into this all the time.
- Lonely Doll Girl: Sunako has three anatomical mannequins (and later a fourth, as well as a lone skull she acquires from the school) that she considers to be her friends.
- Ma'am Shock: The Landlady is called Auntie by the residents of her mansion (though it's justified in Sunako's case because she really is the Landlady's niece). In the anime's Whole Episode Flashback showing how all of the boys came to the mansion, the Landlady visibly jumped and exclaimed "Auntie!?", looking upset when she was called this the first time. In the manga version, however, calling her that added fuel to her already overflowing rage.
- Magic Realism: Sunako's dark aura that causes lights to dim, bulbs to burst, flowers to wilt, etc. There's also her friend from Hokkaido, Yuki, who is a Yuki-onna. And there's possession by ghosts, too. And a Classical Movie Vampire, once. And that one time Sunako traveled through time and met Kyohei as a child. So yeah, pretty much anything goes in this series.
- Market-Based Title: Since Viewers Are Morons, the name of this series is changed to "Perfect Girl Evolution"/"The Wallflower"/"My Fair Lady" depending on country. Never mind that in the West, traditional Japanese women tend to be less popular than Tsundere types.
- Maybe Ever After: In the ending of the manga, Sunako and Kyohei aren't anywhere closer to being a couple than they have been for the entire series. Sunako is still freaked out by the idea of falling in love, but she admits Kyohei is "particularly dazzling" to her eyes.
- Mind Screw: Sunako is usually drawn Super-Deformed (see below), or when she's in attack mode, as a scary wraith. When SD, people say she is "ugly," and when wraith-y she is treated as beautiful but frightening, but confusion sets in when she switches from SD to wraith mode every other panel. Is she repeatedly going from ugly to pretty? Is it the art style for when she moves around a lot? What the hell is going on?
- Mundane Made Awesome: Ping Pong. That is all.
- Naked Apron:
- In the anime episode "Pirates of Tres Bien," everyone starts hallucinating because of Captain Wing's powers. Noi sees a naked Takenaga in an apron preparing food for her, while Takenaga sees Noi as . . . a dinosaur. He really wanted to find a dinosaur fossil, you see.
- In the manga, Sunako is seen in one of these when she suffers a trauma that causes her to think she's already wearing clothes.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Sunako loves horror movies, blood, skulls... everything dark, disgusting and squelchy, just to drive the 'unladylike' point home.
- Noblewoman's Laugh: Again, the Landlady.
- No Name Given:
- Auntie/The Landlady, also the Prince.
- In the manga, Ranmaru's fiancée is only known as Ojou-sama/"the princess." Same goes for those girls who become the Goth Loli Sisters of the anime.
- Nosebleed: Aside from Sunako's reaction to seeing beautiful people, the tenants have a habit of triggering them with half the girls they meet.
- Oblivious to Love: Guess.Sunako: "Love is just an illusion."Kyohei: "I love her...cooking."Fangirls: "URGH!"
- Off-Model: Animating shortcuts such as using stick-figures instead of the characters' actual bodies, or simply showing a static shot instead of any sort of action that would require a lot of frames are abundant in this anime - and a majority of the time when these shortcuts aren't being employed, the scene looks squished or deformed. Some have argued that this is part of its charm, though.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Sunako frequently attempts to kill Kyohei; but whenever someone else tries (surprisingly often), she defends him, demanding that he die by her hands alone.
- The Ophelia: Sunako is a comedic play on this trope.
- Please Dump Me: Ranmaru tries to get get out of an Arranged Marriage with this tactic, with the usual result.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: The live-action drama tended to mix and match similar chapters in the manga and add new material to make the episodes flow better and last for 45 minutes each. It also played around with characterisation. Whether that was good or bad is up for interpretation, but no one denies that the resolution of the Kyohei and Sunako UST was a good thing.
- Pretty Freeloaders:
- Gender-inverted and subverted: The boys want to be this, but whether or not they get their free rent has yet to be seen. However, it's played straight in that they never help Sunako around the house.
- Averted completely with Sunako herself, who does all of the cooking and chores.
- Justified in that every time the guys are shown trying to clean the house on their own they do a terrible job and the house is arguably left worse off then it was before.
- Putting on the Reich: Sunako on Episode 3
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: The "Goth Loli" sisters.
- Rape by Proxy: First Auntie traps Kyohei and Sunako in a room, and then Takenaga hypnotizes Kyohei into forcing himself on Sunako so that they can all get free rent. This is Played for Laughs.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Sunako and Takenaga.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
- Sunako and a few other characters manage to give these to the more shallow people they meet.
- Near the end of the anime Takenaga actually gives one to Sunako whose offhand comment caused Kyohei to run away and join a biker gang.
- Runaway Bride: Sunako's would-be Accidental Marriage ends up with her like this, running full-speed from the chapel hand-in-hand with Kyohei. Cue the squees!
- Sacred First Kiss: Sunako wasn't upset because it was the first, but because it was with a "radiant creature".
- Say My Name: The main boys seem to like saying Sunako's name a lot; that is, except Kyohei, who says her full name more often than not.
- Scary Black Man: Greg in the JDrama.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: Kyohei, about Sunako, numerous times. Give it up, dude, we all know where you two are going.
- Shipper on Deck: Noi becomes a Kyohei/Sunako shipper early on, regularly fangirling about their "moments" together. It isn't long before the rest of the cast follow suit.
- Being a Nabeshin-directed series, it contains Shout Outs to Mobile Suit Gundam (Episode 23 & 24), and Star Trek (Episode 24), among others.
- All of Sunako's favorite movies, such as The Nightmare Before Christmas, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th , Edward Scissorhands, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
- The manga especially is overflowing with references to the mangaka's favorite anime, actors, bands, and comedy troupes.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: Auntie and her late husband were this, and sometimes Takenaga and Noi.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Let's just put it this way: Sunako and Kyohei's first kiss was after they both spent a good page or so insulting the others faults.
- So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Kyohei actually has a legitimate claim to this, considering how often he's stalked, kidnapped, and sexually harassed because of his looks. Ranmaru is a bit more arrogant about it, and Yuki sometimes complains of this when he's crossdressing or not being taken seriously.
- Sparkling Stream of Tears
- Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: Sunako is frequently mistaken for one when she's got her scary on.
- Super-Deformed: Sunako almost all the time. This is even funnier, since everyone has to kneel down to her height in order to converse with her face-to-face.
- Sweet Tooth: Sunako is a chocolate addict who consumes pretty much all of the insane quantities of chocolate the boys receive on Valentine's Day, over the year, and at times appears to be existing on a chocolate-only diet, even though she's a good cook. This of course gives her horrible pimples. She has several times spent the household food budget on chocolate, despite her normal good financial sense, and at one post-Valentine's Day blowout gained weight enough to be persuaded to start an exercise program ... resulting in that being taken to extremes and her trying to match the musculature of her beloved anatomical models.
- There Are No Therapists: Throwing the patient into the midst of four complete strangers is the exactly wrong way to treat social phobia.
- True Love is Exceptional:
- Kyohei hates girls, but gets along famously with Sunako, whom he regards as a freak. Is this because of true love, as said by the Shippers on Deck? Probably.
- In a non-romantic sense, Ojou-sama and Noi consider Sunako to be one of their best friends, despite being afraid of her at times and having opposite personalities from hers.
- Twice Shy: Kyohei and Sunako seem to have a more... violent version of this going on between them.
- Unknowingly in Love: Kyohei and Sunako from absolutely refuse to even entertain the thought that they're in love with each other- Sunako going as far as to say 'Love is an illusion' and Kyohei using the excuse that he 'loves her food'- and this is after they've kissed twice, saved each other countless times and had the entire cast calling them out on their UST and feelings - so much that at this point of the manga everyone is convinced they are in love/together.
- Use Your Head: In the JDrama, Sunako, instead of getting a nosebleed at the sight of a beautiful person, will headbutt whoever's standing in front of her. That person is usually Kyohei.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Takenaga (and Auntie, and everyone who was there and didn't try to stop them), in the Rape by Proxy example.
- Wholesome Crossdresser:
- The tenants — particularly Yuki — spend a lot of time in women's garb.
- Sunako, in a manga chapter, dresses as a boy as a way to go to a 'boys and girls mixer' with her friends without actually being on a date. And makes a damn fine job of it.
- Wife Husbandry: Ranmaru's father explicitly says he did this with Ranmaru's mom, and wants his son to do the same with the fiancée they've picked for him.Ranmaru: I must say that it is impossible for me to become like Hikaru Genji.
- Will They or Won't They?: Sunako and Kyohei. It took almost a 100 chapters just for Kyohei to realise he liked her; who knows how many it will take for Sunako to do the same. Now that the manga is finished, canon dictates that they... might.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: The challenge before the boys is to make Sunako one of these, but most of the time she is the polar opposite. It's interesting to note that she does have Yamato Nadeshiko traits (Hime Cut, cooking etc), but they're covered up by her other qualities.
- Your Favorite: Strawberries! Ebi (fried shrimp) for Kyohei.
- "SO RADIANT!"