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Manga / W Juliet

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Ito Miura and Makoto Amano/Narita

W Juliet is a shoujo manga by Emura, which ran in Hana to Yume from 1997 to 2002.

Second year high school student Ito Miura, an enthusiastic tomboy and skilled in martial arts from her family dojo, has a dream of someday becoming a successful actor and is the female Club President of the Drama Club. One day she meets a female transfer student named Makoto Amano, who is Ito's complete opposite in femininity and shares Ito's vision of acting. Together they soon become fast friends.

One day during a visit to Ito's family dojo and home, Ito makes the startling discovery that Makoto is actually a male masquerading as a girl. Makoto, who reveals his actual family name as Narita, explains to Ito that his deception involves an agreement he made with his strict father. He wants Makoto to inherit the Narita family dojo and holds no respect for acting while Makoto, also skilled in martial arts, has no intention of doing this and wishes to pursue a career in acting. Therefore Makoto's father holds Makoto against one condition in order to receive his consent: Makoto must live as a girl and convince everyone as such until his high school graduation. If anyone should discover Makoto's secret he must give up his aspirations to act and accept to run the dojo without protest. Ito agrees to help Makoto by keeping his secret and supporting him in his efforts.

As they learn to depend on each other, they inevitably grow closer. However, there are others who do not wish for Makoto to succeed...

W Juliet provides examples of:

  • Accidental Pervert — Before Ito discovers Makoto's secret, Ito undresses in front of him in the girls locker room, taking Makoto by surprise. Later, Ito walks in on Makoto changing at her home (only naked waist-up). Then it was her turn to be surprised. Each found out the other's true gender through a Naked First Impression, in other words.
  • A Day in the Limelight — Most of the side charactersnote  have at least one chapter dedicated to them.
  • Arranged Marriage Makoto and Iizuka Takayo, arranged between Makoto's father and hers, the president of the Iizuka business group. Also Ito and her cousin Tomoe Miura would have become Kissing Cousins if Ito's grandmother had her way.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy — Arguably Makoto's father as he demands complete respect from his family. He is also the head of the Narita family dojo.
  • Art Evolution — It's subtle, but one can tell that Emura is getting more used to drawing the characters as time goes on.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender — Makoto
  • Author Avatar — Appears in the "Behind the Scenes" afterword in each manga volume and sometimes on a page after the end of a chapter, where she lets herself interact with the characters where there is No Fourth Wall.
  • Beach Episode — Actually takes place at the school pool, during the Juliet Contest.
  • Big Brother Mentor — Misao Toki was the male Drama Club President in his third year, while Ito was in her first. They had, and still have, a close friendship (at least when Toki is not chasing Ito).
  • Big Brother Instinct — Takashi for Takayo, often to Takayo's annoyance. Also Ito's older twin brothers as they are overprotective of Ito, although she is by no means unable to take care of herself.
  • Big Fancy House — Ito's father's family home.
  • Bifauxnen — Ito, though she becomes more feminine as the series progresses. Makoto certainly falls for it at first.
  • But Not Too Foreign — Christina, a.k.a. Chris, is originally from America. Additionally, Makoto's maternal grandmother is English, making his mother half-English and him and his siblings one-quarter English.
  • Charm Point — Ito being an enthusiastic Tomboy in looks and personality, and being taller than most girls. Also notable is her aversion to feminine clothing. Many characters at one point or another are amazed at how beautiful Ito looks whenever she does wear anything feminine. Toki even bought Ito a feminine outfit during a party and it brought everyone's attention on her. Of course it was just to make Ito fit Toki's ideals to make her his girlfriend.
  • Chekhov's Gun — In a much later story Ito starts wearing a plain ring on a chain around her neck. In the Rescue Arc Makoto subtly hints to the readers about its significance ... like we couldn't have guessed; otherwise no overt explanation at the time is given for its appearance. On a ski trip with Makoto and her family, Ito loses it in the snow and attempts to find it. She ends up being rescued by Makoto, who inadvertently commits The Reveal of his true identity to the Miuras, when he takes off his disguise saving her.
  • Cherry Blossoms — The trees at Ito and Makoto's school are in full bloom and the blossoms fall on them and their classmates at their graduation, where finally, Makoto "fulfills" the conditions set out by his father and is finally free to pursue an acting career. He would also be able to see Ito in his real male persona.
  • Class Representative — Misaki Ichikawa.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl — Tsugumi Nomura, Ito's senpai by one year, doesn't make it a secret that she wants "Ito-kun" for herself and can sometimes behave as a Psycho Lesbian for comedy relief. She is also a Gadgeteer Genius.
  • Club President — Ito is the female President of the Drama Club, while Yoshirou Ozaki is the male President.
  • Cool Big Sis — Ito, to her younger brother Tatsuyoshi. Also to her youngest cousin Tomoe.
  • Cool Mask — In Volume 6, Makoto's use of a mask greatly effects Tsubaki ("Mako-chan can't play anyone that ugly!"), for the drama that he and Ito put on for her. Akane explains to Tsubaki that outwardly it is "just a cloak and a mask" but he and Ito can make you see beyond them, to see the world they are acting in.
  • Costume Inertia — This frequently occurs, as the main cast is in the Drama Club and may have to act quickly to divert disaster, sometimes still in costume.
  • Cultural Translation — Sometimes at the end of a volume there are Cultural Notes for terms or places the reader may not be familiar with.
  • Custom Uniform — Both Ito and Sakamoto have done this, Ito mainly because of her refusal to wear the girls uniform.
  • Cute Ghost Girl — Sayoko in Volume 7. She can also be a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl. There is a legend surrounding her at Tsugumi's second home that a red-headed woman in an Ethereal White Dress lures men to the pond in the woods and drowns them. There is another ghost woman in Volume 8 that fits most of these tropes.
  • Dissonant Serenity — The first time this happens is when Makoto, at the beginning of the series, is hit on by strange men. Ito throws her arm in front of him and says "Just whose girl do you think she is?" in a very masculine way. Makoto eventually performs Dissonant Serenity more often for Ito in both his male and female personas.
  • Drama Club — Most of the chapters revolve around this, as Ito, Makoto, and the majority of the cast are members.
  • Even the Girls Want Her — This becomes an apparent trope for Ito at the Juliet Contest. Her Harem like to think of her as a Butch Lesbian, even if she doesn't swing that way.
  • Even the Guys Want Him — Subverted since they don't know Makoto is a guy. Atsushi Ichijo - Toki's senpai in college, a brilliant stage actor, and attracted to men - instinctively suspects Makoto to be a guy.
  • Face of a Thug — On the way to a drama troupe audition, Ito attempts to thwart two wallet thefts on the street by throwing her shoe at the thief (unfortunately he was the wrong person and looked none too pleased). Turns out later on that the person she had mistaken for the wallet thief was Director Igarashi, one of the judges for her audition.
  • Fangirl — Tsugumi for Ito. She even enthusiastically buys a set of five photos of her for ¥1000, before the Juliet Contest.
  • Festival Episode — Ito, her family, with Makoto and his older sister Akane, attend the Fireworks Festival.
  • Fighting Series — There is some fighting, as Makoto, Ito, and some others know martial arts.
  • Flung Clothing — Makoto disrobing to his swimsuit (amazingly still disguised as a girl) in the Juliet Contest. The robes get flung into other girls' faces (by accident?).
  • Forgotten Childhood Friend — Joutaro Kai, the son of Director Kai, although he and Ito did not get along. Ito met him again at drama training camp. He was Ito's classmate when they were very young and always picked on the girls, but was the worst to Ito because she always retaliated and admonished his behaviour. Ito wanted Joutaro to treat her equally but was shocked when Joutaro made her realize that in the end she always relied on her big brothers to protect her. As a result, this prompted Ito to cut her hair, dress like a boy, and learn martial arts for herself. Also a Temporary Love Interest.
  • Friendly Enemy — Takayo knows that Ito knows Makoto's secret, but will not say anything after she witnessed how Makoto's acting effected his father in Volume 1. If she were to tell, it would make her "the weakest woman in the world." Takayo further proves this trope to Ito in Volume 12 when Takayo relinquishes further efforts to take Makoto away from Ito, that she is "letting him go with pride."
  • Gadgeteer Genius — Tsugumi, usually utilizing these skills to yet again try to obtain Ito for herself.
  • Gender-Blender Name — Makoto.
  • Girlish Pigtails — Tsugumi has been known to wear twin French pigtails. Takayo has also worn twin braids when sick in bed.
  • The Glomp — Tomoe, upon seeing Ito, attempts to do this but is immediately stopped by Ito's brothers. Also it is the first time for the brothers seeing Tomoe as a Kawaiiko Wholesome Crossdresser. For this he gets Punched Across the Room from his mother, Ito's aunt.
  • Goggles Do Nothing — Tatsuyoshi almost always wears his sunglasses on the top of his head. Only occasionally would he wear them properly. He is once seen wearing regular glasses in the very first chapter.
  • Harem Seeker — Sakamoto is nice to all of the girls, and especially wants to date both Ito and Makoto, to their chagrine.
  • Happily Married — Makoto and Ito are implied to get married in the end... in drag!
  • Heir to the Dojo — Makoto is the unwilling heir to the Narita family dojo. His true ambition is to act.
  • Important Haircut — As a child Ito does this after finally deciding to become stronger and to stop relying on others, resulting in her being less feminine and learning martial arts to defend herself. See Forgotten Childhood Friend above.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy — Ito and Makoto. At first glance their dynamic looks like Tomboy and Girly Girl, but we all know why that's not the case. Makoto's being a Bishōnen only enhanced the disguise.
  • Meido — The girls in Ito's class while planning an animal cafe in Volume 12 for the School Festival, before the Rescue Arc. This includes Makoto and Ito! The first time for Ito was in volume 6 when visiting her grandmother, aunt, and cousins.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens — Mitsuko, Ito's grandmother.
  • Mistress and Servant Boy — Takashi takes this role upon himself for his younger sister Takayo, as he has quite a sister complex towards her. He usually goes farther for Takayo's happiness than she wants him to, making him an Upper-Class Twit. Tsugumi also has two male classmates under her thumb.
  • Missing Mom — Ito's mother Satsuki died being hit by a car when Ito was very young. This was just after Satsuki encouraged Ito to cut her hair and be the way Ito wanted to be.
  • New Transfer Student — Makoto is the first one in the series to transfer to Ito's school. Makoto thought it would be easier to live as a girl in new surroundings, with people who do not know him. Along for the ride is Takayo ( Makoto's fiancée by Arranged Marriage), her older brother Takashi, and Sakamoto who met Ito on a class field trip and became enamoured with her (eventually he falls for Makoto too).
  • New Year Has Come
  • Noblewoman's Laugh — Tsugumi
  • Nonuniform Uniform — Ito will not wear the girls' uniform due to her self-imposed Tomboy status, thus wears the boys' uniform or a masculine Custom Uniform. Makoto is technically guilty of this as well since, in order to live as a girl, he has to wear the girls' uniform.
  • Ojou — Takayo Iizuka, Makoto's fiancée by Arranged Marriage and Kozue Miura, Ito's oldest cousin.
  • Onee-sama — Tomoe refers to Ito as "Ito-nee-sama."
  • One Head Taller: Averted with the main couple, they are about the same height and the girl is the taller one (at first).
    • Your Size May Vary: Although both characters grow physically during the story line (Ito from 175 to 177 cm and Makoto fom 172 to 179 cm and over), it can’t explain how their height difference varies from scene to scene. The masculine one is depicted always taller than the feminine one. This is noticeable when their respective roles are still zig-zagging but it goes to ridiculous degree on the latter part of the story when stated Tomboy Ito is replaced by relatively short, cute Action Girlfriend Ito who is supposed to be only 2 centimetres shorter than her boyfriend but who still looks up to him.
  • Plucky Comic Relief — Tsugumi is a female example, as well as the most blatant one.
  • Recursive Crossdressing — Occurs whenever Makoto gets to play male roles for the Drama Club. Its members are often astonished on how realistic he looks, unaware that "he" is playing as "his" true gender.
  • Rescue Arc — Nobuko is kidnapped by three people robbing the school, who happen to be disillusioned childhood friends who grew up in the same orphanage. Ito, Makoto, and company go to her rescue.
  • Samurai — Christina, a.k.a. Chris, who first appears in Volume 10, is dedicated to martial arts and claims that "Karate is true Japanese culture." Her whole mindset revolves around this. Therefore Chris refers to herself and Ryuuya as "Apprentice" and "Master" and even refers to other members of his family as "Shogun" (the father), "Lieutenant" (Ito), etc. Upon visiting the Miura household for the first time she is dressed in full samurai gear and enters a match with Ito's father to gain approval for her and Ryuuya's relationship (where she more resembles a Kid Samurai against him). At the end of the match he gets Punched Across the Room by her sucker punch and approves of her. She exclaims "Samurai must be merciless against any enemy!" and "I will become a samurai like you, Master!" to Ryuuya.
  • Satellite Love Interest — One of the Terrible Trios of the series: Tsugumi, Sakamoto, and Toki, all trying to win Ito over to one of them. Tsugumi, who supposedly quit the Drama Club, came back to play Juliet once she heard Ito was playing Romeo. Sakamoto transferred schools to be with Ito, and later Makoto; however we find out more of his back story as the series goes on. Toki, while also adamantly pursuing Ito, is the weakest to fit this trope since at his first appearance we find out more about him, that in the past he was an active member of the Drama Club as the male Club President and currently a college student. Kouhei towards Makoto can also fit this trope.
  • School Idol — Ito amongst her female fans - especially Tsugumi - despite her protestations.
  • School Newspaper News Hound — Morita, the president of the Photography Club in Volume 1. He kept taking pictures of the Juliet Contest to the participants' annoyance (of course, after Tsugumi bought photos of Ito off of him). He also posted a newsflash page in the corridors of Ito and Makoto (as a guy) kissing at the school's outdoor pool.
  • School Play — The Drama Club puts these on occasionally. More often than not, in the midst of the production, Ito and Makoto are dealing with opposotion from others trying to foil Makoto's bet with his father behind the scenes.
  • Second Episode Morning
  • Secret-Keeper — Ito finds out Makoto's true identity in the first chapter and agrees to help him. This list grows as the manga continues.
  • SequelW Juliet II, continuing the story of Ito and Makoto after starting their new life together. Currently at three volumes.
  • Shōjo Demographic
  • The Short Guy with Glasses — Ito's younger brother Tatsuyoshi, although he is not a genius. He wears glasses in Volume 1 but in later stories wears sunglasses overtop of his head.
  • Slice of Life
  • Sparkling Stream of Tears — Ito cries toward Makoto when she thinks there is nothing between them, and that he favours Takayo due to her sickness. Or it just could have been the rain ...
  • Terrible Trio — Tsugumi and her two henchmen, in the beginning of the series. Eventually this trope refocuses on Tsugumi, Sakamoto, and Toki, as equal partners. There is also the three robbers in the Rescue Arc.
  • Third-Person Person — Tomoe Miura.
  • Token Mini-Moe — Tomoe Miura, Ito's fourteen-year-old Wholesome Crossdresser Third-Person Person Kawaiiko cousin.
  • Tomboy — Ito
  • Transfer Student Uniforms — Takashi and Takayo. Takayo eventually switches to the girls uniform of Ito's school, but Takashi keeps wearing his previous school's.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend — Takayo, towards Makoto.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser — Makoto Narita (male), a.k.a. Makoto Amano (female). Technically Ito as well, although she is more of a Bifauxnen. Also Tomoe Miura, Ito's cousin. He is the male heir of Ito's aunt's house and is in love with "Ito-nee-sama." Tomoe even convinces Ito's grandmother to arrange an engagement between himself and Ito to ensure a "strong, reliable woman" is around to run the household in order to compensate for his personality, which is very Kawaiiko in style.
  • Wingding Eyes — In Volume 1, Itou-sensei is thrilled at how good Makoto looks playing the role of Romeo (even though he is a guy in reality). With clasped hands she has starbursts in her eyes as well as surrounding her, with Ocular Gushers.