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Manga / Wakaba Girl

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Wakaba and her friends.

Wakaba, the youngest child of a well-to-do family, is finally starting high school, and she wants to turn a new leaf. Maybe this time around, she can actually make new friends, and even properly experience what it feels to be a "normal" high school girl?

That's what she intends to find out.

Wakaba Girl (わかば*ガール) is another Slice of Life comedy from Yui Hara (known more for her other series Kiniro Mosaic). The manga ran in Otome Tsushin from 2010 to 2013, ending after the magazine was canceled. Hobunsha later picked up the rights and published a tankobon with an extra chapter in 2013. An anime adaptation by NEXUS aired during in the summer of 2015.

Crunchyroll is streaming the anime, which can be viewed here for folks in the following regions: note 

Wakaba Girl provides examples of the following:

  • A-Cup Angst: As their little trip to the water park reveals, Moeko is a little sensitive about her size, especially when the bikini she had bough the previous year fit Wakaba perfectly.
  • Beauty Contest: Nao says she's going to enter one in episode 8 to become more feminine.
  • Blinded by the Light: Mao in episode 5 when Wakaba greets her in the morning. Her cheerful smile and persona seems so bright that Mao gets blinded by it.
  • Brick Joke: When listing reasons not to touch Wakaba's front gate while preparing to ask her mother and sister for permission to take her to the summer festival, Mao says it might be electrocuted. At the end of Episode 10, we see that Wakaba's post-curfew home security measures include, among other things, visible electric current over the gate bars.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Wakaba has some odd notions about how a "normal" high school should act. Her friends are quick to put her straight.
  • Color Failure: Wakaba experiences this when her friends suggest putting off their trip to the ice cream parlor in episode 2.
  • Credits Running Sequence: Done by the main girls at the beginning, though technically they appear to be speedwalking.
  • Custom Uniform: Wakaba's long skirt, which stands out compared to the minis all her classmates wear.
  • The Cutie: Moeko, for certain.
  • D-Cup Distress: Nao's quite sensitive about her developing bust.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Wakaba does this in episode 8 while wandering the school with Moe before the culture festival. Moe joins in shortly afterwards.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: After winning the beauty contest in episode 9, Wakaba is asked who she'd like to commemorate this win to. The camera focuses on Nao, who was supposed to originally enter but couldn't due to being sick, but helped with the outfit she wore. Wakaba in a brief brain-fart moment, says "my deceased grandmother" instead. She does later present the trophy to Nao, though the latter declines it, saying she wants to win it on her own merits.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Moe sports some in episode 8 after Nao mentions writing a scene in which she fights a member of the judo club while suspended in mid-air.
  • Evolving Music: In episode 9, the opening song is sung by several of the girls, rather than just one.
  • Fast-Forward Gag: Done in episode 3 when Nao's explaining to Wakaba about Otome games.
  • Fish out of Water: Wakaba's sheltered life means she hasn't had many opportunities to spend time with regular girls. As such, she ends up doing things wrong, and is pretty clueless about what friends do together. For example, she tells the girls she has a cell phone, but it turns out to be a cordless phone that she took to the park with her.
  • Four-Girl Ensemble: Wakaba and her three friends Nao, Mao, and Moeko, of course!
  • Friendless Background: Due to her family's social status, and the fact that she's had to change schools fairly often, Wakaba was never able to have friends before.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Wakaba feeds some crows in episode 5, and they seem rather friendly with her. One even perches on her head and poses with her.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Moeko.
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: Nao attempts this in episode 8, but the other girls comment that she still looks the same, minus the glasses.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Mao in episode 5, after she comes to school in a very foul mood. It turns out she normally tries to stand next to a boy she likes on the train, but that morning another girl was standing by him, and seemed rather chummy with him.
  • Hypocritical Humor: A very stressed Nao tells a rather calm Wakaba not to worry during the contest in episode 9.
  • Insane Troll Logic: In episode 5, Mao decides that she has to follow around Wakaba and copy her in order to give off a rich girl persona. She concludes that Wakaba is the ultimate example. Then the following day she finds out Wakaba was trying to copy her, then claiming she was the ultimate example. Whatever she was thinking, it helped lift the sour mood she had from the previous day.
  • The Insomniac: Wakaba at the end of episode 8. She is too excited about the school's culture festival the next day, and is unable to sleep. When she calls Moe to ask for advice, she's told that it's three in the morning.
  • Instant Bandages: In episode 9, after Mao says that Wakaba would stand a better chance of winning the beauty contest than Nao, she is hit on the head. In the next scene, she has a bandage on her head, while Nao leads Wakaba to the dressing room.
  • Instant Fan Club: "Wakaba-chan Fever" spreads after she wins the beauty contest in episode 9. She is greeted by several fangirls while going to school.
  • Lethal Chef: Wakaba ends up burning the cake she made using Moe's recipe in episode 4 because she left it in the oven too long.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Wakaba means "young leaf", as in literally the new sprouts from a tree. Wakaba herself is a sheltered rich girl who's enthusiastic about learning new experiences.
    • Moeko is, well, moe, something that both Mao and Nao acknowledge, usually with accompanying Bishie Sparkle.
  • New Transfer Student: Wakaba. She also reveals that she's often transferred between schools a lot during grade school and middle school.
  • Nice Girl: Moeko.
  • The Ojou: Wakaba herself.
  • Once an Episode: Wakaba seeing off her friends at the intersection after school, and Wakaba with her mother and sister learning of yet another facet of commoner life.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: In episode 5, Mao attempts to shadow Wakaba and copy her movements and persona in order to give off a rich girl vibe. However, everything she does seems to be impossible for Mao, such as Wakaba walking on air, or at least looking like she does, and owning more than fifty dresses. She concludes that Wakaba is the ultimate rich girl example. Then the next day Mao finds out Wakaba was copying her moves in an attempt to blend in more with regular girls.
  • Proper Tights with a Skirt: Worn by Wakaba.
  • School Festival: Episode 9. Wakaba is rather excited as this is the first one she's been able to attend without being sick or transferred first.
  • Schoolgirl Series: Is a Kirara series, this should be expected.
  • Sheltered Aristocrat:
    • Wakaba is ignorant about quite a lot of things, which is why she's always excited to try new things, even stuff her friends would find otherwise mundane (like going out to eat ice cream).
    • It turns out both her mom and older sister are also out-of-touch with what normal people consider mundane — see how her mom recommended flying to France for lunch.
  • Sick Episode: Subverted with Nao in episode 9, due to dumping water on herself from the previous episode. She initially shows up sick, but then when Wakaba enters the beauty contest, she seems fine and isn't wearing a mask any longer.
  • Sleepy Head: Wakaba falls asleep in class during episode 5. Made more hilarious because she was sleeping with her eyes open, and standing up in order to answer a question their teacher asked.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Mao mentions there's a boy on the same train she takes to school that she likes. It seems innocent enough, until she mentions she also secretly takes pictures of him. Nao tells her to stop doing that.
  • Stop Drowning and Stand Up: Turns out Wakaba can't swim, and the first thing Moe finds her doing at the water park is flailing around... in the kiddie pool.
  • Supreme Chef: Moe seems to be very good at baking sweets. So good that in episode 4 she ends up not letting any of the other girls help her, probably because they've never cooked before.
  • Third-Person Person: Mao tends to refer to herself this way.
  • Yonkoma: Much like Yui Hara's other series.
  • Yaoi Fan: Nao, much to the surprise of her friends. She even lends Wakaba an Otome game.
    Mao: (talking about Nao) She's... rotten.