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Lili, Hiromi, and the Zodiac Sprites
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To solve a crime, she needs your sign!

Lili Hoshizawa is a perky 13 year old middleschooler and uses horoscopes and astrology to predict the fortune of people, as well as solving crimes under the disguise of 'Detective Spica'. When her old childhood friend Hiromi returns to Japan, he joins her in her crime-solving. She uses the star ring, inherited from her disappeared mother, to summon the spirits of the Western Zodiacs and gain clues of the crime by asking for the horoscope of an involved person for that specific day.

The series was created by Natsumi Ando and was originally published in Japan as Jūnikyū de Tsukamaete (Catch me with the Twelve, referring to the 12 zodiac) in late 2001. It was published in Japan by Kodansha and in English by Tokyopop. The Tokyopop versions have been out of print since August 2009.

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Zodiac PI contains examples of the following Tropes

  • Allergic to Love: Hiromi breaks out in hives when touched by any girl. His allergy disappears upon being more open about his long-standing feelings for Lili.
  • Author Appeal: Natsumi Ando admitted in a comment that she liked drawing girl's long legs, which is why she often draws Lili wearing skirts.
  • Badass Normal: Hiromi has no magical transformation or supernatural force helping him solve crimes. He has a great sense of observation, decent physical prowess, and quite a smart brain.
  • Battle Couple: Hiromi and Lili become one as the two-pair 'Detective Spica' in the final pages.
  • Big Bad: Zeus turns out to be behind Sirius and her antagonism towards Lili.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Hiromi gives one to Lili in a burning hotel while in front of the case's important portrait. He claims that it was merely to give her CPR, though Lili also points out that he didn't break out in hives at that point.
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  • Bishōnen: Majority of the male characters presented, ranging from Hiromi to Mr Izumi.
  • Book Dumb: Hinted at with Lili. She finds a love letter and thinks she has a secret admirer, when Hiromi reveals that said letter was written by him in kindergarten. Lili excuses herself by saying that she wouldn't have been able to read the letter in kindergarten because it had too many complicated kanji in it.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Sirius was brainwashed since their first appearance, which is why they were antagonizing Lili so much. And the brainwash includes not remembering that she's her mother.
  • Catchphrase: Lili has one to give to the criminals she confronts.
    "Those who try to betray the stars will pay for it for a million lightyears!"
  • Childhood Friend Romance
    • Hiromi and Lili eventually fall in love with each other, though Hiromi had been carrying a torch for her since they were children.
    • One chapter involved the marriage of a couple that had been friends, and in love with each other, since childhood, which brings up an uncomfortable and awkward parallel between Hiromi and Lili at the time.
  • Child Prodigy: Hiromi moved to America as a child to attend college. He returned to Japan and proceeded to go to regular middleschool, which he made clear was quite boring for him.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: The Leo sprite is overall very helpful to Lili and very charming, as well as being a connoisseur of lady's undergarments.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: The Leo sprite has tanned skin and golden hair.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The Aquarius sprite Ganymede rarely speaks in any other tone.
  • Distressed Dude: Hiromi gets kidnapped by Sirius, though she reveals finding Hiromi was a test for Lili.
  • Driven to Suicide
    • The music school case reveals that a piano prodigy committed suicide, after an accident had crushed his hand.
    • The case with the bridal portrait has the creator of the painting, which depicted his dying daughter, as planning to burn down the hotel and the portrait alongside himself, so that nobody could take it away from him anymore. Lili snaps him out of it and gets him to safety.
  • The Faceless: Sirius is initially shown merely through her shadow or from far away. Done on purpose, as it isn't until Lili ends up seeing Sirius close enough to actually see her face to recognize her as her missing mother.
  • Forgotten Childhood Friend: Lili takes a while to remember that Hiromi was an old kindergarten friend.
  • Genki Girl: Lili herself, and a few of the Zodiac Sprites.
  • Great Detective: Lili as Detective Spica, and her father as Inspector Hoshizawa. Hiromi joins up with Lili.
  • Handsome Lech: The Leo sprite chides Lili for her choice of wearing polka-dot patterened underwear.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: Invoked. Sirius and Zeus' fiancée worked together to create one of these, because the fiancée wanted to see what was more important to him. When Zeus briefly hesitated to hand over the star ring in exchange for his fiancée, she was so distraught over this perceived betrayal that she threw herself off a cliff.
  • Hot for Student: A creepy example early on. Mr Izumi felt infatuated with several of his students because they appeared to feel the same way, but he got angry when they rejected him for actually attempting anything. He decided to kidnap and hide them in his classroom because they said they loved him, and that made him entitled to have them.
  • Hot for Teacher: Several students at the all-girls school crushed on the goodlooking Mr Izumi.
  • Inspector Lestrade: Inspector Hoshizawa doesn't manage to figure out the criminal in a case before Detective Spica does, and isn't aware that it's his own daughter foiling his work.
  • Insurance Fraud: The case of the golden bust has the owner trying to pull this off. He replaced the bust with one made of dry-ice, which would melt inside a box and be considered stolen when no longer found, hoping to make more than its worth back in insurance.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Along with becoming rather crazy, Zeus went evil because Sirius was the cause of his fiancée being in a coma.
  • Love Redeems: Zeus comes around to giving up his plans, upon being told the truth and The Power of Love.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Sirius is the missing mother of Lili.
  • Magical Girl: Lili uses the star ring to become Detective Spica, complete with nobody recognizing her.
  • Meaningful Name
    • Hoshizawa contains the kanji (星) for 'star'.
    • Spica is the brighest star of the Virgo constellation. It's also a binary star. Lili mentions this fact in the final pages, stating that there are two 'Spicas', revealing that she and Hiromi are now both going around solving cases as a pair.
  • Missing Mom: Lili hopes to eventually find her mother by becoming a famous detective.
  • Mood Whiplash
    • Several of the cases end up whipping from one side to the other. One case has Lili find a stolen, golden bust that was ridiculously expensive, then becomes dark when Hiromi gets kidnapped and Lili must go save him.
    • Lili throws a lampshade on this in a late chapter, when the overall atmosphere was very dark and she summoned the last Zodiac sprite, who was all cheers and smiles, and affectionately calling her 'kiddo'.
      Lili: Wow, you sure do lighten the mood...
  • Neat Freak: The Virgo sprite Demeter insists on Lili looking proper in her uniform, setting herself up to tie her school uniform's ribbon and mentioning a loose button needing some fixing.
  • Never Suicide: Lili refuses to believe that her classmate actually committed suicide. She turns out to be right, as Chihiro had stumbled across a teacher embezzling money from the school. He killed her in order to silence her, then made it out to look like a suicide.
  • Older Than They Look: A memory shows that Lili's mother was often mistaken to be her older sister, despite being in her late thirties.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Her non-magical disguises often involve Lili wearing regular clothes, a pair of glasses, and sometimes hair extensions. These disguises never work on Hiromi.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Color illustrations depict the Virgo sprite as having pink hair and wearing a pink dress.
  • Pocket Protector: Zeus shoots Lili in the chest, though she remains unharmed because the bullet struck the diamond pendant that she was carrying under her shirt.
  • The Power of Love: Said power cures Hiromi's allergy, and redeems Zeus when his own power of love for his fiancée allows her to wake up from her coma.
  • Single-Minded Twins: The Gemini sprites Pallum and Pollox, though they are also prone to squabbling with each other.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Some translations spelled the protagonist's name as 'Riri' instead of 'Lili'.
  • The Spock: The Capicorn sprite. Fittingly enough, Capicorn is also Hiromi's zodiac sign.
  • Star Power: Lili uses it to ask the ruling spirits of the Zodiac to provide a brief horoscope of someone involved in the current case. The horoscope generally involves vital clues that solve the case.
  • Tap on the Head: Hiromi gets knocked out by Sirius in one strike.
  • Tsundere
    • Hiromi is an abrasive Type-A towards Lili, though he mellows out rather quickly. When the two of them come to terms with their feelings, his tsundere side basically disappears.
    • The Taurus sprite Io appears as a very sweet Type-B, but as the Sagittarius sprite Chiron finds out, she really doesn't take well to being put down.
  • Western Zodiac
    • They play a major part in the plot, as Lili requires to know a person's birthdate to summon their zodiac sign's respective sprite and obtain clues on solving the various cases. The characters' personalities are also based on the general perception of traits associated with them.
    • Lili is a poster child for Aries, while Hiromi is one for Capicorn.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Lili forces Hiromi to crossdress to investigate an all-girls school.


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