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Manhua / The One

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Not to be confused with The One starring Jet Li.

Cane Lele is a 16 year old high school studnet who, despite being the daughter of Taiwan's once greatest supermodel, has no real interest in fashion or the modeling world after both of her model parents died in a plane crash to a shoot when she was still an infant. That all changes when she comes across a photo of world famous male supermodel Angus Lanson. So captivated by the expression in the black and white portrait, Lele decides right then and there that she will break into the industry just to get a chance to meet the man himself. This being a shoujo manhua, she doesn't have to wait too long until she stumbles into both him and his equally attractive older twin brother Eros.

The One is a romantic dramedy coming of age story about the modeling industry and falling in and out of love. Compare to Skip Beat!, which also focuses on a young girl breaking into the entertainment industry because of a potential romantic interest. However, whereas Skip Beat leans more towards comedy, The One dives deep into drama, especially in the later chapters during which the emotional highs and lows are more akin to a melodrama.

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The One provides examples of:

  • Always Identical Twins: Eros and Angus are carbon copies of each other physically, save for their eye colors.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Angus, who Eros finds himself constantly having to bail out and cover for his scandalous behavior.
  • Bishōnen: Angus and Eros, though justified as they are/were both models.
  • Big Eater: Both Lele and Eros show themselves to be this when he is cajoled into having dinner at her place, with Lele complaining about Eros eating all of her food.
  • Blackmail: What Hong Fei ends up doing to make Lele continue modeling after Lele's grandmother died and Lele understandably loses the will to continue.
  • Can't Hold Her Liquor: Justified since Lele is still a minor, but she gets absolutely wasted after downing a single glass of wine.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The dramatic aspects of the story are hinted at fairly early on, but the beginning still maintains a lighthearted tone as we follow Lele's shenanigans on her pursuit to becoming a successful model. However, after her grandma dies and she and Eros break up, much of the comedy is sidelined for melodrama.
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  • Clingy Jealous Guy: Angus is unusually attached to his older brother Eros and is even willing to concoct schemes just to make sure he's the only one who can monopolize his older brother's attention.
  • Costume Porn: Justified since the manga is about the world of high fashion modeling.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: Aunt Hong to Lele and since she also functions as a parental figure to Lele, overlaps with Tough Love. After Lele's grandma dies, Lele wants to quit modeling altogether. As her manager and relative, Hong could be sympathetic and let the poor girl go back to her mundane life. But Hong can see Lele's potential and refuses, holding Lele to her five year contract, which causes Lele to promise that once her time's up, she's going to formally cut all familial ties with the older woman. Hong puts on a strong face, but Luo can see how much Lele's words eat at her.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Lou for Fei Hong, as he has literally professed his love to her and she continually rebuffs him, throwing his past homosexual relationships in his face as part of her reason why. It eventually works to his favor when she sleeps with him while dealing with the fallout of dropping Tough Love on Lele and Lele telling her she no longer wants anything to do with the older woman.
    • Also Lele's mom qualifies as she started pursuing Lele's father while he was in a relationship with Luo. At the time he wanted nothing to do with her and intentionally was cold and distant to her, but she remained undaunted. Seeing as Lele exists, it worked out in Lele's mom's favor.
  • Drunken Master: Stephen, so much so his assistant feeds him alcohol to improve his memory.
  • Friends with Benefits: What Hong and Luo become, after Luo offers himself up to her to use any time she needs to let out her frustrations.
  • Godiva Hair: A picture of Lele's mom has this, including the horse.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Lele, complete with Snot Bubble.
  • Heroic BSoD: Lele suffers one after her grandma dies. Her friend Young Qiu is so distraught by Lele's radical personality and behavior change that she calls Lele's Aunt Hong sobbing.
  • Identical Twin Mistake: Played with. Eros is intentionally private and a bit of a recluse in comparison to his younger brother Angus, so he does sometimes get mistaken for his more infamous brother. That said, the twins are so renowned that most people can spot the difference, especially if their eyes are visible as Eros has silver eyes and Angus has green.
    • Played straight when Lele is on a shoot in Japan and she mistakes Angus for Eros. This makes sense since up until this point, she has only personally interacted with and talked to Eros and did not know Angus was even in the country.
  • Kiss of Distraction: What Eros lays on Lele so she can stop worrying about her grandmother and focus on the photoshoot. Also crosses over with "Shut Up" Kiss, since he does it mid-sentence while she is talking, and First Kiss for, well, being their first kiss.
  • The Lad-ette: Portraying a version of this trope (mixed with some Dominatrix) is how Lele gets her major breakthrough in the field of modeling. The irony is not lost on anyone considering that Lele's actual personality is far more childlike and goofy than the cool and domineering air she puts on. Lele eventually struggles to break out of this image as she becomes tired of it.
  • Love Triangle: Lele falls for Angus at first sight, but has consistent and persistent Belligerent Sexual Tension with older brother Eros from the minute they meet. Also falls under Sibling Triangle.
  • No Bisexuals: Lou turned straight for Fei and Lele's dad turned straight for her mom. The very obvious likelihood they are both bisexual is never even brought up.
  • Nose Bleed: Lele gets these in the middle of a shoot when simply remembering that Angus kissed her.
  • Parental Abandonment: Both of Lele's parents died in a plane crash before the plot of the story begins.
  • Parental Substitute: The aforementioned Parental Abandonment is made ok by Lele's grandmother stepping in and raising her.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Angus is the wild, carefree, and reckless younger brother to Eros's more responsible and straight-laced older brother. Also, while Eros is strict but kind, Angus is charming and friendly only on the surface and much more selfish and self-interested in reality.
  • Raised by Grandparents: Lele in a very sweet and loving depiction of this trope. It is obvious to anyone who spends less than a day with her just how much she loves and is loved by her grandma. Which makes it all the more heartbreaking when Lele's grandma falls into a coma and dies early on.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Comes with the belligerent sexual tension territory between Eros and Lele, with Eros literally kissing Lele when she begins panicking during a shoot as she learns that her grandmother is suddenly in the hospital.
  • Twincest: Exploited by Eros to shoo away the legion of groupies Angus brings home with him as he fakes being Angus's jilted lover. But subverted because no one at the time can recognize him as Angus's brother.
  • Twin Switch: Exploited. The photo of Angus Lele is obsessed with? That's actually a photo of Eros. Angus couldn't complete the shoot so Eros stepped in for him.
  • Twin Test: Downplayed photo version. Lele being captivated by a portrait of Angus Lanson and falling for him jump starts the entire plot. She later finds out however that it's actually a portrait of older twin brother Eros, who had to fill in for his brother the day of the shoot. This is heavily foreshadowed from the outset, as when Lele literally falls into Angus's lap during a fashion show early in the story, she is taken aback by the different vibe she gets from him in person as compared to the photo. And when she is with Eros, she is consistently reminded of the portrait. Given that they end up falling in love, this is used to indicate that Lele understands and is "the one" for Eros. Eros knows she is mistaken but chooses not to tell her, letting her find out on her own.
  • Typecasting: What eventually happens to Lele and her The Lad-ette image that she started her career with. She finds herself only getting jobs in such roles, despite it being completely counter to her actually personality.
  • Vicariously Ambitious: Aunt Hong tells Lele when Lele tries to quit modeling after her grandma dies that she sees Lele as a second chance for Lele's deceased mother, whose life was cut short at the height of her modeling career. Seeing Lele's mother succeed as a model was Hong's dream and she is unabashedly forcing Lele to fulfill that dream.
  • Will They or Won't They?: The entire focus of Lele and Eros's Belligerent Sexual Tension. They do. It does not last.
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