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Manhwa / Dear My Girls

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"My trade merchant mother and father constantly travel from England to India. This is my beautiful and extremely talented family."

Dear My Girls (작은아씨들) is a manhwa published in 2005, drawn by Kim Hee Eun and its original story is based on Louisa May Alcott's Little Women.

It is set in Victorian London, 1870. But it is twisted from the original as in this story, the heroines are rich instead of Laurie. A very obvious example of alternate reality, considering that the heroines are studying in an institute when people deemed it inappropriate for girls to be educated.

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The characters are mainly rich people. The manhwa reveals the rich kids' problems and goals while they are studying and living in the cruel reality of the high social class they belong in.


This manhwa provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parent: Sir Avery.
  • Action Girl: Beth, who kicks Adrian more than twice; and Jo, who fences.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The only things that remain from Louisa May Alcott's work are the names of the March sisters and Laurie.
  • Alliterative Name: Adrian Avery. Margaret March.
  • Alpha Bitch: Leonora. Could be a Lovable Alpha Bitch considering how she's also intelligent, and how she gets along with Jo.
  • Alternate History / Artistic License: This doesn't seem to be the Victorian Era wherein it wasn't yet acceptable for girls to be co-educated with boys in elevator schools, and where the nouveau riche like the March family were looked down upon by real nobility, like most of the other families in the academy.
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  • Ambiguously Gay: Ravin, who fell in love with Adrian when the former thought that the latter was a girl, but still pursued him even when it's clear to him that Adrian is a guy. Also, Ravin has himself stated that he has many women back in India.
  • Arranged Marriage: Almost official with Adrian and Leonora.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Beth and Amy fight with each other, possibly stemming from the fact that Beth feels like the black sheep especially compared to Amy, while Amy can't understand why Beth can easily draw people in despite being talentless whereas Amy has to work hard at her art for acknowledgement. It doesn't help that Amy is in love with Beth's suitor Laurie. But when worst comes to worst, the sisters stand up for each other, protecting each other from embarrassment and bullies.
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  • The Beautiful Elite: The March sisters and their love interests are. The March sisters, in fact, are some of the most popular girls in school, with each being a talented beauty - the exception being Beth, who is Book Dumb, though never lacking in the looks department.
  • Big Bad: Sir Avery, currently.
  • Characterization Marches On: Adrian.
  • Childhood Friends: Laurie and Beth. Whether Laurie is victorious or unlucky remains to be seen.
  • Childhood Marriage Promise: Adrian and Leonora.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Amy, towards Laurie and Beth. Also, Beth rips up Amy's acceptance letter thinking that she will lose all the attention.
  • Costume Porn: Victorian clothing in all its decked-out glory. Especially obvious in the official art.
  • Crapsaccharine World: At first, the setting seems like the Victorian Era in all its decadent glory, without the anti-female discrimination in terms of education, even. But it's slowly revealed, through the drama with the Averys, that political games are still as harsh on the nobles as ever.
  • Crash-Into Hello: How Adrian and Beth first meet.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Adrian is a genderbent version. He's slowly falling for Beth, while having a rivalry/friendship with Laurie.
    • Arguably, Leonora, especially around Jo.
  • Freakiness Shame
  • Guile Hero: Adrian, and Laurie
  • Happily Adopted: Greg.
  • Hidden Depths: Many, if not all of the characters.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Adrian, who seems to be all dignified and haughty; but later turns up many times to cover up for Beth numerous times.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: At first, it seems that the cold and ruthless Sir Avery is actually a Jerk With A Heartof Gold when he invites Beth and Laurie to his manor, when they help cover for Adrian in front of the school council. But it turns out Sir Avery only invited Beth because he wanted to offer Beth a chance to study abroad, so she would get out of Adrian and Leonora's way, as Adrian is obviously falling for Beth. It doesn't help that Adrian, whose reputation has to be flawless, gets in trouble with authority often because of Beth. And Sir Avery treats Greg like any other servant, going as far as to refusing to eat dinner at the same table with him.
  • Little Girls Kick Shins
  • Life Will Kill You
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Adrian and Leonora.
  • Love Triangle: Who will end up with Laurie and Adrian?
    • Love Dodecahedron: Amy loves Laurie, who loves Beth, who can't decide between Laurie and Adrian, the latter of whom is engaged to Leonora for sociopolitical reasons, who has Unresolved Sexual Tension with Jo. Also, Beth used to like Greg, who Meg also loves and gets together with, but Beth is now currently trying to break them apart when she finds out how manipulative Greg can be.
  • Love You and Everybody
  • Manipulative Bastard: Leonora Winchester and Sir Avery.
  • Messianic Archetype
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Beth and Jo.
  • No Export for You: It was never released outside of Japan.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Nearly every piece of clothing. Including school and maid uniforms.
  • Prince Charming: Adrian.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The Headmistress at nearly every appearance.
  • Rich Bitch: Adrian Avery (at first) and Leonora Winchester, but Sir Avery takes the cake.
  • Scare Chord: Leonora and Adrian.
  • Scenery Porn
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend
  • Shirtless Scene: That would be Greg, thank you very much!
  • Ship Sinking
  • Stage Magician: Laurie, and Beth.
  • Suddenly Sober: When Jo practices fencing, she suddenly turns serious.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Adrian and Leonora, especially around their love interests.
  • The Lancer: Who is it? Laurie or Adrian, either works.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Jo and Leonora. Among the sisters: Jo and Meg, and to a lesser degree Beth and Amy.
    • Actually, anyone's a girly-girl compared to Jo.
  • The Trickster: Laurie and Adrian.
  • True Companions
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Laurie to Beth, until he actively starts fighting for her hand. Also, Amy to Laurie.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Beth and Leonora.
  • The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: Leonora has shades of this.
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