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Series / Shōkōjo Seira

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Shōkōjo Seira is a 2009 Japanese drama of 10 episodes, adaptation of the children's novel A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Starring Shida Mirai as Seira, Tanabe Seiichi as a French teacher and Higuchi Kanako as the Japanese counterpart to Miss Minchin, Mimura Chieko. This version took more liberties with the original material than the anime Princess Sarah, making Sarah/Seira an adolescent, and giving her a love interest.

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Shōkōjo Seira provides examples of:

  • Adults Are Useless: Either the adults are downright evil (Mimura Chieko), clueless (Mimura Emiko) or genuinely want to help (Aran-sensei) but doesn't have the power to.
  • Affably Evil: As the series continues, we see that both Director Chieko and Maria have Hidden Depths and despite treating Seira horribly, they aren't entirely irredeemable.
  • Aloof Ally: Kaori openly expresses disgust at the way Maria treats Seira and is the only one who actually stands up to Maria and can get away with it. However, she expresses more of an interest in why Seira puts up with Maria than actually wanting to help her.
  • Alpha Bitch: Who else but Takeda Maria, the counterpart of Lavina?
  • Big Brother Instinct: Despite Kaori saying her family aren't close, her older brother comes in to visit her.
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  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Yukari acts all friendly and cute, but really, she's a nasty piece of work, purposely stepping on Seira's injured foot to give her the advantage. And when Masami was helping, she nearly stepped on Masami's hand to stop her.
  • Break the Cutie: It's like everyone is after the poor girl. In fact, Kaito, Masami and the two mice might be the only reason why Seira hasn't broken completely.
  • Bumbling Dad: To the surprise of many, Maria's father is this.
  • Catchphrase: Seira often says that "all girls are princesses". It means much to her because her deceased mother used to say it as her catch phrase.
  • Childhood Marriage Promise: According to Kaito's friend Yukari, he promised her this when they were kids.
  • Cute and Psycho: For most of the time, Director Mimura Chieko is calm and cool as a cucumber. However, when Seira (or when she's reminded of Seira's dead mother) appeals to her in a wrong way, she utterly snaps and begins shrieking and slapping said victim (usually Seira).
  • Daddy's Girl: Seira is close with her father, after her mother had died when she was very young.
  • Dean Bitterman: Mimura Chieko who runs the school and absolutely hates Seira, saying it right to her face.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Kaito is essentially Becky. Only male.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Mimura Chieko had quite a grudge against Seira's mother. But since Seira's mother is dead, she would just it out on the next closest thing: her daughter. It doesn't help that Seira acts almost identical with her mother.
  • Doting Parent: Seira's father dotes and spoils her, but she is nice and sweeet.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: When she is insulted by her sister or feeling depressed, Emiko has a few rounds and starts to ramble angrily about her dominating sister.
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: Both Seira and Kaito do this to each other. While waiting for the train, Seira falls asleep and Kaito simply kisses her on the forehead. And before Seira left the school, she gives Kaito a kiss on the cheek.
  • Easily Forgiven: As with the anime, Mimura Chieko and Maria, despite treating Seira like dirt, were forgiven and they both treat Seira much nicer in the ending. Interestingly, it was subverted with the cook, who was demoted to Seira's job and moaned how she should have treated Seira better.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Seira, despite not being a princess. And both her and her mother like to say how "all girls are princesses".
  • Everyone Looks Sexier If French: Aran-sensei the French teacher
  • Fallen Princess: Despite not being a princess, Seira is one, having went from riches to rags.
  • Flash Back Echo: So, so much. In fact, there are certain things that affect Mimura Chieko whether positively or negatively, though we don't know the reason until we see her Flash Back.
    • When they first meet, Seira fixes Maria's tie. In Mimura Chieko's flashback, it was Seira's mother who fixes Chieko's tie when they first meet.
    • Maria as Juliet fumbles her lines briefly in the Romeo and Juliet play. Which reminds Director Chieko of how she messed up her lines when she acted as Juliet. We find out that Seira's mother was originally suppose to be Juliet, but fell sick and Chieko had to take her place last minute. And Chieko knew that her performance was nothing compared to Seira's mother's would-be performance. Similar to how most people knew Seira was the better choice for playing Juliet compared to Maria.
    • Similar with the above example, Seira was re-enacting Juliet's part on stage after the performance had long ended. Her actions and expressions were exactly like her mother's. Even their circumstances were similar, as Seira was denied the role and Seira's mother was sick and both of them perform Juliet's role secretly Also how Chieko had accidentally stumbled upon their performances is quite similar.
    • As Romi throws a temper tantrum, Seira gathers her up in her arms and hugs her until she calms down. When Aran-sensei was a child and had gotten lost, Chieko was the one doing this to him.
  • The Fool: Emiko, who is this and The Ditz. She cannot make a decision on her own, letting her sister run everything and despite having good intentions, she does nothing to help Seira, who she knows is suffering.
  • Friend to All Children: Seira was the only person who was able to calm Romi's tantrum and after that, Romi followed her around like a little puppy.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Seira isn't afraid of the two mice in her room, even feeding them scrapes of her food. Same thing with Kaito, who was first shown befriending the mice.
  • Genki Girl: Seira's mother was constantly cheerful, energetic and always smiling.
  • Happily Adopted: Masami was in fact adopted. And in the end, Seira gets adopted by her father's friend.
  • Heartwarming Orphan: The orphaned Seira, even in the face of despair and loneliness.
  • Hope Spot: Maria told the chef, his wife, Kaito and Seira that they will be participating in the play with them. Almost immediately, Seira hopes that she would be able to play Juliet, the role she always dreamed of playing, despite knowing Maria hates her. And Maria doesn't disappoint, cruelly slamming her back to reality by giving her an offstage role, not even allowing her to appear in the play. Another character lampshades this, showing disgust at how cruel Maria was to do it to Seira.
  • Hot Teacher: With Tanabe Seiichi playing a French teacher, we all knew this was going to happen.
  • Insult Backfire: While cleaning up spilt soup that Maria purposely spilled on Seira's head, Maria sneers that she looks like a mouse. Seira returns it by thanking her and replying that she likes mice.
  • Kick the Dog: More like slap the dog. Poor Seira. The chef and his wife treat Kaito and Seira quite cruelly, bullying and snapping at Seira on the first day of work, not even offer any condolences that she just found out her father was dead. And in their first appearance, when Kaito hopefully expresses the desire to go to high school to study, they merely laugh in his face and tell him that it's better if he gives up. They continue to do this for the rest of the series.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Seira is like her mother in so many ways, all of which annoy the school director very much, as she had went to school with her mother.
  • Love Triangle: Emiko likes Aran-sensei who's more interested in Chieko. And later, we get Kaito's old friend getting jealous of his and Seira's relationship.
  • Manchild: Emiko is a cheerfully childish woman who still sleeps with a stuffed animal, in contrast to her stricter and colder sister.
  • Meido: Seira is forced to wear this after she loses her fortune and has no money.
  • Nice Guy: Kaito.
  • Nice to the Waiter: The trait that Seira, no matter what the version, always has. She is kind to everyone, even if they treat her like dirt and order her around. Subverted by many others, such as the chef and his wife who mercilessly bully Kaito and Seira around.
  • Odango: Romi, the cute little girl adopted by Seira, wears these.
  • Only Child Syndrome: Seira's mother was an only child and it can be assumed so is her father (or if he had siblings, they are dead), since Mimura Chieko remarks that Seira has no relatives to come and claim her.
  • Parental Substitute: Seira becomes Romi's mother during her stay at the school.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Director Mimura Chieko treasures her student badge very much, since she earned it through hard work and determination. When Seira returns it, she is visibly happy and holds the badge tenderly. And a bit before that, she formally accepts Seira as an employee of the school and hands Seira her first paycheck.
    • And after Emiko embarrasses herself in front of the parents, Chieko cheers her up in her own way and says that parties are more of her strength and even casually mentions that she herself is bad when it comes to parties.
    • When Maria sees that Kaito's friend Yukari is bullying Seira, she tells Yukari to leave. Whether she doesn't like what she sees or simply doesn't like the fact that they have an outsider intruding and disrupting the peace of the school. You could say that the pride she has in the school is her Pet the Dog.
  • The Pollyanna: Seira defines this trope. Even after hearing that her father is dead and she has to work as a servant, she doesn't give up.
  • Promotion to Parent: After Romi decides that Seira will be her new mother after her real mother died.
  • Rich Bitch: Maria, Maria, Maria. Even when her kind father wanted to visit her at school, she directly told him not to and also renamed herself, so she wouldn't have the name that her father had gave her.
  • Shout-Out: Like the anime, Seira reads "Cinderella" to a few children in the first episode, foreshadowing the parallel between herself and Cinderella. She even tells the children listening that even if things look bad now, they willl turn out for the better.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Friendly, naive Emiko to strict, calculating Chieko.
  • Slow Clap: Kaori mockingly does this to Maria, mentioning how the only reason why Aran-sensei left her the job to greet the French teacher who was coming to the school was because Seira wasn't there.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Despite being very rich, pretty and is doted endlessly by her father, Seira turned out kind and helpful to those who need her help.
  • Stepford Smiler: Seira, even when she's feeling down or plain miserable, she keeps on a smile and her cheerful attitude.
  • The Stoic: Kaori who rarely shows her emotions and prefers to stay away from people to keep from getting hurt. Turns out she's Not So Stoic.
  • Tagalong Kid: Romi couldn't stand being seperated from her "mother" Seira for even a second, so they had no choice but to have her shadow Seira while she works.
  • Taking the Bullet: Not as dangerous as a real bullet, mind you, but still very traumatic. Maria and the rest of the class were throwing tomatoes at a submissive, humilated Seira. When Seira's friend Masami was bullied into throwing the last tomato, Kaito comes in last second to take the hit instead and spare Seira of being hit by her own friend.
  • Tastes Like Friendship: After Seira returns to her room after a long day's work with minimal food, her friend Masami often comes by at night, sneaking in food for her.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • One of the last things Seira says to her father is for him to promise not go to anyplace dangerous.
    • And after Seira gets kicked out from the school for not looking after the school, Maria remarked that it ended too soon and it was a boring ending. Of course, if you've read the original book, you know it's far from over and not boring in the least.
  • True Companions: It would have been quite lonely and depressing for Seira if it wasn't for Kaito, the two mice and Masami helping her.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Kaito's friend Yukari, who Kaito is not interested in.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Surprisingly, Mimura Chieko was this, particularly towards a young Aran-sensei. In fact, when she was younger, Chieko wanted to be the Director of the school so she could teach girls who are less fortunate.
  • Wealthy Ever After: After having her assets unfrozen, along with being adopted, Seira is wealthy once again.


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