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Aya and Toda

A Japanese webcomic by NOBEL.

Aya Nakano has a secret— she can involuntarily read minds, which sounds great in theory, but is an awful and limiting existence in practice. Life is already hard enough as is, but then enters Hayato Toda, the boy who sits in front of her. To everyone else he is the cool and aloof ace of the soccer team who never seems to show emotion, but to Aya he is a perverted horn dog with a crush on her who never stops fantasizing about erotic situations between her and him. At first she tries to ignore it, but things get hard when she becomes friends with both Toda and his childhood friends Mana and Akira.

Mousou Telepathy updates daily here in original Japanese. English readers can read the manga translated, courtesy of Helvetica Scans and the Reddit speed scans.


Mousou Telepathy provides examples of:

  • Aborted Declaration of Love: After Toda reminds Nakano about the day they met, he prepares himself to confess to her, but stops at the last minute. Nakano, of course, could hear what he wanted to say in his mind.
  • A-Cup Angst: Mana's always been insecure about her lack of breasts. She doesn't think about it often, but when Nakano's become more prominent, she's forced to evaluate herself.
  • A God I Am Not: After telling Mana about her telepathy power, Nakano all but thinks this some time after in regards to not wanting to manipulate people through knowing what they're thinking.
  • All Love Is Unrequited:
    • Mana has been in love with Toda for a while, which led to her initial dislike of Aya. During the school trip arc she actually manages to confess but is turned down. Even then it seems her feelings won't change, much to Mana's frustration.
    • Toda and Shimizu (seemingly) to Nakano, for the main love problems. This does not apply to Toda anymore after Nakano realizes her feelings for him, but in Shimizu's case he's genuinely not sure if he likes her or not. Considering he still thinks about her, Etou straight up tells him he has feelings for Nakano.
  • All There in the Manual: Her character bio reveals that Toda's sister, Momiji, is gay. She also has a girlfriend but it's a secret.
  • Ambiguous Syntax: When Akira's (future) girlfriend first spies him and Toda outside the window, she says that she was looking at a hunk. The other girls in her homeroom think she meant Toda since he was the subject of the conversation, but she really meant Akira.
  • Art Shift: Anything Aya hears or sees that came from someone else's mind is rendered in color, from simple text to fully colored panels. If it's in color, usually it's an Imagine Spot.
  • Audience Surrogate: Mana serves as one to some extent, commenting on Nakano's lack of action and frustration with how things are handling with her.
  • Bad Liar: You'd think a person with mind-reading powers would be able to manipulate people around their thumb like it's nothing. Not Nakano, who is the polar opposite of Toda in that she practically puts her expressions on display all the time enough that Mana can read her like a book physically. Attempts at lying are almost always seen through.
  • Beach Episode: But with a small catch — they don't actually go to the beach, it's all just a sequence in Toda's mind.
  • Becoming the Mask: At first, Mana only trying to become friends with Nakano to watch between the latter and Toda. Eventually, she warmed up to Nakano and became her first close friend.
  • Beta Couple: Akira and his older girlfriend Asami, who mostly stay out of the romantic squabbles of the rest of the main cast. They have a couple of side comics detailing some scenes from their relationship, and it's as healthy and loving as it can be.
  • Big Man on Campus: Toda is one, due to his handsome looks, athletics, intelligence, and cool demeanor. Nakano often tells herself that she'd be attracted to him as well, if only she didn't know what he was like on the inside.
  • Blessed with Suck: The ability to hear everyone's thoughts is an awesome power by itself, but that also comes with hearing your friends struggle with whatever negative feelings they might carry towards you, even if they still want to be friends. Especially if you can’t turn it off.
  • Bland-Name Product: One strip has Nakano wear a "The South Face" shirt.
  • Broken Pedestal: Not in a bad way, mind you. Mana has always seen Toda as a cool, ace-like figure even when being friends with him, but after she sees what he's like with a girl he likes (i.e. awkward and shy), this view on him shatters. She sees him for all of his faults now, and gives up on her crush on him, but still appreciates him as he really is.
  • Brutal Honesty: As a person, Mana is usually passive aggressive with a person she doesn't like, but surprisingly straightforward with her close ones.
    • During the summer festival, Toda laments that Nakano was able to rely on Shimizu after she gets dizzy from her telepathy, and called himself lame for no being able to do the same. Mana rather bluntly agrees.
    • Her "The Reason You Suck" Speech outlined below, after being fed up with Ayako leaving her feelings aside and not stepping up to the plate even when she knows she can.
    • Sano is similarly blunt with Mana in the Volume 5 extra comics. He tells her upfront that he thought she was two-faced and clingy in the beginning, and that he wanted to ask her out because her face was attractive. But he goes on to say that he learned about the real her and that he wouldn't walk her home if he wasn't serious about dating her.
  • Call-Back:
    • In strip 29, Toda gets the attention of the rest of the class to help Nakano with some class representative duties. He only replies that it's natural for him to do so since he's a class rep, while really thinking it's because he's in love with her. The scene is repeated in strip 374 when he tells Nakano that she's not a nuisance. Appropriately, the strip is called "Chapter 29".
    • After Nakano realizes she's in love with Toda, she ends up repeating his statements in her head like he had done before.
  • The Cameo: Toda's look-alike older cousin Kazuma, briefly appearing in a flashback in the volume 1 extra comic, is a minor character from the author's previous completed series Boku to Uchuujn (My Alien Days). The leads of the story show up as keychains in a Volume 3 extra picture.
  • Character Development: Mana gets hit with this trope the hardest and the earliest. She goes from a outgoing girl with a bitchy interior to a kind friend who's trying to look out for Toda and Nakano's happiness.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Toda, all the way. There's a million things that he would like to do with Nakano, and often has wild and sexy fantasies about her. However, he's nothing short of helpful to her in life and keeps his distance.
  • Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends: Mana and Shimizu both had plot lines surrounding Toda and Nakano respectively, with Mana being in love with Toda in the early volumes and Shimizu seemingly in love with Nakano coupled with their Mistaken for Romance mini-arc. In the late stages of the manga, both of them get Ship Tease and eventually relationships with people in their respective grades that have crushes on them— Etou for Shimizu, and Sano for Mana.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl:
    • Mana recognized fairly early on that Toda was in love with Nakano, and asked to be friends with her in order to keep a close watch on her and put space between the two. Because Mana never really had friends before and Nakano was the closest thing she had to one, she felt incredibly bad about it later on.
    • Nakano eventually became this as well after she realizes that she loves Toda, stating that she now understands how Mana felt when other girls wanted to get close to Toda.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Akira, Toda's other childhood friend. He's a bit aloof like Toda, but can at least show expression - and loves to mess with others or do things his own way in a rather quirky fashion. It says a lot that his idea of a perfect dream involves a talking eagle declaring he's won a year's worth of eggplants for winning a Mt. Fuji biking competition.
  • Conveniently Coherent Thoughts: Played with; it's implied that she's actually using a filter or projecting her own thoughts onto everyone else. Averted in a bonus strip where Toda becomes a psychic, as the thoughts we hear from everyone else consist of non-sequiturs and doodles.
  • Covert Pervert:
    • Played with in that the reader and Nakano are entirely aware about Toda's perverted and lewd desires for her, but to the rest of the cast, his apathetic expression means no one even usually considers him to be interested in anyone. Only his friends think otherwise, and Mana is in the dark but concerned for Nakano about the consideration of it, while Akira and Toda's sister know about his porn, but even then no one is privy to the excesses.
    • Nakano herself, once she realizes that the images she thinks she's reading off of other people are just her own embellishments. Meaning all those perverted images she thought Toda and others were imagining were just her projecting. She's not very happy when she figures it out.
  • Cute Sports Club Manager: Mana wanted to apply for this role for the soccer team because Toda was going into it, but changed her mind. If Akira's girlfriend's homeroom was any indication, a lot of the girls in school were thinking the same thing, for exactly the same reasons. The club itself still had one at the time.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Aya has only ever had negative consequences with her powers, and the one time she tried to tell her mom about them, she overheard in her mom's thoughts that it was "creepy".
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The color went away from Nakano's life after she discovered her powers and told her mother about them. The only color left in her world is in other people's thoughts but they do slightly reappear during the festival and school festival arcs, and becomes crazier when Nakano starts questioning herself during volume 5.
  • Dirty Mind-Reading: Aya is constantly bombarded with Toda's erotic fantasies. However, over the course of the manga Toda has less and less of the dirty dreams and only thinks of them occasionally.
  • Dogged Nice Guy:
    • Shimizu is truly a good person, but his attitude with Ayako comes off far too strong and straightforward (for reference, he straight up asks her to marry him during their first encounter). Everyone around him finds it off-putting, though he doesn't come off as too much of a creep. He learns to tone it down later, especially after he begins to realize he may just be infatuated with Ayako instead of actually in love.
    • In an interesting case, Toda. He fits the "low-key yearning" version of the trope, but only Nakano is able to see him for this due to her telepathy and his inability to express himself.
  • Down to the Last Play: Not because the teams are tied, but because they're trying to tie in the last couple minutes. Toda had enough time to try and move past the opponent team's defenses and score, but he misses.
  • Driven to Suicide: A brief snippet of Black Comedy when Nakano has her Heroic B.S.O.D., as in the middle of arguing with Mana she feels so horrible briefly that she opens her balcony door with implied intent to jump. Mana promptly tapes her mouth and sits on Nakano to restrain her so she can get some quiet time to think. Becomes less funny shortly afterwards when Nakano legitimately fears what would've happened in her Freak Out! if Mana wasn't there.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Nakano meets Shimizu in the rain when he's trying to cover a cat from the water. The first thing she notices about him is that his thoughts align perfectly with what he's actually saying, revealing him as a straightforward boy.
  • Everyone Can See It: Pretty much everyone in class figured that Mana had a thing for Toda, as Nakano finds out when she reads the minds of the other classmates. Her obviousness as she's trying to act cute was one of the things that made her classmates find her obnoxious in the early strips.
  • Extreme Doormat: Mana calls Nakano out on being one of these. She notices that Nakano tends to avoid situations by just going along with everything people say, and wonders if she'd be able to do the same thing when it came down to relationships.
  • Festival Episode: The group decides to go to the summer festival in volume 3. However, they're largely prevented from doing all the regular things on account of Nakano growing dizzy from the overwhelming amount of thoughts she's able to read there.
  • Foil:
    • Toda to Nakano. Where Nakano is easy to read but tries to keep the feelings to herself, Toda is a very expressive boy but physically can't express himself because of his stoicism.
    • Shimizu becomes one for Toda when he's formally introduced. Both are in love with Nakano, but where Toda is too shy to actually tell her how he feels, Shimizu is far more upfront about things and isn't shy at all.
  • Foreshadowing: A lot of it, for the revelation that Nakano's telepathy is only half correct:
    • Every time she imagines Akira's girlfriend, she looks different from her actual self.
    • Nakano's mother has an exact picture of Toda in her mind when she thinks about him, but she'd never formally met him before.
    • The mental images Nakano sees of Toda's middle school years look slightly different. Mizutani has long hair instead of short like we see in the Volume 1 extras, and the middle school uniforms the girls wear don't match up.
  • First Love: Mana's was Toda. She lets go of her crush during the summer festival.
  • Flaw Exploitation: Inverted during the semifinals. Tatebana High's team eventually realizes that Rakuchu has a major strength in Toda and Shimizu, the ace and the goalie, and work to put pressure on both of them in order to gain the upper hand.
  • invokedFridge Logic: In one of the volume 2 bonus comics, Shimizu tells Toda that he applied for his high school because he wanted to challenge and face Toda after he lost a match against him in middle school. Toda immediately points out that they can't truly face each other on the soccer field because they're at the same school. Apparently this never occurred to Shimizu until then.
  • Friendless Background: Pretty much every other girl in class found Mana extremely annoying, due to her fake cutesy attitude and obvious clinginess to Toda, so she had absolutely no female friends until she starts to develop a bond with Nanako. It's because of this that she wants to remain friends with Nanako at all costs, regardless of what other feelings may come between them.
  • The Gadfly: Mana becomes this to Sano, much to his frustration.
  • Gentle Giant: Shimizu, goalie of the soccer team, is large enough to bump into most doors, and is a landmark for people in a crowd. But he's a downright kind and cheerful fellow who doesn't hesitate to help.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Mana brings Nakano back down to earth with an Armor-Piercing Slap after Nakano has a meltdown about her telepathy.
  • Idiot Hair: During more lighthearted or softer moments, these can pop up on anyone, but mainly Nakano and Mana - who both happen to be rather poor in the educational fields the other happens to be good at.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: After the school trip, Mana immediately starts blubbering once she gets back to her own room. She kept her feelings about Toda rejecting her and that he wouldn't see her as a woman all to herself, so as to not worry Nakano.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Hayato's idea of what'd happen if he was a girl is a bit silly; he imagines that he and Nakano would get a little intimate all because Fem!Toda suggests that it's purely skinship between girls.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Nakano approaches this after she figures out her telepathy isn't correct. She starts getting depressed and believes that everything she's seen thus far are her own delusions, up to and including Mana, who she just perceives as an imaginary friend. Thank heaven Mana woke her up when she did.
  • Irony: Despite being one of the few people that can really understand the inner thoughts of Toda thanks to her powers, Nakano is practically the opposite in that she's overly expressive and wears her emotions on her sleeve, allowing pretty much everyone to figure her out once they get past the Shrinking Violet surface.
  • It Runs in the Family: According to the volume 5 extras, Momiji has a girlfriend she's in a Secret Relationship with. Kazuma, her older cousin, is also gay, as we learn in My Alien Days.
  • It's All My Fault: Shimizu places all of the blame on the dating debacle squarely on himself, and hates that he let things go that far.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Shimizu does love Nakano, but he'd rather she go with Toda even if he ends up feeling lonely from it.
  • Just Friends: It turns out what Shimizu feels for Nakano isn't love, and he just wishes to hang out with her. Their subplot concludes with them agreeing to be friends.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: After on of the other soccer members interrupts Toda and Nakano talking to each other, Toda thinks "What is this, a manga?!" to himself. That strip is titled "Yes it is".
  • Letting Her Hair Down: In an interesting case, Mana takes her twintails and keeps them straight instead of coiled during the latter half of the manga. She's much more honest during that time.
  • Love Epiphany: Strip 376 has Nakano realize that she actually wants Toda by her side, and a mere 2 strips later she finally admits to Mana that she's in love with Toda.
  • Love Triangle: Of the Type 3 variety. Shimizu and Toda like Nakano, but she doesn't like either of the boys that way. Mana even points it out, saying that her situation is like a typical shoujo romance. Though it's actually a bit different; Nakano and Toda like each other, Shimizu is in a Sempai/Kohai thing with Toda, and he likes Nakano enough to be friends with her.
    • Also starts off with Type 5: Mana loves Toda, who has a crush on Nakano, who does not start off with romantic feelings of her own. Progresses to a Type 4 once Nakano develops feelings for Toda, though Toda does not know about this and wonders if Mana's and Nakano's friendship might have blossomed, making this a Type 12.
  • Loving a Shadow: At some point Nakano wonders if Toda is just in love with her capability of noticing his emotions rather than her as a person, but he claims that is just one of her qualities he appreciates.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane:
    • After Toda's team loses semifinals, Nakano goes to talk to him, and after a small talk, he starts to cry. He denies having done it even though she swears she saw him, but it's ambiguous whether he was actually crying or that's what he was doing in his mind's eyenote .
    • On a grand scale in volume 5, where Nakano starts questioning if she can actually read people's minds after she figures out that some thoughts don't actually match up with reality. It has a subtle buildup throughout the story, given that many of the thoughts are about her specifically and sound very much like what she thinks they actually feel. Turns out it's a mixture of both; she can read their minds, but her imagination and information she knows usually fills in the blanks for their thoughts. She can't see the pictures in their mind's eye.
  • Mistaken for Romance: During the festival, someone had taken a picture of Nakano and Shimizu together, and the rest of the Rakuchu soccer club go on to think the pair are dating. Even after the mistake is cleared up some boys bring up the topic, much to Shimizu's discomfort.
  • Mundane Utility: Nakano did try to use her ability to cheat on a test, but all of the thoughts she wanted to hear were jumbled up, and too many of them had the wrong answers anyway.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Played for Laughs when Nakano realizes all the perverted imagery gleamed from Toda's thoughts were really her own. Toda's still a pervert but Nakano has effectively blanketed her own perception of him with her own lewdness, and she has a comedic, soft sort of Heroic B.S.O.D. because of it so shortly after a real one.
  • Nice Girl:
    • Due to her Extreme Doormat tendencies and the fact that she'll help everyone with what she can when they ask it of her, Nakano's perpetuated this image. She's far more self-aware about the problem and secretly a Deadpan Snarker at countless people's thoughts on the inside, but ultimately can't help but be kind to others despite this.
    • Shimizu is a good kid with a heart in the right place. He's usually willing to help out others, but often at the expense of himself. The Volume 3 omake showed that he was late to entrance exams because he was busy helping out people on the way to school.
  • Oblivious to Love: Sano has a pretty big crush on Mana, but she didn't notice it at all during the school festival. Subverted almost immediately afterwards when she realized that the boy was trying to cozy up to her by taking her along the festival grounds, because she almost tells Toda to do the exact same to pursue Nakano.
  • Official Couple: Akira/Asami, and later, Sano/Mana. Toda/Nakano is an uphill battle, but it's getting there.
  • Rainbow Motif: Grows closer and closer to the trope as the series goes on. It starts out with a Chromatic Arrangement with Toda (red), Nakano (blue), Mana (yellow), and Akira (green), but after Shimizu (purple) joins the main cast they become a color shy of completing the rainbow.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: During the school festival arc, Mana gives Ayako a savage one that only she can hear, calling her out on her indecisiveness and the fact that she uses her telepathy to learn but only passively waits out her problems instead of trying to solve them herself.
  • Rom Com: With a bit of Fantasy and Slice of Life thrown in.
  • Romantic Runner-Up: Shimizu. He's everything Toda is lacking— honest with himself, willing to be upfront with his feelings to Nakano, and in general is much more forward with what he wants. But Nakano isn't interested in him though he has some moments with her, and at the end of it all it's obviously Toda who's going to get with her anyway.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Aya and Mana begin to develop this after Aya tells Mana of her powers.
  • School Festival: The fourth volume has an arc with this, and many of the usual events suggested for it, such as the Cosplay Café (Shimizu ends up doing this, and he somehow knocks it out of the park).
    • School Play: Mana suggests one for the school festival. Some of the students think she wants to exploit the situation in order to do a romantic play and have her and Toda casted as the leads, but she surprises everyone by wanting an adaptation of The Lion King, with her as a hyena. They end up with a Haunted House (really hospital) instead.
  • Secret Keeper: Mana becomes the only one Aya has ever told about her powers. Other than her mother, who either disbelieved Aya or forgot.
  • Series Continuity Error: Despite visiting and seeing Toda's family as a small arc earlier in the story, Nakano apparently forgot that she met his mother; in the same chapter her appearance is completely wrong due to Nakano trying to imagine what she's like. A fixed version of the chapter properly brought the design back.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • Momiji is pretty supportive of her brother's crush on Nakano.
    • Shimizu recognizes early on that Mana liked Toda, and during the festival arc he gets the four of them split up into groups, so Mana and Toda can bond with each other.
  • Ship Tease: Every so often, there will be a scene where Nakano thinks of Toda in a romantic light. Then comes strip 306, where she imagines kissing Toda of her own will and blushes about the thought, whereas any other time she'd be disgusted or indifferent.
  • Shout-Out: To JoJo's Bizarre Adventure when Toda imagines Shimizu getting with a cheerleader!Nakano. There are actually four references: One to the infamous Erina/Dio kiss, the pose, the "GOGOGOGO" lettering, and Nakano thinking "Yare yare dawa" to herselfnote .
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Toda is only attracted to Nakano. When other men wonder what happening on the girls' side in the hot spring, he's the only one who specifically imagines her. When Toda tries imagining himself paired with Mana, he finds himself not attracted to her at all.
  • Spotting the Thread: In Strips 406 and 407 Nakano notices that Yashima's girlfriend doesn't look like she appeared in his thoughts.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: In Strip 593 Mana says to Nakano that since she likes Toda and she knows that he likes her too thanks to her telepathy, she could just make moves on him.
  • The Stoic: Deconstructed. Toda's unchanging face has led some people to think that he doesn't enjoy himself or like being around other people, as was the case with his previous girlfriend. People also tend to think that he's an enigma, since because of his inability to physically express himself (or rather, because of his extremely subtle ways of emoting), no one knows what he's thinking or what he wants. It is actually due to a genetic condition his sister shares, of dead facial muscles. This is the reason (aside from pure lust) why he finds himself attracted to Nakano: she can read him like a book in spite of his difficulties.
    • Both his sister and mother are the same, but they can at least move their mouths in a different way.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Both Shimizu and Nakano agree that "Parmesan Stroganoff Picatta Langoustine Vichysoise the 13th" is a good idea for a cat name, much to Mana's confusion.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Toda's sister, as well as his older cousin, look almost exactly alike (or completely alike in the cousin's case). Momiji even has the same stoic face; see The Stoic above.
  • Telepathy: Well, it's right there in the title isn't it. Though the manga only seems to show the downside of having such powers, and in volume 5 she's questioning if it's even real or not.
    • It's real, though not as portrayed at the start. The thoughts she sees are real, however the images she sees are of her own mind's creation. In other words, the person she's reading from is the writer, and she's the painter.
  • Tempting Fate: After summer break, the gang's homeroom got rearranged seating. Toda was hoping that he'd get to sit next to Nakano, but dismisses the thought, saying that it'd never happen. But then he gets his lucky number in the drawing box...and she ends up sitting next to Akira.
  • Third Wheel: Of the "annoying, interfering friend" variety, at least in Shimizu's mind. He realizes that he's gotten in the way of Hayato and Nakano after figuring out Hayato's feelings, and feels incredible guilt and awkwardness about the fact.
  • Underdogs Never Lose: Toda's soccer team was playing against the Tatebana soccer team during the preliminaries. You'd think that Toda's team would tie and at least get the upper hand on their opponents in the overtime, right? Wrong. They had a good lead in the first half, but the team started putting pressure on Toda and Shimizu, eventually tying and getting the upper hand on them. Toda's last minute goal attempt barely fails.
  • What If?: One of the author's extra twitter comics has Toda with the telepathic powers and Nakano as the stoic but crazy-in-love character. Amusingly, Toda still loves her in this universe.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: During Nakano and Toda's talk after the semi-finals, he tells her about the time when they first met, and how he came to fall in love with her. He had lost his exam ticket as he was making his way through, and Nakano had found it. What enamored him so much was that Nakano told him he looked troubled— something that no one had said before because they couldn't figure him out.

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