Shiro no Eden is a 2010 Shojo manga series by Ririko Yoshioka.
Third year middle school student Mashiro Serikawa is pressured by her stepfather and mother to do better in Cram School, is hated by her stepbrother Shuuto, and is isolated from her classmates because of her constant studying and her status as the adoptive daughter of the Houou Seminar Cram School's principal. She feels like she doesn't belong and constantly tells herself to be a "good child" or she will be hated.
When Mashiro arrives at the train station from another evening of cram school, she witnesses an argument between a man and a woman that ends with the woman running into a train and leaving, the man being left behind, and papers scattered on the ground. Mashiro helps pick up the papers and returns them to the man--carefree and mysterious Ai Takano--who then takes Mashiro to see the cherry blossoms in gratitude for her help. There, Mashiro admits her problems to Ai, and he comforts her and gives her a sweet candy that can "grant any wish," which reminds Mashiro of a boy who said the same exact thing to her as a child. Mashiro asks if she can meet Ai again, and he gives her an address if she wants to see him. The address in question turns out to be the Tori no Ko Cram School, and Ai is one of the teachers there. Ai's younger brother Satsuki Takano and Kayo Misawa, who are also fellow classmates of Mashiro's, attend the cram school too.
Through Ai's guidance and seeing how friendly and fun the Tori ni Ko Cram School and its students are, Mashiro decides to join the cram school in her resolve to change herself and to reach out to others, and in doing so, she gradually finds herself becoming closer to Ai and falls in love with him. However, in spite of Ai's friendly demeanor, it's soon hinted that he is not-so-friendly as one would realize and has problems of his own that are masked behind his smile.
- Alliterative Name: Shuuto Serikawa and Sara Sasamoto.
- Aloof Big Brother: In his first appearance, Mashiro's stepbrother Shuuto insults her for doing poorly on her latest cram school test, and when Mashiro's stepfather berates that it's embarrassing since Mashiro is the daughter of principal of the cram school, Shuuto flat-out says that Mashiro isn't his father's daughter and that Mashiro and he are not siblings but instead strangers.
- Alpha Bitch: Misawa. She gets better and moves on to Tsundere territory when it concerns Mashiro.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: After learning that Mashiro has decided to give up on Ai, Satsuki confesses to her and asks her to choose him instead. Shuuto intervenes and pulls Mashiro aside, with her apologizing to Satsuki.
- Animal Motifs: "Tori no Ko" means "baby bird." In contrast, "Houou" means "phoenix."
- Beauty Mark: Ai has one by his right eye.
- Betty and Veronica:
- Big Brother Instinct: Mashiro claims that her stepbrother Shuuto hates her, but he's actually quite protective of her. He goes after Mashiro on more than one occasion when she runs off from home and is distrustful of Ai, who Mashiro is fond of. Sara Sasamoto even lampshades this in Chapter 9.5 when he compares Shuuto's attitude towards Mashiro to that of an Overprotective Dad. However, later chapters indicate that Shuuto's reason for being overprotective of Mashiro and hostile towards Ai is because Shuuto has feelings for Mashiro.
- Big Brother Mentor: Shuuto tries to be this towards Mashiro, but his overbearing attitude either bothers her or drives her away.
- Blackmail: After they discover that Ai does Compensated Dating as a side "job," Shuuto tells Mashiro that he will not tell anyone about it, as it would jepordize Tori no Ko Cram School, if Mashiro agrees to quit the cram school. Mashiro reluctantly agrees, but is able to return to the cram school once Ai decides to quite his side "job."
- Blatant Lies: Shuuto is horrible when it comes to lying about how he's been looking for Mashiro in Chapter 3 and Chapter 5.
- Boy Meets Girl
- Meet Cute: Starts off this way. And then gets brutally subverted when it turns out that our heroine and her love interest are half-siblings.
- Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Ai and Mashiro.
- Brother-Sister Incest: Two chapters after Mashiro and Ai pull a Relationship Upgrade, it's revealed that they share the same mother.
- Celibate Hero: Ai, who believes he doesn't deserve love nor is he capable of it. At first.
- Chekhov's Gun:
- In Chapter 1, Mashiro is hurrying to gather all her books for school and accidentally knocks over a glass snowman on her shelf and is relieved that it is not broken. It turns out inside the snowman is money she's been saving since the first grade for an unspecified goal, and while pleading with her stepfather to let her attend Tori no Ko Cram School, Mashiro tells him she will pay for the school herself using the money she saved.
- In Chapter 9, it's shown that Mashiro has kept the candy wrapper from the candy Ai gave her as a sort of Memento MacGuffin.
- When Satsuki brings Mashiro back to her house, it is shown that Satsuki is acquainted with Mashiro's stepbrother Shuuto. When a feverish Mashiro abruptly leaves her class trip to see Ai in Chapter 7, Satsuki calls Shuuto, who finds Mashiro and brings her home.
- Shuuto's overprotective nature towards Mashiro is hinted to be because he has feelings for her, which isn't directly stated until Ai calls Shuuto out on it.
- It's barely hinted early into the series only to become blatantly obvious in Chapter 11 and revealed in Chapter 12 that the reason why Ai visited Mashiro's apartment when they were kids was to visit his mother, who turns out to be Mashiro's mother, making them half-siblings.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: The reason for Misawa's sour treatment of Mashiro is because she has a crush on Satsuki and saw Mashiro as a rival for his affections.
- Compensated Dating: Ai is a rare male example of this, requesting payment from women who want to either date or have sex with him. He gives up the side occupation once he discovers that Shuuto was going to expose his other "job" if Mashiro didn't quit the Tori no Ko Cram School.
- Cram School
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Shuuto is very protective of Mashiro and constantly butts heads with Ai.
- Curtains Match the Window
- Dogged Nice Guy: Satsuki seems to be one for Mashiro. Mashiro and Misawa are gender-flipped versions for Ai and Satsuki, respectively. Shuuto is implied to be one for Mashiro as well.
- Education Papa: Mashiro's stepfather and mother.
- Establishing Character Moment: Shuuto (in spite of his Jerkass behavior) runs after Mashiro in Chapter 2 when he sees her crying.
- Everyone Can See It:
- Right away, both Nanako, Shuuto, and Satsuki can easily tell that Mashiro likes Ai.
- Ai quickly deduces that Shuuto's protectiveness of Mashiro stems from him having feelings for her in Chapter 9.
- In Chapter 9.5, Nanako also notices it, but it is subverted with Sara Sasamoto, who doesn't understand that Mashiro likes Ai and Shuuto likes Mashiro because the former are avoiding each other and the latter are step-siblings.
- Flirty Stepsiblings: Shuuto has feelings for Mashiro. Mashiro, on the other hand, is oblivious.
- Flower Motifs
- Friendless Background
- Gender Blender Name: Sara Sasamoto. This is probably a Shout-Out to his older brother Karen "Ren" Sasamoto from Kare wa Tomodachi.
- Genki Girl: Nonoka.
- Hair of Gold: Mashiro.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Mashiro. See "Well Done, Daughter" Girl.
- Hopeless Suitor: Misawa towards Satsuki, who is one towards Mashiro.
- Hot-Blooded: Shuuto whenever it concerns Mashiro or her spending time with Ai.
- Hypocrite: Shuuto tries to prevent Mashiro from interacting with her love interest Ai, intervenes when Satsuki confesses to Mashiro, and tells her that it's too early for her to be thinking about love or affection--all while Shuuto has feelings for Mashiro and wants to divert her away from other potential suitors.
- Jerkass/Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
- Kuudere: Ai.
- Long-Distance Relationship: Nonoka is in a long distance relationship with her boyfriend, but it's currently on the rocks. By Chapter 10, they've made up.
- Long Lost Sibling: It turns out that Mashiro and Ai share the same mother, making them half-siblings. Awkward.
- Love Dodecahedron: Misawa likes Satsuki, who is oblivious to Misawa's feelings and instead has a crush on Mashiro, who Shuuto also likes as well. However, Mashiro is in love with Ai, who believes that he's incapable of loving anyone but eventually returns Mashiro's feelings in Chapter 10, only for them to find out that they're half-siblings.
- Malicious Slander: Mashiro's stepfather wants Mashiro to improve in her cram school tests because it's embarrassing since she's the daughter of a principal of said cram school, and Mashiro's mother hears about Mashiro walking home at night with an older man (Ai) the other night and is ashamed in fear if their neighbors find out.
- Meaningful Echo: In Chapter 3, after returning home, Mashiro apologizes to Shuuto for having to look for her. Shuuto denies that he was looking for her, which leads Mashiro to be is convinced that Shuuto hates her when he really doesn't and merely doesn't know how to express himself well, while Shuuto gets so worked up over getting easily frustrated when it concerns Mashiro that he hates when he's like that.
Shuuto: [enters his room] Ugh... Urrrghhh... What's wrong with me? How could I be that stupid?! Really... I totally... hate it...
- Meaningful Name: Shiro no Eden means "Winter Eden." Mashiro also means "white."
- Megane: Masamichi.
- Moment Killer: Shuuto cockblocks a lot of Mashiro's interactions with Ai, especially once he joins the Tori no Ko Cram School.
- Morality Pet: Mashiro appears to be one for both Ai and Shuuto.
- My Sister Is Off-Limits: Shuuto's reaction towards his step-sister Mashiro with Ai out of Type 6 jealousy and having feelings for her.
- Nice Guy: On the surface, Ai appears as this. However, there's really more to him than meets the eye.
- Not Blood Siblings: Step-siblings Shuuto and Mashiro. Shuuto's overprotective nature towards Mashiro and hostility towards Ai is implied to be because he has feelings for Mashiro, which is later called out by Ai.
Ai: Isn't it simply because you want to bind the woman you like?
- Not So Different:
- Mashiro's attraction to the amiable and carefree Ai appears to be a case of Opposites Attract, but she soon realizes that Ai is lonely too. It also turns out that they both have issues due to their mothers telling them to be "good kids." Ironically enough, they share the same mother.
- Mashiro and Shuuto turn out to have this as well. Mashiro is convinced that Shuuto hates her, while Shuuto hates it whenever he gets worked up over her.
- Oblivious to Love: Mashiro is oblivious to Satsuki's feelings for her until he confesses to her in Chapter 10 and is currently oblivious to Shuuto's apparent feelings for her too. In turn, Satsuki is obvious for Misawa's feelings for him. Averted with Ai, who is well-aware of Mashiro's crush on him and would rather not want Mashiro to bother with him until he comes to terms with his own feelings for Mashiro and confesses to her.
- Precocious Crush: Mashiro's crush on Ai. It may be subverted, depending on Ai's Vague Age.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Mashiro and Ai. Mashiro and Shuuto. Satsuki and Ai.
- The Reveal: Shuuto has feelings for Mashiro. Mashiro and Ai share the same mother.
- Settle for Sibling: After finding out that he's related to Mashiro, Ai admits that wouldn't mind if he let Mashiro and Satsuki date, but he feels nauseated by the tragic irony and circumstances that have befallen them.
- Shipper on Deck: Masamichi and Nonoka ship Ai/Mashiro. Mashiro ships Satsuki/Misawa.
- Shirtless Scene: Ai in Chapter 4 and Chapter 6.
- Shoujo Demographic
- This manga series is in the same universe as Yoshioka Ririko's previous manga Kare wa Tomodachi.
- Masamichi, a recurring character in Kare Wa Tomodachi, is a teacher at the Toru no Ko Gaku Cram School and is hinted to be dating Kotone as well.
- Masamichi tells Mashiro that "fate is made by those who know how," and fate was the motif/theme in Kare Wa Tomodachi.
- When Mashiro gets a fever, Masamichi takes her to "his friend's clinic"--hinting at Sasamoto.
- Sara Sasamoto--Sasamoto's younger brother--turns out to be one of the cram school students.
- And Sasamoto appears briefly in Chapter 9.5.
- Masamichi compares Ai to the Tin Man and Mashiro as the wizard from The Wizard of Oz.
- This manga series is in the same universe as Yoshioka Ririko's previous manga Kare wa Tomodachi.
- Sibling Triangle:
- Satsuki likes Mashiro, but Mashiro likes Ai.
- Shuuto likes Mashiro, but Mashiro likes Ai.
- And both of these love triangles get extremely complicated when it turns out Mashiro and Ai are half-siblings.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Satsuki and Ai, who turn out to be step-siblings. Mashiro and Shuuto, though they're not related.
- Smoking Is Cool: Ai is shown smoking in Chapter 6.
- Stepford Smiler: Ai.
- Surprise Incest: Mashiro likes Ai. Ai eventually reciprocates Mashiro's feelings. Then, they turn out to be related.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Shuuto constantly does this whenever he wants to cover up the fact that he's been looking for Mashiro. Luckily, or unluckily, for him, Mashiro is oblivious.
- Teacher-Student Romance: Mashiro develops feelings for Ai. Ai returns her feelings in Chapter 10.
- Tin Man: Masamichi lampshades that Ai is this.
- Troubled but Cute: Ai.
- Tsundere: Both Misawa and especially Shuuto towards Mashiro.
- In Chapter 3:
Mashiro: Brother, I'm sorry! For making you worry and look for me...
- And again in Chapter 5:
Ai: Good evening. You came to pick up Serikawa-san...
- Uptight Loves Wild: Gender-flipped between Mashiro (uptight) and Ai (wild).
- "Well Done, Daughter" Girl: Mashiro's mother always told Mashiro as a child to be a "good child." As a result, these words have made Mashiro desperate to seek her mother's approval and to be a "good child" in fear that she will be hated.
- What Is This Thing You Call Love?: When Nonoka asks Mashiro if she likes Ai, Mashiro is initially confused by the term "love," as she has studied all her life and has never experienced it before.
- You Remind Me of X:
- When Mashiro meets Ai, he tells her that she looks familiar and that she's like his little sister, who is "super cute and such a good girl." However, this unintentionally only fuels Mashiro's Heroic Self-Deprecation.
- Ai giving Mashiro a sweet candy that can "grant any wish" reminds her of a boy who said the same thing to her when she was a child.