The Wallflower (manga)
We'll turn Sunako Nakahara into a magnificent lady!
The Wallflower is about Sunako Nakahara, whose first love, in response to her confession told her "I don't like ugly girls". In response, she took to shunning light forever, hiding her face behind long black hair and devoting her life to horror, gore and darkness. That is, until her well-meaning but melodramatic rich Aunt sets Kyohei, Oda, Yuki, and Ranmaru -- her harem of teenage Bishonen -- on Sunako with the task to turn her into the perfect lady. In exchange for this, they will get free accommodation in her Big Fancy House whilst the Aunt jet-sets around the world in search of her true love. If they fail, they must pay triple rent for the accommodations they have used. (And with the costs of housing in Japan, this is a dire penalty indeed.)
Unfortunately for the boys, Sunako has absolutely no intention of playing along with them. She's a Creature of Darkness and damn well proud of it. The issue is made worse because she can't actually look at "Bright Creatures" like them without getting a Nosebleed, and this predictably puts some
strain stains on their relationship.
Though she can eventually deal with living with the other three, Sunako and Kyohei's relationship isn't the best, resulting in some early murder attempts on Sunako's part, lots of bickering, fighting, occasional saving each other and... you guessed it, everyone in the cast trying to set them up.
Stylistically similar to Ouran High School Host Club, with a similar 'Reverse' Harem setup, the manga is written and drawn by Tomoko Hayakawa, while the anime is directed by Shinichi Watanabe (Nabeshin from Excel Saga) who makes cameos as various side characters and... totem poles? The manga it is based on is ongoing.
A live-action version began airing in January 2010, and finished airing with 10 episodes.
Warning: The manga, at least, is completely food-obsessed. You will probably get hungry reading it.
This page is currently for all examples from the manga/anime/drama. Multiple Works Need Separate Pages
- Accidental Kiss: And a First Kiss to boot.
- Accidental Marriage: Sunako was frighteningly close to being a victim of this in one chapter. (We say 'frightening' because it wasn't to Kyohei.)
- Adaptation Expansion/Adaptation Distillation: Definitely the live-action drama. It tended to mix and match similar chapters in the manga and add new material to make the episodes flow better and last for 45 minutes each. It also played around with characterization. Whether that was good or bad is up for interpretation, but no one denies that the resolution of the Kyohei and Sunako UST was a good thing.
- Always Save Your Love Interest: Kyohei and Sunako tend to do this to each other.
- Attractive Bent Gender: When Kyouhei is kidnapped, the rest of the gang have to crossdress in order to get to where he's being held. When Noi sees Takenaga, she goes all Even the Girls Want Her / inverted Sweet on Polly Oliver on him.
- Just Yuki in general.
- Author Appeal: Bishounen boys and the look of visual kei bands are clear preferences of the Mangaka, Tomoko Hayakawa; her notes in many chapters are about seeing concerts, in fact. Building on this, each one of the main male characters is based on some aspect of Hayakawa's favorite musician, Kiyoharu, with the most attractive one (Kyouhei) resembling him the most. At one point Kyouhei is even seen wearing Kiyoharu's exact outfit from SADS' "Porno Star" PV. One can also presume by its prevalence that bondage scenes involving such boys are also one of her fetishes.
- Aw, Look -- They Really Do Love Each Other: Though Sunako and Kyohei's relationships is made up mostly of bickering and fighting, it's obviously clear in many moments that they place each other's well-being on a very high level, admitting it to themselves or not.
- Battle Couple: Kyouhei and Sunako. Perhaps most prominent in the live-action adaption.
- Beautiful All Along: Played with extensively. The boys are charged with turning Sunako into a lady against her will, even though she wants nothing to do with it. An early chapter/episode even subverts this trope by showing Sunako's face behind her Blinding Bangs to be quite pretty, only to then show that it only looked that way because of some flour that had fallen on her and that she actually has bad skin. (Which is only because of her poor hygiene and self-neglect, and not a dermatological problem per se.) However, later on, it does turn out that Sunako really is Beautiful All Along whenever she gains enough confidence to break out of her Super-Deformed mode.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Sunako and Kyohei.
- Berserk Button: Busunako . After Kyohei unleashes Sunako's rage unintentionally in the TV series, he starts invoking this trope on a regular basis whenever the mooks of the week need to be beat up. Sunako does this once to herself.
- Big Fancy House
- Birds of a Feather: Sunako and Kyohei.
- Bishie Sparkle: Turned up to 11.
- Bishonen: Kyohei, Ranmaru, Takenaga, Yuki and apparently, when his glasses are off the gloomy Prince.
- Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: The interaction between Hiroshi, an anatomical model, and the Bishonen boys in the Cold Opening of every episode takes on the character of a manzai routine.
- Can't Live with Them, Can't Live Without Them: Sunako and Kyohei. So, so much.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Sunako. For example, the manga chapter where she takes up body-building to look like one of her anatomical models. Related to this, because of her isolation, she's sometimes incredibly clueless about things in the world.
- Cooking Duel: The literal variety occurs later on in the manga, with Sunako battling Kyohei's Instant Fanclub. Subverted somewhat in that she wins through modesty. Not going to happen at home, though; Sunako's cooking is excellent while none of the boys seem to manage anything above functional.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: You can't help but wonder why Kyohei seemed to be in such a bad mood when Sunako kept hanging around that constellation guy...
- And that was nothing compared to how he reacted when he thought Sunako and the biology teacher were secretly dating...
- Ranmaru and Takenaga were viciously pissed off at each other when each got into a compromising situation with the other's Love Interest.
- And that was nothing compared to how he reacted when he thought Sunako and the biology teacher were secretly dating...
- Deus Ex Machina: Auntie.
- Even the Girls Want Her: In an absolutely hilarious twist of events in Chapter 73, Sunako becomes this trope. And to a much lesser extent, in an earlier chapter which has her becoming a Bifauxnen.
- Even the Guys Want Him: The reason Kyohei can't keep a job is because his bosses always sexually harass him, be they male or female.
- Everyone Can See It: Except Kyohei and Sunako themselves.
- Everyone Calls Her "Auntie": The Landlady's real name is Mine Nakahara. Justified, since in Japan, it is common practice to address older women unrelated to the speaker "Auntie" (oba-san)
- Plus points is that she is Sunako's paternal Aunt.
- Expy: Sunako Nakahara is an Expy of Sadako Yamamura.
- Faceless Masses: Essentially everyone in the series have been depicted as such, frequently for the majority of the episode.
- Feminine Women Can Cook: Sunako is an excellent cook, at least with Japanese food, and it's one of the big signs that she really is Beautiful All Along and Feminine All Along.
- The First Cut Is the Deepest: Sunako being rejected by her first love made her adverse to any ideas of future romance.
- Partially inverted in the live action adaptation, since she was actively bullied after being called ugly, giving her more grounds to become a hermit.
- Five-Man Band: The main characters.
- Giving Up the Ghost: This happens to Sunako in the manga when her aunt tries to get her to sleep with Kyohei.
- Gratuitous Foreign Language: Auntie/The Landlady often spouts a greeting or farewell in some random language. Further dissection of her mannerisms show that most of the time, it's Gratuitous French.
- Happily Married: Sunako's parents seem to be this.
- The landlady and her husband were also this until the husband passed away.
- Harem Genre: Kinda-sorta, only one of them is really a love interest for her, but all of the boys count towards it, in a way.
- Hello, Nurse!: The guys provoke this kind of reaction from just about every girl who's not Sunako. And quite a few guys too.
- Hikikomori: Sunako to the point of using her hair as a veil to keep her isolated even when she's right next to someone.
- Hot Mom: Sunako's mother, much to everyone else's surprise after seeing her decidedly scary father.
- Hot Springs Episode: With Sunako seen bathing alone, since everyone thinks that she's a ghost.
- Housewife: despite her scary demeanour, Sunako is an excellent homemaker, something the boys realize every time she's not cooking for them and cleaning up after them. She's also good with money and getting bargains on things, and looking after kids.
- Hyperspace Mallet: Sunako's scythe. Also, Old Man Rocket Launcher!
- Imagine Spot: Often. Taken even further in the manga- nearly every chapter has had one of these at one time or another, with the rest of the cast frequently commenting on their implausibility.
- Implausible Fencing Powers: Sunako can shred an opponent's clothes completely with a single leaping sword attack.
- Improbable Food Budget: In an inversion of the normal trope, that it's so low, given the opulent surroundings and Sunako's aunt's seeming extreme wealth. Most likely it's the aunt's way of making sure the boys are broke enough for the prospect of cheaper rent to motivate them, and to encourage them to get Sunako to cook for them and thus socialize.
- Innocent Cohabitation: Sunako and Kyohei did this for awhile, although the UST was as strong as ever.
- It Doesn't Mean Anything: Sunako and Kyohei towards their kiss(es) and (denied) feelings for each other.
- James Bondage: Kyohei is this trope. In fact, within the first volume, he literally gets kidnapped and put into bondage gear.
- Ladykiller in Love: It's hinted that Ranmaru's becoming this, in regards to his fiance by an arranged marriage, Tomoe.
- Lampshade Hanging: Towards the end of the anime, one of the boys comment on the amount of kidnapping in the storyline.
- Large Ham: The Landlady. There's shades of it in Sunako, too.
- Let's Get Dangerous: When Sunako is drawn in the same style as everyone else usually is, shit just got real.
- Limp and Livid
- Lonely Doll Girl: Sunako has two anatomical dolls that she considers to be her friends.
- Love Bubbles
- Market-Based Title: Since Viewers are Morons, the name of this series is changed to "Perfect Girl Evolution"/"The Wallflower"/"My Fair Lady" depending on country. Never mind that in the West, traditional Japanese women tend to be less popular than Tsundere types.
- Mind Screw: Sunako is usually drawn Super-Deformed (see below), or when she's in attack mode, as a scary wraith. When SD, people say she is "ugly," and when wraith-y she is treated as beautiful but frightening, but confusion sets in when she switches from SD to wraith mode every other panel. Is she repeatedly going from ugly to pretty? Is it the art style for when she moves around a lot? What the hell is going on?
- Nightmare Fetishist: Sunako loves horror movies, blood, skulls... everything dark, disgusting and squelchy, just to drive the 'unladylike' point home.
- Noblewoman's Laugh: Again, the Landlady.
- No Name Given: Auntie/The Landlady, also the Prince.
- In the manga, Ranmaru's fiancee is only known as Ojou-sama/"the princess."
- The Nose Bleed: Aside from Sunako's reaction to seeing beautiful people, the tenants have a habit of triggering them with half the girls they meet.
- Oblivious to Love: Guess.
Sunako: "Love is just an illusion."
Kyohei: "I love her...cooking."
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Sunako frequently attempts to kill Kyohei; but whenever someone else tries (surprisingly often), she defends him, demanding that he die by her hands alone.
- The Ophelia: Sunako is a comedic play on this trope.
- Overprotective Dad: Sunako's dad.
- Please Dump Me: Ranmaru tries to get get out of an Arranged Marriage with this tactic, with the usual result.
- Putting on the Reich: Sunako on Episode 3
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: The "Goth Loli" sisters.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Sunako and Takenaga.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: Kyohei, about Sunako, numerous times. Give it up, dude, we all know where you two are going.
- Shipper on Deck: Noi becomes a Kyohei/Sunako shipper early on, regularly fangirling about their "moments" together. It isn't long before the rest of the cast follow suit.
- Shout-Out: Being a Nabeshin-directed series, it contains ShoutOuts to Mobile Suit Gundam (Episode 23 & 24), and Star Trek (Episode 24), among others.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: Auntie and her late husband were this, and sometimes Takenaga and Noi.
- Slap Slap Kiss: Let's just put it this way: Sunako and Kyohei's first kiss was after they both spent a good page or so insulting the others faults.
- So Beautiful, It's A Curse: Kyohei actually has a legitimate claim to this, considering how often he's stalked, kidnapped, and sexually harassed because of his looks. Ranmaru is a bit more arrogant about it, and Yuki sometimes complains of this when he's cross dressing or not being taken seriously.
- Sparkling Stream of Tears
- Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: Sunako is frequently mistaken for one when she's got her scary on.
- Super-Deformed: Sunako almost all the time. This is even funnier, since everyone has to kneel down to her height in order to converse with her face-to-face.
- Sweet Tooth: Sunako is a chocolate addict who consumes pretty much all of the insane quantities of chocolate the boys receive on Valentine's Day, over the year, and at times appears to be existing on a chocolate-only diet, even though she's a good cook. This of course gives her horrible pimples. She has several times spent the household food budget on chocolate, despite her normal good financial sense, and at one post-Valentine's Day blowout gained weight enough to be persuaded to start an exercise program ... resulting in that being taken to extremes and her trying to match the musculature of her beloved anatomical models.
- There Are No Therapists: Throwing the patient into the midst of four complete strangers is the exactly wrong way to treat social phobia.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome? -- Ping Pong. That is all.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: The tenants -- particularly Yuki -- seem to spend more time in women's clothes than men's.
- Wife Husbandry: Ranmaru's father explicitly says he did this with Ranmaru's mom, and wants his son to do the same with the fiancée they've picked for him. It was even lampshaded within the dialogue.
Ranmaru: I must say that it is impossible for me to become like Hikaru Genji.
- Will They or Won't They?: Sunako and Kyohei have quite possibly surpassed Ross and Rachel with their stalling, except they're not nearly as romance-filled or dramatic as the latter.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: Sunako is supposed to become one, but is most of the time the polar opposite. Two side characters have at least some of the traits required. It's interesting to note that she does have Yamato Nadeshiko traits, but they're covered up by her other qualities.
- Tomoe, Ranmaru's fiance is this.
- Younger Than They Look: All the members of the main cast are supposed to be 15 years old while looking like 20-somethings.
- Your Favorite: Strawberries! Ebi (fried shrimp) for Kyohei.
- Yum Yum: The episode with the popsicles. Oh the popsicles.
- A portmanteau of "ugly" and "Sunako"