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Sakuranamiki
Sakura Namiki (さくら並木, The Rows Of Cherry Trees) is a four-chapter short manga published in 1957. Created by Makoto "Macoto" Takahashi, it has been considered as an early example of what would later become the Yuri Genre.

The Sakura Girls Institute, an all-girls school located in Osaka, is holding its Sports Festival. One of the biggest highlights is the ping-pong tournament, where three girls are the biggest candidates for the final victory: the first-year student (and protagonist) Yukiko Nakahara, the second-year student Ayako Sunayama, and the third-year (and team captain) Chikage Maki. However, this is just the beginning: the manga in itself delves on the relationship between Yukiko and Chikage, their almost Love Triangle with Ayako, Yukiko's own past marked by her loneliness and her father's early death, and how she decides to deal with the potential problems between her and her dear "Onee-sama". . .


Tropes used in Sakura Namiki include:

  • The Ace: Chikage is beautiful, smart, cultured, kind-hearted, popular, good at everything she does, etc.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me : Yukiko's actual reason to like Chikage so much. Professor Nakahara's illness and eventual death left the family almost destitute, and they had to sell their quite big original home. Chikage's parents purchased it, Yukiko met Chikage when checking on its surroundings in a fit of nostalgia, Chikage was very gentle and understanding when she found out why, and Chikage's father helped out Yukiko's mother to get a nice job so she could provide for her daughter and herself. As a result, Yukiko pretty much fell for Chikage and transferred to her school to be as close to her as possible.
  • Berserk Button : Chikage is so adored by some of the Sakura Institute girls that calling her as anything but "Oneesama" (or at very least "Chikage-san") will make her fangirls bare their teeth at the offender. i.e., the unnamed Fat Girl refers to her as "that third-year" and states she's nothing special, and the following pannel has an older girl throw a fit at that.
  • Cherry Blossoms: But of course. The manga's name comes from them, to start; then the story proper begins with an Opening Narration that talks about the Sakura Girls' Institute, how it's located in a place named Sakuragaoka (Cherry Blossom Hill), how it's chock full of cherry trees themselves...
  • Hair Decorations: Chikage uses cute headbands.
  • Creator Provincialism: The author of the manga, "Macoto", is from Osaka. Understandably, the story is set there.
  • Daddy's Girl: Yukiko once was the apple of her dad's eye. Then he died of illness. She still misses him terribly.
  • Dance of Romance: Subverted: Yukiko has an Imagine Spot where she sees herself dancing with Chikage... but then Ayako and other girls step in and bully Yukiko until they shoo her away, and then Ayako takes Yukiko's place as Chikage's dance partner. 
  • Doting Parent: Yukiko's mother loves her "Yuki-chan" a lot and is very sweet and doting to her.
  • Eye Scream: Downplayed: when Yukiko walks up to Chikage to challenge her towards the end, one of the nearby players gets distracted and then gets hit in the eye with a pingpong ball, but she shrugs it off like nothing.
  • Fallen Princess: Yukiko and her mother were quite rich, but the patriarch's illness and death had a huge effect on the family's finances - especially when they have to sell their Big Fancy House as a consequence. Their 2-bedroom flat is quite cute-looking, however.
  • Fat Bastard: The below mentioned Fat Girl is kind of a Jerkass.
    • Chikage's housekeeper Otoki seems to be this, but she's mostly cranky due to circumstances. When Chikage gets her to calm down, she's far more agreeable and apologizes to Yukiko for unfairly accusing her of being a thief..
  • Fat Girl: One of Yukiko's fellow first years and cheerleaders is a mix of Jerkass  and Genki Girl who's much chubbier than others.
  • Heroic BSOD: Yukiko suffers a short but intense one when she finds out that her classmates think she deliberately let Chikage win. She more or less recovers after having a good cry, but when she calms down she does wonder if she (unintentionally) did it to look good in front of her.
  • Gossipy Hens: Yukiko's classmates are seen chatting about her loss to Chikage and wondering if Yukiko threw the match on purpose. The implication that Ayako might have started spreading the rumors doesn't help.
  • Long Hair Is Feminine: Both Yukiko and Chikage are girly girls and keep their hair quite long. On the other hand, Ayako is a tomboy and has matching Boyish Short Hair.
  • No Girl Wants To Be Chased: Ayako, as the Clingy Jealous Girl she is, fawns over Chikage and clings to her during practice and when it's time to go home. Chikage, understandably, is peeved and keeps turning her down.
  • Nostalgic Music Box: Yukiko's Disappeared Dad gave one to her, and she often plays its music. It plays Schumann's Traumerei - Reverie
  • The Ojou: Chikage is the Proper Lady type. 
  • Onee-Sama: Chikage fits in to a T in the "gentle, affectionate, wise" kind. The girls adore her for it and literally refer to her as "Onee-sama". When Yukiko doesn't do it and simply calls her "Maki-san", it's to force her pay attention to her so she can issue her challange.
  • Opening Narration: The manga starts with one that lasts for several pages, describing the Institute at first and then talking about feelings, cherry blossoms, etc.
  • Parents as People: Mrs. Nakahara is a very good mother, but she clearly struggles at some points.
  • Passionate Sports Girl: The three girls are this, as they're all really good at table-tennis and not exactly willing to lose their matches.  
  • Poor Communication Kills: A good part of Yukiko's slump comes from Chikage snubbing her after the tournament. . It turns that this trope was the exact reason: after losing, Yukiko did not want to meet up with Chikage outta depression, but Chikage mistakenly believed her to be a Sore Loser. When everything's cleared up, Chikage explains herself and apologizes for jumping into conclusions.  
  • Purple Prose: The narration tends towards this with its long, elaborated, elegant paragraphs, which feel stilted and exaggerated at times.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Yukiko has this with Chikage. On the other hand, Ayako wants to have it BADLY with Chikage too. Love Triangle-like hijinks ensue.
  • Sailor Fuku: Subverted: the cover (seen above) has two girls wearing seifuku, and the initial pages feature girls who also are in seifuku too... but the Sakura Institute has Western-looking outfits for their students. It's implied that the seifuku was the school's uniform in the past, however.
  • Sempai Kohai: Chikage is a third-year student and Yukiko is a first-year one, so their relationship starts as this. Yukiko actually invoked it by deliberately transferring to Chikage's school so she could be Chikage's kouhai.
  • Sparkling Stream of Tears: With the emphasis on "sparkling": sometimes, the tears are shaped like stars.
  • Shower of Angst: Yukiko has two of these after the tournament and her loss to Chikage
  • Textile Work Is Feminine: Mrs. Nakahara is very skilled at embroidery, enough to create whole landscape pictures and sell them to get additional cash. 
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Averted, the Institute is specifically said to be in Osaka.
  • Trope Codifier: Of the Yuri Genre.
  • Tsurime Eyes: Ayako has these, representing her straightforward and more aggressive personality. On the other hand, both Chikage and Yukiko have Tareme Eyes.
  • Widow Woman: Yukiko's mother, logically. She does her best to be the best mom to Yukiko, but she's clearly still in mourning for her beloved husband.
  • Will Not Be a Victim: After losing to Chikage, Yukiko falls into depression... but then she decides not to mope any longer and goes on to face her.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Yukiko's widowed mother plays this completely straight, whereas Chikage is one in training.
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