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File:Sasameki Koto Cast.jpg

From left to right: Miyako Taema, Tomoe Hachisuka, Azusa Aoi, Kiyori Torioi, Ushio Kazama, Sumika Murasame, and Yamasaki Akemi

Sumika Murasame is deeply in love with her cheerful classmate and friend Ushio Kazama. Ushio has a thing for girls, too, but... she's into cute girls. Sumika may be Tall, Dark and Bishoujo but the problem is that she is too cool: top student, class representative, perfect in sports, black belt in karate, the list goes on. Not only girls, even guys are slightly afraid of approaching her. She herself, for all that's holy, doesn't want to endanger her friendship with Ushio, as much as it pains her to hide her feelings.

Sasameki Koto ("Something Whispered," sometimes incorrectly rendered as Sasame Kikoto) is a Girls Love manga by Takashi Ikeda, that ran from May 2007 to September 2011 in Monthly Comic Alive. Contains little blatant Fan Service, and a well-balanced mixture of comedy and Angst. All in all, a very enjoyable GL romantic comedy.

In addition, the series is groundbreaking in that it not only is one of the few GL manga to take place in a mixed sex school, as opposed to a girls only school, but it also touches on the ostracization and loneliness that young Japanese lesbians experience.

A 13-episode anime adaptation of the first couple volumes was broadcast in late 2009; it is licensed by Crunchyroll and can be viewed for free on their site. The manga is licensed and published in French by Clair de Lune since November 2011.

This series includes examples of:

  • The Ace: It's a race to see who will be crowned The Ace of the series, karate prodigy Sumika, a Genius Bruiser who can kick your ass without her glasses, versus Tomoe, who her step-mother referred to as "our goddess" for when she took a few years off from high school to save the family business from ruin. Head to head so far, Tomoe is ahead in both romance and swimming.
  • Action Girl: Sumika is an heir to her father's dojo and holds a black belt in karate at 15. Yabase also, as Sumika's peer in the karate dojo.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Chapter 19, which focuses on Tomoe and Miyako.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Azusa's reaction to Tomoe kissing her is to haul off and slap her a good one.
    • So is Murasame Tenkai's (Sumika's father) when Sumika accidentally punches her sparing partner in the face, hard, in distraction.
  • Attention Deficit...Ooh, Cute!: Ushio is very easy to distract, if you have the right bait.
  • Badass Grandpa: Not seen, but the caricature of Tomoe's grandpa has a star-shaped scar over one eye with the caption of "Really important, somewhat scary".
  • Beach Episode: Only it's a more of a waterpark pool.
    • They did go to the beach, but Tomoe's driving sent them home right away.
  • The Beard: Tomoe of all people suggests that Sumika get one for the PR while she's campaigning for student council president, and they settle for Akemiya, who happily, unthinkingly shows up to their date crossdressing.
  • Beautiful All Along: Watamura with her hair down is a beautiful fashion model, Watamura with her hair up is... a caricature of a human being.
  • Beta Couple: Miyako and Tomoe.
  • Big Brother Bully: Inverted, in Akemiya's case.
  • Big Eater: Most of Kiyori's appearances include her eating something at least once.

 Tomoe: "Torioi-kun, are you any good at cooking?"

Kiyori: "I'm amazing!"

Miyako: " eating, that is."

  • Biting the Handkerchief: Tomoe's older brother does this after she reminds him of her grandfather's promise that she can do whatever she wishes in high school.
    • Ushio does this earlier in a less pronounced manner, angry that her current crush, Lotte, is spending so much time with Sumika.
  • Blackmail: Played with twice, first in the form of An Offer She Can't Refuse by Miyako toward Sumika, then failed horribly when Manaka threatened to spread pictures of her brother in drag around unless Sumika went out with him(though she did go an a date with Akemiya out of pity).
  • Bland-Name Product: Masaki and Sumika visit a "Minna Aller's" (Anna Miller's) cafe on their chapter/episode 7 date.
  • Blind Without'Em: In the Flash Back, Sumika rescues Ushio from some guys harassing her but has to stop and put on her glasses before she recognizes her.
  • Bumbling Dad: Sumika's father, despite being a master of an "invincible" karate style, often comes off as a goof.
  • Butt Monkey: Akemiya
  • Cannot Spit It Out: The source of the angst in the series.
  • Captain Obvious: Ushio claims that "cute girls are cute".
  • Cassandra Truth: Played with in chapter 2, as Sumika initially doesn't believe Akemiya at first.
  • Cast Full of Gay: Of the 7 major characters, 3 are openly homosexual -- Tomoe, Miyako, and Ushio -- while Sumika is hiding from Ushio in an increasingly-Transparent Closet; and Azusa is hung up on in the romantic potential of Girls Love. Kiyori and Masaki are the token straights--although Kiyori's enthusiasm about finding cute girls for Ushio makes one wonder at times.
  • Cincinnatus: Tomoe was given absolute control over her family's corporation, made it profitable again, then calmly went back to school (and to Miyako).
  • Class Representative: Sumika
  • Cool Big Sis: Tomoe
  • Creepy Child: Manaka.
  • Cut Short: The anime, which ends after volume two. Since it was a Thirteen Episode Anime that adapted single chapters into exactly one episode each, there wasn't too much choice - that was the closest thing the manga had to a suitable finale for at least two volumes.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sumika, sometimes crossing over into The Stoic zone.
  • Dojikko: Ushio likes this kind of girls, and Sumika tries to become one for a while before giving up. Miyako is a straight (though not that kind of "straight") example, though she is slightly more manipulative than typical dojikkos.
    • Miyako's klutziness is Lampshaded by Tomoe, who notes that she can't tell if one of Miyako's tumbles was on purpose or not.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Tomoe, as mentioned above.
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma: In chapter 20, when Ushio kisses Sumika on the cheek after she faints.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Several characters in the anime.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Not a particularly dead on version, but Lotte's overwhelming cuteness is almost enough to shake Sumika's loyalty to Ushio.
  • Everyone Can See It: In regards to Sumika's crush on Ushio
  • Evolving Credits: The anime's ED sequence changes slightly every episode to include still shots of objects that were important during that episode, such as bento boxes or maid headbands.
  • Extreme Doormat: Akemiya, to the point that he gets bullied by his preteen sister.
  • Fan Girl: Lotte is designated as one by Sumika.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Played straight with Ushio and Sumika - Sumika's attempts at cooking invariably result in explosions. Inverted with Tomoe and Miyako.
  • Finger-Suck Healing: From one of Sumika's imagine spots.
  • First Kiss: Sumika and Ushio share their first kiss, though Ushio puts on a mask so it "wouldn't count" as one, since she only wants to "practice" it.
  • Fridge Logic: It's somewhat hard to believe that a girl as cute as Ushio would have so much trouble finding a girlfriend, even with her high standards--especially if you consider the amount of effort she puts into it.
    • Not so hard to believe when you consider that she has to deal with finding another lesbian (or bisexual woman) who is: 1) interested in her, 2) available (negating Tomoe and Miyako), and 3) willing to come out of the closet in the face of societal and family judgment. And that's not even taking her avowed standards into the equation. Despite the Cast Full of Gay, the overall demographics are against her.
    • At this point it's pretty clear Ushio has a more-or-less pathological fear of rejection. Yeah, she puts a lot effort into finding girls to get all gooey over, but her strategy for getting a girlfriend seems to consist of finding a girl she likes and then hoping that girl falls into her lap somehow.
    • One bit in the manga discusses how difficult it is for her to find someone, since she has to find someone who is both gay and compatible with her. This conversation is shown to be the very reason Sumika decided not to confess her feelings.
  • Gainaxing: Used on Ushio during one of Sumika's Imagine Spots.
  • Gayngst: Averted at first. Sumika is quite prone to angst, but only over Ushio's obliviousness to her feelings, not over her sexuality in and of itself. Ushio, Tomoe and Miyako are entirely comfortable with their sexuality.
    • As chapter 17 revealed, it was Sumika's silent support that allowed Ushio to be at peace with her sexuality in the first place.
    • And surprisingly the biggest source of Gayngst turns out to be Ushio, once she realizes she has fallen in love with Sumika.
  • Genki Girl: Ushio.
  • GIRL: Azusa assumes that the author who writes her favorite GL novels is a girl, whereas in reality, the author is Ushio's brother who has a collection pre-war yuri magazines...
    • Norio even Lampshades this by telling someone on the phone his novels sell better BECAUSE people think they're written by a woman.
  • Girly Run: Ironically or not, Akemiya runs this way.
    • Sumika too, sometimes.
  • The Glasses Come Off: When Sumika faces Yabase on the tatami. She wins, of course.
  • Gratuitous English
  • Headbutting Heroes: Miyako and Sumika.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Kiyori, who can sleep through 6 alarm clocks because the 7th one was 3 minutes late.
  • Heir to the Dojo: Sumika
  • Hero Secret Service: Sumika gets one when she becomes targeted by otaku, since her presence in a class is practically an Instant Win Condition during their Atlethic Festival, which determines which class gets first pick for jobs for their next festival (the otakus' reasoning being that if they are able to incapacitate Sumika, their class will have to accept their proposition for a Maid Cafe). Tomoe too, and apparently they are students. And talk about Sumika as if she were the first line of defense.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Hearing Sumika and Miyako is like hearing Feldt Grace and Louise Halevy again.
  • Hidden Depths: Tomoe. As revealed in Chapter 19, she took two years off from school to manage the family business and save it from bankruptcy. Who would have guessed?
  • Huge Schoolgirl: Sumika (175cm at age 15).
  • Huge Girl Tiny Guy: Pretty much Sumika and Akemiya, we also get Huge Girl Tiny Girl when Sumika is hanging with Azusa or Lotte.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Sumika's dad lecturing her on her use of their family's karate style kinda loses its impact when two of school's black belts picked a fight with some guys hitting on Ushio and got their ass kicked. She is, however, swift to point the hypocrisy.
  • Idiots Cannot Catch Colds: Miyako mentions casually that we now know Sumika isn't a complete fool, due to this.
  • I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship: This is Sumika's attitude to her relationship with Ushio for a loooong time.
  • Imagine Spot: Lampshaded in episode/chapter 5. Multiple times, Sumika drops into a momentary fantasy about Ushio, only for Miyako to interrupt with a comment along the lines of, "That's what you're thinking about, right?" Sumika yells at her to stop peeking into other people's fantasies.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Masaki to Sumika.
  • Intertwined Fingers: Sumika and Ushio at the end of the first chapter. Unusually for this trope, they aren't a couple.
    • Also dramatically subverted in the three pages long "Useless Addition" at the end of chapter 24.
  • Just Friends: Ushio and Sumika, to the latter's deepest dismay.
    • Curiously, it's Ushio who often loudly tells herself that her feelings for Sumika are just that.
  • Kissing Cousins: In Chaper 12, we meet some of Sumika's relatives. It turns out both her young cousin Teru and his older sister Sayaka have one-sided crushes on Sumika. Or at least, Sayaka is visibly disappointed when Sumika says she didn't bring a bathing suit, on top of acting very dere-dere towards Sumika and asking if there is someone she likes. Teru supposedly promised to marry Sumika once he became taller than her.
  • Lap Pillow: Ushio lets Sumika rest like this during the Pool Episode.
  • Lethal Chef: Sumika and Miyako get into a cooking contest. Hilarity Ensues.

 Sumika: "...What kind of food explodes when cooked, and who invented it?"

Miyako: "...You did."

  • Love At First Sight: Akemiya mentions this is how he feels about Sumika.
  • Love Dodecahedron
    • Unusual for the trope, the Dodecahedron isn't tangled on itself to the point of absurdity and only exists as more of a flow chart for quick reference instead of plot defining importance.
  • Love Epiphany: in the "Early Days" flashback story arc.
  • Love Hurts: Boy howdy, though in a non-physical manner.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: A lot of the comedy is derived from Sumika going through this trope.
  • Loving a Shadow: Implied to be what Azusa's obsession with Orino Masaka really is.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Akemiya and Sumika. Sumika isn't so much masculine as un-feminine, but Akemiya has got to be the planet's girliest owner of a Y chromosome. When he had to fill out his future aspirations form, he inadvertently wrote "bride". It don't get much pinker than that.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Ushio toward Sumika--increasingly so during the course of the series.
  • Meido: The local meido cafe is sometimes visited and the whole gang once dresses up as maids during their stay at Ushio's place.
    • And then, there's the Haunted Maid Mansion... just, Haunted Maid Mansion. Kogarashi would be pleased...
      • When they said it was "More terrifying than anything else in the world", they weren't kidding!
  • Meganekko: Azusa. Sumika is more a case of Stoic Spectacles.
  • Mind Rape: Ushio does it to herself, forcing herself to believe that she and Sumika are Just Friends.
  • Missing Mom: Sumika's mom passed away when she was young, but she doesn't seem to mind the subject.
  • Moment Killer: Several characters at different times, but Ushio has a special talent for setting up and then painfully murdering intimate moments between her and Sumika. Perhaps intentionally. Ushio praises Sumika in a way that makes the latter sound like the perfect girlfriend for her, and just when Sumika is about to blurt out her feelings, Ushio strangles the moment magnificently with a well-placed "Friends are so important!" or "But you're not my type."
    • "Kan't Read The Mood" Kiyori
  • Ms. Imagination: Sumika
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Mild example, as Sumika wonders if she pushed Lotte too much when she comes down with a cold.
  • Neck Lift: Sumika does this to Akemiya when he says that he thinks she's cute.
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: Pretty much every guy other than Akemiya views Sumika this way.
    • Unfortunately for Sumika the girl she likes pretty much feels the same way too.
  • Non-Action Guy: Akemiya.
  • Nosebleed: Sumika gets one while bathing together with Ushio. We subsequently see her lying in bed with bits of tissue up her nose.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Sumika and Azusa trip while walking down a flight of stairs. Sumika lands on top of Azusa. Ushio walks in. Angst ensues.
  • Obfuscating Shallowness: Ushio comes off initially as a flighty, shallow, and slightly twee young woman, given her obsession with all things cute and apparent ability to bounce back easily from any upset. Starting with chapter 20 and continuing into the extended flashback of 21-24, when the manga picks up her perspective, we're shown quite a lot of what's beneath that mask, and how and why she developed it in the first place.
  • Oblivious to Love: Ushio, to sometimes painful levels. There's a reason.
    • Later, Sumika shows considerable obliviousness toward Ushio's feelings for her. Given the large number of times Ushio has done something that makes it seem like she's interested in Sumika and then explicitly told her she's not her type, you can't really blame Sumika for not trusting her intuition.
    • It's enough that Tomoe and Miyako give a synchronized *headground* on one occasion.
  • Omake: The "Useless Addition" page at the end of each chapter. Carried over into the anime as a short post-ED clip in each episode.
  • The One Guy: Akemiya... sort of.
  • One Head Taller: Sumika to Ushio as well as Tomoe to Miyako.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Charlotte Munchausen. But you can just call her Lotte.
  • Opening Narration: The earlier chapters features Sumika reminding the reader of the main plot of the manga.
  • Parental Abandonment: Kazama's parents both died in a car accident, leaving her alone with her older brother.
  • Phenotype Stereotype: Lotte is from Germany and fulfills the Aryan appearance requirements to 120%.
  • Pool Episode: Of the plot-heavy variety.
  • Practice Kiss: Ushio and Sumika do this early in the series, with Ushio wearing a mask so it wouldn't count.
  • Promotion to Parent: Ushio's brother. Exactly how or why this is the case hasn't been revealed as yet.
  • The Rival: Yabase to Sumika in karate.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Played straight in the anime version, where Ushio gets these when Sumika tries to get out of cooking with their friends.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Deconstructed through Azusa. Since her friends are all canon lesbians, except Kiyori, it comes across as her being in a Transparent Closet.
  • Say It with Hearts: Used and lampshaded in the manga.

 Sumi's housekeeper: "Say, 'Please take care of me, Ushio-chan?'"

Sumi: "No way I'm saying that. And what's with the heart?"

  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Sumika gets affected by this trope sometimes.
  • Schoolgirl Lesbians: Miyako, Tomoe, and Ushio are out about it, Sumika tries to hide it...with little success .
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Ushio's brother gets the Japanese version of this for his pen name as a Yuri Light Novel author, so Norio Kazama becomes Orino Masaka. Masaki Akemiya does something similar for his modeling identity, by switching his given/family name order and moving a syllable over to become Akemi Yamasaki.
  • Serious Business: The school athletic festival.
    • It's hard to tell if Tomoe's older brother is more upset about Miyako being a girl or being the daughter of a servant.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: Chapter 25. Poor, poor Akemiya. He spends the entire chapter coming to terms with his crossdressing double life, but at the end, just as he proudly takes to the stage, someone trips and pulls down his clothes, exposing his true gender before the entire audience. And "Akemi" was never seen again...
  • Shipper on Deck: Tomoe and Azusa in chapter 20's useless addition, much to Miyako's consternation.
  • Shout-Out: Ushio's mask is Ultraman, and one of the little margin notes in chapter six specifies that the shout should be thought of in "Norio Wakamoto's" voice.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Sumika shows plenty of signs of being that way for Ushio.
    • Sumika has some weak moments around Lotte, though.
      • Though it doesn't seem to be about her being attracted to Lotte so much as it's about Lotte being mind-bendingly adorable.
  • Sleep Cute: Sumika and Ushio get a textbook example of this scene.
  • Squee: Akemi does this in chapter 40 when asked to be Sumika's fake boyfriend.
  • Stepford Smiler: Ushio is a Type A example of this, though it's not made apparent until later on in the series.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Sumika's cooking and Tomoe's driving.
  • Tall, Dark and Bishoujo: Sumika, although, as mentioned above, she is too cool to be popular.
  • The Tease: In the manga, Ushio more and more behaves this way toward Sumika.
  • Teen Genius: Tomoe raised her family's corporation from ruins to success within two years when she was sixteen (that is also why she took that time off school). In return, she demanded three years of undisturbed High School life... which also included having a lesbian lover from a "servant" family, a point the very traditional Hachisuka family just can't get themselves over. Not that they can't do anything about it: she is just that brilliant and self-confident.
  • The Thing That Goes Doink: At Sumika's family home/karate dojo in episode 3.
  • They Do: Freakin' finally.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Manaka, Lotte and Miyako, who has a rather childish disposition to go with her small stature.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Sumika and Ushio, and Tomoe and Miyako.
  • Tsurime Eyes: Sumika and Tomoe.
  • Two-Teacher School
  • UST: Ushio and Sumika, almost to the point of Arc Fatigue.

  "Can whispered words 10 more volumes cross the distance between them?" - Dynasty Scans, phrasing it best.

  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Akemiya Masaki a.k.a. Akemi-chan. The situation isn't helped any by the fact that Ushio is strongly attracted to his female persona.
    • Leads to him garnering minor Woobie points when all the girls Kiyori point out as Ushio's type turn him down
  • Will They or Won't They?: Ushio and Sumika.
  • World of Cardboard Speech: Sumika gives something like this when Ushio tries to lecture her about letting Lotte run in the rain, even though it was more likely she'd catch a cold.
    • "What the hell do you even know about Lotte?! She said she wants to be stronger. She said she wants to be just like me. She said she likes me just how I am! She said she loves how big and strong I am! And I... I... can't become any smaller or cuter!"
    • Done more traditionally when she starts to explain herself and Ushio while chasing Akemi-chan, and continues when she responds to the question of "Am I not good enough?" by asking "If I said yes, would you be able to give up?"
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Hayasumi Noe, Sumika's live-in maid.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Is perpetual Butt Monkey Akemiya going to find fame and fortune in chapter 25? Nope.
  • You Are Not Alone: Mild example in chapter 21, when Ushio tries to distance herself from Sumika for "causing her trouble", Sumika bluntly reminds her that they were friends now, so it was okay for Ushio to get mad, just like she got mad because her friend was being insulted. Cue blushing.
    • Also, the entire series is like this about the trials of being gay in Japan.
  • You're Not My Type: One half of the main couple says this to the other half here. It drives the angst for most of the series.
  • Yuri Fan: Ushio's brother, Norio, who writes Yuri novels. Likewise, Azusa, who writes yuri doujinshi and attends yuri conventions, and is also a fan of Norio's novels.
  • Yuri Genre: Not very explicit but it's there. Azusa Aoi even lampshades it, going into lengths about how Girls Love should be subtle.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Sumika's Zettai Ryouiki is amazing.
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