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The Yamato Nadeshiko concept is harder to explain than to translate. Literally, it means “the most perfect feminine beauty”, but that’s a little vague since we agree that there are many ways to be feminine, and everyone has their own idea of a perfect woman. In Japan, the term is more or less meant to refer to a shy woman, who has many traditional traits that are no longer being taught. A perfect, quiet wife, who will keep to herself and make sure her husband is always happy, while making sure her children are taught respect, and, if she has any daughters, that they will be like her.
Sunako Nakahara is not a yamato nadeshiko. She’s more of a hikikomori, a hermit who loves being in her own room all the time and doesn’t like to even see the sunlight. She’s considered very ugly by her classmates and herself, as she resembles Sadako from the Ring; and since her hobbies include everything related to horror movies, her reputation is that of the school creep. Her aunt, however, is not happy with that, so she challenges four really handsome guys to make her a perfect lady. If they succeed, they can live in her mansion rent-free. If they don’t, they will have to pay her three times the value of what they used.
With a series completely focused on the ideal beauty, it’s no surprise that there are many beautiful characters, so here we have a top ten dedicated precisely to those amazingly beautiful woman and men in Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge.
10. Noi Kasahara
Noi Kasahara is one of the prettiest girls at her school. Due to this, she’s also incredibly popular, and everyone wants to be like her, or be her friend. Not only that, she’s Takenaga Oda’s girlfriend, which makes her even more popular. She’s red haired and has beautiful blue eyes. In short, she’s a lot closer to the idea of a perfect lady, if it wasn't for the fact that she’s terrible with the house chores. Now, with all her physical beauty, and the fact that she has had many offers to become a model, one could expect her to be quite conceited and nasty to Sunako, but in fact, she’s her best friend and one of the few people who doesn’t get scared when she appears.
While, originally, Noi became Sunako’s friend to be closer to Takenaga, as she was a bit jealous that the other girl got to live in the same house as him; once they got to know each other, Noi turned out to be the best ally Sunako has in school, as she tried to make sure people stopped making fun of her. Sure, she is a bit obsessed with getting Sunako and Kyouhei together as she is also an avid manga reader, but that only makes her even more beautiful as she only does it because she thinks they would be perfect together.
As her beauty is not only skin deep, Noi opens our countdown on the tenth place.
9. Tamao Kikunoi
Tamao Kikunoi has everything in life. She is from a quite rich family, she has long beautiful blonde hair, grey eyes and even though her family arranged a marriage for her when she was very young, she does love her fiancée, Ranmaru. Sure, he is a bit of a womanizer, but she’s convinced she can change him with her love. She is the closest we get to a Yamato Nadeshiko in the whole series, since she is really demure; she takes care of her body, and loves Ranmaru with all her heart. Not only that, Tamao never sees Sunako or Noi as rivals, like other girls would in her position -Sunako lives with Ranmaru, and Noi, who has a boyfriend of her own, goes to the same school as Ranmaru. Instead, she also befriends them and helps them when she can.
In fact, the only reason Tamao is not higher on our list is because her beauty at times seems to be her only quality, and because she doesn't appear very often in the story. In fact, it’s not until chapter 111 that we actually learn her name. Whenever she’s around, no one is girlier than she is, and that can also be a bit too much for someone who doesn’t quite like girly girls. She’s a proper princess, at least in behavior if not in title, which can also make her a bit boring for some. Still, no one can deny she’s beautiful, so she earns the ninth place on our list.
Machiko is Yuki’s often absent girlfriend and a very nice girl with longish light hair that she usually keeps in a bun. She doesn’t see Yuki often because her parents work in Florida and she moved with them, but they keep contact through occasional letters and emails. Not only that, she has cripplingly low self-esteem that makes her doubt her relationship with Yuki every time he says something thoughtless (which is, unfortunately for them, quite common). Sure, she’s not as insecure when they’re together, and in fact, she’s very energetic and usually very happy. It’s only when she hears someone remark that compared to him she’s very plain, that she decides on her own that Yuki obviously doesn’t love her.
But despite the drama and the occasional misunderstanding (when Yuki also thinks she would prefer a “hunk American macho man” to him), she always goes back to Yuki, and it’s because they are both very similar; pretty and sweet. Despite her self-esteem issues, Yuki tries hard to be more assertive, and, just like the other guys’ girlfriends, never sees Sunako as a rival, not because of Sunako’s appearance, but because she wants to be her friend.
Due to her sweetness and happy energy, Machiko resolutely climbs to the eight place on our list.
7. Mine Nakahara
Sunako’s aunt and the real reason we have a story. She’s incredibly wealthy, and thus, doesn’t have much sense of what the real world is like. While she accepted to have her niece in her house while her brother and sister-in-law traveled, she couldn’t connect with Sunako. Not only that, she loves traveling and looking for a new husband, so that’s why she convinced the guys that they could live in her house rent free as long as they made sure to “fix” Sunako. This is not her being unreasonable, or thinking Sunako is really that broken, it’s more that she just wants to find a way to connect with her and this is the only way she could think of.
That is what makes her more than just another empty-headed beautiful millionaire. Well, that and that despite being married many times after the death of her first husband, we know that the only one she really loved was him. Again, she is gorgeous: long brunette hair and purple eyes make it impossible to miss her or avoid being mesmerized by her beauty. But it’s her inner beauty, her unending love for her first husband and her family what makes her really shine.
Because of that inner beauty, together with her external one, Mine Nakahara earns the seventh place on our list.
6. Yuki Toyama
Yukinojo Toyama, better known as Yuki, is possibly the closest to a voice of reason within the main group of guys. He comes from a middle-class family, and while his mom and Mine Nakahara are good friends, which was one of the reasons why they ended up living in the mansion, he had a pretty normal life before this happened. He’s blonde, with short hair and bangs, which makes him a lot cuter than the others at times, and also gives the impression that he’s childish and innocent, even if he’s not really. Due to his looks, at times, he has to cross-dress for some of the other guys’ plans to work.
Of all the boys, he has the best sense of fashion, so he’s usually the one who chooses Sunako’s dresses when they need to pretend they are more successful than they have been in making her act like a lady. Blond and with honey-colored eyes, he sometimes resents being thought of as the “Cute one”, but on occasion, he takes advantage of it.
Because of his boyish looks and his gentle personality, Yuki gets the sixth place on our list.
5. Takenaga Oda
Takenaga is usually called Boss by the other three, since not only can you make a nice pun with his name in Japanese, but also because he’s the most intellectual and the one who can figure out ways to get out of the problems they usually face. Interestingly, he’s also the one who has more in common with Sunako: due to the pressure of becoming the heir of his family’s business, he became withdrawn and antisocial, so his family sent him to live with his friends hoping he’d become a more normal and stable person again.
Looks-wise, Takenaga is really impressive. Tall, black haired and with brown eyes, he can command the attention of most rooms he enters. But what makes him stand out is his personality. He’s shy most of the time, and one of the very few people in the world that can enter Sunako’s room and find it somewhat comforting when he’s depressed and just fine when he’s not. Because of his family’s connections and Ikebana abilities, he’s also pretty handy as a hairdresser, and the one in charge of Sunako’s hair when needed.
Because of his sweet personality, more than for his handsome looks, Takenaga Oda earns the fifth place on our list.
We don’t know Lady’s first name. She’s one of the many women that Ranmaru dates on and off, and she’s quite dignified and wealthy, which gives her many advantages over other women when it comes to self-care, make-up and dresses. Still, she seems to have no real interest in finding a romantic partner, so whenever she hosts a party or has an important event to go to, she calls Ranmaru for help.
She has long light hair, light eyes and is really intelligent. But what makes her stand out over other named characters is that, unlike the other women Ranmaru dates who use him for his beauty, she’s always ready to help Ranmaru and his friends when he needs it. At one point, she even pretends to be mad at him because he asked her to help Yuki. That makes her a true friend, and is more important to show her inner beauty than all the jewels in the world.
And this is why Lady, even without a name, earns the fourth place on our list.
3. Ranmaru Morii
The playboy of the group, Ranmaru is not only really handsome, he’s also incredibly charismatic, so he can get any woman he wants with only a smile and a hello. This makes him seem a bit shallow and selfish, as at times it looks as if he can’t consider other people’s feelings except his own. He has piercing grey eyes and short red hair, which make him stand out easily. He’s also quite rich, as his family owns a chain of hotels, but lives at the mansion because his parents grew tired of his playboy ways and decided that what he really needed was a dose of how real life works.
However, Ranmaru is not without his virtues. He’s extremely loyal to his friends, and once he realizes how his actions may hurt others, he sometimes tries to change. We see this in how he behaves around Tamao Kikunoi, his fiancée. While their marriage was arranged, as another attempt by his parents to stop his flirting and womanizing –as they correctly thought it could be dangerous in the future- once he realized that she was really in love with him, he started to tone down his flirting.
Since every girl loves a bad boy who can change, and he has shown he can, Ranmaru lands on the third place of our list.
2. Sunako Nakahara
Sunako Nakahara is a very strange kind of beauty. At first sight, one would think that she’s not particularly beautiful, and that she has no place on this ranking at all. This is because, most of the time, she looks like a super deformed blob with messy hair and terrible skin. But whenever she feels confident enough, we can see her as she really is: Tall, thin, with long beautiful hair, and mesmerizing purple eyes. It’s really hard to understand why she thinks she’s ugly, although it mostly has to do with being rejected by her first love. Because she’s also very interested in gore and horror, she has come to see herself as part of this ugly side of life, and this has only helped to worsen her low self-esteem.
She’s very shy, and prefers to be alone. However, she’s not without strength of will. She won’t let anyone hurt her friends, and won’t let anyone bully her into doing something she doesn’t want to do. One of the most interesting things of the story is seeing how she goes from considering herself ugly and undeserving of love, to still considering herself ugly but being ok with that and her lifestyle. Still, she is not really ugly; not on the inside nor on the outside, when she is confident enough to be herself. Not only that, but she’s an excellent cook, a loyal friend, and a great fighter.
Since her best attribute, when she chooses to believe in herself, is her own self-confidence, and that is what makes her more beautiful, she earns the second place on our list.
1. Kyohei Takano
Kyohei is the fourth roommate in the mansion, and probably the most popular guy in the story’s universe by far, as he is very handsome. However, he’s also quite blunt and some would say he enjoys causing fights. At first glance, one may even think he’s kind of shallow, since he’s chased around by fans and he is so beautiful that even straight men fall for him, but the truth is that Kyohei doesn’t enjoy the attention he gets due to his looks at all. Yes, he’s tall, blond, and his brown eyes are dazzling, but he thinks all of that is more of a hindrance than a blessing.
This is because, while he may be incredibly handsome –and according to Sunako, he’s “God’s most beautiful creation”- his family is average-looking to the point that he had to leave the house because he was causing his mother a nervous breakdown. He can’t hold a job because he ends up harassed by his bosses, of both genders, and when that doesn’t happen, his fangirls tend to get in the way. This is what made him have a better relationship with Sunako, because despite her acknowledging his looks, she doesn’t react to them like everyone else.
Since he is handsome, but never takes advantage of that and in fact sees his looks as a problem, Kyohei more than deserves the first place on our list.
Whenever your ideal woman is the perfect housewife or the wildest adventurer, or your dream man is a supermodel or a shy genius, we can assure you that Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge will take your expectations of beauty and turn them upside down. Every character has their own special beauty and it’s really hard to grade them and be fair to all of them.
Which is why of course, we have to ask: Do you agree with our ranking? Or do you think we should’ve moved some of the guys and girls around? Please, let us know in the comments, and while you’re at it, why don’t you tell us about your favorite character in Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge too?