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This story is a simple illustration of the three sisters of the Minami household. Please do not expect too much out of it.
Take an Onee-sama, a hopelessly Genki Girl, and a Little Miss Snarker, make them sisters, and put them all under one roof. That's Minami-ke. The show is a Slice of Life comedy which blends the High School, Middle School, and Elementary School subgenres by having each of the three sisters attend one of these. The fourth storyline is about interactions of the three and their friends at home.The Minami sisters:
Based on a manga series by Koharu Sakuraba, the show follows the footsteps of Azumanga Daioh, Lucky Star, and other Slice of Life works and emphasizes the absurdity of what's happening on-screen. Don't expect much realism or drama. Do expect a lot of eccentric characters that play off each other and just a plain lot of fun. The second season sequel, Minami-ke Okawari started airing in January 2008 and was produced by a different company (Asread, instead of Daume). It mostly consists of original material not covered in the manga and contains much more Fanservice, which might be the reason that the viewing public generally regards it as far inferior to the first season.A third season called Minami-ke Okaeri aired in early 2009, returning closer in style to the first season, and being met with good reception in turn. A short bonus episode, Minami-ke Betsubara, was also released in 2009.A fourth season, Minami-ke Tadaima, this time animated by feel., aired in the Winter 2013 Anime season (simulcast by FUNimation), and returns even more to the first season's roots, down to having a similarly-styled opening song and animation. It even brought back the iconic starting spiel that you can see at the top of this very entry. Two OVAs, named Minami-ke Omatasenote it's released before Tadaima and Minami-ke Natsuyasumi, were also released, with the first one being a Halloween Episode and the second one being a Beach Episode.The show has a character sheet.
Minami-ke provides examples of the following tropes:
Adaptation Dye-Job: Every season changes the hair colors of the characters a bit. In Okaeri, the characters have more realistic hair colors.
Adult Fear: Otherwise incredibly lighthearted, an example is found in the last episode of Okaeri when they find what appears to be Kana's suicide note.
Art Shift: Frequent closeups in which characters' faces gain considerable detail. "Bible Black faces", as the image boards call them.
Brainwashed: In episode 8 of season 4, several characters begin to have a fondness for vegetables thanks to a new TV show. Chiaki and Kana check it out, with the former thinking it's just some random show pandering to the simple-minded. After the show is over, Chiaki develops Mind-Control Eyes, and has a sudden urge to eat vegetables despite normally hating them. Several other characters are afflicted by this as well, such as Hosaka, who tries to force Hayami to eat some. Interestingly, while Kana watched the show, she wasn't affected by it the same way. Chiaki and Hosaka break out of this when they eat some sausages the grocery store is giving out as samples, but not before breaking into a song and dance sequence.
Cat Smile: The sisters' default expression, particularly Kana.
In season 3, virtually every character has this.
Chaos Architecture: Between season 1 and Okawari. The most noticeable bit about this is the addition of a dining table, and their kitchen is now a counter across said dining table (when in the previous season, the kitchen was outside the living room). Also, Chihaki and Kana no longer have separate rooms.
Downer Ending: In-universe example. In episode 4 of the first season, Chiaki and Kana play a game based on The Teacher and Ninomiya, with the loser having to go out in the rain to buy snacks at the convenience store. At first it seems to be a standard fighting game, with Kana playing Ninomiya and Chiaki as the teacher. The latter soundly defeats the former, but then a cutscene plays with the teacher screaming her name as she "dies", utterly confusing both girls as to what just happened, as well as who won. The same scene plays out multiple times in different genres of that game, and both girls forget the original reason for playing it in the first place, and simply try to defeat the other, while trying to figure out exactly how the game is supposed to be played.
Evolving Credits: The scenery that Kana walks through in the ending for season 2 changes gradually after every three episodes as the season goes on.
Quite a bit, with skimpy sport outfits in the opening credits, a beach episode and Kana appearing shirtless (though retaining her bra) in the opening of episode six. The service reaches really silly levels in the second season, perhaps in an attempt to compensate for the lack of funny source material.
And the manga has plenty of Chiaki and Kana pantyshots as well.
The Betsubara OVA has a completely random Chiaki pantyshot for seemingly no real reason, though it's so zoomed out and undetailed it's almost incidental. Then the camera goes back to it. Three times.
Tadaima's first episode has some shots of Haruka with a loose school uniform while taking a nap and Kana lying under the kotatsu along with a change of clothes so that she would be warm when she gets up. The problem with Kana is that she forgot the change of clothes and is in her underwear when Haruka pulls her out.
Another from Tadaima — Kana's butt wiggle from episode 7.
"Meine Damen und Herren, dieses Flugzeug wird um 19 Uhr in San Francisco ankommen. Ich wŁnsche Ihnen einen guten Flug."
Green-Eyed Monster: In episode 8 of season 3, Kana tries to teach Yoshino and Uchida about feigning weakness to attract a guy. They practice by pretending to not be able to open a can of soda. Although Uchida accidentally opens it, Yoshino manages not to. Maki, Atsuko, and Haruka later arrive, and Maki recalls a bad memory of that can trick failing miserably when she attempted it with a guy. They then make Atsuko do it, and she is completely unable to do it. However, she wasn't faking it, and really couldn't open it, causing Kana and Maki to hilariously accuse her of witchcraft with the level of helplessness she showed.
The Hecate Sisters: In terms of age it's Chiaki-Kana-Haruka, but in terms of personality, Kana is the maiden, Haruka is the mother, and Chiaki is the bitter crone.
Halloween Episode: The first sketch of Omatase is a Halloween Episode. Takeru has a lot of sweets and the girls play "Trick or Treat" (with some variations). Kana is a vampire, Chiaki and Mako-chan are Cute Witches, Touma is wolfboy, Uchida might be a bunny girl, Yoshino is a mummy and Haruka is a succubus.
Improbably Female Cast: While there are male characters, the vast majority of them have minor roles or are only seen very sporadically. In Makoto's case, he's often forced to become Mako-chan whenever he spends time with the Minami sisters.
Kotatsu: Much of the time the sisters or their friends are shown at home, they are seated around it. Or under it.
It becomes a Love Dodecahedron when Akira joins in. He's attracted by Riko's long hair, but his close relationship with Kana makes him the target of Fujioka's jealously. Akira on the other hand has no idea of Fujioka's feelings towards Kana and mistakes Riko for Fujioka's girlfriend, believing that being the reason why he's mad at him. Also, Riko and Kana have no idea what's going on, everyone within the Love Dodecahedron doesn't know that he/she is in one.
Mind Screw: The very last ending for season 2 shows the usual Kana walking through various scenes. Then at the end when she stops, the camera pans away, and that scene we just looked at turns out to be a painting that another Kana just watched along with the viewers.
New Year Has Come: Once per season. The girls usually go to a shrine. In Omatase, the girls celebrate the New Year in their home right after the Halloween sketch, and everyone but Kana ends up drunken by Hayami's alcohol.
No Social Skills: One has to wonder how the other Minamis raised their children when you look at Touma's brothers... Natsuki in particular is the crowning example.
Not Allowed to Grow Up: It's not really noticeable in the manga, but for those following the anime this is especially glaring. For example, at least three New Year's celebrations have been shown... and yet no-one has advanced a single year in each of their respective grades.
Oddly Named Sequel: From Minami-ke to Minami-ke Okawari ("Seconds") to Minami-ke Okaeri ("Welcome Home") to Minami-ke Tadaima ("We're Back").
Off Model: The character designs for Season 3 differ vastly from the first two seasons, to the point of invoking this trope at times. Thankfully they kept the same seiyuu/voice actors for each character.
Only One Name: Almost the entire cast. It's easier to point out the characters who do have family names: The Minami sisters, the other Minami family (Touma's family), and Chiaki's friend Yuka Uchida.
Open Secret: In the final episode of Tadaima, Uchida, Miyuki and Maki are not able to keep the secrets of Touma, Riko and Atsuko, respectively, because "it's just between us" animates people to tell secrets to other peoplenote Though, in Miyuki's case, she doesn't even know the meaning of "it's just between us". Kana uses this as an advantage and tells people about a "secret" place for a hanami in disguise of "it's just between us", so a lot of people will be invited for the hanami.
Numerical Theme Naming: Ninomiya-kun (2) gets her rival Sannomiya-kun (3) in Tadaima. Makes you wonder if there was an "Ichinomiya-kun (1).
Selective Obliviousness: Characters often act as if they do not hear the conversation that is taking place right next to them (i.e. Touma to her brothers' talking about her). Taken to extremes with Chiaki not seeming to notice anything that would give away Makoto's disguise... although perhaps she's only feigning obliviousness.
Ship Tease: Sakuraba likes to portray Hosaka, Fujioka, and Makoto as Spear Counterparts and Opposites Attract of Haruka, Kana, and Chiaki respectively in promotional art he makes, although in the manga proper those three are quite far from being romantically involved, and Hosaka and Haruka in particular barely know each other; surprisingly enough, Touma's brothers, who are generally accepted to be the real Spear Counterpart for the Minami sisters, get no such service from Sakuraba, they are in none of the promotional material.
In Okaeri episode 10, Natsuki and Touma play a game that looks like a parody of The King of Fighters '95, with Touma playing "Rugal Bernstein" and Natsuki playing "Kyo Kusanagi". In the end, Natsuki spams "108 Shiki: Yami Barai" like there is no tomorrow.
In the final scene of the OVA Natsuyasumi, Hosaka is ordering food at a WcDonalds. The two cashiers behind the register look a lot like Chiho and Maou from The Devil is a Part-Timer!.
Show Within a Show / Soap Within a Show: The Teacher and Ninomiya. Apparently also an in-universe Cash Cow Franchise, as well, since the Teacher and Ninomiya also star in their very own multi-genre video game (spoofing a lot of familiar titles from video game history) as well as their very own magic show.
Kana gets sick in episode 9 of the first season. Chiaki keeps her company and watches over her, and tries to cheer her up. Chiaki herself gets sick later on, probably having caught whatever was making Kana sick.
Kana again in episode 11 of season 2. At first she was faking it to get out of the neighborhood cleaning that day, which Chiaki immediately suspects. But then she really gets sick the next day. Which was also the day the sisters were supposed to go shopping for clothes, and later go to an all you can eat rib restaurant. Kana tries various things to get better, but feels even worse by the time Haruka and Chiaki get home from shopping.
Strange Minds Think Alike: Chiaki refers to Hosaka as the curry fairy. Later, Hayami tells Hosaka that he could become the curry fairy. Chiaki meets Hosaka again in Betsubara and the eighth episode of Tadaima while both of them are shopping for carrots or vegetables.
Sustained Misunderstanding: This show runs on it. Often one character will say something, another will misinterpret it, and then spread the misinterpretation around, such as Hosaka believing Kana and Chiaki to be Haruka's daughters, rather than her sisters.
Temporal Theme Naming: Doubled up — the Minami sisters have Haruka (spring), Kana (summer), and Chiaki (autumn), while the other Minami family has Natsuki (summer), Akira (autumn), Touma (winter)... and the oldest brother, whose name is never mentioned until the seventh volume, which established that his name is Haruo (spring). Okawari runs with this again in the case of Fuyuki (winter).
Those Two Girls: Each of the sisters has a pair of Those Two Girls in their respective schools. In Kana's school, there are even two pairs of them.
Title Drop: If you name your sequels like that, it happens a lot.
Wham Episode: Two incidents in episode 12 of season 2. The first, a minor one, is that Fuyuki, the boy that lived next door to the Minami sisters for that season, moves away unceremoniously. A bigger one that impacts the other sisters is the revelation that Haruka is going overseas to study abroad.
Zettai Ryouiki: The girls in Chiaki's grade school seem to have this as part of the uniform.