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Manga / ChocoMimi

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ChocoMimi is a Yonkoma manga series by Konami Sonoda. It began serialization in the manga magazine Ribon Original in 2003 before it was transferred to the main magazine Ribon in 2004, where it ran until its conclusion in 2019. The series follows the lives of best friends, responsible Chiyoko "Choco" Sakurai and spacey Mimi Nekota, as they deal with everyday problems such as school, friendship, and romance. Along with the Yonkoma shorts, some stories are featured in a conventional manga format for longer (and usually more serious) stories. Each chapter also consists of fashion tips from Choco and Mimi.

In addition to exploring their daily lives and festivities, the manga also has special spin-off shorts that features the characters' pets as humans, the characters gender-bended, and Kigurumimi, which features the six main characters as animals.

As of 2013, seven volumes have been released. The manga is currently licensed in the US by Viz, who has published the first five volumes. The popularity of the series led to the release of a drama CD and a live-action television drama series billing model Yukika Teramoto as Choco and AKB48's Kayano Masuyama as Mimi in 2007.

The series is currently on hiatus due to Sonoda's death in 2019.

This series has examples of:

  • Alliterative Name: Try saying "Mumu Momoyama" three times as fast as you can. Also, Mimi Lampshades this trope when she realizes how weird "Mimi Mikami" sounds if she were to ever marry Mikachin.
  • Ambiguously Bi:
    • Mimi fantasizes about falling in love with boys, initially has a crush on Mikami and has Belligerent Sexual Tension with Mumu, but seems to have a crush on Choco at times.
    • One of the Trans Nature stories with Picho, Chiffon and Huckleberry involves Picho asking if they can marry Huckleberry and Chiffon, though the three of them don't take those statements seriously.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Chiffon and Huckleberry aren't sure if Picho is a boy or a girl. Picho doesn't know either, saying only bird experts can really tell.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Jin Sakurai, to some extent.
  • Art Evolution: Subtle, but it's there. Definitely of note is Ando, whose hair progressively gets less messier and his eyebrows thinner within every volume.
  • Author Appeal: Konami Sonoda admits in the afterwords that she likes to incorporate the things she enjoys into a story, such as kigurumi.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Mimi and Mumu, definitely.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Mikachin when he's in his "ennui" mode.
  • Big Sister Bully: Played for laughs. Choco thinks Rai never talks to her or her friends because she told him that he wasn't born into their family when they were kids, even though Rai has long forgotten about it.
  • Blush Sticker: Happens a lot in the live-action series. Whoever does the special effects for the show must have wanted to take a notebook/scrapbook approach.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Mumu.
  • Bumbling Dad: Mimi's father.
  • Childhood Marriage Promise: Apparently Mimi and her Childhood Friend Maho made such a promise.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: All the cast occasionally, but most frequently Mikachin. In the live-action series, his entire family is shown to be a little too strange for comfort.
  • Crosscast Role: In the live-action series, Mumu is played by actress Touko Miura.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: Choco tries to sing a lullaby for Ando when he's napping during the New Years Eve party, but he actually wakes up because it was so bad. Also, the noise that Rai finds scary is actually Choco humming.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Ando is frequently prone to this.
  • Cut Short: The English translation only translated the first 5 volumes out of the 11 that exist.
  • Designated Parents: Choco and Ando frequently find themselves acting as the Team Mom and Team Dad to their friends, especially Mumu and Mimi. A strip in the first book even places them as the mother and father in the pretend family.
  • The Ditz: Mimi.
  • Ditzy Genius: Mikachin's a really smart kid, but... some of what he says is really out there.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Mumu is way better at this than Vince.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Choco was goofier in the early strips, doing things such as wearing a bikini to school with Mimi and trying to prove whether pandas had white or black tails.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Choco's real name is Chiyoko, which she really does not like.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Choco warms up to Bambi really fast. Mikachin also points out to Ando that if Bambi were a guy, Choco would be head-over-heels in love with her.
  • Everything's Better with Samurai: Chiffon to an extent. He speaks like a samurai and his human form is depicted as a Kid Samurai.
  • Gender Flip: Vols. 5 and 6 end with stories with all the characters gender-flipped. (Unfortunately, the Punny Names no longer work.)
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Mimi loves her Pirate Bear!
  • Green-Eyed Monster: A lot of characters become this at some point. Choco gets jealous when she sees how close Ando and Bambi are (and vice versa with Bambi). Ando gets jealous when the captain of the soccer team confesses to Choco. Mumu gets like this when he sees Mimi show interest in any guy other than himself.
  • Hair Color Dissonance: Choco's hair is sometimes coloured orange, and other times it is coloured blonde. So is it blonde or orange?
  • Hidden Depths: Mr. Take, Choco and Mimi's homeroom teacher, is a weary old man who usually has to put up with Mimi and Mumu's shenanigans. This same old man also happens to be a hardcore drummer in Bambi's punk rock band.
  • Hime Cut: Mimi dons this hairstyle when she's not in her usual Princess Curls because both are elegant styles.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Bambi likes Ando, but knows he and Choco like each other, so she tries to hook them up.
  • Important Haircut: Mimi gets a bob when she wants to change out of her old personality.
  • Informed Ability: Mikami's profile often says that he can play saxophone, but he has yet to be shown actually playing it.
  • Informed Attribute: Ando's profile says that he lived in England in elementary school and he's fluent in English. He's never shown actually speaking it in the manga or the live-action series, though he does at times hint that English is his best subject in school.
  • Jerkass: Depending on the circumstance or how Mumu is feeling at the moment, he could either be a Jerk with a Heart of Gold (when he's helping out Mimi and the others), or a Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk (when he's comforting Mimi and then decides to ruin the moment because of his Tsundere tendencies).
  • Kawaiiko: Mimi
  • Keet: Jin.
  • Lethal Chef: Subverted with Choco; she's not as good of a cook as Mimi is, but with effort her food is decent enough to get by without sending anyone to the hospital. Played straight in the live-action series, where Mikachin's entire family is horrible at cooking.
  • Long Hair Is Feminine: In vol. 6, Bambi has to wear a long-haired wig for a day after losing a bet, which immediately gives her a Girliness Upgrade in appearance. This causes Choco and Mimi to approach her all day with hair and make-up tips.
  • Love Triangle: Played for laughs and Lampshaded. Choco, Mimi, and Bambi discuss who would be their ideal type of girl if they were boys. For Choco, Bambi is her ideal girl; for Bambi, Mimi is her ideal girl; and for Mimi, Choco is her ideal girl.
  • Masculine, Feminine, Androgyne Trio: Out of the animals, we have Chiffon (thinks of himself as a noble samurai), Huckleberry (the most obviously girly of the trio) and Picho (an androgynous little bird)
  • Meaningful Name: "Kojika" literally means "little deer", hence why Bambi got her nickname.
  • Nightmare Fuel: In-Universe: Choco and Ando's drawings tend to freak out the other characters. Choco once draws a freaky looking rabbit on top of her test to calm herself down, only for it to scare Mr Take. Later, Choco and Ando decorate the flyers for the class cafe with creepy pictures of Picho (with 4 legs) and Huckleberry. Upon seeing the flyers, Mikachin asks Mumu if their class is doing a haunted house.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Mr. Take is drawn as looking more goofy than the conventionally pretty designs of every other character.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Doubly subverted. A reader thinks Rai and Ando are alike, but the two believe they have nothing in common. Ironically, it turns out that their behaviors are similar.
  • Not So Stoic: Subverted. Jin thinks Rai started calling Choco by her nickname because he and Mimi do. He tells Rai that he feels he and Mimi are rubbing off of him, causing Rai to retaliate by calling Choco "Nee-san" instead.
  • Oblivious to Love: Mikachin. When Bambi tries to get him to confess to Mimi, his quick response to, "Why did you pick me instead of Choco and Bambi?" turns out to be, "I love Choco and Bambi too."
  • Official Couple: As if anyone couldn't guess, Choco and Ando, at least by vol. 5. Jin and Aoi are the token Puppy Love Beta Couple. Mimi and Mumu have yet to get together since Mumu Cannot Spit It Out that he likes Mimi.
  • One Degree of Separation: Choco's little brother Jin is dating Aoi, who is Mikachin's little sister. Also, Choco and Mimi's homeroom teacher, Mr. Take, is Mikachin and Aoi's uncle. Mr. Take is also the advisor of the music club and the drummer in Bambi's punk rock band.
  • One of the Boys: Bambi has a lot of male friends because she relates to them. Ando considers her "just like a guy friend."
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Everyone calls Ando by his nicknames. Lampshaded when Choco, Mimi, and Mumu don't recognize who "Ryu" is when Bambi calls for him.
  • Opaque Lenses: Take-chan. You do get to see him actually having eyes in some of Misaki's Imagine Spots and in the live-action series, though. The same goes with Mimi's father.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Choco is often depicted in pink.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: In the live-action series, some of the Yonkoma shorts were moved around into a single segment even if they had nothing to do with each other in the original comic. Also, some scenes were played out differently, and mixed in with new scenes that the producers added onto the show. The live-action series also introduces Canon Foreigner Haruna, a teacher at Choco and Mimi's school.
  • Precocious Crush: Misaki has an obsessive crush on Mr. Take, which freaks out Choco and Mimi.
  • Princess Curls: Mimi's trademark hairstyle, though in some artwork, she does straighten her hair.
  • Pseudo-Romantic Friendship: Choco and Mimi are very close friends to the point that if anyone asks who they like, they automatically say each other's names. Lampshaded multiple times: on one note, the boys deduce that Choco is the reason why Mimi has high expectations in men.
  • Puppy Love: Choco's little brother Jin and Mikachin's little sister Aoi are dating. Note that Jin is only in the fifth grade while Aoi is in sixth. Lampshaded when the girls talk about how couples are getting together at an even younger age these days.
  • The Quiet One: Rai doesn't talk a lot.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Picho, Huckleberry and Chiffon.
  • Series Mascot: Mimi's Pirate Bear and Mumu's Death Bear.