Follow TV Tropes


Manga / Dad, the Beard Gorilla and I

Go To

Souichi Kusahara's wife Miyuki has recently passed away and, being unable to juggle his work and raise his daughter Michiru on his own, he invites his younger brother Kouji to move in with the family to help out with the housework. Michiru is initially suspicious towards her uncle, whom she nicknames "Beard Gorilla", but as they spend more time together, they quickly form a close, sibling-like bond.

Dad, the Beard Gorilla and I (original Japanese title Chichi to Hige-Gorilla to Watashi) is a Seinen comedic 4-Koma manga by Koike Sadaji that revolves around the wacky hijinks that the family gets into as they make do with this strange new living arrangement, and deal with other issues such as grief and romance along the way. The story covers a period of 2-3 years, in which Michiru goes from kindergarten to her first year of elementary school.

The manga was published from Feb 4, 2011 to Nov 5, 2018 at the Manga Kurabu magazine under publisher Takeshobo.

This manga contains examples of :

  • Alpha Bitch: Fuwari is a subversion. She gives a bad first impression during her introduction (she's a known heiress of a famous snack company who needlessly antagonizes Michiru, has a pair of goons who acts as her Yes-Man, and tries to get other classmates obey her whims in exchange of snacks), but she turns out to be quite nice, and eventually becomes a part of Michiru's group of friends.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When Kouji visits his future father-in-law to ask him for his daughter's hand in marriage, the latter gives the following reasons to object to his proposal. While the first two jabs made him uncomfortable, the last one just confuses Kouji.
    "I bet you don't even have a proper job. I bet you get stopped by the police all the time. And I bet you never grew a single bonsai."
  • Big Little Brother: Even as children, Kouji is much bigger and taller than Souichi, and would often protect his older brother from bullies. He's also better at household chores than Souichi. When he first arrives at Michiru's kindergarten to pick her up, the teachers are very surprised that Kouji is Souichi's younger brother.
  • Birds of a Feather: The attraction between Souichi and Tsukasa springs from their numerous similarities. They share a similar temperament, have the same favourite colours, and appreciates the same kinds of hobbies and entertainment. They eventually get married.
  • Butt-Monkey: Satou is The Friend Nobody Likes, whose role in the manga simply emphasize how much of an unpopular Sore Loser he is. Even the author seems to dislike him and, in the cast list, never fails to describe Satou as an unimportant nobody, if he doesn't outright forget about him.
  • Camera Fiend: While Hino's favourite object of observation is Souichi, he has his camera ready to take pictures of everything he finds interesting, including Yukari's new haircut and Tsukasa's snowmen.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Kouji comes to realize that when Michiru enters elementary school, he has no reason to visit Ms. Nishihara at the kindergarten anymore... though not for lack of trying. His first and only attempt is immediately foiled by Ms. Majima, who tells him that he has no business being there.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Souichi can't stand alcohol, so he drinks frozen Yakult instead. A sip of alcohol is enough to knock him out and give him hangover the next daynote .
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Souichi and his late wife Miyuki used to live in the same neighborhood as kids and would often play together. Although Miyuki would move away at some point, they would reunite after 10 years at college, and begin their romance.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Hino may be weird as hell with his obsession for Souichi, but he is both a personable and doting coworker for his peers, so much that by the end of the manga Yukari has a Ship Tease with him.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: The weirdest character in the manga is by far Souichi's section chief. This guy is the type who would wait on all fours to save a spot for the group's sakura viewing outing, suggest putting background music for corporate meetings, crouch on tables when he's thinking, and generally acts like a weirdo. Despite his far-out manners, however, his hobbies and interests are surprisingly mundane and he does give sound advice.
  • Creepy Child: Parodied with Kozue, a classmate and friend of Michiru's. She's the kind of girl that revels on the wonders of the animal kingdom... that is, the wonders outside and inside of said animals...
  • A Day in the Limelight: Even though the main characters of the manga are Michiru, her dad, and her uncle, plenty of other characters are given their own strips to develop their characters, despite their arcs having nothing to do with the main trio's lives. For example, Watanabe's relationship with his girlfriend is the main focus of Chapter 57.
  • Dreary Half-Lidded Eyes: Tsukasa and Watanabe's eyelids are drawn as a flat horizontal line which gives them both a perpetually bored expression. They are also the most reserved characters in the series, although they do have Not So Stoic moments.
  • Endearingly Dorky: The main reason Tsukasa endears herself to Michiru due to their mutual love for the children's cartoon Sergeant Ruckus, and it happened to be the topic that brought Shouichi into her life.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Section Chief of Souichi's office has No Name Given, and everyone just calls him by his title.
  • Face of a Thug: Mr. Onigawa, one of Michiru's elementary school teachers, always makes a bad first impression to students and parents alike because of his scary-looking face. Kids run away from him whenever he tries to reprimand them since his expression seems to be stuck in a Perpetual Frown. Despite this, he's actually friendly and wants to be a good teacher to his students.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Satou. He's a lazy, obnoxious and entitled guy who constantly complains about his lack of popularity, and resents those with more success than himself, despite never putting any effort to fix his flaws. Most of his colleagues try to avoid hanging out with him unless necessary.
  • Frozen Face: The Section Chief has literally only one facial expression, which is definitely not due to him being The Stoic. His mouth actually remains shut when he is talking, or even shouting.
  • Foil: Katou and Watanabe. Both are described as "normie representatives" who lacks any hobbies and interests to distinguish themselves among their quirkier colleagues. However, as their characters began to develop and their roles gradually diverge, we see that Watanabe is a Nice Guy whose lack of attachment to any particular dreams or activities drives him to support and help others who do have them; meanwhile, Katou is a lazy and obnoxious snob who resents other people's success despite never putting the effort to achieve those success. It's rather telling that most of their colleagues would avoid hanging out with Katou at all costs, while they would willingly invite Watanabe to fill in the space when going out as a pair is too awkward.
  • Foreshadowing: Tsukasa's first interaction with Souichi mirrors his first reunion with Miyuki after a 10-year separation, i.e. by running into him while riding on wheels. This gives a subtle hint that Souichi would ultimately end up with Tsukasa instead of Yukari.
  • Generation Xerox: Michiru looks almost exactly like her mother Miyuki. Their personalities are almost exactly the same too.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Watanabe's girlfriend Marie styles her hair in braided pigtails. This, coupled with her diminutive size, cause the people that meet her to think that she's a middle school student.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Played for laughs with Satou, the perpetually dateless guy from Souichi's office, who would pester those who has a more successful love life than he does, especially Watanabe.
  • Hidden Depths: Despite the series being a comedic Yonkoma, the cast members are surprisingly well-rounded. And even the silliest characters can provide good insights from time to time:
    • Kouji may seem like a Dumb Muscle Manchild at first, but even though he can be quite immature, he's actually a responsible and dependable adult. After moving in with his brother, he quickly proves to be a great help in the household (especially cooking); and while his bond with his niece is more sibling-like than guardianship, Kouji is able to provide much more for Michiru's well-being than just be her playmate. He also likes collecting vinyl records, which Miss Suzuhara considers surprisingly elegant.
    • The Section Chief may be a Cloud Cuckoo Lander, but he averts being a Pointy-Haired Boss by giving surprisingly deep consultation advice to his subordinates. He's also big on self-improvement, and encourages his younger colleagues to do likewise.
      "People easily confuse 'things that are better for me' with 'things that are easier for me'. And that's not necessarily a good thing. Please be careful, okay?"
    • Yukari's flashy appearance and her initial comment about wanting to pursue Souichi due to his managerial position may suggest that she's a vain, selfish, materialistic and/or power-hungry man-eater, and some of her male coworkers certainly think that she's an easy girlfriend. However, she turns out to be quite timid, childish and reserved.
    • Tsukasa's detached persona belies a gentle and motherly nature that's adorned with plenty of childlike interests.
    • Hino, outside of his ridiculous obsession with Souichi, is actually a diligent worker, a good listener and an understanding character with a genuine interest in others. He is a good friend to both Yukari and Tsukasa, and they seem to be quite comfortable opening up about their feelings to him.
    • Miss Majima, the head teacher at Michiru's kindergarten, to Kouji's surprise, is a certified licensed teacher with all that it entails, all in spite of her silly behavior.
  • Hypocritical Humour:
    • When discussing about each other's hobbies, Majima-sensei encourages Nishihara-sensei (whose hobby is bonsai) to pursue more feminine hobbies, such as nail art or crafting beads. When Nishihara asks the former if that is what Majima likes to do, she says that such activities are too troublesome. She immediately realises this and gets depressed.
    • Nishihara's dad henpecks Kouji for not ever growing a bonsai, and his daughter herself chides him because he hasn't been able either.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Implied with Watanabe. He admires his girlfriend's dreams and tenacity, and fears that his own lack of ambition and maturity means that he wouldn't be able to provide for her needs. Souichi assures him that he doesn't have to be the perfect guy to get married, and he and his wife-to-be could grow up together in marriage.
  • In Love with Love:
    • Said word for word by Tsukasa when describing Yukari to Hino. She says that Yukari is happiest when she is in a state of "being in love", and the reason she wants to pursue Souichiro in the first place is because he's easy to love, and is unlikely to cause her major heartbreak.
    • Also implied with Miss Majima, whose greatest dream is to become a bride, but never seem to give any thought about who her groom should be or even what he should be like.
  • Irony:
    • Tsukasa wins over Souichi's affections in spite of being the girl who was least trying to court him.
    • Kouji knows more about homemaking than either Souichi and the late Miyuki in spite of being single. He's a better cook than both of them combined.
    • Yukari has a reputation of a selfish and prim young woman who discriminates, in spite of being the absolute contrary to either of those things.
  • Lethal Chef: A lot. Kouji is pretty much the only adult in the family who is any good at cooking. Souichi often burns his food or gets the ingredients mixed up. His wife is no good at cooking either, and her lack of cooking skills is probably inherited from her father, whose attempt at making pancakes ended up almost burning him and the kitchen.
  • Like Parent, Like Spouse: While Michiru is too young to be looking for romance, she says that she prefers boys who are plain and laid back like her dad. Of her two male classmates she's close with, she definitely prefers to hang out with the meek and gentle Daichi than the loud and rough Yuta. At one point, she even dreams of marrying a man who looks almost exactly her dad.
  • Loony Fan: Hino is the self-proclaimed president of the "Let's observe Mr. Kusahara" club, of which he's the only member. He knows the most random and trivial details about Souichi's activities and habits (such as the number of ties he owns, his favorite menu from the office cafetaria, the order by which he eats his food, etc.), which everyone else finds disturbing.
  • Love Triangle: This eventually develops between Souichi, Yukari and Tsukasa. Yukari wants to pursue Souichi, who is oblivious to her affections, while he and Tsukasa slowly grow closer to one another thanks to their numerous Commonality Connections, and the latter ends up getting a crush on him too. The whole thing is resolved without much drama when Yukari admits that her attraction to Souichi is quite shallow, and allows Tsukasa to pursue a relationship with the man she loves.
  • Loving Bully: In spite of his dislike of Shouichi, it's shown that Miyuki's father cares a great deal about him because both Shouichi and Michiru are all that's left of his beloved Miyuki.
  • Ma'am Shock: Gender-inverted. After being called "beard gorilla" for so long, Kouji is stung when Michiru calls him "uncle" for the first time, because it reminds him of the age gap between the two. Subverted, however, since he's fine having the other kids calling him uncle.
  • Matchmaker Crush: Yukari's desire to woo Souichi is supported by both Hino and Tsukasa, who do their best to find (or create) opportunities for the two to be together. At one point, Hino admits to Tsukasa that he actually likes Yukari, while Tsukasa eventually finds herself falling in love with Souichi.
  • Mellow Fellow: Comes in many different flavours.
    • Being a laid back introvert, Souichi rarely express strong emotions.
    • Similarly, Daichi is very placid, and rarely gets mad when Yuuta messes with him, nor does he get overly pleased with himself when people praise him or his work. Most of the time, Michiru reacts on his behalf.
    • Nishihara's dad is lazy and soft-spoken, and while he's a Boyfriend-Blocking Dad, he's more passive-aggressive in his hostility towards his future son-in-law than Miyuki's dad, who is outright antagonistic in expressing his dislike towards Souichi.
  • My Beloved Smother:
    • As a child, Souichi has a poor constitution, so his mother never allowed him to do anything that might be too strenuous for him. She doesn't seem to think too highly of him either, and considers him a weak burden who can't do anything without being helped by others.
    • Yukari's mother is overbearing and is incapable of seeing the positive sides of her daughter.
  • New Old Flame: After getting back from a date with Nishihara, Kouji bumps into his ex-girlfriend, Saori, who is only introduced at that point. Kouji worries that Saori might want to get back together with him, which would complicate his plans to court Nishihara. As it turns out, Saori simply wants to tell Kouji that she's getting married to give him closure. Unfortunately, Nishihara spots the two together, and assumes that they are dating, causing her to avoid Kouji for a while afterwards. The issue gets resolved without much drama however, and Saori quietly disappears from the plot.
  • Nice Guy: With the possible exception of Satou, most members of the cast are decent people. However several characters stand out as being nice.
    • From what little we see of him, Watanabe is shown to be a caring and considerate guy. His favorite activities include visiting a fishing place to chat with the old men there and ask them how they're doing. He shows concern for his overworked girlfriend's health, to the latter's annoyance, and apologises first to her when their disagreement turned into an argument (even though he was the one getting hurt by the ordeal).
    • The section chief is always looking out for his subordinates, and would offer them advice about life, and allows them to consult to him about their problems. During Hanami events, he is always the first to arrive at the location to save a spot for the rest of the team. Even outside work, he would give assistance to people in need whenever he meets them.
  • Not So Stoic: The manga does a good job in showing that even the most reserved and unforthcoming people have an emotional side:
    • Tsukasa may seem like an Emotionless Girl at first, but she does have her own quirky interests and fears, and would react accordingly when she's faced with those triggers.
    • Likewise, Watanabe is very a very low-key and aloof, but he gets flustered whenever the subject of his girlfriend is brought up.
  • Nothing Personal: Nishihara's dad dislikes Kouji solely because his daughter likes him, not because he actually knows anything about Kouji. Since Nishihara's mom approves of Kouji, her dad's flimsy opinion of Kouji is quickly shut down.
  • Odd Friendship: Yukari and Tsukasa are good friends, but their personalities clash with one another's.
  • Older Than They Look: Marie, Watanabe's girlfriend, looks like a middle schooler despite being an adult. She is also studying in a Tailoring School (i.e. a student). This causes a lot of misunderstanding when he tries to describe her to his co-workers.
  • One of the Boys: Michiru is a Tomboy and plays most often with two boys: Yuuta and Daichi. When Kouji asks her why she doesn't play with other girls, Michiru explains that most girls in the school won't play Sgt. Ruckus with them. That being said, she does have a female friend, Kozue, so she's a downplayed example of this trope.
  • One of the Kids: The relationship between Michiru and her uncle is more Like Brother and Sister than guardian and child. He also has no qualms playing with the other kindergartners when he comes to pick up Michiru. Despite this, between the two brothers, Kouji is actually the more dependable adult, especially when it comes to cooking.
  • Opposites Attract: Souichi and his late wife Miyuki are pretty much opposites in terms of personality. Souichi is calm, unassuming and extremely laid back. Miyuki is fierce, determined and wild.
  • Pair the Spares: After Souichi gets a Relationship Upgrade with Tsukasa, Hino tells Yukari that he's available and that he's not a terrible boyfriend material. They don't explicitly end up together, but Yukari isn't totally against the idea. It helps that the two had already developed quite a good rapport before Souichi even noticed either woman.
  • Parent with New Paramour: Averted in the case for Michuru with Tsukasa. Souichi was expecting her to have some resistance about Tsukasa becoming her stepmother, but Michuru simply accepts it without a fuss. It helps she already bonded with her at that point.
  • Platonic Co-Parenting: Souichi and his brother Kouji live together to raise the former's daughter, Michiru, after his wife dies. Souichi is the main breadwinner of the household, while Kouji, who is a freelancer, takes care of the cooking and other housework.
  • Posthumous Character: Miyuki has died in a car accident before the story begins, and we only learn about her through flashbacks and her husband's anecdotes about her.
  • Quitting to Get Married: Inverted and played straight. After deciding to propose to his girlfriend, Kouji decides that he needs a more stable income and decides to take a full-time position in his old work place. Thankfully, the office has a vacancy because one of their (female) staff just left to get married. The irony of this is lampshaded by Kouji's boss.
  • Ridiculously Average Guy: Satou is probably the most ordinary of Souichi's colleague, having absolutely no hobbies or interests, and only goes through life to waste the passing time. Even the author finds him quite forgettable, and later flanderizes him to become more obnoxious and resentful of others more successful than he is.
  • Second Love: Souichi is a widower still grieving the death of his wife, who, until her passing, was his first and only love. He doesn't think he'll remarry any time soon, but over the years he eventually falls in love with another woman from work Tsukasa, whom he marries by the end of the story.
  • Stalker Without A Crush: Hino, knows way too much about Souichi than should be appropriate. He has a complete photo collection of his manager, including his childhood pictures (somehow), and continues to follow Souichi around to take more pictures whenever the latter does anything even slightly out of ordinary. However, he denies that his obsession is anything more than respect for his superior, and he is actually willing to share the data he has on Souichiro to Yukari to help her pursue him.
  • Third-Person Person: Downplayed with Michiru, who occasionally refers to herself by name, but usually use normal first person.
  • Those Two Guys: Katou and Watanabe are initially introduced as the "normie representatives" in Kouichi's workplace, whose role is to fill in normal conversations in the midst of the quirky office drama happening in the department. However, this is eventually subverted when Katou is flanderized into The Friend Nobody Likes, while Watanabe gets his own character arc and starts interacting more with the other main characters rather than Katou.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Michiru is a brazen Tomboy who likes to roleplay as Sgt. Ruckus and wrestles with the guys. But as she grows up, she starts developing a taste for more feminine clothes, like blouses.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Souichi loves frozen Yakult so much that it is pretty much the only thing (outside his family and hobbies) that can evoke a strong emotional reaction out of him. He sulks when Kouji drinks his Yakult without permission, and has a massive meltdown when he discovers that the Yakult prices has gone up by 5 yen per bottle.
  • Trying Not to Cry: Yukari, once Tsukasa confirms that she's dating Shouichi, as she realizes that she didn't even have a hint of a chance before the relationship happened. Tsukasa wasn't even trying...
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Most of the main characters have a rather odd phobia.
    • Michiru is afraid of dogs, even smaller ones like poodles. She also finds the Hina Dolls' faces scary, and almost refuses to go to school when her kindergarten sets up the dolls for Hinamatsuri in chapter 26. The chapter ends with Souichi saying that he hopes for Michiru to take the dolls as her dowry when she gets married some day, and she tearfully asks if she is stuck with them for life.
    • Nishihara-Sensei has a crippling fear of gorillas, and can't look at Kouji's face for more than a few minutes.
    • Souichi really can't stand ghosts and other horror stuff. This is caused by a haunted house prop falling on him when he was younger, while his brother pointed and laughed. After his wife's death in a car accident, a long time goes by before Souichi can stand the idea of driving in a car himself again. This also happens to be a trait he shares with Michiru's grandpa.
    • Kouji is afraid of insects, especially spiders, and Screams Like a Little Girl at the sight of one—to his own embarrassment.
    • Tsukasa is afraid of pigeons after getting swarmed by them when she was younger.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Despite her gloomy appearance, Tsukasa is an excellent homemaker, being skilled in cooking, sewing, gardening, and arts and crafts. This gives her an advantage over Yukari, who has no such qualities.

Alternative Title(s): Chichi To Hige Gorilla To Watashi