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Manga / Plus-Sized Elf

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Elfuda with a mouthful of her favorite french fries

Plus-Sized Elf (Elf-san wa Yaserarenai, or "Elves Don't Diet") is a seinen manga series by Synecdoche. Seven Seas Entertainment have licensed it for English release.

Naoe Tomoatsu is a massage therapist at the Smiley Boar clinic. Things are pretty normal for him there until one night when he gets a new client who happens to be an elf. This elf, named Elfuda, came to our world from another dimension and wants to go back. However, before she can go, she has to lose the weight she gained during her stay, which is very difficult due to her newly-gained addiction to french fries, so she wants Naoe's help slimming down. As he tries to help Elfuda keep her weight under control, Naoe meets other non-human women in a similar situation who also need his assistance.


Plus-Sized Elf provides examples of:

  • Acrofatic: Discussed by Medesa when she mentions that Elfuda is still as agile as an elf can be despite her rotund body.
  • Alien Catnip:
    • French fries are this for Elfuda, to the point that she's stacked on a bit of extra weight from the greasy potato-based treats.
    • Noodles are this for the gorgon they meet; she loses control of her power over people disrespecting them.
    • Coffee is this for alraunes as they absorb it like ground soil, changing their personality.
  • A Lizard Named "Liz": The non-human women tend to have names referencing their race: Elfuda is a homophone in Japanese for "is an elf", Kuroeda's name combines "kuro" (dark/black) and "eda", which also sounds somewhat like "is an elf", the first two Japanese characters in Kusohanada's name mean "flowering plant", fitting for a Plant Person, a.k.a an Alraune. Laika's name is similar to "raikansuroopu", the Japanese transliteration of "lycanthrope" (and may also be a Shout-Out to Laika, a stray dog who became the first animal to orbit the Earth), Mero's name comes from either "merrow" or "mermaid", Honeda's name includes the character for "bone", Gonda's name is a homophone in Japanese for "is a dragon", and includes the kanji for "snake", Hitome literally means "One Eye", Medesa, Eure and Suteno's names come from the original gorgon sisters Medusa, Euryale and Stheno, and Olga, Oku and Hobi's names all derive from their English species names (ogre, orc, and hobbit, respectively).
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  • All Women Are Lustful: Naoe's boss Ino always tries to get him to go out for drinks with her, got him to wear a speedo that said big on it when on the beach, and once bought a small island that she plans to populate with a reverse harem for herself. Though she was fine with Naoe bringing his harem to it for now.
  • Art Evolution: The art style has shifted quite a bit since the series began. The women are drawn noticeably curvier and (while still quite plump) are drawn with larger butts, thighs and breasts to compensate. Simply compare all the characters in Volume 8 with their first appearance. note 
  • Art Shift: Kuroeda has a tendency to shift art styles when being serious or dramatic.
  • Author Appeal: The author has produced a lot of erotic works featuring very Rubenesque women. This series, while being a lot less explicit than the others, continues that trend.
  • Beach Episode:
    • Everyone goes to a gym's pool in chapter 7.
    • In chapters 21-22, Ino takes everyone to a beach on a deserted island.
  • Berserk Button: Most of the girls get angry if their fat is being brought up. Elfuda has a pretty thin skin when it comes to mockery or denying her fries. Medesa takes ramen very seriously, and hates seeing it ruined.
  • Big Bad Wannabe:
  • Big Ball of Violence: Elfuda and Kuroeda go at it in chapter 5, and again in chapter 10. In chapter 5, after they've broken it up, there are clearly visible bruises, scratches, and even a bite mark. In chapter 10, they fight each other despite ostensibly uniting to defend Naoe from a satyr.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: THE MANGA! While the series focuses on the girls' attempts to lose weight, it's their plump features that are the source of most of the series's fanservice.
  • *Bleep*-dammit!: As is the norm in mature Japanese artwork, whenever the women are shown nude the only part of their bodies that is hidden is their genitals while their breasts and buttocks remain completely uncensored.
  • Blinding Bangs:
  • The Boxing Episode: Chapter 17 has Naoe bring some of the girls to exercise in a boxing gym. He is revealed to have practiced pugilism in college.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Subverted with Hobi, who's actually a jerkass adult hobbit who only looks like a child.
  • Censor Steam: In the sauna chapter (#5), the nipples and genitals of the sauna visitors are covered by steam.
  • Chubby Chaser: Naoe admits he is one and in the first chapter is daydreaming about Ino's body. However he is really diligent in his work so he does his best to have the girls adopt a healthy lifestyle and slim down.
  • Clothing Damage: Rather frequent. If not for Fanservice, then for humor.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Dark elves wear special clothes to boost magical abilities, and in order for the clothes to work they have to be able to properly fit in them. Which is a problem for Kuroeda, who's gotten too big for hers.
  • Cool Shades: Elfuda's aunt wears some during their beach volley ball game.
  • Corner of Woe:
    • Olga's reaction when the others don't want to spar with her in chapter 17.
    • Naoe has the same reaction when Honeda asks why none of the girls have lost weight.
    Naoe: That's because I'm bad at my job.
  • Covered in Scars: Elfuda's aunt; a shower scene shows she sports scars almost everywhere.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: A coffee-drunk Kusohanada beats Elfuda with ease.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Even the girls from more traditionally monstrous races, like ogres, orcs, and lycanthropes, look attractive.
  • Cyclops: One appears in chapter 17, and she's even taller than Olga; like ogres, they're members of the titan tribe. They borrow a bit from Harryhausen-style cyclopes, having a single small horn above the eye. They're good with their hands, and many are known as master blacksmiths in the other world.
  • Dark-Skinned Blonde: Dark elves have brown skin and silver hair.
  • Debut Queue: The first few chapters each introduce at least one member of the recurring cast.
  • Defiled Forever: Naoe's reaction after his encounter with a drunk on coffee Kusohanada.
  • Dem Bones: Skeletons are a type of undead, people who in their dying moments hold hatred, regret, or other strong negative feelings in their hearts, resulting in the magic power in their bodies turning them undead; by letting go of those emotions, they can finally move on. They don't necessarily have to have been human in life. They can easily survive being disassembled and reassembled, though they can't automatically do it themselves. They have an invisible, intangible body which they can make visible to others through magic.
  • Dimensional Traveler: So far all the non-human characters have used a portal to get to our world.
  • Dub Name Change: Hobi's name changes to Kobo in the official translation, tracking her change in species from hobbit to kobold, which was probably to avoid the Tolkien estate lawyers.
  • Edutainment Show: While the series is largely comedic and fanservicey, Naoe does give out actual diet and exercise advice at least once a chapter.
  • Engrish: The manga's own translation of its title is "Elf can't on a diet".
  • Erotic Dream: Naoe has a dream in Chapter 10 about Elfuda in a bikini lying on a mountain of fries which inadvertently exposes the Satyr inflicting it on him, but whether it was intended to be one is hard to determine.
  • Fantastic Racism: Forest elves and dark elves hate each other. Elfuda claims it's because dark elves are inherently evil but Kuroeda denies her claim as forest elf propaganda. Both types of elf look down on orcs.
  • Fauns and Satyrs: Satyrs here are more akin to succubi/incubi than their traditional depiction; they're demonic-looking humanoids with horns and a tail, but without the typical goat legs, and feed off others' desires, magically hypnotizing people to stimulate their desires, then forcing them to act them out.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Most of the female characters wear clothes that highlight all their figures' curves. This is actually a problem for Kuroeda, since her clothes were form-fitting before she came to our world, and she's gotten too big for them. Since they boost her power, she literally can't go home until she loses enough weight to fit back into her old outfit.
  • Formerly Fat: Medesa's sisters used to be incredibly fat, to the point they were almost as round as balls. Their relentless searching for her after she left home burned their fat away, turning them quite slim.
  • Fountain of Youth: Kuroeda creates a weight-loss drug and wants to try it on Elfuda. Before she can manage it, Naoe has some of it, mistaking it for a soft drink, but rather than causing weight loss it causes a physical regression to childhood.
  • Fun T-Shirt: Elfuda likes wearing t-shirts with food references.
  • Gag Censor: Chibi-esque versions of the girls' faces are used to cover up their nipples and genitals when they get exposed.
  • Gainaxing: It's a common trait this manga has. All the Mon-Girls have certain parts, mostly their stomachs, that jiggle to display their weight issues.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Hobi, accentuating her child-like appearance.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Ino invited Satero with the rest of the girls and Naoe to her private island despite the satyr being more an antagonist.
  • Golem: Kuroeda normally has six child-size golems to help her out with her convenience store job.
  • Go Through Me: Naoe gets himself between Elfuda and her aunt when her aunt's training and diet is clearly unhealthy. He doesn't even blink when she swings at him rationalizing that if Ooeda really cares for her niece she wouldn't hurt him.
  • Green Thumb: Elves can hear the voice of nature, finding out what plants are saying, but because Earth has no magical power, they can only hear it faintly. Alraune have a greater affinity with nature, and can freely manipulate plants, moving them around, healing them, and transforming them into any other type of plant.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Ino, to the point Naoe tries to avoid going in bars with her since she drinks for hours and gets even more gropey when drunk (not that Naoe minds).
  • The Heart: Naoe is the one calming most disputes, and he convinces Hobi to stop bullying children. Olga even tells Satero she doesn't care if she takes revenge on Elfuda by making her fat but takes issue with attacking the human.
  • Height Angst: Gonda doesn't appreciate being told she's short for a dragon.
  • Heroic BSoD: Olga has a minor breakdown upon discovering Hobi's actually an adult rather than a child she can dote on.
  • Hey, You!: Elfuda keeps addressing Naoe as "human".
  • Hobbits: Small humanoids with pointy ears. With their ears covered, they can pass as human children.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: Elfuda faints upon Mero informing her the salmon eggs she ate are actually mermaid eggs. Specifically, Mero's mermaid eggs. They really were salmon eggs. Mero just wanted to yank Elfuda's chain.
  • Identical Stranger: Oku with her ears hidden looks near identical to Naoe's boss Ino. Naoe even mistakes the former for the latter.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Chapters are called 'appointments', reflecting Naoe's job as a therapist.
  • Improbably Female Cast: Naoe is the only male with any relevance in the story. All of the people he's met that came from the other dimension just happen to be female.
  • Knight Templar Big Sister: Medesa's sisters have a smothering level of protectiveness towards her, with them showing up in person to completely crush the bodies and spirits of the other monster girls due to catching them making their sister cry.
  • Lazy Bum: A few of the girls aren't particularly active, which forces Naoe to find activities to shape them up. Elfuda got so lazy at one point she stopped doing her hair.
  • Male Gaze: Anyone who's read it can tell the manga does this repeatedly. For example, Kuroeda's butt gets a lot of focus in her case.
  • Magic Music: Mero's singing causes hallucinations, confusion and hypnosis in those without magic resistance.
  • Meaningful Name: The "Nao" in Naoe's name can be read as "ordinary", and "Tomoatsu" can be read as "warm/kind friend" or "thick/heavy friend". Olga's name is written with the character for "male" or "manliness", reflecting her physique and speech patterns, the individual kanji in Laika's name translate as "to depend on" and "increase/addition", and the last character in Hobi's name means "help" or "assist", referencing her legion of followers.
  • Medusa: Gorgons look almost identical to humans, but their eyes have snakelike pupils, and when they get emotional, their hair turns white and the snakelike fangs in their mouth start showing. They can fire Eye Beams that turn things to stone, which they can reverse with their tears, and wear glasses to restrain their powers. When pressured to the point they lose control of their emotions, their hair takes over in self-defense and turns into snakes. (When Medesa gets worked up, she loses control of her power, and her glasses fly off; whether that's just her, or gorgons in general, is unclear.)
  • Muggles Do It Better:
    • In Elfuda's magical world, all meals are extremely basic with no cooking techniques beyond grilling or boiling existing, seasonings as simple as salt and pepper are extremely expensive, and the elves' vegetarian diets consists of nothing but raw vegetables. As such, Elfuda and the rest of the female cast prefer Earth food due to its much wider array of choices.
    • We also have better body care techniques in our world, as well as ways to lose weight. This is slightly less impressive, though, when you consider why exactly we needed them.
  • Mundane Object Amazement:
    • Elfuda is obsessed with french fries and is shocked that something so tasty can be labeled as "junk food" in our world. This is because in her world seasoning of any kind can only be afforded by the very rich so food for most people tastes extremely bland.
    • Oku's tribe has a secret legendary technique passed down from generation to generation that allows orcs to lose weight. She learns the technique almost immediately after arriving on Earth because here it's known as dieting.
  • My Beloved Smother: Ogre females in general have a powerful maternal instinct. So much so that even when Olga knows Hobi isn't a child, she still treats her like one. It gets even worse when she meets a de-aged Naoe and deludes herself into believing she gave birth to him.
  • Nice Guy: Naoe only gets angry when Elfuda doesn't take her diet seriously (which is all the time) and even then he calms down fast. He instantly forgives Kuroeda for de-aging him by accident.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Despite having all of the typical trappings of a harem series, romance is very rarely if ever brought up. None of the girls ever show any romantic interest in Naoe at all, and vice-versa. Even Elfuda, who lives with Naoe, has nothing resembling romantic tension with him. As far as Naoe and the girls are concerned, he's just their care provider and good friend, nothing more.
    • As if to drive the point home, chapter 40 is so far the only time that the idea of romantic interest is directly broached, and it happens entirely in a dream sequence that parodies typical high school harem rom-coms.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Olga, especially when she is in full mama mode. She also manhandles the others occasionally and even pats Naoe for no real reason.
  • Older Than They Look: Hobbits here look less like small adults and more like actual children.
  • Once per Episode: Elfuda will eat fries or mention eating fries in a chapter. It's her thing.
  • One-Hour Work Week: Elfuda's occupation is "self-employed", same as Olga and the girls that don't have obvious jobs yet still afford their vices.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: In chapter 33, which introduces Medesa's sisters, their names are never mentioned, with Medesa only calling them Big Sis and 2nd Big Sis and the sisters themselves being too enraged at the other monster girls to bother telling them their actual names. Chapter 37 finally gives their names as Suteno and Eure.
  • Opaque Nerd Glasses: Medesa's glasses, which are marked with concentric black circles.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Dragons have a human form with draconic traits, including horns, pointy ears, a tail, a few scales under the eyes, and a forked tongue. Their eyes default to being large and black, with the sclera just visible around them. They're cold-blooded, meaning they rely on the environment to regulate their body temperature; if they get too cold, they hibernate. They use higher-dimensional magic, making telepathy easy for them. They're known for collecting treasure, although not necessarily what other species would think of as treasure.
  • Our Elves Are Different: There are two kinds of elves (and they hate each other): forest elves, who are light skinned blondes, live in forests and largely rely on their archery skills, and dark elves, who have brown skin, red eyes, silver hair, and are more adept in magic.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: They're human-size, with pointy ears and butterfly wings, and are very close to elves.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Mermaids have fish tails in place of legs, sharp teeth, and fin-shaped ears. However, with a drop of mermaid tears or small amount of maca extract (the latter being way more plentiful) they can temporarily transform their tails into legs.
  • Our Ogres Are Hungrier: Other than a pair of small horns ogres look human. Granted most of them are very tall (Olga is seven feet tall) and muscular. They are part of the titan species, who're notorious in testing their strength against other titans. When Olga sees Hitome, they start to beat the crap out of each other. Hitome also mentions that Titans like her and Oga change their size for living cost and avoiding accidental destruction and Oga is actually fourteen feet tall.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Orcs look mostly human, aside from having pig ears and a pig tail (and a snout, in the case of male orcs). Most of them are stout and have issues losing weight.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Lycanthropes are shapeshifters who can change between three forms: a Little Bit Beastly form with dog ears and tail, a humanoid dog form, and a full dog form. Their natural form is the humanoid dog form.
  • Plant Person: Alraunes, like Kusohanada, are plants that look and act human. They have flowers that sprout out of their bodies, but those can easily be mistaken as ornaments so long as the flowers don't absorb too much sunlight, water, and other nutrients since they can get very large and heavy. They also turn into gyaru when they drink coffee, since absorbing nutrients and water can temporarily affect their personality.
  • P.O.V. Boy, Poster Girl: While Naoe is the protagonist of the series, most of the covers and promotional materials focus on the girls, usually Elfuda.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Elfuda's aunt gives her a cruel diet and training program that mostly hurt Elfuda more than anything. Naoe steps in saying this is not a proper way to diet at all.
    • The entire premise of Elfuda's obesity showed what happened a person from low-calorie with hard work load environment was retired to a sendentary environment with high-calorie food, which is similar to former atheletes and soldiers who became overweight due to eating large amounts of food without a regimen of energy-extensive works to burn off excess calories to keep them fit.
  • Retired Badass: Elfuda; after the great war in her world she went to the human world for fries and to laze it up. She still has really sharp reflexes and is pretty good with her bow.
  • School Swimsuit: All the women in chapter 7.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Elfuda likes to show off her body when she is losing weight and isn't particularly embarrassed when she is naked in front of Naoe since she gets therapeutic massages from him in the nude sometime.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Squishy Wizard: Kuroeda is the best magic user of the cast but is among the most out of shape. Elfuda is fat from eating too much fries but she still trains a lot while Kuroeda has great self control when it comes to food but spends most of her time behind a counter which bloats her lower body.
  • The Stoic: Elfuda's aunt never really changes facial expression even when she is admonishing people and can do yoga during the middle of a fight without breaking poses.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Neither Elfuda or Kuroeda can swim. The Beach Episode showed that neither Elfuda's aunt, Honeda and Mero in her human form can either.
  • Swallowed Whole: Is implied to happen to Naoe by a gyaru venus fly-trap Kusohanada in chapter 28. He was spit back out before anything bad could happen to him beyond losing his clothes and getting slightly traumatized, though.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Elfuda and Kuroeda aren't good at working together, preferring to fight each other instead.
  • Temporary Bulk Change:
    • In chapter 10, Naoe starts mysteriously putting on weight, and finds out it's due to the influence of a mischievous satyr who's been enchanting him into sleep-eating all night so she can feed off his "desire". Unfortunately, he has to lose the excess weight the old-fashioned way.
    • In chapter 13, Elfuda wins a year's worth of free fries at Bad Burger, and both she and Naoe get fat (moreso than usual in Elfuda's case) from stuffing themselves with fries, thanks to an enchantment cast by the satyr girl from chapter 10.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • French fries for Elfuda. She flat out calls them sacred and she carries some around everywhere.
    • Ice creams for Elfuda's aunt. She is constantly seeing eating one in her introduction arc.
    • Ramen for Medesa, who eats it three times a day for her main meals.
    • Naoe is something of a coffee expert; he has pretty much everything short of a kettle on him at all time.
  • Training from Hell: When Elfuda's aunt arrives in the human world to bring her niece back, the former puts the latter in this and a (excessively) restricted diet to make her lose weight and go back to their home world. It doesn't work.
  • Truth in Television: When Elfuda says that spices were extremely expensive back home, that's actually historically accurate- salt used to be priced more than gold (which is where we get the phrase "worth his salt," it refers to how much salt it would take to buy someone), and spice trade was- and remains- lucrative even today.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Elfuda and Kuroeda bicker and fight a lot but also act like close friends at times.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: When Olga had to throw up during a run because of a hangover, the vomit was first replaced by a rain of sparkles and the next panel was replaced by a child's drawing of sunshine and sunflowers and the monster girls' plea "let's stop for a bit, please".
  • Wardrobe Malfunction: A lot of the weight Kuroeda gained went to her butt and thighs, so whenever she tries to wear the magic enhancing outfit, the thong and thigh boots give out and get shredded. Her work pants also gave out when she tried doing lunges and squats.
  • Weight Woe: Most of the women Naoe meets are trying to lose the weight they've gained from their diet in our world.
    • Elfuda wants to lose weight so she can get back to her world. Though she quickly modifies that to wanting to find a way to manage her weight so she can come to our Earth for french fries and still freely go back to her world.
    • Kuroeda wants to slim down so she can fit in magic enhancing clothes.
    • Olga's ashamed of her beer belly she got from drinking too much alcohol.
    • Oku was constantly bullied because of her stout figure, and being an orc, most of whom are naturally stout, means it's much harder for her to slim down.
    • Naoe sometimes freaks out over his weight, as shown in chapter 10.
  • Weirdness Magnet: After meeting Elfuda, Naoe bumps into other non-human characters that need his help usually by sheer coincidence.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Naoe's been scared of reptiles ever since he was bitten by a snake when he was a kid.
  • Wrong Assumption: Olga assumes Naoe's brought the girls to a sauna in chapter 29, and gets the others to prepare accordingly by stripping naked; it turns out he's actually brought them to a 'hot yoga' place.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Elfuda's main motive for dieting is that the magic portal between her world and Earth requires that you be the same weight going back as you did coming through. However, Elfuda seemingly prefers staying on Earth and only remains in her world for a few days at a time before coming back, so it's less of a major concern and more her simply wishing to freely travel between worlds whenever she wishes.

Alternative Title(s): Elf San Wa Yaserarenai


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