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Manga / Poison Berry in My Brain

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Everyone has a meeting room in their head.note 

Nounai Poison Berry (脳内ポイズンベリー lit. Poison Berry in My Brain) is not your typical Romantic-Comedy Josei.

When 30-year-old Sakurai Ichiko sees 23-year-old Saotome Ryouichi, whom she met at a drinking party, there are five meeting members inside her brain to help her take action—five parts of Ichiko personified as people. In fact, what happens in her brain seems like the main part in the manga itself, all the way up to five volumes created by Setona Mizushiro.

The manga was serialized in Chorus magazine (later relaunched as Cocohana during the manga's run) from 2009 to 2015, and compiled into five volumes. On May 9th, 2015, a live-action movie based on the manga came out in Japan. In March 2020, a stage version of the manga had a run in Japan.

Theme song for the movie.

See also Inside Out, the Pixar film with a very similar theme, Yumi's Cells for the Korean equivalent, and Herman's Head for a live-action sitcom take on the concept.


  • An Aesop:
    • If you can't love yourself, you will never be happy.
    • It's not who you love, but who allows you to love yourself.
  • Bad Vibrations: If there is going to be a "Brainquake", expect this before it goes down.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: All the time. Ichiko even indirectly lampshades it at one point or two.
    Ichiko: It's just that, where you're concerned, my mind becomes all... my mind is in complete uproar and I lose control! And then I end up saying things I had no intention of saying and I go on and do outrageous things. My head becomes more and more of a mess! That's why things have become like this... I just keep contemplating over and over in my head, "What should I do, what should I do?"
  • The Big Board: An electronic screen variant is used by the mind committee in Chapter 26.
  • Big Fancy Castle: Where the mind members live and work, as shown in the movie.
  • Big "NO!": Hatoko screams this in Chapter 3 after Ichiko abruptly hangs up on Saotome.
  • Black Bug Room: All of Ichiko's bad memories are marked in Kishi's book with black marks. Opening to those pages are considered very dangerous.
  • Black Comedy Burst: This quote from Ikeda in Chapter 6 is darkly brilliant.
    Ikeda: This isn't funny, you know that it's this guys fault that we nearly committed suicide and ended up eating a mountain of donuts right?
  • Blah, Blah, Blah: Ichiko ends up interpreting the new project director's chatter as frog noises.
    Ikeda: We don't even know what [the new director] is saying.
    Hatoko: I hate frogman. (plays clip) (plugging her ears) My ears can't comprehend!
    Ikeda: Anyone, please do translate that!
  • Book Ends:
    • The manga and movie begins and ends with Yoshida casting a voting involving a man.
    • The movie begins and ends with Ichiko chasing after metal charm, and it stopping right at a man's foot.
  • Bound and Gagged:
    • This happens to Ikeda in Chapter 10, when Ichiko is trying to work hard.
    • Poor Hatoko from Chapter 20 nearly all the way to the next.
  • Brain with a Manual Control: The mind members operate Ichiko via their meetings inside a conference room, but there are no physical control buttons. That is, they don't seem to have full control over all of Ichiko's actions.
  • Brick Joke: In Chapter 7, Ichiko attempts to write an apology note to Saotome. Later, in Chapter 9, Saotome finds the discarded, crumpled note outside his apartment... and simply smiles.
  • Calling Your Bathroom Breaks: Hatako repeatedly does this in Chapter 8 before Ichiko finally gains to courage to ask Saotome and his ex, Azuki if she could use his bathroom.
  • Cliffhanger: Volume 1 ends on this. Volume 2 picks up right where it left off, thankfully.
  • Clothing Reflects Personality: The (outdoors) mood Ichiko is in the movie reflects on the colour of the beanie she is wearing in that scene.
  • Cobweb Jungle: What Ichiko's mind ends up as she veers toward the Despair Event Horizon.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: For most of Chapter 7, Ichiko stews over whether or not to leave a note at Saotome's door. When he finally opens up again, he points out that she could've just sent him a text since his number is in the caller history on her phone.
    No one thought of that...
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Yoshida has this very expression on his face after he causes Ichiko to say to Saotome "I heard your room is a mess".
  • Disturbed Doves: When Saotome accepts Ichiko's offering of her liking him, these goes off in her head, in the movie.
  • Dramatic Wind: In the movie, when Ichiko becomes a Stepford Smiler, the camera is noticeably shaky in the mind because of all the heavy winds gusting outside.
  • Driven to Suicide: In Chapter 4, when Ichiko and her mind members think Saotome laughed at them when she told him her age, they briefly consider death. In fact, it's been mentioned several times by the two inner female characters when something really bad happens.
  • Fast-Forward Gag: Used in once of the memory replay scenes in the movie (in Third-Person Perspective), of Ichiko frantically dressing up and leaving the morning after she slept with Saotome for the first time.
  • Fisher King: When depression sets in, Ichiko's brain gets stormy, when she cries intensely, it rains and floods, etc.
  • Food Porn:
    • This trope is even lampshaded with Tandoori Chicken (as "Ideal Image").
    • In the movie, the slices of various cakes are shown in brief, yet very fine detail.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Inside Ichiko's brain—Yoshida (Leukine), Hatoko (Sanguine), Ishibashi (Choleric), Ikeda (Melancholic) and Kishi (Phlegmatic).
  • Freudian Trio:
    • Id: Ishibashi, Mysterious Woman.
    • Ego: Yoshida, and Hatoko.
    • Superego: Kishi, Ikeda.
  • Funny Background Event:
  • Ghost in the Machine: The whole premise.
  • Gluttony Montage: When Ichiko pigs out on cakes after a rough night.
  • Hard Truth Aesop: There are times where you just have to cut people out of your life in order for you to be happy, no matter how much you still love them.
  • Head Desk: In the movie, Ichiko bangs her head against the subway door multiple times on the way home after Saotome's insensitive reply to how old she is.
  • Here We Go Again!: How the movie ends.
  • Hit Stop: This is used in the final chapter when Saotome destroys the fish sculpture he made.
  • Imagine Spot: Aptly-labeled "Imagination" scenes are played inside Ichiko's brain at times when trying to make decisions and foreseeing consequences.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: When Ichiko is arguing with Saotome in Chapter 6:
    Ikeda: Why are we the ones in the wrong?!
    Ichiko: Why am I the one in the wrong?!
  • Is This Thing Still On?: The council members inside the mind have warned each other about shouting things when the microphone is still on (otherwise, Ichiko would blurt things rather out of character, according to Yoshida).
  • Love Triangle: Ichiko, Saotome, and Oichi.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": All the mind members, including Ichiko herself panic when Saotome comes over to Ichiko's place after her date with Oichi-san.
  • The Masochism Tango: Ichiko and Saotome try their best to make their relationship work out, and both of them are clearly attracted to one another. However, when Ichiko becomes more successful financially, Saotome is left feeling that he can never catch up to her as an equal and becomes jealous of her independence, which then ends up making Ichiko feel that she is to blame for their issues. At the end, Ichiko decides to break up with him.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: What seems like typical eating and awkward silence is represented as a race against time (before the outside world people have finished eating) in Ichiko's brain. Heck, almost everything about decision-making is made awesome when there are intracranial democratic council members in a meeting at work!
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Izumi really regrets pushing Ichiko into unconsciousness, thinking that she killed her as she called Saotome for help.
  • No Antagonist: A lot of the main conflicts only take place in Ichiko's own head.
  • Not Afraid of You Anymore: The third time the Mysterious Woman appears, Yoshida doesn't even flinch, and he stands up to her.
  • Nothing Left to Do but Die: Ikeda ropes the other council members into suggesting suicide after they think Saotome blew Ichiko off for her age.
  • Orbital Shot: Used in one of the most powerful moments in the movie.
  • Pixellation: During the one of the memory replay scenes (in Third-Person Perspective), when Ichiko is naked, her body is covered with this.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • Saotome to Ichiko in Chapter 6, after finding about Oichi's text: "Are you shittin' me? Stop screwing around! YOU BITCH!"
    • Earlier, in Chapter 3 (again, Saotome to Ichiko): "Don't fuck with me!"
  • Potty Emergency: Quietly happens to Ichiko (Hatoko is the one who feels it) in Chapter 8.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    Ikeda: Because of Ishibashi... Sakurai Ichiko lost her way to marriage, doesn't enjoy her job, and she could have let go of her most important partner. Instead, she chose a life with him where she is living in suffering. This is all wrong, Ishibashi!
  • Shaky Cam: See Dramatic Wind above.
  • Shout-Out: One review of The Movie described Ichiko's brain as a "Castle in the Sky".
  • Smash Cut: The scene immediately cuts away to the outside world as Ishibashi continues to complain about how boring life is.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: When a certain black mark memory is read, the offensive words are bleeped out and replaced with "00" in the text/subtitles.
  • Stalker with a Crush: This trope is Discussed among the inner council members. In Chapter 3, Ikeda is fearful that Ichiko would become this, but Ishibashi tries to defend the choice.
    Ishibashi: Aren't the actions of a criminal stalker and a stalker acting out of love completely different?!
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Ikeda complains this when hearing Ishibashi and Hatoko sing, in Chapter 9—despite the fact that she's no better.
  • Swiss-Army Tears: Ichiko's breakdown causes a massive downpour inside of head—which is what finally gets Ishibashi out of his coma.
  • Talking with Signs: Ikeda does this at the end of Chapter 17.
  • Tantrum Throwing: Saotome does this in the climax near the ending in his apartment.
  • Wall of Text: Sometimes present with Ishibashi around.

Alternative Title(s): Nounai Poison Berry, Poison Berry In My Brain


Poison Berry in My Brain

Saotome inadverdently hurts Ichiko's feelings about her age.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / InnocentlyInsensitive

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