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Manga / Shitsuren Chocolatier

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Shitsuren Chocolatier (lit. Heartbroken Chocolatier) is a manga series written by Setona Mizushiro. It was serialized in the magazine Rinka in 2008, but moved to Monthly Flowers in 2009, and ended in 2014. Throughout its run, it was critically acclaimed and even won the 2012 Kodansha Manga Award under the Josei category. Shitsuren Chocolatier also received both a drama CD and a Live-Action Adaptation in January 2014 starring Jun Matsumoto from Arashi.


Souta Koyurugi is dating Saeko Takahashi, a beautiful, fickle upperclassmen from high school, after years of relentless pursuit. Inspired by her love for chocolate, Souta makes some of his own on Valentine's Day. To his shock, it turns out Saeko has been two-timing him behind his back, and she breaks up with him! Stunned, Souta spends five years in France studying on chocolate-making and re-opens his family's sweets shop into a chocolatierie in hopes of getting her back again.

As planned, Saeko immediately returns to him, but... she's getting married to another man! Even so, Souta isn't giving up, and struggles to win her heart through chocolate.


This series contains examples of:

  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Souta sees Matsuri as bothersome sometimes, and in the first chapter, he tells his father he can't practice making chocolate at home because Matsuri would eat the pieces. In fact, he doesn't understand why someone like Olivier would like her.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Souta gets a few regarding his feelings for Saeko. The first big one he receives is when he's trying to convince Olivier to change his mind about Matsuri, to which he replies with, "What's so good about Saeko-san?"
  • All Love Is Unrequited: There's a reason why the title is literally "Heartbroken Chocolatier."
  • Bilingual Bonus: As expected, there's a lot of French in this series.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Sparkles tend to flutter around when Olivier is in a good mood.
  • Bittersweet Ending: No pun intended. Saeko leaves Souta to try to patch things with her husband. Olivier and Matsuri get married, and Souta introduces Erena to his family. However, despite Souta's success as a chocolatier, he knows it comes from his unrequited feelings for Saeko, and he may have them forever.
    • Dump Them All: Souta ends up with no one at the end of the drama, except all of his Love Interests mutually "dump" him. Saeko breaks off relations with Souta since she's pregnant with her husband's child, Kaoruko gives up pursuing Souta, and Erena gives up as well. Souta decides to travel to France to find out what he really wants to do.
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  • Bromantic Foil: Souta and Olivier are opposites to each other in the fact that Olivier is more daring to get what he wants.
  • Brutal Honesty: When Souta faints from spending too much time working on Saeko's wedding treats, Kaoruko doesn't hesitate to tell Saeko that it's her fault.
  • But Not Too Foreign: In the drama series, Olivier was made into half-Japanese and half-French. He's fully French in the original series, however, and he was probably turned half-French because his actor, Junpei Mizobata, is fully Japanese. This was Lampshaded by Kaoruko: "He is [French]? With that face?"
  • Deadpan Snarker: Kaoruko is very pessimistic and often has negative comments.
  • Domestic Abuse: Saeko's marriage with her husband starts to sour when they get into arguments, culminating in him hitting her.
  • Food Porn: Chocolate is a big theme in this series, naturally, so there is extra focus on it.
  • Foot Popping: There's a variant of the classic Foot Popping kiss in the drama. Souta has an Imagine Spot where he pushes down Saeko to make out with her, and as Saeko gives in, she raises her leg.
  • Friends with Benefits: Souta and Erena bond over commonalities such as being unable to date the people they're in love with, and also become friends with benefits.
  • Funny Foreigner: Olivier can get very passionate about his love for anime and manga.
  • Gratuitous French: Olivier sometimes speaks in French, especially in the manga.
  • Genki Girl: Saeko is often laughing or smiling in her appearances, though it's pretty much a mask for her insecurities.
  • Green-Eyed Epiphany: In the drama, it's only when Matsuri talks about her "boyfriend" that Olivier realizes he likes her.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Souta gets upset when Saeko becomes interested in The Rival chocolatierie, Ricdor. Kaoruko also gets quite jealous whenever she's reminded that Souta loves Saeko.
  • Imagine Spot: Souta has several daydream scenarios about what he'd like to happen with Saeko. Kaoruko's daydreams are more negative, as she pictures Saeko or Souta failing miserably.
  • Important Haircut: Saeko gets a haircut when she decides to take a job at Choco la Vie.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Saeko is insensitive, bordering on Idiot Ball sometimes. Girl, do you think it's a good idea to have someone you broke up with cater at your wedding?
  • Kawaiiko: Saeko is naturally cute, and Souta often refers to her as his "fairy."
  • Love Dodecahedron: Souta is in love with Saeko, and Kaoruko loves Souta in spite of knowing this. Meanwhile, Sekiya becomes interested in Kaoruko. Matsuri herself is dating her friend's boyfriend, while Olivier has feelings for her.
  • Miss Fanservice: Saeko tends to be fanservicey since the story is told in Souta's perspective. It's played up even more in the drama, where she's played by the extremely attractive Satomi Ishihara.
  • Nice Guys Finish Last: In the drama, Souta has a dream where Olivier informs him he can't always be the good guy to win Saeko over.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Funny Foreigner tendencies aside, Olivier can be insightful sometimes, to the point of Brutal Honesty. He questions Souta's feelings for Saeko, and also straight-up tells Kaoruko he can't support her feelings for Souta simply because it's Souta's devotion to pleasing Saeko that is making their store successful. Furthermore, when Saeko tries to tell Olivier what she feels for Souta, he pretends to not know Japanese very well.
  • Otaku: Olivier is very fascinated with otaku culture, to the point that Souta was able to bribe his way into working in his family's chocolatier through a manga magazine. This aspect of him was played down in the drama.
  • Pink Means Feminine: In the drama, Saeko's wardrobe mostly consists of pink.
  • Princely Young Man: In an aversion to this trope, Souta is given the title "Chocolate Prince" and is uncomfortable with it, until he understands that the Japanese tend to nickname someone a "prince" if they're an expert at what they do. He believes Olivier fits the image more, as he comes from a higher social standing and comes from a family well known for their chocolate.
  • Race Lift: Olivier is French, but in the drama adaptation, he was made into half-French to make the fully Japanese Junpei Mizobata playing him more believable.
  • Really Gets Around: Saeko has a huge dating history since Souta first met her.
  • The Rival: Souta has never thought of anyone as his rival for Saeko's affections (not even her past boyfriends and husbands!) and claims to be his own rival in interviews. However, when Ricdor opens up and Saeko speaks favorably about it, Souta sees the store as his rival. On the other hand, Ricdor's owner is a much older man who not only admires Souta, but has a crush on him himself!
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: When Olivier assumes Erena is Souta's girlfriend, he denies it. It's precisely because Souta labels Erena as Friends with Benefits that he doesn't consider dating her seriously, especially when she develops feelings for him.
  • Stepford Smiler: Everyone is like this to some extent since they have to hide how they feel for someone else. Saeko probably fits this best, though. She's a woman who doesn't know what to do with her life and married because that's what she expected she would do... and despite living the life as a Trophy Wife, it's not as wonderful as she expects it would be, especially when it narrows into Domestic Abuse.
  • Title Drop: After Souta learns Saeko is getting married, he debates on naming his shop "Heartbroken Chocolatier."
  • What Does He See in Her?: When Souta finds out Olivier likes his sister, Matsuri, he tries to convince him otherwise, but not because he's protective of Matsuri — he highly values Olivier and thinks he can do so much better.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Saeko is clearly already married to someone else, yet she continues to send mixed messages to Souta. Matsuri briefly dates her friend's boyfriend for a while, as well. Her friend finds out eventually, and stabs her with a paper cutter as revenge.

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