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Manga / The Emperor and I

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The penguin that everything's better with

The Emperor and I (エンペラーといっしょ i.e. Emperor to Issho) is a comedic Slice of Life manga about a girl named Kaho who finds an emperor penguin inside her refrigerator one day. The story centers on the daily trials and tribulations of caring for the mysterious bird (whom Kaho names "Emperor") and the chaos it brings to the household.

It ran in Shonen Jump+ from 2015 to 2017 and was written and drawn by mato. Unusually for a manga, it was published in full color.

The manga provides examples of:

  • Ambiguous Gender: No one knows if Emperor is male or female since it's very hard to tell with penguins. The three chicks who appear at the end may be Emperor's offspring, suggesting it might be female.
  • Babies Ever After: The series ends with Kaho finding three penguin chicks in the fridge where she first found Emperor.
  • Butt-Monkey: Kaho's older brother. First Emperor takes over his room, then steals his monster figures, then looms over him when he tries to sleep and finally crashes down on his belly when he does drop off.
  • Gender-Blender Name: If Emperor is a female then her name should be Empress. We never find out so it's moot point.
  • Eyeless Face: Emperor is drawn this way since it's difficult to see eyes on real emperor penguins due to their black color against black feathers.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Is Emperor's origin magical? An elaborate prank? Alien intervention? Who knows.
  • No Ending: We never find out where Emperor came from or why. If anything the series just gets more confusing when it ends as three new penguin chicks appear in the fridge, still with no explanation.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Emperor is this. His/her possible chicks at the end, even moreso.
  • Serious Business: King penguins and emperor penguins are different. Get it right or the girls will come after you!
  • Shout-Out: The title is one to The King and I.