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Webcomic / Apricot Cookie(s)!

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She even wears those ribbons to bed.

"You are reading 100% genuinely authentic fake manga!"
— Notice at the beginning of each chapter

Apricot Cookie(s)! is an OEL Manga written by Louistrations. It's a parody of Magical Girl anime, set in an Alternate Universe Japan where every girl can transform into a Magical Girl Warrior—that is, except for the titular Apricot, who is bullied at school because she can't.

The comic reads right-to-left, although the main website it's hosted on has an option to read left-to-right.

Apricot Cookie(s)! provides examples of the following:

  • 555: Apricot's phone number is 324-555-1297.
  • Affably Evil: The Director of Darkness is generally quite friendly to people, and most of his harsher moments seem to be disciplinary.
  • Alliterative Name: The Luminary of Light and the Director of Darkness.
  • All There in the Manual: All of the characters have "normal" names in addition to the names shown when they transform. Only Cream's (Philippa) and Apricot's (Anzu) is actually mentioned in the comic, but everyone else's is listed on the characters page in Japanese script.
  • Alpha Bitch: Jammy Smasher takes the leading role in mocking Apricot for her inability to transform.
  • Animesque: This is a webcomic by a non-Japanese creator, but it covers a predominantly Japanese genre Magical Girl. There is some Japanese text present and it reads from right to left. It has anime-style artwork and Tokyopop-style "100% Authentic Fake Manga" stamp.
  • Animeland: Everyone's some kind of parody: the girls are all magical girls, the boys play card games, Monsters of the Week are running around everywhere, and there are some offhand mentions of girls wanting to settle down with Troubled, but Cute boys or Ordinary High School Students.
  • Anti-Anti-Christ: Apricot really doesn't want to take over the Dark Dimension.
  • Art Evolution: The ribbons in Cream Tea's hair are shown as the Union Jack drawn over a ribbon shape in her first appearance, but in later appearances, it changes to a simpler pattern of stripes.
  • Art Shift:
    • The art style changes suddenly while Apricot is talking with Starlet's father.
    • Flashbacks to the 90s are drawn in an art style reminiscent of those times, complete with a VHS Decade-Themed Filter.
    • Segments from Starlet's manga are drawn in black and white, with the art style becoming slightly cutesier.
    • When the girls perform their song, the comic briefly shifts to 3D.
  • Aspect Montage: Of Apricot doing the laundry.
  • Beach Episode: Chapter 3, which lampshades this in the title, "Fan Servicing", and intro with the Director of Darkness.
  • Bird-Poop Gag: When the cast is going on a road trip, Apricot is offered the seat in the middle that has 3 different birds pooping on it.
  • Bland-Name Product: Apricot buys her bread from the 11-Eleven convenience store (as opposed to 7-Eleven). She also washes her bedclothes in Chapter 1 with a Bitachi (rather than Hitachi) washing machine.
  • Brick Joke: Apricot and Butter meet a foreigner trying to look for a train station, but they ditch him after Apricot fumbles with English and consider him unimportant to the plot. When Apricot gets stranded in London, that same foreigner and his friend (who coincidentally looks like a Gender-Flipped Butter) ditch her the same way when she asks where the train station is in Japanese.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Jammy Smasher does this exactly once, to make fun of how ridiculous Magical Girl attack names tend to be.
  • The Call Put Me on Hold: Apricot is the only girl in her school who can't transform.
  • The Cameo: On chapter 7, page 11, a genderswapped Waldo is visible in the stadium crowd.hint 
  • Can't You Read the Sign?: Right after Jammy Smasher takes out her concealed bird to face the Director, he points out a sign to her that reads, "no birds".
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Played straight. Almost every minor or background character will give you the impression that they could be important to the story or are the stars of their own 100% genuinely authentic fake mangas.
  • Censor Steam: Used when Apricot is showering during her Opening Monologue.
  • Cliffhanger: When the raffle winner is announced, it's dragged out over 2 comics, which Apricot complains about.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The last existing transformation card just happens to be in a raffle 5 weeks away. Apricot points out how contrived it is.
  • Curtains Match the Windows: Butter's blue hair and blue eyes, Jammy's red hair and eyes, and dark Apricot's red eyes and red/black hair.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: What the Director of Darkness wants his daughter to be (but she really doesn't want to succeed him).
  • Dating Catwoman: The Luminary and the Director fell in love in their younger years, going on to get married and have kids while maintaining their public personae. Nobody manages to find out until the magical girls catch the pair kissing backstage.
  • Discriminate and Switch: When facing off with Sunshine Jubilee (who uses a wheelchair) in a judo fight, Apricot states she's not going to hold back just because she's the student council president.
  • Dream Land: Magical girls can access a "Dream Dojo" in their mind where they're guided by their bird companions.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Both Moonlight Spritzer (introduced in chapter 3) and Princess Almond (introduced in chapter 5) can be seen in chapter 1 as figurines/keychains on Apricot's nightstand.
  • Elemental Hair Colors: Jammy's red hair to go with her powers of fire.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: The Director of Darkness buys flowers for his mom.
  • Everyone Is a Super: All of the girls in Japan have Magical Girl powers, except Apricot.
  • Evil Overlord: The Director of Darkness, although he tends to act less like an overlord and more like an office executive.
  • Faux-To Guide: A bonus comic purportedly teaches how to make actual apricot cookies. It starts with Apricot making the batter, then quickly goes off track as she tries to buy a 3D printer to make on-brand cookie cutters, commit buyer fraud, fail to assemble a cheaper model while crying at her failure, and burns her cookies in the oven.
  • Fish out of Water: In chapter 5, Apricot gets stranded in London. No, she can't speak English, even if her dialogue is presented in English.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Chapter 5 begins with the Director of Darkness noticeably missing from the usual chapter introduction while one of his minions informs the viewer of a family emergency he had to attend. When the chapter proper starts, it opens with Apricot's dad putting on his Director garb as he tells Apricot where he has to go.
  • Follow in My Footsteps: The Director of Darkness really wants Apricot to take over the Dark Dimension eventually, but she has other plans.
  • Foreign Exchange Student: Cream Tea is a transfer student from Britain.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The tentacle monster calls her "princess", and she states that monsters don't attack her, hinting at her true identity as the Princess of Darkness.
    • Starlet Pony has no bird and no prefecture ranking because she's not actually a Magical Girl.
  • Frills of Justice: Starlet Pony's magical girl outfit is a large, fluffy dress with roses pinned in her hair.
  • Furo Scene: Chapter 6 - Page 20 has Apricot bathing in a Japanese-style bathtub, to fulfill the fanservice quotient.
  • Gender-Restricted Ability: Girls in this universe become magical girls, while boys are given magical card decks to do battle with. This caused some trouble for Starlet Pony, but she manages to get around the restriction by transforming with one of her cards.
  • God of Light: The Luminary of Light is a light deity responsible for granting magical girls their powers.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: Apricot continuously covers her breasts with her arm while bathing. When Jacques asks her why she does this, she simply says that she "likes holding them."
  • Hurricane of Puns: Cream Tea makes 4 successive puns when fighting the giant enemy crab in chapter 3, which the others see as bad etiquette.
  • Hypocritical Humor: After Cream unleashes her Hurricane of Puns, Jammy Smasher remarks that "she sounds absolutely ridiculous", before casting her "baby-dew immolation blaster".
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Apricot doesn't want to wear her bikini or anything else at the beach. She also never seems to have a sense of modesty.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: Apricot's main reason for wanting to be a Magical Girl, apparently. Arguably justified, as she's the Princess of Darkness.
  • The Lad-ette: Butter's sister Moonlight Spritzer, who wears a surgical mask and has a motorcycle when she transforms.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Starlet Pony pulls one after Apricot's joke at the end of chapter 4:
    Apricot: Hey Starlet, why did the brony skip karaoke night?
    Starlet: Hm? I don't know, why?
    Apricot: Because he was feeling a little hoarse!
    (Cut to Starlet's manga, where Apricot is drawn getting kicked out.)
  • Last-Second Word Swap: When the Princess is seeing her Dark Dimension for the first time in years (after an implied Heel–Face Turn), she switches from reminiscence to shame:
    Princess: Stop, you're going to make me tear up
    Director of Darkness: Aww, you do care!
    Princess: My birth certificate so I'll never have to be associated with such a sycophantic monstrosity.
    • After seeing Starlet's manga, Apricot insults the art, and then, seeing that Starlet's feelings were hurt, promptly changes to "badly in need of color".
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • The entire purpose of Apricot's monologues, as she wants somebody to make her life into a manga. It's also for this reason that she specifies that she's 16, but 18 outside Japan.
    • This exchange happens right after an implied Time Skip:
      Butter Punch: And then they replied... "It's called a narrative time skip"!
      Jammy Smasher: Ha ha ha! They never did!
    • Apricot often calls attention to complicated background features, bringing up how time-consuming they are to draw.
    • Apricot tells Almond about the foreigner she met in a previous chapter.
      Almond: Chapter?
      Apricot: Yes. All our lives are made up of chapters, or can't your brain comprehend the simple metaphor?
    • When a flashback depicting a young Director of Darkness and his daughter appears over the pair, she mocks the beard he had at the time. The Director is surprised she had that good of memory.
    • Apricot's grandma claimed she was cute "by '90s standards" during a flashback drawn in a '90s style.
  • Magical Girl Genre Deconstruction: A more lighthearted take than most. The comic aggressively parodies common tropes of the genre by making them commonplace; for example, every girl in Japan has a tragic backstory where their parents died, leaving one to wonder who raises those girls as kids. Due to the many magical girls fighting on a daily basis, both the forces of light and darkness are run like businesses.
  • Magical Girl Warrior: Every girl in Japan but Apricot, though as the Director of Darkness points out, they're technically called "dainty defenders of light".
  • Magic Is Feminine: All girls (except Apricot) are Magical Girls, while the boys instead compete in a trading card game competition.
  • Magitek: In chapter 2's intro, the Director of Darkness shows off his brand-new 84" Crystal Ball with 6 HDMI ports and 4K resolution, as though it were a plasma screen TV.
  • Mecha: Sunshine Jubilee's transformation, perhaps related to her confinement to a wheelchair. Interestingly, it turns out it uses leg-operated controls and her magical girl transformation does restore her movement as long as she stays in the mech.
  • Medium Awareness: A gag in chapter 2 has Butter and Apricot meeting a foreign tourist asking for directions in English. Apricot can't manage to speak to him in English, even though her word bubbles are in English. Eventually, they "turn off" the translation, but they can't communicate because it just puts all the word bubbles in Japanese. At the end, they just dismiss him because he's not story-relevant.
    • During her first (failed) Transformation Sequence, Apricot gets motion sickness from the background behind her.
    • When Cream Tea asks what an "OL" is, you can see someone else's finger pointing to the translation footnote below the panel.
  • Million to One Chance: Double Subverted in the raffle. At first it seems that Apricot didn't win the raffle, but then it turns out that they just said her name wrong.
  • Naked People Are Funny: A common punchline is for Apricot to wind up naked, typically when she tries and fails to transform.
  • No Smoking: Parodied in chapter 6, when Apricot is buying bread from the convenience store. You can see a bystander holding a lighter as if he's lighting a cigarette, only for him to take it out in the next panel and reveal that it's actually a lollipop.
  • Opening Monologue: By Apricot, who does it because she wants someone to make a comic out of her life.
  • Power Gives You Wings: Jammy Smasher's magical girl outfit has wings in the back.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: When Apricot transforms, her hair becomes red and black. She needs her sister to restore it to the usual blonde.
    • Implied with the Luminary of Light. Her normal self has ordinary brown hair.
  • Protagonist Title: Apricot's full name is "Apricot Cookie".
  • Pointless Band-Aid: Kazuo (the Kar-Di-Oh player) is likely a parody of this trope.
  • Recursive Canon: At the beginning of chapter 4, Apricot finds what appears to be a print copy of chapter 1. Subverted in that it's actually completely different and written by someone In-Universe.
  • Rewatch Bonus: In the prologue to chapter 1, the Director of Darkness laments the state that the conference room is in, calling the previous meeting's attendees a "bunch of animals". In chapter 5, when the Dark Dimension is shown in greater depth, it turns out that the denizens of it literally are a bunch of animals—the Director and his family are the only native humans.
  • Sailor Fuku: The female uniforms at Apricot's school.
  • Self-Deprecation: Starts right on the home page, with an apology to anyone who was looking for a recipe (for literal apricot cookies, presumably), and advises you not to miss out on "what critics are unanimously calling a webcomic."
    • Right after a page of Apricot doing her laundry, she starts reading a manga that she describes as, "It's some slice-of-life story. It's not very interesting to be honest."
    • Starlet Pony remarks that, "only an idiot would create their comic in full color!"note 
    • At the beginning of chapter 5, when Apricot is visiting her dying grandmother, Jaques talks about how he dislikes anime that hits you with the feels halfway through.
    • The Director of Darkness learns how to send e-cards on the internet, with the one on-screen reading "Sorry for your hiatus".
  • Shipper on Deck: Jammy ships Butter with Kazuo, the guy who saved her from a tentacle monster in chapter 2.
  • Show Within a Show: The Apricot Cookie manga written by Starlet Pony.
  • Speech-Bubble Censoring: When Apricot is hesitating to put on her bikini in the Beach Episode, her lower parts are covered up by Butter's talking.
  • Speech-Bubbles Interruption: When Cream interrupts Apricot before she can describe the 30 St. Mary Axenote .
  • Stealth Pun: Apricot repeatedly compliments her friend Butter in order to bum a ride to school from her. In other words, she's buttering her up.
    • Moonlight Spritzer keeps her tit (her bird) between her tits (her breasts).
    • A rather unsavory one, but Starlet Pony (a trans girl) uses a trap card to transform.
    • The intro to chapter 7 includes the young Director of Darkness courting the Luminary of Light. Where does this happen? Just outside a courtroom.
  • Supernatural Floating Hair: The Luminary's hair floats in the alternate plain where she grants magical girls their powers.
  • Surfer Dude: Moonlight Spritzer's boyfriend Hisato, only he doesn't actually surf, he just looks and talks like a surfer.
  • Tempting Fate: Starlet warns Apricot not to lose the card she won. What does she do? She loses it in the very next panel.
  • Toast of Tardiness: In chapter 6, when Apricot is late for dance practice, she remarks on how she can't be late for school without having toast in her mouth. She then spends the next half-dozen pages trying to invoke this, mainly because she's out of bread.
  • Tonight, Someone Dies: The very title of chapter 7, "Somebody Dies".
  • Transformation Sequence: All of the girls have this, although they aren't usually shown after their introduction.
  • Transformation Trinket: Apricot has a skull necklace, Starlet has a "Magical Girl" trap card, and everyone else has a bird companion.
  • Translation Convention: All the dialogue is supposed to be translated from Japanese, which is Lampshaded when they meet a tourist who asks them if they speak English.
  • Un-Sorcerer: Apricot's unfortunate first. It turns out she is very much a sorcerer, just not one fighting for the side of light, much to her dismay.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Used by Jammy Smasher in chapter 6 to smuggle her bird into the concert. Moonlight Spritzer does similarly in chapter 3, and the Director of Darkness implies that it's a trend.
  • Virgin Power: Magical girls who do it with a guy become an OL when they transform and lose their powers, as Moonlight Spritzer unfortunately finds out.
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head: Cream Tea has bows in her hair with the flag of Great Britain on them.
  • When the Planets Align: The Director of Darkness schedules the apocalypse for this event, only to be told by a bystander that the event won't happen until 2492. He then immediately subverts this by revealing it was really scheduled on a day least likely to interfere with everyone's schedules.
  • Your Magic's No Good Here: Cream Tea can't transform outside of Japan because it's a violation of policy.