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Webcomic / Frivolesque

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The whole cast!

Frivolesque is a slice of life webcomic by Etienne Dez, starting in March 2013, about an ordinary everyday girl surrounded by weirdos. Or is it the story of an lonely, introverted woman living in her own imaginary world, struggling to deal with those intruding into her life? Could it about a superhuman fighter experiencing some difficulties adjusting to everyday life? Or the story of an obsessive fan-girl and her eternal quest for love? It might even be about a black ops agent trying to mingle with normal people...

Updating every Monday, Frivolesque follows the Japanese 4-Koma format and is about the everyday life of five different girls with different backgrounds created by Etienne Dez along the years. The grounded optimist Chloé, the quiet introvert Flore, the obsessive fangirl Marie-Neige, the fighting tomboy, Gaia, and the secret operative, Saki.


Frivolesque contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Saki... my god... Saki. Gaia to a lesser extent. To clarify, they're not dead, as the next page shows, just beaten to a pulp and playing dead until she leaves.
  • Affirmative Action Legacy: Santa has retired and been replaced with a bespectacled woman named Noelle, who has wanted the job since she was a child, though she's not well-known yet, and doesn't really care for fame. She first showed up in Chloé's dreams, but she's made recurring appearances since, with more evidence of her being real showing up over time, including her friendship with Suzie.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Gaia Maguire. The other girls admire her strength and good (if slightly rough) looks.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Gaia’s skin is a deep shade of brown, especially compared to everybody else, but she doesn't look especially black otherwise.
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  • Artificial Human: Gaia and her "siblings" seem to be bioengineered.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
  • Blind Without 'Em: Even though most everyone wears glasses in the comic, Saki is the one constantly running with this trope every time she has her glasses taken away from her. She's usually looking away from the people talking to her, wandering in random directions, and being unable to identify who's standing right next to her.
  • Bound and Gagged: averted, sort of, by Marie-Neige who invites Clementine to her apartment. Clementine ends up bound, gagged and half-undressed; she didn’t know Marie-Neige well and didn’t expect this, although those who know her better weren’t surprised to hear and called Marie-Neige out for it. There was some discussion of this in the fan forum and it hasn’t recurred.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Played straight with Saki, who is half Japanese, half Canadian. People usually call her a "Japanese girl" even though she isn't culturally Japanese because of her habit of fighting with a Katana or wearing schoolgirl uniforms. Lampshaded by Marie-Neige who refuses to acknowledge Saki as such. She knows better.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Even though the characters in Frivolesque change their clothes once in a while, they always keep the same overall color scheme. On top of that, every character has a signature color that is either based on their clothes, an accessory they wear, or their hair. Chloe's color is red, Saki's is blue, Flore's is hot pink, Gaia's is green and Marie-Neige's is Sky Blue. Other characters also follow with this trend, like orange for Clementine, or yellow for Liliane.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: A few characters, surprisingly.
    • Gaia and her "siblings" were apparently bioengineered and raised in a lab.
    • Saki has a flashback during a difficult fight, and her childhood is full of blood and death.
  • Emotionless Girl: Flore never smiles and has heavy bangs hiding her eyebrows, making her look quite emotionless and distant, and a tad creepy as well. Everyone in-universe seems to think she is totally adorable though.
  • Family Theme Naming: Clementine and most of her sisters seem to be named after fruits and plants, or at least nicknamed in such a manner.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Liliane missed Gaia's similarities with the individual they were trying to find because she's colorblind and didn't realize that Gaia's hair was green.
  • Free-Range Children: Fourth-grader Mimi and her friends usually hang around town with no adult supervision whatsoever.
  • Glasses Pull: Saki here.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: Shy wallflower Clementine is never seen without a large pair of orange headphones on. Being an extremely introverted character, one would think her headphones would prevent people from approaching her. It doesn't work.
  • Healing Factor: Gaia heals incredibly fast.
  • Height Angst: Flore seems to stiffen (or even faint) anytime she meets someone who's overly taller than she is. Even though she's never talked about it, she seems to have some unexplained complex about her short stature.
  • Hime Cut: Clementine always sports the hairstyle even though she's not Japanese. It accentuates her quiet, demure personality quite well, making her the closest thing to a western Yamato Nadeshiko the cast could have.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Saki and Conroy do mercenary work as a team. She's a petite samurai girl. He's a 6'7" giant of a soldier.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: It's unclear if the unnamed blonde clerk girl who seems to man every store in town is always the same individual or not. Especially since multiple ones sometimes appear together in some strips. However, they always have a different color scheme whenever they appear together, or when the main characters visit two different stores in the same timeframe, indicating they might be quadruplets and the green one is the "default" sister.
  • Is That Cute Kid Yours?: Chloe has been mistaken for Mimi's mother more than once. At Mimi's birthday party, her friend Xue mistakes her for Mimi's aunt, and even says that she thinks that Chloe looks more like she'd be Mimi's mom than Mimi's actual mother does.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When they get lines, background extras Suzie and Marianne tend to discuss things that lean strongly against the fourth wall. Chloé also exhibits this behavior sometimes.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Kind of a subversion. The only thing freaky about Flore is her imagination. Other than that she may be competing with Chloé for Only Sane Man
  • Massively Numbered Siblings: Clementine is the third of six sisters.
  • Middle Child Syndrome: Clementine, due to being the third of six sisters, and she's forgettable even to "them" sometimes.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The well endowed Liliane Bougainville stands out among the rest of the girls. Even her icon is cleavage.
  • Older Than They Look: It comes as a surprise when the small, child-like Flore is revealed to be slightly older than her much more mature looking sister. This seems to apply to their father as well.
  • Only Sane Man: Chloé has some weird friends.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: Noelle originally just showed up in Christmas-time dreams Chloé had, but there's been significant evidence piling up that she's real.
  • Pointless Band-Aid: Saki always has one of those on her left cheek. There's also a less noticeable one on her left knee as well. There is no in-universe reason for either of them. When she finally takes the one on her face off, revealing that it actually was covering an injury, she gets punched in the face by one of Gaia's "siblings".
  • Real After All: There's increasingly more evidence that Noelle actually exists outside of Chloe's dreams.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Gaia may be a subversion of this but it is too early to tell. Her siblings(?), however, seems to fully qualify, and it seems to be even more accurate when it comes to Marie-Lune / Tisiphone.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Most secondary characters are introduced this way, most notably Delphine, Marie-Neige roommate, who is mentioned for the first time in chapter 4 but has been supposedly living with her for years.
  • Shout-Out: Gaia’s Long green hair and fighting abilities might be a shout out to Zeetha from GirlGenius
    • Probably not, since the author has often mentioned that he created Gaia back in 1995, along with some old drawings to prove it.
  • Shrinking Violet: Clementine definitely qualifies. She has no confidence, considering herself too tall and forgettable, and blushes every time someone talks to her.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Flore and Liliane take rather strongly after their father and mother, respectively.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Liliane keeps hers on all the time. They kinda fit seeing as she's the head of some secret agency, but she also wears them when she's casually hanging out with her sister and friends. Her mother does the same thing. Considering how scary her eyes have looked in flashbacks, there's probably a good reason for her wearing them.
  • Sixth Ranger: Chloe, Flore, Gaia, Saki, and Marie-Neige are the five main characters. And then there's Clementine, one of the secondary cast members, having her own subplot and appearing every so often. Many people consider her to be the sixth main character.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Mimi is said to be in fourth grade, while the other main characters are, according to word of god, in their 20s and older.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Chloe and Marie-Neige, the former an easy going short haired girl who is always seen wearing jeans and T-Shirts while the latter is much more feminine, with long hair and girlier tastes in clothing. The two have been best friends since grade school for some reason.
  • Twin Switch: At one point Laurence replaces Flore at her library job.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Any strip focusing mostly on Flore should not be completely trusted.
  • Yuri Fan: Marie-Neige embodies this trope. She has various posters of yuri heroines on her walls, reads yuri fanfiction, ships anime characters as a hobby and has a dakimakura of her best friend Chloé in her underwear lying on her bed. She doesn't seem to be ashamed of it in any way, and openly hits on every pretty girl she meets.