Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Choco Mimi, vol. 1

Story and Arty by Konami Sonoda
Published in the US by VizKids

Slugline: Preteen girls on the prowl

Choco and Mimi are fashionable eighth graders that enjoy their lives way too much. Sure, Choco can be called the serious one and Mimi is the silly one, but only in comparison to each other since Choco is still fairly silly. In between causing trouble for their teacher and driving each other nuts, Choco and Mimi let themselves be mildly attracted to boys. Boys like the serious and aloof Ando and the gender confused Mumu. To round out the cast is Chiffon, a cute little dog that thinks of himself more as a samurai and several other pets. Most of the strips are about the girls interacting and getting each other in and out of trouble, but occasionally it deals with their delicate dance to attract the boys' attention.

Most of the volume is made up of 4-koma, basically four panel comic strips, so the stories that are told by necessity are little gag scenes that have little connection to each other. There are several longer storylines about major events such as a party that takes a couple of strip to resolve the events but there are no character changes and their relationships. Unlike comedy focused stories for boys, Choco Mimi does not have any fart or other bodily humor jokes which saves it from being totally ignored by adults. Despite having all of these good bits and the occasionally funny joke, in aggregate it just doesn't mesh well enough to create something greater than the parts. For adults and boys, this is a barely tolerable strip while younger girls who find playing with paper dolls and fashions might find it worthwhile.

Choco Mimi, vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Ferdinand