Minami-ke 01

みなみけ Episode 01

SPOILER Summary: Its a Sunday morning at the Minami home and oldest sister Haruka is making breakfast. Youngest sister Chiaki gets up and assists while middle sister Kana gets up, then figures on going back to bed. When her sisters simply say, “goodnight,” Kana had expected them to ask her to help. So Haruka says to help peel the potatoes and Kana botches it.

It is (some) afternoon and Kana is home alone when Chiaki gets home. Kana has been bored and demands Chiaki goof off with her. Chiaki reminds Kana that Haruka won’t be in for dinner so Kana is in charge of making dinner. Kana begs “Chiaki-sama” to help her, reminding her of her poor cooking skills which Chiaki would be forced to eat. Chiaki concedes this point but as Kana can’t make up her mind and has no skill, Chiaki decides that maybe they should just order delivery. Kana will have nothing of this, and decides that she won’t be confined to what is considered a normal dinner. As such, she suggest hotcakes, which immediately meets with Chiaki’s approval. However, Kana gets carried away and ends up adding canned fruit and juice to the batter, making is a weird stew that Chiaki forces her to eat as Haruka comes home.

At dinner (which is now a regular Japanese meal), the sisters eat and watch a TV drama where a female student is upset with her male sensei, but he ends up confessing to her, where they then kiss before going to the floor. Haruka changes the channel to something else and Chiaki tries to ask Haruka about a teacher kissing his student. Haruka avoids the question and after dinner as she washes dishes, Kana asks if that was the right thing. Kana decides to teach Chiaki about kissing. Kana goes in with a game plan but Chiaki’s question was about a show like that airing on prime time which would make the family feel uneasy. Kana concedes that it would and after pondering things a bit, she asks Chiaki if she wants to kiss. Chiaki doesn’t, but Kana has made up her mind. A chase ensues and eventually Kana catches Chiaki. Haruka enters to stop this, so Kana suggests that Haruka and Chiaki kiss. Surprisingly, Chiaki seems OK with that with Haruka all hesitant. So Kana moves in and kisses Chiaki, leading to her getting punched by Chiaki.

Its morning and time for school. Kana doesn’t want to get up but finally does after Chiaki tells her that Haruka orders it. Kana goes to have some breakfast but because she slept in, there is none and Chiaki and Haruka have already eaten. Haruka has an onigiri for Haruka and off to school it is. Kana is hungry and as she talks with her friend Keiko, she’s not feeling any better. Male classmate Fujioka looks at her and is obviously crushing on Kana, so he decides to write her a love letter.

The following day, Kana sees the letter and so when she comes home, she has to report this news to her sisters immediately, coming in and flinging herself onto the table. She hasn’t even opened the letter, which is somewhat crumpled and messed up from her sweaty palm. Chiaki gets permission to read it, and so reads it aloud. When Kana learns it is from the popular Fujioka, she’s feeling pretty confident. However, Chiaki has a different take on the letter. Because of how it was written in the original Japanese, Chiaki takes other meanings for some of the Kanji and turns it from a love letter into a challenge letter. Now Kana is insulted to have been challenged when she thought it was a love letter, and so she asks “Chiaki-sama” to tell her what to do. The next time when Fujioka is waiting alone in the classroom, Kana enters. He starts to confess to her, but she does a sweep-kick to him, taking out his pivot leg as punishment for messing with her (to his confusion and pain). She comes home happy about this, not realizing she’d been tricked.

Thoughts: Weird for sure, and certainly an acquired taste. However, there is a feel of Azumanga Diaoh in this. Where Azumanga Diaoh was about a group of female friends going through high school together, Minami-ke is about a trio of sisters making it through life. I will say this didn’t have me on the floor laughing like Azumanga Diaoh did, but it was humorous and I am interested in seeing more.

Specifically regarding the series, it is interesting to see how much Chiaki reveres the oldest sister Haruka by addressing her as “Haruka-neesama” while showing her disdain for the middle sister by merely addressing her as “Kana.” Kana is a lot like Tomo from Azumanga Diaoh.

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