Mint Chocolate is a shojo series that takes a common trope in romance manga and does something different. In the series, Nanami ad Kyouhei are step-siblings and recent ones at that. What is usually exaggerated for drama and miscommunication and, well, the longing that comes with the unrequited love isn’t what we get in Mint Chocolate Volume 4. Instead, we see Kyouhei and Nanami confront the rumors head-on and give up on hiding.
Mint Chocolate Volume 4 is written, created, and illustrated by mangaka Mami Orikasa, published and localized in English by Yen Press with translation by Amber Tamosaitis and lettering by Barri Shrager. Last volume, it was made clear that Mana, Nanami’s friend, is jealous. So much so that she has resorted to blackmailing Nanami into getting Kyouhei’s attention. But all the work keeping their relationship means nothing when Mana continues with her ridiculous demands and breaks, sharing the picture of Kyouhei and Nanami kissing to the whole school.
What could have been drama for drama’s sake turns into a conversation between the two that forces them to confront they don’t want anyone to know about their relations both as siblings and as a couple. As a volume, the first half of Mint Chocolate Volume 4 offers a large payoff for the story and showcases how the step-sibling romance trope can be done well. Most importantly, because like it was in Clueless, it’s not a big deal. Regardless of their sibling status, they’re not related by blood and ultimately have only been siblings for well under a year. Instead, the school and the two change gears, focusing on the romance of it all.
Getting the chance to be in the open, well at school, allows Nanami and Kyouhei the ability to open up to each other more about their feelings. In the back half of the manga volume, we see a kitten work as a way to explore Kyouhei’s fear of commitment – but more importantly, his fear of saying goodbye. Sure, Mint Chocolate started as a messy shojo romance, but its evolved into so much more. The melodrama is there, but as our lovable tsundere begins to soften, there is a lot more to see in their connection.
While Nanami is extremely open and caring, Orikasa writes Kyouhei as cold. But, when you watch his actions over just his words, you get to see how much he truly cares and ultimately how vulnerable he is choosing to be with those around him. Additionally, Orikasa’s ability to showcase Kyouhei’s different emotions on his face when his words fail him is what makes this series special.
Overall, Mint Chocolate is a series that works well by using common romance tropes and expanding on them. With Nanami and Kyouhei’s revelations in Mint Chocolate Volume 4, it’s clear that these two are going to make things work, and even without the tension and drama of miscommunication and secrets behind them, I’m excited for what comes next in the series.
Mint Chocolate Volume 4 is available now wherever books are sold both digitally and in physical editions.
Mint Chocolate Volume 4
Mint Chocolate is a series that works well by using common romance tropes and expanding on them. With Nanami and Kyouhei’s revelations in Mint Chocolate Volume 4, it’s clear that these two are going to make things work, and even without the tension and drama of miscommunication and secrets behind them, I’m excited for what comes next in the series.