- Mangaka : Orikasa, Mami
- Publisher : Yen Press
- Genre : Romance, School, Shoujo
- Published : January 2021 - Ongoing
When Nanami gets a chance to meet her mother’s new husband, her soon-to-be stepbrother turns out to be one of her classmates, Jyouhei Suzumura. Suzumura is a hot and unapproachable individual, but what makes it worse is that he is her crush. Where will Nanami’s love bring her?
The story has a rough start when Nanami’s stepbrother is the same guy she has a crush on for months. That setting sets a whole field of awkwardness and created a path toward a forbidden relationship between the two high schoolers. However, both main characters do have romantic feelings for one another. Nanami has a moral dilemma regarding whether she should distance herself and treat Suzumura as her older brother or a boyfriend. The main characters’ personalities could be seen as a comedy duo, but all for the wrong reasons.
1. Is It Morally Right?
Living in the same building, Nanamin gets to see Suzumaru’s sides that no one has ever seen before. Except for Suzumura’s childhood friend, which we will get to that later. But that wasn’t enough as Suzumaru is usually hard to read as if he put on a façade whenever he showed his weakness. The largest problem is that both of them are in love with each other.
Despite that, Suzumura kept his distance because of his past. His mother abandoned him and his father, and that experience haunted him and led him to believe that someday the person he holds dearest will leave him, just like his mother.
As for Nanamin, she knew full well of the situation where they are now stepsiblings, but she couldn’t keep her feelings in check. That also applied to Suzumura as well. To bypassers, they may think Suzumaru is someone cool and unapproachable, but in reality, he doesn’t know how to talk to people, and his words of choice tend to drive people away. In short, he just wasn’t sure how to socialize with people sometimes.
2. The Art Style
The character designs felt simple, but there is an overall hidden complexity behind the manga. The backgrounds and effects complement their emotions and expressions. The beta and the close-up shots of the special moments are arranged to draw the readers in and immerse themselves into their world.
3. The Chemistry
With Nanamin’s innocence, determination, and a hint of tomboy character, and Suzumura’s cold and a low level of social skill, they make a lively home with their banter. A chemistry that their parents even see. In every shoujo manga, there will always be the secondary male character, and that is Suzumura’s childhood friend Mizuki. He is there to bring in more problems and act as a driver for character development. However, his real intentions have yet to be solidified, but we might see them in future volumes.
Mint Chocolate is a high-school shoujo manga that focuses on the romance of stepsiblings. The moral delemma of Nanamin and Suzumura and how both of them should see and treat each other. The art style brings many emotions and cares for the characters and the environment. The chemistry between Nanamin, Suzumura and Mizuki makes the manga entertaining in a certain way. If you want to read a manga about stepsiblings trying to live their everyday life in the same building without crossing a line of romance and morals, you are going to like this series.