Mint Chocolate is a series that embraces one of the more eye-rolling and frustratingly tropes: siblings. Don’t worry; they’re step-siblings who found themselves under the same roof when their parents got married – and of course, they have high school crushes on each other. But Mint Chocolate has done the work to address the acceptance of the relationship, the dynamic in the house, and how the two characters, Nanami and Kyouhei, navigate those waters. Last volume, the series confronted people at school finding out about the relationship, and now in Mint Chocolate Volume 5, it confronts the family.
Mint Chocolate 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. In Volume 5, Nanami and Kyouhei have their relationship put to the test when Nanami’s aunt Takako shows up with Subaru.
Unlike their parents, Auntie Takako is worried about how close two teenagers can get, even if they’re supposed to love each other as family and not romantically. And she doesn’t confront the lovebirds with kindness. No, Takako is mean to Nanami from the jump. She’s accusatory and very focused on proving that something is going on under their roof. In an attempt to find out the truth, Takako stays around, watching the two interact and doing her best to tell them that young love is a passing emotion. On the other side of things though, Takako’s son Subaru is as sweet as he can be, even when he finds out about the romance.
The fact that Mint Chocolate has worked to address the very obvious issues that come with dating your step-sibling helps set it apart from others in the trope. As a romance, this works because the drama that is fueled helps drive communication between Nanami and Kyouhei. While they still hold some things close to themselves, they have to navigate the issue together and be united in how they approach it.
Additionally, Mint Chocolate Volume 5 also gives us an emotional Kyouhei for one of the first times. Sure, we’ve seen him contemplating things and even a little sad. But in this volume, it’s clear that despite his cold and composed demeanor, Kyouhei gets worked up too. While, at first, it looks like he’s jealous of Nanami’s cousin, the reality is that he’s flustered by how vehemently Nanami keeps denying their relationship.
While Mint Chocolate Volume 5 puts in a lot of work showcasing how bad family discovering the romance can go, it also shows how resolute the couple is in continuing their relationship. More dedicated to each other than ever before, the foundation is set for them to plan out their future. Now that they know how to handle friends and family, they can plan for the future, even if it may be a couple of volumes off.
Mint Chocolate Volume 5 is available now wherever books are sold digitally and physically.
Mint Chocolate Volume 5
While Mint Chocolate Volume 5 puts in a lot of work showcasing how bad family discovering the romance can go, it also shows how resolute the couple is in continuing their relationship. More dedicated to each other than ever before, the foundation is set for them to plan out their future.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.