Mint na Bokura article published in Animerica Extra Vol. 5, No. 8, July 2002
This article was written by and is copyrighted to Patricia Duffield and may not be reproduced in part or whole without permission.
Wataru Yoshizumi is probably best known for her hit high school romance Marmalade Boy, but that is by no means her only popular title. Set in junior high, Mint na Bokura (We Are Mint) has just as much romantic angst, plot twisting and situational humor as its predecessor. Plus We Are Mint includes the eternally popular theme of the close bonds between twins.
With a gaze of steely determination, a young girl contemplates the outside of her new school. "To get Maria back, I'll do anything," she thinks, "Whatever it takes."
The same girl, Noeru Minamino, cheerfully introduces herself to her new class, and the teacher explains that Noeru is Maria's twin sister. Maria stands up from her desk in exasperation, then attacks her sibling while the class watches in shock. Once Maria has dragged her twin to a place where they can talk in private, she demands an explanation. Noeru's following her. "Not that," insists Maria, "What's with that getup!? What's with this little sister business!? You're my younger BROTHER!!" Maria snatches off Noeru's long-haired wig to reveal her twin brother.
To explain why Noeru's masquerading as a girl, we look back two months. The twins' dad had a business trip to Hawaii during spring break and invited his kids along. Maria couldn't go because she had to play in a girls basketball tournament. Both Noeru and dad were surprised to find Maria not home when they returned. Worse, mom said she had enrolled in a boarding school called Morinomiya Academy because she'd met a boy from there during the basketball tournament. Mom thought Maria was in love. This displeased Dad, but it traumatized Noeru. He and his sibling had always been together, but thinking back, it seemed Maria was slowly growing up and away from him. Noeru felt betrayed and would do anything to get his sister back, so he persuaded his dad to let him go to Morinomiya. But there was a catch --the only boarding space left was in the girls dorm! Whatever it takes.
So now Noeru is decked out as a girl, from hairband to slouchy socks. Maria is frustrated, both at her mom for not preventing this and at Noeru for being a pervert. She tells Noeru to go back, but Noeru won't leave unless Maria's with him. "You're mine!" he insists. Maria tries to be rational. She explains how, even though she loves Noeru, they can't be together like kids forever, but Noeru's mind is set.
Naturally, Noeru's in for more than he bargained for. He begins to figure out there's more to being a girl than wearing girls clothes. Aside from the odd vernacular slips (Noeru sometimes talks like a guy), Makimura, his quiet roommate, finds Noeru's habit of wearing a hairband to bed and giving her odd looks while she changes somewhat strange. Also, Noeru becomes the boys basketball manager to be around the court where Maria plays, and he thoughtlessly befriends Sasa, the captain of the boys team. While Noeru thinks of Sasa as a best friend, poor Sasa becomes infatuated! Plus, Noeru's childish attempts to ruin his sister's interactions with Hirobe, the object of her affection, drive a wedge between the twins.
You can just imagine all the fun an author could have with such a situation, and Yoshizumi certainly comes through. She throws her cast more curve balls than a pro pitcher, filling the story with nonstop comedy and drama. This Ribon Mascot comic is cute, fun, and highly addictive, and at only six volumes, We Are Mint is the kind of series you can enjoy without a major financial commitment.