Choco and Mimi are eighth graders and the best of friends. Despite having different personalities, Choco is studious and reliable while Mimi is silly and spoiled, they still share a lot in common. Their love of fashion, talking about boys and just having fun together keeps their friendship strong. No boy, skirt or dessert can come between these BFFs!
ChocoMimi Volumes 1-2
By Konami Sonoda
Age Rating: All Ages
Viz Media, Jul/October 2009 ISBN: 978-1-4215-2758-1/978-1-4215-2759-8
190 pgs, $7.99
ChocoMimi is one of the few girl-specific titles that Viz has come out with for their VizKids line of all ages books. The stories and antics of the two girls, Choco and Mimi are geared towards preteen girls. It’s drawn in the 4-koma style, which is similar to American comic strips. The strips are short, and usually end with a humorous punchline. The stories are about Choco and Mimi and later Ando and Mumu, two boys in their class, as they go to school, go out shopping or with each other and play with their pets. At the end of some strips there are also "Fashion Notes," where Choco and Mimi are shown wearing different outfits with suggestions on how to create the same look yourself.
The stories are light and usually funny. Choco and Mimi’s friendship is the glue that really holds this title together. They rarely fight, though Mimi’s antics can get on everyone’s nerves. But all is forgiven by the end. Choco and Mimi are best friends first, even before boys. The characters are quirky and diverse, but they all work to get along. While the stories with Choco and Mimi are cute, the addition of characters such as Ando and Mumu, possible love interests for the girls, expands both the possible stories and the character development. Even though this title is geared towards girls with the emphasis on fashion, boys could find some of these stories funny and volume 2 starts to add fashion tips for them. It would be interesting to learn if any boys ever showed an interest.
This title is rated all ages, but my feeling after reading the first two volumes was that it would appeal more to preteens, in the 9-12 age range. My youngest daughter Krissy is a preteen, so I gave her the books to read and then asked her what she thought of them.
Krissy liked the books very much. She thought the stories were funny, and she liked the "Fashion Notes." She thought they were cool and would like to try some of the outfits. She liked Choco’s sporty style the best. Her favorite character was Mimi, because she thought she was weird. Mimi calls her dad "Glasses" instead of Daddy, and put toothpaste instead of mint into some chocolate she made. She also liked Chiffon, Mimi’s dog who thinks of himself as a Samurai and tries to be noble. Mumu was her favorite boy because he acts a lot like Mimi, and is always stealing her clothes. She didn’t like Jun, Choco’s little brother. She thought he was bratty and annoying. In Krissy’s opinion, everyone would like this title, and it was appropriate for ages 8 and up.
ChocoMimi is a title that would make a good addition to both elementary and middle school libraries. The stories are short and sweet, and there’s nothing objectionable in them. The emphasis on friendship and getting along is a message everyone can agree with.
This review is based on a complimentary copy supplied by the publisher. All images copyright © Viz Media.