Midori Days (美鳥の日々 Midori no Hibi?) is a shōnen fantasy manga by Kazurou Inoue. It was published by Shogakukan in the magazine Shōnen Sunday from September 2002 until October 2004 and collected in 8 tankōbon volumes. It is licensed in English in North America by VIZ Media and in Singapore by Chuang Yi. The series is about a high school boy who one day finds his right hand replaced with a girl named Midori and his attempts to return her to her real body.
The series was adapted as a 13-episode anime series produced by Studio Pierrot. It aired in Japan between April and June 2004 on the anime television network Animax, who has also broadcast the series across its networks worldwide, including Southeast Asia, East Asia, South Asia and other regions. It is licensed in North America by Media Blasters.
The Japanese title, Midori no Hibi (美鳥の日々?), means "Midori's days", where "Midori" (美鳥?, lit. beautiful bird) is a main character's name. It can also be translated punningly as "Green Days"—midori is a homophone for the Japanese word for "green", hence Midori's green hair. In addition, the title is a pun referring to Greenery Day (みどりの日 Midori no hi?), the name of Japanese holiday that formerly was part of Golden Week.
Seiji Sawamura is the toughest student in his high school. His grades aren't very good because he fights more than he studies, but he tends to protect the weaker students from bullies. A few classmates idolize him; one (Midori Kasugano from a different school) shyly loves him from afar; but most are just afraid of him, which has made it impossible for him to find a girlfriend. In desperation, he says to himself that he will grow old with only his right hand as lifelong companion—until one morning when he wakes to find a miniature Midori attached to where his right hand used to be.
Over the next two weeks the pair adapt to this sudden and forced closeness. Much mayhem, and some romance, ensue. Seiji does his best to hide Midori from other people; she wears a bandage around her head and pretends to be his injured hand. Midori frequently professes her love to Seiji (even wearing a dress she made and embroidered with "I ♥ Seiji"), but Seiji fails to notice, even as he frequently laments that he'll never find a girl who loves him.
The connection between Midori and Seiji appears to be between her waist, or near it, and his wrist, but it is never explicitly shown (he always wears long sleeves, and she usually wears a dress; the most shows the curve of her waist) nor explained. Midori's body seems to function normally; she sleeps, eats, and (it's hinted to Dr. Makinoha) her physiological needs are fulfilled using Seiji's excretory system. The series contains mild fan service with frontal nudity and.
- Seiji Sawamura (沢村 正治 Sawamura Seiji?)
- The male protagonist of the series, he is a 17-year-old delinquent student who is feared for his fighting skills. Seiji fights to protect the weak using his powerful Devil's Right Hand, and is nicknamed "Mad Dog" Sawamura (This is however Ironic due to his fear of dogs, which mentioned in the manga, was caused by his sister). Fighting people has a price however: everyone, including girls, fear him. He has gone seventeen years without a girlfriend and wants one badly. One day, when he is daydreaming about having one, he finds a miniature girl on his right hand. It appears that she is Midori Kasugano, who has had a hidden crush on him for three years. He feels very excited about it, then realizes that this is his right hand saying this. So he declines the first girl that ever said she loved him. Much of the plot involves his trying to get other girls and getting rid of Midori.
- Seiji mostly starts off as very rude towards Midori, but as time progresses he becomes more attached to her. He tends to be completely oblivious of the girls who like him, focusing on those who do not. His redeeming qualities are his determination, his willingness to help innocent people, and his kindness towards Midori. Seiji is also obsessed with the actor Show Aikawa and the (fictional) porn star Miruku Moriyama.
- At the end of the series he finds Midori's diary, when she is off his hand, and reads it. He realizes how much she loves him, and waits for her to approach him in her real body. She confesses her love for him, without any memory of being on his hand. He tells her that he is in love with her, too. After that, they become a couple.
- In the manga, however, Seiji admits that he likes Midori, besides looking at all the girls. And the manga ends with them becoming a couple, with Seiji buying a new diary for Midori, after letting her read her old one. It should be noted that she only reads her old diary in a bonus spin-off comic and that scene may not be considered canon.
- Midori Kasugano (春日野 美鳥 Kasugano Midori?)
- The female protagonist of the series, a 16-year-old-girl who ends up as Seiji's right hand. She has had a crush on him for three years. One day she wishes to be with him so much that she finds herself, in miniature form, in the place of his right hand. This causes problems for him, since it is his "Demon right-hand" he punches with. Midori's real body is in a coma, and her mother tries everything to bring her back. As soon as Midori finds out that she is on Seiji's hand, she gathers the courage to admit her love, even though it isn't requited. During the series she continually confesses her love, and gets jealous of other girls, often trying to compete with them; but over time she begins to like qualities of all of the characters, including her 'rivals'. Her personality is shy at first, but when she gets to know people she lightens up. During the course of her days with Seiji, she wakes up in her normal body a few times (during which Seiji's right hand reappears), but then she feels lonely and returns to a comatose state.
- Midori appears to be a fun, carefree girl, but as time progresses it is shown that she is actually a little bit more shy than she lets on (she mostly doesn't show it because she has been spending so much time with Seiji). Some emotions she hides well are her jealousy towards the other girls Seiji comes in contact with and her determination to win his heart. According to the manga, she seems to possess Herculean strength when she is angry or determined. Also, she seems to be able to drag Seiji around with ease as long as he isn't resisting (i.e. in a sleeping or unconscious state). This might be because she possessed Seiji's "Devil right-hand", or simply because usual traits of anime girls (getting very violent when emotionally disturbed).
- Takako Ayase (綾瀬 貴子 Ayase Takako?)
- Voiced by: Reiko Takagi (Japanese), Mollie Weaver (English)
- Class representative for Seiji's class. She originally detested him, but after Seiji saves her from a gang, she begins to harbour a secret attraction to him. Unfortunately for her, all of her plans to confess her feelings to him fail, either through Seiji's obliviousness or outside circumstances. Midori, however, recognizes Ayase's attraction, and always makes covert attempts to sabotage any romance between the two.
- Ayase displays little of her emotions and her true self in public, which explains a lot of her difficulty in confessing to Seiji. Several of the stories show her attempts to learn to be more seductive towards him; for example, she watches (and takes notes from) a pornography tape that Seiji had misplaced.
- A major problem with her schemes is that she doesn't think things through; for example, her attempt to seduce Seiji by making him dinner one night but it backfired, it was because, during the cooking, she made so many attempts to flirt that she forgot to turn the stove off, nearly burning her house down. Ayase also still harbors a strong shyness, despite her daring; whenever circumstances warrant that she and Seiji 'clash' more or less romantically, she does not exploit the situation but ends up punching Seiji in embarrassment.
- In volume #7 she finally confesses her love to him, although this is provided in a frustrated outcry over her mishaps in her attempts to deliver it rather than a direct face-to-face confession. When Seiji tells her that he is already in love with someone else (Midori), she is heart-broken, but remains on (more or less) friendly terms with him. She ends up going to the same university as Nao where weird things keep on happening with Nao around. She also meets a strong man who really likes her.
- Rin Sawamura (沢村 凛 Sawamura Rin?)
- Seiji's violent older sister. She is the former leader of a powerful street gang, and her favorite hobbies are drinking, beating up Seiji, and taking his allowance. She was the one who taught him to fight when he was younger. At the end of the manga version, Rin leaves for South America to join her boyfriend.
- Rin is protective of her brother like any older sibling, but she enjoys making him writhe in embarrassment and pain (In a way stating the only person that can pick on him is herself). Early in the series, she learns about Midori and easily befriends her miniature form, showing her how to wear makeup and telling her stories about Seiji's childhood. Throughout the series, Rin is seen not only brawling with Seiji, but repetitively showing off Midori. Rin also loves her boyfriend but shows that much less than in public.
- Kouta Shingyoji (真行寺 耕太 Shingyōji Kōuta?)
- Voiced by: Rie Kugimiya (Japanese), Sebastian Arcelus (English)
- A childhood friend of Midori's and also a fellow first year at Ogurabashi High School. He was always in love with Midori, but over the course of the series he manages to develop "feelings" for Seiji that make the miniature Midori extremely nervous.
- As his character design is rendered as a "cute boy", Kouta tends to get picked on a lot by the same type of bullies that Seiji usually fights, and his attraction to Seiji is a result of several of Seiji's rescues. He has also attracted the attention of a girl's gang led by Miku Nekobe, who just loves seeing the cute-looking Kouta in a dress. He eventually learns about the miniature Midori and becomes one of Seiji's closest confidants.
- His crush for Seiji is much more apparent in the manga. He even tried, at one occasion, to separate Midori and Seiji by posing as a cute girl (which Seiji is attracted to), believing that doing so will make Midori return to her former self. When Seiji finds this out, he becomes genuinely angry, yelling to Kouta to "leave them alone"; he cried subconsciously afterwards. However, after Midori fully wakes up from her coma, it is a note from him which leads her to Seiji and the point where they confess their love for each other. In the future, the author wishes that Kouta ends up living in New York leaving all his connections in Japan behind. He meets a less nerdy Miyahara and gets coffee, but he won't stay long. This suggests that he is a homosexual
- Osamu Miyahara (宮原 オサム Miyahara Osamu?)
- Voiced by: Hirofumi Nojima (Japanese), Sean Elias-Reyes (English)
- A year-younger student at Seiji's school and kōhai or underclassman of Seiji. He idolizes Seiji for his fighting skills, but seemingly can not keep himself out of trouble, constantly getting caught by rival gangs and eventually having to be saved by Seiji.
- Miyahara is very comedic and seems to not worry about what other people think of him. He looks up to Seiji as a best friend and idol. Behind Seiji's back however, he does talk about Seiji poorly (not on purpose but just because it slips out). In the manga Miyahara has a date and starts talking about Seiji (who is in the bushes). Just like Seiji, he is very obsessed with an actor called Show Aikawa. In the manga, he develops a crush on Lucy Winladd and often enlists Seiji's help in dating her.
- Shuichi Takamizawa (高見沢 修一 Takamizawa Shūichi?)
- Voiced by: Yuji Ueda (Japanese), Joshua Popenoe (English)
- A classmate of Sawamura's and a doll otaku. He always carries around a doll of a fictional anime character named Ultra-Marin, and seems to have a creepy obsession with the character (even having a crush on a girl because of her similarity, but lost interest when she is shown to be tough rather than innocent). He is also good at making clothes for dolls, a talent which means an expanded wardrobe for the miniature Midori when he finds out Seiji's secret. He's also good at making dolls, and near the end of the manga, is revealed to be determined to become a professional doll maker, inspired by Midori. He once fell in love with a girl who looks and acts very similar to Marin, however becomes frighten of her when she demonstrates a demon like fury.
- Takamizawa is a go-getter and is not afraid to make a fool of himself to get what he needs. For a while he obsesses about seeing Seiji's "hand puppet" (Midori), and when he finally learns Midori's secret he can't stop thinking about her, even with a live (literally) plastic cast which he used to create a doll version of her. Takamizawa often doesn't know when to stop with his obsessions, and will attempt some of the most ridiculous things to be or have fun with Midori (such as a Midori site which Seiji and Midori find out about, and Midori freaks out when she finds a picture of herself in a bathing suit on the site).
- Shiori Tsukishima (月島 栞 Tsukishima Shiori?)
- Voiced by: Yukari Tamura (Japanese), Michelle Medlin (English)
- A 10-year-old neighbor of Seiji who also has a crush on him. She tries a variety of ways to gain his attention, even asking Rin the kind of woman Seiji likes, but he never takes her advances seriously, still treating her like a child.
- Like most of the characters in this series, Shiori is very obsessed with Seiji, but because of her age Seiji does not take her seriously. This is shown in the chapter/episode where Rin helps Shiori by dressing her up in several different sexy (according to Rin) outfits which only serve to irritate Seiji. Near the beginning of the series, Shiori states that her real mother is dead. Shiori has troubles with her adopted mom, and when her mother finds her after looking around the city, Shiori tells her off for being an adopted mom and all she wants "is to live alone with dad!". She finishes by saying "I've only got one mom and it's not you!" Her stepmother slaps her and cries about Shiori's attitude. After that, it is shown over the next week they patch up a good relationship and Shiori does accept her stepmother. She also finds another love interest in her classmate Toyama after he had saved her from slipping into a sewer canal.
- Haruka Kasugano (春日野 遥 Kasugano Haruka?)
- Midori's mother, who is worried about her. Haruka is willing to do anything to cure Midori of her illness. She is very sad about Midori's coma and tries several times to bring her back. The Indian shaman she confers to tells her she does not want to come back, so most of what she does is spend time watching Midori's body and keeping anyone from hurting her. Her husband is mentioned several times, but never seen.
Compared to the short run of the anime, the manga covered much more ground in terms of character background and added new stories. As a result there are several characters introduced in the manga who never appear in the anime.
- Lucy Winladd (ルーシィ·ウィンラッド?)
- She is an American exchange student who transferred into Seiji's high school (more precisely, into Miyahara's class). She loves Japanese pop culture, especially samurai movies, and admires Seiji because she sees him as an ideal Japanese man. Her open displays of affection to Seiji instantly arouse the jealousy of both Midori and Ayase.
- Lucy learned Japanese from watching many Japanese shows, as revealed in the manga. She idolizes samurai and female kunoichi (which, in the shows she watches, shoot fire and other weird projectile weapons from their breasts).
- Lucy is a happy-to-go personality and not one to hide anything; she's all too willing to shout her love to Seiji, who is somewhat put off by her actions. It is really hard to tell if she is truly in love with Seiji or if she only likes him because his actions resemble that of samurai, her idols. It is shown in the manga that she is athletic (which is noticed during the big race, where she is going faster than Ayase while doing back-flips). During her first appearance, after Seiji saves her luggage from a biker, she is eating while wearing a biker outfit, which she wears because either she considers them relaxing clothes or she rides her own motorcycle. She also has a childhood friend named Daniel McBain, who she does not like due to his conceitedness. She also begins a relationship with Miyahara; however, despite this, she still has an affection for Sawamura, even going so far as to jump on him whenever they meet, often in front of a shocked and subsequently depressed Miyahara.
- Lucy eventually returns to America when her study term expires, but not before she finds out about the miniature Midori. Rather than becoming jealous, she instantly befriends her, referring to her as a fairy. With this, she even tells why she needs to return to America despite loving Japan so much, which convinces Midori that she needs to return to her original body.
- Lucy's character design may be a reference to Tiffany Lords.
- Nao Makinoha (槙葉 奈緒 Makinoha Nao?)
- A silent, mysterious girl in Seiji's class. She loves strange phenomena, and thus takes an interest in Seiji's transformed right hand. She seemingly appears at the strangest times, which gives Seiji quite a scare. Despite this, Nao becomes a good friend to Seiji through the manga. We see that she hangs out with Seiji and the rest of the gang in Lucy's goodbye party and plays cards at their ski lodge during the school ski trip. Nao can be seen sometimes hanging out with Ayase at school.
- Nao becomes Seiji's friend mainly because she is apparently is attracted to the miniature Midori. This can be seen when Nao bites Seiji's shoulder when Midori tells her she likes Seiji, and when she buys (and openly cherishes) a Midori hand puppet from Takamizawa.
- Nao's abilities include a talent for appearing when Seiji least expects it (although it's more for comedic purpose than for reality's sake). She is a skilled martial artist, often fighting with a sledgehammer stored in the traditional Hammerspace, and is an excellent snowboarder. Despite her small size, she was able to perform a German suplex on Seiji. She had a real liking to her voodoo performed Teddy Bear that she carried most of the time throughout the manga.
- Nao is perfect on many occasions. She has the highest marks in her grade, she knows how to fight, she's a good athlete (she won the female school cross-country beating Lucy and Ayase, though this was mainly due to an accident caused by a jealous Midori) and she also won the doll-making contest beating Takamizawa, the father of all doll maniacs. Nao was sometimes needed by scientists due to her perfectibility. Because of this, she was offered to be schooled in Germany where she will get all the education she needed that even her father can not offer to her. But she instead declined the offer so she could stay and study with her father.
- Shiro Makinoha (槙葉 史郎 Makinoha Shirō?)
- Nao's father and a doctor, he initially tried to look at how Seiji and Midori became connected. He is the main antagonist of the manga. Amazed by their connection, he later plots to capture Seiji so he can show Midori to the medical community and gain fame from his findings. However, his attempts to capture them are often foiled by Nao. On occasions, Seiji and Midori foil his attempts.
- Dr. Makinoha is definitely a little crazier than his first impression. He's not only crazy, but he's also very strategic. He's the kind of guy who never makes the same mistake twice. He cares for Nao but has also seen her as an obstacle, often building androids to combat her (known as "Robo-Nao"). However, when his schemes backfire, he usually finds himself begging for Nao's mercy, which is only occasionally given.
- Hisashi Sakisaka (向坂久 Sakisaka Hisashi?)
- Rin's boyfriend, he is a treasure hunter and loves to travel the world. However, his constant disappearances annoy Rin to no end. At the end of the manga he is in South America, where Rin eventually joins him. He has a pet ferret named Tomahawk, whom Rin openly cherishes more than him.
- Sakisaka is definitely in love with Rin; he's willing to go to great lengths to win her over, often enlisting Seiji's (and Midori's) help. He even offers to stop treasure-hunting for Rin, which Rin tells him not to. She just wants him to come home every now and then. Sakisaka is quick to find out about Midori, and to Seiji and Midori's surprise, he reveals that he once discovered an old Egyptian mural which decipted a person with a miniature figure on the right hand - just the same as with them.
- Sakisaka is definitely a softie and is not all that strong emotionally. He's extremely courageous, however, and just loves the thrill of treasure-hunting.
- Miku Nekobe (猫部 美紅 Nekobe Miku?)
- She is the leader of the Crimson Angels (Kurenai Benten), an all-female gang who constantly harasses and embarrasses Kota (most notably by dressing him up in girl's clothing). Despite this, she has a soft spot for the boy and later helps him out when he tries to separate Seiji and Midori. Her name Nekobe is a play on words from neko, referring to her cat-like face.
- At first Miku just wants to get back at Kota for refusing to date her (the date was just for the fact that Kota was rich), but she seemingly can't bring herself to let her gang hurt him. After a little bit she just decides to dress him up in girl's clothing (complete with makeup and a wig). After a while, Kota grows on her and even though she still acts pretty much the same all the time, Kota becomes more of a friend than just a fetish for her (although she continues to stalk him with female cosplay in mind). Her former boyfriend, Slasher Midoh, attempted to kill Kota but was foiled by Seiji (who was brought onto the scene by Miku).
- Yukina Asano is Seiji's first (sort of) girlfriend and childhood sweetheart. She had become friends with him when they were both 10 years old, but since she had to move away, they did not see each other for seven years until a chance meeting at a place of mutual memory.
- Since the age of ten, Yukina is an accomplished dojinshi mangaka and a huge fan of shōjo manga (especially with homosexual themes); she always seems to carry an envelope with a few samples of her work wherever she goes. While Seiji is quite happy (and Midori therefore quite unhappy) to see her again, he is rather disconcerted by the fact that she tends to idolize manga characters, preferring them to real boys.
- An 11th-grader and one of the best students and popular persons at Seiji's school, and the daughter of a trading company's chairman. For her popularity, she has earned the unofficial nickname kamakiri fujin ("praying mantis").
- Rina has nourished a passion for the wild, untamed side of Seiji. Upon learning that Seiji has 'softened up' (due to Midori's presence), she is determined to bring him back to his wild side by hiring all sorts of bullies and thugs to beat him up. Finally, however, she discovers love in the person of her constant sidekick and bodyguard Suzuka.
The 13-episode anime was produced by Studio Pierrot. Throughout its length and especially with the character Ultra Marine, the Midori Days anime series pokes fun at the magical girl sub-genre of shōjo manga and anime. This is especially ironic because Pierrot is a notable pioneer of the magical girl sub-genre, beginning with the Mahō no... series.
List of episodes
- The Right-Hand Girlfriend
- The Love Between Us
- The Day of Discoveries
- Discovery of the Secret!?
- The Power of Love
- Shiori's Love-Love Battle!
- First Date
- Right-hand Seiji
- Takky Days
- Distance of the Hearts
- Fated Reunion
- Sudden Parting
- Our Days
- "Sentimental" (センチメンタル Senchimentaru?)
- "A Little More... A Little More..." (もう少し...もう少し... Mou Sukoshi... Mou Sukoshi...?) : Eps. 01 - 12
- Lyrics, composition, arrangement and song by : Saori Atsumi
- "Sentimental" (センチメンタル Senchimentaru?) : Ep. 13
- Lyrics and composition by: rino
- Arranged by: Masaya Suzuki
- Performed by : CooRie
- "Small Letter" (小さな手紙, Chiisana Tegami ) : Ep. 07
- Lyrics and composition by: rino
- Arranged by: Kaoru Okubo
- Performed by : CooRie
- "A Single Drop" (一雫 Hitoshizuku?) : Ep. 08
- Lyrics and composition by: rino
- Arranged by: Kaoru Okubo
- Performed by : Mai Nakahara
- Pierrot's official Japanese website for the Midori no Hibi anime series (Japanese)
- Midori no Hibi at MX TV (Japanese)
- Midori no Hibi at Shogakukan (Japanese)
- Midori no Hibi manga and anime site (Japanese)
Profiles and references
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