The touching conclusion to Minima!
Writer/Artist: Machiko Sakurai
Translation: Athena and Alethea Nibley
Adaptation: Athena and Alethea Nibley
What They Say
Ame, a shy girl in middle school, has found a loving friend in the adorable toy Nicori, who would love nothing better than to stay with Ame forever. But ever since Nicori's arrival, Ame's life has turned upside down. Now Nicori believes with all his heart that it may be best to go his own way. Is it goodbye forever for Nicori and Ame? Don't miss the touching climax of this beloved series.
This is the final volume of Minima!
Ame's having trouble adjusting to Nicori's absence. If that isn't bad enough, her life is also complicated by boy problems. She discovers that Midori's parents are divorcing, and soon thereafter, he starts acting strangely around her. Things ultimately blow up between them during a spur of the moment class trip to the amusement park, and interestingly, the one to smooth everything between the confused teens is Nicori.
As Minima draws to a close, Nicori is less of a self-centered, self-indulgent plushie and takes more of a mentor/parent role. He mends the relationship between the park owner and his grandson, and when he abruptly reunites with Ame, the focus is not him but her turmoil regarding Midori.
However, once Nicori plays his part in bringing Ame and Midori together, he makes his exit. He's a plushie so I'm not sure if "die" is the right word (and if it is, that means Ame's keeping his corpse in her house. Ewww...). Considering he survived a beheading and a bunch of other physical abuse, the way he expires seems strange. A conversation between Nicori and a dog plushie hints that toy death is related to the severance between a toy and a first owner. Ame isn't about to throw Nicori away, but perhaps the fact that she is moving on to more mature relationships is the trigger? I'm not quite sure. At any rate, in the end, Nicori has tears shed over him, and Ame and Midori take a step forward in their relationship.
And by the way, I still cannot figure out why this manga is titled Minima.
Minima ends not so much as a story about a talking doll but a girl who finally figures out which boy she really cares about. It's not quite "happily ever after" all around, but you do get the sense that Ame's starting to take steps toward adulthood, which is perhaps a healthy way to conclude the manga.
Extras in this volume include a brief story thus far summary, cast of characters, closing author's note, and one page of translation notes.