Name: Chiaki Minami (南 千秋, Minami Chiaki)
Voiced by: Minori Chihara
First introduced (manga): Chapter 0
First introduced (anime): Minami-ke Episode 01
Chiaki is the third and youngest Minami sister. As the third sister, she continues the naming pattern by having autumn ("aki" or 秋) in her name. She is an elementary student in class 5-2 (a reference to Kyou no Gono Ni). She is implied to be an excellent student, and is often seen reading one or another thick textbook. Despite her presumably high intelligence, her young age and lack of experience often lead her to overanalyze simple things. She also continues a proud family tradition by often misapplying logic to reach conclusions that lack common sense, such as deciding to drink water to improve her swimming ability. Her personality is a mixture of snide cynicism beyond her years and childish naivete. Her catchphrase is to call people (especially Kana and Makoto) "bakayarou" (literally, "stupid idiot") and, in Okaeri, to enjoin visitors to her house to "Go home!" when they are annoying her. Her childishness is apparent in her dislike of carrots, peppers, scallions, and other such vegetables—though in the case of carrots, this may have changed. In addition, she is incapable of swimming or dealing with the water, despite repeated attempts to deal with this. She appears to be fond of cola, drinking it on many occasions. She is also ignorant of Strange Things. One Christmas, she receives a stuffed bear which she christens "Fujioka" (not to be confused with Fujioka). She often uses the bear to hide things, or as a missile, usually against Kana. Unlike Kana, she can blow a basic bubblegum bubble. She is implied to be excellent at most board or video games, and destroys or is superior to Kana in every case. Her birthday is between May 1 and October 14, inclusive. Her nickname, especially among classmates, is "hime" (princess).
Chiaki is roughly the average height of everyone else in her age class, which means shorter than the males, but the same height as Uchida and Yoshino. Her eyes are hazel in the anime, the same as her sisters, but in the manga cover they are light brown, eventually turning red. In the first season, her eyes are constantly half-closed in a seemingly sleep expression, but in later seasons and the manga, this is only seen in certain situations. Her hair, which she wears long and down, varies from dark blonde, to blonde which tapers into black highlights, to dirty blond over the three seasons. In the manga, it is generally blonde, but is dark blonde in the Volume 2 cover. In the full-color Minami-ke Chapter 000, it is blonde, and her eyes are light brown. On her head is a notable bulky leaf-shaped ahoge. In Okawari, this ahoge can twitch spontaneously, usually as an expression of Chiaki's emotions when she is otherwise passive. It once temporarily divides in two in episode nine of that season. In chest size, she is consistently the flattest of any of her peers, a fact which displeases her when pointed out.
Interactions with Others
The bratty undisputed ruler of her domain, the entirety of class 5-2 bends to her will, a power which she, however, exercises only infrequently. The exception is Makoto, who she torments and commands on a constant basis. In Minami-ke Episode 02, she gives herself the nickname "hime," or princess. This nickname sticks due to its sheer accuracy, but it is one she immediately hates, despite her having coined it herself.
She spends most of her time in the company of Uchida and Yoshino, and also with Touma from the neighboring class 5-1, who by Okaeri is close enough to be called a best friend. She has only minor interactions with Shuuichi. Her interactions with the school nurse, Kumada, are also a source of amusement.
Surrogate Family Creation
It is strongly implied that the Minami parents are dead. Though this issue is never explicitly addressed or dealt with, Chiaki greatly feels the lack of a traditional family and, in a manner endearingly typical of a little kid, has set out to create a set of surrogates to fill the gap. It is clear that she sees Haruka as a surrogate mother, and she explicitly seeks out and designates Touma as her little brother, never mind Touma's female gender. Further, after Haruka's careless comment that Fujioka "carried the same air" as their father, Chiaki has treated him as a surrogate father, sitting in his lap whenever the opportunity presents. It is repeatedly implied, especially in Okawari, that these designations carry real meaning to Chiaki, and are not just a game.
With her Sisters
Outwardly, Chiaki views Kana as an unredeemable idiot, and tolerates her idiocy with an air of resignation. On one occasion, she even likens Kana to a pet, which must be treated well but disciplined and restrained if necessary. Chiaki punches, throws the stuffed bear at, and otherwise physically abuses her sister on a regular basis, as punishment for foolish acts. This is the basis for a tsukkomi which is repeated over and over throughout the series. It is not the case, however, that Kana is helpless. Kana expertly manipulates Chiaki and is capable of winning her share of the incessant battles between them.
However, Chiaki occasionally shows affection towards Kana and seems to think her as more a misguided sister to be drawn to the correct path than the irredeemable idiot she publicly treats her as. They share moments of sisterly affection, including very memorable scenes in the Minami-ke: Okaeri Episode 13— Chiaki clings to Kana because she had a dream Kana disappeared, and later on expresses great emotion when a seeming suicide note from Kana is discovered— and there are signs that the seemingly hostile banter between them is just that: banter, and almost a ritual. Chiaki occasionally makes efforts to aid Kana and Kana does her part as well— though often in a hilariously misguided way. They are sisters, after all.
Chiaki's relationship with Haruka is more straightforward. Instead of being acrid and domineering, she behaves towards Haruka with limitless and conspicuous affection, even going so far as to always refer to her as "Haruka-nee-sama". In addition to thinking of Haruka as a surrogate mother figure, she goes to great lengths to protect or impress Haruka, and it is possible that her devotion to schoolwork is a part of this. Because of this, Kana is capable of using Chiaki's unconditional devotion to Haruka as an entry-point for a large proportion of her machinations.
- Main article: Character Pairings (Minami-ke)
Though Chiaki views Fujioka as a father-figure and sits in his lap at every opportunity, certain events, have led some of the fanbase to suggest that her feelings extend beyond merely affection. For instance, she expresses jealousy when Touma interacts with Fujioka. However, it is more likely that this is simple possessiveness. After all, besides some initial confusion, she generally takes steps to further the relationship between Kana and Fujioka, the only canon pairing in the series, which would hardly be logical if she really had feelings for Fujioka. In fact, precisely because Kana and Fujioka are the canon pairing, which is obvious to everyone but the two of them, it is unlikely that anyone would knowingly attempt to interfere with it. It is most likely that the jealousy Chiaki expresses is a simple combination of affection and a refusal to allow anyone else to sit on Fujioka's lap.
Another popular pairing is with Makoto. Early in the first season, her domineering control of him, and their dominant-submissive dynamic sparked speculation of some sort of feelings between them. Though various scenes kept this barely alive, after he obtained a crush on Haruka and started to cross-dress as Mako-chan, such a relationship seemed highly unlikely. However, the events of Minami-ke: Okaeri Episode 07 gave it new life, strongly implying that, at the very least, Makoto is smitten with Chiaki. Another pairing is with Touma, due to their extremely close relationship and the fact that Chiaki ostensibly treats her as male. There is little evidence beyond this. Note, however, that Fujioka very likely believes that something is going on, due to what he has witnessed and his ignorance of Touma's true gender.
A final pairing is that with Fuyuki. During the second season, Chiaki shows significant concern for his welfare, trying to reform him into someone who can "say no." She is also significantly affected when he moves away, and when he sends a postcard. However, due to Fuyuki's extreme unpopularity, this pairing is detested and while some argue for its existence, no one can be found who actually supports it.
Since Chiaki is a main character, she has numerous scenes of varying levels of notoriety. Those scenes which are the crowning moments of more minor characters are generally left to those characters. Further, scenes of Chiaki acting as "Hime" are nearly countless. That being said, feel free to add to this list.
In Minami-ke Episode 01 (Minami-ke Chapter 2), Chiaki successfully convinces Kana that Fujioka's letter of confession is, in fact, a challenge to a fight, thereby paralyzing his and Kana's relationship, possibly permanently.
In Minami-ke Episode 02 (Minami-ke Chapter 3), Chiaki's lack of knowledge about Strange Things causes her to repeatedly ask if that is what they will be doing at a gathering at Shuichi's with Yoshino and Makoto, as this is what she has heard happens at mixed-gender gatherings. This drives Makoto, the only one who knows exactly what Chiaki is talking about, up a wall.
In Minami-ke Episode 12 (Minami-ke Chapter 24), Kana gets Fujioka to dress up as Santa and give her a stuffed bear which eventually becomes named "Fujioka", restoring Chiaki's belief in Santa, which had been lost when she had caught Takeru dressing up as Santa two years before this. Chiaki's insistence that santa is real is extremely cute.
In Minami-ke: Okaeri Episode 12 (Minami-ke Chapter 22), Kana's eccentric behavior, especially the spectacle of her trying to be a nice, caring sister, disturbs Chiaki so much that she decides to sleep with Haruka to avoid the "monster that will eat [her]".
- Minami-ke: Okaeri Episode 05#Segment Two (Minami-ke Chapter 110)
- Minami-ke Episode 09#Segment Four (Minami-ke Chapter 034) and brief scenes in Minami-ke: Okawari Episode 03#Segment Two and Minami-ke: Okawari Episode 02#Segment Three.
- Minami-ke: Betsubara#Segment One (Minami-ke Chapter 119)
- See Minami-ke Episode 09#Segment Two (Minami-ke Chapter 032) and Minami-ke Episode 04#Segment Three .
- Minami-ke Episode 12#Segment One (Minami-ke Chapter 024)
- Minami-ke Episode 08#Segment Two
- For instance, she is shown in the season one OP beating the boyish Touma, who is implied to be a regular player, at what appears to be the fighting version of the Sensei and Ninomiya-kun video game
- This, for instance.
- It is implied in Minami-ke Episode 10#Segment One (Minami-ke Chapter 040) that her birthday falls in a month after Touma's, which is in April, but that they are, as of that episode, the same age. Since presumably they'd show it if Chiaki's birthday were anywhere between Minami-ke Episode 01 and 10, her birthday is before the first episode, and the conclusion follows.
- A name she assigns herself in Minami-ke Episode 02#Segment Three (Minami-ke Chapter 013). It also comes up in Minami-ke: Okawari Episode 08#Segment Two (Minami-ke Chapter 059) and Minami-ke: Okaeri Episode 10#Segment Two (Minami-ke Chapter 106).
- Minami-ke: Okawari Episode 03#Segment Three (Minami-ke Chapter 045). Also, see these images (anime-only): File:Minami-ke S2 E03 21m 19s stitch.png and File:Minami-ke S2 E03 21m 24s.png. Chiaki's displeasure with this also comes up in Minami-ke: Okaeri Episode 01#Segment Four (Minami-ke Chapter 089).
- Minami-ke Episode 03#Segment Four (Minami-ke Chapter 014), when Haruka refers to their father in the manner one would talk of someone who is dead and Minami-ke: Okaeri Episode 01 (Minami-ke Chapter 089), when Takeru acts as Chiaki's guardian for the purposes of a teacher meeting.
- Minami-ke Episode 10#Segment One (Minami-ke Chapter 040)
- Minami-ke Episode 03#Segment Four (Minami-ke Chapter 014)
- For instance, Minami-ke: Okawari Episode 03#Segment Two and Minami-ke: Okawari Episode 12. Neither of these references appear in the manga, but the premise is plausible and consistent.
- Minami-ke: Okawari Episode 02
- Segments Two and Three. The equivalent manga scenes are Minami-ke Chapter 101 and Minami-ke Chapter 083, respectively.
- Especially in Minami-ke: Okaeri Episode 10 segments two and three and its equivalent Minami-ke Chapter 106 and Minami-ke Chapter 052.
- Minami-ke: Okaeri Episode 10#Segment Two (Minami-ke Chapter 052)
- Minami-ke: Okawari Episode 11#Segment Five (Minami-ke Chapter 064), for instance.
- Segments One and Four. Equivalent manga chapters are Minami-ke Chapter 090 and Minami-ke Chapter 109.
- Minami-ke: Okaeri Episode 10#Segment One (Minami-ke Chapter 080), for instance.
- Minami-ke: Okawari Episode 12
- Minami-ke: Okawari Episode 13
- Segment One and Two for the angel and demon, Segment Four for the curry song. The respective manga chapters are 95, 96, and 113.
- Minami-ke Chapter 081 and Minami-ke Chapter 101, respectively.