Name: Kana Minami (南 夏奈, Minami Kana)
Voiced by: Marina Inoue
First introduced (manga): Chapter 0
First introduced (anime): Minami-ke Episode 01
Kana is the second and middle Minami sister, in her second year of middle school. She continues the naming pattern by having summer ("ka" or 夏) in her name. Outwardly, Kana is an impulsive, lively, and air-headed girl, who acts or talks impolitely, much to the annoyance of Chiaki. Like her sisters, she is prone to seemingly logical ideas lacking in common sense, but takes it to the greatest degree by doing it on a regular basis, for instance adding chili peppers to the guests' bathwater to create a sensation of "warmth". She also enjoys teasing Chiaki and pushing her buttons, and is a fairly poor student. Despite appearances, there is evidence that she is far more intelligent than she appears, and she is certainly capable of manipulating the situation and others around her to achieve her goal of maximal entertainment value, for everyone involved, an ability she uses, for instance, when turning Makoto into a cross-dresser. It is implied that she, in fact, shares the family intelligence and would be able to score well in school were she to apply herself. In fact, late in the series, she receives near-perfect on a math test and seems to take it in stride, perhaps indicating a change in habits. However, like Haruka, she seems neither experienced nor skilled romantically. She is a member of the series's only explicitly canon pairing, with Fujioka, but it is persistently unclear whether she has special feelings for him or possesses any idea of his feelings, though there are numerous hints. She is a horrific cook, partly because she is incapable of restraining her urges to "improve" a dish, by for instance adding juice to pancake mix. She does have the ability to cook basic dishes, primarily packaged curry, as long as she doesn't try to go beyond her abilities. She gets carsick as well. She cannot blow bubblegum bubbles. She is horrible at board or video games, and always loses to Chiaki in a head-to-head contest. Her nickname among fans is "Boss" or "The Boss", stemming from a set of T-shirts she wears through the first season, in turned based upon a shirt that appears in Minami-ke Chapter 0.
Kana is taller than Keiko, but shorter than everyone one else of her age class. Her hair is brown in the anime but turns red in the later manga design. Similarly, her eyes are hazel in the anime and red in the manga covers. There is also this inconsistent image. It is perhaps best to use the only color chapter of the manga, where her hair is brown and her eyes hazel, as a guide. She wears her hair in two long pigtails, though of course she lets them down for the night. Initially, she is flatter than all her peers, except Keiko, but she experiences subtle growth throughout the anime seasons, starting to approach Riko by the last season. This phenomenon is much less pronounced, if indeed even present, in the manga. She is actually quite sensitive about it, and expresses jealousy towards Riko at one point.
Interactions with Others
Kana is the same 2nd-year middle-school class with her friends Keiko and Riko, the latter of whom she meets early in the first season, as well her pseudo-love interest Fujioka. Akira is in a different, unspecified class, as are Hiroko and Yuu. Because of the hormone-charged middle-school environment, the majority of scenes that take place in the school relate to various crushes and awkwardness, with most of the rest being devoted to the Banchou legend. The only character to escape this madness is Keiko, who is cast primarily as an observer of the action and the only one to fully understand all aspects of the situation, though she rarely interferes.
Fujioka has twice confessed his love to Kana, but she seems to have misunderstood both times, taking these instead as threats from the local Banchou. Despite this, she begins inviting him over to her house on a regular basis, and he becomes quite close with the Minami sisters. Every other character begins to treat them as a partly-established couple. It is not clear, however, whether or not Kana actually knows Fujioka's feelings for her, or has feelings towards him, though there are tantalizing hints.
With Her Sisters
Kana treats Chiaki partly as an object of amusement, and partly with the mutual respect that being sisters engenders. Their most common interaction forms the basis of a tsukkomi, where Kana does something crazy, or teases Chiaki, and Chiaki responds back by being annoyed, arguing with her, and eventually attacking her. After Minami-ke Episode 12 (Minami-ke Chapter 24), Chiaki begins throwing Fujioka at Kana as the primary form of violence.
Kana understands Chiaki very well and often manipulates her into performing various amusing deeds, or cooperating with Kana in her schemes. The fun Kana has at Chiaki's expense is her recompense for absorbing the verbal and physical abuse Chiaki levels at her. It is not the case, however, that Kana is fully immune to it, since she does react negatively to it on more than one occasion.
A rarer interaction is one of affection, which plays out both ways. Kana also greatly desires approval from her sisters, and is privately hurt by their perception that she is an idiot, though she does nothing to dispel this. In fact, Kana once demands Chiaki explain why she is always being called an idiot. Chiaki states that she calls Kana an idiot actually meaning that Kana is intentionally trying to cause everyone to have fun, as a sort of professional idiot. Kana implicitly agrees.
Kana's relationship with Haruka is not as straightforward as Chiaki's relationship with her. Though Kana still ultimately has Chiaki's respect and affection for Haruka as a mother figure, it is nowhere as obvious. Kana treats her as much more of an older sister, in both manner of address and the way she often teases and manipulates Haruka, in the same way that she does to Chiaki. This is likely because Kana spent much longer with their parents still alive and Haruka only an older sister, whereas Chiaki may have literally never have had this experience.
With Chiaki's Friends
Kana spends an unusual amount of time interacting with her younger sister's friends. This is partly because Chiaki's friends visit the Minami household far more frequently than either Riko or Keiko. However, Kana is on good terms with all of them, and can occasionally be found, for instance, eating takoyaki on the bench with Uchida, or wanting to join one of their sleepovers.
Kana treats Chiaki's friends in the same way she attempts to treat Chiaki, with the difference that they do not have the same defensive responses of cynicism and violence that Chiaki does, rendering Kana's manipulations far more effective. Kana does this on numerous occasions, most famously convincing Makoto to cross-dress. More examples can be found in notable scenes, below.
Kana is once forcefully put-upon by Hayami, with unknown consequences. Strangely, this seems to affect her very little, not even affecting her behavior around Hayami, except that she now has a healthy respect for Hayami's high-quality "fruit juice".
Since Kana 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. Furthermore, scenes of Kana being Boss are nearly countless. [That being said, feel free to add to this list.]
In Minami-ke Episode 01 (Minami-ke Chapter 2), Kana receives a letter confession of love from Fujioka and reacts rather uniquely, culminating in Chiaki convincing her that she misread the letter, that Fujioka is the current Banchou, and that he needs to be kicked.
In Minami-ke: Okawari Episode 01 (Minami-ke Chapter 74), a complicated series of cross-dressing confusion and misunderstandings between Fujioka, Touma, and Makoto causes Fujioka to accidentally open the curtain to the girls' side of the onsen, just as Kana is about to walk through the other way, naked. Kana's apparently-complacent reaction to this is unusual, and raises relationship speculation.
In Minami-ke: Okaeri Episode 11 (Minami-ke Chapter 99), Kana decides that "hospitality" to Riko, Keiko, and Fujioka (who are visiting to work together on homework) is best shown by offering them a bath in a bathtub filled with chili peppers, which are warm. Each of them, for their own individual reasons, uses the shower instead, and Kana is the first and only one to try it, with the result pictured.
In Minami-ke: Okaeri Episode 12 (Minami-ke Chapter 22), Kana appears to finally snap when Chiaki calls her "bakayarou", but quickly recovers, deciding she should try to reform her acid-tongued, violent sister with kindness. This erratic behavior causes Chiaki to conclude Kana must be setting up a trap, and that she must sleep with Haruka to avoid the monster that will "eat" her.
In Minami-ke: Okaeri Episode 13, Kana's sloppiness and carelessness (writing a Tanabata wish onto two strips of paper, then leaving one behind when she goes shopping), combined with a staggering coincidence of wordplay, causes it to appear that she has left behind a runaway/suicide note, driving Chiaki and Haruka into distraught hysterics. Right when they are about to take action, Kana reappears, having of course done nothing of the sort.
- ↑ Minami-ke: Okaeri Episode 11#Segment Two (Minami-ke Chapter 099)
- ↑ Minami-ke Episode 03#Segment One (Minami-ke Chapter 006)
- ↑ Minami-ke Episode 06#Segment Four (Minami-ke Chapter 029)
- ↑ Minami-ke: Okaeri Episode 11#Segment Three (Minami-ke Chapter 086), after being told by Keiko what to study.
- ↑ Perhaps most obviously in Minami-ke: Okaeri Episode 05#Segment Four (Minami-ke Chapter 112), where her expressions and behavior approach those of a traditional tsundere. Example Picture
- ↑ Minami-ke Episode 01#Segment One (Minami-ke Chapter 001). Perhaps this set of images says it best.
- ↑ Minami-ke: Okaeri Episode 06#Segment One (Minami-ke Chapter 039)
- ↑ Minami-ke Episode 08#Segment Two
- ↑ This, for instance.
- ↑ Minami-ke Episode 09#Segment Four (Minami-ke Chapter 034), though the anime highlights it a bit more.
- ↑ Minami-ke: Okaeri Episode 07#Segment Three (Minami-ke Chapter 114)
- ↑ Minami-ke Episode 04#Segment Two (Minami-ke Chapter 023)
- ↑ Explicitly in Minami-ke: Okaeri Episode 11#Segment One (Minami-ke Chapter 046)
- ↑ Minami-ke Episode 01#Segment Five (Minami-ke Chapter 002) and Minami-ke Episode 03#Segment Three (Minami-ke Chapter 011)
- ↑ As before, perhaps most obviously in Minami-ke: Okaeri Episode 05
- ↑ Minami-ke Episode 11#Segment Two (Minami-ke Chapter 051)
- ↑ For instance, Minami-ke Episode 05#Segment One (Minami-ke Chapter 015) or Minami-ke: Okawari Episode 05.
- ↑ Minami-ke Episode 05#Segment Four and Minami-ke: Okaeri Episode 12#Segment Four (Minami-ke Chapter 022). The former is anime-only and in the latter, it is arguable that Kana might just be pushing Chiaki's buttons. Nonetheless, it is thematically consistent.
- ↑ For instance, Minami-ke: Okaeri Episode 13#Segment Two (Minami-ke Chapter 101) or Minami-ke: Okawari Episode 10#Segment Four
- ↑ Minami-ke Episode 09#Segment Two (Minami-ke Chapter 032). This is actually a startlingly deep and meaningful reading of Kana's character, given in the depths of sleep deprivation.
- ↑ As noted in the Minami Family article, that their parents are dead is only a guess, but a very well-supported one.
- ↑ Minami-ke: Okaeri Episode 07#Segment Two (Minami-ke Chapter 094)
- ↑ Minami-ke: Okawari Episode 03#Segment Two
- ↑ Minami-ke Episode 06#Segment Four (Minami-ke Chapter 029)
- ↑ Minami-ke Episode 04#Segment One (Minami-ke Chapter 007)
- ↑ Minami-ke Episode 13#Segment Four (Minami-ke Chapter 025)
- ↑ Minami-ke: Okawari Episode 10
- ↑ See Character Pairings (Minami-ke)#Kana's Feelings Towards Fujioka.
- ↑ In Japanese, hospitality" contains the word for "warmth". Kana's logic here is an example of Minami Logic. This wordplay also comes up in Minami-ke Episode 04#Segment One (Minami-ke Chapter 007), and Kana's obsession with hospitality in Minami-ke: Okawari Episode 03#Segment Two.