555 (from 8/22/2014)
Chibi Miku-san (ちびミクさん) is an online 4koma (Japanese gag strip) series created by an artist named Minami on Pixiv. It details the humorous everyday life of Chibi-Miku and her fellow Vocaloids. A new strip is released almost every day and the entire series currently has reached 500 strips. A hand-drawn animation trailer has been released on Nico Nico Douga by yokkaP (よっかP). link to video
The series takes place in a suburban village called Vocalotown, with its residents mostly consisting of various Vocaloids (including fan-made ones), though Minami's characters from other works can also be seen (such as Iincho from Trouble Spirit! and Sakura Koiro, one of Minami's website mascots). Known residential establishments include Chibi-Miku's and the Kagamine twin's houses, while the commercial places are Yowane's Candy Store and a recently-established Fancy Shop FL. Ruko's mansion is also a train-ride away on the outskirts of Vocalotown. Various fauna can also be seen roaming around town, as stray dogs and capybaras can be seen wandering on the streets and there has also been a report of a monkey running loose.
Though the series features well-known Vocaloids as its central characters, their personalities and quirks have been somewhat altered to flesh them out and add humor to the strips. Though Chibi-Miku is the main focus on most of the strips, other characters can also take center stage during special occasions (like Haku's birthday). The following list is in order of their first appearance in the series.
- Debut: Chibi Miku-san #1
- The titular character of the series, she's a hyperactive girl with an equally hyperactive imagination to boot. Like most chibi and/or moe characters, she is shown as a cutesy character and a foil to the more stoic and conniving Rin (who usually likes to torture her). She adores Black★Rock Shooter and even tried to stay up late in order to watch her anime. Take note that she is not a "chibi-fied" version of Hatsune Miku, but actually the little sister of the real one, who is away on a musical tour around the world.
- Chibi-Miku received an outfit makeover for a while. She sported a white sleeveless shirt with a smaller necktie, which was a tribute to a Miku Miku Dance customization feature. Later, she wore another MMD-inspired outfit in the form of Petite Miku, a pink-colored costume.
- Debut: Chibi Miku-san #54
- Introduced as a smug and sometimes abrasive friend of Chibi-Miku, Chibi-Neru can sometimes be seen trying to one-up some of the characters, often with hilarious results (like eating an extremely spicy rice cake while trying hard to hide the pain). She also has a huge crush on Len (which causes her to black-out whenever she sees Len together with another girl) and is deathly afraid of Hamo (though she is currently trying to cure her phobia), always hurting herself in the head whenever she tries to run away from him.
- Her character design (along with Luka and MEIKO) is unique in that she's drawn with visible tsurime (upward-pointing) eyelids/eyelashes while the others only have two parallel lines for eyes. She also has very thick eyebrows which further distinguish her from the other two characters.
- Debut: Chibi Miku-san #101
- Chibi-Miku's close friend, Chibi-Teto's curiously shaped pigtails frequently triggers Chibi-Miku's imagination, causing her to have strange dreams about the various uses her hair could have (most commonly being used as drills). This is possibly a reference to Azumanga Daioh in which Osaka would constantly picture uses for Chiyo's pigtails. Chibi-Teto is extremely good at video-gaming, and has even defeated Rin, who's a PSP enthusiast. Chibi-Teto appears to be an extremely devoted KAITO fan, and has been devastated when she lost two chances to meet him. But, when KAITO had visited Rin and Chibi-Miku, she finally had the chance to get an autograph from him. She is allergic to furry animals, and can only tolerate them in close proximity. It has also been revealed that she is a bad chef, giving Hatsune Miku an intense trauma for cookies.
- Her character design (along with FL-chan) is unique from the others in that her eyes are drawn circularly with visible tareme (downward-pointing) eyelids/eyelashes. Over the course of the series, her eyes have become narrower and narrower, to the point that they now appear like the rest of the casts', only thicker and more oblique.
- Debut: Chibi Miku-san #301
- Appearing as a chibified version of Minami's original Vocaloid-based character, she is found by Chibi-Miku and Chibi-Teto passed-out in the middle of a road due to hunger. Chibi-Suzu thinks with her stomach, and she's almost always thinking out loud; her stomach is constantly empty and rumbling (her "product" information says she needs 20,000 calories for a 10-minute charge). This trait makes her consider any adult who offers her sweets (Haku and Len so far) to be a holy deity. The only things not food-related Suzu seem to enjoy are playing with her friends (though most of her actions are motivated by hunger) and watching "Esoteric Girl Sowaka-chan," which she quickly gets Chibi-Miku and Chibi-Neru addicted to. She also constantly wears a cat-like smile, unless something makes her really angry.
Megurine Luka (Toeto version)Edit
- Debut:Chibi Miku San #491
- A chibi-version of Luka, who makes a small cameo in Chibi Miku-san #491. She appears to be Luka's little sister, but other than that, no other details are known about her.
- Debut: Chibi Miku-san #1
- One half of the Kagamines, Rin is portrayed as an older sister-figure to Chibi-Miku (though she loves to torture her from time to time). She never fails to exploit the weaknesses of others (like acting as Len's girlfriend when she found out that Chibi-Neru has a crush on him). The only people she has not fully defeated are Megurine Luka (in duels), Chibi-Teto (in video games), and Hatsune Miku (in anything, besides singing karaoke of their own songs). She has also been seen to be very bad at bowling, being beaten by everyone, even Chibi-Miku.
- Her character design (along with her counterpart Len and Chibi-Ruko) is somewhat unique in that she is drawn without a mouth when she is not feeling any particular emotion (the others are drawn with very small dots). Hers is just more prominent than the other two since she's one of the two main characters to appear in the very first strip (the other being the titular character).
- Debut: Chibi Miku-san #27
- The other half of the Kagamine duo, unlike Rin, he is shown to genuinely care for Chibi-Miku (whereas Rin keeps her feelings inside and shows them only when there's nobody else around). This probably stems from his deep devotion to her older sister, Hatsune Miku . Because of this, he has a habit of going easy on Chibi-Miku whenever they play around (and often getting accidentally injured by Chibi-Miku). He is also portrayed as a hardworking fellow in contrast to Rin's lazy-to-the-bones attitude (lying around with a PSP while her brother does most of the chores). He has also (unknowingly) saved Chibi-Teto from Chibi-Suzu's wrath on a couple of occasions.
KAITO and MEIKOEdit
- Former residents of Vocalotown, KAITO and MEIKO are portrayed as popular celebrities who also act in their own TV show. They were the mentors of Hatsune Miku and Yowane Haku when they were still little and, by extension, are relatives to Chibi-Miku and the Kagamine twins, much to everyone's embarrassment.
- KAITO is upbeat, but craves positive attention and will go to great lengths to do so, often having to exploit his status as a tarento. These attempts are almost always met with failure. There have been least two instances where KAITO tried to do a "Meet-and-Greet" event on Vocalotown, but both were canceled due to various environmental hazards. He has been seen a few times visiting Chibi-Miku and the Kagamines (Rin at least) and had given Chibi-Teto an autograph. Though, in order not to disappoint her, he (successfully) acted cheerful in front of her to hide the stomach ache he gained earlier from eating too much ice cream (which remains his trademark schtick). During the events of The Original Chibi Miku-san, he is the exact same person sans the fame.
- MEIKO has two serious addictions: to alcohol and cute things, especially when it's cute young girls. When fixated, she will not let anything get in her way. When they were together, MEIKO made sure to deny KAITO from ever winning young Miku's favor, often with violence. KAITO was fully aware of this, once telling Miku bad news so MEIKO wouldn't have to, but he tried nonetheless. Her return to Vocalotown has seen her outfit changed from her original plain design during The Original Chibi Miku-san to her Project DIVA outfit with a monogrammed top. She also has a cosplay fetish, but not for herself; she instead dresses up other people and take pictures of them whether they like it or not (as Luka can attest).
- Debut: Chibi Miku-san #50
- Owner of a local candy store in Vocalotown, Yowane Haku is a friend to both of the Hatsune sisters and is allergic to almost anything fun. Aside from that, her personality is very identical to her original character (done by CAFFEIN), except for her alcohol abuse. Another departure from CAFFEIN's design is that Haku has gray eyes instead of red (which are only visible during extreme close-ups), but it is currently proven to be just a minor inconsistency. She does try to have some fun from time to time, once scaring Chibi-Miku with a pumpkin mask during Halloween. She also appears to enjoy video games, even though she gets way too involved with playing them.
- During The Original Chibi Miku-san, young Haku's demeanor seems introverted and slightly oblivious. She was Hatsune Miku's best friend and actually helped save Miku's relationship with Yokune Ruko.
- Though she appeared much earlier in the series in one of Rin's and Haku's dreams, Miku makes her formal appearance in comic #169. She is Chibi-Miku's calm and gentle older sister who never seems to get angry with her peers (as she can be seen in the process of reprimanding Rin with a smile on her face). She also has the quirk of being incredibly dense, as it took her a significant amount of time to recognize Chibi-Teto without her mask and shades. She has currently gone back on her world tour, leaving Chibi-Miku under the care of the Kagamine duo once again, but returns from time to time (sometimes in disguise) to buy and deliver gifts for her little sister. A running gag is that she would always bring fabulous gifts for Chibi-Miku, but useless novelties for anyone else, although Ruko (and sometimes Len) seems to be the only one that appreciates such novelties.
- In The Original Chibi Miku-san young Miku is shown much calmer than Chibi-Miku, but just as friendly and extroverted, befriending Yokune Ruko in spite of Ruko's inherent awkwardness.
- Debut: Chibi Miku-san #204
- Owner of a trinket shop in Vocalotown called Fancy Shop FL, FL-chan is a character who is portrayed as a dojikko, or an eternally clumsy girl, often falling flat on her face whenever she moves. Chibi-Miku warms up to her almost immediately, calling her out on her clumsiness from time to time (like adding a "DOES NOT FALL DOWN" criteria on the shop's "Helpers Wanted" poster). Recently, FL-chan can be seen using her clumsiness as a sort of luck-based skill, being able to avoid dangerous objects from hitting her by slightly tripping herself. See FL Studio for information.
- During the events of Neko Miku-san, it is revealed that FL-chan is also deathly afraid of cats. She can be seen (and then later, heard) running away and crashing into a pile of stuff at the sight of Neko-Miku. However, it is interesting to note that she does not pay Yowaneko any mind although it stays on the opposite street of her shop.
- Debut: Chibi Miku-san #209
- Introduced while looking at Fancy Shop FL's "Helpers Wanted" poster, Megurine Luka is portrayed as an aloof woman but, deep inside, has a soft spot for anything cute and borders on being a lolicon (often the characteristics of a "cool big sis" or even a Tsundere archetype). She immediately takes a liking to Chibi-Miku (perhaps even an obsession; whenever Chibi-Miku appears outside the glass windows of FL-Chan's fancy store, Luka is glued (metephorically) to the window) for her cute and quirky personality and is willing to do anything to protect her, even going as far as catching a snowball made by Rin with her bare hands, starting their bitter rivalry. She has recently been overprotective of Chibi-Miku, as she can be seen snarling at MEIKO, and then Ruko (with the former being able to manipulate Luka's quirk against her) when they get near Chibi-Miku. The only people she cannot chew off are FL-chan (her boss) and Hatsune Miku (Chibi-Miku's older sister).
- Ruko is a shy, melancholic little girl from Hatsune Miku's past. Unlike other characters, her eye colors are clearly visible as they are her signature trait (she has Heterochromia). When they were both young, Ruko became fond of Miku's singing, and started gravitating towards her and Haku. While Miku was initially a bit uneasy with Ruko's drowsy personality, she eventually warmed up to her and the three of them became friends. However, when Ruko had to move out of Vocalotown, Miku thought that it was because Ruko hated her, causing Ruko to think the converse. Luckily, Haku acted as a mediator and everything was sorted out in time for one last tearful meeting and good-bye. Now an adult, Ruko resides in a large mansion outside of town with Uta and Momo, as recently revealed. Her quirk is being able to get near other characters without them noticing.
- She returned to Vocalotown once more to reminisce the times she spent there as a child, only to have a chance encounter with Hatsune Miku's little sister. As Ruko tries to get near Chibi-Miku, she is "greeted" by some of the new resident misfits of the town, most notably Megurine Luka. In the end, she was able to tell Hatsune Miku where she is currently residing and how to get there.
- Debut: Chibi Miku-san #430
- A butler living in servitude in Ruko's house, which appears to be a huge mansion. She is depicted as a melancholic girl, similar to Ruko, but (in paradox) is gifted with superhuman dexterity, strength and the lack of a blind spot. She demonstrates this by grabbing a fly in mid-flight without even looking at it, as well as being able to fling Momo around in the air with one hand with ease.
- Like Luka, Uta also has a soft spot for cute things and doesn't quite know how to express it. She takes a liking to Chibi-Miku's dog, Hamo, but when he doesn't allow Uta to hold him, she just grabs him by force. Also like Luka, she has been a victim of MEIKO's cosplay fetish, but she doesn't mind at all and even tries to please MEIKO by punching KAITO into orbit.
- Debut: Chibi Miku-san #432
- Possibly another servant/maid within Ruko's mansion, Momo is a cute and bubbly girl who warmly welcomes Chibi-Miku and her older sister. Chibi-Miku almost immediately takes a liking to her, as they have the same cheerful disposition (and appear to be on the same wavelength, 'high-five'-ing each other on their first meeting). She is also highly invulnerable, being able to withstand Uta's incredible strength and jumping off a helicopter. Her relationship with Uta could be a shout-out to Hong Meiling and Izayoi Sakuya from the Touhou series.
- It is interesting to note that Momo seems to keep her eyes closed most of the time. The only times she doesn't is when when she was crying her eyes out, getting dragged by Uta away from Chibi-Miku.
- Debut: Chibi Miku-san #35
- A cute mascot based on the "largest rodents in the world," Capybara-san is one of Chibi-Miku's favorite things besides Negi. Combining it with Negi (thus forming "Negibara-san") can be considered as the Holy Grail for Chibi-Miku. Capybara-san is not only limited to its stuffed-toy form, as real Capybaras can be seen roaming around Vocalotown and are fairly docile creatures.
- Debut: Chibi Miku-san #83
- Translated from なんかよくわからないモノ ("Nanka Yoku Wakaranai Mono"), it is a creepy-looking cat-like mascot with purple skin, a horn on its forehead and a scar on its right cheek. Nobody seems to know what its real name is and the characters (Chibi-Miku and Rin in particular) try to avoid getting it. Later, they are shocked to find out that the thing gained a cult-following thanks to a "popular internet board."
- Debut: Chibi Miku-san #124
- A stray dog that Haku found one day, Hamo is only obedient to the more able characters of the series, and rarely listens to Chibi-Miku, though they appear to be mutual companions as they enjoy long walks together. Hamo has lightning-fast reflexes, and can easily out-maneuver Chibi-Miku (whenever she tries to stop him from rolling on piles of dried-up leaves). He can also sense whenever FL-chan is about to face-fault, calmly avoiding her in the process.
- Debut: Chibi Miku-san #343
- A strange, wide-eyed, fat white cat that Chibi-Miku found one day sitting on top of Haku's candy store's signboard. It doesn't let anyone touch it other than Rin, who gave it a ribbon similar to Haku's. It has a habit of creeping out the residents of Vocalotown, especially Haku. Yowaneko is another one of CAFFEIN's designs.
Tidbits of TriviaEdit
- While Yowane Haku runs a candy store, she can often be seen selling Negi-based food products, such as snacks and drinks. Chibi-Miku in particular loves the drink-variant (called "Negi Soda"), and has also gotten Rin addicted to it (as she can be seen drinking a can of Negi Soda with Miku's name on it). Also not limited to consumables, some of the strips show other Negi-based items, like an umbrella and a toy sword.
- In the world of Chibi Miku-san, Black★Rock Shooter is a famous anime show, which also happens to star Hatsune Miku as the titular character, something her little sister is very proud of. Unfortunately for Chibi-Miku, the show airs late night at 25:30 Japan time (which is equivalent to 1:30am the next day), and she has trouble staying awake for it.
- Interestingly enough, a real Black★Rock Shooter anime made a real-world release On February 2012 .
- Since the singing abilities of the Vocaloids cannot be fully expressed in the series (it is, after all, a 4koma with minimal dialogue and singing is often only expressed in musical notes), their skills are instead gauged with how well they can cook. The series has therefore derived a majority of its humor from the Vocaloids' ability to cook, often with disastrous results.
- Kagamine Len is the de facto chef of the series, though his skills are hardly praised. Momo is also a great pastry chef, so much so that Len senses her as a threat even from far away. Kagamine Rin and FL-chan are also formidable chefs, but their skills come with quirks/side-effects (Rin needs a bit of prodding from Len and FL-chan hurts herself while cooking). KAITO and MEIKO were also good chefs during their time in Vocalotown (though KAITO would be caught dead trying to sample MEIKO's cooking). On the other hand, Chibi-Teto is shown to be a horrible chef even under Hatsune Miku's tutelage (who, as Minami himself states, also fails cooking once in every 3 tries).
- Most of the characters in Chibi Miku-san never notice (or outright refuse to) any other character who has feelings for them. For example, Len seems to admire Hatsune Miku, but she seems to think it's just familiar platonic love between siblings. The same goes for Chibi-Neru's constant swooning over Len. As stated above, Chibi-Teto admires KAITO a lot and probably doesn't care about his status as the resident butt-monkey.
- On the other hand, Rin and MEIKO are both shown to be dangerously genre-savvy, being able to crush the souls of other characters just by hugging the ones they like. For example, when Rin discovers Chibi-Neru's crush (her weakness) on Len, it only took a hug from Rin to crush her hopes. FL-chan also does this (albeit unknowingly) to Chibi-Neru, by accidentally stumbling into Len's arms.
"What If" Chibi Miku-san...Edit
- A short series of hypothetical strips that answer certain questions like, "What if Chibi Miku-san had dialogue?" or "What if Hamo were an Alpaca?" The results can range from pure comedy to just plain weird.
The Original Chibi Miku-sanEdit
- The first major story arc of the series, The Original Chibi Miku-san chronicles a part of Hatsune Miku's childhood. During this time KAITO and MEIKO were Miku's caretakers and Chibi-Haku (Yowane Haku as a child) was her best friend. The Kagamines are also around as a pair of tiny troublemakers (Rin, in particular, is portayed in her child Meltdown form). The Original Chibi Miku-san also introduced Chibi-Ruko, a lonely girl who eventually befriends Miku.
- A silent video has recently been uploaded to NND that "animates" this story panel-by-panel. It was edited and released by kanata@kaguraP (こなた＠神楽P). link to PART 1 link to PART 2
Chibi Miku-san Bonus Beach ChapterEdit
- An extra chapter exclusive to the Chibi Miku-san compilation doujinshi sold on Comiket #75. The first couple of strips were uploaded as a sample while the rest remained in-print only. It details Chibi-Miku and the rest of the gang going to the beach (via Chibi-Miku's not-so subtle suggestions).
Chibi Miku-san Extra Chapter: Neko Miku-sanEdit
- A story arc that breaks the traditional 4koma layout in favor of a more manga-esque style (with no punchline in the last panel). It follows the misadventures of Chibi-Miku as she gets mysteriously transformed into a negi-colored kitten and her interactions with the other characters. Chibi-Miku learns a bit more about the current residents of Vocalotown through this experience (like FL-chan's fear of cats). In the end, however, it is revealed that Chibi-Miku was just having a dream.
- A silent video has recently been uploaded to NND that "animates" this story panel-by-panel. It was edited and released by kanata@kaguraP (こなた＠神楽P). link to video
Chibi Miku-san 396-400Edit
- While still a part of a major story arc where Ruko returns to Vocalotown, these particular strips are unique in that they are drawn in manga-style panels rather than the usual 4koma-style. Therefore, they are more dramatic than the others and have no punchlines in-between.
- These series of strips depict Yokune Ruko's departure from Vocalotown without even meeting up with her childhood friend, Hatsune Miku. As her train leaves, Ruko is surprised by Miku who is running along outside. Ruko is depressed that she wasn't able to stay longer to meet with her friend, but another surprise comes when Miku suddenly sends her a text message. It all ends in a bittersweet tune with Miku reminiscing her childhood while walking home together with Yowane Haku and Chibi-Miku.
Chibi Miku-san Bonus Chapter: Baby Miku-sanEdit
- Another chapter made exclusive for the 2nd Chibi Miku-san compilation doujinshi sold on Winter Comiket #77. As with the beach chapter, the first few strips were uploaded for previewing before leaving the rest in-print. The chapter begins with Chibi-Miku browsing through a photo album when she comes across a picture of herself when she was still an infant.
Chibi Miku-san Bonus Chapter: Snow Miku-sanEdit
- Yet another exclusive chapter released for the 3rd compilation doujinshi, which was sold on Winter Comiket #79. This chapter details the story of a mysterious white-colored girl who looks just like Chibi-Miku.
- Danbooru's Chibi Miku-san Pool
- Danbooru's Neko Miku-san Pool
- Minami's Pixiv Page (requires registration to view)
- Minami's Blog
- Minami's Twitter
- Comic Website
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