Haruma Kawagoe is an only child. A long time ago, at Christmastime, his mother miscarried the child that was to have been his baby sister. That night, young Haruma knelt down and offered up an earnest prayer: "Please make my mother well again, and please give me a little sister." Years have passed, and Haruma has nearly forgotten his prayer. But Santa hasn't.... one Christmas, when Haruma is least expecting it, he gets an unusual present - his sister. (Source:ANN)
I've read a fair number of manga with some rather odd set-ups but I rarely come across one as jarring as Chokotto Sister, which requires the reader to suspend all sense of disbelief just to get into it. But once you've passed that initial barrier you’ll discover that Chokotto Sister is just a light-hearted Slice of Life, with a fair amount of Romance and really not much else.
Haruma Kawagoe is a university student living independently, then one day out of the blue; his decade old wish is granted in the most unusual of fashions. Now he has a cute little sister, haply named Choko that
he must care for, whilst dealing with the various other affairs in his life. This sort of premise, of a young male forced into a sibling/parental role they aren’t prepared for, is nothing new however the way it was established was rather odd, to say the least. But beyond that this was a very ordinary slice of life and that’s one of its failings. Things that occurred just felt too ordinary; from doing a bit of shopping, to gradually making friends; it’s the things we are all used to doing in our day-to-day lives. I must admit that certain moments were rather entertaining or compelling to read, however it was really only the potential for romance that spurred me on, when the slice of life occasionally got tiresome.
Well at least the characters involved in this slice of life were of course ordinary, yet interesting enough for readers to give a damn about them; something that is particularly vital for this kind of premise. The mangaka did a fine job in developing Haruma & Choko separately; effectively dividing entire chapters between them, in order to flesh out their story’s however it fell short again, when it came to deepening their relationship. The problem is that their relationship with one another felt forced and it lacked any real drama and much in the realm of progression that may come in the relationship between siblings. It was really only Haruma’s & Choko’s relationships with others that steadily progressed, which is what helped make up for their lack of progression with one another.
Being a slice of life, the art worked well in capturing the light-hearted tone the story was trying to achieve. The artwork appears to looks simple, yet there quite a far amount if detail added to where it’s needed... especially during the close ups. Now it’s not really that much of a negative but it would have been nice if the character designs had more variety. It is an issue a lot of manga have when try to go for simple, ordinary looking characters, because without colours it can be difficult to tell them apart.
So Chokotto Sister was a decent slice of life, without much in the realm of drama, outside of the romance, so it was mostly a mellow experience. I just wish it as better, because I felt it had quite a few failings here and there. The chapters were somewhat disjointed and going from chapter to chapter just felt like going from one moment to another moment, with no real continuation. There was quite a lot of unnecessary ecchi scenes, for what didn't feel like an ecchi manga. The romance did a good job in keeping me interested but it severely weakened one of the characters, due to its implementation and in the end I just wish it and many other aspects of Chokotto Sister were handled differently. Even with all that said, it was still a decent slice of life nonetheless.
This was quite a cute and entertaining story. The only thing, which I didn't quite understand and could have been approached differently, was the whole santa thing. Nonetheless, I guess it wasn't such a bad idea and actually a bit original in order to make sense the whole getting a little sister out of nowhere.
The characters where really enjoyable, from which Choko's and Chitose's being my favorites. I really enjoyed the interactions between Choko and her oniichan, and I couldn't stop laughting at Choko's innocence, and Chitose's daydreams. It was quite interesting to see how Haruma, Choko's Oniichan, matured during the series, becoming
a good big brother. I also enjoyed reading how his love life progressed during the series, how he had a big crush, got heartbroken, and finally realize who he loves dearly besides his little sister.
Overall, a really nice slice of life manga, with plenty of fan service.