Mai Minakami



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Japanese Name: 水上麻衣
Romanized Name: Minakami Mai
English Name: Mai Minakami
First Appearance: "Nichijou Episode 0"
Affiliated: Yuuko Aioi (friend)
Mio Naganohara (friend)
Nano Shinonome (friend)
Japanese VA: Misuzu Togashi
English VA: Brittany Lauda

Mai Minakami is a rather quiet girl who is also very intelligent. She is seen to be multi-talented, excelling at using projectiles, fishing, wood carving, arm wrestling, modeling and even pranking.


Mai has expressionless, black eyes, and ashy, black hair. She wears glasses.


Middle School Mai

Mai when she was in middle school

Mai is expressionless at almost all times, with rare appearances of smile, anger or regret on her face. Her deadpan humor leads other people to wonder what is going on in her head. Mai behaves randomly at times, which confuses her friends. She likes Maitreya statues and, sometimes seen carving them.

Her biggest personality trait is her love for playing pranks on people (Mostly Yuuko, but many other people as well) just to annoy them. Examples of these include deliberately putting her glasses on top of a card tower that Yuuko and Mio made, staring at her friends for a very long time during a game of "Red light, green light", and even tricking Yuuko into thinking she loves her more than a friend, just to embarrass her and see her reaction. She will even play pranks on her dogs (For example by shooting a frisbee she threw at them just before they catch it) and will go as far as to play pranks on herself when she is bored and no one is around.

Mai house

Mai's home

Mai uses a wide variety of jokes, which can vary from puns or practical jokes to the usage of rather complex props or borderline bullying. Despite that, she seems to care about her friends, as shown when she smiled after a heated argument between Yuuko and Mio ended with a handshake and a hug. On the other hand, Mai has a habit of often ignoring her friends or leaving them altogether to do other things. She will also never play pranks on children intentionally, including Hakase.

Further revelations in later manga chapters

In the anime adaptation of Chapter 110, the book that Mai uses to cover the book which she actually reads is titled "Id Ego - Super Ego". Both "id ego" and "super ego" are concepts that are related to human psychology. This could suggest that Mai is interested in human psychology as well, which could be one of the main reasons as to why she can trick people so easily.

In Chapter 130, Mai seems to behave in a manner that is unusual of her. She, together with Yuuko and Hakase, hugs Snaq the snack mascot (much to Mio's surprise) and has a genuinely surprised expression, alongside Hakase, in two of the panels where her mouth is wide open. The reasons for this could be that she wanted to redeem herself to Hakase even more after the incident with the dogs, or simply because she wanted to have fun without making a prank.

Chapter 134 reveals several pieces of information about Mai's past:

  • She writes and performs music.
  • She had lived in Alaska prior to moving to Japan. She had moved to Japan due to her father's work. However, Chapter 134 isn't the first time Mai's father is mentioned. He is also mentioned at the beginning of volume 5 (just before Chapter 73), in which his "beloved" Oguri Cap plushie was eaten by Mai's larger dog, who was thus named "Oguri Cap".
  • As shown in 'Steam' 4-koma, behind the deadpan exterior hides a shy-sensitive girl. Practicing saying Yuuko's nickname took a lot from her. The passage of time on her alarm clock shows that she needed time to prepare herself; and once she said Yuuko's name aloud, she felt so embarrassed that she hid her head under her pillow.


Yuuko Aioi

Mai antagonizes Yuuko whenever Yuuko tries out jokes on Mai by coming up with an unexpected reaction to Yuuko's jokes, or by countering Yuuko's joke with better jokes or sarcastic jokes. However, in spite of this, she is good friends with her, and Yuuko considers Mai one of her best friends. It is shown in the manga (Chapter 134) that Mai has known Yuuko since Middle School. Interestingly, during the relationship of the two, it is also seen from the manga that Mai is the first to wear a surprised expression (as opposed to the more emotional Yuuko) when Yuuko asks her an awkward question(as to where in Japan Alaska is). Mai was initially accepted into a highly ranked school, called Tokisadame Academy, but decided to go with Yuuko to Tokisadame High School. On one occasion, Mai confesses her love to Yuuko, but this seems to be another prank on Yuuko. Some fans call the validity of the joke in to question, but they are close friends nonetheless.

Mio Naganohara

Mai and Mio become classmates in Tokisadame High School. Mai does not seem to antagonize Mio as frequently as she antagonizes Yuuko. However, there are two moments in particular that oppose this statement. The first one is when Mai plays the "red light, green light" game with Mio and Yuuko, and the second one is when Mai "helps" Mio draw her manga. Mai's jokes with the manga especially cause Mio to get angry when Mai tells her that her drawings aren't very interesting. In spite of this, Mio still respects Mai and is very impressed by her talents and her status as an honor student. For example, Mio happily tells Mai that her chopstick stand is "amazing as expected" when Mai makes a better chopstick stand than hers. Furthermore, Mio seems to be quite disappointed when Mai tells her that she has not done her self-portrait sculpture homework either, as Mio responds by saying "it's going to be a catastrophe". As shown in the manga (Chapter 130), Mio also gets surprised when she sees Mai hugging the Snaq, which she finds very out of the ordinary for her.

Yoshino Naganohara

Mai's only encounter with Yoshino (so far) is in Chapter 143, in which they attempt to outprank each other. Yoshino considers Mai "funny" and enjoys their exchange of pranks, while Mai doesn't let on her emotions. They come out with no decided winner, both outwitting the other, although Yoshino promises to see Mai later.


Mai seems to have soft spot for Hakase - she does not smile often, but when she does, she is usually with Hakase. They first met when Mai was walking her dogs, which cornered Hakase and scared her. Mai seemed concerned about this, so she paid Hakase a visit and drew pictures with her. Mai's drawings awed Hakase, changing her image and strengthening their relationship.

Nano Shinonome

Mai knows Nano is a robot, but she doesn't tell anyone to keep her secret safe. At one point, she delivered one of Nano's screws to her house.


  • Mai originally appeared as a nameless character with her dogs in the manga Helvetica Standard.
  • Mai has two dogs. Pyon, a small white dog, and Oguri, a brown and white dog. She also owns a cat named Chitchi (チッチ).
  • When playing the Stair Climbing Game with Mio and Yuuko in episode 2, she (incorrectly) recites the Incantation of Resurrection (i.e. password) from the video game Dragon Quest - "chi yo ta ni ke ra ha to ho ra su te no ha te ki ra to na ri ha shi te to".
  • She somehow understands Yuuko's selamat pagi greeting, which means good morning in both Indonesian and Malay, although she (purposely?) responded incorrectly with selamat malam, which means good night.

Character songs

Image Gallery

See: Mai's Image Gallery

Nichijou characters
Trio Sucharaka Mio Naganohara · Yuuko Aioi · Mai Minakami
Shinonome Laboratory Hakase (Shinonome) · Nano Shinonome · Sakamoto · Biscuit 2
Faculty Principal Shinonome · Kousuke Oura · Izumi Sakurai · Manabu Takasaki · Kana Nakamura · Tomioka · Akagi
Class 1-O Yuria Sekiguchi · Makoto Sakurai
Class 1-Q Midori Ōmama · Yoshioka · Ogo · Katashina · Nano Shinonome · Akahori · Ōta · Chiyoda · Tsuyoshi Nakanojou · Rokugo · Shimooshima · Teruhiko Katashina · Haruna Annaka · Agatsuma · Tanaka · Fujimi-mura · Shimonita · Amaraku · Fujimi · Komagata · Shirasawa · Tsumagoi · Meiwa B · Mio Naganohara · Meiwa A · Ōizumi · Tsukiyono · Kurohone · Yuuko Aioi · Mai Minakami
Class 2-A Ogi
Class 2-P Kenzaburou Daiku · Koujirou Sasahara · Misato Tachibana · Weboshii · Fe-chan
Fey Kingdom King Albert · Princess Starla · Dolph · Fey Kingdom Soldiers
Others (females) Yoshino Naganohara · Tamamura · Mihoshi Tachibana · Sumika · Tanabo · Kimiko · Yuuko's Mother · Mother Naganohara · Double Cheeseburgirl · Itako
Others (males) Hajime Sakurai · Mi-chan · Nakanojou's Father · Assistant Instructor · Gentleman · Kiyoshi · Policeman · Hirose · Egi Masaharu · Osamu · Ma-chan
Others (animals) Buddy · Karasu · Oguri Cap . Pyon · Kojirou · The deer
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