Sumire 16 sai!!

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Sumire 16 years old!!
Cover of Volume 1
(Sumire 16 sai!!)
Written by Takeru Nagayoshi
Published by Kodansha
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Magazine Special
Original run December 20062008
Volumes 5
Sumire 17-sai!!
Written by Takeru Nagayoshi
Published by Kodansha
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Magazine Special
Original run 20052006
Volumes 2
Television drama
Original network BS Fuji
Original run April 13, 2008June 30, 2008
Episodes 12
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

Sumire 16 sai!! (スミレ16歳!!?) is a Japanese manga written by Takeru Nagayoshi. It was serialized in Magazine Special, published by Kodansha. A live action adaptation was also aired as a drama series starting April 13, 2008 starring Nako Mizusawa and Takuma Otoo.[1]


The series chronicles the days of Sumire, a lively 16-year-old girl. However, Sumire is not a common girl: she is a life-sized ventriloquist's dummy, controlled by an old man in black clothes. Sumire's character acts unaware of her puppet nature, or of the old man controlling her movements, although the rest of the cast are very aware that she is a puppet, but they become more or less accustomed to her weird nature.


Sumire Yotsuya (四谷スミレ?, Yotsuya Sumire)

A full-sized puppet, resembling a mannequin, designed to look like a 16-year-old girl, with enough points of articulation to assume almost any pose. The puppet has a hole in her back where the puppeteer places his hand to control facial features. Beyond being a puppet, the character that is played through Sumire is that of a supposedly normal schoolgirl. Her character refuses to acknowledge the puppeteer, even when directly asked. She has trouble making friends due to her situation, but her strong will wins over many people. She was originally a smaller puppet that also attended grade school years beforehand. After years pass and she finally attends the next year of education, she seemingly forgets classmates from years ago. The Old Man reacts instead by crying in happiness upon encountering old classmates years later. At times, her appearance becomes softer and fewer indications that she is a puppet are visible. In the manga, this is evidenced by fewer joints being drawn; while in the TV drama, her mannequin form is replaced with her actress.

Old Man (おやじ?, Oyaji)

Sumire's puppeteer. An unnamed middle-aged man wearing black clothes, similar to those worn by puppeteers who perform against black screens to remain hidden from the audience. The puppeteer is often attacked by those unfamiliar with Sumire, however the effects of these attacks are ignored by Sumire's character, who dismisses them as close calls. Everyone acknowledges the existence of the old man except for Sumire and, seemingly, the school principal. Teachers at the school have learned to ignore him or risk being fired by the principal for badmouthing a student. In the manga, the old man does not speak for himself, exclusively using ventriloquism to make Sumire speak. The TV drama shows the old man speaking in unison with Sumire on occasion.

Drama cast[edit]


  1. ^ "「スミレ-」BSフジで実写化…水沢奈子が腹話術人形に扮する" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2008-03-10. Retrieved 2008-03-09. 

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