Some day in the distant future, some type of intelligent alien life form will buzz past our planet in their highly advanced space ships and may decide to use their enormous, pulsating, telepathic brains to perform a quick scan of its inhabitants and cultures. They will no doubt be pleased to learn that our video games are just the greatest, and that we have devices that fill bananas with liquid chocolate. They will be saddened by our constant war and conflict and the Star Wars prequels.

Then, they will scan over Japan, with its bizarrely muscled figurines and its increasingly outrageous manga – such as this one that features a character who is a living cigarette modeled after a beautiful young woman – and go, “lolwut?” and speed off into the stars, yelling “NEEEEERRRDS” out the window of their space cruiser.

The free web comic in question is called Ciga-holic and revolves around the main character, Mamoru (a common Japanese name but one that is used especially frequently in manga due to its double meaning, “to protect”), and his weird living cigarette that he’s apparently purchased from a company specializing in, well, weird living cigarettes.

Mamoru is, according to a brief plot synopsis, bad with women and has never been intimate with one.


Luckily for him, his living cigarette looks just like a cute girl and, what do you know, you “smoke” the cigarette by kissing it *Cue millions of otaku smokers taking a drag off their cigarette and nodding approvingly*.

It’s worth mentioning that Japan has a different relationship to tobacco than much of the west. Apparently, according to figures as recent as 2014, over a third of men and a tenth of women in Japan smoke, making it one of the world’s largest tobacco markets (that smoking ban we hoped for might be trickier than we thought!). Unsurprisingly, attitudes are changing and laws have been introduced to restrict the public spaces that smokers are allowed to light up in, but “no smoking” restaurants, bars and other consumer spaces are few and far between, even as the west enacts massive, blanket restrictions.


There’s also a persistent stereotype that otaku men tend to be socially awkward, overweight, and – of course – smokers, so it’s quite possible that Ciga-holic is at least in part an attempt at providing these alienated individuals with a kind of wish fulfillment fan service.

Still, we have so, so many questions about this series. Like, for example, “Uh…what?”

Source: N Lab
Images: Zenyon