Mamimi Samejima (サメジマ・マミ美?, Samejima Mamimi) is a high school truant and Tasuku's ex-girlfriend. She is a lonely and depressed chain-smoker, and a pyromaniac. She adopts several pets and names them all "Ta-kun" (タッくん, Takkun) as a replacement for Naota's brother, including Naota himself, but later grows uninterested when Naota exhibits independence. Her name is written in Katakana in the manga panel scene, which suggests she is not entirely Japanese.
Mamimi is Tasuku's ex-girlfriend, though she has seemingly begun some sort of relationship with Naota since his brother left Japan. A truant, smoking, pyromaniacal 17-year-old high school student, she spends most of her time loitering under Mabase's largest bridge. She is often seen with a camera, photography being her principal hobby and greatest talent, and near-constantly smokes cigarettes with the words "Never Knows Best" written on them. In episode 3, it is hinted that her parents are separated or gone, suggesting that she is either homeless or leaves her home to get away from something. She gets bullied by her peers and doesn't appear to have any friends. At the end of episode 6, it is suggested that she left town to become a photographer through the picture she took of Naota at the end of the climax, briefly being shown in a newspaper.
Mamimi is a pyromaniac and loner who has the peculiar tendency to name people and things "Ta-kun" (sometimes spelled "Takkun"), after her personal nickname for Naota's brother and Naota himself. It is possible she does this because she is trying to replace the relationship and feelings she had with her ex-boyfriend, Tasuku. She holds an almost-quixotically weak grip on the difference between fantasy and reality. For example, she believes Canti to be the manifestation of Cantido, the Fire Starter video game god to whom she burns things as sacrifices. She also emanates an aura of benign vapidness that causes much of the cast to look upon her with disdain. Her speech suggests stupidity and her actions naïveté, such as when she believes (and continues to believe) that "Canti-sama" is a god based on the simple fact that he has wings. Mamimi can be seen as lacking control over her life or willpower, hence the near-constant smoking and child-like reliance on others, whether it's Naota or his brother, Tasuku. In fact, Mamimi can be exceedingly destructive - although only when nobody is watching. She is hinted at being the cause of many fires started under mysterious circumstances that become part of Mabase's rumor mill. Naota confirms this by connecting her love of Fire Starter and Cantido, sacrifices, and smoking to the burning down of her old school years ago. That was also the incident that started her obsession with Tasuku, who she recalls saving her in a very romanticized fashion.
AppearanceEditMamimi has medium-length, reddish-brown hair, brown eyes and full, pouty lips. She seems to be always wearing her school uniform, but often loses her shoes when she gets bullied and is forced to go around barefoot. She carries around a light blue bag with a white cross on it.
Mamimi's cameras are a white Olympus XA2 and an Olympus OM-2, the two she keeps (or doesn't lose) throughout the whole series. The Olympus XA2 was a 35 mm film scale-focus camera.The XA2 was renowned as one of the smallest rangefinder cameras ever made sporting a 35mm f3.5 built-in lens with automatic shutter features. Her Olympus OM-2 single lens reflex has an expanded set of exposure controls over the XA2 while still featuring an automatic shutter mode and one of - if not the best - exposure meters of that era. The OM-2 is speculated to be outfitted with G.Zuiko 50mm f1.8 lens.
Her second favorite possession would seem to be the handheld game console she uses to play the Firestarter video game. However, she is only shown using it in the second episode and it is not seen again until it falls out of her pocket at a convenient time, confirming that she set her old school on fire to Naota. Presumably, she let Naota keep it instead of taking it back because she "didn't need it anymore".
A more precious object is her cell phone, which has Tasuku's phone number in it. She uses it to call Naota sometimes, but what she really wants is for Tasuku to call her. This is shown during episode 6 when she at first stops the Terminal Core from eating the phone, but seems to realize then that Tasuku will never call her and lets the robot eat it.
To Mamimi, Naota is little more than a plaything for her sexual frustrations. Usually, he finds her to be immature and can be quite harsh to her. Despite this, he develops a crush on her, but is confused about how to deal with it. When he finally realizes that Mamimi will never return his feelings, their relationship comes to a messy end. It is revealed that Mamimi, unable to return Naota's feelings despite having a genuine affection for him, leaves Mabase to become a professional photographer but they remain friends.
Mamimi and Haruko do not have much in the ways of interaction, but as Naota's personality changes because of Haruko, Mamimi finds herself liking him less and rejecting him more. While Mamimi never shows any hint of jealousy or anger towards Haruko directly, she cuts off all ties with Naota and leaves Mabase completely in the final episode, even though Haruko is gone.
Mamimi is convinced that Canti is an angel. She calls him "Canti-sama" after "The Lord of Black Flames" in a video game she plays, leading to the rest of the cast calling him by this title throughout the rest of the series.
Mamimi first met Tasuku when he saved her during the burning of their school, an event later revealed to be caused by Mamimi herself. The eldest Nandaba brother has clearly had the largest impact on Mamimi from the start of FLCL. From nicknaming everything "Ta-kun" to her closeness to Naota, Tasuku's leaving is the center of her world. She spends a majority of the series trying to replace him through intimacy with Naota, sacrifices and finding and naming pets. She believes herself to be his girlfriend, or at the very least his ex-girlfriend by circumstance, and is unaware of a photo sent to Naota that shows he has a girlfriend in America until he, presumably, tells her. She gives up on him in episode 6, demonstrated by the destroying of her cellphone with his number on screen and her departure from Mabase.
- Mamimi’s English voice actor, Stephanie Sheh, is famous for her dubbing career, most notably for being the English voice actor of Hinata Hyūga in the Naruto series.
- The band Copneconic released an EP in 2015 titled "Never Knows Best", which got its title from Mamimi's cigarettes and uses her likeness in its art.
- She cameos in the FLCL Progressive ending cinematic.