How old are Maomao and Jinshi in The Apothecary Diaries? Is there an age gap?

One of the best anime/manga/light novel relationships is the one between The Apothecary Diaries‘ Maomao and Jinshi — the apothecary turned court lady and the eunuch who may not exactly be what he seems.


And, while it is a romantic relationship in Jinshi’s head alone soon after the story first begins, the pair do have a strong working relationship.

After all, as much as Maomao often denies it to herself, Jinshi is still one of the first people she goes to if she ever needs help.

One of the questions fans of The Apothecary Diaries often ask then is how old are Maomao and Jinshi, and is there an age gap between them?

As with many things in The Apothecary Diaries, the answer is a little more complicated than you may expect.


How old are Maomao and Jinshi, and is there an age gap between them?

While Jinshi, the beautiful eunuch and the man in charge of the inner palace, is known by the people living there to be 23-years-old, in reality he is not.

As is mentioned in both The Apothecary Diaries light novel series and the manga spin-off, Jinshi’s real personae (which we won’t spoil here for those who have not yet read the light novel series or manga) is actually only 18-years-old when the story begins.

That means he was just 14-years-old when he began his job as the inner palace administrator, as he had been doing it for four years when the story starts, and five years now in the latest episodes.

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As for Maomao, she is 17-years-old when the anime/light novel series/manga begin, and she is kidnapped and sold to the palace.

In other words, there is only a one-year age gap between the two of them although, in Maomao’s eyes, the gap is six years as she believes the man she knows as Jinshi to be 23-years-old.

By the time Volume 2 of The Apothecary Diaries light novel series begins, the man known as Jinshi has turned 24-years old, but the man masquerading as Jinshi is now 19-years-old.

No wonder he often seems so immature, eh?

Meanwhile Maomao’s birthday on March 14th now means she has turned 18.

More about Maomao and Jinshi in The Apothecary Diaries books

You can learn more details about both Maomao and Jinshi, details that do not appear in the anime, and there are many of them, in both the light novel series and the manga.

Square Enix is publishing the manga series, with 10 Volumes currently out and Volume 11 due out in March.

They will also begin publishing The Apothecary Diaries light novel series in May, although you can read all 11 volumes now via J-Novel Club.

And, of course, you can watch the hit anime series on Crunchyroll.