Sister + Otaku = Hell on Earth
Sorry, world. Sisters aren’t cute. Not in the least. Anyone that tells you otherwise is lying, delusional, or a delusional liar.
Ore Imoto etc etc etc. Lots of buzz for this damn series. Peeps thought it’d be a creepy sister fetish anime. Turns out it skirts around most of those bits. Figured I’d be willing to bite once I heard that.
Let’s talk about this sister thing. I’m still not sure if I buy into the way the series portrays the brother and sister’s relationship. The first episode was kinda interesting, since we went from the frustration and anger that often flies between siblings to the hesitant confession the sister gives once the brother finds out she’s a closet (literally) otaku. I was buying into their relationship. I wouldn’t call it “realistic” or anything, but it was a better portrayal than you’ll see in most anime series.
Then I saw the second episode. Gone was the awkwardness and frustration of the first episode, and in its place was little more than a bitchy tsundere type who wanted to do little more than boss around and yell at her brother. Yeah, sisters do that to you sometimes, but it was persistent in this episode. She bitches at him to play some crappy dating sim game. She bitches at him to help her find friends online. She bitches at him to come with her to an offline meeting. She bitches at him when it comes to how to deal with said meeting. Bitch bitch bitch. There was none of the back and forth of the previous episode. Rather, we got a monotonous act that played more like your typical female anime character.
It was that fluctuation between emotions, often in the span of a few seconds, that made the first episode a hell of a lot better than it should have been. And it was the lack of said back and forth that made what could have been a pretty good episode far worse than it should have been.
Once the sister arrived at her offline meeting, things finally picked up. It was cool to see otaku act just as standoffish and prejudiced as other people. They saw the chick as an “outsider” that belonged to some other, inferior clique and they wanted nothing to do with her. “What? She wears fashionable clothing? Who does she thing she is?” That’s what they were thinking. Goes to show that otaku and other fanboy/girl types are just as stuck up as other people.
And the whole bit where she has her showdown with the goth chick was pretty damn cool. They both like what I would likely think is shitty anime (Although I’d definitely lean more towards goth chick’s tastes if I had to choose.), but it was highly amusing to see them duke it out while trying to “prove” that their utterly subjective bias was somehow objectively “right.” It’s the sort of laughing with and at scenario that made Genshiken so enjoyable, where the writers are able to show their enthusiasm for their hobby while being able to mock it at the same time. That love/hate depiction of one’s chosen passion is the height of true fandom.
It’s a shame that the series reverts right back to the brother and sister hijinks once all of that is over. Sister loathes being associated with her brother, blahblahblah. No hesitant “thank you” or snide joke or anything else– she just goes right back to exemplifying the stereotypical bitch anime character that so many otaku fawn over.
That’s what’s irking me about this series. When she’s away from her brother, the sister’s able to “breathe.” She can be her own character and do her own thing, but when he’s around everything goes back to the brother/sister complex. As much as the series wants to avoid the whole sister fetish thing (I genuinely think whoever is writing this is trying to not play that up.), the way the sister is portrayed around her brother reeks of wish fulfilment. The series is trying too hard to avoid it by making her standoffish towards her brother that it’s all coming back around full circle and becoming some ideal tsundere relationship.
Ideal solution: The brother dies in a freak accident, thus freeing the sister from such narrative traps and allowing her to spread her otaku wings.
Sorry, dude. You need to die to make this anime better. Do it for the betterment of all mankind.
Yeah, there’s stuff I like about this series, but there’s way too much about it that’s grating on me. If I’m feeling that way only two episodes in, that’s not a good sign.
Also: Yeah, I have a sister. Younger one, to boot. Like any other dude that actually has a sister, I don’t get this sister fetish shit. I always chalked it up to “I want to be with a girl, but I don’t want the annoyance of having to meet her and talk to her to get to know her, so it’d be best if I’d known her all my life and got all that stuff out of the way before we both went through puberty so I can get right to the fucking.” It’s like the whole “childhood friend” thing, except for people who can’t even handle different sex friendships in kindergarten. It’s, like, a fetish for lazy dudes or something. Baffling.