The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Onii-chan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!

Title: Onii-chan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne! aka OniiKoto aka I Don’t Like You At All, Big Brother!
Genre: Romance/Comedy
Company: ZEXCS
Format: 12 episodes
Dates: 9 Jan 2011 – 27 Mar 2011

Synopsis: Takanashi Nao is a middle school student with a brother complex. She vies for her brother Shuusuke’s attention despite believing that they are related by blood. However, when she discovers that she was adopted, she attempts to begin a normal relationship with him while competing with his childhood friend and other potential love interests.

The Highlights
Character designs: Unusual, for better or worse.
Soundtrack: Surprisingly pleasant.

Oniichan no Koto doesn’t make the best first impression. It’s another entry in a long line of siscon-themed moe manga adaptations and its story and characters do nothing to innovate. On the upside, the show is honest with itself from the get-go. Takanashi Nao is different from other little sister characters in anime. She isn’t shy or reserved about her feelings — rather, she’s more bold than the most confident of male protagonists. This is why it could be said that the show actually makes the perfect first impression: just like the manga, the series is upfront with what it is, and this self-reflexive honesty allows the antics to shine through. Nao and her rival Iroha begin their battle early on and no time is wasted on forced drama to set the stage. The premise is established and the sparks start flying.

While frankness is nothing new in this stale genre, it has a profound effect on the way the story is perceived. The show shifts its focus away from Shuusuke (to the point that he hardly operates as a self-insert) and takes us instead to the hilarity of Nao’s obsession. A joke in the first episode sums her up neatly: she’s the kind of character who would go through her brother’s hidden porn stash not to chastise him, but to throw out the ones that aren’t incest-related.

This is effectively what the show is about. Exaggerated personality archetypes dominate the humour and I reluctantly admit that it works. Even Shuusuke becomes more of a character later on rather than an empty slate of a self-insert, characterized mostly by his perverseness. He may be dense but he at least has a libido. Like Kyon from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya(1,2) silently commenting on Mikuru’s latest outfit, Shuusuke is actively aware of the sexual frustrations that permeate his daily life. We see Nao deliberately offer him a suggestive pose and hear his hormone-fueled reaction; he eventually winds up buying yaoi for a friend and agrees to become her pet because of the S&M implications. There’s no façade of brother-sister romance meekly hiding the rampant fantasy-fulfilling plot developments. In fact, the plot reaches such a level of absurdity that fantasy fulfillment is hardly an issue. The show is fun, simply stated. It takes its unoriginal premise as far as it can go, morphing dull rom-com relationships into amusingly ridiculous, mostly-entertaining fetish-fueled mischief.

Regrettably, Oniichan no Koto is bad at just about everything that matters. The story is ultimately pointless and the characters aren’t good for much more than momentary amusement. Let’s face it: siscon-themed bishoujo series’ are a dime a dozen and the only way to tell one from the other is the art. (Which, for the record, is unusual in Oniikoto — the designs are odd in the manga but they’re downright unappealing at times in the anime). The only real upside is that it isn’t shackled down by a pretense of seriousness, and it knows how to have fun with tired tropes. Still, the show is as forgettable as its brethren and it ultimately doesn’t deserve much praise, but it’s unique in that its attempt at being a momentary source of entertainment is genuinely entertaining.

The Rating: 4

Reviewed by: Eternal

Top of page