Episodes: 12 (English dubbed version)
Brothers Conflict Online: Wikipedia
Genre: Romance ??? + Reverse Harem (Dating Sim variation)
I’ve been doing a bit of bingewatching of anime in the weeks leading up to NaNoWriMo. Its been pretty neat so far, allowing me to discover some entertaining shows and revisit some series that I have watched in the past. Some shows have fallen short, but it is interesting to see how certain writers have thrown in to specific genres. I still have a few days to go before November 1st, and hope to have good news to post about the writing project in the weeks and months to come.
Anyway, I decided to check out a new-ish reverse harem series today and watched it all of the way through in one afternoon. I was unfamiliar with Brothers Conflict ahead of time, but I decided to give it a run based on a list and the loose premise. It turned out to be hilarious, though I suspect that this may not have necessarily been intended. But hey, I’ll take it! That series is Brothers Conflict.
Brothers Conflict is the story of Ema, a girl in her last year of high school whose father is getting married to a woman with 13 sons. Ema decides to move into a house with siblings that she has never met before because she has a deep desire to feel connected to her new family after being a lonely, only child for all of her life. This is also in spite of numerous concerns by Juli, a pet squirrel that only she can understand because of… reasons. As each of her siblings develop their own feelings towards her, rivalries form. Ema attempts to negotiate the odd situation without hurting feelings for the new family that she’s grown to care for.
To begin with, it is obvious from the get-go that this series is tied to a dating game. This results in some noticeable queues and archetypes being used. It also means that viewers don’t necessarily get the feeling of resolution that one would get in a standard harem or reverse harem anime or manga. That being said, I did like some of the characters. The problem is that most come off as PUAs (pick up artists), which makes it difficult to take some of the characters seriously. #pickupyourstepsisterdotcom I also found myself checking off traits based on the character archetype. This wasn’t necessarily as bad as it could have been, but was still formulaic.
As for the talking squirrel… I am a little confused as to what the hell was up with that little dude. (FTI, he is voiced by the same voice actor as Kirillin in the English dub of Dragonball and Dragonball Z) Though Juli did offer the occasional word of wisdom and frequent legitimate words of warning, Ema tended to brush off his concerns easily in spite of him being right a large portion of the time. This almost removed the point of him being in the series in the first place apart from mild amusement for the viewers as they knew that Ema would make things even more complicated by not heeding his advice. Juli is in my personal opinion, a long-suffering character that genuinely cares for his human companion. #squirrelsalwaysgivegoodadviceaboutnuts
Given that Ema only talks to another female once or twice throughout the entire show, one might wonder if the entire world revolves around the weird universe that is the occupants of Sunrise Residence Complex. I suppose that this is a dating sim throwback, but it sure was bizarre. Seriously, I think that I only heard one female student and Miwa Asahina get prominent rather than background lines during the entire twelve episodes.
You have likely noted the number of step-brothers. I would like to point out that some of them aren’t necessarily pursuing Ema. I would also point out that three are triplets and one is adopted. Yes, that still leaves ten known pregnancies for the fertile Miwa Asahina. That being said, that is one heck of a litter. Seriously, imagine the logistical nightmare that large families are. I am the youngest of five and even that was a pain for my parents. #notvleadstolotsofchildren
Another oddity was the massive house that the family lives in. It isn’t really clarified how the family got their mansion and various holiday homes, but the various occupations that the Asahina boys that work do have is not necessarily enough to cover what is effectively a multistory hotel and rental empire. Perhaps somebody sacrificed a virgin and sold their soul to Satan to get that… #satanismiscoolmmkay
Next we go to dialogue and scenarios… I found myself regularly pausing scenes to throw in my own piece of dialogue to completely change the feel of an entire scene. There were a few moments in the show though where I was actually pleasantly surprised. It added to the show, but I wish that the folks involved in the adapting it for anime had gone a bit further. Some opportunities were lost, though I suppose thist might be due to restrictions of being connected to a computer game. #iheartbishies
Art-wise this show is quite gorgeous. It is a modernized version of some of the anime and manga from the late 80’s and the early 90’s. Nice line-work and colouring, but is still formulaic as far as character archetypes is concerned. It is not enough to hurt the show but doesn’t add anything new to the genre.
In conclusion, this anime is not for everyone. Going into it, you should be aware that it is based on a dating sim, which changes the style of the storytelling and characterization substantially. Secondly, squirrels are the new monkeys. Thirdly, the world revolves around the main character who cannot seem to keep dudes from falling for her. Fourth, Ducks cause people to fall in ponds. Fifth, step-brothers like to kiss their step-sisters, resulting in sparkles. Sixth, the heroine likes to cook, causing dudes to fall even further for her. Eighth, step-brothers will occasionally pretend they are gay for each other to dick with their stepsister. Ninth, stepbrothers will occasionally consider raping their stepsister in her sleep. Tenth, stepbrothers sometimes like to hit on their stepsister and back her into a wall to dick with her. Eleventh, more sparkles. Twelfth, loving fathers never talk to their daughters. Thirteenth, loving mothers don’t talk to their sons either. Fourteenth, seriously what is with these freaking sparkles. So, if you can deal with all of the sparkles and oddities that I mentioned in this review then you might like this anime.