Imouto sae Ireba Ii. – 01 (First Impressions)

Our protagonist wakes up with his little sister Alice, naked as a jaybird, sitting on top of him. After giving him a sloppy kiss with tongue, he washes his face in her bathwater, wipes it dry with her bra, then sits down to breakfast with her (still naked) and some random other girl. He drinks Alice’s milk(?), eats an omelette with Alice’s eggs(?!?) and she wipes his mouth with her underwear, which he then eats (?!?!?!?1?!!!2)…

But wait! This isn’t the show, thank God. It’s just novelist Hashima Itsuki’s demented idea for a follow-up to his last piece, which had precious little to do with little sisters. It’s a story that’s rudely but mercifully interrupted by a hearty “WTF” from his editor, who summarily rejects the disgusting tale.

First of all, great fake-out, show. You had me going there. I was ready to switch off the TV and go hide in a deep dark hole to get away from that trash. It pushed all the buttons of what a “little sister rom-com” would be in these trying times, then kicked it all up to 11.

The actual show is much more tolerable, even if it suffers from some of the same problems as Itsuki’s treatment, only far more low-key. Itsuki is an unrepentant siscon…but doesn’t actually have a little sister. He does have a very cute, responsible, hard-working, androgynous younger stepbrother in Chihiro, as well as a kohai in the silver-haired novelist Kani Nayuta. His fellow novelist Haruto and friend Miyako round out the group who converge on his apartment for a nice dinner party.

Everyone sits around while Chihiro does all the cooking like some kind of traditional housewife. Rather than help out, the others spend most of the episode having a lot more fun playing a “lateral thinking puzzle” than I had watching it. A bunch of diagrams and graphics are used, but the whole thing seems like a stall, which in a first episode that already scared the shit out of me in its cold open, is…not great.

The game is an opportunity to demonstrate what a dirty mind the silver-haired Kani Nayuta has, as she’s constantly throwing lewd comments Itsuki’s way; a clear indication she likes him, but getting little in the way of a response from the little-sister-obsessed Itsuki.

The two end up alone together, but nothing comes of it, and she retires to the hotel room where she’s supposed to be holed up working. As Itsuki checks out a particular book on his shelf (one written by Nayuta), he recalls when he and Nayuta met; she threw up on him, then later confessed her love for him after reading his work.

Itsuki then reads her work, and can’t put the book down. It’s in another league, and he’s immediately inspired to get back tot he laptop and belt out some work of his own. It seems then, that in addition to preferring little sisters (despite, or perhaps because he has none), Itsuki can’t stand beside someone liky Nayuta until he gets better. More then, of a muse than a romantic interest.

That surprising reveal at the end, that there’s mutual respect and affection below the raunchy repartee, and the fake-out at the beginning, were both nice touches, but the guessing game that dominated the middle really bogged this episode down, and there’s also a disconnect between everyone’s appearance and their age (the adults look like high schoolers, the high schooler looks like a middle schooler).

But it might be worth watching the second episode to see whether those structural choices are repeated or corrected.

Author: sesameacrylic

Zane Kalish is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

9 thoughts on “Imouto sae Ireba Ii. – 01 (First Impressions)”

  1. That fake out at the beginning had me going for a moment. I was seriously WTFing. I should have known better, but the fact that I even fell for it even a little is a sign of how bad little sister shows can be. I’m glad the show itself acknowledged that haha. As for the REAL show, well it wasn’t bad. The little dinner party thing was a nice little slice of life moment. However the ending did show that there might be something more to what’s going on with Nayu and Itsuki. The way he was all “OMFG dis cute girl likes me” then rebuffs her advances after being moved by her book has me thinking.

    I’ll give this show a pass for now. It’s not often that an anime surprises me twice in one episode.

  2. Execrable. First we get the usual titillating imouto thing guaranteed to hook nine out of ten shut ins with an incest complex, then we get the friend who wants to get laid so much she’s inviting the MC to screw every five minutes and who uses (gasp) naughty words! Of course he is too thick to realise and when he does, he knocks her back. Oh and the dutiful younger “step” brother? Well if he doesn’t turn out to be really a step-sister (using the usual anime sidestep for excusing incest) by the end of the series, I’ll eat my hat. Oh and there are two normal characters trying to give it a shred of normality too.

    Why why oh why must the anime industry green-light garbage like this? Is there an obsession with incest fueled siscon ‘humour’ running through Japanese culture or is it just a nasty quirk of the anime industry?

    1. Eh what? I think the first part was actually there to make fun of how ridiculous imouto-based shows are getting. Heck it was seriously disgusting and the editor guy reacts appropriately. Sure the imouto crazy MC idiot likes it, but he’s clearly depicted as a maladjusted individual. I’m mainly holding out on the hope that he’s partly playing a role instead of being REALLY that imouto obsessed. He reacted like a normal person would in the flashback to Nayu’s first confession after all.

      As for Nayu… yeah I’m not a fan of the talks dirty for lulz type of character. Her perversion is a bit overdone. I am a bit curious on how she went from an introverted girl who threw up on her idol due to nerves, to “I want D*CK”. Did she read some of Itsuki’s books and try to copy his nasty fantasy characters? It would be a lol twist of fate if she’s acting the way his imouto characters do in his novels in order to appeal to him (See that horrible monster Alice) only for him to not actually like that kind of character for real.

      Of note is that there are no actual little sister characters. If the step-brother is actually a little sister, the MC surely knows about it. I don’t think this show is playing that card the way Eromanga and others like it are.

      1. My comment was written five minutes after watching the episode and my outrage at yet another siscon rom-com was at its peak. Maybe the show will focus on the relationship between Nayu and the MC but I doubt it.

      2. Hahahaha, oh man so you actually ran away from about where Sesamea put the 1? Nice touch btw, when I saw that I thought for a second “Wait he didn’t drop the show right there did he?!”

        IF however Chihiro actually IS a little sister, there’s probably some really convoluted meaning behind it. Something like maybe after reading Nayu’s novel, Itsuki feels as if he’s not worthy of her admiration with his level of writing. He then reaches for an excuse to put her off, but something like “I’m GAY!” isn’t believable considering the content of his novels? Then BAM that’s his answer. He claims he’s a siscon like his protags! Only such an excuse wouldn’t hold water if he had an actual step sister, so he asks Chihiro to pretend to be his brother?!?! ARGH Light Novels, it could happen! Assuming Chihiro IS a sister and not a little bro like what the anime says haha.

  3. I hope the Little Brother is really a Little Sister plot twist won’t happen but I strongly suspect it will. And I will expect he knows nothing about her status because, like, she is a step sister, doesn’t live with him, and probably the families only been blended for a while and she has her own reasons for not appearing as her self…. I suggest people read the English summaries for this show in places like Anichart before going any further…

Comments are closed.