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Brother, Dear Brother

a.k.a. Oniisama E…

brother-2
Genre: Drama
Company: Tezuka Productions
Format: 39 episodes
Dates: 7/14/1991 to 5/31/1992

Misonoo Nanako didn’t know what to expect when she entered the highly exclusive Seiran Academy, an all-girl high school where the daughters of the wealthy and the influential go to study. She knew she would be an outsider and would have to learn the laws of the land to fit in. What she didn’t expect, however, was to be a key player in the middle of a power struggle between the student body. Her only outlet to vent her dreams, fears and frustrations is the letters that she sends to her “adopted” brother.

summary by Soundchazer

 

Reviewed: 04/21/2005 by
Grade: 82% av-Soundchazer

Highs: Emotional situations; grand plot; unexpected twists

Lows: Melodramatic; dated character design; first few episodes are a bit slow

This is the least known of the two anime adaptations of Ikeda Ryoko’s manga (the other one being the larger than life Rose of Versailles). If you think for a minute that it is any less intense than its famous predecessor, you are going to be proved wrong.

Brother, Dear Brother consists of several stories within a main plot that are nicely connected together by the narration of the main character. It also has some of the most gut-wrenching moments in anime history, making dramatic episodes in series like Full Moon wo Sagashite pale in comparison. This is the best study on the different way people love each other; sometimes twisted, sometimes fraternal and even tragic, but always filled with intensity.

One of the reasons why this anime can stir emotions in such an effective way is because of the direction by Dezaki Osamu. He is no stranger to dramatic anime, and even less so in the shoujo arena, having directed Aim for the Ace! and Rose of Versailles. It is ironic, however, that the strength of this series is also its downfall. Dezaki’s style of animation relies heavily on techniques that are incredibly artsy but can be considered passé in today’s animation industry. Sugino Akio’s designs are a product of a specific era and do not translate well to more contemporary anime, making the final product look dated. I don’t mind old anime being dated, but not newer anime.

Regardless of the flaws, the storytelling is brilliant and witty, and poignant dialogue is always present. This anime requires a little bit of patience, since it is like a pressure cooker; it simmers until the steam comes out in full force. Once this anime gets on a roll, you have a hard time turning away from it.

 

Brother, Dear Brother can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.


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