Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Sister Princess Vol 4 Brotherly Love|
Genres: Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
Wataru seems to be adapting well to life on Promised Island, but that doesn?t mean it?s always easy. With thirteen younger sisters to look after, he always seems to have his hands full. When Karen gets lost and then Aria... more »
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Flawed but curiously enjoyable
ajnrules | Kansas | 04/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Sister Princess is one of the many anime series being localized for American audiences by the company A.D. Visions. It tells the story of Wataru Minakami, a student who fails his only high school exam due to a mistake with the answer sheet, and finds himself being shipped off to the only high school that would take him, located on a place known as Promised Island. There, he is confronted with thirteen very cute girls. It turns out that all of them (except one spy) are his sisters. Not only that, but they are literally in love with him. The series revolves around his various experiences with these sisters as he gradually learns to accept that fact.
The series is very much in the vein of many other anime series with one guy surrounded by girls, the most popular of which is Love Hina, but the episodes in Sister Princess do not match Love Hina in terms of quality. The show seems to be more concerned with fan service than story development. However, the show does have its strong points. Most of the important characters are well-developed, and the Japanese voice acting is well-done. (Do not, and I repeat, NEVER EVER watch the dub.)
Brotherly Love is the fourth DVD in this cloyingly cute series. The episodes in this DVD are much better than the previous three DVDs, but they still don't break new ground in terms of quality.
This is the halfway point of the series. The trip that had taken up the second half of DVD 3 had supposedly taken up the rest of the summer, and now everybody is scrambling to get their summer assignment finished. The summer homework storyline is just a way for Wataru to go to each of them and analyze the personalities of each of the twelve sisters and considers how they have changed his life. My conjecture is that the viewers are being brought up to date on the will focus on a particular girl. Episode 13 is pretty useless, but it's still mighty cute.
This episode focuses mainly on Karen's experiences with her brother as she begins to consider her true feelings towards him. The problem with this episode is that it is largely fractured, and randomly veers off in different directions without warning. The episode starts out with an epic quest to find the light bulb, after which comes the missing kitten storyline that leads into Karen and her thoughts. To make it more confusing, episode randomly cuts to other sisters. This was a pretty disappointing episode overall, although it debuts the second opening, which is so much better than the first. There is a wider variety of pictures of the sisters, and the timing of the images to the song is vastly improved.
Aria, the slow and mysterious sister loses her ribbon to a gust of wind. She meets an old man with magical powers, who accompanies her in search for the ribbon through the real world and a world of imaginary wonders. Aria's search for her ribbon is only a MacGuffin, but the episode's main focus is Aria's interactions with the old man. The episode eventually becomes a palette for magical wonders and illusions, as well as a way to understand Aria's personality which had in the past never been very well-defined. It is true that like the previous episodes there are cuts to the other sisters, but these are placed in transitional places. Some people may decry the mystical nature of this episode, but this episode is still one of the strongest episodes in the series.
It's the Kaho episode! The sports meet is coming up, and two people are having problems: Wataru, who doesn't know what event he wants to participate in; and Kaho, as cheerleading practices are taking their toll. The story is pretty solid, and the scenes from the sports meet are certainly cute and memorable. However, I don't feel that Kaho's personality is portrayed very well in this episode. Most of the "themed" episodes usually bring out something about that particular sister. This episode may reveal why Kaho had joined the cheerleading club, but it is still full of contradictions about her character. For one thing, Kaho is usually cheerful, but she spends most of this episode looking depressed. Perhaps I am just being hard because Kaho is my favorite sister. This is still a decent episode, relatively speaking.
So what are my final thoughts on Brotherly Love? Most of the episodes are great, although there is one clunker. (Episode 13 is too cute to be considered a clunker, and you learn a lot about each individual sister.) Most of the special features, however, leave more to be desired, but that's because they are in some way connected to the dub. (I am obviously not a fan of the dub at all.) The 13+ rating is a bit too stringent for the DVD, as I see absolutely nothing offensive in these four episodes. Sure, the incest surrounding the series may be a bit questionable, but all 26 episodes are no worse than a PG rating.
Seriously, if you want an easygoing anime series with cute girls, then I would recommend Sister Princess. And of the four DVDs that have been released, this one gets my highest recommendation because the quality of the episodes is higher than the other 3. However, if you want something deep and compelling, then I'd direct you to the work of Studio Ghibli.