Podzilla 1985

Friday, August 30, 2013

Brothers Conflict - A Bit Much or Guilty Pleasure?

It's been a while since I've watched an anime that I had to actually wait for the next episode to air. I've been so use to just watching a whole series in a couple marathon sessions that it's odd to go back to the episodic method. However Hulu is treating me very well and seems to have a new episode up for me each Wednesday.

What has captured my attention you ask? Well if you know me, or have read some of my past posts, you know I'm a shoujo-holic with a taste for harem series. As of late I keep finding series based on Otome games, and all I can say is if I could read Japanese I'd totally want to play some of them... Though I know someone who'd get a bit jealous if I did... Love you!
But I'm getting side tracked.... back to the issue at hand. "Brothers Conflict" is my newest guilty pleasure. It's highly farfetched and yet I can't help but want to keep watching. I'll try not to spoil too much for you all, but I make no true promise of it....

The Basics: Our heroine, Ema Hinata ( a sixteen year old high school student) is about to start a new life. He father has remarried and not wanting to impose on him and her new mother she decides to move in with her new siblings. Ok no big deal right? Maybe, except that she has only gained brothers in this union and there are thirteen of them. That's a lot of testosterone in one place. Granted they live in a condo complex, where the family resides on the top three floors and the bottom two floor have spaces rented out. So in a sense, other than the shared living space on the fifth floor, Ema and her brothers each have their own apartments for rooms.

As far as heroines go there have been worse than Ema. She's mostly likeable and has a caring nature. She's genuinely excited to have a family finally, having spent most of her childhood alone since her dad travels over seas a lot. She never planned that the new men in her life would see her more as a romantic interest than family. At times her submissiveness get's old, but it's believable in the long run. The thing that annoys me the most is her lack of reaction some times. She never really accepts or rejects any of their advances. Granted we're only nine episodes in, but really? If you want them as siblings draw the line and set them straight no matter how pretty they are.

Yes as the title may imply several of the Asahina men fall for their new step-sister. This family is a bit out of this world when you look at them as a whole. First off the oldest son is thirty-one years old, while their mother doesn't look a day over forty herself. Everyone of them is good looking and those who are employed all have good jobs, well minus Subaru doing road work, but he's still in college so we'll let that pass... Let's take a look at the trouble makers at hand.

Masaomi Asahina
Age: 31
Profession: Doctor (Pediatrician to be exact)
He serves as the father figure of the brothers, being the eldest and all, but he's not always the most reliable guy. He tends to spoil his youngest brother Wataru and has a habit of popping lollipops into his siblings' mouths to shut them up.

His attraction to Ema hasn't been covered much yet in the anime, though he did call her to inform the family of him staying late at the hospital when he would normally have called Ukyo, the second eldest. We'll probbaly see some development next week though if the previews meant anything.

I can't see him with her though. He plays too much a guardian role with her father gone all the time. He also doesn't seem as persistent or forceful as some of his younger brothers. Though that could be a good thing for Ema.

Ukyo Asahina:
Age: 29
Profession: Lawyer
Being the second eldest he's taken the mother role of the family, their own mother being a career woman left him doing most of the house work when he got older. He picks up the slack for Masaomi and keeps the household running smoothly along side his day job. Ukyo is also the one to keep the younger boys on top of their studies and tends to be the one to hand out punishment when necessary.

He's kind to Ema from the start, and welcomes the help with cooking and other various chores. Though he gets a bit jealous when the "I'll be home late" phone calls start going to Ema's phone rather than his own. His own little bit of flirting with her is more in the form of caring for her health and teaching her in the kitchen.

I like Ukyo, he's a nice bit of calm amongst the insanity that he's related to. They haven't touched on him too much in the anime yet either, but while reading about the video game I found out that he's actually kind of an awkward guy who doesn't really know how to react to a lot of things. I'm hoping they'll touch on his past a bit more since they've started doing that with some of the other brothers. Like Masaomi, I don't think he has much of a chance in the long run with winning Ema over, that whole parental aspect brings him down too. I still enjoy his screen time, though he hasn't done anything major yet.

Kaname Asahina:
Age: 26
Profession: Buddhist Monk
He is the Miroku of this series hands down. You're typical womanizing playboy who just happens to give spiritual sermons. He's the first to hit on Ema when she moves in, literally within moments of greeting her. He's also the first to steal a kiss, though it's just a peck on the cheek. He's surprisingly responsible though, and helps his older brothers out with keeping the younger ones in line when needed. He covers for a parent teacher meeting, for Yusuke and Ema, when Masaomi can't leave work for it.

Kaname amuses me, though he's not one of my favorites. He's persistent enough to not let his other brothers win, but he also doesn't get as much time with her as some of them do. He's a bit of a wild card, though I feel that Ema groups him in with the 'parental' crew as well. Not much of a chance but a little more than the other two older brothers. Due to his time away from home he hasn't had much screen time in the show yet either, so who knows what's to come.

Hikaru Asahina:
Age: 25
Profession: Writer
Like his mother, Hikaru spends a lot of time over seas, researching for his novels. He also usually cross dresses, it's generally a rare sight to see him in men's wear. Since he doesn't live in the condo with the others we haven't seen much of him in the show so far.

He doesn't seem to have any romantic interest in Ema, so far any ways. He's more interested in his brothers' reactions to the girl, and teasing them every chance he gets. We see him spying on them on several occasions with a mischievous smirk on his face.

I don't know enough about Hikaru to make any assumption about him. Though so far I don't think he's in the running and may actually treat Ema as a sibling as she wishes.

Tsubaki Asahina:
Age: 24
Profession: Voice Actor
Tsubaki is a troublemaker with a capital T. He's selfish, reckless and acts on impulse without regards to anyone. Well anyone but Azusa, his identical twin who keeps him in line. He likes to rile his younger brothers up over anything he can.

Like Kaname he flirts with Ema right away, and tries to kiss her right off the bat. Azusa stops him though before he makes any contact, though Tsubaki just laughs it off and proceeds to drape himself over the girl's shoulders any way. He flirts every chance he gets, even offering to sleep with her if she's scared to sleep in a new place. As he get's use to having Ema around he get's possessive of her and doesn't like the fact that his brothers have similar feelings to his own towards her. He's the first of them to seriously confess to her and is persistent about his feelings. He won't think twice about stealing a passionate kiss from her.

Tsubaki causes Ema quite a bit of stress, but I think he's manipulative enough to get his way in the long run. He can be over the top but I like Tsubaki, and getting past the whole sibling thing can see him with Ema. Though he needs to tone down the selfishness, not that it'll happen any time soon.

Azusa Asahina:
Age: 24
Profession: Voice Actor
Azusa is rarely without Tsubaki, being identical twins they have a very strong bond with one another. He'll do anything for his brother, but he's not above keeping him in line at the same time. The more collected of the two, he thinks things threw where Tsubaki is all impulse. He's also usually willing to let Tsubaki win when they both want something.

This changes when he realizes that he too is in love with Ema. For once he's willing to fight for himself over his dear brother. This causes a lot of friction between the two at home and adds to Ema's stress with the family. He protects her from Tsubaki, but is torn because he himself wants to do the same things to her. His real battle is with his self control, he's not use to letting go of it.

Of the twins I like Azusa more. I've grown to like the calmer characters more over the years. He seems like he'd have a easier time winning Ema over. Letting her go at her own pace rather than just jumping her and not giving her time to think about it.

Natsume Asahina:
Age: 24
Profession: Video Game Devoleper
And now we have the third wheel to our twins. Turns out they're really  triplets, though Natsume here is a fraternal brother rather than identical. He also lives out side of the main complex in his own apartment. He has two cats, who ironically are named after Tsubaki and Azusa though we don't know the story behind that yet. Though he lives apart from them he keeps in regular contact with his brothers. He worries about Subaru a lot since they both share a love for basketball, though Natsume quit playing.

He doesn't meet Ema until the day of their parents' wedding and is a bit cold to her not knowing the situation. When he goes to apologize he learns that she's an avid player of the video games his company makes. Ema plays zombie shooters! They strike up a friendship over the games and he uses her as a bit of market test by letting her play the new game they are working on. He starts to getting feelings for her around the same time Azusa is realizing his own feelings. Though much like Azusa he doesn't act on them like Tsubaki would. He does his best to watch out for Ema, but get's very irritable when he sees how Subaru acts around her and even gets in his younger brother's face about it. He wants Ema to see him as a man, but isn't about to force her into it.

Natsume is currently my favorite among the brothers...though I don't like that he smokes. He feels like a bit of an outcast from the rest of the family but I get the impression he did that on his own rather than it being anyone's fault. I wouldn't mind Ema ending up with him, though I think she's better suited to a couple of the others. Natsume should just be the good older brother who watches over her and lets her vent her stress to him. Though I'm not gonna lie I had a mini fan girl moment when he finally kissed her. I'm terrible I know...

Louis Asahina:
Age: 21
Profession: Hair Stylist
Louis is the only brother that Ema's pet squirrel, Juli, doesn't hate. The two of them even form a little coalition to protect Ema, or "Chii" as the call her, from the other brothers. Unlike his siblings, Louis is actually an adopted child of the Asahina family. He has no memories of his birth family and at times still feels disconnected from his brothers due to that lack of a blood bond. This is part of why he wants Ema to feel at ease. None of Louis's younger siblings know about his adoption, but he reveals it to Ema when she's having some hard times.

He likes to style Ema's hair and make her pretty. Her smile is more important to him than anything else. It's unclear right now if he has any romantic feelings for her. I think he does, but he'd rather make her wish come true and act as the family she desires so much. I think he's a little too girly to be paired with her, but he means well and cares for her so I wouldn't be upset if he reveals his love for her as well.

Subaru Asahina:
Age: 19 (turns 20 early in the series)
Profession: College Student
Subaru is on his college's basketball team. He had been a regular player but once Ema came into his life his game started to falter. He's rather serious and has obviously cared more about his sports than most other things. When he was little he looked up to Natsume who also played basket ball. He wanted to be like his big brother.

Subaru's relationship with Ema started out awkward from day one. He was a bit shocked to learn a girl would be living with them, but to top it off she walked in on him when he'd finished up his bath. Granted he had a towel on, but it was still embarrassing for both parties. It didn't take long for him to start to like her, and that made his actions in general hasty. Once he admits to himself that he likes her he becomes determined to become a regular on the basket ball team again, if only to have her come watch him play.

Subaru is also the first to kiss Ema on the lips, though it's an accident. He's also the first to openly ask her to date him. Though he's yet to get answer from her. His awkwardness is adorable, it just makes you want to root for him. He's probbaly the one I want to see her end up with the most. They'd just be so cute together.

Iori Asahina:
Age: 18
Profession: High School Student
Iori is you typical prince-like character. He's well mannered, popular and athletic. He attends an elite private catholic school and is in charge of tending the gardens around the condo complex. It wouldn't be far off to guess that he might be a florist of sorts after school.

Iori is sweet to Ema, but he hasn't had a lot of screen time yet. From what I've been reading he's got a bit of a tragic past involving an ex-girlfriend, but it hasn't been touched on yet in any of the episodes.

Iori seems like a good guy, but who knows. I don't know enough about him yet to pass judgement, though in the looks department he's be a cute match with Ema.

Yusuke Asahina:
Age: 16
Profession: High School Student
Yusuke goes to the same public high school that Ema does. They were classmates well before they became siblings.  He's a bit of a delinquent and far from being an A student.

He's the first of the brothers to fall in love with Ema, because he was crushing on her before their parents hooked up. Granted he'd never said anything to her, but their situation now makes it even worse. Her joining their family though gives him an excuse to hang out with her before, during and after school, without all of his brothers around. Though that changes when Futo starts attending their school as well. Ema's the first girl that he's ever had serious feelings for, so he's pretty torn up about the whole sister thing and flat out says he won't accept it.

I feel bad for Yusuke, his whole world got thrown into chaos because of a simple marriage. If his mom hadn't married Ema's dad he could have had a normal high school crush. Though knowing him he would have never said anything and just pined for her form afar. So maybe this better after all since he has excuses to actually talk to her now. He and Ema would make a cute pair. Being the same age and going to the same school gives him a little extra footing over his brothers, but his inability to convey his feelings is a major set back.

Futo Asahina:
Age: 15
Profession: Pop Idol (and a Middle School Student)

Futo is highly confident in himself, he has to be as a performer. This same confidence though has made him a bit twisted and two faced. To the public he's charming and loveable, but behind closed doors his selfish and manipulative. Even his older brothers think he's twisted and not quite right. He's very found of his older brother Louis, and proud of his talents. He'd much rather have him do his hair and make up over any of the studio's stylists.

He picks on Ema a lot, calling her plain and stupid. Yet he has no problem trying to monopolize her. He likes to rub it in Yusuke's face too. He has no problem corning the girl and forcing her into more intimate situations despite being younger than her. He seems to get a kick out of making her uncomfortable.

Futo frankly pisses me off. He's a little prick who needs to be put in line. Though setting aside his twisted actions I do think he actually likes Ema, not just as something to play with. Why else would he choose to go to the same school as her when he enters high school. He's still my least favorite of the brothers, but his chances with catching Ema are better than many of the others.

Wataru Asahina:
Age: 10
Profession: Elementary School Student
Finally we have Wataru, the youngest of the brothers. He's spoiled by many of his older brothers and it's because of this that I think he seems more like a five year old rather than being ten. He talks in a cute manner and is very excitable. He also seems to have a love for plush bunnies.

He seems excited to have a new big sister, and frankly I can't seem him as a romantic counterpart to her. Granted that can't keep him from getting a crush on her, but I doubt anything would come of it. Plus I'm sorry but for a boy he's damn girly. Maybe it's the wardrobe.... all those pastels. Maybe when he gets older he'll have a chance, but it'll probably be late by then.

So there's the situation at hand. One girl and thirteen brothers all after her heart. Pretty messed up right? Still I enjoy it and look forward to more episodes. If you've enjoyed shows like "Ouarn High School Host Club", "La Corda D'Oro" and "Uta no Prince-sama" I'd say give "Brother's Conflict" a shot. You'll probbaly enjoy it too. I'll leave you with the ending theme song as a little extra incentive to check it out.

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