First Impressions – Ore ga Suki nano wa Imouto dakedo Imouto ja Nai

Ore ga Suki nano wa Imouto dakedo Imouto ja Nai or
The One Who I Love is My Little Sister But She’s Not a Little Sister is a fantastic anime to watch!

Based on a light novel, the story follows Yu Nagami (Tasuku Hatanaka (Ikoma (Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress), a 16 year old high school student who wants to be a light novelist, but has failed in a lot of competitions due to his work being criticized as dull, and his little sister, Suzuka Nagami (Reina Kondō (Hana Ichinose (Slow Start)), who is an all around honor student with perfect grades, hardly any flaws and spends most of the time criticizing her brother (while also secretly being in love with him). One day, Yu discovers that he has lost another competition, so out of interest he looks up the winning novel on the website which is “This is a Tale of a Little Sister Who Loves Her Big Brother Too Much To Cope.”

Excited by the premise, Yu starts looking it up when there is a sudden knock on his bedroom door and Yu finds his little sister behind it. Insisting that she needs to talk with him, Yu invites Suzuka inside and she confesses that she was the one who won the competition. After convincing Yu some more that she is telling the truth, Suzuka asks Yu for a huge favour, “to be her stand-in.” Freaking out, Yu asks Suzuka why she would ask him to do that and Suzuka explains that due to certain circumstances (namely school and their parents), she can’t be the public face of the author she dreamed up and so wants her brother to do it. After thinking on it for a bit, Yu agrees to do it. From there a tale begins filled with romance, love rivals and boundless comedy as Yu tries to keep their secret from being discovered.

While the premise of a little sister being in love with their brother isn’t exactly new, what makes this anime fresh and exciting is the simplicity of the writing mixed with the main character Yu’s awkward antics and Suzuka’s strict personality. It also helps that the characters personalities are not stereotypical and don’t follow the standard tropes. Yu is an average teenager who doesn’t have a lot of imagination, but is trying incredibly hard for his goal. He doesn’t give up even when he fails and is determined to make his dream come true. He also has no real experience with romance. While Suzuka initially comes across a very strict little sister, but she is also tsundere and even has a couple of very cute moments.  She also keeps most of her feelings to herself and eventually it reaches the point where she must vent hence the book competition. There are also a couple of funny, but interesting characters like the editor and the other love rivals.

In terms of animation, the animation is pretty good and really brings to life the character’s thoughts and expressions. The transitions and pacing is rather smooth and the music makes the scenes totally normal and relatable to normal life. With regards to the opening and ending, only the opening,  “Secret Story” by Purely Monster was played at the end of the episode, so I can’t really comment on the ending. But “Secret Story,” was an incredibly energetic and lively song which made my heart beat and made me want to dance a bit. Struggling light novelists and authors in general can also sympathize with Yu’s plight to get shortlisted. While there are some hilarious comedy moments, I’m sure that there are plenty others to follow. So please watch this anime on channel AT-X on Wednesdays at 10:00 pm (JST)!

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