Yuri Anime: Oniisama E / Brother, Dear Brother

February 3rd, 2004

Things I’m Not Going To Write About
Part 6

Oniisama E (Brother, Dear Brother) –

Steadily holding the #3 poster child position for Yuri for many years, was this timeless classic anime and manga created by Ikeda Riyoko. So much of what we consider to *be* Yuri had early roots with Ikeda, so it’s only fair that she be on any Yuri-related list as often as possible.

Most people know the anime version of this series as fansubbed by the passionate, if heavy-handed, Technogirls. Despite the subbers’ belief that there was *no* Yuri in this series at all, no one who has ever seen Rei (Sainte-Juste) as she dressed in her nice white suit, fixed her tie, and bought flowers for Nanako, can really doubt that what she was doing was getting ready for a date.

There is a great deal of akogare in this series, and very little outright Yuri, but I’m going to have to weigh in on the yes, Yuri camp. What Rei had with Miya-sama and, later, with Nanako, was something as close to love as makes no nevermind. And that’s not even counting Mariko’s crush on Kaoru-no-kimi and Nanako’s crush on Sainte-Juste.

The manga is surprisingly short and painfully hip – Sainte-Juste has scary bell-bottom pants and mod vests. It’s kind of hard to remember she’s so cool when the clothes are so distracting. :-) Both manga and anime have a happy ending, but of a strictly hetero sort.

Oniisama E is soapy and angsty and really, really shoujo. If you’re a guy, or a chick who likes action, you probably won’t enjoy this, but I’ll go to the grave saying this – no one makes doing drugs, smoking, going mad and dying tragically look as sexy as Sainte-Juste does. Yeah.

Ratings: Yuri – 8, Art – 6, Story – 7, Music – 4, Characters – 8, Overall – 8

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