It was 2004. Fansubs were already phasing out of the elegantly clunky VHS tape-exchanges by snail mail and were shifting towards the passionless and infinitely faster transmission of IP people had no right to share by digital means.
Oniisama E was already a relic of a former age even then. Fansubbed by a bastion of Victorian worldviews, each volume of the anime came with notes on culture, references and a full set of what we ought to be feeling and understanding. It wasn’t enough for us to know that the rain, the wind, the trains and the flocks of birds were symbolic, we were to be told exactly how to interpret them. ^_^ As the end of this series heralded the end of anime fandom as I had entered it, I finally wrote a review, if only to say goodbye to it.
Now we have a chance that I could never ever have expected – a free, legal, multi-language option for people to watch this oh-so-shoujo series, streaming on Viki.com. I hope every single one of you who loves Maria-sama ga Miteru will watch Oniisama E/Dear Brother based on the manga by Riyoko Ikeda.
This is a series fraught with fraughtness. In the poisonous hothouse of an elite girls’ school, a nice girl named Nanako will encounter insanity, obsession, emotional manipulation, friendship and love.
Kaoru-no-Kimi, the athletic masculine type, Miya-sama without whom we would never have had Juri in Utena and the beautifully tragic Sainte-Juste, who makes homicidal depression and drug use look…sexy. You cannot tell me that kids books today are too dark. ^_^
Art – 8
Story – 9
Yuri – More than you expect (and more than Technogirls would admit)
Service – 4 for girls in suits, but nothing more salacious than that
Overall – 9
This stuff is made of awesome. Give me until Episode 7, and if you hate it, you can stop. But then, we can never be friends. ^_^