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Imouto sae Ireba Ii. – 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「明日の君さえいればいい.」 (Ashita no Kimi Sae Ireba Ii.) by ChouCho

「料理上手の弟と全裸の美少女と気の合う友達さえいればいい.」 (Ryouri Jouzu no Otouto to Zenra no Bishoujo to Ki no Au Tomodachi Sae Ireba Ii.)
“I Only Need a Little Brother Who Can Cook, a Beautiful Naked Girl, and Friends I Can Relate To.”

Some anime have your standard issue introduction with the protagonist looking off into the distance, reflecting on life with an optimistic narration about dreams, fate, destiny, and love. Some have the protagonist rushing late to school, giving us some exposition about who they are based on their tardiness and a mouthful of buttered toast. Others have a paragraph of the world’s rules and mythos on-screen as a bird’s-eye view spans across a vast, fantasy world at peace or in ruin.

Imouto sae Ireba Ii. begins with a man devouring his little sister’s used panties.

The audacity of the first minute of the anime is enough for me to give kudos to how incredibly ballsy it is to begin the series with a man going about his morning routine making out with his permanently naked young sister, drown himself in her bathwater, and enjoying the breakfast she made with her own milk and eggs. However, the pay-off to this depravity is equally funny with all of this being a draft that the main character, light novel author Itsuki Hashima(Kobayashi Yuusuke), thought would be A-OK for his editor to read as his latest submission. From then on, the scenario becomes even more hilarious as the editor picks apart both the hardcore siscon kink that Itsuki is forcing into his story and the cliche narrative conventions he used like having a dead character revived out of nowhere at the breakfast table.

Although it establishes how shameless Itsuki is about his sister complex that he mentions frequently throughout the episode such as his favorite light novel sisters and how he’d prefer Kirino from OreImo to treat him, he is somewhat humanized through his circle of friends and colleagues who don’t mind joining him for a round of Kokutou Sweet Stout beer (stout is the greatest, so I was frantically trying to figure out where to get a case of this) and some homecooked food from Chihiro (Yamamoto Nozomi), his step-sister masquerading as his step-brother for some reason. As an aspiring writer, it is neat to see how they all gather together to discuss each other’s writing/publishing strategies, and play word games that test their creative capacity. It comes off as a cool way to tell us about the cast’s personalities and work ethic, and teaches us about how methodical authors like Haruto Fuwa (Hino Satoshi) can put enough thought and hustle into their writing process to secure an anime adaptation of his work.

One of the more polarizing characters might be Nayuta Kani (Kanemoto Hisako), a rookie author who spends a majority of the episode trying to court Itsuki for a tete-a-tete. I found a lot of her teasing and sense of humor amusing, but I can see viewers being put off with how forward she is and how she kept calling Haruto a “man-whore”. She does pique my curiosity though because her flashbacks depict her as an introverted girl who was inspired by Itsuki to write her own light novels, and upon meeting him, got so nervous she puked on him. Through her shyness, she asked him out, but I’m wondering how she worked through her anxiousness to try and be more flirtatious around him, or if this part of her was born from wanting to be with Itsuki so badly that she’d try to take on the role of his fantasy girl.

Within the ribald and lewd humor of Imouto sae Ireba Ii. is something heartfelt, and the erotic comedy doesn’t undercut what makes the cast deeper than how they’re perceived. The cozy dinner party helped the show settle down as it introduced Itsuki’s friends, but the last 5 minutes of the episode truly showed the series’ potential to developing Itsuki and Nayu into complex characters. Seeing Nayu as a shy rookie who got to meet and start a professional relationship with her idol offers her some leg room to grow beyond just providing some of the fanservice to the show. It also displayed the effort they want to put into giving Itsuki moments of reflection as his flashback as a flustered young novelist is brought to tears by Nayu’s writing debut. By having Itsuki look back on how emotional he got from Nayu’s novel, it gives him something beyond his penchant for siscon to work with, and offers up a lot of potential for him to mature as a person and a writer. Imouto sae Ireba Ii. might not be for everyone, but if you give it a chance, you’ll find it to be a hilarious comedy with some promise.

End Card

October 8, 2017 at 1:31 pm
35 comments »
  • October 8, 2017 at 3:27 pmaqr28

    Did I miss something? Didn’t they mention that Chihiro is his step-brother? I actually thought they were modeling him after characters like Hideyoshi…

    • October 8, 2017 at 3:34 pmkushieda

      The editor calls chihiro his otouto(little bro) multiple times

    • October 8, 2017 at 3:36 pmkushieda

      Chihiro has a very womanly shape though. Multiple scenes you can make out a bust line.

    • October 8, 2017 at 4:48 pmVelvet Scarlantina

      Chihiro: The Autumnal Conundrum

      Introduced as a step brother but has the mannerisms of a girl.
      Introduced as a step brother but has the curves of a girl.
      Introduced as a step brother but has the name of a girl.

      Chihiro, the autumnal conundrum.

      - Okabe Rintaro

      • October 9, 2017 at 8:18 amMaou

        Please someone send YASAI YASAI YASAI to that boy mother pagers!

  • October 8, 2017 at 4:41 pmAntony Shepherd

    Speaking of the stout, I can’t recall any anime show i’ve seen where beer wasn’t represented as a big foamy glass of lager, so I was interested to see the stout and find it was a real stout. The brewery’s name is in the credits, even.

    As for the show, my finger hovered over the ‘stop’ button when I watched this until it was clear the opening was a huge parody, and the way the editor demolished the character’s imouto fetish was entertaining. I’ll give it a few more episodes to see the character development, as I feel there’s more to Nayu than we got at first glance, given the flashbacks.

    • October 8, 2017 at 5:44 pmChoya

      I think the only one I’ve seen where they had anything outside of generic cans or mugs were the version of Evangelion where Misato got Yebisu and/or Kirin beer. Other than that, this is the first time I’ve seen a plug for real life beer like this. Sadly, it appears it’ll be tricky to find Sankt Gallen Kokutou Sweet Stout outside of Japan.

      It does make it easier to digest knowing that the editor and his colleagues are critical of how much his siscon tendencies are affecting his work. It’s got some pretty good potential at the moment, and the flashbacks put the series in a good position to develop the characters while it has its fun.

  • October 8, 2017 at 5:41 pmqwert

    One of the few times I skip rereading the plot summary before watching the first episode of a show and THIS was the opening I got.

    • October 9, 2017 at 6:02 amChoya

      I heard that there was something shocking in the first minute, but I didn’t expect the craziness to happen T-minus 1 second after I pressed Play

  • October 8, 2017 at 6:04 pmVelvet Scarlantina

    http://randomc.net/image/Imouto%20sae%20Ireba%20Ii./Imouto%20sae%20Ireba%20Ii.%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2033.jpg

    Praise the Lord for gracing us with Oregairu Vol 4 cover and Goddes Komachi Hikigaya for being the imouto that we all need but we’re too unworthy for her perfect and Goddes incarnation.

    • October 9, 2017 at 6:05 amChoya

      It was neat to see how much leeway the show had to namedrop some of its references. I’m glad that in a twist of self-promotion, Itsuki gave kudos to Haganai’s sister. Kobato is easily one of my favorite imouto characters, kukuku

  • October 8, 2017 at 6:36 pmFlareKnight

    I don’t think this show is completely hopeless…

    Comedy being what it is, will always be hit or miss. Sadly the comedy was a total miss for me this time around. Without the laughs…there isn’t much. Once it got past the first minute, it improved. It went above “I’m turning this off now and hoping to never hear of this show again.” But where it settled was pretty below average. The MC is just too creepy to be likable. The ending sequence wants to be emotional. I just don’t think the MC has enough to him to make that work.

    It’s nice that some enjoyed it. Got better as it went along. But I’m still dropping it after one episode.

    • October 9, 2017 at 7:44 amChoya

      To me, the most compelling aspect of the show was the character relationships so far, and how Itsuki handles hanging out with his colleagues. The comedy was hit-or-miss, but I’ve got faith that because the first episode was all about introducing all of the characters’ quirks that the comedy will be a little better after Episode 1.

  • October 8, 2017 at 7:34 pmForest

    If you told me that the first two minutes of this show and the last two minutes were both from the same anime I actually wouldn’t believe you.

    This show might be the biggest bait and switch I’ve watched this year.
    Oh it’s a show about imoutos? Nope. Well maybe partially.
    Oh it’s a show about the LN industry? Close but no cigar.
    Oh it’s actually a show about a group of friends just hanging out, having some banter, drinking some alcohol, and playing a variety of board games? Let’s throw in an incredibly vulgar main girl in there as well and you’ve got it.

    The sponsors for this show have actual board game companies listed on it, they have actual board games on the shelves, and considering that entire segment on turtle soup? I am absolutely baffled that this is actually a table top anime disguised as a trashy as fuck LN adaptation.

    But despite everything, this show perfectly treads the line between touching and trashy and that’s something I’ve only ever really seen in media like anime. I can respect that.

    • October 8, 2017 at 10:03 pmmac65

      I like your bait and switch comparison – I felt exactly the same way.
      Makes me want to watch just to see where the heck this will all go.

    • October 9, 2017 at 8:02 amChoya

      I wasn’t sure if the board games were as legit as the covers looked, but it’s pretty cool that they ended up throwing those in with the amount of sponsorship the show has. I appreciate how much bait-and-switch the show has, and how it rides the line between touching and trashy in a way that doesn’t diminish or undercut one or the other. Now I’m looking forward to seeing if there are more scenes where they enjoy tabletop games as a group.

      • October 9, 2017 at 8:29 amForest

        From what I heard after looking into this show after that surprising first episode is that they really do spend most of the time either having some light banter and referencing the industry, playing analog games, talking about fashion, or talking about sightseeing.

        In fact, apparently they always have a D&D session every LN volume and that they do in fact play some Dominion, play some board games that require creative thinking like the one in this episode, and a ton of things like that. I honestly don’t know an anime that had that many board game company sponsors so yeah… some of the episodes probably will focus a lot on them just playing table top games.

      • October 9, 2017 at 9:21 amArche

        The board games are legit. There were several on the shelf that I recognized from browsing game stores (And Carcassonne which is a game my dad’s friends love)

      • October 11, 2017 at 11:18 amAnon

        http://sp.imotosae.com/bodoge/
        http://sp.imotosae.com/osake/
        http://sp.imotosae.com/sisters/

        They have actual dedicated pages to alcohols, board games and imoutos.

  • October 8, 2017 at 7:54 pmDave

    his step-sister masquerading as his step-brother for some reason
    Assuming Chihiro is not another in a long line of male anime characters who could pass for a girl, if you were a girl who found out you were about to get a brother who behaves like this one, how quick would you be to find the asexual aisle at the clothing store?

    Punchline aside, I think there’s meat in a character whose entire world view on having a sister is tainted by sis-con doujin, anime, and manga. Be interesting to see where it goes.

    • October 9, 2017 at 8:36 amChoya

      I’m also curious about Chihiro. Maybe I’m inaccurate to say that Chihiro is a step-sister, but the promos said Chihiro was Itsuki’s sister. Was that part of the troll, or was I correct? And if Chihiro is her sister instead of her brother, does Itsuki know it? It’d be interesting to see Itsuki acknowledging Chihiro since it brings into perspective how his siscon fantasies would translate into his everyday life as purely rooted in anime/manga/LN, or how he consolidates it with real life sisters.

  • October 8, 2017 at 10:40 pmFlameStrike

    Hm, the ending of the episode surprised me, as did the beginning haha. To catch me off guard twice in one episode is a feat! I’ll be following this one mainly because I think there’s more to Itsuki. Normally when I see something like a super flirty girl that’s hot and basically perfect get reject by a dense MC for no reason, it turns me off. However seeing that flashback puts me in doubt. If he was rejecting Nayu for the sole reason that she isn’t an imouto, would his first reaction to her confession be giddy happiness?

    • October 9, 2017 at 8:25 amChoya

      Yeah, he’s established throughout the episode in his goofier public persona, but his excitement in the flashbacks to being asked out and his motivation to write after remembering Nayu’s debut give me a sense of confidence that there’s more to his character than being a siscon joke.

  • October 9, 2017 at 12:55 amsosbrigade1991

    I hate that I enjoyed this garbage. Only in aome. I’m in I guess.

    • October 9, 2017 at 8:39 amChoya

      Only in anime could I watch something like the first episode of this and be like “I really enjoyed that!”

      • October 9, 2017 at 9:05 amsosbrigade1991

        It says something very specific of how well trained anime has its fans that we can shrug off whatever atrocity was in the first few minutes to otherwise enjoy a typical light novel sex comedy.

  • October 9, 2017 at 1:11 amAngelus

    Well, that’s quite a biological feat – producing eggs (the sort you can make omelettes from) and milk. I thought for a moment that this show had invented a new genre, monmouto perhaps?

    • October 9, 2017 at 8:41 amChoya

      At first, I was incredibly unsettled by the little sister producing eggs, but then I imagined it being like Papi from Monster Musume. It didn’t make it any less unsettling, but it’s the only way I could rationalize it.

  • October 9, 2017 at 1:31 amLitho

    Yup, garbage.

  • October 9, 2017 at 2:45 ammaou

    errr…..abother kissxsis?

    http://randomc.net/image/Imouto%20sae%20Ireba%20Ii./Imouto%20sae%20Ireba%20Ii.%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2030.jpg

    japan, please if you want to make H*ntai just made one openly and proudly…don’t try to disguise it as an comedy anime….

    • October 9, 2017 at 6:24 amdanes256

      I’m pretty sure stuff like that is a bit of a trademark from the LN writer’s style. It’s the guy that wrote Haganai. Remember back when haganai created a whole new hentai genre ? That was much crazier than this.

    • October 9, 2017 at 8:50 amChoya

      Both of their openings were as perplexing, but I think Kiss x Sis set the bar too high with how explicit its OVAs were.

      I do appreciate how sometimes anime cuts out the middle man by overloading comedy/action shows with smut, but I understand that many are put off with how some shows can go overboard with it.

  • October 9, 2017 at 12:02 pmWorldwidedepp

    If i would comapre this with Eromanga-sensei, then the dream already surpassed the line of Eromanga-sensei.. Lets see if these “fan service” hard on borderline are there to progress the anime or just for make “boners”

  • October 9, 2017 at 12:16 pmDavid

    So, my reaction by the end of the episode was to think that Itsuki created his siscon obsession as a reaction to the events where he met Nayuta and read her novel.

    I mean, consider: He’s one of the ‘hosts’ at this awards show, and a high school-age first-time novelist writes something so good that he spent an entire day without break reading it (cf: the ice tea on the table has the condensation pooling around it, indicating that he never even touched it), and by the end felt like their positions should have been reversed — like he was the cheap knock-off/beginner writer, and she was the master novelist.

    At the beginning he was incredibly excited that she had confessed to him. Yet afterwards, and up to the current point in time, he has pushed her away — not just mildly, but to extreme levels.

    It feels like he had to come up with the most extreme position possible to act as an excuse to keep from allowing the possibility of them dating, short of, “I’m gay.” (Probably not believable based on what he’d written up to that point.) At the same time, siscon is a major thing in the LN industry; it’s a very easy excuse to latch onto.

    But he’s pushing it so hard, and so blatantly (even showing that manuscript to every one of the friends who come visit him on a regular basis) that it feels like it can’t possibly be real.

    The only niggling problem is: he has a sister (presumably). A siscon of that level with a sister would completely break the masquerade. However if his sister agrees to “play” as his ‘brother’…

    Well, it’s still a convoluted scenario to get out of admitting that he feels completely unworthy of Nayuta’s admiration as a writer, much less any potential romantic entanglements, but it is a light novel, so….

    I am curious about whether Itsuki showed that manuscript to Chihiro as well, though. Chihiro did notice it in the trash bin when he/she arrived, but otherwise ignored it. It feels like something that would draw curiosity if one didn’t already know about it, especially if it was clearly a substantial amount of work by said older brother.

    • October 9, 2017 at 1:19 pmFlameStrike

      Haha, yeah I was thinking along the same lines. There are a lot of little things that hint towards something like the scenario you describe.

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