OP: 「BELOVED×SURVIVAL」 by Gero
「第一衝突: 兄弟」 (Dai Ichi Shōtotsu: Kyōdai)
“The First Conflict: Brothers”
Can someone please give me a reason for why Ema is the only one who can hear Juli?
I like seeing shows that cater to a female audience. It’s nice to know we’re not forgotten or that there is a market specifically for people with these sorts of tastes in the industry. I also like the idea of reverse harems in equality with the much larger regular harem market. My problem with these sorts of shows isn’t in the fact that they are harems (reverse or otherwise), but in the way they are presented. I’ll make my case on what I mean in a moment; first, is BroCon (AKA BroCage amongst the writers, long story) a good anime?
As always, the answer lies in preferences, but as a reverse harem type of series, and for the fans this sort of genre generates, then I’d say yes, it probably is. Brains Base is a good studio, and though Oregairu wasn’t beautiful to look at (which I’ve always believed a stylistic decision rather than an economic one), Brocage is much more pleasant to the eye. I particularly liked the attention to detail in Emi’s design, where even her lips are drawn with real volume and color, and all the characters have particular and separate designs (so much so that it’s hard to believe this is a household of brothers with presumably the same father, but hey, anime logic). The production side of things in general is just as nice, with fluidity in most aspects, and though it’s rather jarring to hear Kaji Yuki as a ten year old child, the voice acting isn’t bad either. And if you’re looking for the tried and true stereotypes of shoujo anime and reverse harems, this is definitely the place for you, complete with homo-erotic twins and misunderstandings up to your nose.
When Ema Hinata’s (Satou Rina) father remarries and leaves his only daughter to live with a household of strange men turned family overnight, it’s hard not to guess exactly what kind of show this is going to be, even without the talking squirrel, Juli (Kamiya Hiroshi), to spell it out. That’s not really a problem in terms of content as it is in execution. As I mentioned already, production-wise this is a very nice series, but in terms of narrative content, there isn’t a whole lot to separate Brocage from the Amnesias and other reverse harems of the world at this point. There are a lot of shoujo stereotypes at work here that I don’t particularly like myself; Emi is rather meek and tends to go with her brothers’ flow (though not completely, I like that she doesn’t get overly flustered when kissed against her will and then she asks her “onii-chan” not to tease her) while her step-brothers are all type characters of high competence and ability. Everything is so flowery and dramatic in a way that’s not as pleasant as in a series like KARNEVAL and I dislike how in truth the squirrel has more presence than the girl. Just once, I would like to see a reverse-harem overcome its shoujo stereotypes and really engage the viewer in a way that few shows of this type ever do, though that doesn’t really mean it’s a bad series. In fact, I think I did see some flags for a real end with Yuusuke (Hosoya Yoshimasa), Ema’s classmate, which is always interesting compared to a harem end, and it’s completely possible the premiere isn’t very indicative of what the rest of the series is like too. If those sorts of worries don’t bother you in the least though, then it seems BroCon is definitely good at what it does. I might keep watching to see how things look a few episodes in.
Note: Apologies for the late post, between Anime Expo and some issues I had finding the episode, things got fairly delayed very quickly. There are also currently no plans on RandomC to follow BroCon on a weekly basis.
ED: 「「14 to 1」 by ASAHINA Bros.+JULI