Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Recently, My Sister is Unusual (Saikin, Imōto no Yōsu ga Chotto Okashiin Da Ga.)

There are times where I wish that I didn't like blogging so much about things I like. I mean, I believe in full disclosure and in giving an accurate depiction about how I feel about a given series (or whatever). So I'm going to blog, damn it. Once I put my mind to something I do it. 

However, there are such things as guilty pleasures and it can be embarrassing to blog about those things. I don't particularly wish to let the world know that I watched Recently, My Sister is Unusual in its entirety (let alone enjoyed it), but I'm going to do it anyway. 

If you like lolis, little sisters, strong ecchi content (and I do mean very, very strong), and very little else in the way of plot then you might enjoy this series to a degree. It's not exactly Cowboy Bebop, but if you watch this expecting anything remotely that good then you need your head examined. 

I'm not going to defend this series in terms of content. Honestly, there isn't a single good reason as to why I would recommend it to anyone. Hell, I'd prefer to let everyone not know I watched this series. Queen's Blade was wholesome family fun compared to this. 

Hell, not too long ago I basically ripped a new one into the show Wannabe the Strongest in the World. I couldn't stand the over-the-top fanservice (or at least the way the fan service was depicted) or the stupid storyline (losing fifty matches in a row to the same finishing move???). It was terrible. Maybe it got a little better at the end and maybe I'll try to make it all the way through later on, but for now I've got other things to do. 

What does win me over (for the extreme fan service type of shows, that is) is when everything including the kitchen sink is thrown in. Just go for broke. Show me something that I'm going to remember. Blow my mind. Or else it's pointless. Making a show about nothing but extreme fan service can have its benefits for a while as long as there is at least something that resembles a decent story. When the fan service just doesn't feel right to me or feels too restrained and the story sucks then what's the point of watching? A terrible story with boobs is okay every now and then. A great story with boobs (or without) is okay pretty much all the time, too. 

But when a story doesn't have much of either then I don't see the point. Especially when boobs are supposed to be one of the attractions. For this genre, that is. 

Again, when it comes to extreme fan service, go for broke or give me a real story with as little fan service as possible. Or a lot. I'm not picky. 

Recently, My Sister is Unusual goes for broke. It's downright uncomfortable to watch at times. Or would be if someone accidentally walked in while I was watching it. That didn't happen, though. Thank God. Personally, I don't care what other people think of what I watch. I don't hide it, but I don't really brag about it, either. Sure, I'll blog about, but that's different than talking about it over Thanksgiving dinner with the family. 

I am aware of how certain things can be perceived and I prefer to not put myself in awkward situations. Life's easier that way. 

The show is about a girl named Mitsuki who gets into a new family when her mom marries Yuya's dad. Yuya essentially becomes Mitsuki's older brother and Mitsuki is having trouble adjusting to getting a new older sibling. Her being taciturn and moody by nature doesn't really help the process along, either. 

Things get even more complicated when Mitsuki becomes possessed by a ghost named Kotobuki Hiyori. If that were the strangest thing to happen in this story then there really wouldn't be much to talk about. 

Here's where things get kind of icky, though. You see, Hiyori wants to get "lovey-dovey" with Mistuki's new brother Yuya because doing so would get Hiyori to heaven. Yeah. Mitsuki is forced to wear a chastity belt with a heart-shaped vial on it and with this she is able to help Hiyori in her mission. 

Those two statements I just made seem a bit unconnected, right? Well, that's because I haven't told you that Mitsuki will die if she doesn't fulfill Hiyori's wish. How will that wish be fulfilled? Well, by filling up the heart-shaped vial, of course. What will fill up that heart-shaped vial? Well... yeah... I'm hoping you can figure that out. I'd rather not come out and say it myself. 

But basically whenever Mitsuki becomes excited (while in sync with Hiyori and her wishes, that is) the vial fills up little by little. Enough said. When the vial fills up Hiyori can go to heaven and Mitsuki can continue living her life normally. If the vial doesn't fill up and Mitsuki places more distance between herself and Hiyori (and consequently Yuya) then bad things will happen. Like death. 

This is one of those shows where I'm actually glad that the main male protagonist of this show is a dense idiot. You know how Leslie Nielsen never cracked a smile in Airplane despite all of the chaos around him? It's similar to that kind of thing. Kind of. Instead of thinking that maybe Mitsuki is somehow possessed by a horny ghost that wants to get lovey-dovey with him, he merely thinks that Mitsuki might be involved in a lesbian cosplay couple with a strange red-haired girl he sometimes sees and sometimes doesn't. Which is rational. Sort of. Weird as hell, but still more rational than the alternative. 

Yuya is always thinking of a rational explanation to everything. With all the of the screwed up stuff happening all around him (like his possessed sister trying to fuck his brains out... you know, like that) it's amazing how easily he just shrugs it off with a feeling of mild confusion. You'd think he'd get a hint (or a restraining order), but he just plays the straight and caring older brother no matter what. Completely incorruptible, I suppose. 

I suppose I should also mention the yuri scenes. Sometimes Hiyori and Mitsuki seem a little too close. Way too close. So close that we can't see what is really happening and instead a screen pops up with text that tells us certain intimate things that are happening. The sound effects are there, of course. Just not the actual events being told to us. I don't know if this is something they are saving for the blu-ray or if it's just a bit (understatement alert) of naughty humor. Either way, it is certainly interesting and funny. 

This show comes really close to being animated porn. Real close. I'd say it is, but all of the material that would qualify it as such has been kept at just enough distance. So this show is barely not porn. 

Oddly enough, there is very little nudity in this show... at least in the simulcasted version I saw. I don't know if the blu-ray will reveal a lot more or not. There are things censored like Mitsuki's chastity belt and the close scenes between Mitsuki and Hiyori, but I don't know what was intentional by the writers and what was intentional by the networks. That's an important distinction. 

The amazing thing is that is show was actually shown on Japanese television. Sure, there was controversy about the subject matter (more because of how the show was rated than anything else) and the timeslot changed a bit, but it was still shown in Japan on TV. 

God, I love Japan. 

But you know what? The "almost" adult content of this show wasn't reason I watched it or kept watching it. The premise seemed odd to me, but I started watching because I thought it was going to be funny. And it was. Dirty as hell and definitely awkward as shit, but I laughed my ass off during every episode. Yeah, the jokes got a bit recycled and the ending was typically silly, but it was still funny as hell and totally worth the twelve episodes it took to watch it all the way through. 

I looked forward to watching the show each week. That's the only real good thing I can say about the show in terms of honest praise that might actually win someone critical of this series over (assuming my words have any weight). I should find it terrible (like a lot of other people did or do), but I don't. I know normal people wouldn't touch this show with a hundred foot pole (hell, even Oreimo looks morally acceptable to this), but I'm not normal. Even among people who aren't normal I am less normal. 

This show was funny, damn it. And regretting laughter is stupid. 

So, yeah, that's why I'm blogging about this show. I watched it and enjoyed it. I probably have terrible taste. Don't listen to me. 

P.S. - There's a live action movie, too. Just think about that. Just... think about that. 

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