Winter is already upon us and so is the newest anime season. Don’t worry, though. There are plenty of brothers and sisters to go around, and here are four series to keep an eye on.
3-gatsu no Lion (March comes in like a lion)
Rei Kiriyama has accomplished what few people have managed to do–become a professional shogi player while still being in middle school. However, despite this remarkable achievement, he is under an incredible amount of stress. Combined with an introverted personality and the fact that he lives alone, he has difficulty finding the needed support among the much older shogi players, as well as non-shogi-playing kids his own age. Fortunately, his life begins to change when a trio of sisters enduring their own hardships appears.
This drama series actually started last fall, and the big draw for me at that time was the three sisters. Their close bond with each other, and with Rei, is quite the contrast to the complex relationship the protagonist has with his step-sister. It’s indeed interesting how friends can sometimes be more essential than family at times.
Akiba’s Trip: The Animation
Standard otaku Tamotsu Denkigai loves the Akihabara shopping district and is often there with his little sister, Niwaka, but when creatures known as Bugged Ones start possessing people and attacking the area, hoping to take it over for their nefarious needs, they get drawn into the fight. And the only way to fight? Ripping off as many possessed people’s clothes as possible. For real.
The Animation is based on the successful Akiba’s Trip videogame series, which, unfortunately, I’ve not had the pleasure to play. However, the premise sounds like ridiculous fun, and the animated adaptation should capture that perfectly.
There’s something about Fuuka Aikitsuki, the energetic, fun-loving girl who spends lunch every day standing on top of the school rooftop listening to music on her headphones, and Yuu Haruna, the guy who spends most of his time on Twitter, is going to find out what that is, whether he wants to or not.
Females are often the most interesting characters in a typical anime series. Think about it. The average male protagonist is a nice, often dense (and forgettable) guy who may or may not be an accidental pervert, while the girls he knows or meets over the course of the series are more distinctive in some way, often based on a character archetype: childhood friend, high class girl, super excited girl, shy girl, strange girl, etc. Sure, these same types appear in show after show, but they still stand out more often than their respective male leads–and this series is no exception. Seriously, I can guarantee that a couple years from now viewers will remember Fuuka the character more than Yuu the character (and not just because her name’s the title). She’s the actual protagonist; the guy is simply along for the ride.
Boy (Shoichi Kamita) meets Girl. Drama happens. Boy and Girl overcome drama and start relationship. End.
Repeat that setup at least three times, but each time it restarts, forget everything that happened with the previous girl because it no longer applies. Think of it as three completely different stories, and you’ll be all set.
If you’ve ever seen Amagami SS, this is that all over again, except the boy’s sister isn’t as awesome and lovable as Miya. If you haven’t, the show structure is a refreshing spin on the romantic comedy formula. Don’t like Girl #1? That’s fine. Borrowing from multi-route games and books, viewers can see how a happy relationship with Girl #2 or Girl #3 would turn out. The only downsides are that: 1) each girl’s arc lasts only three or four episodes as opposed to the entirety of the series, and 2) you might not like some of the girls. Fortunately, the boy’s sister will always be there, so it’s all good.