Posted by psgels on 24 August 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews




Usually when I compare a series to melodrama, I mean this in a negative way. Onii-Sama e, however… is just one of those exceptions that struck me by utter surprise. It comes with such a style, grace and elegance that the huge amounts of teenaged angst and bitchfights fit completely into place.

It’s another one of the television series directed by Osamu Dezaki, and seriously, the more I watch of this guy the more respect I get of him. The direction in this series is just fantastic, especially considering how old it already is (1992!). It’s a series that may not have the highest budget, but it makes optimal use of the animation techniques that were available at the time.

Characters are drawn swiftly and elegantly. Even the still frames are packed with movement, while the animated scenes have surprisingly good frame-rates. Everything is dedicated to making the characters look as elegantly as possible, without going over the top and just making the characters look silly, like what’s happening to most modern shoujo series.

The melodrama is obviously there: the characters in this series really have issues, and vicious catfights, screaming, yelling and suicidal thoughts are no stranger in this series. But the thing is that while it’s over the top, it never gets cheesy. The drama doesn’t get silly in how hard it tries, and instead it continues to colour the different characters throughout the series.

Characters, who are another part of the series’ highlights. Ranging from the main characters to the side ones, they are varied, engaging and deep. It’s great to watch them grow throughout the series, and deal with their own issues that while over the top, are things that I can very easily see teenaged girls to relate with. The chemistry and bonds between the characters is also great to watch, not to mention the excellent script that hits the mark time and time again.

At the same time though, I do see how Osamu Dezaki’s involvement can be a bit of a double edged sword. Judging from the reception of the Air and Clannad movies and Ultraviolet, his style is something that you can hate just as easily. His series also often have character-designs that look like no other anime out there. In Onii-Sama e’s case, it pretty much depends on how you’ll be able to stomach the dramatic scenes. The scenes beyond that are very accessible though: I’m still amazed at how much life the creators managed to put into them.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Fantastic direction, excellent dialogue, really dramatic.
Characters: 9/10 – An excellent cast, well fleshed out and developed throughout the entire run of the series.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Love it or hate it style. I loved it. The soundtrack is beautiful as well.
Setting: 8/10 – A bit of a soap opera setting, but solid and does its job to make the rest of the series shine.

Suggestions:
Ultraviolet: Code 044
Revolutionary Girl Utena
Chris says:

Funny that you put Utena as a recommendation since Utena was actually inspired by Oniisama e along with Rose of the Versailles. This show was also banned in a few European countries along with Mexico for the “scandalous” scene in the later half of the series. I love this show and despite it being incredibly depressing it is very entertaining and beautiful.

  • Chris says:

    correction, wasn’t banned entirely just removed/banned from television.

  • Firechick says:

    Oh, Osamu Dezaki directed this? I didn’t know that. Well, psgels, definitely check out Ie Naki Ko next. I swear, you’re gonna love it to death.

  • Meep says:

    I watched this quite a while ago, only because it was recommended for ROV (Rose of Versailles) fans. But this particular anime felt too awkward to enjoy..just something about it.. xD

  • Universal Bunny says:

    I wouldn’t normally do this, but would you please suggest a place to where to find this series? I’ve been on the lookout for well over a year without much luck.

  • Machi says:

    Oh GAWD ANOTHER nostalgia anime for me XD You didn’t have to call this anime old :_:

  • Saint-Just says:

    Great show, I’m glad you liked it. One of my favorite shojo anime, along with Utena and Rose of Versailles.

  • Brand says:

    I put this in my own personal top 20 anime titles. It is a really great series. I started watching and ended up marathoning the whole thing. I would say this is a must see for anyone who loves Utena. The parallels Utena has to it is rather impressive in a way where many of the aspects are incredible similar but manage not to feel like a straight rip-off.

    This (also much like Utena) is one of the few series I also feel the anime is way better then the manga. The manga isn’t bad, but at 3 volumes you don’t really get the depth that the anime series has.

  • windy says:

    One of the best shows for me as well, I was completely under the spell while I’ve been watching it. I think that all those who liked “Rose of Versailles” will definitely love it as well, I was enticed by both the style and the scrypt in both of those series and have read those both manga drawn by a mangaka I deeply admire: Riyoko Ikeda.

  • Universal Bunny says:

    Thank you psgel. I’ve made an account but there is a limitation on what one can see within 6 days of sign-up. I’ll try in 6 days.

  • trunkschan90 says:

    AnimeSols is currently streaming and crowdfunding the DVD release of Oniisama e :)

    http://animesols.com/video_sets/26

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    • Emma
      (Tuesday, Jan 27. 2015 03:37 AM)
      @Aidan: Last two chapters out now of this here: http://bato.to/comic/_/comics/shinigami-sama-to-4-nin-no-kanojo-r9855
    • AidanAK47
      (Tuesday, Jan 27. 2015 03:16 AM)
      @Alley, Kinda being rude but I don’t know. Don’t know much of anything actually. I have been kinda left here to hold the fort.
    • Emma
      (Tuesday, Jan 27. 2015 03:12 AM)
      “My mind started spinning tales from her being a serial killer or her being a man.”
      Well doesn’t someone have quite the imagination, ha.
      …And I keep forgetting to watch the credits/after credits bits in death parade…damn…
    • Alley
      (Tuesday, Jan 27. 2015 03:04 AM)
      Isn’t psgels going to post anymore?
    • Emma
      (Monday, Jan 26. 2015 11:06 PM)
      Well to whoever who is still watching yurikuma Arashi, you’ll be happy to know this week they delve into some much needed backstory of one of the characters.
    • Emma
      (Monday, Jan 26. 2015 11:03 PM)
      I agree with those who have been saying that they would like to see an episode of death parade dealing with characters who have never met/don’t know each other. To change things up a bit.
    • Emma
      (Monday, Jan 26. 2015 11:00 PM)
      There is every bit the chance the first six episodes will be standalone stories and the rest more of a continuous plot.
    • Raggers
      (Monday, Jan 26. 2015 10:33 PM)
      @Aidan: I’m not writing it off completely, but Death Parade is at ep3 and it’s still not clear where it’s going, and it has been far from a smooth ride.
    • Emma
      (Monday, Jan 26. 2015 09:23 PM)
      I did feel that Kino would have been better as just a few ovas, hell girl I think overstretched itself after season 2.
    • Emma
      (Monday, Jan 26. 2015 09:21 PM)
      Well in addition to all I’ve posted/thought about death parade so far, like hell girl mushishi, kino no tabi , Natsume even, eventually I find myself watching the best selection of episodes and not looking into every single one, sometimes I’ll just get fed up with episodic format shows too.

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