Based upon the manga by Motoi Yoshida
Directed by Takahiro Omori
Music by Makoto Yoshimori
- Two clean endings
- Original Japanese ending
- Bears’ mini theatre
- Sticker sheet
Dindrane’s Anime Warnings:
- Forbidden love
- Sexual situations
- More angst than a 1920s French coffee shop
- Flippant discussion of suicide
Released by: Geneon
Rating: 16+ for sacred cows
My Advice: At least rent it, if you can handle the heaviness
The visuals are simple and almost spare, in direct contrast to the plot complexity and emotional complications of the characters. The show looks like a watercolor, a deceptively lovely and peaceful look for a show about such storms, albeit tightly controlled and fully internal storms. The effect is taut and sincere. The only minor quibble is that Nanoka just looks younger than she really is; she looks about 10-13 instead of 15. The audio is also nicely complimentary to the show’s content. The voice actors for Koshiro, both English and Japanese, continue to do a bang-up job making him sympathetic and tortured, without making him a creepy whiner.
The special features are nice, if not stellar. We get two different clean endings, the original Japanese ending, and “Bears’ Mini Theatre,” which has a kind of replay of the show by stuffed bears. The DVD case also comes with a sheet containing a couple of stickers.
The show’s ethical concepts are further developed by other relationships, such as that of Nanoka’s friend’s sister, who is submitting to an arranged marriage next year, and the friendship of Nanoka and Futaba. Again, viewers are asked to confront the issue of love in relationships, responsibility, and what makes a real, or good, marriage. The show does tread on very dangerous ground, especially as it dares to suggest that a brother-sister relationship is not necessarily always wrong. Love is never easy, and this show delves into a situation where that is true in the extreme.
Viewers who approach the show honestly and without prejudice will find themselves caught up in the internal struggles of Nanoka and Koshiro as they try to force themselves apart to stop loving each other, despite Chidori’s efforts to whip him into shape. The idea of brother-sister love is usually approached as slapstick or in seriously disturbing ways, so the idea of honestly facing up to this sacred cow is pioneering, even if you don’t agree with how it’s playing out. All in all, it is an interesting show, and a brave one, for tackling in depth, sincerity, and seriousness a subject that most other non-adult titles won’t even touch.