Sunday, May 4, 2014

Retro Review: Oniisama E (Dear Brother) episode 4

Since the last time I recapped this series- I moved (within the same city for the first time in a year)! And as you probably know, my girlfriend and I went to Sakura-Con and did a yuri panel, whose recording, transcript, and slideshow I posted last Sunday. Also, the final set for this series met its goal, so high five to everyone else who made a never-before-licensed thirty-nine episode shoujo series from 1991 get a complete English release. Anyway, onward to the recap!

We left off episode 3 knowing that Nanako is pretty screwed because Aya made her two hours late to the Sorority selection meeting. Mariko, who has been doing her best to cover for Nanako, hurries her in front of the Sorority members.

The interview is suitably cringe-worthy. Nanako responds to "What is your hobby?" by answering that she likes baking cakes, and the Sorority members stare until one giggles. Nobody snickers at Nanako's answer to, "Which club do you want to join?" but only because Fukiko likes it.

Unusually, Fukiko is not pleased by Nanako's answer because Nanako's unpolished shoujo protagonist-ness is just so gosh-darned lovable. Fukiko has ulterior motives that I won't spoil.

Anyway, Fukiko asks Nanako who her favorite author is. The Sorority members are like "Hee hee! How childish," when Nanako names Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Lucy Maud Montgomery, then they humor her in a "We know you're bullshitting," way when she quickly names Marquis de Sade to make up for the childishness of her first choices.

Even Fukiko laughs, and to be fair, even though it's cringey, it is funny.

Mariko tries to cheer up Nanako later, and deduces who fucked with her.

Nanako goes home depressed, but sadly recognizes that she might do the same thing if she were in Aya's shoes. I liked the acknowledgment that even though Nanako has a good moral compass and is the heroine of this series, she isn't this saintly Madonna who would never be tempted to do wrong.

Anywho, Tomoko cheers her up. It's a sweet moment that someone who has only watched this far will already be able to tell will be quickly stomped on. (My girlfriend: "It's a classic  Mami moment.")

The next day Nanako goes to school at peace with not being chosen for the Sorority, but Mariko shows her the "good" news.

I also still like how Mariko deals with bullies, even though her method doesn't, uh, always work well in real life/in this show.

Tomoko is pissed because Nanako promised they'd join the baking club together and every Sorority member has to join to the flower-arranging club. Technically they don't all have to, but Fukiko does, so they really do. And in Nanako's case, she promised she would because it was a panicked response to an interview she didn't think she'd pass.

Aya and her henchchicks goad everyone in English class into bullying Nanako and the teacher is useless, but Kaoru has a response so amazing, I replayed this scene just to be like "Omg watch this" to my girlfriend.

Kaoru continues to be delightful in cooking class.

Mariko is delightful in a different way, in response to Aya revealing a lurid secret about Nanako's family that Nanako didn't know about in front of everyone.

Nanako has to deal with the possibility that everything her parents told her about how they met is a lie- and that they lied to her, period- and anyone who couldn't previously tell what Takehiko's relationship to Nanako is should by now.

Nanako refuses Mariko's invitation to walk home together because she's already walking with Tomoko, and I think it's kind of dumb because why can't she walk home with both of them? I found that a bit weird because she seemed like she was being earnest, not like she was looking for an excuse not to walk with Mariko. But then Mariko's clingy, so maybe I'm wrong. Mariko seems to have anticipated Nanako's response in her own creepy way, though.

This episode ends with a wedge between Nanako and Tomoko, Nanako's mom being shaken by Nanako receiving a package from Takehiko, and Nanako deciding against asking her mom about what Aya said for the time being. Takehiko's gift is sweet and Nanako cries while playing it because of everything else going on.

And that is it for now~


drawnseeker said...

Thank you for your awesome reviews. I loved your Slide show and transcripts from your panel, it was excellent!

Katherine Hanson said...

@drawnseeker- Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the panel and like the reviews! =)