Thursday, May 15, 2014

Retro Review: Oniisama E (Dear Brother) episode 5

Continuing off the last episode, Tomoko is still pissed at Nanako because of Mariko, so she tells her mom to tell Nanako she isn't home when Nanako calls. Oh plot contrivances that wouldn't be feasible post-cellphones.

Nanako's mother asks Nanako about the package, they both lie, and their conversation reminds me that this show is really good at creating tension.

Cue more angst from Nanako about what Aya told her. While thinking about it, she plays Takehiko's music box again. Like Tomoko's stuffed bear in this episode's first scene, the music box symbolizes a more childishly innocent time being left behind- in Tomoko's case because she feels like she's losing her best friend, and in Nanako's case because of her new knowledge of her family in addition to shitty high school politics.

At school, poor Nanako gets the brush-off from Tomoko while Mariko, who I feel bad for in a different way, chases Nanako like an attention-starved puppy.

O hai, Rei.

Rei downs pills like candy, so Kaoru is naturally upset and they slap each other because slaps are almost a form of greeting at this school.

This is also the first scene that feels like it's intentionally throwing Rei x Kaoru shippers a bone.

Unfortunately for them, Fukiko interrupts to lord her control over Rei. Speaking of puppy-like behavior that makes me feel bad for the character in question, especially knowing the reasons for it.



The following scene- Fukiko intentionally knocking a metal spiked frog used by the flower-arranging club onto Rei's hand, causing Rei to bleed, and Rei glaring before softening and asking Fukiko to treat it- is their relationship in a nutshell. Nanako pisses off Fukiko by being the only person in the club room to voluntarily treat Rei.

Nanako is also shaken because she saw what Fukiko did and keeps remembering it during the Sorority induction ceremony.

We also get Takehiko's full perspective behind why he agreed to Nanako's request in a nice reconciliation scene between him and Nanako's mother.

I remember that I really chafed at how this subplot ultimately played out when I first watched it. In retrospect, it's probably not coincidental that I had some similar issues to the ones Takehiko mentions in this scene at the time. Now that I am more like current-Takehiko, I'm curious about how this subplot will strike me this time.

I am reminded of how much I like Rei and Kaoru's relationship by Kaoru calling to check up on Rei.

Too bad Rei thinks it's Fukiko and is like, "HA I'LL SHOW YOU BY NOT ANSWERI\NG."

And Nanako learns that even in your dreams, Fukiko's kind of a huge bitch.
Next time, Dear Brother will return to wacky school hijinks with Aya. If this show had a Twitter hashtag, it would probably be #PoorNanako.


Antony Shepherd said...

There's just SO MUCH drama which completely fails to work in a world with mobile phones.

Nanako would have been a lot better off if she'd taken Kaoru's lead and rejected the sorority. But then we'd not have a story...!

Katherine Hanson said...

@Antony- I am in full agreement on both counts!