What They Say:
Akito catches Akiko reading a trashy romance novel. Akito, having trouble settling in to in his class, is given firsthand lessons in the concept of “tsundere”from both Akiko and Anastasia. Akito and his longtime friend Ginbe get into an argument.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the kickoff to the series in the first episode, we got a good look at the kind of relationship that exists between Akito and his sister Akiko. He’s not unaware of how she is, but he also has a sort of can’t believe it disconnect with it that keeps him from taking it seriously. For Akiko, she’s just excited to have a real shot at trying to win him over now by sharing the same dorm with him and beiing in the same school and even on the same student government council. What she didn’t expect was the trio of other girls that would get in her way. You’d think she would though, with her fascination with romance novels, something that Akito calls her out on at the start here.
Akiko does her best though as she makes it plainly clear that she’s into him and even does such monologues while in school, which is a little unnerving. She’s intent on capturing his heart but he’s just completely uninterested in this idea of viewing her as a love interest. And it’s welcome that he’s so unequivocal about it rather than just trying to deflect and be wishy washy about it. This irks her enough to take her out of the picture for a bit, but it’s just an opportunity for Anastasia to get close to him for a bit, messing with his head about his whole tsundere side and making some really biting marks in a way that hits him pretty close to home. She’s also quite clear about her feelings towards his sister, another area where characters would normally be a bit cloying and trying to soften it so as to win over the brother.
The show also takes its time to give him a chance to spend some one on one time with the other two girls. Ginbe’s kind of subdued overall but there’s some subliminal threats placed into their discussion. The one that goes more threatening is when Arashi corners here and plays with him like a cat with a mouse. She strikes hard, claims she’s teasing, and then takes it even harder. It’s blatant to be sure but there’s some charm in how she’s clear about what she wants. All of this naturally gets back to Akiko in some way and she does her best to try and reassert her position, which is comical against someone like Arashi. But there is the bond there that he can’t deny as they are related, and they do manage to find a little more middle ground this time around which helps to soften things just a touch.
In the category of shows that I know I should know better about, I’m enjoying OniAi against my better judgment. Shows like this naturally turn off a good segment of fans since they dislike the whole brotherly love angle. It’s played for a lot of laughs here and it’s not hidden to a secondary character but rather has it with the two leads, one of which is nowhere near shy about making her feelings know. With this episode, we get to see more of her in context with her brother but also the other three girls alone with Akito, which helps to show how their relationships are. It’s a bit standard and by the numbers in a lot of ways, but it’s making me laugh and generally looks very good with its designs, fanservice and overall appeal.
Streamed By: FUNimation
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.