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[R1 DVD art]
AKA: この中に1人、妹がいる! (Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imōto ga Iru!)
Genre: Harem/Fanservice/Drama and Minor Mystery with More Than a Whiff of SISTER PRINCESS
Length: Television series, 13 episodes, 23 minutes each
Distributor: Currently licensed by Sentai Filmworks.
Content Rating:
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: Koi Kaze
Notes: There was apparently a 13th episode in this series, but it was not streamed by the Anime Network. Its content is thus not discussed in this review.

Nakaimo - My Little Sister is Among Them!


Shogo Mikadono is your typical young heir to an enormous family fortune who is expected to pick a bride from Miryuin Academy as a condition of gaining his inheritance. The problem is that one of the numerous girls there wanting that honor is his own sister, but he doesn't know which one, and SHE isn't telling (though she IS phoning him all the time.) Can he discover her identity before he winds up too close for comfort with someone who's, well, too close for comfort?


What IS this thing about incest, particularly brother-sister, in anime??? I know that the barriers in Japanese culture might be lower for certain reasons, such as its acceptance of a closer degree of consanguinity in relationships than is usually allowed in Western culture (think of all the first-cousin couples in anime). And I got the impression, from a conversation in Hatsukoi Limited, that an overly-affectionate little sister is considered "cute" to some degree-but from that same conversation, I also got the impression that it's also considered a little disturbing, even in Japan. I may be way off base here, but I think a little sister who thinks her brother might like her better if her breasts were bigger, like Hatsukoi Limited's Koyoi, might have a somewhat debatable idea of proper sibling relationships.

In any case, we have just such a little sister in this one too. She's actually only his half-sister, but our hero, Shogo, quite sensibly wants to avoid picking her by mistake, not just for moral reasons, but also to avoid any scandal that might jeopardize his inheritance. In fact, Shogo's opponents might even want to encourage the "little sister" thing, to make him fail. (Oops, that was a spoiler, but if it wasn't for some of the stuff going on behind the scenes, there would be almost nothing of interest in this show AT ALL.)

Shogo is thus a sensible fellow, and a nice guy, and of course soon to be rich, so perhaps the tendency of the girls in the school to attempt blatant seduction of him is more justified here than in other animes where the hero is some poor, obnoxious loser. Among those attempting to seduce him are: Konoe, who uses food metaphors for her own body parts (she's called a "pervert" by one of her rivals, and quite rightly so); Miyabi, the short-girl-with-a-chip-on-her-shoulder type; Rinka Kunitachi, the school martinet and "assistant" to Mana Tendo, the class president (actually Rinka runs things; Mana is an utter doofus); and finally Mei Sagara, who thinks that a witch costume is perfect for every occasion, whether for school or a formal dance, and who runs (why is this not surprising?) a cosplay cafe in her spare time. Five females is of course far too few for a proper harem show, so let's add into the mix Ikusu, a secret agent who's supposedly helping Shogo, but mostly embarrasses him. Ikusu, you see, is posing as a man, and so on the one hand "he" is often found in some kind of clinch with Shogo, leading to rumors that Shogo's gay, while on the other hand, "he" is all "she" in Shogo's apartment, where she is usually bathing and hanging around nude. (She says that this is to erase her "scent", which makes it plain that she is being sought not by enemy agents, but by bloodhounds.) We might as well add the teacher who looks years younger than her students, the schizophrenic school newspaper editor, and the timid student council assistant. The latter two characters I thought might have had some actual potential if properly developed, particularly the timid assistant; in the funniest bit in the series, the school martinet goes on a morality campaign to clean up the school, and has the timid assistant peruse any "questionable" material uncovered; the redder it makes her face, the worse the offense is regarded. But in the end this is the sort of series that squanders its best original characters and sticks mostly to formula.

The show does try to develop some sense of intrigue in the "mystery" of the little sister's identity, but you have to suffer through a lot of nonsense to even get this much plot. Much misdirection is employed to throw the viewer off the scent, as several of the cast deliberately incriminate themselves as "li'l sis" for reasons of varying plausibility. A phone that is supposed to be a unique identifier turns out to be anything but. It doesn't help that Shogo suffers from another anime cliche, loss of memory of important parts of his childhood.

Let me simplify the issue here. There are five cast members who might be the sister- a sixth is pretty clearly a giant red herring- and of all that group, a reasonably attentive person will narrow it down to two. There were at least two clues that I caught (besides the one Shogo finally discovered) that clearly implicated just one of those two. It's not that challenging. And it just isn't worth having to listen over and over to Konoe urge Shogo to sample her "cream puffs". UGH.

I was home and too sick to care much what I was watching when I sat through this. Persons in reasonably good health and in full possession of their faculties have no excuse!

One star, and lucky to get THAT.Allen Moody

Recommended Audience: Fanservice galore- bare breasts, panties, cosplay outfits, full nudity (Ikusu), and etc. Need I say it? Older teens and adults only.

Version(s) Viewed: Digital stream on Anime Network
Review Status: Partial (12/13)
Nakaimo - My Little Sister is Among Them! © 2012 Media Factory, Nakaimo Project.
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