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Saturday, September 22, 2012

My Blooming Sisters/My Sister's Trap: NakaImo 10 & 11

Episode 10: When all of Shogo’s potential wives are invited to the same party, things do not go as planned. Especially when he finds a trusted member is planning to overthrow his inheritance of the company.
Episode 11: With all the lies, conflicting stories, and people trying to ruin his inheritance, Shogo is breaking down. To add to his worries, Kannagi is making outrageous demands. (Source: Crunchyroll)
If I did not know the next episode would be the series finale, nothing about these two episodes would telegraph that point at all. If any, NakaImo is moving at a snail's pace towards its conclusion, seemingly content to waste time in the hijinks and contrived romantic tension than the storyline behind the title of the show itself. But that's NakaImo for you; it hops between screwball comedy, romantic drama, and incest roulette-related suspense so much it can't be bothered to find a comfortable place in-between all of these various aspects of itself.
You can read the rest of this review after the jump:

The focus of these two episodes are the relationships between Shougo and Kannagi as well as Shougo and his imouto (right?) Yuzurina, who is acting ridiculously suspicious. Then again, it seems like everyone minus Shougo himself is acting oddly recently. Even everyone's favorite trap, Ikusu, seems to have something up her sleeve; her watching clips of Shougo's childhood favorite show at the end of "My Sister's Trap" has to mean something or I'll eat my hat. Or my imouto's hat, whichever shows up first.
So there's this ridiculous plot to force Shougo out as heir of the Mikadono corporation, and apparently his mother's secretary is a part of it. Right? She did have a direct hand in making sure all of his friends were able to attend the party - but then she stole the letter from Yuzurina's jacket, and that plus the cell phone equals a whole bunch of wolves in sheep’s' clothing running around Mikadono HQ. 
We'd probably know more if the show didn't enjoy diverting from this back to the love octagon surrounding Shougo's celibate-from-plot-stupidity self. I suppose that is yet another plot thread the finale will have to attempt to resolve in some matter, although at this rate it will be a rather quick and messy solution whatever it is. As long as Ikusu turns out all right in the end, I'll be sated. 
Also: I'm sorry but I cannot be the only one who finds Yuzurina cheering on Shougo to just pick a girl and get laid already to be a tad . . . creepy. However, considering Yuzurina is probably scheming as well, this could all be part of her plan to either ruin or help him. My bet is on this being an elaborate as hell revenge scheme for being rejected by the Mikadono family and not being the proper heir to the company. Watch me be wrong, though, as NakaImo performs acrobatic feats of plot contrivance to make its desired preset ending come true. Whatever that is. Maybe we'll get that Higurashi/School Days twist after all.
And can we talk a bit about Shougo's fantasies about Yuzurina, clad in nothing but an apron and calling him 'onii-sama' in a sexy voice? God damn it, the point is to not bone your sister, Shougo! Wasn't that the point of confirming her as a blood relation as well as the entire series up to this point? If Shougo ends up going with Yuzurina, I will laugh and laugh and laugh in that pained psychotic way that makes people back away from me in public. But I'm sure people who love seeing incest roulette end in actual incest would love that ending, non?
As to Shougo and Miyabi, it looks like the show is angling for them to be together as endgame in a rather hardcore kind of way. It's a good match of personalities and would probably succeed in pissing off a lot of folks in the company in the process. Her desperateness to jump Shougo's bones comes from 'losing' him during their childhood and her being afraid to lose him again to some other woman, so I can't even fault Miyabi for getting worried that Shougo will pick Konoe or someone else over her. 
Plus, it means more oddly censored fanservice blurring out any hint of boobs or butts or anything sexual in nature. I swear to God, if the North American DVDs have the same 'dark cloud' censorship, all the tables shall be flipped in retaliation. I mean, they censor panties for goodness' sake. When did accidental panty shots become out of bounds in anime? Or is this another thing recent Japanese legislature is to blame for?
(Of note is the fact that Miyabi has yet to bring up seeing Shougo and Konoe supposedly kiss. Perhaps she is too embarrassed at seeing it to say anything – or would rather forget the whole thing ever happened. One way or another, however, I don't see that moment going away any time soon.)
Shougo and Miyabi's date was ridiculously drawn out but in the end, it was not too bad as it did something most episodes haven't been able to do; somewhat establish a relationship between Shougo and one of the girls beyond the usual plot twists. I also found it oddly endearing that Miyabi took time during their date to swim, as she could not realistically take any time off from practicing since competitions are just around the corner. The fact that Shougo is ultimately understanding of this is nice too. Although I didn't realize pet shelters were a standard place to visit on a date? Shows me what I know 'bout courting a girl.
Lastly, God bless Shougo for not taking advantage of a sloshed Miyabi during the company party. No, really. If he had done that, I would have dropped this show so damn fast my own imouto's head in Indiana would still be spinning. But he didn't, so here Shougo, have a frosted cookie for being a decent human being. And now shame on the people in NakaImo who bottle both grape juice and wine in ridiculously similar looking bottles so that contrived scenarios like these can happen.
My predictions for the NakaImo finale: Yuzurina turns out to be a double-crosser, the 'fake' imouto at the funeral really was Konoe, and Shougo either chooses Miyabi as his lover or fakes out at the last minute and decides to wait until graduation. Oh, and Ikusu reveals why she's been watching clips of old tokusatsu shows late at night, which may or may not reveal Yuzurina's true intentions. Then again, it's Naka-bloody-Imo - who the hell knows at this point? For those of us still watching, I salute us with this glass of wine I've been drinking through episode 11. God help us all.
You can watch subbed streaming episodes of NakaImo/Who Is Imouto? over at Crunchyroll's series page.
Note: The unaired 13th episode, now deemed an OVA, of NakaImo will be released on March 27 2013. It will be packaged with the NakaImo Japanese Blu-Ray release; no word on whether this OVA shall be included with the North American DVD/BR release which will possibly be released 2013 as well. Thanks to AnimeNation for the sauce, found here.