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Saturday, September 29, 2012

My Sister Was Always Beside Me: NakaImo 12


Episode 12: With the help of Ikusu, Shogo has finally put the clues together on who his real sister is. (Source: Crunchyroll)
Spoiler alert: Spoilers for the entire Who Is Imouto?/NakaImo series can be found in this entry. Read on with caution!
So, I was wrong. I think? That's the problem; I over thought this damn series and now all my theories and thoughts about WHO IS IMOUTO have gotten mashed up in my head so I don't even know who I had hypothetical money on for Imouto #1 - but I think my initial gut reaction turned out to be the right one. So because the episode itself was rather by-the-numbers for a finale and managed to wrap up everything pretty plainly, let's go through some theories and talk about what stuff this episode exposed as a whole.
Also, let's talk about traps because we can and because traps are always relevant.

I had a suspicion about Yuzurina in the previous NakaImo post which I'll quote here: 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. So . . . I was half right, sort of. I found myself not caring about Yuzurina's storyline once she revealed the blood test had been faked. Still, I think everyone knew Yuzurina was a schemer - we just didn't know to what extent she would go.
Actually, the more I think about the Yuzurina and Miyabi scenes, the more angry Yuzurina's lies made me. She knew who Miyabi was and she played her like a bloody violin, all to destroy Mikadono's company. I don't think she even factored in Miyabi's feelings or Shougo's feelings in her scheme. She's almost ruthless in how calculating this is.
As for Miyabi? Damn, I should have called it. Well, at first I had hedged it between her and Konoe. The fact that she refused to be tested for her DNA by Shougo's little take-home swab kit was a red flag but I was happy to dismiss it when the next Fake Imouto showed up (I can't remember - was it Konoe or Sagara?). Of course, everything is obvious in retrospect.
So yes, there is an Imouto. Yes, she is a blood relation to Shougo. And yes, it is Miyabi. Which, after a lot of angst on her part, Shougo quickly diffuses with "let's be more than lovers - let's be brother and sister" which um what. What is the logic in that one? I guess to him, familial love is deeper than romantic love but in the context of this series (and considering the odd sexual fantasies Shougo had about Yuzurina when she was still Imouto) it's weird bordering on ultra-skeevy.
The one part that I actually enjoyed was so small, most probably missed it, but it's when Shougo goes to cheer on Miyabi at her swim meet. Even though Miyabi loses, she beats her personal record, and Shougo gives her positive feedback and ruffles her hair in a very older brother manner. We quickly see a glimpse of Sagara, Miyabi's protector, looking on with a look of happiness on her face. Now that Shougo has grown up and become strong enough to protect his sister, Sagara has wordlessly passed on the role of protector and guardian of Miyabi's emotional safety to her older brother, Shougo. It was sweet and necessary and I'm glad the series didn't forget about their pact.
Most of the characters got shoved to the periphery in this finale. For the last episode, the stage was set mostly for Shougo, fake imouto Yuzurina, and real imouto Miyabi. But the major catalyst of everything was Ikusu, whose discovery of Yuzurina's past as a child actor in Shougo's favorite tokusatsu program led to the realization that she isn't Imouto. Let's face it; she's awesome. Sometimes, I think Ikusu is the only one using her damn brain on this show. She's the one who puts together all the pieces and is smart enough to realize what it going on, because Shougo really can't deduce his own name much less his Imouto.
So, at the end of it all, we have our Imouto, we have our fake Imouto lost to the wind, and we have Shougo in the middle of a trio of girls willing to be the next Mikadono wife - one of which is his imouto. So much for not boning his sister! The sad thing is, he has the most chemistry at this point with Miyabi. So I'd rather he cause a scandal and hook up with Miyabi rather than get with either Konoe or Rinka, two girls he hasn't really been spending much time with compared to Miyabi.
And now it's over and I can stop blogging about incest rou- wait, there's an unaired 13th episode? And it's going to be coupled with the DVDs? Crap. I guess it's not the end of it after all. But seriously, thanks for sticking through it with me. I think we all deserve frozen yogurts for sitting through all these episodes. And perhaps some booze so we can forget NakaImo even happened. Having said that, I'll probably do a 'final thoughts' post on NakaImo in total because I can't let go of this damn series augh
(And you know what? He should have eaten Konoe's strawberries. Come on, Shougo!)
You can watch all twelve episodes of NakaImo/Who Is Imouto? on Crunchyroll.