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Old 2013-01-06, 00:53   Link #1
0utf0xZer0
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Why do so few little sister characters have a brother who is not the protagonist?

So it occurs to me that little sisters characters are usually either the protagonist's sister, the little sister of a more prominent female character, or not really a little sister at all, but merely a character who exhibits traits typical for a little sister character.

Why is it that's it's so rare for little sisters to have an older brother who is not the protagonist? Seems like they'd have some serious comedic potential, particularly if the older brother is a friend of the protagonist, yet I can only think of a few examples with Mei from Clannad being perhaps the most prominent.
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Old 2013-01-06, 01:00   Link #2
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I can think of another instance that fits what you're thinking of. Nana Aihara from Kimikiss. She was originally playing the role that Miya played in Amagami, but due to the unorthodox way the game was adapted, she ended up becoming related to a protagonist, but arguably not the protagonist.

As for why this happens, it's pretty clear. It provides a family member for the hero to care about, and, depending on the tastes of the audience (or the audience, regardless) can turn her into a potential love interest. Plus a family having at least one child of each gender covers all the bases.

It's not just little sisters, either. If a character has an older sister, she also tends to fit into certain molds and fill similar roles. They all have their part to play in the story, and when you want to keep your cast small in order to maximize the amount of character time, having characters be related to the leads in some way or another simply makes sense.
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Old 2013-01-06, 01:19   Link #3
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Please correct me if Iím wrong, but I think itís only rare for little sisters to have non-protagonist big-bros if you only watch romance, harem, ecchi, or shounen anime that only target young-male audience.

Thereís one big example of a lil-sis protagonist who has non-protagonist big-bro, and that is Kinomoto Sakura from Cardcaptor Sakura. The anime itself isnít targeted only at young males (if not at all) IMO.
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Old 2013-01-06, 01:19   Link #4
0utf0xZer0
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@Midonin: Don't you think it's a bit odd though, that it's almost never a friend's little sister who has a crush on the protagonist? It strikes me as a way to mix thing up a bit while still keeping things pretty simple for the author.
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Old 2013-01-06, 01:22   Link #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
@Midonin: Don't you think it's a bit odd though, that it's almost never a friend's little sister who has a crush on the protagonist?

Nah, that's for western sitcoms where the protagonists always date his best friend's sister at some point
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Old 2013-01-06, 01:27   Link #6
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Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
@Midonin: Don't you think it's a bit odd though, that it's almost never a friend's little sister who has a crush on the protagonist? It strikes me as a way to mix thing up a bit while still keeping things pretty simple for the author.
Watch Infinite Stratos. There's one episode where the situation is exactly like you wished for. But yeah, it's only one episode and just for a brief moment. Can't think of other examples right now that exactly match your condition.

EDIT: I can't believe I forgot about this. In Doraemon, Giant's little-sis, Jaiko, has a crush on Nobita, the protagonist XD. There's also Aika who dated Yoshino in Zetsuen no Tempest.
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Old 2013-01-06, 01:53   Link #7
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Well, I suppose the most obvious example I can think of off-hand is Little Busters (Rin). I can also think of one example where the sister in question was an older sister, and that's Tama-nee from To Heart 2.

In most of the other cases I can think of, the fact that the "sister" has (an) older brother(s) is not necessarily so important. (The other siblings may be older than the protagonist, so not have any connection to him.) Having the older brother be the friend of the protagonist and having the romantic interest be the friend's sister happens, but it's a rather precise combination.

(Incidentally, I can think of two eroge off-hand where this particular relationship combination was a plot element in at least the associated route: Owarinaki Natsu, Towanaru Shirabe, and your diary. I'm sure there are more (particularly beyond the games I've played), but I'm trying to think of examples where both the brother and the sister played prominent roles.)
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Old 2013-01-06, 01:55   Link #8
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Maybe because it's not cool to date your friend/rival sister?

Or it's just slightly awkward for a relationship between a protagonist, his friend and the younger sister to exist in anime?
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Old 2013-01-06, 02:04   Link #9
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Why do so few little sister characters have a brother who is not the protagonist?

I was confused by statement..

Anyway... Hmmm

Why are there a few imouto who's brother isn't a protagonist? Well the only thing I could say is that imoutos in anime are so attached to their oniichan. It's expected that the two will interact which each other throughout the series... which might make him stand out... and probably.. or maybe the author wants some brocom siscom vibes in the series..You can't have that without a brother as part of the main cast....
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Old 2013-01-06, 03:11   Link #10
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Because we need a loli bait character and it's easiest to put it as the MC's imouto. Considering they're often weak satelite characters, you'd have even weaker satellite characters of satellite characters if we're going this way.

Though in all seriousness, you will notice the character relations getting a lot weaker except in the most well written of anime. Hell, there's so many anime where anything but the canon couple is just a set of loose strings. Bascailly, if you're not a main character in many cases, you don't get to have a cute little sister, a girlfriend that matters to the plot, or even closure.

Though any number of series will buck the trend. But in general, it's an utter lack of care.
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Old 2013-01-06, 04:57   Link #11
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Well, the more I tried to think of contradictions to this, the less I found. My best example was Ore no Imouto, and it was the only concrete one I have.

Although this isn't limited to little sisters. Big sisters are common as well. In romance/comedy the sisters tend to impart the female perspective on woman-challenged brothers. There are also plenty of examples of older sisters being a role model for the younger MC. Honestly, I feel like big sisters are just as common. Especially any time there's action in the series and there's a sibling for the MC, it's an older sister.
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Old 2013-01-06, 05:08   Link #12
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Isn't Nanoha the little sister in her series with an older brother? (though he's not important in her series as all. I seem to recall he's kind of important in his ow series).
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Old 2013-01-06, 06:11   Link #13
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From what i know from (only) several harem romcom shows, little sisters usually have role as such :
1) Mother figure for his brother (reminds him when he's doing wrong and does household chores at home, and usually cooks for him)
2) Providing neutral viewpoint, especially in some harem show when his brother are swarmed by girls, and sometime knocks him hard as some kind of reminder when his denseness reaches max.
3) Agent which help bridging the gap between his brother and other girl. Many male leads at first always awkward toward other girls he doesn't have a clue about and usually would ask any girl whom very close with him for help (in this case, his lil' sister)
4) Love interest/Love rival (If it's incest)
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Old 2013-01-06, 08:03   Link #14
hyl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Well, I suppose the most obvious example I can think of off-hand is Little Busters (Rin). I can also think of one example where the sister in question was an older sister, and that's Tama-nee from To Heart 2.

In most of the other cases I can think of, the fact that the "sister" has (an) older brother(s) is not necessarily so important. (The other siblings may be older than the protagonist, so not have any connection to him.) Having the older brother be the friend of the protagonist and having the romantic interest be the friend's sister happens, but it's a rather precise combination.

(Incidentally, I can think of two eroge off-hand where this particular relationship combination was a plot element in at least the associated route: Owarinaki Natsu, Towanaru Shirabe, and your diary. I'm sure there are more (particularly beyond the games I've played), but I'm trying to think of examples where both the brother and the sister played prominent roles.)
For me it's rare in animes and even still rare in eroge and VN's. The only other example that i can think off besides the mentioned examples is Memories off 5, Togireta Film in which one of the heroines is the younger sister of the MC's best friend (and both of them have relevance in the plot).

edit: there are a few more sisters who have brothers who are not the MC in VN's and eroges that i can think off , but (one of) those characters don't have much too add in the story.
In a way Kyou from Irotoridori no sekai falls under this kind of sister as well, seeing that her older brother is never directly shown in the game but only mentioned

Last edited by hyl; 2013-01-06 at 08:26.
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Old 2013-01-06, 08:22   Link #15
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Just because they're not mentioned doesn't mean they don't exist. By the same logic we should think all side characters don't have a home, since we never see it or are introduced to it. Even for very important side characters we usually don't a get a briefing of what family members they have and such until when we get to see their house (and only if one of the members of the family are there).

The question really boils down to, why don't we get to see all the little sisters, and the reason for that is because it breaks up the narrative and is very much useless information that adds unnecessary complexity to the plot.
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Old 2013-01-06, 08:27   Link #16
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Does Koko Hekmatyar from Jormungand counts. She had a brother, Kasper who is just as cunning and ruthless as her if not better but too bad he don't have much air time so I don't think he is a protagonist. Just another "neutral" character in that show.
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Old 2013-01-06, 12:52   Link #17
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That's because being a little sister is a trait that is only interesting if she's the sister of the protagonist. It's the special relationship they have with their brothers that set them apart from the rest of the cast. The little sister of a friend of the protagonist is nothing more than just another girl for the protag. There's no extra flavor.

I'm sure there are plenty of girls in anime who have older brothers (like Yui in To love-ru), it's just rarely if ever mentioned because it's not relevant to the plot.
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Old 2013-01-06, 13:24   Link #18
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Does Rikka from Chuunibyou count, or is it more that she's a character who happens to have an older sister?

And speaking of which, where are all the older sister characters? I mean, Working!! did a great job of catering to onee-san fetishists, but it's only one show. The only other recent examples I can think of are PapaKiki and Zetsuen no Tempest and they're both dead.
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Old 2013-01-06, 13:28   Link #19
Midonin
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There are a few older sisters out there. Chifuyu from Infinite Stratos and Ruka from Nogizaka come to mind. I'm not sure what the numbers are on this, but it also depends on the needs of the story.
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Old 2013-01-06, 13:32   Link #20
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The Wingman generally isn't important enough to warrant having a relative be an important character by sheer virtue of being his relative. Sunohara is the exception, not the rule. Also, the Wingman is typically there to make the Male Lead look better by sheer comparison, and giving the Wingman a cute imouto could undermine that.

And in most modern anime shows, the male portion of the cast tends to get rather thin after the male lead and his wingman (if there is even that much to the male portion of the cast).


A cynical answer, I'll admit, but I think there's some truth to my perception here.
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