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Old 2013-01-06, 14:44   Link #21
0utf0xZer0
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Originally Posted by Kanon View Post
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 don't agree with this. In my opinion, the friend's little sister would fill a gap between real little sister characters and the little sister type character who calls the lead onii-chan without having any relation to him on the familiarity scale. That's why I'm surprised it's so rare.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
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.
It's not necessary for him to be as important as his sister though. Bakemonogatari introduced Nadeko as a friend of Koyomi's sisters long before those sisters got any real role in the story.

And even if the older brother plays an important role in the girl's storyline, this doesn't necessarily require a lot of setup. For example, Yuuko's older brother in EF: A Tale of Melodies (granted, not a friend of the protagonist). He's an incredibly important character ot Yuuko's storyline, but I don't recall him getting all that much screentime prior to this being revealed.

Overall, it would appear to me that writers would have a lot of flexibility in regards to how important the older brother should be and how much screen time they'd get.
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Old 2013-01-06, 16:19   Link #22
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I can only remember Happiness! which have a heroine who has a big brother, and that big brother is an idiot. Oh, and X, except the big brother in that one is the ultimate badass.

How about a heroine who has a little brother? Seems like those are rare as well (Tama-nee is the most prominent example I guess). oh, Oda Nobuna lol.
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Old 2013-01-06, 19:50   Link #23
Athena
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Kokoro Connect. Inaba has a brother., but he doesn't even play a role lol.

There are others like Rin in LB!, Yui in TLR and many others. I think that it's easier to notice it when a girl is the MC's little sister.
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Old 2013-01-06, 20:01   Link #24
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Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde View Post
I can only remember Happiness! which have a heroine who has a big brother, and that big brother is an idiot.
Ah, yeah, I forgot about that one. That's actually an interesting case because the brother doesn't play the "wingman" role (as was named earlier), but he's there mostly for plot purposes. And also to generally be hilariously over-serious about everything, including his sister. I think he and his sister are also twins, so that probably helps explain why they were added to the plot as a "pair".


But yeah, as has been pointed out by the examples, it's more common for the older brother of female characters to not really be focused on, and I tend to agree with felix's explanation: it's an extra layer of complication unless you're going to make it a focus, and a lot of stories already have enough going on to cover in their available time. (You might also ask why so many characters "don't have parents" (either literally, or they're just never shown) and that, too, is at least in large part because it can just get complicated quickly.)
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Old 2013-01-06, 20:04   Link #25
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Ah I just remembered another one- Chrome Shelled Regios.

Felli is the little sister of the student president and not the protagonist.

And by recalling Felli, I also remembered Lenalee from D.Gray-man

And somehow from that, I remember that Bruce-Willis-fangirl from Seto no Hanayome who is the little sister of the protagonist's 'friend'...
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Old 2013-01-06, 20:47   Link #26
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For comedic one you'd just need to see Working!!'s second season , since Yamada's older brother appearing cause as much fuse as she did almost.

A serious one not yet mentioned surprisingly Noe and her Brother in True Tears with their relationship as siblings being a large factor in the story.

And in Shoujo Kakumei Utena, not one or two but three imoutos have brothers who are not the Protagonist with fairly different relationship dynamics, and purpose, and are all generally important to the story.
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Old 2013-01-06, 21:21   Link #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
It's not necessary for him to be as important as his sister though.
It is necessary if she's going to be thought of first and foremost as a "little sister" character.

For example, Konakaga just raised Noe and Jun in True Tears. I certainly don't think of Noe as "Jun's little sister", and so I don't think of Noe as a "little sister character". Why? Because Noe is the more important character of the two. If anything, I would think of Jun as "Noe's older brother". Do you see what I'm saying here? If you don't, just think about how weird these ways of putting things would be: "That's the defender of Metropolis, Supergirl's cousin", "Homura really cares a lot about Tatsuya's older sister"

So part of my point is that for a character to be perceived primarily as a "little sister" character, there has to be at least one older sibling that is at least as important a character as she is. Otherwise, she's not going to be defined by her relation to that sibling.

So for a male character (who's not the male lead) to have a "little sister" like that, that male character has to be fairly important in and of himself. Usually, the 2nd most important male character in an anime just isn't important enough to have his own "little sister" who's defined by her relation to him.


To be clear, I'm not saying I'm against your idea. I'm simply answering why I think your idea doesn't happen more often in anime itself. Having the male lead get romantically interested in his wingman's little sister could prove very interesting, I admit.
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Old 2013-01-07, 00:47   Link #28
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Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde View Post
How about a heroine who has a little brother? Seems like those are rare as well (Tama-nee is the most prominent example I guess). oh, Oda Nobuna lol.
The upcoming series It's Not My Fault I'm Not Popular should have a good one -- if they stick to the manga it'll be one of the most realistic sibling relationships ever seen in anime.
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Old 2013-01-07, 01:53   Link #29
Obelisk ze Tormentor
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it's an extra layer of complication unless you're going to make it a focus, and a lot of stories already have enough going on to cover in their available time.
Then I guess Zetsuen no Tempest is an excellent anime/manga for overcoming all the complications and managed to equally do both the fantastical main plot and “protagonist & friend’s lil-sis” relationship element by smartly showing the relationship development part through a series of flashbacks during the MC's battle with the magicians. And Zetsuen also successfully define Aika as both “Mahiro’s lil-sis” and an “important character of her own”.
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Old 2013-01-07, 03:34   Link #30
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Oh, there are definitely ways of making it work, no doubt, just like any other character arrangement and plot development. Again the issue is just "why isn't this more common" and, as was said, it's a relationship that requires the development of two characters (in addition to the protagonist) to pull off effectively. So it's not necessarily the most... "efficient" character relationships to develop in a story, I guess. But it can definitely happen, and most of the ones I can think of where it was done, it was done to interesting effect.
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Old 2013-01-07, 03:53   Link #31
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The portrayal of sisters characters from Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou have been the closest to reality in my memory. I don't mean, "them getting their underwear stolen" or some such, I am talking about how terrible their relationships with their brothers can get. With Tadakuni's sister, Motoharu's and Yoshitake's, I can say to myself, "Hey we have gone through something similar in the past."

And yes, that includes the mutual bullying part.
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Old 2013-01-07, 04:38   Link #32
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I hate to get off-topic but is this thread a complain towards Ore no Imouto's popularity? There aren't many shows like that in first place.
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Old 2013-01-07, 05:11   Link #33
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I hate to get off-topic.
Then don't do it.

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but is this thread a complain towards Ore no Imouto's popularity? There aren't many shows like that in first place.
No? In fact I don't have a clue how you got to this conclusion except maybe reading the thread title wrong.

Also I believe that the whole question is, well, only relevant to a very small number of people
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Old 2013-01-07, 14:37   Link #34
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Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
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.
In most anime, siblings in the show are more likely to be related to the protagonist than not. The obvious reason is that stories tend to revolve around the protagonist so non-protagonist relationships aren't going to matter as much. Since this principle is as true in other kinds of stories, you'll see the same phenomenon in non-Japanese movies, books, and so on.

Similarly, in most anime, siblings are a relatively good distribution of older/younger brothers and sisters in the mix. There are some genre-related quirks though, and the general prevalence of protagonists with attached imouto probably stems from the fact that it's extremely common in bishoujo shows. Moreover, as other posters have pointed out, it's also very common for non-protagonist male characters to get the short shift in those same bishoujo shows. The reason seems to be pretty obvious - the characteristics of female characters in these shows tend to be built around two aspects: charm points and story hooks. Being a younger sister of either the protagonist or his love interest fulfills both aspects while being the younger sister of the protagonist's male friend only provides a story hook. And since story hooks about a non-love interest usually run counter to the goals of a shounen romance, they aren't seen very often.

Another way to look at this topic is to tally up the number of character who seem to come from single-child families. There's no interest in dealing with their siblings, so they simply aren't given any.

Since most shows nowadays are bishoujo shows, any phenomenon associated with them will seem to apply to anime as a whole. Step away from bishoujo shows, and non-protagonist siblings are rare, but you'll see a few little sisters. I've only watched about a dozen shows this year, but I did see them in Aquarion EVOL and Moyashimon Returns.

As a side note, in Hollywood TV and film, you'll often see the protagonist have his friend's sister or his mentor's daughter as a love interest. This is just as much of a genre-quirk as the protagonist's imouto and they serve to satisfy similar goals. The main difference is that they are designed for different audiences.
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Old 2013-01-07, 18:42   Link #35
0utf0xZer0
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@4Tran:

Seeing as I conceptualize the friend's little sister as a midway point between a real little sister and a little sister type character (ie. calls the protagonist onii-chan but is not his sister), I tend to think that such characters would not lack charm points in practice.

But perhaps more importantly, while I understand that using a friend's little sister in a bishoujo anime - which is the main genre I was thinking of when I wrote this - has its disadvantages, none of what's been mentioned so far strike as insurmountable, and it would be a twist on an old trope in a genre that loves its tropes (and being tongue in cheek about them). Hence I'm very surprised how seldom it comes up given the genre's volume of output.
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Old 2013-01-10, 14:38   Link #36
4Tran
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You may as well ask why secondary male characters don't get more focus in bishoujo shows since that boils down to the same thing. It's not so much as one of these characters having a sister confers any disadvantages so much as such a relationship requires the show pay more attention to non-protagonist male characters. And that's the last thing that the genre is interested in exploring. I'd love to see that, but the genre is stratified to the point where a lot of extraneous elements aren't going to show up.
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Old 2013-01-11, 06:10   Link #37
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Seeing as I conceptualize the friend's little sister as a midway point between a real little sister and a little sister type character (ie. calls the protagonist onii-chan but is not his sister), I tend to think that such characters would not lack charm points in practice.
Well, the firend's little sister already has a big brother, no? Spoils the imouto-purity, if she goes after you: either, by cheapening the concept, or by showing disloyalty. Embarrasment potential: high. Do not touch.

If you want to avoid that trap, you'll have to topicalise that, which means not only additional characterisation, but also plot. (See Clannad, IIRC.)

Only a hypothesis, mind you. I'm no expert.
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