Brothers Conflict: Episode 1 – “First Conflict: Brothers”

Brothers Conflict is an anime series based on a Japanese novel series created by Atsuko Kanase. The anime is produced by Brain’s Base, and is directed by Atsushi Matsumoto. The series streams on FUNimation Entertainment’s website on Tuesdays.

Ema Hinata is the main character of the series, and she’s the daughter of a famous adventurer named Rintaro. He remarries a woman named Miwa Asahina, who is a successful apparel maker; in order to give them space, she agrees to move in with her 13 stepbrothers.

The first episode shows Ema coming to her new home, and meeting most of her stepbrothers. Two of them live outside of the complex, and a couple of others were gone for work at the time she arrives. It turns out that one of Ema’s new stepbrothers is one of her classmates at school. Over the course of the first episode, it appears that some of the brothers may have a romantic interest in Ema. OK, everybody, let’s say this together: “Reverse harem.”

I’m going to say that being a “reverse harem” isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and I do think the concept is kind of interesting. The main failing this series has so far, in my opinion, is simply the sheer number of main characters; Ema plus the 13 stepbrothers just feels a little excessive, and I think it’s going to make it hard for the viewer to truly get to know all of these characters very well. I understand that this series is based on a novel, but sometimes ideas and concepts that work well with the written word don’t always translate as well to the visual medium. Since I haven’t read the original novel source material, I don’t know how well the story would have worked if the anime had decided to cut down the number of stepbrothers.

Ema also has a talking pet squirrel named Juli, and only Ema can understand what he’s saying. So far, Juli’s main purpose seems to be to provide comedic relief and to occasionally dispense some words of advice to Ema. So far, I’m not sure I’m entirely buying Juli at this point, but maybe future episodes could change my mind.

Because of the large cast, almost half of the episode was spent on character introductions. Hopefully, as the series progresses, the actual plot of the story will progress. According to what I’ve seen, this series only has 12 episodes and one has already finished; hopefully, 11 episodes will be enough to tell a satisfying story.

I’m willing to watch another episode of Brothers Conflict to see how the story goes, because I am interested enough in the overall concept of the story that I’d like to see how things progress. I’ll try to watch the next episode as soon as I can after it becomes available at FUNimation’s website.

Additional posts about Brothers Conflict:

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