Brothers Conflict: Episode 5 – “Fifth Conflict: Submersion”

Brothers Conflict is a series about a high school girl named Ema who moves in with her new stepbrothers; she has a total of 13 stepbrothers, and the majority of them live in the condo that Ema moves into. The series focuses on Ema adjusting to having these new stepbrothers and with the feelings that some of the brothers seem to be developing for Ema.

The episode opens with Ema discovering that there’s nothing in the refrigerator to make dinner with, because Ukyo has been so busy with cases that he can’t keep up with what’s needing to get done around the house. Before Ema can go to the store to buy anything, Tsubaki suggests going out to eat. Wataru wants to go out for a picnic, so they decide to have a picnic and look at the cherry blossoms. I have to say that during this scene, Wataru was so obnoxious with how much he was running around and shouting. While Masaomi did quiet him down, he didn’t do it fast enough.

Natsume and Subaru join the festivities later. Natsume ends up falling into the water when he goes to rescue Wataru, who is leaning over the side and trying to get a duck to quack. Natsume takes a shower at the condo, and has a talk with Subaru about how he’d heard that Subaru had lost his form in basketball and starts to ask questions. Subaru shrugs him off, and tells Natsume to leave him alone.

Poor Ema has a couple of awkward situations that take place in this episode. The first one happens when she’s working on a feast in the kitchen with Ukyo to make up for the picnic earlier. Ema doesn’t know how to cut the big piece of meat that’s in front of her, and Ukyo says he’ll teach her. At one point, he gets behind her and is holding her hands as he instructs her on what to do. Hikaru walks in and accuses Ukyo of fooling around with Ema. Juli jumps into the scene and attacks Ukyo, going so far as to call him a “crooked lawyer.” I let out a chuckle at that line of dialogue. But, seriously, being a lawyer, Ukyo should know he would be treading into some dangerous legal territory if he pursued any kind of a relationship with Ema.

The second awkward situation takes place after Subaru returns to the basketball team and invites Ema to come and cheer him on. Subaru makes the shot that wins the game for his school, and he approaches Ema afterwards. After giving her a hug and catching her off-guard, Subaru suddenly asks out of the blue if there’s a guy Ema is interested in or if she already has a boyfriend. After she says “no,” Subaru says he needs Ema to stay by his side forever and that he needs her. My thought after he said that was, “Wow… obsessed, much?”

Fortunately before anything can proceed further, Natsume approaches the two of them. Natsume and Subaru get into an argument, and it comes out that Natsume had once been a basketball player but quit. Subaru says he doesn’t need to hear this from Natsume, and leaves; but before he leaves, he tells Ema to think about what he said earlier.

By the end of the episode, I was left going, “Wow.” I mean, I never expected Subaru to become this possessive and obsessed with Ema. Yes, it had been hinted that he liked her, but it was never hinted that he would be like this. This episode has really changed by view of Subaru. I kind of liked him before, because he seemed to be one of the more level-headed members of the family. But after this episode… no, just no. I’m just hoping that Subaru doesn’t turn into some kind of psychopathic character who stalks Ema.

I will go on with the series and watch episode six, but this turn of events is starting to make me feel a little uncomfortable. Futo’s actions in episode three were bad enough, but I could attribute that to him just being a pompous jerk. Tsubaki’s action at the end of episode four was a little on the uncomfortable side, and even Ukyo’s action in this episode is a little on the uncomfortable side. But Subaru now appearing to be obsessed with Ema is starting to tilt this series even more toward the uncomfortable side. I’m just hoping it doesn’t get any worse before the end of the series.

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