Brothers Conflict: Episode 9 – “Ninth Conflict: Visions”

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.

This episode picks up right where episode eight ends, when Ema looks at the official copy of her family register. Upon looking at it, she discovers that Rintaro Hinata is her adopted father. Depressed, Ema goes and sits on a park bench in the rain. Natsume finds her, but Ema says she doesn’t want to go home because she’s someone that no one needs. After some discussion, Natsume convinces Ema to stay at his apartment.

Natsume and Ema talk at the apartment, and at first Ema says she’s someone that no one needs because her presence has been getting everyone into conflicts. She eventually shows the family register to Natsume, and he learns that she’s adopted. This scene ends up seeing Natsume taking Ema into an embrace, kissing her, and admitting his feelings. As I saw that, I wanted to facepalm and yell, “Natsume, this is so not an appropriate time for this! The poor girl is already feeling mixed up, don’t make it worse!”

Ema ends up staying for the night, but Natsume sleeps on the floor. The next morning, as they sit down to eat a breakfast that Ema has prepared, Louis and Juli arrive. Natsume admits that he called home the previous night because he knew the other brothers would be worried. Louis has brought a dress for Ema to put on, and he offers to style her hair. As this happens, Natsume leaves for work.

Ema shares her news with Louis and Juli, and Louis says they need to go to the park and take a boat ride. While on the boat, Louis tells Ema that he was adopted into the Asahina family and relates his experiences. He also mentions that the five brothers born after he was adopted don’t know that Louis is adopted. At the end of the boat ride, Louis gives Ema a friendly kiss and says they need to go home to the condo because that’s where their family is.

They sit on a park bench, and Juli falls asleep on Ema. Louis also looks rather sleepy. Suddenly, Ema sees a man with long hair standing in front of her, saying that he’s really Juli. He says he wanted to see her face-to-face for just this one time. Juli explains what happened to Ema’s real parents and how Rintaro took her in and raised her as his own daughter. This scene ends with Juli admitting that he loves her, too. When I saw that, I was like, “No, no, no, no, no, just… no.”

After that, Ema wakes up and wonders if it was just a dream. Her phone rings, and there’s a message from Rintaro. He found out what happened and apologizes for putting her through this grief; he says he’ll be back in Japan soon and wants to sit down and talk with her. At the bottom of the message is a picture of baby Ema with her real parents, and it’s the exact same image that she saw with the human Juli. Ema returns home to the condo and apologizes; the most notable thing about this scene is the fact that Subaru actually appears briefly and gives Ema an awkward greeting. Wow, the writers actually remembered that Subaru existed in this episode!

Like with episode eight, while there a few moments where feelings for Ema were professed, this episode focused more on the drama surrounding Ema and the revelation that she was actually adopted by Rintaro. I will admit that when this revelation was first made, this meant that the Asahina brothers aren’t truly related to her, since she and Rintaro are not related by blood. And then I thought: “Uh, oh… it’s open season on Ema now for the Asahina brothers!” While this revelation does make it less taboo for any potential relationships to occur, I don’t think Ema will really be in any hurry to go out with any of them. However, I do think some of the brothers may become even more brazen toward her than they had previously. And yes, I’m thinking of Futo here as being one who could try to go even further than he had before.

The part I liked least was the bit with Juli being human and the whole, “Was it or wasn’t it a dream?” scenario. Personally, I thought it was rather weird, and I really didn’t like the confession of love with “human Juli.” I mean, come on, can’t any male in this series not have romantic feelings for Ema?

At this point in the series, if I had to choose which Asahina brother that Ema should end up with, I would say Yusuke. He knew her before she became part of the family, had feelings for her before she became part of the family, and he hasn’t forced himself on her like several of the other brothers have. Of the bunch, I believe that his feelings are the most genuine. Oh yes, I’d also like to see Yusuke kick Futo’s ass, because that punk deserves it for how he’s treated Ema.

I can safely say that overall, this is another episode of Brothers Conflict that I truly enjoyed. I’m hoping the remaining episodes in the series will be just as enjoyable.

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