Brothers Conflict: Episode 10 – “Tenth Conflict: Enlightenment”

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 begins with Kaname inviting the family to a midsummer night’s Buddhist service that his order is holding in Yatsugatake because the family trip had to be scrapped. Basically, this midsummer night’s Buddhist service is a summer festival. Since Brothers Conflict had the school cultural festival episode, I guess it also needed to have a summer festival episode. Masaomi thinks it’s a good idea, and they’ll go with whoever can come. Ema learns that the Asahina family has a vacation home in Yatsugatake.

On the day they get ready to head out to the festival, Subaru is delayed because of a phone call. When he’s finished, Subaru and Masaomi talk about the conversation discreetly, so the audience has no idea what’s going on. Also, Ema somehow forgets to take Juli with her, and doesn’t even realize it until Hikaru points it out after they’ve already left Tokyo.

At the actual festival, Ema ends up having to watch over Wataru, who eats three shaved ice. While at the festival, they discover Futo is performing. Ema and Wataru watch, and Futo notices them in the crowd. However, the three shaved ice cause Wataru some issues, so Ema has to take him to the restroom. As she waits, Ema is approached by Kaname and two of his fellow monks. After Kaname introduces Ema, the number one monk tells Kaname and the other one they need to return to the temple because some customers were accidentally double-booked.

After they leave, the number one monk talks to Ema and says he can sense that she’s troubled by love. His advice to her is that she has to confront her troubles by being herself. Ema realizes that everyone has been communicating their feelings by being themselves, and that the one who’s been afraid of confrontation and has been running away is her.

At the vacation house, Ema and the brothers talk. During the discussion, Ema mentions that would really like to become a part of their family even more than she already is. I really hope that this could be a catalyst for the brothers to start realizing they need to back off from her and not pursue her as a potential love interest so much.

That night, Ema and Kaname talk privately, and he asks for a favor. He grabs her in a hug and asks to stay that way for little while. He then adds that Ema’s feelings on family came across loud and clear, and gives her a kiss on the cheek.

After Ema goes to bed that night, Futo enters her room and says, “I’m not going to be family with you. You’re mine. I gave you your chance. This is your fault, Sis.” He works at unbuttoning the buttons on her nightshirt, but doesn’t go any further. He complains about it being too hot and leaves. The writers had me going on that one. With how he’s acted in recent episodes, I thought for sure Futo was going to take things further than he did. I’m glad he didn’t, though.

The next morning, Ema goes exploring around the vacation home and slips on a log. Fortunately, Subaru is there to catch her, so she doesn’t fall. Subaru and Ema have a very important conversation during this scene, and the audience learns what Subaru’s phone conversation at the beginning of the episode is all about.

It was kind of interesting to see Hikaru play a bigger role in this episode than he had previously. On the way up to the festival, Hikaru makes comments that almost make it seem like he knows about things that took place that he shouldn’t have known about. There’s also a bit at the end of the episode where he’s on the computer, and he’s working on a spreadsheet labeled as, “Brothers Conflict.” There are 13 rows with numbers in several columns going across; he explains to Wataru that those numbers are of the odds, but Wataru doesn’t understand what he means. If this piece is to be believed, it seems like Hikaru has been observing his brothers and keeping score. And isn’t he a writer? Perhaps he’s gathering data to use to write his next book? It’s also interesting to note that Hikaru is one of the few brothers to not hit on Ema in any way, shape, or form; he does seem to be playing a role of an observer.

At this point, there’s only two more episodes of Brothers Conflict remaining for the Summer 2013 season. I’m curious to watch over the next couple of weeks to see what the writers will end up doing for these remaining two episodes.

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