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Brothers Conflict

I won't ever pretend to grasp the notion of (reverse) harem. While I might have unknowingly treaded the waters with all that anime and manga, there is a glaring, undeniably disbelieving conscience which conveniently negates any remote inclination of wanting to be in the hero(ine)'s position. For starters, being perpetually sandwiched in the midst of neverending drama is just exhausting. Unless you secretly fancy having different boys or girls attempt to kill one another over you, such turmoil is best avoided for the love of sanity (and your own life). If there was any upside to begin with, that would probably be comic relief sparingly peppered throughout the madness. As if choosing between A and B isn't a dilemma already, there are eleven more alternatives. Yeah, I'm referring to the world of Asahina Ema, otherwise known as Brothers Conflict. While I still struggle to understand the various idiosyncrasies in the Asahina household, I actually quite dig certain aspects of the series. Frankly, it's a little unsettling thinking of where to begin.

For those readers who aren't too familiar with Brothers Conflict, I suppose that a very watered down explanation would be something like...a girl whose father has recently remarried is suddenly presented with thirteen siblings, all brothers! All thirteen would later harbour special feelings towards her. Well, in the anime the more explicit displays of romantic affection came from eight of the brothers. I haven't read the visual novels yet, so I can't offer an insight on those. However, I have gotten hold of the latest anthologies: Perfect Pink and Beloved Blue. I will touch on Perfect Pink in just a while (Beloved Blue is still in plastic wrapping). First, an impromptu list of my favourite things from Brothers Conflict.

A talking squirrel for companionship: Juli. Well, only Ema and Louis have this unusual ability to converse with Juli; to the rest of the brothers Juli is just this aggressive squirrel that doesn't hesitate to hiss and scratch (maybe except for Wataru who adores Juli to some point of borderline suffocation). It remains an interesting mystery how Juli could speak human, among other things.

Wataru's surprising upper hand during the summer festival. For an innocent, charming boy of ten, Wataru's seemingly harmless antics could in fact deal quite considerable damage on his older brothers. In the summer festival episode, Wataru simply took Ema's hand while shouting excitedly in anticipation of the various stalls and activities, leaving a few of his brothers pretty paralysed. I'm positive that they had been dying to have Ema to themselves.

The ending theme song '14 to 1', performed by all thirteen brothers and Juli (they are credited as ASAHINA Bros.+JULI). It's an extremely catchy number filled with wicked fun and rage (mostly from Juli). The dance routine in the closing credits had also seen numerous attempts by many YouTubers. Vocals wise, just don't expect much from this ensemble. Ahem.

As mentioned, Perfect Pink is one of two latest anthologies in the Brothers Conflict franchise. The illustrations and comics primarily feature seven of the Asahina brothers: Kaname, Hikaru, Tsubaki, Natsume, Louis, Subaru and Wataru. I'm very intrigued by anthologies, as they encourage and recognise creativity in the form of re-imagination and what-if scenarios. The various short comics and illustrations contributed by a total of thirteen artists make Perfect Pink a refreshing complement to the series. Hmm, I wonder if it was a deliberate decision from the production team to engage thirteen artists for this book. What a coincidence though! While I don't dig any particular sibling, I have to say that I find Hikaru and Louis' stories the most enjoyable of the lot. Especially Louis, whose pairing with Ema feels straight out of a classic fairytale.

Ah, all that talk about Brothers Conflict is tempting me to re-watch the anime! 

Eccentrically Yours.

Written by J.Fluffysheep ♪

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