Much like with Revolutionary Girl Utena (pre-2002 or thereabouts), Oniisama E... is one in a number of shows from the 90's that I'd never even seen a clip of, but read some about. Hell, I wasn't even sure it was from the 90's, but apparently it qualifies.

The series is generally well thought of by shoujo fans and those with even a passing interest in the shoujo-ai/yuri genre, but more importantly, the original story was penned by celebrated manga author, Ikeda Riyoko. Given her importance to the development of shoujo manga as a whole, it's kind of a no-brainer for me to finally check out the show, now that it's actually legally streaming for free.

I was unsure of whether a discussion might actually take place on the thread posted in the US Industry News board (especially for a show more than 20 years old), so I thought I'd post my newbie reactions here to the wash of old school-type drama. You know, for the amusement of anyone who cares to read them.

So - Ep. 1: "The Dazzling People"

The first thing that strikes me is a few moments of general perversity.

There's just something about the opening scene, with the male narrator's attention to the little kid version of Nanako, the music, the framing and the slightly shadowy feeling that eeks me out. Then there's her adoptive father's overly-enthusiastic assessment of her school uniform (which even she comments on), the close-up shots of Nanako's legs and that one shower scene.

Maybe it's a result of seeing too many shows attempt to pull out all the stops on fanservicey content in the last few years, but I somehow expected things to be tamer. I mean, tamer still than this.

Well, at least it doesn't feel like the sort of show that will feature panty shots later on.

The next thing I couldn't help but notice were the similarities in the way that Orihara Kaoru, the sporty idol, and Revolutionary Girl Utena 's lead are presented to the audience. The background lighting, the shot to the basketball net, the sound effects, even the color of Kaoru's shirt couldn't help but make me think of the pink-haired one.

RGU director, Ikuhara Kunihiko, has remarked (at least once, that I can remember), that the staff on his show were either great fans/drew heavy inspiration from another Ikeda property-turned-anime, The Rose of Versailles. Apparently, it wasn't the only place they got ideas from. If that was too obvious a remark to some, well, remember that I'm only now beginning to see the proof of such statements...

On the voice acting: while the character types all generally sounded familiar to me, it was surprising to discover that Shimamoto Sumi (best known to me as Otonashi Kyoko from Maison Ikkoku), plays the Saint-Juste character. I realize that, during this particular time period, the woman was cast in a number of roles of all types. Still, I expected a "manlier" voice to come out of the blonde giantess in a suit, so this will take some mental adjustment (or at least a few episodes to be convinced).

One last thing I wanted to mention: I'm sure I've noted it elsewhere, but when Kannazuki no Miko was first released in the U.S., I was amused by the fact that Chikane's horse bears the name of Sainte-Juste as well. Now that I've seen that the sorority leader in Oniisama E... is referred to as "Miya-sama" as well, by her devotees, I don't see the coincidence as being slight anymore.

I don't know that I'll do an entry for all 39 episodes of this series (especially with how touchy Hulu seems to be for me lately), but I guess we'll see how far my interest goes.