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[Boku wa Imouto ni Koi o Suru R2 box art]
AKA: 僕は妹に恋をする シークレット・スウィートハート この恋はひみつ (Boku wa Imouto ni Koi o Suru: Secret Sweetheart Kono Ai wa Himitsu), BokuImo, I'm in Love With My Little Sister: Secret Sweetheart - This Love is Secret
Genre: Incest-taboo romance
Length: OAV, 50 minutes
Distributor: Currently unlicensed in North America
Content Rating: 16+ (violence, adult situations, intensity)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: Koi Kaze, Marmalade Boy, Please Twins
Notes: Based on the popular manga of the same name by Kotomi Aoki.

The full name of this OVA is Boku wa Imouto ni Koi o Suru: Secret Sweethearts - Kono Koi wa Himitsu. This translates to "I'm in Love with My Little Sister : Secret Sweethearts : This Love is Secret". I imagine it'd be a lot more of a secret if it weren't so redundant.
Rating: Two StarsTwo Stars
 

Boku wa Imouto ni Koi o Suru

Synopsis

The story always starts with a childhood promise. You see, as a young boy, Yori promised to make the girl he liked, Iku, his bride. Over the years, his feelings haven't changed.

Unfortunately, Iku is his twin sister, and Yori realizes he can't be affectionate to her like he used to. His overprotectiveness leads him to frustration, and he tries to use her best friend Tomoka to forget about Iku. Of course, he can't forget about her, and the twins are set on a collision course that can only lead to one conclusion.


Review

*sigh*

The usual setup of "incest-taboo" shows involves the siblings A) not being blood-related, and B) not growing up together, but rather, meeting after a long separation.

Boku wa Imouto ni Koi o Suru, or, I'm In Love With My Little Sister (and boy, do I feel utterly dirty typing this) bucks these trends by having the siblings be not only genetically related, but twins, and growing up together on top of it.

Note that this does not necessarily make Boku Imo (ha, "Me 'n Mah Sis!") a better show. For starters, it's a nearly hour-long OAV based on an ongoing (8-volume) manga series, which means that everything is compressed like heck. (Still, I'm not sure that having eight whole volumes of twincest is so grand, but hey, it sells.) The most telling problem caused by this truncation of material is that the decision of Yori to follow his emotions for his sister comes off as extremely abrupt and out of left field. It's like, one day, they're little kids, and the next, HOLY COW he wants to take Iku as his bride like that.

It's all very Freudian, and frankly, extremely unrealistic. Most of us don't need social taboos to think of bedding our siblings as being kinda gross: in psychology, it's called the Westermarck effect, where constant, early contact with a member of the opposite sex (related or not) leads to an aversion to sexual attraction. The opposite phenomenon, where siblings who meet after growing up separately find each other highly sexually attractive, is called genetic sexual attraction, and is highly documented ... which is perhaps why Koi Kaze is considered to be realistic, and Boku Imo seems a lot like the romanticized fantasy of someone who was probably an only child. (Granted, I'm an only child, and I find this title to be really strange.)

Even discounting the whole premise of the show, I can't sympathize with Yori at all, because he's a raging, violent, jealous, abusive, creepy jerk. Of course, you're supposed to realize, that he's doing this as a weird, possessive way of protecting his sister from himself, but it's transparent and therefore extremely irritating. But after a sequence involving clovers and a Christian church that is ridiculously overblown and frankly embarrassing, Iku proves to be every bit as possessive and manipulative as Yori is, and the whole feeling of the piece just kinda makes you squirm. At least they don't go at it during the first opportunity, but it's still just not right in the head.

While I can talk your head off about what's wrong with this piece psychologically, there's not too much wrong with it on a technical level. Occasionally, the character designs go kinda wonky (especially Yori's -- it seems like the animators mainly concentrated on keeping Iku cute), but the animation is about average for an OAV, and nothing to complain about. The background art varies from gorgeous to amazing -- it seems like a bit of a wasted effort, because the show itself just isn't that good.

The main reason for this is that the characters are just too over the top. As mentioned before, Yori is violent, abusive, and capricious, and Iku is infantile, cutesy, and manipulative. To add onto that, Tomoka is selfish and bitchy, while leaves Yori's apparently long-suffering friend Yano Haruka as the only character I really liked (and he was onscreen for maybe a minute or two). You can't really blame the voice cast too much, as they have to follow the script and direction, but that being said, Morikubo Shoutarou (Orphen, Orphen) as Yori is so intense as to be scary, while Nakahara Mai (Tokiha Mai, Mai-Hime) is occasionally gratingly cutesy as Iku. There is, of course, no dub for this, and I don't expect to see one any time soon.

Interestingly, unlike most shows in this genre, Boku Imo is based on a girls' comic rather than an erotic boys' computer game. However, while most ero-game relationships are shallow, meaningless, perfunctory excuses for sex, the relationships in this one are overblown, unrealistic, melodramatic excuses for sex. While this makes a big difference in marketing and sales demographics, this doesn't improve the quality of the show any. You find out from the manga that Yori and Iku are twins born on the same day, but apparently conceived by different fathers, which obviously happens all the time in Japan.

Really. Yeehaw I Love Mah Sis, Hyuh! Boku wa Imouto ni Koi o Suru is an unrealistic romanticization of the incest taboo that is made to excite and titillate rather than actually explore the potential of the source material. It's a shame, because there are ways to tell a story like this while actually respecting that this is a serious issue in modern society. Unfortunately, telling a realistic story seems to matter less to the creators than making some extra yen.

If you're willing to forgive the over-the-top, unrealistic characters, you might give this a star or two, but frankly, this comes off as poorly executed shock value romance. Maybe it would've been better as a television series.Carlos Ross

Recommended Audience: While there is no onscreen nudity, there are several sex scenes in this title. Though all sex scenes are consensual, Yori is fairly violent and rough in dealing with girls to a point.

Of course the main plot revolves around sibling incest, which is going to offend the majority of people watching this.

While technically older teens would be able to watch this, I hesitate to recommend this to anyone under 16 due to the subject matter.



Version(s) Viewed: Digital source, Japanese audio without subtitles
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Boku wa Imouto ni Koi o Suru © 2005 Aoki Kotomi / Shogakukan / EZOOM Enterprise / EVega Entertainment
 
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