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DGFischer

  • Wisconsin
  • Joined Jun 14, 2019
  • 70 / M

Minami-ke Okaeri

Jan 30, 2024

The synopsis I read told me that the third season of Minime-ke Okaeri (asread, 2013) would take place some time after the antics of the second season, so look for more mature siblings living together in the apartment close to their schools.

Uh-huh.  Thirteen episodes where Chiaki adores oldest sister Haruka and bludgeons middle sister Kana.  Where Kana continues to be the immature loafer sprawled under the family kotatsu.  Where eldest sister Haruka worries over how she must perform the duties of mother to two brawling sisters (and where has Ma and Pa Minime been these past years?  The question still annoys me).

Where's the maturity quotient?  One might see the same old same old.  Granted, Makoto isn't being forced to cross-dress, but Touma still must battle for her femininity thanks to three older brothers who run the gamut from doting to infuriating little sister.  Hosaka still goes to the ends of the earth (no wait, that was last season ... this year he stays close to home in his stalking) to get Haruka to take some interest in him.  Chiaki still plays the 'princess' of her classroom.

But, to quote Rafiki from The Lion King ... look closer!  There is something going on.  Friendships that gather about the three girls develop neat undercurrents.  Fujioka's interest in boy-clueless Kana is sparking an episode of unrequited love from another girl.  Haruka is starting to have her tendencies of worrying about the family wear her down.  Touma's brother Natsuki is drawn to Haruka due to a common interest in Touma's well-being and self-identity.  Chiaki and Kana are worried about Haruka when a tooth ache makes her look depressed.  Kana's slow return from the store makes Chiaki and Haruka ponder on how they've been treating the middle sister.  Neat little strands of sub-plots which are weaving together an intense drama of siblings and the friends they share.

The animation is basic flat with pastel accents.  No real need for SFX, other than those vivid facial shots featuring glaring eyes.  It's just family settings fostering arguments, fights, personality conflicts, and other minor irritations before you discover the close bonds between the three Minami girls.  The music remains bouncy and buoyant as the three rush off to school or frolic at the beach.

I've enjoyed rediscovering the Minami series, and with a few OVAs to take in, one wonders how the anime production company asread will pass on the project to feel.

9/10 story
8/10 animation
9/10 sound
10/10 characters
9/10 overall

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