Anime Meta-Review


Sister Princess


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-4
  • type: TV
  • grade: watchable
  • source: fansub
  • form: sub
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Mon Sep 24 17:16:56 EST 2001
  • mod: none

If nothing else this show has to take the award for the most excessive example of a `harem' anime. The basis being a dorky, but generally good natured guy, surrounded by super cute and extremely attractive females. Females who, it should be added, he's not actually allowed to touch.


Hm, synopsis involves there being a story. And I'm not sure if there is a story or simply a mechanism. In any case we follow a guy who has just suffered the unthinkable, he's failed to get into the next grade of schooling. Not that it seems to matter, because before he can do anything loyal family retainers throw him into the back of a truck and escort him to promise isle which has a school he has been accepted into on recommendation. His comment throughout the whole experience being something like, "This is ridiculous".

The island itself is plenty weird. Partly like a dream, somewhat like a nightmare and definitely like getting drawn into a very strange plot. It's both real world and extremely artificial at the same time. On the positive side he does get to have a number of encounters with stunningly cute young females. And, when he gets to the only mansion on the island available for rent, he finds them all waiting for him. His last barriers of reality, and calm, collapsing as he discovers that he has multiple cute sisters. 13 in fact, of varying ages and personalities but unified in their cute level, although one of them is actually a spy sent to observe the situation. Although, given the way things are, she'll probably end up being a sister as well.


I don't have a sister myself, but those friends of mine who do have sisters seemed to have rather more problematic relationships than the ones presented here. Then again, these are not particularly real world sisters. Each is cute, each has a strong personality `role' to follow, and each is delighted to have a big brother...even if he is a bit of a dork. They treasure him, enjoy taking care of mundane things such as cooking and cleaning (although with varying ability) and love spending time with him. While he alternates between being attracted by them individually and freaked out by them as a both a concept and a crowd.

Reviewing this is proving rather tough though. What is there to say? If you've seen something similar then you know how it plays out. With various characters focusing in stories seemingly mundane but full of character, charm and realizations. It's awfully lightweight but pleasant enough. And, should the story not entertain you, then at least you can simply watch it for all the cute young girls. And with 13 of them there's got to be at least one with a personality that interests you.

Will it actually develop into something special? Well, there's an interesting degree of uncertainty in that regard. There is a feeling that behind the story a mystery may be unfolding. The seemingly intentional artificiality of the events, including the way the `world' interacts and supports whatever story is being played out, makes you want to know what's actually going on. This is supported by the `spy' female and his `goth' sister who messes with her divination toys, such as Tarot cards, and makes cryptic pronouncements. And, should the secret actually be revealed, then what is the truth behind his sisters?

Then again, this atmosphere of half dream and half reality has been used before. It allows the rather mundane stories to gain additional symbolic meaning and provides an excuse for the rather unlikely foundation of the story. The popular anime "Love Hina" uses something very similar. This show also seems to have some weaknesses unique to itself. If they actually are his sisters then there is no potential for `romantic' ties to provide power for the character interaction...and filial ties aren't quite as exciting. Likewise they're all younger than him, with the youngest being kindergarten age. Which is certainly good for the occasional cute story but does make you wonder what the long term focus is going to be.

However the most significant problem is simply one of mass. 13 female participants in this formula is simply way too much. Unless the series is very long I simply don't see how all of them, or even most of them, will have the time to develop as characters. There's already some signs of how this will be solved. Some of the sisters are `minor' characters and interactions between the sisters are simplified. This being explained as each sister being far more interested in having an older brother than in gaining 12 sisters. Oh, and you'll notice I haven't said much about the brother yet. There's a reason for that...he's dull and formulaic even by the normal standards for this sort of thing.

The animation is not overly impressive. There is a good deal of attention paid to the sisters being cute, lots of loving close ups and pose shots, but even that is nothing special. Meanwhile the background, world and lesser characters are dramatically simplified. It also has a sort of super deformed, or more like super simplified, mode for lighter scenes which is quite unattractive. Unsurprisingly there's not a great deal of action of fast motion either. The voices were good, providing more clues in differentiating all the sisters, although the music seemed fairly minimal.

Other Reviews

At this time none of my regular sources have a review for this title.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:24 WST 2009