I don't get it. No matter how annoying, overrated and absolutely idiotic slice-of-life anime is, I keep coming back for more. With K-ON!! finally on the shelf, I found myself wanting another silly, frivolous show to fritter my time away. Preferably, I wanted one that was actually GOOD this time around--one that, unlike K-ON!!, wouldn't fill me with an unspeakable hatred. And the result of my search was an anime with an absurdly long title: My Little Sister Can't Be This Cute!.
From the preview, this sister-love story looked fairly interesting: an anime with a tsundere who's secretly an otaku. The episode mainly centers on the family and their characteristics. It also, of course, reveals Kirino's secret of being an otaku, which she's been hiding for some time because of embarrassment. She finally confesses to her brother, and he agrees to help her with any problems that may arise from her nerdiness.
Read into the review after the break.
What I Liked
The Characters: The characters, while not anything new, are definitely refreshing compared to what I've been seeing the past few months. We have the tsundere secret otaku sister, the stubborn yet helpful brother, the strict and otaku-hating father, and a mother who appears to have some perverted visions. It sounds like an ugly mixed-bag of characters, but it surprisingly adds more humor to the story than expected. The sister was definitely my favorite; her mixture of tsundere and otaku traits made for a more unique character. Although the brother acts as though he's a jerk, you can tell that he cares for his sister when he agrees to help her. It makes him much more likable than his demeanor might suggest. It's just the first episode, so they could easily go down the wrong path and be ruined, but right now they're refreshing to see.
The Humor: If this episode got one thing nailed, it was the humor. It had me laughing multiple times throughout. It has some sexual jokes, but they're used sparingly enough to be tasteful and funny. Kirino was probably the funniest character, since her tsundere and otaku tendencies resulted in some unique antics. Playing her against Kyou's stubborn attitude created all kinds of jokes that you'd never expect. There were also some interesting twists that hit me at just the right points when I let my guard down. It's not perfect, but it does a fine job at making you laugh.
The References: This episode had tons of references to other anime and games--mainly in one particular scene. This was just a minor detail I noticed, with it taking a game/anime's name and throwing in the word "sister" somewhere in it. Not isn't that big of a deal, but I enjoyed it regardless.
What I Hated:
The Secondary Characters & Setting Explanation: The exposition itself was solid, explaining the characters and whatnot. What I disliked was how it didn't do much outside of that. The main characters are briefly introduced, we learn Kyou's sister is an otaku...and that's about it. It doesn't show many more characters outside of the main family or the protagonists, and the few they do show aren't shown enough for viewers to get a good idea of who they're supposed to be. Still, it's the first episode, so I'll cut them some slack for not introducing every character to the fullest extent. They also don't explain where exactly in Japan they are. It just felt to me as though nothing was very well explained outside of the main characters, and even they didn't go into much more detail than their personalities.
Stressing the Fact That Kirino is Indeed an Otaku: Throughout the last half of the episode, they try way too hard to make Kirino an otaku. After we see her collection, I think most can concur that she's a big gaming/anime-watching nerd. But they rehash that fact to no end, making it a little overdone when we see her treat video game characters as real people. It starts to get tiresome after seeing this fact overemphasized again and again. This is just a minor flaw, though, and it really doesn't annoy me that much; they wanted to prove she was an otaku and that's precisely what they did.
I'll admit, this anime impressed me more than I was expecting. It had some great jokes and it managed to keep me watching without hating it. A few minor flaws annoyed me slightly, but it didn't hurt my overall impression in the end. I'll definitely tune in for the next episode!