Impression: Boku no Imouto wa “Osaka Okan” – Episode 01

This show will be difficult to fully enjoy if you’re unfamiliar with Osaka culture (or Japanese culture in general).

To any outsider or casual anime viewer, the humor in this show will be tough to really digest. A lot of it stems from the odd cultural differences between Tokyo and Osaka. The culture shock would be akin to a man from Oklahoma meeting a man from New York. The mannerisms, slang, and the misunderstandings that occur between two such people would be funny to those who understand the differences between the two.

The main draw here is the humorous exchanges between our main protagonist Kyousuke and his sister Namika, who had been living seperately from him in Osaka due to family circumstances. She recently moves back in with her brother, and from there, the show takes on a slice-of-life approach as the two discuss everyday things and discover just how different their upbringings have been.

Another way of approaching this series is to picture someone from the Philippines watching an episode of Family Guy. The numerous American cultural references and wordplay would be completely lost on a foreigner. And that’s exactly how I feel with this series. While it’s amusing seeing our exasperated protagonist try to understand his sister’s view of the world, it will be tough to get the most out of this show unless you really know your Japanese culture.

The animation is…interesting. The character designs aren’t too bad, but when you see them in motion, they behave like puppets with stiff jerking movements that don’t look natural at all. The seiyuus do a decent job, considering we have Ryoko Shirashi (known for playing Hayate in Hayate no Gotoku) and Kana Asumi, who is also in another anime this season, Yama no Susume. Still, we get the much-used tsundere osaka girl and the straight man foil, and nothing so far seems to indicate anything that breaks the mold in terms of the characters.

The show can come across as educational, actually, if you’re interested in the different cultures in Japan. Aside from that, it’s a pretty bland offering this season, and unless it can pull off a miracle of storytelling, I don’t see myself covering more than a handful of these episodes.

Last thoughts:

  • What is up with that ED song?

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