Sometimes a show comes along that just deserves to be eviscerated. Perhaps it showcases the worst of anime’s stereotypes. Perhaps it takes an interesting premise and ruins it with befuddling plots or infuriating character arcs. Perhaps you think a show should literally be labelled a war crime by the Geneva Convention. That’s where the HATEWATCH comes in. When the show does it to such a degree, sometimes you need to watch it just for the cathartic value of demolishing whatever dreg of culture or bad taste it represents. This is #HATEWATCH 2017. The show: A Sister Is All You Need. Its sins: ANIME IS STILL GETTING AWAY WITH THIS LITTLE SISTER BS
One may note that back in June Jel and I declared the #HATEWATCH retired off the hideous strength of Eromanga-Sensei‘s finale. We never thought something more terrible could ever possibly be made. Well, less than four months later, we have already found a contender. A Sister is All You Need, or using the inevitable contraction all trash imouto shows use, Imosae, may just have the chops to surmount it in terribleness. Stop me if this sounds familiar: Itsuki is a Light Novel author who loves little sisters and wants to write the ultimate little sister novel. He is surrounded by a group of friends including women that are lavishly affectionate despite him having no discernible redeeming qualities. His novels seem like utter trash but the story tells you they totally changed people’s lives. I know Jel has said that this was made in response to Eromanga-Sensei, but if that is the case, it is hard to see how this would be satirical of that style (if one could even use that word in the context of Eromanga) rather than reveling in it. Haganai did have some genuine bite behind its cliched characters, but this doesn’t even have that outside the opening scene, which still actually showed what it was trying to make fun of, thus defeating the point.
This show also seems to fail as hard at understanding how normal people interact as badly as Eromanga-Sensei did. I have a few different female friends I’ve met through different circumstances, but in my experience I have never heard of such friendships starting when you call someone a tasteless slut for not liking his self-masturbatory incest story. It’s such an improbable way of explaining the scenario. As a former college student at a large university, I honestly found it implausible that they would even come in contact in the first place. I’ve had several hundred-student lectures. In none of them was I ever inspired to talk to someone after class for doing something weird, even after the one time I happened to change focus from the board and see she was just reading Twilight the whole class. It all culminates in this idea that hes half-assed apology at the end of his butthurt tirade somehow made up enough for her to not immediately stop talking to him. The slap in the face? completely understandable. Continuing the conversation? Completely irrational.
That was the worst thing on the side of intellectually mistreating this show’s audience, but it’s hard not to make mention to the gross “research groping scene”. I can’t even fault it for its originality, Eromanga had an episode about pretty much the same idea. The idea of “oh she’s a girl so it’s okay” has been villified enough that I don’t think I have to retread that ground. I actually don’t even have a problem with the idea that Nayuta wants to be naked in her own room, I mean where else can you be comfortably naked. It’s just so obviously for titillation that makes it gross. However, once she goes to coercing Miyako when she’s a guest it becomes exploitation. What’s most offensively disgusting is how in detail they go into Miyako’s undressing. The gaze goes all over her as Nayuta gets to say things that in the mouth of any man would drip with the worst scum imaginable. Any one of these elements alone probably wouldn’t have made me revive the #HATEWATCH. It’s the combination of so many heinous ideas at once that just summoned back the rage in me.
Marlin’s Ethics Lesson of the Week
John Locke states that every person is entitled to the respect of their personal property by those in their commonwealth. This includes anything earned by their labor. Itsuki, by renting an apartment from the fruits of his ill formed labor, does have a right to privacy in his private property, so barging into his bathroom is pretty messed up even if he was auditioning to be the next Buffalo Bill.
While, as I said, everyone has the right to be naked in their own home in most cases, Kant’s Categorical Imperative gives clear reason why one should not do this in front of unwitting acquaintances. He states that any moral maxim should be something that not only applies to you, but would apply in a universal case. If Nayuta would not allow say, a perverted old man inviting her into his home to undress in front of her, she cannot in good conscience do so to others.
- I guess the one positive thing I can say about this show compared to Eromanga-Sensei is that at least all of its characters are consenting adults? Is that really what it takes for me to say something positive about this show?
- I did not realize until later that Haruto is portraying himself as gay to play to a female audience. This is obviously disgusting on multiple levels.
- This is kinda irrelevant because obviously we know the real reason that scene exists, but Miyako did not seem any more or less endowed than Nayu.
- Seriously, what kind of college is this where everyone knows each other’s names in a class of like a hundred people?
I can’t believe we’ve already found a show that has us questioning if it’s worse than Eromanga Sensei. I talked at length in our first look about the context around this series and how I think it’s a response to Tsukasa Fushimi’s…. whatever the opposite of a masterpiece is. The second episode has definitely reinforced my feelings on it. The final bit about how everyone wants what everyone else has could easily be interpreted as jealously toward Fushimi’s success despite Yomi Hirasaka’s own work (Haganai) doing quite well in its own right.
More likely though it’s just a bad attempt to add some pathos to the episode. Itsuki’s soliloquy rings pretty hollow considering everything that happens beforehand makes me wonder if the author has any idea how human beings interact with each other. You can’t jump from an incredibly stupid scene with a naked girl asking to grope her friend for “research” to some supposedly profound life lesson and expect to be taken seriously.
None of this helps my main issue with the show, which is the lack of purpose. I still have no idea what the author is trying to say here. Aside from establishing everyone is terrible and unhappy, what are we supposed to be taking away? I’ll point out once again that Eromanga Sensei, while one of the worst things I’ve ever watched, is 100% on brand at all times. There’s no misinterpreting what it is trying to accomplish. In that sense, this new terrible little sister show is indeed worse.