Home > Episode Reviews, First Impressions > Kiss x Sis Episode 1 – Sibling Ribaldry

Kiss x Sis Episode 1 – Sibling Ribaldry


It’s really hard to describe Kiss x Sis without sounding like a pervert for watching it. Here’s the basic premise: Keita Suminoe is a middle school student trying to get into the same high school as his older twin (step)sisters, Ako and Riko, who both have perverse sexual lust for him and constantly fight for his attention. Their schemes to win Keita over lead constantly into situations that are either accidentally or intentionally extremely sexual.

So, yeah. Like B Gata H Kei, Kiss x Sis is a show inescapably tied up with sex. Unlike B Gata H Kei, Kiss x Sis is a little more hands-on about it. Or at least the three stand alone episodes that were bundled with the manga were. They, and the manga they were based on, are excellent farce, with every episode more outrageous and perverted than the last, constantly pushing the boundaries of what people can, in good conscience, draw and making those situations come naturally from the actions and motivations of the ridiculous characters it has created.

These stand alone episodes featured, for reference, multiple accidental handjobs, tentacle rape dream sequences, being forced to wipe a girl off after urinating and a scene of drunken revelry that included someone drinking enough to pass out, then waking up an hour later with no ill effects. Basically everything short of actual intercourse. It’s not a show for children. Heck, it’s not a show for anyone who doesn’t enjoy absurdity or can’t stomach weird sexual fetishes, like being attracted to your (step)sister.

The TV anime was made by the exact same people. So why is it so awful?

Keita's dad really wants him to do his stepdaughters

The TV series isn’t a straight adaptation; more of a retelling that shares the same premise and characters. The show opens with a bit of backstory in the form of a flashback that doesn’t occur until much later in the manga, and the first episode veers off in a very different direction from that point in the manga. It might converge with the manga later on down the road, but for now it’s completely off the rails.

Kiss x Sis isn’t about the story at all, though. It’s about the insanely perverse situations the characters get in. The manga goes a bit further, and delves into the inner thoughts of its characters, exploring the shame and turmoil that stem from their desires. But all that is out the window here. Instead, we have a lame sitcom plot that can’t even stand up under its own weight.

After the introductory flashback, Keita comes home from school and gets flashed by his (step)sisters for no reason. It’s probably supposed to be flirtatious, but it just feels perfunctory, like the writers had never witnessed one human being flirt with another, so they just had the girls do whatever they thought would be zany. The (step)sisters never seem honestly affectionate towards Keita, so their (ostensibly) sexual behavior is really eerie, like they’re just going through the motions.

Ako's embarrassed just to be in this show, as she should be

Mistaking creepy, aggressive perversion for character-driven humor is going to be a common theme of this episode. While Keita’s in the bath and the girls are cooking dinner, Ako sneaks into Keita’s room to rifle through his underwear drawer. Then Riko appears to tell her she’s done one better: she stole the boxers Keita was just wearing from the bathroom. But since neither of them were watching, the dinner boiled over and is ruined. Hilarious!

At dinner, Keita realizes that his parents are gone for the night. While his (step)sisters eagerly anticipate a night all alone with their (step)brother, Keita’s just sulky, because it means they won’t be able to attend a parent-teacher meeting that could affect him getting into high school. Or something like that; I couldn’t really understand why he was upset. He doesn’t tell his (step)sisters, preferring to sulk (this is a plot point, sadly enough), so presumably he didn’t tell his parents, either, making this his own damn fault.

Having to spend a night all alone in a house with two girls who are infatuated with you is a perfect setup for comedy, though. What sort of wacky hijinks are going to happen? Something to show the (step)sisters’ affection for Keita, beyond the stalker-like behavior we’ve seen from them so far. Or will they go too far again and seem even more deranged? The comic uses a setup just like this for one of its best stories, so this takes that idea and runs with it, making…

Keita go to sleep? Yep, just like that. Until his (step)sisters sneak in and start to come onto him pretty aggressively. The rope comes out, there’s talk of kissing, it gets as close as anything in this show has come to being sexy. But you can kiss any dramatic tension goodbye there, too, because he wakes up and realizes it was all just a dream. Because, of course, we wouldn’t want anyone to think there was anything perverted going on in this utterly wholesome incest sex comedy!

This show was made on the cheap, as you can see from the crowd

But once he wakes up, he realizes that his (step)sisters are sleeping beside him, pinning down his arms. This is where the first episode that was bundled with the manga begins. It’s the scene that sold me on the show; a slow build of teasing and flirtation that builds to a hilarious climax. It introduced the characters and their unique relationships with each other, and fully captured the weirdness of living with (step)sisters who are lusting after you. In the TV version, one of the girls accidentally rubs her knee against his junk, and he runs out of the house to school.

I don’t know if it was censorship (unlikely, since the only network this is airing on is notorious for broadcasting anime with far more gratuitous content uncensored) or being a retelling removed from the influence of the original creators, but is it really possible to so badly misunderstand how to write humor? Kiss x Sis is about the tension created by having your (step)sisters be wildly and openly attracted to you. On the one hand, they are cute girls who want you. On the other, they’re your (step)sisters, so that’s gross and wrong. Throw Keita and co. into the most awkwardly titillating situation you can think of, and you’re done. Instant comedy.

So the TV writers pointedly ignore every chance they can get to put their characters in the kinds of situations from which humor comes. Instead, they want you to care about their comedy of errors. Well, error, really. Keita didn’t give the parent-teacher conference sheet to his parents, so they won’t give him a recommendation, and he won’t get into school, or something. But, his (step)sisters find the piece of paper digging through his trash (ew?) and decide to come to his rescue, even though they aren’t his parents and thus can’t do anything to help.

Seriously, ew

They sneak out of school and over to Keita’s school, where every boy in the school (except Keita) notices them and starts chasing them around. Riko (or is it Ako?) kicks one of them out of the way, and they start demanding to be kicked by them. I think this is supposed to be funny but, like the show’s attempts to be sexy, it just seems creepy and wrong. No one would ever do this in real life, and it doesn’t make sense why they’d do it here.

Keita notices the commotion and, after accidentally diving head-first into one of the supporting character’s panties, goes outside to berate his (step)sisters for causing such a commotion, like it’s their fault. This makes them sad, so they walk away, but then Keita notices the parent-teacher conference sheet they had dropped and realizes that, whatever they did, it was all for him, so that makes it okay. End of episode.

I don’t know if this is supposed to be funny or touching or what. I couldn’t follow it at all the first time I saw it. I don’t think the writers know, either. With the manga, while I can’t trust writer/artist Bow Ditama to know anything about the effects of alcohol on the human body, he does know desire, and the things people do as a result of it. He understands what it means to like someone, and to be confused about what exactly those feelings mean. I can believe that Bow Ditama has talked with a woman before, and might have even slept with one.

Boys: running at girls in a mob is not how you get them to like you

The writers of the TV show, though, seem like the kind of people who are content to watch a girl change through her bedroom window, and think that’s the same thing as intimacy. Keita is such a whiny, obnoxious brat that you have no idea why anyone would be obsessed with someone so self-absorbed, and his (step)sisters are so creepy and affectionless that they seem less like girls and more like robots programmed only for sex. And in a way they are: they’re just pawns of the writers. So is this what the writers want out of a woman? Bowing and flashing at the door when they come home from work, sniffing their used underwear and rifling through their trash? Or is that what they think is funny? Either way, the characters constantly do things no one would ever do for no apparent reason. How was this made by the same people who made the original episodes?

I don’t want to make it seem like the manga and direct-to-DVD releases are brilliant; they’re not, but they do understand how to create characters and events driven by those characters, and I am impressed at what they constantly manage to get away with. And compared to this travesty, they look like Shakespeare.

Failure

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  1. September 5, 2012 at 12:11 am

    wow!

  1. October 1, 2010 at 11:07 pm
  2. January 29, 2011 at 11:22 pm

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