By Paul Browne.
When her father remarries, Ema Hinata finds herself part of a family house that features 13 brothers. Although Ema wants nothing more than a quiet life, the arrival of a girl in an all-male house sparks drama and possible romance (which works out well for everyone, because otherwise this series would come to a spectacularly short and dull end…).
Accompanied by her pet squirrel Juli, who provides both guardianship and exposition, Ema does her best to navigate through the attentions of her new step-siblings, who employ means both subtle and blatant to win her affections.
In the resultant comedy of errors, basketball protégé Subaru becomes so fixated on Ema that it starts to affect his performance. Pop idol Fuuto also falls for his new step-sister’s charms and, being used to always getting his way, is determined to win her over. Meanwhile, Ema overhears what she interprets as a confession of love between twins Tsubaki and Azusa, only to discover the pair are actually rehearsing a script.
Brothers Conflict has achieved a high degree of popularity in Japan. Originally written by Takeshi Mizuno, it’s a title that’s resulted in a manga series, a four-panel cartoon strip as well as an otome game (in which a female character is presented with several potential male love interests). It’s clear that the series has drawn a large amount of influence from the otome approach.
The anime adaptation comes from Brain’s Base, also responsible for classic titles such as Baccano!, Love Live! Blood Lad and Durarara!! Considering the large ensemble cast, Brain’s Base have done a decent job of giving each brother his own distinctive style and look. .
The opening theme song ‘BELOVEDxSURVIVAL’ features the popular vocal talents of Gero – a singer who started out submitting singing videos to Japanese video outlet Niconico. Since then, he’s sung on a number of anime themes. Elsewhere, the ending theme ’14 to 1’ presents an opportunity for all of the male characters (and squirrel) to showcase their singing styles.
Brothers Conflict is released in the UK as a Blu-ray/DVD combi pack.