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About Digital Art / Hobbyist Official Beta Tester Glenn SongMale/United States Recent Activity
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I don't mean my brother :icongrimbyslayer: 

If you're a fan of shoujo-ai like Maria-sama ga Miteru then you might enjoy Dear Brother. I learned about it during the Anime Sols panel at Otakon, and you can watch the entire series on their site. It's 39 episodes and I've burned through 22 episodes since I started watching it Monday.

So SPOILER ALERT... I'm going to talk about Dear Brother and compare it to Maria-sama ga Miteru, because, well I am. I love the latter and I'm greatly enjoying the former. If you've seen neither show, stop here. If not, hopefully the below will entice you to try it. 

If you know Maria-sama, then this setup might sound a bit familiar to you: Dear Brother is about a girl, Nanako, who enters the prestigious all-girls Seiran Academy. As she makes her high school debut, she finds herself a candidate for the very elite Sorority group and makes it in. She meets some very elegant shoujo ladies -- a princely type character, Kaoru Orihara and a tragic character who is known at the school as Saint-Just-sama. Dear Brother was created by Riyoko Ikeda, who you might know better as the creator of The Rose of Versailles, which is often credited as the inspiration for Revolutionary Girl Utena. I guess Ikeda also did a lot of groundwork that you eventually see in shoujo-ai series. This anime is a 90s show and the artwork shows, but I don't mind it. I rather like it. It's a breath of fresh air compared to a lot of the moe samey-faced looking anime shows that are out there right now. It being the 90s, they talk on giant wireless phones and write letters instead of texting. 

Speaking of letter writing. The reason for the title is because Nanako is narrating the story via a series of letters that she writes to her Oniisan, who is not (but is, but isn't) her actual Oniisan. For the record, he is(n't). 

Where Dear Brother and Maria-sama differ though is in how dark Dear Brother gets. In Maria-sama, Sachiko picks Yumi to be her petite seour and much of the student body, who fawns over Sachiko, never really bullies Yumi about suddenly becoming a lady rose out of nowhere (probably because they'd hate to loose Sachiko's aloof favor towards them), but Nanako gets bullied for her candidacy into the Sorority. She's not worthy and everyone thinks she's bought her way in. She gets a nice box of razor blades in her shoe cabinet after school as a gift. Her gym clothes are torn up. In elegant shoujo fashion, she gets throw up against the wall and slapped by upperclassmen. 

If you've watched Maria-sama you might remember the story about Sato Sei supposedly writing a novel depicting two star-crossed lesbian lovers going off to commit a double suicide at the school (something like that). Everyone even thought that was her deal. So, where that was a dramatic piece of fiction (not written by Sei) for the Lillian girls to sigh and swoon over, it's actually something that happened to one of the characters in Dear Brother

There are some parallels I saw in characters -- these are probably more superficial, but Maria-sama is the guide that I can compare Dear Brother too. Obviously, like Yumi and her entrance into the Rose Mansion, Nanako's depicted as an average student -- she's middle class, good-natured, and meant to be the conduit in which we experience much of the elite world of the Sorority. 

Saint-Just-sama feels similar to Sato Sei. Both of them had undying loves and heartbreak, but whereas Sei chopped her hair off and adopted a carefree attitude to hide her feelings, Saint-Just sama turned to drugs. It's not even implied. She smokes and regularly pops painkillers and sedatives (all at the same time) to try and take the edge off. Everyone at school knows it too, but they don't care cause she does as she pleases, dresses like Beethoven, and looks damn cool. There's even one scene where Nanako's sent to get drugs from her to help Kaoru out. Speaking of Kaoru Orihara, the princely character, she reminds me of a combination of Rei and Yoshino. She's the sporty type (basketball) and she went through some kind of chest surgery in the past. Miya-sama reminds me of Yoko, kinda. In season 2 of Maria-sama it was hinted that Yoko helped everyone out around her, but she seemed a bit cold about it. There's still this sense that behind her smirk she's still a good person, but Miya-sama is, to put it nicely, diabolical. She screws with people's feelings, lives in her own past, and doesn't seem above offing people that slight her. If Miya's crazy, then wait till you meet Mariko Shinobu -- she's, to use the clinical term, "cray cray." She has Shimako's doll-like prettiness and Sachiko's hatred of men dialed up to eleven. Oh, remember how Sachiko was all aloof and tried to fit in with her daycare classmates by watching the same TV shows or taking the bus instead of the family car, but she still didn't make any friends anyway? Mariko's got that dialed up to a million and it leads to one of my favorite scenes in the show.  

So yeah, because I can draw so many parallels between both shows, I really enjoy Dear Brother, and without any more Maria-sama (for me) it's a decent stand in. Maria-sama implies a lot of the darker aspects of life but never really went there; Dear Brother dives right in. I still can't believe Nanako can remain so cheerful after what she's seen and the attempts on her life, but that could speak to her resilience -- I guess. She should probably really transfer schools. 

I'm looking forward to watching more.
  • Listening to: Family Crest
  • Watching: Dear Brother, Ao Haru Ride, Nozaki-kun
  • Playing: Transistor
  • Eating: Spag and Balls
  • Drinking: water


Glenn Song
Artist | Hobbyist | Digital Art
United States
BAM! Just fire one out!

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Add a Comment:
shuu2 Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014
thx 4 ze fav
Overrated-Reality Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014   General Artist
thanks for the fav x3
WebcomicUnderdogs Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2013
Hello fellow Underdog! 
AlbinoGrimby Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
ShadOBabe Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Hey thanks for the watch!!
Wow, your art is really nice!! 8D
AlbinoGrimby Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're welcome, I thought it would be the easiest way to keep track of your future Avenger/Gothom/Justice League animals. :)
ShadOBabe Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome!! I hope you enjoy the future entries.
My I ask what your favorite DC/Marvel character are, out of curiosity?
AlbinoGrimby Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I never read the comics, but I loved the cartoons and movies. X-Men and Spiderman are my favorite Marvel series, and so Peter Parker, Charles Xavier, and Magneto. I liked First Class since it was an origin story for the X-Men and I always like that relationship where they both agreed on the same ideals but went about them in diametrically opposed ways. 

Iron Man is another one of my favorites, mainly cause I like RDJ's portrayal of Stark. 

As for DC, I'm only really familiar with Batman and Superman, but I prefer the Dark Knight himself. I also liked Batman Beyond, but I don't know if that's considered proper Batman canon. It was a really great take on a student/mentor relationship and old, gruff Batman was just really rad.

(1 Reply)
DesiraeSalazar Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the fave! :) 
Toyona Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
love your gallery and style; your character Red looks beyond awesome 
o-o..watching you and following you on twitter~~
AlbinoGrimby Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm glad you liked Red. I hope to draw some more of her, but my focus is on putting together a comic, part of which I hope to reveal soon.
Toyona Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
thats great to hear ^^ looking forward to it~
MonkeyAngelou Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
I love your page! So many things to look at! Plus there is awesome art here! Keep it going!
AlbinoGrimby Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! I totally will keep the good art coming. :) And hopefully get better doing it. 
Cherielou Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the fave on my Harleen deviation! I'm glad you like it! ^^ Feel free to stop by again anytime!
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