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The final episode of Brothers Conflict brings a bit of closure, but leaves many questions still unanswered.
It seems to me that many of the brothers who have confessed to Chi simply don’t understand their own feelings. I say this because after so many of the confessions in the last episode, a number of those very brothers decide to leave Sunrise Residence for various reasons. Now I'm not saying that they can’t possibly love Chi, but I think they act rather strangely for being in love with her. If I had just confessed to someone, I wouldn't then run away from them; I would want to wait around and see what that person’s response would be. But I digress.
A great part of this episode is the fact that Chi actually confronts most of the brothers who have confessed to her in order to “properly answer their feelings”. Even if most of the brothers kind of ignore her assertions of wanting to simply be siblings, the fact that she’s actually said something about this whole conflict is a big step for her. This gives us a bit of closure, but at the same time it leaves me wanting more.
The fact that Chi doesn't actually choose any of the brothers leaves the anime open-ended. This fact coupled with Hikaru’s comments before the credits about the “next race” starting and the brothers conflict continuing leaves the possibility, at the very least, for a second season of Brothers Conflict. Still, I feel like the anime has built up quite a bit of tension surrounding potential relationships between Chi and her brothers, and this episode did little to alleviate this tension. Instead, it more or less put the conflicts on the back burner. (Evident when Chi says she doesn't want to date anyone “for the time being”.)
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Brothers Conflict - Final Thoughts
There is definitely potential for a second season of Brothers Conflict. Apart from what I mentioned above, there are plenty of other open doors for the series to explore. Several of the brothers have gotten little characterization past the surface (Masaomi, Ukyo, Kaname, and Iori, to name a few). Plus, there were several plot points that were promised but then abandoned: Rintarou (sp) talking with Chi about the fact that she’s adopted, Yuusuke confessing to Chi, and Chi ultimately choosing one of the brothers or definitively turning all of them down for good (the latter of which is incredibly unlikely, but you never know when it comes to anime). Top all of this off with the fact that the second otome game, Brilliant Blue, was recently released, and there’s plenty of source material to draw from for more plot and character development.
One aspect of Brothers Conflict that I haven’t discussed much in my episodic reviews is the soundtrack. I really appreciate the subtle, understated nature of this soundtrack and those of most slice-of-life shows. Although the soundtrack is subtle, it always compliments the events going on perfectly. Soundtracks are often overlooked as part of what makes slice-of-life anime good, and I think this one definitely adds to Brothers Conflict’s greatness.
I personally think Brothers Conflict is a pretty great anime, but I didn’t expect that going in. Harems obviously aren’t for everyone, but this anime is so much more than simply a harem. This anime deals with a lot more than romance; it deals with questions of family. What is family? What makes someone part of a family? What roles are family members expected to play? What kinds of feelings are you supposed to have for your family members? These questions about family are a crucial part of Brothers Conflict and definitely add a level of interest beyond the romance aspect.
I would recommend Brothers Conflict to anyone who likes romance, sh?jo, and bish?nen. I’d also recommend it to people willing to look critically at anime and at family roles. Personally, I’m very sad to see the season end, and I’m definitely hoping for more to come in the future.
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(Images of the rival pairs in Brothers Conflict shown during the end credits. Also, one last photo of the Asahina Family.)