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ONIMAI: I'm Now Your Sister!
Episode 10

by Kim Morrissy,

How would you rate episode 10 of
ONIMAI: I'm Now Your Sister! ?
Community score: 4.3

"Mahiro Ponders Boobs and Identity" is one hell of an episode title, that's for sure. However, it must be said that aside from some scattered boob jokes, there is very little pondering on either of those topics. This is just another relaxing episode of Onimai, where heavy themes are treated with only the lightest of touches.

Viewers hoping for some gender-related introspection from Mahiro will probably be disappointed. Our protagonist seems to be passively enjoying life one day at a time without thinking about the long-term consequences of spending so much time presenting as a girl. He still evidently thinks of himself as male at heart, like when he remarks "I guess this is the one day I'm actually glad to be a girl" after Valentine's Day. In another scene where he inadvertently lets out a high-pitched scream and starts wondering if his masculinity is under threat, he assuages himself by remembering his attraction to women. Gender identity and sexual orientation aren't the same thing, but Mahiro's thoughts don't drift in that direction.

I don't think the distinctions are actually lost on the narrative overall; Miyo's fascination with yuri wouldn't be such a defining character trait otherwise. I enjoyed the irony of Mahiro telling Miyo not to be ashamed of her hobbies straight after fervently denying his own interest in pornography aimed at men. Perhaps he thinks it wouldn't be right to admit to such a thing while he occupies a female body, but that attitude still betrays an insecurity in himself that he wouldn't project onto others. This would be a very different series if Mahiro delved headfirst into LGBTQ topics, but that doesn't make his feelings any less sympathetic.

My favorite jokes in this episode revolved around Mahiro's hapless male classmates. In episode 7, Mahiro one-sidedly imagined a kinship with them based on shared male interests, and that mismatched dynamic continues here. He smiles in understanding when he sees them hang around the adult section of the bookstore, but they react in terror when they spot him noticing them. The scene of them accepting Valentine's Day chocolate from Mahiro was also adorable, and it was very quickly followed by the episode's best visual gag—the screen turns red and the other boys collectively turn into rabid zombies, desperate for female validation.

As for the boobs, well, those mostly come from Kaede. The anime seems to play up her breast size and the jiggles. It's nothing too outrageous in context, and maybe it's even a welcome sight next to the little girl fanservice. I couldn't help but notice Kaede's fixation with beauty standards in this episode, though. She insisted on wearing a short skirt during winter, and tells Mihari that girls should start applying skincare products as soon as possible. Kaede was always portrayed as a benevolent big sister type until now, but these comments, coupled with her rather sadistic idea of massages, show off a more fallible side to her. They're far from the episode's best gags, but Kaede was overdue for some development.


ONIMAI: I'm Now Your Sister! is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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