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ONIMAI: I'm Now Your Sister!
Episode 11

by Kim Morrissy,

How would you rate episode 11 of
ONIMAI: I'm Now Your Sister! ?
Community score: 4.5

When it comes to gender stuff, you never know quite know what to expect from Onimai. The depictions can range anywhere from "generic anime tropes" to "surprisingly relatable and sweet." This episode tackles makeup, an inevitable topic for a series about female gender presentation—and it genuinely is a witty snapshot into the lives of early teen girls.

Predictably, Mahiro gets his first introduction to makeup from Kaede, when she gifts him lip balm for his birthday. His friends are immediately impressed by this minor cosmetic application. It even briefly becomes the talk of the class, as the more fashion-oriented girls flock around Mahiro to ask questions. One might be tempted to think they're exaggerating the impact of a little lip balm, but the reason it's an event soon becomes clear by the end of the segment: the teachers have forbidden the students from wearing any kind of makeup. Every time a girl enters the world of makeup, she's suppressed from fully expressing it in public, and so it becomes a source of secret fascination.

It's quite endearing in general to see these characters act their age. The running gag of Momiji developing chuunibyou in real time is one of my favorites; normally, you only see chuunibyou anime characters after they've fully corrupted, but she is absolutely at the right age to just start getting interested in edgy things. It was also fun to see the two boys return this episode for a brief White Day gag. Mahiro seems vaguely aware that they might be into him, indicating the wisdom of age, but he's definitely no saint. Just because he's got lip balm on, he thinks he can demand more chocolate. Honestly, he might be the most immature of them all.

The other half of this episode is taken up with a horoscope story which evolves into a birthday story. The jokes here are pretty standard, but I did get a chuckle out of Mahiro's genre awareness. Even when he knows his friends are refusing to talk to him because they're planning a surprise birthday party, a part of his mind still falls into doubt and he gets depressed anyway. It's a good thing that nobody in this series ever preaches toxic masculinity to him like "boys aren't supposed to cry!" Onimai mines a lot of humor out of subverting gender expectations at times, and it's never mean-spirited about it.


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

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