Wataru Minakami is a top student who failed his high school entrance exam because of a computer glitch. He later discovered that he was accepted to Stargazer Hill Academy, which is located at a mysterious place called Promised Island. At the request of his father, Wataru is whisked away to the island, and before he can settle in, a dozen of cute and charming girls start to flock him and claim to be his younger sisters. As Wataru gets closer to his newfound siblings, a deeper mystery as to why they were sent to the island comes to play.
I've come to the realization that pretty much everything in life is subjective ( TV, movies, food, books, music, etc.). Just because one or two people say something is crap, doesn't really mean it is crap. .
Same can be applied to anime, one person will say an anime they have seen sucks, but there might be more people who actually think it's good regardless of it's flaws and such.
A good example of this would be, of course, Sister Princess.
Plot: Wataru Minakami is a smart guy who, due to a computer glitch, failed his high school entrance exam. He soon finds out he was accepted to
another school called Stargazer Hill Academy, which is located on an island called Promise Island. He then goes there ( by force ), and quickly meets 12 cute and charming girls who are his sisters!
The show is entirely episodic and follows Wataru and his relationship with all sisters as well as doing all sorts of things like going to school, celebrating holidays, shopping and what not.
Like most slice of life animes, it has no plot and the show is very episodic, like i said. This might turn some people off, but one can forgive the show for the lack of plot and just watch the show for what is: sweet and simple fun.
Now, the fact that the show was directed by the same man that did Eiken is something I can easily look past. Of course, this was made before Eiken and is better than it in terms of directing, but it does have it flaws. The directing can be a bit off most of the time and also make the show seem rather bland when first viewed. Fortunately, the show does still does have it's good points. For one the Serious/dramatic scenes are decently well-written, plus it does get a bit better in the second half of the show.
Art/animation: The show might not of had a big budget, but nonetheless, the art and animation is still good and passable; It's very colorful, vibrant, cute-looking, and well designed most of the time. Sadly though, the animation is flawed as well; there are some goofs throughout the series and can be easy to point out. Still, the budget was average so it doesn't matter.
Music: the opening theme song, personally, wasn't my cup of tea, but the ending theme was better and catchy too. The rest is jazzy, laid-back kind of music that's really nice to listen to.
Voice-acting: both japanese and english dubs were good. The english dub is, however, a bit of a mix bag, some of the voices were really good while some others sounded really cheesy. Other than that though, they still suit the characters no matter how they sound.
Characters: let's start off with the sisters. Though lacking any development, the girls are very cute and likable, you'll probably by the end of the day, might have a favorite or two out of them.
Then there's Wataru. Sadly in the beginning, he starts off rather selfish, stupid, bland, and really annoying. I said earlier that the show gets better in the second half, but that's mostly because he changes later on. He actually gets the most development out of everyone; he soon learns what it's like to be an older brother and starts to care for his sisters
Enjoyment/overall: while definitely flawed in some aspects, Sister Princess is truly one of the best animes have seen recent years. Though flawed and far from being a masterpiece, it's still an enjoyable show that is fun, touching, cute, silly, and worth watch; a gem might i say.
Don't let the ratings on both MAL and animenewsnetwork throw you off, as mentioned, it's an enjoyable show worth your viewing.
Sister Princess is, more than likely, aimed at a very narrow audience with it's abundance of cute younger sisters. The series itself suffers from a big lack of story structure and development, as well as a defined purpose for a majority of the events. Still, it is quite certain that a fair group of people will find enjoyment in it's episodic layout.
The story of Sister Princess is pretty shallow despite the large cast. Guy fails a school entrance exam, gets sent to a different school on an island, and meets twelve little sisters. All in all, that's about it. There's no real romance that develops
with any of them nor are there any developments seen at school. Viewers will get to see the main character bond differently with each sister but, as a whole, the series is very episodic with little foundation and even less storyline. The closest thing viewers will get to a story is the suspicion of one of the sisters spying on the main character. Even that is left to serve little more purpose than comic relief.
The artwork is very traditional in terms of the cute harem anime genre is concerned. The backgrounds are simple, yet bright and well defined. The characters themselves are all lively and brightly colored so that they blend well enough with their surrounding environment. It's very passable in terms of viewer enjoyment, but does not really stand out in any fashion.
The soundwork is another field that is average in almost every category. The opening and ending themes are enjoyable, but nothing worthy of high mention. The intro is upbeat and energetic as is the ending theme. The character voices are charming and the background sounds fit well in terms of setting an atmosphere. Still, it fails to really deliver anything new to would-be fans.
The characters are probably the highest notable point for the series. With a dozen sisters to make unique, this was surely the focal point of design. Every sister has unique characteristics, hobbies, interests, and attitudes that make them enjoyable in their own fashion. Their voices are all very distint in their deliverance which also adds to their appeal. Perhaps the biggest mention for the sisters is how they each have a distint way of addressing their brother. Whether it be onii-san, onii-chan, aniki, onii-chama, or Nii-ya, every sister has a special way of addressing their adored brother. Characters aside from the sisters also get a fair amount of design. The best friend character is seem rather often to give him a true feeling of development while the main character is constantly growing and learning.
Overall, Sister Princess comes off with a very narrow appeal. Fans of "imouto" styled characters will find a cute paradise in at least one of the characters, while other viewers will find it as mediocre. Had the story contained a bit more development plot-wise instead of simple character construction, then it may have faired a bit better. Still, considering the diversity of characters and their unique appeal, the series can come off to be quite enjoyable for those that are seeking some simple entertainment.
I don't have the strength to write everything that's wrong with this anime. All I have the ability to say is unless you REALLY love your brother (or want to be REALLY loved by a dozen stereotypical sisters), you will most likely hate this show. My debate to watch the show was piqued further when I found people saying the show was INCREDIBLE AND MUST BE WATCHED (I've dubbed this process Bokufication) or there were questions with no responses as to how they felt or even from others who watched it. After a joke about whether this show would be a hidden gem or make
me vomit a kidney, I dove in. the words onii-chan (and 11 various ways of saying onii-chan) were probably used about 150 times per episode from episode 2 on. After a kidney AND liver transplant from a local hospital, I decided to ward off the intense pain and suffering this show caused me. It's 26 episodes of plotless hum drum and the MC complaining.
Don't watch it. Never watch this show. It's worst than the last two episodes of evangelion when they ran out of budget. 24 extra episodes worse.
Sister Princess is quite an anomaly. It's the show that really kick-started the bishoujo trend that's so popular now. It's unpopular in the states, but in Japan it has developed a rather sizable cult following.
To many, it's very hard to see why. Sister Princess is not the world's greatest anime. The production quality is pretty low, as evidenced by the numerous animation mistakes and oddities that pop up nearly every episode. You'll definitely see them. There are times when an oddly drawn face will be on screen for upwards of five whole seconds without changing, so it's
not really something you can ignore when watching. The artistic strengths of the show, however, lie in the colors and the world that they paint. It's a very bright show (especially on DVD) and the near-permanent sunny weather on Promised Island is exactly what this sort of show needs to create the atmosphere it wants. The backgrounds are rather sparse and you get the feeling that, outside of the named characters, no one else actually lives on the island, but it's all very effective in establishing the "feel" of the series.
The soundtrack also does a very good job of pulling the viewer in. It's perfect; so perfect that I actually listen to it in my spare time. Every piece of background music suits the show so perfectly that when I listen to it I am mentally transported straight back to the anime. The opening song, Love Destiny, is a FABULOUS piece of violin-heavy pop that I feel Yui Horie has yet to top. The ending is considerably less memorable, but Love Destiny has "instant classic" written all over it.
Though the story is rather thin, I feel the characters do a good job of holding it up. Each sister has a "gimmick", but you never really feel they're completely one-note personalities. It always seems like there's plenty more to them, even if the series doesn't explore much beyond their unique attributes. They're very entertaining, and when I watched it the first time I found myself growing to like and dislike the sisters as if I was the one living with them (even going so far as to periodically scream "UGH, SHUT UP, HINAKO", much to my family's confusion). Wataru is a relatively likable protagonist, and takes the sudden onset of having 12 unusual siblings in stride...which is, admittedly, surprising, but sudden popularity will likely do that to a guy of his type. The interaction between Wataru and the sisters is well done.
Overall, I still can't explain what I love so much about Sister Princess. It's paced slower than molasses, but I still often find myself longingly eying my box set, wishing for the "magic" that the show made me feel when I first watched it. It's greatest strength is pulling you into its world, and that's a world I've come to enjoy very much. It's safe, clean, and beautiful, and the worst things that ever happen are inclement weather and personal inadequacy. Sister Princess is, without a doubt, the anime I would most like to live in. I'm still not sure EXACTLY why, but a good deal of this feeling can be chalked up to the series' effectiveness in drawing me in. Give it a chance, it might grow on you. Maybe you'll get pulled in the same way I was.
Let's all meet on Promised Island!