It can be tempting at times to infer things about the creator of a work from the thing that they have made. The temptation, even the allure, to think that watching/reading/viewing something not only leads us to an understanding of the subject itself, but also gives us a window into the mind of the person or persons responsible for it's creation. Having watched Danchigai, I find myself thinking that creator Kazusa Yoneda must be an only child, because only someone without siblings would imagine it being like this.
Danchigai is a short family sitcom that centres on the goings on of the Nakano siblings, who
we find living together while their parents are conveniently working overseas. Each episode sees our protagonist Haruki, an otaku much like you, the viewer, caught up in some sort of shinanigens with at least one of his four sisters: Mutsuki, the older & perfect in every way one; Yayoi, the energetic & quick to anger one; & the "adorable" twins Uzuki & Satsuki. They laugh. They cry. They do the things siblings surely do. & because this is anime, those things include:
Well, implied incest. The kind that every lonely otaku with an "innocent" sister fetish imagines. As happens in pretty much every anime involving teenagers, we get the usual mix of innocent misunderstandings & tender/romantic moments, only given an incestuous edge due to the familial nature of our characters. Haruki falls ontop of his sister? Check! Haruki walks in on his sisters having a bikini party? Check! Haruki gets his head caught in a sister's cleavage? Double check! Mutsuki tries to practice her first kiss with Haruki? Che....wait no that one is narrowly avoided after two uncomfortable minutes of buildup.
As someone who has siblings, I don't get this side of anime & Japanese fetish culture in general. This combination of a single child's fantasy of a large family with a pervert's fantasy of diddling their siblings is something that just doesn't do it for me. The Nakano's relationship is one of those idealised, all the ladies love their onii-chan types that I do not understand or recognize. Given the age range of the female siblings, Danchigai gets to give Haruki the full otaku fantasy package of being a nerd whose also a great brother, father & possibly lover whose sisters adore him, even if they don't always show it openly.
The only time a recognizable family occurrence happened was during one episode where Uzuki purposely doesn't sit in her usual place around the dinner table, causing Haruki to be confused & anxious about what this upsetting of normality could mean. Little things like that are what should be the heart of family sitcoms like this, not the tedious repetition of pratfalls, camera closeups on boobs & I love my big brother stuff. When the episodes focus on the twins, Danchigai almost gets the right tone. But there always has to be something sleazy, leery or just plain stupid to ruin it.
It doesn't help that despite the age range of the female siblings, there really isn't anything personality-wise to distinguish them from the usual cute girl lineup you get in any school club or classroom comedy. Uzuki & Satsuki look the part, but their personalities could pretty easily be put into the bodies of their older selves & you wouldn't really notice. They're not like Rin in Usagi Drop or the kids in Strawberry Marshmallow who seem like, you know, kids. The relationship between all the girls & Haruki could likewise apply to pretty much any setting. Too little happens to give the show that sense of being about an actual family, rather than, for instance, a group of friends who kind of act like one.
It's not that I don't get the appeal of seeing a fictionalised version of either your family or the family you didn't have. It makes the comedy that much more relatable, in theory, when its at least partly recognizable in your own life. & sure, it's a nice idea that your siblings see you playing MMOs & watching anime & don't give you a disappointed look before going back to their much more successful lives...oh God what am I doing with my life?!
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Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 10, 2015 to Sep 25, 2015
Premiered: Summer 2015
Broadcast: Fridays at 01:00 (JST)
Licensors: None found, add some
Studios: Creators in Pack
Source: 4-koma manga
Duration: 3 min. per ep.
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
Score: 6.501 (scored by 5346253,462 users)
1 indicates a weighted score.
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.