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Stepsibling Relationships in Anime

It can be tough gaining a whole new sibling when your parent remarries. Forming a new family unit can be challenging, especially in Japan, where weddings don’t need a lot of planning and can be quickly completed at the ward office. Several anime and manga begin with the meeting of the new siblings, as the parents have got married already!

This is what happens to Kota-kun, the protagonist of our manga, Shamai V. He meets his five stepsisters as he moves into their house! If you love the uncomfortable stepsibling dynamic, here are some anime to check out.

Domestic Girlfriend - Natsuo, Hina, and Rui

Domestic Girlfriend, episode 2, 2019

Natsuo’s father introduces him to the woman he has been dating and her two daughters as they are considering getting married. The only problem is, he already knows both of them. The older, Hina, is Natsuo’s teacher, and she has been the object of his unrequited affection for years. Rui is a sullen girl the same age as Natsuo, and they once met at a mixer.

That would be awkward enough, but Rui, sick of being called inexperienced, invited Natsuo to her house, and they had sex. So he is now in the incredibly unique position of being related to the girl he lost his virginity to and the woman he is in love with!

No Game No Life - Sora and Shiro

No Game No Life, episode 11, 2014

They are both incredibly intelligent and together they are unbeatable, but this also brings a really strange co-dependent relationship.

Both are extremely possessive of the other and actually seem to stop functioning when they are not together. Combined with the seven-year age gap (Sore is 18 and Shiro is only 11), the whole thing is just cringeworthy, even when it’s played for laughs.

A Sisters All You Need - Itsuki and Chihiro

A Sister’s All You Need, episode 10, 2017

Even though Itsuki was against his father’s remarriage after the death of his mother, he does in fact have a close relationship with his new younger brother, Chihiro. He loves to cook and he often visits Itsuki at his apartment and hangs out with friends.

On the surface, this is an extremely healthy stepsibling relationship, especially in the strained circumstances. But, we learn later on there are secrets behind this cordiality, orchestrated by their parents.

Citrus - Mei and Yuzu

citrus, episode 1, 2018

Mei and Yuzu have a disastrous first meeting, as Yuzu is a fun-loving gyaru and Mei is the perfect Student Council president at their traditional girls’ academy. Yuzu and her mom have moved after her remarriage, and after the first day of school Mei appears at their new apartment - as she is Yuzu’s new stepsister!

Both the girls bring their own past issues to the relationship, and as they need to keep their feelings secret it often ends in a communication disaster. It’s an interesting portrayal of an LGBT relationship, but it ends up extremely toxic and is often an uncomfortable watch.

Eromanga Sensei - Masamune and Sagiri

Eromanga Sensei, episode 8, 2017

Masamune and Sagiri are genuinely thrown into a very tough situation; as soon after their parents marry, they sadly die in a tragic accident. Masamune feels as he is older, he needs to support his younger stepsister and so throws himself into his career as a light novel author, even though he is still a student.

Sagiri is so traumatized she shuts herself in her room, doesn’t go to school, and communicates with her brother with notes. But while in her room Sagiri has been busy - and has become quite a famous illustrator under the pseudonym Eromanga Sensei! She has in fact, been illustrating Masamune’s books without his knowledge.

This creative pairing could have gone so well, but the dynamic is just so wrong. Masamune simply craves Sagiri’s attention, and she uses this to punish him if he ever so much as looks at another girl.