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Dear Brother
by Martina Galea
translation by Martina Galea and Marco Spitella

Who created it? It's 1975: Riyoko Ikeda, shojo author already famous thanks to her celebrated Versailles no bara (Lady Oscar), backs to the limelight with a new manga, Onisama e..., known in England as Dear brother. The short story, composed by only four books, achieves a so great success to become, after a short time, also an anime.

What is Dear Brother? The story is centred on the vicissitudes of Nanako Misonoo, a young student of grammar school that begins a new life at the high school. Her feelings are written and told to its "dear brother", Takehiko and, in this way, also the reader perceives all the psychological shadings that characterize this manga. Nanako, in truth, is nearly a simple spectator: the action is carried out around to a trio of characters of great complexity: Kaoru, Lady Miya and Saint Just. The scholastic year that Nanako spends at the Seiran grammar school, scene of the story, represents a key phase in the maturation of the girl.

Who are the friends? Takehiko, stepbrother of Nanako, as well as her pen pal, is the bosom-friend of the girl, which expresses to him all her doubts and perplexities about her new life at the high school. Kaoru, senpai of Nanako, is a support in the difficult everyday life at the Seiran, especially when Nanako must face the malice of the girl students excluded from the Sorority. Tomoko is a Nanako's childhood friend, with whom she shared many experiences, but with whom she will have some misunderstandings at the beginning of the high school period. This incomprehension keeps momentarily apart the two friends, which afterwards reconciles at the end of the school year. Rei and Mariko are not exactly "friends", in that they are sometimes source of suffering and perturbation for Nanako. Mariko is a classmate with some strong psychical syndrome, and only at the end of the series she can be considered as a positive character. Rei is the person for which Nanako feels the deeper feelings, and seem that also Rei reciprocates these attentions. In truth, the controversial figure of Rei remains extraneous to this love, being he by then too much caught up in his gloomy relationship with Lady Miya. Other lesser characters, like Takashi, or the parents of Nanako, accompany the girl in this first, turbulent, high school year.

Who are the enemies? The main antagonist of Nanako, even if she pretends to be her friend and protector, is Lady Miya, sister of Rei, even if her hostility is focused more on her sister than on Nanako. Other negative character is Misaki, classmate of Nanako, which does not drop chance in order to arouse and to offend her and Mariko as well.


Riyoko Ikeda
in 1975

Riyoko Ikeda

Riyoko Ikeda
from n.1

Riyoko Ikeda
Copyright (c) 1975
all right reserved worldwide


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