Arama They Didn't

12:13 pm - 09/10/2012

Is incest Japan’s latest literary craze?

Japanese “light novels” are a type of short and often serialized young adult novel that are usually heavy on dialogue and light on narrative depth. The growing popularity of light novels has made them common choices for manga and anime adaptations, such as the Haruhi Suzumiya series.

One of the more popular light novel series in recent years is “My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute,” which tells the story of a normal high school student who finds out his prodigious younger sister is actually a closet otaku, obsessed with anime and incest-themed adult computer games…

It’s probably less unwholesome than it sounds (at least by Japanese standards), and the point is that the series has become so popular that it has spawned an anime and manga series as well as several video games.

It has also seemed to usher in a new craze of light novels about the relationship between normal older brothers and their not-so-normal little sisters.

That’s totally wholesome…right?

Here is a list of 12 titles of “little sister”-themed light novels planned for release through mid-October. See covers in the photo below.

1. Little Sisters, Don’t Hit On Me! (Catch phrase: “A scramble between twin sisters for their favorite older brother becomes a total mess!”)
2. My Little Sister Can Read Kanji (Volume 5)
3. My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute (Volume 11)
4. My Little Sister Who Is Popular With Girls and Me Who Suffers (Volume 5)
5. My Little Sister is a Light Novel Goddess (Getting meta up in here!)
6. My Little Sister is Mad Because My Girlfriend Came Onto Me?
7. I Know You’re My Brother but as Long There’s Love it Doesn’t Matter, Right? (Volume 7)
8. Little Sister Complex (Volume 3)
9. My Childhood Friend and Little Sister Have Delusional Daydreams in My Fantasies
10. There’s No Way I Can Be Empress of a Parallel Dimension!
11. One of These Girls is My Little Sister!
12. I Tried Controlling My Rebellious Little Sister With the Power of the Devil King

So what is it about stories featuring borderline (overtly incestual?) romantic relationships between young men and their little sisters that appeal to middle and high school males, the primary light novel demographic?

To be honest, we have no idea. We don’t even know if that’s still the primary demographic for these sort of stories, though we would like to believe that these sort of stories are representative of what most light novel readers are into.


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iusta_rum 10th-Sep-2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
Im a little sister and though i love my oniisan, i dont get any of these mangas and im sure muy oniisan wont either.



In Japan anything can be a marketable product!. Jeez....

tha_x 10th-Sep-2012 08:46 pm (UTC)
a lot of people have incest fetish, it's far from being something we can really say "WTF JAPAN".
xanithofdragons 10th-Sep-2012 08:45 pm (UTC)
I feel like this isn't news. It's not like incestuous themes are anything new.
exdream1999 10th-Sep-2012 09:35 pm (UTC)

I mean, like, this getting into "OLD AS DIRT" territory here.
asaphira_sachi 10th-Sep-2012 08:48 pm (UTC)

Just hope they separate fantasy from reality.
iusta_rum 10th-Sep-2012 08:55 pm (UTC)
Dean is sooo sexy Photobucket

Edit: The problem about separating Reality from fantasy is that (I THINK)these type of manga feed fantasy and one day people who read this type of manga would like to make the fantasies real! (though these mangas are not really sexual...)

Edited at 2012-09-10 09:05 pm (UTC)
burger 10th-Sep-2012 08:54 pm (UTC)
This has been a theme for a pretty long time already in anime/manga/whatever tho
annhh 10th-Sep-2012 08:59 pm (UTC)
these people who are into this genre must not have siblings. seriously.
tha_x 10th-Sep-2012 09:17 pm (UTC)
I don't speak for everyone but that's not true at all. It's not always because you want to bang your family members (incest isn't all about siblings btw), some people like it for different reasons.
mikarocker 10th-Sep-2012 09:38 pm (UTC)
chizzyrei 10th-Sep-2012 09:45 pm (UTC)
w/c reminds of your drama MatsuJun
ajisaitea 10th-Sep-2012 09:47 pm (UTC)
This is nothing new at all. Incest has long been the poster child theme for Forbidden Love.
exdream1999 10th-Sep-2012 09:55 pm (UTC)
I mean, like, how are these books any different from any of the V.C. Andrews books?

Hell, these even seem to have only subtextual incest...

I really don't get how this is a weird Japan thing. At most, yeah, it could be fad, but so was "Flowers in the Attic"....
ajisaitea 10th-Sep-2012 11:08 pm (UTC)

The first time I read Flowers in the Attic I was blown. Grant it I got it, that when your locked away for YEARS with only the same people you can grow to have a 'Love' for that person.

ie. Blue Lagoon anyone?
Yes I know they were only 'COUSINS' in the first movie...but it's a good example.
gashinenai 10th-Sep-2012 09:55 pm (UTC)
My Little Sister Who Is Popular With Girls and Me Who Suffers
sorry but this made me laugh :D
ajisaitea 10th-Sep-2012 11:08 pm (UTC)
Unrelated but I approve of your icon.
dramaticsurgeon 10th-Sep-2012 09:58 pm (UTC)
Meh, everyone has some kind of fetish. It's the ones who don't that you have to worry about. XD Incest isn't actually that unique as fetishes go. There are some fetishes out there that make you wonder how the hell anyone ever thought of it. I have a harder time understanding people with a watersports/scat fetish than incest, tbh. I don't judge them, I just literally don't understand it.

Honestly, though, saying that people who are into incest fetishes may "act on those impulses later" is like saying every shota fan will turn into a pedophile, or every amputee fetishist (yes, they exist) will eventually run out and cut their own arm off. There may be a few who will act on it, but it's very likely that would have happened whether fetish-based material was available to them or not.
pinkydbzfan 12th-Sep-2012 08:14 pm (UTC)
I love Yaoi..but I'm not going to get a sex change.
kerplunk 10th-Sep-2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
uledy 10th-Sep-2012 10:06 pm (UTC)
Incest is something Japanese literature is definitely not unfamiliar with. It'd be nice if the article explored the history of incest themed literature throughout Japanese literary history. One of the most compelling Japanese novellas I've read is centered around incest and narcism and I guarantee it isn't a "light novel" : /

Anyway, these Japan Today articles have really been awful lately...
uledy 10th-Sep-2012 10:16 pm (UTC)
Also, I completely understand that people are being open minded about incest fetishes, but I also think it's important to note that this article is hinting about the (potentially) sexualized relationship of an older brother to a younger sister in these novels, which, in my opinon is creepy as fuck. Does anyone who reads these titles know if this article is an accurate depiction of the genre?
queencrystallia 10th-Sep-2012 10:23 pm (UTC)
it is disgusting and gross. incestuous relationships and fetishes are just gross and i won't even BOTHER explaining why i think this.
tomoeicemaiden 11th-Sep-2012 02:05 am (UTC)
A comment from some random person on Arama won't do much but I am so, so, so sorry you ever had to experience that :( Thank you for speaking about it, however. It might better help people understand why some of their fetishes or hobbies are indeed not harmless. Btw, sending you positive vibes rn :)
shroomko 10th-Sep-2012 10:49 pm (UTC)
blah blah blah wtf japan blah blah kink shaming blah blah blah
exdream1999 10th-Sep-2012 10:55 pm (UTC)
Kink shaming? In your Arama?

It's more likely than you think.

(Bring it on though, I've lurked in enough ONTD and fandom_secret posts to know how this rolls.)
fumine 10th-Sep-2012 10:51 pm (UTC)
Dear title of this entry: no. ^^ The topic is nothing new.

My holy manga bible [Angel Sanctuary] does have an incest theme and it doesn't stay platonic... ^^' I didn't mind reading it, but it's not something I'd look for in other manga.

Not going to make the mistake and judge a person's character by what they read though. To each his own.
exdream1999 10th-Sep-2012 10:57 pm (UTC)
Well, Angel Sanctuary was probably playing off the all myth that male/female twins were lovers in their past lives who couldn't be together.

Like, I'm the same way, I would never ship an incest pairing on my own, but if it's part of the actual text and done in a way I don't mind, I'd probably willingly read it.
ih8je 10th-Sep-2012 10:58 pm (UTC)
I Know You’re My Brother but as Long There’s Love it Doesn’t Matter, Right?

what the hell is this about? is it wholesome love between siblings or what?

I have siblings and I'm 100% sure I DO NOT want to have any romantic feelings for them.

ifuckingluvya 10th-Sep-2012 11:59 pm (UTC)
really creepy let's be real. And I'm not talking about anyone that glorify this kind of thing.

Honestly what put me off the most it's the power relations which are ready fucked up specially if both parties have known each other their whole life. Anolder figure that sexually fantasies about the younger boy/girl who is suppoused to protect/care, the submissive/vulnerable child who trust them...yeah no really my cup of tea. Specially when you consider that most sexual abuse does happen with a close relative of the victim, father/uncle/bother/sister/mother etc

nice_vibe 11th-Sep-2012 12:09 am (UTC)
Yeah I know people are ~into different things~ but I can't help but find it gross that it's always a younger sister. There's a weird power relationship in that.
coika 11th-Sep-2012 12:41 am (UTC)

I feel like this genre has way more to say about Japanese male insecurities TBH.
brucelynn 11th-Sep-2012 12:35 am (UTC)
harukakamiya 11th-Sep-2012 12:51 am (UTC)
Here's a useful phrase for you: Your Kink Is Not My Kink and That's Okay.
fauxparadiso 11th-Sep-2012 01:19 am (UTC)
lol I remember watching First Kiss starting Inoue Mao and how awkward it was to watch the romantic plot toe the incest line. Like girl, just cause you're dying doesn't mean you can't have standards.
b1gay4 11th-Sep-2012 01:52 am (UTC)
OP you forgot to ad the infoumas Kiss X Sis
captxfizz 11th-Sep-2012 10:27 am (UTC)
Though I dunno if that counts since that was between the brother and his step sisters, which technically isn't all that incestuous
tomoeicemaiden 11th-Sep-2012 01:59 am (UTC)
For the people who are calling incest fetish a kink; would you call pedophilia a kink too? Even if all the pedophile is doing is consuming media that portrays it(hopefully just in novel or comic form)? It doesn't surprise me people are willing to defend an incest fetish among other things(like someone dancing in an SS uniform on a music video) because the cultures we live in have normalized people's traumatic and violent experiences to further a plot and/or make a profit.

Before you defend your right to take pleasure in something, take the time to ask yourself if it's problematic for someone else. It may not stop all of us from indulging but eventually we can all learn to think critically, even of the things we like.
ebonskye 11th-Sep-2012 05:23 am (UTC)
Literature and art reflect the society we live in. Incest fantasies have been in literate since literature existed. It is not new, and if you want to erase everything for fear of 
influencing our delicate minds then please start with the bible and prepare to make a long, long long list.  

Everyone has different experiences and different traumas and it is nothing but small minded self centeredness that causes someone to believe that their experience
should overrule everything and everyone else. 

Fantasies are not reality, thoughts are not actions and it is nothing but
self-righteous bigotry that inspires people to try and shame others for 
HARMLESSLY    expressing any type of sexuality they don't agree with.
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