Vintage Shoujo Anime Style Inspo: “Oniisama E… / Brother Dear Brother”

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    Oniisama e… (Brother, Dear Brother) is a 1991 anime series/1976 manga. If you hang out on Tumblr much, you’ve probably seen some gifs from it, like [this one]( or [this one]( or [this one]( It’s an anime you watch for lesbians, drama, and the a e s t h e t i c.I don’t want that last statement to come off as condescending. It’s a great character-driven series and one of the first ever to feature women loving women as the protagonists. It’s also got some interesting things to say about social class, abusive relationships, authoritarianism, and more. I do recommend the series but that’s not what we’re here for. **We’re here to talk about style!**


    The basic plot summary: Nanako Misonoo, an ordinary girl, falls headlong into the world of Seiran Academy’s most intriguing personalities – and find their motivations are more than meets the eye.The fashion is interesting to me because it’s so iconoclastic and anachronistic. It’s a 90s anime series that was adapted from a 70s manga with many of the outfits left fully intact. Now that more recently, the 70’s-via-1990s has come back in style, it’s fun to look back at some of these outfits and see how they’d work (or not work) today.


    **Characters & Styles**


    **Nanako Misonoo:**

    Nanako is the protagonist, a sweet baby gay and a painfully average girl sucked into a world more complicated and scary than anything she knows.

    Nanako’s Style: The name of the game for Nanako’s style is “sweetness” and “naivety”. Fittingly, her signature colors are softened versions of the blue, yellow, and red primary colors. In the academy, her looks are more feminine and more tomboyish outside the academy. I looked for soft colors, youthfulness, and simplicity.

    [Nanako’s Imgur photoset here](

    [Nanako’s Pinterest board here](


    **Mariko Shinobu:**

    Mariko is basically the Cheryl Blossom of Oniisama e…, a scene-stealing, fabulous, unhinged, and sympathetic character who is definitely a fan favorite.

    Mariko’s Style: Goth-esque high femme queen Mariko’s look involves feminine silhouettes, a Cool Winter palette, and dramatic makeup. She has a “drama queen+teen vampire” thing going on both in character design and personality, and that’s what inspiration I went with.

    [Mariko’s Imgur photoset here](

    [Mariko’s Pinterest board here](


    **Kaoru Orihara**

    A calm and generous scholar-athlete mentor to the younger students, Kaoru doesn’t have time for bullshit. She’s a gifted athlete, outspoken, and hides her struggles.

    Kaoru’s Style: My bisexual queen. Kaoru intentionally eschews any of the super-feminine unspoken rules of Seiran and wears simple, sporty clothes instead. Her main color palette is definitely mustard and green and little else. Keywords for her looks: autumn vibes, tomboy, practical, utility.

    [Kaoru’s Imgur photoset here](

    [Kaoru’s Pinterest board here](


    **Rei Asaka**

    The ~tortured bad girl~ with a poet’s heart, loved and admired by all but struggling immensely due to some serious trauma.

    Rei’s style: Honestly, this was hard because Rei wears basically just one outfit: monochromatic menswear. Her style is exclusively androgynous, dark, flamboyant, offbeat, and fittingly romantic. It was fun to look for outfits that captured every aspect of that vibe – she looks monochromatic but never boring, androgynous but with indulgent details, stark but not severe.

    [Rei’s Imgur photoset here](

    [Rei’s Pinterest board here](


    **Fukiko Ichinomiya**

    The president of the sorority and veritable queen of the school. She is elegant and seemingly kind, with a severe cruel streak hidden behind her calm appearance.

    Fukiko’s style: Being so influential, Fukiko’s style sets the tone for the rest of the sorority. Words to describe Fukiko’s style: regal, coiffed, feminine, and conservative. She is often drawn in long sleeved-dresses and maxi skirts, which I think is another layer of visual coding for the fact that she spends most of the series with her intentions “under wraps”. Keywords: secretary dress, maxi skirt, rich fabrics

    [Fukiko’s Imgur photoset here](

    [Fukiko’s Pinterest board here](


    BONUS BOARDS: The show is filled with lots of small, carefully crafted visual details which makes for a really enjoyable viewing experience. [Here is a board]( for backgrounds from the show and “set design/props” from the show.

    What do you think? Do any of the characters vibe with your style?

    EDIT: I should add that the person responsible fot “wardrobe/costume design” was the character designer, Akio Sugino.



    These are all wonderful but I’m equally excited to start actually watching the show. How have I never heard of this before?!

    Kaoru is giving me serious Ellen Ripley vibes… It’s probably the hair and the jumpsuits.

    Also I’m really enjoying these inspo/mood boards crafted around anime/fictional characters. I never really considered how much thought actually goes into characer wardrobes in anime series.



    I LOVE THIS. I wish I knew where to find more anime based inspo boards. Fashion is not really a super relevant theme in the shows I watch (I tend to gravitate towards shonen) but I love these screen caps you took. The only anime where I noticed the characters’ clothes was probably Princess Jellyfish. You should make more of these they’re great!



    Walking out of r/femalefashionadvice thinking “Wow, I really want to watch anime” is definitely an experience I would have never expected to have.



    Ohh, what a set of boards, these are beautiful! I also love seeing a nice throwback to that old shoujo anime style, with the legs and the hair being Just So.



    Well you’ve just convinced me to finally start the series! This is definitely a fun idea to take inspiration from anime, I wouldn’t mind seeing more of these!

    God. Rei is Already my favorite but that’s not surprising considering my thirst for Luna-Terra from Heaven Will be Mine. If you haven’t checked that out, it’s created by a team that had this series as inspo!! (And it’s about girls in mecha kissing n fighting each other)



    Interesting – Fukido’s style looks very 40’s to me. You’ve done a great job of bringing that into current clothing!



    I love the Nanako board! It has all the short sleeved knits I haven’t been able to find in stores.



    THIS WAS SO GOOD OP! I love everything about this post. Super inspirational. I def need to start watching this. I love the art style and aesthetic of the series.

    I would say my personal style is in between Nanako’s and Kaoru’s. I’m in my mid-20s now, and I was definitely Nanako in my teens and early 20s, and I’m slowly transitioning my style to be more utilitarian/androgynous, which I think is why it’s more of a mix currently. How about you? Which of the characters vibe the most with your style? 🙂



    Lol, love this, as I really am a fan of the old early 90’s animation.

    I think you would really like Blogger and instagram model [@Steffy.]( She has a Retro Modern look.



    Is this streaming anywhere these days? Back in the day I heard about it a lot when we only had fansubs available but I never saw it.



    I love these!! Especially the first two girls style. So classy



    Wow. The less-feminine styles and fits from Rei’s album are exactly what I’m going for in my personal style (i.e. the ones without high, nipped-in waists and necklines showing collarbone). Thank you for making these albums! Also this show sounds amazing lol – if only I didn’t already have a watch list as long as my arm 😛



    I loved this anime and this post was so nostalgic to me. The character designs were definitely memorable and I liked seeing modern clothes of similar taste. Great post!



    This has made my day, thanks!



    I love how much work you put into this! its so amazing!!!!



    Love the Mariko inspo! Esp the color, as I’m also a cool winter.



    Love this so much! I stan for anime boards



    Oh my god this is great!!!! I love the looks in Oniisama E… so much, these are awesome ideas!! Have you ever made a Rose of Versailles one? Dressing like Marie or Oscar isn’t realistic obvs but I wonder what someone with an eye like yours would come up with for a board :>



    Wow Rei is basically my dream girl/wardrobe. Thank you so much for sharing!!



    omg i love the style, i want to see more anime like this because this is just adorable



    Good stuff.
    Good good stuff.



    Seriously amazing stuff. I dress like Kaoru right now, this kind of inspires me to make my style more defined. Thanks for posting! And I’m also going to be looking up this show.



    Wow, these inspo boards are awesome! It’s definitely inspired me to check out the series, the styling is just so ~ a e s t h e t i c ~ .

    I really love the layout of this post, especially the outfit layouts where you matched specific looks from the characters. I think Nanako’s style is my favourite. Thank you for making this!



    This is AMAZING

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