Oniisan, Imouto

Poor Amu, being messed around - but Ikuto is so cool while doing it... *sigh*...

Shugo Chara! has been a refreshing watch for a summer break, especially while I watch Madoka Magica for contrast. I mentioned the suspicious (but latent) sexual imagery of ‘lock’ and ‘key’ earlier, but one thing I never expected to come up in this show was incest. Cross-dressing, sure, but incest? It may not be uncommon in anime overall, but this wasn’t the show I expected it in.

Avoiding spoilers is probably unnecessary at this point, but suffice to say that a character who has obviously had an infatuation with another character has been revealed as his sister. She’s far from the little sister type, which is possibly why I never thought to interpret her possessiveness in this way. If she’s of a similar age with Amu and younger than Ikuto, that changes how I percieve her a bit. Regardless, this was a bolt from the blue for me. At first I thought it was an unfortunate corruption of the comparative innocence of this show, but really, if it’s kept to possessive “me one and only love” levels, it probably won’t. Labelling it ‘incest’ suggests illicitness which is only just present in this portrayal, and it seems like it will be milked mostly for comedy. It also gives a nice excuse for disregarding the sister as a true love rival for Our Heroine.

When the above screenshot is followed by this kind of thing, I am convinced that Ikuto's romantic moments are mostly intended to throw Amu off for his amusement.

What other surprises will Shugo Chara! throw up for me I wonder? In particular, I wonder if it will become a trope-checking exercise like so many recent anime (“oh look, a trap, that’s another twist ticked off…”) or whether things like Nagehiko will be addressed in an interesting way.

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