Keita Suminoe is a fifteen year old middle school student who only wants one thing… To pass his finals, and make it into the same high school as his older twin sisters, Ako and Riko. But he has two obstacles standing in his way. The first is that he’s far more athletic than scholarly, which makes studying and taking tests difficult for him to manage. And the second is that both of his sisters are madly in love with him, providing him with endless distractions as he tries to do the simplest things like eat, sleep, and of course, study. And it’s not just them, either… One of his teachers, a fellow student that he accidentally groped, and a short loli-like girl from his school are all starving for a taste of his knob. What can poor Keita do when these women have so much love to give to him, and he only has about six inches to give to them?
KissXSis was allegedly animated by a small time company called Feel. Why do I say allegedly? Because it looks nowhere near as good as one of their other anime, So I Can’t Play H, whose incredible production values was it’s primary redeeming factor. In fact, the difference in quality between these shows that were made only two years apart is so vast that I almost want to call BS on wikipedia for telling it to me. I guess it’s possible that feel didn’t feel the need to put as much money into this project as they’d later wind up pouring into H, and if that’s the case, I suppose I understand. Put lightly, this isn’t their opus.
That’s not to say the animation is awful, though. It’s not great, but I’ve seen plenty of shows that looked a lot worse than this. The artwork is crisp and clean, and a few of the character designs are inspired, although most of them look generic, and the weird little shiny marks on the girls’ skin can get pretty distracting. The bare bones budget is actually managed fairly well. There are several moments when the moneysaving animation techniques are blatantly obvious, but for the most part, the series sticks to slow, limited movements that suit it best, saving it’s money for the few… Um… *cough* action scenes that need it more. What bothered me was more WHAT they were animating than how they were animating it, I guess. The music isn’t bad either, just generic and forgettable.
So, I’m going to go into new territory here. Over my years of reviews, I’ve made a habit out of talking about the animation of any given series as well as the company that produced them, but never before have I talked about the TV station that they aired on. Since this show doesn’t have an English dub for me to discuss, and I don’t really feel up to discussing the sub, I’m going to go ahead and tell you all about a Japanese TV station called AT-X, or Anime Theater X.
AT-X is a Japanese premium channel… In other words, a pay-per-view station… that, by the very nature of those words, is allowed to show most of their programs uncensored, kind of like HBO. They’ve aired many TV-MA titles since they were established in 2000, including Elfen Lied, Mahoromatic, Highschool of the Dead, Dance in the Vampire Bund, and the Japanese dub of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic(Wrap your head around that one). Being a pay-per-view station, they have the right to show their programming with nudity, excessive violence, groping, and all that fun adults-only stuff to it’s mainly adult crowd should they choose to do so, with streaming sites like Funimation.com and Crunchyroll.com opting to air censored versions anyway.
This turned out to be the perfect place for KissXSis to air, as it’s filled to the brim with adult imagery. Not only is there underwear shots and bare bottoms galore, this show goes all out with french kissing, lines of drool falling afterwards as a result of said kissing, frequent groping, girls peeing(from many different angles), the outline of the main character’s erect penis through his clothes as his sisters very explicitly fondle it… And yet, in the very rare moments of actual nudity, the girls in the series were given nondescript Barbie doll bodies. Considering just how little of a fuck this series gives in regards to it’s content, that’s a hilariously bizarre omission to make. Because, yeah, as far as this show is willing to go, nipples are the line they don’t want to cross. It’s especially strange when you take into account that their brother, Keita, very clearly has nipples in the scene when Ako and Riko are teaming up to lick them. I guess it makes sense that since he’s not blood related to them, he wouldn’t share the same physical deformity that they have. At least that’s the explanation that I’m sticking with.
My first attempt to watch this show was back in the fall of 2012. I’d heard some stuff about it from both sides of the fence, so I felt some morbid curiosity as to just how bad it could really be. I wound up quitting after two episodes, already calling it the worst anime I’d ever seen. To be clear, it’s not the incest that turned me off… I’m not as offended by that topic as a lot of people are. But in order to make the topic of incest appeal to a broader audience than just the people who want to jerk off to it… And thus, to make me tolerate it… you HAVE to play the societal stigma card to make the material relatable. The related couple has to face judgement from the people around them. I mentioned as much in my review of Oreimo, and I even used what little I’d seen of KissXSis as a reference tool.
What had me running away from KissXSis as fast as I possibly could was, ultimately, the way it’s world was reacting to our three blood crossed lovers. At school, the entire male student body was obsessed with Ako and Riko, to the point that they would ostracize and bully Keita for living with them, and form an unruly mob to chase the two girls whenever they wandered onto the school’s campus. The only character who showed any repulsion to the idea was some big boobed glasses girl who you could immediately tell was just going to fall in love with Keita, effectively turning what could have been moral outrage into jealousy. As I would later learn from the appearance of his teacher, that’s exactly what the writers were going for. Keep in mind, at no point in the story are we given any insight into why such bland looking characters would be sexually deified to such extreme levels.
And to make matters worse, their parents weren’t just okay with this debauchery between their children… They were encouraging it. Right at the end of episode 1, they start hounding Keita to excavate the gold mine of forbidden pussy that lived a few rooms down from him. They also drop the bomb on us that Keita and his sisters aren’t really related by blood… Keita is his son, and the twins are the mom’s daughters, so they’re actually just step siblings, and the anime constantly shoves the fact that they’re not blood relatives down our throats to remind us that what’s going on between them is perfectly A-ok. Which, as I’ve mentioned in the past, it’s not. Children who grow up from a young age together as siblings and go through puberty in closed together become sexually desensitized to each other, and I swear I’m not making that up. Whether or not they’re actually related by blood is a non-issue, that’s just how it works. It’s legally okay, but only the sleaziest perverts ever call upon legal loopholes to excuse their tastes.
After confirming with the second episode that this show was not going to get any better, I decided I’d had enough, and stayed away from it for a year and a half. That was until my long awaited two week vacation from work, when I let my two best friends each pick an anime for me to watch in my free time, and one of them challenged me to finish the series once and for all. The only reason I’m not going to punch him in the face is because he said I didn’t have to watch the OVAs.
Upon my second attempt to watch KissXSis, I’ve noticed that not only does the series never get any better, but it takes every possible opportunity to get worse. And I’m not just talking about the depraved sexual content, which any viewer will either be able to take or leave. There is nothing in this series that’s even remotely suggestive of any kind of story-telling. The only plot is whether or not Keita will wind up sleeping with one of his sisters, but he’s so willing to fool around with either one of them at the slightest provocation that it winds up not really mattering whether they cross the line or not. The only conflict is over which sister he winds up with, but he never really shows any preference, and will happily switch between them as though they were Coke and Pepsi.
There’s no story either, as the entire series is just an endless string of moments between Keita and his sisters, with no stakes, no surprises, no revelations, just interaction after interaction, competition after competition. It can’t get old, though, because unless you were on the edge of your seat waiting for something graphic to happen, it was never interesting in the first place. It’s portrayal of women is insanely ignorant and misogynistic, but… Well… It’s hard to be mad at it about that, because at no point does it ever seem to concern itself with what women are really like. Granted, I ranted and raved about that when I originally rage-quit the series, but upon a fresh look, and a surprisingly boring viewing experience that was occasionally interrupted by random bouts of “You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me,” I think I’ve finally nailed what this anime is, and why it feels like a nonentity to me at this point, as well as why I can’t bring myself to be angry over how brain-smashingly reprehensible the content is.
KissXSis is, at it’s core, a sexless hentai. Now, I’ve seen several anime that I could throw that same label at before, but this is the first one I’ve ever seen that was actually aired on TV. There is nothing more pointless than a safe-for-TV porno. You can not realistically expect a porno to have realistic female characters, because it’s a porno. It’s a jerk-off fantasy. The only real reason someone could possibly watch this all the way through is to jerk off to it(watching it for reviewing purposes is not a real reason… I’m insane, and a horrible person, so don’t do what I did). Everything that happens in this show is just build-up to sex scenes that never happen, leaving it only palatable for the most desperate viewers who are looking for a good incest romp and somehow don’t realize that there are actual hentai out there.
The only other type of audience I can imagine this series having would be people who either A: Have siblings they wish they could screw or B: Wish they had siblings they could screw, and in either case, they’re droolingly eager to find some sort of escapist self-insert jerk-off fantasy where they have a pair of willing and able sisters that aren’t technically related to them, in a world where only the jealous haters have anything negative to say about it. That would be the life, wouldn’t it? Only no, it wouldn’t. Grow up, and stop kidding yourselves.
KissXSis has never been released stateside, and no self-respecting legal streaming service would ever touch it with a sixty foot pole. It’s available on illegal streaming sites, and while I’d normally never recommend such a tactic, I honestly don’t care one way or another whether or not this title makes any money. You can also find the Malaysian bootlegs on Ebay for dirt cheap, as it’s only about thirteen dollars for the TV version of the series, and around the same cost for the OVA series of equal length that came out a few years prior.
If KissXSis had been released as an actual legitimate hentai title, with at least the majority of it’s story arcs ending in sexual pay-offs, it would easily be one of the best titles in it’s genre, and no, I’m not exaggerating that. The characters are well developed and complex… By hentai standards. The story is intelligent and well thought out… By hentai standards. The animation and music are very well produced… By hentai standards. With actual pay-offs instead of blue-ball teasing, the pacing would have been outstanding… By hentai standards. But this series wasn’t released straight to DVD in the adults only section of your local DVD store. It was released on TV, in a much harsher and stricter medium. As a legitimate TV anime, this show is just flat out pathetic, tasteless trash that only the most desperate and depraved audiences will find any sort of satisfaction with. Since I am not one of them, I can’t even give this show a zero without feeling like I’m being too lenient with it. Thus, I give KissXSis a -4/10.