Top 10 Best Anime Siblings of 2016

We often find the most complicated relationships in our life are the relationships we have with family members. The relationships can get even more complicated when you are close in age and the roles aren’t clearly defined. We understand our roles with our parents and grandparents and even our aunts and uncles; in the hierarchy of age the younger listens to the older. This seems to be a universal cultural structure. A rebellious act or two (or three) may happen, but the roles are still there and still defined. The true complexity in familial relationships often happens with siblings.

A pair of siblings, especially when they are close in age, is often subjected to the same rules and learning curve thus create a strong pair bond. We do see cases where that bond is broken or never seems to exist due to some sort of trauma, jealousy, or mental illness that pits one against the other. We also see the other extreme where the bond between siblings is far closer than societal norms. For the most part, most sibling relationships are a remarkable bond formed through instinct, upbringing and common socialization. With that in mind, we now look at a list of the Top 10 Anime Siblings from 2016.

10. Benio and Yutto from Twin Star Exorcist (Sousei no Onmyouji)

  • Episodes: 50
  • Aired: Apr. 2016- Mar. 2017

We start with Benio Adashino and Yutto Ijika, who despite having separate last names are siblings in the true sense of having the same parents. The reality and the reason they are at the bottom of the list is that they couldn’t be further apart in their behavior and attitude. Benio grew up idolizing her older brother and his ability as an exorcist. She was devastated when he was reported killed when his school was destroyed by the demons known as kegare. We fast forward several years later to when Benio has taken up the mantle as an exorcist. She is one of the most powerful exorcists in her generation and has the potential to be one of the greatest ever as she strives to honor her brother in taking up the fight to “kill all the kegare.”

Benio is nearly destroyed when she learns the truth about her brother and how he summoned the kegare to the school and willingly became half kegare himself as a way to destroy the world. He confesses that he always considered her a bother and inferior to him. He says he deserves to be killed like all the others he had killed over the years. The two are an embodiment of a yin and yang relationship and like the black and white swirls, when they meet there is no grey area -- only conflict. It is that “at each other’s throats” relationship that puts them at the bottom of our list.


9.Ai Ninomiya and Makoto Ninomiya from Amanchu!

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Jul. 2016- Sep. 2016

Many of us dream of an ideal life by the ocean, sitting on the sand, playing in the water and diving beneath its waves. The Ninomiya siblings from Amanchu! are lucky, they get to live that life. Ai Ninomiya is a second-year at Yumegaoka High School. She is a rather energetic girl once she gets her gears turning in the morning. She is also the president of the Yumegaoka Diving Club. She is the elder of fraternal twins and doesn’t let anyone forget it. Her brother Makoto is a quiet person and spends most of his time hanging around his sister.

We aren’t really sure what the root of the sibling dysfunction is in this relationship, though. Ai treats Makoto pretty badly, often kicking or yelling at him. Her dominance over him is so oppressive he hardly says a thing in her presence. It’s hard to blame him since saying the wrong thing can easily set her off. We get the feeling she does care deeply for her brother, but doesn’t do well in expressing it. The Nimomiya siblings are perfect examples of a family you stick by even though you may not know why.


8. Asuha Chigusa and Kasumi Chigusa from Qualidea Code

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aried: Jul. 2016- Sep. 2016

We’ve all seen them, that perfect brother and sister pairing. The two characters that complement each other so well that you really couldn’t have one without the other. Asuha and Kasumi are one of those sets of siblings. The pair also has the job of leading the defenders of Chiba City from alien attack. Their black uniforms and motorcycle give them a very high cool factor. Asuha is a somewhat tomboyish girl who is a crack shot with her twin hand guns. In many ways, she’s the typical tsundere character, and shows that attitude to her brother often.

Kasumi’s temperament is as cool and stoic. He’s not good at interpersonal relationships, which kind of fits with his role as a sniper. He constantly shows that he puts the safety of his little sister above all else, even though Asuha doesn’t want to be protected. The two are a very effective combat pair as well. Asuha is an expert at dealing with the enemy at close range with her hand guns while her brother’s sniper skills handle the aliens from a distance. The two, despite bickering like siblings, are the best combat paring in Qualidea Code.


7. Akari, Momo, and Hinata Kawamoto from March Comes in Like a Lion (3-gatsu no Lion)

  • Episodes: 22
  • Aired: Oct. 2016- Mar. 2017

Akari, Hinata and Momo are sisters living in Sangatsu-cho and have become caretakers of a 17-year-old professional Shogi player named Rei Kiriyama who lives by himself. Akari, age 21, plays the role of sister and mother to her younger sisters Hinata, in middle school, and Momo, a preschooler. The sisters are doing the best they can to move forward after the death of their mother. One of the ways they are moving on is by taking care of Rei. The three of them each find a place for Rei in their lives. Momo looks at him as an older brother; Hinita sees him as a potential love interest; and like with her sisters, Akari takes on the role of mother and sister both.

Akari works two jobs in order to support her sisters and yet she still finds time to help this troubled young man. Akari isn’t strong on her own, it’s her sisters who give her strength and the reason and ability to move forward each day. The Kawamoto sisters are on this list because they show us how the power of family gives us strength in our toughest times, and even the ability to help and love others even when we need support ourselves.


6. Tanaka and Rino Tanaka from Tanaka-kun is Always Listless (Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Apr. 2016- Jun. 2016

Tanaka is lazy. He makes no apologies for his laziness, either. Tanaka thinks it’s his role in life to be the most lethargic person in the room, and in most cases, he succeeds. He is quiet and understated and friendly; even though he may not show enthusiasm he is willing to make friends. His sister Rino is equally understated, but doesn’t seem to be nearly as lazy as her brother. That may be because if one of them didn’t step up they would live in squalor and starve. She looks and sounds a lot like her brother with her black hair and monotone voice, so you can tell they are definitely related.

Rino loves her brother, too. She doesn’t mind taking care of him and has an interest in his life, though he isn’t very talkative. She’s gone to great lengths to learn about it, including bugging his school bag. The Tanaka siblings make a good complementary pair, a boring pair, but a pair nonetheless. We wonder what their parents might be like to turn out such understated children.


5.Ruby and Dia Kourosawa Love Live! Sunshine!!

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: Jul. 2016- Sep. 2016

Those of us with younger siblings never want them to make the same mistakes we’ve made. An older sibling’s job is to tread down the path to make it easier for our younger sisters or brothers. If we see our siblings going down what we think is the wrong path, even if it is one that we’ve been down ourselves, we do our best to steer them back even if it causes conflict. Dia Kourosawa is doing that exact thing in Love Live! Sunshine when she sees her sister Ruby join the fledgling idol club. Ruby, who is a shy first year and always looked up to pop idols, is intrigued by the idol club, though she doesn’t initially think she could be an idol herself. Dia’s feeling is that Ruby is just going to be set up for disappointment. She not only tries to forbid her sister from joining, but also uses her power on the student council to block the formation of the club for anyone. Ruby is racked with guilt going behind her sister’s back and opposing her, but finds some fortitude in her shy shelf to respectfully stand up for what she wants.

We learn that Dia was a member of an idol club that fell apart after one performance and was devastated by it; she didn’t want her little sister to go through the same thing. Ruby convinces her sister that with her experience and help the group can succeed. The natural state of an older sibling is to help pave the way for the younger and shield them from harm, something Dia knows and Ruby understands. It helps the two make beautiful harmonies when Dia comes on board as a member of the idol club.


4.Isami Aldini and Takumi Aldini from Food Wars! The Second Plate (Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara)

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: Jul. 2016- Sep. 2016

Isami and Takumi are amazing chefs, as you might expect of young men growing up in a family of chefs in Italy. The way a chef approaches a kitchen and cooking can be very different depending on the person. Twins trained at the same restaurant in the same way can also have different approaches. Isami is the cool yet passionate brother who wants to embrace the joy of cooking. He is able to compete and have rivalries but still be friends with the other students at the academy. Takumi, too, is a highly skilled chef creating masterpieces of Italian cuisine. He has a must-win philosophy, viewing every moment in the kitchen as a competition. He also feels that it would be a dishonor to cheat and prefers to win a clear victory. He carries those feelings of superiority outside of the kitchen as well, making it hard for him to get along with others like his brother.

A dynamic like Isami and Takumi’s is actually pretty common between siblings as each try to find their own niche like the ingredients in a recipe. A kitchen with Takumi’s perfectionist drive Isami’s calming influence would easily be a 5-star restaurant.


3. Kageyama Shigeo and Kageyama Ritsu from Mob Psycho 100

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Jul. 2016- Sep. 2016

he brothers Ritsu and Shigeo are two down-to-earth protagonists that both have special abilities but different philosophies. Shigeo came into his psychic abilities at an early age and learned that they were connected to his emotional state. He felt in order to keep those he cared about safe he needed to keep his emotions in check. Shigeo may be awkward but he is kind and has taken a clear stance against using his powers to harm people. Ritsu, on the other hand, is everything his brother is not. He is well adjusted, has friends, and is even a member of the student council. He does have a bit of a dark side and is willing to use his powers against people when he needs to.

The clear thing is that these two brothers, despite being different and even moral opposites, share a deep affection for each other. We often find siblings like Ritsu and Shigeo, in this case mainly Shigeo, being able to forgive each other for whatever trespass they make against others because of the bond they share as family.


2. Kei Tsukishima and Akiteru Tsukishima from Haikyu!! 3rd Season

  • Episodes: 25
  • Aired: Oct. 2015- Mar. 2016

We often see the best in our siblings, regardless of how the rest of the world see them. Kei and Akiteru are no exception. Akiteru wants to set an example for his younger brother by being the best at volleyball. He spends hours a day practicing after the official practice is over. He wants his brother to be proud of him and to look up to him. Even after he’s benched, Akiteru doesn’t tell his younger brother because he’s afraid of disappointing him. Kei is known for his rather blunt personality and isn’t like his brother in the practice, practice, practice mentality.

His attitude is formed by the way his brother is treated. Why work until you drop if it still means you can be benched? Kei’s actions seem to be deeply motivated by his love and respect for his brother, even if it makes them enemies, and that’s what brotherly bonds are about.


1. Ram and Rem from Re:Zero Starting Life in Another World (Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu)

  • Episodes: 25
  • Aired: Apr. 2016- Sep. 2016

Ram and Rem are the twin maids working in the Roswall L. Mathers mansion. The twin girls are skilled maids and magicians. The easiest way to tell the two girls apart is their hair color, one pink and one blue, and one parted to the left while the other to the right. The relationship between twins is often one of the most complex sibling relationships. In most cases, each sibling is striving to differentiate themselves from the other. Even so, twins often have an insoluble bond. Rem and Ram are close, or that is definitely what it seems. We also see how Rem is totally devoted to Ram and willing to do anything for her sister. She also considers herself inferior to Ram; the root of her devotion is an attempt to make up for some perceived wrong she did her sister.

The two girls do diverge in their loyalties somewhat; and, as often the case, it has to do with men. Ram is completely devoted to the master of the estate, Roswall L. Mathers; Rem is deeply in love with Subaru, the protagonist of the tale. We even have a very good idea that the sisters would choose their loves over each other. Ram and Rem are good stand-alone characters, each having a complex back story with motivations all their own. Though when we see them together, and we don’t get to see enough of them in our opinion, their dialogue is playful and witty -- something that comes easily when you’ve spent your entire life side by side. The relationship they have is one of the most fleshed out stories of 2016 and gives depth and width to their characters, solidly giving them the number one spot on this list.


Final Thoughts

The sibling pairs in anime are as diverse as the anime worlds they come from. We have brothers and sisters wanting to kill each other and others willing sacrifice themselves for each other. The question of the strength of the bond comes up frequently. Who or what could come between those familiar bonds? Is it a dream? Is it a love? We can truly say that regardless of setting, either fantasy or reality, family relationships are complicated. That’s why when you’re an outsider it’s sometimes best to just let it be a family thing.

Zeke Changuris

Writer

Author: Zeke Changuris

I’m a journalist, writer, photographer, video producer, social media manager and above all a storyteller. I’m located on the east coast of the United States but travel the world with the love of my life. I’ve been a nerd since birth with a love of history and science. I fell in love with anime, watching ROBOTECH and Venus Wars in the 80s when our only source was secondhand VHS dubs. A crazy new thing called the internet changed that, giving me access to new and amazing anime every day. I love to write for work and pleasure. I’m living the dream of every kid, getting paid to watch anime and loving every subtitled line.

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