Flashback to when little Keita was rescued from feral dogs by loli Ako and Riko; they promise to be together always. Back in the present, the news that the two elder step-sisters have confessed to Keita has reached their parents. And they are delighted; even the neighbours are putting bets as to which sister Keita will choose. Distracted by this, he argues with the PE teacher after he makes lewd comments about Ako and Riko; he injures his hand while stopping the rotten teacher’s blow cold. In the evening, Ako and Riko’s usual competitive antics aggravates the injury first in his room and then in the bath where he gets more than an eyefull and hands-on experience of Riko’s manko.
The flashback reveals that the three main characters have been step-siblings for a long time (10 years to the present?) – this is problematic for the premise, as explained by Jessie, as it seems to flagrantly ignore the Westermarck effect. Certainly it provides more ammunition for those who were already put off by the premise but want another reason to attack the show (if the premise was so offputting, surely one picked up this story for review to indulge in the pleasure of shooting fish in barrels rather than to demonstrate open-mindedness).
There is already a hint that Bow Ditama had anticipated this objection and it manifests in the parents’ attitude to Keita, Ako and Riko and the possibility of romance between them. The question then becomes: why does Keita manifest some Westermarck effect but not Ako or Riko? I’ve read ahead (which is a reason why I was able to commit to start blogging about this series in the first place) so there is another big flashback hint in the coming chapters which goes right to the core of Keita x Ako x Riko’s chara dynamics.
Keita’s confrontation with his teacher was also an important data point. Hontou Ni doctrine downgrades series and bishoujos when the harem lead lacks the qualification to justify their love. I liked the way he stood up for his sisters (even if some of the comments have a ring of truth to them…) and how he did not strike the teacher to make his point. And crucially did not moan about this to any one at home as it would have been an easy way to guilt trip Ako and Riko and get them off his back.
On the art and the fanservice, especially in the bath scenes, the use of angles to hide Riko’s nakedness was actually quite good, without having to resort to steam or random passing rubber duckies and the like. But Ako’s (accidental, of course) Keita face sitting scene was really lewd; while it was there was no nudity involved, it was certainly a showcase of the mangaka’s attempt to strike beyond the usual bounds of decency while maintaining a itsy bitsy toehold within the normal bounds of convention and acceptability. Good job, Ditama-sensei!