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Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie: Shikimori Is a Total Little Sister After All

Shikimori has a cool older brother, which, as revealed in Episode 9 of the anime, has deeply impacted how she sees herself and others.

The following contains spoilers for Episode 9 of Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie, “Innocence and Clumsiness,” now streaming on Crunchyroll.

Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie is a charming, wholesome rom-com of the Spring 2022 anime season, and as per its title, the heroine Shikimori usually stands right in the spotlight. With each episode, this story explores Shikimori’s personality and psyche on a deeper and deeper level, and Episode 9 explores her mind in all-new ways.

It was already revealed that Shikimori has an older brother but while little is known of him, Episode 9 makes it clear that Shikimori’s second-born status deeply impacted her mentality in harmless but distinct ways. When her good friend Hachimitsu figures this out and explains it, even Shikimori is shocked, let alone Inuzuka.

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Shikimori is more complex and nuanced than her image as a perfect girl would suggest. True, she is best-known for her good looks, athletic ability and her generous nature, but she also has hidden insecurities and weaknesses as well — some of which stem from her own family. There is no serious family drama to speak of, but by Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie‘s gentle standards, she has a bit of a complex, being the younger sister of a cool and confident older brother. Being the younger one plays a major role in how she interacts with her friends and evaluates her relationships with them.

Shikimori can be oddly jealous, possessive and insecure at times, a little desperate to prove she is the most important and loved person in the room, and Episode 9 explores that side of her in greater detail. Shikimori can hardly believe that her boyfriend Izumi relies most on their mutual friend Inuzuka rather than her when he’s ill, and she insists on being part of the picture. She joins Inuzuka at the drugstore to help out, only for Hachimitsu to arrive and make some deductions.

Posing as Sherlock Holmes, Hachimutsu correctly points out that as the younger sister, Shikimori feels the constant need to prove her worth, being afraid to stand in anyone’s shadow. In fact, she has a slip of the tongue and calls Inuzuka “big brother” when they have a minor disagreement, further evidence that Shikimori is constantly striving to catch up to her brother. Hachimitsu may have the answers here in Episode 9, but this raises even more questions.

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Shikimori’s unnamed big brother has appeared at least twice in the Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie anime so far, but very little is known of him — even his name or his exact age. A few brief scenes suggest he and his little sister generally get along, but they also try to stay out of each other’s business and aren’t terribly open with one another.

This sets them apart from other sibling duos such as Tanjiro and Nezuko in Demon Slayer, for example, or even Hitohito and Hitomi in Komi Can’t Communicate. However, it can be inferred that Shikimori’s brother is a highly competent and respectable person, or at least perceived as such. There must be some reason why Shikimori feels the need to catch up to him and prove herself to the point of projecting her brother onto other people.

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This is an exciting and intriguing aspect of Shikimori’s character that needs to be explored in greater detail before the season ends. Brother/sister relationships are a fascinating topic to explore in slice-of-life anime, and such a bond forms the emotional core of Demon Slayer while adding humor and charm to series like Komi Can’t Communicate and Horimiya. Perhaps future episodes will show viewers more about Shikimori’s big brother and learn what about him prompted Shikimori to catch up.

This may also make it clear what Shikimori must do to improve her self-esteem and overcome her insecurities. If her brother is an ace college student, for example, she could strive to become the #1 student at her school. Alternatively, if the brother has an amazing girlfriend, Shikimori might strive to be an even better partner herself to Izumi. The possibilities are endless, and any or all of them can move Shikimori’s character arc in compelling new directions.

Louis Kemner has been a fan of Japanese animation since 1997, when he discovered Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z in elementary school. Now he’s a bigger anime/manga fan than ever, and is ready to share what he knows with readers worldwide. He graduated high school in 2009 and received his Bachelor’s in creative writing from UMKC in 2013, then put his skills to work in 2019 with CBR.com. He’s always looking for a wonderful new anime to watch or manga series to read.

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