Quite a few series have a central theme of a younger sister's fascination with her older brother. There are lots of examples: Sister Princess with its twelve(!) sisters, Da Capo, the list goes on and on. I'm pretty sure there are many anime fans who will sigh and roll their eyes when they hear the female lead shout "onichaaaan!".
However, they all have a sneaky way of these younger 'sisters' not being related by blood at all: they're either adopted, or really a cousin, or whatever.
Not so with Koi Kaze. Koi Kaze also explores the (romantic) relationship between a brother and a (much) younger sister, but this time without the cuteness, with a lot more realism, and the brother and sister are full siblings.
Yes, Koi Kaze is about incest, and it does a good job of tackling this subject.
Main character is Kouchirou, a 27 year old agent at a matchmaking office. He's recently been dumped by his girlfriend. During his commute to work, he notices a middle school student dropping her rail pass, and he gives it back to her. Later that day, they meet again in front of an amusement park -- Kouchirou has two tickets, and they end up going to the park together. They have a very frank discussion in the ferris wheel, and they start to have feelings for each other.
When they leave the park, Kouchirou discovers that the girl is actually his 15-year old sister Nanoka, who lived with his mother since their parents divorced. She will be living with Kouchirou and his father, because it would cut her commute to school in half (only one hour instead of two!)...
We see Kouchirou struggling with his feelings for Nanoka. He ends up being very stern and gruff at her, while she tries her best to get closer to him. There's a lot to do about a certain scene in the bathroom, which pushes Kouchirou deeper and deeper in depression and guilt.
The creators didn't choose the easy way out. They could have let either Kouchirou or Nanoka fall in love with someone else, and that would be the end of it. But they don't. In the end, Nanoka ends up losing her virginity to her brother. They contemplate committing suicide together.
The ending is ambiguous. They end up going to the same amusement park again -- as lovers, not as strangers or brother/sister. They let themselves be locked in and spend the night in the ferris wheel. There, they talk and joke.
The next morning, when they leave, Nanoka carves her name in the bark of a tree and passes the knife to Kouchirou. Instead of carving his own name, he carves their surname next to her name. And when he offers Nanoka to come to his place (he's since moved out), she declines and goes back home to their father. klik interpreted this as if their love was over: their feelings for eachother flared up for a year, and then died down to normal brother/sister levels. I'm not so sure that is the case, and I would have liked a more definate resolution.
It's certainly not hentai, it has no fanservice. As tasteful as a theme like incest could be tackled, I guess.
The style is realistic: people aren't overly cute, the scenery is spot on. However, the drawing quality is inconsistent: sometimes a scene will switch from reasonable to really badly drawn within a few seconds.
- Realistic style;
- Beautiful music;
- Top-notch voice-acting.
- Theme (some people might find it icky);
- Inconsistent quality.
I'll give it a solid 8.