Little sisters have been a staple in a lot of genres of anime such as slice-of-life, harem, and the occasional drama, fantasy, and action. Usually taking the roles of supporting characters, little sisters add in flavor to an anime’s plot by adding in familial elements that tug the heartstrings, by being subjected to gratuitous fanservice, by being a love interest, or in some exceptional cases, all of these things. To celebrate the cuteness of little sisters in anime, Kami to Ki presents its Top 10 Imouto from relatively recent anime!
10. Ui Hirasawa (K-On!)
One of the best imouto-archetypes are the ones that act as a foil for their older siblings. If your older sister is an unreliable airhead like Yui, then you need to be the responsible one even if you’re the imouto. Ui is definitely younger, but one look at the sisters will make you think that she’s the onee-san. Not only is she super-dependable with house chores and cooking, she often picks up her sister’s slack at school as well. It goes without saying that precious imoutos should be protected, but this imouto would rather protect you~
9. Himawari Uzumaki (Boruto)
Naruto’s daughter Himawari is unbelievably moe, but beyond her cute face is a badass waiting to happen. Actually she already is, as shown by that one amusing moment where she (unintentionally) threw a Gentle Fist straight through her father’s solar plexus. It would definitely be great to see more of her soon.
8. Mako Akagi (Ballroom e Youkoso)
Mako Akagi is a legitimate cinnamon roll amongst the new anime imoutos this season. She is shy and outspoken as compared to her loud and boisterous older brother and dancer partner, Gaju Akagi. The two have been part of the world of ballroom dancing since the age of four, Mako being the one who initiated it. Her kind, sweet and caring personality, and grace in the dance floor makes her an epitome of a beauty so innocent one can’t just help but like her. There is also a silent determination inside her, proving herself to being a worthy partner to her brother who discards her at one point. All in all, she is truly a perfect image of an angel.
7. Mei Sunohara (Clannad)
The Sunohara siblings have hilariously contrasting personalities: while the older Youhei is dense and lackadaisical, the younger Mei is ironically mature and diligent. While she’s often frustrated by her brother’s attitude, she does care for him a lot, going at great lengths just to see her brother doing well. Also, she’s just really adorable.
6. Sagiri Izumi (Eromanga-sensei)
While stereotypical anime imouto are either the brother complex-type or the tsundere-type, Sagiri gives a rather satisfying synthesis between the two. Sporting an ASMR-inducing voice from Akane Fujita, she stays to be adorable whether she’s being cold at scolding her nii-chan, Masamune, or giving him comfort to help him cope with his longing for a family. While being a hikkikomori with rather questionable tastes, Sagiri tries her best to make friends despite her always shutting her door at people. On top of that, her amazingly serendipitous past with her nii-chan secures her status as a rare kind of a destined imouto, both from a story point of view and from how the anime is marketed to its audience.
5. Kobato Hasegawa (Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukinai)
Some see eighth grade syndrome as a deal breaker for an imouto, while some consider it as a great boon. No matter the case, it is undeniable that Kobato’s gothic lolita get-up accentuates her cuteness. On top of that, she is a clingy and possessive imouto in a very non-violent sense, warming hearts whenever she prevents other people from calling her An-chan their onii-chan. Deep inside though, she is just an ordinary shy girl who likes to depend on Kodaka and whenever this side of her leaks through her chuunibyou persona, it just leaves a soft feeling of how adorable she is.
4. Elsie (The World God Only Knows)
Elucia de Lute Ima is a new devil from New Hell who’s part of the Runaway Spirit Squad whose task is to capture the spirits of old devils who have inserted themselves in the gaps of girls’ hearts. To fulfill her mission, she became the (pretend-illegitimate) younger sister of Katsuragi Keima, the man known online as the Capturing God for his success in woo-ing girls from a lot of different games. Despite the lack of any real blood relations, Elsie does her job as an imouto very well. Though she’s not exactly the brightest bulb, she does her best to support her precious Kami-niisama’s conquests. Her idiocy is actually pretty endearing and she has a lot of quirks (like her firetruck fetish) that just add up to make an especially cute imouto. When everyone else was just fighting to be the main love interest, all she wanted was to be the little sister, and in the end, she got her wish~
3. Fire Sisters (Monogatari Series)
What’s better than having an imouto? Two of them, of course! Being main characters in their earliest anime appearance in Nisemonogatari (since their brief cameos in Bakemonogatari), Karen Araragi and Tsukihi Araragi joins in on the quirky weirdness that is the Monogatari Series, adding in two different flavors of the imouto archetype among the series’ tendency to introduce a harem-like roster within a lore-heavy universe. Contrasting each other, Karen is the sporty and tomboyish one, with Tsukihi being the (usually) calm and girly one clad in yukata. Of course, despite these simple descriptions, both of them are never one-dimensional characters. This is the Monogatari Series after all. They are always bound to do something that will surprise anyone.
2. Shiro (No Game No Life)
She might be a NEET, but she’s a kawaii NEET. She can do complex problems, is a chess genius, can learn a language in a matter of minutes, and will help her brother at all costs. In the series, she relies deeply on her brother for support (in all aspects—psychological, physical, emotional, you name it), and the same goes for Sora, so it’s pretty mutual. She’s the very essence of a kawaii gamer girl, and what makes it perfect is she’s an imouto!
Before the #1 imouto, honorable mentions include:
Kyon’s little sister from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Ayumi Otosaka from Charlotte
Furuya Hotaru from Tsuzezure Children
Maria Takamaya from Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukinai
Tsukiko Tsutsukakushi from Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko
Mitsuki Kanzaki from Saikin, Imouto no Yousu ga Chotto Okashiin Da Ga
Kirigaya Suguha (she is a cousin though) from Sword Art Online
Kotori Itsuka and Mana Takamiya from Date A Live
Miyuki Shiba from Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
Sora Kasugano from Yosuga no Sora
1. Kirino Kousaka (Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai)
A cute model, a gamer, a top student, an otaku, a published writer, and to top all of those: is a brocon. What more could you ask for in an imouto? This is why she tops all the other girls in the series. Her pursuit to accept who she really is in the series while her brother helps her meet new friends and aid her throughout the whole story in her growth really gives the imouto-vibe.