The Little Sister Heroine
is a trope common in multiple Japanese media that combines the idea that little sisters are cute and that cute things are to be fetishized. It goes like this:
Little sisters are cute, right? And cute girls draw in viewers. And cute can be sexy. Take a few more 'logical' steps down the lines, and suddenly little sisters are love interests in anime, video games and visual novels. It is in fact one of the
most popular heroines or love interests in Visual Novels
, branching out from there into anime, perhaps surpassed only by the ever-present tsundere
and childhood friend. Like Childhood Friend Romance
, it is extremely prone to lampshade hangings
As a Love Interest
trope based on the little sister/older brother dynamic, the story will usually dwell on the romantic tension a fair amount, though as always the brother may be completely oblivious. Despite the name, Little Sister Heroine
attempts to mitigate the obvious incestuous fallout; They’re usually either a step sister, adopted
or, somewhat more rarely, technically a cousin or other more distant relation
. In almost all cases, the younger sister is going to be either some degree of tsundere, childish and clingy or simply highly devoted to their older brother. Finally, the relationship between the two will likely be noticed or exaggerated by the rest of the cast. If you don't notice at least several of these general characteristics, it's probably not this trope.
It rarely works like this in real life. Those who have younger sisters themselves and hear about this trope often claim that they're more frequently annoying than cute, making this trope more wish fulfillment than anything like an accurate portrayal of sibling dynamics. Thanks to the Westermarck effect
it is far more likely that the idea of any kind of romance with your sister will be either laughable or even outright disgusting.
Also known in some circles as an imouto
See also Brother-Sister Incest
and Flirty Stepsiblings
. May overlap with Big Brother Attraction
and usually will with Not Blood Related
- Eien no Aselia has Kaori, but in the end she turns out to be more of a Living MacGuffin than a heroine and does not even have a proper ending. Yuuto is frequently accused of being a siscon due to his overprotective nature, but in the end it turns out to work in reverse due to her unrequited affections.
- Men at Work 2 has Mena as a possible love interest, though not the main one.
- Persona 4 has your cousin Nanako, who refers to the Protagonist as "Big Bro," gain a crush on him at the end of her social link. Nothing gets made of it, unless you also max out her father's social link, in which case his only protest is that Nanako is still too young.
- Parodied with Desco in Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten. Desco was created specifically to fulfill Fuka's childhood wish for a little sister, and as such was implanted with all of the classic traits of a Little Sister Heroine. However, since Fuka is an eccentric individual who wished for her Little Sister Heroine to come with "advanced functioning to help me take over the world," Desco was also created with Lovecraftian Superpowers and a compulsion for complete annihilation. The result is the world's most adorable Eldritch Abomination.
- Ar Tonelico 2: Coccona is Croix's adoptive sister and very cute. She confides in Cloche that she is in love with him but his only love is as a brother because of their age difference. she's the default love interest.
- Mia in Duel Savior Destiny is definitely the Clingy Jealous Girl type with some level of tsuntsun going on. Her actual degree of relation to Taiga gets retconned, though. In the epilogue of her route, it's hastily claimed that it sure is convenient that they're not related. In the final route, it turns out they actually do share a blood relation and are probably half siblings.
- In the closing stages of World War II, Imperial Japan created the Chiran Nadeshiko (Ladies of Chiran) Units. Middle-school girls, they served as surrogate 'little sisters' for the Tokubetsu Kogeki* pilots receiving their somewhat brutal training at Chiran Airbase in Kagoshima Prefecture. The unit was highly publicized at the time and may even be the Trope Codifier. Growing close to so many (young) men sent off to die in 'Kamikaze' attacks took its toll, and many if not most of them subsequently committed suicide.