- Les Yay:
- Rei has some with Kaoru, then some more with Nanako. She also has it with Fukiko, but...
- Tomoko and Nanako's relationship is pretty much a textbook Romantic Two-Girl Friendship.
- And let's not forget Mariko and Nanako, either?
- Memetic Mutation: Mariko's quite quotable. You'll see screencaps from her floating around from time to time.
- Misaimed Fandom: Some fans see Mariko's hatred of men as something to glamorize or cheer for... "forgetting" that it's a sign of the trauma coming from her Dark and Troubled Past, so it's supposed to be a sign of how messed up she is. Even the single time it's Played for Laughs isn't exactly supposed to show her in the right, but as a proof of her immaturity - she's lashing out at two guys, Takehiko and Takeshi, who not only haven't done anything to deserve it, but wouldn't be half as cruel to women as she thinks they'd be.
- Moral Event Horizon: Some people consider Fukiko's horrifyingly cruel "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Rei in the manga to be this. Specially because Rei ends up commiting suicide few afterwards.
- Narm: As influential as the series is, it can be very melodramatic, and as a result a lot of its serious moments can come across as unintentionally funny.
- A non-drama example: Aya Misaki's horrible puffy hair. May have been in vogue in The '70s when the series was written, but now...
- The ridiculously exaggerated faces Aya makes after Mariko slashes her with her boxcutter.
- In the third episode, when Aya and her Girl Posse bully Nanako in English class and almost everyone joins in until Kaoru intervenes, the absolute incompetence of the teacher makes the whole drama bomb almost comical. One can understand being put off by a bunch of schoolgirls whining in the middle of a lecture, but letting a kid half his age put order? What kind of teacher is this?!
- Mariko's hot bath of angst is rather sad... until she starts floating down on her belly, with her bare ass sticking up. How the HELL didn't the people in charge of that scene notice how stupid it looked?!
- The anime scene where Kaoru strips naked to show Takehiko her mastectomy scars loses almost all its dramatic weight when the viewer sees that she did it out in the open, in the middle of a (thankfully empty) road. Having it take place in a private space or an hospital room wouldn't have been so bad, but more than one viewer almost expected Kaoru being caught by the police and arrested for indecent exposure, or something. Thank God she apparently thought about it later and opened her shirt to show the scars to Nanako in a secluded spot of the school later...
- Fukiko receiving presents from her guests during her birthday party. Not only is she sitting down (in the center of the room, surrounded by people standing up) while being handed her presents, but people kneel in front of her while handing her their gifts as if she was a genuine royal. It's meant to show her high status, but it comes off looking ridiculously smarmy and pretentious.
- Values Dissonance:
- Lots of people are weirded out when the Seiran students make such a huge deal of Nanako's mother being re-married to Professor Misonou (aka Takehiko's estranged father), but it makes more sense when we remember that the Japanese society's stance on divorce, adoption, and Sins of Our Fathers are pretty different to the ones in the West. And there's also the fact that this particular manga was written in The '70s...
- Despite being seen as a landmark yuri series, it has quite a few outdated issues due to being from the 1970s. Most obviously is many of the characters ending up with men in the end.
- Wangst: Fukiko, who cannot get over the fact that Takehiko didn't come to her violin recital when she was 12... which happened six years ago. Lampshaded by Rei in episode 25, when recalling her and Fukiko's first meeting. Young Fukiko was in tears over being shabbily treated at a friend's party (read: she didn't like the seat she was given) and young Rei was all "... is that ALL?!"
- What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: If you watch this series on YouTube, PLEASE be careful while reading the comments. Lots of people there love to bash Nanako and call her "weak" or "stupid" for not kicking off her bullies.
- Iron Woobie/Stoic Woobie: Kaoru and Takehiko. Kaoru does what she can to deal with her woobielicious best friend Rei being totally broken, with trying to support Nanako so she won't be fully broken as well, and her own ailing health; meanwhile, her boyfriend/eventual husband Takehiko almost always smiles kindly and tries to be a good friend, despite how he can't tell Nanako that he's her stepbrother aside of her pen-pal, which puts quite the spin in their interactions, as well as his own relationship with Kaoru. (And we're not counting the manga, in which Kaoru actually dies a while after they reconcile...)
- Jerk Ass Woobie: Mariko and anime Aya. Mariko is utterly clingy and possessive of Nanako, to homicidal and self-destructive degrees, and can be a bitch to Tomoko in the beginning. She's also among the few willing to protect Nanako from bullies and help her in the Sorority, and is genuinely fucked up from her parents's MESSY divorce, which drives her to almost kill herself; not to mention— gosh, when she shows a sweeter side, you almost wanna say "Mariko why so moe"? On the other hand, Aya Misaki's JAW phase comes very late in the TV series: for all of her horrifying, bitchiness, we learn that she has enormous inner self-hate, and she almost kills herself after the Taking the Heat incident.
- The Woobie:
- Nanako and Rei. Poor little Nanako, so sweet and so kicked around by life itself. And poor Rei, so utterly broken ever since she was a little girl. Also, episode 15 brings a character we didn't know about, then breaks her, and makes her this. Poor, poor Junko.
- Mrs. Asaka. She was a maid working in the Ichinomiya household when she entered into an affair with her married employer (although she was most likely seduced), an affair which produced Fukiko and Rei. Then she had to essentially give up one of her daughters to her employer and his wife. Because of her unmarried status and her two illegitimate children, her chances of marrying anyone else were slim to none in the traditional Japanese society of the 70s. She eventually reached her Despair Event Horizon and committed suicide in front of her young daughter.
YMMV / Dear Brother