Listen to Me, Girls. I Am Your Father!
Japanese title: パパのいうことを聞きなさい！(Papa no Iu Koto o Kikinasai!)
Short-form title: Papakiki
Based on: Light novel (not available in English)
Length: 12 eps. + 1 OVA episode
Aired: Winter 2012
Available for streaming: Crunchyroll, The Anime Network
Home video license: Sentai Filmworks
Sub-only DVD complete collection available (ARP: $50). Click here for release information and places to buy the DVD online.
Yuta Segawa, having been raised by his sister after their parents' deaths, has just started college when he finds his life turned upside-down. His sister and her husband suddenly disappear, leaving their three daughters, 14-year-old Sora, 10-year-old Miu, and 3-year-old Hina, without parents and about to be adopted into different homes. (Sora and Miu come from the husband's previous marriages, while Hina is their own child.) Finding this to be an opportunity to repay his sister for all she's done in raising him, Yuta decides to step in and adopt all three of them, bringing them all into his small apartment to keep them together.
Life most definitely will not be easy for the newfound family. Aside from the usual antics that result in placing three girls and one guy in a cramped apartment, there's also the more serious matter of how to adjust to the new difficulties of life they have been thrown into, and how to possibly explain all of this to young Hina. Thankfully, the family gains some helpful allies, including Yuta's beautiful but eccentric classmate Raika, who all come alongside him to help him figure out what it means to be a father to these girls.
Why it's worth watching
This show is my first official induction for my Anime Hall of Fame, and I feel it is very fitting for what the purpose of the Hall of Fame is. Papakiki is a show that I think many passed off as just another ecchi pseudo-incest comedy from just first glances and the first episode, but strangely enough, the show goes well beyond all of that to present what is actually a rather poignant and heartwarming tale of what it means to be family.
To be fair, the ecchi comedy elements don't completely leave the show, as they are sprinkled throughout in typically small amounts, presumably to keep the otaku audience who spring for that stuff interested. (The OVA episode, in particular, is full of this, and is probably better off ignored.) That said, there's a lot of good stuff in this show outside of all of that which makes this show worth trying past the first two episodes.
As I mentioned, there are some light-ecchi scenes of the older girls, mostly Raika but also Sora, who is shown to have a crush on Yuta (which, thankfully, isn't reciprocated). The OVA episode is particularly bad about this, and honestly, I'd say to just skip that, as it doesn't really add anything to the story anyways (it's just an excursion to a waterpark and hot spring). Most commonly, the girls are shown bathing in their apartment. (Yuta and Hina are shown bathing together frequently, but this is portrayed purely as fatherly.) There's also one of Yuta's classmates who's portrayed (in a rather negative light, at least) as being interested in underage girls, while another is known to be a bit of a playboy.
Beyond all of that, there's the issue that the show revolves around a major tragedy, so there's also the question of whether or not one can handle that. Sentai Filmworks gives this show a rating of TV-14, which I think is overall appropriate.
Adopted, Part 2: PapaKiki and an Uncomfortable Adoption (guest post on Beneath the Tangles)