What Does Imouto Mean? [Definition, Meaning]

“Brothers and sisters are as close as hands and feet,” according to a Vietnamese proverb. While everyone’s interpretation of the quote is different, it is clear that no matter how different brothers and sisters are, they share a bond that cannot be broken. In anime, we frequently see this close bond between two siblings, usually the protagonist and their imouto.

But what exactly does “imouto” mean? The Japanese word imouto means “little sister.” While older siblings may be referred to by different names, little sisters are usually referred to as “imouto.” Siblings can add an honorific to “imouto” such as “-san” or “-chan” depending on their relationship’s closeness, though “-chan” is the most common honorific.

When it comes to sibling relationships, imouto excels at displaying the close bonds that exist between an older sibling and their younger sister. What is the reason for this? An imouto, no matter how powerful they appear, will usually bring out the main character’s protective side. They may appear to have everything under control, but they will always require the assistance of their older sibling, demonstrating the closeness of their sibling bond.

You can’t help but want to protect your imouto, whether they’re a tsundere, kuudere, deredere, or dandere! Imouto can also be used to elicit sympathy from many viewers as the younger sibling with a cute demeanor. How many times have you witnessed an imouto being injured, bullied, or killed?

In anime, there are many different types of imouto; just like in real life, not every character type is the same. Some people take care of everything in the house, from cooking to cleaning, while others are completely helpless and rely on others.

Some imouto characters will relentlessly bully the main character, while others will be protective of their older sibling. The imouto may have a brother complex (brocon), and the onii-san (big brother) may have a sister complex as well (siscon). Is there any anime imouto that comes to mind?

Let’s take a look at some anime imouto that you shouldn’t miss.

Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai (OreImo)

Kousaka is a Japanese word that translates to ” Kyousuke and his imouto, Kirino, haven’t gotten along in years. The majority of the time, Kirino appears to be looking at him with resentment. Kyousuke can’t recall a time when things were different, and he believes it will always be that way.

Then one day, in his home, he comes across a DVD case for the magical girl anime Hoshikuzu Witch Meruru, which contains a copy of a little sister eroge. In order to track down the owner, he brings up the topic of magical girl anime at dinner with his family, only to receive negative feedback from his parents, who are anti-otaku.

Kirino shows Kyousuke her collection of lolicon games and moe anime later that night. Kyousuke’s journey into the otaku world with his imouto, Kirino, begins now.

Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai

Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai is an imouto-themed anime! Kyousuke’s imouto, at least. Kirino is Kyousuke’s imouto, and she has an obsession with imouto. Kirino’s fondness for imouto stems from their cuteness and loving personalities, despite the fact that Kirino lacks both. Kirino and Kyousuke, two characters with imouto complexes, are featured in this anime.

While Kirino’s obsession is with imouto characters, Kyousuke’s complex is based on his love for his imouto, which grows as the story progresses. They don’t seem to get along, to be sure. At any time. Kyousuke, on the other hand, goes to great lengths to ensure that his imouto is content.


Otosaka is a city in Japan. Yuu is charming and intelligent, but what few people realize is that he is capable of entering someone’s mind and controlling their body for a brief period of time. Yuu was able to achieve the highest grades in the school and gain admission to a prestigious high school by employing this skill.

However, Yuu is apprehended by Tomori Nao, who forces him to transfer to Hoshinoumi Academy, a school for students with extraordinary abilities. Yuu is then forced to join the student council in order to help stop youths from abusing their positions of power.


Charlotte is an original anime created by Key, the same studio that brought you Angel Beats! and visual novels like Clannad, Kanon, and Little Busters! on your game console. We get to see the effects of siblings on one another in Charlotte.

While Yuu is the main character, we can see that his imouto, Ayumi, is very important to the plot. Her character is much more than the sweet omurice she is always preparing for Yuu. Ayumi is the light in Yuu’s life that shines through the darkness.

While Yuu does not have the siscon that is so common in anime, it is clear that Ayumi is a significant part of Yuu’s life. Charlotte does an incredible job of manipulating the viewer’s emotions with this invincible bond, doing what Key does best: tugging at the viewer’s heartstrings. Although Ayumi is only one character, her role as the imouto is central to Charlotte’s conflict.

Himouto! Umaru-chan

Umaru is well-known for her beauty, grace, intelligence, and demeanor. She is the picture of perfection, and she has a slew of admirers. Her older brother Taihei, on the other hand, knows better. When Umaru returns home, she transforms into a slacker chibi who only knows how to play video games, watch anime, eat junk food, and drink cola, leaving Taihei to handle the household chores.

Umaru’s true self is unknown to everyone except Taihei, who is torn between forcing Umaru to behave like a proper lady and allowing her to be the adorable imouto that she is!

Himouto! Umaru-chan

It’s Himouto! Umaru-chan is an anime in which the imouto is the central theme throughout the entire story. Umaru is the imouto in this anime who is capable of doing anything but chooses to do nothing. Taihei, the onii-chan, is forced to take care of her every need because she is that imouto who is too lazy to care.

Taihei’s entire life revolves around taking care of his imouto, even if he tries to turn Umaru into a proper lady or expose her to the world. Taihei is one of those sisterly characters who can’t seem to get enough of his imouto!

Himouto, of course! This sister complex is not perverted in any way by Umaru-chan. We simply get to see how siblings interact with one another, just as we would in real life. Umaru is mischievous, lazy, and cunning, but we can tell that, no matter how obnoxious she is, she has a soft spot for Taihei.

Who knows someone with such a sibling? It’s Himouto! Umaru-chan is a simple slice-of-life anime centered on an imouto. It may turn out to be more enjoyable than you anticipated.

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Imouto characters are all unique in their own way, but they are all very similar in essence. On the surface, the imouto may appear to be a troublesome character or an odd addition to a harem, but they are so much more. Like in real life, imouto are more important to the characters than meets the eye. These imouto demonstrate the value we place on our siblings.

Do you have an anime imouto that has struck a chord with you, whether she’s from a harem, slice of life, or parody anime? What are your thoughts on imouto in anime? Are they just incestuous additions to the lolita characters, or do they actually mean more than meets the eye? Please let us know in the comments section below!

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