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15 Aloof Big Brothers In Anime Who Are Super Distant

Updated October 24, 2019 9.0k votes 1.6k voters 27.6k views15 items

Big brothers are supposed to be warm, kind, protective people who love their younger siblings more than anything in the world - right? Well, not exactly - in both the real world and the world of anime, older brothers come with a wide variety of personalities and relationships with their younger siblings. One common form of this is the aloof or distant older brother. 

Some aloof big brothers in anime actually go so far as to become their younger siblings' enemy. One famous example is Itachi Uchiha of Naruto, who massacred the entire Uchiha clan and then joined a villainous organization, leaving his little brother Sasuke with a singular goal - revenge. There are also distant older brothers who just don't care about their younger siblings as much as they're expected to. Until he became an adult, Ayame Sohma had little to no interest in his younger brother Yuki. Now that he wants to repair the relationship, Yuki would rather be left alone. 

Whether these strained sibling relationships are an important part of an action plot or a means of character development in a drama, they're a great source of conflict and drama. Which aloof older brothers are your favorites?

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    Sesshoumaru - 'Inuyasha'

    Sesshoumaru - 'Inuyasha'
    Photo: Sunrise

    There are two reasons why Sesshoumaru hates his younger half-brother Inuyasha. The first is for fantasy racism reasons - he can't stand that Inuyasha isn't a purebred demon like himself, and is in fact half-human. He's also super jealous that Inuyasha received the Tessaiga from their father - a sword that he considers to be far superior to his own Tensaiga. While their relationship does improve somewhat over the course of the series, most of it is spent with Sesshoumaru looking down on Inuyasha and provoking him into fights.

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  • Byakuya Kuchiki has two conflicting goals: uphold the law at all costs, and protect his younger sister-in-law at all costs. The first one is a promise he made to his late parents, while the second is a promise he made to Hisana, his late wife. When Hisana's sister Rukia breaks the law, Byakuya has to figure out his priorities. 

    For a long time, he's cold and standoffish to Rukia, and at one point he even agrees that she should receive the ultimate penalty for breaking the law. But with Ichigo's help, he changes his ways, and becomes protective towards Rukia instead. 

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  • At the beginning of Naruto, Itachi seems about as distant as it's humanly possible to be. That's because he eliminates his entire clan and then skips town to join the Akatsuki, leaving his little brother with a singular goal - to get revenge. 

    It's later revealed that Danzo Shimura forced Itachi to take out his whole family by giving him a choice - do the deed himself and escape with his own life and Sasuke's intact or be eliminated by Root along with the rest of the family. Because he was so traumatized by going through a war as a child, inviting further warfare by giving his family the chance to fight back wasn't an option.

    Rather than tell Sasuke the truth, he encouraged his little brother to despise him, in the hopes that he'd one day come after him and destroy him. It's a miserable story from start to finish, and the two don't bridge their distance until it's far too late. 

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  • Hiei - 'Yu Yu Hakusho'
    Photo: Sunrise

    Hiei is actually Yukina's twin brother, not her older brother, but he approaches the relationship the way an older brother typically would. While he loves her dearly, he also refuses to have anything to do with her, even going so far as to threaten the life of anyone who might tell her that she's related to him. (The two were separated at birth, and Hiei is the only one who knows of their connection at the start of the series.)

    Hiei is willing to risk his life several times over in order to protect her, including getting the Jagan Eye surgically implanted into his forehead - but he isn't willing or able to have a simple conversation with her.

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