[Analysis] The Precious Sister of The Villainous Grand Duke: The Not Incest, Incest Romance

Source: https://webtoon.kakao.com/content/%EC%95%85%EB%8B%B9-%EB%8C%80%EA%B3%B5%EB%8B%98%EC%9D%98-%EA%B7%80%ED%95%98%EB%94%94%EA%B7%80%ED%95%9C-%EC%97%AC%EB%8F%99%EC%83%9D/2465

By: Peggy Sue Wood | @pswediting

Many, many years ago someone asked me if I shipped Kaname and Yuuki from Vampire Knight and I answered with a hard no–I also didn’t ship the other main pairing, Yuuki and Zero, despite both of them being canonized in the series. My reasoning is simple–it’s because both pairings are incestuous to some degree. Kaname is Yuuki’s ancestor/brother while Zero is her adopted brother. Both pairings initially came off as brother-complex/sister-complex which has turned into strange relationships between the three of them, with only Zero and Yuuki’s relationship having had the time to develop further in the continuation series (a series that also has its own sibling-complex relationship).

I am not a fan of the trope where siblings end up falling in love–even with adopted siblings/step-siblings. I will concede that if the siblings are not raised together, and are not biologically related, I don’t have the same reservations; however, for those that are raised together as siblings, blood-related or not, I don’t enjoy the pairings or ships.

I tend to avoid any series where the main character has some sort of romantic obsession with their sibling (step, adopted, or blood-related), especially if the interest seems reciprocated. I also tend to enjoy characters and stories where this is shown as an issue and made fun of, like in The Villainess Turns the Hourglass.

I think that one of the nice things about a lot of the villainess-reincarnated/transmigrated subgenre works of isekai is that the main character pretty much never seems to have a sibling love interest that will work out as their love interest. The sibling is often a cousin who was never in the running anyway, or their relationship is strictly familial. Even in works where the title mentions a sibling, the love interest is typically outside of that family bond. This typical process of how the romances go is why I was thrown off by the current development of The Precious Sister of The Villainous Grand Duke.

For those that haven’t read the series, the main character, Anissa, is a reincarnator. She’s awakened in the body of a baby lady who was kidnapped from her biological parents’ home and was raised in the enemy family of her biological family. The family that raised her didn’t really know that she wasn’t related initially, though it later becomes clear. Regardless, from infancy Anissa has only had her adopted older brother, Dieterich of the rival house, to rely on. She and he have grown close of the years and really do come off as close siblings who have had to overcome their horrible upbringing. In some of the latest chapters (75+), her brother has turned into a potential (and realistically only logical option since she’s not close to anyone else) love interest.

Anissa is not blood-related to Dieterich, so technically, even though she’s being paired with her adoptive brother it isn’t incest but GOLLY does it seem a lot like incest to me. Particularly because Dieterich’s recent behavior seemed, at first, like a protective older brother or father figure. His actions were exaggerated and it matched things I’ve seen many times in these types of stories wherein the brother/father is like “no one is good enough” only to eventually be alright (or crying in a puddle of tears) as the sister/daughter moves on. However, that changed when Dieterich announced that there would be a marriage ban for everyone in the house and then the series creator(s) started forcing this romantic atmosphere between the two at every possible chance. (I don’t want to include images, but essentially the use of a lot of flowers and light coloring to invoke feelings of romance.)

Now, I’ve heard some argue that this change in their relationship makes sense and that it would be the same thing as two children who were engaged from a young age and raised together might experience in this type of romance story. However, I would argue that it is very different.

Engaged children in the romance genre often go one of three ways: they don’t marry because they hate each other at the end; they don’t marry but are friends at the end; or they do marry and are in love at the end. It is therefore expected that the engaged children who are raised together and do marry will probably fall in love by the end because they were friends or accountants first, but they have a clear separation as being from two separate families who are intended to fall in love.

How The Precious Sister of The Villainous Grand Duke has decided to shift now into a romance between adopted siblings really just feels icky and forced, especially when the series was working really well in showing how close adopted siblings can be without crossing a romantic line. As a result, I’m not a fan of it and I really hope that the authors retcon/scrap the whole idea.

What about you all? If you’ve read this or have an opinion on it, please let me know!

2 thoughts on “[Analysis] The Precious Sister of The Villainous Grand Duke: The Not Incest, Incest Romance

  1. Hmm, this is kind of a tricky question. On one side, it’s kind of cute to see little kid characters growing up together and becoming life partners. On the other side, even if kids aren’t related wouldn’t their relationship kind of develop into a more sibling like bond if they grew up with each other? Then I also have to consider that I don’t come from a culture that has ever had arranged child marriages, so maybe it’s a cultural difference and I just don’t get it? Like I said, this is a really tricky question and I’m not sure I have an answer!

    Liked by 1 person

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