Monday, August 6, 2012

Behind the Scenes: I'm the Big Brother

Welcome to our inaugural Behind the Scenes post!  The first manga we're going to take a look at is Kei Kanai's I'm the Big Brother, which became available on various platforms in January 2012.  The purpose of this post is to be a sort of a "Did you know...?"  I'll be sharing some bonus content that didn't make it into the book, and explaining some of the interesting references within.

First off, credit where it's due: If you happened to read this book on either Kindle or Nook, you may have noticed that the translation was accredited to T. Grindol.  This was an unfortunate error in post-production; the translator for this project was Leighann Harvey, who did a fantastic job for us.

Bonus Material!

Unfortunately, when porting a book from print to digital, some things get left out.  The English digital editions of I'm the Big Brother could not reproduce the material found on the inside cover flaps of the original Japanese edition, so I've decided to share that material here.  What you were missing is a smaller version of the full color cover illustration featuring all four of our main characters, and the following message from the author, as translated by Leighann: 

Hello, this is Kei Kanai. Thank you very much for picking up this book.  This is my first serialized story, so I’ve taken it and a recent one to put together in a book.  I’m really grateful that you’ve chosen to read it.  Thank you so much.  There’s a lot here that needs work, but I hope you enjoy it anyway.

Additionally, there were two colored omake pages that provide an epilogue to the bonus short story "In the Soup."  We've included these pages here as well as in our preview post for I'm the Big Brother.

More from Kei Kanai!

This may have been Kanai's first serialized work, but it's not the first work she's had published in English!  Digital Manga, Inc. published An Even More Beautiful Lie (mottomo utsukushii usono koto) under its Juné imprint in July 2011.  It's available in both digital and print.

At this time, I have not been able to track down a current blog or homepage for Kei Kanai.  If anyone out there has better luck than me, let me know!

And now the fun stuff: Trivia!

This list will by no means be exhaustive--it's mainly composed of things that I felt were not common knowledge, and were also relevant to my own nerdy interests. :)  If you find something in one of our books that you feel should be on the list, or are wondering what it means, let me know! 

Page 32
When Nao shows off a picture of himself bookended by his twin brothers, who are holding up both his arms, the twins can't help but think it looks like...a tiny alien being held up by government spooks in trenchcoats?!  This is a reference to a famous alien hoax photo which originally appeared in a German publication in 1950.  More information, and images of the photo can be seen at a page on

Page 68
"If you wrote about the quality of Rachmaninoff's works and the effect that he had on other composers of the time..."

As you likely guessed from the context, Rachmaninoff refers to Sergei Rachmaninoff, Russian pianist and composer.  Rachmaninoff's most well known piece is his Piano Concerto No. 2, so if you've heard any Rachmaninoff at all, it was probably that. Here you can listen to the first movement of the piece, as played by the composer himself.

Page 156
"In flagrante delicto," is a Latin phrase meaning "in blazing offense."  It's used when someone is caught red-handed doing something they're not supposed to be doing--especially something of the naughty variety.  Now I bet those of you who haven't read I'm the Big Brother yet are wishing you had. ;)

I'm the Big Brother can be found on the following platforms:  
eManga | Kindle | Nook | PDF

And we also have a main info page for Reviews and Previews.

I'm the Big Brother - Boku wa Oniichan © Kei Kanai. All rights reserved. Original Japanese edition published in 2009 by Taiyoh Tosho Publishing Co., Ltd.

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