Kirino is back from her trip to America, but the fun doesn't stop here! In the second season of Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai, Kyousuke continues to give Kirino life consultations. This time, romance lurks on the horizon for both siblings...
#01: "Kanjou-sen loop (感情線loop)" by Kirino Kousaka (CV: Ayana Taketatsu) (ep 1) #02: "Filter (フィルター)" by Ayase Aragaki (CV: Saori Hayami) (ep 2) #03: "Zutto... (ずっと...)" by Kirino Kousaka, Kuroneko, and Saori Bajeena (CV: Ayana Taketatsu, Kana Hanazawa, and Hitomi Nabatame) (ep 3) #04: "Honest☆Rhapsody (ほねすと☆ラプソディー)" by Kirino Kousaka (CV: Ayana Taketatsu) (ep 4) #05: "Keep" by Kirino Kousaka (CV: Ayana Taketatsu) (ep 5) #06: "Monochrome☆HAPPY DAY (モノクロ☆HAPPY DAY)" by Kuroneko (CV: Kana Hanazawa) (ep 6) #07: "Kyou mo Shiawase (きょうもしあわせ)" by Tamaki Gokou (CV: Yui Ogura) (ep 7) #08: "Setsuna no Destiny (刹那のDestiny)" by Kuroneko (CV: Kana Hanazawa) (ep 8) #09: "answer" by Kirino Kousaka (CV: Ayana Taketatsu) (ep 9) #10: "reunion" by ClariS (ep 10)
#11: "Arifureta Mirai he (ありふれた未来へ)" by Manami Tamura (CV: Satomi Satou) (ep 11) #12: "Omou Koto (想うコト) (Things that i think)" by Ayase Aragaki (CV: Saori Hayami) (ep 12) #13: "Honto no Kimochi (ホントの気持ち)" by Kirino Kousaka and Manami Tamura (CV: Ayana Taketatsu and Satomi Satou) (ep 13)
OreImo has had something of a controversial history. And that's not too much of a surprise-- it pushes the notion that wanting to bone your (perhaps nonexistent) sister is perfectly fine. Mind you, there is nothing inherently wrong with incestuous themes when handled maturely. But OreImo is not mature. It had no intentions of being so.
And yet, there was still more to OreImo than the incest appeal. The first season provided a social commentary on otaku culture and its perception in everyday society. It focused on characters that behave and react like human beings do, sometimes even at the cost of likability. When Kyousuke
expressed any interest in his sister around others, he was treated like a pervert and smacked upside the head. It almost wanted you to feel that there was something wrong with Kyousuke's and Kirino's growing relationship. Not entirely, perhaps, but there were always deeper, more intelligent themes than "hey, this dude likes his sister".
OreImo's second season has none of this. There is no social commentary. There are no believable characters. Whatever the series had to set itself apart from any other ecchi or harem series is now gone.
The characters are relentlessly crippled by this downfall and Ayase receives the full extent of it. She was characterized as being level-headed and diligent in the first season; the proverbial "model student", albeit with a tendency to berate anybody she sees as odd. Where is this in the second season? Apparently nowhere. Ayase has become victim to the 'yandere' stereotype, cranked up to eleven, knife and crazy-eyes included. For no conceivable reason, she also develops (and acts on her) feelings for Kyousuke, entirely contradicting her belief that Kirino's happiness is most important. The most believable character in the series has been reduced to wrapping paper.
Kirino is a love-or-hate character, and whichever side you lean towards, the second season is not going to do much to change your mind. There is plenty more of the rampant complaining that she was so known for in the first season, including an episode comprising of her lying to Kyousuke, insulting him and proceeding to slap him across the face. I could never really get myself to hate her, though, because while she embodies everything wrong with teenage girls, there are always signs that she has remorse for her actions. That and the fact that she's voiced by Ayana Taketatsu.
You will likely develop a more positive opinion of Kuroneko, though. For the middle third of the story, she is made the principal character. A love interest, too. And unlike the rest of the female cast (Kirino excluded) whose feelings seem entirely forced and superficial, Kuroneko's feelings for Kyousuke are explored in detail. Her love is genuine. It doesn't feel shoehorned in to add an extra number to the harem, and that is perhaps the greatest compliment an anime like this can receive.
But her story arc eventually blunders about. It is marred, like most things, by superfluous drama at the end. The end of Kuroneko's arc simply consists of Kirino screaming at Kuroneko for the entire episode. Worse, Kuroneko's motivations are not even established once the conflict is finally resolved. All we get are a few ambiguous statements which further contradict her actions. What an awful note to end it on.
That's not to say that everything has gone wrong; a few of the episodes are legitimately good. Kuroneko's lighthearted episodes exemplify the good points of the series (and are wholly adorable), while Saori's backstory provides an interesting glimpse into the life of otaku while fleshing out her character in equal measure. The show is plenty capable of being fun; it just regularly chooses not to be.
The ending will leave many scratching their heads. It might even be misleading to call it an ending, as it wraps up nothing and shamelessly expects the audience to follow up with the OVAs for answers. Still, it's a nice way to detail Kyousuke's and Kirino's relationship as children and shed some light as to why they act the way they do. Suddenly Kirino doesn't seem half as infuriating as she used to.
Technicals considering, OreImo 2 is an impressive anime. It looks better than the previous season which was already impressive in itself. There are few scenes where the artwork manages to dip in quality, and the depth of field effect between character and scenery achieves in giving the show a more professional look. The facial expressions are also drawn and animated fluidly, which serves well to enhance the comedic scenes and portray the emotions of each character.
The sound is nothing spectacular but does the job perfectly fine. Occasionally the soundtrack works to the story's advantage, and scenes that would otherwise feel hackneyed are instead able to stir up a few emotions. On the other hand, the opening is a generic J-Pop song that you will forget almost immediately as it ends. The ending sequences are pleasant, though perhaps not as much for the animation or songs as they are for the variety. It's hard to argue against a new ending for every episode.
OreImo 2 is not a bad anime, but it is a bad sequel. Whatever you found appealing about the first season is likely to be gone here. It is made to be palatable solely to harem fans and incest fetishists, and those stuck somewhere in between are bound to find this season lacking any sort of cohesion.
A good sequel aims to improve, not to throw away everything that made it unique in the first place. OreImo 2 is a fundamentally broken anime.
This will be my review on Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai S2 (OreImo2), one of the more popular animes depicting sibling relationships in detail.
OreImo2 takes place right after the events of the specials of season 1. In a fitting opening episode, the still-awkward relationship between Kirino and Kyousuke can be readily seen, demonstrating that the two of them still have a ways of bonding to go, until the girl's otaku habits bring the two of them together.
There's a distinct change between this second season and the preceeding season. While the first season focused on Kirino's 'initiation' into otaku culture, and
her brother earnestly helping her with that transition... the second season delves into the relationship between the two of them, and their friends around them; particularly Kuroneko and Ayase.
At first glance, OreImo2 may seem like it degraded to a harem rom-comedy, and that argument wouldn't be entirely false. However, seeing the relationships between Kyousuke and Kirino develop over the season's events, and how they deal with the reality that they someday might find a significant other was something that I particularly enjoyed. Of course, some scenes felt a little over the top at times, but the intentions and feelings were there. Kuroneko's arc was also a treat; her feelings for Kyousuke felt very real and sincere, and through her actions it's evident that she still cares for her best friend Kirino, regardless of her affections for her brother. Seeing these conflicting emotions is one of the selling points of this season.
My only complaint would be Ayase's arc... while she's still an enjoyable character to watch, and though she might report me for saying this, her sudden attraction towards Kyousuke was a little unexplained and came off a little too... harem-esque... if you catch my drift.
Other than those main caveats, the season is filled with episodes that were just nice to watch, such as Saori's past, and Kirino/Kyousuke's childhood. Regardless of their content, the main themes and feelings of OreImo are still there. The characters are still a blast to watch and the gags they make are funny. Never once did I feel that there was 'something wrong' with the second season.
Those tired with the harem rom-com angle with animes may find this season lacking and disappointing, but for those who enjoyed the first season and don't mind the change of pace, will still find the new OreImo just as enjoyable as the old.
So....what would you do when you find out your cute little sister who you haven't seen in years is a closet otaku?
A) Be in denial and pretend it's a lie
B) Never face your sister again
C) Tell her to end her hobby (this could result in some bitch slaps and higher hospital fees)
D) Support her and swear on your life to never tell anyone about it
Think hard. Well, it doesn't' matter which choice you pick because either way, you will be stuck with your cute little sister with the undeniable fact that she is a closet otaku. In the end, you're just going to have to
deal with it and think ahead.
Well, it's back. Ore no Imōto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai (My Little Sister Can't Be This Cute) is the direct sequel that aired from the Spring line up of 2013 that directly continues from the True End arc. Yes, it is actually required to watch those four episodes so if you haven't done so yet, do it now. There's nothing stopping you. At any rate, the series is back and with a title this long, it's hard to take it seriously right? Well, no but this sequel does have a lot of entertainment, some rubbed in the right and others in the wrong way. For the purpose of my laziness and ease of reading, I'll just simply refer to this sequel as Oreimo 2.
I'm not going to lie here. This was one of my most anticipated series from the Spring lineup. Going by the MAL statistics, I might not been the only one with the amount of hype surrounding this sequel. At any rate, Oreimo 2 is here! To do a little refreshment, we have the cute little sister Kirino who we know from the beginning is known as a closet otaku. Her tastes in games seems to be related to little sisters and the eroge genre. This seems to rub her brother Kyosuke the wrong way. In fact, the two does not get along at all. Kyousuke tries to be the supportive brother like a good sibling but Kirino sees him as the following: pervert, lolicon, and a brother who may have the sister complex. While not all of these may truly describe Kyousuke for who he is, there's certainly tension between the duo. Their relationship seems to not go along well most of the time. Kirino is the dominant of the duo and often ridicules Kyousuke at many occasions. It seems like Kyousuke has to deal with her tsundere tendencies, outbursts, and rather awkward accusations. At many times, there's the misunderstandings too that further implements problems. Long story short, Kirino and Kyousuke does not get along very well and in this sequel, it doesn't get off to a good start with that either.
However, there are times in this season that does show a supportive side from both sides of the siblings. Although they both seem to deny it, it's quite obvious that both Kirino and Kyousuke are frustrated if either one of them gets a lover. In other words, there's something in their heart that seems to tell their brutal honest selves that they don't want the other side to enjoy a healthy relationship. I guess perhaps their relationship does have a loving side, in that sibling way. And speaking of love, there's more ways than just one.
In Oreimo 2, love is in the air especially with our other characters. Well, it can come into many shapes and sizes such as the yandere Ayase. I'm not a big fan of her's but her screen time was definitely appreciable for the way she seems to talk down Kyousuke but at the same time seems to enjoy their awkward relationship. Otherwise, there's my favorite cosplayer and arch-rival of Kirino from this series....the one and only one.....*drum roll*.....
Ruri “Kuroneko” Goko!
Voiced by the ultra talented voice actress Kana Hanazawa, Kuroneko gets quite the spotlight that she deserves in this sequel. Just like in season one, Kuroneko is like the opposite of Kirino and gets in her face at almost everything. Think of it this way. They are like oil and water, snake and mongoose, colors dyed red and blue. It's hate at first sight defined at its finest. Nonetheless, the two simply does not get along at all. The catch is in this sequel, there's even an new additional factor added in that causes Kyousuke to be part of the equation. And no it doesn't involve eroge. That's part of the 2D world.
Among other things, Oreimo 2 seems to like to push drama forward between various characters. Well, there's more than just our can't-get-along-at all siblings. Rather, it also deals with other characters. For instance, we even have supporting characters who plays various roles in steaming up some awkward moments. This usually results in Kirino lashing out her tsundere tendencies at full force. The receiving side usually seems to be our poor Kyousuke who is accused of being a lolicon, sister-con, etc etc. Well, not everything rides on Kyousuke's bad side though. There are some nice girls such as Manami, Kuroneko's siblings, and even a track rival of Kirino's. Unfortunately, Kyousuke is too damn dense to ever notice anything most of the time. It doesn't help with the various misunderstandings either that often again puts Kyousuke on the wrong side of life such as drama in the club room. Get your popcorn out folks and watch those moments go fly in the air.
As for the fan service goes, this sequel surprisingly doesn't have as much as I had thought. Well, it does have some though. While it omits the typical beach episode, the series has Kyosuke at edge of some awkward camera angles. Then, there's the outfit that Kirino wears that seems to either be for eye candy or even perhaps a foreshadowing. Either way, the fan service of this series is not as much as you may imagine. What Oreimo 2 does offer more though is doses of fun gags. It's not just those catchy end cards that some people might miss at the end of each episode. Rather, it's the dialogues such as the typical “I hate you” from Kirino that seems to have a completely opposite meaning. Then, there's also innocent talks with some dirty words mixed in spoken by kids too young. If “bitch brother” isn't part of that gag, I don't know what it is. Oh and let's not forget the rather indirect references to eroge games like sausage eating.
The story structure of the series seems to be a bit loose although middle part seems to be the main dish of the meal. Some of the other episodes seems to be more as ingredients. By ingredients, I mean the supporting characters. With its blissful cast of side characters, there's a lot of screen time for many of them. Kirino though is still the main girl. Regardless, Kirino can barely stand Kyousuke while the latter has trouble dealing with her own love issues. In fact, Kyousuke becomes the sort of center of attention with the girls as he gets quite a lot of surprises in this sequel. Kirino on the other hand isn't happy by this but being the tsundere that she is, it's obvious how she responds. I found this a bit out of place and way out there. What deserved have been there though should be materials that were intact from the light novels. Perhaps the development of the story requires some cramming but it's something not too consistent enough for my liking.
In technical terms of artwork, the series remains its similar style as the previous season. If artistic value is taken account, one could imply the adorable way some of the designs are drawn in particular the younger cast and Kuroneko. The way she cosplays is also quite catchy whether Kirino likes it or not. That gothic getup with the cat ears is just appealing and something most of us might not be able to take eyes off of. It's not too shabby either with the backgrounds too in terms of animation values. I would say that the overall artwork of season 2 is relatively the same as its prequel.
As for soundtrack, the series continues the pattern of lighthearted pattern. To add to some extra gags, each of the ending episode concludes with a different song with different artwork. You might want to keep your hands on that print screen button because those end cards are something worth of a thousand words. Most of the seiyuu voices portrays their voices as well to fit their characters. Kirino remains a tsundere with her voice. Kyousuke's tone often reflects both supportive and frustration. Kuroneko's soft and touching voice gives off that feeling of adorableness. The OP song "reunion" by ClariS brings back indeed a reunion between many of the characters. There's also a bit of perhaps foreshadowing in the song as there seems to be a famous red string of fate at the finger tips of Kyousuke swining to one side but never reaching its target. Hmm.....
By all means, Oreimo 2 is not a masterpiece. At least it did something right to get more people to watch this series from the first place with its unusual premise. Perhaps the drama can be seen differently from some to others. Then, there's those dialogues. Some of them are catchy while others tries too hard. What it did catch though is a burst of laughter at several occasions for me. With all set and done, this sequel awaits you but only if you finished season 1 and its true end. For fans of Oreimo, this is a continuation. After all, there's no way a series you've finished season one and true end can be just dropped without giving at least the first episode a try.
To be honest, I still don’t really understand Oreimo. Even after the second season, there’s still things that I’m unsure of. At a glance, the title suggests a story between a sister and a brother, but the thing is, looking back at two seasons of Oreimo, I really don’t think that definition fits all too well.
Here’s the thing - yes, it is a story about a sister and her brother. But that’s not all - Oreimo isn’t just that. Oreimo doesn’t just explore the relationship between a brother and a sister, Oreimo divulges into everyday life, in this case I suppose, the everyday life of
an otaku schoolgirl struggling through her slightly different lifestyle. It’s also the story of a very average brother trying to do his best to protect his beloved sister - in which their relationship, has long fallen apart. And again, that’s not all. It’s also the story of friends, friends joined by a common interest, friends joined together to enjoy life, and solve each other's problems. That, is Oreimo. Daily life. Of an otaku, or rather, several otakus and their non-otaku friends.
In that aspect, it’s not hard at all to call Oreimo simple. It really is, just the daily lives of a sister and her brother, and the people that surround them. There’s no intense magical girl fighting (at least, not *real* magical girl fighting), emotionally depressing family problems, no sword-wielding monster-slaying chicks that cross between worlds, no insane amount of unrealistic harem situations, no no, there’s none of that at all. Oreimo, is simple, yet enjoyable. Why? Because it speaks to it’s audience. I found myself divulged in Oreimo in the same way that Kirino was obsessed with Meruru. In the same way Kirino has her collection of Meruru figurines, I have my own personal collection of anime paraphernalia that I treasure and admire. Hell, even I want to go to Akihabara.
I suppose such a pretense leads to a few issues - like the fact that Oreimo slightly lacks focus. Although it’s undoubtedly true that Oreimo spends a lot of time focused on the brother-sister relationship between Kyousuke and Kirino, it also spends a lot of time exploring things that are slightly random. It’s like every once in awhile, Oreimo simply benches the brother-sister relationship backstory, and focuses on other aspects of it’s story. Of course, I’m not really complaining, because if it had not done that, it really would have been solely a story of a brother and a sister, and nothing more. And I for one, believe that such a story probably wouldn’t have been all too interesting. Because it’s not like this lack of direction really affects the anime at all - it’s not like we’re lacking character or story development, every single “arc” within Oreimo, does develop both the cast and the story. Everything somehow ties back to one main idea in the end, and there are no useless episodes.
In fact, if there was one thing about Oreimo that I really appreciated, was the cast. i don’t think I ever found myself in absolute hatred of a character after finishing the finale of Oreimo. In fact, I was pretty attached to the entire cast as a whole - they were fleshed out pretty well, and although in some places were underdeveloped, all in all, they were pretty well done. I suppose if I had to label a single problem to Oreimo, it would be that some of the characters, are slightly underdeveloped. If I were to label them, theres no doubt in my mind that I would have loved to see more of Kanako, the Akagi sister-brother pair, and a little more of Saori, although she was actually pretty well developed. I suppose to an extent, this lack of development is acceptable, since if Oreimo were to really develop all of these characters, the story really would have lost focus and became random to the point of being bad.
But, I’m not really complaining, because realistically, not only were the characters fleshed out pretty well, they were also drawn pretty well. The animation is pretty well done, although something like that is to be expected of an anime produced in 2013.
The other well-produced aspect of Oreimo, is more than likely the soundtrack. Like the animation, it’s to be expected that an anime produced in 2013 should have a good, acceptable soundtrack, and Oreimo is no exception, but to be honest, although it was well produced, there was nothing really special to it. The opening, on the other hand, is a great choice. It would have been bad for Oreimo to have broken the style of the opening theme from the original, first season of Oreimo. Although I do have to say that I’m not too sure about carrying over the concept of a different ending for EVERY episode from the first season of Oreimo was too good of an idea. I really think that it would have been better to just have another ClariS song as the ending. But then again, the ever-changing ending animation was pretty interesting, and I don’t doubt that a decent amount of work was put into it, because instead of pasting the same ending animation on every episode, Oreimo has a different ending animation, and song, for every episode, which I found mildly interesting.
Realistically though, between Oreimo 1 and Oreimo 2, I can strongly say that nothing has really changed. For me, Oreimo 2 is only better because it’s a continuation, and I get to see more of the Kirino that I’ve enjoyed for two seasons straight, and get to explore more of the relationships and stories of friends surrounding Kirino and her brother.
So, I suppose that Oreimo is one of those animes that never try to be overtly flashy. Oreimo didn’t try to provoke anything overtly powerful within it’s viewers. It merely set out to explore the lives of it’s cast, and in doing so, pleased it’s audience quite well. It’s the kind of anime that doesn’t need anything more other than more episodes to do the same thing it’s been doing for it’s entire life span. But the thing is, having said all that, Oreimo isn’t the kind of anime that you just bench once it’s done. Some would disagree with me, but I know for myself at the very least, Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai is the kind of anime that I probably wont forget, and given the choice to stick Kirino on my back windshield, or any other anime character, I’d probably pick Kirino.
Never the same personality twice! Oreimo, short for Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai, offers a variety of characters, from tsundere to yandere, from comedic to moe. Let's take a peek at how these characters interact with each other:
Oreimo, short for Ore no Imōto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai, complicates a simple brother-sister relationship. Kyousuke is a normal older brother just being brotherly to his little overachieving sister, who happens to secretly be an otaku. But... is that really all there is to these two siblings?