Kirino Kousaka embodies the ideal student with equally entrancing looks. Her grades are near perfect, and to cover her personal expenses, she works as a professional model alongside her best friend Ayase Aragaki, who abhors liars and all things otaku. But what Ayase doesn't know is that Kirino harbors a deep, entrenched secret that will soon be brought to light.
At home one day, Kyousuke, Kirino's perfectly average brother, stumbles upon an erotic game that belongs to none other than his seemingly flawless little sister. With her reputation at stake, Kirino places a gag order on her sibling while simultaneously introducing him to the world of eroge and anime. Through Kirino, Kyousuke encounters the gothic lolita Ruri Gokou and the bespectacled otaku Saori Makishima, thus jump-starting an entirely new lifestyle. But as he becomes more and more involved in his little sister's secret life, it becomes that much harder to keep under wraps.
#01: "Imouto Please! (妹プリ～ズ！)" by Ayana Taketatsu (ep 1) #02: "Shine!" by Ayana Taketatsu (ep 2) #03: "Horaizumu (ほらいずむ)" by Ayana Taketatsu (ep 3) #04: "Shiroi Kokoro (白いココロ)" by Saori Hayami (ep 4) #05: "Orange (オレンジ)" by Ayana Taketatsu (ep 5) #06: "MAEGAMI (マエガミ☆)" by Satomi Satou (ep 6) #07: "Masquerade!" by Kana Hanazawa (ep 7) #08: "KAMEREON DAUGHTER (カメレオンドーター)" by Hitomi Nabatame (ep 8) #09: "Suki nanda mon!! (好きなんだもん！！)" by Ayana Taketatsu (ep 9) #10: "Iie, Tomu wa Imouto ni Taishite Seiteki na Koufun wo Oboete imasu (いいえ、トムは妹に対して性的な興奮をおぼえています)" by Yukari Tamura (ep 10)
#11: "AKIHABARA Dance Now!! (アキハバラ☆だんす☆なう!!)" by Ayana Taketatsu, Kana Hanazawa, and Hitomi Nabatame (ep 11) #12 "Tadaima (ただいま。) " by Ayana Taketatsu (ep 12)
Every season we seem to get that one show that has all the buzz and word of mouth about it from the anime community. This time most of that was centered on this anime, Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai. I will admit that from the first time I saw details of this show pop up I was not to thrilled with its prospects, but the hype over the show was too much to ignore and I decided to give it a go. In the end I am left wonder just what was all the fuss about?
From the start
we are setup with our typical and predictable harem anime plot, a high school guy Kyousuke who is fairly nondescript and normal finds himself involved in his little sister's secret hobby, eroge games and anime. Since up till now his sister, Kirino, has basically had nothing to do with him so both her secret and her sudden willingness to open up to him is a complete surprise. Now he finds himself helping Kirino acquire new eroge, hide her hobby from her friends, help her make new friends, and I suppose repair their sibling relationship. Seriously a pair of siblings find happiness through the power of eroge! Are you kidding? Is this a PSA for the eroge industry?
Now I haven’t read any of the light novels so I can’t speak for how well this anime does as an adaptation of them. Though I can say that if this really is a good adaption then I think I will pass. It’s not that Ore Imouto is a bad anime either; it’s just really uninteresting. Watching this show wasn't a chore but I just kept wondering to myself, why isn't this any good? I can usually see why someone might like or dislike an anime more that I do but with this one I cant for the life of me understand how anyone could think this one is any good. The lack of any interesting story makes this anime completely character driven and since the characters are so awful it just feels like it doesn't get anywhere nor do you care if it does or doesn't. Elements of the plot eventually becomes so totally implausible and unrealistic that they defy belief.
Overall Ore Imouto is an idealistic view of how otaku and anime fans want to be viewed by others. It clearly panders to the otaku community and those who fancy themselves as wannabe otaku, i.e. weeaboo’s. They really aren't creepy guys who cuddle with full size oppai body pillows on the train or buy an anime special edition box because they have a pair of blue striped panties inside. They are fashion models, Buddhist monks, and super rich oujosama's! It’s not that I have anything against otaku mind you, but at the same time I don’t find the lifestyle to be particularly interesting or commendable. While I do think Ore Imouto tries to deal with some serious issues at times, Kirino's character makes it impossible to really accept them. On the plus side I will give the anime credit for not caving in completely to the fan base by drowning the show in pervy fan service.
The main issue overall with the story is there is too little of everything. There isn’t any story to speak of, though that would probably be ok if it was completely episodic, but it’s not. We start out with Kirino's hobby being laid out and the drama that unfolds as her best friend and her father find out about it. Both are coincidentally very anti-anime/eroge. Though I can’t really blame them really too much for the later, I mean she is in middle school for god's sake and watching/playing those things is technically illegal for her. Kyousuke stands up for her every time along the way. It actually sounds kind of inspiring and sweet but it isn’t (more on why later).
The romantic elements don’t work either, since we really aren’t given much about each character to think there is even a relationship developing. There is really no chemistry between any of the characters either. This is mostly due to Kyousuke's complete and utter lack of anything resembling personality. The ending is also bad, but not unexpected given the genre and this lack of chemistry.
The lead Kyousuke is without a doubt one of the most uninteresting characters I have seen in recent memory. He seems to exemplify the ordinary lifeless harem lead. It seems he has absolutely no interests of his own. A look into his room shows a barren waste that lacks even the most Spartan decor and might as well just be a room at a hotel. I think his room tells you a lot about him because like him, the only time it contains anything is when it belongs to someone else. He is like an empty glass, waiting to be filled by whomever he comes into contact with. I mean sure, he is a really nice guy. He helps his sister and her friends whenever they need him, every time! All of this without any thought or expectation of a reward. However it feels more like he does out of sheer boredom than anything else. He doesn’t seem to really care one way or the other about anyone, especially his sister. You get the feeling that he’s helping her out of an obligation as her brother. Of course why would he like, let alone love her or want to help her for any other reason? She’s nothing but a complete bitch to him anyway.
Kirino is on the surface your standard tsundere archetype. Visually she’s got everything that makes for otaku wet dreams but under the pretty exterior lays one of ugliest and most unsympathetic characters in anime. There is a really fine line to walk when doing tsundere characters. The difference "tsundere" and a "bitch" is extremely small. Kirino falls squarely on the side of the bitch. Her actions are not cute nor are they even funny. She’s conniving, mean-spirited, selfish, vain, disloyal, and wholly unlikable. Despite apparently "loving" her brother she treats him totally opposite, in true tsundere fashion but unlike most characters in this archetype she never backs down at all from this role. She uses everyone in the cast for her own selfish wants and then casts them away when she doesn’t need them anymore. Unable to even stay true to her new otaku friends she shuns them as soon as her "cool" personality and friendship with the “in crowd” is threatened. Additionally she is utterly unbelievable as a character. We are supposed to believe she is popular, athletic, a professional model, successful novelist, an imouto, AND an otaku? All before even entering high school? Right...
By the end of the anime little has changed for either Kirino or Kyousuke. They haven’t grown at all as characters or as people. Kyousuke remains an emotionless robotic proxy with no will or dreams of his own and still unable to see all the girls throwing themselves at his corpse of a personality. If Kirino had become better at expressing her love for her brother and her friends or even learned to embrace her hobby openly without care as to what other people thought, it might have made her character easier to take.
With lead characters this bad it really makes the supporting characters seem even worse by comparison, or better depending on who you’re talking about. The downside is everyone with the exception of Kuroneko and to a lesser degree Manami. Manami is Kyousuke's childhood friend and I suppose defacto girlfriend was a likable character who I actually felt pity for than anything else. She is poorly developed and mostly ignored by the plot but from a cast that is so poorly conceived she stands as a lone bright spot. In a better cast and with better leads she is probably lost as just an also-ran character.
Kuroneko on the other hand is different. She is actually a really interesting and well implemented character. As one of Kirino's new otaku friends she is basically everything that Kirino is not. She is true to herself and loyal to her friends. She is responsible and trustworthy and has her priorities in line. In one episode that shows her taking care of her little sister you can see from her actions that she honestly loves her sibling as she plays with her, puts up with her favorite anime, which she despises but she does so anyway. Although she is well aware that people and even her family thinks she is weird and abnormal, she doesn’t care and does as she likes. Because it gives her enjoyment. In my opinion Kirino doesn’t deserve her as a friend. Of all the people in this cast the only one I would want to hang out with willingly and be friends with is her.
Ore Imouto's visual aspects are top notch however. The character designs are pleasing to the eye and well proportioned. The settings and backgrounds are well done though a bit bland in some cases. Kirino's room is probably the most interesting with the most amount of things lying about. Some of the visual parodies and references to other anime and games I found were pretty amusing. Particularly those relating to Fate/Stay Night which appeared several times. I did enjoy the lack of tits and ass from the production and that went a long way towards making the show far less perverse as I had initially assumed it would be.
The seiyuu cast is also strong, featuring Ayana Takeatsu fresh off her success as Azusa from K-ON in the title role. It’s too bad she wasn’t given a better character to work with, but I think she played the part as well as it could have been. Other favorites of mine such as Yukari Tamura and Saori Hayami play smaller roles but overall I found all the performances to be very good. The music is a definite strength as well; ChariS OP "irony" is one of the better anime songs of the year.
When it comes down to it Ore Imouto is the kind of disposable anime that comes along every year. While it got more than its share of hype and press it is unlikely to be remembered in the years to come. I don’t necessarily think this is a terrible show, it has aspects that I think are terrible but overall I can’t say I hated it either. It had just enough to keep my interest from week to week and little else. I suggest you ignore the hype and skip this anime. If you want to see an anime about otaku that doesn’t pander to them, watch Kuragehime instead. You can thank me later.
I continue on my quest to explore new genres of anime and review really odd stuff. "Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai" roughly translates to "I can't believe my little sister is this cute!" I will call this title Oreimo for the rest of this review because honestly the full title is WAY too long. Much like one of my all time favorite spoof movies: Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood.
Our main character is an obnoxious teenage male who is upset that his little sister doesn't bring him breakfast in bed and act like
the cutesy little sisters in the anime he likes. The little sister is loud, irritating, and all things stereo-typically "Tsundere". One day the elder brother discovers that his little sister is REALLY into lolicon anime and videogames along with incest, and her favorite: Lolicon/incest together. This makes the brother immediately fall in love with his little sister and try grope her while she sleeps. My reaction...WHAT!? I am an elder brother myself and if I suddenly found out my little brother was a passionate member of NAMBLA, my first reaction would NOT be...."man, I really want to fuck my brother right now!" Of course, our MC meets his little sister's friends who are also ridiculous otaku stereotypes and it becomes a generic harem anime only with lots of wincest and loli! Hooray! Seriously, FUCK this anime!
Some anime are made "by Otaku for Otaku" to the complete exclusion of everyone else. I'm Ok with this. We all have our own likes and dislikes and not every show and movie has to be aimed at everyone. However, this anime absolutely embraces every negative stereotype about otaku and tries to pander to the lowest common denominator. I found this not only bad, but rather insultingly bad. I love anime as a medium of storytelling, but I fucking HATED this show. The parents in this show are "big meanies" who don't understand the joys of being an anime geek and try to negatively judge our heroes. However, I don't feel this show does a good job representing anime fans and defending us against those that dislike anime! For example, just because I like to read manga by Naoki Urosawa instead of reading comics by Stan Lee, doesn't mean I: collect hundreds of figurines, live in my parent's basement, buy hundreds of dollars worth of hentai, am a pedophile, am incestuous, or lack any semblance of social skills. Embracing these stereotypes doesn't represent our cause as anime fans or encourage others to give anime a chance! If you want to see a GOOD anime about the anti-otaku stigma in Japan and living the life of a secret otaku, watch the anime "Welcome to the NHK!" If OreImo was made as a satire attacking anime fans and encouraging people to NOT watch anime, it would be a crude, low blow but relatively effective. As a PRO-otaku show that acts as if it is the most wonderful, loving tribute to otaku everywhere, this show is a fucking failure!
Now for the question you have all been asking: "why did this piece of shit get a 2/10 instead of a 1/10?". The answer is that the comedy in this series is so stupid it's almost funny. It isn't actually funny, but it's almost funny in the way that Tim and Eric the Awesome Show is sort of funny in that oh so popular anti-humor style. This show's relentless awkwardness that it puts the audience through and totally bizarre style of "humor" almost reminded me of something Andy Kaufman would do. He was a famous..."comedian" well known for stunts like pulling out a copy of The Great Gatsby during a stand up comedy performance and reading it aloud...and just kept going. Eventually this created some nervous laughter from the audience because it was just so awkward and they had no idea how to react...then eventually they got up and left and he just kept on reading aloud. That is basically what this anime is like. At first you sort of chuckle with nervous laughter just because it is so WTF...then eventually you realize that...this is it, this is the whole thing...so you get up and leave. Or you finish the whole series if you are a complete masochist.
'Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai' (Long titles for the win) is one of those animes I just can't figure out. On the surface it appears to be an anime about a brother and a sister who struggle to realise their feelings for each other. But in reality it is about much more than that. We have a good chunk of the story here focused on anime and the world of otakus as well as the friendships that one can gain simply by going outside and meeting new people.
That said, the plot's main purpose is to of course present us the
life of siblings who, as is often the case, display aggression and hostility towards each other but in reality care deeply for one another.
The two main characters, Kyosuke and Kirino Kousaka are complete opposites when it comes to their personalities. Kyosuke is a kind and mostly peaceful person who enjoys 'ordinary and average things' - his words. He also happens to be quite possibly the unluckiest person on the planet, often blamed for things he didn't do and accidents he didn't cause. Add to that the fact that he'll do anything for his unappreciative sister and you've got the perfect recipe for a martyr-type character. Indeed the suffering this character will go through in this series is immense.
His sister, Kirino, is a spoiled brat with a serious attitude problem, completely cold and hostile towards her brother. She's a tsundere without the dere part. She behaves similarly to other people apart from her two closest friends. This character annoyed me to no end and at times I just wanted to drop the series simply because I couldn't listen to her constant complaining and her ways of screwing up her brother's reputation in the eyes of many many people. Ironically however, her tsun( no dere) behaviour perfectly fits in with the plot in this series and without that disgustingly hostile behaviour this anime would not be complete.
We have a few other supporting characters of course, the tall and mysterious Saori, the intelligent and menacing Kuroneko (real name Ruri Gokou) and perhaps the most relaxing character to grace the screens of anime watchers across the world - Manami.
Kuroneko is your typical gothic style anime watcher who mostly spends her days writing novels that even native Japanese-speakers wouldn't be able to read. Her vocabulary is vast and getting in an argument with her is always going to end bad for the challenger.
Saori is... tall. There's not much I can say about her apart from that because this series simply does not giver her enough time. From what we see we can make out that she's quite geeky and she simply enjoys spending time with her friends.
Manami is a hard working and kind person - mature beyond her years. Let me put it this way, if I was looking for a life long partner she's the person I would try to get to know better. No wonder then that Kyousuke prefers to spend every free minute he has with her. A lot of characters in this anime see them as a couple and Manami's grandfather is trying every trick in the book to push their relationship to the next level. Hilarious stuff.
The art is staggering. It's extremely precise and all the lines and curves are perfectly drawn. The characters look beautiful and attention has been paid to every single detail. Likewise the music is spot on and voice acting accurate and authentic.
The enjoyment part of this anime is... something I had to think hard about. On one hand if you're into the whole tsundere/martyr thing then go ahead you will enjoy this series, especially since it's very realistic. But if you get easily annoyed by one character complaining about trivial matters over and over and over again every single episode then you will definitely sit there unsatisfied and more than likely, agitated. But if you ignore that one character then this anime becomes a paradise since it also focuses on the daily struggles of otakus. That's what had me thinking the whole time, this is an anime about anime (ANIMESEPUSHION!) and also a lot of other things that go with it.
Personally, despite Kirino's horrendous personality, I enjoyed this series. It is what it is. Don't go into it expecting it to be a masterpiece and don't take it too seriously either and you'll have fun.
This anime was a pleasant surprise. It has an interesting take on the bro-sis relationship. The two siblings treat each other like most do in the real world, with dislike, indifference, hate and of course love. It has an intriguing plot to begin with and as the story unfolds it actually makes you care about the characters.
I found the characters refreshing and liked how they seemed to change as the story advanced. Most of them seemed to be more well thought out than your usual 2d run of the
mill stooges. Having been limited to 15 episodes I thought they did well fleshing them out. Though a couple could use more depth and emotion.
The art work was pretty good and was what I kind of of expected in a anime of this type. The girls looked like girls and not some barbie dolls. I also like that they didn't revert to using childish miniatures. The people pretty much seemed like the age they were portraying.
Overall this is a funny, heartwarming, fun look at a brother and sister who are trying to figure out if they love or hate one another. Do yourself a favor and give it a watch.
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