The story is about two siblings – Kyousuke Kousaka, the older brother, and Kirino Kousaka, the little sister. Kirino is pretty, smart, and excels at a lot of things. Kyousuke, being a normal student leading a normal life, often feels like he has to live in the shadow of an overachieving little sister. Despite being really close with each other during their childhood days, their relationship started to deteriorate as they both grew up and it eventually led to them not talking to each other and treating each other coldly. This changes when the façade of Kirino breaks as Kyousuke discovers his little sister’s hobby – collecting merchandise and eroge with little sister themes. Kyousuke is obviously shocked but Kirino is delighted when Kyousuke doesn’t judge her and even helps her hide this secret from others. But he quickly gets sucked into Kirino’s world as she constantly orders him to do things related to her hobby. Will this repair their strained relationship? Or will this blossom into something more, something forbidden?
Oreimo is short for Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai which means My Little Sister Can’t be This Cute. It is originally a Japanese light novel series written by Tsukasa Fushimi and illustrated by Hiro Kanzaki. A manga adaptation by Sakura Ikeda was then serialized in Dengeki G’s Magazine. AIC produced the 12-episode anime adaptation that aired on October 2010. The series ended on December 2010 that showed the good ending. 4 ONA (Original Net Animation) thereafter have been consecutively released monthly which revealed the true route of the series. A-1 Pictures produced the anime’s second season, titled Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai., with 13 episodes. It aired in April 2013 and finished airing in June 2013. 3 ONA were released all at the same day on August 18, 2013.
Oreimo’s art is quite good, being bright and colorful. The characters move neatly, though their movement may sometimes be a bit reserved. You can tell that the production reserves their budget to more "epic" scenes. Of course, the main point of shows is the story line and in this aspect, Oreimo is a bit complicated to describe. It is enjoyable, yes, but there are episodes where viewers will feel the obvious decline of writing quality. A bunch of girls are thrown into the mix, turning it into a harem (one guy, multiple girls) situation. These girls seem a bit too good for Kyousuke, our male protagonist, and that may be the reason why he could not accept their feelings. After all, he is just a normal guy as Manami, his normal childhood friend, suggested.
The title “My Little Sister Can’t be This Cute” is actually false; because Kirino is actually that cute, though not the kind of cute that an onii-chan (older brother) would hope. Her obsession, which she calls a mere hobby, with eroge stuff cannot be described as cute either but a cute girl obsessing over stuff is kind of cute. Plus, she is a top student, a record-breaking athlete, and secretly a model. That’s like the epitome of cute little sisters. But, as stated by Kyousuke (in his dream), she looks down on him, insults him, and doesn’t listen to him at all. Hence, according to him, his little sister can’t be cute.
They start to rebuild a normal brother-sister relationship, but they may have built something more than that. Kyousuke tries to be a big brother that society expects him to be: someone who helps and protects his little sister, while Kirino makes her older brother make up for all the years he was not able to perform his role. But, this series makes the viewers ask repetitive questions:
“Is there really something more to their relationship?
”Oh, I guess not. They’re just trying to repair their brother-sister relationship.”
”Oh, wait, yeah, there is. This is incest after all.”
”Welp- I guess not. Kirino just has a brother complex, but no big deal.”
”SO IS THERE MORE OR IS THERE NOT?”
Don’t worry though, the answer to this will become apparent by season 2. It will also be revealed where all of this started. It will also make viewers question:
”If that cunning evil girl did not enter the picture, would the two have had a normal brother-sister relationship?”
A Kirino-like girl who is pretty much unattainable with her looks and talent? Yep, Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu got it. With that façade, no one would even think that they both harbor a dark, dark secret – being otakus. (Please be reminded that being an otaku is looked down on in Japan and being called one is an insult). This also started out as a light novel and has since then been adapted into a manga, anime, visual novel, and a few OVAs.
Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu’s male protagonist, Yuto Ayase, is an ordinary classmate of Haruka Nogizaka, a pretty, smart, and rich girl who is idolized by her whole school. A fateful incident causes Yuto to discover Nogizaka’s obsession with anime and manga. In short, she is a closet otaku – a secret that is sure to cause the whole school to belittle her. Yuto agrees to not spill her secret and even helps her keep this secret hidden. They eventually become friends and her hobby brings them closer and helps them develop their feelings for each other.
The anime above did not have the eroge and brother complex elements in it, so here’s one with a little of both. Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai is also a light novel series adapted into other media. AIC Build produced the two seasons of the anime and the OVA, so the art is similar to that of Oreimo’s. Its main theme is harem and eroge is a hobby of one of the girls. But unlike in Oreimo, the brother complex element in this series is just the innocent sibling love of a little sister for her older brother.
The plot revolves around Kodaka Hasegawa, the male protagonist, and the Neighbor’s Club of which he is a member. Kodaka’s brown-blond hair and piercing eyes make him look like a delinquent when he really is just an ordinary student. This does not help him with making friends. But his isolation ends when he accidentally comes across Yozora Mikazuki, a classmate who also has zero human friends, having a conversation with her air friend. This meeting serves as the catalyst for the formation of the Neighbor’s Club which is essentially a club for people with no friends. Sena Kashiwazaki, an idol in their school, joins the club along with the genius but perverted scientist, Rika Shiguma. A boy also joins the club, but he dresses like a girl and idolizes his perception of Kodaka’s masculinity. Kobato, Kodaka’s little sister, is also an interesting figure as she thinks and acts like a vampire.
Who Should Watch It
The main theme is geared for people interested in the forbidden love amongst siblings, namely incest. While most of the time it is about repairing the innocent relationship of a brother and a sister, the anime does suggest incest. Eroge and being an otaku is prominent in the series and it is enjoyable to watch how Kirino deals with both and how Kyousuke deals with Kirino’s hobbies. For people who like the sound of a tsundere girl struggling with her eroge hobbies and brother complex, go ahead and give this a try.