Sunday, September 15, 2013

Anime Review: Oreimo

AKA: Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai
... I have nothing really to say this week. There has been no events that has happened in my life over the past week, and no future events to really speak of. So I'm just going to jump right into this week's review: Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai or translated: My Little Sister Can't be this Cute. A story about siblings, love, and erotic games.

This would be hot if she wasn't his sister.
Kyosuke has never gotten along with his kid sister Kirino. She is a star athlete at her Jr. High School, has gotten good grades, has a successful part-time modeling career, and is very pretty, while he is the most average person you can imagine. Despite living in the same house, they have never had a conversation beyond half-hearted greetings in years. But that all changed when Kyosuke found a strange DVD case that belongs to his sister. The case was for a children's anime called Magical Stardust Meruru, but the disc inside was for a erotic game (or Eroge) involving little sisters. After he promised no only to not tell anyone about but also never to make fun of her for it, Kirino shows Kyosuke something he never expected from his little sister: her massive collection of anime and little sister Eroge. And Kirino needs Kyosuke's help, she needs advice on how to maintain her hobby without having it ruin her outside life, and to help do that Kirino forces her brother to play Eroge with her. What's a big brother to do with a little sister who can't be this cute?

Oreimo is a slice of life romantic comedy with the main character's sister as the main female lead........ AND IT'S NOT INCESTUOUS! (At least, not for the most part.) While the incestuous tones are there, especially given the little sister Eroge in the series, the relationship between Kyosuke and Kirino is maintained as a sibling relationship, which is a nice change of pace from all the harem anime where love only exists between lovers. The serious side of the series not only deals with accepting what society at large determines to be deviant (I.E. a underage girl playing porno games featuring underage girls in incestuous relationships), but also trying to reconnect with family after so many years of neglect and the dynamics of love between siblings and how far that love should be taken. On the more comedic side, we have a cast of eccentric but likeable characters including our perverted Jr. High Schoolgirl, a calm rational Highschooler who would defenestrate common sense at the drop of a hat, a cosplayer who remains in character even outside of her costume, an otaku who you won't be able to recognize without her glasses, and another Jr. High Schoolgirl who would KILL YOU if she was given probable cause. It is a very VERY funny series.

I know it's common to say "It's not what it looks like" but it's not what it looks like.
And then comes the bad part: the OVAs. There are two set of OVA episodes to Oreimo, one set after the first season and the other after the second season. The first problem is their availability: Crunchyroll, which hosts the entire series, does not have either set of OVAs, at least not anymore. This is most problematic with the OVAs that bridge the two seasons because without them there is a lot in the second season that doesn't make sense. Several characters are introduced in the OVAs, as well as a few events that are referred to, and there is a bit of retconning (In fact, these OVAs begin with an altered version of the last episode of the first season). However, that is small potatoes compared to the second set of OVAs which contain the ending to the series. Without spoiling anything I will say this: Oreimo has one of the most polarizing endings in a long time. In fact, when we first watched the OVAs at the end, me and my brother went on a long discussion which was pretty much us bouncing off of each other each of the reasons why we didn't like it, which for me comes down to the ending pretty much sinking a lot of what the series had going for it and breaking the heart of one of my favorite characters.

Even with the ending, the series is still a lot of fun and explored something that most anime don't really touch upon, and is absolutely hilarious while doing it. And while I try to block the events of the ending out of my mind, at the very least the ending does give you something to talk about with friends whether you like the ending or not. However, it is because of the ending that I dropped this anime from a "MUST WATCH!" But still Oreimo comes Highly Recommended.

Watch the series on Crunchyroll:

Until next time

-Crescent, Why... Oh Sagan why?

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