Oreimo – 11

My favorite Mamani expression by far

Did you get all that?

Wow, but a busy, exhausting, emotional roller-coaster of an episode that was. It felt like every emotion was at the extreme end of the spectrum, and about six eps worth of development was crammed into one. But it didn’t feel like cheating, really, because my theory is that all that growth between Kirino and Kyousuke had been building all along, and it all spilled out at once.

You can stop the show now – I’m good

I think it’s fair to say that I never hated Kirino more than I did during the first part. Not so much for the despicable way she continued to treat her brother (though that never stopped pissing me off) but for the way she treated Manami. Whatever your view of her as a romantic lead, she’s a sweet and gentle girl and moreover, not only Kirino’s senpai but a guest in her home! To see such behavior from a Japanese girl was really shocking, even from Kirino. I did enjoy the bit where she laid the porn trap for Kyou, though – mostly because Manami’s reaction was so priceless. Right up to the moment where she said “Onii-san” and served notice that she’s willing to do what it takes to win this war.

In the second half, by contrast, we had a completely new Kirino. All the stuff we’ve been waiting for her to say and do for 10.5 episodes finally came out, with the careful and caring prodding of Saori-chan (the world’s largest 15 year-old girl). The notion of the meido party was more than a bit odd, though worth it just to see Kyou so flustered. I loved Kuroneko’s little manga, the impact it had on the siblings, and I loved the shocked tears on Kyousuke’s face when Kirino said “Thank you and I’m sorry.” While they needed to be said I suppose it was a bit of an anti-climax that she pretty much blurted them right out, but I’m in a tolerant mood – I’ll say that was in character. In fact, that may be the only way Kirino could ever have gotten the words out, as subtlety certainly isn’t her long suit. I suspect Saori and even Kuroneko did a lot of gentle but firm persuasion to get Kirino there, reminding her of just what a wonderful onii-san Kyou had been to her. And Saori’s little party was a good safe zone for Kirino to make her stand for what’s good and just. Am I won over? No, not totally – just because you eventually have a moment of decency doesn’t excuse months of years of behaving shamefully. But it’s a start, and at least we know she knows what’s right, even if she might not act on it.

Was this the sixth sign of the Apocalypse – or was it the seventh?

For all that this was the most important episode of the series for Kirino and Kyousuke, I must confess that Kuroneko just blew me away. First of all, COULD ANYONE BE ANY CUTER THAN SHE WAS IN THAT GETUP? Sorry for shouting, but jeebus – that was freakin’ adorable, especially when she practically purred and curled up on Kyou’s lap. Her manga, her flirting (with one eye on Kirino, natch) her “Is he broken?” I just want to take her home, that’s all. And I think Kyousuke does, too.

Which leads us to where the ep leaves us – the “Good End” next week. We get an anime-original ending, followed by a more game-consistent “True End” with the DVDs next year. I don’t know what’s going to happen – I really hope we don’t go the incest route (I think the Good End will be the normal, happy sibling route) but who knows. I still feel that Kyou has a serious crush on Kuroneko – his reaction to her outfit certainly backs that up and how could he not, for crying out loud? Manami is still a factor in all this too, though I still don’t see much “spark” there. I think big head says Manami, heart says Kuroneko, and the little head? Well – maybe it’s saying “Kirino” but I sure hope not. Yosuga no Sora is enough incest for one season, thank you, and I don’t need to the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly to tell me that.

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