Oreimo – 12 (“Good” End)

So ends Oreimo – the “good end”, that is. This made for TV ending worked pretty well for me, though it remains to be be seen what the “true end” of the special episodes will be. I think my guess is probably the same as everyone else’s, but I’m going to continue to hope I’m wrong.

As things begin, Kirino’s miraculous personality change from episode 11 is still in place. She says “Good morning” and “Thank you” to Kyouske, makes everyone breakfast, and generally acts in a considerate and kind way. Yes that’s a little freaky and Kyou is indeed weirded out, but he goes with the flow for the moment. That night he finds out what he thinks is the reason – she wants him to wait in line in Akiba for the midnight release of a new eroge she’s salivating over. Since he was a pushover even when she was mean to him, there’s no reason to think Kyousuke would say no when she asks nicely – and indeed he doesn’t. After a hilarious segment in Akiba where he runs into Akagi being a full-on homosexual eroge for his little sister (I’m still not sure if we’re supposed to believe that) Kyou winds up in Kirino’s bedroom playing the game at 1 AM and finds out the real reason for her change of behavior.

That’s where things start to get really interesting. Kirino, you see, is going to America – she’s been offered an opportunity to get track coaching there. Not only that, she’s leaving the next day! Kyou finds out when the ticket falls out of the album that Kirino planned to show him before she chickened out – the thing that was even more embarrassing than her eroge. This is an obvious enough scenario – she wants him to beg her to stay. But when he refuses to – even after some impromptu prodding from the heroine of her game – she gets incredibly violent and beats the shit out of Kyousuke. Kyou proves he can be tsun here too, but the real kicker is that Kirino ends up changing her mind anyway.

We never do see what’s in that album, but it seems probable that it’s pictures of Kyou – either together with Kirino or by himself. This works either as a symbol of affection for the “good end” or a symbol of affection for the coming “true end”, but things get awfully rushed there towards the episode end. It’s an awful lot to take in, and I wonder if the writers may have overreached a bit. Nevertheless, things do end with Kirino staying in Japan and acting all tsundere again, and Kyousuke grinning like the cat that ate the canary. Draw your own conclusions.

That ep has me totally won over for most of its length, but it kind of lost me at the end. Kirino’s literally violent return to form was a bit too sudden and extreme for my tastes. That said, it certainly did an interesting job of ending the show while also leaving things in a pretty open-ended place. Just what will Kuroneko (incredibly kawaii again this week) start calling Kyou “soon enough”? Just what was in the album? Is Akagi really hard gay? I guess we have to wait for the special eps to find out, though those will, in fact, diverge from the anime timeline from the point episode 11 ended.

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