Let me get the unpleasantness out of the way: I didn’t especially like this “True End” for Oreimo. I didn’t hate it, and I don’t leave the series (for now) with bad feelings or anything – but I did find the ending fundamentally unsatisfying.
There was a fundamental paradox standing in the way of this finale’s success, and I wasn’t sure if the anime staff were going to be able to figure out how to solve it – and they didn’t, as it turns out. There was no question in my mind Kirino had to return for the finale. Even though Kyousuke is the main character, she’s the pivot point – the nexus around which everyone else revolves. All of the characters change and evolve largely in response to Kirino, most especially Kyou.
And the ugly truth is, I liked all of these characters – most especially Kyou – better when Kirino wasn’t around. That was the vexing problem, and it proved to much to solve. Kirino did in fact come back, but in the process episodes 13-14 became a big “never mind” and all the character development – most especially Kyou’s – was tossed aside.
|Lame Kyou is lame|
I didn’t think much of Kyousuke in this episode altogether. I thought his reaction to Kuroneko’s confession was first clueless, then insensitive. She pours out her heart to you (though it should already have been obvious) and your response is “I’m off to see Kirino – thanks!” It turns out, I guess, that Kyousuke was the pathetic siscon Kirino would have had us believe all along. I didn’t want to think that about him and that’s not the Kyouske we saw for the DVD-only eps (and indeed much of the TV ones) but based on his behavior here, she was right all along. There’s no other way to explain his pathetic performance in humiliating himself by begging her to come home because he was lonely. I want to believe he put that out there as an act, knowing she wouldn’t come home for any other reason – but the evidence doesn’t back that up.
Here’s another problem. Any reasonable person would, in Kyou’s place, certainly prefer to be with Kuroneko over Kirino. It’s not fucking incest, for one. Plus, Kurnoeko treats him far better. She’s a nicer, more understanding person. She’s simply a better character – the vast majority of the fanbase sees it this way, and it’s a somewhat difficult reality for the series to deal with. Only a pretty pathetic guy would choose to lust after his abusive little sister rather than stay with Kuroneko – or even Manami. So what choice does that leave us in deciding what we think of Kyou, based on the last episode? Again, it’s as if all the character development we’ve seen is flushed away – Kirino is back to playing eroge and treating him like crap, and he’s back to craving it. And we’re left with the very likely conclusion that he’s an actual siscon for a bonus. That’s kind of a depressing end, isn’t it?
I know, I know, I’m making it sound as if I actually did hate the ending – and honest, I didn’t. One could argue, I suppose, that Kirino showed the tiniest bit of character growth. She did thank Kyousuke, at least. She did at least realize that she was dependent on her sexual fantasy life to an unhealthy degree, even if she didn’t end up following through on that belief in the end. Kuroneko was adorable and hilarious, as usual. We got to see Saori in her Ojou-sama mode one more time. It was fun.
But in the end, I hated to see everyone fall right back into their old roles – only worse in Kyousuke’s case, because in addition to being a beaten dog it now looks like he really is a siscon as well. As everyone knows the BD/DVD sales for this series have been through the roof, and there’s lots of media still alive and well – the VN continues, a new manga series starring Kuroneko… So it’s certainly possible that we’re going to see another season of TV episodes, or at least some more OVAs. I would even say it’s likely. And there’s no question, this ending is less unsatisfying as a season finale rather than a series finale. So I leave the show with a lot of affection and appreciation, and hope that this isn’t the last we see of Oreimo in this format.