- Tachiki Fumihiko really specializes in playing bad, bad Dads.
- The Kousaka family is seriously fucked up. I mean – seriously.
- I suppose the fact that Oreimo still drives me crazy is a good sign, in a way. If I felt nothing, that’s when the end would really be in sight.
Oreimo really is crazy. Any episode with Ayase has a serious leg-up in the crazy department, sure, but she’s not even the major problem here. We’re well over 20 episodes now when the “True End” is figured in, and still no ones just comes right and says it: “What, are you nuts? You’re brother and sister!” The matter-of-fact way this show treats the mutual infatuation between Kyousuke and Kirino is mind-boggling. It makes jokes about him being a siscon and all, but never seriously addresses the question. This is not a farce, but a fairly serious relationship comedy that’s capable of real depth – how is it possible that no one fucking says it?
It’s really heartbreaking to see Ruri – a good-hearted, intelligent girl for all her neuroses – trying so hard to forge a relationship with Kyousuke. I actually liked him at first, and even now I still think he deserves to be treated better than Kirino treats him. But while Kyousuke’s always been hopelessly infatuated with Kirino, he’s become much more of a simpering loser where she’s concerned this season. Really, I’ve come to view the guy as basically a tool – it’s hard not to assume all the nice things he did for Kirino in S1 were selfishly driven by the fact that he’s in love with her. That’s character development, I suppose, but not exactly what I had in mind when the season started.
It’s hard to overstate just how sick and dysfunctional this family is. This time around we’re treated to the hideous spectacle of Kirino’s utterly transparent attempt to pass last week’s cliffhanger Mikagami Kouki (Iguchi Yuuichi) as her boyfriend, and the even more hideous spectacle of Kyousuke dancing like a puppet on a string as a result. Yes, it’s obvious that this is all being done for his benefit – but he’s so smitten or so addled that he plays right along, according to the script. As if that weren’t enough, we also get to see abusive Dad Daisuke (given the evidence, probably a daughtercon himself) drink himself into a hopeless rage at the prospect of his property getting herself a boyfriend. Lordy, what a sorry bunch.
The folks you feel for in all this are Kuro/Shironeko and Saori, both of whom deserve far better friends (and crushes). Saori helplessly tries to play peacemaker and smile as if nothing’s wrong (even takes off her disguise to make her point), and Kuroneko is even worse off. She loves the idiot, and takes it on herself to be as forward about it as can be – yet she also sees for herself that he’s hopelessly in love with Kirino. She’s offering Kyousuke a lifeline but he’s too far gone to grab on to it. We can’t help who we love, I suppose – it’s true for both Kuroneko and Kyousuke, and I suppose for Kirino too – and all three of them should be smart enough to realize that their hearts are leading them down the garden path.
I really can’t imagine where this is going, and I guess it’s that morbid curiosity that keeps me not just watching, but relatively intently. I’ve chosen to believe all along that this series is too smart to flat-out go for the “Go ahead and screw your sibling, it’s fine” end, and not craven enough to pull out the “not biological siblings” end. But at this point I have to assume all options are on the table. I suppose Manami – another one caught up in this nightmare of self-delusion – will be heard from before it’s over, but she truly seems to have no chance at all. If anyone is to pull Kyousuke out of the tar pits in the last moment, unlikely as that seems, Ruri is probably the only one with a prayer in Hell.