Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai 2 – 06

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There are definitely times when watching Oreimo where I really wonder what the heck it’s thinking.

A few random observations on the back of another frustrating episode:

  • 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.

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15 comments

  1. C

    I don't even want to watch this anymore.

    I liked the first season – although by this point I can't even remember why – but so far I haven't really enjoyed this season at all. Not gonna say I'm dropping but I'll just catch up later.

    It wouldn't even get that if I weren't interested in what direction the ending goes. I'm fairly certain they'll do something safe and non-incestuous but that's not the ending I want to see.

  2. f

    I really, really liked the first season, but I just knew there was no way it could keep up its balancing act in a sequel. The scales had to tip one way or the other, and the incest endgame was so obvious right from the onset that to claim it's a serious exploration of a platonic sibling relationship is self-delusion of the highest degree.

    Before this season even aired I was telling myself, "I will treat this like a fanfic." I think that's why I'm able to actually enjoy this. It's not canon, I tell myself. That way I can still kind of convince myself that this anime isn't full of TERRIBLE messages and terrible relationships. As a make-believe fanfic, this is actually pretty fun, albeit morbidly entertaining. What can I say? I don't get bored in the slightest. With the right mindset, you can enjoy anything, I think.

  3. A

    The highlight this week for me was Saori's scene. Aside from seeing Real!Saori being a treat without her glasses (I don't know, something about her design just hits a chord with me that goes beyond being just cute) I really liked what she was trying to do. It seemed like she was the only person trying to think about the wellbeing of everyone, while her friends were all trying to beat each other in the most pitiful game of subtext payback and pity revenge. If that makes sense.

    I mean, there is no denying that she is cute, but I suppose it's the attempt of acting in at least a sensible and selfless manner that makes her more charming. Especially in contrast with Ayase's act.

    http://lh5.ggpht.com/-umLdiDWHhYU/UY-QRSXIiMI/AAAAAAADCmk/rxJ4A38jX38/s1600-h/Oreimo%2525202%252520-%25252006%252520-20%25255B2%25255D.jpg

    http://lh3.ggpht.com/-ZVWiNWhEVho/UY-PT91EojI/AAAAAAADCjg/CTG9QnEGLKw/s1600-h/Oreimo%2525202%252520-%25252006%252520-7%25255B2%25255D.jpg

    Dunno if anyone feels the same way.

    About the incest … honestly, when Kuroneko said ''I love you as much as your sister does'' I ended up raising an eyebrow, and it stayed up there all through her scene with Kyousuke. The follow up with Kirino's revelation didn't help matters either.

    And then we had Kyousuke's scene with his father (which I honestly took as a humours take on a doting father refusing to agree to his little girl dating, rather than being a daughtercon(?)) and Kyousuke saying ''I feel the same way you do'' which threw me completely off and made me wonder what the hell was I supposed to make of the confrontation between the two siblings.

    I think it's pretty clear that the two care very deeply about each other, but refuse to admit so for whatever reason. What's not clear is in what way do they care, which I was fine with the show trying to play around with the concept, but now I'm genuinely confused.

    Unless there is some missing piece of the puzzle here that puts everything into context and changes the perspective of what the meaning behind the actions and words said here, it does look like there is a mutual attraction between Kyousuke and Kirino. No matter how you cut it, what was shown here was not JUST a troubled relationship between a brother and sister.

  4. h

    Speaking of subtext and the father, I think there was plenty of the former around the latter in terms of unhealthy (non-parental) fixation. I don't recall specifics, but on more than one occasion, the man's fixation was specifically shown to overflow familial bonds; while not quite Sankarea level, it's there. I think.

    Honestly don't know what to make of the show at this point.

  5. T

    Alright so let me get this clear….

    I am NOT the only one who wants to drop kick Kirino in the face right? because that's all this episode made me feel like doing. Even in the 'boo hoo, feel sorry for me' scene near the end, I was hoping Kyouske would chop her head open rather than pat it. Really WHEN are we going to see the gaming club again?

  6. A

    I think she's a brat to the nth degree, but I don't think physical violence is the answer here. She clearly doesn't like how her brother had been, in her view, flirting with Minami and Kuroneko and feels that there is the danger he would be stolen away from her.

    It's clear that this entire charade had been born out of jealousy, in an attempt of Kirino trying to feed her brother for lack of a better term some of his own medicine. At this point we could argue it was over a sister being jealous that her brother is paying her less attention, or (as the situation seems to be, unfortunately) of a girl jealous that the object of her affection seems to be attracted to other girls who are not her.

    So, in a way, this was actually the most understandable and less aggravating thing Kirino might have done yet. It's still pretty facepalm inducing, but I could see the logic why she did what she did.

  7. R

    Why do you think their father is abusive?

  8. Punching his child in the face with all his strength might have something to do with it.

  9. R

    Eh?!?!?!?! When did he punch Kirino?!?!?!?!?!?! O_O I can't believe I forgot about something like THAT…

  10. S

    He punched Kyousuke in the first season.

    I think what is clear is that Kirino is 'in love' to an unhealthy degree for a sibling with Kyousuke, but I'm still not convinced that he is 'in love' with her, rather he is playing the overbearing overprotective brother. However sometimes I do wonder with him and he seems to tip over.

  11. h

    He doesn't tip so much as he is tipped. This distinction, in his case, may turn out to be the clincher.

  12. j

    I think the problem with this anime is that it's just a mess of pandering. I didn't notice it too much in the first season, but this one reminds me of all the garbage the anime industry puts out season after season (which I usually just don't bother with).

  13. H

    I am still not really seeing much of anything like a physical attraction between Kyousuke and Kirino. I certainly don't see it the way I do with Kuroneko. To me, it's fairly obvious that while Kyousuke loves his sister, he's far more likely to 'like-like' Kuroneko, Manami, or Ayase. Hell, he came running almost with his tongue out when Ayase called and he thought she might confess to him. And while he continues to be confused by Ruri's insistence that she loves him 'as much as his sister does', I think that there's that component of 'koi' that just isn't there with Kirino. Additionally, we've seen what turns Kirino on, and it is NOT her brother.

    I just don't see an incest end happening with this show. Not that I really have a problem with such an end (whatever people who are able to consent consent to is fine by me), I just don't see there's *that* kind of connection between them, and there *is* that kind of connection between Kyousuke and multiple other girls.

  14. Well, it's not at all fine by me, but apart from that…

    I don't know how you look at this series at this point and know what the hell is going on with either Kirino or Kyousuke. They're certainly obsessed with each other to an unhealthy degree. They certainly don't want the other to date anyone else. I think there have been signs of sexual attraction on both sides, but if you don't see them, fine – it's not as though either of them has admitted it aloud.

  15. H

    There might be signs of something like that, but I think they're far more drowned out by the overt signs that Kyousuke shows around other girls. I don't know exactly what's going on, but the impression I get is just as I said. The writers could turn it into anything they want, and at this point they certainly like the ambiguity.

    But for me, there's a pretty large gulf between a brother who dotes on his sister and a brother who wants to bed his sister, and also the other way around. And unlike other shows where it's been made explicit (like SAO or OniAi), there's been no such thing in this show, explicit statements against it (which could certainly be tatemae and not honne, but then we're guessing motives again), and overt interest in other people. Additionally, there are plenty of stories where a brother or sister doesn't want their sibling dating, in general and specific, and they're not necessarily interested in them 'like that'.

    I guess I could be accused of letting the benefit of the doubt be overly applied. But the show is pretty obviously toying with the audience, and knowing that I just can't get that riled up about it.

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