Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai 2 – 07

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Flawless?  Hell, no – but that was certainly the first episode of the season where Oreimo felt like the show I liked so much two years ago.

It just wouldn’t be Oreimo 2 if it didn’t make me cringe or howl with outrage at least once or twice, but this episode definitely delivered more on the positive side of the ledger than any this season.  As for our hero, Kyousuke has descended deep into the pit of creepy losers this season – or maybe he was just as much a creepy loser in S1 and I just didn’t see it – but I almost forgive all of it when he said “You want to touch my boobs, too?”  That was definitely the hardest I’ve laughed at Oreimo this season.

Is it a coincidence that this was the ep in which Kirino appeared the least and also the best of the season?  No, but for all the temptation to be a smart-ass about it, there’s a lot more to the issue than it seems.  Yes, Kirino is annoying and extremely unlikable, but the real issue is twofold.  First, her presence turns Kyousuke into the most disgusting and pathetic version of himself.  Seriously, that wallpaper – just what the hell are you thinking?  Second, Kirino’s presence crowds out all the elements of the series that are far more appealing.  She’s a big, powerful and disruptive presence, and when she’s on stage there’s just no chance for anyone or anything else to flourish.  There’s a saying about multi-candidate races in politics – “There’s only so much oxygen in the room”. And Kirino sucks up most of it when she’s inside.

With Kirino largely absent, all the other elements that make Oreimo a much more pleasurable experience get a chance to breathe.  First and most obviously there’s Kuroneko, whose nascent romance with Kyousuke takes center stage this week.  But there’s also stuff like a conversation between Kyousuke and Manami, whose relationship has a different dynamic than any other in the series.  And there’s the club, which provided some of the best moments of the first season in the BD extra eps (not coincidentally, with Kirino absent) but has been almost entirely forgotten this year.  For pure comedy the clubroom might be the most consistently entertaining setting in Oreimo, and this episode was no exception.  I’m not sure the addition of Kirino’s beard Mikagami really brings anything to the mix, but it doesn’t ruin it either, and he does prompt a funny moment when he states his astonishment that Kyousuke isn’t in fact doing his sister, and an important plot driver when he spills the beans about Kyousuke’s comment that he wanted to touch his girlfriend’s boobs.

The centerpiece of the episode – and of the series, for now – is of course Shironeko’s confession to Kyousuke, or rather its aftermath.  There’s no two ways about it – Ruri is a highly appealing character, plain and simple.  She’s funny, she’s cute (chuunibyou has never been more winning), and she’s fundamentally kind despite her tastes in fantasy.  In many ways she and Kyousuke dating couldn’t be more logical – yet, I can’t shake the conviction that he’s going to royally screw it up.  We have way too much time left in the series for things to go smoothly, first of all.  And while I’d like to believe Oreimo has come to its senses and set aside incest as a credible alternative, I’m not sold – I think that ugliness is still to be heard from.  Kirino encouraging Kyousuke to accept Kuroneko’s confession – and his doing so – is all well and good, but I still think the two of them are obsessed with each other to an unhealthy degree.  Call is sexual or not, I don’t think they’re capable of extracting themselves from it to the degree necessary for either of them to have a healthy romantic relationship with anyone else.

I’ll say this for Ruri, though – it may be pretty bogus for a girl to call her boyfriend “Senpai” but she’s darn good at confessing.  It’s pretty rare in anime to see a character so open and straightforward about what they want, and she was certainly unambiguous in her “greater than the stars and stronger than death” declaration of love.  Ruri is a very naive and innocent girl in many ways, and Kyosuke obviously a complete neophyte when it comes to relationships, so even setting aside the incest elephant in the room I think these two would be in for a rocky start.  The thing is, as much of a pathetic specimen as Kyousuke can be, he’s not malicious – he wants to do the right thing and he’s not intentionally trying to hurt anybody.  So who knows, maybe there’s a chance this thing can beat the odds and work – but even if it does I suspect there are going to be several fits and starts on the way.  If that proves to be the meat of the remaining episodes, I’ll be more than satisfied – but I have serious doubts it will be.

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  1. f

    agreed enzo. This was the first episode that was truly enjoyable because it actually seemed connected to the end of S1 (I'm going by true route here). In my mind, they could've chucked the bits about kirino's elementary friend and saori's episode and I wouldn't have cared one bit.

    There is an issue I raise with your recap, though. When kirino gave her "blessing", I took as kirino giving kyousuke a foreshadowing/hint of her OWN confession, not kuroneko's.

  2. We'll see. If anything, maybe she wants Kyousuke to get Kuroneko out of his system before she moves in herself.

  3. J

    I have to agree with the above comment enzo. The 1st thing that popped into my head was, shit she's gonna confess to him and screw the whole thing up.

    Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed this episode of oreimo. Ruri's confession was just boss. She went all out, leaving absolutely no room for doubt about her feelings. I have to say, she looked absolutely adorable when she went home and started rolling around with a pillow.

  4. S

    This episode put a smile back on my face. Good thing it is started to feel 'perky?' like the first season. I was starting to get bored, tbh.

  5. K

    I don't understand her obsessive attraction to Kyousuke. She's amazing, so I don't get why she'd want so desperately to be with him.

  6. Who – Kuroneko or Kirino?

  7. K

    Kuroneko _-_
    Do you really think I'd call Kirino amazing?

  8. There are fans that love her. I'm not one, but they definitely exist.

  9. K

    I know, they're called freaks >.<

  10. l

    Haters gonna hate

  11. S

    I feel this Kuroneko x Kyousuke development will go pretty flat from here on. With it being only halfway through the series and the other girls yet to move in, it feels like a death flag being tripped for Kuroneko. You get the feeling this relationship would distance itself somewhere down the line for more development between Kyousuke and the rest of the harem before she comes back into significance for the conclusion.

  12. l

    It will be more kyousukeXkirino development from here on

  13. H

    I'm pretty spoiled on what happens in a general sense, so I'm not going to comment on the futures of romances, but I still thought this was a great episode, and I've been fine with all of the episodes excepting the Ria one, and its proximity to the Ayase one which was ok on its own, just not the way they placed it.

    There was also a bit of subtext with Kirino's demand that he consider the girl's feelings sincerely, but I still think, coupled with her reaction immediately before, that it's pretty obvious that she isn't going that route with Kyousuke.

  14. i

    I'll bet two arms and a leg that he screws it up royally to be back with Kirino. In fact I expect them to get hitched and go to Alabama so Kirino can continue her track and field and be with Kyousuke (her dog).

    After watching all the LN adaptations this season and finally starting to read some for the summer I have reached three conclusions. The first is that imouto or imouto like characters are the worst trope in anime and used beyond imagination. Firstly because it takes loliconing to its lowest point and is fairly disturbing. The second is that with the exceptions of Kyon, Sagara Sousuke and Kraft Lawrence there has almost never been a realistic male lead in an LN series.

    Kyousuke is a good example of that because like many leads he takes chivalry to be doggery and begging. None of these characters are men, there twelve years old and have no penis. If that is just to keep the pathetic courtship in romcom LNs going until the last volume then I doubt I'll watch many like Oreimo or Oregairu again.

    The last conclusion is that all LNs are prolonged well past expiry much like say Bleach. I found all the LNs airing right now interesting at first but as more volumes are made both boring and annoying. There's no real planning, especially with ones that are just harems or romcoms. I'd like the old kind like SnS and FMP to come back and kick the shit on to the curb.

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