Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai 2 – 08

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If I’ve learned anything in two seasons of Oreimo, it’s to never feel too good about any given moment because the series is never more than a few moments away from really pissing me off.

Here’s the thing – Oreimo is way, way better when it’s about Kuroneko.  I mean really, it’s not even the same show.  OK, here’s the other thing – Kirino is his sister.  His sister.  Even if she weren’t annoying as hell, self-involved to the point of religion and not a terribly nice person 95% of the time, that would be reason enough to say “No, no, for all the tea in China, NO!”  Why is it that the series itself seems oblivious to this fact?

I’m not expecting to like the ending, but that’s not a big deal as I never really was – I knew Kuroneko/Kyousuke was a doomed prospect for all the obvious reasons.  She confessed first, and that’s a no-no.  The confession happened way too soon.  And frankly, it just makes too damn much sense.  So I’ve let that ship pretty much sail already, and that’s fine, but I’ll give you my two big qualifiers as of right now: first, you better give me a better explanation for what Ruri did at the end of the episode than “I want those two to be happy.”  And second, you better not go with an incest ending.  I’ll happily settle for anything else you throw at me – forever alone, Kyousuke/Manami (heh – yeah, right), Nice Boat – whatever you got.  Just not that.

OK, or Ayase.  Not that either.

I came into this episode pretty skeptical of Kyousuke and Kamineko as a couple, actually – I’ve never really shipped those two hard apart from the fact that it seemed to make the most sense.  I expected zero chemistry, but while there was a lot of awkwardness there was a surprisingly charming quality to it.  The stuff with Ruri’s imoutos was standard-issue pap (KanaHana playing her own sister was a bit much, though I did like “Bitch Onii-san”), but apart from that the scenes between Kyou and Ruri were quite winning – he really is much easier to take when he’s with her.  And the flat truth is, she’s delightful, plain and simple.  This is the role KanaHana was born to play and she nails it every time.  It’s a great character design to start with – Ruri is both beautiful and adorable – but her personality is so winning and nuanced that it’s like she’s a character in a different series sometimes.  I especially loved the way she dealt with Kirino being her usual bitchy self when she barged into Kyousuke’s bedroom – she tried to put their friendship first and to put Kirino at ease, but she was barking up the wrong tree there.  Ruri is fantastic, has been from the moment she was introduced, and she really should be the MC of her own series (maybe that spinoff manga gets adapted someday).

Nothing that happened at the end of the ep surprised me, and I’m guessing most of you either.  if it wasn’t obvious going in the clues were everywhere, not least of which the picture Ruri drew of Kirino and Kyousuke together, saying it was “my dream” (once again – a better explanation, please).  The fireworks scene at the matsuri had the feel of coda to it, and when she finally ditched the “Sempai” and called Kyousuke by his name I knew it was over.  When she pulled out that notebook I knew exactly what it was going to say, but not exactly why it was going to say it.  I think Ruri is way too smart a girl to believe that Kyousuke and Kirino being a couple is a good idea, so there has to be another angle here  – there has to be.

So here we are, with 5 more eps to go – plus the Blu-ray route – and despite the fact that the last two eps have easily been the best of the season, I’m struggling to stay motivated to care about what happens next.  Not only that, the next episode is already titled “Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai”, which is an interesting move.  It’s not that Kyousuke and Kuroneko won’t be a couple that’s the problem, but simply that Kuroneko won’t be the focus character – that’s what makes all the difference.  Apart from the rare outlier ep, when Kuroneko isn’t center-stage, that means all Kirino all the time – and that’s always a hard thing to like, not least because it usually means Kyousuke in spineless, repulsive siscon loser mode.  I don’t especially like that series, but I do like this one – and the one we saw for most of the “True Route” last season.  I guess I need to keep my expectations modest – hopefully we’ll at least avoid the incest route end, if nothing else.

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  1. N

    Yeah, sometimes I find Kuroneko too good for this show. I think she just wants to stay friend with Kirino and go out with Kyousuke but the problem is that Kirino is too jealous.

  2. T

    I believe on one of your previous posts I mentioned something about something pissing you off in the future but it got deleted Welp, this is what it was, I honestly haven't the slightest clue as to WHY but I knew that these Kamineko and Kyouske (Ok, I didn't know about the 'kamineko' part) All I know is that I'm pretty much in the same boat as you regarding this series, I barely remember, or even care to, recall what happened in the first season besides that one episode with Manami as the focus and the 'true end' arc and while I'm a tad bit curious as to how all this will end, the second I get a confirmed sense that we're going for an incest end, I'm dropping the series at that moment. At the very least though I did enjoy the episode for what it provided.

  3. N

    It got deleted because it was a spoiler. please take note and refrain from spoiling, as it serves no purpose other than ruin it for the rest of us.

  4. i

    I feel sorry for you GE. Taking a show like this seriously. After this season I don;t think I'll watch another LN which is just a romcom/harem again. Dropped Oregairu, on the verge with this. Hentai Ouji is only holding me because of how insultingly moe it is and Haiyore feels weaker this year. Only Hataraku Maou, which is more of a fantasy than romcom still and Railgun inspire hope for me. Bring back the good ole stuff like SnS and FMP. LNs which only have romance for a plot are stupid beyond redemption.

  5. l

    I don't even watch this show. Saw a couple of eps of the first season, noticed where it was (obviously) going, and dropped it. Only reason I'm posting here is partly because I tend to read all of Enzo's reviews, but mostly to watch him rage. Gotta admire him for sticking it out, though.

    With regards to LN adaptations, I just wish someone with some shred of taste (and huge backing) would just hire all the available manpower in the industry to complete the Spice & Wolf series. Seriously, S&W blows most LNs to dust.

  6. i

    Absolutely agree. I'm reading the english version right now and it is something that even non-LN fans would like unlike say Oreimo. Though after reading through it I do find Lawrence to have a more brittle spine than in the anime series. Nothing Kyousuke level but a bit irritating occasionally. However he gets back at Holo quite often so it works out.

    Biggest problem with LNs are moe girls (those imouto just made me drop this shit) and guys who take chivalry to mean servitude.

  7. I wouldn't say I take it all that seriously, but that doesn't mean stupid things can't still piss me off. It's irritating when shows that display that they're capable of insight and quality writing end up hopping the stupid express to Idiotville (Yahari is another series that similarly conflicts me). If a show is dumb all the time it's hard to get annoyed when it does something dumb – that's your own fault for having any other expectation.

  8. i

    I never had expectations for oreimo. The only reason I didn't drop it before was because I didn't dislike it enough. But after the two new imoutos this week I have at last and… it feels goood. Te ne ne. na I knew thaat it wouuld. Te ne na na. It feels good, so good, so good. It feels good.

    I think the imouto character drives me away from LNs and most harem animes. It is by far and away the creepiest of tropes in anime. The one in oregairu annoyed me off the cliff and the exploitation of the two new ones did in this. I really wouldn't mind Ishihara banning LNs or at least imouto characters. Wasn't there something about not depicting underage characters in sexual ways?

  9. Z

    The law excludes novels strangely enough.

  10. i

    So is this like the after effect? They pervs thought they couldn't do it in manga anymore so they piled it into LNs and that's what's being animated now. I hope these morons don't hate 50 shades of grey because what they do is worse than 2 girls 1 cup

  11. This kind of thing has been popular in LNs since long before Ishihara's law. And Ishihara's law has had no perceptible effect on anime or manga content anyway.

  12. i

    Yeah I know. As much as I'd like to say its a recent thing Misaka 20001 and Kyon's sister spring to mind. Thankfully FMP and SnS were spared as is S&W. I think the biggest problem with LNs is that the only way they can get readers now is by pandering to any and everyone, like a sex novel or whore book. They become popular and get animated in droves as we see now.

    GE, you're right that there is smart righting underneath the dirt but at some point its not worth digging for anymore. Canadian Oil sands are only looked at now because there are few alternatives. If the anime industry reaches a near collapse I might try watching LN adaptations again but as long as I can keep at least ten currently airing shows, I should be fine.

    One last thing. I liked Oregairu at least in the beginning as I did with a few other LN adaptations over the years but I found that as the adaptation moved to 2nd and 3rd volumes I disliked. That happened with Oregairu and the reason I think is that these authors don't actually think of what to do beyond introducing a gimmicky setting and a cheap romance in Vol 1. As a result the entire series becomes one "let's wing it" after the other. Some series are different but most I think are like that.

  13. M

    Since Kuroneko's ship is sinking, I would enjoy an Ayase boat, way more than the sister route.

  14. k

    Ugh.. I love this site, apart from that, the ending was to predictable they're are 5 episodes left. I honestly don't see the point of this nonsense.. Why this route of comedic unrealistic trash is going on I love this show and have since season 1, but I cannot stress enough how much it disappointed me. Maybe just maybe.. They'll flip it around next episode like I expect them to. If not o'well I loved it while it last. I mean weren't we expecting it with all the quick sudden amazing development.

  15. J

    When I saw that drawing of Kirino and Kyousuke, it was like a very loud shout telling me, this is how the series will end. No matter the direction we take to get there, the end result will be the same. Everytime Ruri pulled out her notebook to show us what would happen next, it was like checking something off the bucketlist. "This is what I want to do before we break-up"-list.

    When she pulled out that notebook at the end of the ep and there was no smile on her face despite a great night with Kyouseke, I knew what would follow and my heart just broke.

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