In one very obvious way, this was a pleasant episode of Oreimo. I mean, Kirino acted like a human being. That’s progress, right? Not only that, but she acted like a human being towards Kyousuke. I’m not a fan of deathbed conversions and I certainly knew this one was coming – acting nice now doesn’t excuse 25 episodes of being incredibly self-involved and cruel. And Kyousuke is still devolved into a blubbering amoeba whenever Kirino is involved. But there’s no denying the simple fact that Kirino is a lot less annoying to watch when she tones down her act as she did this week.
Here’s the problem, though – none of this makes any damn sense. It doesn’t make sense that Kyousuke and Kuroneko act like the world revolves around Kirino. That’s the fundamental illogic at the core of this entire mythology, really – everyone acts as if Kirino is the center of the universe and all things can only exist if she so wills it. Kyousuke being a spineless siscon I can just about accept – some guys surely are and the heart wants what it wants (though that doesn’t make him any more admirable). But it isn’t just him – Kirino treats pretty much everyone the way an allergy sufferer treats a tissue and they come back begging for more. They act only with her approval, and with her interests foremost in mind. For all that’s holy, why? Is it some sort of personification of the Divine Cult of Imouto Worship that seems to have fueled the LN boom in recent years?
That’s why for all the seeming positives in this episode – which was perfectly well-executed – almost none of it worked for me in the least. I have no idea why Kuroneko thinks she can only be happy if Kirino is happy, too. Not wanting to put Kyousuke on the spot because she knows she’d lose to Kirino if she did? That I can understand – it’s strategic thinking. But Kuroneko’s whole plan sails far beyond that horizon into the realms of pure illogic and perverse nonsense. And she’s one of the few people in the cast who ever makes any sense – what chance do the rest of them have?
The other thing I don’t understand is what the series is trying to tell us is really happening – and going to happen – between Kyousuke and Kirino. Neither of them wants the other to date. Neither one of them will flat-out admit that they want an incestuous relationship (though Kyousuke has come pretty close a couple of times). So… what? Where does that leave us? Do either of them believe siblings having sex is wrong? Does the show believe it’s wrong, or want us to? At this point I have absolutely no idea. There’s a certain fascination in just how obscure its real purposes are here, but ultimately it’s just another log on the fire of nonsense at the heart of the series. The only thing I can say for sure is if they play the “I’m adopted” card for either of them, I’m out – not just as a blogger, but as a viewer.
So where does that leave us, with 4 + 3 episodes to go? You got me. Kuroneko is moving to the “Mad City of Chiba” Matsudo (I’ve no idea why it’s called that, but it seemingly really is), which means a different school but a fairly easy commute by train. So theoretically she’s still in the game, though her happy picture with the three misfits together makes no more sense to me than any of the rest of this. In theory she still wants Kyousuke, though who knows what the hell she really wants. Kyousuke has actually gotten a “you’re welcome” from Kirino and had her call him by name at last – and it’s pretty pathetic how happy that makes him. So maybe, on the upside, we won’t have to endure watching him be her personal footstool for the next 7 episodes. No one else at this point really seems to matter, and it would be impossible to have an ending revolving around any but the three main characters now without it being a complete asspull. So ultimately I guess, Oreimo comes down to the same set of questions it always has – are Kyousuke and Kirino really, truly in love with each other and will they actually give in to those feelings if they are? If it feels like nothing much has changed over the last 25 episodes, that’s probably why.