Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai 2 – 12-13

Oreimo - 12 -5 Oreimo 2 - 13 -2 Oreimo 2 - 13 -5

Well, if nothing else I can say that Oreimo at least managed to surprise me with this episode.

I’m not even going to bother referring to this as the “TV End” or some other such euphemism, because it really wasn’t an ending of any kind and frankly, made no attempt to be anything much different from a standard episode.  I was expecting something more along the lines of the first season, where we had a “Good End” and a “True End” but this one isn’t even going to go through the motions until the bonus episodes are streamed in August (the 18th, to be precise).

I’ve had a lot of people throw a lot of theories at me about just where I went wrong with Oreimo, or where it went wrong itself. Some of them make more sense to me than others – I’ll admit that I’ve also noticed the trend that LN adaptations tend to severely run out of steam in the second half of their run.  I’m still convinced that there was something to this show in the beginning that’s since been lost, and it’s not simply a matter of me being crazy.

But you know, in the end (in a matter of speaking) I’ve decided the answer is a whole lot simpler, for me at least.  As the last few eps have spiraled into the twilight zone and the comments on my posts here have gotten more colorful, I remembered an interesting phenomenon about the first season that I’d forgotten.  In the places I followed commentary on that season (mostly Animesuki) my opinion of an episode almost always ran counter to the majority opinion of that audience (which, crucially, is probably a lot closer to the core audience for Oreimo than the readers of this site are).  If I loved it, they were lukewarm.  If I was lukewarm, they loved it (I can’t honestly say there were any eps I hated – which seems hard to believe now).

So what does all that matter?  In effect, I think, there were always two audiences for Oreimo – much more cleanly split than is the case with most series.  And, plain and simply, the other side won.  All the elements of the show my team liked were downplayed or ignored, and the stuff that drove me crazy took over completely.  So you have a final stretch of episodes heavily featuring the likes of Ayase.  You have lame last-minute attempts to justify Kirino and Ayase’s abhorrent behavior over the entire series.  You have an overdose of moe pandering, and fetishizing Kirino’s body.  You have almost no Kuroneko or Manami or Saori or the club, and you have Kyousuke turning into the worst exemplification of the spineless male lead imaginable.  And you have a tacit (and probably not so tacit – check back in 7 weeks) acknowledgement that incest is wincest – A-OK!

Viewed that way, Oreimo sort of begins to make sense for me.  I certainly can’t explain how the show I liked so much became what it is now any other way.  Last week’s episode was the aforementioned attempt to deify Ayase, who’s been practically omnipresent of late.  It was utterly preposterous in every way, and sexist as hell too.  And this week we have an extended flashback sequence justifying Kirino’s systematic emasculation of Kyousuke and vindicating her attraction to him.  It’s hard to escape the S & M element of their relationship, which I suppose has been present all along but not quite so disturbing as it is now.  If there’s a takeaway from watching these scenes of the two of them as pre-teens, it’s that when Kyousuke’s balls dropped they dropped clean off.

I’m certainly going to watch the finale threesome of episodes, both because I’m 30 eps invested at this point and because I retain a grim curiosity about just how horrifying they’re going to be.  But in the upside-down world Oreimo has become I’m certainly not looking for any common sense or human decency, because those appear to have been banished permanently (at least from Chiba).  There was one moment in the “final” episode 13 that made me feel for a flash some of the sensitivity and empathy I saw in the first season – when Ayase railed about how gross otaku were, and the sheer hypocrisy of Kirino’s life was revealed.  But it was like that one good golf shot you hit on the 18th hole while shooting 108 – enough to make you believe every time could be like that, a belief that’s crushed by hard reality the next time you play.  That Oreimo doesn’t exist anymore, but I still don’t buy the argument that it never did.

Oreimo - 12 -8 Oreimo - 12 -9 Oreimo - 12 -10
Oreimo - 12 -11 Oreimo - 12 -12 Oreimo 2 - 13 -1
Oreimo 2 - 13 -3 Oreimo 2 - 13 -4 Oreimo 2 - 13 -6
Oreimo 2 - 13 -7 Oreimo 2 - 13 -8 Oreimo 2 - 13 -9
Oreimo 2 - 13 -10 Oreimo 2 - 13 -11 Oreimo 2 -13-14
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21 comments

  1. R

    The story is nowhere near as flawed as you act like it is. I think you're just stubborn as hell and once you decide that you dislike a show, you adamantly refuse to enjoy, appreciate, or understand anything about it.

  2. s

    I competely disagree. I was a big fan of Oreimo for season 1, and my thoughts mostly mirror Enzo's.

    I think his analysis is spot on, that there really were two types of audiences for this show, and in the end, the show picked an audience and fully devoted itself to said audience?

    For me, this season in particular, the incest vibes just made me feel uncomfortable. Uncomfortable, but I held out hope that it was just oreimo really pushing the uncomfortable tension that some siblings might feel in the world?

    Then the Kuroneko episode happened, and I was excited. The show really got very very interesting for me again, and then my hopes were dashed with Kuroneko's "dream" being a wincest route for Kyousuke…

    That's when the show lost me. I haven't seen this episode and the last one, because honestly… I can't anymore.

    I'll be following LiA's blogs of the show, to see how it all ends, but I personally, cannot take more of this.

  3. i

    I think this season of Oreimo was just awful. Its about god damn incest only and the worst harem since Shuffle. I was going to delete the 1st season from my harddrive as well but instead I decided to watch it. Save the dumb cellphone novel arc and the last episode of True End, I too found a lot more to like. Kyousuke was human at least throughout the season besides those episodes. I think the fact that he realized he was a siscon ruined him. He was much more entertaining when claiming to big Dad that he kept ero-games fantasizing imoutos. I still rolled off my chair laughing at that one. And while Kirino was still bitch of the century, she wasn't as needlessly tsundere as this season.

    I won't watch the finale. I don't want to ruin any further what was once a good but sometimes flawed show.

  4. s

    Don't give a fuck about incest. But turning into a harem with Ayase and especially Kanako was just incomprehensible bullshit. As was even Ruri obsessing over pleasing Kirino.

  5. K

    If anything, Enzo is being generous. You're too stubborn to admit just how horrible this show has become. It's pathetic.

  6. J

    Fact of the matter is, GE's comments about how the season has progressed is completely valid. He's not throwing out some BS here. And if you deny that there are some extreme BS'ery going on with this show, then we can all see who the stubborn one really is.

  7. M

    His final review of this was much more generous than I expected it to be.However even if I was completely in the Kirino/wincest ship right from the start I'd still say that this 2nd season has been lacking.

    I actually came to like Kirino more lately because let's face it,EVERY OTHER CHARACTER WAS UTTERLY BUTCHERED!But it felt so cheap…OreImo 2 like forces you to like Kirino by destroying every other character(besides Ayase,there wasn't much to destroy there to begin with).You either do that or just choose not to like any at all,it's one's own choice – I tried to take the former and I suppose it did help me to still enjoy the show to a certain degree,so I'm kind of glad for that.

    But again,even if I was a Kirino fan from the start I would've wanted earn her um…win,not for it to be given to her.Kuroneko's the main offender here and it was absolute terror for me to see her character butchered so much.

  8. l

    You really need to write more reviews like this and the recent AoT/SnK one, Enzo. The comments section alone would make the writing worth it. It's like watching that stoning scene from Monty Python's Life of Bryan.

  9. a

    I'm not sure anymore that this is a case of the anime adaptation running out of steam or just a decline in the source material. The sudden jumps between totally unrelated storylines/tone this season (Saori's episode out of nowhere, 12 to 13, etc) really jarred me, and I thought it was just the anime producers trying to shove in material for each character. But after looking it up apparently even in the novels there was a random and sudden shift from Ayase's confession to this flashback material and backstory between volumes. Just not even a pretense of having a cohesive moving storyline, which at least there was for the most part in season 1.

    More than anything this series has been fascinating in the fact that it was likeable at all given how awful the central character is. Truly a testament to how awesome Kuroneko, Saori, Manami and season 1 Kyousuke were. With everything set for Kirino-centric episodes, morbid curiosity is probably the only reason I'll still watch the bonus episodes at all.

  10. J

    Also true. More BS'ery with shoving as much character material into the last couple of episodes instead of developing the obviously great relationship b/w Kyousuke and Ruri.

  11. M

    I've heard from respectful sources that season one isn't even that great, but seeing people bitch about incest in a show that built a premise (as many have) around it seems counterintuitive. I think that the cute younger sister as a glorification of an otaku is enough clue as to who they were targeting this at. So I guess you're just victims to your own morbid curiosity in LN schlock. Light Novels are hardly a safe medium to explore such complex topics. Imagine Hourou Musuko done like this…

  12. i

    Takako Shimura is not a schmuck like Tsukasa Fushimi.

  13. d

    makes me long for the innocent days of Nazo no Kanojo X….. sad that this show took this path, would have been a much more interesting show (imho) watching him attempt to lead a normal life while caught in the whirlwind that is Kirino as she continues to stumble into glory regardless of whatever she tries and no matter what it is that she does. Or gawd forbid, have her fail at something and have to deal with the fact that perhaps the world just doesn't revolve around her.

  14. But she did! She lost a meaningless race to her loli moeblob friend. It's inspiring that she was able to pick up the pieces and move on.

  15. d

    and yeah, I remembered that episode too, it was soooooo cathartic!

    LOL

    just sad that this could have been so much more Enzo, and it gave glimmers of that in the first season and that's what made it endearing to begin with and so they stepped back and emphasized all the crap that I personally could have done without. Now I get to sit back and watch Kirino win Moefest this year too I suppose.

  16. J

    BTW GE that one scene you posted of Kirino just made me remember GTO lol Onizuka and his bridge chair.

  17. K

    Hard to believe that this show was in your top 10 for 2010, isn't it?

    I can't believe that they just completely dropped the gaming club, the best episodes of the series were focused on them. I think if they did a spin-off focusing on Kuroneko and the club, it would be amazing.
    Also, Saori was so underutilized this season that I don't think there was any point in even having her.

  18. p

    Meh, it's stuff like this that makes me prefer honest harems like To Love Ru.

    At least To Love Ru is clear about what it is and what it wants to be.

    It doesn't pretend to have a humane sense of empathy and sensitivity that it it discards halfway through in order to cop out and please fans the safe, tested and easy way — which is the way that Oreimo has been doing it this season.

    If you want to go the route of penis-pleasing harems, go the entire fucking way, which is what To Love Ru is doing.

    If you want to go the route of profound and thoughtful relationships, go the entire fucking way. Don't halfass it the way Oreimo did. (Or the way Valvrave did with its inability to go into Full Crazy mode, the way, say, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure did.)

    Few things in art are more aggravating than half-assed efforts that cannot make up their own minds.

  19. I've defended TLR in the past on much the same grounds. It's not remotely profound and horrendously sexist, but it makes no bones about what it is. It's honest, in its way, and there is something preferable in that to a show setting up the notion that it could be something meaningful and then pissing all over it.

  20. Z

    Or one could go all the way and watch some hentai instead.

  21. S

    I was wondering if you dropped this show since you didn't post your comments on episode 12. Glad that you resisted.

    I mostly agree with your review. I liked OreImo when it was a parody of the otaku lifestyle, intertwined with the tale of two estranged siblings trying to reconnect. But in Season 2 they completely dropped the otaku stuff to concentrate only on the harem hijinks. The party in episode 12 was telling: every damn girl was there fighting for Kyousuke's attention. This show lost all of its magic.

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