Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai. – 01
「俺の妹が再び帰ってくるわけがない」 (Ore no Imouto ga Futatabi Kaettekuru Wake ga Nai)
“My Little Sister Can’t Be Coming Back Again”
It’s finally here…my hopes and dreams as a blogger and anime watcher realized. I’m going to apologize in advance for how fanboyish I’ll sound these first few episodes–I promise to cut it down soon enough! Right now however, I cannot hide how excited I am to finally see the second season finally air.
As a word of warning though, make sure that before viewing this second season that you have completed the “TRUE END” episodes, which includes the ONA episodes 12-15. The following events will not make sense if you have only seen up to the “GOOD END”. Done? Good. It’s been two years too long. Let’s begin!
This week’s episode immediately proceeds to mimic bits and pieces of the first season, with the dream sequence taking the forefront. Other than animating a (probably) exaggerated transformation from sweet imouto to bratty sibling, the opening dream sequence provides excellent insight into an area we are still very much in the dark about–Kirino and Kyousuke’s past. From what stills we saw of their childhood, the two of them got along well, but unknown events caused their relationship to ice until the current day. Though exaggerated, we can see that Kirino was nowhere near as antagonistic as a child. As an ideal imouto who looked up to her brother, all was well until Kyousuke changed. Perhaps he naturally grew up faster than Kirino wished, or maybe an external factor played a role, but whatever the case, the message is clear. Kyousuke did something, and Kirino was hurt enough by the experience to retaliate, bringing us to the current situation.
Aside from that, the episode maintained a good balance of reintroducing all of the characters while focusing on Kyousuke’s new dilemma. Some characters have continued to stay the same since season one, such as Ayase, Kanako, and Manami, but it’s clear that some characters have reintroduced themselves with a different flavor, one that tastes entirely different from the beginning of season one. While reinforcing Manami’s calm approach to any situation, it’s nice that the above scene revealed Kyousuke’s new worries of the season in a fairly organic manner. I’d be worried too considering Kirino’s unpredictable feelings. Was it right to bring her back? Has the lack of communication between us completely reversed our progress of thawing the relationship? As an outside observer it’s easy to dismiss Kyousuke’s worries as trivial and acknowledge the existence of Kirino’s thankfulness despite her efforts to hide it, but placing myself in the situation…I have to agree with his worries. After all, what’s a good brother without worrying about whether you’ve done the right thing for your siblings? But alas, with season two comes new problems, though at this point it’s more recovery from post-confession than anything else.
Here we see what many Kuroneko supporters have been waiting for–the blessed display of dere that strikes into even the darkest of hearts. Before the beginning of the True Route, I hadn’t thought much about Kuroneko, but when Ruri claimed the spotlight for those precious last episodes, I gained new respect for her character that continues to grow here. It’s important for characters to maintain a balance of their “hard” and “soft” traits to maintain their likability, else they turn into a Kirino case where a love-hate reception is abound. Kuroneko has managed to keep a better balance than her rival friend, mostly through her logical and level-headed approaches to situations, while managing to have “otaku” flaws that generate rapport with the audience. With the addition of this potent amount of affection, even Kyousuke cannot resist expressing his glee. Disappointment is abound when convenient interruption prevents these awkward moments from evolving into higher levels of affection, but have faith! The whole season is yet to come, with many an opportunity to finally resolve this tension! Let’s look forward to that moment when they can have proper alone time and lift up that curse (though it’s more a hex and bewitching than anything sinister :3).
Initially, I was afraid that the show would continue with Kirino and Kyousuke spending the first few episodes slowly thawing their relationship, but thank Godoka that the Third Impact came to thaw things quickly! It wouldn’t be Oreimo without a trip to Akiba and copious amounts of shopping, as well as the accompanying Kyousuke to be in awe at what otaku can accomplish. I was initially afraid that A-1 Pictures wouldn’t meet the standards of animation set by the first season, but by this point those worries had all melted away. With a beautiful animation of the third season of Meruru as well as Kirino’s well-drawn reaction faces, worries about animation can all fade away. A large part of what drew me to Oreimo’s first season was the outstanding production and animation, so it’s good that Aniplex recognized what made this show amazing and kept it that way. It just wouldn’t be the same seeing Kirino’s happy face drawn any other way, or even worse, a sad Kirino after two years of waiting. All is well and good with Kirino for now thanks to the powers of virtual imoutos–who wouldn’t be happy as a button being surrounded by virtual imoutos on the bs WITA?
-Kirino commenting on the new bs WITA game Love Touch
So far, the second season has met expectations (at least from what I’ve heard) and continues to provide the crisp quality that we’ve come to expect. Moving forward though, I expect that the new developments that the TRUE END left us with will continue to expand in the current season. The show has proven that it can and will focus on other characters independent of Kirino, of which I look forward to earnestly. Other than the expected developments between Kuroneko and the cast, it’ll be a treat to see developments from the side characters. Since the anime will indeed animate up to the current (and supposedly final) volume, I look forward to seeing how Fushimi Tsukasa develops the rest of the cast. Of particular interest to me lies with seeing Saori’s background fully explained and Ayase’s continued love-hate relationship with her onii-san. Both characters, though playing integral roles in developing the other characters, have received little attention to growing their own characters as a result, though the former more so. While we have the knowledge that Saori is wealthy and beautiful behind that otaku guise, why she is an otaku despite her social standing is yet to be explained. Same goes for Ayase and her continued (reluctant) communication with Kyousuke, even though Kyousuke himself presents the greatest challenge between Kirino and Ayase’s relationship.
Whatever the direction the plot heads, it is for certain that those plots will be executed aesthetically well. With ClariS returning to the show that shot the duo to popularity, I cannot wait to see each episode headlined by a new OP animation accompanied by what’s a catchy song. It’s definitely similar to ClariS’ other works, but it’s still as catchy as its predecessor, which is fine enough in my books. Let no expense be spared, whether in the voice actors, animation, music, or theme songs, in order for Oreimo to close with a bang, just as it started. Let the abusive and complicated comedy begin!
As the show I’ve been looking forward to for ages, I hope that I can blog this properly for you, dear reader. Following in Divine’s footsteps have been daunting, but I hope I can provide quality commentary for this quality show. Due to the filmstrip format requiring some more time to master, I apologize if it takes some time to finish, but hopefully this new format provides an easier and more aesthetically pleasing read. I look forward to discussing and enjoying this series with you guys, and I hope you all will indulge in this show as much as I have!
Now then, to end on a silly note…everyone listen! Participate in the poll so we can get a pulse on what the opinion is for favorite character, so that we can compare how the numbers change from the beginning to the end!