Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai. – 12
(Maji Tenshisugiru Ayase-tan ga Hitorigurashi no Orenchi ni Kourin Suru Wake ga Nai)
“Total Angel Ayase-tan Can’t Descend On My Place Where I Live Alone”
There’s a time and place for everything, including Ayase’s quite fast- Paced arc. Despite her increased presence in the series for the second season, I can’t help but feel that many cuts were made to her story in such a way that…everything feels rushed, convoluted, and poorly timed about this confession. Don’t get me wrong–I enjoy Ayase very much, but such an episode would’ve been better appreciated earlier in the series, or at least more fleshed out in terms of Ayase’s transition from dangerous yandere to affectionate potential. Before that, let’s address something that was very out of place this episode. Very VERY much so.
What…was up…with that party. Normally, such a harem-esque setting wouldn’t bother me as much, but the sheer fact that it involved major leaps in development that were in no way transitioned into–that was what threw me off-guard. Going into the episode, I was very much expecting Kirino and Manami to duke it out, using the party as a means to finally get some direct, yet meaningful confrontation. It would’ve been a great moment to shed some light on why Kirino has this attitude towards the apparently innocent Manami. However, such ideas are dusted under the table quickly as the two declare a truce for the sake of Kyousuke. A fair and mature decision in reality, but in terms of storytelling, we all knew it was just to make way for what was about to come next.
Mother of mercy, was this party really necessary for anything? If it was an attempt at humor, I suppose if done properly it could’ve been really funny, but for all the sudden developments it introduced, the humor was lost on me. Take for example the random introduction of Kanako into the fray. There was almost no signal whatsoever of Kanako having any interest in Kyousuke until last episode, and now she’s practically fighting to be with him against every other major girl in the series. There’s a limit to how much you can attend to every character in the series, and crossing that line means transitioning from balanced character development to fan pandering, where the production team tries to fit as many characters in a short timeframe so that they can appease as many fans’ tastes as possible.
The same logic applies to Saori, who apparently is completely comfortable now being her beautiful self, which is alright, though maybe a bit sudden. The real problem here is again, the way that she suddenly seems to fall for Kyousuke, joining the battle against everyone else to be the “one” to take care of him. Is it really that great a reward to have to go to his house every day and babysit him? I mean, I get that it’s different when you take care of someone you truly care about, especially a person that you have feelings for, but such mature reasons are lost in all the arguing and rushed development.
If the production team had gone about this scene much more carefully, it would’ve been able to touch on a point that’s really important for closing the show–expressing the feeling of repaying debts. Kyousuke, despite being the softie that he is, has done much for many of the characters in the series, and indeed when you give it some thought, it does make sense that the characters at this party feel indebted towards him. However, instead of the episode highlighting the amount of support Kyousuke has, it instead degenerates into a battle of jealousy and envy, where each character tries to “win” a match rather than express their gratitude. Though Ayase lightly touches upon the genuine idea towards the end of the episode, such a focus should’ve been apparent not during Ayase’s confession lead-up. A-1 Pictures really messed up the pacing of this episode, where they tried packing the material of two separate episode topics into one. Kyousuke’s party seemed more of a gag than anything significant, and Ayase’s confession felt rushed out the door to make room for the focus of next week’s episode.
In regards to the second half of the episode, it wasn’t so bad if we look at it from an isolated standpoint. All the important points of interest are hit and the general messages of betrayal and inevitable disappointment are expressed. Kyousuke takes responsibility for his careless words with calmness and blunt resignation, which of course doesn’t absolve him of his irresponsibility, but it sure is the best way to go at that point. The humor was more controlled and flowed better, whilst above all else not really breaking any major leaps in development we weren’t expecting before.
As for the bad…some things just didn’t add up well. The stalker that was portrayed for five seconds in a deep yell of, “Hey! I’m foreshadowing!” was never touched upon again. Readers of the original material are understandably pissed that this important point was brushed over, as it served a better transition for Ayase’s affections than how the picture is currently painted. Again, I love me some Ayase-directed episodes, but the sheer fact that it happened one episode before the TV conclusion bothers me so much. It’s like the show is trying to cut out anything not critical in order to fit all these plots into the episode, rather than maintaining consistency by well…cutting out parts altogether. Though it’d be a shame, it probably would’ve been a better path to develop than the quick-and-dirty resolutions we have now.
So…where does this leave us? Given that the preview was voiced by Kirino and the title is highly revealing, it looks like we’re finally going to get the last information on Kirino’s connection with her brother, or at least the TV end of it all. Despite all the ruckus this episode created, it did make way for a clean entrance for Kirino’s resolution, which hopefully will make up for the sacrifices all the other characters had to go through development-wise.
Unfortunately, I will not be able to cover the TV finale of Oreimo, due to an important family matter I have to attend to. Therefore, the finale will be covered by Stilts (thanks in advance buddy ^^), though I will be supplying my final impressions of the show to him.
Therefore, in advance, I’d like to thank you, dear reader, for following the journey of Oreimo with me thus far, and thank you those of you who go the extra mile to comment and give witty/thoughtful commentary! Despite its highs and lows, it’s been a pleasure blogging this show, and I hope you guys enjoyed following along as much as I have writing!