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I usually don’t say too much about the constantly changing opening sequence, but this one deserves special mention because I’m really starting to wonder what the country that invented excellent electronic dictionaries uses them for. Expensive paper weights? Heck, even a quick Google search would’ve done them wonders on how to spell “height”.
As for the character selection screens, I’m a bit disappointed that the cursor didn’t stop on Ayase so that we’d get to see her official three sizes and weight. (You know, for comparison sake.) It is worth noting that Saori is an absolute giant at 180 cm (5’11”) and 61 kg (134 lbs) though. She’s two years younger than Kyousuke and a girl, yet taller and heavier than him. Heck, that makes her taller than me too. (I’m Kyousuke’s height.)
「俺の妹がこんなにメイドなわけがない」 (Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Medio na Wake ga Nai)
“There’s No Way My Sister’s This Much of a Maid”
As the precursor to the television finale next time, this week’s episode paved way for both that and the DVD/BD one that we’ll see next year. In particular, Kirino finally showed some appreciation towards everything that Kyousuke’s done for her up until now. Unfortunately, the first half of this episode set back the potential impact of that gesture, as it left a negative impression that carried on easily into the second half. It was probably five steps backwards and two steps forward with Kirino this week, as she sets up a trap to tarnish Kyousuke’s image even further. It just had to be over porn as well, which is probably the most insensitive thing she could have pulled, after he’s made everyone accept her eroge hobby.
I don’t know if that’s what the writers were hoping for, but people’s imagination are going to run wild when they hear Kirino suggesting random stuff like this. Granted, I did get a good laugh out of Kirino questioning Kyousuke how he would feel if he walked in on her having sex with her boyfriend in the living room. That is, before feelings of complete awkwardness took over. Like seriously, how did the discussion become about that? And for goodness sake, why did Kirino have to put images in my mind of her sweaty 14 year-old body in tattered clothes with an ecstasy-filled expression on her face? From pedophilia to incest, this was a subliminal trap on so many different levels.
I really wanted to give Kirino the benefit of the doubt about being appreciative of all of Kyousuke’s sacrifices for her thus far, but she makes it SO DAMN HARD. While I was well aware of the comedy they were going for with the whole “screw over factor”, it was hard to be amused when I had the urge to smack Kirino around a bit with a pillow (…to keep it civil). I mean, if she was trying to make Kyousuke regret saving her all these times, she was doing one hell of a stand-up job in that department. Of course, that would mean that a series renaming would be in order, which dumps the “cute” part with something like “obnoxious”, “brat”, or maybe even the word most people have all been thinking but I personally didn’t want to label Kirino as — “bitch”. “Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Bicchi na Wake ga Nai”. It could work. I’m just not too sure it’ll sell all that well.
Even if Kyousuke was set up, he only has himself to blame for fumbling around with the notebook for so long. Closing the lid would have been the easiest thing to do, followed by pulling the battery for good measure. If he did that right away, there might have still been time to roll up his bed sheets and hide all the porn magazines on his bed. And here I thought he was a quick thinker. 😛
On the plus side, Manami seems more than willing to accept that side of him and even slot into any fetish he might have. There’s a belief that the quietest ones are potentially the wildest ones behind closed doors, so if a glasses-wearing younger sister is what he wants, a glasses-wearing younger sister is what he could get. The number of cliche statements doesn’t end there, as “don’t judge a book by its cover” and “what you’ve been looking for has been next to you all along” probably work well in describing Manami too.
Not only was she the cutest one in a maid uniform, Kuroneko also happened to be the smartest one with her ingenious manga for the occasion. For a 15 year-old, Kuroneko sure knows how to get under people’s skin and strike a very sensitive chord in style. I can’t even begin to explain my disappointment when Kirino stuck her nose in and interrupted her masterpiece. I would’ve loved to see all the other scenarios she’d hit home with about Kirino and Kyousuke’s “sibling” relationship and how they’d react to the idea of them. After all, Kuroneko only grazed the surface of the eroge scenarios she could have pitted the characters in. I felt kind of bad for Kyousuke who wanted to go home (or just die), but it was a noble sacrifice if it meant taking Kirino down with him. Endure and take it for the fans Kyousuke! Expose Kirino for the brocon that she is!
I don’t know what Kuroneko was hoping to achieve by spurring on all of Kirino’s jealous reactions, but I reveled in the latter’s inability to sit idly and watch Kyousuke in a nervous wreck. In terms of sex appeal, Kuroneko is years ahead of Kirino when she turns it on. Combined with the whole manga thing just prior, she completely stole the show during the second half and quite possibly the entire episode as well. Actually, scratch that. She may have stolen the entire series.
After ten episodes of constant abuse that Kyousuke endured, I was appreciative of the sentiment they were going for with Kirino finally showing how thankful she is for everything he’s done for her. However, it didn’t nearly have as much of an impact as it probably could have, simply because Kirino has made it so hard to overlook all the horrible things he’s done to him. I don’t know who’s bright idea it was to have the first half of this episode showcase yet another incident where she screwed him over royally, but that definitely didn’t help one bit. Had it not been for that, there was a slight possibility that I would’ve taken Kirino’s gesture as enough to make everything prior water under the bridge. At the very least, I would have been a lot more receptive to Kyousuke’s uncontrollable emotional response, seeing as he’s the one that’s put up with it all thus far.
Given how things did unfold, this proved to be only a first step in the right direction for Kirino getting back into favorable light, as I still have a hard time liking her character and being understanding of the way she behaves. I do realize she’s probably a good girl deep down inside, but her balance between bratty/abusive and cute/caring is so horribly skewed that the writers have made it pretty hard to really like her unless you happen to have a bit of masochism in you.
Overall, this episode did open the door to quite a few different possibilities — one of which we’ll see next time in the televised “Good End”. Kirino hasn’t shown any signs of appreciation since episode three, so there’s a good chance that this will lead towards an ending where they’re on good sibling terms. The “True End” that will be released on DVD/BD next year will likely explore the other possibility where they see each other as something more and the complications that arise from that. Both should prove to be interesting, provided that they have LOTS of Kuroneko in them. I’m sure most people will agree with that sentiment.
Addendum: The four extra episodes are expected to be streamed before the eventual DVD/BD releases, which means we should see them much earlier in lower quality. Dates have not been set yet though.
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