Not even one minute in and I’m hit with such a pretty face. Oh dear, who is this person!? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MY SAORI–said no one ever.

「俺の友達が眼鏡を外すわけがない」 (Ore no Tomodachi ga Megane o Hazusu Wake ga Nai)
“My Friend Can’t Take Off Her Glasses”

Continuing on with expanding the show’s focus to the side-characters of the show, this week features Saori…without the glasses. This is a story of how one shy and proper girl attempts to find her own place in otaku culture, to break free from being an attachment to being truly part of a group of friends. Though I wished this episode had a better segue and had been expanded on more, it does touch on a lot of issues that ring true, even outside of otaku culture. This week’s episode wasn’t one for many laughs, but it definitely pointed out a story I’m sure many of us have found ourselves in.


OP3: 「Reunion」 by ClariS

Saori’s older sister: voted most likely to be a future terrorist and kidnapper.

If there’s one obvious theme in Oreimo, it’s the interaction that little sisters have with their older counterparts. While Kirino and Kyousuke deal with reviving a once strong relationship, Saori and her sister Kaori (Kuwashima Houko) try to build a relationship from the ground up…at least initially. Though Kaori initially shows interest in bonding with Saori, that excitement soon disappears in the face of AK-47 models and other hobbies. It seems that a large part of Kaori bringing Saori was to show her off to her otaku community, “Pretty Garden” (apparently a precursor group to some influential figures in Oreimo’s anime industry)–while that may not be the entire reason, the way that Kaori introduces her sister to the group is a bit unsettling. After all, the main reason why Saori came in the first place was to look forward to spending more time with the sister who was never there.

Saori, if being seen by one guy was bad, just think of the thousands of men watching you from behind a screen!

I’d be embarrassed too if I had to face off against an ex-chuunibyou!

Thankfully there’s at least one person in that group that doesn’t view Saori as an attachment to her older sister. Ironically, it is Kanata (Rie Kugimiya), aka Kanakana-chan, who gives Saori the attention she badly deserves. It is she who introduces our cute imouto into the realm of otaku culture, and the one who also influences Saori’s mannerisms in the future. One has to think though, if Kanata is the older sister of who we think her to be, isn’t it weird that she wasn’t able to get her own little sister into otaku culture as well? I suppose not every conversion is successful. Despite that, Saori and Kanata seem to build a friendship even stronger than the ones that Kaori can form, and for awhile, everything is good. Saori can be comfortable with the group without seeking Kaori’s approval, even at the exclusion of Kaori herself.


If she passed on the otaku glasses to Saori, I wonder if she decided to give the second pair of glasses to someone else…

Holding dramatic displays sure runs in the family, doesn’t it?

At least Saori has good taste in manga, if that is the allusion I think it is.

Everything is fine, that is until one person decides to grow up. Granted, Kaori is pretty much a dick for leaving on such short notice, but the reality of the group’s structure still would sting the same, polite Kaori or not.

It’s a sad phenomenon to see how groups can fall apart or fragment because of the departure of one person. When friendships bond together due to one person bringing everyone in one place, it is highly likely that as soon as that linking friend leaves, the whole thing just melts. After all, friendship through friends–situational friendship you could call it–just doesn’t hold up to direct friendship. In the end, two of the three “friendships” Saori had formed turned into distant friendliness, while Kanata just didn’t have the time to hang out with her debut (I still wonder what manga debut she authored). While a sad case to witness, it rings all too true in the real world. Saori has every right to have a grudge against her sister, but her sister’s words do hold true–it is she who made the group, and as such she holds the power to break it away, since the bonds all centered around her after all. The chemistry that the group had without Kaori just wasn’t right, and as such, left our newly formed otaku sister alone once more.


The 3D world might be pathetic, but the 2D world can always be epic. People can laugh at you in both situations though.

So this makes for chuunibyou-in-anime case number…I’ve lost count.

Everything works well as long as everyone is in the group, until…

…someone decides to run off, marry, and live in a mansion. Then it all just goes to crap.

Woah, how’d she get so tall that quickly? Where’s the transition!? D:

Witness the propagation of otaku culture firsthand…only it usually doesn’t involve people this cute.

But we know that Saori no longer has to live in that sort of loneliness anymore. Though she isn’t at the core of Kuroneko and Kirino’s friendship, the trio (including Kyousuke) definitely form a friendship with one another that they can individually value. While it’s slightly unsettling that Saori is inspired to one-up her sister by collecting her own group of friends, in the end her intentions are not that malicious–after all, she puts her heart into the group as much as she can, because these are her friends, and not auxiliary friends that she just happens to interact with. It was touching at the end when the two groups of friends met face to face, signifying a closure between the sisters. Saori has found the group of friends who will be hard-pressed to leave her, while Kaori finds solace that her sister has found friends for herself, instead of struggling to fit with an already complete group. All in all, it was a touching way to give a face to the person behind the glasses, as well as continue to weave the characters closer together.

From a purely isolated standpoint, the episode did itself justice, yet it could’ve done a better job spreading out the story. After all, what was the relationship between Saori and Kaori before this episode started? How did they manage to skip Saori’s growth spurt so quickly? What was Saori’s life like at school, or more generally outside of the otaku community? Although it was a well-executed story with a good message on auxiliary friendships, the emotional investment it could’ve had was limited by its isolated one episode format. In the interests of time it’s understandable, but perhaps previous episodes should’ve hinted more at Saori’s backstory rather than laying it all out in one fell swoop.

Ah well, all is good due to cosplay and a beautiful Saori. Next up, the focus returns back onto Kirino and the rivalry that she left behind in America, which caused everyone so much emotional tension and confusion. Will we see a fierce Kirino fight to keep her win? Will we see tan lolis? Probably. Until next week, until next Saturday!


In one room lies a manga author, a light novel author, a popular voice actor, two rich heiresses, and then…the rest of them. That sure is one influential circle.


Once you see Saori behind those glasses, you can’t go back. She’s still pretty cute with the glasses on, since it’s her tied hair that usually hides her charm.

ED2: 「ずっと… 」 (Zutto…) by 生天目仁美、 竹達彩奈、花澤香菜 (Nabatame Hitomi, Taketasu Ayana, and Hanazawa Kana)


Those of you who rejoiced at tan loli characters in Tamako Market, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this next episode.

End Card

“I’ll let you guys cosplay while I just show off my natural beauty!”


    1. Yep

      She is also the prostitute kirino and kyosuke called when they were in the love hotel because kiririn was writing her novel(anime didn’t adapt it).

      I visit japan frequently,is only natural for maids to work as call girls(and enjou kousai)

      1. By the way, Zanibas, you did have a small typo.

        ED2: 「ずっと… 」 (Zutto…) by 生天目仁美、 竹達彩奈、花澤香菜 (Nabatame Hitomi, Taketasu Ayano, and Hanazawa Kana)

        It’s Ayana, not Ayano.

  1. For quite a while i have been wondering what Saori would look like without her glasses, so i was very excited about this episode. Saori was always very intriguing for me, but after this episode, she might have just jumped to my favorite character. I am hoping soon she will be able to stop using the glasses and just be herself in front of Kyosuke, Kirino and Ruri.

    1. Actually, we’ve seen her without them before in an episode leading up to the episode where she throws a party for Kyousuke. It’s the one where she approves the maid costumes.

      1. They have shown her face briefly before in the TRUE ROUTE episodes though, if I recall correctly. It was from the reflection of a mirror? Nowhere close to this episode’s level of detail though.

  2. So Saori is an imouto and the new girl Kanata has an imouto as well. I finally get it. Everyone in the anime is either an imouto or has an imouto so the title represents the secret thought of not only Kyousuke but all those older siblings as well.

  3. Behold! The Dark Flame Master…… sorry, the Prince of Darkness!

    This episode’s a combination of Saori’s chapters in volume 5 (or was it 6?) and another flashback chapter in volume 8.

    Kugimiya Rie’s cameo has now made this anime complete. Kugyuu FTW

    Who would have though Kanako’s big sis (as Kanata shares the same surname Kuruse, she’s either Kanako’s sister or cousin, not to mention they look alike) is such an otaku? And one that inspired Saori’s persona at that.
    Speaking of Meruru, isn’t that Meruru’s seiyuu Hoshino Kurara amongst Kanata’s friends? Funny how Kirino didn’t stop to ask for her autograph.

    1. Nevermind, my mistake. Seems like the girl is Hoshino Kirara, Kurara’s sister as well as the maid that served Kyousuke in the maid cafe he visited back in episode 2 of season 1.

  4. “Granted, Kaori is pretty much a dick for leaving on such short notice, but the reality of the group’s structure still would sting the same, polite Kaori or not.”

    Pretty sure there was a scene where Kaori was trying to speak to Saori and everyone else, at 12:27/23:50, but gets drowned out by Kanata. She could have just wanted to say something random or join the conversation, but by the end of the episode I was heavily leaning towards wanting to mention her marriage.

  5. Saorishi~~

    Does anyone else think it’s unlikely that a crazy fan like Kuroneko wouldn’t recognize the original author of her beloved series? And they mention Kanata having met Kyousuke and Kirino before, but I don’t think she appeared in the anime, even in passing, before this.

  6. Liked the backstory, but was there really no way to work this into the flow of the show as a whole? Saori’s reveal could have had so much more impact if this episode had any sort of link to a cohesive storyline. Maybe it happened that way in the novels, but this episode just really came out of left field. At least Ayase’s episode last week had the Love Touch connection to episode 1. Saori’s development just could have been so much better if it had happened organically in the story instead of seeming like it was forced in almost side story-like.

  7. While I was expecting a revelation soon, I wasn’t expecting one quite so in-your-face. Kyosuke’s response is priceless towards the unknown woman who knows everyones (nick)name.
    And for some reason I feel like the red rimmed glasses went to the fujoshi. *looks at MAL and sees black glasses. doesn’t care.*

    Kioku from Laptop
  8. Saori ….. is……. SO. BEAUTIFUL!! “WHO ARE YOU?!?!” 😀

    I feel more for her now than ever before. I hate having to please an older sibling only to have it backfire on you. I also identify with losing a circle of friends you made because they were all actually tied together by someone else.

  9. Love the ojou-sama look and speech. Saori is really inheriting her master’s will, and I’m glad for the light-hearted introspective into her character at this point, seeing her transform (not completely) from a shy and sheltered girl into the wacky megane otaku we see.

  10. I am reading Prince of nightmares and Queen of nightmare from the comments. And the thing that comes to my minds is the Lord of nightmares from Slayers Next. Is Prince more or is Prince less than a Lord in hierarchy? in power obviously the lord of nightmares is the BOSS.

    1. Also, Kugimiya needs to use her type-cast voice in more non-tsundere characters like this. It’s less controversial than her cookie cutter tsunderes and it matches so well on such an upbeat character like Kanata.

  11. Her sister’s a total jerk but at the same time she’s responsible for everything that Saori cherishes. Also,

    While Kirino and Kyousuke deal with reviving a once strong relationship

    If you’re talking about the intro to the first ep of this season, I’m pretty sure that dream didn’t happen in real life. It was a mirror of the start of the dream he had in the first season, where at the end he proclaimed that there’s no way that his sister could be that cute. Right after the dream in this season, he looked at an eroge box, which I assumed meant that he had been playing it, and it was responsible for the dream.

    1. Although I’m pretty sure those dreams are not exactly what happened, it’s a safe bet to assume that Kirino and Kyousuke used to share a stronger relationship when they were younger.

  12. Also, from watching this I thought that Kanata was responsible for Meruru and Maschera under two different pen names. Yamanashi Ganma at least was the one who made the Meruru book that Kirino apparently met at Comiket (see season 1 ep 4).

    1. I thought it was meant to be obvious, but not so sure now, but yeah I agree. She at least wrote Maschera given her first set of drawings.

      If she really is Kanako’s older sister as we suspect (I thought they looked similar but it never clicked when watching), that would explain why Kanako knew how to sing the Meruru song in season 1. She was either exposed to her sister’s otakuness or because her sister is the author herself. I really like that though. All this time Kirino and Kuroneko argue over which one has superior tastes when they’re both most likely from the same source. I really like this layering of relationships as well.

  13. Since season 1 is like 2 years ago, I raged a little when they have people saying hi to each other and I cannot remember who they are. I have to go back to season 1 and watch through from episode 1 searching for them. Well, I should have re-watch before watching season 2.

  14. >In one room lies a manga author, a light novel author, a popular voice actor, two rich heiresses, and then…the rest of them. That sure is one influential circle.

    Nothing like overkill eh?

    The Moondoggie

    If I didn’t bother to read the comments here, everything would’ve gone flying past my head.

    Firstly, when did Kanata meet Kirino? How do know the Meruru VA girl wasn’t the same as that maid at the cafe (and how did you know she had a sister)?

    Who is the light novel author guy and where did you get that idea from?

    Wait, I always thought Kyousuke was the only one with a little sister. Kuroneko has a sibling too? What about Minami?

    If possible, pictures would be greatly appreciated.


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