「俺の妹が家に彼氏をつれてくるわけがない」 (Ore no Imouto ga Ie ni Kareshi o Tsuretekuru Wake ga Nai)
“My Little Sister Can’t Be Bringing Her Boyfriend Home”
Today’s episode has something for mostly everyone, moreso than any other episode this season. The character that top the polls have all reared their heads in some shape this episode, though this comes at the price of focus. There do exist some significant flaws in this episode, especially concerning the overall drama, but this episode did more good than expected. Of course I have no idea how the light novel approached this part of the story, but right now I am content at where the show ultimately has left us, even though the execution of getting there has been a bit rocky.
To speak chronologically, let’s talk about our favorite Yandere this season, the blissfully unaware Ayase. I’ve got to hand it to Hayami Saori–she’s got Ayase’s character nailed down, especially so in expressing her yandere nature. The intonations of her voice make the hilarious relationship between Ayase and Kyousuke come alive–it’s a hilarious, yet intimate, yet downright creepily scary mood that’s quite addicting to watch. It’s only bonus points that Hayami can manage to switch from her sweet and controlled voice to her killer tone so easily; her voice and the excellent animation quality make for a chilling scene, both out of fear and out of amusement. I chuckle every time I hear Ayase claim blissful ignorance of her yandere potency, as well as seeing Kyousuke’s acquired fear from visual novels tested in reality.
Ayase’s actual contributions to the plot though were far more subtle, though serve to help enhance her character’s awareness of the situation. Like many other characters this episode, she went into the situation concerning Kirino not knowing the full picture, but given a few key details, that signatory thoughtful pause reared its head, followed by the obligatory “it’s nothing/alright.” Whenever any character does this, we know the character is more aware than is explicitly let on, but in this case the trope serves to nudge to us that we should know what’s going on at this point. In that moment, we can guess that she synthesized Kirino’s intentions in her head–after all, she is her best friend after all. She probably deduced Kirino’s jealousy and how that motivated the date, seeing as how the “manager” excuse held up poorly (remember, anything Ayase knows about the fashion world, Kirino does as well). While her actions did not advance the plot much, Ayase’s indirect deductions about the situation help us break Kirino’s built-up lies, bringing us closer to answering that question, “What’s the complete picture concerning Kirino’s feelings towards her brother?”
After all the silliness is over though, serious matters run abound, with a dramatic Kirino causing all sorts of trouble. Although I claimed that last episode showed her worst, this episode easily tops it. She lets her internal emotions affect the other characters in a selfish manner, and though she’s justified in being jealous towards Kuroneko and Manami for stealing her brother’s affections, the rudeness that she expressed as a result of is not. The fact that she abused a very nice guy’s trust and friendship (Mikagami Kouki (Iguchi Yuuchi) can sure make cheap accessories with high production quality) in order to abuse her friends is near-despicable, especially since it trampled on the happy parade of a recently successful Comiket. I won’t dive into much detail of their fight, since you all probably get the gist of Kyousuke and Kirino’s fighting routine by now (they’re pretty much the same format), but I will attempt to dive into what makes this fight important, as well as why this fight seemed forced and way too quickened.
They fight, someone gets slapped or hurt, and then Kyousuke does the right thing and Kirino finally softens up. It’s a formula that’s repeated itself many times this episode, and you’d think that they’d spice up the formula somehow. It’s one of the flaws in the show that I’m beginning to dislike, solely because it seems that both of them never seem to change much during this dynamic. Both Kirino and Kyousuke have developed outside of their sibling relationship, but as soon as one of them starts fighting with the other, the whole thing seems to reset.
Now, this recent battle did have some interesting developments, as it clarifies an elephant in the room we knew all along–Kirino does not want Kyousuke having a girlfriend just as much as Kyousuke doesn’t want Kirino having a random boyfriend. While I’m sure Kouki is a nice guy, it’s clear that his role was nothing more than to incite jealousy with Kyousuke–in addition to egging him back into his proper older brother role, the fake relationship was in a sense a punishment Kirino wished to bestow against her brother, even though she herself hated playing the role. You could say that both of them got swept up in the lack of communication and misunderstandings, causing both of them to cross the line, even though both of them cared deeply about each other the entire time.
Even with the revelation though, the whole conflict felt off to me. Perhaps it was the pacing, or maybe it was the sheer repetitive nature of their fighting routine. However, I feel that my friend Xumbra distilled it best. “It was drama for the sake of drama.”
Although I can’t really imagine how else they could’ve structured the lead-up to the conflict other than extending the time spent to another episode (one episode for the date, another episode leading up to the confession, finally ending on an episode wrapping this up), the whole fiasco did feel heavy-handed and unnatural. Aside from the fact that it was a roadblock to Shironeko and Kyousuke finally resolving their tensions, it also felt out of place within the context of the entire show. Though the show did drop many hints that a backlash from Kirino would be inevitable, the way her anger was vented just didn’t fit. I’ll leave it to the comments to deduce what possibly could’ve gone wrong, but I will say that now that Kirino isn’t faking a relationship anymore, I really hope that she learns to be honest with Kyousuke from now on, as well as vice versa.
Of course with all that covered, this leaves us with Shironeko. Let me make something clear: I don’t believe everyone favors Shironeko over Kirino–even I support Kirino more at times–but it’s undeniable that SO MANY PEOPLE have been waiting for this moment to happen. It’s not even funny. I expect the comments to be filled with Kuroneko comments as soon as I post this, though today they are especially justified in their excitement. I’ve been looking forward to seeing this beloved confession pan out as well, and the next episode has me thumping my foot, even in the face of finals. Though I do have my fears that Kirino’s love for her brother will severely interfere with Kuroneko’s happiness with Kyousuke (Kuroneko has already silently taken note of this fact), I do look forward to seeing the time that they do spend together in the near future. I mean come on, she’s absolutely adorable when she blushes! It’s almost as cute as when Kyousuke’s dad blushes…when drunk.