「一人暮らしの兄貴の部屋に妹たちが押しかけるわけがない」 (Hitori Garashi no Aniki no Heya ni Imōto-tachi ga Oshikakeru Wake ga Nai)
“Little Sisters Can’t Barge In On Their Brother Who Lives Alone”
SUDDENLY, EVERY GIRL! The number of contenders for Kyousuke’s time has ironically gone up, despite the futile efforts of Kyousuke’s suspecting parents. Will he be able to get that A, or will he be delivering the D? Okay…bad joke. Before I get called out for sexism, let’s begin exploring this episode of many character interactions and plot-openers!
This was inevitable. Kyousuke is an idiot, and we all know that. If he thought no one in the house was going to notice…his ability to make judgments on the future is in need of improvement. This does make for an entertaining encounter with the Kousaka heads of house, who have been lacking screen time for quite some time. However, it is here that the tables have flipped, where Kyousuke’s dad is the more understanding and calm of the bunch, leaving the normally calm and understanding mother to well…lay down the hurt.
This hinting of lewdness, along with the wedding imagery, makes for some serious hinting at where the story is possibly heading, but leaves it all ambiguous enough to keep us guessing. After all, with all the contenders on the battlefield at this point, it could quite possibly go anywhere, considering how two endings are a real possibility. I’m sure that the next few episodes will give us more hints at the true ending, but for now it seems very real that Kirino may actually end up as the winning contender, not just in making up, but also in “winning.” How that rubs off on all of you is a different matter, but I can say it definitely is a line that some people probably don’t want to see crossed.
Returning to the actual plot though, I do find it a bit awkward that this sudden move happened so late into the game. Rarely has the show focused on Kyousuke’s studies or academics, instead opting to focus on the core topics of this show–it’s a focus that I wholly appreciate. Thus, when out of nowhere Kyousuke is kicked out of the house to focus on his studies, the lack of foreshadowing made the transition a bit clunky. However, with the amount of freedom that it allows the plot, I can see why this would make a good move in terms of accelerating character development.
For instance, Kanako actually got her best screen time out of the entire series because of it–her extended dialogue with Kyousuke adds much depth to her character. She’s moved away from being a bratty and vain middle schooler to someone who has some sort of conscience and isn’t afraid to connect the dots with Kyousuke. The banter between the two was especially entertaining to watch, as the balance of conversation seemed equal. I do say though, Kyousuke sure has a terrible time hiding his naughty stuff throughout the series…or maybe it’s a statement on how people aren’t thickheaded enough to not be fooled by these tricks. Either way, such an event triggers a lovely “discussion” between the two–it was the most enjoyable scene of the episode for me.
It’s such a shame that we probably won’t get to see much more of Kanako as the series ends, but it was actually more pleasant than I expected. When she was introduced this episode, I immediately thought, “Why is she here! Nobody got time for Kanako at this point in the game!” but upon seeing her small developments here, I appreciate that the story took the time to flesh out her character. In fact, it’s nice that the story makes small nods to other characters throughout the story, such as Mikagami and Miura last episode–the fact that they are subtly weaved into the story makes for a much more fulfilling and connected story.
However, there are certain characters that’ll land in that high middle, where they get substantial screentime, but not enough to be considered a main character. Last season, that categorization went to Manami and Saori for their roles in developing Kirino’s personality. This season, Saori still keeps her role, but Manami has taken a backseat for the rise of Ayase. Previously categorized as the “outsider” aghast at otaku culture, Ayase’s character has developed (somewhat rockily) into being Kyousuke’s friend, though we can suspect that she has deeper feelings for onii-san than just that. This episode has decidedly put her in a more antagonistic position against Kuroneko than Kirino ever was, being more explicit about her disagreements than her best friend.
I suspect that this rivalry will not be the focus conflict of the next few episodes, but rather a running gag that won’t actually get anywhere (I hope). The point of their encounter was actually multi-faceted. First, it allowed us to see more of Ayase’s yandere and protective tendencies, which partly stem from her protection of Kirino, but mostly out of her desire to stay close to onii-san uncontested (except by Kirino). Second, it allowed a trigger for Kuroneko to properly resolve things with Kyousuke–it was long overdue and the conflict allowed her to reassert her belief in their eventual bonding. Third, it allows for even more hinting at the Kirino end, where Kuroneko clarifies that she’d love Kyousuke…even if he were being lewd with someone else. I’m understanding of open relationships, but man, the way it was presented comes off as honorable yet weird at the same time. Meanwhile, in the middle of all this, Kyousuke is powerless to stop their conflict, instead being punched and verbally beaten by two rivals who are unaware they are rivaling for possible love.
Below, you see the ending scenes, which of course still hint at Kirino’s unresolved feelings for her brother. It’s safe to say that she at least misses her brother being so close and accessible, but with all the hints being subtly (or not so much) dropped this episode, we can say it may go deeper than that.
Next episode won’t be resolving that issue so quickly though, or so I predict from next episode’s title. We’ll probably get to see a resolution to Ayase’s unknown feelings towards onii-san and Kuroneko, though not without some yandere awakenings in the process. Can we expect a possible confession with this development so late in the game? Let’s tune in next week to find out!
Note: I will not be able to cover the finale for Oreimo, so another staff member should be able to pick up for me! Also, please note that again, NO LIGHT NOVEL SPOILERS!