The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai

Kyosuke Kosaka, a normal 17-year-old high school student living in Chiba, has not gotten along with his younger sister Kirino in years. For longer than he can remember, Kirino has ignored his comings and goings and looked at him with spurning eyes. It seemed as if the relationship between Kyōsuke and his sister, now fourteen, would continue this way forever. One day however, Kyosuke finds a DVD case of a magical girl anime which had fallen in his house’s entrance way. To Kyosuke’s surprise, he finds a hidden eroge (an adult game) inside the case and he soon learns that both the DVD and the game belong to Kirino. That night, Kirino brings Kyosuke to her room and reveals herself to be an otaku with an extensive collection of moe anime and younger sister-themed eroge she has been collecting in secret. Kyosuke quickly becomes Kirino’s confidant for her secret hobby.

Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai (or Oreimo, for short), is one of the most well-known anime around, but strangely enough I have not had the opportunity to watch it until recently, despite Oreimo being in my library of “things to watch” since 2010. My tendency to procrastinate in anime is such that I joke that, were I to keep up with my anime with the same vigour I do with my work, and were I to regard my work as I do my anime, I’d be around three years from finishing my undergraduate degree and be caught up with my shows. Presently, and perhaps thankfully, the opposite is true: I’m done my undergraduate degree, and I am up to my eyeballs in anime. Oreimo seems like a good place as any to resume, and having seen the first episode, I find the balance of humour and character dynamics to be most enjoyable.

After bumping into his little sister, Kirino, in the hall, Kyosuke Kosaka finds a magical girl anime DVD which contains a little-sister themed eroge (an adult game) inside. Kyosuke soon learns the game belongs to Kirino and confronts her about it, though says she would not be weird for having such a hobby and would offer his advice any time. Later that night, Kirino brings Kyosuke into her room, where she reveals her secret stash of erotic games and anime, explaining that she loves little sister types, though is unable to explain how she got into it. Having not had anyone to share her hobby with, Kirino gets Kyosuke, who promises to keep her obsession a secret from their parents, to play through one of her eroge for an unbiased opinion.

  • Kyosuke Kosaka is the 17-year-old main character of Oreimo, initially wishing to have a relatively peaceful and simple life; as time passes, he grows to love spending time with his sister and enjoy the drama she causes to the point where he becomes lonely when she is not around. He is seen here with Manami, Kyosuke’s childhood friend. She wears glasses and is described as “plain”, something she views as a compliment from Kyosuke. She has a crush on Kyosuke and blushes to his compliments.

  • Kirino is Kyosuke’s 14-year-old younger sister. She is normally mature and independent for her age in front of others, but her real self is quite immature, abusive and ungrateful with a very aggressive, tsundere-like personality, a persona she opens up exclusively to her brother. She is secretly an otaku with an obsession for “little sister”-themed eroge, as well as the children’s anime series, Stardust Witch Meruru. She works as a photoshoot model and later becomes a novelist, the funds from which she uses to support her hobby.

  • Eroge are a class of visual novels and dating sims that possess explicit material. I do not expect that they are particularly demanding on the GPU, but being a highly impatient character with an unhealthy love of virtual gunfire and explosions, I cannot stand playing visual novels and dating sims in general.

  • The Kosaka family is relatively normal on a cursory glance: Daisuke is a high-ranking officer in the police and has a no-nonsense policy at home. Despite his manner, he does care for Kirino and Kyosuke. Yoshino is Kirino and Kyosuke’s mother. She is aware of many things going on in her family and helps keep the peace in the house.

  • “If this doesn’t belong to you, then pitch it.” I do not play H-games for a reason: if I wanted a simultaneous lecture on anatomy and reproductive physiology, I would refer to textbooks and journal articles.

  • Kirino does not understand the concept of subtly: she casually sneaks into Kyosuke’s room during the hours of darkness, climbing over top of him while he’s sleeping and slapping him awake, before telling him to hold his silence. There are better ways of waking people without any implications, of course.

  • Kirino’s room looks reasonably normal on first glance. This anime was produced back in 2010, a time just before the release of the Sandy bridge microprocessor architecture from Intel. I’d expect Kirino to be fielding a reasonable computer, with the royalties she earns from being a model. However, having a good computer for the purpose of playing eroges is admittedly disappointing.

  • Viewers will doubtlessly share Kyosuke’s exasperation upon seeing Kirino’s collection of stuff. If each game costs around 4400 yen, we expect that (at exchange rates as of May 14, 2013, an average eroge will cost roughly 44 CAD) Kirino’s collection is at least 20000 CAD.

  • There is a package titled Cross Days in that pile. I wager that there is a boat in that, too.

  • Apparently, every decision one makes in a dating sim or visual novel counts. Kirino power-kicks Kyosuke for making what is a ‘bad’ choice here. This is another score for those of us who play conventional games (e.g. MMO, RTS, FPS).

My main interest in Oreimo was instigated upon hearing that there would be a second season. I realised that I still had the entirety of season one to finish, and as such, resolved to wrap it up as soon as possible. After episode one, I began to wonder why I did not watch this sooner: armed with a hugely unique setup between Kousaka and Kirino, the potential for questionable jokes come into the viewer’s mind, and the show casually reminds said viewers that no, this is not that kind of show, and that something more interesting underlies everything. Kirino exhibits the classic tsundere characteristics, and her hobbies in eroge games lead the viewer to wonder whether or not there is anything else that has not been disclosed. This unusual premise lends itself to a distinct brand of humour that is remarkably enjoyable to take in. At the time of writing, I am merely two episodes in, but the fact that Kirino is a full-blown otaku of sorts has kept this series most enjoyable. My primary objective now is to finish the series at a sufficiently brisk pace to begin season two.

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