The Infinite Zenith

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

Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai. Reflection

The second season of OreImo, Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai. (there’s a period at the end to denote the second season, and as usual, for brevity, I’ll refer to this anime as OreImo), shifts away the sibling and otaku-hobby driven approach of the first season, taking the story towards a romance. However, given that I had watched both seasons within the span of a month, plus all of the true end elements, season two seems to be a logical (if not unrealistic) outcome arising from season one, playing about with the girls’ conflicting feelings for Kyousuke. Throughout season two, relationships and dating form a larger part of the conflicts, affirming that both Kyousuke and Kirino have a ways to go before they are willing to accept that either are in a relationship with someone. This element is explored nicely and hints at the overwhelming challenges that await individuals who might or might not be ready to commit themselves to a relationship, but near the second season’s ending, things gradually fall into play a little too quickly. I hear this is a consequence of trying to minimise spoilers for the light novel; while a fair justification, some may find that it comes at the expense of more reasonably paced events in anime.

  • I got so far into OreImo Season two so quickly that I did not even bother writing a first-episode reflection; by the time I decided that a reflection might be a good idea, I was already half way through the series. No, I was not watching this as it was airing, because I was fighting a thesis defense at the time. Like Kyousuke and his entrance exam, I pwned.

  • When one has a powerful PC and a glorious monitor, mobile devices become impossible to game on, as one becomes too used to the large-screen setup and the hum of a superior video card. The joy Kirino expresses when playing a dating sim is the joy I express when pwning n00bs in a first-person shooter.

  • Ayase’s method for asking Kyousuke to help her with Kirino is unconventional. Also, a bit of insight: I’m not into yanderes.

  • If my life is a visual novel, I’ve raised the right flags early in the game so that I have at least two possible good ends. However, I have no intention of playing a visual novel because I am a gamer who plays for optimal solutions and completion. I do intend on doing the Gravity Gun challenge and the Little Rocket Man Challenge for Half Life 2 and its episodes, and I will need to go back at some point in the future to get all the MCOM stations in Battlefield: Bad Company 2.

  • What is this “flirting” you speak of? I personally find it difficult to mess with people like that: it is easier to be polite and friendly than it is to be uncivil. I heard that being nice to everyone supposedly complicates things when it comes to courtship, since the other party can’t ascertain as to whether one’s being nice to them is indicative of any feelings one may have.

  • I included this image just so the post would illustrate what Saori looks like without her trademark glasses; their origins are quite thrilling, and the third episode does the story justice.

  • The third episode does a phenomenal job of exploring Saori’s past and how she got into anime. My own history is rather more simple, which leads me to state that I’ll probably expand on my About section in due course, exploring some of my methodologies.

  • Elsewhere, people have expressed an interest in seeing more of Saori’s background. I think the depth we’ve seen here is sufficient. On a side note, Karoi’s anime group has way more stuff than is possible for a group of their size, but as this is fiction, I’ll let that slide.

  • Four years ago, Saori was a weak bodied girl who was shy about showing her face to others. One evening, she was brought by her older sister, Kaori, to a special apartment where she indulges in otaku activities alongside her flatmates, Shinya Sanada and a budding manga artist named Kanata Yamanashi. Kanata took an instant liking towards Saori and soon taught her about the otaku lifestyle. However, the circle soon starts to dwindle after Kaori left to get married, leaving Saori alone once more. Feeling betrayed by Kaori, Saori became determined to start her own circle and help others like she helped her, receiving her trademark swirly glasses from Kanata to help her on her way. This would eventually lead to the start of her otaku life and her meeting with Kirino and Ruri. Back in the present, Kaori, Kanata and the rest of the old gang also show up to check up on Saori’s new friends

  • I’ve seen a lot of anime bloggers write in their about sections that their intent is to provide analysis of their favourite shows. What they usually mean is that they go into depths about why something is worth their while, in particular, any personal reasons that make an anime good or bad for them. Thus, a blog that is worth reading is about the individual and their connection (or lack thereof) to the anime in discussion.

Where I came into the first episode, I was quite surprised to find that the new equilibrium from the true end had been disrupted, but was also pleased that much of the dynamics that made season one worth watching would make a return. In spite of the marked shift towards romance, OreImo is still an anime about sibling relationships. From a personal end, this portrayal offers insight to a more dramatic relationship. I am an older brother, and I have friends who are the younger siblings in their family. My friends and I both have siblings with age differences being similar to that of Kyousuke and Kirino, and siblings with more shared interests are more likely to be on friendly terms with one another. OreImo captures this spirit nicely over both seasons; Kyousuke’s capacity to accept Kirino’s hobbies and support her emotionally is the catalyst that restores their relationship with one another. The finale goes into depth about how Kirino and Kyousuke became distant from one another: it explains a few unanswered questions in the anime, although such a flashback might’ve been more appropriate for the first episode to season two. While the series does occasionally play up some of the more questionable implications between Kirino and Kyousuke’s interactions, things generally are meant as a comedic element and hopefully will not turn out like the light novel’s ending, which, I hear, is face-meltingly agonising to read.

  • Dating brings out the best and worst in people; which one depends largely on the maturity of the people in question. By the season’s midway point, Kirino reveals she lied about dating Kouki because she was jealous of Kyosuke and Ruri, asking Kouki to pretend to be her boyfriend with the intent of triggering a reaction from Kyousuke to prove that he does care for her.

  • I felt like including this picture purely for its comedic value.

  • Fools! This isn’t even my final form!”

  • What exactly constitutes a date? If we go by the accepted definition that a ‘date’ involves two people trying out a relationship and exploring whether they’re compatible by going out together in public as a couple, I make the addendum that the two individuals in question have acknowledged that such a relationship exists. Of course, we can’t peer into the minds of others, so if one sees a guy and girl together, it is likely that they might automatically assume they’re dating…

  • There aren’t any summer festivals where I live, but there is a little something called the Stampede, or, the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. About a week ago, I invited a bunch of people, although only one person was able to make it. We spent the morning on the midway, and the afternoon, looking at the exhibitions indoors. Why do I mention this? It’s somewhat relevant to the picture I have above.

  • Kirino assures Kyousuke that things are going to be okay after Ruri breaks up with the latter. The remainder of the episode is spent showing how much Kirino cares for Kyousuke and pulling the same sort of stunts he does when trying to help her. We’ll eventually find out that this was a misunderstanding of sorts, diffusing the tension in the episode, but this episode was a particularly good one.

  • The second season takes a turn for the higher pace after Kyousuke is forced to move out, in an exercise set by his parents to test the extent of his trust. His objective is to get an A on his entrance exam, but soon, his friends figure it’s a good idea to throw him a housewarming party, and otherwise presents all sorts of distractions. This part of the season reminds me of the MCAT last year, where I directed essentially the entire summer towards studying, eschewing my research to try and get a reasonable performance by spending all my time on practise exams.

  • “You in, or do I got to kill you so you don’t squeal?!” Ayase’s yandere tendencies add humour to this anime: whereas the classic yandere might be an anti-hero with a strong love for an individual and frightening protectiveness, Ayase plays this role with a comedic flair here. However, in the visual novel, making too many mistakes on Ayase’s route will result in Kyousuke getting killed.

  • It seems like everyone has feelings to some extent for Kyousuke, as everyone offers to and even fight for the right to help him out while he studies for his entrance exams. This approach is familiar…unrealistic…dangerous, mainly because it takes the cliche concept of a harem and applies it into what was otherwise a unique anime.

  • Ayase becomes closer to Kyousuke while helping him with household work, allowing him to focus entirely on his studies. Kyousuke manages an A, but turns Ayase down because his heart belongs to someone else. That ‘someone else’ will hopefully be elaborated upon in the final few episodes set for release in August. Until then, this discussion is over.

There are a few more episodes in this series, set for release on August 17, 2013, and as such, I do not have anything resembling a “final impressions” of any sort for the series, as it is technically still running. In spite of this, the mere fact that I watched both seasons in the span of a month is perhaps indicative of how compelling OreImo is. Whether it be its strengths in character development or comedy, OreImo comes across as a series where the outrageous elements create a unique story that is equal parts comedy and drama. Returning to the matter of the delayed release, the last time this happened with Kokoro Connect, I ended up not finishing the anime, and presently, still have yet to watch the episodes that were released. I assure readers that I won’t do that for OreImo, because this time around, the episodes are released during the summer, providing more time to write.

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