The Infinite Zenith

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

Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai. True End Reflection

This will be the final reflection I supply for OreImo, pertaining specifically to these final few episodes. The previous episode had left viewers with Kirino’s perspectives on what happened, and the ONAs begin with Kyousuke turning down Ayase, citing that he had someone else already in mind. When the visual novel was released, I had hoped that the anime would take creative liberties and wrap things up in a different manner than the light novel did, but that turned out to be a little too much to ask for. The light novel had taken the story in an extreme direction, pairing Kyousuke with Kirino, while everyone else essentially got shafted: I had described this as “face-meltingly painful” to read. The anime would faithfully adapt the directions outlined in the visual novel, so these final episodes were, to me, “face-meltingly painful” to watch: however, despite how unsettling it was to behold, pairing Kyousuke and Kirino appears fitting of the series’ title. From a practical perspective, this is not unexpected, given that the series’ title emphasises imouto and as such, paired with the fact that the second season gives viewers an idea of Kirino and Kyousuke’s reactions of how they might react if the other began dating. Nonetheless, I find myself somewhat unsettled at the turn of events: Kirino’s unhealthy love of eroge and Kyousuke’s tendencies suggested that both of them struggled to come to terms with their feelings.

  • The finale from last time went into a bit of detail concerning Kirino’s earlier days and her interactions with Kyousuke then. The first bit of ONA opens with Kyousuke reflecting on the time he spent with Ruri: say what you will, but Ruri has some pretty clever skills with respect to the sandwiches.

  • Breakups and rejections are among the most difficult events one can experience. This scene captures some of those emotions rather neatly: that journal was a physical representation of Ruri’s feelings for Kyousuke. Ladies and gentlemen, this is how not to break up with someone, capisce??

  • I still can’t get past the fact that Kirino’s voice actor (Ayana Taketatsu) also plays Azu-nyan (K-On!) and Fuu Sawatari (Tamayura).

  • This stab at extreme otaku habits was most amusing. Trust me: outside of OreImo, I will never have images like these because I have very little understanding about what prompts people to celebrate events with an arrangement of pixels with a human-like form. There’s a site out there that specialises in this, although I’m not particularly fond of them because of their extreme political stances. I note that a good anime site never brings politics into the question.

  • This setup arises from Kyousuke taking Kirino on a date of sorts on Christmas, promising her that certain eroge go on sale and booking a hotel in response to how much stuff he anticipates will be bought.

  • If the need to ever use a cute anime avatar arises, I have one of Saori ready-made for that purpose.

  • After Kyosuke reveals that he had finally fallen in love with a girl, Kirino runs off in grief. Giving chase, Kyosuke quickly looses sight of Kirino when at that moment Kaori, Saori and Ruri show up in a minivan after apologetically stalking their date.

  • This love confession shook me to the core: Kyosuke publicly acknowledges his love for Kirino, believing that the line between playing simulation games and real life became blurred as they spent time together. Kyosuke then asks her to stay in Japan and marry him. Finally realizing that the brother she always wanted was the person standing next to her all this time, Kirino tearfully accepts.

  • For readers still with me at this point, I must offer my congratulations: I stuck through out of curiosity to see what would happen, and immediately after finishing the three episodes, I desired greatly to play a shooter and forget I ever saw such things. The execution itself isn’t bad per se, but the context and implications are rather terrifying.

  • Kirino and Kyosuke head back to their hotel room to try and sort out their next move after agreeing that siblings cannot get married in real life. Kirino gets distracted with her newly bought eroge and finds that her feelings are too mixed to too concentrate on the game. Kyosuke then gives her a Christmas present which turns out to be the same ring she had asked him for the year previously, and ceremoniously puts it on her finger as a pseudo-engagement ring. Kirino reveals that she had planned on confessing to Kyosuke herself, but ran off earlier thinking that he was referring to his love for another girl. Having already given thought into their next move, Kirino shares this with Kyosuke.

The ONA episodes, in spite of the difficult-to-accept ending, end up being amusing to watch nonetheless. The animation and detail remain impressive, as are the emotions that the voice actors put into delivering their respective characters’ reactions to Kyousuke’s rejection. Whether it is Ruri’s destruction of the journal she’d kept about her own experiences with Kyousuke, or Minami’s tearful confession following a rather impressive fist fight with Kirino, the emotions of those scenes do capture their, and the viewer’s, incredulity at Kyousuke and Kirino’s decisions. While we are on the topic of the fist fight, after hearing about it in the light novel, I had desired to see it regardless of how the ending proceeded, and I was not disappointed. The fight felt personal, desperate and driven by years of mutual animosity that had finally come forward, acting as the highlight of sorts for the final few episodes. Long story short, yes, it’s quite possible to enjoy watching something while simultaneously being thoroughly disgusted by what is going on on screen.

  • While some elements parodying the otaku subculture make its way into the ONA, they are few and far between relative to the first season and even relative to the second season.

  • Kanako’s confession to Kyousuke doesn’t even make sense to me: she’s rarely interacted with him save a few occasions and appear to be conveniently placed just so she could be rejected.

  • This is perhaps the most disappointment I’ve experienced when talking about a show: I followed this through to the very end only because I wished to finish what I started, and because OreImo has been so good in general up until the second season’s ONAs. Generally speaking, I try not to watch things I don’t like, hence the very few negative reviews posted here.

  • However, the OreImo ONAs aren’t all bad: here, Kirino then has Kyosuke listen to the diaries she had been recording since she was young, documenting the feelings she started to develop for him. Finally, Kirino plays another message where her younger self desperately asks for advice on how to be with Kyosuke. Afterwards both Kirino and Kyosuke smile in that at the end, their relationship had finally been repaired.

  • Admittedly, if the writers had opted for a more family-friendly “brother and sister come to understand each other and be on cordial terms with one another”, I would have recommended this anime in a heartbeat. The scene with Kirino sharing her audio diaries with Kyousuke is quite normal and perhaps one of the strongest moments in the ONA.

  • Following the graduation ceremony, Kirino arrives to pick Kyosuke up following the end of her middle school graduation, and both head out to meet Manami. Manami becomes visibly angered upon learning of the Kosaka siblings’ relationship and Kirino uses the opportunity to show off her victory in finally taking Kyosuke away from her, openly provoking one of the best damn fights I’ve seen in anime for a while (since Tomoya vs. Youhei in CLANNAD After Story).

  • This moment made the ONA worth watching: Minami, the soft-spoken, kind-hearted girl, is the only one to go for a first strike in the anime against another girl. Unless mine ears deceive me, I hear fans cheering. I myself had watched this to Guile’s theme: if one has not done so, watch this scene while the aforementioned song plays in the background. It’s surprising as to how well it fits.

  • The strikes Kirino and Minami land are fueled by years of hatred: both combatants are bloodied and bruised after the dust settles, wherein Manami finally confesses her love for Kyosuke and pleads with him to reconsider, however he chooses Kirino and vows to defy the societal norm to be with her. Manami punches him but respects his decision before accepting her defeat.

  • Kosaka siblings arrange a pseudo-marriage at the church, recalling their adventures and revealing their genuine happiness for being siblings with a kiss. Afterwards, Kirino gives Kyosuke back the ring, ending their relationship with her request of being a couple until graduation finally fulfilled, and they go back to being normal siblings.

  • When everything’s said and done, the status of Kyousuke and Kirino’s relationship are left ambiguous. I’m going to be generous and say that their relationship has more or less been restored to normal after these events, and that a new, stable status quo has been reached. Before I wrap things up, I’ll note that these are my thoughts alone and are in no way representative of what other viewers of this series may think; as well, these opinions may not necessarily be useful or correct.

The final episodes to the series have caused me to redact my recommendation of this series: these final episodes were devoid of the same sibling interactions and parody of the Otaku subculture that made the first season so incredibly amusing to watch. Moreover, the implications of Kyousuke and Kirino’s relationship with one another are not pleasant in any way, being outright taboo: one has to consider things at face value without really thinking about them in order to avoid this line of thinking. This leaves me at the doorstep of what I think of the series overall: everything about season one was brilliant, and the televised run of season two was satisfactory. I feel that the ending to OreImo was a little ambiguous and a botched close to what would otherwise be a series well-watching. OreImo is a case where the journey is vastly more enjoyable than the destination. Viewers looking for a good journey, while simultaneously holding a degree of tolerance for the ill-executed ending, will enjoy this series. For individuals whose impressions of a series are more heavily affected by the ending, they would do better to pass on this anime altogether.

5 responses to “Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai. True End Reflection

  1. IchigoRadiance December 1, 2014 at 06:46

    First of all, I’d like to mention that out of all of the girls, Ruri was my favorite. With that said I think Kyousuke choosing Kirino was okay. Who those two choose to date is their business, and their love for one another repaired. I realize people have reasons to not like sibling romance or sex between them, but I remain unconvinced it should be inherently taboo and at the very least find laws giving couples (yes, I mean both are at times charged) more time than killers and rapists (where I live you’d get 25 years for incest and around 5 for murder). If anything, if sibling romance is so bad, then romance in your 40’s should be seen as really bad and yet. Way I see it, its a lot like the thought of old people having sex, gross to me, but I’m not harmed by what two old people do in their homes.

    Anyway, back to Oreimo, I find it funny that the character most against the news is also the one that caused Kirino and Kyousuke to drift apart, which caused Kirino’s admiration (she was too young to romantically love Kyousuke and her admiration could easily be seen as common among young sibling.) to blossom into romantic desire as she got older. Had the two siblings stayed close, chances are she would have growed out of her crush like most cases of this. The situation caused the two to get a sort of genetic sexual attraction for one another. I really Manami, as it is clear she made kyousuke depressed. His natural disposition was to excel and help others. She convinced him otherwise, which led to him being seemingly lazy, which isn’t really laziness, but a symptom of depression. Manami was shown to hide her dark side behind a facade. She liked Kyousuke so much she did everything she could to win him over. Beyond crushing Kyousuke’s ambition, she destroyed his relationship with Kirino to keep her away from him, because she saw Kirino as her competition, which again ended up causing what she wanted to avoid. I saw her anger in that fight as venting at Kirino for ruining her plans. All it took to destroy years of scheming was to repair her relationship with Kyousuke. Now I don’t think Manami is evil, but I think she was selfish and a bit of a (insert expletive here) albeit one with a facade.

    As for the ending being kid-unfriendly. I think if you’re old enough to watch the rest then the sibling romance, which doesn’t include sex, is more kid-friendly than the rest.

    Like

    • infinitezenith March 12, 2015 at 09:42

      It took me a little while to reply (life of a graduate student!); thanks for taking the time to provide an insightful comment of this calibre. You raise several good points that definitely give me an alternative perspective on OreImo (in particular, that what others chose to do, as it does not harm you, is acceptable) that helped me to understand the ending better.

      Another fellow decided to accuse me of running a blog with some sort of political/religious agenda, and in one of those rare instances demanding it, I’ve marked him as a spammer: I may better appreciate the ending now, but I’m unlikely to go back and re-watch the series just to write another post solely for satisfying the aforementioned fellow’s narrow world-view😛

      Like

  2. brian February 5, 2016 at 19:35

    Honestly the ending pissed me off so much… Everyone loved kuroneko so much

    Like

    • infinitezenith February 8, 2016 at 15:21

      For my part, I found OreImo‘s ending unsatisfactory because of its decision to undo the character development that had occurred up until the ending; other viewers also remarked that Kyousuke’s brief relationship with Kuroneko to be the most fluid and plausible, so discarding that was quite unpleasant.

      Like

  3. Kent Everest September 6, 2016 at 06:49

    The ending implies they stayed together as a couple thanks to the hints regarding the one time wish and Kirino telling Kyousuke there will be more life counseling.

    And even if assumptions toward the opposite weigh as much, the important thing is during the ending both Kirino and Kyousuke are happy.

    Like

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