Oreimo
“My article writer can’t be talking about this series again!” Yes, yes I am.

Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai (which translates to My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute!), is a light novel adapted into both anime and manga series.

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From left to right: Saori, Kuroneko, Kirino, Manami and Kyosuke. Not pictured is Kirino’s best friend Ayase.

Kyosuke Kosaka is your typical unmotivated high schooler, and his relationship with his 14-year old little sister Kirino is…without mincing words, an absolute mess. The moody Kirino insults him constantly, and that results in them bickering on a regular basis. The siblings seem very distant–at least until Kyosuke finds one of Kirino’s H-games on the floor. He decides to help Kirino keep her otaku tendencies a secret, as their father is insanely strict, and her best friend Ayase doesn’t look fondly on such things. The first season is about Kyosuke and Kirino meeting new friends as part of Kirino joining an online group with similar hobbies. This both sheds a nice light in the anime and manga geek culture, as well as developing the Kosaka siblings’ relationship, portraying Kyosuke as a big bro that will go to any lengths for his little sister’s happiness and Kirino as a girl that is bratty but knows when to be appreciative of her big brother.

And then the second season came… and everything went downhill: Kyosuke, who grew closer to Kirino in the first season, is dealing both with his rocky bond with his nicer-than-the-first-season-yet-still-brash little sister, as well as his feelings towards Gokou Ruri–alias Kuroneko–since getting a kiss from her in the “True Ending” extra episodes of the first season.

A few episodes in, Kyosuke and Ruri start going out and Kyosuke is the happiest he’s ever been. That happiness, however, is very short-lived, as Ruri breaks up with him out of nowhere and moves out of town, leaving Kyosuke a miserable wreck. Kirino, seeing how shattered he is, decides to help him find Ruri and confront her about it. Ruri then points out she couldn’t continue in a relationship with Kyosuke if Kirino was jealous and unhappy about it, with the reasoning of not wanting her friend to be hurt, and also because she feels she can’t win against Kirino in the end. Kyosuke decides he’s not dating anyone until his issues with Kirino are settled.

This is where things start heading towards the infamous ending, for a multitude of reasons.

For one, Kuroneko’s reasoning doesn’t make sense. Yes, Kirino is gonna be jealous and hurt, but you can’t please everyone. And Kirino wasn’t even a threat to her because, since the kiss from the “True Ending” in season one, Ruri was all that was on Kyosuke’s mind. He never displayed any sort of romantic feelings for his sister, only fraternal ones, even if the title was hinting at something else. By doing so, Kuroneko ended up bringing the siblings closer, resulting in the defeat she was fearing.

Afterwards, Kyosuke’s parents send him away from the house under the premise that Kyosuke and Kirino are getting along way too well.

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There’s no way my family can be this stupid!

That not only proves itself to be an extremely idiotic decision–Kyosuke’s final exams are moments away and such a huge change at his point is bound to impair one’s academic development–in addition, their suspects are completely baseless, and it makes them come off as parents that can never be pleased, complaining both when their kids are not getting along and when they are. Kyosuke nonetheless moves out and starts studying vehemently for his tests while all of his love interests and friends pay him some occasional visits. Eventually, Ayase confesses to him and gets rejected, sharing one last kiss and goodbye with Kyosuke before parting ways with him.

Some time after rejecting Ayase, Kyousuke goes back to spending more time with Ruri. But with Christmas approaching, he decides it’s time to tell her he can’t go out with her either, as he loves someone else. Kuroneko saw it coming, but still is absurdly broken by it. As she breaks down, it becomes noticeable that as it progressed, the reality of what just happened sank in further and further.

Kuroneko’s emotionally powerful, heart-wrenching response, courtesy of excellent acting by Kana Hanazawa.


Afterwards, Kyosuke decides to confess to Kirino who runs away knowing what he intends to say. But with the help of Ayase, the scorned Kuroneko, and Saori, the leader of the anime circle Kirino and Kuroneko are part of, they chase Kirino in Saori’s van. Kyosuke confesses to Kirino, she accepts it after being told he doesn’t care what will fall upon him if he continues down that road.

 

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Even Kirino knew what he was getting at!

Finally, Kyosuke and Kirino meet with the one person then haven’t met with yet after they started going out Kyosuke’s childhood friend, Manami. She turned out to be the main cause of the siblings’ rocky relationship by mistaking Kirino’s admiration of Kyosuke for romantic feelings.

This misinterpretation was a problem with most characters, not just Manami. While Kyosuke and Kirino’s relationship was portrayed as siblings getting along and Kirino being a bit too jealous little sister when it comes to other girls, there were never any hints of romantic feelings between them, at least from Kyosuke. But it didn’t stop the majority of the cast from making the incestuous assumptions anyway. Kirino’s feelings for Kyosuke developing as they did is better explained in one of my previous articles.

So when Manami finds out and Kirino is gloating to her face that she stole Kyosuke…

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Things escalate. Quickly.

The fight ends with Manami throwing one last criticism at the pair, telling them how difficult it would be to have an incestuous relationship. Kyousuke even acknowledges that she’s right, but goes for it anyway.

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You’ve got that right!

After Kyosuke pretty much burns every bridge he had with other girls, he and Kirino partake in a “fake wedding” organized by Kyosuke. Their relationship lasts for 6 months, after which they decide to go back to being normal siblings again, pretty much making all of the drama leading up to their confession and relationship for nothing. Even worse than that, Kyosuke pretty much blew his chances with any of the other romantic interests. 

It is a shame because this series had an impressive start. Nice setting, memorable characters, good humor–the first season and the volumes it adapted did a great job of setting up dramatic moments, and it showed siblings could get along without ending up having romantic feelings for each other. The second season had great moments too, showing a lot of promise. It did a particularly nice job in its portrayal of Kyosuke and Kuroneko’s relationship until their breakup. My two complaints about the series are that the plot seemed to bend itself in Kirino’s favor a bit too much, and the writing’s quality taking a major drop after Ruri’s breakup.  

Overall, it was an amazing series that deserved a better ending than it got.

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