When the heart aches, even your worst enemy may be willing to help try and set things right.
What They Say:
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.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With Oreimo having a lot of fun with what it wanted to do in bringing together Kyosuke and Kuroneko, we didn’t get a lot of time to really enjoy it before it all went downhill fast. While the two were having a lot of fun together, the reveal to him about what she wrote in her notebook with her master plan for dating him has left him uncertain about the truth of it all. His attempts to get in touch with her through texting on the phone or calling her outright results in no responses. She’s not showing up to school and even her house looks empty and deserted. She came into his life in a quiet way overall, revealed a huge thing to him and gave him a taste of what a good thing really is. And then she simply disappeared from his life. That’s hard at any age, but even harder for a teenager without much in the way of real life experience.
Because of how hard he’s taking it, he goes so far as to try and get advice from Kirino about it all, since she did offer to give him advice in the past. It’s a pretty sweet moment once you get past some of the initial awkwardness of his arrival in her room in the middle of the night. But with his emotions just below the surface for a good part of it and starting to leak out, she takes the right approach overall for it and helps to soothe him pretty well. Kirino can be a difficult personality to deal with of course, but she has a real caring side as well when she knows someone is in deep distress. And it’s enough to also get her to help him out with finding what happened to Kuroneko and become part of that attempt to see where she’s gone off to.
Her helps does lad the two of them to where Kuroneko is now, and that leads to the real problem that exists. While Kuroneko dated him to realize her dream, she also realized along the way that things between the brother and sister exist is not the norm. There’s some rather intense confrontational dialogue here, especially as they each call each other out for things and it does in the end force Kirino into a position of having to defend feelings that she doesn’t want to admit exist. With the two young women being friends, that just makes it all the more complicated and poor Kyosuke is just oblivious to a lot of what’s going on, taking her declarations of hate at face value. The back and forth of it all is certainly engaging to watch, even if it’s done so publicly, but it really does bring out some greater clarity when it comes to feelings all around, which have been difficult to read so far this season when it comes to Kirino.
While Oreimo sets things in a not altogether unexpected direction when it comes to how the characters are arrayed and their relationship status, it does it with a whole lot of dialogue and a greater sense of clarity than we’ve had before. Which in some ways isn’t saying a whole lot. The back and forth between Kuroneko and Kirino is a real treat here to watch, especially with Kyosuke just being oblivious to a lot of what the subtext means, but for Kirino we finally get her to admit out loud some very positive things about her brother that she’d almost never mention out loud to anyone otherwise. There’s a good dynamic to be had between Kuroneko and Kirino because of their friendship and the awkwardness of Kyosuke dating Kuroneko so I definitely liked seeing that explored as well. In the end though, the siblings have things in such a weird state that you know it’ll go forward at some point, but it’s just plain weird for now.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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