The broadcast series comes to a close, but there’s still a few more specials left later this summer.
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 the light novel series having drawn to a close with the twelfth volume in early June, Oreimo’s second season of the anime also draws to a close. There’s still more to come as an additional three episodes of specials are set to hit this summer, so there’s more fun with this crowd still ahead. But with the light novels done and the manga having ended its short run a couple of years ago, there’s definitely a sense of winding down with this property that has both delighted and frustrated fans and certainly had its share of detractors simply because of its title and concept idea. Which is certainly understandable, but that’s a significant part of what anime has always been like. In revisiting some older TV series in the last couple of weeks, it’s amusing to be reminded that this kind of material isn’t exactly fresh in a way.
With this episode, we get some good reminders of the kinds of relationships that do exist in a family, especially when we see the younger side of the siblings with how Kyosuke was pretty attentive to Kirino, but eventually moved on to do other things, making it clear that he can’t always play with her. Having two kids myself, it’s definitely a hard thing that some kids can struggle through, especially with the way parents aren’t around as much as they might have been years ago, and that creates different kinds of bonds that can make these natural separations harder for kids. As it goes on and the separation grows, it’s amusing to see Kirino’s frustration over it and how she intends to show him what far by trying to make him just as frustrated in a similar way. That kind of motivation is what led her to becoming who she is now, but there’s just this sense that it’s not any one person’s fault but just a whole host of small things that ended up building into the awkward relationship that’s in the present because it went unchecked or unrealized.
As we see the years progress a bit, we also get Kirino’s first exposure to the eroge world and the older brother subgenre of it, which seems like it called out to her in a huge way. This comes near the same time that she met and befriended Aragaki for the first time and we get to see some early and hilarious ways she went about acquiring the magazines and games, which were certainly intended for a slightly older audience. The way it skewed her view of her brother a bit, changed or revealed a more true mindset and a new path for her, is definitely comical. It’s like she discovered a part of herself that she didn’t know existed and just went crazy with it across the board. That’s an utterly fun little fan moment that really works well.
While it’s easy to be disappointed with an episode like this in some ways, it’s a key kind of work because what it does is truly give us the arc that Kirino has been on for so long and a glimpse into how her mind has worked, first from the rejections and separations to the discovery of the eroge games that struck her like something that she must just throw herself into completely because it speaks to her. Personally, I found a lot to like here as we got a largely good back story and evolution piece about Kirino and some of her early encounters with others, from Manami to Aragaki, and all of it goes towards where the series itself eventually started back in the first one, coming full circle and then allowing it to move forward again. Kirino is a divisive character for many, but I found her utterly charming and fun to watch here.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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