Can this end well?
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)
The end of one’s high school career is definitely something that’s filled with all sorts of mixed emotions for most people, even if they do seem to be handling it well on the outside. Kyosuke has enough sense about him to be properly mature about it and enjoy the way these are some of his last times doing particular things, from walking the road to school, spending time at the desks and even his time in the clubroom with others. It’s filled with nice moments overall even as some others panic a bit and freak out over various things that are getting to them. The start of life in a bold new way is something that’s exciting and scary and Kyosuke manages to find the middle of the road attitude for it.
Because of the changes that have gone on with Kyosuke’s relationship with Kirino, more people seem to know about it and are in that awkward state of not really feeling like congratulations are in order, or that they know how they’ll live their lives happily, but they do try to offer some words of general support. Kirino, for her part, is quite thrilled at what he brother has accomplished and while she will tease and torment him about various things, you can also see the pride coming from her over his graduation and overall achievement. Some of that pleasure is short lived though as Manami is decidedly unhappy about things considering the long fight she’s had with Kirino over Kyosuke and the way Kirino is so absolutely childish about how she lords it over her is just rough to see. And in its own way, what Kirino gets is richly deserved for her actions after just insisting that she be treated as a grownup.
The two girls duke it out for a good bit and it’s amusing to see how they get out their issues, but also how Kyosuke really does come to Kirino’s defense at the right time in order to make it clear where his heart is, and how he’s living his life as an eroge protagonist. Naturally, the two are definitely afraid of their father finding out, and having Manami threaten that is definitely unnerving for them, but it also lets Kyosuke really stand for what he believes in. His resolute nature here is really good to see, but we also see the pain he causes as Manami continues to try and draw him away from Kirino. She’s so intent on this and her emotions, the same as Kyosuke is so intent, that it really does take some serious words and emotions revealed to make each side see what the other is saying.
With the way the show deals with the marriage, romance and lovers aspect of the show, it’s one that does in its own way feels like it works. But really, it just works for the two of them to deal with their feelings in the short term without really understanding the scope of the collateral damage of it all, which is what comes up during the argument with Manami. In the end, it’s all a very chaste way of handling things and there’s that cultural perception that it would work that way rather than going into something full bore, which to some degree you want to see them do and take the real risk of alienating so many people. I really wanted that “other” ending in order to see if they’d go the distance with it, but I got the ending I expected overall.
Oreimo was a series that when it first surfaced and debuted, it made a lot of people feel all squicky for some pretty valid reasons. There’s a lot of ways to handle the material though and they did have a lot of fun with it when you get down to it, which made it enjoyable to watch more often than not. But it’s also a show that will pull back from what it wants to do in order to provide a happy ending, albeit not the one that the fans wanted. With people wanting him to end up with a particular person of their own choosing, even Kirino, we basically get Kyosuke with nobody after an extended period. That fits for assuaging their feelings and issues, at least for now, but leaves it all feeling somewhat incomplete as well.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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