Under Your Radar: Oreimo

You’re a fake. You see, my sister would never wake me up, cook breakfast, or do my laundry. In fact, she completely looks down on me and treats me like an idiot, or outright ignores me! She doesn’t listen to a word I say! There’s no way she’d come into my room like this to wake me up! Basically, what I’m trying to say is that there’s no way me little sister could be this cu-*wakes up*

Kirino and Kyosuke, if you couldn’t tell.

After another long hiatus, this week’s Under Your Radar is the light novel series Oreimo (which is the short version of its Japanese title, which is Ore no Imōto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai, which translates into “My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute”), which has received multiple anime and manga adaptations, as well as two visual novels for PSP. This series actually has a pretty large fanbase, but is looked down upon from the outside of said fanbase due to the title. Honestly, based on the title, there are a large amount of people who have never even watched/read it that think it’s about incest. It’s not.

The premise is simple. Kyosuke Kosaka and his little sister Kirino were once close but grew apart with time, to the point that they don’t even speak to each other anymore (and the few times they do involve Kirino badmouthing Kyosuke). Then, one day, due to a coincidence, he finds out that his sister is a fan of hentai games involving little sisters. Not for the usual reasons mind you, but because she likes little sisters (and Kyosuke doesn’t disappoint at pointing out the irony here, as well as the other reason she might be playing said games).

Kirino, as far as most people can tell, is a high achiever at everything she does – she’s the ace of her school’s track team, working as a popular model, high grades, etc. – so her being an otaku (something looked down upon a lot in Japan) isn’t something she can reveal so freely. As such, she enlists Kyosuke’s help with her many problems regarding this, including finding friends who are into these things and hiding things from their parents (who’d confiscate all of her collection, not just the 18+ stuff) and her current friends (who’d shun her for it). Kirino calls this “life counselling”.

And Kyosuke obliges. Unfortunately, though, he has to take several hits to reputation to keep it up. This includes things such as, in what is a very moving scene, after making his father acknowledge that this stuff is a part of her and his father says he’ll at least force her to throw out the 18+ stuff, he claims that it belongs to him (his father calling him out immediately afterward, since there are games involved and Kirino’s the only one with a computer – so he has to claim that he used his little sister’s laptop in his little sister’s room to play a game that involves romancing his little sister). His father’s reaction is as expected:

That said, I can’t blame the writer for portraying Kyosuke as willing to go to ridiculous lengths to help Kirino. I have two younger brothers myself, so I can see where this is coming from.

The formula up to the point I’ve seen is fairly simple. Kirino encounters a problem and Kyosuke practically ruins himself to fix it, rinse and repeat. That said, in between these cases, you get some decent character interaction, including one instance where Kirino apologizes for being so cold.

Oreimo‘s a decent story about rekindling sibling bonds. It’s worth a look, if you can overlook the title. The broadcast version of the anime is available on Crunchyroll, and the full first season and True Route OVAs (the broadcast episode 12 contradicts the source material, the OVAs bring it back on track and continue the story) are available from Aniplex as one of their cheaper releases. The manga is available from Dark Horse Comics. A second season will air fairly soon.

If I stop, then I won’t be me anymore!

Starting with the next feature, we’ll be seeing more games for a while. A nice reprieve from all the anime and manga, right?

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2 thoughts on “Under Your Radar: Oreimo

  1. “Honestly, based on the title, there are a large amount of people who have never even watched/read it that think it’s about incest. It’s not.”

    There’s an anime blogger I follow who’d likely argue the opposite — especially after having seen the entire first season. Or, if it’s not about incest, it’s about “pandering and wish fulfillment.” Granted that blogger can get a little critical at times, but I’d assume there’s SOME kernel of truth.

    http://tenka.seiha.org/2010/12/my-little-whatever-cant-finally-be-over-12-thank-god/#more-8579

    Well, I guess I can’t do much besides post the words of others. I can’t say I’ve seen the show, so I’m in no position to judge.And I suppose as long as it’s making lots of people happy, that’s what really matters — regardless of the chance to look a little…er…”skeevy” merely by accident.

    In any case, another good post. Can’t say I know what it’s like to have a little brother/sister (since I’m the youngest), but whatever. A show’s a show, and a good show is a good show. You know?

    You feel my flow, bro?

    …I’m a bad rapper.

    • There might be. It’s basically an opinion fight, to be perfectly honest. I did not see the pandering (and it was certainly not why I was watching), he did, and there are supporters for both viewpoints. I’m not surprised that posts like that exist, as there are ones slamming practically everything I’ve posted.

Feel free to comment, but be civil.

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