Anime Review: My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute Episodes 2 and 3

(Originally published on Livejournal on 12/2/10)

Anime Review:
My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute Episodes 2 and 3

What this is about: I have reviewed the first episode of every subtitled anime show of the Fall 2010 season. For the shows that received an initial ‘thumbs up’, I am going back and looking at the second and third episodes.

Series Premise: Kyousuke and his younger sister Kirino have never been close; in fact, she rarely even acknowledges his existence. While Kyousuke is your average-in-every-way high school senior, Kirino is an honors student, popular with everyone in class and a clothing model on the side to boot. Then one day, when bumps into her and she drops an adult video game. Confronted, she confesses to Kyousuke that for years she has been hiding a shameful secret: she is a closet otaku who has a fetish for erotic younger sister games and magical girl anime. Kirino pleads with him to help her come to terms with her obsession, while also maintaining the secret from their unapproving parents and friends.

ep.2 tl;dr review: Kyousuke takes Kirino to a meet-up with other female otaku; Kirino meets her polar opposite.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new browser window:

Episode 2 Summary: Seeing that she does not have anyone else to talk about her hobbies, Kyousuke suggests that Kirino attend a live meet-up with other female otaku. That weekend, Kirino heads out to a maid cafe in the geek-heaven district of Akihabara to see several other girls in person to talk about manga and anime, with Kyousuke tagging along for moral support. But she ends up totally ‘alone in a crowd’, the outsider, not fitting in at all, ending up sitting by herself as the others talk excitedly to each other. As they are leaving, the leader of the group, Saori, invites them for a ‘post-meeting meeting’, so they would have a chance to get to know the new members. In addition to Kirino, Kyousuke and Saori, they also meet up with ‘Kuroneko’, a shy goth-lolita girl who also sat quietly in the corner. As complete opposites with totally different tastes in anime, they immediately clash, instantly bonding in a verbal assault of insults, forming an I’ll-never-admit-we’re-friends friendship, lifting Kirino’s spirits and leaving her energized.


ep.3 tl;dr review: Daddy finds out about Kirino’s secret; Kyousuke throws himself on a proverbial live grenade for his sis.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new browser window:

Episode 3 Summary: After finally discovering other people to talk about her hobbies, in person, online and over the phone, Kirino seems happier than ever to Kyousuke’s relief. But Kirino’s little moment of heaven comes crashing down when her father discovers one of her erotic sister-love video games. With a stern, unwavering position he denounces anime, manga and things related to it, and Kirino runs out of the house in anger, shame and embarrassment. It’s up to Kyousuke to follow after and comfort her, and then later for Kyousuke to confront his father on her behalf. Pleading her case (citing good grades, friends, and her recent happiness), their father relents to a point…but cannot accept the erotic aspect for his sweet little daughter. As a final desperate move, Kyousuke blurts out that the erotic video game is really his, that he secretly loves those games and Kirino was just holding it for him. Successfully deflecting their father’s anger towards Kyousuke, Kirino is saved from their father’s wrath.


My Thoughts: Alternately known by the shortened nickname of “OreImo” (since the Japanese have a tendency to have some of the longest, most unwieldy show titles), this was another series that I was looking for a reason to drop, since one of the underlying themes involves the cringeworthy fetish of ‘little sister love’ (incest and pedophilia all wrapped up into one!) But, dammit, this show turns out to be quite good. Plus, the whole ‘little sister love’ bit is almost completely non-existent in these two episodes while it instead focuses on Kirino’s secret otaku thing, kinda reminiscent of Genshiken in some ways. And that’s all fine and dandy, as long as the show stays on that level and does not delve into any of the deeper, danker aspects of unspeakable fandoms, I’m down with that. Please, let’s explore the funnier and awkward aspects of Japanese otaku coming to terms with their frowned-upon hobbies, keep it all cute and quirky and joke-filled. But as soon as the ugly head of incest pops up between Kirino and Kyousuke, that’s when I drop the show. And I worry that may be the ultimate direction the show is heading in the long run. Only real hint of that was at the *very* end of the third episode, when Kirino bashfully thanks Kyousuke and he gets all embarrassed and shit…*cringe*.

A few quick thoughts:

– Kyousuke is such a Kyon clone — so is that the new everyman character we’re going to see in anime from this point forward? Well, I guess I can only hope that will mean the end the more pathetic Shinji clones we have had to endure for several years.
– It’s really no surprise that Kirino is the duck out of water at the anime meet-up, since she has been living the popular girl lifestyle and has nothing in common with all these otaku girls except the hobby itself. I can definitely understand being alone in the crowd, surrounded by people but all to myself at the same time.
– One important point that was brought up (but not emphasized) is that Saori and Kuroneko are completely open about their hobbies, 100% unashamed and fully accept their otaku-dom, which is a foreign concept to Kirino. I have a feeling that’s going to be a major theme moving forwards as Kirino struggles mightily with herself to come to terms with being able to openly express her love and affection for anime and manga and video games despite what others might think. (The whole point of the show, ya think?)
– It was really fun to watch the joust-fest between the defiant Kirino and the equally intransigent Kuroneko as they insulted their way to friendship. Although, of course, they would never, ever, EVER admit they like each other.
– Given how their father, Daisuke Kousaka, plays the role of the obdurate rock of morality, I’m sort of surprised how the third episode ends with Kirino still able to be an otaku. I guess I found Kyousuke turning it all upon himself instead (at least the “R-18+” naughty stuff) unconvincing. I would expect the father to wield his parental veto power over *both* of them, but eh, what do I know?
– Oh, and as the title suggests, Kirino really is as cute as a bug’s ear (from a really cute bug, that is). But, interestingly enough, I don’t find her sexually attractive at all. I suspect my brain is already mapping over that she’s a fourteen-year-old little sister, and that’s throwing cold water over any sexual elements that may be at play. Good to know my subconscious mind is at work doing the right thing.

The Verdict: – really quite enjoyable, much to my surprise.

For more info:

My review of Episode 1: http://matthigh.livejournal.com/546535.html
Random Curiosity review of Episode 2: http://randomc.net/2010/10/14/ore-no-imouto-ga-konnani-kawaii-wake-ga-nai-02/
Random Curiosity review of Episode 3: http://randomc.net/2010/10/18/ore-no-imouto-ga-konnani-kawaii-wake-ga-nai-03/

FINALLY, returning back to the second episodes of the Fall 2010 series coming up next: The World God Only Knows (2-3), Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt (2-3), Psychic Detective Yakumo (2-3), Shinryaku! Ika Musume (2-3), Letter Bee Reverse (2-3), Bakuman (2-3), Otome Youkai Zakura (2-3), Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge (2-3), Kuragehime (2-3)

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