My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute Episode 13
What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! — Checking back on the new episodes of shows from 2010. For more information about me and my reviews, click here.
About the series: Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai, or “My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute!” was a 12-episode anime series aired between October and December 2010, about a normal high school senior who discovers his younger sister (who barely acknowledges his existence) is actually secretly an otaku. But not just any otaku, she has a fetish for adult video games, especially featuring characters with a younger-sister complex. And now, she’s approaching Kyosuke for help. Four additional DVD-only episodes released in 2011 explore an alternate ending to the story. More info about the series: Wikipedia Entry.
Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new window:
ep. tl;dr review: Kuroneko serves as a replacement for Kirino; Surprisingly good series without the main character.
Episode Summary: Much to Kyousuke’s surprise, Kuroneko has enrolled in his school. However, with her standoffish personality, she has trouble making friends. Kyousuke reaches out to help her, going so far as to guide her to join the school’s video game development club with her. But Kuroneko becomes increasingly annoyed, before finally calling Kyousuke out for his behavior, pointing out that he is really using her as a replacement for his now-absent sister. At the gaming club welcoming party, they meet Sena Akagi, and the sparks immediately fly between her and Kuroneko. Kyousuke puts two and two together and figures out that Sena is actually his friend’s little sister, and with some prodding gets Sena to reveal she is secretly a hardcore yaoi addict. Kyousuke apologizes to Kuroneko for trying to act like her big brother, but says he’s still not going to leave her alone.
My thoughts: The only place that one of the main characters, Kirino, shows up at all in this episode is in the opening credits. But what is most interesting is that when she is totally absent (away in America and very pointedly *not* communicating with anyone) — this is when the series shines. Sort of ironic when the focus of the series is gone that I like “Ore no Imouto” the most. Interestingly enough, the same was true with the main series, my favorite episode was when Kyousuke was staying overnight at Manami’s place and she stayed home and moped.
With Kirino out of the picture, Kyousuke steps up to the plate as the real center of the show. Well, actually, he was always the *real* main character, it is just that he was so overshadowed by Kirino’s forceful and overbearing personality that it was easy to forget that at times. For another anime comparison, take a look at The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, which is really all about Kyon (analogous to Kyousuke) but when Haruhi (analogous to Kirino) is around she sucks all the oxygen out of the room. Only when Haruhi disappears does it give the opportunity for Kyon to come to the forefront.
In fact, I would hazard to say that we only truly begin to understand Kyousuke’s relationship with his sister when she is absent. We see him reaching out to Saori and Kuroneko, and essentially trying to turn Kuroneko into Kirino’s surrogate, even when he doesn’t fully realize he’s doing it at the time. Kuroneko, for her part, picks up on that right away and is torn between trying to develop a relationship with Kyousuke while also not wanting to be nothing more than a replacement figure. She wants to be friends (or more?) with him as *herself*, and is aggravated that Kyousuke doesn’t see her that way.
And then there is Sena. Oh boy, she’s just fun to watch as she goes absofuckinglutely nuts when her secret is revealed. As the only other girl in the high school equivalent of Genshiken, she professes to only be interested in the programming of games and not any of that stupid otaku stuff. But it only takes a few well-placed questions from Kyousuke and Kuroneko for her to slip up and confess to her most disturbing guy-on-guy fantasies. Ye gods.
When it came to the regular 12-episode anime series, I was only mildly impressed enough to give the show a final grade of C+. But the first two episodes of this four-part epilogue/alternate ending is much more fun to watch, and I may have to reassess my final grade once this is all over. Hell, I could go for an entire second season if Kirino stays away. This was just an awesome episode.
For more information:
- My review of Episode #12 “True Route” from July 8th
- My end-of-series review from January 30th
- Info resources: My Anime List, Anime News Network, and AniDB
- Episode 13 Video Opening Sequence: on Youtube
The Blog-Roll of Reviews:
- “Imagine that huh. All you needed for this show to be good again was get rid of Kirino and focus on Kuroneko. It’s not because I’m attracted to her in a typical fanboy sense or anything (she’s waaaay too loli for my taste). She’s just a well written character.” – The Cart Driver
- “If this were a visual novel, this entire episode would’ve been the massive text dialogues you went through in order to get closer to the heroine, with a pivotal flag of, “stick nose some moar in her business” or “pull out.” Naturally, Smoothsuke chose the right path, diving into the dark pool that is the lovable Kuroneko’s heart and wins the episode, letting us proceed on with the true end.” – Random Curiosity
- “In the end, as much as I love Kuroneko as a character, this episode felt a bit uneventful. Then again, this episode is buildup towards the wrap-up for Kuroneko’s arc in the next episode, so in that sense, this episode did an admirable job of, at times subtly, building up some tension. Grade: 3.6/5.” – Emory Anime Club
- “I must agree with a majority of the opinions in the Oreimo forums that this show was really good without Kirino. It also showed that life goes on for Kyousuke, he’s walking alone in the opening sequence. I’m not saying to ax her character, but some breathing would be welcomed.” – I’m Not An Otaku