Anime Review: My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute Episode 15 (final, again)

Anime Review:
My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute Episode 15

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: Kyousuke and Kirino reunite, and they live happily ever after.

Episode Summary: As Kuroneko gets settled in to the video game club with Sena, Kyousuke receives a text message out of the blue from Kirino in America — the first time she’s contacted anyone in Japan in months — asking him to throw away her entire collection of manga, anime and video games. Distressed, he contacts Kirino’s best friend Ayase who hasn’t been contacted in months, either. At home, he learns she has asked their father to throw out all of her track and field trophies. With his father’s blessing, Kyousuke drops everything and flies to America to confront Kirino. She explains she challenged herself not to contact anyone until she beat any of her fellow track members in a race, and in all the months she’s been in America she’s been unable to do that once, leaving her frustrated and ashamed that someone who has always been so great at everything she does in Japan has reached her limit. Kyousuke tells her none of that matters, and pleads with her to return back to Japan with him, and they return back home on good terms.

My thoughts: It’s the end of “Oreimo”…again. And this time, with a much more satisfying and realistic ending. When the series concluded after twelve episodes with what was called the “Good End” ending, it felt sort of rushed, faked and unsatisfying. After a big blow-up, the original ending was just “Okay, I’m not leaving, everything goes on as normal, happy happy joy joy.” It didn’t feel “true”.

Now, with this new four-episode “True Route” addendum, it seems like the anime producers had the opportunity to tie up some more loose ends and expand upon the relationship between Kirino and Kyousuke in a more believable manner. Interestingly enough, it was done with Kirino several thousand miles away, in her absence allowing Kuroneko to grow from a one-dimensional side character. And while she was away, without realizing it Kirino was angsting and realizing her own limitations, although we didn’t get to see that until the last half of the final episode. And it all makes sense: putting self-limitations and getting caught up in those self-same limitations (for months!) is the sort of thing that I can do as well, and it requires a transcontinental trip by Kyousuke to snap her out of her funk and realize she’s getting caught up in the details and completely lost sight of her own big picture.

These final four episodes did help improve my opinion of the series after the abrupt faux-ending left a bad taste in my mouth. It was somewhat ironic that some of the most fun came when the main character of the show, Kirino, was completely absent, allowing the secondary characters to come to the forefront. Frankly, they could have easily gone on for an entire full-length second season with Sena and Kuroneko going nuts in the video game club, and with Kyousuke getting closer to Manami (my favorite understated character of the whole show, BTW) without realizing it. There are still some loose ends, of course, such as with Kuroneko’s oh-so-obvious unrequited and unspoken crush on Kyousuke, as well as third-wheel Saori remaining a third-wheel.

The verdict:

FINAL SERIES GRADE: B After the first twelve episodes, I gave this a final series grade of B-, but with the additional episodes I upgrade that to a solid “B” instead. Oreimo has its flaws (especially in the unbelievability of some of the scenarios), but it has its moments as well. For a show that started from such a cringe-inducing concept, it largely tip-toed around the unspeakable elephant in the room and ultimately settled into a non-sexual familial relationship.
Whew! (Well, others may read much more into Kyousuke pleading Kirino to return home, could be interpreted much more…uh, disturbing, and I suspect the light novels the show is based on may take it further down that road. YMMV.) Also, turned out that nearly all of the side characters (from Kuroneko to Sena, from Manami to Ayase) were ultimately more interesting to watch than Kirino herself. She may have been the focus, but everyone’s reactions to her were what kept me watching.

For more information:

The Blog-Roll of Reviews:

  • “Honestly speaking, this episode was painfully normal for a finale, which was kind of disappointing to say the least. It was a very happy ending though, that much I can say for sure. Grade: 3.5/5.” – Emory Anime Club
  • “I was somewhat disappointed that, in this final installment, Kirino didn’t find out that, in her absence, Ruri put the moves on Kyousuke or that Saori hasn’t revealed her Ojousama Self (complete with a butler) to the rest of the gang. Is this really really the (true) end?” – Sea Slug Team
  • “Ore no Imouto was good because everything felt believable. One of the main issues causing me to lose interest in a series is fake-sounding dialogue (e.g. Fortune Arterial). Fortunately, dialogue is one of Oreimo’s strong points. ” – Project Saber

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One Response to Anime Review: My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute Episode 15 (final, again)

  1. Pingback: Anime Review: Where Things Stand as of October 7, 2011 | This Euphoria!

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