Sunday, January 23, 2011

Anime Review: Oreimo

Initially I had no intention of checking out this title (just look at the title!) but I heard a couple of good things about it and ANN was streaming it so I gave it a shot. Right after I tried it the second episode got leaked and they had to remove both this and Togainu no Chi for about a month. But they did get the shows back up so I tried them both and continued with Oreimo for the whole run*.

Oreimo (Ore no Imouto ga Konnai Kawaii Wake ga Nai or My Little Sister Can't Be This Cute)

Summary: Kyosuke is a rather normal high school guy but his little sister Kirino is something else. She's in middle school and a popular and atheletic student who also has a modeling job on the side. She also loves eroge games, especially the ones that involve brothers doing naughty things to their little sisters which understandably freaks Kyosuke out. But she blackmails him into helping her out and Kyosuke is a decent guy so he ends up getting more an more involved in his sister's life.

The Good: To start off with, it's not nearly as incest oriented as the title would lead you to believe. In fact, although their are enough implications to spawn a thousand doujinshi, there is no incest and Kyosuke seems quite uninterested in it. The first few episodes, the ones that focus more on Kirino making friends with Kuroneko and Saorin, were pretty funny and the scenes with people meeting up in real life for the first time were pretty similar to the meet-ups I had in the US.

The Bad: I'm not sure what happened but after the first few episodes I just felt like the story got less interesting. The story did focus more on Kyosuke at this point and, since I came for otaku related hijinks, I found those episodes a bit dull. Also, Kirino is pretty unlikeable since she's one of the brattiest and most self centered characters I've ever seen who doesn't change (also creepy considering the games she likes**). She is kinda nice to Kyosuke in the last episode, which I suppose was supposed to show how she's grown over the course of the series, but that episode felt so out of the blue and out of character it didn't work (plus, since this was the "good ending" it will probably be retconned for the "true ending" episodes coming out this spring, I predict incest).

The Art: Fairly generic, somewhat moe, art which, while cutesy, didn't draw me in. Each opening sequence was a bit different (showing which characters that episode would focus on) but I didn't pay attention to the opening after the first episode (and wouldn't have even known if a blog I was following pointed it out). One thing that did make me laugh was all the parodies of eroge/anime eroge that Kirino had, the designers went all out and had tons of references there that weren't super obscure. This might be less of an art thing and more of a good thing but it was still amusing in the end.

The Music: Like the art there's nothing too special here. Nothing bad but nothing that really stood out to me either. I did laugh when someone pointed out that the magical girl show (within the show) was using the same voice actress as Nanoha for it (which explains why the show appeals to a perverted girl like Kirino)

Like I said earlier, Oreimo also suffered simulcast problems and, since ANN was able to get new episodes back up in a month, that's how long I give Funimation to try and talk sense into the Japanese right holders about Fractale. Not as confident (since Oreimo was a leak, Fractale's problem is that the internet exists) but I'll still give them a month. Also, about those upcoming DVD only episodes for Oreimo (the ones with the "true ending"), unless ANN streams them I probably won't watch them and even then I'm not so sure. I'm not actually that interested in the ending and if there's a second season (and based on the DVD sales that sounds like a good possibility, plus their are still more light novels to adapt) I probably won't watch it either. Oh well, hope that ANN gets some simulcasts that are more to my taste next season!

*I did drop Togainu after two episodes however, I felt like I was playing a game except without the button mashing opportunities between each cut scene (and yes I know this was based on a game that probably didn't have button mashing in it at all, clearly not my kind of franchise).
**Which yes, still creep me out when a guy plays them but there's something extra creepy about a little sister playing games where the protagonist's goal is to hook up with as many of his little sisters as possible. I'm also in the camp that this is what happens when your kids don't have siblings, creepy things happen.