OreImo Episode 04: Here We Go…or No?

Everybody and their momma has been commenting on episode four of Ore no Imoto ga Konna ni Kawaii wake ga Nai (OreImo), with many making judgment that the series is now becoming what everyone thought it would become.  Some like where it’s headed (Seanver has been tweeting all day about it).  Others, not so much.  A number of bloggers and others have commented on Kyousuke’s irrational subservient attitude.  Some see the grope scene as more a blip on the radar of gooey goodness.  Shin felt the episode was misogynistic.

Oreimo characters
Stock picture of that crazy cast...

For me, I’m still enjoying it.  Is there a hypocrisy between my faith and enjoying this series?  Perhaps – I’ve been known to be a hyprocrite.  I have a line drawn in the sand…but as with many lines, it’s subject to shifting with the wind and it’s not clear exactly where that line is.  With each week, OreImo draws closer to the line, but it’s still far away.

Here are my thoughts on that “boy falls on girl and gropes her” scene and on the possibly impending siscon relationship in the series:

  1. The groping scene was unnecessary – well, from my point of view.  While the objectors are coming out strong today, there are quietly some who I’m sure enjoyed that scene.  Okay, more than a few. The scene was a perfect example of what the series is doing so far.  While there’s little hint (more below) about Kyousuke and Kirino starting an unconvential relationship (see #2), the animators want their audience to think it might happen.  Their personalities and actions, in my opinion, show a growing relationship as brother and sister and not anything more.  In this scene, for instance, the two immediately and vehemently stress that they do not like each other in that way.  There’s no blushing, shifting eyes or any other sign after Kirino’s friends stumble upon them to infer otherwise.  Well, there may be some blushing…but again, not in that way.Buuuuut…the animators (and maybe the light novel author? I haven’t read the novels- see #3 for more about this) want the audience to think something more may happen.  They want to titillate us.  They’ve inserted a couple of fanservice-y scenes (though it can be debated whether this was fanservice or not) to keep a certain, large audience entertained and hoping.  The show takes the high road for the most part…but can’t help but pander.  Such is human nature – we decry sellouts, but frankly, I think almost all of us have a price.
  2. Watching anime is like analyzing literature:  you can take information from it and make your own judgments.  Just support with evidence, and even if an idea was never intended by the creator, you can still be right.  Some will look at this episode’s scenes, at Kyousuke’s reaction at being called aniki in episode three, at Kyousuke’s servitude and going to far lengths for his sister, and maybe a few other examples I didn’t touch on and call out, siscon!  I look at these very few scenes and at Kyousuke’s attitude 99% of the time (and believe me, I’ve been looking closely), and I see barely a hint of feelings for Kirino other than brotherly affection, or at least, responsibility.  Both sides in this argument have cases.  I don’t think I’m blinded by my hopes for the series, but eh, we’re all biased somehow, so I could be.
  3. I think it’s very important to understand that I, and some others who have enjoyed the series, are viewing it strictly in a bubble.  I’m watching the series having never read the light novels, and only hearing rumors about what’s to come (and in fact, trying to keep said rumors out of my mind while watching).  It’s easy to see signs when we know where something is headed (hindsight’s 20/20, after all); in that case, episodes 1-4 sort of function as context for a greater story.  I’m not seeing it that way, as I’m trying to enjoy it one episode at a time.  I’ve learned from Bakuman, the first series in which I’ve really read the manga beforehand, that I don’t find it nearly as fun to read first and then watch second.In this bubble, I’m viewing the series as I like.  And in some ways, I think I’m viewing it with more purity than some.  If I’m honest with myself, I can pick out signs of things I think may come, while enjoying it for what it is right now.  When one may see a tiny sign as evidence for something in the future, I may refute it and say that it doesn’t show anything and is too small for any foreshadowing.Of course, a good analysis will trend toward the future, making predictions.  I would predict where I think this is heading, but I’m conflicted by what I’ve heard about future volumes of the light novel.  Otherwise, my guess would probably be that this series will include some awkwardness in the two’s relationship, but never go the full route of siscon. Well, at least I think I’m clear in season one.

I’m enjoying OreImo immensely.  I’m not gonna deny it.  I kind of want to encourage those viewers like me out there, who are thinking in the bubble (#3), not believing the signs are here (yet) for siscon (#2) and willing to enjoy the 98% of goodness for the 2% of pandering (#1), to still enjoy the series without being distracted by those who, right or wrong, dislike what they feel the series is becoming.  And until that day when the show becomes disinteresting (which I don’t think will happen) or when that line is crossed (wherever the line may be), I’m going to keep watching with bright eyes and a smile on my face. 🙂

Note: I see you’ve noted the lack of pictures on the site.  This is because I’m a) at work; b) lack the skillset to download/screen capture nice shots; and c) don’t like to steal from others who’ve worked hard.  For-gi-ba-ness, puh-reze!


11 thoughts on “OreImo Episode 04: Here We Go…or No?

  1. I’m feeling the two main issues for most are going to be the cliches and the high potential for the series to go down an incestuous route; and the associated pandering.

    The slip-n-grope was quite uncalled for, but honestly I feel it’s less of a sign that there will/should be some strange romantic rights down the road, because it did serve some strange purpose in leaving an “impression” on Kirino’s friends (namely Ayase, I guess). … it was overdone, regardless.

    I have little thoughts about the cliche, but I’m hoping that the incestuous tone is merely something danced around; like an “almost, but not quite” circumstance. I don’t mind it in this respect, and for the two of them, who are basically “strangers” to each other, the boy-girl tensions are actually normal, despite being related. (these are teenagers after all)

    In any case, the most despairing part of this episode was the realization that maybe we’ve figured out Kirino already… and that sucks.

    1. Interesting thoughts, particularly your last one. Have we figured her out already? Quite possibly…then again, I guess that doesn’t matter much to me. I’m looking forward to learning more about the supporting characters and seeing relationships (as in friendships…or whatever happens with Kyousuke and the girls who like him/he likes) develop. For a carefully constructed, thoughtful series, I’d want to see protagonists unfold as the show goes along; for a fun series like this, I don’t care so much, as long as I like the protagonists – and this series, I do.

      1. I’m not confident we’ve figured her out, but I can only imagine that the story is basically going to maintain a conflict-resolution pattern… so maybe we’ll learn how her and Kyou will handle various situation, but I question how much change we’ll see in Kirino (static vs dynamic character, etc).

        And yea, I’m in it for fun, and maybe some heartwarming moments.

  2. …yea the slip-n-grope is written in for two reasons. The plot called for an embarrassing situation involving the siblings, and it’s one of those tropes that the show mocks, so it was inserted.

    I’m not sure what else is there to it. Seems kind of far fetched otherwise…

    1. Fall over on top of your sister, one thing. Fall over on top of her, revealing her underwear and putting her hand on her hoo-haa, another thing entirely. I think that scene showed a lot about the mindset of the people behind the show.

  3. I didn’t read too much about this. It’s simply an awkward situation and a bit of fan service. It doesn’t put the anime in one direction or another.

    1. Perhaps you’re right, and the blogosphere is overreacting. Those believing siscon is on the way point and evidence from previous episodes as well, though. They might also be looking ahead from what they’ve read or hear about from the light novels. And others, like me, are reacting to these reviewers.

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