All subsequent reviews will refer to the show as OreImo, cos yep, I be blogging it. As for why this is two episodes; firstly, because two are out now, secondly, because I’m an idiot and somehow watched the second one before the first one (it was labelled as 1 for some reason, alright. But it was surprisingly coherent so I didn’t even realize until later, go me).
This won’t be the last of the batch reviews; I’m a bit strapped for time but I’ll put up a batch review for eps 2 and 3 of Squid Girl when I get more work done.
Ep 1: Kousaka doesn’t have the best relationship with his younger sister – like a lot of guys, really. He doesn’t understand her strange, feminine ways, and she usually acts like a little brat. However, one day he accidentally discovers a strange DVD case in the house – an otakuriffic magical girl anime called Hoshizuku Witch Meruru, with an eroge hidden inside it – and it turns out that Kirino owns it. Now that he knows her secret as a closet-otaku (literally), Kirino decides to open up to her brother more as she had nobody to talk to about her hobby; being terrified of letting her parents know that she actually has a stack of eroge higher than herself. Kousaka is more than a little weirded out by all this, and his discoveries about the world of otaku that he previously knew nothing about are enlightening and more than a little disconcerting. And so the siblings form a new bond…
Episode 2: Kousaka is already starting to tire a little of being the only one that Kirino can talk to about her hobby, seeing as he’s not very interested in it himself. Because Kirino says she can’t tell any of her school friends about it, he suggests she makes some new otaku friends. Kirino goes to a female-otaku meetup organised online, where she meets the eccentric ‘otaku girls unite’ community-moderator Saori and the snarky gothloli Ruri. Sworn enemies at first conversation, the two girl-otaku manage to bond through arguing…about magical girl anime vs gothic fujoshi-bait anime of course.
Everyone going on about how this is siscon before watching it, kindly go stick your head in a toilet and press flush. Thanks. This is a great show from what I’ve seen – an otaku-orientated comedy that doesn’t rely on established, tired otaku-comedy tropes. Firstly it’s modernly relevant – showing types of anime beyond magical girl/harem/mecha which is what most other otaku comedies stick to. (Ruri’s angst-fest anime looks freaking hilarious, it was like I was watching Vampire Geass-ouki.) It also shows other female otaku as what they are – ordinary girls, and a -lot- of them rather than just the ‘token girl’ of an otherwise all-male otaku group. They’re just like the otaku girls I met in Fukuoka, so this whole show just gives me this warm fuzzy homely feeling. Kousaka”s reactions to finding out about otaku things – the fact that the cutesy games are 18+ (and Kirino’s matter-of-fact acceptance of this), for example, was freaking hilarious. I also love the part in episode two where Ruri and Kirino try to one-up the other over whose fandom has the creepiest following with a trip to the doujinshi section – perverted old men, or yaoi fans?
The sibling relationship is never played as anything other than a growing sibling bond – aside from some jokes to subvert the viewer’s expectations. It’s actually portrayed quite well, and is even touching. Kirino may act like a bit of a bitch…but she’s a younger sister, and it’s a far more realistic portrayal than a clinging doe-eyed girl crooning ‘oniii-chaaan’, and she’s not over-the-top tsundere either. The way most siblings act. As far as first impressions go, this was a really positive one for me; and the top-knotch animation quality and story-direction definitely helped with that. Best new show this season in my opinion, although it’s probably not for everyone.