Taking a trip down the memory lane
I have another confession to make – I do not really like extended flashbacks. Mainly because they disrupt the flow of a story greatly by diverging away from the main plot. Yes, some back-story would be nice and all; can we please get back to the issue at hand? Flashbacks are really a tricky literary device to use, sometimes they are crucial in filling up the blanks; at other times they seem to feel totally out-of-place. Initially I wasn’t pleased with the finale starting off with a flashback, thinking that there was no way they should be doing this if they wanted any semblance of a decent ending. Now that I’ve finished the entire episode though, it’s a little more acceptable considering the ambiguous ending that the series stopped at.
That said, the flashbacks aren’t entirely meaningless, although they could’ve been much shorter (imo) since the moral of the story was fairly straightforward. It was simply a tale of how little Kirino used to look up to her older brother, how he had the brains and the brawn; how “cool” he was and more importantly, how he was always there for her.
Everything changes except for change itself
People change. Perspectives change. With a role model elder sibling that is Kyousuke, Kirino wanted to stand on the same stage as him. It’s no different from having the feeling or saying that “I wanna be like that person”. Indeed, it’s a strange phenomenon, one that I can’t quite put into words myself – when your life has been illuminated by someone, it makes you want to emulate that very same person. And that is why people “copy” celebrities and idols when it comes to fashion statements and trends. Aiming to be like her brother, Kirino worked hard to become the Kirino that we all know
and love today.
However, Kirino wasn’t the only one that had changed. In her eyes, Kyousuke had grown complacent; lazy; normal, unlike the “ideal” brother that she once held high regards for. Placing the blame on Manami for “taking” her beloved brother away and shattering her illusion, that was the beginning of the “cold war” between Kirino and Kyousuke – as he is no longer the “Kyousuke” that Kirino once knew.
As for Kirino’s subsequently new-found hobby, let’s just say it was a bottomless abyss once her curiosity got the better of her. Interestingly, I believe that it wasn’t revealed how and why Kirino became an “otaku” up till now, not that it should shock or surprise anyone. The reason Kirino was into little sister stuff was simply due to the “void” that was left by Kyousuke (not that it was really his fault). When 3D fails you, turn to 2D (viewer discretion is advised).
The things that don’t change
Maybe Manami’s words to Kirino were true. Maybe Kyousuke was never the fantastic; capable brother Kirino thought she was. The answer to that question, only Kyousuke knows. Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter either way, because it’s all in the past now.
To me, what is of more importance is the part of Kyousuke that never changed (assuming that he did change as a person). Past glories aside, he is now overshadowed by Kirino, possibly because he was never the superstar Kirino thought of him. Even though the two grew distant after that fateful day, the ice was broken when Kirino sought Kyousuke’s advice about “a certain hobby” of hers (oh the irony).
It was then apparent, that no matter how much the two of them changed, they still care about each other deep down inside. Kyousuke was always there when Kirino needed some form of help, whereas Kirino relied her brother – all of this wouldn’t be possible if either one of them didn’t care.
And that is the strength of their relationship. It can’t be seen, only felt. Sometimes it may wane, but it will never fade no matter how much time passes. The bond between siblings.
Excuse me. For some reason I thought that a decisive conclusion was impending, however this episode turned out to be everything but conclusive. With that I came into this episode with the wrong levels of expectations and thus, a little disappointed. To be frank almost every other episode was way more enjoyable to watch compared to the finale. This episode to me seems more of a lukewarm point to end S2 at, since S3 (if it ever comes) should be the final installment as the light novel (if I remember correctly) has recently ended. With an unsatisfying ending like that, some points will have to be deducted even though Oreimo is still by far one of the shows that I enjoyed the most this year.
I could sing praises about this show all day and all night, but I’ll keep it brief:
- Characters – Everyone should have a heroine that they are rooting for. In fact, all of the characters are likeable in one way or another (haters gonna hate). Not going to go into why I think X is awesome, or Y sucks cause that would easily be another 1000 words per character (just joking but you get the point).
- Facial expressions – Oreimo doesn’t have the highest quality in terms of animations (if you pay enough attention), the main focus was making sure that the characters have vivid expressions and well-detailed faces (which is why there are a lot of closeup shots and lesser background-heavy frames).
- Voice acting – Seiyuus bring a character to life. It is no secret that the trio of Hana Kana + Taketatsu Ayana + Hayami Saori (Kuroneko, Kirino, Ayase respectively) represents the star-power of Oreimo, but even the rest of the cast are no slouch either. Nakamura Yuuichi, Tamura Yukari, Satou Satomi (Kyousuke, Kanako, Manami) are the names that come to mind.
- Comedy – It goes without saying that watching Oreimo almost never fails to put a smile on my face when something silly or ridiculous happens.
- Romance? – *cough* While Oreimo isn’t strictly a RomCom given how the romance factor is nearly nonexistent, there has been much developments with regards to most of the heroines who are remotely interested in Kyousuke. Again, if and when S3 does become a reality, I fully expect these issues to be addressed.
At this point I’m thinking that I should actually re-watch S1 + the 4 episode specials just to refresh myself since it has been 2.5 years after all; I can only remember bits and pieces about what happened back then. Other than that this show personally holds a special place in my heart because it does reflect my real-life situation a little (don’t jump to conclusions), thus whenever I watch Oreimo it does make me ponder about what I should/need to do.
All that I have left to say is – S3 when?