Oregairu’s review has been delayed because I spent a few good hours trying to find a good style to write them in and rewrote it around 2 times. So I decided to go reviewing the other series this season before I get more late work piled on me.
When I saw the end to Oreimo a few years ago, I was left satisfied with the ending. The relationship seemed fixed and Kyosuke had himself a few new friends to enjoy his new hobby with. Then the OVA’s came that followed the True Route (AKA: the light novel path) and that spiraled Kyosuke to get Kirino back from her leave overseas and also open up a romantic oppertunity with Kuroneko. Even then, I found the ending decent and didn’t expect any more from this series.
Unless I’m actively searching for that one anime adaptation of a LN or manga series, I usually don’t pay too much mind to new series. Hell I wasn’t even looking foward to almost half of the series this season with all the second seasons and revamped series. When I learned Oreimo would itself a second season, I questioned myself: What exactly is there left to tell?
The answer to that was HIGHSCHOOL! YAAAAAAAAAAAAY
Apparently, I wasn’t alone in my sentiments as some other watchers thought that the beloved series of otaku’s doing what otaku’s do will become yet another highschool harem. So did it become one?
I could just answer that and get on with the entire thing but since we’re on the thin topic of a potential harem, why not a character list?
- Kirino: So even after all that stupid shit from the first seasons and the following OVA’s, Kirino’s character remained a humongous tsundere who would never fail to make me want to slap my screen or spam Light’s Facebook message box on how annoying she is. They decided to put why she ended up hating Kyosuke at the very END. Instead of giving closure, they just decide to give us what should have been the first episode. But I can understand it because “artistic licensing” and “George Lucas” crap but I digress. By the end, Kirino does admit to being selfish over her brother and that’s all I needed to hear. Harem Girl Unit 01: IDENTIFIED!
- Manami: She rarely showed up this season but made regular contact with just about every other female character. She’s the reason why Kirino is such a bitch so I can blame the whole series on her. But while I hate what she ended up doing, I can’t really hate her when she’s just so polite. If anything, it’s Kirino’s fault for expecting “Onni-chan” to stay with her forever. But I guess it could have been worse, because a yandere is just around the corner. The question stands: Is she a harem member? Well other I can’t disagree to a positive because “childhood friend” clause states that she must be.
- Ayase: If I could pinpoint 3 characters that got the most “actual” development it would be Kirino, Ayase, and Kuroneko. Ayase was the sweet girl for the first episode she showed up back in season 1 and then that bit the dust and became somewhat more of a bitch than Kirino. Actually, no, I take that take. At least Ayase says she’s sorry and appreciates Kyousuke’s help whenver she needs it. Ayase’s violent actions toward Kyosuke seem more comedic than Kirino’s full-on bitch mode so I guess that’s what made me like Ayase a lot more. Part of the harem? How the hell not? She was the only one who gave a straight up confession
- Kuroneko: She rarely showed up and only had herself a spotlight in the quarter of the second half of the episodes. She decides to ask Kyosuke out so already, she’s a harem member. She selflessly decides to make Kirino stop being such a bitch and make her spit out the truth on how she feels for Kyosuke. That endeavor leads to the two of them breaking up, and locking Kyosuke into the only route left. Brave of Kuronek to do that, but sad that we don’t get to see too much of her later on.
- Saori: Out of left field, Saori gets a bit more sentimental with Kyosuke with all the chaos going on involving Kirino. She doesn’t show up too much when Kirino takes center stage but whether or not she was just playing around at the penultimate episode or not, maybe genuine interest does exist. Certified
- Kanako: Okay, I didn’t see this coming at all. How in the world did these two become that close? She was more from left field than Saori became and I for one, was not too entertained with her. I mean come on, they met like two times and then she brings him lunch?
So that about factors every female in the age-group to Kyosuke’s favor, and who does he choose? Instead of answering our obvious questions, the makers decided to just drag this out as long as possible and release the endings as another set of OVA’s. How enthralling
You can probably tell from my tone that I didn’t find the series that impressive. While a continuation of a good series might sound like it might be for the best, that might not be the case when the focus of a series completely shifts. The “core” aspect of Oreimo does indeed suggest that our protagonist might fall for the charms of his blood-sister, but was there any reason to have around 2-5 more competitors? Similar to how Hagani went from straight comedy to romance in its second season, Oreimo changed from its otaku comedy to romance harem with some traces of otaku comedy.
Kirino being the main focus of the series wasn’t the highlight of the entire series for me. I depended on the side characters (mostly Kuroneko or Ayase) to ease my head after experiencing Kirino’s fits of rage. I kind of liked it when the romance part was heading towards the sidelines and away from Kirino. Then this season came a long and broke away from that path and put it on overdrive to completely mend Kyosuke’s relationship with Kirino. In the end, my small “expectation” was shattered and what I have left to see is an incestuous relationship blossom in the following OVAS.
Whether you enjoy this season or not is dependent on you prioritized in this show. If you enjoyed seeing the characters anyway and wouldn’t mind seeing more of them doing what they do, by all means watch it. If you hated Kirino, you might have your opinions change about her. For me though, I still hate her as much as I hate regular tsunderes. As a sequel, I didn’t like it as much. If it was a harem beforehand, I might have forgiven it because it did one things harems rarely do: Choose one girl.
Extra: Irony > Reunion