The Oreimo Season 2 specials are beautifully hideous. In an hour and a half, they manage to completely bulldoze the meager foundation of joy that the series desperately clings to—by which I mean Kuroneko and Saori’s relevance to the plot. It plays out more like terrible fanfiction than an actual continuation of Oreimo’s story, with characters confessing their love for Kyousuke at every opportunity, and him turning them down so he can mack on/get fake-married to his sister. It’s one of the most entrancing self-destructive things ever animated.
The series had dedicated time to explaining the Kousaka siblings’ relationship before, but very little of it actually went toward portraying them as human beings, rather than crude, vaguely incestuous self-inserts. The specials exacerbated this, cutting Kyousuke off from the part of his brain that doesn’t want to throw everything away for the sake of macking on his terrible sister. No matter how much it focused on her, Kirino’s brattiness would never have become endearing, and Kyousuke’s attraction toward her would never be not creepy. It’s legitimately terrifying how quickly the two progress their relationship and admit feelings for each other.
If one moment sums up the crazy that Oreimo has accumulated over time like horny tapeworms, it’s the fateful wedding between Kyousuke and Kirino. It makes the 12 Days list because this is the point where the last vestiges of coherence are completely washed away, and we’re left with a hollow shell of broken hearts and half-assed incest. In a three-episode dismantling of remaining goodwill toward Oreimo, this stands as the apex of perplexing choices. The fake-wedding is nullified just moments after it ends, and the two move on with their lives, having learned nothing from their exercise in grandiose pointlessness. At the very least I can’t say it was boring to watch, even if it was little more than the plot lobotomizing itself for our viewing pleasure/terror.
Once I’m old and infirm, ready to pass on and leave my worldly possessions to my four dozen Inferno Cop dakimakuras (and the Inferno Cop soundtrack), my final thought will be of 2013, and how aggressively unnecessary the Oreimo specials that it spawned were. Nothing can ever purge this from my memory.