45 CommentsMetablogging, Ore no Imouto / By Scamp /

Ore no Imouto episode 5

Episode 4 sure caused a lot of discussion across anime blogs. Since my post was one of the first out, I wasn’t able to respond to them  in a post of my own, leaving it to the relevant comment sections. But it was really interesting to read all the various interpretations and thoughts towards the episode and Ore no Imouto as a whole. It was made all the more interesting thanks to the furor and insistence of the posts and comments. Obviously there was plenty I didn’t agree with and no argument made ultimately me change my mind hugely about the show. But it did help me to reassess my thoughts and evaluate what this show was trying to achieve.

There is one train of thought that I feel I have to address though. It’s nothing about the show itself, that is all ultimately just opinions. Neither am I talking about how people phrase their arguments, despite some of the comments bringing to my attention the prevalence of people using ‘haters gonna hate’ as a legitimate counter-argument for criticism (no it’s not, and stop using it you idiots). What I want to address is the idea that this discussion across blogs in such a manner is a negative thing. That responding to each others’ posts in a manner directly disagrees with what they wrote is a negative thing. It absolutely is not. It’s by far the best thing anime blogs can do as a community. You don’t want everyone agreeing with each other in one happy circle of joy. You need dissenting opinions that show each side to the anime or subject in question. Between bloggers’ reactions to Endless Eight, the arguments over fanart recognition and other such incidents, I wish the aniblogsphere had more of this. That’s what really promotes critical thinking and challenges people to properly construct their posts when they know there are those out there who will disagree with them.

Sorry for those of you who only read this blog, but it’s well worth your time checking out other anime blogs and not just listening to my narrow view of the world. The blogroll on the sidebar is a good place to start, as is Anime Nano. Anyway, enough of that. Onto the actual episode.

Episode 5 was a step straight into melodrama central, with varying degrees of success. It can be divided up into 3 segments.

  1. Doujinshi in the Rain
  2. Hugging the Heart Cushion
  3. Kyousuke becomes The Cart Driver

In between these 3 massive pieces of melodrama, there were much more subtle pieces of character development. I guess this comes down to me being a massive fan of subtly and not a fan of melodrama, but the quieter pieces were far better executed.

Take Doujinshi in the Rain. I’m not sure if this was intentional, but I had a massive grin on my face the entire way through, even breaking into laughter when Ayase said “we can’t be friends” in a deadly serious tone. It was so corny and handled in such a heavy handed way that it was impossible to keep a straight face. Hugging the Heart Cushion was handled quite considerably better, probably because of the lack of ‘mood-setting’ BGM and oppressive atmosphere. But it did serve that extra annoyance of trying to depict a realistic bro/sis relationship while remaining an imouto-complex otaku-pandering anime. The two simply do not mix and it’s frustrating and jarring to watch them try to fit in the two together.

But then you take some of the smaller aspects of the show, such as Kuroneko’s reaction to Kirino rejecting them as weidos, or the dad’s oddly tsundere attitude, or even Ayase’s surprisingly level reasoning as to why she didn’t approve of Kirino’s hobby, suddenly you realise how clever and well-written this show can be. I keep wanting to say this is a well-written show at at heart that insists on pandering to the otaku, but the opposite is really the case. This is a true otaku-pandering show at heart. It’s just the layers over it are of real high quality, so much so that the core otaku-fodder isn’t readily apparent and can be dismissed as misinterpretation in the earlier episodes. But nope, pre-season predictions were correct. I was led on by those who said it really wasn’t otaku pandering and my own wishful thinking. I shouldn’t have expected anything else from AIC.

In a way, coming to terms with this is a huge relief. I no longer find myself quite as frustrated at the glaring flaws in presentations of two themes that simply cannot exist simultaneously. It’s still annoying that it tries to play up the bro/sis relationship while also depicting Kirino as the ultimate otaku wet dream and having Kyousuke being the character they project themselves into. Her spiel about how she’s the absolute perfect girl but also happens to be an otaku would have been painful to watch if I hadn’t come to terms with this.

In short, I’ve given up on this series having real substance. ‘My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute’ is a show about an older brother baffled by the imouto complex depicted in Japanese literature, mainly when it comes to eroge and otaku products. However my original thoughts was that this would lead to the show disproving that older brothers don’t want to bone their younger sisters by depicting a relationship between two in an environment where so many signs tell them that they should fancy each other. Instead what we got is the anime showing us that having a tsundere little sister can be just as awesome as having the clingy type of little sister normally depicted. I don’t think this will ever turn into an incest anime directly, as in they will never actually admit they love each other or anything like that (the synopsis of the latest book that is flying about is just a tease to get people to buy the book expecting the cocktease relationship to finally boil over). We’ll get an anime in which the little sister is just as desirable, if not more, than those depicted in the eroge they play so far. It’s kind of depressing to think that Ore no Imouto thinks that it’s subverting the genre by changing the character archetype of the imouto character.

Oh, and Kyousuke the Cart Driver? Nicking this from ExecutiveOtaku who threw up this idea on twitter. Currently what Kyousuke is doing is gathering up the hate of the world in order to protect Kirino. Sound familiar? If Ore no Imouto has a Cart Driver ending, I will drop everything negative I’ve said about this show.

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44 Comments

  1. Posted November 2, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    I love tsundaddy. Hearing that from Gendo fucking Ikari just makes it even weirder, though.

    • Posted November 3, 2010 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      So when’s the fifth impact?

    • Scamp
      Posted November 3, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      I never hear Gendo when listening to him. That must be because I associate Gendo less with his voice and more with his demeaning stare

      • Posted November 3, 2010 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

        “I-It’s not like I’m re-making the world because I like you or anyhing!”

  2. luffyluffy
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    I find it odd that Ayase doesn’t know what Summer Comiket and Doujinshi are.

    • Posted November 2, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

      It’s not that odd. When I went to Anime Expo this year, there were a couple of grad students (I think) who basically reacted like “wtf is this i don’t even” and asked me what the hell was going on when a bunch of Naruto cosplayers were walking around everywhere. And AX has been in Los Angeles for three years now.

      If you don’t care about something, it’s definitely possible to ignore it entirely. I’ve been doing that with popular music since college! It’s great!

      • luffyluffy
        Posted November 2, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

        Well, I guess it’s chalking it up to “Japanese people in Japan knowing Japanese things.”

        Not to offend, if you’re Japanese though D:

      • Posted November 2, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

        I’m about as Japanese as you probably are. :p

      • luffyluffy
        Posted November 2, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

        Ooh, sexy beancakes. <3

        HEY GUYS, ANYONE NOTICE HOW AYASE AND KIRINO LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME BUT WITH DIFFERENT HAIR COLORS?

        But only in school uniforms.

  3. smallish
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Doujinshi in the rain was the saddest thing I had ever, ever seen. Seriously, those things are expensive.

    Also, someday I will watch Code Geass merely so I can understand what this cart driver thing is about. (No spoilers, please.)

    • Scamp
      Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

      You are not allowed to read this blog any further until you at least start watching that series.

      (btw you’re kinda lucky. I went back and re-worded that final paragraph to make sure there wasn’t spoilers)

    • Posted November 3, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

      I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who was distracted by the expensive doujinshi getting soaked in the rain!

  4. Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    “Haters gonna hate” isn’t so much a counterargument as it is an admission that you have no proper response. Those who use it realize this. It’s a meme.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 3, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      I think you over-estimate those who use it. It’s meant to be an admission you have no proper response, but people do use it thinking it’s a legitimate counter-argument

  5. Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Haters gotta hate!

    Anyway, the whole show has been floating around above average for me and I’ve been mostly indifferent about it where I try to find the 2-3 scenes in episode that I enjoy and leave it at that. Most of my points of interest tend to be the family dynamics, which play out fairly well even if they do wander into the melodramatic territory. And that’s because it’s fairly different from how my family operates.

    Notes:
    Thought I’d see a Higurashi repeat, which would have been hilarious. Ayase’s seiyuu sure knows how to make good use of silences to be pretty menacing. Also, the introduction of someone anti-otaku was something we haven’t seen before, which is a nice change from Nogizaka Haruka and the number of RAH RAH OTAKU shows we’ve seen in the past. Not to say that there haven’t been, but I don’t think the tension ever flew up to this level.

    Kirino beating her brother with a heart pillow… symbolism thar?

    Tsundaddy was actually hilarious and I don’t know if the comedy was intentional there. But it sure got me to laugh because it was nice to see a male tsundere for once. And an old one at that!

    Kyousuke made me raise a few eyebrows (more than two if you can believe it) at the end of the show because the execution and context was so hammy that I’m not sure anyone could have taken him seriously. I guess Ayase’s too gullible and swallowed that pretty quickly.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 3, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      Combine Hirarashi end with Cart Driver end and you have one of the single greatest anime of all time, regardless on incest

  6. Posted November 3, 2010 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    Between blog­gers’ reac­tions to End­less Eight, the argu­ments over fan­art recog­ni­tion and other such incid­ents, I wish the anib­log­sphere had more of this.

    aniblog tourney. mission accomplished. heyyo! :-P

    • Scamp
      Posted November 3, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      Damn straight! It’s been a while since the tourney too. The sphere needed something to jolt it into action. Sometimes some sibling groping is what it takes

  7. Chen
    Posted November 3, 2010 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    Desirable? Ahahahahahahahahahaha.

    You must have missed the backlash from various blogs and communities. Only the most dedicated masochists would get a kick out of her constant berating and disparaging comments. No, I reckon the rest of the female cast will gain more and more support if she continues this path.

    • Posted November 3, 2010 at 3:58 am | Permalink

      Well, I get a kick of her. She reminds me of myself when I was a wee teenager distraught with the angst of being a girl.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 3, 2010 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      Tell that to the massive amount of Kirino avatars I’m seening on twitter and forums…

    • Posted November 3, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

      Kirino is but a mere pup compared to the queen of bitchy, abusive tsundere, Louise de la Valliere.

  8. Posted November 3, 2010 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    You know arguing and disagreeing is how show our love. It’s just been a quiet season.

    Re: Haters going to hate. As my blog becomes increasingly more and more silly, it was an attempt to inject some humor into my seriously serious post. When I made the statement/posted the gif though, it wasn’t at a counterargument, but as a concession, that yes, people are going to hate it, and they have valid reasons to hate it, but I’m still enjoying it.

    Although you surprised me…I expected you to hate this episode, but I think you liked it better then I did. I liked parts, but others were so cheesy and overdramatic. I’m also really stressed, and it’s affecting my ability to just chill on the negative parts.

    (Maybe a future post on how mood affects opinions of anime shows? Hm….)

    • Posted November 3, 2010 at 3:59 am | Permalink

      *couple of quiet seasons

    • Scamp
      Posted November 3, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      I wasn’t actually referring to your post. You dropped it in at the end as a sort of meh, whatever statement. Although in a few of the cases it was just that chikorita idiot so eh, I should probably not worry about it too much. That’s why I only gave it one sentance mention.

      I didn’t actually do much talking about this episode in the post. Most of it was just stating my new outlook on the show, occasionally using parts of the episode to reaffirm my position. Now that that’s been cleared up, I’m not sure what I’m going to write about anymore =|

      • Posted November 4, 2010 at 4:34 am | Permalink

        Watch what you say about other bloggers, it may come back to haunt you. ;)

        Speaking from past experience, it may be best to stop writing about My Little Sister, and if you can’t find anything, well, I don’t know. I just know that blogging a show you don’t want to write about and have nothing to say is a miserable experience.

      • Scamp
        Posted November 4, 2010 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        I have considered the reprocutions of speaking about other bloggers and have come to the conclusion that in the face of such overwhelming stupidity, that I really don’t care ;)

      • Posted January 23, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

        Deep thought! Thanks for cntoriubtnig.

  9. Posted November 3, 2010 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Apparently, Kyosuke is absorbing all the hate AND getting the imouto route at the same time. How incestuously awesome is that?

    And yes, it seems that Kyosuke is vying for the Cart Driver flag, based on what I’m hearing about the rest of the novels (especially volume 7).

    • Scamp
      Posted November 3, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      Zerozaku will played the Geass fan in this show, Kuroneko

  10. Posted November 3, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    That yandere part made me laugh. USO USO!

    • Scamp
      Posted November 3, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      *desperately needs to watch Hirarashi*

      • Posted November 6, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

        You need to. Higurashi never dissapointed me. And also whiler it is bloody, for me it was never gore. Just… horror. Awesome horror.

  11. Posted November 3, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to comment again, but your post kept me thinking last night, and I realized–it’s very interesting how the episode caused me to have a stronger emotional response to the fate of comics then to the actual humans, and I think that may due to the execution you talked about.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 3, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      Yay, I made people think! Great Success!

  12. Posted November 3, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    As soon as I came to the same conclusion about this show as you did, my interest bottomed out and I dropped OreImo. I feel that I’ve seen everything this anime has to offer through five episodes, and unless there really is a Cart Driver ending there’s no more hook to see more.

    As far as the episode itself, the wild swings of melodrama hit both extremes of highs and lows. The doujin scene and the final scene were so appalling, due to Ayase acting so unbelievably, but the middle one between bro and sis was pretty OK. I need a whole folder of Mayaface.jpgs to illustrate my reactions throughout that 24 minutes.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 3, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      Well I’m in with this show for the long run. I’m not sure what more I can say about it now that I’ve come to this conclusion, but it’s kept me talking for 5 episodes so far so I’ll hope that it can keep this up

  13. Roghek
    Posted November 3, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Ill admit it, I like ore no imouto, I don’t know many animes with a brother sister love relationship so I don’t really care how this series ends.

    Is comedy, I take it as comedy because if you take this seriously you loose.
    And tsundere daddy is very funny and somehow in the picture were they were younger he reminds me of Hughes (FMA).

    • Roghek
      Posted November 3, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      And one more thing “Just according to plan” I loled at that one xD

    • Scamp
      Posted November 3, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      comedy is srs bsnss

  14. Posted November 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Much else has been said in the above comments, but I just have to say that all the fuss over OreImo is likely going to keep me watching it. I was about to drop it, but the meta-commentary about it among the community definitely makes it a ‘value added’ product in sum. I’ve wavered about whether to drop it after eps 04-05, but all this commentary is making it worth watching just to get the basic material and see how people react and interpret it.

    I’ll declare it Anime of the Year if we get a Cart Driver ending, haha!

    • Scamp
      Posted November 4, 2010 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      I’m pretty sure the ruckus will die down now. In a way, everyone has made their minds up over the show and I find it hard to see where we could generate conversation from here on. Now Ore no Imouto has proven itself to be a fascinating conversation generator so far so its worth holding out for a while longer to see what else it can produce, but I feel we’ve seen the ‘best’ it had to offer

  15. Posted November 4, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Hey hey Scamp, I didn’t say it’s not ‘otaku pandering’, I just said it’s focus wasn’t there (as far as vol1 went anyhow), and that it’s aimed to be a meta-moe series aiming for personal sympathy. Given its parody-like approach to many archetypal topics, it’s not surprising this episode was also quite ridiculously exaggerated… (I couldn’t even take it seriously)

    That being said, this author should lay off the melodrama, he has none of the mood buildup skills that experts like Maeda has…
    I do agree with Kadian that the first few episodes was probably the best OreImo has to offer— none of the followup had a central theme like that of vol1 (ep1-3) anyways.

  16. ~xxx
    Posted November 8, 2010 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Episode four was a bit boring except the fact that nothing memorable had happened and there is the scene that marks AIC, and many more I really can’t enumerate. Then the show kicks back at episode five to where tsudere dad was able to give his son a good advice[don't know what kind], and much to my generalization, I guess Kyousuke was smart for he was able to find solutions and formulate everything in a nick of time and in the end he always says ‘just as planned’ means that everything is working out for him.

    Nonetheless, OreImo was a better show than what I expected to be.

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