48 CommentsAnime Analysis, First Impressions, Ore no Imouto / By Scamp /

Ore no Imouto: From a Veteran’s Perspective

While there were some people who stated that it might not be the case, the fan opinion off what ‘My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute’ was going to turn out like was a wish-fulfillment for sibling deprived men who fantasise about having a little sister. Those who did not understand what it was like to have a little sister, the joys having a pre-pubescent girl waking them up in the middle of the night to play eroge sounded like their idea of heaven.

Certainly, there were folks who were eagerly anticipating their dreams being fulfilled in anime form. But for those of us not incestiously inclined, would there be any value? Would it, more importantly, have any sort of realistic brother/sister relationship in a medium that lusting after your sibling is the rule rather than the exception? Is having a little sister who is an otaku really that great? Why not ask those with experience then! So help answer that, I’m joined by mefloraine from Paper Flower who, like myself, has a younger sister who is an otaku (well, they watch anime, which is a start).

Scamp: Pre-discovery of her horrible, shameful secret (it’s always amused me how horrific the lable of otaku seems to be in anime. You’d swear from the reactions people have to the name that they had just implied someone was a pedophile or something…oh wait), it’s a fairly accurate depiction of family life. They acknowledge each others existence but beyond that don’t really think about it. You get so used to their existence that you stop thinking about them. Which is kinda what the start of the anime is saying. No, your little sister is not as cute as otaku culture makes them out to be.

mefloraine: Sister?  What sister?  You mean that creature I’m forced to drive all around town?  I too was impressed by the show’s realism in this aspect.  Little sisters are like a paperweight until you need to use them for something.  Or until they come up and start pestering you for things.  And no, it’s not cute pestering.  It’s an incessant, loud whine and a repetition of your name that induces headache, not “d’awwww”.

Scamp: The whole scene where she reveals her hobby is actually pretty realistic too. I’m sitting there, waiting to unleash my hatred and squickyness of the whole siscon movement that I was expecting to take place, but this anime just refused to go that way. The sister acted…normal! The awkwardness when discussing something uncomfortable followed by the total ease of conversation that naturally flows between the two. Probably more importantly is the brothers reaction. There’s no gazing down the top, wild imaginations nor any of the typical reactions anime tends to put in these situations.

mefloraine: Unlike Scamp, I wasn’t afraid of potential siscon antics in this show at all, but it was much nicer to see what actually transpired.  Not knowing about your sister’s hobby, such as her modeling job, was probably the easiest thing for me to relate to.  Aside from the things I have to drive her to and what she’s watching for the current anime season, I have no idea what my sister does with her free time.

I think the only thing about this part of the episode that differed from what I would expect in reality was a lack of awkward laughing.  Which would then transform into giggles and goading, but I think that might be because I’m an older sister, not an older brother.  The awkwardness, however, would be the same.  Either way, “My sister is actually very perverted?  Hooray, maybe she’ll let me do weird things to her!” wouldn’t make any sense.

It was also pleasant to see: “And I don’t feel any love.  Only anger, usually.”  Yes.  There is no moe, only irritation.

Scamp: But as realistic as I found the relationship between the two, this is still an anime that will toss out a gratuitous, pre-pubescent ass shot. Make no mistake, one of the main aims is still to make sibling-less otaku wish they had a little sister this ‘cute’. She’s not the type of sister that appears in one of her awful games, but the end result on the viewer’s side is the same. If you were a cynic, you wouldn’t be unable to look beyond that fact. But for a change, they’re not acting in world like it’s a totally normal thing to want and kawaii imouto that you not-so-secretly want to bone. That’s my main issue with the way most anime depict little sisters (including the “but she’s not blood related so it’s all right!” type) and to get one that actually says the total opposite is…refreshing I guess.

mefloraine: It’s very, very refreshing.  In fact, this show takes that idea and spits on it.   Kyousuke doesn’t care that his sister’s butt is wagging in the air.  He just wants her out of his room.  Kyousuke doesn’t care that she was a model; he didn’t even know!  And then, Kirino sits and babbles about why she loves little sisters, and Kyousuke doesn’t understand it at all.  Much like when my little sister rambles about why Hakuouki is actually watchable, but I digress.

Kirino doesn’t even fit her own ideal little sister character!  Black hair and twin tails?  Nope.  Clearly she must not be a little sister.  She just isn’t that cute.

Scamp: So that’s a perfect pass from two older siblings of sisters that are quite clearly ‘not that cute’. Which is exactly what this anime is trying to say. It actually ended up having one of the strongest first episodes of the season. Besides, if you actually want brother and sister getting it on, there’s Yosuga no Sora airing this season.

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  1. Posted October 6, 2010 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    Even so, maybe this is an attempt to demystify some things about having a younger sibling (such as that they’re not annoying :P)?

    • Scamp
      Posted October 6, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      Siblings are always annoying. Even when they’re not

      • Poro
        Posted October 8, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

        D: then my relationship with my sister is totally alien!!!?!?!? Q_Q my sister and get along just fine. Or is it just because there is such a large age difference between us?? Idk maybe it is because my sister does dress up and wear sidetails quite fashionably. Perhaps it is because my sister really is the stereotypical little sister found in anime. Perhaps she just can’t annoying me because I am twice her height, can quite literally pick her up throw her across the room (with one hand). And sorry little sister across the world, feel no remorse and kicked my sister off my bed.

  2. Posted October 6, 2010 at 1:20 am | Permalink

    I have a little sister too and yes complete oposite as this girl here lol mine watches some anime but mostly reads manga, we tend to argue more than talk.

    But for the show..I will watch it just for the lols

    • Scamp
      Posted October 6, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      Arguing is talking! It’s better than completely ignoring one another

      • Poro
        Posted October 8, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        Not when it degenerates to bickering. Then, that leads to the younger beating the older and the older just having to take it.

      • Posted October 9, 2010 at 12:56 am | Permalink

        Y-yeah. My little sister is stronger than me, too. ;__;

  3. Posted October 6, 2010 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    I’m pondering how I could write and entry and a response to this. My little sister was cute, after the fact, though I was rarely irritated with her… hmm, but I think it goes without saying that at some point between siblings there is a time when we don’t really know what they do in their free time.

    In the end, I think this series should be more about ‘getting along’ rather than ‘getting it on’… etc.

    Nice tandem post guys :)

    • Scamp
      Posted October 6, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      Well I do know what my sister does in her free time. She watches anime. More of it than me actually (although that’s because she watches the long running shounens). So I kinda took the approach of what it was like a couple of years ago when I didn’t talk to my sister as much.

  4. Ragnarok
    Posted October 6, 2010 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    I had a look at the manga and is just like Ryana said, is more about getting along that getting on.

    I don’t have any siblings so I don’t know how realistic this show really is
    so I shall trust the veterans in this aspect.
    But finally a brother sister relationship without incest without taking the eroges into the equation of course.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 6, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      We weren’t sure whether we should use the word Veteran. Mefloraine thought it was a creepy word. But this is my blog so she had to obey by my rules mwahahaha!!

  5. Posted October 6, 2010 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    The siscon theme kinda bothered me since we all know what to expect. Thank goodness it wasn’t that horrid and like I said in my first impression post, Kirino is relate-able for the like of us. So yes, I agree this is the only show so far that has a strong first episode.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 6, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      Bakuman had a fairly strong first episode (along with Arakawa but 2nd season so bleh). But otherwise yeah, this has surprisingly been one of the strongest first episodes of the season

  6. luffyluffy
    Posted October 6, 2010 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    I don’t have an otaku little sister, I AM the otaku little sister.

    With some shades of budding Hikikomori too… I should be worried about that.. probably..

    • Scamp
      Posted October 6, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      So you’re the one having your bum in the air, looking for your dropped yaoi manga under your brothers bed hmmm?

      • luffyluffy
        Posted October 6, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

        And my brothers the one looking at my ass in the air, yep.

      • Poro
        Posted October 8, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Permalink


  7. Posted October 6, 2010 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    I’m really, really glad there’s no incest going on in the show, but not all little sisters are irritating. Of course I also know better than to even think about waking my older brother up after he’s gone to bed unless the house was burning down or something.

    Now that we’ve cleared the incest obstacle, we’ll see if the show can keep up with the funniness.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 6, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      I’m pretty certain that even if the house was burning down you wouldn’t straddle him either though

      • Posted October 6, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

        Yeah that wasn’t realistic of a typical sibling relationship at all. I would die before straddling my brother – for any reason. Ever.

  8. Posted October 6, 2010 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    First of all, I love that you and mefloraine teamed up on this – great idea!

    Second, I agree mostly with everything you two commented on. At THIS point, the series doesn’t go down the creepy, pandering path. The brother’s reactions and thoughts in the first episode suggest that he won’t ever think that way…though I’ve seen other commenters who have read the manga infer otherwise. I hope that their relationship stays clean, though other characters thinking otherwise will certainly be welcome. :P

    • Scamp
      Posted October 6, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      I’ve read reviews of the LNs and they seem to play up the moe angle more than anything else. We’ll have to wait and see. It’s such a strange thing to get hung up on, but it really does bug me how anime acts like it’s totally normal to want to bang your kawaii imouto

  9. smallish
    Posted October 6, 2010 at 3:28 am | Permalink

    What? Shows with realistic relationships between siblings?

    Liar. Those don’t exist.

    (But I’m totally going to check this out. I have an older brother and I always kind of wanted a show that depicted that kind of relationship in a believable, realistic way.)

    • Scamp
      Posted October 6, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t think they existed either. Apparently the only way to do that is to point out that you’re not like those other otaku shows. The only anime that don’t have the kawaii imouto fetish are this and Genshiken, both done with the intention of going against the standerd

  10. Posted October 6, 2010 at 4:30 am | Permalink

    my younger sister likes anime too and we battle it out all the time over everything. i facepalm and roll my eyes at her all the time but in the end it’s like im her second mom.

    only checking this out if they have epic fights like normal siblings and extra points if she’s revealed to be a fujoushi.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 6, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      In short, they should stop being awkward around each other and eventually grow used to their hobbies.

      I dunno. It’s lazy to say this, but we’ll see

  11. Posted October 6, 2010 at 4:35 am | Permalink

    I am the younger (twin) sister. I wonder what she’d think…

    You know, it’d be cool if there was a show that realistically depicted the relationship between twins without them wanting to bang each other. Ouren got it close but they still faked wanting to bang each other. ;__________;

    I give up. There will never be an anime for me. Luckily we do also have a younger/older dynamic so it’s not a total loss…

    • Scamp
      Posted October 6, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      Most twins in anime seem to be basically the same character with a mirror image. To use my maths teacher’s favourite phrase, they’d be “the same only different”. Realistic depiction of twins doesn’t really happen

      • Posted October 7, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

        Yet, I’ve never met a twin who is a mirror image, actually. And I’ve met
        a lot of twins. I’ve met twins who are creepily tight, but never mirror images.

  12. Posted October 6, 2010 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Like what others have spoken, this anime, so far, has hit it right on the dot in terms of the realism factor with the sibling interactions. So it goes without saying that I’ll be interested in seeing where this show goes, since in my experience, having siblings who watch anime does result in some interesting discussions that run from shared experiences (the whole living in the same family deal) even if our preferences differ oh so slightly.

    Also, the only point at which this anime differs from my life is that my sibs tend to be pretty comfortable in their own skin, and so, don’t view that hobby with the near-pariah level that you see in Oreimo.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 6, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      I’ll just toss this out here: I’m not that worried about realistic characters. Everyone’s bro/sis relationship is slightly different so looking for realism might just be someone elses realism. I’m happy as long as they don’t act like they want to bang each other.

      I think the lack of comfort with her hobby is down to the parents and the fact she’s still only 14. You’re still very insecure when you’re 14, especially when you’re a girl, so no wonder she’s so worried about this hobby of hers.

  13. Posted October 6, 2010 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    I think what made the first episode work was that the little sister was not the object of sexual desire, as you seem to have feared, but rather as the character that you associate the most with. While Kyousuke may be the main character, the target audience (male otaku), associates much more with Kirino and her obsession to possess stuff associated with her favorite cute things.

    It’s a commentary on our hobbies (not particularly rare anymore), with a slight twist, and “realism” will definitely continue to be important for it to be convincing.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 6, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      Well, she was still waving her bum in the air, so it’s not like the show isn’t making her an object of sexual desire.

      Also I’m not sure if we are meant to associate with Kirino. Think about how many anime have had sarcastic male leads, like Kyon from Haruhi. Those types of characters wouldn’t take off if people didn’t like to think of themselves as similar to those types of characters.

      That’s still a cynical approach to the show, but when you take off that cynics view, there isn’t actually anything reproachable about Ore no Imouto

  14. Posted October 6, 2010 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Nice post.
    Think I’m gonna check it out.
    Even though the ass shot freaked me out.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 6, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      Trying to escape ass shots in anime is a fruitless task

      • Poro
        Posted October 8, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

        i would beg to differ. but yeah, if you want to watch some good animes then you will have to go through them. But w.e at least you don’t get flashed in most of them… in MOST of them…

  15. Posted October 6, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Well this wasn’t bad at all, and you could be fair towards it when you try~

    although, there are sibling relationship that are really close (not in a sibcon way), where the big brother acts like a cross before guardian x BFF— several of my friends have that, but I guess that’s relatively rare in the world. Course, like meffy, I was never worried about the incest as much as— being an eroge otaku is hard (;-; ), not that I’m one <.<

    • Scamp
      Posted October 6, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      I wasn’t actually trying to be fair at all. I was ready to puke all over this =/

      There are sibling relationships that are really close, but clearly theirs wasn’t one so I adjusted my expectations to that level

  16. Posted October 6, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    The problem with this show isn’t the sister stuff. I just don’t find seeing someone being insecure about their hobby all that interesting. At least with Genshiken there was more to it than “I’m an otaku and people think that’s bad.” That sounds way too much like the plot to a bad afterschool special from the 80s. I’ll give it another episode or two, but I’m not feeling it.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 7, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      Well it was only the first episode. And it was as much about the brother and sister finding something that helps them grow closer together than it was insecurity about a hobby

  17. Posted October 6, 2010 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    I, for one, am not yet convinced of the purity of its intentions. The girl has only interest in siscon eroge, not yaoi or other shoujo shipping fodder. That’s weird no matter how you cut it. Then, she’s a pro model in middle school(?), without her brother or parent’s knowledge. I’m not saying it couldn’t happen, its the way the episode brushed it off like it was nothing was what set off alarm bells. And finally, like you noted, it’s preoccupied with framing the girl in compromising positions, like on top of her brother in bed late at night. It’s saying one thing, but doing another, which makes me believe its intentions aren’t as kosher as it seems.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 7, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      A girl who likes yaoi manga wouldn’t be quite as much a hobby to be ashamed of I would have thought.

      I do agree that it still will cater to that crowd that like the idea of having a cute little sister who they want to bang. But that’s taking very much a cynics approach. That’s like complaining about the Panty Stocking transformation sequence because it’s used to sell figurenes of them in that pose. That’s like complaining about a new mecha because it’s just there to have more gunpla to sell. It’s true, but so long as they don’t effect the quality of said anime then it shouldn’t be a problem.

  18. Posted October 8, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    I think a lot of otaku, who are already skeptical of certain social norms, don’t quite buy into the incest taboo. Especially if they don’t actually have an imouto, they might not have to take it seriously – I know a few people who required explanations to “get” it.

    Kadian and others point out the use of risque scenes, which raises an interesting question: such scenes appear throughout other anime. Are we being hypersensitive about them here because of the undercurrent of normalizing incest? And if the show doesn’t make a big deal of it, do we actually think that is going to cause something to happen? Or are we simply reflexively shuddering at the thought because we are trained to do so?

    Questioning society’s taboos is the most essential function of art, so even if the show is pandering and risque, in this context, it would be artistic.

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