No Spoiler Anime Review, Ore no Imouto

Highly Recommended.

Ore No Imouto Ga Konna Ni Kawaii Wake Ga Nai

OK, the basics: this is not Yosuga no Sora. This is not porn. The relationship at the heart of the show usually translated as “My Little Sister Isn’t This Cute” (it’s a convoluted title, I point no fingers over its translation) is what I would call doting; the big brother dotes on his cute but annoying little sister, and the little sister has a big brother complex while being in fierce denial about this having anything to do with her very ordinary actual big brother.

But it’s so much more than that. If you want to know why, read on. This show has fantastic high-definition backgrounds that make a high end television sing. The actual characters are a step down in complexity, but are very vividly drawn, as well as marvelously voiced (in the Japanese original).

The bottom line is that while this isn’t a mecha anime show, so there’s rarely anything “action” like to toss in, there is not even the slightest blemish to detract from your nihilistic experience. Nothing was spared.

The plot is not a save the world plot or anything silly like that. This is sort of a slice-of-life show, but it’s really a spin on mouthpiecing. Allow me to explain.

In writing, a mouthpiece is a character who acts like a mouthpiece for the author, spouting the real, existing opinions of the author. This is all the more frequent in fan fiction, where a stand-in for the author is stronger, better looking, and more heroic than the real author could ever be.

(Though a frequent feature of amateur writing, I have heard of various female authors of rather popular vampire related novel series writing themselves into their main characters. Truly, being paid for that must be a good life.)

The two characters in the picture above, Kirino (the “little sister”) and her friend/ nemesis/ fated rival Kuroneko (“Black Cat”), form opposite sides in some of the great anime fandom debates of our times, including the dreaded “mainstream vs. moe” debate. In essence, they are prettier, more respectable, and as most otaku are dudes, more female stand-ins for the sort of people who dominate 2-chan and 4-chan debates. (These are giant Japanese and American “image sharing sites,” respectively.)

So in other words, a large section of the otakus who are looking at this show are looking into a mirror, and seeing a nicer, more flattering image of themselves back.

What’s funny is that these very characters are also objects of interest by these same otaku, creating a sort of infinite anime logic loop that threatens to destroy the entirety of the universe.

But I digress.

Incredible Characters

This show would be nothing without its special characters. This even includes the main character older brother, as plain as he aims to be.

Put bluntly, this guy is a hero for what he goes through for his sister. I can’t and won’t detail it for a non-spoiler review, but the biblical Job has nothing on this guy. ^^;

If there’s any themes to this, because the show does bounce around in good ways, it’s that it’s OK to be a weirdo, it’s much better to have friends who care about you, arguing can be part of friendship too, and most importantly, being true to yourself is a lot better than the crazy alternatives.

But really it’s about seeing these characters on screen and laughing yourself half to death when they really get going.

Yes, it gets that funny. Incredibly funny. Funny because the behavior these people are engaging in is based on a true story, in the sense that it is a repeating story throughout anime fandom. A lot of us know people who behave like this, or know of them – but they’re not this good looking, so to hell with them and watch the show.

Final Thoughts

This show just will not have the same effect on everyone who sees it, but for the people who respond to its type and who are open to its subtleties and not put off by the sort of themes being laughed with, and laughed at, I can only give it a glowing 10 and recommend it to death.

For people who are not even slightly willing to tolerate anything related to “anime culture,” or who can’t stand the thought of video games that tease softporn with minors (because that is a huge topic, and running joke, of this show), stay the hell away and don’t look back.

But the characters really are worth the effort. I had more genuine laughs watching this show than with any other series in Fall 2010 and I really, really appreciated the experience.

And it’s not Yosuga no Sora. But I repeat myself.


J Sensei

About J Sensei

Blogger, writer, linguist, former Japanese> English translator, rusty in French, experienced in Japanese, fluent English native. Writing for Technorati.com and various blogs. Skype: jeremiah.bourque (messages always welcome). E-mail: jeremiahbourque@gmail.com
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