Oreimo 2 Episode 3: Makishima Saori
“I’m all alone now…”
Kyousuke, Kirino and Kuroneko turn up at Saori’s house intending to throw her a birthday party, and are surprised to see her looking so drastically different when not in her usual otaku gear. After Saori lets them in, she recounts a tale from her past surrounding her sister, her friends and their otaku circle.
WHO THE HELL IS THAT?!
Uh…wow. I always knew that Saori was a pretty ojou-sama in reality, with glimpses of her fancy apartment and luxury lifestyle hinted at various points in the original season (like with the expensive cosmetics box with otaku goods she once gave to Kirino) but I didn’t think she’d be altered THAT radically. It’s as if they came up with two separate characters, with a different personality and speech style – in contrast to Saori’s usual genki attitude, “real” Saori is reserved, shy and doesn’t like to be stared at by people she doesn’t know.
What changed that was her meeting with Pretty Garden, the otaku circle formed by her older sister Kaori. For the development time Kaori’s friends got (one episode’s worth) they did a good job of making use of it – I liked them despite their weird eccentricities by the end of the episode, even though they did seem a bit familiar. And upon further searching, there’s a reason why – the members of this circle were the friends Saori mentioned back in the first season’s Comiket visit, with the author of some of Kirino’s doujinshi being Kurusu Kanata. If you’re wondering why she looks similar to Kanako and has the same surname as she does, it’s because they’re sisters, as hard as that might be to imagine. Kanata seems much less…bratty, and made many efforts to befriend Saori and get her into anime and manga. She’s got a real talent at changing personalities, which is something Saori managed to pick up on – she plays both her ojou-sama role and her otaku role interchangeably with the help of those opaque glasses that hide her eyes completely.
On the other hand I’m feeling pretty mixed over Kaori, whom Saori hates even after all these years. Those two couldn’t have been more different to start off with – while Saori’s quiet and keeps to herself, Kaori wants to live her life to the full and has a variety of interests, always off doing various things and never really seeing much of Saori. Even when they were in Pretty Garden together, Kaori only dropped her off then left her to entertain herself (reading Dragon Piece LMAO) – it was usually Kanata who had fun with her. I can understand Saori’s anger at Kaori getting married and breaking up the circle as a result – she enjoyed herself there, and Kaori’s decision took it all away from her. While I understand that something like maintaining her circle shouldn’t stop Kaori from getting married, what I didn’t like was her whimsical, casual attitude towards it all – she literally said bye and decided to leave. And even after knowing what it did to Saori, having such a confident air about her did make her seem deserving of that slap.
In the end, I never knew Saori’s decision to hold her offline meeting and form her own circle of friends was due to something that deep. However, it’s definitely more than just showing her sister up now, and she genuinely does enjoy hanging out with Kirino and Kuroneko for sure. As for me…it’s most likely just wishful thinking, but Saori should dress like that more often :D