Oreimo 2 Episode 1: Guess Who’s Back? [First Impression]
“Welcome home, Kirino-chan.”
One year has passed since Kirino first came to Kyousuke for life counselling, which led to a series of events culminating in Kirino’s trip to America. Now that she’s back, Kirino can’t restrain her joy at returning to her otaku lifestyle, and forces Kyousuke along for the ride in the form of newly reinstated counselling sessions. However, Kyousuke has his own problems to deal with – the primary issue being his ambiguous relationship with Kuroneko, whom he grew closer to during Kirino’s absence.
That was…beautiful ;_; As a sequel to Oreimo, this episode was everything I expected it to be – and it reminded me of everything I loved about the first season. I still remember trying it out tentatively back in Fall 2010, wondering whether it’ll be any good and whether incest was a step I was willing to take out of my comfort zone. Instead, I found a heartwarming story about a budding relationship between an estranged brother and sister, brought together by the unlikely medium that is otaku culture. That relationship slowly developed, and when Kirino jetted off to America at the end of Season 1, I believed that their new bond would remain just as strong regardless of when or how she returned. Well…until now.
A part of me did hope that Kirino would retain much of her “cuter”, deredere side, or at least display it to Kyousuke a bit more – it was so sweet when she called him “aniki” last season that I seriously had a risk of contracting diabetes xD And I suppose she’s cute when being all pervy over her imouto-type eroge, as well. I know she had her own share of problems whilst in America, and I’m sure she’s not completely carefree here too – but everything seemed to just melt away once she returned to Akihabara, and you could genuinely tell she was really, really happy running amongst all the otaku goods and fangirling over the third season of Meruru xD God knows how much her royalties were if she was able to buy massive boxes of stuff; its only a true otaku who would say something like: “I got it from anime, so I’ll return it to anime!” Strangely enough, I don’t mind her tsun side either – it was hilarious watching her go through her phone book, casually blanking a snarky Kyousuke who was probably feeling very insecure at the time. Aww…it’s okay Kyousuke, at least you got to be her pack mule for the day :D And life counselling isn’t over just yet – it’s one of the few strong bonds Kyousuke has with Kirino, and although he might appear cynical I feel he does treasure that bond a lot, and wasn’t happy at the thought of losing it. Count on “Plain Girl” Manami to be reliable as always! Amongst characters like Ayase or Kuroneko, Manami doesn’t get enough love sometimes, yet she doesn’t fail to faithfully listen to Kyou-chan and his problems.
Speaking of which, one of his other problems is most likely Kuroneko and her ambivalent attitude towards him. I don’t remember too much of the [True Route] extra episodes, but I do recall Kuroneko getting much closer to Kyousuke, and several instances where Kyousuke was called out for using Kuroneko as a replacement for the absent Kirino. I also recall that kiss, and Kuroneko’s cryptic line: “I like you as much as your little sister does.” If we assume that Kirino likes Kyousuke a lot more than she’s letting on, all the verbal abuse notwithstanding, then yes, I’d say that Kuroneko’s got it pretty bad for him. Actually, Kuroneko’s got a pretty sharp tongue herself – but she was easily embarrassed at the topic too, until fujoshi Sena turned up to cockblock them with news on their game of all things. I’m glad to see that Kyousuke’s giving a lot of serious thought to it (acting like a lovestruck girl and hugging his pillow) so I’m spying a future Kyousuke x Kuroneko pairing in the works xD Oh god, I wonder how Kirino would react to that? Her best friend going out with her brother, with their relationship having escalated while she was away in another country…that’s not going to be fun.
I was really happy to see Ayase and her yandere tendencies again :D She didn’t get much focus after her incident with discovering Kirino’s hobby in Season 1, and even this week she only made a short appearance. At least it’s looking like an Ayase-centric episode next week, where she sends poor “onii-san” off to do something with a mobile dating sim, the likes of which she’s still heavily against. Ayase (and to a lesser extent, Kanako) as well as Kirino’s track/field reputation represents the other, “riajuu” side of her life that she’s trying to keep separate from her otaku life – despite being popular and surrounded by friends in class, what catches her interest is the three guys at the back of the room talking about Meruru. I wonder if there’ll be an increased focus on that kind of conflict?
Ah, it’s great to have Oreimo back again. It’s been a while, yet things are still as wacky as ever – what kind of “life counselling” are we gonna get this season?
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