Kyosuke always had an icy relationship with his little sister. She's popular, smart and even has a side job as a model. Not the kind of girl you'd think of as totally obsessed with magical girl shows and ero games - particularly the little sister themed ones. Yet Kyosuke accidentally discovers just that. Keeping the secret doesn't sound difficult, but now with a person to confide in about her secret hobby, she's decided to drag him into her world. With a strange secret to bridge their relationship, perhaps the two can finally get along like normal siblings. Wait this is anime.
The full title is
Watching Oreimo requires some in depth understanding of modern (2010ish) anime otaku culture. Kirino loves ero (etotic) games, particularly with little sister themes. When her brother notes that she's his little sister with an interest in such games, she puts the kibosh on the idea saying that's totally disgusting, and she's only into anime fantasy stuff. It's hard to comprehend the Japanese being so perverse, they've transcended our understanding of perversion to enter an enlightened state of disgusting chastity, but it's true. Kinda. Oreimo clearly draws that line, but then can't decide if it means it or not. It has candid views on parts of anime culture that are dumb, how anime fans are looked down on, but also misunderstood. Those points aside, the show is not that deep.
The title (My Little Sister Can't Be This Cute) is among the worst mis labeling of anime I can think of. It should be, My Little Sister Can't Be This Obnoxious. Kirino is just a bitch. I didn't like anything about her, and she drags down the entire show. Bad enough to wreck everything? Actually yes, she's that bad. Worse still, her brother is annoying too, but oddly enough only when interacting with Kirino (which is most of the time). Kirino is absent in a few episodes, and Kyosuke settles into more of a generic anime male role. I hated many episodes, was indifferent about some, yet there were a few I liked. The common theme to the ones I liked? No (or very little) Kirino. Without her as an annoying distraction, I found the characters somewhat fun because they're not strictly cut from a generic template, and have quirky traits.
After two seasons I started to wonder, what in the hell is this show about? The first season rolls around in anime culture pandering, and the awkward brother sister relationship stuff. It also gets preachy, trying to convince otaku they're not nut cases (watching this show *cough*). By season two it's not doing much of anything, and there isn't any big story to speak of. There is the brother / sister thing but the show doesn't get much mileage from that material, mainly due to a lack of intelligence and logic. Speaking of logic, Oreimo showcases each girl. Knowing their good points, it makes no sense why Kyosuke would go after the one lacking any. To Oreimo's credit, many girls take an interest in Kyosuke, but they're not kept in limbo for eternity. This anime tackles actual relationships with them, even if the results are lame.
Oreimo episodes fall solidly into one of three categories: boring / uneventful filler, Kirino hate, or likeable. I'm being harsh on an anime where I enjoyed a few episodes, but there is far too much stuff I hate. Not a total waste of time to watch, but there's certainly much better stuff you could be watching.
Kyosuke: Don't misunderstand me. The only one I sexually harass is you.
Ayase: That's the worst confession in history!
Screen Caps: >