Ore no Imouto ga Konnai Kawaii Wake ga Nai 2, or OreImo 2 for short, is the second season of the hit anime from Hiroyuki Kanbe that was originally released in 2010. Can this second season continue on the path that its predecessor paved?
I should preface this review with the warning that I am unabashedly in love with OreImo, and that my opinions are slanted because of that fact. With that out of the way, let’s continue into the review!
For those who haven’t seen OreImo before, or need a refresher, it chronicles the relationship between a pair of siblings, Kousaka Kyousuke and Kousaka Kirino, whose only true bond comes in the form of various life consultations, usually dealing with Kirino’s secret otaku hobbies. I would strongly recommend watching season one of OreImo if you have not done so yet, but due to the nature of the first episode, which acts as a recap, it is possible to jump right in and not to be left behind.
As far as the animation goes, it stays consistent with OreImo’s first season, which was already of a very high quality and had excellent production values. The characters designs are as colorful and distinct as ever, with only small changes in the details for this season. Unfortunately, the one piece of animation that did disappoint me is the opening. For the first season, each opening was unique, and I admired the effort that was put forth. But for the second season, there seems to be one uniform opening, which was still well made and had a catchy enough song, but was inferior to seaason 1. Despite that problem, so far, all seems fine on this front.
The same goes for the story, which has not changed too much after the first episode reestablished the status quo. The characters are largely where they were at the end of the first season, and we are free to continue on with the story, with all of its countless anime conventions and references. In of itself, this is something that only adds to OreImo, as it presents a surprisingly effective and astute satire of classic otaku behavior and challenges these tendencies, to great success. In my opinion, OreImo is much smarter than we give it credit for, as it pulls off insightful social commentary about the status and stereotypes of those addicted to anime without hitting us over the head with the message. It is a subtle, yet consistent message that is delivered in a lighthearted and entertaining style. As we’ve seen with countless other anime, it is not an easy task, and OreImo is one of the few anime who have actually managed to succeed in such a task.
The true appeal of OreImo lies in its eclectic mix of characters and the humor derived from them. In particular, Ayase has interactions with Kirino and Kyousuke alike that are just hilarious, with one scene in particular acting upon her oft referenced yandere side, blowing it up to the extreme in an exchange that just brought a grin to my face. I also love the fact that one episode was dedicated to recounting the backstory of Saori, whose interactions with her own sister have an interesting parallel to Kyousuke and Kirino’s relationship.
This is easy viewing, wherein one can simply sit back and enjoy the laughs that OreImo coaxes out of us so effectively. So far, it has focused on the development of each one of its characters, with some humor sprinkled in between of more serious scenes and development, to great success. I really do enjoy the shift away from pure humor to the focus on the supporting characters because I think that every character in this cast needs their own time onscreen to come into their own, and the Saori episode did exactly that, with its distinctive mix of pop culture references and humor to keep the material watchable while also working to add significant details to Saori’s character.
And that is OreImo’s greatest virtue: entertainment. Much like OreShura did before this year, OreImo has entertained me like no other show. The way that the relationship between Kirino and Kyousuke is explored constantly and the way that sexual tension builds up between them without it erupting into a full on incestuous relationship makes for excellent viewing and draws in devoted fans such as myself. Really, I adore this show so much that I cannot really find anything bad to say about it, and that speaks volumes as to how much of an effect OreImo can have on its audience.
OreImo is definitely a smarter and more complex show than people give it credit for, as it manages to both satirize and defy anime conventions while also providing solid charactr development masked as entertainment and comedy. Even if one takes it simply at face value, there is a multitude of reasons to enjoy OreImo and I cannot wait to continue on its journey.