My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute!: anime review – this is not how you should treat your sister!

Lately, I found myself picking up slice-of-life anime one after the other. Life has been quite stressful and I felt like I need a vacation. My Sister Can’t Be This Cute! (aka Ore no Imoto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai) is an especially bright and colorful slice-of-life with significant substance.

The anime is mainly about Kyusuke and his sister, Kirino. Kirino is a model student with a big secret; she is an otaku or eroge-otaku, to be exact. The plot thickens when Kyousuke learns about this secret and must do anything to keep both sides of Kirino’s life from falling apart.

I think the main idea of this whole show is about tolerance and accepting other people’s difference. OreImou deliberately displays details about every character’s differences and uses that to create conflicts and clashes between these people. Kyousuke is a devoted brother but mostly fails to properly express himself or make a stand, Kirino is a spoiled cute-only-at-first-glance sister who loves playing brother/sister eroge, Kirino’s father is very quiet, conservative and he thinks anime obsession is equivalent to mental sickness, Kuroneko is another otaku who wears cat ears all the time and thinks Kirino’s taste in anime is that of a nine year-old’s, Saori is a hardcore otaku who wears extra-thick glasses and dress like a guy, Ayase is Kirino’s non-otaku friend who has problems accepting Kirino’s hobby, Manami is Kyousuke’s childhood friend who possesses every quality that Kirino lacks.

Now you understand. Each character in this anime is very different in so many ways. Naturally, things do not go easy at first but as episodes after episodes have passed, somehow these people manage to reconcile and get along. Kirino’s father and Ayase still thinks badly about anime but are willing to look over that side of Kirino. Kyuousuke understands how his sister is and does not complain much when Kirino says something completely opposite of her true feeling. All they need is to be reminded how much they love each other.

This is not your typical love story between a boy and a girl. You won’t hear the word ‘love’ uttered even once but the whole thing is about love; love between brother and sister, parents and their children, love between friends. It’s love that keeps the people together despite their differences. When I look at OreImou in this light, this show which initially seems full of rubbish and purposeless subplots becomes significantly more substantial.

Another minor recurring theme is Kyousuke and Kirino’s brother-sister relationship. As far as I have seen, Kirino is not very well liked in anime blogger community. She is spoiled, arrogant, stubborn and apparently ungrateful. Kyousuke, on the other hand, gets lots of sympathy from the viewers for his relentless dedication to help and support Kirino on everything she does. He never asks for anything in return (and he gets nothing in return except in the final episode). I admire Kyousuke for what he does for Kirino. That’s what families are for. Nevertheless, one thing keeps bothering me concerning Kyousuke’s action; he rarely shares any information with his sister. He helps get Kirino’s anime on the right tract by battling with the narrow-minded producers. He helps Ayase find the perfect otaku present for Kirino. He protects Kirino from their father’s bias and anger. He does all these difficult things behind Kirino’s back and never lets Kirino share the hardship and burden. Kirino ends up thinking that every problem spontaneously resolves. She does not have to work hard on anything and takes everything for granted. That’s not the right way to treat your children or sister or anybody.

The ending is another thing that I find problematic; it is too forced. Suddenly, Kirino is going to the USA and decides not to do so. All of this happens in the last episode just to provide some kind of closure to the series. It is not a big deal, of course.

Despite the said problems, OreImou is a very solid slice-of-life show all around. It is entertaining and constantly provides effective funny moments. It is well animated with nice sense of fashion. The show explores otaku life in Japan in a way that I never saw before and remind us that otaku is just another person like any of us (speaking as if I am not an otaku…am I? Whatever…). And most importantly, OreImou makes the world a better place by giving us the charming Kuroneko.

Rating: B

Facts
Title: My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute! (Ore no Imoto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai)
Genre: slice-of-life, comedy
Released date: October 3, 2010 – December 19, 2010
Episode: 12
Director: Hiroyuki Kanbe
Animated by: AIC Build

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28 responses to “My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute!: anime review – this is not how you should treat your sister!

  1. I cannot say i am totally in agreement of your review, I found OreImou to be actually quite bland as a slice of life and rather innovative in matter of plot or the actual ”otaku” social situation,the latter aspect being, in my opinion, strongly disregarded and almost pushed aside too fast.

    then again, I agree with you when you say that Ore Imou was mildly entertaining if you could overlook some of its flaws.

    • It’s probably because I am not very familiar of true depth of otaku culture in Japan. I have caught glimpses of it from here and there. (I really really want to visit there but still can’t find the right time -_-)

  2. Ore Imouto was just merely OK. It had potential, but some of the personalities are such a turn-off that I found it difficult to sympathize with any but Kuroneko. Much has been written about how annoying of a character Kirino is and she effectively channels the essence of the spoiled bratty little sister. Kyousuke leans slightly on being a tad overprotective at times that I’m wondering what benefit there is to shielding her from life’s barbs.

    Oh, and the scene with the anime producers was easily the most eye-rolling part of the show. Heaven forbid that they actually try to convince the staff with actual logical arguments…

  3. That’s why there is the true route OVA…

    You are right about him hiding his information, and this caused me to facepalm many times during the series. For whatever reason, he feels like he can’t communicate or be honest with his sister, and I have no idea right.

    He also is part of the reason for Kirino’s entitled attitude is he works to get her any thing she wants or shields her from any consequences–which you did a good job of pointing out. It just frustrated me to see their relationship.

  4. I don’t think Kyosuke’s in any wrong even if he doesn’t share most of his stuff to Kirino. It’s like that mutual hate between siblings regarding equality on affection and material belongings, wherein if one ignores, the other simply does the same. It’s that kind of behavior that you typically see between siblings. I’ve had the same case with my sisters before, and I can tell that Kyosuke’s act is as “justified” as anyone placed in his shoes.

    Another thing to note is that what Janette said: Kyosuke can communicate with his sister, but whether what he says actually mattered to Kirino, that’s not for him to decide. He’s not hiding anything, he simply just doesn’t want her to know. And if the need arises, he does tell her. And what do we get? More humiliation for Kyosuke.

    Kyosuke deserves more credit than what you actually think of him.

    • I actually think very highly of him for his commitment to help Kirino except for that ‘sharing’ part. But what you pointed out on the mutual hate relationship between sibling, which is something I never experienced, Kyousuke’s action made much more sense :)

  5. Ore no Imout… What a weird coincidence!

    I really enjoyed this series, but there are definitely some flaws. I agree that this is definitely most about the different personalities an anime fan may come into. You have Ayase on the one extreme, Kuroneko on the other, and Kyousuke in the middle. And on different levels: interacting with other fans and being in the midst of production companies.
    To that end, it’s an effective anime.

    As for the incest stuff… I just glossed over it.

    Anyway, loved it quite a bit. Ayase and Kuroneko probably made it much better than it really is.

    • I love Kuroneko so much! especially after I saw her living in her plain house taking care of her younger siblings. Though I still fail to appreciate Ayase as much as other people except for her clothes :)

  6. Pingback: Suggested Reading April 3rd-9th « Black and Blue Socks

  7. OreImo,

    I still following the true route in order for me to understand how It ends…
    Pretty much stuck at the moment.

  8. Kirino SUCKS. The end.

  9. wrap up again after you watch the other episodes.

    btw poor childhood friend, they should have made her a tad more attractive. she cant even compete with the other chars T_T (kuroneko ftw lol)

  10. The sister sounds a bit too spoiled for me to stand…I like her grumpy face and stance when I glance through figure pre-orders. But I just feel like I’ll dislike her so much that I can’t overlook her existance and like anything about the series. But you never know, I could be wrong.

  11. I know everyone loves Kuroneko, but surely I’m not the only one who would love to see more Manami x Kyousuke.

  12. Hey, fantastic take on the show. Really appreciate your open mindedness and willingness to look deeper. Great read. :)

  13. Tbh I didn’t mind this anime. Yeah, the whole Kirino-can-do-everything-and-be-a-brat is a bit out of line but I can relate to the anime.

    Notice in one of the episodes, Kirino does not talk to the so called “otaku” in the class because she doesn’t want to associate with them. It’s sort of my situation here. Most people in my school that are into anime, aren’t always the most approachable people. I don’t mean this in a rude way, no dissing here, but when they are loud, annoying, smells, no hygiene, it’s hard to get a long with these people unless one is, one of them, and well, that happens to be their friends. I’m a girl that when you see me, you won’t think “oh she likes anime”. It’s hard for me to find people that aren’t intimidating in a way that like anime. I once sat at a table with people that liked anime, and they kept making that’s what she said jokes. Not enjoyable. And I’m not a big social butterfly.

    Eventually, Kirino finds 2 buddies to talk to that are more approachable, and I did the same as well when some girls made an anime club. They weren’t overly annoying or hyper, but they were nice to talk to. (and of course, I know not all anime fans are annoying)

    My point is, Kirino represents “people you’d never expect to like anime”. I think we all have sides people don’t know about and whether we’re open to them or not, not everyone is, and it seems Kirino kept her hobby closed because she knew it was unusual for her, for her model friends, for her family, and she just wanted friends to talk to about anime (despite hiding it from her model friend) and connected with her brother with her secret.

    I’m probably just re hashing the conclusion, but this stuff does happen, but it’s not as potrayed as much.

    • I totally understand that kind of situation. I am, in certain way, the same. Most of my regular friends know nothing about my anime-fanatic side. Things are better that way for most of my friends :)
      Thanks for sharing!

  14. Well it was funny but also is kind of incestuous relationships between them, i wonder if there are gonna be a second season, but not like yosuga no sora =S

  15. cloudykinnyamenfashion

    Reblogged this on Kinny Wolf † MIDGAR FASHION and commented:
    Gosh, never thought you should make a locker full of your obsessions and hide it.

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