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.
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
Director: Hiroyuki Kanbe
Animated by: AIC Build