The OreImo season 2 specials were… let’s call them “special”. I’m… I’m honestly actually kind of impressed at just how all-encompassingly terrible they managed to be. I’ve been trying for at least the last half an hour to come up with specific things about it that make it so bad, but the narrowest I can get is “all of it.” I can’t even come up with an adequate metaphor for how badly this crashed and burned. Who was this made for? Who was supposed to like it? I don’t even think Kirino fans got a satisfactory conclusion here, and the whole point of these three episodes seemed to be to turn everything that the series had been about so far upside-down and drop it repeatedly on its head until a Kirino “victory” dribbled out. I just… when was even the last time I got actually mad at an anime?
(the ending of OreImo S2) Even SAO left me more disappointed and jaded than upset. That alone is probably worth a mention on this list. InuShinde over at The Cart Driver has me covered here, along with a much more coherent visualization of the utter implosion of the series upon itself that these three episodes represent than I can muster through the stuttering disbelief it leaves upon my tongue.
Somehow, every single character is systematically destroyed from the inside out – their personalities, their actions, even their feelings for Kyousuke feel entirely alien and out of place. They’re not even recognizable as the same people. And then, in the final episode, at the height of the series’ death throes, it happened.
It wasn’t even just the punch, though. It wasn’t even just the gloriously unexpected catfight. It was the complete, 100% verbal thrashing that Manami doled out when all was said and done. I’ve never even cared for Manami all that much as a character throughout the series. But as every other character, both beloved and otherwise, seemed to simultaneously lose their minds, it was Manami who stood tall, Manami who took a stand and laid down the law.
Okay. That’s it, then. That’s fine. This show knows exactly what it’s doing. It’s laid down, in surprisingly lucid detail, the full extent of its delusional mindset. It’s made its choice in full understanding, and I respect that. I now know with complete certainty that I can safely extract any remaining emotional investment I may have had in the series – I don’t even have to pretend to care anymore. It’s almost liberating. Cathartic. It’s not even that I find the incest itself offensive, or that Kyousuke’s outburst is at all out of character for the series, because I don’t, and it’s not – it’s the extent to which the show had to tear the rest of its cast to shreds to reach this point, and that, on top of settling for Worst Girl, he is actively and knowingly bringing so much pain upon her, himself, and those close to him in order to do so. For as stupid as OreImo was, I had actually kind of liked it, and I had actually grown attached to the characters, and it was hard to see these episodes happen to them.
In the ultimate irony, I have never identified with the show so much, never legitimately loved the show so much, as in this moment, the moment in which it vents all its ills and holds Manami – however definitively selfish her motives may have been – as a mirror in front of my face. For the first time, OreImo has truly spoken to me, and this is what it had to say about itself:
In this one moment, we are all Manami. OreImo has finally given way to reveal its very core. And it may hurt a little, to be turned down so bluntly by the one imouto light novel show that ever seemed to have an ounce of sense to it. But we’re free from it now. And though we’ve come out of it battered and bruised, all we can do now is turn around, walk away, and try our best to move on and forget.