12 Days of Anime 2013, Day 3: The Moment We’ve All Been Waiting For

i'm here to fight

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.

MY HERO

This is probably the single most satisfying scene from any anime this year.

oreimo catfight (1) oreimo catfight (2) oreimo catfight (3) oreimo catfight (4) oreimo catfight (5)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.

manami LAYING DOWN THE LAW (1) manami LAYING DOWN THE LAW (2) manami LAYING DOWN THE LAW (3) manami LAYING DOWN THE LAW (4) manami LAYING DOWN THE LAW (5) manami LAYING DOWN THE LAW (6) manami LAYING DOWN THE LAW (7) manami LAYING DOWN THE LAW (8) manami LAYING DOWN THE LAW (9) manami LAYING DOWN THE LAW (10) manami LAYING DOWN THE LAW (11) manami LAYING DOWN THE LAW (12) manami LAYING DOWN THE LAW (13) manami LAYING DOWN THE LAW (14) manami LAYING DOWN THE LAW (15)And Kyousuke’s response?

i... i don't even care anymore

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:

sighand how

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.

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About BokuSatchii

Yoroshiku ne!
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6 Responses to 12 Days of Anime 2013, Day 3: The Moment We’ve All Been Waiting For

    • BokuSatchii says:

      As I said in the post, I never really liked Manami until she socked Kirino one in the gut. As such, I refuse to accept the story suggested in this image, which transforms her from somewhat boring and clingy childhood friend into the most interesting character in the series. My headcanon will remain that it took the utter annihilation by the writers of every single other character, as witnessed in these three episodes, to create a bizarro world in which they’d fallen so low that Manami could surpass them.

  1. froggykun says:

    This is one of those posts that I read over and over again when OreImo randomly comes into my brain. This is such an incredibly *true* post, it’s incredibly cathartic in its own way, just like OreImo was (kind of….)

    Others might have moved on from the farce that was OreImo, but I don’t think I’ll ever regret watching this delicious mess. Because silly as this whole series was, it made me *react*, both genuinely and ironically. And I think that final scene with Manami best captures that dichotomy more than anything else in the series.

    As you can see, my comment is not very coherent, but I hope the spirit got across.

    • BokuSatchii says:

      This post was so therapeutic to write. Just watching that scene over and over again, eating up all the emotions and frustrations and hopelessness and other ills that Manami here laid bare – her fruitless quest to get her osananajimi to notice her serving as a profound metaphor for the experience of watching the show itself. Nodding my head in agreement as she told Kirino and Kyousuke every word I wanted to tell them. It’s a pleasant reminder that OreImo has always had a few genuinely very good moments buried amongst the mess, and can be pretty smart when it’s not busy being dumb. It’s a very self-aware series, and while that’s hardly uncommon amongst light novels, the way that it puts forth that self-awareness can at times be so much more genuine than its contemporaries in an almost intangible way.

      In no small part due to that, OreImo has been a guilty pleasure of mine from the start, and I hold no regrets from watching it (though I may think twice about watching another season if one ever were to come out). It’s one of the few shows of its kind that has brought scenes to the table that I have actually loved, and when it wasn’t doing that, it was the type of show I could love to hate. Whether I was loving the show or hating it, it was always a good deal of fun to be swept up by the emotions and emotional whiplash that OreImo brings to the fore. It was one of the only (if not the only) light novel shows I was able to experience on the meta level from which they are supposed to be appreciated, where the show itself is as much a character as the rest of the cast – as much, if not more, of the emotional whiplash came from the immensely variable quality of the episodes as it did from any of the character drama. I can think of few sendoffs for the series that would’ve been better than this one.

      …and a fake wedding between Kyousuke and Kirino is definitely not one of them.

      God this show is so stupid. As good as this series is at being stupid, it’s still so stupid. But it’s just so good at it.

  2. Pingback: Advertising New Anime Blogs [Liebster Award] | Fantastic Memes

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