I finished OreImo just yesterday. I’ve been watching it slowly for the last couple weeks from the beginning of the first season to the end of the second. I watched the first season a while ago up to Happy End but not True End, so I felt it would best if I started from the beginning. There are obvious issues with the anime that can put people off. Yes, some of the main plot points are pretty ‘creepy’. Regardless, I don’t judge and don’t try to project my reality into anime, and thus these issues didn’t really effect my enjoyment or appreciation of the show at all. That may seem off based on how much I analyze and broadly interpret aspects of the show, but there isn’t really any contradiction there as while I can clearly separate reality and anime, that doesn’t mean that I don’t try to understand the emotions that are being conveyed. This isn’t as much a review as rather simply my thoughts at completing the anime, and thus obviously will be full of spoilers as the primary issue on one’s mind at the end of an anime is usually the ending. I would also like to note I have not read the novels, though at this point I would like to eventually, but not immediately.
Ultimately, I would have to say I enjoyed the show very much, and while the ending isn’t perfect I appreciate it, and can’t say I’m dissatisfied with it, though saying I’m absolutely satisfied wouldn’t be correct either. That sentence does seem like a bunch of nonsense but I have no better way to say it other than elaborating. The show is well paced with a good amount of well done comedy and drama. Purely on these aspects I would say its a good show, though I do not consider myself very qualified to really be judging this so I won’t dwell on this point. Rather, I’ll discuss why I personally like the show and especially the characters so much. Quite simply, while none of them are larger than life characters, almost all of them have aspects that cause them to be unique and separate from society, and in ways that I not just enjoy seeing in a fictional way, but to an extent that they gain my respect and admiration. Kirino, despite seemingly being universally hated by the fandom, particularly stood out to me as an amazing character. She is a bit cliche in the tsundere aspect, but I don’t particularly mind tropes, and felt she was a good manifestation of such. She is already good at seemingly everything and has an amazing life ahead of her or something to that extent, but is unwilling to abandon any part of her including the parts that may cause the rest of everything to come falling down. Now this doesn’t mean that she is willing to abandon all the others for the sake of that one aspect, ignoring what society thinks and just plowing through, but rather she makes things work to the best that they can, and just deals with it.
I think the last four episodes wrap things up all this rather well. It had ultimately been progressing in that direction for a long time in my opinion, and thus I was somewhat expecting it. I did not expect it to be so blatant and abrupt, but I was definitely amused with how it was so. Kirino and Kyousuke threw away what seemed like everything that happened over the entire show for one thing, and then abandoned that as well. This may seem to make the entire show pretty pointless, but I don’t think so. Rather, everything had been built up slowly so this could happen. Kyousuke threw away most of his other relationships and Kirino abandoned her chance at studying abroad again to achieve what they wanted for a small period of time. On one hand, that its a small period of time may seem like a cop out. Like the author was too afraid to really go into it. But on the other, was there really any way to have it end as brazenly as it seemed to be heading? This at least gave it a real ending instead of just ignoring things around it and just implying they managed somehow without providing any explanation of how they would do so. Such an ending would fit in a lot of situations, but based on the atmosphere built so far in OreImo, I don’t think it would have fit here.
The other complaint is whether throwing everything away was absolutely necessary. Was destroying and cutting off many of the other relationships the show had so meticulously developed absolutely necessary? I would say it was. It may have been for only a short period of time, but that they chose to tackle it head on completely as if it was forever, and because of this I think it was romantic and incredibly powerful nevertheless. It was something that they both had been building up to their entire lives, and thus to move one from it they had to take it as far as possible. This doesn’t mean that they have to tell the whole world, but this had been bubbling up for quite a while and effected many of their other relationships. Thus they had to deal with those relationships completely and honestly. They got into fights. Kyousuke rejected Kuroneko. Kirino finally got revenge and said what she had wanted to say to Manami. They faced the shame and other issues that comes from such a situation.
And then they moved on. It would never have worked in the long term, and this anime has been heavily focused in societal expectations so they couldn’t just ignore it entirely, even if there wasn’t a way to get around it as was done with most issues. But at the same time, in dealing with the other major theme of the anime, ignoring it would have been them ignoring themselves and what had ultimately lead to them becoming who they were, which would have greatly conflicted with what they had been trying to show from day 1. So the best solution and the most true ending that the author could provide and did, was to go through the experience, to have them share it, grow from it, and move on. They did it on their own terms. They ended it on their own terms. They were true to themselves and will continue living on these terms. And it ended with them clearly happy and optimistic. And thus I think it ended as well as it could have.
I should probably address what several people have said to me about my interpretations of anime. This may seem like a spectacular amount of garbage thoughts that don’t even really apply to the show. A large amount of extrapolations and implications that are probably wrong. Far too much being read into far too little. I don’t discuss ‘deep’ anime that much because many of the discussions end on such points. But that is a habit that I have and personally like having. Like all art its up to interpretation, and I choose to keep thinking, brooding, examining until I feel I have interpreted it in a way that I am satisfied with. I feel that in doing so is sometimes where I get the most from anime and will continue doing so.
Thank you Tsukasa Fushimi for writing and A-1 for animating. This is probably an anime I will never forget.
(And thank you to whoever made the banner, though because its on so many sites I couldn’t figure out who.)