Perhaps I am interpreting this too literally. I suppose it could be asking about one’s “guilty pleasure” anime, but I tend to either like or dislike things, based solely upon my own preferences. To Hell with guilt trips; if I don’t like it, if I don’t enjoy it, then I won’t watch it.
And if I don’t like it, if I believe there is something wrong with it, then I usually won’t mention it, because I don’t want to promote it. But, then, how do I warn others away from something unworthy of their time?
So, perhaps I am taking this one too seriously, but this is an anime which I enjoyed the first time I watched it, until I reached the end. Now I don’t like it anymore. In fact, I loathe it. I can’t watch it ever again. It’s not a guilty pleasure. I am genuinely “ashamed” to have ever liked it.
This anime is titled Ore no Imōto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai, which roughly translates to “My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute.”
Starting out, it was a little weird at times, yes, but pretty good. While there were some issues with the subject matter (little sister themed eroge are not quality entertainment), I could generally overlook it in favor of a story of a brother and sister who have had a certain distance in their relationship for a long while, but gradually grow closer to each other again.
The sister, Kirino, works as a model (age appropriate) so she’s popular, but she’s a closet “otaku,” meaning an obsessed fan of anime, games, etc. While some things (such as the eroge) are quite strange, she enjoys more normal things too. So she’s a misfit despite her popularity.
Meanwhile, the brother, Kyosuke, is a fairly normal guy, and supportive of the people he cares for. When he discovers his sister’s secret, he does not judge her. He’s there for her, counseling restraint, but supporting her choice to live her life however she pleases.
With this beginning, Kirino is able to make some friends with similar interests, and they’re able to have discussions about their tastes, such as when one girl, calling herself Kuroneko (real name is Ruri), discounts an anime Kirino likes because the main character always obliterates her enemies, including a former friend, with a smile on her face. When Kirino’s close friend Ayase (who rather strongly resembles Kirino) discovers her secret and gets judgmental, because she associates such things with mentally unstable people who engage in recreational arson, torture, and murder, Kyosuke is able to use logic and facts to argue that otaku are not ticking time bombs with legs, walking around just waiting to kill everyone in their path. When their parents find out Kirino’s secret, there is a debate concerning what sort of material is allowable in their household, and the father is actually fairly reasonable about this, though Kyosuke goes so far as to take the rap so Kirino can keep her age-inappropriate entertainment. Not a decision I would agree with, but not for me to decide.
Alongside all this is what appears at first to be partially a harem-themed comedy, as Kyosuke has several girls interested in him (Ruri, Ayase, his childhood friend Manami, and two more of Kirino’s friends, Saori and Kanako), and partially a romantic comedy, as Kyosuke and Ruri start seeing each other and going steady. So, while it was nothing short of ridiculous at times, I was enjoying it.
And then we reached the final few episodes, and… well…
Two words summarize what I felt:
Perhaps they always intended to do this, and I simply didn’t notice it because I’m a dullard, but it still hit me out of left field, where Kirino is in love with her brother, and her brother loves her in return.
Didn’t they just make an argument where otaku aren’t that different from normal people? So are normal people supposed to seriously entertain romantic thoughts, feelings, desires, and affection for their sibling?
I say: eww.
They even try to explain it somewhat rationally. This isn’t just a desire to have sex with their sibling, it’s a desire to be in a serious relationship, to love, to cherish, to marry, etc. With their sibling.
Apparently, when Kirino was little, she became jealous of how Manami had so much of Kyosuke’s attention, so she went sobbing to Manami’s family shop and begged her to give her brother back. Manami answered along the lines of, “No. Siblings can’t marry each other.”
Who on Earth, in their right mind, sees a crying little girl begging for her brother’s attention, and translates that into an assumption that she wants to marry him?
Answer: NO ONE!
But this left an impression on Kirino, and she grew distant from her brother because romance and marriage are apparently the only forms of love in all of creation, but she still loved her brother, and this translated into incestuous desires, which found hidden expression in her love of little-sister themed eroge.
This girl needs therapy.
At Kyosuke’s end, I don’t recall much of an explanation, but I may have been distracted by all the hearts he broke. He breaks Ruri’s heart so much that she’s left sobbing, having torn a notebook of her dreams into pieces. He also breaks off potential relationships with Ayase and Kanako. Saori doesn’t really express any of her feelings, so she gets off the lightest. And he shatters Manami’s heart and resolve. All for this relationship he is choosing to pursue with his sister.
Call me crazy, but I find breaking hearts to be one of the lowest things any human can do to another.
And for some strange reason, Kyosuke can never admit his feelings quietly. He always has to strike a pose with his feet apart, his hands in fists drawn back at his side, his back arched and neck bent as he looks straight up, and screams his feelings for all to hear.
Call me crazy, but that’s… well, crazy.
And to top it all off: it was all a game.
After the siblings first admitted their feelings for each other, they decided to live out this elaborate fantasy for a period of time, then “get married” and end the game.
So they broke hearts, including those of Kyosuke’s girlfriend, one of Kirino’s best friends, and Kyosuke’s childhood friend, for a game.
is nothing short…
Going that far, hurting people who care about them, hurting them deeply and badly, irreparably, for something that wasn’t even real? These two need to be locked up in separate loony bins!
Oh, one more topper: was it really fake?
Final scene: Kyosuke kisses his sister Kirino, just a little peck on the cheek, in public.
I don’t know much about love, but I know this: to mix psychological issues and emotional support with physical attraction and forbidden desire is a recipe for something sick.
As in, I am sickened by this anime.
If you have not watched it, or read the manga, do yourself a favor: don’t.
(Dis)Honorable Mention: To Love Ru
Main character is the only nice guy, the only guy with compassion, the only guy who is not an obsessed pervert, and he’s weak. Not just a physically-incapable weakling, which he certainly is, but weak. He never takes control of the situation. Ever. I understand being a gentleman, not wanting to hurt a girl’s feelings, or hurt her at all, but when she goes so far as to push you down on her bed, ignoring how uncomfortable you are, and all you can do is nothing, that’s not chivalry. That’s weakness. She could have done anything to him and he would not have resisted in the slightest. He wouldn’t even have joined in and had a good time with her! Which would not have been ideal, but would at least display more spine than a jellyfish! He’d have just laid back and done nothing! Good grief! Is that how these people view girls, nothing short of desperate for a nice guy, and boys, as either perverts or weaklings? I am quite offended by this.