I’m going to lay something down up front. I’m not really into the whole “incest” thing. Incest and I don’t really hang out on the weekends, or talk to each other on Facebook, or even nod at each other in passing. I suppose I’m just not ‘bout that life. And since I’m not ‘bout that life, I just don’t understand the fascination and borderline obsession with incest in Japanese Anime. It’s a concept that permeates a fair amount of anime coming out every year and while it is mostly played for gags and laughs like in Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankeinai yo ne!, it occasionally attempts to be portrayed in a more serious light in shows like Yosuga no Sora and, most recently, Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai, specifically the OVA.
Let’s just cut to the chase, the Ore Imo Season 2 OVA is a train-wreck, plain and simple. This little three episode OVA is the worst show I’ve witnessed since Blood-C and Manyuu Hikenchou and the fact that I’m having to say this stings quite a bit considering I held Ore Imo in high regard.
This incest shit must’ve crawled its way into Ore Imo when I wasn’t looking, because I don’t remember it being a core part of the show. The first season mostly consisted of Kyousuke helping Kirino come to terms with her inner otaku. While yes, they did grow closer as brother and sister I don’t recall there being so much sexual tension and so many romantic overtones. It seemed like Kyousuke was simply growing more protective of her and concerned about her emotional well-being (as an older brother should) rather than, you know, him wanting to fuck his sister.
Season 2 was more about fleshing out the other girls in his little harem who actually turned out to be pretty well rounded characters and brought a lot of charm to show. I honestly found them much more interesting than I ever did Kirino who fit the typical tsundere mold, fang and all. I was actually enjoying the show much more than the first season until again, incest sexual tension reared its ugly unwanted head when Kirino inexplicably asks a friend from work to pretend to be her boyfriend to make her brother jealous. These are actions only becoming of a woman who is trying to fuck her brother. To borrow a phrase from Ruben, “My jimmies got pretty rustled.” It seems like this shit is awkwardly crow-bared into the show because some vocal minority of fans are demanding “KIRINO X KYOUSUKE OTP!!!!!!!”. It wasn’t necessary back in season one and sure as shit isn’t necessary now but here we are again.
Getting down to business, the OVA basically revolves around Kyousuke turning down every single girl who ever liked him; girls who are some of the best written characters in the show, because he’s in love with his sister and wants to marry her. Turning down Ayase and Kuroneko is especially heart-breaking because those two might have been the best characters in the series and would’ve been a much better match for him then Kirino ever could be. But no, he’s hopelessly in love with his sister and must burn every single bridge and alienate every single person who has ever cared about him because in his mind, and I quote, “Incest for the win.” This all culminates in what is probably the best scene in the entire series.
Kyousuke’s long time childhood friend Minami straight up throws down the gauntlet and gives Kyousuke an incredible verbal dressing-down about how throwing everything away to attempt to marry his sister is a completely stupid action. This will make him receive nothing but hate, vitriol, and disgust from society for the rest of his life. She speaks about how sure, he may be willing to deal with the backlash of incest right now but will he be able to handle it ten, twenty, thirty years down the road? It is a truly character defining moment for Minami and easily the lone bright spot in this dark uncomfortable tale.
Every single one of Minami’s points has solid logic and makes a compelling argument and Kyousuke’s only retort could more or less be “If it’s true love then nothing else matters” which coincidentally is the same argument a pedophile would make. This scene reaches it’s true crescendo when Kirino begins to gloat at Minami about how it feels to finally lose their long battle vying for Kyousuke’s love with Minami responding with an absolutely vicious right hook to Kirino’s stomach stating “This is how I feel.” This triggers a swift fist fight between the two women. After the brawl, Minami eventually breaks down and attempts to bargain with Kyousuke to stop him from trying to marry his sister on the grounds of morality and her love for him but Kyousuke is having none of it and stands firm on his resolve to love Kirino. This prompts Minami to slap Kyousuke and walk away. This is an absolute masterpiece of a scene that is unfortunately wasted on such a horrible show.
This arc strikes such stark contrast from a show like Yosuga no Sora. In that show’s incest arch, the main protagonist constantly went back and forth about whether he believed in his love for his sister and whether it was morally right. He was consistently aware of the coming backlash, something he wrestled with constantly. In that show, the protagonist had the presence of mind and moral compass to at least feel ashamed of himself when he surrendered to his sister’s love, whereas Kyousuke has absolutely no shame at all and seems laughably oblivious to the consequences. In Yosuga no Sora, his friends were rightfully outraged, confused, and a little disgusted. Kyousuke’s and Kirino’s friends, after a quick bout of jealous disgust or shoulder-shrugging acceptance, seem oddly approving of the entire matter with the obvious exception of Minami. It really shows the difference in skill and care the writers of each show took while crafting their respective arcs.
Finally, Kirino and Kyousuke have a wedding reception with no one but them in attendance, prompting the first and only mouth-on-mouth kiss in the entire show, between brother and sister no less. What happens next is quite simply one of the most spectacularly stupid and insulting moments in recent anime history: Kirino gives back her wedding ring and she and Kyousuke agree that now they will only be lovers until Kyousuke graduates, after which they will go back to being brother and sister. Upon viewing this, Ruben preceded to lose his motherfucking mind while my jaw promptly hit the floor and stayed there a good long while. I was taking in what I was seeing and wasn’t able to believe any of it was remotely possible after what I had just witnessed not even 40 minutes prior. Kyousuke turned down every single girl who ever loved him and burned many bridges along the way only to have a short-lived fling with his sister and then go back to the status quo. I felt utterly insulted and offended. I could not tell which was worse: the writers going through with the incest romance plot-line in the first place or their incredible backtrack at the very end, as though they had lost their nerve in the home stretch and didn’t have the courage to stick to their guns. They preceded to not only alienate every fan of the show who despised the incest angle but also the people who wanted a Kirino and Kyousuke pairing to begin with, which is impressive in its own special way.
I can sum up the entire OVA like this: it is the epitome of the worst kind of fan service that exists. The type of fan service that not only adds nothing to the source material but actively destroys years of built-up good will amongst fans in a matter of minutes. Three 20 minute episodes was all it took to aggressively taint my own recollection of a predominately well written and enjoyable show that I held in high regard and this, more than anything else, is a terrible, terrible shame.
-Crit Chance and Luck