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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Oreimo S2 Episode 6:

Episode 6:  The sixth episode of Oreimo season 2 had a lot of content, so let's get started.  At the very beginning of the episode, Kirino shows off her new male acquaintance to Kyousuke in the hopes of making him jealous.  However, he doesn't seem to be bothered by it, and ends up talking to Kuroneko of all things, as though to show Kirino how little he needs her.  Moreover, right before Kirino's eyes, Kuroneko begins confessing to Kyousuke (her third attempt so far, and yet again interrupted).  Kirino jumps in to stop the event from happening, because seemingly unlike her brother, she's extremely jealous seeing him flirting with other girls.  Since it's come to this, Kirino can only continue to up the stakes of her gamble.  She announces the boy they met at comiket is her official boyfriend and that they've already kissed.  Kuroneko knows it's all a farce just to get Kyousuke jealous, which is all the more frustrating because it means Kirino is seriously staking herself out as a rival to Kuroneko for her own brother's love, though all of this floats right under the radar of Kyousuke's head.  She leaves in a huff, but yet again, the actual intended target, Kyousuke, doesn't seem jealous at all.  He shrugs it off and says it's Kirino's decision to make, leaving her in a position where she can only up the stakes again.

This time, Kirino invites her new boyfriend over to her house to 'meet the parents.'  Since kissing doesn't seem to be enough maybe an official marriage like event might shake her brother's iron will.  Kyousuke has taken an irrational grudge to the guy and starts treating him rudely and insultingly, despite the boy having done nothing wrong.  But that isn't the feeling Kirino wanted to see from her brother.  Just being an asshole towards an innocent bystander wasn't her purpose for all of this.  If he has something to say, it should be to her, not him.  And if he doesn't have anything to say to her, he has absolutely no right to say anything to him.  Since Kyousuke isn't acting jealous, but just condescending, she slaps him for mistreating her boyfriend and tells him to get the hell out.  She's perfectly in the right in this case (really, she's in the right every time she slaps Kyousuke, he's extremely insensitive and constantly hurting her, ever since he was six years old.), as an insult to her boyfriend is also an insult to her, and it's her job to protect her boyfriend from aggression from her family (the boyfriend obviously can't defend himself without offending his girlfriend whose family she belongs to, so he can't say or do anything in response out of courtesy to her, leaving his defense entirely up to the girl, which she rose to the occasion to accomplish quite nicely.)

After a conversation with his father, who objects to a middle school aged daughter having any sort of relationship, Kyousuke realizes there is a way to object to Kirino having a boyfriend without being jealous.  He just has to say that as a concerned family member he doesn't think the boy is good enough for his little sister.  This doesn't work very well in terms of the boy not having high enough stats -- he in fact has perfect stats in every field, including niceness and maturity.  But Kyousuke has a trump card, he defies this random boyfriend to prove that he loves Kirino more than Kyousuke does.  And if he can't, then he'll never acknowledge him as a worthy boyfriend who can take Kirino away from her family.  Kyousuke says he doesn't want his bond with his imouto supplanted by anyone else, but if that were to happen, it should at least be to someone capable of forming a stronger bond than he has formed with her.  That's a pretty difficult hurdle considering all they've gone through together.

Kirino can't take it anymore and jumps up to throw cake and juice at her brother and then punch him in the chest a few times.  Here he is, saying it's not fair for a guy to come inbetween him and his imouto, but he's never hesitated to let girls come between his imouto and him.  Whether it's Manami, Ayase or Kuroneko, he's always willing to run off with these other girls, never once thinking whether Kirino approved or not.  His hypocritical approach is still outrageous, but with this Kirino at least feels she's made some progress in having him understand her feelings and wishes.  The boyfriend turns out to have just been playacting with Kirino in order to make Kyousuke realize what he'd been putting Kirino through all the time, jealousy for jealousy, flirtatious moment with another guy for every flirtatious moment with another girl.  Girls typically flirt with or even have sex with other guys in the hopes of arousing their true target's jealousy.  It's just another way to seek attention from him, so this part of Kirino's behavior is easily understandable.  What's so uniquely cool about Kirino is that she never led on the guy and explained to him it would be a ruse from the beginning.  Because of that, she neither 'cheated' on Kyousuke nor 'teased' her male acquaintance.  In addition, Kirino did all of this not to make Kyousuke jealous per se, but to make him live through the same situation as he's made her live through all this time, and see for himself how that made him feel.  In other words, if he wasn't jealous, that was fine, she would at least learn how little her brother thought of her.  But if he were jealous, then it would give him a chance to reflect on his hypocrisy and learn from it.  More than jealousy, Kirino was striving for justice all episode long.  A Hammurabi's Code eye for an eye retaliation until her dense brother finally understood her feelings.

Humorously, because Kyousuke phrased his objections so carefully to just be brotherly love and wanting to protect the importance of family ties, Kirino saying she feels the exact same way about him with other girls and he should be more considerate towards her if he's going to demand she be considerate to him, means neither has confessed their romantic jealousy to the other.  They continue to tred the high-wire where no one is willing to be the first to admit feelings that might be unrequited, and so workarounds and alternatives for what they want to say are always said instead.  What will come of it all?  Who knows, the series still has a long ways to go.  But at least now Kyousuke realizes that if he dates any other girl, or even looks like he's drooling at the prospect of dating someone else, Kirino will suffer from it.  Likewise, Kirino at least knows that Kyousuke would suffer from the prospect of seeing her run off with another man.  They're a step closer in their hearts to each other.

Due to that, at the very end of the episode, Kuroneko finally confessing her feelings to Kyousuke without being interrupted by anyone, saying clearly she wished to be his girlfriend, is obviously too little too late.  If she had said these words before Kyousuke realized it would hurt his imouto if he said yes, she may well have succeeded.  But now it's a foregone conclusion that he'll turn her down.  That's the pact he made with Kirino, silent as it was, just hours ago.  Neither will date anyone for now until their feelings for each other change, one way or another.  That's the compromise they came to, and Kirino is far more important to Kyousuke than Kuroneko ever was, so that's the promise he'll keep.

Another thing we learn from this episode, during Ayase's meeting with Kyosuke, is that Kirino's date with Kyousuke may have served zero purpose whatsoever in deterring her company from transferring her to Europe.  Since Kirino knew that, it's pretty clear she simply wanted an excuse to go on a real romantic date with her brother, instead of the random hanging-outs they had done constantly for the past year together.  To be told afterwards that he never wanted to date her again is all the more devastating as a result, because she had looked forward to the date so much and even lied to make the date possible together.  Does Kirino really like Kyousuke one-sidedly?  I don't think so.  It's pretty obvious their love for each other is mutual.  It's just that Kirino is a more active personality and Kyousuke is a more passive personality who prefers everything to just stay the same and be non-troublesome.  As such, it's always Kirino taking the steps to get closer to each other, not because she likes him more, but simply because she has less patience for waiting around than he does.  Kyousuke has repeatedly admitted he loves her and taken all sorts of extreme actions to help her in the past, so by any measure he loves her as much as humanly possible.  It's a difference in temperaments, not feelings, that makes their actions so opposite from each other.

The next episode should be just as tumultuous as the previous ones.  Oreimo has proven itself as the jewel of the season.  Meanwhile, Railgun continues to be awesome as always, as does Leviathan and Chihayafuru.  Suisei no Gargantia had yet another weak episode, and Shingeki no Kyojin had yet another strong episode.  Hataraku Maou-sama was decently funny, as was Namiuchigiwa.  Yahari had more annoying tropes (like the overly clingy older woman), but also more insightful commentaries on human relationships, so it gets a pass.  Like usual, Valvrave was just barely okay.  For now my spring anime list will remain unchanged.

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