Episode 10: Episode ten is a time traveling patchwork that fills in some holes in the plot. We now know why Kyousuke looks so beat up at the beginning of episode 8. He fell down the stairs while fighting with Ayase, who was jealous that he had gotten with another girl. Which is somewhat humorous, because she was the only girl he didn't consult before going out with Kuroneko, but it turns out she was the angriest about the event taking place. Perhaps it's due to her continuous acts of violence, but it never occurred to Kyousuke that Ayase might like him too. It's more like Ayase could grow to love Kyousuke if he ever treated her well, than that she loves him already. Likewise, Kyousuke doesn't have any real feelings for Ayase, but if she had treated him well, he probably would've fallen for her just like he did Kuroneko. It's one of those romances that everyone is too stubborn or timid to start and so never starts at all, even though the chemistry is so great between them. But Kyousuke already has enough girls who love him, so maybe missing his chance with Ayase isn't such a bad thing. Then again, the moment Ayase heard he had broken up with Kuroneko, she was ready to be the next girl in his life, so maybe it's too late to avoid this love collision just like all the others Kyousuke's already plowed into. Kyousuke sure is smooth, getting all these middle school girls to like him simultaneously. But actually, that's standard in the real world. Girls like boys who are already liked by other girls, it raises their 'stock.' In addition, girls are more attracted to taken guys than single guys, because it gives them the thrill of victory when they steal him away. As such, once a boy gets his first girl to love him, a second, third, fourth or fifth is actually child's play. Rather than this being some demented anime fantasy, it's just the sad state of the real world we live in today.
Meanwhile, Kyousuke is working hard for his immouto like always, riding his bike to a wedding photo shoot to pick her up so that she can be in time for a Stardust Witch Meruru concert she had been looking forward to attending. As a result, we get a wonderful moment where Kirino has to throw away her pride and admit the crazy guy on the bike is her older brother in front of the entire model agency and her co-workers. Since the only other alternative was watching Kyousuke be dragged away to prison I guess Kirino was backed into a corner, but I still think it was a step forward from the shy girl who never wanted to show her 'otaku' self in front of 'real world' friends in the past. By agreeing to ride the bike back with him to the concert, she also overcame her shyness about admitting how much she liked her brother in public. Kirino in a wedding dress hugging her brother's back while riding sidesaddle on the back of the bicycle while watching the sunset is a gorgeous picture, but it's also heartwarming, for a girl who generally is slapping her brother or throwing things at him, to be hugging him for as long as thirty minutes or however long the bike ride took, is a splendid change for the better. Sure, she complained about it vocally, but the giant smile on her face said otherwise in her heart of hearts. Like usual, I feel like Kyousuke's best side is always revealed when he's with Kirino. He doesn't shine nearly as brilliantly or feel anywhere as cool when he's around any other girl. I guess this is why the title is "Oreimo" and not "Ore-kohai" or "Ore-imo's-friend" or "Ore-osananajimi." In the end it's a story about these two, and their relationship. Everything else pales in comparison. But it would be nice if someday someone else got along with those two as well as they did with each other. With six episodes left to go, a lot could still change. Every week so far has been spectacular with this series, so I truly hope they pull off a satisfactory ending.
* * *
Meanwhile, there's some good news on other fronts. Ranma 1/2 is getting a blu-ray remaster, starting this very week, which will hopefully make it look much better than the current versions floating around the web. Dragonball Z Kai is almost certain to extend into the Buu saga, because various employees of connected corporations have been saying they've been working on it. Until there's confirmation of the news there's still a degree of anxiety about the issue, but odds are tilting in our favor. That's two of my recent list of 21 wishes already taken care of, who knows but more may follow?