Ore no Imouto–Anime Follow Up

Since my original post Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai (My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute) has proved to be less clever and original than I had hoped. For one thing they have pretty much ruled out my original idea that Kirino might be an unconscious lesbian. Instead they are going with the sleazier notion that she has unacknowledged feelings for her older brother, which she expresses by abusing him.

Generally incest-themed manga or anime goes something like this: a brother and sister fall in love, but it turns out that they are not blood-related, so it’s probably OK. Or there’s a harem-type setup, where the brother is pursued by multiple cute sisters, all about the same age, but never manages to choose one of them. (Plausibility is not the strong point of these stories.)

What’s different about this story is that the sister isn’t cute. She’s an atrocious little monster, more yandere than tsundere. It’s not clear whether Kyousuke reciprocates her feelings. He seems mostly horrified, but with one exception he seems unable to refuse her anything she asks. (The one exception was when she asked him to run out into traffic so that she could experience what it feels like to lose someone close to you.)

Though disturbing, this show can still be extremely funny when it takes aim at the absurdities of otaku culture. (The reason that Kirino wanted Kyousuke to play in traffic was that she was researching her new novel about a handsome young venture capitalist in a post-apocalyptic world populated entirely by cute little sisters. She has already found a publisher for her first effort, a novel about an astronaut who lands on a planet inhabited by little sisters.)

But the humor is uneven. When it isn’t focusing on otaku excesses the story seems much less funny and its implausibility becomes painfully obvious.