Thursday, November 25, 2010

:anime: First Impression:: Oreimo Ep. 4

<--To Oreimo, Ep. 3 | To Oreimo, Ep. 5-->

OreimoEp. 4 - "My Little Sister Can't Be Going to Summerket"

Kyousuke is badgered by Kirino to hurry up and finish one of her fighting eroge so she could face him. She suggests going online for help and spend the next day playing it while her school friends are over, who she doesn't want him fraternizing with, or so much looking at. Having difficulty finding help, Kyousuke logs into the game's lobby to start, and quickly ends it once he makes his fighter. Before leaving, a chat dialog box pops up with Saori on the other end, who he asks for tricks about clearing the game after she brags about whipping Kirino countless times online.

The following day, Kyousuke is rustled from his slumber on the couch as Kirino's friends arrive, one of whom catches his eye (and likewise…). Kirino warns him about oogling them and shoos him to his room. Kyousuke retreats to his bed after having a hard time with the game, where the image of the girl with the long, black hair enters his mind. The girls' banter on the other side of the wall breaks that train of thought, as they probe into whether Kirino has a secret boyfriend (judging from her behavior of late). Kirino's OOC cutesy voice begins to creep him out, but his interest perks when the girl from before asks about him. Kirino chides her, while the other friend dismisses Kyousuke as "average", which sends him away from the room in disgust.

Downstairs, the doorbell rings as a package arrives in his name, which he wasn't expecting. Kirino soon comes and quickly pounces on the box, which has a famous cometics' logo on it. He surmises she used his name to order something without asking, but Kirino thinks its a present from him, so she eagerly runs back to her room with it. Saori rings him up to confirm the delivery, though she reveals to an unassuming Kyousuke that the box (addressed to him because she did not know "Kiririn's" real name, yet) was just a cover for the eroge doujinshi inside for Kirino. With her secret in danger of being exposed, he bursts into the room as the girls are removing the tape on the package, grabs it away from a confused Kirino, and jets, though she's not far behind. Cornered, she goes on the offense and tries to wrestle it from him and stomp at his knee. He evades a kick in-between the legs but the act sets both off-balance and toppling over each, leaving the two in a very unflattering position (for those who watched Evangelion, think Shinji and Rei…). Making the moment even worse is her two friends happening upon the scene, thinking the unthinkable…

Inadvertent eroge sequence over, Kyousuke is locked outside the house like a punished dog until the friends leave. Once they do--worrily looking at him as they walk by--Kyousuke enters to go back in, until the girl with the black hair stops him. She asks if something was in the box that Kirino wasn't meant to see. She sympathizes with him and doesn't believe he meant to do anything wrong to her on purpose, judging from his desperation and sincere manner. After coming to an understanding and getting acquainted, the girl, Ayase Aragaki, and Kyousuke exchange cell numbers before she leaves. Back inside, he and Kirino come to an understanding of their own--albeit, with less content--over the box incident.

To make up for the embarrassment, and for flirting with her best friend, she forces Kyousuke to take her somewhere before her summer months get swamped with extracurricular activities. Off of Saori's advice (and since she had a bit of a role in the confusion), her, the siblings, and Kuroneko await outside a massive building (with a massive amount of other people) for the start of Summerket, a big doujinshi market event held annually. The heat and lack of line movement has Kirino griping and getting impatient, and but once inside, Saori offers her a chance to meet the creators of the doujinshi she sent her, who she happens to know. Kirino can barely contain her inner fangirl in front of Kyousuke as they walk around and partake of the event. Back outside, Kyousuke remarks about how Kuroneko hasn't sweat despite her dark clothing, which she replies is due to the aura of dark energy surrounding her. Kirino suggests she wear cooler clothes since she isn't cosplaying and removes her dress jacket. Now with just her sleeveless white blouse, Kirino compliments that she would look cute if she stopped wearing her goth outfits, which a quietly bashful Kuroneko tries to deflect.

Back indoors, Kirino remembers that she has get the Summerket-exclusive extras disc from the makers of the fighting eroge, only to find that they sold out. A girl lets them know that there is one copy left, but in order to obtain it, you have to beat one of the staff on the game, who's been tearing through everyone that steps up to play against him. Kirino and Saori are added to his lengthy list of victims, but Kuroneko, to everyone's surprise, handily bests him and wins the prize. She hands it to a surprised Kirino, though she tries to play down her gratefulness. As they leave, a happy Kirino turns around to tell the group to hurry up, but a familiar voice calls out to her. It is Ayase, who is surprised to have ran into her…

This was another fine episode of Oreimo, though I could have done without the Evangelion reenactment (though that didn't seem to be the only reference to the show). A few developments occured, such as Kyousuke and Ayase's fluttering towards each other, Kirino's growing level of comfort with her otaku friends, Kuroneko's iciness thawing a bit, and now perhaps Ayase happening upon her best friend's dirty little secret. She seems like a nice girl, so perhaps she may be able to keep things quiet for her sake (understanding her hobby may be another thing…). One of the show's best strengths is its subtle use of facial expressions and body language (complimented with the nuanced acting), which keeps matters like Kirino's tantrums in check without becoming excessive and enhancing the little things like the mutual attraction between Kyousuke and Ayase without overstating it. Given Oreimo's realistic slant, it's a definite highlight that helps keep it grounded, even in more ridiculous moments like when Kyousuke fell on top of Kirino. I had actually come across the image of it beforehand and was expecting the worst (i.e. making it into a hint of romance later on), yet, it was played as something that just happened to end in a very, very bad way, as well as being another play on eroge tropes (not that I needed to see all of that, anyway…).

The most notable part of the episode came when Kirino tried to freshen up Kuroneko's look and Kuroneko, in return, won her the disc she wanted, in which both, respectively, tried to disguise their appreciation for the other's act of kindness. Given their personalities and how they were in the beginning, it was nice to see how their friendship has grown since (not that either would admit to that). One point of interest, though, was the slight focus on Kirino's selfishness in the first half of the episode, with her warnings about Kyousuke making contact with her friends, his "secret" contacting with Saori, and her warding off Ayase from taking interest in her brother. On the surface, it might point to her wanting Kyousuke for herself, but rather than in an icky way, there may be something more to it, as perhaps she just wants a better relationship with her brother and/or wishes to have the separate parts of her life kept that way (well, that, and not too many people would be down with one of their siblings hooking up with their best friend). Everything was going so well for Kirino until Ayase unexpectedly crossed paths with her at one of the worst times imaginable. We'll see how things go in the next episode…

P.S.: Aniplex just had to make sure they got in that Sony product placement, huh?

P.S.S: Really like the situational changes to the ED each week, which went from overruns for the first two episodes, I presume the actual ED for the third one, and the new, Ayase-centric version this time. So far, its perhaps my favorite, as it has visually-impressive style (with a dark edge to it…) and a pretty good song to go with it. Revolving EDs seem to be the growing rage in anime, today…

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