Let me begin by saying this: Oreimo isn’t the same series I liked back in Fall 2010. It’s changed… I still enjoy it here and there, but there’s no denying that the direction this series took was a bad one.
What I liked about this series during the first season was the dynamic between Kyousuke and Kirino. Essentially, the series felt like a great story about a brother who learns to appreciate and understand his sister, and vice-versa. There’s a reason why I liked to call Kyosuke “Brosuke”, after all. His self-sacrificial methods of protecting his sister and developing into a great big brother all-around was one of the aspects that was touched upon nicely and a quality I could identify with, personally.
You could say this season began great, with more focus on the side-characters as opposed to just Kirino. At first, I liked it when they introduced the thought of Kirino and Kyosuke having boyfriends and girlfriends. How do two close family members deal with their emotions when the other finds themselves in a relationship? As a big brother and maybe a future parent, I can admit that I would have issues with it. However, it starts getting awkward when they start implying incest. It seemed normal enough at first, but the incestuous implications get even louder as the season progressed.
I wish they did something else here. I wish the whole Kyosuke/Ruri thing became a reality, not because I ship them or anything, but merely because it’d keep true to why I liked Oreimo and my expectations from the first season. Maybe they could have explored dealing with your best friend and your brother getting together and still managing to be good friends. I don’t know, I feel like that would have been more meaningful. Instead, they choose to go the incest route… with the best friend dropping the relationship because she accepts the sister being drilldozed by her brother “because she’s a true friend.” Huh.
As I said in my post about Oreimo in 2010, I went into the series expecting actual incest, but gave it a try because people seemed to like it. I ended up liking it too, because it threw away those expectations and appeared to be more along the lines of focusing on the development of sibling love in a wholesome manner, rather than going the “brother wants to stick it in his sister” route. I just love it how the second season did a full-on U‑Turn and went on to become what my expectation of the series originally was.
You could say “Silly Mikoto, the series translates to My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute!… How could it possibly not take an incestuous turn?” I’ve seen this said a couple of times, and to be frank, I think that you’re all a bunch of idiots. Just because a big brother thinks their little sibling is adorable, doesn’t mean he wants to make love to her. I’m not one to be a prude when it comes to incest in fiction, but I feel like incest was the last thing this series needed. At least outside of the erogame hobby.
Now I know why people like Yandere girls
Aside from the build-up to the eventual incest ending (which is confirmed by the light novel author), I still enjoyed other aspects of the second season. The humor is still genuinely funny, the music is still good, and I liked the focus given to Ruri and Ayase. I thought the conclusion of the latter felt rushed, though I hear they skipped an entire subplot from the light novels. Ruri is great, no doubt about that, but I gained a new appreciation for Ayase.
I wouldn’t mind being stepped on by her. However, they were both integral in the second aspect that bothered me about the season — it turns into yet another harem towards the end, with another one of Kirino’s young friends joining in the fray (Kanako). Is it awesome if you self-insert? Hell yes. Are godly and perverse self-inserts good for an anime that wasn’t established as a harem? Hell no.
Apart from that, I liked Saori’s backstory. It felt much more in the spirit of what I liked about the first season. However, none of that really saved the overall downspiral for me. In the end, the second season was a disappointment.
It’s better when she’s angry.