Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai Vol.1
My name is Kousaka Kyousuke. I’m just a normal high school student.
“Ahhhh, that was a good sleep. I was up studying late last night, so there’s no helping it.”
“Wah… Shi- Shiori…?”
I get up quickly and find my little sister Shiori sleeping in my bed.
What should I do?
1. Embrace her tenderly.
2. Get out of bed quietly without waking her up.
3. Kick her out of the bed without question.
Don’t mix up 2D with 3D! My little sister can’t be this cute!
Kyousuke is a pretty normal guy with average grades and no special talent or hobbies. Actually, his goal in life is to enjoy a normal trouble-free life. His little sister Kirino is pretty much the opposite of him, a model student who dresses like an idol and is popular in school. However, she pretty much ignores him in the house. But that’s pretty much expected between siblings, right? One day, he finds a strangely pink DVD case behind the shoe box. It’s called Hoshikuzu Witch Meruru, but when he opens it, he finds something else inside: Imouto to Koi Shiyo♪ (Let’s Love Little Sisters♪), an 18+ game. Why would something like that be here? He sets out determined to find the true owner and realizes that it’s actually Kirino!
Kirino slaps him awake late at night and tells him to come to her room since she has something to tell him. She wants ‘life advice’ from him and makes him promise that he won’t look down on her because of what she will show him. After he agrees, she reveals a hidden compartment in her room filled with anime DVDs, manga, figures and lots of PC and PS2 games (both 18+ and all-ages)! Not only is she playing eroge, but they’re all imouto eroge! There’s more inside her stash but that’s all she will show him for now. She asks him how he feels now knowing her hobby and he repeats that it’s her own hobby and he won’t look down on her because of it.
He might have said it just so that she would let him go back to bed, but little did he know this is only the first of many life counselling sessions.
A week later, it’s the continuation of the life counselling. This time, she wants him to play an imouto-ge with her: Imouto to Koi Shiyo♪. He tries to avoid it (which brother will play an eroge with his imouto… especially an imouto-ge!?), but she keeps turning aside every excuse he has. She gives him an all-ages adaptation of the game along with a laptop and tells him to finish it by next week. He realizes that the reason why she wants him to play such games is because she has no friends who have similar hobbies and this is not something that you would talk about publicly for fear of being looked down upon. He decides to help her find some otaku friends.
Kyousuke’s childhood friend Manami (otherwise known as the plain girl) suggests that she participate in an offline meeting from some otaku-themed SNS (social networking service). Kirino signs up and joins a group called “Otaku-kko atsumare” (Get together, otaku girls). The group admin, Saori, invites her to join them in Akihabara for a get-together. Kirino ends up dragging him along (and suggesting that he dress as a trap) since she wants him to watch over her even if she won’t admit it.
However, Kirino doesn’t talk during the meeting and ends up leaving without making any friends. That’s when Saori invites them to another party. In additional to Kirino and Kyousuke, there is one other invited member: black-haired gothloli Kuroneko. Saori tries to get them involved in some icebreaker games, but it just ends up with Kirino and Kuroneko arguing since they have different interests. However, Kyousuke is happy for her since she finally found someone to share her hobby with. At the same time, he begins to understand this otaku subculture that he didn’t know.
A few days later, Kyousuke finally finishes up the game that she lent him. She asks for his thoughts on the game and he tells her that he liked the end of Shiori’s route when the protagonist runs off after her after their parents object to their relationship and he runs after her and they share a scene together in the sunset. She’s glad that he’s beginning to understand her hobby, but says that there’s much more to these games. Since she found friends to chat about her hobbies with now, he thinks that his help isn’t needed anymore. But…
When he returns home one Sunday, there’s an eerie quietness in the house. He opens the door to the living room and there is Kirino sitting across from their father. On the desk is the opened Meruru DVD case and inside is Imouto to Koi Shiyo♪…
This is actually the first light novel that I read over half a year ago. With the recent release of the anime, I figured this is as good a time as any to write up an excessively long review. I’ll try to recall my initial thoughts without spoiling plot and relationship developments in future volumes (I’m waiting for v7 in November). Oreimo is written by Fushimi Tsukasa, who also wrote the less well-known Juusanbanme no Alice prior to this series. I like the art by Kanzaki Hiro; the round faces makes the loli chars even more adorable. The story is written from Kyousuke’s perspective and details his thoughts to the reader. To me, it feels just like playing an eroge.
Let’s clear up something first: Oreimo is not about incest. It’s about an evolving sibling relationship while showcasing aspects of the otaku subculture.
It’s especially entertaining if you watch anime and are passionate about certain characters, or play eroge and buy multiple copies just for the extra goodies that come with it. I have to admit that I picked up this series because it had ‘imouto’ in it, and I’m so glad I did. There’s many aspects that we can identity with, whether it be hiding your eroge stash, wanting a friend to talk about your hobby with, and living a double life because liking ‘those’ things isn’t socially acceptable and people might look down on you because of it. And who wouldn’t love an imouto who loves imouto-ge and wants you to come play them with her?
While we’re on that note, it’s interesting to note the change in Kyousuke and Kirino’s relationship even over the course of one volume. Their relationship is pretty much rock bottom (or maybe normal?) at the beginning and he really doesn’t care much about her other than thinking that she’s rude for ignoring him. This may be because they are basically opposites: he aspires to be normal, while she excels in everything. However, once they have a common thread (knowing her secret), it’s clear that she wants him to be around, not necessarily in that way, but as someone to talk to… someone to consult with. From his side, he just thinks it’s a small annoyance having to do things he has no interest in, but by doing so, he gradually understands more about her. In turn, this makes him want to protect her and guard her secret. I was so happy when she sees him as a somewhat dependable older brother and finally called him aniki.
Through all this, I’m wondering to myself: Do real siblings really act this way? Is there a reason why she acts this way to him? Maybe she looks down on him because he’s not great at anything.
There’s other questions, such as what else does Kirino have that she won’t show him right now? And why does she seem to dislike Manami so much? Speaking of Manami, she’s the complete opposite of Kirino and has a different appeal from Kirino (which Zen doesn’t understand at all). Saori seems to be a nice (180cm tall) girl and I don’t really care for Kuroneko much. She seems like a typical cool gothloli and she looks down on Meruru. I reserve judgment on Kirino, because she’s a bit too tsun at the moment, but with the sweetness she begins to show in the last chapter, I’m hoping that they will be closer siblings in the future.
Then maybe they can play more eroge together. This time he’ll know not to kick the imouto out of the bed.