With all the hype around Eromanga Sensei and the increasing trend of little sister anime, we should probably take a look at the most iconic of the genre. Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai, OreImo for short or My Little Sister Can’t be this Cute in English, is the iconic series that basically started the little sister trend. But what is it about? What makes it so iconic and was it actually good?
Let’s start with what it’s about. Kyosuke and his sister Kirino are not exactly on the best of terms until one day, Kyosuke finds a DVD case of a magical girl anime but the disc inside was actually that of an erotic visual novel. He soon learns it belongs to his sister who turns out to be a closet otaku. The story then revolves around Kyosuke helping her come to terms with her secret hobby both by playing them with her or by joining a club with similar interests to find friends for her. All this happened while their also developing and strengthening their own relationship with each other.
The show explores Kyosuke’s relationship with Kuroneko, the girl many viewers assumed would have won in the end. Regardless of her own feelings for Kyosuke, she took it upon herself to make Kyosuke realize his feelings for his sister. The show ended with Kirino and Kyosuke realizing their feelings for each other and “dating” until they graduated from their respective schools and having a mock wedding and ending it with a kiss. Literally, the end of the relationship. The two then, immediately afterward, accept that this cannot and should not happen and then continue forward as brother and sister, no relationship, that’s it. Everything ended in that instant after Kyosuke basically sacrificed everything to let this happen. There were definitely lingering feelings between the two, but it’s clear they’ve accepted their fate as siblings and not lovers.
The way this show ended is one of the most controversial topics after the series aired. This show not just teased at an incestious relationship, but actually had the two kiss in the end. While many other shows afterward mostly used little sisters as a trope, this show was more serious about it. There were many other characters fans shipped with Kyosuke, which arguably are all better choices than Kirino, but the writer viciously sank each and every ship one after another to lead up to the grand finale. It was a heartbreaking experience for many and in the end didn’t feel worth it at all. Kyosuke could have had a much better future with any other girl but sacrificed any hope at a relationship with them just so the siblings can fulfill their selfish and awkward desires.
I very much enjoyed this show. Not specifically for the specific relationship, but because the characters felt human and the show took a serious look at the controversy of the little sister trope. The roller coaster ride of emotions across both seasons ended up being one of the more intense rides in anime, Tsukigakirei possibly beating this. Overall it was an interesting show that also had quite the controversy surrounding it. While many would suggest not watching it, I honestly would say it’s worth a watch. If not for the story or characters, watch it for one of the iconic examples of the little sister trope that every show now seems to want to include.