Hiya anime vice, it’s me M here for a mini review of the Oreimo ONA short series call “the True Route” that changes the ending of Oreimo to apparently closer link it to the original novel and adds a few episodes to follow after that. As readers of my previous review of Oreimo (found here) may remember I rather enjoyed Oreimo, though towards the end I was feeling a bit shaky on the whole “wincest” that the series has (thank god) completely avoided most of the way through. All in all I was looking forward to the ONA series.
The Oreimo “True Toute” Ova basically edits the choice made during the ending ending, in this variant when given the choice to look at the album Kyousuke chooses not to and (Spoilers of Oreimo original) never find the airline ticket. Instead of arguing about it he never finds out. He has peaceful night with his sister only to wake up with Kirino gone having left for America without telling him. With Kirino gone (and the weakest character removed) the story takes a bit of a different turn. Instead of taking care of his sister, Kyousuke finds himself helping a new first year that just happens to be Kuroneko.
Right off the bat Oreimo is a bit better with the focus pulled off of Kirino and placed onto previous side character Kuroneko, who is leagues better as a character. Trading a self-entitled, Mary Sue, bitch of a sister for clever, sarcastic, and frankly a bit nicer first year is an excellent idea. It allows for a romantic aspect that ends up being kind of sweet rather than creepy and something I actively pretend isn’t there. While some of my favorite characters are still missing (sorry grandpas not in it) but the two new additions both manage to be really funny, especially the red head who opens to avenues for Oreimo’s tact of making fun of the anime industry and it’s fan.
The new negatives all really come into play at the end, when the ONA makes an obvious reversal to the old narrative. It pushes Kuroneko back into the limbo of side characters. She will now never be that important again. It’s just a painful twist back to the straight up inferior lead female, but goes to show the strengths of the ONAs narrative. The BIG issue is the ONA is the kind of self-acknowledgment of the sister brother relationship perhaps being more than normal. It’s just a hint at it, but it’s enough to be creepy, unsettling and something that is just difficult to ignore. More so it feels unwarranted, seeing as how Kyousuke and Kirino’s relationship is up until now. It’s not as much of a complete narrative betrayal as in Nise, not even close, but it speaks very ill of what we can expect of Oreimo season two if they follow the ONA’s ending.
Oreimo ONA is just as funny and often better than the original, but makes Oreimo’s original flaws, though unchanged, sickeningly more noticeable. It just makes me sad of what a potentially better series it could have made if Kuroneko remain in the side story love triangle with Manami, and Kirino just stayed Kyousuke’s loved and hated sister. Either way I look forward (but cautiously) to Oreimo season two, and still give the Oreimo ONA a 4 nii-sans out of 5. See you next time vice.