Everyone has some skeletons in their closet. A secret that they don’t want anyone to know about. But what if a loved one found out about that secret- and is actually caring enough to keep that secret? That’s the manga “Oreimo.”
“Oreimo,”short for “Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai” (My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute), based on the light novel series by Tsukasa Fushimi, is about Kyosuke Kosaka and his rocky relationship with his perfect in practically every way little sister Kirino. They have not had a conversation with each other in years. One day, after bumping into each other in the hallway, he finds a magical girl DVD hiding under the bathtub that does not belong to anyone in the house. What’s stranger is that inside the case is an X-rated anime. Turns out it’s Kirino’s and she reveals she’s a really big anime fan. Now he must keep Kirino’s secret hidden and what transpires is a story about a brother and sister bonding like never before.
This manga touches on a touchy subject in Japan: being an anime fan. There’s this whole taboo in Japan that anime/manga fans are “weird outcasts” and being one is, as the manga puts it, “social suicide.” Any anime/manga both in the US and Japan can attest to this. That’s why Kirino, a good looking and practically perfect and popular girl, is being so adamant about hiding her little hobby. The manga portrays these two worlds just like how they would play out in the world.
The relationship between Kyosuke and Kirino is one of the manga’s strong points. Though she may not show it, Kirino cares about her brother and his understanding and helping her find other anime fans and keeping her secret shows how a nonexistent bond between these two has comes into fruition. It’s actually deep stuff for a manga with such a basic story. This isn’t surprising seeing how Kirino has a “little sister fetish” so the whole “big brother bonding with little sister in a non-sexual way” theme fits perfectly.
One negative about this manga is that there some unneeded panty/buttshots and shots of Kirino lying atop of Kyosuke. The manga’s message could’ve came across better without these since they are only fan service, poor taste and not funny.
In all, “Oreimo” is a deep manga about an issue that affects all anime/manga fans and portrays it in a bonding story that is heartwarming. The few fan service shots aside do not make this manga any less serious.