Review: Oreimo Season 2 DVD

Release Date
Studio / Publisher
A-1 Pictures / MVM Entertainment
15 (UK), PG-13 (JAP)
Language / Subtitles
Japanese / English
13 (+3)
Run Time
400 Minutes

Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai. (My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute.) is the second season of the anime adaptation of the light novel series of the same name. MVM revealed this title through Amazon at the same time as the first season, which was only released a few weeks back itself. I’m a big fan of the Oreimo series, especially Kana Hanazawa’s voicework as Ruri Gokou. This anime was produced by A-1 Pictures, who you may recognise as the studio behind currently simulcasting hit, Boku Dake ga Inai Machi, rather than AIC Build and was, once again, directed by Hiroyuki Kanbe, who later went on to direct Ore, Twintails ni Narimasu.

Season one of Oreimo is easily one of the greatest anime out there, pleasantly surprising even those that were apprehensive in their preconceptions. Season two, for the most part, manages to provide an excellent viewing experience. Sure, it may rip out your heart and curbstomp it, turning you into an emotional wreck, but it still consists of decent storytelling, despite feeling a little “off”. That is, up until the atrocious season two ONAs that were released online following the television broadcast’s completion. The first season had more of a focus on otaku culture and “coming out” as an otaku, whereas this season is more of a harem comedy with a focus on relationships between the characters. We’re still treated to some cameos when characters visit Akihabara though, staying true to Oreimo’s roots.

Following on from the season one ONAs, Kirino has been brought home from America and is adjusting to life in Japan again. Sadly, at the start, it seems as if the relationship between Kirino and Kyousuke has been reset. The highlight of this season is Kuroneko confessing her feelings to Kyousuke, despite the eventual outcome being enough to turn anyone into an emotional wreck. This DVD offering from MVM is better than the first season, with fewer typos in the subtitles, though they are still yellow. Unfortunately, the release is PAL once again, so the 4% speed-up is back, though potentially unnoticeable if you haven’t drilled certain aspects of the anime, such as the opening track, into your mind. The video quality is a step up from season one, with a decent transfer, albeit noticeably soft due to being based on NTSC standard definition masters. This is a shame considering that the original source is of a higher resolution, with sharp outlines throughout. With no western Blu-ray release, there is little that can be done about this.

Season two, although, overall, worse than the first season, does contain some of the more memorable moments in Oreimo. Kyousuke moves out, leading to some amusing situations, especially involving Ayase. Backstories are explored in this season as well, including the big reveal for childhood friend Maname’s past that resulted in the vast majority of viewers cementing their hatred of her. ClarisS provide the opening track, “reunion”, once again and it is another excellent piece; it’s a shame only episodes 2 through 8 utilise it. Each episode has it’s own ending theme, and two of them star Kana Hanazawa as vocalist; an enjoyable assortment of tracks is used, with textless versions included in the extras.

Season one had a decent selection of extras, though it was missing the flash shorts featuring chibi characters giving commentaries. This time around, the extras sections seems complete. Each disc contains the appropriate WEB previews, alongside textless openings and textless endings, for the episodes included on-disc. Each disc also has an SD character preview from the Japanese home media releases. The first disc also includes three flash shorts with chibi characters, An Adult Day for me and Akagi (10 minutes), Usual Day of the Kurusu Sisters (10 minutes), and Game Club Activity Report (20 minutes). Disc two includes two flash shorts with chibi characters, I Can’t Ask Mikagami for Life Counseling (5 minutes) and Charge! Otome Road (5 minutes). The final disc, rather than flash shorts with chibi characters, includes a 42 minute visual novel-style special, titled Galge Style Movie My Little Sister Can’t Be This Eroge.

Despite my apprehensions that I would be unable to enjoy rewatching season two after being toyed with it emotionally in the past, the TV broadcast episodes made for a pleasant rewatch. The ONA episodes still feel disrespectful to the show, despite being based on the manga, and it is impossible to recommend anybody watch those; I certainly shall be excluding them from future rewatches.

While I can happily insist that even those hesitant to try the first season of Oreimo should give it a try before judging it, it's difficult to say the same for the second season. The first thirteen episodes, those that made up the television broadcast, are almost as good as the first season, despite characterisations feeling a bit "off" in comparison. However, the three-season two ONA episodes go "there", the sibling incest. These episodes take the series, and the characters we have grown to love, and spew out the most offensive ending, the one we all hoped would never happen. If you want to follow more of the story of Oreimo, pick up season two, but do yourself a favour and just pretend that it ends at episode 13, those ONAs don't need to be watched.