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23 June, 2018

Chaotic Chaos - Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Review/Discussion

"Maybe everyone has some kind of 'syndrome', you know?"
- My friends used to say that I had "Rubin's Syndrome". No joke. Apparently it was a combination of depression and just me being me. 

TL;DR: Your Childhood, The Anime. The quirk of being embarrassed of the stupid things you did when you were young is very much relatable. Cute girl doing cute stuff never gets boring, especially when you add unexpectedly awesome fight sequences. Rikka is cute. The cat is cute. Romance is slow, which is expected. The special episodes are worth watching. The first movie might as well have been another OVA episode if they removed the recap part. The recap was poorly done, but everything else is quite nice.


I've been watching some of Studio Shaft's works lately, and my head hurts. A lot. I started on Monogatari, and halfway through Season 2 my head hurts. Then I went to Madoka Magica, and after finishing the TV series my head hurts. I need a break from stuff that will enable my overthinking brain.

Hey, KyoAni! I trust you to give me at least an above average anime that won't make me rethink my existence. Show me some cute girls doing cute stuff!

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!
(Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions)
Cute girl being cute by believing that she is from another world.

(Don't worry, I'll have a post about Monogatari and Madoka Magica... Eventually. I still have all of the movies for Madoka Magica and the entire Season 3 of Monogatari. Wait, the Monogatari series isn't even finished yet? F*ck.)

Remember that time during your adolescence where you think you are not just a normal human being and have some special ability? No? Oh wow you have even less of a childhood than yours truly. I don't remember the specifics, but I used to roleplay as a Digimon/Pokemon trainer and have these "epic" battles with my friend. Ahh the ignorance of my youth... Anyway that's what the Japanese call chuunibyou (中二病), roughly translated as "2nd year of middle school syndrome". Yay kanji! Symptoms of this "syndrome" usually revolves around the kid thinking that he/she has some out-of-this-world ability, and that they are more special than everyone else.

Meet our main male, Yuuta Togashi. He's a former chuunibyou "sufferer", where he used to call himself "Dark Flame Master" (refer to image on previous paragraph). After graduating from middle school, and being embarrassed about his past, he chooses a high school that none of his previous classmates go to in an attempt to put his alter-ego behind me. Hmm why does this sound so familiar... Everything seemed to be going well and good, he befriends the guy seating behind him, gets selected as a class rep, starts crushing on the prettiest girl in class, blah blah blah. He probably would've gotten the boring high school life he wanted, if he didn't meet....

...Our main female, Rikka Takanashi. She is very much still "suffering" from chuunibyou syndrome, as she believes that she is in possession of the "Tyrant's Eye", which "grants her magical abilities", and of which she covers with an eye-patch so that "its power will be sealed". Because of this weird quirk of hers, she has difficulties making any sort of normal conversation, let alone making friends. I mean, who would want to talk to someone that seems to be talking to themselves? Wait this sounds so familiar again... 

(I just realized Rikka is basically Kuroneko without the whole "being a b*tch in my fantasy" thing. Rikka is just plain cute both in her fantasies and in anime-reality. Wait, am I just realizing that I have a thing for weird girls?)

As our two mains cross paths with each other, comedy and cuteness ensues when Rikka finds out about the identity of "Dark Flame Master". The two slowly (and I mean slowly) form a bond as Rikka drags Yuuta along with her fantasies while Yuuta tries his best to pull Rikka back into reality. Other than the quirk of having chuunibyou, this is basically your textbook highschool romcom. 
Get it? Textbook? Highschool?
Hah. 
Hahah.
H͝A̶HA͏̶HAH̴̡A̷͡͞HA̢H̸̢A̸̵̡H̷A͠H͏͝͏AH̶̶A̧HÀ̸H̴̶͞A̸H́AH̵͢A̶̴͢H̷A̵͡H̡AH҉̸AH̵͜ĄHAH̢͢A̡͟͞HÁ̛͠ḨA͢͞H̷À̸H͜Ą̵͘H̷̴̛A͢H͘A̧͞H̵A͏H́AH̛͞͝A̛͘H͘͢À̧HA̛H̸̕҉A̡H̷̵A̡̛H̨A̶͘H̢̀͢A͏H͞A͟HA̛̕͞HA̸͜͡H̢A̧͝H̕͜͠A̢H͞AH̡͞A͏H̸̢̛A̢͠H̀A̷͜H̵͟Ą̸̸H̨Ą̕H҉̸͠A̶̶H҉A̷HA͢H́̀͏A̵H́A̵͘͠H̴̶A͡H̢A̸̧҉Ḩ̵A̵̴H̸͘A̢̧


Now, let's talk about probably the greatest part of this anime:  
Apparently the KyoAni staff in charge of this anime had a pretty big budget for what would've been "just another highschool romcom". I mean, I would've settled for "just another highschool romcom", but of course KyoAni had to blow my expectations once again.

Out of nowhere we get treated with very, VERY well animated fight scenes between Rikka and the other characters. We get a peek into Rikka's imagination as she spars with the various "opponents" introduced in the show. We get to see their "powers" and (ridiculously large) "weapons" in their "true form", which really took me by surprise during the first of many similar scenes. All of the fights felt like they could actually be included in a real fantasy/action genre anime, and the transitions between real-life and imagination during the fights takes the joke even further as you see Rikka using her umbrella at one moment and then at another moment she's using her ridiculous I-don't-even-know-what-to-call-it weapon. 

Then there's the plot. At first this show rides the whole "comedy and cuteness ensues" train, as we watch see Rikka, Yuuta and the other major characters go about their daily high school life. But then comes the backstory of why Rikka is still stuck with her chuunibyou syndrome. In all honesty, I don't know how to feel about the backstory and its message. And it's not because its bad, but because its the kind of thing that falls under the weird grey area. Both sides have their pros and cons, and I honestly don't know whether choosing either is the better solution to the other. Since this is a pretty nasty spoiler for the plot, let's move my opinions into this nice spoiler box:



Now let's briefly talk about the ED of this show. It's a character song by all the four major female characters. I don't know what it is, but I can't get enough of the song for some odd reason. And no, it's not the animation. That awkward Rikka dance is awkward. The song is just stuck in my head at this point. To me the song feels like it fits nicely into the whole "Rikka's fantasies" theme by being like some fast-paced action scene background music. I mean, the song just feels like it should be played as the OP of some shounen anime or something. Anyway its definately better than the song in this show's OP.

Oh right, the OP. How can a single OP contain one of the cutest Rikka moments in the entire show, while also containing a bunch of headache-inducing cuts?
First, the cute Rikka:

Cute, right? Here's the headache-inducing part, and I'm nice enough to put it in a spoiler box, mainly so that I won't continue to have a headache while I write this post:  


Oh yeah, and there's a cat in this anime! Cats are always welcomed for me, even if they don't serve much of a plot purpose. Just look at that cute face! Both cute faces! Makes me want to hug 'em. Both of them! But I'll settle for just the cat if necessary. Miao~

One very minor thing I want to note as well is how slowly the romance between Yuuta and Rikka is built up. In its defence, it's basically to be expected for any show that has any romance themes in it at this day and age. While it is cute seeing both of them still being so awkward towards the other, at the end of the Episode 13 OVA I was basically screaming at my laptop screen "JUST KISS ALREADY!". Oh well, even though the main two didn't progress much, there's a side ship that might as well be true that was teased in Episode 13. Hehehe of course it wouldn't be a KyoAni show without some teasing of this kind.


And then we have the specials: Depth of Field. I'd like to imagine that a meeting within the KyoAni staff happened as such:
A: "We still have so much of our budget leftover from Chuunibyou! What should we do with it?"
B: "Let's take the money for ourselves and celebrate our hard work on this project!"
A: "Hmmm... That would be nice..."
C: "How about we make an entire mecha anime out of it?"
A: "Perfect! Call our CGI animators in here ASAP!"

Yup. You thought having Rikka and Dekomori fighting with ridiculously large weapons was awesome? Let's have them fight with ridiculously large mechs! The specials are basically KyoAni taking a ridiculous joke and executing it seriously. So seriously that they probably could've made an actual decent mecha anime with the plot and animation from Rikka and Dekomori's imagination. Plus these specials basically validated my point that the ED song can totally fit into an action anime, as they played an instrumental version of the song as the ending.

The first movie, Takanashi Rikka Kai, is....okay. Just okay. As it was supposed to be just a recap movie, I didn't really expect much from it from the beginning. But even then, it was actually the recap part of the movie that sucked real bad. This movie was advertised as a recap "from Rikka's perspective", but there was no such thing other than the rare commentary from Rikka. They even missed out whole plot points that I thought would have been important enough to be included in a recap movie! However, if we take out the entire recap part (which is 3 quarters of the movie, mind you), the newly added stuff is pretty nice. The beginning of the movie is basically KyoAni teasing us that we won't see Yuuta and Rikka kissing any time soon, as well as showing us that their budget is still way too high with an awesome fight scene. After the recap scenes, the movie sets up for the premise of Season 2, where Yuuta and Rikka will be living together, as well as the appearance of a new foe! (insert Super Smash Bros sound effect here)


Overall KyoAni completely shattered my expectations of this show, mostly because I was just expecting an average highschool romcom. The quirk of having chuunibyou during your childhood is totally relatable, even if we didn't call it that. KyoAni once again excels in showing us cute girls doing cute stuff, while also not being afraid of getting down and dirty with awesome fight scenes. I haven't watched Season 2 yet at the time of writing this post, but I'm definitely looking forward to it. There's apparently also a movie that just came out earlier this year, and I'm regretting that I never found this show before then since I would've definitely went to watch it at the cinema. Oh well, I guess my laptop screen is as good as I can get.

04 June, 2018

Hidden Gem - Houseki no Kuni (Land of the Lustrous)

"Ouch..."
- Everything's fine.... For now.

TL;DR: Very pretty. Very very pretty. The blend of 3D CGI and hand-drawn animation is so smooth it's barely noticeable. Good use of visuals and camera movement to create amazing scenes. Main protagonist is a bit obnoxious at first, but just bear with it till the second-half of the show.

Houseki no Kuni (Land of the Lustrous)
A bunch of pretty girls fighting moon aliens.

How do I keep coming up with sentences that is so right yet sounds so wrong at the same time?

Welcome to the future. The world has been destroyed by meteors. Life as we know it are gone. Basically dinosaur-level extinction all over again. As the world rebuilds itself after the disaster, a strange new species rises from the beaches of the new world.

Gemstones. Sentient gemstones. Immortal sentient gemstones, whom I'll refer to as "Gems". Who all take the form of a human female except for their Sensei for some reason, just overlook that part. These immortal shiny objects feed on nothing but sunlight, so you would think that in a newly created world and as immortal beings with no need for physical nourishment, this new species would thrive and what not, right?

Of course not! Meet the "Lunarians" (or Moon People, says the wiki, but I like Lunarian better). Another strange species that again takes the form of human females, but this time with a sort of Buddhist theme. As the name suggests, Lunarians are from the Moon. As the main antagonists of this series, they appear at random times, attacking and kidnapping the Gems so that they can use their shiny bodies to make weapons and decorations. Sounds kinda like your typical Minecraft players, honestly.

Of course, the Gems aren't just sitting around waiting to be kidnapped. Most of the Gems are well-trained in combat, working as scouts and fighters in order to repel the Lunarian threat. Even those who are unsuited for combat are given other roles to play in their community such as a blacksmith, doctor, tailor, carpenter and so on.

That is, until the birth/arrival of Phosphophyllite, or Phos for short. Yes, all the gems are named after their real-life counterparts. As the youngest of the Gems, as well as one of the most brittle with a hardness of 3.5 (Mohs Scale, more on that later), not only is she unsuitable for combat, she is also extremely clumsy, making it difficult to take on any tasks in their community. While she stumbles around trying to be useful, she one day finally gets assigned a job for the first time in 300 years! ......To create an encyclopedia... Yay? If it sounds boring to you, imagine what the person in charge of creating it thinks of it. As much as she hates her job, she tries her best to do her job (not really), until one day she is unintentionally dragged into something so big that changes her in more ways than one.

Now, let's talk about the best thing about this anime. If I'm being honest, saying that its the best thing in this anime is actually underselling it. This show is one of the best CG anime that I (and I'm sure everyone in the world) have seen up till its release. No joke. It is really pretty. Really REALLY PRETTY. Here, have a sentient Diamond running around to show you how pretty this show is:
(The frame-drops in the video is because it's I'm assuming a screen capture. There's no frame-drop when watching this scene directly)

I won't go as far as to say this is the prettiest anime of all anime, but in the category of CG anime, this is definitely at the very top, at least for me. Even if we forget the fact that the bar was set pretty low already (I'm looking at you, Berserk and basically every other CG anime), Land of the Lustrous can honestly still very much at least make the nominations for "the most beautiful anime of all anime". Everything from the beautifully-rendered visuals to the camera movement to the character designs to even the soundtrack just blends together so smoothly, which really makes the entire watching experience pleasant, for lack of a better word. There's also another scene later in the anime (which incidentally also features Diamond) that is really successful in building up the tense atmosphere of the entire situation by using a whole 2 minutes of uninterrupted and continuous shot, something that you don't necessarily see a lot of in an anime.

Needless to say, this show is not just pretty wallpaper fodder and nothing else. The writing and the plot is very, very well-done. Without reading the source material, Land of the Lustrous didn't feel very rushed or overly prolonged. Even though I was a bit disappointed with the ending, I didn't really mind it at all. I would much rather have it be faithful to the source material and hope for a Season 2, than have the adaptation write their own forced-in ending, so let's hope for a Season 2!

Another thing I really liked about this anime was their use of real-life gemstones and gemology-related terminology rather than just make up fake stuff. Prior to watching the anime, I've already knew about Mohs Scale and the difference between hardness and toughness (I used to read Wikipedia pages when I was bored. Don't judge), so when I saw them being faithful to these terms I had one of those "Hey I know what they are talking about!" moments. I also learned a bunch of new stuff, like the existence of a gem called Antarcticite, which only crystallizes under low temperature. How cool would it be if you have jewelry that you can only wear under room temperature? Now that I think about it it doesn't sound practical...

One of the bigger problems I initially had with Land of the Lustrous was the main protagonist, Phos. Phos was basically the definition of a spoiled brat. She starts off as obnoxious, and while I was on my first watch-through I kept thinking "Can we switch the main protagonist? Diamond or even Cinnabar would be nice." She keeps on complaining and complaining about everything she does, even when she finally gets a task from Sensei. Yes it's bored to make an encyclopedia, but did you forget that you were the one that asked for something to do? 
....However, towards the end of the show, I kind of regretted ever thinking that. I don't want to spoil too much of the plot, but it plays heavily around the concept of change, so just overlook Phos's initial annoying personality and go along with the journey. You'll come to understand why I would think that way. Stuff happens in the show.

Overall, Land of the Lustrous is the perfect example of what good CG anime should look like. Heck, it won Crunchyroll's Best CGI of 2017 award, so let's hope that future CG anime would look as good as this one (after seeing some other recent CG anime, I don't have my hopes up). Let's also hope that Studio Orange will work on a Season 2 in the near future, even though nothing has been announced yet so far as of writing this post. Oh well, worst case scenario I'll just read the manga once it's finished, since I'm still refraining myself from potential Season 2 spoilers.

21 May, 2018

Ghost Story - Tasogare Otome x Amnesia (Dusk Maiden of Amnesia) Review/Discussion

"A ghost could be wandering the halls of this school as I speak!"
-No sh** Sherlock.

TL;DR: Interesting art style (not in a bad way). Other than the somewhat predictable sub-plots in the mystery department and a bit of excessive comedy, a great horror/mystery + romance that doesn't mind going very dark very quickly. Special episode was definitely worth the watch as well.

After OreImo let's go back to something more normal, shall we?
Tasogare Otome x Amnesia
15 y.o. ghost who died 60 years ago seduces and haunts 14 y.o. boy

Sooooo technically one is 75 and the other one is 14. I thought I said more normal?

Tasogare Otome x Amnesia, or "Dusk Maiden of Amnesia" in English, revolves around a private academy that was built on top of a shrine. Of course, this results in a lot of ghost stories within the walls of the school, some of which are just pure fabrication, while others, as we learn in the anime, are undoubtedly true.

Meet Yuuko Kanoe, an amnesiac ghost who doesn't remember anything except for her name and where her dead body is located. She is trapped within Seikyou Academy, where she died 60 years ago in the oldest building of the school. Being a ghost, most people can't see or touch her, and even when they do, it is usually not in her true form (more on that later). However, this changes when she meets...

Teiichi Niiya, the 14 year old romance male lead who stumbled upon Yuuko's dead body when he was trying to find the exit to the maze of the old buildings of the school. For some reason (that I think is implied later in the story), not only can Teiichi see Yuuko as her true form, but is also able to touch her as well. For a girl who, for the first time in 60 years, is able to be seen and touched (by a boy no less), you can imagine her excitement in this. She latches on to Teiichi due to this, basically haunting him in the school, while establishing the Paranormal Investigation Club in order to find out the truth about her own death.

One of the things I like about Dusk Maiden of Amnesia is it's interesting interpretation of paranormal activity. Without spoiling too too much of the plot, it basically boils down to "ghosts are seen as what you want to see". The picture above is the depiction of Yuuko from the perspective of Kirie, who believes that Yuuko is an evil spirit, trying to lure Teiichi to the spirit realm. After hearing the explanation from Kirie, Teichii starts to see Yuuko as this form as well. The concept that everything is just in your head is used heavily and effectively throughout the plot of this anime, which just makes me go "Hmmmmmm.... Interesting...." all the way throughout the show. Of course, if you think of it in another way, this also makes the subplots kind of predictable, but I'm not complaining whatsoever.

Speaking of paranormal activity, the anime is not scared of using VERY dark plot alongside VERY dark imagery to prove its points. And that's not just restricted to the main plot of Yuuko's mystery. Even in the subplots that comes up, where they try to solve the ghostly rumours in the school, I find myself in shock and going "oh my god is this actually happening in a school of a bunch of teenagers?". The art style used throughout the anime is one that I don't often see much of, but it really helps to set up the horror atmosphere of the story. Even at times where there's no dark imagery involved, the anime uses various interesting visual techniques which I don't have the knowledge to describe using words that makes the show even more unique.

Oh, I haven't even gotten into the romance part of this show yet. While the romance builds quite heavily upon "I'm a girl who hadn't touched a boy for at least 60 years, so come here you!", I can't help but sympathize from Yuuko's point of view. I mean, 60 years is a LONG time, and while she's trapped in the school for that period nobody can even see her. Of course she's lonely, and of course she is REALLY excited that the first person that could actually see AND touch her true form in such a long time is coincidentally a boy. I don't want to get too deep into the romance plot as it is part of the main plot, but it actually made me kinda emotional during the climax and throughout the resolution. The ending was kinda cliche and cheesy, but after going through the emotions in the plot I didn't really mind it at all.

Of course, there were some problems in this show as well, mainly in the form of Momoe Okonogi, the idiot I used in the first picture of this post. She is the comedic relief character of the show, whose sole purpose is to make jokes. While I appreciate the fact that they don't want the show to be just DARK DARK DEATH DEATH DARK, Momoe takes away a lot of the horror atmosphere whenever she is on screen, basically because she doesn't have any character development other than "this girl will make you laugh". Plus, just the interaction between Teiichi and Yuuko (mainly the *cough* fanservice *cough*) is quite enough to act as a breather between the dark plotlines. [Also I hate Momoe for forcing herself as a romance rival when she clearly doesn't have a chance. I guess in the romance genre there's always some sort competition, but can't you make an exception sometimes?]

Of course, it's not just Momoe that brought down the show with excessive comedy. One of the dramatic scenes later in the show involves Teiichi and Yuuko, which ended with a weird *ahem* hand-grabs-certain-female-body-part *ahem* by Teiichi. This was one of the few moments I went "What. In. The. World.". I could only speculate what could be done to resolve that scene without said weird grabbing action, but surely anything else would be better than that right? [Dear writers: I have a lot of questions about that scene. Where in the world do you get so many fallen leaves on the roof of a fairly high building? Also, did you really think that the heart is under the right breast? Seriously?]

There's also times where I feel like the show "conveniently forgot" that Yuuko is a ghost. This happens mainly around Momoe (of course), who isn't able to see Yuuko. There are certain scenes like Teichii talking to Yuuko or Yuuko hugs Teichii until he falls down, both of which Momoe was present, where Momoe doesn't even respond to. And this isn't just Momoe, even in the scene where Yuuko basically carried cotton candy through a crowded hallway, nobody acknowledges the fact that there's a floating object in the middle of the freaking hallway.

Watashi yo moete~ Moete~
The most surprising part of this anime is probably how much I enjoyed the opening. It wasn't catchy like Death Parade, or as pretty as Clannad: After Story (Wait, I haven't had a post on this yet. Oh well), but for some reason I just keep listening through the opening every episode. Maybe it's the meaning of the lyrics that I felt connected to? Oh hey its 鈴木このみ! Konomi Suzuki! The person that did the No Game No Life opening! Maybe that's why I like this opening so much.

Sankarea? Is that you? Oh it's just you Yuuko.
I also want to give credit to this anime for slightly modifying the ending animation in the climax of the show based on what had happened (Episode 7). Not a big change, but it's a nice touch nonetheless. Also, the ED in Episode 11 has a surprise. Didn't realize it in my first watching session. My reaction on the second watch-thru: "Wait, this sounds different.... Oh. AHHHHHHHHHH! This is amazing."

Overall the show was a good horror/mystery/romance. Even though the mystery was a tad bit predictable and the romance is slightly cliche-ish, I enjoyed my time watching (and re-watching for writing this post) this anime. I would personally add the comedy genre to the show, since there's seems to be a fair bit of it, but it's not a full out rom-com so I can understand why they didn't include that.

On a side note, the special OVA episode (Episode 13) basically shows you this anime in full rom-com form, which is quite nice after the emotional ride through the main plot. More Yuuko x Teichii didn't hurt, and I probably say this a lot, but I like the modified opening in the special episode. It completely caught me off guard and I was laughing my butt off before I realized it.

16 May, 2018

Anime is trash and so am I - OreImo Rant (Spoilers Everywhere)

*Why is this not canon?*
-I'm looking at you, PSP game.

TL;DR: Anime is trash and so am I for enjoying it. OreImo is absolute trash. I hate the ending. But I still enjoyed my time watching it.

Ever wondered what kind of anime stands on the border of the stuff I'll admit I watched? Stuff like OreImo. Its not the type of anime you would normally recommend to other people since you would probably look like a weirdo for watching it, yet it's still so far from your almost-hentai ecchi anime or the "I don't even want to know what is going on" anime or the "it's so bad I will actually die if I continue to watch" anime.

Today I want to talk about OreImo. And this will probably be more of a rant than a review, unlike my previous posts. So, spoiler alert, people. I'll be going through the key plot points of both OreImo S1 and S2.

Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai
 Little sister plays erotic games about little sisters with her brother in her room using her computer.

Wait, I think that actually was dialogue said in the show. Wait, nope. It was something similar though, and it was from their freaking parents.

Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai, OreImo for short, "My Little Sister Can't Be This Cute" in English, is basically Game of Thrones minus the politics or dragons or zombies or war plus comedy. Haven't seen Game of Thrones? Umm... So... It's a romantic comedy. Where the main protagonists are siblings. Yup. Siblings.

OreImo follows the story of Kirino and Kyousuke Kousaka (left and right), siblings who have been in a cold war with each other for who knows how many years because, well, sibling stuff. I'm sure people with siblings would know what I mean. Kirino is your typical overachiever girl who seems to be good at basically everything she does. Secretly, however, she is an otaku who loves playing erotic games. About little sisters. Yes. Typical, right?

One day, Kyousuke stumbles upon one of her erotic games, completely shattering his perception of his seemingly perfect little sister. However, this event also led to them finally talking to each other after many years as Kirino asks her brother for counseling on her secret hobby, while also introducing her world to Kyousuke. Yes, this of course includes the erotic games about little sisters.

Comedy ensues as Kyousuke helps his sister in keeping her hobby a secret, while helping her make friends in the otaku community, while ALSO being forced by her own little sister to play erotic games about little sisters. Can you guess where this is going? Add some ecchi misunderstandings/coincidences between the main characters and basically you have OreImo Season 1. It was basically your normal Ecchi/Romance/Comedy with a bit of incest plot on the side. A bit weird? Yes, of course, but not too too bad.

One of the things I actually liked about OreImo was how they actually have different OP animation every episode. Although it wasn't big changes, it made watching the entire opening every episode kind of worthwhile even though the song wasn't really that good like Death Parade was. Even the ED is completely different every episode (but I don't really like watching ED in general). OreImo S1 was also quite interesting as it had different plot endings, something that I haven't seen before when I watched OreImo (but have seen in an absolutely beautiful anime that I hopefully will talk about in a future post).

Speaking of different plot endings, this is about where I felt the show started to get good, and then spiraled out of control very quickly (and VERY BADLY) after that.

[SPOILER ALERT AGAIN]
In the final episode of Season 1, it is revealed that Kirino plans to go to America for training.
In the good ending, made for the TV broadcast, Kyousuke finds out the night before and was disappointed that Kirino never told him. Being the dishonest romance main character that he is, he tells Kirino to go ahead with her decision. Kirino on the other hand, being the tsundere b**** that she is, beats him up and, as revealed the next morning, decides not to go to America. Everyone's happy. Yay(?).

In the true route, which was released online and is based on the original plot of the source material, Kirino never told Kyousuke, which left him shocked at the sudden absence of his little sister, whom he had spent so much time with lately. You can guess what this is setting up for if you watched ANY romance genre show before.

In the end of the true route's first episode, Kuroneko, one of Kirino's otaku club friend, reveals to have joined Kyousuke's school becoming his junior. Why is this important? Because it sets up Season 2, that's why.

After the true route's first episode, several additional episodes were released online, which mostly depicts Kyousuke helping Kuroneko fit into school. In the canonical last episode of Season 1, which takes place 3 months after Kirino left for America, Kyousuke decides to also go to America to find Kirino. To play an erotic game with her. Yup.
Oh and to ask her to come back to Japan with the "I'm so lonely without you" cliche.
Oh, right. This happened before Kyousuke left for America as well:

And hence, we continue to one of the most controversial anime that came out as a sequel to an already-controversy-inducing anime. 
Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai.
Main character makes the absolutely worst decision in anime history

Yes, the period/dot/full stop is the sign they chose for its sequel. Don't ask me why. It's a mystery to me too. 

Before diving into Season 2, let's talk about Kuroneko. Kuroneko (黒猫, thanks again kanji), literally meaning "black cat" in English, was initially introduced as this egoistic snobbish girl who seems to be always cosplaying her favourite character in both fashion as well as personality (she speaks in character all the time too). However, during the true route episodes of Season 1, where her real name Ruri Gokou was revealed, we start to see a different side of her. She was in fact very insecure with herself, being uncomfortable and shy talking with people when she started her new school. Now, I wanna be honest here, when I first watched Season 1, I skipped through most of the true route episodes since in my head Kuroneko was still this egoistic b****. Only during Season 2 did I realize I was wrong. SO WRONG. And it was not just a sudden character change midway through the series, it was hinted at throughout Season 1 which apparently I was so against her in-character character that I completely missed them.

Can you tell by now Kuroneko is my favourite character? No? Kuroneko is my favourite character in this anime. And possibly the only good thing to come out from my time watching it.

[SPOILER ALERT AGAIN]
 
Season 2 was weird. And that's saying something for a series with this kind of plot in Season 1. Season 2 picks up directly after the canonical ending of Season 1, where Kirino is back in Japan. Kirino and Kyousuke goes through this weird phase of trying to figure out what they're relationship actually is, due to the whole "I'm so lonely without you" thing Kyousuke said to get Kirino back. Kirino brings a fake boyfriend to try to get Kyousuke to be jealous, which of course worked. And just when I thought this anime was actually going to go fully down the incest path, we get greeted with this:

You do not know how I felt when he ACTUALLY ACCEPTED HER CONFESSION. I WAS ACTUALLY GOING CRAZY. THE DUMB ROMANCE MAIN CHARACTER ACTUALLY MADE THE SMART DECISION OF CHOOSING THE CORRECT GIRL!. We get to see them going out as a couple, including going on their first date, visiting each other's houses, seeing the summer fireworks festival (which apparently every romance show has for some reason)........ For one and a half episode.

You know, I kinda expected this to happen at some point, since they started going out on E7 in a 12 episode season. But one and a half episode? Why?! I usually have a bias towards the main heroine. This anime was basically the first time I actually preferred a side character over the main heroine in the romance department. Why?! Why the little screen-time when Kuroneko is actually the best female character in the entire anime. Screw the childhood friend Minami. Screw the yandere Ayase. Screw the rich girl Saori. And for f***'s sake screw (on second thought I take that back before this backfires on me) Forget your damn incestuous tsundere sister. Ugh. And this anime just goes downhill from here.

Coming back to the plot, after breaking up with Kyousuke, Kuroneko transfers to another school. To whom does the now-lonely-as-f*** Kyousuke go to to seek help? His sister of course. With Kirino's help, they manage to find Kuroneko in a hot springs village, and here the plot kind of gets lost on me a bit.

Kirino berates Kuroneko for leaving everyone without any trace, of which Kuroneko used to force Kirino to speak out her true feelings towards the fact that Kyousuke and Kuroneko were going out. Kirino basically confessed that she was jealous yet she couldn't stand her brother being sad over losing his girlfriend. After Kirino reveals the truth, Kuroneko reveals that she was currently on a family vacation, and she is only transferring schools to a nearby city due to his father changing job positions.

So..... My question is WHY IN THE WORLD DID YOU BREAK UP WITH HIM? They tried to explain that Kuroneko was trying to use the break up to mend the relationship between Kirino and Kyousuke, but that clearly 100% would have backfired on Kuroneko, and it definitely did. She just created the opportunity for Kirino and Kyousuke to be closer than ever, especially now that Kirino spoke out the truth of her not wanting Kyousuke to have a girlfriend.  Author of this light novel, did you do all that just to set up Kyousuke & Kirino's relationship? I think you did. And I hate you for completely pushing Kuroneko down the staircase just to make that happen.

The whole break up seems to be the tipping point that skews Kyousuke towards Kirino, as both of them start to get close again, and the anime goes into another weird direction. Apparently after the break up every single female side character is in love with Kyousuke now. Because of course we need a Harem plot in an Ecchi Incest Romance Comendy. One of the more prominent side characters who were affected by this "Harem Spell" was Ayase, Kirino's obsessive yandere best friend. She confesses to Kyousuke, who of course declines since we all know where this is going by now...

The TV version of OreImo S2 ends prematurely again, with the final episode of the TV broadcast being a flashback of Kirino's past before the cold war between her and her brother started, where it's shown that she already had feelings towards Kyousuke back then. Yup. This show really wants to end with Kyousuke and Kirino being together. Which of course can't be shown on TV, cause you know, incest and all. 

On the first of the online-only episode, I was given one last hope as it seems like Kyousuke and Kuroneko were going out on a date again..... And then my hopes and dreams were thoroughly crushed.....
...As Kyousuke rejects Kuroneko for real this time (RIP my heart)...

...So that he can confess to his sister, who of course accepted...

 Wait, wait, wait. Hold on. Hold the f*** on. IS THAT A F***ING RING?!

WHAT THE ACTUAL F***?! ARE YOU ACTUALLY SERIOUS RIGHT NOW?! HOW IN THE WORLD WOULD THAT WORK?!

Of course that wouldn't work. The author knew that. The show knew that. Us viewers knew that. Apparently, however, none of their friends knew that, as they were all like "Oh you guys are dating now? Cool, cool. A bit weird but cool." SERIOUSLY? SERIOUSLY? Does no one actually want to comment on how wrong that is.
Of course, here comes in the one character that I'm pretty sure everyone hates (whether or not that hate is larger than that towards Kirino doesn't matter). Minami, Kyousuke's childhood friend, confronts the now engaged(? Let's call them dating...) Kyousuke and Kirino, which caused an actual fight between the two girls. Can I just say right now what in the world is happening to this show? Like, seriously. They actually fight.
Minami. The person who basically did nothing in the entire two season run except for walking to school with Kyosuke and sometimes give barely usable advice. Suddenly comes out and punches Kirino in the gut. If it's not for the wayyyyyy too fast of a personality change, I would not have blamed her, since Kirino was kinda pushing her b****yness a tad too far before getting punched. They proceed to slap each other, pulling each other's hairs in true girl-fight form before Kyousuke finally steps in to stop them.

Ugh. Really? Thank you Minami for slapping the f*** out of Kyousuke after this. This is probably the most useful thing you've actually done in the entire two seasons. And just when I thought maybe Kyousuke and Kirino would actually listen to what Minami tried to talk to them about, we were shown the impossible. The ACTUAL IMPOSSIBLE MANIFESTED IN FRONT OF US.
I quit. They even kissed. I don't even want to show that here. It was showed later that this "marriage" was just make-believe, since they promised to only be lovers until that point. But still, really? Really? REALLY?! I don't even know how to describe this anymore. You actually went all the way and completely blew my expectations with this. Thank goodness this is the last episode and I don't have to know anything more about what happens to these two.

This show is trash. Really. It's garbage. It went fully down the most trashy romantic plotlines in the history of romantic plotlines. Kirino had one of the worst personalities compared to every single other female character, and that's overlooking her little sister fetish.

But you know what? I enjoyed my time watching OreImo. As much as I hated how the show went all in with the incest route, I enjoyed watching their initial struggle to figure out how to deal with each other. The comedic incidents throughout both seasons helped too. And of course I loved the Kuroneko arc, and I really really really wished that they continued after that. I'm looking at you, PSP game. If only I actually understood Japanese...

But seriously though, the author went way way waaayyy too absorbed with the incest route. If only they stopped with just something along the lines "I like you too but we can't", kinda like Eromanga, it would have made OreImo a lot better in my opinion.

[Post-Writing Addition]
WHAT IN THE ACTUAL F***. I did some extra research just to make sure I didn't mess up my facts on the show (GG my browser history). There was a scene after the "marriage" where Kyousuke kisses Kirino on the cheek, using his "one time wish" privilege that he won in a past episode. I thought that was just a harmless kiss just to tease Kirino. Turns out. It is not over. Based on the OreImo wiki:
  •  So he asks Kirino to come closer, and as Kirino closes in, Kyousuke casually kisses her in the cheek, implying that he uses his '1 Time Wish' to break the promise of them 'being couple until graduation'. 
  • While in the anime, it shows Kyousuke kissing Kirino on the cheek, in the light novel, it just said kiss (キス Kisu) which would usually mean on the lips. Based on the author's interviews, many fans speculate that the kiss actually happened on the lips.
  • Based off of the interviews with the author, it seems that Kirino and Kyousuke's relationship with each other truly has not ended
  • There is an after story named "A Momentary Chance Encounter", in which it is implied that Kirino and Kyousuke are still together
And of course, I went and read the translation of the after story after seeing that.

Burn this sh** from my mind now please. I can't unread that anymore. Why did I do extra research. Why. Oh god this means that they were still a couple in Eromanga. Sh**. God damn it. My mind has been tainted now (as if it hadn't already before, Rubin).