“Real little sisters aren’t all they’re cracked up to be! I’m sticking to 2D!”
When Kirino announces that her track rival from America, Ria Hagry will be coming over to Japan, she makes sure to warn Kyousuke numerous times to hold off his supposed lolicon tendencies. But amidst the various misunderstandings and awkward situations, does Ria have some sort of motive for flying over to Japan?
While I can’t exactly remember how much she was featured in the OVA [True Route] episodes, Ria Hagry’s certainly made herself known this time round – as a 12 year old prodigy sprinter, she’s the former room mate and friend of Kirino. In line with the…welcomed ethos of this show, the producers really did go all out with putting Kyousuke in various sorts of lolicon situations – and Kirino calls him out on it every time much to his chagrin, even when it’s Ria forcing herself on Kyousuke and not the other way round. Admittedly it was debatable at other times, like when Ria wandered down to the 18+ section and Kyousuke got evil glares for actually having an imouto-type girl 😀 I was pretty impressed with Kyousuke’s banter this episode…look at him go! Even Kirino grudgingly backed down at his smooth outburst there – Kyousuke’s not going to take all this verbal abuse any more 😀 And just generally he’s gotten much better this season, being more cocky to both Manami and Ayase…wait, scratch Ayase, he’s still terrified of her xD
Despite Ria’s overly genki nature clashing with Kirino every once in a while, Kirino surprisingly acted as a good older sister, taking care of Ria and making sure Kyousuke didn’t make any odd advances on her. As for Ria’s everlasting love of running, I’m quite impressed about that – what is it like to love something so unconditionally to the point that it’s all you need in life? That statement on how she loves running wasn’t just for PR reasons at all, and I do admire how running really does revolve around Ria’s entire life. She only ever seemed mildly interested in Meruru or any of the other otaku goods (including a blatant shot of Kirito, Lizbeth and Asuna) and was perfectly happy to attend a training camp where running was the only recreation there. Well…it must have been hell for Kirino if she couldn’t get her hands on any anime abroad.
Kirino’s only managed to beat Ria once, and that was the day before she left for Japan. Before that, she didn’t even come close. Yet in one day, Kirino overcame that gap for some seemingly arbitrary reason. And why could she do it? The answer: Kyousuke came to America. Kirino might say that it’s her eroge or friends like Ayase and Kuroneko that she came back to Japan for (and sure, that’s probably a factor too) but as much as she’d hate to admit it, she came back for Kyousuke. There was evidence enough in that rematch race she had with Ria – right from the start, Kirino was clearly lagging behind, yet with Kyousuke’s embarrassing cheering, she nearly managed to beat her once more.
Perhaps this leads us onto a new arc? So far, the Ayase, Saori and Ria episodes (respectively) have all been entertaining, however they seem more like one-shots you could fit into an OVA rather than events with any significance. With Kirino asking Kyousuke to be her boyfriend, here’s to hoping that we get a story arc out of whatever crazy antics she’s got planned next.