“I’ll take you with me…if you can keep up!”
This week was all about Kirino’s side of the story – the untold side. All we knew of the Kousaka Cold War was that the siblings used to be close but drifted further and further away, with Kirino eventually acting like a bitch towards her brother. Kyousuke definitely portrayed it as no fault of his, but now that I’ve watched this…I dunno whether I can agree with that. Back then, Kyousuke acted like the reliable, cool onii-chan that he never was – fixing toys for Kirino, winning races and being an active, happy kid. Meanwhile, Kirino held nothing but admiration for Kyousuke, and truly was her brother’s girl, right down to a tee. Baby Kirino really was adorable, and…I suppose they did well in reducing my dislike for her. I mean, this episode doesn’t change the fact that she’s a bitch, but it does go quite far in justifying her attitude – it’s not like she started blanking Kyousuke without reason all of a sudden.
Much of Kirino’s change in personality was solely due to Kyousuke, who started rejecting her as he grew up and started acting like many immature kids do. I think it’s pretty common actually – the idea that two siblings who were once close eventually drifted away from each other as they got older. However, it really did feel like Kyousuke abandoned the little sister who adored him so much, which fuelled Kirino’s desire to outperform him and show him up. Kirino trained herself and ran towards him just for the sake of getting approval from her onii-chan…and when she’s finally kept up with him, she realizes that he’s stopped running completely. While I can kinda relate to Kyousuke saying: “A peaceful life is best”, everything else was rather insensitive of him.
I wasn’t sure what to think of Manami this episode. If anything, she appeared as the Kirino’s main rival for Kyousuke’s affections – something I’ve never really seen her as before. After finding out about Manami’s Evil Plan (which is apparently part of LN canon) I have to say that it’s a pretty good assumption, especially her thorough plans to remove Kirino as a love rival. Damn…where was all of this in the anime?
The back story to Kirino’s fateful encounter with eroge was hilarious 😀 It was like she’d finally found the meaning to her life, which just happened to be an imouto eroge. I’m not going to try and draw any meaningful conclusions (look how giggly she is staring at her screen like that) but if I had to, I’d say that she’s playing the onii-chan this time – the reliable figure that she herself was let down by.
And so, we have reached the end…that isn’t actually the end. That’s probably the only reason I’m feeling pretty neutral towards all this – it felt a bit empty as an episode overall. There wasn’t even any step towards resolving the Kirino route, or any aftermath of the Ayase route – instead it felt like an intermission episode more than anything. Given that there are 3 episodes left, I don’t think it matters all that much…though to be honest I’d expected something less flimsy for the end of the official TV broadcast. A lot of people have been mentioning that the anime has glossed over details or skipped out sections from previous episodes – I can understand why they’d do that due to time constraints, but if it’s to insert an episode like this, then I’d have been happier with a cliffhanger. Either way, I’m expecting great things from the show’s true finale – slated for August, as far as I know!