DVD Review: Oreimo – Season 1
20/01/2016 Leave a comment
We visit the unknown to explore what the first season of Oreimo, otherwise known as My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute, has to offer and surpisingly enough it is exceedingly good; so is this DVD release of a potentially questionable series worth owning? Find out in our review.
For the past seven years, Kyousuke Kousaka’s relationship with his younger sister Kirino has been nothing but cold. It’s gotten the the point where the only talking the siblings do is to exchange greetings with each other. But one day, Kyousuke finds a moe anime DVD lying in the entrance hall of his house. His interest piqued, Kyousuke looks for the owner – only to discover it belongs to his very own sister Kirino. Shocked as Kyousuke was, this is just the beginning of the surprises that lie ahead…
In addition to being smart, pretty, and popular, Kirino Kousaka is also an obsessive consumer of anime and eroge. After Kyousuke promies not to mock her and keep this concealed from their parents, she starts to share a bit of her world with him. Kirino faces several problems as she tries to keep up appearances and balance her exemplary school life with her hobbies. Her brother becomes a crucial ally while dealing with all the difficulties that lie ahead.
Before getting to watch Oreimo, otherwise known as My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute, i have always assumed that the show was too ‘exotic’ for UK audiences due to its relatively sensitive nature that i have often heard about; however after going through the entire first season it seems these initial assumptions were unjustified and i highly commend MVM Entertainment for bringing the franchise over to the UK; albeit on DVD. It may have a rather ‘questionable’ topic but the contents of the show and what transpires throughout is just fantastic.
So just what exactly is Oreimo? Well it’s an anime series adapted from the light novel by Tsukasa Fushimi which sees the highly popular, talented and beautiful high-school girl known as Kirino confess her interest in ‘Otaku culture’ to her big brother, known as Kyosuke, after he accidentially stumbles across an 18+ game in the house. From here it’s a comical chain of events that sees Kyosuke help Kirino in order to keep her otaku lifestyle a secret from friends, family and co-workers while along the way making new friends and stepping up to the challenge of being a better big brother.
It’s an amusing story and it’s one that focuses more on the topic of otaku culture than the personal feelings of the characters involved. Sure enough throughout this escapade of deceit the relationship between Kirino and Kyosuke grows, especially on the occasions which see Kyosuke stand up in defence to Kirino’s hobbies; but for the most part it’s nothing but questionable forms of entertainment. For instance most of the episodes focus on a particular piece of anime merchandise; be it teaching Kyosuke how to play, a marathon event of a particular series or awaiting the arrival of a new game; but thrown alongside this is smaller elements of character development – mostly between Kirino and Kyosuke. Ironically though this character development is hardly seen on screen; it’s obvious that Kirino is grateful for her brothers action but she hardly let’s it show in front of Kyosuke and as such continues to be obnoxious that, in some viewers eyes, is just frustrating.
The flow of this first season is pretty much discovery and becoming accustomed to things; most episodes are singular stories for a particular event but in some instances multiple episodes can lead together to create a bigger picture. For instance a selection of episodes see Kirino attend Comiket, one of the biggest comic markets in Japan, while another selection of episodes sees her own novel translated into an anime series – which is actually quite informative as well as entertaining. Whether it be a singular episode, or a selection of episodes, the topic is pretty much the same; discussing a certain particular merchandise or finding a new way of obtaining that piece of merchandise; and in one instance it shows another class-mate of Kirino’s being dragged in to help obtain it.
Interestingly enough this first season collection consists of fifteen episodes; twelve of which are from the original TV episodes with another three being the original net animations. The TV episodes portray the main story but the three ONA episodes provide the ‘true ending’ to the series; and it’s one that actually offers more emotion than you would care to admit. Without giving too much away Oreimo is a fantastic series and if you have any interest in the otaku culture, and the perceptions that some may have of it, then it must be on your watch list.
This particular release of Oreimo features the main twelve episode TV series across two DVD discs; however upon reaching the third DVD disc you shall find the inclusion of three Oringal-Net-Animation episodes, which bring the series to its “true ending”, and a selection of worthwhile additions.
As mentioned the three Original Net Animation episodes bring about the true ending to the series but while the thirteenth episode is an emotional ending the remaining two episodes decide to give support characters Saori and Kuroneko more of the lime-light. These may seem like randomly included episodes but they all have a point and will most likelyl prepare yourself for season 2 quite nicely.
Alongside these episodes however is your selection of bonus content and sadly while the opening theme (provided by ClariS) is superb it’s no-where to be seen in this selection of content. Instead we are treated to an artwork gallery, which consists mostly of Japanese home video artwork, the original ‘on-air’ ending versions from a selection of episodes and a MeruMeru textless opening sequence in full. In addition to this we also have trailers for Kamisama Dolls, Outbreak Company and Sankarea – each of which have been released by MVM Entertainment in the past so one would assume the discs has been authored to tailor MVM’s interest by Madman Entertainment.
It’s a nice selection of bonus content, and it manages to round up the entire set quite nicely, however the lack of textless songs – which changes on each episode – is slightly disappointing; furthermore the trailers themselves are of low quality and seem to bring down the overall respect for this set.
Media: DVD 9 x3
Running Time: 2:30:20 (Disc 1), 2:25:48 (Disc 2), 1:47:25 (Disc 3)
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps
Oreimo, otherwise known as My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute, is an anime series that follows the events of Kirino and her older brother Kyosuke as they play games, watch anime, visit Akihabara and make new friends in the form of other self-proclaimed Otaku’s. It all starts off about trying to protect a secret; but as the series unfolds its more about embracing who you are and not being scared to show off your true emotions and hobbies; something which we should all be able to relate to.
It hindsight it’s unclear why i enjoyed Oreimo more than i assumed i would; sure enough it has got a great cast of characters, with a powerful vocal cast and music to boot; but in relation to the story theres nothing really memorable about it other than those laugh-out-loud moments, such as Saori’s introduction in the Maid Cafe. A few laugh out loud moments with questionable ‘context’ is on offer and yet despite my vague impressions its a show i would highly recommend to everyone; especially those who proclaim that they enjoy the otaku culture.
While i did enjoy the series this DVD release by MVM Entertainment does have a few notable issues; for starters the audio on the first episode is slightly out-of-sync and is clearly noticeable and at first i thought the subtitles were incorrectly timed but it turns out this wasn’t the case. Speaking of subtitles some episodes, specifically those found on the first disc, do have some minor translation and typing errors; and i am not referring to Saori’s unsually style of talking. It’s disappointing that both audio-sync and subtitle issues occur; as Oremi is a subtitle only release so it does effect the overall enjoyment of the show slightly. Disregarding these errors however you will find that picture quality and subtitle presentation are exceptionally high with the quality surpassing other DVD releases of a similar standard. Speaking of surprising quality this collection also a noteworthy selection of bonus content that you would not always receive with a show such as this.
Overall Oreimo – Season 1, otherwise known as My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute, is an entertaining experience from the moment you press play. It’s not prevy, it’s not creepy and it’s not some harem filled with breats; it’s a potential emotional story between a brother and sister that sees a bond once lost brought back together via the events of eroge games and anime. Basically it’s a great show worth watching and you should watch it.
Oreimo – Season 1 will be available on DVD from the 25th January 2016.