A while ago, I joked on Twitter about watching Ore no Imouto with my older brother. At the time, I was very enamored with how Kirino makes her brother, Kyousuke, play eroge with her. [*] With each passing episode, I began to entertain the idea more seriously. Ore no Imouto is a lovely series that delves into different aspects of the otaku world. It would be the perfect thing to get him to understand a bit about my hobby.
So I watched Ore no Imouto with my brother.
And what an awkward mistake that was…
It was probably a bad idea to preface the viewing with a disclaimer: “This anime may seem like it’s about sibling incest, but trust me, it’s not… At least not really… I think.” Thus, with incest on our minds, we jumped into the first episode.
Immediately, we were greeted with a bunch of imouto-themed eroge played by an imouto. Things quickly went further downhill first with a grope scene in episode four, then Kyousuke’s fake confession in episode five. I had such a hard time explaining how that incestuous speech is supposed to help Ayase and Kirino make up. In fact, I still do not understand the logic behind the whole scene. Strangely enough, when I watched it alone, that part did not seem that awkward.
Luckily the next episodes went by more smoothly, albeit with some minor road bumps (Kyousuke’s date with Kirino and Kuroneko’s manga presentation). We even chuckled here and there. Yet, there is always this air of discomfort and distaste.
When it finally ended, my brother asked me, “Aren’t you embarrassed?”
Indeed, I was. Very much so.
The embarrassment stemmed not only from the hints of incest, but also from many other aspects of Ore no Imouto. A few episodes into the series, I had told my brother to pay special attention to Kuroneko, one of my favorite characters from the series.
This was his final thought on Kuroneko as the adorable nekomimi danced to the credits: “What the hell is she doing?”
Again, I had no answer for that.
Anime makes so much more sense when I watch it alone. Cat ears and paw hands are perfectly normal and endearing within the confines of my own fandom. Only when someone outside questions these common themes do I stop to think about how silly certain anime tropes can be. Things we anime fans often take for granted can be so incomprehensible to others and perhaps even to us at times. What – if anything – does that say about our fandom? And are we just plain weird?
Fortunately, the feelings of embarrassment quickly dissipated once I got back in front of anime and on blogs, Twitter, Pixiv, and image boards. Kuroneko and her nekomimi antics are still as lovely as always.
- My brother is awesome!
- The post is more dramatic than the actual experience. It was not actually all that awkward.
- * I talk a lot more about my desire to watch anime with others in real life here:
Two Levels of Wish Fulfillment in Ore no Imouto: Little Sister and Otaku Shame
- I also sometimes force my sister to watch anime with me.
- Ore no Imouto is probably not a good anime to show to the laymen.
- I was not sure if I wanted to post this, because this is a lot more personal and specific to my real life than usual. Please refrain from asking me stuff that are too personal.
- Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai review