Manga Review – Oreimo

Oreimo Volume 1

Oreimo
My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute
俺の妹がこんなに可愛いわけがない (Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai)
FUSHIMI Tsukasa (story), IKEDA Sakura (art), KANZUKI Hiro (character design)
Seinen – Drama
4 Volumes (complete)
Dark Horse

Summary:

High school Kyousuke barely speaks to his middle school sister Kirino. However, one day he discovers Kirino’s secret: she’s obsessed with siscon anime and video games! Now Kyousuke is roped in to keeping his seemingly perfect little sister’s hobby a secret.

Review:

I really don’t know what I was expecting, but I don’t think this was it.

Oreimo is based on a series of light novels. While there are 12 volumes in the series, the manga adapts only two of those volumes. As such, the entire series seems rather short. Four volumes is generally not a lot, but I’ve read good stories of this length. The problem is that the manga seems to try to adapt the volumes too closely. It just feels like the manga wasn’t planned out. A good adaptation cannot just copy the main source; it needs to have its own end goal. This adaptation just follows along and then suddenly ends. Now, it is entirely possible that, if more of the light novels were adapted, the manga would be interesting. 

However, the four volumes here did not engage me. The story that is presented here just isn’t that good. The manga has to waste time to explain the story’s setup, but there are still a lot of holes. The rule in this household is that the family must eat together. Yet despite eating together almost every night, Kyousuke does not know his sister is a model. I guess they all must eat in total silence. Much time is spent about Kirino trying to make friends with people who share her interest. But since the last volume focuses on Kirino’s friendship with a classmate, her relationship with her otaku friends she does make is left unresolved.

While the ending shows us the siblings have grown closer, their relationship is neither at the brother-sister level or taboo level. It’s also strange that the story starts to have harem elements, but the manga ends before any romance can be brought into the forefront, let alone resolved. Kyosuke’s relationship with best friend Manami shows signs of romantic jealousy, but it could also be considered more like a brother-sister relationship to contrast against Kyosuke and Kirino’s relationship. Again, the childhood friend is in a significant amount of scenes, yet she is pushed aside without any sort of resolution.

Kyousuke is unremarkable. He himself admits that. He also is pretty dense, as he doesn’t notice Manami’s romantic advances. But Kyousuke does stand up for his sister and even takes the negativity on her behalf. Kirino is a tsundere with some ojou-sama tendencies. But I didn’t really understand how her mind works. I know the light novels are from Kyousuke’s point-of-view, but why did she straddle him and wake him up? How did she manage to get her entire collection home? Besides Kyousuke and Kirino, both parents live there. Does neither one not notice their children don’t talk? Even when the manga follows his point-of-view, Kyousuke is pretty much a mystery as well.

The art is…not that good. Kirino’s appearance ranges from a pregnant woman to typical tsundere to erotic middle schooler. She can look anywhere from 12 to 22. She barely looks the same way twice. In some drawings, she looks more R-18 than her games. And for supposedly being so beautiful, Kirino really isn’t. I really don’t think she looks any more amazing than her friends. Even Kyousuke’s eyes look like they are half cut off. The art is simple with lots of whitespace. Inking, screentones, and backgrounds are relatively limited. Most pages have very few panels. All in all, I think the artist should have packed more action into panels in order to get as much story covered as possible. Its not like the characters are very detailed (or good looking) anyway. The artist says it’s her first monthly serialization in an official magazine, and it really shows. The art doesn’t really improve, either.

Translation:

Honorifics are used and italicized. No guide is given. This adaptation is kind of strange. Some dialogue feels heavily Americanized (like “GTFO”) and yet there are plenty of instances where a Japanese term is kept. Words like “genkan” are not given translation notes, but words like “washitsu” are. It just feels kind of random.

Final Comments:

The poor story combined with the wonky art just did not make me a fan of this series. Maybe the anime is better, but I don’t know. Either way, if you’re looking for a cute sibling story — or a even taboo love story — I think you can do a lot better.

Reader Rating


Be the first to rate this title!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: