Oreimo and the “Negative ‘AHA!’ Moment”

One thing that I’ve been noticing recently about reading comments and posts on Ore no Imouto ga Konna Ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai (yes yes, “why would I do that in the first place?”) is that I’m not liking them. And one such example is in regards to that scene from episode 4 that many, many other people have commented on. In terms of my impression of the “cliché male accidently falling on female while groping her in an always perfect state of undress for others to see scene” (which make me facepalm), it was unexpected, and an unnecessary distraction. Especially because of the epic dodge by Kyousuke that came before it, since the result sucks worse for him, one could say. Since it came from the source material, I could say that I thought that moment was a bad and silly decision on the author’s part to use that scene as a transition for Kirino and co. to go to Comiket. But I can’t say that it wasn’t an interesting way to somehow get Kirino to go. And I still have a thought in my mind that the point of that scene was mainly to provide a small bite to those who hope beyond all hope that There’s A Way Kyousuke’s Little Sister Can Fall In Love With Him. But I digress.


I can't help but think that guy in the background is somehow representing us, making a big deal about something not so much.

I can't help but think that guy in the background is somehow representing us, making a big deal about something not so much.

What the scene did made me realize why I got annoyed by the negative responses to Oreimo, not because they were negative in and of themselves (and Oreimo is not a show that I’d bother defending very hard anyway), but in how they were. They provided examples of what I’d call the “Negative ‘AHA!’ Moment”, or the moment that provides vindication of whatever negative opinions people have about the show in the first place. And the show has provided a couple of “AHA! I KNEW IT! I was RIGHT!” moments depending on what people were looking for so far. If they were looking for a verification that the show isn’t as realistic as others like to claim, than one could point to Kyousuke taking things to the extra level in claiming Kirino’s incestuous adult games as his own (though I think that it’s a plausible thing for someone to do. Not something that I’d probably do for any of my four younger sisters though :v). And if they were looking for proof that the show’s premise indicates that the show will basically become a story about a developing incestuous relationship, episode 4’s most talked about scene could provide it for them.

What bugs me about these is the intent that I assume lies behind these thoughts, and I could be completely wrong about this assumption. But I get a feeling of smug happiness at being proven right that the show has not surpassed their intentions, regardless of whether or not rage is involved.  It becomes less about bothering to enjoy the show, but about using the show to prove a point that there’s a reason to hate on the show, and to me that’s one of the reasons why responses to situations regarding the fanservice scene in episode 4 seem more emotional than I would think they would. To be truthful, when I first saw the scene, I was thinking in my head that the general response to that scene would be pretty expressive, but the posts have been much stronger, and in turn, come off somehow as less sincere than I would have thought. Especially because that specific sequence is not that serious in the long run show-wise, noting neither Kyousuke nor Kirino planned it, desired it, or (hopefully) will think about it for the long future to come.

And this sort of thing is not just in regards to Oreimo, but I haven’t seen such an animated response to an anime in this sort of manner in a while. But I have to wonder, why this show? It’s a solid, fun watch so far, but nothing very monumental about it in the grand scheme of things. Maybe it’s because people thought that the opening episodes belied their interpretations of the concept summary before seemingly coming back to it, or as JP puts it:

episodes 1-2: hmm, guess my little sister can’t be this kimoi

Maybe it’s because people talked about this show in  a positive way, or just that more people talked about this show in general compared to others this season. And maybe the most interesting thing about the responses, including my own, is that the show itself, and especially a stereotypical fanservice scene, probably won’t have been worth all of this talk when it’s done. All this sound and fury, signifying (or summoning) lolikitsune. All I’m doing is just adding to the noise and moving away from what I thought was the most important part of episode 4. That being Kirino and Kuroneko’s developing camaraderie while Kyousuke and Saori watch the duo’s interactions with amusement.


Like so.

Like so.

15 Responses to “Oreimo and the “Negative ‘AHA!’ Moment””

  1. 1 ToastCrust October 30, 2010 at 1:22 am

    This is certainly a part of the blogosphere (or even just any level of critical reception for anime in general) that has long amused and confused me.

    While I might not go as far as Seanver, but it does seem a bit violent sometimes when it seems like an entire mass of bloggers all recoil and take aim all at some show and viciously attack it.

    Or heck, it seems like bloggers are going out of their way to find shows they can take a piss on, more often than they’ll actually just take a show and enjoy it or something. Of course, I have a few thoughts on that, but w/e.

    I can’t say I remember a time when everyone made use of the 3-episode-rule, or would just politely decline to watch a show when they stopped enjoying it, or make an enormous fuss about some really generic gag/fanservice trope, but it certainly be nice to have that level of control.

    It seems like there has to be some sort of out lash whenever some small event somehow permanently poisons and taints a perfect vessel of anime, or something.

  2. 3 lolikitsune October 30, 2010 at 1:34 am

    So… I’m nothing?
    Thanks, Shakespeare. 😦

  3. 7 Valence October 30, 2010 at 5:22 am

    What I think is that from the start, people go in with negative impressions of the show, keep it down and wait for one moment to prove and vindicate their inital impressions. I’m just an arse when it comes to watching shows. It’s a love-hate relationship.

    • 8 TheBigN October 30, 2010 at 8:30 pm

      What I think is that from the start, people go in with negative impressions of the show, keep it down and wait for one moment to prove and vindicate their inital impressions.

      This is what I’ve been trying to say with the post. Albeit in a probably more convoluted way.

  4. 9 Chikorita157 October 30, 2010 at 9:11 am

    I think it has more to do with the aniblogosphere in general. Some people like to make negative publicity or rage about it to get other fans upset and go over them. I think this action isn’t healthy for the blogosphere since everyone will get upset and attack other bloggers because of their critical opinions. Even though that one fan service scene was so cliched, it was not a really big deal. It’s not like it distracted from the whole episode… But as try say, it’s serious business.

    Also, it’s not like something like this didn’t happen before. It happened when some people raged about Amagami SS being too provocative with the kissing scenes and erotic eating in The first three episodes. I still remember that incident even though it slipped my mind at one time.

  5. 10 Shance October 30, 2010 at 9:37 am

    I think I’ll just leave this post of mine here, since it shares Valence’s sentiment (even though I think he got the idea for his comment on my post).

    That aside, a personally written take: Yes, the aniblogosphere is a harsh place, since first impressions on a show decide its fate. Sadly, the first impressions stay around till the show ends, and the only probable time that it would get its salvation is when it’s rewatched and reinterpreted by better watchers. Hopefully, OreImo won’t suffer the same fate.

  6. 11 dm00 October 30, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    I suppose I should out myself and eat a few of my words.

    I quite like OreImo, as it turns out, once I gave it a chance.

    As to the pratfall-and-grope, I don’t see it as a pander (though I did roll my eyes when it happened), but as a setup for the arc involving Kirino’s friend and her encounter with them all at the end of Comiket (and what I assume — from hints from novel readers — will happen next). Though, actually, I didn’t really give it a second thought until you brought it up here, but I’ve been too busy to watch anime, let alone cruise the blogosphere about it.

  7. 12 zzeroparticle October 30, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Do we need a rally for sanity in the anisphere? This post would make for a good start.

  8. 13 TheBigN October 30, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    Chikorita157: I don’t think that it’s a very common thing in regards to the sphere, but I do think the negativity is stronger than warranted sometimes.

    Shance: Yeah. And we do tend to keep out initial impressions tightly held despite evidence to the contrary.

    dm00: In regards to your initial opinion on Oreimo, as Stephen Colbert would say, “I accept your apology”. As for the grope, it does look like an important plot point. Should one grope be that important? I don’t know.

    zzeroparticle: Who would come to that? 😛

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