The epic bro-meets-sis romantic comedy continues on in Season Two. When we last left our heroine, Kirino had returned to Japan with the encouragement of big bro Kyosuke after a brief time attending to a track camp in America (for anybody keeping score of things from season one, this is a continuation of the season one True Route Ending, NOT the Good Ending). The episode starts with a nice flashback that sums up the current sibling relationship perfectly. A scene later, Kyosuke walks in to see his sister catching up with all of her friends and utterly ignoring him (accompanied by whimsically re-used animation). Bro’s osananajimi Manami, a.k.a. Ms. Plain, returns in this first episode to listen to his woes. Ayase and Kanako are also brought back, and we are treated to some typical Kansai humor. Other than the major bro-sis plotline, Kyosuke and Kuroneko’s “complicated” relationship side story continues on with little progress made from last season. The action is brought back to Big Bro, whose melancholy is suddenly shattered in the early morning (Season one vets KNOW what that means!). Having been reinstated as Kirino’s “life counselor”, he tags along with her for the rest of her day.
It was a pleasant recap of season one events, and a reaffirmation of the anime’s various aspects that had me hooked in the first place. The tension between brother and sister fluctuates but otherwise moves in the positive as Kyosuke continues being Kirino’s biggest advocate and confidant. It didn’t seem like the “implied incest” fake-outs and “ecchi” jokes were going to make a comeback; it’s possible that Oreimo fans have moved on from the ensuing “lulz” and started appreciating the characters’ sincere relationships, and the animators acted accordingly. On the other hand, this is the first episode; its only role is to draw you back into Kirino’s weird little world of otakudom. The background music and visuals were more of the same, which is no surprise since the production team from AIC has returned to work on the new season despite the project being transferred to A-1 Studios (the new opening theme by ClariS was stellar, however). There was not much to offer in way of plot-movers, but this episode provided a nice backdrop for things to move along at a steady pace. More bro-sis tsundere antics up ahead!
My Score: 9/10