Oreimo – First Impressions

I like being wrong sometimes. To put it another way, I like to be surprised, and for my low expectations to be thoroughly rebuked. Such is the case with Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai, (whew), translated as “My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute”…which is kind of a stupid title. But it isn’t a stupid show.

From the get-go, the relationship between Kyousuke and his little sister Kirino is earnestly portrayed, both literally and figuratively. Case in point: I don’t remember the characters ever devolving into SD or chibi form. I don’t think it happened. Which is nice, because this is a gorgeously-drawn anime, and that would simply take away from it. Kyousuke has a lot of inner dialogue, but that’s fine.

I found myself immediately relating to Kyousuke, having a little sister myself…even though my sister never revealed she had half of Akibahara squirreled away in a secret closet. The bottom line is, their relationship sucked before – they barely spoke – and giving Kirino ‘life consultation’ re her chronic otakuism is as good a way as any to reconnect with her. For a first episode that mostly took place in Kirino’s room in the middle of the night night, Oreimo delivered a great introduction, and I’m left liking both characters and interested in where this is headed. Rating 3.5

Star Driver Kagayaki no Takuto – First Impressions

I dove into Star Driver, the new fall anime from Studio Bones, without any prior information, and it definitely plops you right into the middle of everything and throws a lot more at you when all’s said and done. Things that caught my eye first included vibrant and immediately-appealing character designs, a picturesque, Okinawa-like setting, and quick, fluid animation. Our main triad of characters – Takuto, Wako, and Sugata, have red, yellow and blue hair, respectively, so they have the primary colors covered.

I won’t lie, I was a little confused by all the terminology and ritual being tossed out there, but this show’s first episode was all about establishing the setting, tone, and factions just as quickly and suddenly as the red-haired hero is exposed to them. We’ve not only got ourselves a high school, but also an underground (and flamboyantly-costumed) evil society, island maidens, mecha-like “cybodys” that can transcend dimensions, and…among them, something called a ‘Galactic Pretty Boy.”

I’m not entirely sure what exactly is going on yet, but I was impressed with the confident direction of this first fun romp. More is sure to be explained in future episodes; till then, we know what’s in store from the get-go. Of course, the bar has been raised pretty high quite soon; we’ll see if Star Driver can continue to deliver. Rating: 3