Oreimo 5

The drama is taken up a notch, but it’s good drama, with exemplary voice-work by all involved. Ayase, who was very friendly and polite when we met her, suddenly goes apeshit on Kirino, unilaterally cutting off the friendship when she discovers Kirino’s…secret. Ayase doesn’t know much about otaku-ism, but from what she does know is that it can sap a person’s humanity and lead to criminal activity. She cannot and will not associate with anyone interested in…that stuff.

Because Kirino is a beautiful top student and an accomplished athlete, she is also a prime example that Ayase’s interpretation is neither fair nor complete. Ayase’s underlying motivation is her belief that Kirino cares more about anime than their friendship. To her, this feels like a betrayal. Add to that the fact Kirino did lie to her and never so much as mention this very important aspect of her life. Most best friends would be understandably hurt by this. In the end, they make up because Kirino makes it clear, she needs Ayase and anime, not one or the other.

I also felt quite sorry for Kirino’s brother: he had to act fast to get Ayase to make up with his sister, so he feigns another humiliating confession that makes him a disgusting pervert in Ayase’s eyes and kills any chance he might have had at her. One wonders what his devoted, ‘plain’ childhood friend who wants to marry him will feel if she finds out about all this otaku nonsense. Rating: 3.5

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