OreImo… THIS. IS. AIC!

Anime International Company, the studio that has been innovating fanservice and otaku-pandering since 1982, including such hits like…

Amagami SS

amagami-ss
reset harem, loser kead, quiet girl, sexy hair girl, school idol, belly button kissing, knees licking, ramen fucking

Strike Witches 2

strike-witches
Yuri, pantsu wearing, lolis, broom rubbing, onsen bathing, and all sorts of –mimis

Sora no Otoshimono

sora-no-otoshimono
Big-boobs, lolis, flying pantsu, dojikko, quiet girl, tsundere, magical girls, angels

Nyan Koi

nyankoi
Harem, forgotten childhood friend, twintail twins, denpakei, tsundere x2, cute clueless girls, nekos, nekomimis, magical girls

Mayoi Neko Overrun

mayoi-neko-overrun
Nekomimi, lost girl, tsundere, harem, maids, lolis

Asobi ni Iku yo

asobi
Aliens, nekomimi, big boobs, harem, loser lead

Brings you the new hit show of the Fall 2010 season…

Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai, or My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute!

oreimo-1
siscon, brocon, otaku, nekomimi, glasses girl, normal girl, doujinshi, lolis, butt wiggling, rena ryuguu wannabe

Ore no Imou is the most fascinating show of the season. Considering this is my fourth post about the show already, I think I should’ve just written about it. It’s fascinating for two reasons: 1.) it’s just a really entertaining show, snappy writing with great character designs and 2.) some way or another, it has that rare ability to create an uproar within the aniblogging community.

There seem to be two camps:

  1. Those who thrilled, because they expected a show chock full of fanservice and got it
  2. Those who are pissed, because they thought Ore no Imou was going to be something more substantial

For those in camp 2, I simply ask… Why? What about AIC’s track record could have possibly led you to believe that they would take the show with actually the most otaku-baitish title and create anything more than entertaining fanservice?

If AIC does one thing well, it’s otaku-pandering fanservice. I mean, 4 of their last 6 shows had nekomimi for goodness sake. And in 2 of them it’s the main part of the plot! (Ironically the two I didn’t watch.)

This is AIC. Fanservice. It’s what they do. Since Gonzo died, nobody does it better. And OreImo is a brilliant fanservice show. Not just the typical skinship fanservice (actually, surprisingly light on that), but the meta humor and the otaku-pandering references are just spot on. But for the second coming of Genshiken? Look somewhere else.

40 Replies to “OreImo… THIS. IS. AIC!”

  1. How about people like me who are in the third camp, ie, someone who expected a show chock full of fanservice, but got something more substantial…? (Yes, yes, I’m quietly ignoring the definition of fanservice you gave in the last paragraph.)

    1. Hey now, don’t go ruining my theories. :-p

      But what could you have possible gotten that’s substantial? Besides the standard melodrama episode?

  2. “Why? What about AIC’s track record could have possibly led you to believe that they would take the show with actually the most otaku-baitish title and create anything more than entertaining fanservice?”

    Boundless optimism. The AIC montage was a nice touch, I wasn’t aware of exactly how much they specialize in those kinds of series, though some have more decent content than others (Nyan Koi and Asobi ni Iku Yo in particular.) I didn’t really rage over the incest-service in ep 04, I was just really disappointed since the show seemed to be keeping some class. But the next episode kept me from dropping it, in the hopes of dorama. Kirino being a dick to her friends and denying them in public, Ayase’s Higurashi moment; I hope for some good conflict…and more Saori <3 . I'm shipping her and Kyousuke so hard.

    1. AIC does deliver good, solid stories typically. So they’re almost always entertaining, but in a very Halloween candy sort of way. Sweet and tasty, but not very filling.

      Well, you might be in luck, but I think we’re in for some jealous onii-chan dorama next week.

  3. You mean chibi naked echii Tomoki, you mean Strike pantless witches, you mean neko girls harem, you mean quality overun, you mean nekkomini yet again, you mean take your pick pandering show AIC?

    Acknowledge it people. AIC is run by actual cats. You know it, I know it and yes, it’s actually FAIC. Fanservice Anime International Company. They dropped the F. Thought it was too obvious.

  4. Someone really had to reference Kyosuke’s keikaku statement.

    Note: keikaku means plan

    Anyways, you forgot the third demographic/map: People who simply watches and accepts the show for what it is, regardless of good or bad points. That’s my demographic, and I’m proud to still be in it while I was watching some of the past AIC shows you listed.

    1. I’d lump that 3rd demographic with the 1st group. Basically it’s those that just take it for entertainment and nothing near a significant social commentary.

  5. Yay for Sorrow-kun 😉

    Seriously though – you don’t see how this show thematizes how the japanese society ostracizes and stigmatizes otakudom? Pointing out via Kyousuke that some criticism is warranted, but a blanket condemnation is totally wrong?

    Ayase is the avatar of the “normal” society. A fundamentally gentle and kind girl who reacts very extremely towards otakudom?

    That is not substantial in your book?

    1. No, not really. It’s not that they don’t touch upon substantial issues, they do, but the level they touch upon it is at a completely superficial, “let’s create some drama, because it’s entertaining” level.

      Even the events leading up to the Kyousuke-Ayase scene was done with a wink and a nod, what with the tsundere dad, and ultimately the result was otaku fodder, what with Kyousuke screaming out his siscon love.

      1. > No, not really. It’s not that they don’t touch upon substantial
        > issues, they do, but the level they touch upon it is at a completely
        > superficial, “let’s create some drama, because it’s entertaining” level.

        I don’t think so. The whole show is essentially about how a protective
        brother is making ridiculous twists to give his otaku sister some breathing space to pursue her stigmatized hobby without public backlash. And the message it is sending is “hey, not every otaku is a nutcase, stop this silly persecution”.

        You honestly think that this drama ep was supposed to be funny? Or entertaining? THAT could be handled differently and better.

        I honestly think you’re judging the show from an entirely wrong perspective.

        1. so you’re saying I should watch oreimo and consider it to be stone significant piece about the plight about a misunderstood otaku and the painful lengths a brother goes to protect his perfect in every way except for her lolicon and brocon tendencies? I find that hard to buy.

          in the same vein, did you consider nogizaka haruka to be substantial? oreimo is the same thing, it’s pandering to the same base and titillating the same tropes, except oreimo is written a million times better and us fun to watch.

          this week’s drama? I consider it part standard we gotta do a dorama ep, and setup for future hilarity between ayase, who btw still doesnt approve of otakus and merely displaced her disapproval of kirino’s hobby onto her “obviously” sicko brother

          1. That’s a pretty weird summary you did 😉

            My point is that the show is much more substantial than you give it credit for. Or, bluntly put, your trivializing “it’s all just entertaining pandering fluff” is flat-out wrong. Period. It’s not just that. The themes depicted are definitely relevant, and if you rewatch what Kyousuke said to Ayase when he tried to convince her to be a bit more open-minded about the anime/manga/games world are perfectly valid social commentary. I don’t understand why you’re trying so hard to ignore that.

            This is exactly what elevates OreImo miles over Nogizaka Haruka: The issues depicted ring much more true. No character is “just” good or “just” bad, all have their strengths and weaknesses. You can’t seriously think that Kirino is “perfect except for her lolicon tendencies” (that she has no brocon tendencies, at least not by now should be obvious), can you?

            This show tells a story with a clear message. “Open your mind, blanket condemnation of everything otaku is unwarranted, alot of negative media buzz is unfounded, have an unbiased second look at those people who love this kind of culture”. We had it from the friends/sibling perspective (Kyousuke), from the parent perspective (dad) and now from the society’s perspective (Ayase). And it sends a refreshingly honest and balanced message – Kyousuke doesn’t deny that there are harmful excesses – too.

            If you honestly decide not to recognize anything of that, be my guest. But I think that you’d have to play willfully dumb to do so.

          2. I don’t think Kirino is “perfect”, but even if you go off her rant to Ayase: beautiful, top student, photo idol, fashionable, loved by all, it’s clear that within the show she basically is “perfect.” She’s not a dumpy, awkward otaku like Tsukimi in Kuragehime. Ayase is an otaku’s wet dream. 

            I’m probably simplifying and pushing Oreimo to the fluff side more than I intend to. The themes are relevant, there is social commentary. I mentioned that it does meta humor really well. That substance is what makes it better than… a bland harem. It’s what makes it fun to watch and talk about. 

            But I just think the “substance” isn’t terribly substantive. OreImo isn’t saying anything new or unique. It’s also not really going to a deeper level than “all otaku aren’t bad, let people have their weird hobbies.” The commentary is a foil for the entertainment. Oreimo isn’t like Welcome to the NHK, which I thought touched on similar themes in a darker and more realistic way. Kirino isn’t an outcast from society. She didn’t even really lose her best friend. It just served as a launching pad for Kyousuke’s hilarious and totally inappropriate confession. So when I say Oreimo is like Nogizaka, I mean it in that the commentary only exists to drive the entertainment.

            To me it’s a matter of perspective. If you go into it expecting that Oreimo’s not going to fall into stereotypes and tropes, and not delve into siscon humor, you’ll be disappointed, because there’s nothing about AIC’s track record that would indicate they’d take that route.

          1. obligatory response: Anime has made moe a genre by focusing many series around the concept.

            I suppose calling Bakemonogatari moe is pushing the boundries a little (although that’s partly what made it great). Fine, Kannagi then for good moe. Or Clannad. Or Haruhi

          2. If Haruhi, Clannad and Kannagi are moe shows, you might as well consider every non-Mecha/action show to be moe.

            I think the question is whether you would consider a whole show’s premise to be moe just by reading the script. If you can’t, then it’s the aesthetic. (Although there are moe characters, but I’ve never seen a show where everyone is moe…. except maybe ichigo mashimaro)

          3. I disagree, it comes down to how the characters are presented whether it’s a moe show or not. It’s aesthetic and script, which Kannagi, Clannad and Haruhi all fit into. But we’re starting to get into a ‘definition of moe’ argument, which never ends well

  6. Haven’t watched much AIC productions, but I do enjoy OreImouto (even though it has the tendency to piss off the blogoshpere) and Amagami SS… Neko Overrun was not good since it was completely all over the place and had way too much fanservice compared to the two titles I watched… I say that AIC is rather good, but can’t compare to the other studios out there… its getting there.

    1. I’ve always liked AIC’s work. I think they have a pretty good niche as a studio that makes fun, good looking light romantic/harem comedies. nyan koi was great. oreimo has been great so far, and I’ve liked shows like strike witches and aso no yoichi which is another not bad harem.

  7. If it were only drivel like MM, Yosuga no Sora, or Fortune Arterial, this would be an easy drop. But that it continues to be a centerpiece of discussion in our circles compels me to keep going, despite all the times it made me want to tear my hair out. Being controversial is better than being completely lame at least.

    1. I think it’s the otaku effect. the meta shows are so easy (and fun) to talk about and argue over eg, lucky star, genshiken… ok except nogizaka haruka, that totally sucked and was no fun

  8. AIC is a good studio…

    but I can say that I known AIC for that genre of putting fanservice in the show.
    Well, at least they are trying to be as good as the manga for OREIMO.
    [the only show I watched produced by AIC that contained no fanservice is GA geijutsuka arts design class.]

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