Full disclosure: I absolutely loved the first season of "Oreimo." Yeah, it wasn't perfect, and it certainly had moments of tedium, but the excellent character interactions and surprisingly emotional bits kept me coming back for more. To me, it was no surprise that it became the runaway success that it did, and that made me hopeful for a second season. Little did I know that the writers (and I guess the light novel author) would start paying attention to the seedier parts of anime fandom for plot inspiration. Enter the horrible second season of "Oreimo", which I had to drop last night.
Where does it go wrong? Hm, let's see... could it be the heavier emphasis on loli-bait characters and fan service? Or perhaps the repeated throwing of girlfriend-material Manami under the proverbial bus? Or maybe, just maybe, it's the incredibly creepy transformation of Kyosuke into nothing more than an empty husk of a character for lonely male viewers to project themselves onto. I'm serious here, the formerly likable lead has turned into Typical Accidental Anime Lothario... you know what I'm talking about.
The guy who just bumbles into situations in which he has cute girls all around him? Who just happens to accidentally seduce a formerly shy girl? Who has a 12 year-old girl kissing and hugging all over him? Yeah, that guy. I'm a dude, so I'm okay with some fan service and male wish fulfillment (it's the bread and butter of this industry, after all), but when a formerly cute and sweet show pokes fun at those stereotypes, then becomes one itself, it's hard not to be a little disappointed.
Just like it's hard not to be disappointed when you realize that the incestual jokes between Kyosuke and Kirino aren't meant to be taken as jokes anymore. The whole show seems to be leading towards an inevitable shipping of the brother and sister, which just negates the whole purpose of the narrative to me. In one episode, Kyosuke shouts that he's a siscon out loud, Later on, Kirino asks her brother to pretend to be her boyfriend. Reading some of the spoilers on WikiPedia, I find out that Kyosuke has to ask his sister's permission to date somebody, instead of, oh, I don't know, doing whatever the heck he wants because that's not his sister's call? Couple stuff like this with several instances of Kyosuke obviously checking out Kirino, and getting oddly blush-y around her, and you've got yourself some grade-A Creepytown incest material.
Another quick thing to note is how Kirino is no longer a tsundere. Oh, no, she's still harsh and mean to Kyosuke; it's just that she has no likable traits to her anymore. She has turned into an absolutely dreadful, whiny, insipid, annoying, spoiled little prissy b*tch (pardon my French), who is just an absolute bore to watch. No longer do I remotely have any sort of emotional connection to her. She's a walking cliche, like everything else about this show.
I feel gypped, and made a fool of. In the first season of Oreimo, I kept being led into thinking there was something underneath the occasional bursts of fan service and implied incest jokes. Now I just feel like an idiot for ever thinking the narrative was anything more than this garbage. I'm sure this will remain popular, because most popular shows today are, unfortunately, nothing but fan-bait garbage of the lowest caliber. But as for me? I can't do this. Consider this bad practical joke of a series dropped for me
If you want me, you'll finding me watching "Attack on Titan" and "Flowers of Evil"... you know, the good shows that came out of this season?