Ore no Imouto 8: An Emergency Episodic Blog Post!

Well, this is embarassing! I’m supposed to be on hiatus until December 3rd, but Ore no Imouto 8 warrants a post from me, and besides there being no point in waiting, I’ve got no room in my December schedule, so here’s a My Sword is Unbelievably Dull appetizer!


In Ore no Imouto 8 Kirino’s novel, which she’d just started writing in the last episode, has already become a best-seller and is getting an anime adaption. The downside is that the adaption’s being rushed out as a replacement for another series that dropped from the time slot, so the producers are desperate to get things together fast, and it will probably be a less-than-great, low-budget mess.

As anime fans, I’m sure when we hear about a rushed and botched novel adaption, some immediate examples come to mind. (Most likely Tsukihime, which can only be enjoyed by fans if they pretend that it’s not related to the original work at all (since it really is a good anime.)) Indeed, adapting works can very often lead to negative results (or positive results that still piss off the fans), and it’s interesting to see how the original creator is allowed to effect the production in any way. (Supposedly Aida Yu had a contributing role to the Gunslinger Girl ~Il Teatrino~ anime, which makes me wonder how it still managed to suck so horribly.)

Kirino has a long list of ideas for her anime adaption which reach a level of fantasy that I almost couldn’t buy if it weren’t meant to be humorous. She wants alternating openings and endings, has a cast list, ideas for the staff members, and expects a two-cour show that, from the sound of things, would carry a hefty budget.

I can hardly blame her for going so far, though. This is what happens when an anime fan is given an anime. An anime fan has seen a million anime. They know what’s good, what they like, and what they want to see, and they can’t help but be disappointed if they don’t get all of that—because they’re anime fans! Upon watching the series, they’ll ultimately hold it’s quality up in comparison to their own favorites, and when it’s not up to snuff, they can’t help but feel bad about it. This is their work that’s not as good as they know it could’ve been. It’s not for anyone’s lack of knowing what works, but for the cutthroat nature of tight production budgets and schedules.

The sad part is that most things will only be adapted once. If the adaption sucks, then we’re all stuck with it. On rare occassions that a series gets so huge that it can afford another adaption, we’ll be lucky enough to see it done right, but otherwise, it just sucks.

Type-Moon is the perfect scope to view this all through, as they’ve had many adapted works. Tsukihime, an absurdly long game, had most of it’s content cut to fit into 12 episodes. Fate/Stay night, meanwhile, managed to get 24 episodes, but suffered from an incredibly weak production and still couldn’t have crammed all of it’s content into one series.

But over the years, Type-Moon titles have gotten huge—Fate/Stay Night has become a massive franchise and one of the most popular works of the past decade amongst otaku. Because of all that, when it came time to adapt Type-Moon’s classic Kara no Kyoukai, they got the best production imaginable. UFOTable pulled out all the stops in producing seven whole movies with top-grade visuals, music, and acting, and more importantly, they worked directly with the original creators to create the most perfect vision of the work. According to an interview with Kinoku Nasu and Takashi Takeuchi in the first English edition of Faust, UFOTable was willing to go so far as to lengthen the films to include elements that Nasu felt were necessary to his vision.

With that power behind Type-Moon franchises, we also got treated to a new movie adaption of one of the Fate/Stay Night arcs, in a rare case where a fuck-up adaption got redeemed. But on the flipside of the coin, we’ll still probably never see another Tsukihime adaption, which will always be a small pang of despair in the hearts of fans and, surely, the creators.

I’ve written out extensive anime plans in the past. One of the things that helps me conceptualize my stories is to envision them as anime, and I get dreamily lost in the production details. Like Kirino, I’ll plan out interchanging opening and ending songs and come up with the seiyuu for my characters. (In fact, I have one story wherein I listed each of my favorite seiyuu and created characters that would be my ‘dream role’ for them to play.) Also like Kirino, I hope to one day have an adaption of my written works. Unlike her, however, I would’ve turned down any offers until my work had reached the highest level of popularity that it could without an adaption, so that I’d net a more carefully produced and higher-budgeted work over which I could have more control.

Kirino’s list of demands to the series creators was as painful as it was fun, and I loved the reactions of the director, recognizing her passion even as he knew that she was totally misunderstanding the way an anime production works. It was harsh to see her taken down, but as a production-otaku, it also made me squeal with joy to watch.

Later in the episode, Kuroneko gets her crowning moment of awesome up to this point, delivered beautifully by my current seiyuu obsession, Hanazawa Kana. My eyes have been on Kuroneko since the last episode, and in this one she’s enthralled me more than any of the other characters in the series, taking the whole show up a point with her. This was all-around a delightful episode that may be hard for the series to top in my eyes.

Addendum: I would so watch an anime about a girl attracting a flock of imouto~

12 thoughts on “Ore no Imouto 8: An Emergency Episodic Blog Post!

  1. While not entirely relevant to the topic as presented, I still think it’s important to give context to episode 08 of OreImo, at least because it turned out entirely unlike how people (novel-readers especially) expected.

    While this episode dealt with the difficulties of cross-medium adaptation (and its complexities), Volume 3 of OreImo dealt with something a little different: plagiarism and (both literal and figurative) intellectual property theft. For simplicity’s sake, it boils down to this: Iori Fate Setsuna (who was an editor in this episode) was an older writer who got a hold of Kirino’s manuscript, and intends to use it and have it published as her own work (with modifications). Kyousuke and Kuroneko get it back, with Kirino not knowing the better.

    Essentially all that was kept was the novel itself, Kirino fainting (she couldn’t believe her work was basically just stolen), and Kuroneko’s rant, essentially word-for-word faithful for the scrubbing she gave Fate, except the context was different. Oh, and Kuroneko flags tripped by Kyousuke. That’s it. Everything else is anime-original.

    • I find this interesting especially because, while I can’t say for sure, the anime version sounds much more interesting. And believable. I have to wonder if the anime writers felt the same, or even if they worked with the novelist in a similar manner to the way the episode played out and came to the idea of making that episode. Either way, as a production-otaku, I’m extremely pleased with what I got.

      • The production aspect perhaps, but everything else in this episode got on everyone’s nerves, which can be said as a bad thing. I have to really wonder if this is connected to that little scandal OreImo’s (incidentally the same folk that publish Index/Railgun) publisher had early this year.

        • Ehehe, well, unlike “everyone” I’m not much of a purist when it comes to adaptions. Rather, I’m the type who’d think, if I already have that story in the novel, then it’s cool to get another story from the anime, and have both, especially if the anime version is wholly worthwhile like this one is (unlike what they would’ve done to Kirino’s anime.) Whether or not I’ll ever read the novels is also very up in the air, so it may never bother me :p

  2. I’m finding it a little amusing that there’s a hint of tongue-in-cheek with the way events were changed in this episode though (well that, or a tad bit of hypocrisy). Think of it, it’s essentially about the expectation of a faithful adaptation (which this episode wasn’t) versus more practical considerations with regards to an adaptation (with a dose of politicking thrown in as well).

  3. When you take, in real life, a hot-concept but not-so-great otherwise LN plus a screenplay by the reigning king of meta-humor and “adaptations better than the original”, you have already a lot politics going on here. And this is why probably why the past couple of episodes have been lacking in laughs for a Kurata screenplay. He throws in some semi-realism about the anime industry, as well as the trick of totally redoing a section of the original LN in a subplot about being faithful to the original. The small visual details around the fake “ASCII” office are pretty funny too. However, it’s hard to see how the script could have many outright laughs at this point without (too obviously) ridiculing the original LN or other anime, and even Kurata does’t go there. I can only think of two directions: (1) “I know the book sucks, but please respect a brother’s love!” followed by the producers totally disrespecting it while listing point-by-point its similarity to other (barely-disguised) LN adaptations that flopped. Or (2) “The fact that it sold must mean it taps into some audience perversion even you haven’t discovered!” followed by the producers being amazed by bro’s wisdom, and riffing on past anime that made such “discoveries”. Maybe there’s a third way, but he probably doesn’t have time to think of it given the number of projects he’s on.

  4. Nice to have this appetizer post before you come back =)

    That’s a good point that it must be harder for anime companies to work with inexperienced but very passionate anime fans as opposed to those who understand how anime production works. I too have gone back and forth with ideas for novel/manga stories in my head, but nothing to the extent that Kirino has. I would also wait until my series becomes as big a success as it could be before deciding to make an anime of it.

    • I always think about Kill Bill and the Matrix. The directors of those movies got important through their films, and got enough budget at their disposal that they could get animation segments done for their movies. I want to follow a similar course. I’ll get big enough as a novelist that they’ll want to make a movie out of my stuff, and then the movies could get big enough that I could make an anime.

      That might be even more exceptionally far-fetched, but it sure sounds like a cool idea.

  5. I really wish someone would write a negative, thoughtful post about OreImo, right now I just don’t care about it because everyone has their noses so far up it I swear

  6. Pingback: 2010 Anime Review | My Sword Is Unbelievably Dull

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