And so it began. The previous episodes of Oreimo had been building up and leading to Kyousuke announcing his love for a particular person. Despite being in love with Kyousuke, Kuroneko still broke up with him, wanting him to embrace what she saw as his true feelings for someone.
Up until this point, the only person Kyousuke had formally rejected was Ayase (my favorite girl I might add). With a looming confession around the corner, Kyousuke needed to be absolutely clear and honest with everyone really close to him. This brings us to Kuroneko.
I thought the way this part of the episode was executed was brilliant. The contrast between the bright, happy memories of Kyousuke and Kuroneko as they spent time together, and the dark, dimly lit rejection scene, where tears were shed by both parties, really added another depth to the sadness. Seeing how happy Kuroneko was being with Kyousuke, you couldn’t help but feel how painful it was for her. The whole time she knew that Kyousuke was going to say that he loved someone else, but when he uttered those words, she completely broke down. Until she actually heard it from him, she must of been holding onto the hope that he would still choose her in the end.
I thought it was pretty beautiful how they symbolically severed the relationship between the two with the tearing of Kuroneko’s journal. It’s not that she didn’t care for those memories, rather it refers to a common issue when people get heartbroken. They tend to rid themselves of anything that reminds them of their loved one as it can bring back the painful memories of rejection. In essence, Kuroneko tears the journal straight away so she can move on in life.
And so, with the matter concerning Kuroneko now dealt with, the rest of the episode focuses on the date with Kirino during Christmas and the lead up to the big confession. I thought the chase scene was a nice touch as I felt it linked back to the scene in episode 13 where younger Kirino was chasing after her brother; in the end she couldn’t catch up. In this case its the reverse; Kyousuke is chasing after his sister as ends up catching up to her with a little help from Kuroneko and Saori.
As for the confession scene, I honestly felt that it was one of the best I’ve seen. Kyousuke is finally able to get everything off his chest, in his usual somewhat awkward fashion, and he finally breaks through the wall that Kirino has built herself (as a result of someone I’ll mention in my review of episode 16).
When you consider how both Kirino and Kuroneko acted in their respective situations, you can see that their actions are polar opposite; just like their opinions on anime. Kuroneko chooses to face the possibility of rejection head on, while Kirino chooses to run away. One of the few things both Kirino and Kuroneko have in common is that they want what they feel is best for Kyousuke. Kirino thinks that he should date Kuroneko or Ayase, while Kuroneko thinks it would be best for Kyousuke to date Kirino.
Out of the three OVAs that were released, this one was by far the best. I have to say that I really would have preferred if they had added another couple of minutes to this episode and ended the whole series there. It would have been a much more satisfying ending. Even though Kirino wasn’t my favorite girl, I was glad she was happy in the end.