Oreimo on the surface may not seem the most profound series out there. Still it portrays a social situation many of us are all too familiar with. Namely hiding what you are passionate about when you feel uncertain about the reactions. Oreimo addresses just that.
I’ve heard the term ‘closet-otaku’ coming by every now and then. One could interpret this saying as hiding the real you, or in this case your love for anime and the such. A development I’ve been coping a bit with myself, as anime culture is very biased. The most common associations with anime are mainly that it is, drawn pornography. That is indeed true, as there is drawn pornography. Which can be seen as a ‘spin-off’ from normal anime. A genre within the realm of Japanese animation, where the intimacy of relationships is more explicitly portrayed.
The existence of this genre isn’t that surprising, as themes in Japanese animation can be more profound and complex than Western-styled animation. Exceptions are always around. The occurrence of such themes is a logical development and shouldn’t be mixed with the other series within Japanese animation. Or at least not thrown on the heap of negativity.
The biased views make it harder to show ones affection for the medium. On the other hand, popularity of Japanese animation could be another factor. It is not as widely spread in Western-society. As more become familiar with the medium, acceptance will grow. Still one most overcome the personal barrier. Convincing others about the beautiful side of one’s passion, which comes with hassle of breaking the biased views the others may have.
Oreimo addresses this with Kirino, our main character, hiding her love for eroge games. A type of game where the intimacy of relationships is the main theme. Within her daily life, she is a high achieving student and model. Making her a perfect person in the eyes of friends and family, this making the step to show ones ‘unaccepted’ passion ever more difficult.
But as there are people who dismiss it, some will approve. Online communities making it possible to interact with fellow enthusiasts. Kirino finds her way through the online landscape to share her ideas and enthusiasm with others. The story of personal development and friendship is well portrayed in the series, possibly making coming out for ones passion easier.