Review: Oreimo – Vol. 3

While the first two volumes of this series were actually parts of the story that I had already experienced from watching the Anime, this third volume contains new scenes to enjoy for the first time. I can see why this chapter was mostly cut from the Anime because there is another volume/episode later on that’s very similar, but I still think it’s an entertaining issue that adds to the character development of the series. Also I wanted to start by addressing the translation of this volume. In the last volume the characters swore so much that it was a harsh shift from the first volume and felt very out of place within the context of the story. It was literally distracting at times because it stood out so much. In this volume the swearing is next to zero and while I’m not against some, the reading experience was much better because of it. I don’t doubt that there’s swearing in the series, but I think that the structure of the two languages doesn’t lend itself to the inclusion of the swearing in the English version. Hopefully, the series will stay on this track and not bounce back to the way the second volume read. I started with this because I was excited by the fact that it was so improved from the last volume.

Oreimo vol. 3 CoverThe story for this volume actually focuses on Kyosuke and Manami which I doubt I’m alone when I say, is a very enjoyable part of the overall story. After Manami invites Kyosuke over after school, Kyosuke’s class friend Akagi asks him about his and Manami’s relationship. Because of how close they are and the fact that everyone but Kyosuke can see Manami’s feelings for him, Akagi asks if they’re together and what Kyosuke would do if she did go with another guy.

After school the story introduces us to Manami’s family including her grandfather and grandmother and her younger brother. Parts of this scene are actually used later in the Anime, but fit better here in the Manga. They are nothing like Kyosuke’s very serious family and each one of them is quite a character. The interesting thing about this entire scene is that Kyosuke is actually quite flirty with Manami even if he’s apparently unaware of it. After they’re done Manami walks Kyosuke out and they bump in to one of his sister’s friends. There’s a bit of awkwardness after the girl leaves and Manami begins to avoid Kyosuke at school. Eventually he must go to Kirino for advice on how to make up with Manami.

It’s kind of a simple volume, but as I said there’s a lot of character development for Kyosuke and especially Manami who was a very hollow character in the Anime. The rest of the issue is spent at the comic convention which if you’re familiar with the Anime, you can look at it as an expansion on that scene. It’s definitely different and I have to say I enjoyed the Manga version more.

The volume’s pacing is spot one with this volume and makes for a story that you can’t put down once you start. The other great thing about the story for this issue is the fact that if you’ve only experienced the Anime, you actually have new material to read that adds to the enjoyment.

The art is great in this issue, but I did feel as if there were a lot of wide open panels. I know that’s a style of the genre in Manga, but at times it seemed as if it would have been better just to have a full page splash and dialog running over it from top to bottom rather than several empty panels. The quality of the art was still fantastic and scenes between Kyosuke and Manami can only be described as cute. Manami is billed at “the plain character” and yet everything she does is adorable and makes her shine above all the other female characters in the series.

This is a great break from the overall story of help Kirino become an Otaku while repairing our bond as siblings. While that story is great and very different from a lot of other stories out there, it’s nice to have these other issues that take a break from that and show the world how it’s normally function as rather than the extreme that the series usually functions at for the sake of drama. Overall, this was a nice adaptation and has me looking forward yet again to the next chapter.

Score: 4/5

Writer: Tsukasa Fushimi

Artist: Sakura Ikeda

Translation: Michael Gombos

Publisher: Dark Horse Manga

Price: $10.99

Release Date: 6/26/13