Episode 02 – “The Onii-san That I Trusted and Sent Off Can’t Be This Hooked on Portable Bishoujo Games and Start Sexually Harassing Me!”
Yes, the return of the unbelievably long titles! I love it. Ayase Aragaki (CV: Saori Hayami, as in Tsuruko from Ano Hana) finally gets some spotlight in the series, which is great because I’ve been hoping to see more of her since the first season. In this episode, she enlists Kyousuke to help her to find out why Kirino has been so obsessed lately with her new portable dating sim. While Ayase was totally creeped out by Kirino’s obsessions last season, it seems that she’s grown a little more understanding. She still doesn’t like it though.
It turns out the virtual girl Kirino is infatuated with looks and sounds exactly like Ayase. I haven’t quite decided whether this is a sign of endearing friendship or just plain creepy. To make matters even more awkward, Kirino forces Kyousuke to play the game too, and he actually gets into it. He even lashes out at Manami when she acts concerned for him. He tries to reason with Ayase that the reason Kirino likes the game so much is because the character is so much like her and that she should try to act more like that. This leads to a pretty cute scene of Ayase attempting her best visual novel heroine impression. Naturally, she can’t bring herself to do it and knocks the hell out of Kyousuke.
The next day however, Manami and Ayase engage in some dating sim roleplay with Kyousuke and Kirino respectively. Kyousuke receives a pleasant, if not overly attached, osananajimi morning greeting from Manami. On the other hand, Ayase goes for the yandere route with Kirino. The faces Ayase makes throughout the whole episode are priceless and really show off how interesting of a character she is. I really hope we get to see more of her. A ship between Kirino and Ayase never really crossed my mind before, but it’s an interesting thought. I like how excited she gets when she thinks that Kirino might want them to be a couple.
The game in this episode uses 3D-ish animation which seems to be the direction of many visual novel games these days. I personally am not all that fond of this particular art style. I think the classic static character portraits work fine by themselves and having the characters move in real time is kind of creepy. Judging by its growing popularity, I might be in the minority here.