I have always wondered about the themes Ore no Imouto covered since it was a topic that has been done in the past, but not well executed. Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu covered only the surface of the Otaku subculture but only to throw it out of the window in the second season.
While there are some resemblances of the two shows, they are significantly different. The difference between them is what I want to cover. (Original Image)
The main male leads, Yuuto and Kyousuke are comparable in a sense they are normal people that are not so familiar with the Otaku culture. While these characters lives normal life, they have different personalizes. Yuuto is weak man that lets the girls push him around. In contrast, Kyousuke is aggressive and ready to sacrifice his dignity to protect his sister’s hobby. This is proven when he argues with his father and Ayase for whom does not approve of Kirino’s hobby. In a way, I felt that Kyousuke is a better character than Yuuto since he is strong-willed and most of the time, he does not let himself be pushed except his tsundere sister. On the other hand, Yuuto is kindhearted but unfortunately, he is weak. Everyone bosses him around and treats him like a piece of poo. This trend happens until he told off the music producers who were using Haruka for their own agenda.
Shockingly, the female otakus are completely different even though they are really attractive, hardcore fans. Haruka Nogizaka is a wealthy girl that secretly loves anime and manga, but doesn’t read hentai or play eroge games. On the other hand, Kirino is a hardcore imouto Otaku that plays every eroge that has little sisters. In comparison to Haruka who does not have to work to support her hobby, Kirino works as a young model along with her other friends. Unfortunately, the two’s otaku hobbies are rejected by society because of their positions in life. As a result, they have a hard time spreading their thoughts in real life. What is more shocking is that both of these girls are obsessed with magical girl shows (Dojikko Aki-chan and Stardust Witch Meruru).
Both of these shows have many supporting characters. In Nogizaka Haruka, there is Shiina who has a crush on Yuuto, the maids (Hazuki and Nanami. Also, Alice in the second season), Haruka’s younger sister Mika, Otaku Nobunaga, and many others. While some of their supporting characters are fun in Nogizaka Haruka, some can be chaotic or even outright silly. Touka is one of the big examples in which a character can become sour with a rather generic tsundere. In addition, the manipulative Yayoi made me angry too because of her malicious plans.
In contrast, Ore no Imouto’s supporting characters are rather interesting. Besides Kyousuke’s and Kirino parents, we have Kureneko, Saori, childhood friend Manami, and Kirino’s friends (bratty Kanako and yandere Ayase). Kuroneko and Saori is probably the most interesting out of the bunch since they have good personalities. Kuroneko, while she does not like the shows Kirino’s watch, she tolerates it and even encourages her little sister to watch Meruru. On the other hand, Saori seems to be passionate about her Otaku hobbies while having a lot of social skills that most Otakus do not have. Like Haruka Nogizaka, Saori hides her hobbies by concealing her real identity. It was not until episode 9 that we finally learn about her true identity as a wealthy woman behind those glasses and clothing she wears.
The first season of Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu it focused on the surface with the Otaku subculture and some romance that shoved in with Shiina and Haruka trying to win Yuuto. Sure there was a Comiket, maid café and other things, but it was mostly Meta. Unfortunately, it was fully blown in the second season with no Anime references whatsoever. I feel that Nogizaka Haruka does not relate to what Otaku’s and Anime fans are in real life since it’s too idealistic. Then again, who has a mafia army that knocks down the front door so Haruka’s father can get her? Nobody!
Conversely, both Nogizaka Haruka and Ore no Imouto share some similarities. They have the male lead finding out the girl’s hobby, they keep it secret and father going crazy over it. The mere difference is that Haruka’s father, Gentou is a brute dictator and Kyousuke’s/Kirinos father, Daisuke is an old fashioned person. Nevertheless, the main leads eventually convince them to accept their daughter’s hobby.
Ore no Imouto unlike Nogizaka Haruka covers extensive issues in the anime fandom. This includes acceptance of Otaku subculture, Anime Industry, eroge controversy and other things. In a way, Ore no Imouto is Nogizaka Haruka done right since it covered the premise of Otaku Subcluture. While Meta is not a bad thing, adding too much fanservice and forgetting the main theme is.
Sadly, Nogizaka Haruka has gone down the excessive fanservice hole, which made me feel frustrated towards the show. While the first season had a few panty shots, the second season up it by 10 along with the breast groping among other things. On top of that, nothing is resolved! The relationship between Yuuto and Haruka is never recognized and Shiina still loves him!
There is no doubt that Ore no Imouto has done a better job focusing on the Otaku Subculture. Sure Nogizaka Haruka was enjoyable for the first season, but shortly went downhill. While Ore no Imouto have caught the blogosphere by storm over controversy, it still remains a better show since it has better characters and it stays on topic. ¶