Though with some exceptions, one thing that Oreimo has done right from the very beginning is getting us to feel, “Hey, I’ve been there, too!” This week did that for me better than most as Saori’s back story was animated.
Though there have been hints of this, of the friends in her circle, Saori is possibly has the largest difference between the image she shows he world and who she truly is. She even hides from her friends, as attested by Kyousuke’s exclamation when wondering who she was! The hiding, in this case, is connected to a sister that goes in and out her life without warning, and who upon the last time she left, took away the group that Saori had come to cherish.
I was reminded of my own such group. Back in the days of AOL, when chatrooms were the rage, I was part of a “circle” called Witless. Consisting of about a dozen consistent members, it was a special place for me. I was nondescript member and might not even be remembered by some in the chatroom now, years (and approaching decades!) past, but I cherished the time deeply (I’ve written on this before).
During a couple of months one summer, I was without a computer or Internet connection. When that was returned to me, I came back to AOL to find that Witless was gone. Members had drifted apart and the place we created no longer existed (meaning that no one bothered creating it day in and day out). It made me really sad, as the friendships there, which felt so mature and gratifying, had grown more important to me than most of my relationships in “RL.”