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A Sister’s All You Need. Vol. #04 Light Novel Review

5 min read
Sometimes a manga adaptation is all you <i>don’t</i> need. Not what you need, at least, if you care about the “integrity” of your work.

A Sister’s All You Need. Vol. 4 Light Novel

Sometimes a manga adaptation is all you don’t need. Not what you need, at least, if you care about the “integrity” of your work.

Creative Staff:
Story: Yomi Hirasaka
Art: Kantoku
Translation: Kevin Gifford

What They Say:
Writer Versus Artist!

With Itsuki Hashima’s novel series All About My Little Sister being awarded both an anime and a manga adaptation, it’s full steam ahead for his brand name! But Kaiko Mikuniyama, the artist selected by unanimous vote to handle the manga version, has an unbelievable secret—one that develops into a full-fledged fracas that sucks in Puriketsu, Nayuta Kani, and even totally normal college student Miyako Shirakawa. Will Itsuki manage to ride the mixed-media wave and keep his sanity in the process? And are changes on the horizon for his relationship with Nayuta…?

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
It gets both progressively harder and easier to review further volumes of this series. The easy part is to simply state that it is even more Scenes From the Lives of Light Novelists and to call it a day. But that would be to phone it in…much like Itsuki sometimes phones in his work as he’s far too busy playing games with his friends.

That is not to say that the work is entirely devoid of any plot progression, character development or the introduction of new elements, including one new weirdo character. On the professional front, we do see Itsuki make some advances: not only is his work being turned into an anime, but there is also a manga adaptation coming for his (frankly creepy sounding) All About My Little Sister, which involves a little sister who becomes a vampire and her older brother who willingly feeds her his blood in the most inappropriate places and at the most sexually suggestive times. Yomi Hirasaka is not yet ready to give us his take on the sausage making factory that is anime production (for a good primer on that, I suggest two relatively recent anime series with very different viewpoints: Shirobako (loving tribute) and Girlish Number (snide, sarcastic satire from a jaded cynic)); he does seem to want to say something about manga adaptations and he does so through the encounter between Itsuki and the young woman who has been chosen to adapt his work: Kaiko Mikuniyama.

Kaiko at a glance seems like a beautiful, petite young lady of good family with good manners and politeness. Before you start thinking oujosama however, she soon reveals herself to be on the same wavelength as Itsuki when it comes to younger sisters. It’s funny and disturbing at the same time. As it was meant to be. The catch (you knew there would be a catch or you haven’t really been paying attention while reading this series) is that Kaiko has her own little fetish: she disapproves of Itsuki’s penchant for having his little sister characters fully disrobe all the time; as Kaiko comes from a family of undergarments manufacturers, she has replaced all of Itsuki’s nude scenes with lingerie shots rendered in exquisite detail. This means war for Itsuki and the battle is funny to say the least.

Eventually, the matter is resolved (in a manner that people will find either utterly tasteless or ribald and funny, depending on your sensitivities) and on we go to further character development. Miyako Shirakawa takes some forward steps on the career front, as she is offered the chance to work in the Editorial Department of Itsuki’s publisher by his editor, Toki. We see them all continue to have fun in the tabletop RPG that they started before. And we get to see Ashley Ono in her off-the-clock time, introducing us to a side of Chihiro we have not seen before.

The highlight of this volume, however, might well be the “light novelist” game that is a bonus chapter at the end. It was one of the highlights of the anime adaptation (it’s in the final episode), though this version plays out differently from the anime adaptation (and an author afterward reveals that the original version was an audio drama, which was rewritten for the novel version; I am unsure whether the anime uses that original version from the audio drama or is yet a third take on it). Here we get to see some more views into the personalities of the main cast as well as see a very jaded and knowing look into the world of light novel writing. I will leave it to readers to see all of the ups and downs (and downs) of life as a light novelist.

All in all, the world of A Sister’s All You Need. continues to expand and grow without feeling like it’s getting too big, staying within the close and intimate world of this small group of friends. The views inside the industry-side of things are interesting and amusing. I look forward to what comes next.

In Summary:
When Itsuki’s novel series All About My Little Sister gets a manga adaptation, Itsuki could not be happier…until he learns that the upcoming young artist chosen to draw it does not like nudity, a staple of his work. Will Itsuki and Kaiko, the manga artist, ever see eye to eye? Otherwise, there is more game playing, beer drinking, and lazing around. Just what we’ve come to expect from Hashima and his circle of friends. Is a little sister all Itsuki needs? That question remains to be answered.

Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: A
Package Rating: A-
Text/Translation: B+

Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: May 21st, 2019
MSRP: $14.00

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