Not only was this show not bad, I daresay the show was rather good even. Imouto sae Ireba Ii or A Sister’s All You Need, is a show focusing on the life and times of light novel writers. The kicker being that they all seem to be just absolutely insane, in one way or another. Some are serious and are dealing with crippling inadequacy issues about their careers or personal life. Others are comical such as our protagonist, Itsuki Hashima and his obsession with little sisters, kicking us into our show setting.
Over the course of twelve episodes we get to see a very comical show built around many smaller skits marked with a stamp of “Little Sister” over the screen to indicate transitions. While oriented towards this approach for most of the show, it’s merely a mechanism to deliver a surprisingly well done story (at least for an imouto comedy) and some rather good character development. We start off by seeing Itsuki and his editor Kenjiro Toki arguing over his hyper sexualized story based around little sisters. As stated before, he has this obsession but we find out in actually all he has is a little brother. We are then introduced to fellow authors Nayuta Kanikou or Nayu who is just damned adorable and perverted, and Haruto Fuwa who on the surface seems to be more popular than Itsuki but mostly due to his rather flamboyant (Read: Fake borderline-gay) persona he uses to garner attention from female fans. We also meet Itsuki’s fan and friend from college Miyako and his brother, Chihiro. This cast along with a few others make a rather good background cast to show the everyday life of a light novel author.
The main dynamics for the characters are a complex weave of emotional ties and relationships. The adorable Nayu is very clearly in love with Itsuki, who shrugs off her advances, citing that he can only love a little sister, spurring her into diving into a deep and almost unhealthy perversion and constantly aims at making innuendo laden comments towards her and Itsuki. Miyako has the unfortunate position of being Itsuki’s college friend and only “normal” member of the cast, and also being tragically in love with Itsuki. This is complicated more by Haruto who is in love with Miyako and has crippling issues with being inferior to the other authors, even though his novel was turned into a manga and anime before theirs. None of them let this sour the group dynamic and they manage to work through lots of issues with the reveals towards the end that Chihiro is really a girl (Read: Itsuki has a little sister, albeit step) and Miyako aims to become an editor like Toki-san. The biggest reveal that really stood out to me the most is when Haruto asks why Itsuki doesn’t just date Nayu and Itsuki replies with the fact that not only does he like Nayu, he probably loves and would marry her. The only thing stopping him is that he doesn’t want to be overshadowed by her. It was revealed over the course of the show that he was in love with Nayu’s writing and found it to be an amazing thing that he had to strive to match in quality. His goal in fact was to become equal to her if not surpassing, creating an interesting rivalry dynamic between the three.
For those of you that don’t know, I’m a huge fan of writing (pretty obvious since I do this as a hobby) and TG or traditional games, such as board games and RPGs like Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, and Shadowrun. One of my favorite components to this show is how they commonly address a number of creative or imagination based games in order to help build ideas for story creation. Of course my personal favorite is the rather dirty and hilarious DnD episode, but another was a card game where they took turns making a story, akin to a narrative driven Apples to Apples/Cards Against Humanity.
Other things they touch upon for the show are things like Nayu being batshit insane and murderous when remembering how she was bullied as a child and only found solace in Itsuki’s novels. Itsuki also towards the end reveals that he too had issues growing up with his sister complex being explained as the result of him being rejected by his only friend as a middle school student and the issues from this being the motivator for becoming an author and total siscon. One of my legitimately serious moments was how Itsuki was reading Zero No Tsukaima and I had the realization that came out like 11 years ago. Unlike Nayu however, he seems considerably less fucked from school life, but is still rather sad. At least his backstory isn’t as cringey as they heavily implied.
All things considered, I felt the show was rather good, especially considering that it was an imouto show about a light novel author. Even though this is as common lately as the “modern protagonist finds themselves in a fantasy world” story line, this show still pulls it off rather well. That ending was good because it’s not a stagnant end but one of continuous excitement and self improvement. This leaves me with something I discussed last week with Love is Like A Cocktail. Work life balance is very important, but as is making sure you enjoy what you do. I’ve worked terrible jobs that make me feel like I sold my soul every day. Right now I love what I do because it pays well, challenges me, and helps me grow. I really love this show because like other favorites of mine Scrubs and Stargate SG-1, you see the progression of these individuals not just as characters but growing professionally with the middle part of the season being a manga adaption of his story and the ending having Itsuki getting an opportunity to have his novel turned into an anime. Are you like @cmdrcluckcluck and sick and tired of Imouto shows or are you still laughing at these comedies? Just don’t let me know in a comment nor like and subscribe if you enjoyed this article and want to see more…