A Sister’s All You Need. – Anime Review
Synopsis: Every day is full of fun. But something is missing. “My life would be amazing if only I had a little sister. Why don’t I have a little sister…?” These are the musings of little sister-lover and novelist Itsuki Hashima, who only writes works featuring little sisters. Around him gather a number of unique people: genius author/pervert Nayuta, female college student Miyako, illustrator Puriketsu, and the brutish tax accountant Ashley. Each of them hold their own worries, but live their peaceful daily lives while writing novels, playing video games, drinking alcohol, and filing their tax returns. (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
A Sister’s All You Need. is the poster child for misleading openings. While the series deals with bizarre fetishes, semi-frequent dick jokes, inappropriate groping, and other perversions, it’s a damn sight tamer than that now infamous first three minutes. There’s no denying that Itsuki Hashima, our siscon obsessed Light Novelist, has a rather troubling interest. Heck, the anime medium has a flirtation with this kind of thing, although it’s rarely so upfront about it. But Itsuki’s siscon obsession never takes the form of those first three minutes again, making that opening pure and utter shock value that, while funny if that’s your thing (It’s mine but I understand not for everyone), is very much misleading over what’s in the series week to week.
Never does A Sister’s All You Need. get so perverse. Sure the series wallows in dick jokes and other sexual humor quite frequently, but these moments feel far less raunchy than that first sequence. It’s largely because the series’ sex gags come entirely from its characters. While many anime work in sex gags and naughty misunderstandings, the perverse humor in A Sister’s All You Need entirely stems from the personality and quirks of its leads.
Itsuki isn’t the only one with strange proclivities, Kani Nayuta, a female best-selling author who’s absolutely obsessed with Itsuki, writes naked, and has a need to grope her best friend, Shirakawa Miyako, otherwise she can’t write properly. Other characters offer other avenues of fetish type gags, but Kani is the greatest perpetrator of the show’s raunchy, sex ridden nature. At times, it works. Other times it feels forced, and on other occasions Kani Nayuta feels like a lonely young man’s wet dream gal: obsessed with sex, obsessed with them, with a body that won’t quit too boot.
If that’s all A Sister’s All You Need was then I don’t know that it would get my recommendation. While the sex comedy works, sometimes it goes too far, or doesn’t know when it’s overstayed its welcome. Thankfully the series is more than just boob and dick jokes for twenty-minutes at a go.
In between the raunchy is a real attempt at heart. The series frequently explores the trials and troubles of the Light Novelist lifestyle. We see what Itsuki struggles with in the day to day, or his best friend and ‘secret’ rival, Fuwa Haruto, who finds success that often comes with caveats and disappointment. We learn what really drives Itsuki, which isn’t his siscon fetish mind you, and that can make him feel like a likable lead, assuming you come to terms with his bizarre siscon obsession. Itsuki’s obsession is actually a lot less of the series than you’d imagine. It crops up from time to time, and influences events here or there, but is more of a back drop element than true focus.
Bolstering that attempt at warming the audience to its quirky characters is frequent diversions into slice of life type stuff. The characters often gather together to play board or card games. These moments come across a lot like animated versions of Will Wheaton’s TableTop Youtube series. They’re surprisingly fun, although really depend on how interesting each of the games are. Sometimes the raunchy collides with this, like when Kani turns one game into a parade of never ending dick jokes, but often these events feel separate from the perverse, making the series have this weird topsy tervy feel that slips back and forth frequently between it’s more heart felt, slice of life content, and the sex obsessed humor.
The series often succeeds at humanizing its quirky leads. While Kani still feels a bit like a youthful male fantasy come to life, we understand her obsession with Itsuki, and even feel for her as he continues to turn her down again and again. We feel for Fuwa as he struggles with an inferiority complex, and even come to understand Itsuki, although the series never quiet manages to explain where his siscon obsession actually stems comes from. In fact the final episode makes a passing attempt to show its origins, but because we remain distant from Itsuki during that segment, and never really delve into why siscon type otaku media began to appeal to him in the first place, it almost feels like it wasn’t worth mentioning. Still the series succeeds in showcasing the origins of his family issues, mental state, and it makes it easier to like and even feel sorry for the guy.
The series really misintroduces itself, never so blatantly perverse and shock ridden ever again. It also often condemns Itsuki for his obsession, although makes no effort to solve it by episode 12, only hinting at a major revelation that’s either bucking for a second season, or a perfect enticement for fans to grab up those Light Novels (English fans are screwed however, as the first volume, already almost assuredly covered in this anime, isn’t even available in the west until May 2018.)
If you can look past the sex fetish humor, or that’s just your thing (heck I enjoy a good dick joke or fifty) A Sister’s All You Need. is filled with likable characters, fun slice of life content, and insight into one of Japan’s biggest pop culture mediums. It’s raunchy humor sometimes outstays its welcome, but otherwise produces tons of wildly inappropriate, yet totally fun scenes. It never has the best animation, but is serviceable all the same. It’s a series that really deserves a second glance.