A Sister’s All You Need. – Mid Season 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)
Mid Season (6 Episodes) Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Visually, A Sister’s All You Need is crumbling in quality like the rest of the season. The series wasn’t a prime example of visual stunning animation to begin with, but like everything tumbles down to levels only just acceptable, mere inches away from dipping below a minimum standard before becoming something entirely off-putting if not an outright eyesore. It avoids this, but only just.
Linny: Storywise, the show continues to not be one for the faint of heart as the jokes continue to be really inappropriate and clearly of a caliber that would upset anyone not up for crass humour. The show takes making fun of siscon to the extreme, which still can come off as completely off putting to some. But for those with a broader sense of humour, these over the top gags, some of which have nothing to do with the siscon angle, can be amusing in their own right.
Tom: That shock value opening that polarized the anime community is both a primer for the series ongoing, line-crossing humor, and misleading at the same time. Never again does Sister dive face first into the realization of the siscon fantasy. While Itsuki Hashima’s rather questionable fetish pops up now and again, the series offers other line crossing avenues of sexual humor, making Sister more of an all around raunchy comedy than anything else. That said, Sister actually has heart to it, frequently delving into Itsuki’s struggle to hold firm as a Light Novel author. Other characters, like Fuwa Haruto, another author, dabble in heart-rending storylines about rejection, criticism, and project failures that make Sister feel like more than just a comedy rife with content that’ll make more proper viewers’ skin crawl.
Linny: It’s definitely impressive how the show manages to switch from crazy and improper comedy to some of the darker and harsher realities of being an writer in the light novel industry. Though some could point out that Haruto’s anger upon facing rejection is slightly misdirected, it’s still a powerful episode, one that helps put a face and feelings on the entertainment we consume or reject so mindlessly.
Tom: Despite Itsuki’s siscon tendecies, he’s actually a decent, if not likable lead, with far more depth to him than the first five minutes of extreme siscon obsession would lead you to believe. Whether you appreciate his greater range however, depends on whether you find the lampooning and semi-frequent reference to his proclivities tolerable or amusing. In fact, near every character is going to test your sense of humor, as each suffers some raunch ridden quirk: Kani Nayuta, a strong female author in love with Itsuki, writes naked and needs to grope non-writer and female friend, Miyako Shirakawa, in order to write her lewd based novels. Or the already mentioned Fuwa Haruto, who’s got it nasty bad for maids. The character most testing of your tolerance for dark, sexual based humor, is Ena Sestuna, Itsuki’s artist, who can’t draw a good ass without groping one first. This leads to one, likely unfunny in today’s climate, scene featured prominently in the series’ Mid Season.
Linny: There’s no denying that this show is going to test people’s patience and one that you cannot recommend to others unless they’re exceedingly comfortable with raunchy content. The women in this show almost all exist to provide some sort of male fantasy fodder like Tom just explained and that’s something that’s always frustrating and hard to turn a blind eye to. There’s also the revelation that Haruto pretends to be attracted to the same sex online in order to create a persona for himself to ensure that he isn’t viewed as a flirt and to attract fujoshi fans, something I feel could be a sore spot for viewers as it almost seems exploitative of a sexual orientation that many have and continue to suffer for. Also, for some reason, while the word “f**k” isn’t censored, the word “gayness” is which feels like it could lend an air of further discrimination towards that topic.
Tom: Perhaps turning some of the more questionable content on its head is my favorite addition to the cast: Oono Ashley, appearing several episodes in. Hired as a tax adjuster, Ashley is a fun and powerful female character who uses both Itsuki and Haruto’s fetish heavy interests to shame them and hold power over them. While perhaps a fetish in and of herself, Ashley feels like she’s a bit more well-rounded than Kani Nayuta, a character that feels very much like male wish fulfillment. Ashley feels like a stronger female character and is a delight on screen and she grinds both fetish laden leads beneath her heel.
Linny: Amongst episodes focused on the life of an author and jokes galore, A Sister’s All You Need has a rather strange third episode. The show frequently promotes some of the more uncommon and unique alcoholic beverages throughout its run as characters consume alcohol frequently and brands/types are explained in ad break flash cards. However Episode 3 is an out and out, full on ad for holidaying in Hokkaido and Okinawa. The entire episode is devoted to our characters taking leisure trips to each destination, wandering around, engaging in all the tourist activities and extolling them. It’s a rather marked change of tone and pace, sticking out as mismatched with the rest of the series… almost as if someone paid the show creators to place a giant ad in the middle of the series.
Tom: Overall A Sister’s All You Need opened with such a divisive sequence that it’s become extremely misunderstood from the get go. It’s not nearly as content to wallow in the siscon fetish with such glee and acceptance, frequently having characters condemn Itsuki for his interests. While the series might not be calling for the acceptance and gleeful appreciation of one of anime’s most controversial elements, it does frequently dabble in the more raunchy side of anime content. But if the extremely dark opening gag in episode 1 didn’t send you running for the hills, what lies beneath is actually a fun comedy, slice of life, with a tinge of romance that can, at times, feel like there’s real heart beneath the pervasive raunchy atmosphere of questionable fetishes and periodic male fantasy pandering.
Linny: If you still haven’t seen this show yet, then let me double down on the warning about the opening minutes of that first episode. They’re controversial and shocking to the core…but are soon revealed to be just an extreme gag on what a siscon obsessed author our lead is. If you can sit through, or even laugh at its absurd and outrageous depiction of siscons, there’s decent content to be enjoyed. Content focused on the ups and downs of being a light novel author, over the top comedy about other topics and even some character depth and exploration. Ultimately though, this show is not for the chaste and modest viewer as every episode is rife with sexually oriented humour and it’s likely that this series will have a smaller fan base than what its more chaste content deserves. If you find yourself curious about the outrageous comedy and the more sombre content, be sure to keep our warnings in mind as you proceed. There’s fun to be had but you’ll have to be okay with some fairly risque gags.