Don’t let the name of the show fool you- this isn’t outright condoning little sister sex/love. A Little Sister’s All You Need features a trio of light novel authors and two of their friends/coworkers. Itsuki Hashima, the protagonist of this slice of life anime, only writes novels featuring little sisters. Joining him are a set of novelists and friends with their own eccentricities. Every day, the friends work through general troubles, playing card games, drinking, and actually doing their jobs. From an overworked editor to a sadistic CPA, this anime has it all.
Now that I’ve clarified that this show isn’t all about sister sex/love-
Let’s talk about the idea of little sisters before we go any further because I think a lot of people think that these imouto shows are dirty, gross, and incestuous (with good reason because a lot the imouto medium is). There is a misconception that comes from the obviously dirty eroge genre games: if you like little sisters, you want to have sex with them. Frankly, that’s just not true.
How do I know? I like the imouto genre. I do not want to have sex with little sisters.
Tsukasa Fushimi’s (Oreimo, Eromanga Sensei) work is great example of how little sisters are often misunderstood as being sex objects when they are not meant to be. Oriemo’s full title is 俺の妹がこんなに可愛いわけがない or My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute. Kosaka is misunderstood by anyone who doesn’t actually read or watch to want to have sex with his sister. The same can be said of Izumi from Eromanga Sensei.
A love of little sisters comes from a desire to have someone to care for. That’s it. You desire a little sister more than a little brother because the sister will naturally rely on you more. Anything more than the general desire to care for someone is imagined fantasy for the best little sister based on what you like in a person. For example, maybe I would like a shy little sister that I have bring out of her shell. Some people may prefer a more adventurous little sister, or even a mouthy little sister. It’s about non-sexual caring/love wish fulfillment.
I could ramble for hours about imouto media, but the point I want to get across is that the little sisters genre isn’t all about sex. If you want to say that there is sex in the genre- that’s true, but that’s true of all genres so there isn’t anything more you can say about imouto than you can say about the glasses-guy trope in shounen shows.
Back to the review!
A Little Sister’s All You Need has a ton of great content, and it tickles my slice of life itch. My favorite shows typically feature people who are just going about their lives, and A Little Sister’s All You Need is the perfect example of a subsection of all my interests: games, light novels, anime, and cute girls. Besides creating visually interesting infographics for explains card/board/TRPG games, A Little Sister’s All You Need also discusses anime adaptations of light novels (terribly interesting as this is an adaptation of a light novel), manga adaptations, and solidifies my previous point that little sisters aren’t all about sex.
When watching this anime, please bear in mind that since it’s a slice of life, there isn’t an overarching plot. Instead, this works as an overview of the character’s lives, with some thread between to keep people together. The season actually ends with Itsuki’s sister planning on telling him that she is a little sister (he believes her to be his brother), which leaves us open for a potentially more plot driven second season- if we are given one.
My bias kicks in with this show, and I really loved just about every second of content. There are a few stagnant moments, but I think the anime was able to keep up an interesting momentum to the end. Because A Little Sister’s All You Need didn’t focus solely on laughs, the pacing between drama and comedy helps move the show along without slogging. It feels natural and fun, with a nice dash of true melancholy.
The ending of the show itself bookends nicely with the mention that the novel Itsuki sends to his babysitter’s house is the namesake of the anime: A Little Sister’s All You Need. This babysitter ends up being the object of Itsuki’s affections, but turns him down as she can only see him as a little brother. It’s here that he turned his back on older women and went down the imouto path as an author, wishing to be the protagonist in his life. Though it’s convoluted on his side, Itsuki becomes the master of little sisters in an effort to get revenge on the woman who tore his heart apart.
The art and animation in this show are great. There isn’t a ton of fast paced animation you can do in this genre, so it’s made up for in serious interactions between characters when smooth, overly textured animation is a must. Plus, as I mentioned previously, when games are explained the anime, there is a fun infographic accompanying the information which helps add some differentiation.
A Little Sister’s All You Need is a fun, quick anime that helps you learn a little about light novelists, beer, and games. With a combined arsenal of comedy and drama, and a stellar grasp of interesting animation and infographics, this is a slice of life show for the record books. Watch it.