Alternative title(s): Imouto Sae Ireba Ii
Light Novel Adaptation by Silver Link
Streaming on Crunchyroll
Itsuki is an author so obsessed with little sisters that he can barely write or think about anything else. Somehow, he still has friends and a step ‘brother’ who takes care of him.
Jel’s verdict: This Is Not How Satire Works
The opening scene of this episode is one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever seen. It becomes clear within seconds that this is intentional. We are meant to be repulsed by the main characters obsession, getting as red faced and angry as his editor as he vehemently rejects his draft. Had the author stuck to his guns and continued to tear into Itsuki for being the waste of life that he is, I might have been OK with this.
Of course that didn’t happen, and instead we’re left with some mixed messages. Itsuki continues to be an unlikable jerk and yet he has friends that are willing to hang out, an attractive young lady literally throwing herself at him, and he will no doubt have some kind of tragic backstory to explain how he became the way that he is. So which way are we going here? Are we supposed to hate him or feel bad for him? If you’re going to make a statement as bold as the opening scene of this episode, you need to have a much stronger follow through.
It’s interesting that the author (Yomi Hirasaka of Haganai fame) namedrops both Oreimo (written by Tsukasa Fushimi) and Oregairu (written by Wataru Watari), the works of two writers that I wrote a bit about when covering Fushimi’s Eromanga Sensei. In a nutshell, Fushimi sits on one end of the spectrum writing self-inflating masturbation material while Watari takes a much more critical, self loathing approach. Say what you will about either one of them, you can’t deny that they make it clear what they are trying to say.
I think Hirasaka wants to take the more critical approach like Watari, and you might even argue this is his response to Fushimi’s little sister obsessessed Eromanga Sensei. That’s a good goal, but either he doesn’t know how to do that or is reluctant to fully commit to it. We saw this in Haganai and I see it in this episode. Without fully committing to being a satire, we get stuck in a middle ground where the show becomes what it hates more often than not. I put up with it in Haganai because the cast was awful in a more amusing way and ultimately they weren’t really bad people. This guy though? I don’t know if I’ve ever wanted to punch a fictional character harder. I don’t want to spend any more time with him or his annoying friends. Part of me wants to see what happens next just out of morbid curiosity, but for now count me out.
Zigg’s verdict: All You Need Is An Off Button
This show is really about three or four different shows, and they’re all terrible. Is it the deliberately over-the-top yet still shitty fanservice fest that plays out in the prologue? Is it the insanely boring drone of awful dialogue and lengthy debates that make up the middle of the show? Or is it the appalling sob story wish-fulfillment ending which is clearly meant to endear us to the characters but really just exposes what shallow cardboard cutouts they are? Suffuse the whole thing with a degree of smug self-righteousness and you’ve got one obnoxious whole. As I’ve said so many times, doing stupid and exploitative things and then pointing them out and laughing isn’t actual satire, it’s just having your cake and eating it. That problem is on full display here, along with the more common-or-garden problems of bad writing, creepy fanservice, bad art, etc. One to avoid on all levels.