Many of you may know that I am an amateur author and editor, so it should come as no surprise that an anime about the process and nuances behind being someone who creates using words would attract me. It might also surprise you to know that when I was going into this particular anime, Imōto Sae Ireba Ii., I did not know its focus was on this particular subject. I was expecting just another RomCom about a guy who really wants a little sister, at least that’s what I gleamed from the synopsis I had read. So this series pleasantly surprised me, even if it was my fault due to my lack of research, but just how well did they do in capturing the occupation of the writer?
Before we get to that let’s start off with the basics. Our main protagonist is a guy named Itsuki, a 20 something year old who drinks often and lives on his own as a semi-popular author. His works always feature a little sister as the heroine, a subject he is rather obsessed with. Big points for Itsuki not being a high schooler which seems to be the norm for RomComs these days, and his reasons for living alone are believable; steaming from resentment of his father remarrying so soon after the death of his mother. Itsuki isn’t totally on his own though, having a group of friends who often stop by to visit, including his new little brother, a sadistic tax accountant, his editor, and a girl who wants to eat his dick for desert. Yeah, that last one is no joke.
Her name is Nayuta and she is Itsuki’s future wife, or at least so she says. This girl is also a novelist, a rather famous one, who can’t work unless she is completely naked. She had been suffering from bullying in high school and dropped out, only being saved from her depression by one of Itsuki’s novels. I really loved her character, with all her dirty jokes, her cutely lewd behavior, and the darker side she harbors from her time in high school. It’s a little sad that this anime doesn’t solidify the relationship between Itsuki and Nayuta, but it does a good job at giving Nayuta a shocking piece of information that makes you worry about her future as a writer. I don’t want to say too much, but basically she learns that Itsuki might propose to her if he writes a better novel than her. Leading to a cut of her editor acting surprised at a huge change she made to her most recent work, thus leaving us worried.
Outside of those two you got Itsuki’s best friend and fellow author, Haruto, a classmate from college who is romantically interested in Itsuki, Miyako, Itsuki’s totally-not-a-girl little brother who cooks from him, Chihiro, Itsuki’s light novel illustrator with a butt obsession, Setsuna, Itsuki’s editor with a temper, Kenjirō, a sadistic 32-year-old loli tax accountant, Ashley, and a mangaka with an underwear fetish who is adapting Itsuki’s novels, Kaiko. Everyone here gets somewhat decent screen time, though I’d have to say Kenjirō, Ashley, and Setsuna are on the lower rung of this ladder. The ones you see the most being Miyako and Haruto, as more than a couple of episodes have them visiting Itsuki to drink and play games. Oh boy, the games this group plays are pretty fun. At one point they even do a short D&D session, which prompted me to create my own D&D character. Speaking of which, anyone want to play?
Now to answer that original question of how well this series does telling the story of authors, and I’d have to say it does it pretty well. You got the good days when you’re able to breeze through writing a chapter, the days you stop to create something totally new because it helps, and the days when you just get that horrible writer’s block. It shows us that being a writer can be a lonely job, and it does an amusing job of showing that being an author often requires you to go places or see things for reference. All in all, this series gets a thumbs up from me for being rather accurate with its portrayal of authordom.
One minor thing I want to mention is the fact the series answers a question we have about Itsuki’s character, about why he has such a deep seated love for the Imōto. We end up getting a flashback in the very last episode, where we learn that a older girl named Ayane use to hang out with Itsuki after the death of his mother. She actually ended up becoming his love interest, but then she rejected Itsuki’s confession after having been turned down by the guy she liked. Itsuki falls deeper into the protective void of Imōto, harshly telling off Ayane, who called herself his big sister, that he had no need for an older sister and she need not return. Does this mean she’s gone for good? Possibly. But the potential for drama is pretty high, given the change in Nayuta’s writing, Haruto’s feelings towards Miyako, and the fact that Chihiro plans on revealing the truth to Itsuki pretty soon. The fuses are lit, and I worry the fallout will be a bit… much.
Genres: Romantic Comedy
Animation: This one is a pretty positive category, given that Silver Link were the ones behind it. This is the same studio who worked on Baka to Test, WataMote, and are currently working on Death March. We’re looking at above average stuff here overall, with some high spikes that come in the form of the D&D session and the illustrations done by Kaiko. I do have a habit of enjoying when an anime includes smaller elements that feature a pretty different style, even if they are just static drawings.
Voice Acting: I loved their choice of VA for Nayuta. Hisako Kanemoto was a great fit with a perfect voice for being perverted and lewd, with a flow that worked for a character who sometimes emphasis feline traits. You might know Hisako from her other roles, like Yuhata Midorikawa from Knights of Sidonia and Amy from Suisei no Garugantia.
Favorite Character: Now you might expect me to go with Nayuta here, but I actually found myself liking Ashely more. My reasons are simple. Ashley is openly sadistic to the clients she likes, while Nayuta is only jokingly perverse around Itsuki. Ashley acts and feels like an older character, even though she has the physical appearance of a loli. She has some amazing hair that looks really soft, she can out drink anyone, and her voice actress, Manami Numakura, played one of my favorite characters from Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio.
Imōto Sae Ireba Ii. gets a 7.8 out of 10