In the world of A Sister’s All You Need, Chihiro’s long-kept secret is now out in the open. While it has been readily accepted by everyone around her, that’s not to say the reveal hasn’t caused problems for some of the cast though, namely Itsuki. Let’s we dive into Volume 11 of the series to find out what’s happening next!
Itsuki is, of course, happy to learn that he has the little sister he’s always dreamed of, but now that he knows Chihiro’s true gender, his world has been thrown into disarray. No longer can he look at his light novels with sister-obsessed characters and see them as anything but creepy.
This has unfortunately led to Itsuki developing writer’s block and now he can’t continue work on his series. There were hints of this in Volume 10 but with bigger things happening (like the overseas convention), now Itsuki has to face facts as he misses the deadline for the new volume of All About My Little Sister and has it indefinitely delayed.
It’s not unusual for Itsuki to cut it fine with his deadlines, but this is the first time he’s ever had a series have its release date changed. To make matters even worse, this was going to be the first volume of the series since the anime adaptation aired, which is often one of the most important releases when it comes to driving sales and interest for the source material. With the book publicly delayed, those around Itsuki become aware of his writer’s block and try to encourage him in their own ways.
Editor Kenjiro Toki suggests Itsuki work on drafts of an entirely different series, either one of his past proposals or something brand new. Meanwhile, Nayuta tries to take Itsuki on a vacation for a change of scenery in the hopes it may spark some creativity. But no matter what they do, Itsuki can’t bring himself to look at his work (or the fans of his work) the same way. While attending the yearly awards ceremony for his publisher, Itsuki is approached by a new author who was inspired by his work which leaves our protagonist with nothing but remorse, given how crude his stories are and how much he now despises them.
Of course, none of this is helped by the fact Itsuki doesn’t want to tell Chihiro that any of this is her fault and the extended cast also don’t want to lay the blame at her feet. Haruto even attempts to reassure Chihiro by explaining that authors often fall into a slump after an anime adaptation of their work finishes either because they’re burnt out from the extra workload or happy to live on the extra money generated from it. Naturally, Chihiro isn’t completely convinced by what Haruto tells her, but for now, she’s willing to go along with it.
The big question on everyone’s lips this volume is whether Itsuki will ever write again. It’s not just All About My Little Sister he can’t write, but even the new proposals he hands into Toki are underwhelming. The longer this goes on, the more our cast worry that he will never be able to return to his craft.
For such a slim book (coming in at just 150~ pages), author Yomi Hirasaka has packed a lot in. Itsuki’s storyline is a notable attraction, but there are also subplots following Chihiro’s first love and accountant Ashley as she reminisces about an old friend. All of these make for a great read and leave A Sister’s All You Need Volume 11 an emotional whirlwind.
I have to say this is my favourite book in the series so far, given how well the author explores and portrays Itsuki’s feelings. He’s not just questioning his work but also his ability to be a novelist at all. Maybe he’s not a protagonist but a side character and maybe that’s all he will ever be (as a side note I like how this coincidentally ties into the opening theme for the anime, which was all about grabbing your dreams and becoming a protagonist).
If you work in a creative industry, I’m sure the problems Itsuki is facing will be relatable. Hirasaka’s writing is gripping and feels as though it comes from experience, but even if it doesn’t, it’s still very believable. Several days after finishing this book, I am still thinking about its content and the message we’re supposed to take from it. Honestly, I’m not ashamed to say it left me an emotional wreck and that made me love the series all the more. For as foolish and crude as these books have often been, they’re also filled with storylines you absolutely don’t want to miss.
A Sister’s All You Need Volume 11 comes to the West thanks to Yen Press and continues to be translated by Kevin Gifford. The translation reads well with no problems to note. Volume 12 of the series is currently not on the schedule, so we could be waiting quite a long time to see how this all resolves.
Overall, A Sister’s All You Need Volume 11 proves to be an emotional rollercoaster and one of the best entries in the series so far. Even if you’re not the biggest fan of Itsuki, this one is sure to have you feeling some sympathy for his struggles. A highly recommended read!