Rascal Does Not Dream of a Sister Venturing Out Review

The previous two volumes in the Rascal Does Not Dream of series gave us a heartwrenching two-part storyline that capitalised on the strengths of the series. Now we begin a new arc with Rascal Does Not Dream of a Sister Venturing Out, but will it be able to live up to the highs we’ve just experienced? Let’s find out! 

As we reunite with our cast we find them all preparing for big changes in their lives. Mai is close to graduating high school and Sakuta is transitioning from second to third year and now has to start preparing for college entrance exams. Wishing to attend the same college as Mai, Sakuta has to work very hard to make his desires come true and Mai will certainly be disappointed if he doesn’t give it his all. 

Meanwhile, Kaede, who was previously a shut-in, has started to venture into school. She may just be studying in the nurse’s office rather than attending classes, but that’s still a major improvement compared to her prior situation. But just like how Sakuta now has to think about college entrance exams, Kaede needs to consider where to attend high school as she’s approaching the end of her time in middle school. 

Kaede’s school counselling suggests to Sakuta and his father that Kaede could attend a remote high school, where all the learning is done online, saving her the stress of having to participate in person and potentially relapsing. But Kaede has other ideas and boldly announces to Sakuta and their father that she wants to attend Sakuta’s school. 

As her older brother, Sakuta accepts her decision and vows to do all he can to support her but he can’t help but wonder why she came to this decision and whether it’s truly the correct path forward for her. Kaede’s grades are by no means terrible, but Sakuta’s school is still difficult to get into and to pass the exam Kaede will have to cram hard. She’s aware and willing to do that, but Sakuta still wonders where this determination comes from and continues to look into the option of online schooling as a fall-back. 

Just like the previous Kaede-focused book (Rascal Does Not Dream of a Sister Home Alone), there’s not really a supernatural element driving the plot forward as we’re used to seeing. Kaede still has Adolescence Syndrome which results in painful bruises or cuts appearing on her body when anxious or afraid, but that’s not a driving force of the narrative. Sakuta does have a dream about seeing Mai as a grade-schooler and suspects that may be something unusual (I imagine that’s our central storyline for the next book), but that plot point is firmly put aside in favour of following Kaede’s story. 

This book certainly doesn’t have the same emotional heft as the previous two and your mileage will vary depending on how much you care about Kaede, but it’s just as well written as the other entries in the series so far. The cast having to make decisions about their future, no matter where they are in life, will be very relatable to readers. And author Hajime Kamoshida treats the topic with the respect it deserves, giving the spotlight to both Sakuta and Kaede’s struggles and the different ways they’re approaching their future. 

In many ways, I think having a more grounded story this time around also contrasts well with the last book which I felt had wandered away from the realistic feeling this series usually has. It reassures us that Kamoshida has no intention of throwing away what has made Rascal Does Not Dream of so compelling up until now. This release isn’t particularly long either, so it’s a short and sweet return to form which is all we needed to see at this point. 

Rascal Does Not Dream of a Sister Venturing Out comes to the West thanks to Yen Press and continues to be translated by Andrew Cunningham. As we’ve come to expect from these releases, the translation is problem-free and an easy read. For fans of the anime, it’s also worth knowing that this book is soon to appear as a theatrical film release, as well as the next book Rascal Does Not Dream of a Lost Singer. Fingers crossed they will make their way to the West before long! 

The next two entries in the series: Rascal Does Not Dream of a Knapsack Kid and Rascal Does Not Dream of a Lost Singer are both available in English already, with Rascal Does Not Dream of Nightingale following in June. At that point, we will only be a single volume behind the Japanese releases!

Overall, Rascal Does Not Dream of a Sister Venturing Out may not be the most exciting entry in the series nor is it as emotional as the previous book, but it’s a good way for both the author and us readers to ground ourselves and readjust after the previous arc. Kaede fans in particular will enjoy reading this one as the cast figure out the next steps for their respective paths. 

Our review copy from Yen Press was supplied by Diamond Book Distributors UK.

8 / 10


When she's not watching anime, reading manga or reviewing, Demelza can generally be found exploring some kind of fantasy world and chasing her dreams of being a hero.

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