The TV anime series A Sister’s All You Need (Imouto Sae Ireba Ii) is based on the popular light novel of the same title written by Yomi Hirasaka, the author of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, with illustrations drawn by Kantoku, who also provided illustrations for The Hentai Prince and the Stony Cat. The story centers on Itsuki Hashima, a light novelist who keeps writing stories which feature younger sisters as heroines, and his relationships with other various characters who surround him. It’s an intriguing story with romantic comedy elements, as well as a curious story which tells the behind-the-scenes stories of a light novelist.
Anime! Anime! conducted a six-part interview series with the author Yomi Hirasaka. For the first shot of the interview series, we asked him about how the novel was developed and how much of his own experiences were reflected in the story, as well as what his ‘All You Need’ is.
[Interview and Composition=Inoue Shinzo]
A Sister’s All You Need
‘If Kantoku is responsible for the illustrations, it won’t be cut short.’
Could you tell us how A Sister’s All You Need was developed?
I always wanted to write a story about a novelist but hesitated because it’s not a popular subject. Then, my editor proposed I start a new project with Kantoku. I thought that if Kantoku were responsible for the illustrations, it wouldn’t be cut short, so I immediately answered, ‘I’m in!’
How did you feel when you heard the plan to adapt the novel into a TV anime series?
Obviously, I was overjoyed to hear the news. However, I was worried as this was the second time one of my works would be getting an anime after Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai (Haganai), so I knew how busy and stressful it is during broadcasting. Having said that, I just hoped it would become a good anime.
Your experiences as a light novelist, like you just said, reflect the characters such as Itsuki Hashima and Haruto Fuwa, don’t they?
Yes, especially Haruto. I don’t think the previous anime adaptation was a failure, but I wanted to write that an anime adaptation isn’t always that great.
You brought up things you like that shows your playful mind in the novel, such as drinks and games. Do you have any other things you are particular about or play around with?
I mentioned many light novels and manga in the story. All of them are my favorites which I’ve actually read myself. I sometimes mentioned the characters from them, such as an Overlord-type person and ‘Eromanga-sensei’.
You mean Haruto and Kaiko Mikuniyama, don’t you? Kaiko’s favorite younger sister was the younger sister character from a certain novel, who also just happens to be voiced by Kaiko’s voice actress, Akane Fujita.
It was a pure coincidence. I didn’t know who would voice Kaiko when I wrote the novel.
Do you have something you never wanted to change during the adaptation process?
I wanted to keep the atmosphere of the original story and the personalities of each character. Making an anime adaptation involves not just following the novel or manga, but optimizing an original story for the series by reorganizing each episode to make sense, as well as having unity as a whole series. I was careful about that regard so that viewers would feel it was a good anime after watching all 12 episodes.