The TV anime series A Sister’s All You Need (Imouto Sae Ireba Ii) is based on a light novel of the same name written by Yomi Hirasaka, whose novels include Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, and illustrated by Kantoku, whose works include The Hentai Prince and the Stony Cat. It is a romantic comedy anime which revolves around a light novelist named Itsuki Hashima, his fellow novelist Haruto Fuwa and illustrator Setusna Ena, who is also known as ‘Puriketsu’. The anime brings to light what it is like to be in the industry.
For our second interview with the staff members of the anime A Sister’s All You Need, we invited illustrator Kantoku, who is responsible for the original character designs and the illustrations for the novel. He talked about episodes at the planning stage and things he is particular about, as well as his thoughts toward figures which are produced based on his specially-drawn illustrations.
[Interview and Composition= Inoue Shinzo (an underwear supporter)]
‘A Sister’s All You Need’
I didn’t get it at first, but I completely changed my mind after I read the novel.
First of all, could you tell us your first impressions of the light novel A Sister’s All You Need?
I received the job offer to draw illustrations for the novel prior to its publication. To be honest, I didn’t get it before I read it. I was told that it’s a slice-of-life story about light novelists, and depicts them gathering and chatting endlessly in a room. I couldn’t imagine what the story would be like at first, however once I read it, I completely changed my mind.
I love dirty jokes and behind-the-scenes stories, but I had never had the chance to work on a story with such elements. The novel made me want to draw because it has characters whose facial expressions and emotions are fast-changing.
The characters in my previous work The Hentai Prince and the Stony Cat don’t have extreme facial expressions, whereas characters in Hirasaka’s novel are unique and eccentric, and have drastic mood swings, hence their rich facial expressions. I found the novel really captivating because it would let me draw pictures with movement including emotional changes.
Did you know Hirasaka before A Sister’s All You Need?
I drew an illustration for a cover of an anthology named Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai Universe prior to this novel, but I didn’t know him personally. As for A Sister’s All You Need, I received an offer from his editor saying “would you consider working with Hirasaka?”
What did you think about being involved in Hirasaka’s novel?
I thought Hirasaka’s story and my drawings would be a great match. It perfectly fitted in with my schedule at that time as well. I felt the collaboration totally made sense and I had to take on the work.
How did the news of the anime adaptation of A Sister’s All You Need’ made you feel
Obviously I was pleased, but also a little worried too. In the light novel, there are chapters which made us think: “This can’t air on TV, can it?” For instance, episode 6 depicts a failed case of an anime adaptation from a light novelist’s viewpoint. It can be one-sided and problematic, because the anime production studio must have their say, but have to make the episode without complaining. It’s different from Shirobako in which the narrative takes place in the anime industry. Although there are a couple of anime which depict inside stories about anime, this episode must be brutal and painful for insiders, as well as very rare. I admire SILVER LINK., an anime studio which accepted the work. They did a superb job and I can’t thank them enough.