Terrence's Reviews > My Little Sister Can Read Kanji: Volume 1

My Little Sister Can Read Kanji by Takashi Kajii
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bookshelves: j-novel-club

One of J-Novel Club's first LN publications, Siskan as this is affectionately referred to is a comedic Light Novel involving a Moe Utopia (or dystopia depending on your perspective), time travel, and conversations about the worth of a novel / literature. Mixed in are some tropes that some may find offputting, such as the Sis-con aspects, Tsundere, and the like. It does feel pretty fluffy overall so far, the overarching plot being a time travel aspect between our character's present day (2203?) and 2010, but nothing too crazy outside of eating marshmallows and giving emphatic speeches on the worth of said light novel tropes.

Overall, I'd say I didn't suffer through this as much as I thought I might once I found out what the material was part way through the novel, a Moe love fest (from the title and cover, I expected something maybe more instructive or that the sister would be the main character, and here Kanji skills would be a superpower or something, maybe she'd take down the 2D dystopian government structure). There's some good messages contained within about not judging a book by its cover or format, but by the content, which I think people who have tried to explain the worth of their anime / manga interests to a non fan will understand.

I still don't think I'd recommend this to people that aren't well versed in anime / manga exposure as some of the tropes can be downright insulting, especially I hazard to guess to female audiences (lots of talk by the MC and his novelist friend about novel scenes of woman in undress as "literature", and him making stupid comments to woman now and again, which don't go unpunished entirely by at least his main sister, but that often get excused or ignored by others; the novelist friend is a perverted old man trope too). I would have liked if the volume had stayed more self contained as it ends just as you're starting a new arc, instead of ending just as you finished the previous one. I'll probably be reading more of these, though again, Moe culture is not really my thing. I thought maybe this book would take a stance against Moe stuff, and be a critique of it, but they never quite push the narrative that far.

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Quotes Terrence Liked

“There was no sudden twists or ups and downs, just stories of that person's everyday life. The theme was "growing old". There were no beautiful woman...

For a current day work this is clearly taking literature in a bad direction.
Takashi Kajii, My Little Sister Can Read Kanji: Volume 1

You don't watch anime?!

Such a statement would be unbelievable, were it not the 21st century. Common sense in this era must have been completely different.”
Takashi Kajii, My Little Sister Can Read Kanji: Volume 1

Reading Progress

December 5, 2016 – Shelved
December 5, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
December 8, 2016 – Started Reading
December 8, 2016 –
5.0% "The political faction's symbols are blood related sisters vs non blood related sisters, and a 2D avatar AI rules the people (Nyamo chan)... ={\n\nIs this going to get dystopian or do people think this is a Utopia? We'll see. =S"
December 9, 2016 –
35.0% "There's some male characters in this with perverse attitudes, though I'm hoping this book ultimately takes a stance against the pandery stuff [seems like that's the point, but I'm curious how far they push it; is an LN is going to mock / criticize other LN tropes super heavily?].\n\nReally hoping there's no bro / sis con [but they've already set up the "adopted" cliché]."
December 12, 2016 –
80.0% "Pretty close to done with this. I'll be sure to review it when I finish. It's got some fun moments that'll make you chuckle, though the subject matter is "Moe" as both accepted or ostracized depending on the era. Within the speeches of the main character, there's both some cringe and some poignant words of wisdom. One thing I can definitely say is you should not pick this up as your first exposure to anime styles."
December 13, 2016 – Finished Reading
January 10, 2017 – Shelved as: j-novel-club

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Terrence Reading this one. It has some funny back and forth in the early going between the main characters. It takes place in the future, 23rd century.

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