Japanese “light novels” are a type of short and often serialized young adult novel that are usually heavy on dialogue and light on narrative depth. The growing popularity of light novels has made them common choices for manga and anime adaptations, such as the Haruhi Suzumiya series.
One of the more popular light novel series in recent years is My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute, which tells the story of a normal high school student who finds out his prodigious younger sister is actually a closet otaku, obsessed with anime and incest-themed adult computer games…
It’s probably less unwholesome than it sounds (at least by Japanese standards), and the point is that the series has become so popular that it has spawned an anime and manga series as well as several video games.
It has also seemed to usher in a new craze of light novels about the relationship between normal older brothers and their not-so-normal little sisters.
That’s totally wholesome…right…?
The collection of images you see above are the cover art for all of the “little sister”-themed light novels planned for release from August to mid-October. That’s 12 different titles in about 2 months.
Let’s go over each title from left to right, starting at the top.
1. Little Sisters, Don’t Hit On Me! (Catch phrase: “A scramble between twin sisters for their favorite older brother becomes a total mess!”)
2. My Little Sister Can Read Kanji (Volume 5)
3. My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute (Volume 11)
4. My Little Sister Who Is Popular With Girls and Me Who Suffers (Volume 5)
5. My Little Sister is a Light Novel Goddess (Getting meta up in here!)
6. My Little Sister is Mad Because My Girlfriend Came Onto Me?
7. I Know You’re My Brother but as Long There’s Love it Doesn’t Matter, Right? (Volume 7)
8. Little Sister Complex (Volume 3)
9. My Childhood Friend and Little Sister Have Delusional Daydreams in My Fantasies
10. There’s No Way I Can Be Empress of a Parallel Dimension!
11. One of These Girls is My Little Sister!
12. I Tried Controlling My Rebellious Little Sister With the Power of the Devil King
We really want to have your back here Japan, but you need to give us something better to work with.
So what is it about stories featuring borderline (overtly incestual?) romantic relationships between young men and their little sisters that appeal to middle and high school males, the primary light novel demographic?
To be honest, we have no idea. We don’t even know if that’s still the primary demographic for these sort of stories, though we would like to believe that these sort of stories are representative of what most light novel readers are into.
If anyone can offer some insightful opinion regarding this trend, please feel free to let us know in the comments below. We’ll be over here purging ourselves with a very long, cold shower.