Silverlink’s dull 2017 slice of life is marked by an unusual feature for any anime: it is really, really boring. From its distinctly unoriginal premise to its repetitive story, it has absolutely nothing to offer. It is made all the more remarkable by the fact that in one episode one of the characters has his work adapted into an anime which bombs for being so bad. We’ve all seen anime revolving around the story of the very young authors of light novels and manga. It is familiar territory for the obvious reasons that writers write about what they know so it ends up being highly self-referential and cliched. So, you really have to be pushing the boat out to make it original. “A Sister's All You Need” just doesn’t bother. At all. It is focussed on a group of very young authors with central character Itsuki Hashima having the titular obsession with a younger sister that he doesn’t in fact have. He is close friends with two other novelists: Nayuta Kani & Haruto Fuwa. Between them, his younger step-brother Chihiro Hashima and former college classmate Miyako Shirakawa, they form a tight-knit friendship group. They regularly gather at Itsuki’s apartment to talk about writing whilst drinking beer, getting drunk and playing board games – just like you would expect from a bunch of young Otakus.
And that really is it for this show. A few extra bolt-on characters float into and out of view to add a bit of colour. The most novel of these is Itsuki’s eccentric tax accountant Ashley Ono. The story really doesn’t make enough use of her! Apart from Ashley there is the stereotypical editor character Kenjiro Toki and a couple of absurdly young manga artist/illustrators Kaiko Mikuniyama and Setsuna Ena. The story lacks any colour and considering it is about the ups and downs of people who write stories it has no real story. The romantic elements provoke no real reaction in the audience and the comic elements fail to raise a titter. Matters might have been improved upon if it was trying to be ironic. It isn’t. The whole young-author scene has been done to death in anime and this is its gravestone. The pervy younger sister obsession is briefly funny, for five minutes in the first episode, before dying a slow and painful death. In an attempt to inject life into this corpse there are occasional attempts at mock-erotica as the girls all gets naked. It all falls rather flat. Yes, the characters are eccentric but all so predictably so. Equally as predictable is the fact that this show was derived from the work of, yes, you guessed it, a Japanese light novel author Yomi Hirasaka. His books in this series ran from 2015 to 2020 and were adapted into a manga. Then, just like the characters in the story – it was adapted into anime. So, life imitates art imitates life. Clearly Japanese cultural tastes differ to western entertainment. The books progress the story on into what might be more interesting territory but the anime mercifully ends at season one before getting to the good bits. Specifically, the relationship between Itsuki and his half “brother” as well as his potential romance with Nayuta would have been worthy of attention. This show misses every beat and delivers nothing.