By Tsuyoshi Fujitaka and An2A. Released in Japan as “Neechan wa Chuunibyou” by Hobby Japan. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by Elizabeth Ellis.
We did not break up, we are merely taking a break from each other. I wasn’t fired, I chose to do other things. My light novel series isn’t cancelled, I just have a new idea I want to work on. I will totally get back to it. In due course. At the appropriate juncture. In the fullness of time. Sometimes you have people saying one thing but hearing the subtext behind it, and that’s sort of how I felt about the end of Big Sis Fantasy World, whose epilogue and afterword even hint at this by talking about “And the adventure continues”, one of the stock bullet points you see on the final page of a series that has been cancelled (usually in Shonen Jump). To a degree this is intentional, as like so many other things in this series the author is making fun of the genre it’s also swimming in. But unfortunately, this sort of thing only works if you’re thinking “Damn, I want to see what happens next”, rather than “Oh thank God.”
I think that my main issue with this series, with is taken to eleven here on purpose, is Yuichi’s inability to really grow or change because he has no need. All the training from Mutsuko happened before the start of the series, and made him who he is today. Which is fine, but he makes a really crap protagonist as a result. And this is in a book that even features a villain who is a parody of harem protagonists. Yuichi’s actions at the start of the book frustrate Mutsuko, which is unsurprising, but they also frustrate the reader, who wants to see him be proactive by choice rather than because he’s blackmailed into it or just thinks “oh well, guess it’s time to fight”. For an author that loves Haruhi Suzumiya so much, They’ve certainly missed the point of Kyon, who had an entire book set in an alternate world to come to terms with the fact that he IS having fun and SHOULD be proactive.
The book isn’t terrible. The prose reads fine, events happen quickly and make sense. Even the semi-incomprehensible plot involving the demon god starts to make a bit more sense as it hits its climax, though it’s mostly there to give us a good final battle. (Mutsuko, sadly, is sidelined because she’s mad at her brother – I kept waiting for Yuichi to briefly be defeated to teach him a lesson, but it never happened. Instead Mutsuko is beaten bloody… offscreen.) There are a few amusing gags, though once again the series seems to regard its non-regular cast as little more than cannon fodder – in fact, it gleefully points it out. If you’ve been reading Big Sis Fantasy World all along, you should read this too, as it provides a conclusion to the series, even one that is open ended and resolves nothing. But I’m not remotely holding my breath waiting for Book 8.