By Hiironoame and Siso. Released in Japan as “Tonikaku Imouto ga Hoshii Saikyou no Kyuuketsuki wa Mujikaku Gohoushichuu” by TO Books. Released in North America digitally by J-Novel Club. Translated by David Evelyn.
I’ve talked before about how publishers can sometimes choose a title for a series that makes me want to run away rather than look forward to it when I reviewed Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, a series that I think has lost a few readers who think it’s just a dumb harem series. (It *is* a harem series, but…) Similarly, when I saw the title of this book, I described it as ‘dire’. I owe it an apology; it has a few issues, but it’s actually pretty fun, and is not what I thought it would be, which was “vampire girl constantly glomps and feels up other girls”. In fact, consent is rather important in the one sorta relationship that exists in this book. (The amount of yuri you perceive in the book may depend on how you feel about “sucking blood = sex” motifs in vampire fiction.) No, what this is is another in the genre of “ludicrously OP girl boggles everyone’s minds”.
Ristia is a young vampire girl who is tired of being treated like a cute little sister by her powerful vampire family. She wants her own little sister to dote over! Sadly, vampires don’t procreate very often, so she decides to seal herself in stasis in a cave and wait for her little sister to wake her up. A millennium passes, and she’s women by Nanami, member of an adventuring party that’s run afoul of a dragon. Ristia can slay the dragon. Ristia can also get rid of morally bankrupt men, pull entire luxury houses out of her Item, Box, and create magical amulets that will literally regrow arms. But, she reassures Nanami, she’s just a normal girl. She ends up working for, and then taking over, an evil orphanage after purging it of its villains, and rebuilds it. To a ludicrous extent. And then starts a maid cafe. She can do anything… so why will no one see her as a little sister?!?!
A word of warning here, one of the girls in this book is a rape survivor, and it’s a function of her character and plotline. It actually felt rather odd to have a character like Maria is a story like this, which otherwise really enjoys leaning on the “silly” side of the fence. It should also be noted that Ristia looks like an older teen girl but that’s as a human; in vampire terms she starts the book pre-pubescent, and it’s her hitting puberty that also triggers part of the plot. My other major issue with the book is that it reads like it needed a better edit. The author comments on how they kept losing story contests for “bad structure”, and it’s still not that great; in particular, it reads like we get a little sister only to abandon her midway for a more interesting one. Don’t replace your cast halfway through a book.
That said, if you don’t mind OP characters, and can tolerate the word “normal girl” repeated so much it will make you sick (Nami from Zetsubou-sensei must be livid), this is a cute and fun read, and yes, has a little bit of fanservice and yuri, though not nearly as much of either as the title implies. So far this is the only volume, but there’s more of the original webnovel. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of Ristia.