I Kissed My Girlfriend’s Little Sister?! is Riku Misora’s latest light novel. He is a successful author, with notable works including Chivalry of a Failed Knight and High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even In Another World which both received anime adaptations.
This light novel translated by Tentai Books explores a guilty romance story brought about by an unlikely situation; one where the protagonist meets and suddenly has to live with his girlfriend’s estranged twin sister.
Loser Turned Lover
I Kissed My Girlfriend’s Little Sister?! starts by establishing the protagonist Hiromichi as average to below average in all areas. He can’t talk to girls and isn’t particularly attractive, athletic, or smart. Hiromichi manages to get into advanced classes, but mostly due to having nothing better to do than study.
But one day, things change. A childhood friend comes back into his life in high school – Haruka. As beautiful as any model and incredibly sweet, it’s a surprise that she confesses her love to him. He was kind to her back then and it must have left an impression, as she deeply cares about him.
While a bit sickly sweet, I enjoyed seeing the romance between Hiromichi and Haruka. It’s incredibly slow with cute moments like finally holding hands after a month. At times they’re even gushing about their love. She says how wonderful it is to have someone care so deeply and he muses about feeling that he was put on this planet to meet her.
Throughout the first volume of I Kissed My Girlfriend’s Little Sister?! we see Hiromichi is very anxious about his relationship but has seemed to gain some confidence from it. I’m hoping that we see him grow throughout the series.
A New Sister
Suddenly Hiromichi receives quite a shock. His single father who is often absent from home calls him. He says he suddenly got remarried and is going abroad with her for at least a year for work. And that his new wife has a daughter, who will be moving into their apartment, despite both of their absences.
Within minutes a girl turns up, who he mistakes for his girlfriend Haruka at first. Eventually getting over his shock and brushing the similar appearance off as a coincidence, he greets his new stepsister Shigure.
We soon find out that Shigure is very much the opposite of Haruka. She can be kind but often defaults to bullying and teasing. It reminded me of a harsher Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro for a while. Unlike the shy Haruka, she’ll eagerly use her body to get a reaction out of Hiromichi, and sometimes her words are particularly hard on him.
While Haruka is the girlfriend, I felt that Shigure had more of the spotlight, at least in volume one. It was interesting to see her interest grow in Hiromichi, leading up to the titular climax. While still teasing, she does seem to grow kinder.
Secrets and Conflict
Unsurprisingly I Kissed My Girlfriend’s Little Sister?! is filled with a variety of conflicts and seems set up to include more. Through some rather stretched logic, all parties decide to hide the fact that Hiromichi and Shigure are living together, including from Haruka.
While Haruka is initially set up as the loving and sweet girlfriend, she almost becomes a problem to overcome in a way. Hiromichi still loves her and wants to stay with her, but feels guilty about hiding things. The only time she steps away from anything but being kind is when Shigure jokingly hints at taking Hiromichi from her, which makes her bare her fangs. This leads to a dramatic event later on in the book.
The living situation isn’t ideal either. Aside from the suddenness of it, Hiromichi and Shigure are living in a tiny apartment that doesn’t really fit two people. They’re forced together at school and outside of school.
Aside from issues between the main characters, we get to hear about the various family situations. The twins’ separation involved an affair, which plays into the cheating theme of this series and may have influenced something we see of Shigure’s personality later.
Modern and Genre Savvy
The writing in I Kissed My Girlfriend’s Little Sister?! feels quite modern, which fits the ages of the characters well. Phrases are thrown about like sliding into DMs and calling guys ‘Kings’. It’s all understandable, unlike a few examples I’ve seen where it gets acronym-heavy.
It feels quite genre-savvy too. Characters joke about Hiromichi finding himself on a character route or how his friend is the standard good-looking side character, who exists to help out the unlucky protagonist.
In terms of the level of writing, it’s all easily understandable. I feel that they’ve done a great job in getting the humor across too and found myself laughing often while reading it.
The editing is quite good too. I noticed a couple of minor mistakes, but that’s nothing unusual for day 1 of a light novel’s eBook.
I certainly like the art by Sabamizore used in I Kissed My Girlfriend’s Little Sister?! – it’s by the same artist as Turning the Tables on the Seatmate Killer, which Tentai Books also translated.
Volume 1 contains three color illustrations at the start of the book and ten black and white ones throughout. It’s worth noting that two of them are slightly lewd, so those reading in public might get a strange look or two if noticed.
The physical edition of I Kissed My Girlfriend’s Little Sister?! comes with a postcard and bookmark showing that wonderful art if you buy directly from the Tentai Books website. The option to buy the other bookmarks is available too. I really like the extras — they’re great for display.
Regarding the book itself, the thing that immediately stood out to me is the size. It’s 19cm tall and 13cm wide, which is quite a bit smaller than the surprisingly large 21cm tall and 15cm wide that previous titles I have reviewed from Tentai Books have been. ‘From Toxic Classmate to Girlfriend Goals’ and ‘You Like Me, Don’t You?’ are the same, so I assume this is the new format. Other than the size, font and design are mostly consistent with most of the other titles, so it looks nice lined up on a bookshelf.
I’ve not noticed any issues with errors or any problems with quality of the physical edition. It’s a great one to add to the collection.
I thoroughly enjoyed volume 1 of I Kissed My Girlfriend’s Little Sister?! and look forward to the next volume. It’s an absurd situation but makes for a setting that I really enjoyed. The contrast between Haruka’s pure love and Shigure’s teasing and passion along with Hiromichi’s own feelings feel like they’re going to make for an exciting story.
I KISSED MY GIRLFRIEND’S LITTLE SISTER VOL.1 IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Many thanks go to Tentai Books who provided a review copy of this title.
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A gamer since the days of Amstrad and DOS and someone who has dabbled in a variety of professions. He enjoys a wide variety of genres, but has been focusing on visual novels and virtual reality in recent years. Head Editor of NookGaming. Follow him and the website on @NookSite.