My Big Sister Lives in a Fantasy World: The World’s Strongest Little Brother

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.

It has been well over ten years since the Haruhi Suzumiya books hit Japan, and almost exactly ten years since the animated adaptation, so it’s no big surprise that we’re beginning to find works that are clearly inspired by its ideas. Actually, much of this book sounds like it’s been pulled together from what’s popular these days. No one gets pulled into another world, but there is a girl who’s a huge fan of that genre. There’s a vampire, although she could be any other kind of supernatural creature for all the relevance it has. And of course the Japanese title itself reminds us that focusing on the phenomenon of ‘chuunibyous’ is also quite popular, and has spawned several anime. So, as a hodgepodge of things that are popular lately, as well as the usual light novel tropes that have always been popular, this should be a giant mess. Yet somehow, I quite enjoyed it.


This is one of J-Novel Club’s three debut digital titles, and I picked it to read first for a very simple reason: it’s the shortest. The premise is laid out at the start: normal high school kid Yuichi wakes up one day to find that he can see tags over people’s heads that show their ‘role’ – this starts normally with ‘big sister’, ‘office worker’, etc, but once he gets to school he runs into ‘vampire’, ‘zombie’, ‘witch’, and most ominously, ‘serial killer’. Unfortunately, this is basically the limits of Yuichi’s new power. Fortunately, he has a few tricks up his sleeve, as my earlier remark about his being a normal high school kid is a giant lie. Moreover, he has the title character, his big sister Mutsuko, who has prepared for this day her entire life, and made sure Yuichi is prepared as well.

The subtitle of this series is essentially the big reveal, and I must admit it’s quite well done. There are a few suggestions that Yuichi is not what he seems at the start – the strength equipment he uses that his new friend can’t even manage to move – but from about halfway through the book, once we gather than Yuichi IS in fact the world’s strongest, he is allowed to be as ridiculous as possible, jumping off four-story buildings, fighting oni to a standstill, and avoiding kicks to the crotch by forcing his testicles back into his body. If this sounds utterly ridiculous, it absolutely is, and only Yuichi’s blase narration really helps carry it off – to him, this is Tuesday. As for Mutsuko, this is basically her fault – imagine if Haruhi Suzumiya got a hold of Kyon at a very young age and began to train him to take on aliens, time travelers and espers with the power of MANLY STRENGTH and you’ve got the idea.

There’s nothing really subverted here – the serial killer with a lust for killing turns out to be easily distracted by Yuichi, who she can’t actually kill as he’s too good, and I suspect his harem will only grow. It’s also clearly written to be a longer series with the possibility of an anime – we don’t really find out anything about 3/4 of the class and their quirks, or Yuichi’s YOUNGER sister, who he shares a room with and doesn’t think that’s unusual at all. I’d only recommend this to light novels fans with an open mind. But if you are one, this is light, breezy, enjoyable fun, and I liked the characters. Surprisingly recommended.

Did you enjoy this article? Consider supporting us.

Speak Your Mind