My Friend’s Little Sister Has It In for Me!, Vol. 5

By mikawaghost and tomari. Released in Japan as “Tomodachi no Imouto ga Ore ni dake Uzai” by GA Bunko. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Alexandra Owen-Burns.

This series has a tendency to be very metatextual, and we certainly get a lot of that in this book. Everyone may not think that they’re in a light novel series, but they certainly know the way said series tend to go, and they’re noticing that all the things happening around Akiteru pretty much line up with those sort of plots. That’s not good news for him, as he’s supposed to be fake dating Mashiro, who has already not-fake confessed to him. His uncle is clearly very aware of the things going on in his life, especially the presence of Iroha, but for now seems to be content to give him enough rope to hang himself as long as he keeps making Mashiro happy. (Even if he is jealous of the little bastard.) As for Iroha herself, she should be reassured, given that in light novels her type tends to win rather than Mashiro’s type, but she is not. Are the others, a year older than she is, really going to abandon her?

So yes, Mashiro’s father, and Akiteru’s potential benefactor, has noticed that the fake dating part of the books has been left by the wayside almost since it began, mostly as Akiteru can’t quite bring himself to do it knowing she loves him for real. They’re going to have to try, though, and the upcoming festival seems like a good chance. Before that, though, Akiteru needs to continue his quest to find Iroha a friend who can take his place in her life (not realizing that this would be devastating to her). He may have found one in Sasara, Iroha’s classmate who is a classic “always comes in second to her” rival character who is also socially awkward. He may be on to something here. But that’s for later. For now, he has to pay attention to Mashiro on their fake date and not be a “piece of shit”.

First of all, the best possible news about this book: Sumire’s barely in it at all. Which means we get precisely zero shotacon jokes. Hooray! More seriously, Mashiro gets the focus for the first time since the second book, and she has all the hallmarks of the sweet, low-confidence girl that always comes in second in these harem genres. She’s trying her hardest here, determined to get stronger than she was as a kid (when she went to the same festival with Akiteru) and to outshine Iroha. But she may be running a bit late on that, because now that he’s suddenly realized that Iroha *can* be cute, Akiteru is leaning towards her almost unconsciously. Honestly, if it weren’t for the presence of Iroha’s mother, who will no doubt be the final boss, I’d say this series was ready to end by the next book. But that’s not happening.

So yes, fans of Mashiro will enjoy her here, and fans of Iroha… well, Iroha is the other protagonist, so you’re always happy. In any case, this remains a fun romcom, with Akiteru trying his best to logic love to death and failing.

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