Light Novel Review: Shomin Sample Volume 10

Who Would Like this Series/Volume?


I can basically just point you to former volumes. Hey, it’s a sequel after all.

For: If you liked the volumes before, you’ll like this one.

Difficulty


Nothing’s changed compared to former volumes.

Difficulty 5/10

Translation Where?


There’s none.

Translation: No for the light novel.

Contents


NOTE: These summaries can never give you an accurate impression on how the book reads or what the book is really like. It simply gives you the gist of the novel, but don’t judge the book by this alone. It can’t be helped that things read rushed and colorless in a summary. You can get an idea by reading the conclusion and, finally, by reading it yourself!

The Whole Damn Thing

The volume starts off with Kimito in kindergarten. Remember? A kindergarten class won the sports festival. They’re all really happy Kimito’s there, but before long it turns into a battle over the privilege of who may sit on his lap. A blonde ojou-sama with drills (rolleyes) holds it and doesn’t want to share. The way the battle’s developing is a tribute to some Asian folklore I forgot and you probably don’t care about. Anyway, Kimito’s one-week-attendance then stops after one day already.

Back in the present, Ery had er traffic accident. Thankfully, no grave harm was done – well, apart from her lost memories. So she’s back to how she was back in elementary: a meek, shy girl in love. She fidges around a bit, being all cute and before long even Kimito realizes that she’s in love with him. His conclusion: the past (!) Ery’s in love with him. He’s distinguishing.

Anyway, the media’s gotten wind of the whole situation and are on their way. Kimito’s able to talk Kujou into letting Ery stay at Seikain for the time being, even though she almost turns him down when he says that the past Ery’s much more “honest”. When they arrive, Kujou comes to great them and thereafter leads them to the guest… villa. As a few times already in this novel, Ery takes Kimito’s hand as she did in the past to calm herself down, and Kujou slams the key into the door and opens it – vaguely ill-humored. More often than not, Kimito’ll be lost for what to do upon “past Ery’s” helplessness and wants to “save” her. In other words, she looks really helpless and cute most of the time, I can’t keep describing all the details, just think that into the situations. Anyway, on their way to school, when no one’s around, Kujou turns around wordlessly, hugs Kimito for a bit, then turns around again and moves on.

After classes are over, the ojou-samas rush to Kimito’s side and ask him whether he’s fine as he was absent. He said he simply felt sluggish and needed rest, but he’s fine already. The ojou-samas, however, lose it and want to get a physician dream team together to examine his state. In the end, Kimito settles with, “Actually, I just felt like sleeping so I skipped.” And even that earns him nothing but admiration (“How daring!”).

On the way to the dining hall, Kimito meets Reiko and Aika who want to know how Ery is. He tells them that she’s fine – and also tells them that she’s “honest”. They decide they want to check up on her as soon as possible. Which is very soon, because Ery strays around in the dining hall, seemingly she wanted to see Kimito. “Honest”, you see. He drags her out fast, because no one’s supposed to know about her state and it appears that it wouldn’t be all too good if she knew all too much about how or what she originally was – she’s supposed to discover that by herself. Anyway, she wants to stay in Kimito’s room while she waits.

When Kimito gets back to his room, Ery’s watching the anime she’s starring in. First, she thinks that someone who’s got the same name as she does is voicing the character, but Kimito then tells her what she used to be. Upon stating that Kimito, too, thought that she was an incredible voice actress, she says that she wants to remember, then.

The other girls are visiting Ery now. After some irritation upon Karen’s katana and Ery cutsie’ing around with Kimito, the girls’ minds are set soon enough: she has to remember.

Reiko has one of her little scenes now where she leaves the room with Kimito to prepare some snacks. She almost confesses to him, but messes up instead.

The girls decide that it might bring her memories back, if they show her the mascots they designed last volume. Aika tells her how she announced she’d do that for them last volume, her head starts to hurt, and Kimito feels her forehead, girls get jelly.

Karen dreams that she’s facing off with Kimito, she tries to cut him in several ways, but nothing can hit him, and in the end he stands right in front of her and tells her she’s beautiful. She responds with, “Shut up, youngster!”

Kimito and Ery take a trip ’round the lake via bike, while the other ojou-samas stalk them. Ery’s questioning Kimito how their relationship was before and how it’d become like that. He tells her that she’d changed after Valentine’s back in fourth grade. He starts wondering why she’d come to dislike him back there, she, however, responds that she doesn’t think that she started to dislike him at all and wants him to remember that.

Kuroe goes to see Kujou, who had ordered her to observe Kimito and Ery, which suggests that she stopped said observation. It seems like she can’t carry on anymore. Your guess is as good as mine. Her words being 「………お邪魔だと」 suggest that she feels like she’s in the way of something, or something’s in the way of her. I can’t really make sense of it. I’m just stating it as it might be important at another point, since it could hint at her having feelings.

A pretty weird comedy arc starts. The girls discuss what they could do to bring Ery’s memories back, since they’re hella jealous. And it dawns on them that to understand how a elementary schooler thinks, you gotta put his shoes on. So they change into elementary school uniforms, put their backpacks on, and look at their photo albums from back in elementary. By the way, Reiko has a photo album of Aika from elementary. Creepy. Indulging in nostalgia, they decide to visit their old school. Regular elementary schoolers spot them there and report them to the teacher, while the girls try to play in the schoolyard with the other kids – who are just weirded out by the “strange onee-samas.” After their uniforms have mostly ripped thanks to them playing around in the schoolyard in those tight uniforms (apart from Haqua’s, of course), the teacher comes around and drags them to the faculty room.

Aika’s dreaming of Kimito telling her that he likes her the way she is. When he’s about to confess, she tells him, “Shut up, youngster!”

Soon it’ll be Kimito’s birthday. Ery announces that she’ll give him something. But anyway, she also hints that it might be better if she doesn’t remember, since she likes how they can spend time together. But Kimito tells her that she really seemed to enjoy herself as a voice actress and wants her to remember. The other girls enter. They want to make sweets, and they want Ery to help (read: get her away from Kimito). However, she seems to be just fine with that idea, so she accompanies them. Turns out that she wants to give Kimito a self-baked cake and wants them to teach her. She gives it her all and states that she wants to give him something back, since he saved her back in elementary.

The other ojou-samas get wind of Kimito’s birthday and so it turns into a school-wide thing. And Kimito mustn’t know about it. But as their typical naive ojou-sama behavior has it, they can’t act natural at all when trying to hide something, so that’s that.

They’re holding a big staff meeting in somebig hall. All kinds of Kimito’s-birthday-blah-committee presidents (catering, safety, direction, supplying, …) announce the progress within their respective responsibilities and when they come to music and stuff, Reiko suggests that they should all sing happy birthday to Kimito together. The ojou-samas are delighted and they figure they best rehearse it right now. So they do. And with Reiko present, it turns into a slight apocalypse.

Ery teases Kimito (who’s gotten his invitation to his birthday party, so it’s official now) by triggering his thigh fetish. He denies having one and simply states that it’s ’cause she keeps flipping her skirt, so it’s moving, and the eye just reacts to moving things. She seemingly buys it for now but states that if he had a thigh fetish, she’d keep wearing hot pants (which the “real” Ery does, by the way). Kimito now happens to run across Kujou, who appears more tired than usual. She’ll give him the most awesome birthday party ever. And if memory serves right, there’s a rumor spreading around school that someone keeps giving cakes away or something. That’s basically Ery testing her skills.

Kimito’s forgotten his textbook in class. So he goes to get it and spots Kuroe there – at his desk, invisible. But he touches when he reaches for the textbook. When he asks he what she was doing at his desk, she vanishes again. He manages to get a hold of her again, and when he thinks he’s going crazy (invisible people ‘n stuff), she explains to him that it’s her family being special… let’s just call them ninjas. Anyway, her ability results from some crazy training (4 y/o abandoned in the mountains for a week, etc.). She then asks him since when he’s gonna marry Ery. Or Karen. You can guess the former, the latter due to the date. He, however, denies either and Kuroe seems kind of relieved. When Kimito gets his textbook, he sees his flute lying next to it. He considers taking it with him since they’re not really using it lately, but Kuroe goes beet-red and insists on washing it for him, since “it’s dirty.” You know, this one time at band camp?

It’s Kimito’s birthday. Let’s just have a rough overview of what crazy stuff happens. First, a carriage comes to pick him up, and he’s to change into a white tuxedo. Arriving at the grand hall, they shoot him a salute, within the hall, he’s greeted by a choir singing “hallelujah”. Obama and Putin congratulate him via video message, his birthday cake’s being lit by the principal who comes running while carrying a torch with olympic fire. Anyway, time for presents. Karen gives him a self-made plush toy, which pretty very much looks like her. From Haqua, he gets four coupons, which state “One Free Helping Kimito With Whatever.” And one that states “Lap Pillow and Ear Cleaning (Kneesocks Edition).” Reiko gives him the latest gaming console Kimito’s been wanting for quite some time, yet he doesn’t remember ever having stated that. Lastly, Aika gives him a self-written story named “A Tale For Kimito.”

When Ery wants to give him her cake, the other ojou-samas cut in – even those he hasn’t talked to before. And hence a looong line of ojou-samas wanting to congratulate Kimito forms. Ery can’t bear it, snatches her cake from the cart, and dashes out the door. Kimito chases after her. He finds her a bit off from the hall in a park. When he asks her why she ran off with the cake, she simply holds it out to him and asks him to eat it on the spot. It’s the same as it happened in the past, back then he simply obeyed and ate it. Now, though, he asks her why. It’s something you’re supposed to eat with everyone, after all. She starts to cry and states that it’s her present to him, and while the other presents will remain, her’s will be eaten and vanish. Now he’s no choice but to eat the whole cake on the spot, so he does. Kimito’s about to burst and Ery apologizes for always being such a nuisance and that he must hate her. He says he doesn’t, then the light-novel-typical, “so you like me?”, follows. He states that she’s very important to him, and then she finally confesses to him. She already wanted to confess to him back on the infamous Valentine’s, but the other girl gave him chocolate and she didn’t know what to do anymore. His answer is that he doesn’t know how to respond. Being asked if there’s another girl he likes right now, he says there isn’t, but there was one in the past. It’s Aika, that’s the memory he kept secret. According to him, he was charmed at first sight (I don’t get him). Thanks to that he’s been very conscious of her recently, but doesn’t know whether he likes her or not. When Ery and Kimito then want to go back to the hall, Ery collapses.

Ery’s memory’s back. The next morning, really early in the morning, she throws Kimito out of bed as he’s still sleeping even though she’ll go back home soon. And she orders him to make her something to eat. Yep, she’s back. He goes with her to the car to see her off, then it suddenly dawns on him: Ery’s words the day before had been weird. She was talking about how she tried to tell him on Valentine’s back then already. However, the “past Ery” couldn’t remember his birthday party. And his birthday’s before Valentine’s, on October 6th.

The End.

Conclusion


Volume 10 Cover
Volume 10 Cover

First of all I gotta say one thing: the illustrations in this series are getting ridiculously good. You should consider buying it just to admire the detailed and high quality illustrations, really. I doubt the anime did better (haven’t watched it yet) or that it lacks behind any other otaku focused light novel series.

In this volume, we finally get to know what’s been almost obvious already: Aika’s headed for win. He basically turns down Ery for no good reason at all. Reiko gets such an anti-climatic confession scene, that it hurts. Did Karen get anything? I mean, I wrote the summary so I’m the one who should know, but if there was anything I’ve already forgotten. Can’t be significant, then. I liked her present though. Reiko’s present was something a parent would give a child. Very impersonal. Haqua’s was the typical child present. And Aika’s was just dumb. So I don’t know how Reiko’s fits in, but the rest gave something according to the impression I have of the particular character.

The birthday party itself did picture the super rich stuff great again. In terms of comedy, however, I didn’t like it at all. Only the grayscale illustrations of Kujou got a smile out of me, the olympic fire, Obama, and whatever were just meh. So altogether I found the birthday party arc rather boring. It didn’t feel like it had any substance to it either. Kimito simply goes there, some rich-ass-stuff gets pulled off, he sits there like an idiot, gets the presents from the four girls, and that’s it. All this upbuilding for that. I would’ve wished for more stuff to happen with the other girls, yet it was just an excuse to repeat that past event with Ery.

And here I see another flaw. Ery’s problem is basically that her present’s very short-lived. But this fact doesn’t change. No matter whether Kimito eats one piece or the whole thing, it’s gone after. So why even settle for this present? Can someone be this short-sighted? When you try to think of a present, it should be clear to you right away that a cake’s very evanescent.

While we’re at it: did you guess right from the start that her amnesia’s at least party faked? ‘Cause I did. All the talk with her mum about how she should act like she did back then, and even her saying that maybe she should quit voice acting altogether were hints enough for me.

Putting it all together, there are, in my opinion, hardly any memorable scenes (Kuroe’s appearance was interesting, and Reiko’s attempt on a confession at least memorable ’cause rare), the comedy had little impact, the storyline was rather under- than overwhelming, and one “big” thing happened: “past” Ery confessed and got turned down (that’s what it means when the reply’s evasive, if you ask me), and Aika got crowned as the winner – and all that in a pretty anti-climatic fashion.

I read it pretty much in one go, because I was a bitch for the plot. After having read 9 volume of a series, that’s not hard. But in the end, it was disappointing. It’s the weakest volume so far. And after 9 months of writing this volume, I’m surprised it is.

You’ll certainly like this volume if you’re an Ery fan and want to see her go dere. If you’re not, then you’ll probably find the read very unrewarding. However, if you’re pretty damn fluent in Japanese and can just read it without effort, it’ll still be entertaining to a certain degree. In case you’re not, your efforts will probably remain unpaid.

Giving it a 6/10 feels kind of hard since it’s not boring at all, but it’s disappointing. And as it’s, in my humble opinion, the weakest volume so far, it’ll get a 6.

tl;dr: lacks inspiration, impact, balance.

Rating 6/10

 

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5 thoughts on “Light Novel Review: Shomin Sample Volume 10

  1. I’m very thankful you made these summaries and from what you’ve said my problems with this series and quite a few other harems(Date a Live, Blade Dance and more) is the fact that there is not even any attempt to balance it out.

    What is the point of having more girls if anything they do ends up feeling insignificant?

    This series and Date a Live both have a terrible issue with balancing things and both series(to me anyhow) have the absolute worst kind of character type as the main girl which makes it all the more annoying.

    Serious mental retardation is not really a trait I feel good about.

    • That’s the one big thing that really nags me about this series. At the beginning, it did at least try to balance the harem out, now you can clearly see the author’s favorites and unloved ones.

      Even that’d be fine with me, but why bother with a harem if you don’t wanna bother with it? It’s filled with downers if you’re a fan of the not-so retarded other characters.

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