Who Would Like this Series/Volume?
I’m gonna assume you didn’t start this series from volume 11 onwards and it’s not a masterpiece either, so this one’s for those who want closure with Shomin Sample.
For: Shomin Sample fans who want to know how it ends.
As it always is with this ojou-sama speech thing, you’ll find a bunch of unusual words here and there and everywhere. Aside from that, you should have little problem if you look those up from time to time, and even if you don’t you’ll get the gist of it for sure. And there’s a bunch of slang in this too. It’s something between 4 and 5, for good measure I’m going with 5.
There’s no really far translation for the light novel. There is a translation for the manga, though. God knows whether the manga will ever conclude the series, the manga itself (not the manga translation, mind you) is very well done, though!
Translation: No for the light novel.
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!
First of all, imagine me heaving a deep, long, and tired sigh. Now let’s go. Yes, this is the last volume. No, I haven’t read the afterword. We’ll do this by sticking close to the story and then take more and more steps back, trying to have a look at the whole thing.
To get this over with, I’m gonna point out the good and/or okay things it does. The chapters Aika takes part in are well-written from a literary point of view. I also had three or so laughs reading this volume and especially the beginning has a bunch of solid Shomin Sample moments in it, the manga arc in the beginning actually represents a ending that I’d be more inclined to accept as “true.” Aika being rather annoyed and short-tempered upon Kimito calling her out since she doesn’t believe at all that she could be picked is rather entertaining, too. Finally, the jokes referencing earlier volumes and other pop culture work. Also, I’d like to stress that the illustrator, once again, did an awesome job. Hope this guy finds lots of work in the future; I, personally, love his art and style.
After a bunch of Shomin Sample-typical moments, the cultural festival starts out of nowhere, is hardly described, the problem with nobility and rich people from all over the world visiting does neither play any role, nor seem the ojou-sama’s parents to be around, and then it’s gone. What the hell just happened?! Why?! Just, why?! All that follows is just some quick confessions from all the ojou-samas. The only confession that leaves an at least solid impression is Haqua’s; the first, that is. The rest (Reiko, Karen, Aika) literally confesses within five lines while falling into Kimito’s room, eavesdropping. Ery, a major potential love target who’s received two volumes for herself, has virtually five lines in this and doesn’t confess at all; in fact, she shows up two times. Way to go. And so everyone confesses again, all of the confessions, every single one of it, are weak and have zero impact. They are meaningless and it leaves the impression that the author simply felt like he had to make them confess and just wanted to get it over with. In contrast to Aika’s lines, they’re even poorly – or rather “half-assedly” – written, with zero creativity, zero inspiration, fan fiction could’ve done better. To make matters (even) worse, Aika’s winning arc feels very forced, too: “fudge it, Imma throw a Christmas tree right there, make it like in their past, and get the hell outta here. Fuckin’ genius.” Mark: Congratulations, you ended it somehow. The other ojou-samas have it worse, though. Reiko simply cooks for him (what the…?!) and seemingly has problems to point out events that led to her falling for Kimito, because funny enough the author’s been ignoring her for the longest time so there can’t be any (backfiring much?). Karen basically offers to turn herself into a sex slave since she sees no worth in herself (way to go). Haqua invites Kimito to a picnic and cries (wow). So yeah, you want proof the author hardly cares about the harem? There you have it.
Let’s take a step back. What happens to the characters in this volume? After the initial Shomin Sample-typical gag scene, Aika doesn’t act awkward around her classmates for some reason, Karen later just puts down her sword without much of a complaint, Reiko’s stopped being the hinted-at pervert (volume 1) a long time ago, Haqua stops acting like a grandchild with hardly any real trigger (she could’ve realized the allegedly reason way earlier, she’s supposed to be a genius). To put the finger on it: everyone loses their distinctive features. They all lose their color and become emptier if not empty. It’s similar to the setting as a whole. Remember how this series started out? Ridiculously luxurious ojou-sama school that’s even scratched from all map data where the students neither know what a mobile phone is nor how to properly call “lights” these days. So? Can you still feel it? The setting in large completely lost its meaning, this whole thing could play in a space station and you’d literally have to adjust barely anything at all. Apart from them speaking in stereotypical patterns and the author calling them such, the characters are barely ojou-samas – nor does the school seem special in any way. Instead of world building, the author put all his mind to world razing.
I’d also like to point out that Kuroe was really introduced in volume 9 and not just as a sidekick but as a potential love interest and harem member – two volumes ago! So what happened? Obviously, ending this series was utterly rushed, so make your pick: 1) the publisher didn’t like the numbers and shot it down 2) the author couldn’t or didn’t want to write this anymore 3) author and publisher bumped heads, leading to this. Either leads to one loser: us. The series wasn’t supposed to end just yet, and it shows.
All in all, the eleventh volume is eventless (if you take a closer look), lacks heart, soul, strength of impression, impact, has no big idea behind it, feels half-assed and rushed. Someone simply pulled up their stakes here as fast as they could. The few neutral/good points this volume has could maybe lift it to 4 points on my chart – especially if you compare it to other novels and don’t judge it by its own standards too much – but seeing the ongoing harem mismanagement and utterly half-assed way this last volume was written and the series was concluded in make it a hard thing to do. All that speaks in favor of this volume are the points mentioned earlier and maybe the goodwill of a fan who can judge it with the awesomeness of volumes one to six in mind – frankly, it takes all of said goodwill in me to do just that, and I better do it quickly before I think again. There’s probably a whole more I could point out and nag about, but alas it doesn’t come to mind right now, I want to release this already, and I think I’ve said enough to make my point: Shomin Sample volume 11 is (in fact) the second worst light novel I’ve read yet. It being the conclusion of one of my favorite series hurts all the more. So thanks for ruining my most-liked light novel series of the last two years. Finally, to close this review in one word: unworthy.