Light Novel Review: Shomin Sample Volume 11 (Final Volume)

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.

Difficulty


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.

Difficulty 5/10

Translation Where?


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.

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

Volume 11 starts off with a manga arc, surprisingly. It’s about Kimito having married with Sakimori (Haqua’s maid) living together and having a child (name’s Yukari), when Haqua (somewhat grown up now) comes to visit them and has a fun time with their child, acting like an older sister. However, it was all just a dream; Kimito’s.

We get another prank which results from Aika asking Kimito what commoner school festivals are like since Seikain’s cultural festival’s taking place soon. Of course the other members barge in right in the middle of it, embarrassing Aika. After, they decide to have a “You Laugh You Lose” contest as today’s commoner club activity. Karen’s first. She enters the room (again) carrying food with her, sits down, starts eating, and drops her chopsticks. The ojou-sama’s almost crack. Reiko’s turn. She sits down wearing a traditional dress and starts telling an anecdote about her handkerchief being in the wrong pocket, and the ojou-samas lose it (Kimito doesn’t get it at all; what the funny thing is, that is). All of a sudden, Kujou enters with a squad maids, lines the ojou-samas up, and gives them a clap on the bottom (for losing). Kimito gets punished for no reason (saying it’s ’cause he seems to enjoy himself), too, but with a full-blown kick from Kujou. Then it’s Haqua’s turn, who does a math joke (don’t mean to brag here, but I got that one!) and everyone takes like two minutes to get it, forcing Haqua into a explain-your-own-joke-kinda awkward situation, depressing her greatly. Last but not least is Aika, who enters the room in a full-body green latex-kinda thingy, stumbles, and falls on her face. Kimito laughs but everyone’s seriously worries about her and scorn him for cracking at her fall.

Kimito and the others’ class was picked making a food stall during the festival, so they’re holding a competition on what to cook. All the high talented people in their class fail, since they’re to complicated to make and the ojou-samas are supposed to prepare the food themselves, so that’s no good. Kimito then presents a crêpe. However, he’s reminded that nobility and such from all over the world’s gonna visit, so that’s too simple. Last is Aika, who simply drowns croquettes in olive oil, spouting nonsense doing it (seemingly a hint at celebrity cooks, pouring the olive oil from unnecessarily high above). Bottom line: it’s surprisingly good and she wins. Aika then happily chats with her classmates who want to try her cooking out themselves. As it’s unusual for her, Kimito notes that and wonders whether Aika even realizes it herself.

Kimito’s seeing Haqua off to her lab, they chat around as usual when Haqua comments he shouldn’t treat her like a kid. Suddenly, a group of ojou-samas cross their path and Kimito keeps responding in Haqua’s stead (unnecessarily, maybe? Doesn’t appear so, though) and suddenly Haqua runs off.

Kujou enters Kimito’s room late in the evening, seemingly dead-tired, and wants a hug – and a hug she gets.

Aaand it’s the day of the festival! Sakimori goes to wake up Haqua, however, she’s already awake! And dressed herself! Sakimori’s shocked, but Haqua’s looking out the window and appears to be dead set on doing something. As the festival’s underway now, the croquette stall is so too, and since all of the ojou-samas who are preparing the croquettes are putting off Aika’s cooking show, shouting weird warcries doing it, it’s really popular. During Aika’s break, she’s wondering what to do. So she tries to get out of the crowd first and spots Reiko (almost seems like Reiko’s been waiting for her), who suggests they should both walk around the festival together which Aika isn’t too fond of at first, but agrees eventually (or rather, gives in). They meet the student council president, Kyoko, who does fortune-telling with her class (or with the student council? Eh, who cares). Kyoko suggests to tell their fortune for them. Reiko’s first, and she wants to know her affinity… with Aika (wat). And so Kyoko foretells that Reiko really, really likes Aika, maybe even as more than just friends? She might even fantasize over her and Aika… Reiko shoots up from her chair, runs around, and finally collapses with a bright-red face. In the infirmary, Reiko then confesses to Aika that she wants to be closer to her than anyone (they only use the term “close friends,” mind you), and for now Aika agrees to be friends with her.

Now to Karen. She’s walking around the festival, on her way to the meeting place with Aika, and happens upon a chamber of horrors. It’s scaring her so hard, that she starts rampaging with her katana, spreading panic all around in the process until Ery appears and kicks her in the butt, literally. Ery drags Karen off somewhere and suggests she’d unequip her katana. At first, Karen wants to argue, but then she realizes she has Aika and the commoner club and doesn’t need an excuse why she’s alone anymore, so she really can take off the katana now. Finally, Karen realizes Ery isn’t such a bad person after all and even invites Ery to join Aika and her and walk around the festival.

Kimito meets Kuroe (Aika’s maid) and gives her one of the sold-out croquettes since she looked as if she would’ve liked to try one. After she’s giving him a happy smile, he invites her to walk around the festival together. Of course, Kuroe’s all shy and timid about it. Eventually, they end up in a “Do It Yourself” accessory course where they both craft bracelets (with diamonds, if I remember correctly). Kuroe then wants to trade bracelets and asks Kimito to keep it safely hidden away and to treasure it, stressing that she won’t forget this day.

Festival’s over (wat). Kimito’s roaming the school’s floors in the dusk when he stumbles upon Haqua who demands her right to ask anything of him (which she won at the athletic festival, remember?) and asks him to… go someplace with her. In the meantime, Aika, Karen, Reiko, and Ery are looking for him after they passed the whole day chatting away with each other.

Haqua leads Kimito to something like a rest spot for hikers from where almost all of Seikain can be seen. She stresses again how he treated the girls they had bumped into before differently than her and that she’s seemingly just a kid to him. However, she wants to be his lover. And like that, she leaves him to think about that.

Haqua’s maids monitored that via their Haqua Obversation Drone and are dumbfounded by her sudden advance (they were hoping to have more fun with her in that regard). However, they decide to make fun of this virgin couple then! Suddenly, they realize Kujou’s standing behind them, and she wants an explanation. Now.

It’s a day off. Kimito passes the time in his room, thinking about what Haqua had said to him. Kujou enters alone, yet isn’t in imouto mode at all. She asks him what he’s gonna do. Thinking about it, he never really saw Haqua as a love target and wonders whether that’s enough a reason to refuse her when Aika, Karen, and Reiko fall in with the door. They were eavesdropping and all of them confess at once, too. As it’s way too embarrassing a situation, they leave soon after. Along with Kujou again, Kimito states that he was way too slow on the uptake regarding everyone’s feelings. Kujou agrees and hints that he’s way too slow regarding her feelings too.

The four ojou-samas are holding a tea party and apologize to Haqua for barging in on her confession. Haqua’s fine with it though, having known everyone’s feelings all along. They decide to confess to Kimito once again, each for their own, since their confession had been far from romantic.

Reiko’s turn. She invites Kimito to dinner and cooks for him. To explain why she fell for Kimito, Reiko mentions (as expected) the bath scene (volume one) as the initial trigger and him rescuing her from that marriage interview (should have been volume 3), also his generally kind demeanor. Dinner’s – as proposed by her mother – something with chicken and egg (playing on both Reiko and her mother’s names, and what their conversation in, errr, volume 7 (?) was about, basically stating that her mum’s the chicken and Reiko’s the egg (the small her/her offspring), and he shall have ’em both).

Karen’s turn. They’re watching a movie like before, “Titanic” this time. After the movie’s over, Karen says that she knows he’s been watching her thighs all the time and that it’s actually okay for him to do so since she’s a rather clumsy and troublesome girl, and she doesn’t even think she’s that interesting to be around, so her thighs are all she can throw in here. He may even touch them… Before long, she forcibly puts his hand on her thighs. After a long monologue Kimito’s (of course he’s losing it in his mind), Karen adds that he may do whatever he wants with her thighs if he were to become her lover.

Haqua’s turn (again). They go picnic. As they sit down on a bench to eat Haqua’s handmade (!) food, she suddenly starts crying and wishes she would’ve never confessed in the first place since everything’s changing now and she wants things to go back the way they were. That’s it.

After the picnic, Kujou doesn’t come around for chores as usual. Soon, Kuroe enters Kimito’s room saying she’s standing in for her. Kimito goes visiting Kujou as she’s seemingly down with a fewer. He asks her to stop overdoing things and she states that apparently she will put down her position as head maid starting the third trimester and be a normal middle school student at Seikain. Lastly, it’s some talk about her being glad they’ve been able to meet again in Seikain.

Kimito returns to his room, where Aika’s playing games on his bed as usual, which gives him peace of mind and reminds him that being around her’s really calming to him. The conversation shifts to him having remembered everything that happened in the past (also that Aika is Kujou’s big brother’s fiancée (totally didn’t remember that)). Back then she was told Kimito wasn’t Kujou’s big brother and hence not her fiancé, which had been a big shock for her (for obvious reasons) and led to the fever and memory loss she’d been suffering from. Kimito wants to say that it’s probably been the same for him and his memory loss, but Aika shoots up and deceives by doing some “get poses.”

After talking a bit with Sakimori, who he’s met by chance, about his tough situation, she tells Kimito that it might be hard to picture now, but she doesn’t think that much would change no matter who he picks. And so he writes a message to Aika: “Would you come to the Christmas tree at the plaze? I’ve something to tell you.” “It’s freezing outside, so no.”

In the end, Aika comes after all and Kimito confesses to her in front of the huge Christmas tree. First, Aika can’t believe it (neither can I), since she’s not as beautiful as Reiko (hell no), not as smart as Haqua (not by a long shot, no), and not as gentle as Karen (wait, gentle? Karen?!). Well, Kimito chose her nonetheless – to each their own and all – and the two of them go look for the switch to light the Christmas tree and flip it, enjoying the Christmas magic.

The epilogue starts with the three (way better but nonetheless) loser ojou-samas stuffing themselves with pizza and all while Aika and Kimito are on their first date. But Ery barges in and tells everyone that this ain’t over yet, there’s no getting married if you’re 16 and have your first girlfriend when you’re a commoner, chances rather are that they’d quarrel and eventually break up before long – and so everyone has to lie in wait for their chance to attack.

When Aika and Kimito return to his room after their date, a sweet atmosphere developes which leads to their first ki… HOLD YOUR HORSES! The commoner club members burst in, take their usual seats, and gives the new couple smiles while holding virtual daggers behind their backs. Miyuki (Kujou) joins the fray (already dropped her head maid position, apparently) and wants to join the commoner club as a student now, too. Eventually, Kuroe shows up too, wanting to join, and everyone goes nuts in general, trying to get a piece of Kimito while claiming they are better-suited as his girlfriend.

The End.

Conclusion


Volume 11 Cover

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.

Rating 4/10

 

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36 thoughts on “Light Novel Review: Shomin Sample Volume 11 (Final Volume)

  1. Was there anything noteworthy mentioned in the afterword? Thanks so much for sparing me the wait for such a ‘let-down ending’ of a seemingly promising series. The first girl introduced being ‘end game’ is the most aggravating contrivance in the harem genre…especially for what seemed like a one-dimensional character.

    • You’re welcome!

      I only skimmed through it since I didn’t really care what the author had to say and the few bits I remember are: “When I started writing this series I was a nobody and about to go bankrupt” and “I always smirked when I wrote the conversations between Kimito and Aika.”

      It was pretty obvious from volume 7 onwards, so the letdown wasn’t as bad for me, but I totally second that the “first come first served”-rule is beyond annoying. As I said in another review before: If you can’t be bothered to manage your harem properly, don’t make one.

      Welp, all we can do is cry over the wasted potential, I guess.

      • Yeah, I remember in the previous volume review we talked abit about the silliness of writing a harem when you actually want to write “love-story”. I think I’ve grown quite accustomed to this happening nowadays though so it doesn’t really “hurt” as much as it used to. In a mere 8 months too. I can’t imagine how uncaring I’ll be if most harems end up going the same way this went.

  2. So in the end, does Kimito stays with Aika or what? (i’m having a seizure trying to understand written english right now xd)

  3. damn.. such an ending…:
    1) Thanks doing the summary
    2) I always have a problem with harem series in a way that the main heroine is known from the start, liked for a weak reason and the other harem members have bigger presence yet not chosen, if so a harem ending(which is rare) would be better after all
    3) Best girl didn’t win (KUJOU-FAN HERE)
    4) At least it didn’t get as bad as Haganai(Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai)
    5) There is at least my imagination where other girls will win or we can wait for the doujin with other girls ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

    • 2) It’s pretty much a dogma by now, so if you don’t like the girl that appears first or the main heroine (so to say), you might as well stop reading, the ending will spoil it all.
      5) An open- or harem ending would’ve beaten this one by far, in my opinion. Doujinshis, huh… I’m kinda scared to even look for them.

    • Re: Haganai(Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai) – we will all pretend the way the animated serries left us all hanging with such a week ending cliff hanger and say
      Rika Shiguma for the win.

      As for Shomin Sample, I just wanted to learn what Kujou’s back story was… as she struck me as the most interesting character.

  4. Okay, how do I understand Aike “won”? And the others? I just really didnt understood summary, and thank you for the review on the book.

    • Aika did win. The others decide to lurk in the dark for a chance to… I dunno, make ’em break up or just snatch him away whenever they see the chance. It’s a shitty ending anyway.

  5. Thanks for the summary, the manga has been dragging on and now I can drop it guilt free with an ending like that and knowing there is little development in Kujou’s back story and the charters turn 1D. Also thanks to comments looked up Haganai ending and I’m no longer contemplating on reading it (watched the anime). Feels bad, seemed to be promising and then just flopped. I guess I have more time for Mushoku Tensei!

    • Alas, the vast majority of series end premajurely and unsatisfactory. Maybe the authors don’t have an exit strategy, maybe they’re forced to conclude much faster than what they’d planned. In any case, it’s astonishing how much of a negative impact a shitty ending can have on one’s memories of the whole series, isn’t it? That’s why I kinda stalled reading the last volumes of Nisekoi. :S

  6. Thank you for the summary. The last 2 volumes were such a disappointment (even though I liked the Eri arc a bit), especially the last volume. It seemed really rushed. The ending blows, the confessions are so bad … You said it all. I was rooting for Karen for most of the series, and Kujo joined her midway. Even Eri or Reiko would have satisfied me, but as u said, I kinda sensed it was going Aika’s way, for no valid reason. Such a disappointment tbh.
    At least Haganai was more interesting for most of the series, the author just blew it (really hard) at the very end.
    I actually liked Nisekoi’s ending (even though the series was kinda stally in the middle).
    And for anyone who feels like reading an interesting Harem, try The World God Only knows, one of my favorite mangas, with one of my favorite endings.
    Ichigo 100% also has a really interesting ending (even though it drags a lot in the middle).

    • I could’ve lived with anyone but Aika and loli. Aika because there’s no reason to apart from their past which is just way too little a reason AND because she’s a nursing case (see the “real world” arc in a previous volume), and loli since there’s just no hint at all that that could happen. He’s treating her like a grandpa would treat a grandchild.

      Haganai went downhill from volume 9 onwards. So including volume 9, it’s 3 volumes of meh-ness, I guess? ShominSample is slightly worse on that front, it went downhill from volume 8 onwards, in my opinion. That’s a slightly worse percentage in crappy volumes relative to the absolute amount of volumes. ;P Really wished another author would’ve come up with Reiko, Karen, and the maid; an author who would’ve given them more attention and a chance.

      I love Nisekoi and dunno how exactly it ends, all I can guess is that it’s gonna be Chitoge since main heroine always wins. Haven’t read the last five volumes for two reasons: 1) I still gotta finish the PS Vita game (Ruri route, and I don’t like Ruri :S) and 2) kinda related to 1: If, by any chance, I don’t like how Nisekoi ends, I’ll lack the motivation to clear the game and it’d probably change how I see the series as a whole, just like with ShominSample, love it -> meh.

      I actually disagree with you on “The World God Only Knows.” It was a steady decline for me. I loved what its original concept was, but the “come up with a plan to conquer a girl to get rid of the stray spirit” thing was more and more neglected until the latter half of the whole series vastly differed from the first half. It almost got battle-manga-esque even. Maybe it just sold better like that.

      At this point, regarding rom-coms, I almost prefer open- or harem endings over decisive ones, authors just screw it up way too often, better leave it to ones imagination how the series you like ends.

      As great rom-com with a great ending is “Love Hina,” by the way. Old AF but it aged well (the manga, that is).

    • I would‘ve liked her to win, too. However, there was virtually no lead-up to a possible Reiko ending, she got almost completely ignored for volumes. So in a way, a Reiko ending would‘ve felt even more forced than Aika‘s.

  7. Thanks for the work if you can check the latest translated chapters of the manga i think that could be another good ending.
    Btw the last imagen reaks yandere 🙂

  8. Maaaaaaan. I was bored af and ended up going through the whole manga in one sitting. Wanted to see if the novels were translated and I ended up here. Pretty disappointed with this crap. Harem ending would’ve been much better imo than this. Thanks for the review.

  9. Thank you so much for all the reviews you did for us about this LN
    I wish it would have ended in another way but at least I know how it ends thanks to you
    Great job sir! 😀

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