Light Novel Review: Shomin Sample Volume 9

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

We start off with a pretty long slice-of-life comedy arc. First of all, Aika’s hanging around in Kimito’s room, he summarizes a bit of the past volume and how awkward he feels around Aika now (regained his memories). And then she asks him how much longer he’s planning on procrastinating their plans on turning her into a popular person. Hence, the prank starts. He tells her she should become a mascot. Mascots are popular. So he puts her into something like a full-body, green rubber suit and lets her end every sentence with, “But I’m olive oil!”, etc.

Before long the other members enter the room, too. There they see her doing this weird stuff. But they like the idea of designing a mascot, so everyone starts doing their own mascot, as Ery joins in too, she decides that she’ll be the judge. Reiko draws something that looks like one of these greek myth statues, Haqua draws a mech, Karen some cute bunny in a costume which apparently already has a name and background story, Aika draws some weird kids show mascot from Japan (that she probably saw on TV during her time at Kimito’s), and in the end Aika’s the only one being somewhat praised by Ery for her design, ’cause Ery’s now dere with Aika (see last volume).

Kimito’s mascot is basically just some simplistic girl with plump thighs and the zettai ryouiki (google it).

Kuroe further establishes herself as a heroine and visits Kimito’s room. In there, she says Aika forgot something in his room, which apparently happens pretty often these days (cough, cough). In the end, she can’t said item (of course not, there is none), but doesn’t want to leave yet and starts tidying up his room. She doesn’t say all too much, though. Suddenly, Miyuki (Kujou) bursts into the room and is all dere to Kimito. Kuroe’s vanished.

Next is another of those typical Haqua chapters. Kimito and Haqua catch up on the picnic they’d been planning but it rained on their parade. They go through some forest, enjoy nature, discover some rare flowers, and finally reach their destination, a flower field. Really nothing exciting happening.

Karen’s time has come. She asks Kimito out on a date. Of course only to gain some experience ’cause an acquaintance in class asked her how it goes. And yes, even Kimito wonders if she wasn’t a loner, but after she draws her katana, he thinks again. Their first dating spot is the cinema. Alas, Haqua’s maid spots them on their way. They settle for a romance movie, as this would be typical for the occasion. When stuff starts to get good, however, the whole Haqua Maid Army enters the cinema, occupies the seats right around them and start eating stuff noisily. Second spot is a café on the campus, where they order some stuff, Karen tries what Kimito ordered, and indirect kisses due to the forks they used. There they’re spotted by, well, all the ojou-samas around them, but also Kuroe. It’s getting late and they’re about to call it a day, but before they split up, Karen decides to invite Kimito to her room for a cup of tea (wink, wink). After quite the build up on the way to her room, they enter it and find everyone sitting and waiting for them in there, with empty smiles on their faces.

The planning for the sports festival starts. Everyone’s picking their disciplines while Kimito thinks carefully which one he could take without it getting unfair. However, the ojou-samas nominate him for the 100 meters run. Exactly because they want to see him ahead of everyone.

Soon after, Kimito’s called to the school council president’s office. Yep, they have that too in Seikain. President’s name’s Kyoko (all dem “ko”s). She claims that her one wish is to grant everyone else’s wish. And for that, she needs his help. She wants to give out special prices this year for the highest scorers at the festival. Kimito agrees, prez is delighted.

These days, Kimito tried to get up extra early so that he can get up before Kujou rap… errr, kisses him in his sleep. However, she’s already lying on top of him, sleeping herself, obviously tired. Let’s keep it at this.

Meanwhile, the ojou-samas are cowering because there are rumors that in the middle school building there’s always one classroom lit during the night, always the same, always just this one. Scary. One night, Kimito has to go to the toilet, and since he’s to use the ones far away, he walks by that building. And, indeed, the light’s on in there. He decides to check it out on his way back. It turns out to be Miyuki (Kujou) who is being taught by a private tutor. Apparently, she’s doing maid stuff all day and has to catch up on the studies during the night. It’s a condition she has to fulfill in order to be able to be close to her Onii-sama, Kimito. As she’s only got roundabout 3-4 hours of sleep (or so) every night, Kimito’s worried about her health now.

Aaand the sports festival arc starts. It’s held within a full-fledged stadium, with all kinds of big sports happenings stuff. The prez announces that the class with the highest points will have Kimito attend said class for one week. And the one individual person who performs the best (MVP), will get a present from the shomin sample, Kimito. Everyone’s beyond excited. The live commentary’s done by Haqua’s maid, by the way. She goes overboard several times and is being restrained respectively.

It starts off with this “catch the bread with your mouth” kinda “sport”. But it’s fairly different from how you’d expect it. After the start, the ojou-samas walk mannerly to the set table, are served a sandwich, which they then eat gracefully with knife and fork. Next is the event where you get the mission to lend something specific from somewhere. The first one described is “Fine someone with a cultural heritage”, which they of course succeed in. And the next round an ojou-samas meant to “Find someone with a sports festival leaflet”, which is basically everyone around, but she goes for Kimito and they walk to the finish holding hands. The other ojou-samas see that and hence everyone goes to Kimito, even if their mission’s “Find someone female”.

Now’s the 100 meters run. Nothing really all too special here. Kimito wins by a margin and everyone’s all excited. The end.

With this, the morning schedule’s done and it’s time to eat lunch. Kimito’s mum and sister call out to him and apparently Yoshiko’s there too. Thereafter, they call out to Aika, for which Yoshiko’s prepared the first self-made bento in quite the while. And she apologizes for now having made more for her in the past.

After they’ve eaten their bentos, some people come to see Kimito. Apparently, it’s Haqua’s mother, Kouko (yep, everyone gets a “ko” (子) now), and Karen’s mother, Shizuka (no “ko”?!). If you’re wondering whether Haqua’s mother has a quirk too: yes, she has. When she’s getting a revelation, her topmost button of her top bursts – her bosom’s more abundant than her daughter’s. A bit later, Houko (thank God, there’s the “ko” again) joins the fray, too. Everyone’s under the impression that their respective daughter’s in a relationship with Kimito due to the things they’re telling their parents. Under the mental pressure of Houko’s overwhelming presence, Kimito’s mother gets a bit nervous and keeps apologizing for her incompetent, thigh fetishist son. So Houko’s learned something interesting now, I guess that’s gonna be important at some point. Anyway, Kimito wants to set his score straight with everyone and ponders about the right thing to say without getting killed on the spot. Thankfully, the girls come to his aid and drag their mums away. Oh, before I forget it: Karen’s mum’s a loli-by-appearance and some kinda… Ghostbuster. She slays evil stuff with her sword. That kind of person.

The prez now reveals what the MVP reward will be. In fact, the one seizing the MVP title can wish one whatever thing off of Kimito. He wants to protest, of course, but the prez assures him that no ojou-sama ever would wish the unspeakable. Plus, she promises him to build him his own bathroom. Hooray. Well, Kimito agrees, because traversing half the campus to go to the toilet’s kind of a nuisance.

Now the big shots are going for MVP, including Kujou. We’re getting to see an obstacle race with Haqua, who’s basically being helped by her maid army which cosplays as Haqua. And it’s being brushed off a kind of “Shadow Clone Technique”. Next is something called “Knock Over the Pole”. I think you basically throw so many balls into a vessel put onto the top until it falls over due to the weight. You might’ve seen it in anime. Anyway, it’s Kimito’s class versus Karen’s. Long story short: Karen uses a sword technique, breaks the pole, and is disqualified.

They do a bunch of more events where mainly Kimito (as a guy), Reiko, Kujou, and Haqua (thanks to maid support) stand out.

Time for the results. The relatively best performing class was some kindergarten one. Congratulations! And MVP’s a tie between Kimito, Reiko, Kujou, and Haqua. They face off in an event where each one has to steal the other’s rose from… errr, their breast pocket or something, and last man/ojou-sama standing wins. By the way, if Kimito turns out to win, he may wish anything from one of the three ojou-samas. This almost leads to all of them surrendering to Kimito, which thankfully doesn’t happen – we all know he would’ve wished for something terribly boring. While Kujou and Reiko have some dragonball-ish battle, Kimito doesn’t know what to do and how to face them, instead he faces on their thighs, lets himself get absorbed in them, virtually rubs his face on them, and eventually does some crazy move by which he steals both their roses. Only one left is Haqua. He feels bad for just taking her rose from her, and while he ponders on what to do, Reiko and Kujou are talking insistently to him with a murderous aura. Haqua takes advantage of the confusion and simply takes Kimito’s rose. Game over.

Small flashback to Reiko’s brother, Masaomi… Actually, let’s literally cut it as short as possible: he wants to buy a camera with his friend, Komari, to get good footage his hot sister at the sports festival. In front of the store, they’re having a beer trial. Salesperson’s a girl, he flirts with her, friend gets jealous, rams the stuff down his throat, he gets piss drunk, misses festival, the end.

Last, Haqua comes to claim her reward the following morning. However, Kimito gets a call. Ery’s had a traffic accident. He goes to see her in hospital, and apparently she’s lost her memories and went back to how she was back in elementary.

Conclusion


Volume 9 Cover
Volume 9 Cover

Remember when I said back at volume 7’s review that nothing seems really super rich anymore? This volume does it better again. The last one was a tad better with Kimito’s house being really big now and all, but it were rather punny descriptions. Here with the ojou-samas doing their sports and stuff, it’s quite feasible how different everything is.

Also, I gotta compliment how Karen got some quality time. It’s not superb and if I were a fan of hers, I’d still be disappointed, but in this series where seemingly the winner’s already decided, you gotta take what you get. Compared to Reiko, her quality time was way ahead if you ask me. She felt more decisive in her actions – as decisive as a tsundere gets.

We also get to know Karen’s and Haqua’s mothers. Although I can feel where those characters are going, it felt a bit forced, like, “we have Kimito, Reiko, and Aika down, we gotta jam those two in here somehow.” I also like the general absence of male characters. Do the girls even have fathers? Aika does, at least.

The running gag in the series is how Reiko never gets a color illustration. And with every passing volume, it’s getting more apparent that the author either ignore-plays with her or simply hates her guts. The new heroine candidate, Kuroe, got more attention this volume, too. As a Reiko fan, I’m getting slightly annoyed. More annoyed than by the absence of her quality time I’m by the feel that everything’s been decided. I still don’t feel like the harem’s got equal chances. Reading the other girls’ scenes feels almost heartrending, “you poor girl, putting forth all this fruitless effort…”

Getting back to volume specific points, this volume has one big flaw, in my opinion. After you’ve read it (or after you’ve read the summary), what do you feel has actually happened? Pretty much nothing, no? It doesn’t even feel like things have been set in motion or some foundation’s been laid, it feels like one big filler. Stuff, that gets passed in one episode. The compulsory cliffhanger aside, we’ve got two more mums introduced and a bit of comedy with no steps forward taken. Overall, the volume lacks impact.

But I really like the comedy in this one and the ojou-sama sports festival felt right. In my opinion, it got everything right but the character balancing (as always) and the big idea. I’ve little to complain apart from those. So I’ll give it an 8. Just barely ’cause the conclusion was more eye-rolling than anything. I would’ve liked to see Reiko or Karen fret over what to wish for. Now we’re headed for another grandfather/granddaughter arc with Haqua. Great.

Rating 8/10

 

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