Title:The Shiunji Family Children Vol. 1 Author: Reiji Miyajima Publisher: Yen Press Language: English Format: Paperback Pages: 208 Genre: Romance, Comedy, Harem Publication Date: November 21, 2023
The Shiunji Family is a high-society family consisting of five beautiful girls and two boys ranging from ages 15 to 18. The girls are seen as beautiful and popular by the other students at school, each one of them has their own fan club. The two boys, on the other hand, Sion (15) has a girlfriend and Arata (16) doesn’t. He’s frustrated and wants to fall in love with someone. He has a crush but a traumatic incident in the past is preventing him from getting close to a girl.
So, it’s up to his siblings to help get him on the right path!
At least, that’s what it looked like until the second chapter. It’s Kotona’s birthday and she’s turning 15. Their father returned from Africa and decided to keep a promise to his wife that when Kotona turned 15, he would tell them all the truth. They’re adopted.
Suddenly, the knowledge of them not being blood-related begins to sink in and now instead of helping Arata hook up with his crush, they all, seemingly, want him to themselves!
Okay, we’ve got quite the big cast to get through here…
First up, Arata. He’s 16 and the oldest brother. As detailed in the story above, he just wants to go out with the girl he has a crush on but due to a past incident (more on that in a second), he can’t pull the trigger. He’s a bit hot-tempered at times when he lashes out at his siblings for being dumb but when the role of big brother comes calling, he’ll put on that hat and keep everyone in order. He is the heir to the family, after all, so it’s his duty. Despite not being the oldest of the 7, he seems the most mature and level-headed.
Next up is Sion. He’s 15, has a girlfriend, and has already boinked her. Yeah… he may be a laid-back gamer but he’s not shy about admitting who he put his thing inside of. In fact, because he already has gone the distance, Arata comes to him for advice but Sion is about as useful as a doorknob in space when it comes to relationship advice. Other than bragging about his sexual achievements, he tends to keep to himself and doesn’t let much bother him.
On the girls’ side, we have Banri. She’s 18 and the oldest of the bunch. Despite being the “mature” big sister, she loves to tease Arata… like… a lot. Like Arata, though, she will wear the big sister hat when needed but she is a bit spunky.
Next, we have Seiha. She’s 17 and is quite a genius. She speaks using twenty-five-cent words, breaks things down on a scientific level, and is easily the smartest of the bunch. Her monotone and dry way of speaking paints her as the perfect bookworm but sometimes those analytical skills come in handy!
Next, we have Ouka. She’s 16 and was thought to be Arata’s twin sister; however, the news shattered that illusion pretty quickly. She’s a mild tsundere who is quick to judge Arata for being a lecherous perv when it’s not the case at all. They squabble from time to time as all siblings do but she can have her caring moments as well.
Next is Minami. She’s 15 and the tomboy of the group. She’s super athletic, primed to be an Olympian in tennis, is super energetic, and always has fun doing just about anything. She’s also an idiot who hates studying. She doesn’t hide the fact that she’s a tomboy as she even took a picture in her school’s male uniform. In other words, she’s my favorite since I have a soft spot for tomboys.
Lastly, we have Kotona, who was 14 at the start of the book but turned 15. This is the traumatic past (or at least I’m guessing) that Arata experienced. Seems that Kotona always had a romantic crush on Arata. In the past, they were discovered together which was all a big misunderstanding. Now that the adoption news is out there, the handcuffs are off. Despite that, she’s very meek and timid around everyone. She seems socially anxious but Arata is the one person she can open up to.
This series is pretty interesting. It’s not the same type of harem that you’re used to seeing. There are some tropes here such as the male lead not being interested in the girls but with that family connection, there’s a real reason as to why he’s not. He still sees his siblings as just that… siblings. Plus, he already has a love interest outside of the family. This gives him an actual reason not to be interested outside of just being a dense idiot as in most harem stories.
Secondly, the comedy isn’t over-the-top. It seems more natural than anything… like actual issues you would encounter in a large family of brothers and sisters. Each character has their unique attributes and personalities that give them depth. Plus, something huge and revolutionary happens…
All of the sisters actually CALMLY TALK and REALIZE TOGETHER that Arata is NOT a lecherous perv and that Kotona is the problem!
So, if you’re expecting a running gag here where Arata finds himself in ill-timed misunderstandings and embarrassing situations, you won’t get that because this series used LOGIC and REALITY to snuff that out immediately.
I know… I’m just as shocked as you are.
I, typically, do not like harems but this series… I must say, had a damn good first volume that keeps some tropes and completely abandons others. It grounds itself in a more realistic base and builds upon it. Sure, there are some contrived moments, especially with how the father broke the news and acted as if eating dinner was more important than letting the shock sink in that they were all adopted but it got us over the speed bump. Plus, the series spends a lot of time with the characters and how that news affected them. It wasn’t just “WE’RE ADOPTED!? GREAT! TIME TO HAVE SEX WITH BROTHER!” You actually got to see how each character felt about the news.
It felt real. It felt natural.
And it was entertaining! Can’t wait for volume two!
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