The Stars Align

The Elder Sister-like One — Iida Pochi

Elder Sister

The Elder Sister-like One is the English translation of Iida Pochi’s Ane Naru Mono.

Security, happiness, a loving family: Yuu has had none of these since a car crash left him an orphan at age five. Passed from one resentful relative to another, Yuu has finally landed in his uncle’s household.

The uncle is too obsessed with Dark Knowledge Man Was Not Meant to Know to care much about Yuu. However. Yuu’s uncle does provide him with shelter, clothes, and food. This benign neglect is more than Yuu’s other relatives gave him.

When his uncle descends into madness, Yuu must find the uncle’s health card in order to call in the health services. Failing to find it in the house, he ventures into the storehouse, the one part of the household his uncle had declared off limits. There the unprepared boy finds himself face to face with the sanity-shattering reality of Shub-Niggurath, the Black Goat of the Woods of a Thousand Young, who appears, possibly for marketing reasons, as an extremely buxom, scantily-clad, be-tentacled, obviously demonic woman.

Being somewhat naive, Yuu jumps to the conclusion that Shub-Niggurath must be an angel.



Surprised to discover she can be called up by someone who clearly has no idea what or who she is, Shub-Niggurath offers Yuu the standard deal: anything he wants in exchange for that which is most precious to him. This only confirms Yuu’s impression that the Black Goat of the Woods of a Thousand Young is a fine person. Regardless of the tentacles and fangs, Shub-Niggurath is the first person since his parents died to ask what Yuu wants.

What Yuu wants is what he has not had since he was a boy: true family. He wishes for the Great Old One to be his “onee-chan”, his big sister. Nobody has ever asked her for that. It’s going to be a hard wish to fulfill, as Shub-Niggurath doesn’t know much about the workings of human society and human families. But a deal is a deal. For the moment, at least, Shub-Niggurath becomes Chiyo, Yuu’s doting older sister. She lives with him in the comforts of the insane uncle’s home. A happy ending!

Well, except that after spending uncountable eons as the embodiment of pure terror and corruption, Chiyo is ill-equipped to pose as a mortal woman, let alone the older sister of a young boy. She does her best, with the occasional pointer from Yuu, but a neutral observer might notice her inexperience with simple daily matters. The observer might also notice the eldritch monsters that hover around Chiyo (briefly, before the observer is consumed). Such minor inconveniences aside, life with Chiyo is the best time Yuu has had since his parents died.

Best not to think about the price he will eventually pay.

 ~oOo~

Yuu isn’t so naive that he doesn’t realize fairly quickly that he could well end up as Shub-Niggurath’s meal. It’s just that having a family, even for a short time, is something he’d willingly die to possess. We don’t see much of his other relatives but what we do see is enough to explain why Yuu would think the deal with Shub-Niggurath makes sense.

Yes, it is weird that I’ve recently read two stories about neglected orphans bonding with otherworldly beings commonly seen as evil. Still not as weird as that week when every book I read involved people having hands chopped off due to dynastic struggles.

Lovecraft fans offended by the re-purposing of Shub-Niggurath as someone’s lovable guardian and occasional crush will want to avoid reading Nyaruko: Crawling with Love, in which Nyarlathotep is re-imagined as a schoolgirl.

This manga apparently began as an overtly pornographic manga focusing on Yuu’s seduction by the much older (chaotic evil) Shub-Niggurath. Readers appear to have reacted so positively to the found-family aspect of the story that the overtly pornographic elements were tossed overboard. The story was reshaped into an all ages version that focuses on Chiyo and Yuu’s efforts to make a family together1.

Still, this is “all ages” in a cultural context different from North America’s. I would not recommend purchasing The Elder Sister-like One for a school library and I’d be extremely judicious about googling Iida Pochi in a work context. Chiyo is a bit shaky about the concept of modesty2, her previous encounters with mortals have given her fairly specific impressions about what men want from her, while Yuu is after all a teenage boy, so moments of unresolved sexual tension abound. These, of course, go nowhere.

If your eyebrows went up a bit at any point while reading this, perhaps this manga is not for you. But if you’ve ever wondered what Lovecraftian horror re-imagined first as pornography and then as a borderline-risqué slice-of-life domestic comedy would be like, your wonders are over.

The Elder Sister-like One is available here (Amazon) and here (Chapters-Indigo).

1: One generally assumes people consume pornography so they can watch people having sex in entertaining ways. The genesis of this manga suggests that at least some of the audience is there for the social elements, for the way in which people, whether strangers or familiar to each other, always seem to find some way to connect with each other. The personal lives of the characters in pornography may not be fully fleshed out complex but they are at least focused on forming amicable bonds with other people, which isn’t true of a lot of fiction genres.

(Not joking. Didn’t think of porn from that angle before.)

2: She seems to create her clothes by shape-shifting, which means that like the DC Comic’s Martian Manhunter and Chameleon Boy, and Wildstorm’s Girl One, Chiyo is actually stark naked all the time.


Comments

  • Ross Presser
    • Ross Presser

      Aargh. What's the proper way to format links here?

      • Adrienne Travis

        Ross, I thought I had Markdown turned on, but I did not. I have enabled it now, so you can do links as

        [some link text](https://www.google.com)

        I've taken the liberty of fixing your previous comment.

  • Royce Day

    [i]The genesis of this manga suggests that at least some of the audience is there for the social elements, for the way in which people, whether strangers or familiar to each other, always seem to find some way to connect with each other. The personal lives of the characters in pornography may not be [s]fully fleshed out complex[/s] but they are at least focused on forming amicable bonds with other people, which isn’t true of a lot of fiction genres.[/i]

    Thanks, James. That does make me feel more positive about my own "Porn with plot" stories.

  • Ryk Spoor

    Reminds me somewhat of "Ow, My Sanity".

    http://owmysanity.comicgenesis.com/d/20091225.html

  • Robert Sneddon

    I started following Ane Naru Mono after getting into Mahoutsukai no Yome (The Ancient Magus' Bride) which has a similar conceit at its base, a discarded human bonding with an otherworldly monster who is unfamiliar with how to relate to humans but is desperately trying to learn/fake it. I enjoy both stories.

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