There’s the type of shojo manga where a girl really can envision herself as the heroine. And then there are those where the characters are constantly going off the deep end. My Little Monster falls into the latter category, and if your taste in high school romance leans toward the improbable and wacky, this title might be up your alley. Kodansha has just released Volume 3 of the English translation, and you can read on for the review. (For my review of previous volumes, click here.)
Back Cover Blurb
Haru confirms his love for Shizuku after a talk with the class rep, Chizuru Oshima (who also has feelings for Haru!). Meanwhile, confused and unsure, Shizuku decides to eliminate her feelings towards Haru in order to focus on her studies. Will Haru be able to change her mind? The school festival brings chaos and rivalries as personalities clash!
I had dismissed Haru’s no good “friends” (the four that had been taking money from him in Volume 1) as mob characters that would disappear once Haru got integrated into high school life. Well, I was wrong. They’re back and apparently getting increased airtime. Not only has Robico-sensei given them names, but their leader, Yamaken, gets a connection to the Yoshida brothers and Shizuku. We only get a hint of his relationship with the Yoshidas, which dates back to elementary school. As for Shizuku, improbable as it is, they’re classmates in the same cram school (they just never noticed each other in class until Chapter 10).
Robico-sensei seems like she’s trying to set Yamaken up as another romantic wrench in the Shizuku/Haru relationship. However, Yamaken makes an even weaker leg for a romantic triangle than Oshima. At least the shy class rep realizes she’s crushing on Haru, even if Haru can scarcely remember her name. With Shizuku and Yamaken, both would be the first to deny the existence of any kind of attraction between them so Yamaken’s inexplicable fascination with Shizuku seems forced. As such, Yamaken, like Oshima, mainly ends up as the catalyst for misunderstandings in Shizuku and Haru’s push-pull relationship.
Robico-sensei uses yet another popular manga setting, the high school festival, as an opportunity to throw all her misfits together (in fact, I think the entire cast makes an appearance in that arc). Predictably, Haru has his freak outs, and Shizuku gets punched by him (again), but readers can at least watch characters play out the chaos in their haunted house booth costumes.
Extras include bonus four-panel comics and sketches after each chapter, an afterword from the mangaka, and translation notes. I should note that the translation notes included two typos, although I’m not quite sure if they’re to make fun of Natsume’s error-riddled blog post.
For a romantic comedy, there’s not a whole lot of chemistry brewing between our main couple. Robico-sensei increases the interest that Oshima and Yamaken have in Haru and Shizuku respectively, but with Haru/Shizuku/Shizuku’s studies remaining the predominant love triangle, these alternate pairings aren’t much to get excited about. Mostly, the involvement of these other characters serve to add to Shizuku’s and Haru’s emotional instability, and in the context of a school festival, it is entertaining.
First published at the Fandom Post.