Manga Review: My Little Monster Vol. 2

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 2 of the English translation, and you can read on for the review. (For my review of Volume 1, click here.)

Back Cover Blurb

Haru’s big brother suddenly appears with unclear motives. What is clear is Haru’s hatred for his big brother. Haru disappears at the sight of his big brother and Mizutani is left with even more questions about Haru. What are her feelings for him? How can she make him like her? And what is the deal with his big brother?

The Review

Summer break in high school manga often means vacation arcs that feature characters in a more relaxed, non-school setting, but Robico limits the holiday pages to one chapter. Although it’s disappointingly short, we do get to see Haru and company at the beach (in a brief four-page stint) and on a fishing trip in the mountains. Haru is his usual wild and reckless self, and Shizuku is serious as ever despite the different settings, but toward the end of the summer break chapter, we get an interesting development: the introduction of Haru’s older brother Yuzan.

We caught a glimpse of Yuzan in Volume 1, but in Volume 2, he really steps in to invade Haru’s life. One of the mysteries of this manga is the root cause of Haru’s unique personality. With Yuzan’s arrival, we don’t get all the answers, but the information he provides about the Yoshida family is certainly enough to keep readers interested and pique curiosity about Haru’s dad.

In addition to Yuzan, we get another new character: Class Representative Oshima. She leads an isolated existence, similar to the kind Natsume, Shizuku, and Haru used to have at school, but her lack of friends isn’t due to a wacky personality. Rather it stems from a gloomy attitude and a lack of initiative. She gets thrown into the story mainly to cause strain in the Haru/Shizuku relationship. While Oshima’s crush on Haru does create an emotional stir for Shizuku, who is still sorting out her feelings for Haru, the meek class representative is hardly aggressive enough to spark a love triangle. In fact, she looks likely to be overshadowed by the rest of the cast.

Extras include four-panel comics interspersed through the book and translation notes.

In Summary

Haru’s estranged brother makes a forcible entrance in Volume 2. While he’s not wild like Haru, he has his own flavor of quirkiness. His appearance causes all sorts of inconveniences for Shizuku, but more interesting than his hijinks is what he reveals about the Yoshida family. Shizuku also continues to struggle with her romantic feelings for Haru, but it’s really Haru and Yuzan’s sibling dynamic that dominates this volume.

First published at the Fandom Post.

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