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 released Volume 9 of the English translation, and you can read on for the review. (For my review of previous volumes, click here.)
Back Cover Blurb
Shizuku and Haru are finally an official couple, but Shizuku still can’t figure out what exactly that means. While she puzzles over it, Natsume struggles to overcome the awkwardness she feels around Mitchan. She gets help from ever-supportive Sasayan, but it turns out that he has a confession to make.
Volume 9 continues where the previous volume left off, with Shizuku and Haru enjoying summer break with their friends. From the Yamaguchi cabin, they go on to a mountain tourist village. Then in the following chapter, we get to see the cast in yukatas as they attend a local shrine festival.
Nothing huge happens plot-wise; it’s mostly Shizuku trying to figure out the new nuances of “officially” dating Haru in the context of a large crowd. Between the mountain village and the festival, nearly the entire cast makes an appearance, including Sasayan’s baseball team, Oshima, and Yu. Scenes sometimes get so overcrowded it is difficult to tell which dialogue belongs to whom, much like the donut shop scene in Volume 8. Even so, these pages contain a lot of fun energy, even if the story doesn’t go anywhere. New character Iyo in particular brings a fresh twist to interactions. While she’s still after Haru, she can be oddly supportive of Shizuku. Plus, she manages to fluster Yuzan, who has until now shown no weakness. Iyo remains a difficult personality to comprehend, but she is fun to watch.
Then just as vacation ends, awkwardness arises between Sasayan and Natsume. The back cover blurb hints at something big between the two, and as Sasayan is my favorite character in the series, I got really interested. However, even though Chapter 35 is named after the pair, Sasayan and Natsume’s relationship doesn’t make the tremendous leap I’d anticipated, which left me disappointed.
Chapter 36, though, makes up for it by introducing the central conflict of the manga’s next arc: trouble in the Yoshida household! We don’t know much about Haru’s dad other than he’s rich and Haru hates him. Mr. Yoshida doesn’t yet make an appearance in the story, but we learn a lot more about him and why his sons despise him. Ando, who’d seemed an extraneous character before, now has purpose in the story, and I’m looking forward to more revelations about Haru’s family background.
Extras include bonus four-panel comics, short bonus manga, and translation notes.
Summer means trips and festivals! Not a whole lot of major developments during the first half of the volume, but the cast’s antics are still entertaining as they make the most of school break. Then, at the start of the new semester, scandal erupts for the Yoshida family. We’ve seen bits of Haru’s family life before, but this latest development promises to shed a whole lot more light on the origins of Haru’s unusual personality.
First published at the Fandom Post.