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 10 of the English translation, and you can read on for the review. (For my review of previous volumes, click here.)
In previous volumes, we’ve had the opportunity to see things from Haru’s friends’ point of view. Now, in Volume 10, Haru’s brother gets a chance to narrate. Haru’s made clear that he hates his family, but Yuzan’s stance towards his brother is more complicated. Between Ando’s comment about Haru being “special” in the previous volume and Yuzan’s memories in Volume 10, Yuzan’s treatment of Haru makes much more sense even as Yuzan racks up sympathy points.
Their dad, on the other hand, earns negative points. Until now, we’ve only heard about him, and when we finally see him in person, he’s actually worse than his sons make him out to be. Yoshida Senior can be best described as the worst of womanizing politicians. He’s pretty flat as a character, and the best he is good for is shocking readers with whom he makes a pass on.
Thus, we get a clear picture of Yoshida family dynamics right before all three of them converge at the same event: Yuzan’s coming-of-age party. In addition to seeing the world in which the Yoshidas live, Shizuku gets her Cinderella moment. Every shojo manga with a poor, frumpy heroine and uber rich boy has an instant where she gets made over, and Shizuku gets her chance at Yuzan’s party. She actually cleans up really well (amazing what getting rid of pigtails will do) and so does Haru, for that matter.
The party draws an interesting mix of guests (I especially liked the reference to Shizuku’s mom). Shojo manga often turn this into the setting where mean girls embarrass the heroine. Nothing like that happens here, but the event does trigger a different kind of drama between Shizuku and Haru. As it turns out, Shizuku and Yuzan are more alike than anyone might guess, and I look forward to seeing how our heroine approaches their common dilemma.
Extras include bonus four-panel comics, short bonus manga about Yamaken’s past with the Yoshida brothers, and translation notes.
Finally, a look at the Yoshida family’s glorious dysfunction. Flashbacks and a chapter from Yuzan’s perspective provide a comprehensive look at the brothers’ upbringing and the circumstances that brought about their constant fighting. Their father is just a garden-variety slimy politician, but Yuzan’s dealings with a “special” brother has surprising parallels with Shizuku’s relationship with Haru, which makes for a interesting read.
First published at the Fandom Post.