Opposites Attract.... Maybe?
Haru Yoshida is feared as an unstable and violent "monster." Shizuku Mizutani is a grade-obsessed student with no friends. Fate brings these together to form the most unlikely pair. Haru firmly believes he's in love with Shizuku and she firmly believes she's insane.
I had watched the first episode of the My Little Monster anime and it piqued my interest. Most of what was in the first episode could be found in this first volume with an extra chapter. Haru is intense. He's very socially awkward to the point where he glares and gets into fights regularly. What really struck me about Haru and Mizutani is that they are both very lonely. Haru's loneliness makes him feel hollow while Mizutani doesn't seem to realize it's there until she meets Haru.
Mizutani's goal in life is to get good grades. All she does is study. She doesn't have time for anyone else's problems. There are small moments where she is struck by how Haru is treated and defends him. She slowly learns to become friendlier and more open however, she keeps her brashness and need to study within her personality always. I enjoyed reading about a female main character in a manga who didn't act childish. In romance mangas that usually seems to be what I come across so I liked that Mizutani kept her harsh, honest attitude along with her compassion towards Haru. She really opened up just a fraction. I couldn't believe she had such a non-caring attitude towards others and what they may have thought of her. She has a great sense of confidence in that regard. She does get a little flustered by Haru which makes her feel more... real perhaps? It's just sweet seeing them both together.
Mizutani friendship circle grows throughout the book which I loved seeing. I know she acted annoyed at time but she's learning to get her head stuck out of book once in a while. Natsume is one of those friends who tries to get Mizutani to tutor. She claims she's so beautiful that no one wants to be friends with her. She's a good friend to Mizutani and has her back so I like her. Another friend is Sasayan, a baseball player at their school. I have a feeling he likes Mizutani but I can't quite tell. He's a pretty easy going nice guy who joins up with the group naturally.
Haru is pretty much fascinated with Mizutani. He tells her after a few run-ins with Mizutani that he likes her which completely messes with Mizutani's head. He wants to make friends to prove to her that he doesn't just like her because she's his first real friend. He's like this strange, child like creature who basically can beat up anybody he wants to. Everyone is scared of him because he's so intense and doesn't say the "right" things in front of them and of course he beats a lot of people up. There's actually two moments where I didn't like the way he acted. One moment was changed from the anime to the manga or vice versa. However you look at it Haru grabs Mizutani one day and tells her "Don't move. If you scream I'll hurt you." I know he didn't mean anything by it really but it was unnerving. At least it was better than the anime which didn't say "hurt you but translated it to "rape you" which wasn't cool. Another thing that I didn't like the way he acted was when he hit Mizutani accidentally trying to defend her (he overreacted) and didn't apologize afterwards which was also uncool. If he calms himself down a little bit he'd be the perfect love interest. He's quirky, doesn't know how to act, and is genuinely sweet. He even has a chicken that he adores named Nagoya.
I really enjoyed this first volume of My Little Monster and I'm anticipating the rest. I feel like it will only get better from here. It's a very cute romance manga that I'm sure girls and some boys will enjoy reading especially if they already are into the manga/anime world.