I want to extend my thanks to One Peace Books, who were nice enough to provide me with a digital review copy of volume one of Ui Kashima’s I Belong to the Baddest Girl at School in exchange for an honest review.
Unoki is a kind, but somewhat wimpy, teenage boy who’s become used to being pushed around and bullied by his peers. Then, he unexpectedly attracts the attention of Toramaru, the toughest and most dangerous girl at his school. Toramaru gazes into Unoki’s eyes intently and asks him to be hers. Petrified, Unoki agrees, resigning himself to what he assumes is his new position as Toramaru’s gopher. Turns out, Toramaru meant something entirely different by her request, and she now believes the two of them are dating!
Holy misunderstandings, Batman!
Unoki spends this volume under the mistaken impression that he is Toramaru’s lackey, someone she only keeps around to run errands and who she would turn on immediately if he were to displease her. He’s initially terrified to be in this position, but he later starts to enjoy his new role, once he realizes that Toramaru is actually pretty nice and that everyone leaves him alone now that he’s seen to be under her protection.
Toramaru, on the other hand, is convinced that they are dating and in love. Her misunderstanding is aided by the fact that Unoki is constantly doing things for her in his perceived role as her underling. He makes her lunch and walks home with her and is just generally eager to be of service.
Of course, the pair will constantly say vague things to each other that can be interpreted in multiple ways, and they’ll both always choose the interpretation that best suits their view of the situation. Thus, they just keep running in merry circles around each other, neither realizing how the other really feels.
While they might be a little clueless, Unoki and Toramaru are both cute little cinnamon rolls and I enjoyed their confused dynamic. Toramaru is an intense girl, but she looks scarier than she actually is. I mean, she can kick your ass if she wants to, but she’s not a bully and she is head-over-heels for Unoki. For his part, Unoki is a sweetheart and he starts to warm up to Toramaru pretty quickly. Unoki sees that she’s actually a decent person, despite her rougher edges, and becomes quite devoted to her, though he views her as his boss instead of as a potential love interest. If these two ever get their act together and start dating for real, I’m sure they would make an adorable couple.
The misunderstandings between the would-be lovebirds are usually humorous, though a few of them start to strain believability. I was beginning to get worried that the manga would run out of convenient turns of phrase for the pair to misinterpret and the joke would wear thin, but it, thankfully, looks like Unoki is starting to catch on to what’s really going on by the end of this volume. It’s nice to see that the plot will be moving ahead, instead of leaving Unoki and Toramaru in a holding pattern. I’m looking forward to seeing where their relationship goes from here.
I Belong to the Baddest Girl in School was a fun read. The gimmick of the main characters constantly misunderstanding each other has the potential to get old, but the story seems to be moving past that setup pretty quickly, so I’d recommend this manga to anyone looking for a cute romantic comedy.
Final Score: 7 out of 10.
For more information on this manga, check out One Peace Books’ online catalogue.
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