516WBr ZoLL. SX351 BO1204203200 1 212x300 - Manga Review: I Belong to the Baddest Girl at School Vol. 1Title: I Belong to the Baddest Girl at School Vol. 1
Author: Ui Kashima
Publisher: One Peace Books
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Pages: 184
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Publication Date: August 17, 2021

The Story

I Belong to the Baddest Girl at School (Pashiri na Boku to Koisuru Banchou-san) is a romantic comedy involving a girl named Toramaru and a boy named Unoki. Toramaru is the top-ranked delinquent in the school and is commonly referred to as “The Boss” and Unoki is her “property.” At first glance, you would say “Oh, great… another Uzaki-chan or Nagatoro-san story,” right? Well, you would be incredibly wrong!

Toramaru only keeps Unoki close because she has a HUGE crush on him… so much so that she secretly considers him her boyfriend. She also invites him up to the roof to each lunch together and considers doing simple things… like walking home together in the rain while sharing an umbrella… as a date. The entire time, Unoki has no idea how she feels about him because, for the majority of his life, he’s just been the focus of bullying. He feels that his only worth is to be used by others for their own nefarious deeds.

With Toramaru being the biggest bully in school, he simply thinks that all of her actions and orders are her making him into a personal gopher… and he’s actually okay with it! Of course, we need a bigger cast than just our two main characters so we are introduced to Matsuri and Yutaka (who I keep reading as Yukata thanks to Matsuri translating to “festival” in Japanese… God, I’m such a weeaboo!) Matsuri and Yutaka are Toramaru’s second and third-in-command and, in the beginning, mistake Unoki as someone who would be replacing them when that was further from the truth. Still, Matsuri has a bit of jealousy in her and doesn’t think much of Unoki.

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They end up wondering why Toramaru has a vested interest in him. Yutaka suspects the truth, though, but no one wants to say anything.

The first volume was hilarious and packed with great entertainment. The story is really cute and there are moments where you think that the two of them are going to realize what’s really going on but they continue to be really dense to what’s happening!

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Characters

Okay, I love Toramaru. She has a great charm about her where she acts like a complete badass that can kick anyone’s ass at any moment in time but, on the inside, she’s just a regular girl with typical feelings of love. Her moments where she overthinks everything are so darn cute and it makes you want to root for her. At the same time, you kind of want her to just come out and say it but the way she’s written, it’s not in a way to frustrate the reader. You understand why she can’t say and even if you want her to, you feel as if it’s okay to keep those feelings to herself. She’s constantly weighing the pros and cons of letting her feelings be known and she’s simply just an average girl who’s not ready to commit herself to love… but she does have some moments of weakness, though. Those moments get your hopes but things often cause them to pump the brakes… especially the ending to the first volume!

Unoki, on the other hand, is the type of character who comes off as meek and timid but he really isn’t. He has a few moments where he tries to speak up and succeed to some degree. He’s just so complacent with being someone’s whipping boy that you kind of feel sorry for him. You just want to take him aside and tell him that his days of being used are over and he can enjoy a friendship in the normal sense for once but with Toramaru’s reputation, it’s easy for him to think that this is just more of the same old, same old for him. Unoki really does have a kind heart underneath his complacency, though. He’s always willing to do things, not just because he thinks it is expected of him, but because he wants to. When He’s stuck doing things that cause him more trouble than it should, Toramaru is right there to pick him up. It’s really a cute dynamic between the two of them!

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Matsuri is your typical loud, obnoxious, jealous friend. She goes out of her way to question Unoki’s usefulness as well as what Toramaru actually sees in him. She’s usually balanced out by Yutaka who acts as her voice of reason. The two of them end up squabbling often because of it which leads to some fun back and forths. Matsuri also feels completely devoted to Toramaru which is where the jealousy comes in. Her devotion to her is really strong but she does ease up over the volume. Even a slightly toned-down Matsuri is a bit of a handful, though. She and Yutaka are nice supporting characters that serve their purpose when needed!

Final Thoughts

There are not many romcoms that draw you in from the getgo. Typically, they just give you the standard boy likes girl or vice versa story and then throw them into your typical situations: Classroom settings, cultural festivals, etc. Here, while it does take place in school, the focus is more on the main characters and the dynamics between them. Do I expect the usual tropes to show up? Of course, I do because this is a school romance setting. There’s no way something like that is going to not pop up (I’ll be shocked if not a single trope is used, though).

The series is a little on the short side with there only being seven volumes; however, I feel the pacing is great so far. There are some developments between the two main characters towards the end of the volume that could move our main story along but I don’t think anything will come of it in the next volume as that would be way too soon to push things forward. With the way the first volume ended, there is plenty of room for obstacles to impede their development but also push it forward in their own unique ways.

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Also, I love how we have another bully/bullied love story that takes a completely different direction. There’s no teasing (at least not much), no berating, no negative behavior. It’s just a bully who’s in love and her doing things to keep Unoki by her side all for the sake of enjoying his company. It’s actually pretty wholesome when you get around all of the beatings Toramaru lays down on others! It is a breath of fresh air from a new, budding genre that has been hitting the mainstream as of late.

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I really found this first volume to be highly enjoyable! If you want to experience a rom-com of a familiar, yet, different flavor, this should be an instant pick up for you!

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This item was provided for review by One Peace Books

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About The Author

Josh (or J.J. as some have come to call him), is a long-time geek culture enthusiast with a deep passion for anime, manga and Japanese culture. Josh also has a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design and is a creative writer who has created original content for over 20 years! He is also the author of the original English light novels Final Hope, A.R. Dragonfly, and From Ashe..