torachan: the devil girls from sinfest as cheerleaders (devil girl cheerleaders)
Title: Eensy-Weensy Monster
Author: Tsuda Masami
Number of Volumes: 2
My Rating: 5/5

Amazon Summary: Nanoha Satsuki is your average, ordinary high school student. Okay grades, kinda cute, kinda short, Nanoha's most notable quality is that her best friends are both total overachieving babes. But when Nanoha runs into Hazuki Tokiwa, the gorgeous prince of the school, her gentle disposition disappears and she turns into a total monster! And Hazuki is more than happy to be a jerk right back at her. Thus begins our hilarious love battle.

Review: I only posted this horrible Amazon summary rather than writing my own because I specifially wanted to talk about how misleading it is! Nanoha is indeed an ordinary girl who's outshined by her two best friends, but this summary sounds like the sort of manga I really don't like, the sort that seems really popular in the US, so maybe that's why they used this summary, to try and hook people in who like those shoujo series with the horribly obnoxious male lead, I don't know.

Anyway, Nanoha wants to be a really good, nice person, and in general she is. But there is a part of her that can be mean, and she thinks of that part as the monster inside her. The thing that sets off the monster the most is Hazuki, a smart, good-looking boy whom all the girls call "prince". What bothers Nanoha about him is that he oozes "trying too hard". He loves being fawned over and seems to see it as his right, and doesn't have a thought in his head other than being popular.

One day when she's taking a Christmas present to a teacher, he sees her with the present and just assumes it's for him, and she finally snaps and tells him exactly what she hates about him. However, unlike the Amazon summary, he isn't "happy to be a jerk right back at her". She's afraid he might retaliate, but what happens is he sulks a bit, and then tells some of the girls he always hangs out with what happened, and instead of them getting outraged on his behalf and ready to go after the girl who was mean to him...they laugh and say of course that's how you are! They say they'd never want him for a boyfriend, but he's hot, so they like hanging out with him.

This totally does his head in, and he decides to change. He is actually a very sweet boy, who has just been spoiled by his good looks and had people dote on him too much, but now he's eager to be a better person. And once he stops trying to be popular, he has no friends, and starts hanging around Nanoha hoping she'll befriend him and maybe he can learn from her how to be a better person. He's grateful to her for pointing out his problematic personality.

And Nanoha is kind of weirded out by it all, but eventually they do become friends, and then fall for each other, and it's generally just a super cute manga and why on earth would they try to sell it as something else? Ugh. I hate shoujo where the male lead is a jerk with a heart of gold, only you never get to see this supposed heart of gold and he's just a jerk throughout, and yet for some reason that seems to be a lot of what's translated. So if you, too, dislike that sort of story, and want something with two very likable leads, read this instead!

I really liked it a lot. It's nice and short, so it doesn't get bogged down in the whole "giving the couple a million problems to try and keep them apart so the series can keep going" thing. (And it was clearly planned to be this length, not cut short due to lack of popularity, since there are twelve chapters, once for each month of the year.)


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