Manga Review: I Belong To the Baddest Girls at School Vol. 4

Manga Review: I Belong to the Baddest Girl at School Vol. 4


I Belong to the Baddest Girl at SchoolTitle: I belonged to the worst girl at school Vol. 4
Author:Ui Kashima
Publisher: One Peace Books
Language: English
Format:Paperback
Pages: 184
Genre:Romance and Comedy
Publication date:July 12, 2022

The Story

Volume 4 introduces us to our new character, Aika Yodo… a transfer student that went to the same elementary and middle school as Unoki. She used to go to a school of higher learning but thought it was boring because she couldn’t cause any trouble there. She discovered which school Unoki went to and transferred so she could do one thing… out bully Toramaru!

The volume breaks down into a pseudo battle between Yodo and Toramaru where Yodo constantly bullies him while Toramaru tries to act as Unoki’s shield. This all changes when Unoki goes behind Toramaru’s back and gives Yodo permission to bully him in exchange for leaving Toramaru alone. Toramaru discovers this and her heart breaks. She is absent from school. Yutaka, Matsuri eventually get involved. However, Yutaka is the one trying to mend relations between Unoki and Toramaru.

It is strange that Yodo also wants this. When they do end up clearing the air, Yodo is thrilled so she does the one thing she could do… karate chops Unoki, knocks him out, ties him up, and holds him captive but not before leaving a note for Toramaru to come find them. When she arrives, Yodo unveils her true goal when it comes to Unoki and, in the process… forces the hand of fate!

Characters

As one would expect from the addition of a new character, Yodo was front and center in this volume. This girl is way off her rocker, all I can say. I was initially skeptical that she would be a Toramaru clone. The series would take a bad turn with Unoki and the two of them fighting. Then, came Yodo’s reason for doing all of this and that’s when you realize that this chick deserves only the worst padded cell in the most uncomfortable section of the psych ward, dining on a tranquilizer cocktail three times a day.

It’s hard to admit that she had good intentions after everything she did to Unoki but the thing that felt really off was that she came off as this legit tough girl that wasn’t even afraid of “The Boss,” but in the end, she just seemed so juvenile. The pranks she pulled off were not something you would expect from someone her age. It was difficult to take her seriously. Putting thumbtacks and slime in Unoki’s shoes, having erasers fall on his head… all of which were nothing more than childish pranks but yet she claims she’s a bully.

Honestly, this caused me to dislike her character because she just didn’t feel like a rival. When she revealed her true purpose, her rival turned into a very shady plot device. This led to the moment we all had been waiting for, but were unable to enjoy because of her character. I just didn’t see the need to have Yodo in this story… like… at all. There were many other, better ways to get us to our destination. But the most important problem is where will Yodo go next? Sure, there are only three volumes left but I can’t see her becoming more than just a background character or an attempt at poor comic relief from here on out.

As for Unoki and Toramaru, they ended up getting some nice development but I can’t see how Yodo needed to be involved in it. There are many better ways to achieve the exact same result, which makes Yodo seem like an even larger plot device, as their development was forced upon them by another character. In the end, we still got what we were hoping for but this just wasn’t how I had hoped for it to play out.

Final Thoughts

This volume would have been a strong one if Yodo had not been in it. Unoki, Toramaru and Matsuri were all fantastic in this. However, having them work around Yodo kind of took away many of the great things about this series. This series was at its best when it just focused on Toramaru and Unoki and while, yes, this volume did do that in the grand scheme of things, it just didn’t as if any of the progression was natural. It all felt forced and redundant.

It makes me wonder whether the author knew that this series was ending and needed to finish it. In order to do so, he introduced Yodo as a quick-forward. That’s the only reason I could see for including her outside of this just being an ill-conceived plot point that sounded better on paper than in practice.

Normally, I don’t like it when characters fade into the background and become irrelevant but I think I’d be okay if that happened to Yodo so we can spend the final three volumes focusing on the only two characters that have mattered this entire time. It worked perfectly up to now.

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