If I've learned anything from manga it is that high school is a very dangerous place. Bullies abound and anyone who is new or different or pretty or handsome or ugly, well, the list seems to go on and on. Bullying seems to run rampant in the Japanese school system. I was bullied once. I was threatened on a late bus that takes kids home from school after after-school activities. I was given a stern talking to. That's like having a chat with your best friend based on manga. It can get pretty violent. Locking a girl in a storage shed and setting it on fire, putting pins in shoes, stealing shoes, shredding clothing, throwing personal belongings in the koi pond, ostracizing where no one is allowed to talk to the person being bullied, desks moved out into the hallway, threatening physical harm with knives, as in chopping off fingers and such. The students do seem quite innovative in their torture which makes me have to ask...Are the students that mean spirited? Does bullying like this really exist? In fiction there is always an element of truth, so I wonder. My step-father is strangely silent on this subject as well. I must say that the female students seem worse than the male students. They seem quite territorial over the resident hottie and can't stand any new girl or plain Jane getting close to him. Listen sweetie. If he hasn't asked you out yet, he probably isn't going to. That's all I'm saying. In A Devil and Her Love Song by Miyoshi Tomori,, there is a lot of bullying going on, but perhaps some of it is deserved.
Reads R to L (Japanese Style), for audiences T.
Meet Maria Kawai—she’s gorgeous and whip-smart, a girl who seems to have it all. But when she unleashes her sharp tongue, it’s no wonder some consider her to be the very devil! Maria’s difficult ways even get her kicked out of an elite school, but this particular fall may actually turn out to be her saving grace...
Publication Date: April 3, 2012 | Series: A Devil and Her Love Song (Book 2)
Maria’s bold attitude may be exactly what she needs when she inspires an unlikely ally to come to her defense. And when she’s given the task to lead her class in a choral competition, she’s going to need all the gumption she can muster!
Maria is what I would call a witch, well, something that rhymes with witch. She has a real attitude problem and doesn't seem to play well with others. Her prickly demeanor, though, is just armor she girds herself with to protect herself. She really does want to make friends, but people disappoint her. She meets Yusuke Kanda and Shin Meguro, who are fellow classmates and good looking to boot. They hear her singing a song, Amazing Grace of all songs. From that moment on they find themselves helping her out of all the tight spots she gets into. Although she sings like an angel, she still seems to have the heart of a devil and the bite of a viper.
Now, the girls in class don't really like the fact that Maria has been getting friendly with Yusuke and Shin. They spread all kinds of rumors about how loose she is and why she was thrown out of her other school. They shred her old school uniform, soak her shoes, invite her to a welcome party that they purchase tons of food and drinks for try to trick her into footing the bill, one of the girls accuses Maria of bullying her and pushing her down the stairs when she actually pushed Maria and lots more fun and games. Maria just takes whatever they throw at her. She basically believes people believe what they want to believe and even if you try to tell the truth, if it isn't what they want to hear, they won't listen anyway. So, why bother.
In volume 2, Maria is volunteered by the teacher to lead a choral contest. She has to pick the music and get everyone to rehearse, but they won't cooperate, ditch practices and basically refuse to take part. Yusuke also confesses his feelings to her in front of the entire class. Will she accept his feelings and return them? Will she be able to rally the class in time for the choral competition? And what about Shin? We'll just have to wait for Vol 3 to find out.