First Love Monster (初恋モンスター, Hatsukoi Monsutā) or Hatsukoi Monster is a Japanese shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Akira Hiyoshimaru. It began serialization in Kodansha's Aria magazine from 2013 to 2016, later moving online to pixiv Comics in 2017.
The story follows 15-year-old Kaho Nikaidō as she leaves home to live in a high school dormitory. Almost getting hit by a truck, she is saved by a boy named Kanade Takahashi. She falls in love with him, only to discover that he is her landlord's son and a fifth grader.
An anime adaptation of the series was announced in the August issue of Aria. The cast of the audio dramas reprised their roles for the anime. The series aired from July to September 2016. Studio DEEN produced the anime, with Takayuki Inagaki directed the series and Mariko Oka designed the characters. The anime has been licensed by Funimation and by Madman Entertainment for streaming. The anime ran for 12 episodes, released over 6 Blu-ray and DVD volumes. An OVA episode was bundled with the manga's 8th volume and released on February 17, 2017.
First Love Monster contains examples of:
- Alliterative Name: Munemitsu Makurazaki
- Ambiguously Bi: Atsushi claims to be interested in Kanade though as the anime progresses he seems to develop feelings for Kaho.
- Artistic License – Biology: Realistically, fifth-graders looking and sounding like they're twenty would be a cause for concern as this implies a growth disorder.
- Be Yourself: Chiaki dates Arashi who accepts him as he is, although she is often annoyed with his otaku fanaticism.
- Berserk Button: When noticed or denied her fetish by others, Mafuyu can enter into a frenzy where she demonstrates animalistic behavior, which cannot be stopped unless she gets what she wants.
- Blue Blood: Kazuo. Since he has a butler it is hinted he comes from a rich family.
- Butt-Monkey: Due to being a shy individual Kouta's often the victim of many of Kanade's circles stunts, as well as being teased frequently by Chiaki due to his crush on Kaho and his inability to act and being easily scared on several matters.
- Cat Boy: Renren features both cat ears and a tail.
- Covert Pervert: Mafuyu. While she tends to be composed on the outside, deep down she has a morbid obsession with Shūgo, going as far as stealing his underwears and sniffing them.
- Cuteness Proximity: Arashi likes and collects cute things.
- Doting Brother: What Daikoku refers to himself as. Though more accurately has a morbid obsession with Kaho, going as far as collect items she has used (such as chopsticks or leftovers) and place them in a plastic bag.
- Follow in My Footsteps: Ginjirou's father is an OB/GYN where he is groomed to follow his father's profession.
- Indecisive Parody: One of the complaints raised against the series is the fact it contradicts itself constantly message-wise and can't seem to decide whether to take the "dating an elementary schooler" premise seriously or not.
- Likes Older Men: Mafuyu's in high school and has a seeming obsession with Shuugo.
- Lonely Rich Kid: Kaho. As the spoiled daughter of an elderly rich couple, she has found it difficult to make friends.
- Missing Mom: Kanade's occasional maturity is something passed on from his deceased mother who serves as his role model.
- Mrs. Robinson: Parodied with Kaho. She's 15 and falls in love with a... 5th grader... even though he doesn't look like one.
- Only Sane Man: Chiaki is serious and level-headed and often serves as a voice of reason. Particularly in a cast of fairly quirky people.
- Rescue Romance: Kaho falls in love with Kanade after he saves her from an accident.
- Shrinking Violet: Kouta is a male example. He's a shy first-year high schooler who had a crush on Kaho.
- Wise Beyond Their Years:
- Kanade's a 5th grader and acts like it a lot, he at times shows mature behavior.
- Kazuo is far more mature, level-headed and insightful than his peers, to the point that it surprises Kaho and Kanade's circle.
- Yandere: Mafuyu has a morbid obsession with Shūgo.
- Younger Than They Look: Kanade and all but one of his friends plus Jouji look like they're in their 20s but are actually still in grade school.