Nozaki Haruka's family moves to a small town due to her father's new job. Unfortunately, Haruka becomes a target of bullying in the new school, which is set to close in a few months due to the lack of students as a result of Japan's declining birthrate. Haruka tries her best to ignore them but the situation keeps worsening as a result of her frail teacher not being willing to deal with bullying during the final school months. Things begin coming rapidly to a head and soon all hell breaks loose.
Misu Misou starts as a drama about bullying and being unwelcome in a new town before rapidly descending into something else.
Misu Misou contains examples of:
- Alpha Bitch: Ogura is the leader of the girl group of bullies and is especially cruel. However, for all her cruelty towards Haruka, she's the only one in the group who wasn't involved with burning down her house.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Aiba. He starts out as the one classmate who is kind to Haruka. Then we find out more about his home life, and what he is willing to do to stay with Haruka...
- Camera Fiend: Aiba is often shown taking pictures and is even called "Camera Boy" by classmates.
- Domestic Abuse: Aiba's father would beat up his mother for petty reasons. Eventually, Aiba stabbed him. Rather than be thankful, his mother blames him for their father leaving, causing Aiba to hit her as well. He even hits his grandmother when she objects to him wanting to move to Tokyo to live with Haruka, and later beats Haruka's grandfather because he felt that he was the reason Haruka didn't want to be with him.
- Downer Ending: The ending has Haruka die crying in the snow, all of the parents grieving their dead children, and Haruka's grandfather riding a train out of town alone, apologizing to a hallucination of Haruka.
- Freudian Excuse: Most of the bullies have messed up home lives. As does Aiba. Surprisingly subverted with Rumi, who actually has a good relationship with her mother.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Rumi goes from Ogura's victim when Haruka isn't around to being the one to burn down Haruka's house and attempt to kill Haruka and successfully kill Ogura.
- Jerkass Façade: Ogura only started bullying Haruka because she was jealous and felt that Aiba was going to take her away from her.
- Nice Guy: Aiba is Haruka's only classmate that is nice to and supports her. Subverted in that he's just as mentally screwed up as the people who burnt down Haruka's house, and wants to be the only one who supports her.
- The Quiet One: Haruka is only willing to talk to Aiba though it's not so much that she is shy as much as she doesn't want to associate with her other classmates.
- Redemption Equals Death: After realizing that it is her fault that Haruka's parents are dead and several of her friends are missing, Ogura comes to Haruka and admits that it is all her fault, and that she accepts that there is no way Haruka could possibly forgive her. She does. However, not long after, Ogura meets up with Rumi.
- Yandere: Rumi is one for Ogura, and Aiba is one for Haruka.