My Monster Secret Volume 01 Manga Review
Jitsu wa Watashi wa/実は私は 02
My Monster Secret: “Actually, I am…” 02
Having read and enjoyed Seven Seas’ My Monster Secret volume 01, it was not a difficult choice to pick up the My Monster Secret volume 02. Fortunately, the fun of the first volume continued as new characters are introduced.
A Look at the Volume 02 Story
For My Monster Secret volume 02, chapter 8 covers Youko and Nagisa attempting to overcome Youko’s problem with the sun and tanning. Chapter 9 features Mikan revealing a secret of her relationship with Asahi while having Asahi’s male friends strung up. For chapter 10, Asahi and Youko go on a date to an amusement park now that Youko knows about sunblock.
In chapter 11, Youko’s childhood friend Shirou, a wolf”man”, shows up. However, when exposed to even a picture of a full moon, the male Shirou becomes Shiho, a nympho teen girl. The story continues in chapter 12 with Shiho accompanying Asahi and Youko to Youko’s apartment. There, Asahi learns that Shiho is aware of everything that happens while Shirou is awake, but when Shiho takes over, Shirou doesn’t know. As such, when Shirou pops out from time to time, he assumes the worst of Asahi.
In chapter 13, Shiho transfers to the same high school as Asahi and company. Nagisa gets so frustrated by this, her human mech unit runs out of power, forcing Asahi to have to assist her in spite of interference from Shiho. The fallout of this happens in chapter 14 where Asahi has to join Youko, Shiho, and Nagisa for a makeup Home Ec class to make curry. Naturally, this ends in disaster.
Finally, the last story covers chapters 15 and 16. Asahi and Youko see a young teen girl with horns, eating junk food as she walks the hall of the school. Youko wants to pet her while Asahi wonders if the horns are real. Youko gets her wish of petting the head of this girl, named KOUMOTO Akane, who’s related to their homeroom teacher KOUMOTO Akari. Akane pretends the horns are fake, but she’s exposed when Akari-sensei shows up. Akane reveals she’s really the principal of the school and a devil. Youko doesn’t believe Akane is thousands of years old, nor their principal, leading the two to have a childish rivalry while Asahi and Akari can only look on helplessly.
The Harem Comedy Continues
Clearly, My Monster Secret is a harem manga series. We have Youko getting a little jealous when Shiho shows up and shamelessly flirts with Asahi. Yet ironically, Youko has no clue that Asahi is in love with her. At the same time, her own, growing feelings for Asahi are something she’s not aware of. Yet they have a sweet date at the amusement park. Further, Youko’s parents (human mother, vampire father) attended this school together, so there’s that romantic element. I mean lets face it, Youko and Asahi have to be together when all is said and done. 😉
It is hard to say how real Shiho’s affections for Asahi are. She claims to be a nympho, and her character is fond of Asahi. However, she appears to be more of a catalyst character for both Youko and Nagisa. As such, Shiho also made Nagisa jealous, so much so that her human mech body ran out of power. I found that rather amusing.
While Mikan only got a single chapter, her role in the harem is one of accepting that she will never be seen by Asahi as a girl. I found this to be an interesting thing on her part.
Enter the Wolf-‘man’
Masuda-sensei uses the gender bender element to introduce us to the wolfman Shirou. Rather than look like a werewolf, Shirou just looks like a punk with a lot of pointy teeth. That was a funny twist, so that when the high strung Shirou sees the moon, he turns into Shiho, who looks like a normal, human female. The humor here comes from Youko getting jealous and forcing Shiho to turn to Shirou with a picture of the moon, then Asahi (or Youko) having to change Shirou back to Shiho to save Asahi’s life. Plus, as I said earlier, Shiho is a catalyst character in the harem.
I have to admit that while I’m not into the gender bender stuff, this comic form is one I’m OK with. I was first introduced to the concept in Akamatsu-sensei’s early manga work A.I. Love You, where AI Program 40 became Forty-chan or Forty-kun, depending on if the character said “boy” or “girl.” I found that to be quite humorous. The same kind of humor exists with Shirou and Shiho, only with Shiho being the only one totally aware of everything that happens. Having Shiho have knowledge of what Shirou does adds to the humor for me.
Enter the Devil Girl
The last new character to be introduced is Akane. While she is not in the Asahi harem (at least, not yet), I found her to be the funniest character so far. She starts out seeming like a sweet, young, high school girl who happens to wear horns. Then thanks to her great-great-granddaughter (Akari-sensei) getting involved, we get to see that Akane is actually a devil girl who’s thousands of years old, and who has quite a sadistic side as well as a huge weakness for junk food.
While that element was funny enough, having Youko refuse to belief that Akane is as old as she claims, or that Akane is actually the principal of the school creates a whole new humor element. I probably shouldn’t have laughed as much as I did over the childish antics of Youko and Akane. I think it was funnier to me because I didn’t expect it. It is as if Youko and Akane have developed a rivalry of sorts. Although Akane is insanely powerful, her weakness for junk food snacks allows Youko to toy with her like crazy. I loved it.
Unlike the first volume, there are no color pages at the start of My Monster Secret volume 02. There may not have been color pages in the Japanese tankoubon release. I haven’t checked. Japanese honorifics are used, and thanks to the Nibley Twins, this volume feels like a proper adaptation rather than a localization attempt that seems to be plaguing some manga titles these days. As usual for Seven Seas, there are no translator notes, but there are an occasional between panel notes.
There are some omake 4-koma comic strips scattered throughout the volume. There are two pages at the front, dedicated to character introductions. There’s a thank you page from Masuda-sensei. Otherwise, other real extras to speak of.
In the end, My Monster Secret volume 02 continues to be a pretty fun foray into the realm of the harem genre with monster girls and tiny alien girl in a human, mecha suit. After reading this volume, I’m rather looking forward to finally reading the third volume. (I’m so far behind!)