Nanako is…a jerk. If she were a guy, no one would hesitate to tell her so. But she’s not. She’s a girl – and a cute one at that, if she keeps her mouth shut. Akira is…a wimp. He’s quiet to the point of being the creepy guy in the corner that you’re sure will be the one with bodies in the freezer.
The plot is…a handwave. For no reason at all, really, Nanako and Akira switch bodies. Nanako is relieved to be free of the stifling behavior code for girls and proceeds to be a jerk, but since now she’s a guy, everyone kinds of expects it. And since Akira’s face is a handsome one, she’s got the girls oohing and ahhing after her. Akira, too wimpy to say no, finds himself thrust in the role of caretaker to Nanako’s annoying grandfather. It’s no suprise that he makes a “better” (i.e., gentler and meeker) girl than Nanako.
Nanako in Akira’s body finds herself attracted to her best friend. Akira in Nanako’s body finds himself fighting off the advances of his best friend. It’s a big ole gender-bending comedy fest in Volume 1 of Your and My Secret.
Like mostly every other transgender manga that’s made it into English (indeed, like most of what’s been wrtitten for the mainstream market in any language) Your and My Secret is a comedy. The gender switch is played for laughs and shocked giggles of titillated outrage as each finds themselves dealing with a same-sex relationship via proxy body.
The down side to this plot is that the comedy resides in the most banal gender role issues, again. For instance, I learned that a girl’s greatest weapon is to look teary-eyed and weak. Call me a bitchy lesbian feminist, but, uh, NO. Unless, as a woman you bring nothing else to the table. If you are a woman who is dumber than toast, denser than a bag of doorknobs and have absolutely nothing else other than your looks, then yes, I’ll grant you that looking like a baby seal is probably your best bet. Good luck with that when you get old. Otherwise, as Akira’s supposed to be a brilliant student, you’d think he’d attempt to *think* his way out of a problem. Clearly his girl body has sucked all the brains right out of him.
The only other problem with this plot is that it goes on for volume after volume after volume. I really hope something happens to create a real plot in the next two or three volumes, because I’m not sure how much more of Akira not even looking at his own body, because it’s that of a girl, I can take. But given that this manga ran in Comic Blade, we have to allow all the “zOMG girl’s bodies have breasts!” thing. Both the wife (who liked it) and I are up for Volume 2, anyway. ^_^
As a short “ha-ha” funny take on unwanted body switching, Secret is a typical situation comedy set-up. I kept expecting Kate or Ally to walk in at any moment and explain in a sensitive voice why switching bodies is okay. ^_^;
Art – 8
Characters – 6
Story – 6
Yuri – 2
Overall – 7
It just dawned on me that I saw the live-action version of this while I was in Tokyo. The acting was pretty damn good, actually.
Special thanks to Grace E. for sponsoring today’s review! Email me and get your “Okazu hero” badge to proudly display or shamefully hide. ^_^