Your and My Secret Vol. 1

By Ai Morinaga
184 pages, black and white
Published by ADV Manga

Like so many books on the market today, Your and My Secret relies on an initial gimmick to get the reader’s attention; in this case, it’s the old chestnut of “body swapping”. In the case of Your and My Secret, though, it’s not so much the basic idea that’s noteworthy, but what creator Ai Morinaga does with it.

Akira Uehara is a sweet, even-tempered, almost meek high school student. He’s bad at sports, he never asserts his personality, and seems to be content to fade into the background. Opposites apparently attract, though, because he’s fallen for Nanako Momoi, the girl that the rest of the school is afraid of. She’s loud, she’s tough, she’s uncultured… and now she and Akira are in each other’s bodies. Akira’s desperate to return to his own body, but why is it then that the rest of the world seems to think that the “new” Akira and Nanako are better with their new personalities?

What struck me the most about Your and My Secret, I think is that Morinaga refuses to take the easy way out of the story she’s written. Normally in a story like this we’ve got one of two possible situations: either the two discover how tough the other’s life is and how unsuited they are for it and thankfully switch back, or they discover “new sides” to themselves and love the switch. Morinaga complicates matters here by mixing and matching the two, letting Nanako love being a man, while Akira is still desperate to return to his original gender. Watching Nanako pursue her former best friend now that she’s a man is certainly a lot further than most writers would’ve taken the concept. It’s interesting that Nanako clearly sees this as an opportunity that she never had as a woman, ignoring attempts to categorize her sexuality. At the same time, Akira’s panic at his friend pursuing him in the body of Nanako is interesting because it’s such a contrast to Nanako full embracing of her new life as a man. Morinaga cleverly tells Your and My Secret from Akira’s perspective but still plants the question in the reader’s mind of, “Is this switch really such a bad thing?” and then gives strong cases for both a yes and no answer.

The art of Your and My Secret is for the most part pretty average. Morinaga shows that she’s got a good grasp of how to draw her characters. Probably the strongest part of Morinaga’s art is how she draws Nanako-in-Akira’s-body. Once the swap has taken place, he starts looking a little rougher and more traditionally masculine. Morinaga also cleans up Nanako in a similar way, but the contrast isn’t quite as strong as it is in Akira’s body—perhaps in reflection to how well Nanako takes being in Akira’s body. The one bit I didn’t like, artistically, was the “slapstick comedy” scenes with Nanako’s grandfather. I understand that those scenes are supposed to be funny and goofy, but the art in those parts just looks cluttered and rushed; it’s a real contrast to the otherwise serious art style on display elsewhere.

Your and My Secret was a pleasant surprise; the real secret seems to be that Morinaga’s creation here goes well beyond what most people would expect with this kind of story. (The swapped people in bodies of the opposite sex finally getting to really check out the “new equipment” is just the least of Morinaga’s logical story progressions here.) My only real complaint is that now I need to find out what happens next. Fun and much smarter than you’d guess.

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20 comments to Your and My Secret Vol. 1

  • TheCandyMan

    after more than 2 years, which leaves me wondering… WHEN IS ADV EVER GOING TO RELEASE VOL.2!? (a live tv drama for this series has already come out long ago)

    did they forget about it? (T _T);; Im tempted to order the japanese book in support for Ms. Morinaga.

  • The bad news is that I believe that, like a lot of ADV’s licensed titles, it’s been “abandoned” and they have no intention of releasing future volumes in English. It’s a real shame because it was such a fun book!

  • Li

    I loved this book and trust me, I leave ADV little “love notes” every once in a while to try to get them to continue this series. I hope some other company (even the unorganized Viz) can get a hold of the license for this.

  • komugawa

    I love this book, and I’ve been waiting forever for volume 2 to come out so I wish ADV will continue the series.

  • I love this book I hope number two comes out OK and that it gets here quikly the book is awsome and I love it its a manga that you don’t read every day please make nnumber two come out soon because I can’t wait and by the way my name in Japanese is Aburah wich is Abram in English please send me an email back and tell me when is number two coming please and thank you.

  • Mike

    If adv isn’t releasing it anymore.. does anyone know where I can buy the japanese volumes at? If they won’t release translated versions I’ll just have to do it myself.

  • Ichiro

    I need to finish reading this book because I like it, so I think is time to release vol. 2 of Your and My Secret….I would apreciate that.

  • Jason

    Ok… Ya.. wow…. Its been so long and no release.. so ya.. Just to be cool, i bought the books *From some japanese amazon website*… But its a shame… I DONT READ JAPANESE T_T

    Adv, if anyone from your comp sees this, YOU GUYS NEED TO BE MORE ORGANIZED OR YOULL GO UNDER LIKE S.IRONCAT

  • Amanda

    Ok, after reading all of these comments, I am in shock that no one from ADV has picked up on this yet!!! Its been 2 YEARS now that they haven’t released the second vol. of Your and my Secret! How could ADV NOT continue a series!?!?!? I mean, I thought they were just CPM even did it with Ai Moregona’s other piece (Duck Prince) which was ALSO a good book, and they stopped at vol. 3! Who would stop a book series at vol.3!!!!I’m very dissapointed in ADV, and I hope someone in that company will finally wake up and realize that they are really letting a lot of their fans down!! Or, I hope that some other company will step in for all of us advant readers out there, and get the license to continue these series! Either way, all Im saying is, if you decide to get the license and bother printing out the first vol. of a series, at least make sure you can follow through with it. Dont take on a job that your not going to finish.>_

  • wisteria260

    I totally know how all of you feel!!! I have been waiting for the second volume for a year now and nothing. I am really pissed off that ADV brought the lisence, did one volume, and then just drop the whole project. I notice Candyman said that their is a live TV show for this manga. Could you tell me the title of the TV show? Plus, do you know if it is sub?

  • look people adv probably forgot about the whole translation thing just save yourselves the trouble got to cut and paste this
    ????? into the search box then click go you will see a list of 6 volumes for this series including series dvd just click on any volume and on the right hand side below the green round go! button yet above the shoping cart yellow button you will see this “Would you like to see this page in English? click here” do this and you will be able to understand what you are buying. if you cant find that then type AI MORINAGA if that fails to bring you results you can always cut and paste in the other names below.
    Boku to Kanojo no XXX
    boku to kanojo no peke mittsu

    I hope this helps. “remember we are all in this together”

  • Very good news, everyone — according to this link, TokyoPop will be publishing Your and My Secret under its original title of Boku to Kanojo no XXX starting in March 2008.

  • luvofmanga

    man adv if they licsend this manga and aren’t doing anything about making avaliable for those of us interested in reading why’d they chose to liscense it couldn’t somebody else have those slow @#* people man that is really disappointing
    it was really getting interesting too…p=[>.

  • mangawhore

    I really enjoyed this manga. It was so different so funny and so good that i’ve read the first volume about a dozen times! I guess I am some what glad to hear that the series will continue under TOKYOPOP but at the same time i’m very dissapointed at ADV. You had something going with the manga yet you let it slip a way to the big brand publisher. Don’t get me wrong I love TOKYOPOP but we gotta admit that they GENERALLY release the highly popular and really crappy plot manga…my point is that I liked the fact that I got a hold of such a great manga that didn’t have too much hype in North America yet…I guess that will all change by its re-release by TOKYOPOP in 2008 :(

  • videobutcher

    I don’t care who puts it out, i’ve got to continue w/ this series. i was at the Tokyopop panel at Comic-Con International when they made that annoucement (for maybe the second time since
    Anime Expo) and was like “thank God”. it’ll still be called Your and My Secret’ though. they just refer to the original title on AnimeNewsNetwork cause that’s how they do things. i’ve got vol. 1-4 in Japanese and the english translation on the inside cover is officially in fact “Your and My Secret”.

    maybe well get lucky and Tokyopop will pick up ‘Duck Prince’ too.

    also look for Morinaga’s ‘My Heavenly Hockey Club’.

  • Shawna

    i can take this! why wont they bring out anymore volumes? its obviously a loved book, so why discontinue it!? I have THREE very favourite mangas, in order: Aishiteruze Baby, Marmalade Boy, and Your and My Secret!!

    i will just continue to pray that another volume will come out… =_=’

  • It is kind of sad that ADV hasn’t continued translating this one… so far Your and My Secret is currently on volume 3 in Japanese and Korean…. makes me sooooooo pissed… man TokyoPop should take this over!

  • Like I’d already said back in comment 12, TokyoPop has picked up the license and starts publication this year.

  • Krisitne

    Actually they have started it all over again and americanized it a little. Ijust read the 2nd volume the other day and the third should be out soon. It’s got new font and new script, but just as good as the original!!!

  • Manda

    so beautiful story.
    i like when akira(momoi’s soul) dating with shiina and
    when senpongi near momoi(akira’s soul)..