“My Secret Life” is an appropriate title for bloggers that keep their blogging life separate from their real life. For me, I only tell an exclusive few about my blog, and let what I post be read by random people around the world. Yet I enjoy this “secret blogging life,” it makes me feel like I have a secret identity.
For this post, I am going to introduce two shoujo manga that have protagonists that live a double life: Watashi ni xx Shinasai! and 2.5 Jigen Kareshi. Similarly I am like these main female characters because I kind of live a double life. Yet in these two manga series, their 2D life collides with their real lives, and can no longer be separated.
Watashi ni xx Shinasai! (わたしに××しなさい!, or Missions of Love)
By: Ema Tooyama
Himuro Yukina is feared by most students due to her glare. Yet even though she doesn’t get along with others in real life, she is popular on the internet due to secretly being a famous cellphone novelist, Yupina. Her cellphone novel is a fantasy romance, and during her spare time, she researches material about “love” for it despite not ever experiencing love herself. One day, she witnesses Shigure Kitami’s—the most popular boy in school—secret, which is that he is a womanizer that like to record his accomplishments with girls in his Student ID book. Yukina uses this secret as blackmail, and forces Shigure to teach her about love. However, Yukina’s childhood friend and cousin, Akira, dislikes this idea because he secretly admires Yukina. Although forced into this situation, Shigure begins to question whether his act is really an “act” or “love.”
In the beginning, I was addicted. I kept reading this manga, chapter after chapter, staying up late and sleeping around 2 AM. Yukina’s perspective and ideas about what love is are ridiculous and sometimes, embarrassing. Some of her ideas do not even pertain to love, but more of an obsessive fantasy or fetish people may have. Even though Yukina maybe naive when it comes to love, I felt that throughout the series she is a bit dense and lacks common sense. Some of the crazy antics she gets herself into is for the sake of her novel, but if you think about, she puts herself in really dangerous situations that can hurt her mentally and physically. It is at these moments where I feel she doesn’t truly value her well-being. However as I kept reading, she slowly learns what love is when she starts falling for Shigure, and beings to have some self-worth.
I wouldn’t consider Yukina an annoying character, but there were other characters that made this manga a bit of a drag. One of these characters is the obsessive and manipulative, Mami Mizuno. Mami is Shigure’s childhood friend, and seems to have a crush on him. She has a strong dislike towards Yukina because she is able to bring out sincere feelings of love and vulnerability within Shigure. I think the main reason why I find her annoying is her “sweet and innocent” facade. In addition, I feel like her story arc, as well as Hisame Kitami’s, kind of drags out longer than needed and a bit over dramatic.
In relation to the title of this post, Yukina is worried about whether or not Shigure can accept her secret life as a cellphone novelist. She finds it troublesome due to the fact that the main character in her book is based on Shigure, which brings forth the question does Yukina truly love him for him or is she just using him for a story.
Even though Watashi ni xx Shinasai! has some annoying characters, it is an interesting read if you like drama and romance. Yet if you can’t stand annoying girl characters, don’t read it.
2.5 Jigen Kareshi (2.5次元彼氏 or 2.5D Boyfriend)
By: Mitsu Aoi
Koino Tsumugi is a proud otaku. She is obsessed with Tokki, this 2D character from her favorite otome game. Tsumugi moves into a new household as a tenant, and meets the son of the household owner, Tokio Sayashi. Koino is instantly attracted to him because he looks like her favorite 2D character, Tokki. Tokio starts to like Koino, but he dislikes anyone or anything otaku. So now, she has to figure out how to change his outlook on the otaku lifestyle and accept her.
This manga gives readers a glimpse into the life of an otaku. Some of the things in this manga are unrealistic, but her actions and reactions to anything relating to her favorite game is pretty hilarious. I consider myself a casual lover of anime and manga, but when it comes to my favorite musicians and bands, I “fangirl” like Koino. (I have no shame in that.)
2.5 Jigen Kareshi discusses a sensitive topic, the otaku lifestyle. The word, “otaku” has a negative outlook within society. From my experience, when people hear about my interest in anime and manga, I get this feeling that they are already stereotyping me as a “weirdo.” Thus, I could understand where Koino is coming from. She is scared to be judge by Tokio as a “weirdo” due to being an otaku. Honestly, there is nothing wrong with liking anime and manga. I just don’t like how some people make it sound like it is the most horrible thing to like in this world, and force others to feel self-conscious and want to hide their interests. It is fine to like these things. If adults can still like Disney, then people can like anime and manga. We don’t judge people who like Disney, so don’t judge others who like anime and manga.