My Monster Secret, Volume 1 – Review

Back to the manga review grind, with a new release that arrives in the wake of the summer anime – My Monster Secret, the more conventionally (and googlably) titled localization of Actually, I Am…

I enjoyed the few episodes of this show I watched, but not enough to continue – it struck me as the kind of wacky comedy that would actually come off as more enjoyable when I could burn through the gags at my own reading pace. The manga somewhat bore that impression out, though it also made it clear that the adaptation had made a number of its own improvements – namely, getting the initially rough art up to a higher general standard of character designs, and also cutting some very weak early chapters. But those issues aside, this was still a reasonably charming and very breezy read. It’s nice to have some popcorn manga around.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my chapter notes below!

My Monster Secret

Chapter 1

“We all want someone else to know our secret”

The character designs are very unique. Extremely lanky, and older-looking than most anime characters. Precise but flavorful expressions, and a really unique style of eye designs

The heroine Shiragami does not look anything like a traditional harem main girl – she’s tall and imposing, looking even older than the rest – a very angular look

Asahi’s the lead. Can’t keep a secret

“Everyone’s got a secret or two”

This first chapter sure keeps repeating that “holey sieve” nickname a lot

The art has a weird tendency to fade to white around the characters, leaving a space between them and the backgrounds

Shiragami’s surprised and angry expressions are great, as is Asahi’s blank face

“Actually, I am, like, a vampire.” Good line

So she actually uses kansai dialect, which they’re translating as just very casual turns of phrase

And Shiragami’s apparently clueless about his affections. A match made in heaven – the guy who’s easy to read and the girl who can’t read people for crap

And he swears he’ll keep her secret, and asks to be her friend

Akemi Mikan, “Orange,” the newspaper girl

Chapter 2

There is something refreshingly old-fashioned about this cute, low-key romcom

And Shiragami is annoyed that Asahi is lying to her to keep things calm. Good

And they win with a really stupid trick

Chapter 3

She says asking him about sucking blood is sexual harassment. Great face

Sucking blood is like pledging your love, of course. Because this is a romcom

The chapter conflicts are all very simple, and so are the characters. It’s cute, but that’s about it

Everyone in this story is an idiot

Chapter 4

There’s also no forward momentum in these early chapters. It basically immediately sits back in a comedy rhythm

Time to visit Shiragami when she has a cold

Big overreactions are the series’ bread and butter, clearly

Her house is surrounded by bats, lol

It’s pretty cute how dumb and awkward both of them are

Chapter 5

Aizawa Nagisa, the class rep/alien in a human-sized robot

And now she also has a crush on Asahi, but can’t see it as that

Aizawa is pretty great. A strong personality that immediately gets bent out of shape by this sort of stuff

Chapter 6

And now they’re battling over who’s more obvious

It’s nice to see a romcom where the characters start as friends

These two together are really great

Oh my god, some of these faces. This is easily the best chapter yet

And now Aizawa sees the wings

Chapter 7

Oh my god, their reactions. Shiragami is enchanted by tiny class rep, and then immediately says “no, I’m a vampire”

Tiny Aizawa moping on top of big Aizawa. Jeez

And she says she’ll erase his memories… with a hammer

And we finally end with Shiragami yelling at Asahi for trying to sacrifice himself