Mei no Naisho
|Mei no Naisho|
Mei no Naisho manga volume 1 cover.
|Genre||Comedy, Magical girl|
|Written by||Shiroi Kusaka|
|Published by||Fujimi Shobo|
|Magazine||Dragon Age Pure
Monthly Dragon Age
|Original run||October 20, 2007 – January 2011|
Mei no Naisho (メイのないしょ, lit. Mei's Secret), subtitled make miracle, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Shiroi Kusaka. The story centers on an effeminate high school boy named Mei Haruna who was raised as a girl by his now-deceased witch mother; Mei too can use magic, though he is not proficient at it. After his mother's death, he transfers to an all-girls school and resides in the school's dormitory with his roommate, and public morals committee member, Fūka Honjō. Mei no Naisho began serialization in Fujimi Shobo's shōnen manga magazine Dragon Age Pure on October 20, 2007, and was later transferred to Fujimi Shobo's Monthly Dragon Age starting with the June 2009 issue. Two bound volumes have been released in Japan.
Mei no Naisho revolves around the life of the title character Mei Haruna, an effeminate young boy who was raised by his witch mother as a girl, and always thought of himself as female. The reason for this stems half in part from his mother being aware that men born into a magical lineage typically live shorter lives than women born into these families. However, if a male is raised as a female, this will prove effective in ensuring him a long life. The other half had to do with his mother having enjoyed dressing up her son in female clothing and taking photographs of him as her hobby, though Mei is not aware of this half of the reason for his upbringing. His mother was the only family he had, so after she died, he transfers to an all-girls high school and comes to reside in the school's dormitory with his talking familiar cat Abel, and his roommate Fūka Honjō, who is also a member of the public morals committee.
Shortly after arriving at the school, his new friends discover after a magical display in the dormitory community bath that he is actually male, though this comes as quite a shock to him despite him being aware of the physical differences between him and normal girls. Despite him being found out, and after some helpful intervening of the perverted student council president, the principal of the school decides that he can stay at the school. The next day, Mei comes to school with Fūka and apologizes for hiding the fact that he was a witch, and informs the others how he is apparently male. The other students quickly accept him as one of their own, and are impressed how he can use magic.
- Mei Haruna (春名 メイ Haruna Mei )
- Mei is the main character of Mei no Naisho. He is a young effeminate high school boy who was raised by his witch mother as a girl, and always thought himself as female despite the physical differences between himself and normal girls. Like his mother, he too can use magic, though he is not an expert, especially when it comes to transformation magic. Mei has a talking familiar white cat named Abel (アベル Aberu ) which gives advice to Mei, though cannot be used effectively until Mei becomes more proficient in magic. Mei always wears a star necklace previously owned by his mother which can transform into his magic wand. When his friends notice his obviously male body in the bath and tell him he is actually a boy, this comes as a shock to him. Afterwards, instead of referring to himself by the gender neutral watashi (私, meaning "I"), he starts using the more masculine boku (僕, also meaning "I"), though boku has been known to be used by girls in Japan.
- Despite not being born female, Mei has a slender build and a feminine face which makes him easily mistaken for the opposite sex. Mei scares easily and has been known to rely on his roommate Fūka Honjō for support when he is scared or nervous. He is weak when being taken advantage of by the student council president Seira Rindō, and puts up little resistance in such instances. Mei tends to be clumsy and often trips resulting in him falling onto the ground. His guardian, a woman named Kyōko (京子), is the headmistress of Mei's school, and while she knew Mei was a witch, she never knew he was a boy.
- Fūka Honjō (本条 風華 Honjō Fūka )
- Fūka is a strong girl in the same class as Mei, and is also his roommate. Fūka is a member of the public morals committee and often intervenes when the student council president Seira Rindō is performing various perverted acts with other females students, or with Mei. Along with this, she takes part in night patrols around the school's dormitory which can keep her out late. To help in her struggle with the unruly, she carries a wooden sword and has been known to knock doors completely off their hinges when using it. After Mei is found out to be a boy, she tells him not to worry how they are roommates which makes Mei very happy. Fūka worries about Mei's well-being and feels the need to protect him. She has expressed an overactive imagination in regards to Mei (and the consequent nosebleeds) and is often suggested that she has feelings for him.
- Seira Rindō (竜胆 聖羅 Rindō Seira )
- Seira, also known as Sēra (セーラ), is the student council president of Mei's school. She has a perverted personality and often gets into risque situations with other female students and teachers, or Mei, which often involves BDSM. To combat Fūka's constant interruptions, she carries a folding fan and uses it to block Fūka's wooden sword. She is a powerful force in the school, and often gets involved with Mei's life. Seira especially likes to play pranks on Mei such as replacing his panties with white briefs for men. However despite this, it is revealed that she never truly lets people get close to her after her mother died, but seems to have since allowed Mei to be close to her.
The Mei no Naisho manga series, written and illustrated by Shiori Kusaka, was serialized in Fujimi Shobo's shōnen manga magazine Dragon Age Pure between October 20, 2007 and December 19, 2008. After Dragon Age Pure was discontinued in early 2009, the manga was transferred to Fujimi Shobo's Monthly Dragon Age magazine starting with the June 2009 issue. The first bound volume was released in Japan on June 9, 2008 under the Kadokawa Comics Dragon Jr. imprint; the second volume was published on August 8, 2009.
- Ito, Rika. "BOKU or WATASHI: Variation in self-reference terms among Japanese children". INST. Retrieved 2008-05-19.
- "Mei no Naisho manga volume 1 listing" (in Japanese). Kadokawa Shoten. Retrieved 2008-07-30.