Shohei Ikushima is a part-time worker at a pet shop specializing in rabbits. He adores the sweet, fluffy creatures, as well as the cute owner of the store, Itsuki Mito. But in spite of his attraction to Mito, he never sticks around after his shifts.

He’s hiding a secret from his boss that could endanger his job. It doesn’t stop Mito from noticing something special about Shohei. Secret XXX unfolds like a typical boys love manga. Beautiful boy meets gorgeous boy, and it doesn’t take much for sparks to fly. In this case, however, Mito is harboring dark secrets of his own. What will happen when their secrets are exposed? Will the couple be able to overcome what sets them apart?

This one-shot romance unfolds in three short chapters with efficient use of romantic manga tropes, including dubiously consensual sex, a meddlesome brother with a brother complex, cross dressing, fear of discovery, and a sweet, happily ever after.

The plot is as deep as a bird bath, but the art is very good and it’s a bon bon of a boys love title. This is the first of Hinohara’s works to be licensed in English by SubLime, Viz Media’s boys love imprint, but the publisher is also releasing another title, Therapy Game, which features a character from Secret XXX (Mito’s younger brother, Minato).

Thin plot aside, the manga is really well drawn. Explicitly so. This makes this a strictly adult-only addition for any boys love fan or a library with a large manga collection. I enjoyed the artwork more than the writing, ranking the work up with two of my favorite current boys love mangaka, Ranmaru Zayira and Scarlet Beriko.

Secret XXX
By Meguru Hinohara
ISBN: 9781974712410
SubLime, 2020
Publisher Age Rating: 18+

Browse for more like this title
NFNT Age Recommendation: Adult (18+)
Character Traits: Japanese, Gay

  • Lisa P.

    Reviewer

    Library Associate in Youth Services | She/Her

    Lisa Pett, First of her name, purple of hair: Mother of Teens, Otaku, Fujoshi, Reader of Yaoi, Seller of Comics, Shelver of Books and currently residing North of the Wall. A retired roller derby player and current Library Associate in Youth Services in Wisconsin, Lisa has worked as a journalist and freelance writer while nursing obsessions with various fandoms and pop culture, Shakespeare, manga, anime, and sloths. She fills in occasionally behind the cash register at her local comic shop and tries to keep their website up to date. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter @Rose_Redrum where she swears and retweets at random.

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