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Review: Don’t Tell My Husband (Vol. 01)

Don’t Tell My Husband (Vol. 01)
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Manga-ka: Kei Kousaki
Publisher: Digital Manga Guild
Rating: Teen (13+)
Release Date: January 2013

Synopsis: “Because Minano has spent her entire life sheltered by her wealth and parents, she has seldom experienced the hardships of everyday life. Nothing changes after her marriage to a wealthy CEO, as she is still spoiled shamelessly by her husband. Why then, would she try and break into said husband’s company to steal a heavily guarded opal necklace? Or why, when she’s held up in a bank robbery, would she take matters into her own hands to thwart the robbers? Is she really who she seems? Does one high-heeled madam with nerves of steel even stand a chance against gun-wielding criminals? Just who is this sheltered wife?”

This is a strange little manga. I wasn’t sure what I was getting when I went into it, and I still wasn’t really sure when I finished. It’s an amusing little distraction but feels as flighty as its lead who fails to carry these episodic chapters.

The story follows who we believe to be a frail and sheltered young woman named Minano. She lives an almost bubble-home life with her adoring husband, who is the very rich and powerful CEO of a company. Quickly we learn that there’s more than that to Minano, including skills more akin to that of an experienced cat burglar or stunt performer.

Minano’s demeanour occasionally flips like a switch, which initially led me to believe she had some sort of multiple personality disorder. Then we learn a little more about her past via her ex-boyfriend, now close friend and police detective, which suggests she’s just very good at acting in order to maintain this new life. One moment she’s a dense housewife, the next she’s kicking some bank burglar’s butt. But why?

Minano is a bit of an airhead. Or at least, she wants to be an airhead. Or wants people to think she’s an airhead? But then there’s this darker side. These two sides of her aren’t separate enough be interesting though. If it was beyond her control, or even just a secret, it would’ve made for a more interesting dynamic. Unfortunately it appears to be neither. There’s no real tension past a momentary thought of ‘when is she going to switch this time?’.

Minano’s motivations are also a little iffy. It’s clear she’s a romantic, and out of love for her own happy marriage, wants to see other couples have their happy ending. Often this comes across as very misguided. It’s cool seeing her suddenly go butt-kicker on an abusive man, but then it feels gross when she goes out of her way to help fulfill the romantic dreams of a woman who cheated on her lover, and in another situation sought a happy end to a couple’s dispute that resulted in one being stabbed in the stomach.

I liked the cheery tone Don’t Tell My Husband had, and its light and retro-josei looking artwork (despite being published originally in 2005), but it feels aimless. Minano has these two sides, but doesn’t care about hiding them. She’s spoiled and joyously skips about doing what she wants, when she wants, regardless of others requests, and it doesn’t feel like the kind of a story where they will ever be repercussions for her actions. Or any actual plot, really. It’s clear there’s more to learn about Minano but after volume one I don’t think I can be patient enough with her flippancy to learn it, or have faith the story will think it even relevant.

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Digita copy provided by for review purposes

About the Author:

Lissa Pattillo is the owner and editor of Residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia she takes great joy in collecting all manners of manga genres, regretting that there's never enough time in the day to review or share them all. Along with reviews, Lissa is responsible for all the news postings to the website and works full time as a web and graphic designer.

Kuriousity does not condone or support the illegal distribution of manga online.
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