I’ll be turning my attention to some yuri manga over the next few weeks, and the first one I’ll be looking at is Milk Morinaga’s Secret of the Princess.
Milk Morinaga is a yuri manga artist who has had works published in Yuri Shimai, Comic Yuri Hime, Comic Hot Milk and other yuri and adult manga magazines. Her most famous work is almost certainly Girl Friends.
As for Secret of the Princess, it was originally published on Shinshokan’s Web Wings digital manga platform starting in 2014. In 2015, the compiled volume was published by Ohime-sama no Namida Shinsokan.
Secret of the Princess was licensed for an English release by Seven Seas.Fujiwara is the school’s most admired student and captain of the volleyball team, but her reputation is at risk when she accidentally breaks the principal’s most prized possession, a priceless vase. Fellow student Miu witness the accident, and Fujiwara begs her not to tell. In exchange, she’ll do whatever Miu wants. It turns out that what Miu wants is to date Fujiwara! Although this wasn’t an arrangement that either girl expected, the two soon discover that breaking the vase may have been destiny’s way of bringing them together.
Chapter 1, ‘Mirror of the Princess’, starts with Miu witnessing Fujiwara breaking the principal’s prized vase, which leads to her asking the girl out. Miu intends to date Fujiwara as practice for the future; she denies any actual romantic feelings.
Miu manages to draw a lot of ire from other girls when she tells them she is dating Fujiwara.
Miu decides that she and Fujiwara should go on a practice date in chapter 2, ‘Lie of the Princess’. Whilst Miu grows closer to Fujiwara, her other friends drift away from her. They end up going to karaoke, where other girls from the volleyball club end up joining them. Miu struggles to cope in a group, though Fujiwara is there for her.
After that, a girl called Kaori admits to having feelings for Fujiwara and asks Miu to break up with her.
Miu dwells on Kaori’s words in chapter 3, ‘Secret of the Princess’. Miu remains convinced that she has no romantic inclinations towards Fujiwara, though it seems her imagination believes otherwise.
At school, Miu meets Fujiwara’s friend Hirosawa. Hirosawa asks if Miu and Fujiwara have kissed, but that only causes embarrassment for Miu, who quickly takes off.
Miu ends up talking to Kaori about Fujiwara, and its through that conversation that Miu starts coming to term with her feelings.
Fujiwara invites Miu to her home in chapter 4, ‘Wish of the Princess’. Of course, Miu is nervous about the situation, but she goes ahead with it any way. Turns out Fujiwara’s family is quite rich, and she has a big house as well as maids.
Following that, Miu encourages Fujiwara to eat lunch with some of her classmates. She makes lunch for Fujiwara, though she doesn’t believe it to be too good. After her lunch, Fujiwara finds Miu to thank her – and Hirosawa happens to witness that scene.
Hirosawa reveals to Fujiwara that she what happened between her and Miu the previous day in chapter 5, ‘Tears of the Princess’. Hirosawa suggests that Fujiwara starts dating Miu for real, but Fujiwara believes that Miu only thinks of it as a fake romance.
After Fujiwara does some research on the type of person Miu likes, she changes up her look.
When Miu and Fujiwara find themselves alone, Miu suggests that they should practice “that kind of thing”. However, Fujiwara says that there’s no point in taking a fake relationship that far. She calls the whole thing off, leading to Miu to fall into despair.
Miu wakes up in the infirmary in chapter 6, ‘Kiss of the Princess’, to find Fujiwara sleeping right beside her. Miu kisses the comatose Fujiwara, who wakes up. She then flees to the roof, with Fujiwara following her.
Miu being on the roof causes quite a commotion. Lots of people gather as Miu and Fujiwara talk in an attempt to sort out their situation.
The story finishes with an epilogue, which is followed up by a bonus chapter called ‘After School Girl’ about a chemistry club with a member who seems to be somewhat out of place.
Secret of the Princess is a pretty great yuri story, but you should expect no less from Milk Morinaga. I quite enjoyed the way in which Miu’s feeling for Fujiwara developed as they spent more time with each other, though it took Miu a while to realise her true thoughts.
I found Fujiwara’s obsession with zombie films rather amusing, and Miu making her a Shaun of the Dead-themed bento got a laugh out of me. Also, Fujiwara is a quarter British, which immediately increases the amount I like any given character.
Miu’s a pretty good character as well, even if she does need to be more honest with herself. Still, she has a pretty admirable devotion to going through with the whole “practice date” thing, though that’s probably because she is genuinely attracted to Fujiwara.
I would eagerly recommend any one of Milk Morinaga’s works, but as Secret of the Princess is only a single volume, it’s probably a good place to start with the yuri genre. Even if you’re already familiar with the genre, then I’d still recommend Secret of the Princess.
It successfully shows the development of a relationship between two girls, complete with enough drama to keep things interesting throughout every chapter. Whilst a fair bit does come from Miu’s self-doubt and coming to terms with her heart, it is interesting to see the way the people around Miu and Fujiwara react to their relationship.