• remind me tomorrow
  • remind me next week
  • never remind me
Subscribe to the ANN Newsletter • Wake up every Sunday to a curated list of ANN's most interesting posts of the week. read more


by Rebecca Silverman,

My Girlfriend's Child

GN 1

My Girlfriend's Child GN 1

Sachi and Takara are pretty normal high schoolers. They've been dating for a while and having sex, and they're starting to really think about what comes after high school. Everything is thrown into chaos, however, when Sachi starts to worry that the one time their condom broke might have resulted in her becoming pregnant. Not sure how to deal with it, she begins to explore her options – and just how much support she wants from the people around her.

My Girlfriend's Child is translated by Hana Allen and lettered by Phil Christie.


The title of this one is a little bit misleading, at least in this first volume. Not when it comes to the subject matter – this is a story about teen pregnancy – but inasmuch as it frames the narrative as being from Takara's point of view rather than Sachi's. It may change going forward, but this book is almost exclusively from Sachi's perspective. While her pregnancy will affect both of them, removing her agency from the series' title feels a little disingenuous.

That's one of the few places where this volume goes wrong. My Girlfriend's Child doesn't feel like a story that judges its characters, presenting its plot in a matter-of-fact way that really works for the characters. Sachi and Takara are a couple who have been together for a while, first as childhood friends and in recent years as boyfriend and girlfriend. They've been having sex since Sachi was fifteen (it's not entirely clear if they're the same age or if Takara's a year older), and they both enjoy it. They've been using protection right along, but shortly before the story starts, their condom breaks. It's the only time they've had unprotected sex, but as we all know, once is enough.

Neither Sachi nor Takara is presented as ignorant, just perhaps not as educated as they might be on sex and pregnancy, which feels very real for their age. Sachi's less a fool and more someone who really doesn't want to face what she suspects is true, which again is a very realistic reaction. She's noticed some changes in her body that she's uncomfortable with, from weight gain to food and nausea issues. When she realizes that her irregular period hasn't appeared for longer than expected, she does what she needs to: take a pregnancy test. When it comes back positive, she's not sure what to do, though again, she eventually makes the right decision to go to an OB/GYN. Is she working on the best timeline? Maybe not, but her anxiety and fear are solid, grounded factors in all of her decisions.

One aspect that stands out is how she feels she must go it alone. She doesn't tell anyone what she's afraid is happening. When her older brother sees her searching pregnancy-related topics on her phone, he tries to force her and Takara into going to a clinic for an abortion. While his heart is in the right place – he also offers to help Sachi talk to their mom about what's going on – his attempted interference freaks Sachi out, especially since she's had spotting (not hugely uncommon in early pregnancy) and wishfully thinks it's her period. The fact that he's also forcefully outed her to Takara further upsets Sachi, even though her boyfriend, once he gets over his shock, is wholly supportive and says he'll go along with her decisions.

The thing is, Sachi doesn't necessarily want that kind of support. She's young and scared, and she seems to want someone to tell her what to do. She's definitely leaning towards abortion, and her desire for privacy/secrecy partly stems from just wanting this problem gone so that she doesn't have to think about it. But this isn't an easy decision, and the book doesn't shy away from letting us know that. When Sachi skips school to go by herself to a clinic staffed only by women, we see her hover her pencil over the questionnaire they offer her, struggling with her answers. She also shies away from the looks on the other patients' faces in the waiting room; clearly, she interprets them as judgmental, but from our outside perspective, they aren't necessarily. Everything about her reactions is carefully drawn to show us how she sees things and to let us know that her interpretation isn't necessarily the way things are.

It's worth mentioning that Sachi's interpersonal relationships are all excellent. Her mother is caring (although she still doesn't know about the pregnancy), her brother is awkward but supportive, and Takara is absolutely a partner to her. They have a very frank relationship and neither evidences discomfort when discussing her period. This isn't framed as being about a careless, stupid teen relationship or a young woman with no options; it's just something that happened, as these things do.

My Girlfriend's Child isn't the first manga to tackle a young woman facing a surprise, and potentially unwanted, pregnancy (Megumi Mizusawa, creator of Hime-chan's Ribbon, wrote one in 2001, Kami-sama no Orgel). Still, it is one of the few to come out in English and treat the subject with clear, nonjudgmental eyes. It's not promoting any “right” answer in this volume, and it takes a very calm and realistic view of Sachi's anxiety. This could change going forward, but right now, this is a solid treatment of teen pregnancy and one girl's attempt to cope with it and make the best decisions for herself. The art doesn't show up particularly well in the digital edition (or at least not on my Kindle Fire), so you may want to go hard copy for this, but however you pick it up, it's very much a book worth reading.

Overall : A-
Story : A-
Art : B

+ Handles Sachi's anxiety and spirally thoughts very well. Nonjudgmental throughout.
Art doesn't show up particularly well in the digital edition, title feels misleading.

discuss this in the forum (4 posts) |
bookmark/share with: short url
Add this manga to
Production Info:
Story & Art: Mamoru Aoi
Licensed by: Seven Seas Entertainment

Full encyclopedia details about
My Girlfriend's Child (manga)

Review homepage / archives