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Webcomic / My Deepest Secret

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So happy together...

My Deepest Secret is a drama Webtoon created by Hanza. It follows Emma, an ordinary college student who works part time at a coffee shop, and her relationship with her seemingly perfect boyfriend, Elios. Elios is attentive, attractive, and utterly devoted to Emma. He works at the coffee shop with her, walks her home, and is extremely protective of Emma, confronting anyone who mistreats her. You'd think this would be a perfect set-up.

You'd be wrong.

Things get more complicated when Yohan, a young detective enters the fray, and Emma's own past comes into question. What will happen when Elios and Emma's secrets are uncovered?

You can read it here. It updates every Tuesday.

Beware of unmarked spoilers!


My Deepest Secret contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Emma's father, who's shown hurting her in flashbacks.
    • Emma's mother, Linda, is just as bad. She straight-up says that she doesn't need Emma. Within earshot of Emma. Emma's a little girl at the time. Cheating on her father and divorcing him was what also led to his own abuse from his drunken Sanity Slippage.
  • Affably Evil: Sweet, nurturing, affectionate, not only willing but glad to take his girlfriend out on old-fashioned dates and bring her soup when she's sick... Really, if it weren't for the "murderous psycho" part, Elios would be the perfect boyfriend. Or rather, Emma's hallucinated version of Elios; the real Elios isn't evil in the slightest.
  • All-Loving Hero: Emma has been nothing but a sweetheart since the first episode. Although even she has her limits. Heavily averted once it's revealed Elios' evil actions were actually committed by Emma herself, even if she was in a delusionary state at the time.
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  • All Men Are Perverts: Played with. Emma has been targeted by two such men so far. However, neither Elios or Yohan fit this, although in Elios' case, he’s got different problems...
  • Alone with the Psycho: Downplayed, as Emma's been alone with Elios before. She's also been alone with her creepy professor. But the scene which gives this the biggest vibe is when Elios shows up unexpectedly on her class trip, waiting until Emma's alone to finally show himself. Brrr… And averted completely when it turns out that version of Elios isn't real, that he was simply a split personality of Emma.
  • Ambiguous Disorder:
    • Elios is all but stated to be a sociopath, the only thing making it unambiguous is that it hasn't been stated. Or rather, Emma's hallucinated version of Elios is.
    • Emma's childhood trauma causes her to stalk the real Elios because he was always kind to her, and she tries to kill his girlfriend when it's clear that he's not going to leave her. When Emma believes she's murdered Elios, she hallucinates a version of Elios that borders on being a split personality, the perfect boyfriend who will hurt anyone who tries to hurt Emma.
  • Ambiguous Situation: The cliffhanger at the end of Episode 61 counts as this. Emma's alone with Elios, and while that'd normally cheer her up, she looks scared, and he looks a hell of a lot more menacing than he usually is around her
  • Art Evolution: The art syle remains cute, but as the series progresses the characters look noticeably more mature.
  • Asshole Victim: Brian and Emma's professor both totally had it coming (though the former doesn't actually die). Many readers have commented/joked that if it weren't for the fact that he killed a defenseless cat, they'd actually be on Elios' side.
    • The end of season 1 suggest that Sophie is to become Elios' next victim. While at first it's suggested that Elios' motives are simply jealousy, events in season 2 make clear that she is actually this. Though she survives the initial attack.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Yohan is a self proclaimed detective, and his first appearance certainly justifies it, as he deduces a viable suspect for a club theft in only a few sentences.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: Murdering an innocent, defenseless kitten is our first glimpse into Elios' real personality.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Think this is just a cute, wholesome romance? Wait until the end of the first chapter, where Elios kills a cat for peeing on Emma’s shoe.
  • Beneath the Mask:
    • A major theme. Elios appears to be the ideal, loving boyfriend, which he would be if he weren’t an overprotective yandere. This could count for the entire series as well, since it looks so cute, only to be in the thriller genre.
      • It goes even deeper because the yandere version of Elios has actually been Emma all along, a combination of being a hallucination and a split personality.
  • Berserk Button: Anyone doing anything slightly bad to Emma seems to be Elios’.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Sophie. she's been behind a lot of the recent trouble for Emma, even pushing her into a river! All the while, she's been acting like a friend.
  • Bland-Name Product: In this universe, people use Instagrim.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Elios’ response to a cat peeing on Emma’s shoes? Kill it. His response to Brian attempting to rape her? Beat the tar out of him as a warning, but keep him alive.
  • Boyfriend Bluff: When an attempted kidnapper holds Emma hostage to try to escape, Yohan steps up to him. The kidnapper asks if he’s her boyfriend or something, to which he replies, “So what if I am?”
  • Cast Full of Crazy: Well, we have a yandere boyfriend, an attempted rapist, a perverted teacher, a bunch of classmates that are... not the best to say the least, and an amateur detective. Even Emma has a Mysterious Past. So far, Nura seems to be the most sane character. Emma turns out to be the craziest of them all.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The series was never exactly cheerful to begin with, but as time went on the humor got phased out and the genuinely romantic moments did as well in place of the darker themes of mental illness and abuse. The last season even has a trigger warning!
  • Cliffhanger: Plenty episodes end with one.
  • Covers Always Lie: Played with. The thumbnail for the series displays its cute art and the romance theme with Elios and Emma hugging...but her nervous expression should tip people off…
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Surprisingly, downplayed with Elios. While he is concerned that Emma may be seeing Brian behind his back, he’s not overly suspicious, and the only reason he attacks Brian is because he tried to rape Emma.
  • Cry Cute: Even when she's sobbing her eyes out, Emma is beautiful.
  • Cute and Psycho: There is no denying Elios is a looker, and his interactions with Emma are usually sweet.. but he’s also a yandere with a growing body count.
    • Turns out this also applies to Emma herself, given there is no Elios and she's the one who's been assaulting and murdering people all along.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Emma's an abuse survivor. We're shown flashbacks of someone (at the time implied to be her father, later confirmed to indeed be her father) beating her up and screaming profanity at her, and she's since changed her name and moved. Bringing any of this up around her is not a good idea.
  • Death Glare: Elios has a frightening one.
  • Destructive Romance: While the series never shied away from showing that Emma and Elios’s relationship is not what you should aspire to have, there were still some chapters devoted to showing their relationship as quite adorable, namely Emma’s sick day episodes. However, later chapters show just how disturbing it is. After finding out that much of Elios’s kindness depends on how much value he places on someone, Emma grows afraid that if she weren’t his girlfriend, he wouldn’t care about her at all, which makes her even more quiet and less talkative with him. It comes to a head where, after a truly terrible day, she confides in him, he comforts her...before telling her to depend on him and only him. Brr.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Emma just about flatlines when she sees Elios shirtless for the first time.
  • Domestic Abuse:
    • The emotional and mental kind. Elios does a lot of things to Emma behind her back (including sending texts and deleting them), does try to manipulate her social life (telling her to stay away from Yohan, although in that case he does have more reasons than pure jealousy) and finally tells her while she’s in an emotionally vulnerable state to only depend on him. Averted when it's revealed that Emma was Elios all along.
    • Emma's childhood when it's revealed; her mother left her and her father when Emma was just a little girl, making it clear that she didn't want Emma in her life. Emma's father becomes unhealthily fixated on Emma because she looks so much like her mother, and ends up beating her when he's had too much to drink. But, because he's so loving the rest of the time, Emma forgives him and even lies to the Child Protection Services because she doesn't want to leave him. Then her father slips up and reveals that he is happy to abuse her all of the time, he only used being drunk as an excuse. When Emma tries to escape, her father grabs her and says he's going to lock her up until she becomes old enough to replace her mother. Fortunately Emma fights back, and her father is accidentally killed when she pushes him back onto the bottle he broke earlier.
  • Doom Magnet: Emma has a tendency to attract the worst kind of people, from a senior who’s an attempted rapist to a perverted teacher. Also, bad things always happen to people who hurt her in any way, courtesy of Elios. Sadly has shades of Truth in Television for abuse survivors like Emma.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: What Emma is scared will happen if she introduces Yohan to Elios. Yohan, not realizing how scared she is of this plays along with it...until she runs away. He quickly realizes he messed up.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Most of Season Two takes place within a single day. Only the last arc, "His Deductions," takes place after that day.
  • First-Episode Twist: Elios is a yandere.
  • Foreshadowing: Turns out the short arc with Emma protecting Yona has even more significance than bringing Yohan and Emma onto the same team briefly…seeing Emma's capability against the kidnapper makes Yohan suspect she's the Black-Hoodie figure.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: We never actually see Elios kill the cat. We only see him giving it a dark look, and later it lying in a pool of blood.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Sophie is violently jealous of girls with good looks who attract male attention. Emma is one of these—nevermind the fact that much of the attention she gets is unwanted!
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Emma has blonde hair and is nothing but a sweetheart.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Downplayed with Hanamika. Most of her standoffishness is revealed to be due to her introvert tendencies rather than any true unfriendliness, and she's a perfectly decent person beneath it all.
  • Hollywood Psych: Used for the reveal of Elios being Emma’s split personality. It’s uncertain whether she has DID or something else.
  • Hot for Student: Emma’s creepy teacher. It's implied he's done this to others before Emma.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Even though she asked him out, Emma still has trouble grasping that Elios really loves her.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Usually Elios has Innocent Blue Eyes, but whenever his yandere side is triggered…
  • Identical Stranger: Downplayed. Camie, a girl Sophie knew in high school, bears strong resemblance to Emma.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Emma says a lot of the same things that Camie said to Sophie in high school in order to cheer her up and attempt to help her with her confidence. While she meant it because she's a very nice girl, Sophie takes it very poorly.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: As a little boy, Yohan developed one with a kindly older man named Oscar.
  • Insecure Love Interest:
    • In a twist, Emma, the main character, is this to Elios. Months after they start dating, she’s still shocked that he agreed to go out with her.
    • The real Elios' girlfriend, Farrah, suffers from this. She also thinks that he's far too good for her, especially as she considers herself to not be good looking.
  • Kill the Cutie: The poor cat in the first episode.
  • Light Feminine Dark Feminine: Played with in regards to Emma and Mika. On first glance, Emma fits the light one, with blond hair, a light color scheme, and a sweet disposition, while Mika is the dark one with dark hair, darker color scheme, and a more aloof personality. But their reveals are the total opposite: Emma with Elios as her split personality and attacking others, while Mika’s is that underneath her cold disposition, she’s actually a generally nice (albeit introverted) person.
  • Love Makes You Crazy/ Love Makes You Evil: It’s unknown what he was like before meeting Emma, but Elios’ love for her drives him to kill a cat, attack her senior, and kill her professor. It’s not likely he’s going to stop anytime soon. Averted but then played straight once again when it's revealed that yandere Elios was Emma's split personality all along, her obsessive love for him is what made her create her idealised version of him.
  • Mirror Character:
    • Emma, like Elios, can be rather clingy and doesn't want to share him with anyone else. The difference being, Emma realizes this is a flaw of hers, and she'd never hurt anyone to keep them away from Elios. Makes sense when it's revealed that Emma was Elios all along.
    • Emma and Yohan as children were both very quiet, kept to themselves, and were the target of bullying, as flashbacks show.
  • Mirror Scare: After Brian is still trying to find Emma after she escaped by kicking him in the crotch, he thinks he’s found her...only to have a full size mirror, reflecting both him and the silhouette of someone aiming for his head.
  • Missing Mom: A recent episode mentioned Emma went to live with her aunt after her abusive father died. It's not clear what happened to her mother. It’s revealed that Emma’s mother, Linda, divorced her dad after cheating on him. The turmoil led to his descent into madness.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • The very first episode starts out almost saccharine, with Emma gushing about her amazing, perfect boyfriend, and him seeming to live up to that description. Then he kills a cat.
    • The date episodes between Emma and Elios have one each. In the first part, Elios takes Emma into the middle of a lake by boat. It's sweet until he comments that nobody can escape like that, and then asks her how much she loves him. The following episode ends with Emma narrating how wrong she was to think she was lucky to have Elios...accompanied by a picture of two skulls and a white moth.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After Yohan brings up Emma's Dark and Troubled Past, driving the poor girl to tears in the process, he's genuinely remorseful and realizes how badly he screwed up.
  • Mysterious Past: Emma has one.
    • According to one episode, it's even mysterious to Emma, who's repressed a lot of her memories thanks to surviving abuse. This is also sadly Truth in Television.
  • Never Suicide: Emma’s perverted professor is suspiciously found hanged the day after making creepy advances on her. Yohan isn’t fooled.
    • When Yohan looks at Sophie's apparent suicide note, he notices that it wasn't written in her handwriting. This example is complicated, however, in that she's found in time anyway, so still has a chance of living.
  • Nice Girl:
    • Emma is kind, considerate, and a loving girlfriend. She's actually a mentally unstable yandere who will hurt people who get in her way.
    • Nura is quite possibly Emma's only true friend. She's got a temper, but it often flares up when people mistreat Emma, and she's nothing but supportive.
  • No Sense of Direction: Yohan manages to get lost very easily. It's usually played for laughs, but ends up played for drama when he notices he's being followed and means to go to a crowded area...but ends up at an abandoned house instead. This leads to him pulling a Xanatos Speed Chess.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: There's no way you'll look at this series the same way after The Reveal in Episode 69, which alters pretty much every aspect of the series prior to this.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: We never see Elios kill the cat, only it lying in a pool of blood. We also don’t see all of what he did to Brian, and none of what he did to the professor.
  • Not Me This Time: It was implied that Professor Rupert, who harassed Emma earlier, was killed by Elios. Chapter 95 revealed that he was killed by a former student and her boyfriend in revenge for the man's harassments.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Because of her own past heartbreak, Sophie thought that the scene where Emma first confronts Yohan (immortalized on video she took and sent to multiple students) was Emma breaking his heart. Not so.
  • Obliviously Beautiful: Emma considers herself to be nothing special, but everyone else considers her to be quite beautiful.
  • Oh, Crap!: Midway through calling 911 when he realizes that Sophie is still alive, Yohan realizes that since he found her in time, it hasn't happened all that long ago. Meaning that the killer is still in the building, and furthermore Emma could be in danger.
  • Old-Fashioned Rowboat Date: Emma and Elios’ first official date is one of these. It takes a turn for the dark side when Elios tells her he loves her so much he’s willing to kill anyone who hurts her.
  • Older Than They Look: Due to the cute art style, everyone. All the main characters are college age. Especially Emma, who looks like a teenager but is twenty.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Played with. Yohan gets slashed twice by the person in the black hoodie, once on the forehead, and once on the arm at the end of season two. The first time he’s hospitalized after passing out, while the second time, due to already being at a hospital, a nurse rushes over to him and notices him bleeding.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: "Emma" is actually a nickname for "Emmeline."
  • Only One Name: Elios’ last name hasn’t been revealed yet. Emma’s last name is Wilson, and Yohan's last name is Lee.
  • Red Herring:
    • Episodes 32-36 involve Emma, Yohan, and his sister Yona. Things are initially set up more than once to look like Elios may be stalking them and might have kidnapped Yona. However, Yona was actually helping an old man with some directions, but Emma does end up encountering a completely different kidnapper who tries holding her hostage when she gets a crowd's attention. With Yohan's help, Emma manages to break free while the kidnapper is distracted and throws him to the ground, leaving him to be arrested.
    • Mika is the prime suspect for the identity of the person who's out to get Emma. Sophie apparently takes a photograph of Mika putting an exam sheet into Emma's bag to frame her for cheating, Mika seems like she's angry at Emma for some reason, and Mika was apparently nearby when someone pushes Emma into the river. But the culprit isn't Mika; Mika only picked up that exam sheet because she was curious about why it resembled threats in her locker, her seeming coldness is because she's introverted, and not only did Mika not push Emma into the river, Mika's the one who told everyone that Emma was missing, so Mika indirectly contributed to Yohan saving Emma's life.
    • The figure in the black hoodie is a doozy of one. Audience members are led to believe that it's Elios, undercover while protecting his girlfriend, Emma. The audience learns in quick succession that the figure in the black hoodie is Emma, undercover while protecting herself. Then they learn that Elios isn't even real in the first place...
  • Shirtless Scene: Episode 60 gives Yohan one.
  • Shipper on Deck: Hana, for Yohan and Emma.
  • Shout-Out: Emma was named after the main character from The Promised Neverland.
  • Sick Episode: "My Fever" shows Emma in bed with the flu.
  • Sleep Cute: While Emma and Elios are working on her paper all night, she falls asleep on his shoulder, and eventually rests her head on the table. It goes from cute to creepy when Elios begins to check the time, obviously plotting something.
  • Stalker with a Crush: How Sophie came off to her crush in high school, unfortunately.
    • Episode 61 brings a much darker example of this when Elios shows up at Emma's school trip uninvited, which means he's been stalking her for an unknown period during season 2. Downplayed after the reveal that Emma is Elios.
    • Emma herself is this towards the real Elios, after he's kind to her at school. She tries to scare off his girlfriend Farrah and eventually tries to kill her so Emma can have Elios all to herself.
  • Stepford Smiler: Emma keeps her worries and stresses inside, which leads to her eventually breaking down in front of Elios.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Yohan’s uncle looks like an older version of him, which only increases when we see his uncle younger in a flashback, looking almost identical to Yohan. Also Yohan’s sister, Yona, resembles him physically and personality wise.
  • Surprise Creepy: The entire series. It looks cute, but the art only belies the disturbing aspects.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Emma's paternal aunt believes that the reason her brother turned abusive was because of Emma's mother leaving her, with one of the reasons for adopting Emma despite their financial situation being to make things right. Unfortuently, Emma's overhears and concludes they'll only let her stay since they think she is the aunt's brother's daughter, putting more strain on her mental state.
  • Title Drop: Emma uses the title word-for-word in chapter 69 when it's revealed that not only was she Elios the whole time, she'd killed the real Elios. Aka, her deepest secret.
  • There Are No Therapists: Tragetically invoked. After the death of Emma's father and the discovery of his abuse, a doctor tells Emma's aunt that the girl will need regular therapy. But because the family are at the limit with their cash, she chooses to decline to sign Emma for sessions, thinking it'll be fine if no one finds out.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Once Yohan calls out Emma as the black hoodie person while still in her Elios persona, she glances at the mirror, sees her reflection as Emma’s, and promptly freaks out as she regains the memories she did as Elios.
  • Triang Relations: A type 4, as it turns out in Episode 60. Emma and Elios are in a relationship, and Yohan has a crush on Emma.
    • Subverted as of Episode 69, seeing as there is no Elios!
  • Truth in Television:
    • Elios may be intelligent and able to keep up a facade, but even he has cracks, such as telling Emma that he loves her so much he’s willing to kill for her with a crazed look in his eyes.
    • Even Emma’s not picking up such red flags and instead justifying them as hyperbole is this. Especially since it's implied she was abused as a child. Sadly, abused children often grow up to either become abusers themselves, or enter relationships with abusive people. It takes a lot of work to break the cycle, usually requiring a stable support system and professional help — neither of which Emma has.
    • Dissociative Identity Disorder often shows up in individuals with significant trauma. Given Emma has suffered a lot in her life, it only makes sense that she's developed it.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: The three main characters: Emma, Elios, and Yohan. Played with, since Emma and Elios are dating and aren't friends with Yohan. Subverted when it is revealed that "Elios" is a split personality of Emma.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Episode 61: While fans had been clued in to the apparent big twist as early as the end of Season 1 when a panel showed Sophie sitting in a chair, apparently murdered by stabbing, this hid the actual twist that she's still alive when Yohan and Hana find her. Oh, and since this happened while everyone was on a class trip, it means that Elios followed them, and thus his behavior has progressed to some sort of stalking. Furthermore, it's not clear how long he's been around and how much he knows, but has heard enough to realize that Sophie tried to kill Emma.
    • Episode 68: Yohan's attacker and the one who orchestrated the assaults on Brian and Sophie is revealed to be Emma.
    • Episode 69: Coming right off the heels of the previous episode's bombshell is the reveal that Emma has at least two split personalities, one of which is actually Elios.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Elios may love Emma, but that doesn't excuse his actions. That said, the real Elios is kindhearted.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Yohan ends up having to make an impromptu plan when he notices that he's being followed by somebody, whom the readers know is Elios. He at first means to go into a crowded area, but due to his bad sense of direction, ends up at a creepy abandoned house. Realizing that this means the person following him will likely assume that he led him there, Yohan devises a quick plan to try to distract Elios while his uncle arrives.
  • Yandere: Elios. He loves his girlfriend Emma very much. So much so that he is willing to kill anyone or anything who dares to upset or threaten her. He's also jealous of others enough to try driving them away so that he has Emma all to himself.
    • The second season finale reveals that the "Elios" we've seen was actually Emma's split personality. The third season reveals that Emma was this to the real Elios, who was the only boy to be kind to her when she was trapped with her abusive father.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Sophie gets this twice, from Camie as a high schooler and as Emma in university. In an unusual take on this trope, outside events foil the first one. By the time Emma does it, it turns Sophie against her.


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