Manga Review: Happy Marriage?! V 3 by Maki Enjoji @shojobeat @vizmedia

May Contain Spoilers

I was a little worried about Happy Marriage?! keeping my interest, but the end of this volume introduced new conflicts for our working-on-being-happy couple. The ending was fantastic, and I can hardly wait for Volume 4.

Chiwa and Hokuto continue to try to make their marriage of convenience work. When Hokuto falls ill, Chiwa realizes how little she knows about him. Tasked with keeping him well fed and his strength up, her first offering is a disaster. She prepares everything he hates, and then feels bad that she hasn’t paid enough attention to know him well enough to know what he does and doesn’t like to eat. Not that he helps her much in her quest to understand her new husband.

Most of the this volume centers around how little Chiwa and Hokuto know about each other, despite living together. Christmas is another guilt fest for Chiwa, both because she has no idea what his hobbies are, and because she can’t afford the lavish brands Hokuto usually buys for himself. Getting to know each other is a two-way street, though, and it’s impossible to place all of the blame on Chiwa. When Hokuto suggests that she cook for him more often so that they can spend time together, Chiwa does exactly that. But Hokuto is too busy with work and meetings to sit down and eat the meals she’s taken the time to prepare for him. Hokuto could be pretty annoying regarding actually putting in an effort to make their marriage work.

When Chiwa accompanies Hokuto to the Mamiya family estate, she gets a first hand look at how contemptuously his family regards him. Most of his cousins are just awful, and the one cousin who is nice to him just happens to be his biggest rival for control of the company. When Hokuto’s cousin insults him during a meal, get ready for Chiwa to open a can of whoop ass on him. Dang, girl, that was the best scene in the series so far!

While much of the volume followed the familiar formula of Chiwa and Hokuto suffering from one misunderstanding after another, and not really learning how to communicate, the last chapter gave me hope that larger, outside conflicts will drive them together. Once again the art is uncluttered and expressive, and the humor helps to keep the protagonists’ budding relationship on the lighter side.

Grade: 4.25 stars

Review copy borrowed from my local library

About the book:

Chiwa Takanashi has married a total stranger—company president Hokuto Mamiya—to get her father out of debt. While on an overnight trip together to his hometown, Hokuto reveals the circumstances of his birth. Chiwa makes the decision to remain with Hokuto, and falls deeper in love with the man she married. But will she still feel the same way once Hokuto confesses the real reason he married her?