Happy Marriage?! Volume 5
Story and Art by Maki Enjoji
Imagine how much drama can be avoided when people communicate with each other. Hours of confusion, longing, and anger can be avoided. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t make for a good story, especially a romantic shōjo story like Happy Marriage?!
To recap, Chiwa is a 22-year-old office worker who worked extra jobs to help her father make ends meet. Hokuto is a nearly-30 CEO of a prominent company who, despite being a very eligible bachelor in the business world, is standoffish and selfish. His grandfather, the chairman of the company, asks Hokuto and Chiwa to marry to honor Chiwa’s grandmother’s memory, who he loved very much. Fast forward four volumes, and we have two adults who are struggling to live together. Hokuto has difficulty opening up to Chiwa, Chiwa has difficulty deciphering Hokuto’s emotions.
Did I mention Hokuto wants to keep this relationship a secret?
After finally reaching the level of physical intimacy typical of happily married couples, Chiwa is trying her best to be the best wife possible for Hokuto. She cooks a balanced breakfast every morning, creates healthy bento lunches for Hokuto, cleans his home, and obsesses over his feelings. Hokuto, on the other hand, is isolated emotionally, unable to reciprocate Chiwa’s feelings. Chiwa is left feeling rejected, which causes her to doubt her strange arranged marriage.
Hokuto carries his own set of insecurities. Years of being rejected by the family he strives to honor has left him unable to freely express his love. Instead, his true feelings come out when he is most unstable, such as times of anger or depression. It’s hard to tell what Hokuto’s true feelings towards Chiwa, especially when he refuses to tell her important things happening in his life.
Speaking of communication, nine major miscommunications happen in this volume that lead to arguments or insecurities. The drama is fantastic to read, but you can’t help but feel pity for these two as they navigate the end of the first year of their marriage.
Happy Marriage?! is a great manga for older readers. It’s fun, full of romance and drama reminiscent of school drama shōjo for younger readers. It can be frustrating at times, but Happy Marriage?! is a series where readers need to roll with all the punches.