Everyone’s Getting Married Volume 1 by Izumi Miyazono

Everyone’s Getting Married is a wonderfully mature josei (intended for women) title featuring a strong lead character and a slice of life story. The tone is gentle and similar to another Viz title: Happy Marriage?! by Maki Enjoji. What we have is a subtle battle of wills between two people uniquely suited for each other despite having very different goals in life.

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Story: Takanashi is a real estate investment adviser and very good at her job. Like everything she does, she works hard and does it well. But Takanashi has a distinct ambition: to one day be able to quit her job and be the best homemaker possible. The problem is that her boyfriend doesn’t want that kind of life and her coworkers ridicule her for such old fashioned values. At a coworkers wedding, she encounters broadcaster Nanami – a nice guy, good looking, and someone she gets along with well. But Nanami isn’t interested in every being tied down through marriage – and has bad experiences in his past with the institution. When Takanashi’s boyfriend breaks up with her, her hopes of becoming a wife and homemaker are crushed. Worse, she begins to realize that she has strong feelings for Nanami.

With this first volume, we get the set up of the story. Takanashi, as a character, could have come across as naive or unrealistic to modern readers. Certainly, the description of her is not one I’d tend to respect. And yet Miyazono does a great job of showing that Takanashi is intelligent, hard working, and with a good understanding of what it entails to be a homemaker. In no way is she a failure at working and looking for a free ride off a husband.

Nanami is also a very interesting character. Very nuanced and full of conflicts that confound the very straightforward Takanashi. Each has to navigate the politics of their offices while also hoping to reach their own life goals. This includes Takanishi going on dating meet ups and accepting offers from coworkers to date while also trying to come up with the best way to tell potential suitors about her unusual life goals. Nanami, also, has to be concerned with image – especially since he fled Japan a few years ago after an affair with a married woman became public.

I like how Miyazono interweaves a bit of office reality and doesn’t make Takanashi weak or Nanami overidealized. As well, crazy romances among the coworkers create some amusing situations but never overshadow the main story. In all, I am greatly looking forward to seeing where this goes from here. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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