My Happy Marriage, Vol. 2

By Akumi Agitogi and Tsukiho Tsukioka. Released in Japan as “Watashi no Shiawase na Kekkon” by Fujimi L Bunko. Released in North America Yen On. Translated by David Musto.

The late lamented manga Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei had as one of its characters a girl named Ai Kaga, whose name was a take on “guilt complex”. She constantly blamed herself for anything that happened around her, even if it had nothing to do with her. This was mined for considerable humor, as was everything in that manga, to the point where Ai’s apologies could actually be weaponized to take out soldiers. Now, take that sort of person and play it 100% seriously and tragically, and you have an idea what reading another volume inside the head of Miyo Saimori is like. Yes, the title continues to be the most ironic one ever, as just because we’ve removed Miyo from her abusive family does not mean that we’ve actually solved her problems, especially since her husband is also a past master at non-communication. The result is that this book feels a lot like the first one did: beautiful and well-written, but not something to read if you’re in the mood for a “light” novel.

Having settled in at the home of her fiance, Miyo is trying to learn the art of being a bride, complete with lessons on “how to act at parties” from Kiyoka’s bright and outgoing sister Hazuki. Unfortunately, she’s started to have horrible nightmares every night, which has made it hard for her to get any rest and has caused her mental health to once more deteriorate. This is not being helped by the fact that she has no idea how to ask for help or to say she needs to rest, and Kiyoka himself has no idea how to offer help if Miyo does not ask for it first. The result is that both of them are once again doubting their partner’s feelings. So it’s a very bad time for a man to show up and turn out to be her cousin, related to her mother’s side of the family… which has as many dark secrets as her father’s side.

As you’d expect with a book like this, once we reach the breaking point for Miyo and she is allowed to become proactive, she shows off that she can be a terrifyingly powerful and gorgeous young woman. It’s just that we kind of have to get through 150 pages, a break-up, more family abuse, and a heaping helping of despair first. I’m not surprised that Miyo’s actually not just powerful, but one of the most powerful Gift-Users around, as this was signposted in the first book. Possibly the most interesting part of the book was Miyo’s feelings towards her mother, who had deliberately suppressed Miyo’s powers in order to protect her… but this also led to Miyo’s abuse by her family for years. She finds this very difficult to simply accept with just a “she did it because she loved me”. I also really enjoyed Hazuki, a desperately needed outgoing and extroverted young who also has a sad backstory but is still strong.

I’m still looking forward to the next volume of this series, but I suspect it will once again be “no, this is still not a happy marriage”, because the plot seems to be “overcoming obstacles”. As such, let the reader beware.

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