I Married My Best Friend to Shut My Parents Up

By Kodama Naoko. Released in Japan as “Oya ga Urusai Node Kohai to Gisou Kekkon Shitemita” by Ichijinsha, serialized in the magazine Comic Yuri Hime. Released in North America by Seven Seas. Translated by Amber Tamosaitis. Adapted by Lora Gray.

I admit, when this was first announced, I said NOPE really hard. But that was mostly due to the author of the series, whose previous series I had sort of hated. But a few people reassured me that this was not along the lines of Netsuzou Trap, and indeed in the afterword the author jokes about their ‘light’ and ‘dark’ modes, and this is definitely on the light side. Indeed, very light – it’s complete in one volume, and also has an unrelated one-shot short story at the end. The main story is also pretty much described in the title, though I think the relationship between the two leads is more like the original Japanese – Agaya is a friend, but she’s definitely framed more as a kohai, with Morimoto as the sempai. They’re out of school now, but end up together as, well, read the title. What follows is cute, and both leads had more depth than I was expecting.

Morimoto is dealing with problems on several fronts. Her parents want her to get married. Her workplace is fairly sexist, resisting giving her any big projects as it’s assumed that women are there until they find husbands and that’s it. And she’s also a somewhat repressed, introverted sort to begin with. Agaya, on the other hand, is bright, bubbly, extroverted, and can be a bit much at times. She’s also gay, and in fact asked Morimoto out when they were in school, though she was rejected. So when she points out that gay marriage is legal in their prefecture, and that it would be a great way to stop her parents nagging her, Morimoto goes along with it. Then Agaya moves in, as she’s saving to get a new apartment and this helps. As the volume goes on, Morimoto gains confidence and realizes just how much she’s enjoying the married life. But can she hold on to Agaya, who is pretty convinced that her senpai is “super-straight”?

This is not the most complicated story in the world, but there were little touches I liked a lot. One early scene shows Morimoto flashing back to her childhood, an endless string of being nagged to excel in everything or else she’s a failure. The interesting part was seeing it start with her father accusing her mother of being a “bad mother” for a poor grade that Morimoto got – which of course is bound to show off why she does NOT want to get married. Agaya is also mostly well handled. She’s very “out”, personality-wise, and is not above sneaking in to bathe together with her new “wife”, or leering her her boobs. But she does not, for the most part, make any advances on Morimoto that she’s not comfortable with, and at the end she’s the one who has to be convinced that they could actually make this into something real. She also has her own career as well – this is not a “breadwinner and housewife” sort of relationship.

The short story afterwards, about a girl in an athletic school who got injured, so has to get great grades to maintain her scholarship, and her rude track girl friend, is a bit too slight to really go anywhere. The meat of the title is in the main story, and at three chapters it’s just about the right length. Worth a look for yuri fans.