Review: Everyone’s Getting Married – Vol. 1

Everyone’s Getting Married is a bit ironic since everyone in Japan is not getting married. According to my friend who lived there for close to five years and has since followed the country closely, marriage is at an all-time low.  None of that has anything to do with my review, but he pointed it out to me when I mentioned on some facet of social media that I was reading this book and I thought, “what a great opening.” I was probably wrong. The story isn’t a complex one to explain. A woman and a man meet each other one fateful night and their destinies become intertwined because of the people they’re friends with and location. Location always plays a big role in love, no joke. The catch is that our main character Asuka Takanashi wants to be a house wife when she gets married, but for actually really good reasons. She wants the home to be a bright shining spot in the family’s lives. A place you want to be and want to come home to. The man she meets, though, and may or may not end up dating, hates marriage.

Ryu Nanami is a bit of a player. He’s back from New York (which is apparently where you’re sent if you mess up in Japan… you know, the hardest media market in the world) and he’s not looking to settle down. In fact, he has a list of flight attendants the call if he gets lonely and once was having an affair with a married celebrity.

Asuka and Ryu’s path continue to cross each other and while they have a difference of opinion on marriage they continue to find that everything else about the other is right for them. They don’t judge the other for having a different belief. This does make it harder for Asuka who realizes that she might be falling for him, but is looking for marriage. Not that it’s entirely easy for Ryu because he’s heard how fantastic Asuka is at her job and finds it Everyone's Getting Married vol 1strange that she would give that up.

What really worked for me on this Shojo story is that it felt like it took place in the real world to an extent. Sure some aspects of it were too easy, but that’s the nature of the story. If everything was terrifyingly realistic then it would be a drama and not a rom-com.

This wasn’t my first time reading a Shojo, but it was the first one that I actually enjoyed. There’s a very slow build between the main characters. They share moments, they learn about each other and they let down their guard around each other. In that aspect Izumi Miyazono captures real relationships quite well. There’s still room for this story to get messy. For the characters to stumble away from each other and hopefully back to each other again. Miyazono has a done a wonderful job of creating a relationship that is messy, just like real relationships.

The pacing of the story is one of the strongest aspects. They’re not just thrown together and that’s it. Instead, well over half the volume is just them running into each other and getting to know one another. It’s not until the very end of the book that something romantically inclined happens between them. While that seems really drawn out, I assure you it’s not. It gives you a chance to become immersed in the story.

If you don’t like that Shojo style, then you’ll probably dislike the art. It’s not extremely detailed at first. There’s a lot of what I call “wipe” paneling in which the page is split diagonally. Eventually though Miyazono finds a paneling that works for the story rather than the genre. I actually enjoyed the character designs which isn’t uncommon. I usually don’t read Shojo because of the lackluster stories, not the art. If you want to see a creator grow as they create then pay attention to this first volume.

Everyone’s Getting Married may not be for everyone… just like marriage isn’t for everyone. If you’re looking for a story with some romance that doesn’t hammer you over the head with it, then you should check this book out. Don’t let the title scare you away because really this is a story of opposites attracting and I’m sure that 90% of people out there can completely relate to that.

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Everyone’s Getting Married – Vol. 1 Creator: Izumi Miyazono Publisher: Viz/Shojo Beat Price: $9.99 Format: TPB; Print/Digital