REVIEW:’My Happy Marriage Volume 1′

Reading Time: 3 minutes

My Happy Marriage - But Why Tho

My Happy Marriage, Volume 1 is a light novel written by Akumi Agitogi with cover illustration by Tsukiho Tsukioka. English publication is done by Yen On, a division of Yen Press, and the English translation is by Kiki Piatkowska. My Happy Marriage, Vol. 1 mashes up historical drama and fantasy that plays its hands at the beginning and endings with characters facing odds that you want to win.

Miyo Saimori, our heroine is pitiful, even if she’s the eldest daughter in a noble family known and revered for their supernatural abilities. Since she never manifested The Gift, she’s spent a colorless childhood and terribly sad upbringing being treated worse less than the help. Miyo is a character who goes through a familiar Cinderella-esque beginning with her father remarrying when she was young and having to endure an abusive step-mother and step-sister who hate her and make her life a living hell. She’s never hoped for much and the news that she’s being married off to Kiyoka Kudu, one of the most terrifying but eligible bachelors in the country makes her wonder if this impending marriage is a blessing or a curse.

The world-building in My Happy Marriage Volume 1, is fascinating as it is a blend of fantasy elements in a world set in a time period similar to the Meiji or Taisho periods in Japan. So there are people who are Gifted, who have served the emperor for several generations. They are wealthy, noble families who often are surrounded by secrecy and put duty above all. The author doesn’t fully flesh out all the different types of abilities these clans have but it is certainly enough to pique interest: some people barely have Spirit Sight, while others can create small animal-like familiars out of paper to spy on others and send messages.

The most worthy of these Gifted can control different elements at ease and use this power to combat the Grotesqueries, unearthly creatures that plague the land. In this world of awful creatures that must be dealt with comes emerging technology like the first automobiles and trams that help people commute through the city–still a novelty in the country. This is also a world and time period where Western and Eastern influences are clashing against each other: kimonos are worn as are more Western styled military uniforms.

What I do appreciate the most is the character development of both characters: Miyo and Kiyoka. Miyo goes through an abused and unloved young woman to be able to be defiant in the very face of her abusers in a climactic, fiery scene. Kiyoka, now to most as cold and uncaring who becomes her better half finds his person worth fighting for. Their early, clumsy attempts at communicating with each other and navigating the world together are endearing and worth reading.

There are several events both big and small that help break down the walls between the two connecting yet also build up the tensions with other characters who would do them harm. There are also a few supporting characters that at first did not seem to be special but a few surprised me with some depth that added not only to the backstory of these noble families and their hierarchy in the world.

If you are a fan of the Isekai genre, and the current wave of web-comics set in historical settings across the many popular comic apps, My Happy Marriage Volume 1 should be a read up your alley. There are some predictable parts to the story that you may see coming yet this proves to be a short and sweet light novel with a mostly satisfying ending with whispers of more to come to wrap up the story of Miyo and Kiyoka in a second and final volume. I would like to see Miyo move forward with more agency in the next volume as she was just starting to come to a place of self-love that is still budding.

I want her to see herself as more than someone useful to those around her. This marriage turns out to be a blessing but there is still work to do in accepting herself and loving herself. As for Kiyoka, while the author did elaborate on his line of work, I’d love to see him in serious combat as well as figuring out how to protect Miyo from possible Gifted families who may see her as a threat. There are some unanswered questions and clues that point to the couple’s story continuing in another volume that should tie readers over for the next volume that serves at the conclusion of their story that I will be eagerly waiting for.

My Happy Marriage Volume 1 does not reinvent the light novel, overall it is a great book for new readers of light novels to wet their feet with and enjoy an emotional story that caters to genres like fantasy and historical drama that are well-loved.

My Happy Marriage Volume 1 is available now wherever books are sold.


My Happy Marriage Volume 1
4

TL;DR

My Happy Marriage Volume 1 does not reinvent the light novel, overall it is a great book for new readers of light novels to wet their feet with and enjoy an emotional story that caters to genres like fantasy and historical drama that are well-loved.