REVIEW: ‘I Want to be a Wall’ Volume 1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I Want to be a Wall Volume 1 - But Why Tho

There is a lot of romance manga. We see the tropes of loud and fast-beating hearts, nervousness at confessing love, and the talk of futures together. But romance isn’t the only base for a lasting relationship, and that’s what I Want to Be a Wall (Watashi wa Kabe ni Naritai)Volume 1 is about. Created, written, and illustrated by Honami Shirono. The series is published and localized in English by Yen Press, translated by Emma Schumacker, and features lettering by Alexis Eckerman.

I want to Be a Wall Volume 1 is a love story, but it’s not the love that readers expect. Instead of intense desire and romance, I Want to Be a Wall’s central characters are an asexual woman with a passion for Boys Love (BL) and a gay man whose heart forever belongs to his oblivious childhood friend. Although romance will never be in the cards for newlyweds Yuriko and Gakurouta, the bond blossoming between them promises to be a wonderful relationship.

I Want to Be a Wall is emotional to read, with both characters working on unpacking the societal pressures placed upon them and doing so together. While Yuriko is grappling with embracing that she isn’t broken because she is asexual, Gakurouta is trying his best to hold back his romantic feelings for his straight childhood friend, crying as he holds it all in. While their futures are not what they imagined, it’s what they’re embracing and doing so whole-heartedly together.

This take on marriage is one that respects marriage, but more importantly, it takes time to explore what happens when society pushes you into one. In order to fulfill familial duties and expectations, Yuriko and Gakurouta have embraced their path as husband and wife, but they have done so by communicating with each other every step of the way. This is the part that is key to I Want to Be a Wall being as transformative as it is. With his handy wife-guy book in hand, Gakurouta is trying his hardest to be the husband he thinks Yuriko deserves. They discuss divvying up chores, their cover story, and what they need from each other.

That said, while Shirono’s use of BL as a point of conversation and even bonding for the two characters, Yuriko’s obsession with casting Gakurouta and his emotional moments with his unrequited love are the manga’s only stumbling blocks. However, in the back half of the manga, Yuriko understands the uncomfortableness that her fujoshi thoughts can put on Gakurouta, and she changes, focusing instead on how to give him what he needs from her instead of fulfilling a BL plotline.

I Want to be a Wall Volume 1 is hands down one of the most beautiful takes on a relationship I have ever read. Love isn’t just romance. It isn’t just your heart beating in your ears. Sometimes, it’s the little things friends do for each other, making sure that someone doesn’t cry alone, and a platonic relationship can be just as dynamic and caring as a romantic one. While there are some elements that come off weird, for lack of a better word, the dynamic between Yuriko and Gakurouta is beautiful and something I can’t wait to read more of.

I Want to Be a Wall Volume 1 is available now wherever books are sold. 


I Want to Be a Wall Volume 1
5

TL;DR

I Want to be a Wall Volume 1 is hands down one of the most beautiful takes on a relationship I have ever read. Love isn’t just romance. It isn’t just your heart beating in your ears. Sometimes, it’s the little things friends do for each other, making sure that someone doesn’t cry alone, and a platonic relationship can be just as dynamic and caring as a romantic one.