24 year old Asuka has made a successful career for herself. But she has a secret – she really wants to jack it all in to be a wife and full time homemaker. Her dream is thrown into turmoil when her boyfriend of five years ends their relationship, but Asuka vows to put herself back out there and find Mr. Right. When she meets handsome, charismatic newscaster Ryu he seems like the perfect catch. But Ryu has no interest in ever getting married…
Izumi Miyazono’s shoujo manga is a modern romance that closely examines and dissects traditional and non traditional ideas of love and partnership. Miyazono balances the opposing perspectives on marriage across men and women with four central characters – Asuka has a female friend who doesn’t want to get married who falls for a man named Ono who does.
Many adults will find it relatable to see the judgements and misunderstandings that Asuka and Ryu face for their personal choices when it comes to the binary stances on prioritising your career or following a more traditional route of marriage and children as soon as possible. The two have to deal with the outside pressure that colleagues, friends and even strangers place on them to conform to a particular life path, as well as the conflicting desires they face in their own budding relationships when one person is eager to settle down and tie the knot and the other isn’t.
Everyone’s Getting Married isn’t going to win any prizes for subtlety – the characters spend most of their time discussing marriage. In one scene, Asuka is even asked out by a man who says “please go out with me with marriage in mind” which seems excessive even for a traditional nation like Japan. However, it does effectively show how the institution of marriage bleeds into friendships, relationships and careers. This is a good manga if you’re searching for a story about the complications of love in a modern world, and it’s always wonderful to see another manga about adults when so many shoujo stories focus on teen romances. Another pleasing touch is that each chapter includes a quote about love or marriage from a famous person, such as “It is impossible to love and be wise – Sir Francis Bacon”.
If you’re looking for a grown up love story be sure to check out Everyone’s Getting Married!