Everyone’s Getting Married

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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…

Ryu doesn't pull any punches about his stance on marriage...
Ryu: charming, handsome, extremely blunt about marriage…

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.

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Asuka hopes to find that special guy with marriage in mind

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!

 

Meteor Prince (volume 1)

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I am quite fussy about my manga, and it has honestly been a while since I read a new one, but I was drawn to the glossy cover, starry pattern and art style of Meteor Prince in the manga section of Waterstones and decided to give it a go.

The story centres on 16 year old Hako Natsuno, a sweet girl who bad luck follows wherever she goes. Her usual accidents involve things falling out the sky, but things get a lot weirder when a naked alien boy falls out of the sky who claims they have the same wavelength and she must mate with him and bear his children!

The boy calls himself Io and tells Hako he is from the planet Yupita. On Yupita, people mate with people of a different race, and have a heart stone which tells them if someone has the same wavelength as them. Io believes Hako has the exact same wavelength as him, which makes her his soulmate.

Naturally, what follows is a series of fluffy and light shenanigans as Io proceeds to declare his love for Hako at every opportunity, treat her like his girlfriend and ask at the most inappropriate times if they can mate. He reminds me a little of Tamaki Suou from Ouran High School Host Club in that he is blonde, handsome, and acts much like an eager and loveable puppy dog most of the time.

In the first volume, the focus is on the romance more than the supernatural elements, though there is one impressive scene in which Io transforms into a dolphin. Being an alien he also has the ability to turn into whatever he likes which is used well for both comedic and serious effect.

I’m not sure where this manga is going to go but it is cute and fun and if you’re looking for a new shoujo manga to get into with wacky hijinks and romantic moments this ticks both boxes.