Everyone’s Getting Married
突然ですが、明日結婚します (Totsuzen Desu ga, Ashita Kekkon Shimasu)
Josei – Romance, mature, slice-of-life
3 Volumes (ongoing) of 7 Volumes (ongoing)
Asuka works hard at her job, but she dreams of getting married and being a stay-at-home housewife. Unfortunately, her dream is going to have to be put on hold now that she’s been dumped. Her work and social life leads her to keep bumping in a popular television announcer. But while Ryu expresses interest in Asuka, he has no interest in getting married.
It’s a common situation: one person wants to get a married, but their partner doesn’t want to. Some people don’t want to get married because of financial or legal issues, others try to keep their options open, quite a few have been soured on the experience, and many just don’t see the point. The “where are we going” talk is one couples will probably have to face multiple times in a relationship. Even if you haven’t been through this discussion before, I’m sure you have heard some musings from a friend. Can two people who have different views on a relationship be happy? Should one person give in to their partner’s wishes despite their own reservations? Should a couple even start dating if they know they have differing views on marriage, or is it worth hoping the other will change their mind?
Everyone’s Getting Married tackles this all-too-familiar conundrum. The story starts out having a lot in common with the average high school romance: girl keeps bumping into guy, she finds herself falling in love with him quickly, and trials and tribulations await. Everyone’s Getting Married also has that bit of romantic fantasy in the fact Ryu is a popular and well-known announcer. This might be a bit disappointing if you’re looking for a pure slice-of-life, down-to-earth romance, like one between two regular office workers.
Like many younger female protagonists, Asuka wants to be a bride. But unlike many shoujo manga heroines, Asuka isn’t just skating by while waiting for her Prince Charming. She is well-respected at her job, working to the best of her ability for her clients. A lot of manga heroines want to settle down with the one they love, but far too many seem to have no other ambitions or goals. There’s a stark difference between wanting to stay at home because that’s what they want to do and staying at home because it’s all they can do. But both career women and homemakers tend to face a lot of criticism, and this is also addressed in the story. Meanwhile, since Japan hates it when famous people date, Ryu gets a lot of reminders to neither have quick flings nor settle down. So aside from their own views on marriage, the main couple also faces a lot of pressure from society at large.
Speaking of Ryu, unlike a good majority of heroes in romance stories, he is pretty upfront about his feelings. In fact, he falls for Asuka at almost the same pace she does. How often does THAT happen? He is blunt about his stance on marriage, but he doesn’t go around with a stick up his rear and belittle Asuka for her dream. Ryu obviously has emotional scars from a previous relationship, but it’s nice how he doesn’t take out his negative feelings on the world. Again, how often does THAT happen? I mean, I know he’s a TV personality, which means he can’t act like a jerk out in public, but he’s still polite enough to fix Asuka’s hair at their first meeting. So far, Ryu has had one big fit of jealousy, but I give him props for apologizing right away.
As you probably have already gathered, Asuka and Ryu do start dating. They both go into this relationship with open eyes and a hope they’ll, for a lack of a better term, win. It’s no surprise chapters are called Battles here. The war is being waged on two fronts: the marriage front and the celebrity front. As for the first theater of war (double pun since the manga is definitely a show), Asuka and Ryu aren’t the only combatants. Their close friends are in same situation, but the roles are reversed. Ryu’s friend wants to settle down; Asuka’s friend wants a short-term relationship. The second theater involves Ryu’s past girlfriend as well as his current relationship with Asuka. He can’t let the world know who he has dated and who he is dating. Between this and the main twosome’s busy schedules, he and Asuka don’t really go out much. Trying to find time to spend together is definitely an obstacle most couples face; this is where Ryu and Asuka’s honesty really shines, as they don’t hide behind constant “I’m fine” lies.
While the manga focuses on a relatively realistic view on modern dating and marriage, the weakest part of the story is the convenient set-up Asuka just so happens to be saved by Ryu at a mutual acquaintance’s wedding. She just so happens to be dumped by her boyfriend right before meeting again. She just so happens to keep bumping into him. Their friends just so happen to go out. Everything lines up a bit too nicely. They’re both pragmatic people, so I wish the sequence of events was a little more natural. Instead, we get more coincidences between two working adults in different fields than two students attending the same school.
The aforementioned relationship between friends Hiroki and Rio tends to fall by the wayside. Considering they have a similar conundrum, I do hope we get to explore their love life a little more. Instead, Hiroki and Rio are mostly just advice-givers. This might have worked if they either hardly knew each other or had been an established couple. “Friends who know all” usually do take a back seat to the main characters, but we see Hiroki and Rio too often to not elevate them to more of a beta couple status.
Meanwhile, other coworkers also meddle in Asuka’s and Ryu’s professional and/or personal lives. (Nothing like being told what new project you’re going to do.) They each have their own views on marriage, and it is interesting to see how all these people view love and marriage.
As for the art, I have to say, the first volume’s cover is probably a poor example of Miyazono’s art. Asuka’s and Ryu’s faces on the cover look extremely pointy, and the eyelines look really thick. Inside, though, the art is much cleaner and more… youthful-looking I guess. It’s much closer to, say, Butterflies, Flowers than Midnight Secretary. The pages are bright, and Asuka herself wouldn’t look out of place in a shoujo manga. The manga is incredibly bright, and the thick outlines are far less noticeable in black-and-white. However, the cover does pretty accurately reflect the backgrounds: that is, they’re empty. Seriously, there are hardly any walls behind the characters. It keeps readers’ focus on the characters, but sometimes a window or a tree could liven up a picture. Asuka and Ryu do take their relationship to the next stage, but the intimate scenes have not been very explicit.
Western name order is used. This is typical of Viz Media works, but it does present an… oddity I guess you would see. Ryu’s name in Japanese name order is, of course, Nanami Ryu 名波竜（ななみ りゅう）. His nickname is ななりゅー, a portmanteau of his name. His nickname is kept as “Nanaryu”. (NanaRyu? Can’t tell because of the font choice.) So it sounds a little bit strange in English that the male lead is going introducing himself Ryu Nanami, nickname Nanaryu instead of Nanami Ryu, nickname Nanaryu. He did spend some time in New York, but I don’t really remember if it’s stated he went by Nanaryu when he was in America.
Otherwise, the dialogue reads much like a Western romance novel or film. The manga is rated M, and the adaptation reflects this. It doesn’t include course language just to sound edgy; it’s the type of coarse language people often use in private. The quotes that make up the chapter titles are not English equivalents; the Japanese version of the manga does use these selections from Shakespeare, Bacon, etc. Battle 11’s quote from Ella Wheeler Wilcox, however, I could not find. I do see it listed in Japanese pages (心は、過去の悲しみから脱皮するもの。), but the English’s “The heart emerges from pains of the past” I cannot find. If someone finds the original poem, let me know. It’s driving me crazy! I found lots of her works, and the closest I came up with is, “Let no soul ask to be free from pain” from the poem “Life’s Harmonies”.
I also must add I’m disappointed Viz Media dropped the series’ subtitle/hook on the cover: LOVE is no Where. LOVE is noW here. It does look as if they’re keeping the logo color switches, so that’s a plus.
The setup is a bit forced, but Everyone’s Getting Married features a couple I can’t help but root for. Asuka is also a great character because she has a dream, but she’s also realistic and hard-working. Add in a guy you don’t want to toss into Tokyo Bay, and Everyone’s Getting Married is one of the best new romance manga I’ve read in a long time.