Everyone’s Getting Married
突然ですが、明日結婚します (Totsuzen Desu ga, Ashita Kekkon Shimasu)
Josei – Mature, romance slice-of-life
9 Volumes (completed)
Asuka works hard at her job, but she dreams of being a homemaker. After dating her boyfriend for five years, a proposal is surely around the corner. Instead of a ring, Asuka gets dumped! As she tries to move on, her work and social life causes her to keep bumping into a popular television announcer. But while Ryu expresses interest in Asuka, he’s definitely not her type — after all, he never wants to get married!
It’s a common situation: one person wants to get a married, but the person they want to be with 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 in case they want to move on, quite a few have been soured on the experience after previous failure(s), and many just don’t see the point of having a piece of paper validating their relationship. 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 manga 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, one who even gets newspaper gossip written about him. 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. This is rather significant considering that the marriage vs long-term dating/living together is a common conflict in a relationship. I’ll get back to this in a minute.
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 to walk down the aisle. 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 talents. 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. Some readers may find secret celebrity romance stories exciting, but again, if you want a more realistic look at dating in the modern world, you may not like this aspect. But either way, aside from their own views on marriage, the main couple faces a lot of pressure from society at large.
Looking back at these early volumes, there are some flaws that stick out, including some that tint the later parts of the series for me. As I mentioned in the summary, we meet Asuka as a woman in a five year relationship with a man named Kou. He breaks up with her saying he wants to focus on becoming an actor. Asuka, crying out as she’s half-asleep, says she never once brought up marriage, but we see in a flashback that her ex told her that she’d be happy with anyone who proposed. I kind of wish we could have been seen a little more of their relationship before having them break up. Why did Asuka never once talk about getting married? Asuka’s family is introduced later, and at least one member is not a fan of Ryu’s views on marriage; did they not say anything during her five years of dating her ex?
Also, I was really, really disappointed that the whole Kou situation never circled back to Ryu. Considering Ryu works on entertainment projects, I thought for sure somewhere the two would cross paths and perhaps at least explore the Asuka who never mentioned marriage vs the Asuka who can now talk about it, but alas, Everyone’s Getting Married didn’t. In fact, while Ryu’s past relationship is at least partially a hurdle to Asuka getting a wedding, it’s easy to forget Asuka dated anyone before Ryu.
While the dating relationship moves pretty fast, I applaud Miyazono for writing a story where the hero is pretty upfront about his feelings. In fact, he falls for Asuka at almost the same pace she does, perhaps a bit faster. How often does THAT happen? As a TV/radio personality, he can’t act like a jerk out in public, but it’s nice that he doesn’t “switch off” after hours and turn into one.
We learn that Ryu’s past relationship has tainted his opinions on weddings and such. But he also faces the same conflict as Asuka does about dating someone with differing views on what they want in a partner. It’s also nice to see a male lead who is truly excited about being with their girlfriend, which is part of the reason why he has some fits of jealousy as a marriage-inclined rival appears on the scene.
And this is where the series really started to slide for me.
Before I get into this part of the story, let me step back for a moment.
Around the same time Asuka and Ryu start dating, their best friends also begin going out. Rio and Hiroki have the same issue as the leads but swapped roles: the man, Hiroki, would like to get married, but the woman, Rio, isn’t interested. Miyazono mentioned in one of her columns that she would like to see their relationship develop, but it doesn’t. They tend to fall to the wayside as a couple, only serving to be their best friends’ counselors. Early on, I thought we’d get to see some contrast and perhaps some jealousy (or resentment) between the friends as their relationships — or at least their views on them — start going on different trajectories. Even disregarding that, Hiroki and Rio appear too often and are so close to the main characters that Miyazono should have shown more of their love story.
Maybe part of my disappointment should be blamed on me for wanting to build Everyone’s Getting Married into something it wasn’t: a realistic view on whether the fairy tale-style “happily ever after” is for everyone. Since Rio and Hiroki don’t do much on that front, to have someone come in and offer Asuka a chance to live her life as a homemaker is a natural fit for the story. However, all the coincidences that get him into Asuka and Ryu’s lives? Very forced. In fact, it sounds like the author got a lot of fanmail in support of the rival.
Plus, in the last couple of volumes, the leads lose much of the openness and frankness that I really liked. There are more coincidences that interrupt their conversations, time skips, a cliffhanger at the end of a volume that’s immediately spoiled by the next volume’s cover.
When Asuka and Ryu 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. Between this and the main twosome’s busy schedules, he and Asuka have to put a lot of work into finding time to spend together. But their honesty about the fact that they aren’t fine starts evaporates toward the end of the manga, even as the tides seem to be changing in regards to the war. But the final result was hardly one that reflected a change of mind; it was more like a checklist of drama and romance moments.
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, and the intimate scenes get more explicit during the story.
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.
The title in Japanese translates to something like, “This may be sudden, but tomorrow I’m (we’re) getting married.” There are a couple of callouts to the title, including a significant one that’s reworded to reference the English name of this series. Obviously, when the Japanese title is a long sentence, it sounds better as dialogue than the much shorter — but catchier — Everyone’s Getting Married.
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. Many of the Japanese volumes change colors for the author’s name and volume numbers, but this is rarely carried over.
I couldn’t help but root for Asuka and Ryu in the beginning of Everyone’s Getting Married because they were just so likable. The setup was forced, but the confict was realistic. Unfortunately, I don’t think the series lived up to its potential. Even treating this as a Cinderella-type romance story, the time skips and the uninspired ending left me unsatisfied.