I Married My Best Friend to Shut My Parents Up by Naoko Kodama
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Morimoto, a young professional woman in Japan, is tired of fending off her parents’ questions about her being single. They want her to marry a man and settle down, and they’ll insist on nitpicking her choice of groom to death. In an unexpected move, another woman in the office—who has a crush on her—offers to be her wife in a sham marriage, which might make her parents back off. But this “fake” marriage could unearth something very real!
Warnings: homophobia & parental abuse
A young woman, tired of her parents’ constant nagging about getting her married, agrees to her best friend’s idea to get married, just to tick them off. Of course, it is the law of fake dating/marriage tropes that they have to fall in love, and yes, that is what happens. On the way, though, they have to navigate homophobic parents, light jealousy, and some insecurities.
Machi comes across as a cold and disinterested, and hasn’t had much luck with dating, and doesn’t really care for another person’s presence in her solitary lifestyle. When Hana comes up with plan, they get a partnership license (same-sex marriage is not legal in Japan), the terms of which state that they need to be living together. Hana is the doting wife, welcoming home and preparing dinner and stuff, and at first, Machi doesn’t know how to deal with another person in her house, even if it is her best friend. Moreover, Hana is very, uh, friendly and flirty, and she also asked her out when they were both in high school, so it is a bit awkward at the start. Slowly, though, they settle into a comfortable routine, and there is a cute domesticity to cheer for. Machi also starts to assert herself more – when she was usually placid in the past – on seeing Hana pursue her passion to become an illustrator. There are homophobic incidents involving the parents, but it is diffused soon enough. The volume also contains an (unrelated) one-shot story, so yeah you get two sapphic stories in one volume.
Overall, it is a nice standalone manga with a good romance.
Is it diverse? Both main characters are sapphic
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Seven Seas, via Edelweiss.
Releases on June 11, 2019
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