“Don’t apologize. Do it too often, and it loses its meaning.”
LENGTH: 160 pages
GENRES: Fantasy, Historical, Romance, Fiction
PUBLISHER: Yen On
RELEASE DATE: 18 January 2022 (English Version)
IS THIS MARRIAGE A BLESSING? OR A CURSE?
Born talentless to a noble family famous for their supernatural abilities, Miyo Saimori is forced into an existence of servitude by her abusive stepmother. When Miyo finally comes of marriageable age, though, her hopes of being whisked away to a better life crumble after she discovers her fiancé’s identity: Kiyoka Kudou, a commander apparently so cold and cruel that his previous would-be brides all fled within three days of their engagements.
With no home to return to, Miyo resigns herself to her fate-and soon finds that her pale and beautiful husband-to-be is anything but the monster she expected. As they slowly open their hearts to each other, both realize the other may be their chance at finding true love and happiness.
He wanted someone who would genuinely enjoy living in his forest cottage as his wife, not simply relish his status or wealth. And Miyo would do that. He had no intention of letting go of her.
My Happy Marriage was a sweet little Cinderella-esque romance. I discovered it via the anime version that began airing this past summer. After it made me cry nearly once an episode, I decided that I had to read the original material.
This was the first time I was reviewing a book on my blog that was originally in another language as well, so I was pretty excited about that, too. (Though it’s not the first I’ve mentioned reading, as I read a few mangas a year, and I talked about Another on my list of books with spooky vibes from last fall.)
And… I didn’t like it nearly as much as I’d hoped to. The story is nearly the same, and the anime followed it almost to a T, but I didn’t like it nearly as much. I suspect it was the translation, but I’ll get into that in a bit. First, I’m gonna discuss some of the things I liked about it.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you. My name is Miyo Saimori.”
Miyo Saimori is our protagonist here, and she’s very unconventional when compared to many western female MCs. She’s quiet and nervous, and she keeps to herself, but this is all mostly a result of her abusive upbringing. We see small pieces of her true personality, but on very few occasions. Her true self is still reserved, but she’s also determined and stubborn and brave. (But she’s not a sassy teenager that’s inexplicably good at everything, and that everyone likes, so she’s still different.)
Kiyoka Kudou is Miyo’s new fiancee, as well as her love interest. He appears cold on the surface, but this is merely a facade that he puts up. He’s actually quite similar to Miyo in several ways, but he’s far more confident, as he had a completely different upbringing. He’s still shy when it comes to interacting with Miyo at several points in the first half, but after it’s revealed that she’s his first real romantic relationship, it all makes sense.
“I don’t think I deserve you… but I want to stay with you forever and help you somehow.”
“I need to… do better, so that I can support you for as long as possible.”
“I would appreciate anything you do.”
Their romance was also very sweet, and was one of my two favorite things about this book. They’re both very tentative and gentle with one another, and it’s extremely wholesome. They also have real, actual relationship goals, like communication and working in tandem as a team, and working to keep each other happy. It’s also a bit of a slow-burn, so fans of that will probably enjoy it.
The other thing I really liked was the supernatural stuff that was going on in the background. It was very interesting, and was what drew me into the anime to begin with. I wish the world building and supernatural aspects had been as prevalent as they were in said anime, but that’s just my preference.
The translation. As I’m not sure how good the original text is, as I cannot read Japanese, I have no choice but to blame my issues with the writing with the translation.
The prose just doesn’t flow naturally for the majority of the light novel. It’s kind of clunky and awkward at several points. The dialogue is also a little weird at times, and it doesn’t always come across as normal human interactions.
There also wasn’t a lot of plot going on. Most of it is just characters and description, until the last quarter of the novella. Which isn’t too bad, as it isn’t that long a book, but I have to say: the anime is definitely superior as an adaptation. For me, at least.
“Everything you did for me was necessary.”
“And I’m delighted you went to such lengths on my behalf.” Having someone who cared about her, who was willing to do something – anything – for her, was a blessing. She’d forgotten that joyous feeling until recently. It was Kiyoka, Yurie, and everything that happened since she’d met him that had allowed her to experience that feeling again.
All in all, I thought that My Happy Marriage was fine. I neither adored it nor did I hate it – I just found it to be okay. I really, really liked the anime adaptation for it, though.
Those who like shorter, bite-sized novels and novellas, as well as supernatural romances will probably find some enjoyment from it. People who like middle grade and YA will probably be okay with the slightly jenky writing, as well.
And as always, thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have a great day/night!
See ya ~Mar