Happy Marriage 4

Happy Marriage 4“The Radius”

Title: Happy Marriage 4

Writer/ Artist: Maki Enjoji

U. S. Distributor: Viz Media

U. S. Release Date: Feb. 4, 2014

Format: Shojo Manga, Joesi

Genre: Romance

Age Rating: M

Overall Personal Rating: B+



Returning to the hotel, Chiwa and Hokuto expect to finally consummate their marriage but it doesn’t work out. the next day, things are tense between them and they aren’t communicating well. Chiwa leaves soaked in her misery. She runs into her friend Takana who lets her vent over a couple of drinks. For several days, she continues to over drink but Kokuto is there for her when she needs help.

As Chiwa is waiting outside, she is kidnapped. They seem to be amateurs and when it is known who is behind it, that doesn’t make it any less dangerous. They contact Hokuto to come there but can he rescue her or would it be a better idea to contact the police?


Caution: This commentary mentions things which could hint at spoilers.

There is definitely much more in the story than listed in the synopsis, but I’m trying not to give anything away.  The resolution of the kidnapping and everything that happens after its very important and leads to some pivotal moments. If I tell you any, the unfolding will be spoiled and the feeling will change. There is a method to the sequence, and though it is typical in a romance, it works, so let’s not ruin that.

As a manga story, it seems to be a mix of a romance novel and a high school romance. Chiwa is in her early 20’s but still naive. She hasn’t been many places or had a variety of experiences. This makes her shy and rather innocent in romance and love making. Hokuto is older and more experienced, yet willing to take it slow. It is fun to read even though Chiwa is a weak character around Hokuto and seems to need saving. All of this is formulaic and what people make fun of, but it fills its intention. It is definitely written for adult women. Sometimes I feel silly reading a romance like this. I guess I’m not quite the regular audience and that leads me to suspect it might deserve a higher grade.

A note on the kidnapping, I do see the reason to include it as a plot device but it still seemed contrived and unbelievable for the situation. However, the future impact it makes could make any issues mute.

Visually, there is definitely skill in portraying people.There is a slight stiffness and simplifying of the figures, but it didn’t come across as distracting. As a character and relationship driven story, the focus on faces and to a lesser extent bodies, is perfect for the story telling.

In reviewing volume 3, I mentioned that I didn’t see why it was a M rating. This series has the most kissing in manga that I’ve seen, but that doesn’t cause the rating. Okay, with volume 4 it has become very evident why this has a mature rating. Even though things change, the characters retain their core selves and the dynamic between them is intact for now and there is still more story than sex.

Overall Grade: B+ Chiwa’s shyness and inexperience keep her in a state of avoidance, but Hokuto is ready and in love. 




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