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My Happy Marriage has somehow blessed the frenzied 2023 anime universe with a subtle beauty that is ever common to us but, was presented in a fresh dish that is refreshing and soothing. This year the anime world has seen some of the high-profile heavy hitters coming back. In such a year filled with powerful and famous anime titles My Happy Marriage is certainly the mellow dessert served to calm us down. Bleach is back with its Cour 2 of Thousand Years Blood War Arc, Rurouni Kenshin remake released just a while ago, and Demon Slayer resurfaced with season 3.

Then there are the popular titles of Jujutsu Kaisen, Tokyo Revengers, and so on. Now that is what you call a frenzy. Oh, I forgot to mention, One Piece is still running and Luffy got his Gear 5. Talk about a barrage of premium content. In the midst of all this, Netflix decides to release My Happy Marriage, a light rom-com with some elements of action and fantasy. Some expected it to fail miserably. However, that was not to be the case.

On July 5, 2023, Netflix released an Original Anime based on a Light Novel named My Happy Marriage. The show had not much to offer other than the same tropes in a different setting. But despite that, Netflix managed to pull the rug under by presenting us those very tropes, yet giving us a fresh taste. As if it was something new. Today, I am going to review the anime. My Happy Marriage.

My Happy Marriage Trailer 1

My Happy Marriage Origins

My Happy Marriage is a Japanese light novel series written by Akumi Agitogi and illustrated by Tsukiho Tsukioka. It was initially published online via the publishing website for independent artists, Shōsetsuka ni Narō, it was later acquired by Fujimi Shobo and was later released as a Light Novel on January 2019 under their Fujimi L Bunko imprint.

Currently, 7 volumes of the novel have been released; along with a manga adaptation with 4 volumes; a Live Action film on March 17, 2023, and a Stage Play that ran from August 11-20, 2023 in Tokyo. On the 5th of July of the same year, a 12-episode ONA (Original Net Animation) on Netflix, which has currently released 7 episodes and episode 8 to air on 23 August 2023.

The setting of the story takes place in an alternative Meiji Restoration timeline, where Magic and Spirits exist, but they are on the decline. This makes sense because this show doesn’t entirely focus on that aspect. The story follows the life of Miyo Saimori, the eldest daughter of the Saimori family who has given in to the life of being a maid in her own home.

Miyo’s life has never been easy. After her mother’s death, her father remarried his former lover with whom he later had a child. If being neglected by her father, abused by her step-family and losing every last memorabilia of her late mother was not enough, Miyo’s role in the family was reduced to that of the maid due to failing to inherit the ability of magic or spirit-sight and became a shell of a human being in the process.

That is until she was betrothed to marry Kiyoka Kodou. The head of the Kodou Family, and a man rumored to be “a ruthless soldier,” and “a cold and merciless human being,” whose fiancées end up leaving him after three days. Miyo thought her life was over, but she had accepted her fate. But when her eyes met with her fiancé, she realized there was more to him than meets the eye.

My Happy Marriage - Kyoka & Miyo - Deshi Geek
My Happy Marriage – Kyoka & Miyo – Deshi Geek

The Underlying Information

When I was tasked with writing a review of My Happy Marriage, I had just finished my work on Zom 100. Nevertheless, I was intrigued. It had been a while since I had seen a romantic anime. Due to some personal reasons, I tended to avoid the category in general, but since it was for work, I thought I could give it a try. And boy did I make the right call.

Of the 7 episodes released, I only watched 6. And that was enough for me to review My Happy marriage. Kinema Citrus was responsible for the animation and had previously worked on Black Bullet, Barakamon, The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 2 (the show that killed the Shield Hero in my opinion) and Made in Abyss. Therefore, the animation was spot-on and smooth. And for a show about Romance and Marriage, smoothness is necessary.

As for the characters, I don’t know if that was the intention of the author or the animation team, but they made sure that you despise Miyo’s family with a burning passion. Whether it is her neglectful father whose sole intention of her betrothal was to have her driven away, or her abusive stepmother that spares no moment to point out her insecurities. But Miyo’s stepsister Kaya takes the cake in this hate game.

Seeing the face of Kaya, you know that she’s in trouble. Although she can never top Malty Melromarc from The Rising of the Shield Hero, and she takes after her mother in her quest to torment Miyo, she exceeds her own mother in that game so much that we hate her. Especially in Episode 4 and Episode 6. In both these episodes, I had wished to be an advocate of Gender Equality and beat the living crap out of this girl.

But she gets her just comeuppance in each of those episodes. And her face, when she learns that her sister is living the best moment of her life rather than being tormented, is the icing on the cake. And of course, that wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our MC’s beloved betrothed and his caretaker. Both of them provide the love and care Miyo had never received. And even though the former takes longer to do it than his own caretaker, when he does show affection, he gives you butterflies.

My Happy Marriage Trailer 2

Did The Anime Do Well?

At first glance, when you read the plot of My Happy Marriage, you realize that there’s nothing new to offer. It has the same old trope that is used in all Shojo Anime. The heroine is mistreated, abused and bullied to the point that she loses her sense of self. She meets a man who seems cold-hearted at first but has a warm personality underneath. They fall in love and slowly, she finds the happiness that she had once lost. And you wouldn’t be wrong to think that.

But despite that, the Anime did well along with the other mediums. And why is that? Well, they may have Netflix to thank for that. Netflix has this weird relationship with Anime in general. Where their own Original Net Animation such as Baki, Records of Ragnarok, Way of the House-husband, Castlevania etc shine, their Live Action attempt with the Anime tanks so much, they replaced the “Live Action,” section of the comparison memes. But that doesn’t mean, we can deny that Netflix indeed produces some great Animation and they know how well to promote it.

Where Kinema Citrus was responsible for animating My Happy Marriage, Netflix was in charge of the distribution and promotion. And boy did they do it. Unlike other shows which overplay their cards in attempts to promote it, Netflix knew that what this show had, had already been consumed by everyone already. So, they thought to themselves, how can we make it feel unique? And they did so in the most minimalistic way.

If you were to view the trailers of My Happy Marriage, you’d realize, this isn’t much. It just gives you a general idea of what you had already read in this article. But that’s exactly what they intended. With clever editing, music and key points within the first episode of the animation, Netflix managed to grab your attention, made you sympathize with the character and made you hope that she gets her happy ending. Even though that ending was spoiled in the title.

And the anime didn’t drag their romance too much to make it seem bland. They had taken it at a pace that we were neither bored nor bemused but rather satisfied. In short, even those who believe that romance is dead might come to appreciate the anime.

My Happy Marriage - Scenes - Deshi Geek
My Happy Marriage – Scenes – Deshi Geek

My Verdict

In my last article regarding JJK, I mentioned how big animation studios failed with their Magnum opus, but within those failures were some silver linings. And that Silver Lining was that many underrated, yet original anime that would fall under the rug of the massive franchises due to their success, are getting proper attention.

And then I went ahead and wrote an article on Zom 100, which had two different adaptations and none of them sucked. On the contrary, they ruled. And now there’s My Happy Marriage.

Despite being made of the same trope consumed by everyone, with the support of Netflix and fans, the show exceeded expectations.



If my name didn't give it away, I am a Baka and an Otaku. And, I do a pretty good job at being both of them. More often than not at the same time.

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