Today is my tenth wedding anniversary, so I’ve got marriage on the brain. And I was surprised to realize, when I thought about it, just how seldom I encounter weddings or even marriage in the manga I read, despite my heavy leanings towards romance.
Then again, I think it’s only a rare kind of story that wants to delve beyond the early rush of romance and into what happens next. I remember as a child, getting to Laura Ingalls’ wedding in the Little House series, and feeling just as bewildered as she seemed to be, suddenly separated from the place and people she’d lived with all her life until then. The heart-pounding romance that had brought us both to this point had taken a too-realistic turn that neither she nor I was even remotely prepared for. I had a similar feeling when Betsy finally married Joe near the end of Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy-Tacy series. As much as Betsy struggled with the reality of domestic life, I struggled with the loss of her romantic adventure.
Still, there are a few manga weddings that spring to mind as I ponder, though not all of them are marriages I personally endorse!
3 manga weddings for MJ’s anniversary:
1. The Moon and the Sandals | Fumi Yoshinaga | Hashizume & Ida
Probably the favorite of my manga marriages is not actually a legal one, at least not in Japan. But when Hashizume turns up with the adoption forms, showing Ida that he really does love him, and has wanted to marry him for long time, I honestly got teary. Oh, Fumi. *snif* You really are the best of all.
2. Fruits Basket | Natsuki Takaya | Tohru & Kyo
Okay, so they don’t actually show Tohru’s marriage to Kyo, but after 23 volumes of pounding in the message that a girl’s most important dream is marriage, Takaya at least provides us with proof that it happened after all. It’s a pretty sweet little moment too, even if it gets her out of having to deal with any of the hard stuff.
3. NANA | Ai Yazawa | Hachi & Takumi
Though Hachi and Takumi’s wedding is possibly the least romantic thing to ever hit the page as far as I’m concerned, its business-like manner reminds us all that marriage is really just a contract, for good or for ill, and that it can’t create or replace love and emotional partnership. Will we ever find out how this marriage really turns out? I dearly hope so.
A list of manga weddings was difficult for me to muster, I have to admit. Readers, can you do better?
Sarah saysMarch 10, 2011 at 3:52 pm
Oh goodness, I can’t think of any weddings in the manga I read, and I read a lot of shoujo…
Katherine Dacey saysMarch 10, 2011 at 3:57 pm
Congratulations on ten years, Melinda! Here’s to many, many more anniversaries for you and your hubby.
MagicalEmi saysMarch 10, 2011 at 4:11 pm
The wedding in Itazura na Kiss is my favorite :) (ridiculous bonus points for the taiwan drama version of the event, which included crossdressing ^^;)
JRB saysMarch 10, 2011 at 4:15 pm
Weddings do tend to get short shrift in translated manga; most often they’re plot contrivances (main choices being “The person I love married someone else! I will now mope outrageously until I meet cute with the other main character and fall in love with them instead!” or “Evil relatives try to force love interest into arranged marriage with rival!”). I attribute this to the lack of (perceived) English market for heterosexual romance manga for 20-something women, much of which does involve marriage, and manga aimed at older married women with kids, much of which focuses, shockingly, on older married women with kids. On the other hand, a lot of this stuff is less than compelling; the former tends to clichéd fluff and the latter to Jerry Springer Show dysfunction-porn. The academic anthology Manga and Philosophy has a lovely paper by an author I cannot recall which summarizes the content of several magazines for adult female readers, which is quite worth reading to remind ourselves that not all untapped veins of manga contain gold…
CJ saysMarch 10, 2011 at 5:36 pm
Happy Anniversary! I’m actually going to a wedding celebration myself this weekend!
For my manga weddings, there’s Maison Ikkoku! After so many years of playing cat and mouse romantically, there is a big wedding in the finale! And it’s not just the two mains, several other characters get married too!
Kris saysMarch 10, 2011 at 5:45 pm
I also like that “wedding” in Moon and the Sandals.
Um, this is a little cliche, but I really adore the wedding scene in Romeo x Juliet. Juliet, who grew up pretending to be a boy, saw a lavish noble wedding once, and wished that she could one day wear a beautiful dress and get married. Romeo did what he could, and they made their vows together in an abandoned, crumbling church in the middle of nowhere.
That’s all that springs immediately to mind, aside from the endings of Love Hina and Ai Yori Aoshi. They’re not exactly romantic (well, Ai Yori Aoshi’s kind of is, because it took them a long time to get there and convince Aoi’s parents to let it happen), but they’re a nice way to wrap up the end of their respective series.
animemiz saysMarch 10, 2011 at 6:22 pm
Oh my.. if you get to read Moaison Ikkoku there’s a wedding scene in it. Sailor Moon also has a wedding scene. Ranma 1/2 as well.. just with the ttles you encounter..now in shoujo nowadays I encounter unmarried pregnancies a lot more. Ah My Goddess maybe.. Hmm.. iguana’s Duahgter from Hagio also has a wedding scene.. Marmalade boy as well I recall. Hmm… need to say congratulations. before I find myself going on another tangent.. ^_^
animemiz saysMarch 10, 2011 at 6:22 pm
Oh Dr. Slump as well. ^_^
N saysMarch 11, 2011 at 8:06 am
I’m not sure if the Ranma scene really counts, because it’s clear that Takahashi only drew it to justify the volume’s cover.
N saysMarch 10, 2011 at 6:25 pm
The ending of Maison Ikkoku immediately comes to mind for me. The very sight of the cover made tears well up in my eyes.
Khursten saysMarch 10, 2011 at 6:29 pm
Happy Anniversary!! \o/
Those are some awesome set of weddings you have!
I’m not exactly sure about my own memory when it comes to weddings but I do like this one Yoshihara Yuki title called “Darling wa Namamono ni Tsuki” which shows a girl raised by a gay father. The girl ends up marrying a doctor and it’s been interesting especially when her mother’s cabaret club okamas interfere with their marriage.
That said, I remember you asked me before about my favorite BL panel in manga, and I posted the answer up in my new post. XD http://www.punkednoodle.com/champloo/2011/03/10/spotlight-yoshinaga-fumi/ It’s also from a Yoshinaga Fumi title. Why, I think the world has their own Yoshinaga favorites.
cmshaw saysMarch 10, 2011 at 11:09 pm
Happy anniversary to you!
The only wedding I can think of is the one at the end of Until the Full Moon, which is really quite sweet.
Noura saysMarch 10, 2011 at 11:43 pm
Happy anniversary and many happy returns of the day!
Fall in Love Like a Comic by Chitose Yagami. Tomoya and Rena get married at the end and have a son.
Red River by Chie Shinohara. Kail and Yuri get married and have kids. One of my favorite shoujo series.
themooninautumn saysMarch 11, 2011 at 12:09 am
Aside from others mentioned, here was what I came up with: Emma, GALS!, Goong, MeruPuri, Sensual Phrase, VB Rose (if fake weddings/wedding shows count, VB Rose wins hands down).
Questionable-hazy memory: Basara? Cantarella? From Far Away? Kare Kano? Key to the Kingdom? Mars? Red River? Sand Chronicles?
Geri-chan saysMarch 11, 2011 at 3:02 am
Ito and Makoto get married at the end of W Juliet. It’s been awhile since I read it, so I don’t remember if they showed the actual ceremony, but the characters are dressed up in a bridal gown and suit on the cover of the last volume.
There’s a same-sex wedding in vol.6 of Haru wo Daiteita (Embracing Love), which unfortunately never got published English. However, the Kiss of Fire artbook, which is available through DMP, shows a lovely scene of the marriage ceremony. Basically, the main characters Katou and Iwaki get married while vacationing in America and have a ceremony at a church. The legalities of the marriage aren’t addressed in the manga, and I assume it was purely ceremonial since same-sex marriage isn’t legal in Japan, but the media and their fans treat them like a married couple from that point on.
There are quite a few shoujo manga titles that I’ve read where teenage couples get together in the final volume, and then the last chapter skips ahead to an epilogue several years later where we see them as a married couple, often with children, so we never actually get to see the weddings. My memory is a little hazy on the older titles, but I think that Beauty Is the Beast, Beauty Pop, Kare Kano, and Wild Ones fall into this category.
Jade saysMarch 11, 2011 at 4:25 pm
Congrats on ten years!!
I don’t remember any wedding in a comic except for Reed and Sue (yah, I missed Scott and Jean), so I’ll commend your anniversary by tossing out a few of my favourite married couples in manga:
Izumi and Sig Curtis from Fullmetal Alchemist– You don’t see them interacting much, but the Elric brothers’ teacher and her husband have one of those rad relationships where you can see them having these really complex dialogs between their looks. They have this really intense understanding of and support of each other that comes across very subtly and realistically. ‘I’m a Housewife!’ is also an intensely badass moment.
Dorothea and Wilhelm Mölders form Emma– This couple seems like a fun mismatch of a wilful romantic and a stodgy stoic, but the side story in Vol. 9 shows they’ve influenced each other a bit more than they might show over the years. This story also shows how being with someone for years can still yield some fresh surprises and perspectives on each other and how big of an influence the littlest things can have between people in love.
Hoshino’s parents in Love Roma – Ok, this is just one of the most hilarious mismatches I’ve ever read. The dad is the most banal person in the universe and the mom is a hyperactive dynamo rivalling the energy of the Sun. Not only is their marriage hilarious, but the possibility that Hoshino and Negishi could one day end up like this is endlessly amusing.
Melinda Beasi saysMarch 11, 2011 at 7:04 pm
Running around a bit crazy today, but thanks everyone for your good wishes and your manga marriages!
Angela saysMarch 11, 2011 at 11:11 pm
Oh gosh, I didn’t even think of Hachi and Takumi when I was wracking my brains for manga marriages! The complete un-romanticness of it threw off my brain, I think.
One that I can think of is Paradise Kiss, and it’s so bittersweet since it’s not who you believed she’d be with in the end… There’s also Mars, but after all the crap those to go through, it’s satisfying to see them settled and happy; they deserve it.
Sara K. saysMarch 13, 2011 at 9:02 am
I’m somewhat surprised that nobody’s mentioned Goong. One thing that I like about Goong is that they get the wedding done right away. Marriage first, romance later.
Ahavah saysMarch 14, 2011 at 3:57 pm
I’m in middle of reading volume 7 of “With the Light,” and while the series focuses more on child-rearing than marriage upkeep, it seems like a realistic portrayal of domestic management overall. Fights and compromises between Sachiko and Misato, dealing with in-laws, the balance of kids (especially the autistic Hikaru) and work for both parents (and I *love* that Sachiko works!) are all plot points. In volume 7, Sachiko overhears 2 college girls talking on the train “Marriage is life’s graveyard. Kids are cute, but you really have no time for yourself.”
Sachiko reflects on this and thinks, “It’s true that I have way less time for myself than these girls, but marriage isn’t a graveyard. It’s the beginning of being needed” (well, her first thought is, “my life is dead, eh?” LOL!)
Growing up in the ’90’s and seeing so many bad marriages and divorces, I’ve often felt like those college girls. I’ve even said things like that. So seeing portrayals of happy, functioning marriages, even in fiction, fills me with hope that marriage can be a happy way of life for both spouses.
It’s also worth noting that as much as I love weddings and wedding scenes (Will & Emma in Emma, for example), real life is after the honeymoon. I hope more manga about committed , adult couples come out in the States. Reading about hormonal-crazed teens gets boring after a while.
Congrats on your 10th anniversary! It’s not just a passage of time, it’s hard work! I hope you and your hubby have many, many more happy years to come!