Happy Marriage Volume 3
I continue to enjoy Maki Enjoji’s series about an office lady who abruptly finds herself married to a seemingly cold and domineering company president. Chiwa and Hokuto have gradually grown closer over the first two volumes of this series, and the relationship continues to develop further in the third volume. Chiwa finally deals with Hokuto when he’s in a vulnerable position when he suddenly becomes ill, and she has to tend to him at home. One thing I enjoy is the way Enjoji slips into showing action without words or thought balloons in order to show events with more emotional impact. When Hokuto wakes up in the middle of the night and sees Chiwa sleeping by the side of his bed, he looks absolutely shocked, then silently pulls her over so she can sleep more comfortably beside him. There are still some slice of life humorous moments in the manga, like when Chiwa deals with Hokuto’s hidden slovenly habits at home and her tendency to become an “Octopus Woman” when she sleeps.
The big emotional breakthrough in the volume occurs when Chiwa and Hokuto have to go visit his family, and Chiwa sees how poorly he’s treated by his relatives. This explains a great deal about his personality and motivations, and Chiwa gets so angry she is more emotionally honest about her feelings for her husband as she’s sticking up for him than she’s ever been when talking to Hokuto directly. I’m looking forward to what happens next! It is a bit odd to root for a married couple to get together, but Enjoji manages to pull this situation off with an engaging story and sympathetic characters.
Demon Love Spell Volume 5
This volume will be particularly fun for any fans of Mayu Shinjo’s series Sensual Phrase. Demon Love Spell can be depended upon to serve up plenty of humor and paranormal romance hijinks, and this volume picks things up with a funny plot device. Incubus Kagura and priestess Miko decide that they’re going to move out of Miko’s family home/shrine and her father promptly agrees! But before they go Miko’s father uses his priestly powers and puts a curse on Kagura so that he will be utterly incapable of romancing Miko in any capacity. The young teenager and incredibly old incubus struggle with finding an apartment. Miko starts working a part-time job to support them. They barely ever see each other, and it seems like their new apartment may also be haunted!
In any romance manga, misunderstandings get in the way of true love, and when Kagura decides to go into showbiz in order to make some money to support Miko, she promptly becomes jealous and concerned that he’s getting “powered up” from other women. Kagura’s demonic hotness ensures overnight success as a male model, and he soon becomes a pop sensation as well. Much is made of Kagura’s resemblance to the hero Sakuya from Sensual Phrase, and I found it hilarious that Shinjo’s habit of drawing her male heroes in a very similar fashion was acknowledged in this manner. All in all, this was another fun volume of this series. I’m definitely enjoying Demon Love Spell much more than Ai Ore, and I hope that more of Shinjo’s series get translated over here.