By Kouji Miyata. Released in Japan as “Yome ga Kore na Monde” by Enterbrain, serialized in the magazine Harta. Released in North America by Yen Press. Translated by Sheldon Drzka.
This sort of premise will be very familiar to anyone who reads books or watches television, aliens aside. The story of a normal man who ends up marrying a wife who has a supernatural secret – or even is just of an amusing foreign nationality – has been around forever, and Oh, My Sweet Alien! is simply adapting that premise to suit its own needs. That’s not to say that this manga is dull – predictable, yes, but I was entertained throughout, mostly as the author manages to find a nice balance between the wife being a “funny foreigner” type and the wife being a genuinely weird, unnerving alien. It never gets too horrific – this is a sweet comedy, after all – but we do see the collection of human skins she has to wear to pass herself off in this world, and at home she’s not above using her tentacles as easily as she does her hands – in fact, more easily. As the story progresses and they have a child, the complications remain the same – predictable, but fun.
As we find out in a flashback, Nobuo, our young man, was abducted by aliens to be fitted with an implant, seemingly as some sort of rite of passage for a young alien girl (who is referred to as “the wife” throughout, I believe). Somewhat delirious from the abduction, and touched by the fact that she doesn’t want to give him the implant, he proposes to her, and they move in together. The rest of the book could be described as “wackiness ensues”, really. We get alien in-laws, Nobue’s grumpy mother, and two more aliens (from Venus, no less) hell bent on breaking up the couple by seduction. All of these could easily be rewritten from “alien” to “foreigner”, as I said, but seeing how :”alien” plays out is what makes this fun. I was a little frustrated at times (Madoka, the female alien homewrecker, can be quite annoying before she’s gradually toned down a bit), and the gratuitous nudity feels a bit out of place (without it, honestly, you could lower the age rating a bit), but the sweet moments are really sweet, and the humor can sometimes be fantastic – I loved the “I will reveal my secret” gag of the final chapter, for example.
Sadly, this is all we’re going to get of this title – the author died of a brain hemorrhage three years ago. It’s a shame, because of the many varieties of western publishers’ “Monster Girl” series that have been flooding the market faster than you can say Alice in the Country of Hearts, this was on the cute, fun side, and it’s nice to see one that stars a happily married couple who love each other despite all of the obvious differences. It’s not for everyone (I will mention the nudity again, there really is quite a bit of it), but fans of the genre should definitely give this a try.