My Happy Marriage Volume 3 (Light Novel) Review

The anime adaptation has been and gone since I last reviewed a volume of My Happy Marriage’s light novel series. But to the delight of its fans, the adaptation proved popular enough to get renewed for a second season! In the meantime, Yen Press continue to release the source material in the West and now it’s time for me to check out Volume 3. 

When we last saw Miyo and fiancé Kiyoka Kudou, our heroine was coming to grips with the fact that her bloodline on her mother’s side meant she was a member of the Usuba family and without knowing it, had a powerful Gift of her own. Now that she’s come to terms with that and made some peace with the Usuba family and her cousin Arata, Miyo continues to put her all into becoming someone worthy of standing beside Kudou. 

As we reunite with the cast, we find several months have passed since the events of Volume 2. Miyo has continued her etiquette lessons with Kiyoka’s sister Hazuki and has been training to control her Gift with the help of Arata. Now the time has come for Miyo to meet Kiyoka’s parents, something Kiyoka himself is not keen on but his work wants him to investigate some strange events in the town where his parents currently live which means staying at their estate. 

Thankfully, Kiyoka’s father proves satisfied with Miyo as his son’s partner, saying that his son has changed for the better since she arrived. However, his mother Fuyu is anything but happy about Kiyoka’s choice of fiancée! In her eyes, Miyo comes from a family that’s nowhere near as important as the Kudous and she’s known for being Giftless, not to mention the fact that, having been abused by her family, Miyo lacks confidence and struggles to express herself in conversation. 

Kiyoka doesn’t have a good relationship with his parents at the best of times, particularly his mother, so he doesn’t care if she disapproves of his partner. Being head of the household, he doesn’t need his parents’ approval to marry Miyo either. However, Miyo herself wants Fuyu to approve of their relationship and while Kiyoka is out investigating the sighting of a fiend, she devotes herself to winning over his mother. 

It will come as no surprise to anyone that Fuyu is quite abusive in her own right, just as Miyo’s stepmother was, and spends all of her time ignoring Miyo or slandering her about her poor upbringing and lack of ability to stand beside Kiyoka as a fitting bride. She even forces Miyo to work with the servants, hoping to break her down and prove that Miyo is simply using Kiyoka or after his riches. 

Neither Kiyoka nor his father approve of Fuyu’s actions, but given they’re both out for work during the day, there are not many chances for them to intervene. Kiyoka stresses to Miyo that she doesn’t need to go so far and he doesn’t care if Fuyu approves or not, but his fiancée refuses to give up. despite all the mental pain inflicted on her in the meantime. 

It’s difficult reading this volume and seeing Miyo go through so much suffering yet again. She’s certainly come a long way compared to when we first met her in Volume 1, but she still lacks understanding of her feelings and the situation she’s putting herself in that causes harm, something that even Kiyoka notices and points out to her. The notable positive of this book is that Kiyoka and Miyo are beginning to realise their feelings for each other that go beyond a [simply] arranged marriage and that’s enjoyable to watch play out, especially after everything they’ve been through together so far. Kiyoka is still very awkward in how he expresses his feelings, but he’s changed from the cold man we met originally. 

I think it’s a shame that the conflict with Fuyu is so similar to Miyo’s origin story. Especially as we’re only on Volume 3, so it wasn’t even that long ago we saw such a similar situation play out. Author Akumi Agitogi does go to great pains to assure us readers that Fuyu is simply a tsundere character who suffered under the weight of being a wife to the (now former) head of the Kudo family, but it’s hard to feel sympathy for her when she’s so nasty to Miyo. And I think that causes a lot of inconsistencies too, as sometimes Fuyu does seem like a woman who wants the best for her son and secretly approves of Miyo but in other scenes is fully embracing the evil stepmother role. For the first time since I started reading this series, it feels like poor writing. 

Thankfully this is once again a very short book coming in at just under 170 pages. Our time is split between Miyo, and Kiyoka’s investigation which proves interesting for a variety of reasons but largely related to spoilers toward the end that are setting up for Volume 4. The fact that there is more going on than simply meeting Kiyoka’s parents is going to keep readers on the hook even if, like me, they find themselves unhappy with the Fuyu side of things.

As mentioned earlier My Happy Marriage Volume 3 comes to the West thanks to Yen Press under their Yen On imprint and continues to be translated by David Musto. As always, the release reads well with no issues to note. Like the previous releases, there are no colour pages or interior illustrations to speak of but I do like how the cover art has gradually changed to have our two main characters face one another compared to Volume 1 where they were back to back. It’s a nice reflection of the change in their relationship and I look forward to seeing how that changes in future. 

Volumes 4 and 5 of the light novel series are also currently available with #6 following later this month. Square Enix has also released all four volumes of the manga currently available and the anime is available to stream on Netflix, with a Season 2 announced but not yet dated. 

Overall, My Happy Marriage Volume 3 doesn’t live up to the quality of the story we’ve experienced so far but there’s still plenty to enjoy here with the subplots, even if the main storyline is too similar to what’s come before. Here’s hoping Volume 4 is a return to form.

Our review copy from Yen Press was supplied by Diamond Book Distributors UK. 

7 / 10


When she's not watching anime, reading manga or reviewing, Demelza can generally be found exploring some kind of fantasy world and chasing her dreams of being a hero.

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