I Married My Best Friend to Shut My Parents Up Review

I Married My Best Friend to Shut My Parents Up Review

I Married My Best Friend to Shut My Parents Up manga series cover art
I Married My Best Friend to Shut My Parents Up

Short and Sweet(?)

I Married My Best Friend to Shut My Parents Up (Oya ga Urusai node Kouhai (♀) to Gisou Kekkon Shitemita. / 親がうるさいので後輩(♀)と偽装結婚してみた。) is a short yuri manga by Naoko Kodama. By short, I mean it’s three chapters long, plus an additional bonus chapter at the end.

It’s not a one-shot, but it’s close. You can read this in 30 minutes or less. In fact, that’s what I did this morning. So, it’s short. But, is it sweet? I don’t know about that one. I don’t think this manga is very good. And, there are a few reasons why.

The first thing is that the short length isn’t exactly a benefit. It hits all the major story beats that other yuri manga do, but within only three chapters. Like, imagine if Bloom into You‘s 50 chapters were compressed down into three. That’s what this manga feels like.

Hana welcoming Machi home from the manga series I Married My Best Friend to Shut My Parents Up
Hana welcoming Machi home

What are these major story beats? Well, there’s always one character who’s sure she’s straight (more on that soon). Then, you have the lesbian character “seduce” her, often aggressively. There are some arranged marriage shenanigans. Of course, they have to go through a rough patch and almost separate (often due to another girl). And, then they live happily ever after.

I Married My Best Friend to Shut My Parents Up does all of that, which doesn’t leave much room for other things. You know, like the characters themselves. There is character development in this series. However, only one of the characters develops.

Short manga can be good. The premise of this manga could have worked in a short. But, it would have needed to cut out some of the tropes and focus on something more unique. If both women started out “straight,” that may have been something interesting.

Another “I Didn’t Realize I Was Gay” Yuri Manga

I guess turning a straight girl gay is the yuri version of power fantasy. The only yuri series I’ve watched/read that doesn’t include that (that I can think of) is Sakura Trick.

It happens in Bloom into You, Citrus, Gokujou Drops, and I Can’t Believe I Slept With You! It’s been a while, but I’m pretty sure it happened in Love To-LIE-Angle, too. And, it’s even sort of happening in Whisper Me a Love Song, which is currently airing. I don’t remember if it happened in Adachi and Shimamura, though.

Anyway, this trope is the second issue I have with the series. Again, if I Married My Best Friend to Shut My Parents Up was a bit more unique, it could have been good. But, many of the longer yuri series do everything this one does, but better.

Machi patting Hana on the head from the manga series I Married My Best Friend to Shut My Parents Up
Machi patting Hana on the head

So, back to the whole “I didn’t realize I was gay” thing that this series has going on. Is it really that interesting of a concept? Like, does the fact that Machi has only had boyfriends in the past add anything to the series? And if so, for whom?

This is a genuine question, as I’m not a gay girl myself. Is the reader supposed to identify with Machi or Hana in this situation? Or is it both/either?

Hana’s the girl who always had a crush on her friend, but who was rejected because her friend is “straight.” And Machi’s the girl who always thought she was straight. But, she also always felt like something was missing from her relationships with boys.

Is this dual self-insert dynamic why these series are so popular? Personally, I’d much prefer a series in which both girls know they like girls from the start.

Anaerobic Love

I haven’t really said much about the content of this series yet. It’s about a woman (Machi) who’s tired of her parents sending her suitors. So, her best friend (Hana) suggests that they get “married” instead. They can’t legally get married. But, they can get a partnership certificate.

The two women go through with this arrangement and Hana moves in with Machi shortly after. They both need to be living in Shibuya for their certificate to be valid. And, Hana’s old apartment is under construction. So, it’s a win-win, you could say.

As you might expect, Machi’s parents don’t approve of their daughter’s “lifestyle.” But, that doesn’t actually end up going anywhere. It plays into Machi’s character development when she tells her mother off for insulting Hana. However, her parents never come around or anything like that. They’re homophobic until the end.

Hana reminding Machi that they're married from the manga series I Married My Best Friend to Shut My Parents Up
Hana reminding Machi that they’re married

Okay, but what’s Anaerobic Love? At the start of this review, I mentioned that there’s a bonus chapter at the end of the manga. That bonus chapter is Anaerobic Love. It’s a one-shot that follows two entirely different characters in high school. One’s a track star and the other is a former track athlete.

It was a little weird for this to be added to the end of I Married My best Friend to Shut My Parents Up. I would have preferred another actual chapter of the main series. And, Anaerobic Love has the same exact issues as the main series.

It’s too short for anything meaningful to happen in it and it has the same “I didn’t know I was gay” trope. It could have been a little more interesting if it was related to the main series in some way. But, since it’s not, why do I care about it?

Final Thoughts

I Married My Best Friend to Shut My Parents Up is a 5/10. I have no strong feelings about it one way or another. It’s not a bad manga, but it’s not a good manga, either. If you really like yuri series, though, and you want a quick read, this might be the manga for you.

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