An Incurable Case of Love, Vol 5

An Incurable Case of Love Volume 5 by Maki Enjoji

After four volumes with plenty of workplace hijinks now that Tendo and Nana have become an actual couple, there have to be some random external influences show up to test their relationship. In the fifth volume this takes the form of a forlorn young man who shows up and demands that Nana hide him from some people who are following him. This turns into an extremely odd impromptu date involving a bowling alley and a park. Nana humors him for awhile, because her nursing instincts are kicking in. When he has a seizure, Nana has him transported to her hospital.

An Incurable Case of Love Volume 5

The young man turns out to be Chikashi, the heir to a conglomerate. He refuses to be transported to a private hospital and demands that Nana be assigned as his personal nurse. Nana agrees after Chikashi makes it clear that he isn’t above a bit of blackmail, he also incorporates some threats to Tendo’s career. Nana and Tendo’s relationship is strained, and while Chikashi is clearly acting like an extremely bratty patient, he’s also doing this because he’s incredibly lonely. One of the best parts of this volume was Tendo’s aggravated faces as he attempts to deal with this situation semi-professionally. Nana lets her caring nature lead to her getting taken advantage of, but it seems like Chikashi ends up in a better place than he was before, so if her goal is to maintain being an excellent nurse, she’s still on track to achieve it. While there isn’t really a high amount of drama or complex story line in this volume, this workplace romance still manages to be diverting and seeing Nana and Tendo work through their issues with the core of their relationship strong is plenty heartwarming.

Everyone’s Getting Married, Vol. 1

Everyone’s Getting Married Volume 1 by Izumi Miyazono

As far as I’m concerned, Shojo Beat’s recent practice of releasing the occasional josei title is one of the best things ever. Manga featuring non-highschoolers is still not so easy to find, so I was looking forward to Everyone’s Getting Married. At the same time, just based on the title I was a bit concerned that this would be a josei version of The Rules or something that would involve trapping a man into marriage. I was really happy to discover that I enjoyed the personalities and relationship dynamic between the main couple in this manga.

Asuka Takahashi is a successful real estate agent, but her main ambition in life is to get married and become a homemaker. Asuka takes the idea of being a housewife very seriously, mainly due to the fact that she has strong childhood memories of the type of home her mother provided for her as a child. She’s thwarted in her goal in the first chapter when her long term boyfriend breaks up with her. Asuka has a brief encounter with Ryu Nanami when she’s attending a wedding. He’s a newscaster who is determined to never settle down. Asuka and Ryu have an unusually frank exchange about their incompatible goals in life and then part, fully expecting to never see each other again. He tells her “You seem like a great woman, but it would never work out between us,” and she thinks “This man…is not at all what I am looking for.”

Of course, they get thrown together over and over again, because Ryu is the roommate of Asuka’s co-worker Ono. Ryu and Asuka start getting to know each other better, unconstrained by the possibility of a romantic relationship since they’ve mutually ruled each other out. Asuka sees that Ryu is much more of an ordinary person than he appears to be based on his TV persona. He sees that she’s genuinely kind, and he respects the work that goes into keeping a household running even though he has no desire for a wife. They both begin to fall a little in love with each other, but their goals in life for a family and future remain absolutely different. Miyazono’s art is pretty to look at and easy to follow, even though her style isn’t particularly unique.

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Asuka and Ryu end up both being sympathetic and quirky enough to make me wonder which way this story is going to go, even though I’m totally expecting a happy ending. They’re also balanced out a bit by secondary couple Ono and Rio, who have the opposite relationship dynamic where Ono wants to settle down and Rio is determined to keep dating. Overall, this first volume seems like a great addition to the under the radar josei titles coming out under the Shojo Beat line.