My Happy Marriage Episode 1 [First Impression]

Eva’s First Impression

It’s here~! My favourite romance series is finally starting! I’m absolutely in love with the novels, it’s just so freaking good! I’ve actually been reading it since the fan translations, so when it was officially brought over I was ecstatic! It really scratches that itch for a good romance with a mix of supernatural! I am absolutely thrilled to see just how beautiful the visuals are, oh man the details too in the animation, stunning. It’s the best feeling when your favourite series get this kind of visual treatment.

Miyooooooo!!! She’s meek and miserable right now, but once she’s out of that bloody house she’ll finally be able to spread her wings and freaking breathe! Up until the point her father kicked her out of the house, she was like a caged bird, and a neglected one at that. Her meek behaviour at the moment is the result of the endless abuse she had been put through, to which the only thing she defaults to saying “I’m sorry” when it’s not even her fault. I just want to hug her and protect her, but don’t worry she’ll soon have someone give her just that, and gosh she needs it! She’s been through so much crap. [TAKES OUT MEGAPHONE] MIYO DESERVES ALL THE HAPPINESS!

After the death of her mother, Miyo lost everything. Her place in her own home, her father, her mother’s mementos, and her dignity. She was forced to work as a servant, and yet she’s been treated even less than them. The only ray of light in her life during those terrible days was her childhood friend Kouji– but after today, even he was taken away from her when her father arranges to take Kouji into the Saimori family, and have her step-sister Kaya to be his wife. Miyo is ordered to marry into the Kudo Family, to a man named Kiyoka– notoriously known for scaring away his brides-to-be.

It’s pretty obvious with the way the talk down to her that they don’t actually expect Kiyoka to take a liking to her, let alone marry her. This is just an excuse to kick her out of the house. I mean seriously, who talks about how her husband to be is ‘famous and too good for her, who has no redeeming qualities’ – like, uh, this is your supposed benevolence? Hell they don’t even try to hide it, at least Kaya certainly doesn’t when she talks about how she’ll be counting the days how long Miyo will last. Hell, they certainly didn’t waste anytime to kick her out, much less give her an escort despite being a wealthy and powerful family of their own. Had been Kaya, she would’ve gotten the VIP treatment. The fresh new kimono her father given her was out of simply as a means to conceal the way she has been treated, giving her something somewhat presentable to wear. He certainly didn’t care to think of what color or pattern would flatter her.

So simply put: the Saimori family is trash. Her father doesn’t care for her because he and her mother were a loveless marriage, the woman he wanted to marry was in fact her current stepmother (who resents Miyo, and intends to make her suffer in retaliation out of spite), and that leaves Kaya is your classic evil step-sister who loves mocking and stomping on Miyo’s feelings at every opportunity. She knows damn well that Miyo has feelings for Kouji, and it delights her that she is taking him away from her.

Kouji is pretty much the only person that shined a bit of life in Miyo’s bleak days. Kouji has been the only one who’s still around that still treats Miyo as a person and a dear friend. He does what he kind to give her a bit of joy to make her smile, but the problem is– he hasn’t done or tried to do more to get her out of the situation she’s in. And we see how that opportunity spectacularly blew up in his face- heck it didn’t help that he didn’t even try to make the case when his father ordered him to join the Saimori family and marry Kaya, all while it is to be arranged that his elder brother Kazushi marries Miyo. This was Kouji’s father the so-called way to “save” Miyo– like sure buddy, you could’ve done that years ago if you actually cared considering Miyo’s own father had essentially abandoned her. Jokes on both of them really, because had Kouji expressed his love for Miyo much sooner or even during that argument, or heck– tried to elope with her, his father might have been inclined to support him doing so since it would have meant Miyo leaving the Saimori house. That said, it should be noted that things did not go as Tatsuishi’s head had planned. Rather than Miyo being arranged to marry into the Tatsuishi family, her father ended up sending her off to marry Kudo Kiyoka.

As a novel reader, I didn’t actually expect them to spend the entire first episode at the Saimori house. Honestly I thought we would have progressed further along, to the point I kept on checking how much time was left in the episode because I was surprised by the pace of it. I feel like this was definitely a risky decision, but given where they chose to stop the episode, I wholeheartedly agree that it was definitely better to do it this way than rush through it. Now the next episode can wholly focus on Kiyoka’s and Miyo’s first impression of each other and more.

However, the drawback of solely focusing on the Saimori house for the first episode made it incredibly slow. It also didn’t help that they left out details that would have given better context to why Miyo is treated the way she is, which included opting out sharing the most crucial piece of the story: The power of Gifts.

It actually wasn’t until I finished the episode that I realized they’ve neglected to touch on the importance of one’s ‘Gift’.  Frankly it is baffling how they left this detail out in the first episode because new viewers who don’t look up the details or specifics of a show are going to be left with the impression that this is just a simple ‘historical romance’, when in-fact there’s so much more going on. While they are bound to touch on this next week– I am still peeved that they left out this out. Not only is it important to the story, but it would have given the audience a lot more context as to why Miyo lost her position in the household, demoted to someone less than a servant, and why her father abandoned her so easily for his new wife and child their bore together.

Apart from leaving that bit out, the way they delivered the rest of Miyo’s tragic backstory was more so in a manner of ‘show not tell’, which was fine as it’s generally better this way. The best example was at the very beginning of the episode, where we see Miyo under the blooming cherry blossom tree. I just loved every bit of detail they poured into that scene, because it was absolutely spectacular to watch. Did anyone else catch that little detail of the little petal fluttering down as though as tear rolling down her face, and then dropping into her hand and then burst on fire, [chef kiss] – I FREAKING LOVED THAT! Then the transition to the burning cherry blossom tree and then her home– GENIUS! As a novel reader, there were so many details in that scene that was summarized! Miyo lost everything, her place in the family, her mother’s mementos and her happiness. Everything was taken from her, and cruelly so.

Later into the episode, they began to drop clues as to what was lost in that fire, such as Miyo mentioning she no longer has any of her mother’s mementos, the cherry blossom tree that her mother planted has been chopped down, and Miyo had no belongings of her own. There is more context to be said about these things, as shown in the episode, Miyo only wore two pieces of worn out clothes that were in lesser shape than her fellow servants uniform attire.

I’ll give you a quick tidbit that was left out (since it wasn’t really necessary to be mentioned): Those two pieces of clothes were what the servants handed down to her. The woman who came to deliver the Kimono her father had given her for the first time in an eternity had brought alongside her some snacks for the trip, and giving Miyo a heads up about the rumours of the man she is arranged to marry was a small example of that, as well as revealing just how badly she has been neglected by her father, and how some of the servants tried to look out for her within their own means.

Overall while there were certainly important things that should have been mentioned in this premiere, I really did enjoy it. It was a visual eye-candy, and the artistic choices to deliver the manner of pain and trauma Miyo was put through since the death of her mother. The series very much starts off like a ‘Cinderella’ story, but it will eventually bloom into something much more than that. Miyo’s growth, and the love story that is about to be told is just so damn good, so stay tuned, because our girl is finally out of that good for nothing prison!!!!! Can’t wait for next week’s episode!!!!

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