Romance Roundtable #47: I Married My Best Friend To Shut My Parents Up

Welcome back to Romance Roundtable: a feature where the editorial POME Crones gather together to discuss Romance Manga. Today we’re covering volume 1 of I Married My Best Friend To Shut My Parents Up by Naoko Kodama (translated by Amber Tamosaitis). Join us for some incredibly practical fake dating as these two gals deliver on everything promised by this manga’s title (and fall for each other along the way).

CC: y’all ready to talk about these gfs?

Jenny: they are…very cute
i love a fake dating, this is known

Rachel: it was really so nice!!!
like, the premise did not disappoint
it’s right there, in the title

Jenny: it delivered!

CC: it really did all the things it set out to do!
she married her best friend and eventually it shut her parents up!
incidentally, today we’re covering I Married My Best Friend To Shut My Parents Up

Jenny: important context, yes

CC: a manga about exactly that! an office lady marries her gay best friend to get her parents to stop pressuring her to get married

Rachel: it also is beneficial for the gay best friend, who is getting kicked out of her apartment while it goes under renovation
and needs a place to live
and unsurprisingly, the housing market in Tokyo is just as bad as everywhere else!!

CC: and who has also had a crush on the office lady gal since high school L O L
fake dating long con

Ashley: so delightful

CC: I think we’ve read enough of these now to become a lot more familiar with yuri tropes and
hilarious that the girl with the dark hair is always the responsible one and the girl with the blond/red/pink hair is always a menace to society LMAO

Ashley: lolllll

CC: like
blond girl in the yuri manga is always the one i would least want to ever have a conflict with LOL

Hana: "Are you jealous...? You LIKE me -- don't you, senpai?"
Machi: "!!"

CC: blond girl in the yuri manga will fight god

Jenny: and she’ll win

Ashley: there’s even a little backup story with this same dynamic but different characters and i did like a double-take lol

CC: yeah I thought they were the same girls for a minute!

Jenny: oh man were they not?
i thought i was just like a highschool track AU

CC: they had different names!
at least I am pretty sure

Jenny: ah well fair enough

Ashley: they did have different names
but yeah i also at first thought it was a high school sport au lol

Jenny: well that makes sense because the track star brunette was way more of an asshole than our good office lady

Ashley: hahaha yes

Jenny: honestly i really liked her arc in this
just like, learning to stand up for herself!
happy for her!

CC: truly! loved when she stands up for herself to her awful mom!

Jenny: yeah!

Machi, to her mom: "I... I'm... with the person I want to be with. We're not twisted and it's not disgusting. It's my life."

Jenny: so, i mean, that relationship is kind of the impetus for this whole thing, right
like, she won’t just tell her mom to lay off, and her mom wouldn’t lay off even if she asked
and that’s why she agrees to go to these incredibly silly lengths

Hana: "When they hear you married a GIRL, I betcha they'd back off. Yeah! It's a GREAT idea!"

Ashley: hahahaha
imagine roping your longest crush into this like, “okay i have this super normal fool proof idea…”

CC: total coincidence

Ashley: but then honestly…. it works

CC: this is for you and 100% not for me

Jenny: i mean, love that confidence

CC: yeah she’s like the MVP of fake dating

Ashley: not even the romance part like, yeah actually if you weren’t gay as hell the plan would have worked to a t still

CC: hana the genious

Jenny: i mean…
“what is marriage fraud”


Let’s go gay marriage “fraud” @lyleforever

♬ original sound – SCARED OF THE HOES

Ashley: lol
they’re not defrauding anyone tho really!!!!!

CC: is it marriage fraud if one party is in love like with the other tho

Jenny: it’s not fraud if you’re actually married!
you’re just married!
and they got legally married
i’m so happy for them

CC: LMAO learned a lot w/that link jenny
straight people have been marrying lovelessly for millennia I think these two have a pretty big leg up here

Rachel: and honestly all good marriages have things that you want out of it
and for hana:

Hana, trying to convince Machi to bathe with her: "Why not?! We bathed together on class trips before! How is this any different?! UNACCEPTABLE! I won't accept a marriage that doesn't include bathing together!"

Rachel: bathing together is a must

Hana: "We're NEWLYWEDS! We should be able to take a bath together!"

Jenny: it’s true


Jenny: undeniable that newlyweds should be able to take a bath together

Ashley: hahahaha i also loved this hana moment

Rachel: yes I KNOW that our marriage is fake but it is REQUIRED we bath together
i don’t make the rules

Ashley: this is a REASONABLE DEMAND and i won’t hear otherwise!!!

CC: she had a plan and she is really seeing it through on every level

Rachel: she knows there is a great rack there and she is determined to see it

Ashley: lol yep

Jenny: well that actually is one of my points

CC: if you don’t see tiddy yr marriage can get annulled, legally

Machi leaning back, boobs weirdly held up by her bra, presumably???

CC: these things are just defying gravity all over this comic

Ashley: she just makes good money and buys those really expensive bras

Jenny: it’s no wonder hana is eager to see them!

CC: like this?

Rachel: holy shit

Jenny: does that cost 14 THOUSAND HUMAN DOLLARS?

CC: what kind of job do u need to get to buy a $14,000 bra

Rachel: is it custom formed to your tits????

CC: it better be for 14K!!!!

Jenny: well i think that APPARENTLY only men get jobs that pay that well
at least at this company

Machi listens to two male coworkers discuss whether or not she should be trusted with a big project.
Male coworker: "Wouldn't it be better to give that kind of responsibility to a man? Even if he's not as good, at least he'll stick around long enough to improve."

Jenny: i mean, predictably, this made me so mad

CC: no wonder she feels like this about her job
i wouldn’t have fun there either!

Machi, thinking to herself: "I've never thought about work being fun before."

Jenny: truly
but this is one of the things that this book does really well, i think, in respect to our girl’s character arc
it sets up this bad relationship with the mom, it sets up this shitty work environment
then it shows how just being around hana, seeing how hana chooses to live her life and pursue the things she wants, has a positive effect on her
she really grew and changed!

Machi thinking about how she's grown — feeding her wife, asking for more responsibility at work, standing up to her mother.
Machi, thinking to herself: "I've been surprising myself a lot lately."

Ashley: it’s really true!!!!
it happened in a very organic -feeling way but in a relatively short span of time

Jenny: yeah! like, by the time we get to the confrontation with the mom

Machi, to her mother: "Apologize..."
Machi's mom: "What...?"
Machi: "Apologize to Hana!"

Jenny: we really have a sense for what their relationship had been like in the past, and just how big of a deal this is for her
but this book itself is so short compared to other books we’ve read

Ashley: true!!!

Jenny: really efficient storytelling

CC: yeah for real! feels like it gets more done in less time

Jenny: i mean, they even had time for a highschool flashback (separate from the bonus track star high school story)

In a flashback to high school, Hana roasts Machi: "You talk about. boyfriends as 'convenient' -- like they aren't even people. You're still a teenager, yet you're already distancing yourself from others. You're adorable, Senpai."

CC: blond yuri girl!!! ur angel or your debil!!!!

Ashley: lolololol

Jenny: and like…huge “people keep asking who i like so i just picked some random dude” energy

Ashley: HAHAHA seriously

CC: unrelated
but one more thing I liked in this fun lil book
confrontation w/wife’s ex LMAO

Machi, thinking to herself when meeting Hana's ex for the first time: "It's that obnoxious girl. Her perfume stinks. Is she really Hana's ex?"
Hana's ex, to herself: "This girl is so plain... is she really Hana's type?"
Machi and Hana's ex think at the same time: "So tacky!"

Ashley: hahahahahaha so good
i LOVED the ex, of course, i can never resist a mean femme lesbian

Jenny: for real
also kind of loved that this is what it finally took
much like our hopes for colin & pen in bridgerton
it took the presence of a potential rival to finally get thing moving!
bc once they get home from the bar, it’s time for a classique game of gay chicken

Hana: "Do you understand what you're saying? I like GIRLS. If you like me, that means we can do 'it' together."
Machi thinks suddenly of Hana over her in bed!!
Hana: "Well now... I guess that would be impossible for my SUPER STRAIGHT senpai, wouldn't it?"
Machi: "It — it is NOT impossible!!"

Ashley: hahahahahahahaha yess

CC: My Best Friend Trolled Me Into Falling In Love With Her To Shut My Parents Up

Jenny: lolololololol

Rachel: also the KABADON
thinking about my wife towering over me is a totally straight thing to do!!

Ashley: hahahahahahhha

CC: thinking about my wife towering over me….heterosexually
sure jan LOL

Ashley: literally dying over here

CC: sigh….love this for them

Ashley: honestly, yes
idk what else to say even, it’s just nice!!!

Jenny: yeah!

CC: i just think they’re neat

Jenny: and like, after this night, when all they do is kiss a little, they go on vacation together
and it’s very cute!

Hana, to herself: "We've come to a hot spring for a long vacation. Wait! Does that mean this is our actual HONEYMOON?!"

Jenny: and hana is so horned up
whomst among us
has not been there

Ashley: lolllll poor hana
honestly… she had a frustrating time and i fully get it

Jenny: her wife is so oblivious!
it’s a hard life!

CC: that’s true!
v curious about how things would work out for these two!
they definitely seem like they’re on the more clueless end of some of the yuri we’ve covered here

Rachel: true!! i was definitely hoping for more obvious confirmation of their feelings/intentions

Jenny: i mean, very same
but this was all p chaste

Ashley: yeah, i expected a saucy conclusion that we didn’t really get
it seemed to end very abruptly to avoid that in fact?

Jenny: yeah, i mean, really this was as steamy as it got
and it was p early on!

Hana, leaning over Machi on a bed.

Rachel: def!! honestly i would have liked another chapter for some of this to get into more Going Steady territory, over the highschool sports au we got
which, tbf, i am still a little confused about

CC: yeah me too! I feel like it just kinda followed the main story as if it was connected without much of a lead!
a few manga I read in high school did this kind of thing occasionally but it’s something I haven’t seen in a while
(Kare Kano used to do this all the time!)

Rachel: i think especially since we KNOW these gals were high school friends, it definitely threw me for a loop

CC: also they look so similar!

Ashley: haha they really do
it must just be something about how it was serialized i guess??

CC: yeah possibly!
but also like y’all mentioned, my favorite thing about the high school side story was how mean the dark haired girl was ha ha
an interesting change of pace!

Rachel: well y’all ready for final thoughts??

CC: yeah!

Ashley: yes!

Jenny: yep!

CC: my final thought is pretty simple y’all, and it’s just
would love to read one of these where the dark haired girl is an agent of chaos
enjoy keeping things fresh in that way
would love to see it L O L

Jenny: seconded!

Rachel: also, i’ll just put this out there — two dark haired gals???

Jenny: oooh game changing
changing the game

CC: 👀

Ashley: i stand behind this bold direction

Rachel: i will start a petition!!

Jenny: i will say — if y’all haven’t read Days of Love at Seagull Villa

Rachel: ohhh i haven’t!!

Ashley: also haven’t

Jenny: neither of them are agents of chaos, but! the brunette is the femme and the blonde is the butch
they are both pretty responsible though

Ashley: i love that, sounds great

Jenny: it’s charming

Rachel: oh and same author!!

CC: neat! will def check that out

Rachel: maybe a good future RR candidate

Jenny: i think so!
idk if that rec counts as my final thought, but if not…
my final thought is just: could’ve been sexier! fr!

Rachel: 100000000%

CC: truly! surprised that this one was maybe one of our tamest RRs ever!

Rachel: i def expected at least a side boob moment!

Ashley: that does lead me to my final thought though which was simply

Hana to Machi: "We were supposed to have our first time together on the trip, but you fell asleep! It was awful! Those big melons were tempting me in the bath and through the opening in your yukata all night! The denial was TORTURE!!"

Ashley: i love how hana was a simple tiddy appreciator

CC: LOL true

Jenny: relatable

Rachel: haha yes!!
ok so my final thought is pretty basic but — our main gal has good fits!!

Machi comes home from work, wearing cool high-waisted pants.

Rachel: i’m a sucker for a high waisted wide legged pant work outfit

CC: oh yeah those pants rule
and the v neck – it really works here!

Jenny: a great look!

Rachel: like i do not want to do anything with my hair outside of this low pony, my pants are doing the heavy lifting for this look right now

Ashley: very like effortless 90s ish style

Rachel: love it love it

CC: love when comfy pants are doing the heavy lifting

Jenny: but also, critically

Rachel: LOL

Ashley: yes jenny, thank you for saying it
it needed to be said but i was too fearful

Jenny: i think this artist, like hana, is but a simple tiddy appreciator

Ashley: it’s called good representation

Jenny: it’s so important

All images in this article via I Married My Best Friend To Shut My Parents Up Vol. 1 by Naoko Kodama (translated by Amber Tamosaitis) unless otherwise noted.

CC Calanthe

CC Calanthe

If you prick your finger and write “Cat Fancy” on your mirror during a harvest moon, CC will appear behind you and make you put human clothes on your pets. CC is Head Crone in Charge at POMEgranate Magazine, as well as the co-host of Moon Podcast Power MAKE UP!!
Rachel Weiss

Rachel Weiss

Rachel is a designer and artist from Texas. She is pro-feminism, pro-crones, and pro-dogs. She's also Boss Crone at POMEgranate Magazine, and one day hopes to be able to drink her tea without so much milk and sugar.
Jenny Mott

Jenny Mott

Jenny is just a Silly Nerd with a lot of Feelings about Comic Books and Friendship and also This Capitalist Yoke We All Share; she enjoys Dogs and Sleeping and Cartoons. Her three favorite words are: Breakfast All Day.
Ashley Gallagher

Ashley Gallagher

Ashley writes comics and emails from zir burrow in the Pacific Northwest. Ze is a sentient subtropical swamp fern whose favorite food is old words.
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