I’m not sure how many people have even heard of this manga but hope to change that today. Sometimes you just need a calm and sweet story about calm nice people. Am I selling this right?
The thing about A Rare Marriage: How to Grill Our Love is that it really is about grilling and bbq as a hobby or even an art form. And I know absolutely nothing about it. And yet, even as a long-time vegetarian, I was getting pretty hungry reading those delicious descriptions.
Why I Picked up A Rare Marriage: How to Grill Our Love
Sometimes even I can’t tell you why I started a particular manga.
I think that after seeing a slew of manga covers that looked pretty much interchangeable, the image of a seemingly ordinary couple doing a mundane activity really seemed novel and exciting! Like whoa, they’re prepping dinner together while having a pleasant conversation!?! Wild!
After their fateful encounter through a dating app, Kenta and Chihiro decided to get married with zero days of dating in light of Kenta’s transfer. As a couple who got married without knowing much about each other, they deepen their relationship through their regular weekend BBQs.
My First Impression
I’m a little over 50 chapters into A Rare Marriage: How to Grill Our Love and I still find this manga utterly charming. It really is about very normal, generally nice people and there’s something comforting about that.
I will say A Rare Marriage: How to Grill Our Love also feels a lot more like a product of modern Japanese culture than a lot of manga I have read. That’s not exactly correct. Manga are all a product of their culture and you can see that influence in several different ways. But in A Rare Marriage: How to Grill Our Love it’s actually described.
Kenta and Chihiro are really decent people but they have their quirks and in order to make a proper living in modern-day Tokyo they have dedicated most of their time t their jobs. So it’s not that surprising that they are both single. Kenta has a good job but his salary is average and he is rather unassuming while Chihiro is beautiful but she’s a bit older now and she’s a career woman. I may seem like a horrible person presenting all these neutral, even desirable, characteristics as f they were flaws, but in the Japanese dating market, these can be liabilities, especially for older generations.
I had been fairly aware of this, as well as what has been called a loneliness epidemic in Japan. But this manga really presented it to me in a tangible and accessible way, while keeping the tone optimistic.
Of course, it is still a manga. There are some shenanigans happening. Mainly the fact that Chihiro and Kenta decide t get married very quickly for rather flimsy reasons but I was happy to accept it. What follows, and most of the 50 chapters up until now is two people who like each other learning to get to know each other slowly.
Yup, that’s it.
There’s a refreshing maturity about it. Yes, some moments are a little giddy or embarrassing like new relationships tend to be. But Chihiro and Kenta are both adults. They both have busy professional lives in which they thrive. They have had the time to develop individual interests and hobbies. Now they are sharing it with each other rather than having one party completely conform to the other.
For the most part, they get along really well and both consider themselves very lucky to have met the other person. But the manga doesn’t ignore the little pitfalls. The things others do that just get on our nerves no matter how much we may love them. The moments when a partner drives you crazy and the times you get all annoyed for no real reason. Both characters are shown to be a little irritable at times or not always perfectly reasonable.
I like that. Kenta and Chihiro have a generally idealized relationship and both are great people and have been literally made for each other. But even in those perfect circumstances, there are hiccups, misunderstandings and tensions. The most ideal is still not perfect. That sort of clear-eyed approach to romance is something I not only appreciate but also find it, well, romantic.
I have a feeling that if you read my post and gathered that it was a normal story about a normal relationship thinking that sounds boring, nothing I say will convince you otherwise. And honestly, there is a decent chance that you’ll find it boring. But if any part of you thought that sounds nice, you should give this manga a try.
I can’t quite explain, at least not well, but I find A Rare Marriage: How to Grill Our Love comforting. It’s actually one of the most comforting manga I have ever read. Not in the way that I’m crying because it’s so touching and pretty but I just feel like everything is alright with the world after reading a few chapters. And that is the perfect mindset to be in when trying to get to sleep, let me tell you!
I think I got it. A Rare Marriage: How to Grill Our Love is a romance manga that will make you believe average, unremarkable real life romance can be wonderful! How’s that for a sales pitch?