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Marriage Review

by: sothis
September 25, 2004

story 3/10

Marriage screenshot Remember after school specials? Yeah, you know the ones... where Becky huffed gasoline and had to go to the hospital, or James smoked pot and ended up behind bars. The message? Don’t do drugs! These public service announcements full of government propaganda were on TV all the time, feeding the minds of youngsters. And now, folks, I am proud to announce a public service announcement from the Japanese government: GET MARRIED, NOW! Missed it on TV? That’s ok, you can always go rent "Marriage", a 2 part OVA, to hear this message loud and clear from the comfort of your own home! But wait! There’s more...

Seriously though, Marriage was a piece of cultural work to say the least. For those of you that aren’t familiar, the concept of relationships in Japan is a lot different than what most people are used to. The ultimate goal is to get married, and the divorce rate is very low because it is so shunned (especially if you are a woman). Most women are expected to get married, quit their jobs, and be a house servant for their husband and children. Marriage is so important that even if you can’t find someone you love to marry, you marry a random person anyways, just so you can be married! Sound crazy? Well, watching this OVA will certainly cement this concept into your head.

The story follows the five girls from the Graduation OVA (click the yellow question mark in the AniRec entry for more information) as they set out to do what society thinks is best: getting married, one way or another. If you are wanting any more depth to the plot, don’t bother, you won’t find it here. Guys, although this OVA sounds like an estrogen-fest, the males in the series are also just as obsessed with finding someone to marry too. It truly is a public service announcement in every way possible, right down to the 15 minutes each episode where chibified people talk about the best way to propose, reasons to get married, etc.

Let’s just say that if you are looking for a cultural view into Japanese relationships and marriage, you’ve definitely come to the right place. I’m afraid you probably won’t find more of value in it than that, though, and it will end up seeming not only creepy, but extremely sappy and very estrogen-heavy.

animation 5/10

You’ll recognize the character designs from any of the Graduation universe series. A fairly generic older animation style is used, with sweeping hair styles and oversized glasses on the nerdy folk. The colors are all fairly drab and are a mix of all colors of the rainbow, but are vibrant at times.

Chibified moments make up at least half of each episode, where very bright, vibrant characters explain what makes up marriage. Lots of comic relief is provided by means of little signs, charts, and other things you’d expect to see in a chibi scene. Nothing else about the animation was terribly exciting or inspiring.

No CG was used, or anything to make special effects happen. Really, the animation style of the OVA did fit with what it was supposed to be (a pseudo slice-of-life

sound 5/10

Music for Marriage ranged from dull to more dull, with cheesy synthy 80s sounding beats, and the occasional porn-sounding saxaphone. Light jazzy tunes sometimes were played, but the majority was typical older series fare.

I watched the subtitled version, and the voice actors seemed fine for everyone involved.

characters 2/10

If by "character development" you mean "totally flat characters who end up finding someone to marry in a few days time", then yes, Marriage is full to the brim of character development. Besides finding a mate, the only people that "grow", if you want to call it that, are two of the female characters who really doesn’t want to be married. By the end of the OVA? Guess what opinion has changed? Again, the after school special aspect of the OVA really shines through, since the non-married types always seem to want to get married eventually, of course.

No character development or interactions take place except for the goal of getting married, so there isn’t really anything else to talk about for this section.

overall 4/10

Marriage is a bad, bad anime to watch if you are looking for entertainment. Hell, if you are a woman and want a cheesy chick flick, this still isn’t for you. The only people that could benefit from watching this are those who really want an insight into Japanese relationships and culture – and for them, this will be a very enlightening thing to view. Other than that, don’t touch this one with a ten foot pole.

Anime Info

Shizuka, Mika, Kiyomi, Reiko and Mami are all grown up and have one thing on their mind: finding the ultimate husband! From the workplace to automated dating services, there's wedding bells to be heard and love to be acted on, all for the ultimate goal: marriage! With biological clocks ticking and youth slipping away, these girls will do whatever it takes to snag a man, love or not!


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About the Author

sothis's avatar

sothis

My fav genres include sci fi and horror, but you'll find a lot of obscure reviews from me too, given I watch a ton to add to the database. My new reviews are written a lot better than my old ones, so when in doubt, sort by date! ^_^ Enjoy, and I welcome any and all feedback.

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