HomeComics/MangaMANGA REVIEW | "Marriage Toxin" - Volume One

MANGA REVIEW | "Marriage Toxin" - Volume One

MANGA REVIEW | "Marriage Toxin" - Volume One

All his life, Gero’s known only two things: do-it-yourself candy kits and how to poison people. It’s made him a lot of money, a lot less friends, and absolutely zero love interests. In fact, he himself has never once thought about settling down and having a family. That all changes when his grandma forces Gero’s lesbian sister to have a kid. And as this is going on, Gero’s eye-to-eye with his next target: a beautiful woman named Kinosaki.

Thus begins Marriage Toxin, a series from newcomer Joumyaku and artist Mizuki Yoda. We’ve already experienced many tales of agents having marriage and family thrusted at them out of the blue. However, where this story differs is that the woman Gero’s facing isn’t his future bride-to-be; they’re his commissioned marriage expert! (Also, Kinosaki just so happens to be a guy.)

So why has such a plan for romance been crafted? Well, since Kinosaki has spent his life swindling people out of money using his charms, it’s clear that he’s the best person to learn how to woo a lady from! And like a good marriage expert, he dives right into mission with ease. He and Gero sign up for speed-dating, which…quickly turns to disaster, as Gero knows nothing about how to have a proper conversation!

Marriage Toxin shows what it takes to turn a trained killer into a true Romeo. Yes, there are the James Bonds of the world, on top of other suave agents who both major in love and death. But alas, Gero doesn’t have the knack for sweeping a girl off her feet; he only knows how to sweep the feet of criminals…down thirty flights of stairs. (Metaphorically, of course, since — as previously stated — poison’s his skill.)

There’s a good mixture of humor and heart that’s found in the premiere volume. Although the love of a significant other is too far of a reach for Gero, it’s clear that he’ll do anything to keep his sister living a life of happiness. It’s that noble oath that keeps her from going down a path filled with unwanted men, instead staying joyful and in bliss with her hopeful wife. And with the aid of Kinosaki, Gero’s quest for marriage won’t be as difficult.

After all, Gero has the desire to change and get better. He doesn’t just want to stick to what he knows; he wants to learn and adapt to win the heart of a lady. And that’s exactly what Kinosaki is going to do. It also helps that there’s another untapped market of single women that should’ve been obvious to someone like Gero: damsels-in-distress!

Yoda’s art style compliments Joumyaku’s storytelling. Whether it’s a violent scene involving poison and death or a pretty scene of Kinosaki in lady mode, the visuals are both stunning and detailed. But it’s when Yoda takes a left turn with the art style when it has its own sort of uniqueness. (A moment where Kinosaki has a pair of New Yorker cover-like soldiers with sniper rifles pointed at her certainly stands out from most of the other panels in this manga.)

Will Gero be successful in his mission to find a wife? It’s too early to say, but Marriage Toxin has the makings of a good story. Volume One is a fun read, thanks to its way with comedy and the characters that take up its panels. Hopefully we’ll see a lovely side of Gero blossom as he searches for love, with maybe something extra to make Kinosaki happy. Until then, Marriage Toxin is a poison that any lover of rom-coms and over-the-top violence will easily pick!


Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt of VIZ Media.

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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@b3crew.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)