How would you rate episode 6 of
My Happy Marriage ?
Community score: 4.7
This episode comes with a content warning for physical abuse. Yes, we’ve seen it before in this show, but what Miyo suffers at the hands of Kaya and Kanoko is a step beyond the implications and “small” attacks that came before. In their mania to be rid of her, Miyo’s half-sister and stepmother not only have her kidnapped but then tie her up, threaten to cut her throat with garden shears, and beat her repeatedly. It’s not easy to watch. But it is crucial because Miyo never breaks, never once considers giving in to say that she’ll renounce her right to marry Kiyoka. It’s been a long time coming, but Miyo has learned to stand up for herself.
It’s reminiscent of a scene in Christina Rosetti’s poem Goblin Market when Lizzie stands and lets herself be pelted with goblin fruit for her sister Laura’s sake, only Miyo is doing it for herself, and just maybe for the memory of her mother. She doesn’t scream or shout, but her silence speaks with a loud voice, telling everyone, and most of all herself, that she deserves happiness. She doesn’t have to give up or give in. She doesn’t owe Kanoko or Kaya anything. There’s only one heroine in this story, and it’s Miyo, and she will hold on to it because she is a person worthy of love and happiness.
Miyo not giving in is, essentially, Miyo saving herself. She can’t physically get out of her situation, and in truth, it might not have hit as hard if she could because that would be untrue to her character. But by believing in her right to happiness, she’s saving herself from the inside out, and if Kiyoka needs to do the physical rescuing, that’s okay because it means they’re working together. It also fits with the Cinderella theme of the series because while Cinderella gets herself to the ball (with a bit of supernatural help), it’s then the prince’s turn to decide he wants to do something about it. Just like Miyo could have rubbed along with Koji in a different story, Cinderella’s glass (or ermine) slippers are just one possible route out of her situation. She isn’t trying to force anyone to do something against their will because she’s been there and knows how it feels. When Kiyoka comes in doing his best Prince Irate, he’s also letting everyone know that he’s made a choice and that the two of them have chosen each other. Kaya won’t be turning this into The White Bride and the Black One (ATU403) so easily.
It’s important to note that Kiyoka doesn’t appear to kill anyone. Sure, he does a lot of damage, and Tatsuishi won’t be recovering from that lightning strike anytime soon, but mostly he only causes harm when he has to. It’s Tatsuishi who forces his hand and, more tellingly, causes the majority of the destruction; he’s the one who burns the Saimori estate down in his rage. It makes for a story with far more villains than heroes, but it’s hard to say that the Saimoris didn’t deserve what they got. Koji’s more of an open question. He should have stood up to his father sooner, but he’d also been beaten down for most of his life, or at least that’s the implication. Without a Kiyoka and Yurie of his own to help him believe in himself, he couldn’t rise above his situation. Did he do the right thing in refusing to leave without Kaya? I don’t know. But it was a choice to do what he thought was right, much as he did when he went for Kiyoka last week, so if nothing else, he’s moving in the right direction.
This episode wraps up the first novel. It’s clear that Miyo’s troubles aren’t over, and there are many feelings about the Usuba family’s gifts, to the point where it seems not to matter whether she has them or not. The Saimoris and Tatsuishis were one thing, but now the emperor seems involved, so our Cinderella isn’t out of the woods yet.
But this time, given who she’s with and how she’s grown, she has more than a fighting chance of being okay.
is currently streaming on Netflix.
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