Marriage x Toxin Volume 3: One More Thing…



Once in a while- not overly frequently, though- I find mangaka that just get it. They might not be the second coming of a master in the medium, but they always display incredible talent, ability, and most importantly: growth. Marriage x Toxin volume 3 is an excellent example of that, seeing the synergy of author Joumakyu and artist Mizuki Yoda continue to spring forward, closing that gap between them and top author-artist pairs like AidaIro and Somato. But how do they do it? What allows them to execute that pairing so well? it’s a fuzzy question that’s near impossible to answer without asking them directly, but this latest volume does highlight a lot of potential beginnings to those answers.

The easiest, and most obviously apparent, in Marriage x Toxin volume 3 is faith. Joumakyu is laying down a really strong story. It’s straightforward and a little formulaic, but within those restrictions they’ve really proven their ability to thrive. Of course, having restrictions like that means that its delivery needs to remain strong, and Mizuki Yoda truly excels with that. Incredibly strong perspective, fluid combat, and knee-slapping visual humor adorn the contents of this third volume even more than prior ones. You can very clearly feel that gap between Joumakyu’s execution and Yoda’s interpretation narrow. Each chapter feels like a form of communication between the pair as they continue to hone their respective crafts to deliver an even stronger work.

Though before I get to showing off Yoda’s latest leap, I wanted to talk about Joumakyu’s forethought with Marriage x Toxin volume 3. Their continued “subliminal” messages of the pairing of Kinosaki and Gero remains strong, even taking it as far as essentially bringing along Kinosaki as his date for his best friend’s wedding. It’s done very nicely, of course, but when you stop and think about it for a minute… it does become pretty funny how much groundwork Joumakyu continues to lay in order for this matchmaker made in heaven to find their happy ending. Conversely though, Joumyaku continues to get more and more bold with their development of Gero as a character- and I’m all for it. Marriage x Toxin is almost always at 110% energy, so Gero’s accelerated growth and development feels right at home. The same could also be said for its explicit nature, truthfully. It’s hardly what you might call subtle (a word that seems to be lacking in both Joumyaku and Yoda’s vocabulary), but the energetic and earnest approach always ends up coming off quite well. Gero’s whole battle with Naruko is a great example, and the conclusion that Ureshino finds is simply lovely.

Getting back to Yoda however, it’s very clear that Joumyaku’s story would hardly hit the same without Yoda’s impressive cooperation. I sung quite a few praises for their work in Marriage x Toxin volume 2, but their extended growth in this third volume also deserves praise. In particular, their layouts and panelling have grown across the board, as they use things like foreground obstructions and first person perspective impressively well. Panels like the one where we look through Kinosaki’s phone are really nice, and the depth of field that appears in a handful of others adds a great deal to the overall appeal of the moment.

My absolute favorites in Marriage x Toxin volume 3 have to be the spreads though. Mizuki Yoda didn’t just take a step or a leap, they’ve bounded forward as they explore the visual impact of artistic style. In the case of both spreads this volume, they produce incredibly intense but equally unique reactions. In Naruko’s case, the dark background and very loose & sketchy art style really sell the Sound master’s realization in the moment. The fear and confusion mix together wonderfully with the spread- a very strong opposition to the Hit Man Hunter’s. Going for a more comic book style, and punching in to make things a little less clear, Yoda does an incredible job at conveying the speed and action of the Hit Man hunter in the moment. It’s really great work that immediately solidifies his character as a fearsome individual that will torment Gero and co throughout volume 4.

Because of that, sometimes it’s hard to believe It’s only been 3 (soon to be 4) volumes of Marriage x Toxin so far, as its pair of creators have shown us a great deal of potential and ability. After all, what could have easily been a “girl of the week” battle manga has found its way towards a wedding sequence and even now a hunted vs hunter arc for volume 4. The content moves at the speed of sound, but that’s what’s needed to keep pace with Gero and Kinosaki’s antics. You need excessive creativity, style, and execution to really deliver something that makes full use of these characters- and deliver they have. Marriage x Toxin volume 3 might not catapult the series into greatness or anything, but it’s a sign of the continual improvement that this work has gone through. On its own, it’s a very fun ride, and as a bigger picture there’s a world of outstanding ideas lurking in the shadows. It can’t be the next Chainsaw Man or Jujutsu Kaisen, but it can absolutely be itself. And I’d love it if it kept doing that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.