Oct 11, 2021
This review will contain very minor spoilers:
Despite its romance & slice of life tags, 1122, or For a Happy Marriage, is not what you’d typically expect when reading a story circling around a married couple. Many of us like to idolize the idea of finding our best friend, getting married, and spending the rest of our lives together with them happily. However, while an idea we may love conceptually, marriage, humans, and our relationships are not always so simple. Rather than delve into the happy post-marriage life of a couple that we may hope for or expect to see, 1122 presents us with Otoya and
Ichiko, a husband and wife (respectively) who are many years into marriage, have no children and are “sexless.”
Regular sex in a relationship, while it certainly isn’t everything, is often an indicator of a relationship’s health. If a couple mutually agrees that they don’t want/need sex to be happy, then more power to them, but situations like that are rare, and that is not the case in 1122. Otoya and Ichiko, while sexless, have only become so because Ichiko lost her sex drive and Otoya, trying to be respectful of his partner’s feelings, agreed that they did not need to have sex. Otoya, still wanting to share a unique intimacy with his partner, did try on occasion to have sex with Ichiko, but Ichiko neither felt the desire nor could force herself to fake it. Noticing Otoya’s increasing feeling of inadequacy as a result of their sexless life, Ichiko tells Otoya outright that they can stay together, but he can find another woman to satisfy his needs. Otoya, holding out for as long as he could, ultimately takes Ichiko up on her offer, and from here stems all of the drama, complex relationships, and emotions that the story has to offer.
Even if 1122 is a tad exaggerated, it’s a great story of how love is not so simple. We tend to idealize love and marriage, and often forget about the difficulties that can come with committing your life to another. While a unique example, 1122 challenges the happy marriages we’re used to and instead explores the feelings of “boredom,” or “monotony,” that we hate to admit can occur spending your life with one person, the inadequacy and self-doubt that plagues our hearts and minds when you feel unwanted or worry that there is something or someone better, and the fear and pain of losing someone we love, even when things aren’t going right. Even though the story may not be applicable to most real-world examples we’re familiar with and may not be personally relatable, I do think it’s a read with your while. However, I do want to note that if you can't handle the topic of infidelity, then this is one you should probably stay away from.
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