I Don’t Need a Happy Ending is a yuri short manga collection. Compared to the author’s other series, these short stories have a more well-rounded selection of women’s romantic relationships. It also avoids the problematic pitfalls of her other series. Most are passionate, sexy, and funny, but I Don’t Need a Happy Ending is a mixed LGBTQ+ romantic collection.
Created by Mikanuji, translated by Emma Schumacker, and lettered by Bianca Pistillo, there are five stories with different couples taking center stage. The Yen Press manga covers love during different times among distinct personalities. Most of the stories are ones readers would enjoy. These are characters whose stories you wish would not end. But Mikanuji does include toxic, abusive relationships.
I Don’t Need a Happy Ending May Turn Readers Off With the First Story
It begins with the short story “I’ll Never Fall in Love With You.” Out of them all, this is by far the worst. Mikanuji’s manga series, Assorted Entanglements, has a toxic relationship, too. It normalizes dating someone underage and abuse. But this collection has a victim of bullying returning and seeking payback. How so? She forces her bully into a non-consensual relationship.
That’s horrifying enough. But how the story romanticizes perpetuates the notion that assault is alright. As long as the perpetrator loves you, it’s all good. It also continues the belief that when women or girls say no, they mean yes. Furthermore, it paints victims of bullying in a predatory light. While the title talks about happy endings being unnecessary, these two wind up a couple when the most optimistic end would be the abuser in prison.
Stories That Show Everyday Relationship Dynamics
The other stories, fortunately, do not have the level of abuse or toxicity the first possesses. For sweetness, the short tale “I Don’t Need a Happy Ending” delivers with a love that remains, stretched over years and challenges. Funny and sexy, “The Women at a Certain Company” highlights how sometimes one-night stands become awkward when they turn up in unexpected places. “A Day Off from Work,” despite its title, centers around two women and shows how some of the best relationships begin as long-time friends. “I Don’t Know What Love Is” shows one classmate who struggles to understand love because too many of her peers idolize her.
Characters are not similar. In part, their circumstances differ. But even their expressions and inner thoughts stand out. Some are quirky and love getting drunk. Another one nurtures, and the next is shy. As such, it’s easier to have favorites and discern between them. I Don’t Need a Happy Ending has plenty of romantic, risque stories for yuri fans, and it’s always wonderful seeing stories in the LGBTQ+ community.
While a myriad of relationships exist, the way it depicts the relationship in the first story is unnecessary, offensive, and dangerous. No one should mistake abuse for love. I Don’t Need a Happy Ending has four tales that are sexy stories that have problems. It shows the fight to overcome them. The first tale does not fit. “Explicit content” should mean sexual scenes and nudity, not assault. That should have a separate warning. So, while I Don’t Need a Happy Ending mostly delivers a page-turner delight, it’s almost impossible to ignore the first abusive tale.