I Want To Be a Wall Volume 1, released by Yen Press, is by Honami Shirono with translation by Emma Schumacker and lettering by Alexis Eckerman. The manga crafts one of the most fascinating, unique stories. Filled with the usual “getting to know you” romantic beats without the romance, I Want To Be a Wall Volume 1 is endearing as it explores a relationship rarely seen in any entertainment format. The two protagonists exhibit sweet qualities toward each other that stem from something more profound than physical passion and romantic love. 

Special and Familiar Story

The story follows a newlywed couple, which screams romance until you learn about Yuriko and Gakurouta. Although joined in a traditional establishment, their marriage is not conventional. But their relationship is gorgeous nonetheless. Yuriko is asexual, and Gakurouta is gay, but their relationship is no different than others. Relationships are about connecting and learning about each other’s likes and dislikes. Any relationship is about putting in the work. Yuriko and Gakurouta do that.

Kindred Spirits

Classmates treated Yuriko as inadequate because of her asexuality. She loves reading BL and has an extensive collection of books. But the only passion she enjoys is on the page. For other kids, this was a phase, but not for Yuriko. She had no interest in dating or even holding hands with someone, so others gossiped and ridiculed her. Gakurouta has an unrequited love for his clueless childhood friend. Now the are married and their relationship flowers as they embrace each other.

I Want To Be a Wall Volume 1 cover art
I Want To Be a Wall Volume 1 courtesy of Yen Press

Even when Yuriko’s best friend from school finds out about Yuriko’s marriage, she congratulates Yuriko for finally falling in love. The expectation that you have to be in love with your partner can force people to hide. Yuriko’s love for BL is not an issue. But she imagines scenarios, pairing guys around her. She does this to Gakurouta at first when she sees him and Sousuke Kusama, the man he loves. The danger is that Yuriko does not see Gakurouta as a person but as a character. But she learns to support Gakurouta as he tries to support her. Hopefully she continues to do so.

Comedic Moments Shine Because of The Characters

Yuriko and Gakurouta struggle because they are getting to know each other. But another issue comes from expectations of what goes into marriage. But they give it their all. It is adorable that Gakurouta researches what food a wife likes, and Yuriko does the same for husbands. They have the shy hesitancy of a couple that married before they knew each other. Neither is a great cook either, so meal time is an adventure. I Want To Be a Wall has the usual romantic comedy moments, but with unique characters, it stands out sweeter.

There is also comedy as Gakurouta tries to read some of Yuriko’s BL collection to Yuriko’s horror. Gakurouta, undeterred, buys some Boys Love to understand Yuriko better. They want their marriage to work. The first volume does not show what led up to their marriage, but given how family and society view people with different sexuality, it likely is not happy. 

The volume ends on a sweet note. I Want To Be a Wall Volume 1 presents a heartfelt story I have never seen in manga. I Want To Be a Wall Volume 1 shows that romantic actions can exist without physical passion. There are all kinds of relationships and love. I look forward to seeing their relationship blossom and learning how they first met.