Tying The Knot With An Amagami Sister – Vol. 1
Written & Illustrated by: Marcey Naito
Translated by: Devon Corwin
Lettered by: Arbash Mughal
Published by: Kodansha (print/digital)
Genre: Manga (Japan), Romance, Harem, Comedy, Drama

When it comes to harem manga, it has become increasingly difficult to create an impact on manga readers. There are only so many directions the creator can go with this type of story, only so many tropes to build characters out of, and only so many hooks they can use to grab the reader’s attention. That said, reinventing the wheel isn’t always necessary. Manga creators can use tried-and-true plot directions, tropes, and hooks and still make the series feel fresh. Tying The Knot With An Amagami Sister, a new series by Marcey Naito  happens to be one of those harem manga series that doesn’t try to revamp this tried-and-true story genre, but instead focuses on bringing out the best out of the ingredients it has.

With harem romance series, one of the newer – and one of my personal favorite – tropes out there is the immediate revelation of the end result of the series at the beginning of the story. Tying The Knot With An Amagami Sister starts us off by introducing us to our protagonist, Uryu Kamihate as he approaching an altar. The narration (presumably his inner thoughts) explain that marriage is a bond that ties two people together. This pretty much confirms that Uryu will in fact marry one of the three Amagami sisters, but which one? That key element of destiny, or fate, is what drives the entire plot of the story, as well as serving as a very important and engaging hook that grabs the readers from the very first pages.

Now, even with an engaging initial hook to grab the readers, it is still very possible to lose a reader’s attention. That’s why a strong follow-up is always important, and in Tying The Knot With An Amagami Sister, Naito does exactly that. While many harem manga series opt keep readers engaged with things like screwball comedy or saucy fanservice, this series instead chooses to focus on the characters, their motivations, and their development. 

This starts first and foremost with our main character, Uryu Kamihate, an orphan who is dead-set on graduating from a prestigious Kyoto high school to give himself the best shot possible at making it into the top medical school in Japan. Uryu is so determined to accomplish his goals that he can be quite blunt. This sometimes crosses that thin line between being straightforward and being downright rude to others. He’s also so focused on his studies that he tends to push people around him out of his life. Luckily for Uryu, the three Amagami sisters might just be able to warm Uryu’s cold and lonely heart.

That said, the three Amagami sisters each have their own “issues” that are holding them back from being the best they can be. Uryu takes it upon himself to help them with their various shortcomings.

Yae Amagami, the eldest sister, is a clumsy airhead who is so disorganized that it’s hard for her to stay on task, except for when it comes to a certain hobby. Then there’s Asahi Amagami, the youngest sister, who comes across as a mischievous and stereotypical “brat” who wants to do nothing more than tease Uryu and her elder sisters relentlessly. Finally, there is Yuna Amagami, the middle sister, who is a through-and-through tsundere, a prickly standoffish girl who also has a soft side that she tries to keep hidden from everyone, even her sisters.

Throughout the early part of these first five chapters of Vol. 1, readers are given a pretty thorough introduction to all four main characters. It’s enough for us to get a taste of what these characters are really like and to see what makes them tick, but not so much that it would spoil what’s to come for them in future volumes. 


Character development aside, Tying The Knot With An Amagami Sister has another thing that got me hooked in this first volume: its absolutely stunning artwork. There are some very detailed character designs and panels, plus some absolutely breathtaking double-page spreads, as seen above. It is evident that Naito really takes pride in their work and takes their time to make sure each and every panel is meticulously drawn and polished to perfection.

Tying The Knot With An Amagami Sister has three things going for it: intriguing plot, strong character development, and stunning artwork. This is enough for me to enthusiastically recommend this series, especially for fans of other harem romantic comedy series like The Quintessential Quintuplets, Tenpuru: No One Can Live on Loneliness, or The Cafe Terrace and Its Goddesses (all three are also available from Kodansha). If this sounds like you, check out Vol.1 of Tying The Knot With An Amagami Sister and see if it hooks you in too.

Tying The Knot With An Amagami Sister vol. 1 by Marcey Naito is available in print and digital from Kodansha. There’s also a free preview of chapter 1 on Kodansha.us.

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