Staff Writer: Holly W.
Single father Yaichi and his daughter Kana recently obtained a new house guest: Mike Flanagan, lover of all things Japanese and widower of Yaichi’s estranged twin brother, Ryoji. While Kana has been quick to warm up to her newfound Canadian uncle, Yaichi, while doing his best to be a courteous host to his brother-in-law, finds himself caught up in his own prejudices. As Mike visits the places his husband frequented as a child in order to gain some closure, Yaichi learns more about his brother and why he left Japan ten years ago.
I’ve read very few manga titles that provide sincere depictions of gay characters. While there are plenty of titles that feature same gender couples (even having entire sub-genres dedicated to these romances), a vast majority of them are clearly geared towards straight audiences looking for fluff and fanservice and show little interest in actually portraying experiences of LGBTQ people.
Every aspect of My Brother’s Husband, however, comes across as legitimate. From the bigger moments, like Yaichi discussing with Mike how his brother first came out to him, to the little jokes, such as Mike and Yaichi buying bear-shaped donuts, this volume does an excellent job balancing the narrative with discussion of how homosexuality is treated in Japan and abroad.
The only thing knocking a star off my rating is the art. While well done, there is an instance where the hand Mike offers to someone switches in between panels. It’s a single error, true, but for work done by a professional comic artist, it’s a glaring one. Overall, however, My Brother’s Husband is a refreshing read, and I’m eagerly awaiting the translation of volume two.
I give it a 4/5