Title: My Brother’s Husband (Otooto no Otto)
Author: Tagame Gengoroh
Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life
Publisher: Pantheon Books
Rating: 5 Stars
I had this series on my “to buy” list for a while now but I wanted to wait for a bit longer until I’m up to date with other stuff. Fortunately, Ashley, from Ashleyoutpaged has started this manga club last month and the first volume of this series was on for reading so I thought, what the heck, and went and ordered the first one. And I regret nothing.
This is essentially about Yaichi who used to be married and lives with his daughter, Kana and works from home. He has sadly lost his twin brother a year ago and he regrets so many things which he can’t change anymore. His brother, Ryoji, was gay and he came out to him as a young adult and Yaichi didn’t know how to deal with it. He accepted it but at the same time, he thought it was weird. His brother then moved away to Canada, met a guy named Mike and married him.
Jumping to the present, Mike Flanagan suddenly stands in front of Yaichi’s door and this is where the story begins.
Mike essentially wanted to meet Ryoji’s family and wanted to see all the places Ryoji has told him about and thus he stayed with Yaichi and Kana to do just that. Thing is that Yaichi at first wasn’t comfortable with that situation. He still doesn’t know how to feel about a gay guy in his place and then no other than his own brother’s husband, but Kana, this very curious and open girl is constantly amazed by everything and all she wants is Mike and to do everything with Mike and asks all the questions about Mike and she starts talking to her friends about her Canadian Uncle Mike and in school and this opens a lot of problems for the adults in this town because it’s not a subject they are comfortable with.
I find this story really beautifully written and it’s so cute and sad and heartwarming and I’m so glad I’ve read the whole series. It’s very slice of life and not a lot is happening. It’s just Mike staying with them in Japan for 3 weeks and it’s about all the things they do and talk about. I just love how the Mangaka of this series touched the subject of same-sex marriage and how the Japanese people view it differently compared to the western world. It was really interesting for me, who is open to pretty much anything at this point in time, to see how other people aren’t as fond of the idea. I like how Yaichi develops as a character. How he warms up to Mike and learns so much about his brother and himself and how his point of view changes and how he starts to stand up for Mike. I also loved to see how the kids in this story, especially Kana, don’t give a crap about anything and it’s only due to the adults that they change their point of view. The characters are beautifully portrayed, the character development of certain characters is so well done and I just overall really really love this story so much and I can already tell that this is definitely a favourite of mine.
Also, those 2 little hardcovers are so pretty and I will never get rid of this series. And what really adds to it, the Mangaka is also openly gay in Japan which makes this more legit as well.