My Brother's Husband

  • Type: Books
  • By: Gengoroh Tagame
  • Age Category: Adults
  • Genre: Graphic Novels
  • Recommended by: Sally M.
  • ISBN/UPC: 9781101871515
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A mysterious western visitor comes into the life of a Tokyo single dad and his daughter.

This is the story of one man’s journey from unthinking acceptance of the status quo to a new understanding of the nature of love and family. Yaichi, a single dad, and his irrepressible daughter Kana, are surprised one day by a western visitor. Mike Flanagan, a friendly Canadian, explains that he is the husband of Yaichi’s late twin, Ryoji. He has come to Japan to explore Ryoji’s past and meet his family. Kana is immediately taken with their good-natured, burly visitor, but her dad is much more hesitant and reserved. He was estranged from his twin and does not yet understand that being gay is simply another way of being human. But he welcomes Mike into his home and helps him get to know life in Japan and how it shaped his late husband. 

If you enjoy character-driven stories about relationships, give these companion volumes a try, even if you are not ordinarily drawn to graphic novels. (Be sure to read them both, in order!) As a newcomer to Manga, I quickly adjusted to the right-to-left orientation and the way the the author shows flashbacks and a character’s thoughts without a verbal explanation. Tagame is a master draftsman and his detailed pictures of food and scenes of Japan, from the busy suburbs to the magnificence of Mount Fuji give the reader a lot to examine and appreciate.