My Brother’s Husband Vol 1 by: Gengoroh Tagame

Yaichi is a work-at-home suburban dad in contemporary Tokyo; formerly married to Natsuki, and father to their young daughter, Kana. Their lives suddenly change with the arrival at their doorstep of a hulking, affable Canadian named Mike Flanagan, who declares himself to be the widower of Yaichi’s estranged gay twin, Ryoji. Mike is on a quest to explore Ryoji’s past, and the family reluctantly but dutifully takes him in. What follows is an unprecedented and heartbreaking look at the state of a largely still-closeted Japanese gay culture: how it’s been affected by the West, and how the next generation can change the preconceptions about it and prejudices against it.

As Mike continues his journey of discovery concerning Ryoji’s past, Yaichi gradually comes to understand that being gay is just another way of being human. And that, in many ways, remains a radical concept in Japan even today. In the meantime, the bond between Mike and young Kana grows ever stronger, and yet he is going to have to return to Canada soon–a fact that fills them both with impending heartbreak. But not before more than a few revelations come to light.

Content Warnings: Homophobia, racism, grief, loss, death of loved ones, and discrimination.

As I was looking through the adult graphic novel/manga/manhwa section of my local library I stumbled onto this series. After reading the summary and admiring the art style I decided to check it out.

Yaichi hasn’t seen, or really heard from, his twin brother, Ryoji, since he left Japan ten years ago to live in Canada. Meeting Mike, his brother’s Canadian widow, Yaichi isn’t sure how to act or feel as he doesn’t have a lot of experience with the queer community. Japan doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages and isn’t comfortable outwardly discussing anything to do with sex which makes this situation very confusing for Yaichi.

Kana, Yaichi’s daughter, welcomes Mike with open arms and love and simply accepts that this is her uncle and that in some countries men can marry men and women can marry women. I absolutely adore Kana and love how it shows the pure unprejudiced love children have and how sometimes they understand things so much easier and faster than adults because they haven’t been conditioned to see things in any certain way.

I’m glad I was able to snag book two, which is the conclusion, as well, and will be reading that soon. Hoping to see Yaichi continue to be more open and understanding and form a friendship/bond with Mike so that neither have to morn the loss of Ryoji alone.

Published by Noelle Loves Books

Growing up, Japanese and Indigenous, it was hard to find books that showcased stories and worlds that accurately portrayed Noelle’s experiences. Fantasy quickly became her main love, as you could really be anyone, anywhere. As the years went on, and technology grew, Noelle was finally able to see more stories and authors that looked and felt like her. Noelle is open to all genre’s though she can mostly be found reading own voice, fantasy, and romance. Ratings: 5 Stars: Completely blew me away 4 Stars: Loved the story but didn't feel completely blown away by it 3 Stars: Liked the overall concept of the story but either had poor execution, had a lot of plot holes, or was written poorly 2 Stars: I struggled to understand the plot, poorly written, or just had really unlikeable characters along with a poor writing 1 Star: Horribly written, major plot holes, or extremely unlikeable characters and plots.

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