The follow-up to the slice-of-life manga about Japanese single father Yaichi, his daughter, Kana, and his deceased brother’s white Canadian husband, Mike.
The story seamlessly picks up where the first entry left off, inviting readers back into Yaichi’s swirling thoughts as he considers how much more comfortable he’s become with Mike’s homosexuality and the areas where he’s still learning. Importantly, Yaichi finally recognizes that despite what he’s told himself, he treated his twin brother, Ryoji, differently after he came out. Here, Tagame (My Brother’s Husband, vol. 1, 2017, etc.) demonstrates how quietly refusing to affirm a family member’s sexuality can be just as harmful as outright rejection. As in the previous book, paneled black-and-white illustrations balance precisely with the light-handed translated text, allowing room for readers to relax into the world and interpret characters’ expressions for themselves. The plot’s leisurely pace also gives time to elements of the gay experience rarely covered in other stories, including the complications that can arise when an out gay man interacts with a closeted man in public. Additionally, this volume delves deeper into how Ryoji’s death has changed Mike, particularly his new understanding that nothing in life is guaranteed. Though both Mike and Yaichi reflect on the uncertainty of the future, the comfort between the two men and their mutual desire to stay connected proves a heart-filling resolution.
Readers will want tissues in hand for the final, bittersweet pages of this remarkable series. (Graphic novel. 13-adult)