Review: My Brother’s Husband Vols. 1 and 2

My Brother’s Husband Vols. 1 and 2

by Gengoroh Tagame

Pantheon Books, 2017 and 2018

5 cups of tea out of 11

Summary: The Yaichi’s brother moved to Canada, married a man named Mike, and Mike comes to Japan to meet him and his daughter. At first Yaichi has trouble with acceptance but he and Kana together make Mike a part of their family too.

Overall this is a hard case too. I don’t think I’m the intended audience. It felt like something that is written by a man for other men. It’s also hard because volume one really doesn’t stand on its own. The main character’s journey to understanding and accepting his brother and his brother’s husband isn’t done until the second volume. And it was hard to read in the beginning. There are major abrasive clashes of culture and lack of acceptance interspersed with scenes of men taking baths and showers, dressing and undressing. But it also shines a light on pervasive stereotypes and damaging attitudes towards being gay in Japan. I cried twice reading the second volume.

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