If you read a lot of manga, especially shoujo and shounen manga, you’ll have encountered author’s notes and quite possibly you’ll have thought something like, “Really? You’re writing a note to millions of fans and all you have to say is that you like jelly?” But, when you think about it, we all know manga creators are put through a grinder of deadlines and appearances and it’s probably not all that surprising that they have relatively bland personal lives. If you’re out partying, you’re not at the drawing board, so…. But yeah, it would be nice sometimes to know a little more about the manga artists we love. Maybe the name of their lover, or about a hobby besides drawing manga.
In Okaasan Futari Itemo Iikana!? (お母さん二人いてもいいかな!?), Nakamura Ching-sensei, writing here under her real name, Nakamura Kiyo, gives us an unprecedented honest and intimate look at her personal life. She lives with her wife (in name only, as Japan does not legally recognize same-sex marriage), Satsuki, and is stepmother to Satsuki’s three sons.
The book takes a good hard look at Kiyo’s and Satsuki’s relationship, opening up a few cans of worms along the way. We learn of Kishie-san, Nakamura-sensei’s deceased first wife, and about abuse in Satsuki’s and Kiyo’s past (Of which we knew some from Dare mo Korinai.) This books includes thoughts about the tentative legal standing their relationship has and the importance of acceptance by the people around them.
But mostly, this is a book about life with a wife and three sons. An intimate, sometimes touching, look at the personal life of a lesbian couple in Japan today, and an extraordinary look into the life of a favorite manga creator.
Overall – 8
In places this volume is very difficult, in others triumphant…just like life.