Tagame Gengoroh-sensei’s Otouto no Otto, Volume 4 (弟の夫) completes the series in Japanese. This final volume is exactly as it should be, tying up the loose ends of Yaichi’s inner story in a very satisfying and wholly unpreachy way.
You may remember from Volume 3, Yaichi receives a call from Kana’s teacher. As we feared, he is calling under the guise of “concern” that there is a gay man in her household. Yaichi’s transformation from a man who does not say what he thinks about saying, to a man who says exactly what he thinks about saying in 4 pages is magnificent. As he leaves the teacher’s office, having made it plain that the teacher’s “concerns” are neither legitimate nor appropriate, the sun breaks past the clouds and shines upon him. I said it didn’t preach – I didn’t say it doesn’t visual allegory all over the place. ^_^
As the last remnants of Yaichi’s bias slips from him, he asks Mike to share some of his life with Ryouji. For the first time, Yaichi faces the brother he knew – and wanted to know – nothing about. When he sees Mike’s parents in Mike and Ryouji’s wedding pictures he feels stupid for not being there. To make up for it, Yaichi takes Mike with himself and Kana to clean his parent’s grave so, he says, he can introduce Mike to them before he leaves. It was a really nice touch.
Kana’s issues with her friends are cleared up, and there is a nice little digression about Romeo and Juliet that makes up one of the nicest moments of the book. There’s also time taken to deal with the local gay kid’s story, and let us know he’s in an okay place emotionally.
Watching Yaichi accept Mike fully was exactly as heartwarming as one might expect. ^_^ And one hopes that this manga was able to shepherd other Japanese men through the process with Yaichi and, maybe, help a few young people to find a way to talk to their families. For that alone, this would be a an important book, but it’s also just a really good read. Tagame-sensei deserves every award this series gets.
Art – 9
Story – 9
Characters – 10
LGBTQ – 10
Service – 2
Overall – 10
We don’t yet have a date for the final omnibus volume of My Brother’s Husband by Pantheon – as soon as I do, I’ll post it!