The Way of the House Husband by author Kousuke Oono
The Way of the House Husband, volume 1, is the first in a series of manga about a former Yakuza crime boss who has retired to the home life.
This manga series got adapted as an odd show for Netflix. It has a short run time and the anime style of animation seems like it’s just pages from the manga with a voice over. Honestly, it reeks of extremely low budget experimentation to see if people will watch something made without any financial investment. The answer is, of course they will. It has a strikingly high rating of 7.3 on IMDB. It was granted a second season but has not yet started production on a third.
In the manga the Yakuza husband is married to a career woman and he takes his role as house husband very seriously. He maintains the house, does the shopping, does the cooking, and every other little detail to make sure that they have a happy life together.
He does all of this with a crime boss’ intensity. The premise is thin but it’s written well. It’s quite funny and endearing. The scene of him bargain shopping actually made me laugh out loud. You have to admit that the concept of a crime lord getting familiar with the concept of coupons is pretty hilarious.
However, I do not think that the premise will continue to work in this fashion for much longer than one book. What I really want to know is what I always have to ask in these kinds of fish out of water satirical stories. How did he get here?
How does a Yakuza settle down with a nice business woman? How did they even meet? She obviously knows he’s former Yakuza, he has all of the tattoos, so how did she decide he was the one to take care of their home?
So many questions and absolutely no answers. I would also think that someone used to such a high intensity lifestyle would quickly get bored of finding excitement in taking a dog for a walk but he seems really into it. These mundane tasks are actually new challenges for him and he embraces them with fervor.
The charm of the book is that he doesn’t seem resentful of his new life at all. It somehow feels like a natural progression for him. I have no idea how that would ever happen but the author does it well enough that I can just enjoy the cute story without getting too bogged down in the outrageousness of it.
The Way of the House Husband is an extremely quick read. It’s perfect to pick up for right before bed when you don’t want to have to think too much and just need a lite novel to take your mind off of things. Each chapter is episodic and there is no through plot to keep track of.
I’d continue with more volumes if someone assured me it became deeper. Right now, one volume seems like enough for this one trick pony.
It’s cute, and for a lot of manga that’s enough.
3/5 shopping bags 🛍🛍🛍
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If you like the Way of the Househusband then you might also like Lady Killer. With a similar but reversed premise this graphic novel follows a traditional house wife as she leads a secret double life as an assassin.