28. Wild Card: My Brother’s Husband, Vol. 2 by Gengoroh Tagame
List Progress: 14/30
It bodes well for a series when a reader is propelled right from the first installment into the second. The entirety of My Brother’s Husband takes place over about three weeks, the duration of Mike’s stay in Japan, and it feels like a realistic and live-in amount of time. Single father Yaichi did not start out hating this gay foreigner, but he was uncomfortable with him and what he represented about his brother, and three weeks feels like a good amount of time for that ice to thaw and the relationship to be built. Mike becomes a part of Yaichi and his daughter’s lives, and his absence is felt when he has to leave.
The second volume of this series adds a few shades of gray to the situation: a closeted Japanese man meets with Mike, and while his decision to stay in the closet is presented as sad, it is also clearly a reality of what is needed in his life. Mike also gets a bit more dimension, expressing how Ryoji’s death has stopped him from making absolute promises about an unknowable future. The reader still knows very little about him beyond his sexuality and marriage, but considering that is how Yaichi knows him, it makes sense.
For anyone who enjoyed the start of this series, the back half continues in a good vein, and leaves things ambiguous but hopeful. My Brother’s Husband is a series meant to be consumed as a whole, and it sticks the landing with aplomb.
Would I Recommend It: Also yes.