My Brother’s Husband Vol 2 by Gengoroh Tagame
Rating: 5/5 stars
#52Challenge: a book about travel
This is the continuing story of Yaichi, Kana, and Mike, on Mike’s trip to see Japan and meet his in-laws for the first time. I ended Volume 2 wishing for the sequel when Yaichi and Kana go to visit Mike in Canada, or even perhaps a Kana all-grown up story. This tale continues to warm my heart.
While Tagame’s mission continues to be about educating straight people on a path of acceptance and love for the queer people in their family, this volume was less 101, and we see characters evolve emotionally. Thus, I gave it five stars.
If you haven’t read the first volume, I highly suggest doing so before you continuing reading this review.
Mike continues to have a close and adorable connection to Kana. She embraces not only him, but some of the ways he’s a tourist as Kana’s still pretty young and hasn’t experienced a lot of her own country. Both the wasabi ice cream scene and the entire stay at the onsen were a delight. Yaichi and Natsuki get more from their experiences by seeing it through their daughter’s eyes.
What deepens the story is Yaichi and Mike truly become family in how they relate to each other. It’s not along tolerance, but true brotherly, familial love that develops between them.
Yaichi has to defend Mike to homophobic adults, including Kana’s school principal. When Mike brings Kana her recorder that she forgot, the principal decides to become concerned about Mike being around children. Which is an old prejudice and one Yaichi smacks down.
There’s a pivotal scene where Mike meets up with an old friend of Ryoji’s, and Yaichi realizes through this how much he hasn’t been embracing the chance to learn more about his brother. He’s come to accept his brother; but he realizes he was distance to his brother’s lived experiences. Toward the end, there’s a touching scene where Mike and Yaichi look through Mike’s family photos.
Lots of queer people — including myself — have family who “don’t want to hear about it.” What that means is you start segmenting your life, your time, and your stories. Your heterosexual family members don’t have to do the same. What happens when those moments are weddings and other things you’re supposed to share with your loved ones? This is one question My Brother’s Husband beautifully addresses.
The ending itself was bittersweet. It was perfect, touching, and heart warming. I have lots of love for the characters created here. I highly recommend picking up and enjoying both volumes.