Otaku USA Magazine
Why I Adopted My Husband Manga is Both Endearing and Amusing

Why I Adopted My Husband is a nonfiction manga about a gay couple in Japan choosing adoption because same-sex marriage is not an option there. The couple, Yuta and Kyota, are otaku who fall in love and, after years of being together, want to make a real commitment. They also want to make sure that if something were to happen to one — like if one were to be hospitalized, for example — the other would be recognized as a family member and not just a “friend.”

But because Japan does not recognize same-sex marriage (though there is a movement in the country to change that), the men were left with limited options. In the end, Kyota, who is five months older, adopts Yuta as a son.

The manga, which is drawn in a comical, large, roundish style, is both endearing and amusing. Even when they face challenges, it’s shown in a unique and otaku-based way, like when Yuta comes out to his father and compares it to doing a boss battle in an RPG. Both men mostly stay in the closet, and they do show how they sometimes face or overhear prejudice. When Yuta comes out to his mother, she is confused but accepting, whereas his father, who makes fun of gay people he sees on TV, is much more daunting to talk to.

There are tips on how a gay couple can go the adoption route, like information on contracts. It even includes a section showing how to fill out the paperwork. This part doesn’t pertain to American readers, but the manga is still worth reading because of its well-told story, its look into the realities of gay couples in Japan, and how the characters are relatable — because even if someone isn’t in Yuta and Kyoto’s shoes, the parts about feeling left out would be something everyone can relate to on some level. The fact that both men are otaku (and there are plenty of references to otaku culture) makes telling the story in manga format all the better.

Story & Art: Yuta Yagi
Publisher: TOKYOPOP
Translator: Katie Kimura


Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.