There was once an infamous member of the yakuza (the Japanese mafia) who took down ten rival gangs during one night, and all without using a weapon. This got him the nickname “The Immortal Dragon.”
But all that’s behind him. He’s left the yakuza to work as a househusband, staying home while his wife leaves each day for work as a designer. He creates delicious, beautiful, kawaii meals, makes sure to use coupons for the best deals, and regularly goes shopping for household items. If his wife accidentally leaves the adorable lunch he made for her when she departs for work, he hurries after her on a bicycle so she won’t go hungry. He still looks kind of like a yakuza member — even when he’s wearing a shirt that covers his mafia tattoos, he still has the bad-boy facial hair, slicked haircut and shades. People stare at him on the street. They don’t believe him when he says he’s a househusband. They still think he’s dangerous. Then another confused member of the yakuza starts wondering if maybe being in the mafia and being a househusband aren’t so different after all.
The Way of the Househusband is a light comedy, sometimes a gag comedy, that uses the juxtaposition of a dangerous, illegal career with the safety and care of being a homemaker. It also flips the switch on how many societies view “men’s work” and “women’s work,” though if there’s social commentary in it, it’s first and foremost a lighthearted comedy. It reads more like a series of vignettes bringing a plot together, and afterward it has several bonus manga stories (including one where the household cat communicates with a neighbor dog and we can understand what they’re saying). It’s definitely a different take on the popular genre of yakuza manga, and so far the story is quirky and fresh.
Story & Art: Kousuke Oono
Publisher: VIZ Media
Danica Davidson, along with Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya, is the author of Manga Art for Intermediates. In addition to showing how to draw manga character types in detail, the book describes how professional Japanese manga creators work, including common techniques and what drawing utensils they use.