My Brother the Shut-In Volume 2
I was surprised to see how the original premise of My Brother the Shut-In fell by the wayside in this second digital-only volume by Kinoko Higurashi. We’ve moved away from Shino’s conflicts, with her concerns about taking care of her family and her worries about her friends disappearing. Instead, the focus here is on getting her brother Tamotsu a job.
I still enjoyed reading it, particularly the surprisingly useful job-hunting advice, but it’s a different type of series than I expected from the first book and the setup. Much of this volume deals with Tamotsu’s struggles with work, starting as a server at a ramen place. He’s trying hard, but you can’t just change your life overnight without a few setbacks. When things fall down, he’s inspired by Joe, a boxer from a manga series, and he makes a new friend.
Meanwhile, Shino also gets the boy she has a crush on a job at the pizza place where she works, which leads to them going out pretty quickly. That allows for plenty of teasing from their co-workers, and for her having to come clean to him about her brother. He hand-waves it away, as most would. I saw that as perhaps the author moving on from the idea as well.
I wish Shino had more of the spotlight here. She’s become the sister and the girlfriend, and most of what she does is worry about what her boyfriend is thinking, particularly when things don’t run completely smoothly. I suppose Tamotsu’s life is easier to write about, what with his struggles being more uncommon and dramatic, but the end result is a book that’s a bit more standard in the conflicts it shows.