The Way of the House Husband Volume 1
The Way of the House Husband is based around a funny concept, although I found the execution of some of the early chapters oddly timed.
The title character used to be a high-ranking yakuza, a man with a killer reputation, so fierce that anyone who saw him was frightened into submission. Now, he takes care of the house. While still wearing a suit and button-down shirt, under an apron, and shades.
The art by Kousuke Oono is the appeal for me here, as he does an amazing job capturing the life-and-death drama of the gangster world, contrasted with fluffy domestic chores. Those are dramatic, as well. We see him make a picture-perfect bento box lunch or go to a cooking class or deal with a roomba or watch a neighbor’s child. It’s all ramped up to eleven with him.
One two-page wordless sequence shows him making a meal worthy of a television chef. Another chapter has him battling former rivals during a bargain sale. It’s ludicrous, and that’s what makes it funny.
The pacing of the earlier chapters left me a little unsatisfied, as we see, for example, him stopped by police, who know of his reputation, but we don’t see what happens. When he encounters a con artist door-to-door salesman, the seller is freaked out by his facility with knives, but we don’t know what he does after their encounter. Since all the chapters are stand-alone, it can be tough getting all we need in that space. And I’m not sure what exactly we’re meant to take from the end of the chapter with the wife’s birthday present — it might be a joke about ritual suicide.
Regardless, once the book settles down, The Way of the House Husband is great light entertainment that doesn’t require much thought, with some dynamic visuals. (The publisher provided a review copy.)