Recently, Netflix has released its adaptation of The Way of the Househusband, adding another entry to its impressive anime catalogue. While the anime adaptation of Kousuke Oono's manga initially raised some eyebrows given its stilted animation, the final product feels pulled directly from the pages of the acclaimed book, which was the intent of the director, Kon Chiaki. Whether or not this style of animation works for you, The Way of the Househusband is a manga that deserves plenty of attention.
What Is The Way of the Househusband?
Written and illustrated by Oono, The Way of the Househusband is a slice of life manga about Tatsu, who formerly was a yakuza known as the Immortal Dragon. To this day, he is considered one of the deadliest yakuza in Japan; however, he's walked away from this profession after meeting the love of his life, Miku, a designer. Trading in a life of crime for a life of domesticity, The Way of the Househusband sees Tatsu adjust to marriage, brining the dedication and passion the Immortal Dragon had for the yakuza to everyday tasks, such as cooking, cleaning and exercising.
The manga is charming and comedic, with Tatsu's serious and aggressive personality standing in stark contrast to the mundane life he now leads. While he treats these daily matters as if he was still a yakuza, the manga is a great depiction of positive masculinity, with Tatsu wanting nothing more than to support his wife and give back to his new community, even if it means accomplishing this through some over dramatic means. It's a fish out of water story with a surprisingly believable relationship at the core, and its vignette style of storytelling allows for each chapter to stand on its own. Whether you're a fan of action, romance or comedy, this manga takes aspects from all these genres and creates a hilarious tale about redemption and love.
How Was The Way of the Househusband Received?
The manga was received incredibly well, earning a 4.28 rating on Goodreads at 885 reviews. It even won the 2020 Eisner Award for Best Humor Publication, and a manga has not accomplished this since Masashi Tanaka's Gon Swimmin', which won the award back in 1998. It was also nominated at the Harvey Awards for Best Manga in 2020, so it's definitely worth the read.
Furthermore, it was popular enough to earn its anime adaptation. While the static animation has not won everyone over, Netflix has enough faith in the story, announcing a second season days after the show's premiere. It also got a live-action J-drama adaptation in 2020. Plus, a live-action trailer, which is practically a short film for the manga, has garnered over 12 million views on YouTube, so there is no denying that this title is beloved and has great potential for more stories, whether that's on screen or on page.
How to Get Into The Way of the Househusband?
If one wants to start with the manga, there are currently four volumes published in English, with a fifth one set to release in May. One can likely get them from their local comic shop or bookstore, and if they are not in stock, chances are the store could order them since they're still in publication. Websites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, as well independent stores, also carry the physical manga for purchase online, while comiXology and Kindle allow one to read the manga digitally. Meanwhile, for those who want to see this story told on screen, Netflix is the best bet, as it's home to the new anime. Either way, Tatsu's story is far from over, and now is a great time to enjoy The Way of the Househusband.