ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘The Way of the Househusband,’ Volume 4

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Way of the Househusband, Viz Media, Kousuke Oonom, Manga,

The Way of the Househusband Volume 4 is by mangaka Kousuke Oono and published through Viz Media. Following the life of ex-yakuza member Tatsu, this comedy gag manga offers more humor and insight into “The Immortal Dragon” and his marriage.

Every chapter of The Way of the Househusband Volume 4 is its own vignette. This volume collects chapters 28-36.  As opposed to its previous issues, Oono touches on Tatsu and Miku’s life more. I found this to be a treat because it showcases his skills as a mangaka. Tatsu shares not just comedic moments but many sentimental, romantic moments that transcend the comedy.  Illustrated best in chapter 30, Miku and Tatsu get tickets to go to their local amusement park. Many of Oono’s jokes center around the concept of such a hardcore, tattooed man even wanting to do something so juvenile.

I usually do not find jokes at the expense of adults indulging in “childlike” things really funny, more so rude. However, this joke resolves to explore how Tatsu has always wished he lived a life that could have allowed him to have fun.  This reveal leads them to have a deeper conversation and expressions of gratitude within their relationship.  While it is Miku who is characterized as the more romantic partner in this chapter, Oono still crafts with care multiple instances of Tatsu caring for Miku from packing them lunch to taking embarrassing pictures she wants.  With this chapter being so close to the start of The Way of the Househusband Volume 4, it serves as the central core of its themes of love spread amongst humor that I appreciated much more than from previous volumes.

Oono’s art is beautiful. Just that word alone feels like a disservice. His art style is hyper-realistic with stippled shading. It feels wholly unique to me as I cannot compare it to anything else I’ve read. Tatsu is handsome and it’s evident that Oono indulgences himself with his character design, whether to showcase his sex appeal or his tenderness. Oono captures Miku’s beauty in an idealistic fashion that shows readers how Tatsu views his wife. She is bright-eyed and so full of life. One thing I picked up was that Miku is drawn with a multitude of different outfits, from her business clothes to beachwear (there’s a volleyball tournament chapter).  As someone who recently binged the first three volumes, the changes in character designs were refreshing. From the artwork itself, I find it so endearing that Oono takes such care in his narrative to instill how happy and healthy Miku and Tatsu’s marriage is both from an artistic and written perspective.

Some personal other favorites from this volume is a chapter where the gag is that Tatsu gets into the business of making boba and the commentary is that it’s the newest street drug. I found this particularly hilarious because boba is such a fun and addictive drink that I find myself making my own boba at home at least 3+ times a week. there is a beach chapter where both Miku and Tatsu have so much fun while also looking so steamy that I’m sure fans will be satisfied with it. Also, there are three completely over-the-top bonus chapters that physically made me grin with utter happiness.

The Way of the Househusband Volume 4 never skips a beat. Oono creates a perfect balance of comedy and sentiment throughout this volume. Being able to have more vignettes into Tatsu’s relationship with Miku, provides a  vast improvement from the previous volumes where she is in the background. The character dynamics, while heightened for laughs, feel fluid and I cannot help but laugh alongside them. The Way of the Househusband Volume 4 is the best volume of this series thus far.  If you are looking for light-hearted fun, be sure to pick this up.

The Way of the Househusband Volume 4 is available from booksellers on September 15, 2020.

The Way of the Househusband Volume 4
5

TL;DR

The Way of the Househusband Volume 4 never skips a beat. Oono creates a perfect balance of comedy and sentiment throughout this volume. Being able to have more vignettes into Tatsu’s relationship with Miku, provides a  vast improvement from the previous volumes where she is in the background.