Way of the House Husband Manga Volume 4 Advanced Review

Way of the Househusband is coming back in September for an all new volume, jam-packed with the same comedy you’ve loved from previous volumes. I’m happy to say I was given an early access look at volume four, slated to come out on September 15th. Published by Viz Media, this series has been drawing in fans from all over since volume one was released last September. We’ve made it a full year and the series is still going strong. This volume brings the same action-packed, wacky, and fun antics we’d expect from Kousuke Oono. After reading through these new chapters, I’ve found new reasons to love the characters of Tatsu and Miku. Volume four allows them the space to reveal more about their lives, loves, and personality through a trip to an amusement park, a peek into the dream-world of Miku, and multiple chapters where Tatsu is interacting with children.

Volume four is set up pretty much the same as the previous volumes, as a collection of stand-alone short stories featuring our well-loved cast of characters. Tatsu is still the former-yakuza turned househusband who seems to be having a tough time leaving his previous life behind making mundane household tasks anything but. When a routine shopping trip ends with Tatsu chasing down a thief of the feline persuasion, yakuza quickly get drawn in and chaos erupts through the streets. With Tatsu in the lead, any normal day or outing becomes an adventure.

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this new volume. Reading manga in general has been a nice distraction from everything that has been going on around us. Way of the Househusband gives us a large dose of levity to brighten up our otherwise grim days. Oono’s art and story do a good job of coming together to give us a complete comedy package with well-designed characters and events that can really make you laugh out loud in understanding. Volume four contains chapters 28 to 36 with three bonus comics at the end. All of which are pretty hilarious, but they can also offer us a new kind of perspective on our characters. I don’t want to get too much into spoiler territory, so I’ll try and keep away from the specifics when I can.

Oono’s art is a huge selling-point of this manga. I love how his action-orientated srt style really brings out the over-the-top nature of Tatsu and his antics. The exaggeration of his actions and movements play well into the overall story of a retired yakuza unable to fully move past his old life. Combined with a focus on expressions, I think Oono has really nailed the tone and feel of the series. Even at first glance, I think you can tell that this manga will be a wild ride and that Tatsu is a very extreme character. The sunglasses and scar on his face are constantly clashing with the apron he insists on wearing everywhere, so you certainly can’t forget how ridiculous this manga can get. 

However, I’m especially fond of tough guys with hearts of gold, and I think Tatsu falls right into that category as these chapters and past chapters will attest to. The first chapter has Tatsu chase down a feline thief through the marketplace, only to give up when he finds out it was bringing its stolen prize to its young kittens. We also have two chapters where Tatsu is seen interacting with children and seemingly trying his best to do something nice for them. One chapter we see him helping a neighbor’s child with his summer homework, and another we see him reading Momotaro to a group of children at the library. Both instances get way out of hand, as they tend to do with Tatsu, but it’s the thought that counts right? He actively tries his best to do something nice for the kids even if he doesn’t quite get the social protocol around dealing with children. I also really loved reading the amusement park chapter, and seeing how much Tatsu was trying to hide how much he was loving it. Miku could see right through him and it turned out to be a really sweet read. 

I love seeing more of the relationship between Miku and Tatsu. Miku may be the most normal one in the relationship, but she does have her own quirks that I think fit well with Tatsu’s own personality. She’s also not afraid to stand up for herself if he goes a little overboard on things. But I think what really matters is that she can see right through any facade Tatsu tries to put up and understands him even when he gets deep into the yakuza way of talking. At the same time, Tatsu understands her as well, even when she’s obsessing over some magical girl merchandise. I would really love to see more chapters of them together, as I really do think they’re a sweet couple that balance each other out very well. 

However, Way of the Househusband also has another layer under the comedy that I think a lot of readers appreciate as well. You could technically consider this manga partly educational. Tatsu has multiple characters he meets in chapters that he helps in certain ways, whether it’s learning how to grill meat properly, what each kitchen item is used for at the dollar store, or just how to keep your place clean. I think underneath the wackiness and out-there antics, some of us can walk away from these chapters having learned something at least semi-useful. I wouldn’t say it’s as educational as say Sweetness and Lightning (which delves deep into recipes and cooking), but it’s enough to add another entertaining layer onto the whole series. I feel like the more depth a manga has, the more it has the ability to last for a long time. 

Let me know in the comments if you’re excited for volume four to come out. It will be released to stores on the 15th of September so be sure to pick up your copy!

~~Thanks for Reading!~~

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