Many an eyebrow was raised when Gengorah Tagame put out an all ages story of family. Primarily because he was – up until then – known for hardcore erotic comics (so hardcore that I’d advise you not to google them in work!) and then he put out this. This beautiful, sweet, sad, funny, engaging story which nobody has expected this coming from Tagame. And arguably, this will be – and rightly should be – the book he is known for.
Yaichi hasn’t seen his twin, Rjoyi in a long time, their relationship taking different turns when Rjoyi came out to Yaichi. Now Rjoyi is dead and his husband, Mike Flanagan, has come to visit to see the places his brother talk about and the family he left behind.
This beautiful two part graphic novel tells the story of a brother coming to terms with his the loss of his brother and the relationship that can now never be repaired, and for the first time in a relatively mainstream way, shows how homosexuality is still a very closeted thing in Japanese culture; something not to be talked about, still.
The story is simple but beautifully told, although it has some subplots that pay off in a really enjoyable way. It’s a story about Yaichi realising that this stranger is family, and the second volume (which I would argue is slightly better than the already fantastic first) actually made me cry.
The art is beautiful and Kana, Yaichi’s young daughter is a complete force of nature who says the unsayable just like a child would, puncturing ideals with her childlike wonder.
A beautiful story, well told, and highly recommended.