Writer: Ryousuke Nanasaki (@nanapy_1987)
Artist: Yoshi Tsukizuki (@tsukizuki_yoshi)
Publisher: Seven Seas (@Gomanga)
WHAT IS IT?
Until I Meet My Husband is the touching and beautiful manga adaptation of the autobiographical essay collection of a prominent gay activist in Japan.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
“Someday… I’d like to get married. And have a family as a gay man.”
Ryousuke Nanasaki, a prominent LGBTQIA+ activist in Japan, tells the touching, emotional, and honest story of his life growing up as a gay man in Hokkaido.
From the challenges of being perceived as a “girly-boy” in elementary school, to learning to manage his unrequited crushes in middle and high school, to his first coming out experience and beyond, this lovingly penned and illustrated manga showcases the many challenges and joys that come along one’s journey through life. With moving moments of honesty, self-discovery, and hope, Until I Meet My Husband is a ground-breaking merger of the lives of gay individuals in Japan and the world of boys’ love manga.
Ryousuke Nanasaki’s raw honesty of the highs and lows of life as a queer individual, throughout its many stages, is immensely touching and eye-opening. The internal monologue that accompanies the unfolding story will hit you straight in the feels, all the while giving readers hope for a brighter, more accepting tomorrow.
Yoshi Tsukizuki is a prominent boys’ love mangaka and was an excellent choice to illustrate this collection of essays. The exceptional use of soft shading and sweeping line work, expressive faces, and attention to detail grabs your focus and allows the powerful script to shine while tugging on your heartstrings. The sense of realism in the style helps ground the story to its true roots, all the while still containing that charming, classic BL aesthetic they’re known for.
The Seven Seas team does excellent work when it comes to their translations and font choices for manga and, with one as important as this, you can tell an immense amount of extra care and time into making sure this manga was in excellent condition to be released to western audiences. Even the quality of the paper is higher than normal.
Manga one-shots often run the risk of losing details and storytelling ability due to the constrictions of a single volume, but Until I Meet My Husband has managed to tell an expansive, linear story that feels complete and satisfying when you hit that final page.
The manga has tons of incredible details about LGBTQIA+ life, activism, and Pride in Japan. For those who are interested in an honest look at just a small aspect of queer culture in Japan, this manga is a treat.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
CW: Strong language, smoking and drinking, manipulation/toxicity in relationships, strong sexual themes, some triggering moments involving questionings one’s identity, sexuality, and existence. The themes can be quite heavy.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Based off of the first book of its kind to come out of Japan, Until I Meet My Husband is an absolute must-read for not only BL fans but any individual looking for a hopeful and honest story about LGBTQIA+ culture and lifestyles on a global scale. Ryousuke’s journey of self-discovery, of love and loss, and understanding what it means to be true to yourself is one that must be experienced for yourself. It reads like a classic slice-of-life boys' love story, which makes the journey all the more powerful knowing that it is fully grounded in reality and that Ryousuke is still making waves for the LGBTQIA+ community in Japan to this day.
As Ryousuke himself says: “Until now, I don’t think the lived experiences of gay people and those who seek out the world of BL have lined up”. This is commonly known as true, since the majority of BL creators are straight women and it is often seen as a fetish-genre, especially in Japan, so seeing these two worlds come together in such a touching and heartfelt story is a monumental shift in the course of the genre. We are starting to see more and more autobiographical manga titles about queer individuals penning their stories and Until I Meet My Husband is one you can't miss. You can tell that Ryousuke is a fan of Yoshi’s work and had complete confidence in their abilities to bring this nonfiction story to life in such a breathtaking way. This high-quality manga from Seven Seas is one you definitely need on your shelf, and make sure you pick up the actual book of essays which is also available from Seven Seas!
HOW DO I READ IT?
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