Ep. 8: Way of the Househusband Vol 1
Sure, the anime adaptation of the absolutely hilarious Yakuza-comedy Way of the Househusband makes its anime debut on Netflix later this week, but wouldn’t you like to be like us? The people who read the manga first, so you can also say that you were into it BEFORE it was popular? Well when it’s this funny and well done, chances are… you do! The most surprising episode of Mangasplaining yet!
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Way of the Househusband Vol. 1
by Kousuke Oono
Published by VIZ Media (Print & Digital)
Translation by Shelton Drzka, English Adaptation by Jennifer LeBlanc
Touch-up Art & Lettering by Bianca Pistillo
Before we get started…
It’s our first-ever very special episode! Chip saw a ‘commercial’ for the anime adaptation of The Way of the Househusband and wanted to try the manga so badly that he forced this episode in between other, regularly-recorded episodes, which makes parts of the episodes before this one and the one after this one kind of not make sense a little! Whoops! Sorry for any confusion, and we hope you enjoy this episode. Here’s the anime trailer, btw:
4:00: There are a LOT of funny gags in this one, that work super-well. It’s really, really tempting to screencap and include all of the ones we talk about here, but we’re going to limit ourselves to just a few, because you really should go out and pick this manga up because we all absolutely loved it.
That said, the cat and the Roomba really is hilarious.
06:10: The copycat manga are thick on the ground for this one. Deb mentioned The Yakuza Guide to Babysitting. Cover below, but what’s really fascinating to me is I’d never heard of this publisher before, and it looks like they publish really heavily otaku-oriented works. Good on them for including the translator name on the cover though.
6:45: Dang, the stuff you never thought you’d see in the show notes for the Mangasplaining podcast, eh?
Erma Bombeck (1927-1996), whom David mentions, was an American humourist whose subject was mostly suburban homelife. She wrote more than 4000 newspaper columns, and she had 13 collections of her work published. Interestingly, her second book, Just Wait Until You Have Children Of Your Own, was co-written with and featured cartoons by Bil Keane, creator of the Family Circus comic strip. Huh! Comic connections all over!
7:20: Like I said, we won’t include comics for everything, but the mitten gag is so good.
7:55: Also, the design is great on this one. Here’s the back cover and some of the interior pages Christopher talked about.
8:35: Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, published by Image Comics. We’ve mentioned it before! But you might wanna go check it out anyway.
8:45: Shout-out to The Beguiling in Toronto. http://www.beguilingbooksandart.com/
9:20: A “Hawkeye Gag” refers to the kind of humour that appeared in the Marvel Comic book series Hawkeye, when it was being written by Matt Fraction and drawn by David Aja. It’s a great run, and if you’re not super-hero averse we recommend checking it out. Here’s an article from Entertainment Weekly extolling its virtues.
10:00: This drawing of the salesman eating hamburger steak really is incredible.
10:20: Tatsu crashing into the car with his head going right into the window? Yes.
11:00: An example of the leg-shaking illustrations that Chip references. This gag actually gets funnier as the chapter goes on too.
11:40: As Chip mentions, the thought bubble becoming the comics panel illustration in the new car chapter is really visually inventive, and well done here.
13:45: Delicious in Dungeon! We read that back in the second episode. But specifically we’re talking about how up until volume 5, the individual chapters of Delicious in Dungeon are stand-alone ‘gag’ chapters that are sort of lazily building a larger arc, but starting in volume 5 the main thrust of the story becomes apparent and the plot moves forward in a more traditional fantasy manga vein… for a bit. Don’t worry, it stays hilarious too.
17:22: Googling how to fight more than one guy is the best joke.
17:50: He slapped him so hard.
24:50: The I, I, I, joke from Your Name is a VERY good joke if you know even a little bit of Japanese. You can see a YouTube video comparing the Japanese version and English language dubbed version here:
The English version is… well I guess they did the best they could? But it’s not great, honestly. Meanwhile, if you get the difference between Watashi, Watakushi, Boku, and Ore? You will probably laugh out loud in the theatre, as the folks at my screening did. More on this can be found in this blog: https://kantopia.wordpress.com/2017/08/05/how-did-mitsuha-as-taki-talk-to-his-friends-in-your-names-english-dub-jpn-vs-eng/
35:20: Chip Zdarsky won the award for Best Humor publication in 2017 for Jughead from Archie comics, shared with his co-creators Erica Henderson, Ryan North, and Derek Charm.
37:20: Really great drawing of a thrown bottle. Speaking of, the other great drawing of a thrown bottle referenced here was in Tekkon Kinkreet, which was recorded but hasn’t been released yet. Sorry, confusing timelines sometimes. Here’s that bottle though!
40:00: Remember kids: Support legit releases whenever you can. Don’t give money to pirate websites. There’s tons of legit free manga out there, and also libraries have access to thousands of digital volumes.
43:00: Doraemon started as a manga about an earless, blue, robot cat who came from the future to live with a nerdy boy who had no friends and to take him on adventures. It’s a beloved children’s property in Japan that debuted in 1970 and is still getting releases today. Select volumes have been released digitally in English, and the animated series has been dubbed and released (with massive edits to remove the “Japanese-ness” of the property). The manga originally ended in June, 1996.
43:20: Seibei’s Doraemon Shirt. Sadly no longer available, but his ANIME tee is, and it’s fantastic.
43:00: Yeah that Doraemon doujinshi thing is pretty wild. You can read a sort of weirdly terse article on it on Anime News Network, but if you dig it’s pretty easy to find tons and tons of fan discussion: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2007-05-29/false-doraemon-ending
EDIT: DEB FOUND THE DOUJINSHI ONLINE! Now as mentioned on podcast, this isn’t strictly legal, but if you want to read this fan-constructed ending of Doraemon (in English and in Indonesian), you can check out this link:
45:00: The real “pilot” chapters of certain manga! This is something that basically doesn’t happen in Western comics at all. Basically, an author creates a pilot, or ‘one-shot’ story introducing a new setting, characters, and story, and if it proves popular enough the pilot is reworked (usually heavily) and becomes the basis for an ongoing series. These chapters are rarely reprinted in North America and kind-of only exist on pirate sites/scanlation sites. There are some exceptions though, for example the second box set of Naruto manga (volumes 28-48) included a special booklet with the original pilot chapter in it, in English officially for the first time. Link: https://www.viz.com/read/manga/naruto-box-sets-volume-2/product/3721
45:20: Some ‘unrelated’ Spider-Man comics, for free, on Gumroad.
46:15: You can read an interview with illustrator Gabriel Picolo about his Teen Titans fan-art and how that led to his official work on these characters here at Comicon.com.
46:40: Nina Matsumoto, aka “space coyote,” is a Japanese-Canadian cartoonist who gained fame online for her “Simpsonzu” stylized anime parody illustrations of the Simpsons cast. She went on to a professional career in comics which eventually included working on official Simpsons comics, not to mention her own creator-owned graphic novel series for kids, Sparks!. Check out her website: https://www.spacecoyote.com/
47:40: Chip’s not kidding, the Watchmen Doujinshi is real!
50:15: The “Yakuza” game series (known in Japan as Ryuu ga Gotoku, or “Like a Dragon”) was created and published by Sega for the PlayStation 2 console, though the series eventually moved to other consoles and was released for PC. There are about a dozen games in the series, more if you count remakes and spin-offs. You (usually) control anti-hero Kazuma Kiryu, and are usually plagued by Kiryu’s rival Goro Majima. It’s set in Shinjuku’s Kabuki-cho district, and it’s pretty similar to a Grand Theft Auto game, if you’ve played those, but usually with much deeper (though less broad) content.
50:30: The rivalry between Kiriya & Goro was… expanded upon… by the fan communities of both Japan and North America, resulting in pretty-frequent sexy times. You can find more by googling. https://www.google.com/search?q=kiryu+x+goro
53:00: Bushido is literally “The Way of the Warrior,” a moral code that governed samurai and which has expanded and morphed in different ways to apply to contemporary Japanese life. Like, you can read about it on Wikipedia, but in contemporary Japanese society it pops up all over the place in very different ways, like this manga guide to bushido in the workplace.
56:58: THE BREAK!
As a reminder, after this point there are no timestamps because the advertisements are dynamically inserted and throw off the counters. Sorry! We’ll bold different subjects discussed afterwards to make it clearer what we’re talking about.
The Japanese cover design, and the Japanese logo.
The sort of ultra-rigid text used for the cover here definitely echoes Yakuza elements in its usage within Japan, but using formal script doesn’t quite translate the same way in English. If it were Times New Roman, it’d probably look wrong. That’s why they went with a more traditional-brush-script style lettering for the English. Translation: Not just for words!
Question of the week: Who was the first Western comics artist you could discern had a manga influence on their work?
David mentioned Joe Madureira. Joe Mad, as he’s known, is the creator of Battle Chasers, as well as the co-creator and designer of the Darksiders series of video games. He came to prominence on Deadpool and Uncanny X-Men for Marvel Comics. David also mentions creators including Frank Miller, Rob Liefeld, and Todd McFarlane. https://twitter.com/joemadx?lang=en
Deb mentioned Wendy Pini, co-creator of the long-running series Elfquest, which emulated a number of manga tropes including black and white art, production style and schedule, and actually creating book collections of her work! Seriously, trade paperbacks were almost never made, and the Pini’s were some of the first creators to do so. Deb also mentions how Frank Miller’s Ronin was deeply influenced by Lone Wolf & Cub. https://elfquest.com/
Also, Deb referenced miso as a secret ingredient in the best chocolate chip cookies, and I went and found a recipe.
Christopher mentioned Colleen Doran, creator of the small press comic series A Distant Soil. Another early publication that prioritized making trade paperbacks (and keeping them in print), the epic fantasy/SF series is currently published by Image Comics. https://adistantsoil.com/
Then the whole team go on about Adam Warren, who did a lot to popularize manga and anime storytelling tropes in North America with his work on Dirty Pair, largely published by Dark Horse Comics. While that work is sadly out of print now due to a rights issue with the Japanese publishers, Warren’s ongoing series of graphic novels Empowered continues on at a brisk pace from Dark Horse Comics. https://www.patreon.com/adamwarren
Writer Gerry Duggan, whose story Chip stole, can be found on twitter at https://twitter.com/GerryDuggan.
Steve Ditko (co-)created Spider-Man, amongst many other accomplishments.
Time for this week’s shout-outs!
David Recommends some yakuza movies you can check out:
- First Love, by Takeshi Miike https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10228168/
- Battles Without Honor and Humanity, by Kinji Fukasaku – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070246/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
- The Outrage, by Takeshi Kitano – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1462667/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
Deb recommends the spicy yakuza-related shoujo manga A Girl and Her Guard Dog, by Hatsuharu and published by Kodansha Comics. https://kodansha.us/series/a-girl-her-guard-dog/. She also recommends the extremely spicy josei yakuza romance manga Boss-Wife, also published by Kodansha. https://kodansha.us/series/boss-wife/
Christopher recommends Valheim, the viking video game where you build a house and slay trolls and stuff. It’s like Animal Crossing meets Minecraft, sort of. https://store.steampowered.com/app/892970/Valheim/
YES, THERE IS VIKING MANGA. Chip didn’t want to hear it, but Deb and David both love the hell out of the manga Vinland Saga by Makoto Yukimura, published by Kodansha Comics. It will eventually get covered on the podcast. There’s also a popular anime of it, if that’s more your speed.
And Chip finishes us off with shout-outs for the next 3 volumes of Way of the Househusband. I dunno guys, I think he liked it?
Thanks for listening to this very special episode! Here’s what the next few weeks of episodes look like:
Ep. 9: 7 Billion Needles Vols 1-4, by Nobuaki Tadano. Published by Vertical Inc. (Apr 13)
Ep. 10: Tekkon Kinkreet, by Taiyo Matsumoto. Published by VIZ Media. (Apr 20)
Ep. 11: Fullmetal Alchemist, by Hiromu Arakawa. Published by VIZ Media. (Apr 27)
Ep. 12: Oishinbo, by Tetsu Kariya and Akira Hanasaki. Published by VIZ Media. (May 4)
Ep. 13: Beastars, Vol 1, by Paru Itagaki. Published by VIZ Media. (May 11)
Thanks for listening!