MANGA REVIEW | "The Way of the Househusband" - Volume Eight
Finally, after so much teasing and references showcased throughout The Way of the Househuband’s run, we now can experience the glory that is Crime-Catch Policure! As Tatsu’s wife Miku claims, it’s the greatest thing in the world! Naturally, author Kousuke Oono would give us readers a taste of what makes this magical girl series so special to the Immortal Dragon’s beloved. But before we get to that, Tatsu’s got some scores to settle in the eighth volume.
Crepe-maker Torajiro has a donut truck entering his turf, with him facing off with a more persistent family than the yakuza could ever dream of. A winter wonderland encompasses Tatsu’s home, with his fear of mold forming being overcome by Miku’s love of snow. The gang try their hand at a very spicy hot pot, while an outdoors trek brings a different kind of heat to the body & soul. And when two cops show off what to do with assailants at a neighborhood watch meeting, Tatsu and one other volunteer find out the hard way that taking things roughly won’t exactly fly.
Per usual, The Way of the Househusband showcases The Immortal Dragon’s take on average tasks with a hardcore level of intensity. While the gag is still funny in many ways, one will find that a nonstop read of this volume may make these crazy moments overstay their welcome. Perhaps this is why I was happy with seeing Miku take the reins (and laughs) in some parts. Be it a long-winded explanation about Policure or her taking her husband’s life into consideration at the outdoor sauna, Miku delivers plenty of solid punchlines to gags that would normally belong to Tatsu.
It’s why I found myself enjoying the golf chapter the most in this particular volume. Here both Tatsu and Miku have moments to showcase their comedic chops. From Tatsu’s explanation of how his kind of golf works to Miku’s natural skills with a ball & club, this story showcases both the strengths of the characters and their chemistry as a loving couple. It also helps that Tatsu gets some physical damage dealt by his wife, albeit unintentionally. (You can’t predict where the ball will fly!)
This leads to the big surprise of this volume: a chapter of Miku’s beloved Crime-Catch Policure! Reading through, it’s clear that Oono has a big love for all things Pretty Cure and the like. While acting as a one-off (despite being labeled as Chapter 20), you get a good idea on how the universe and characters of Crime-Catch Policure work, in ways that make it feel like a full-fledged spinoff could happen. Not only does it capture the spirit of classic magical girl anime, but it does so with over-the-top comedy that feels more akin to a Studio Trigger anime than a Toei Animation one.
Volume Eight of The Way of the Househusband may have had its comedy diluted thanks to repeated gags, but Miku’s contributions help to add some freshness to the series. On top of that, the bonus Crime-Catch Policure chapter gives readers a good understanding of why Tatsu’s wife loves this series. Perhaps if Oono keeps adding more surprises like this during its run, then The Way of the Househusband will avoid having its content getting stale.
Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt of VIZ Media