Sunday, April 4, 2021

REVIEW: My Father is a Unicorn (manga) by Monaka Suzuki, translated by Nova Skipper

My Father is a Unicorn is a one-shot comedy manga. It's licensed by Seven Seas. I got my copy via interlibrary loan.


Uno Issei's mother comes home one day and announces that she has remarried and that Issei's new stepfather is a unicorn named Masaru. Or, more precisely, a unicorn-pegasus hybrid. Before the conversation is even over, she's asked to go on a sudden business trip, leaving Masaru to take care of and hopefully bond with Issei.

Issei is less than pleased. Masaru is a well-meaning himbo with absolutely no concept of how humans live - his idea of a healthy and delicious dinner involves sauteed hay. He has a human form in addition to his unicorn one, which should keep everyone in the neighborhood from discovering that he's not human, except sometimes he forgets and allows parts of his body to transform while he's out in public. Then there's his weakness for virginal maidens.

Masaru genuinely wants to learn how to be a good stepdad and househusband, but is that something a unicorn can even manage? Well, he'll certainly try his best.

While reading this, I was reminded of The Way of the Househusband, another comedy manga about an unusual guy doing his best to take care of household duties while his wife is at work. Tatsu was an ex-yakuza boss rather than a unicorn, but both series handled the humor in similar ways. The main characters' identities uniquely affected their approach to housework. Also, both series had at least one "normal" character whose purpose was, at least partly, to highlight how wacky these characters were.

As uneven as I thought The Way of the Househusband was, I still thought it handled things a bit better than this series. Or at least multiple volumes gave it more chances to get the humor right. I wouldn't say My Father is a Unicorn was bad, but it was mediocre enough that I was glad I'd opted to check it out from the library rather than buy it.

Most of the humor fell kind of flat for me. Masaru cooked hay into everything. He had no idea how to use a knife. His "special detox water" was very special indeed. He wanted to get along with the local housewives but accidentally found a nemesis in Otogawa, the most rule-abiding lady in the building. It was all just...okay.

The one part I absolutely hated was the revelation about Masaru's reaction to virginal maidens: he turns into a giant Casanova. This became an enormous problem when Masaru visited Issei at school. I much preferred Masaru the clueless crybaby pretty boy to Masaru the seducer of underage girls. He felt ashamed about it afterward, but still.

No comments:

Post a Comment