[Manga] Mini Review – Gokushufudo Vol.1

Goku Shufudo is a seinen comedy manga by Kousuke Oono about an ex-yakuza’s daily life as a “professional house husband”. The first chapter was published online on 23rd of February 2018 on kurage bunch (a comic publishing website) where it has published 18 chapters as of now. 

In August, Goku Shufudo got it’s first manga volume published, containing chapters 1 through 9 as well as bonus side stories at the end that I think is manga exclusive. I was planning to get it but at the time CD Japan didn’t have it on it’s listings and the only available place I could get it was in Amazon Japan–which, for those who don’t know, is a problem because Amazon banned all shipping to Australia from their international stores like Amazon Japan and Amazon USA. It’s a long and stupid story to explain why that’s a thing, but anyway I decided to give up but eventually I ended up getting it from CD Japan.

Originally this review was supposed to be written in October when I got it but because of being preoccupied with stuff I had to put it off until now, so please enjoy this short review!


Characters

Tatsu

Also known as the legendary “Immortal Tatsu” who once defeated an opposing clan by himself with just his bare hands, is now a house husband after leaving the yakuza business. Often uses a tantou when cooking meals and carries an attache case when going out sometimes.


Miku

She is a career woman and has a job as a designer, she is the one bringing home the bacon. She met Tatsu in unforseen circumstances and is now married to him. She is a big fan of the anime “Crime Catch PoliCure☆” and can be a bit childish in her down time.


Masa

Part of the same clan/family as Tatsu once belonged to. He’s young, a bit arrogant and more like a street thug, but seems to look up to Tatsu somewhat. He knows how to stir shit but exhibits zero ability to actually follow through when picking fights, in a way you could say he’s a bit of a coward.


Gin

Tatsu and Miku’s pet cat. Not much is known about Gin other than it’s adventures in the extra stories in the manga volumes. Knows how to open the balcony door to escape the apartment and do a little exploring of the neighbourhood.

Story

In this manga we follow Tatsu going through his day to day life as a professional house husband: from cooking to cleaning to snagging a great deal on clothes from the bargain bin. In this volume there are little hints on his past, but it’s done sparingly enough to pique your curiosity on his backstory but not giving too much away at once.

The majority of the chapters in this volume is dedicated to gags and skits that help demonstrate what an ex-yakuza’s domestic life looks like (though is quite exaggerated to help with the comedy). There isn’t an underlying plot line for this volume, rather it just focuses on Tatsu’s character and the people who he meets/knows. 

Each chapter is a showcase of “what would an ex-yakuza do in this situation?”, such as babysitting a neighbours kid by entertaining him with games only old men and yakuza would enjoy, with that situation ending in giving a kid a lesson on “fixing your mistakes by burying them 6 feet under” (in this case buryinga broken anime figure). It does get a little absurd on how Tatsu falls back on his yakuza ways, like attempting to cut off his pinky as soon as he found out the DVD he got Miku for her birthday was something she had already owned. Despite that, it does make me laugh at how absurd and exaggerated it is.

This volume doesn’t delve too deep in Miku and Tatsu’s relationship, though the last chapter was a good demonstration of their relationship. For me it feels like their relationship isn’t too lovey-dovey, it’s more like a mutual understanding and respect that they have with each other. Miku seems to anchor Tatsu when he falls back on his old habits, while Tatsu seems to ground her from her impulsions to get stuff she doesn’t need (kind of like acting like a parent in a way :lol:). Though in the last chapter they seem to butt heads a little when Miku couldn’t get her way, it would be interesting to see more of their dynamic in future chapters as well as the backstory on how they met and why they got married.

Art Style

It’s not necessarily a clean style but it’s not too messy either. The diversity of face shapes and appearance for each character tends to be unique, even making a couple of side characters look less bland and have some form of character to the way they look.

Speaking of faces, the expressions drawn on characters are spot on and really help with the comedy. Sometimes a panel with no dialogue and just an expression can be the best punchline.

A good amount of the comedy in this manga relies on silence during scenes, letting the visuals do the talking/setting up to a punchline, which can succeed depending on how well the artist plans out the visuals. I think Oono does a pretty good job conveying scenes through visuals alone, scenes just flow through nicely between each panel.


Overall Thoughts


When I heard that there is a manga about an ex-yakuza being a house husband was a thing you bet I wanted to read the hell out of it and read the hell out of it I did.

I enjoyed reading Gokushufudo a lot. I had this dumb smile while reading the whole way through, even on my second read for this review I still smiled while reading without knowing realising it haha. First read I had a couple of chuckles and the second read I still found some bits funny. Though comedy is pretty subjective I don’t know if everyone would think it’s funny.

As for reading it in Japanese, well this one doesn’t have furigana so I had a tough time with some kanji but it was also interesting to look up some stuff that I didn’t understand when reading to see that it was “yakuza lingo” 😂 Obviously the manga would’ve been funnier if I knew Japanese on a native speaker level but hey, I had some fun. 

Kousuke Oono did a good job with this, especially considering he hasn’t made a serialised manga before (I think) and was an assistant for 9 years. Really loved the way Oono does facial expressions as well as comedic timing. I would definitely read/buy the next volume which should release on December 7th.

You can read most of the chapters online in Japanese for free (except for chapter 4, 5 and 8 which are no longer available to be read by public) on kurage bunch, click here to start reading. You can also read it on pixiv comic (again, with some chapters missing). At the moment I don’t think you can buy a physical copy of this in English (but I guess you guys know where to get this in English “for free”, if you catch my drift).

Thanks for reading!

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Playing otome games by moonlight, suffering by daylight.

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