Life continues on as it always has at the Aoyama family household: with Akiyoshi the dad often away at work, it’s mostly Tomoko and her sons Hiroki and Yuri at home. Life is peaceful, although not without its pitfalls, and Tomoko and Yuri both continue to wonder when Hiroki will realize that they both already know that he has a major crush on his classmate Daigo.
Despite previous reporting to the contrary, Okura has come out and said that I Think Our Son Is Gay will not be ending in four volumes, although I must confess that I hope the series doesn’t stretch out too long beyond that. While this volume continues to be as charming and enjoyable to read as the first one, I simply don’t see this premise continuing on indefinitely and that’s the only reason why I hope it doesn’t end up being a terribly long series.
Okura mentions in an author’s note that he has also “come out” to his mother in a more traditional sense (since she wanted to know what his manga was and answering all of those questions would’ve led to the same conclusive anyway) but Hiroki still isn’t out to anyone in his life, even if both his mother and younger brother have already cleared figured out which team he plays for. This volume again brings together all of the gentle humor of the first volume and continues to combine it with little snippets of “the real world,” reminding us that not everyone is as accepting as Tomoko is. As far as I can tell, Tomoko hasn’t had any queer friends before so while she’s surprised but non-plussed to learn that a co-worker is probably gay (and debates if there’s any way she can ask him for advice for/on behalf of Hiroki), she seems shocked to hear the casual homophobia from her other coworkers about him. “It’s too bad he’s gay” was clearly never a line that she had ever thought of in any context and seems to unsettle her. And while talking with a coworker about it, who coos that “it’s like Lover Men, but in real life!” doesn’t unsettle Tomoko it did unsettle me, the reader, to see these characters getting reduced to being the same as fictional characters for the coworker to scrutinize.
Of all the various skits in this volume, I think my favorite wasn’t even LGTBQ+ related at all but one involving Hiroki’s younger brother Yuri and his hobby of note-taking. He’s a budding reviewer! More than that, in just a few pages the story is eloquently able to get across the concept of “just because I write these things down, doesn’t mean that I want everyone to see them; they’re not bad, just private” and how that’s a perfectly natural part of everyone’s lives. Of course, Yuri is also much more perceptive than his older brother and he possibly doesn’t want Hiroki to read about how their female childhood friend seems shy but is head over heels for Hiroki now, or even Yuri’s own grappling with understanding his classmates, relationships, and society in general. Yuri doesn’t seem to be gay (honestly he seems a little ace) but it’s still a nice moment reminding all the readers that we are all very complex people and from a young age at that!
With the simple art, quick pacing, and fresh gags, I Think Our Son Is Gay continues to be a delightful read about a normal family and how even family has to learn how to understand each other.