It was announced this week that the gay manga (or Japanese comic book) sensation My Brother’s Husband is getting a live-action drama. My Brother’s Husband tells the story of Mike, a Canadian gay man who goes to Japan to meet Yaichi, his recently-deceased husband’s brother. The My Brother’s Husband TV show will star award-winning actor Ryuta Sato as Yaichi and sumo wrestler Baruto Kaito as Mike.
While My Brother’s Husband is suitable for all ages, creator Gengoroh Tagame is mostly known for his bara manga, or erotic comics by and for gay men. In fact, My Brother’s Husband is one of the very few SFW comics Tagame has made. The vast majority of his comics involve sex, violence and BDSM.
Tagame’s men are usually pretty bearish — it makes sense that a sumo wrestler is portraying one of his characters. Kaito is a huge, burly man — 6’6″ and over 400 pounds — and looks like he could have been drawn by Tagame.
His work is often compared to that of Tom of Finland. Both men’s work is frank, fetishistic and features burly, hypermasculine men. And like Tom of Finland, Tagame’s work is famous world-wide, thanks to translations and curated collections like the multi-artist English-language bara manga anthology Massive from Fantagraphics.
Tagame’s erotic work, however, is known for its depth. For example, his story “Do You Remember South Island P.O.W. Camp?” from Massive is about two soldiers at a P.O.W. camp. Their entire regiment has been killed except for these two men, the Lieutenant and a Private who may be dying of Malaria. While it’s undeniably sexy to look at, the dialogue is more than just “fuck me” — it’s two men consoling each other: one for his illness, the other for his feelings of survivor’s guilt.
In honor of the My Brother’s Husband TV show, we’ve put together this gallery of some of our favorite Gengoroh Tagame work.