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Manga / The Way of the Househusband

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"Being a househusband ain't no joke."
Tatsu Kuroda

"The Immortal Tatsu": A Yakuza so infamous that simply hearing his name struck fear in the most hardened cops, criminals, and Yakuza members alike. One day he vanished, only to turn up later... as a House Husband?

The Way of the Househusband (Gokushufudou) follows the Immortal Tatsu, a dyed-in-the-wool badass ex-yakuza thug, who uses his grit and determination cultivated from his former life in his new marriage with his career woman wife, Miku. Hilarity Ensues.

The manga, created by Kousuke Ono, began serialization in the Kurage Bunch publication in 2018 and is still ongoing. Viz Media has licensed the manga in English, and began releasing an official translation in September 2019 under the title The Way of The Househusband.

A live-action PV was released in 2019 to celebrate the sale of 1.2 million manga volumes, with Kenjiro Tsuda portraying Tatsu (he also directed it) and Maaya Sakamoto as the voice of Miku.

A live-action TV series starring Hiroshi Tamaki as Tatsu premiered in Japan in October 2020. An anime adaptation premiered on Netflix in 2021, with Kenjiro Tsuda reprising his role as Tatsu, and a second season premiered in January 2023. A live-action film premiered in 2022, with the actors from the live-action TV series reprising their roles.

Compare Sakamoto Days.

This manga provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: In the live-action series, they added additional elements and stories, such as Tatsu entering a competition, and adding extra characters to the series. For example, Tatsu in the live-action series is now a stepfather and he has to adapt to the role of a parent, while Masa wants to become a househusband because he fell in love.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: Overlapping with Composite Character. In the manga, Tatsu's former yakuza president and Hibari have little to no connection. In the live action series, they're married (Tatsu's boss incorporating some of the aspects of Hibari’s deceased husband in the manga), and the episode B-plots often revolve around the couple in their post-yakuza lifestyle.
  • An Aesop: The first few episodes of the anime have two sides of the coin: you still have consequences to pay for your past actions, but you can commit to being a better person every day. Tatsu has completely shed the yakuza lifestyle and is dedicated to being a homemaker for Miku. Even so, it turns out multiple yakuza members, gang leaders and even the police tend to react negatively when they see him. Most pull out a weapon and demand he fights them. Torajiro defends a Cooking Duel because Tatsu broke up his gang, and he needs to restore his honor. The cops are convinced that Tatsu's new identity is a lie, only to get embarrassed when a supposed drug deal is actually a birthday party.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Tatsu is affectionately called Tatchan/Tacchan (translated as Tatty by the scanlators, and Tacchan by the official translation) by his wife Miku.
  • Anthropomorphized Anatomy: In one chapter, Tatsu starts coming down with a cold. He envisions the sickness as a gang of viruses invading his body and his white blood cells as clones of himself duking it out with the germs to protect their turf.
  • Art Shift: The Boss's granddaughter An is prone to having her face shift into an entirely different style when reacting to something, much like Naru from Barakamon. Her friend Kaede does it as well in a Volume 10 bonus chapter.
  • Battle Rapping: In chapter 38, Tatsu and Goda have a rap battle on the sidewalk. Tatsu renders Goda speechless with an Armor-Piercing Response: "You dress weird!"
  • Beach Episode: In chapter 34, Tatsu and Miku get into a beach volleyball match with the volleyball team from chapter 16.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • A Google counterpart begins with "Guugl-".
    • "Roomboo" for Roomba.
    • "Instantgram" for Instagram.
    • "Toys A Mas" for Toys R Us.
    • "Dostco" for Costco.
    • "Daizo" for Daiso.
    • "Eeon" for Aeon.note 
    • "Crock" for Crocs.
    • "Boss in a Barrel" is a Yakuza-themed version of "Pop-up Pirate", with characters noting the titular boss looks uncannily similar to Tatsu's old boss.
    • "Yakmil" for Yakult.
  • A Bloody Mess: Thanks to a roomba injuring and startling Ghin, Tatsu ends up getting a wine bottle broken over his head. He's fine, if dazed, but when guests arrive at the apartment, they see him collapsed on the ground apparently bleeding profusely with a "blood trail" left in the hall by the roomba to their utter horror.
  • Canon Foreigner: The TV series gives Tatsu and Miku a daughter, elementary schooler Himawari.
  • The Comically Serious: Most of the comedy comes from Tatsu doing everyday things while sporting his yakuza methodology and swagger.
    Tatsu: Hey! C'mon! Pull yourself together, PoliCure blue ranger!
  • Comically Small Bribe: Tatsu gives a coupon to a police officer so he can ride his bike quickly through the streets to bring Miku her lunch at work.
  • Comically Small Demand: Chapter 58 portrays it like a terrifying mob shakedown when Tatsu goes door-to-door for Neighborhood Association dues... to the tune of 500¥note  per household — literal pocket change. To make it even better, the yakuza he's demanding it from doesn't actually have it. It's the equivalent of a millionaire having a few dollar bills in his pocket.
  • Cooking Duel: Tatsu and Tora get into a dessert duel to settle their unfinished business from their former lives, the winner being whoever gets more likes on Instantgram. Despite their affinity for food preparation and artsy photography skills, Tatsu wins with just one single like, and even then it's just from Miku.
  • Creepy Good: Tatsu has left his life as a Yakuza clan leader behind him, but he still has the mannerisms and fashion sense of one. Examples include him suggesting corporal punishments like yubitsumenote  for himself for making a mistake, and burying a broken doll in the garden as if it were a body he needed to dispose of. He is also a bit too chatty about his past experiences.
    Yoga instructor: Does this pose remind you of anything?
    Tatsu: (on his back with his legs and feet behind his head) Sure does! This is how you look after the boss gets done whackin' ya with a wooden sword!
  • Cultural Translation: Trying to make small talk, Miku's dad mentions that he read an article saying that pigs are intelligent. Tatsu misinterprets him to be talking of the police. In the original, Miku's Dad's animal conversation is about dogs, with the police being likened to dogs in Japan, so a dub change was made. In the French dub, the police are linked to chickens (unrelated to the idea of cowardice).
  • Cuteness Overload:
    • The subject of chapter 50, as Tatsu, Miku, and a rival Yakuza go gaga over dogs.
    • This is Torii's general reaction to cats.
  • Dark Horse Victory: Despite the three former Yakuza giving their all to win, the Halloween costume contest in chapter 39 is won by a little girl called Yuuko, one of the entrants who got skipped over.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Defied; no one wants to follow Tatsu's ideas of how he should be "punished" for his mistakes.
    • When Tatsu learns that he accidentally bought his wife a box set of an anime that she already has, he tries to commit yubitsume. Panicking, Miku pacifies him by hitting him hard enough to drop the knife (and send him flying out the window).
    • When Tatsu accidentally walks in the women's locker room at the gym, he tells one of the women he works out with that he's ready for his punishment and that she should tie him up and leave him in the mountains or throw him in the ocean with cement shoes on. The women, understanding that it was a mistake, just call him a silly-billy and conclude that yoga suits him.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Tatsu and Tora's search for tapioca is presented like they're drug dealers sourcing and selling a new drug.
    • Torii sneaking away and indulging in a cat café is treated as if she is hiding a visit to a brothel.
    • Tatsu and Masa collecting neighborhood association dues is presented like they're collecting protection money, complete with terrified "victims".
    • Tatsu trying to get his hands on Yakmil Y is treated like he's an addict trying to get his latest fix.
  • Dogs Are Dumb: Elizabeth the dog got her leash tangled around her doghouse chasing a butterfly.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: When a yakuza who has a grudge against Tatsu tries to attack him, Tatsu swaps said man's guns with a pair of mittens he just picked up at the store. The man is then suddenly thrown into a flashback of his mom buying him mittens when he was a kid. He promptly calms down and looks blissful and at peace.
    Mom (flashback): We are so poor, so this is all I can really buy you. I'm sorry.
    Yakuza (present day): ...I miss you, Mom!
  • Evil Desires Innocence: Tatsu was a brutal thug and a feared member of the yakuza. Then Miku finds him injured and carries him to safety. Cue a weirdly sweet and romantic series which opens with Tatsu having already reformed and swearing off his yakuza ways, but still carrying out things to help his wife in typical yakuza fashion.
  • Face of a Thug: Tatsu looks unintentionally scary enough that his every attempt to smile or appear friendly often unnerves normal civilians at best.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: In the live-action, a robber ends up crashing the PTA Halloween party. Tatsu (possibly unintentionally) makes the robber run into the fist of the terrified PTA president. He seems happy to let the other guy take the credit.
  • Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job: Tatsu eventually meets other former Yakuza living honest lives, but it's not by choice for them. Torajiro's group disbanded after Tatsu wiped them out while he was in prison, so Tora's forced to sell crepes in a food truck to get by. Hibari Torii's clan also disbanded after her husband passed away, so she and a few of her former subordinates now work at a grocery store.
  • Fictional Video Game: Animal Bossing: New Turf is a Yakuza-themed version of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. One of Volume 10's bonus chapters shows what it looks like in play.
  • Food Porn: Whenever Tatsu cooks (which is pretty much every second chapter), it results in detailed, hunger-inducing shots of the food in question.
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: Chapter 33 features Tatsu's... distinctive take on Japanese folk tale Momotarō as told to a group of children.
  • Fun with Homophones: The main location of the story is the fictional Katagi (堅木, literally "hardwood") city, which is pronounced the same as "honest people" or "non-yakuza" (堅気).
  • Genius Bruiser: As a househusband, the formidable Tatsu turns out to be highly knowledgeable about cooking, crafting, cleaning, home remedies, and a variety of other subjects.
  • Genre Savvy: In one omake, Miku becomes a Magical Girl Warrior, and starts pointing out where they're going wrong from the usual setup.
  • Gourmet Pet Food: With the help of some of the neighborhood ladies, Tatsu whips up a gourmet clam chowder and chicken bowl for his old yakuza boss's dog while they're at the park.
  • Handmade Is Better: In her introductory chapter, Torajiro's sister Koharu arrives in town selling premade donuts from a well-known franchise in a deliberate attempt to hurt her brother's food-truck business. Tatsu helps Tora win against his sister by making his own donut, which tastes much better than Koharu's donuts.
    Tatsu: It's about engaging all five of your customer's senses. You might be able to keep your costs low, but factories that focus on quantity over quality aren't going to be able to do that well.
  • Happily Married: Tatsu and Miku clearly love each other very much, with Miku never batting an eye at Tatsu's antics and Tatsu being willing to do absolutely anything for his wife.
  • High School AU: A two-part omake in volume 3 features Tatsu as a teacher and the rest of the cast as his homeroom.
  • Horrible Housing: Downplayed with the cheap flat Masu scouts out in chapter 92. It's a nice enough place, but it's so cheap because there's blood on the floor where someone's died, bullet holes in one of the windows, a yakuza office nearby, and a minor haunting. Everyone involved being yakuza or ex-yakuza, they're not fazed in the slightest.
  • House Husband: Tatsu takes care of house duties while Miku works as a designer. Tatsu takes his role very, very seriously.
  • I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Torii's reaction to a cat she comes across in a cat cafe who reminds her of her dead husband is to pick him up and try to take him with her as she leaves.
  • Incest Subtext: Tora and his sister Koharu. While none of their interactions so far can really be seen as romantic, they usually appear together to serve as a parallel to Tatsu and his wife Miku (with Tora and Tatsu getting into petty bickering while the ladies get exasperated by their antics), making them seem more like a couple than probably intended.
  • Insomnia Episode: In chapter 53, Tatsu has difficulty sleeping and tries various methods to help him fall asleep, like counting yakuza.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Tatsu and his fellow housewife friends who frequently go out for meals to chat or do group activities like yoga or volleyball together.
  • Lactose over Liquor: A variation in chapter 93, which features a yakuza bar that serves milk like it's liquor - it's not actually alcoholic, they just treat it like they would liquor.
  • Lethal Chef: Miku and her dad, to Tatsu's horror. Just the way they cook is wildly dangerous as they swing their knives like cleavers, and if it wasn't for her mom salvaging the food, it would be inedible.
  • Like a Son to Me: Tatsu's father-in-law really wants to treat him as if he were his own child, since he never had a son. It's hard, given he doesn't have much in common with Tatsu. Eventually they give playing catch a try, with tentatively positive results.
  • Limited Animation: The anime uses very minimal animation, looking more in the vein of a motion comic than a fully animated series (the anime's director, Chiaki Kon, used a very similar approach to Back Street Girls, another anime she directed). This was a deliberate choice by the anime's producer.
  • Low Count Gag: Immortal Tatsu and a rival Yakuza decide to settle their differences in a duel. A Cooking Duel, specifically, with the winner decided by how many people like the Instagram photos of their food. Tatsu wins with a single like from Miku.
  • Major Injury Underreaction:
    • While playing catch with his father-in-law, Tatsu throws the ball so hard the other man flies back several meters and crashes into a tree. Despite bleeding from a head injury, the man's only response is to compliment his throw.
    • Tatsu also gets hit with a plank in one chapter, only to marvel at the quality of the wood.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Most of the humor derives from Immortal Tatsu approaching mundane things like "trying out a new kitchen appliance" and "shopping with the wife" like he's still a hardcore Yakuza enforcer on the prowl. He can even make a cooking contest feel like a duel to the death.
  • Neighborhood-Friendly Gangsters: The yakuza we see, even the still-active ones, don't seem to do much illegal activity (though that could just be because they do it offscreen). The bosses often seem more interested in their pets (see the dog park chapter). In real life this is a real concern when the police try to bust the Yakuza because while they are indeed violent gangsters they also value and legitimately protect their community.
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: Tatsu frequently works at various part time jobs depending on the chapter, such as being a waiter or working at a cat café.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • What happened that caused Tatsu to retire from the Yakuza is not made clear. What little we do know hints that, whatever happened, it most likely ended with him being badly injured, and that Miku came across him right afterwards.
    • It's also unknown what happened to get Tatsu to marry Miku. She implies that he's actually become calmer since they first met, so how she managed to convince him to marry her is a mystery for the ages. Averted in the live action series, where it was shown how they met each other and ended up as a couple.
  • No Sympathy: Subverted when a neighbor's kid accidentally breaks Miku's favorite toy. While Tatsu looks scary, he merely tells the kid that he knows it was an accident, but they have to cover up the crime before Miku gets home. That means burying the "dead body". Unfortunately, Miku comes just as they pat the dirt and quickly deduces what happened.
  • Not What It Looks Like: When Tatsu's trying out his new roomba, it startles Gin who knocks over a bottle of wine onto Tatsu. Then, the chairwoman of the women's association walks in to meet Tatsu who is lying on the floor and covered in what they think is blood.
  • Occidental Otaku: One of Tatsu's neighbors is Bob, an African American who immigrated to Japan because he loves Japanese culture.
  • Oddly Small Organization: In the live-action, the Tenjakukai (Tatsu's old gang) has been reduced to the Boss, his wife, and Masa. They had more, but after the first episode most of their gang defected to rival organizations after a combination of their rivals striking a deal with a huge syndicate and the Boss being arrested after a misunderstanding with the police and Tatsu.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations:
    • While talking with his other housewife acquaintances, Tatsu started reminiscing about his old yakuza life and how brutal it was. Since the other housewives were complaining about their husbands, they all naturally thought he was talking about his current life with Miku. Cue hilarious Imagine Spots on their end.
    • Also used frequently in the live-action where Tatsu will unintentionally cause misunderstandings due to his talk being misinterpreted as Yakuza slang.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When test driving a car with Miku, Tatsu starts having flashbacks and seeing passersby as potential assassins, eventually having to pull over and get out. Unlike most times in the manga, this is not Played for Laughs.
  • Parody Episode: Chapter 84 is a parody of typical Japanese food media, with someone rhapsodizing over the food they're eating... except in this case the person in question is a 5-year-old girl.
  • Piss-Take Rap: In the Live-Action Adaptation, Masa accidentally goes to a rap show hosted by a girl he likes. She spots him in the crowd and calls him up onstage to Battle Rap her. Masa is terrible at it, and is only saved by the sudden arrival of Tatsu, who is a surprisingly good rapper, though all his raps are about househusband stuff.
  • Police Brutality: Nagai's partner suggests that instead of arresting Tatsu for apparently growing drugs, they should just beat the shit out of him. His face when he says it unnerves Nagai.
  • Real Men Wear Pink:
    • Downplayed. Tatsu likes housekeeping and being a house husband, but his approach is more like cleaning a crime scene or completing missions for the clan. His aprons are the only things that can pass as cute.
    • Continuing along those lines, when he learns flower arranging, he uses it to convey the experiences of being Yakuza, like the violence of the moment an excavator crashes through a rival office's wall, or the sense of fleeting life as your brothers-in-arms' lives slip away around you in a botched raid.
    • The few glimpses we see of Tatsu in his former life imply that in addition to being a brutal enforcer he also took care of the domestic side of feeding and cleaning up after his boss
  • Red Baron:
    • Immortal Tatsu — he got this nickname after busting ten rival yakuza's heads with a pipe in their headquarters.
    • There's also Bareknuckle Tora (Steelfist Tiger in the official translation).
  • Retired Badass:
    • Tatsu himself. Most of the comedy is derived from him leaving the lifestyle but not the ways of the Yakuza, leading him to do things like treating a roomba like a new recruit to the gang.
    • Tora, a rival yakuza who was considered to be one of the few people who could match him, now runs a creperie. He's not exactly happy about his retirement, mainly because he was forced into it after Tatsu put his gang out of business while he was in prison.
    • Also Hibari, the matriarch of the Torii family, who retired from the business after her husband died a year earlier.
  • Retired Monster: Tatsu to the letter. His comments about his past life and his known exploits show he was involved in some very messy things, and there's a good reason why the sight of him makes current Yakuza members tremble and acquiesce.
  • The Rival: Tatsu encounters Torajiro, another ex-Yakuza of a rival gang. Torajiro was called "Bare-Knuckle Tora" ("Steelfist Tiger" in the official translation) and was deemed to belong to the same level as Tatsu. Tora also happens to be a Cloud Cuckoo Lander and a crepe master.
  • Running Gag:
    • Tatsu being stopped in the street by the same two cops for looking shifty.
    • Tatsu referring to mundane everyday items (like flour, oxygen bleach, and powdered drink mix) as 'white powder' (ie, cocaine). Masa lampshades it at one point.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Tatsu and Miku. He is a stone cold ex-criminal while she is a career-oriented businesswoman with a sizeable otaku streak. Best shown when both go shopping together, with him being frugal and her being more willing to splurge money.
  • Serious Business:
    • As exemplified by Tatsu being more concerned about missing out on a sale than the armed Yakuza goons trying to shoot him to death, calling the former "Not for the faint of heart."
    • He also is extremely serious about cleanliness. When visiting a former subordinate whose apartment is a mess, Tatsu not only punches him for the mess, but also berates the man for throwing clothes in the wash without pre-treating them.
    • He and another former yakuza, whose gang he put out of business while the guy was in jail, decide to settle their differences with a duel. A cooking duel. And the winner is decided by who gets more likes on a picture of what they made that they post to an Instagram knock-off. Cue Mundane Made Awesome, with narration by Masa.
    • Miku's father likens playing catch to a serious heart-to-heart conversation between the participants, which is why he's disappointed that Tatsu keeps running the ball back to him rather than throwing it back. When Tatsu throws back the ball so hard the father is bleeding the latter is smiling and praising Tatsu for his slider.
  • Shout-Out: In an omake for volume 4, a yakuza boss who loves his dog wraps her in a blanket and puts her in his bike basket. A car suddenly pulls up in front of him, but he angles his bike so he goes over the car's hood and flies through the air, like Elliot and ET.
  • Show Within a Show:
    • PoliCure (a very obvious Shout-Out to Pretty Cure) is Miku's favorite anime — she has all the seasons on DVD and a prized figurine of the character "Cobalt Police," who is specifically from the CrimeCatch PoliCure season. After the release of the anime adaptation, a real OP was made for PoliCure.
    • The Manly Man movie series is a reference to the It's Tough Being a Man (Otoko wa Tsurai yo) movie series.
  • Sick Episode: In chapter 42, Tatsu gets the flu, visualising it as yakuza flu viruses fighting his white blood cells (which all look like him).
  • Skewed Priorities: Given a choice between defending himself from Yakuza out to kill him, and getting to a massive department store sale on time, Tatsu will prioritize the latter.
  • Slasher Smile: Tatsu's smile always suggests he's about to brutally murder someone.
  • Spooky Photographs: In chapter 95, Miku and Tatsu get an old camera that takes photographs of ghostly yakuza who weren't there when the photos were taken.
  • Super-Strength: Both Tatsu and Miku are capable of sending someone flying several meters without much effort. Universally Played for Laughs.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: While walking and talking with his middle-aged housewife friends at the gym, Tatsu accidentally follows them into the women's changing rooms. Rather than enter Pervert Revenge Mode, they all understand it was an accident and wave off his apologies.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Tatsu asks a grocery store clerk if they have the "good white stuff, nice and granulated."
    Grocer: (blank expression) We do not.
    Miku: He means flour, I think.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich: In the third episode of the Live-Action Adaptation, Tatsu orders a coffee and Halloween pancakes, and spends several minutes taking pictures of it. He then leaves the cafe with Masa and the waitress, without taking a bite.
  • Tiger Versus Dragon: The motif is referenced with the appearance of Tatsu's old yakuza rival Bareknuckle Tora; "Tatsu" and "Tora" mean "Dragon" and "Tiger" respectively.
  • Trauma Button: When Tatsu and Miku visit a car dealership and go for a test drive, Tatsu begins seeing a crossing guard, business man, and old man crossing the street as assassins lying in wait to attack him and his wife while they're trapped in their car. It's played completely seriously, and Tatsu eventually pulls over, gets out, and tells Miku that he'll "have to pass on this deal."
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: 5-year-old An has a habit of parodying this, talking like she's already middle-aged and has the life experiences to match.
  • Wrong Bathroom Incident: While exercising with other women, Tatsu goes to get changed into his gym clothes but accidentally walks into the women's changing room. While the women understand that this was an accident, Tatsu throws himself into a wall and slams his face into the floor as punishment for his mistake.
  • Yubitsume: Tatsu attempts to cut his pinky off as an apology after realizing the gift he bought his wife was one she already had. Miku sends him flying before he can bring the knife down.


Alternative Title(s): Gokushufudou, Way Of The House Husband


Way of the Househusband

If this were a less wholesome series, those women would've all started violently chucking items at Tatsu while screaming their heads off!

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / AccidentalPervert

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