A popular trend in manga right now is monster girls, but what about monster fathers? In the latest release from publisher Seven Seas we find out what happens when your mother gets remarried – to a unicorn in My Father is a Unicorn!
16-year-old Uno Isseki is shocked when his mother reveals that she has gotten remarried to a unicorn (who can transform into a human) called Masaru and things only get worse when she’s suddenly called away on a business trip! Now Isseki is left to get to grips with his stepfather which is difficult enough without the added problem of him being a unicorn (or a unicorn-pegasus hybrid, as Masaru explains).
On the first day of Isseki’s mother being away, he’s fed hay for breakfast and interrogated by Otogawa (the chairman of the tenants association), who has come to complain about all the noise caused by Masaru in his unicorn form. On top of teaching his new stepfather how to deal with humans, Isseki begins to wonder if there’s any place for his new parent in their world.
Rumours quickly spread through the apartment complex that Masaru is a bit weird and everyone keeps their distance. None of this is helped by Otogawa keeping a close eye on the two, suspecting them of keeping a pet in their apartment and being frustrated by Masaru’s inability to take care of responsibilities around the complex. However, despite her cold exterior, perhaps Otogawa just wants to help out the new resident…
Although this is a single volume manga, author Monaka Suzuki has managed to craft a fairly complete story. By the end of the last chapter, I was satisfied with where Isseki and Masaru’s relationship had gone. I don’t think we spend long enough with these characters to accomplish a truly complete conclusion, but I wasn’t left with unanswered questions either.
Suzuki’s artwork is attractive and playful, with a lot of the comedic elements being visual rather in the dialogue. They also convincingly draw Masaru as a unicorn as well as human or halfway between the forms (when he’s nervous, he has a tendency to transform his bottom half back into that of a unicorn).
The backgrounds for the book tend to be empty or simply quite bland, but this helps the reader focus on the characters who are expressive and full of life. I especially love some of the expressions Isseki has when his stepfather is doing something ridiculous. The artwork could be considered a little rough around the edges in places, but I was personally quite fond of it.
The only real negative for this book is the fact that it’s just one volume. I certainly wouldn’t have minded seeing more of Masaru’s adventures as a step-father and I would have liked to have seen more of Isseki’s mother. Even if it doesn’t feel like it’s lacking, when all’s said and done, there are plenty of ‘what if’ situations I would have enjoyed reading.
As previously mentioned this release comes to the West thanks to Seven Seas, who have released it both digitally and in paperback. The book has been translated by Nova Skipper and the translation reads well.
Overall, My Father is a Unicorn is an enjoyable comedy about the difficulties of being a step-father (as well as being a unicorn). While some readers may be disappointed by the lack of continuation, many will still enjoy this heartwarming tale about family.