Last month, I reported on a fascinating series called Shimanami Tasogare. In Volume 1, we met Tasuku, a young man who hadn’t, as of yet, come to terms with his homosexuality. When he meets a bunch of older gay folks working on a cat shelter, he finds a cause to volunteer his time for, and a place to open his heart.
In Shimanami Tasogare, Volume 2, (しまなみ誰そ彼) Tasuku gets to see what self-loathing looks like from the outside. One of the people who visits the consulting room is a young kid still in elementary school. Misora visits to change into female clothes and life. But Misora never seems particularly happy and is clearly struggling with what puberty is doing to her. And, she has an ugly tendency to lash out whenever she feels that Tasuku gets too close.
Tasuku is starting think about his own feelings more honestly, and has now realized that he has a crush on an attractive classmate, Kiku-kun. Misora is not at all kind about the bits of information Tasuku shares. And every time Tasuku feels as if he’s gotten a little closer to Misora, she attacks him with a vitriol with which – we can see – she means to scar herself. The volume ends on a particularly harsh note, with Misora attacking Tasuku in public in front of the guy he likes at a festival.
Tasuku retreats to to the unfinished shelter, to lay the shards of his emotions next to the broken beams of the building. The strong visual imaging this series gives to Tasuku’s emotions are just stellar.
Meanwhile, we are led to believe that Tasuku’s secret is out to a classmate we don’t know whether we can trust or not.
It’s an uncomfortable ending to an uncomfortable volume filled with the damage self-loathing does to one’s self and others, without a moral of the story to pretty it up. I’m compelled to read it nonetheless and am very interested to see where it leads.
Art – 8
Story – 9
LGBTQ – 10
Service – 0
Overall – 9
The mysterious Dareka-san functions as a kind of guardian angel but, as a result, I really don’t want to know anything about her. I feel as if we’re going to learn it anyway. ^_^