It’s a confusing time for teenager Tasuku Kaname. He’s been outed as gay at school, or maybe the kids don’t actually know and they’re just teasing him? Whatever it is, Kaname vehemently denies it to his classmates, but he’s also in denial to himself and it’s tearing him apart. Kaname is the epitome of a tortured soul. He has whiplash moments of emotion where he’s subconsciously at peace with himself for an instance, and then realizes he just admitted to being a “disgusting homo” so he’s suddenly back in the stages of denial. It’s his emotional rollercoaster in Our Dreams at Dusk: Shimanami Tasogare which creates the story’s bread and butter.
In just the first few pages Kaname considers ending his life, but after he’s stopped he discovers the Drop-In Center where people are allowed to just hang out and be themselves. The center really reminds me of the online “It Gets Better Campaign,” but instead of a virtual community Kaname’s found what could become his support group complete with a physical location. What I loved best about his discovery is that once he finds the center he’s allowed to just be himself and work things out at his own pace. Nobody steps in to play the obvious mentor. When Kaname first arrived he’d been told that some people at the center are gay, but he doesn’t know who so he’s just going to have to find out. Meanwhile the adults are preoccupied by their non-profit called Cat Clutter which revitalizes old houses. You can tell they’re all comfortable working in each other’s company and it helps to build a relaxed atmosphere which is just what Kaname needs after a stressful school day.
I really do like how the story develops through everyday conversations and tasks. Kaname discovers so much about the people he’s found just by talking with them as they work on rebuilding an old abandoned house. I feel like this is probably a mirror of Kaname’s own personal journey, and I’m sure many people out there can relate to his struggles. I found myself cheering for him when he’s trusted with information that he’s not sure he himself could share just because it came up in conversation! It all felt so natural!
As for character development the story is flushing out the ensemble cast in due time with some notables who, so far, are just hanging out at the center without much backstory. There is one character, however, that I’m not quite sure what to make of and her “name” is Someone-san. Absolutely no one knows her name! I was okay with this in the beginning, but after a while it got harder to believe that, the adults in particular, who have been working with her for what appears to be quite a while, wouldn’t at least investigate who she is and where the money backing the projects is coming from! Plus there are some scenes which I found confusing because there are extra sparkles – think magical girl sparkles – drawn in and then Someone-san appears to just float away. I can’t tell if she’s a ghost with real money or she’s some form of a delusion on Kaname’s part. I’m curious to know more, but at the same time I’d much rather learn more about the rest of the ensemble cast.
Overall, I’ll be really interested to see how things progress for Kaname, and I do hope he gets to the point of loving himself for who he is as he is.
Not only is high schooler Tasuku Kaname the new kid in town, he is also terrified that he has been outed as gay. Just as he’s contemplating doing the unthinkable, Tasuku meets a mysterious woman who leads him to a group of people dealing with problems not so different from his own.Add to CartLearn More