Our Dreams at Dusk: Shimanami Tasogare, Vol. 3

By Yuhki Kamatani. Released in Japan by Shogakukan, serialized in the magazine Hibana. Released in North America by Seven Seas. Translated by Jocelyne Allen. Adapted by Ysabet MacFarlane.

“You have to learn to let it go.” A sentence that has been uttered by a lot of people over the years. Sometimes it’s correct. But sometimes it’s also sending the wrong message, and repressing things is not the answer. The third volume of Our Dreams at Dusk has two parallel narratives, and neither of them involve Misora, who after the events of the last book does not appear at all. Instead, we see Tasuku feeling guilty but also returning to work on the house project with the rest of the Cat Clutter folks. Unfortunately, Tsubaki is there as well, and is giving Tasuku some very mixed signals (which, as becomes clear later on, are mixed in his own mindset as well.) Meanwhile, an old classmate of Utsumi’s shows up and tries to be as well-meaning as possibly, in all the negative senses of the word. It’s upsetting everyone else, so why is Utsumi letting her continue to try to be “helpful”? Can Tasuku move forward after seeing how Utsumi deals with things?

Tasuku’s narrative is fraught with highs and lows. Tsubaki is working with him, and being nice, and seeming close and friendly. But he’s also using some homophobic slurs when describing the group to others. A very telling point comes when he and Tasuku are out at the local dockyards, which Tasuku briefly imagines as a date till Tsubaki invites two girls from the volleyball team to come along as well. As they have a meal, Tsubaki once again uses a slur to describe the group, only to be stopped short, not by Tasuku, but by one of the two girls, whose friend’s older sister is married to a trans man. Once Tsubaki realizes his words upset people he knows, he apologizes. Tsubaki himself is upset at his own feelings about Tasuku, leading to a confrontation at the end where Tasuku wants Tsubaki, the man he likes, not to hurt other people. It’s very powerful.

Then there’s Utsumi, who has been one of the pillars of strength that Tasuku has been leaning on throughout the manga. Reuniting with Shoko, whose attempts to be sympathetic, understanding, and accepting grate on absolutely everyone around her. But Utsumi is dealing with it with a smile and some kind words… till on a bike ride with Tasuku one day the repressed fury all comes out at once. Being consistently misgendered constantly is NOT something to accept with a shrug, and when Utsumi goes to a lunch with the other girls from that class, he finds that he can’t do this anymore. Shoko’s “you aren’t like other homosexuals” again reminds us that it’s much harder for some people to deal with this when it;s someone they know well, rather than the nebulous other. (I also loved that Shoko’s daughter keeps going to see the Cat Clutter people, even after her mother stops.

We have one more volume to go, and I suspect that it’s going to be dealing with Tchaiko’s past and the wedding. I’m going to miss this series with its stunning visuals and excellent LGTBQ cast.

Did you enjoy this article? Consider supporting us.

Speak Your Mind