In our world there are objects that go by the name of "Relics". Not antiques or items of classical art, but mysterious things like a stone that brings luck, a doll whose hair grows night after night, or a mirror that shows your future appearance.
The world is big and so there happens to be a shop that offers such suspicious items — the Tsukumodo Antique Shop (FAKE). But as the name suggests, only fakes can be found there. To make matters worse, the shop assistant is a girl whose attendance couldn't be blunter, so the store hardly has any customers at all. However, from time to time a real Relic appears and makes things interesting.
Very well, now let us talk about those who have obtained one of these mysterious items.
“Antiques: extraordinary items crafted by ancestors or magicians and blessed with supernatural powers.”
Tsukumodo’s story revolves around the daily activities of the Tsukumodo Antique Shop (Fake). The main cast is Settsu, the shop owner and the shop’s only two employees Tokiya and Saki. Each volume of Tsukumodo consists of 4 chapters which are short stories; they are mostly about how ordinary people get their hands on the antiques and are swallowed by the antique’s power. The goal of the trio from Tsukumodo is to retrieve the antiques and reduce the chaos done.
What made Tsukumodo Antique Shop a unique experience:
1) I fairly enjoyed reading Tsukumodo
as short stories. The “antagonists” in each chapter has their charms and are quite memorable; they are not always twisted or insane like the typical villans we see everyday. They think logically like normal people, some of them pursues the antique’s powers in order to bring happiness to the people they care about, which I think is rather touching. The antiques themselves are also creative; it varies from a pendant that could manipulate fate itself, to a wallet that gives the owner inconvenience. There are even some battles involving antiques later on that are pretty intense.
2) The author dedicates every 4th chapters in the first five volumes of the light novels to write stories that focus on Tokiya and Saki. Though they seem like fillers, these chapters give the two a great degree of character development. Also, a number of foreshadowing is planted in these chapters, which has effects on the main plot. I really enjoyed those chapters; the interactions between Tokiya and Saki are fun to read.
3) The switching of character's perspectives from time to time is also a unique concept. In most light novels, we are only given the chance to be in the protagonist’s perspective. Tsukumodo switches from Tokiya perspective from time to time, sometimes to the “antagonist” or even Saki’s perspective. This is beneficial to Saki, as she is an emotionless character; we get to understand her true feelings towards Tokiya.
From chapter 1 onwards, we are thrown into the situation immediately and never get to know why Tokiya and Saki work at Tsukumodo. It is not until the main plot kicks in and the truth between the twos relationship is revealed.
Tokiya is the protagonist of the story; he has an artificial eye antique called “Vision” which allows him to predict death. He is a quick thinker as he deals with the out of control antique situations constantly. He has special feeling towards Saki. Saki on the other hand is a complicated character. By appearance, she is an emotionless character filled with mysteries. I loved the parts when her past was revealed, explaining why she developed the emotionless personality. Not only does it make sense, it was extremely emotional and I sympathized for what she went through.
After reading the first 6 volumes, I saw Tsukumodo Antique Shop as a collection of high quality short stories filled with twist and turns and memorable characters. I never would have guessed how the last volume brought the story to a whole new level. Volume 7 has intense battles, unexpected plot twists, deep emotional scenes. Once I started reading I could not put it down before I finished it. It is really satisfying to see the short stories are all connected to the main plot in one way or the other. All in all, Tsukumodo is a well thought out mystery story.