After recently moving to Onomichi, Hiroshima, high school student Tasuku Kaname is thrown into despair at the possibility that he may have been outed for being gay. Convinced his life is over, his despair turns into shock when he sees a woman jump out of a window of a nearby house. Tasuku races to the house in a panic only to discover that it's a public meeting lounge owned by the woman he saw before. Tasuku comes face to face with the woman as she walks past him unharmed, but not before she implies that she had been watching him from afar. Confused, Tasuku follows her up to the top of a steep hill where she offers to briefly listen to what's on his mind. Although Tasuku doesn't go into too much detail, he later accepts her invitation to come to the lounge to meet others with similar troubles.
This is something unique. It's really hard to find something like this, precisely because there are hardly any mangas which deal with homosexuality in a realistic way. To be honest, this is the only one I found.
Because, as you know, being gay is not as simple as it is on yuri/yaoi mangas.
This is about how it feels being gay in the society, about how hard is the process of self-acceptance, about how hard is open with your parents and your friends, especially when your sexuality is not "normal". Also includes issues like bullying and homophobia.
The art is good, the characters are
so realistic and humanized.
Althought there are only five chapters out, they are completely worthwhile. You should read it, you won't find something like this manga.
(I'm sorry if something I wrote was wrong, english isn't my native language)
A very honest, dramatic and engaging portrayal of LGBTQ characters from the perspective of a young boy coming to terms with his attraction to other men, meeting and starting engage with his small town's LGBT community and all the joy and pain this brings.
As an Asian lesbian and someone who is very involved in the LGBTQ community I've never related as much to characters in any other anime/manga or even Western media as much as these characters.
If you want a small but real glimpse into what life is like for LGBTQ people and who they are or you're an LGBTQ person looking to see
an earnest story about your community and yourself I would highly recommend this manga.
This manga is not just unique because it stars a homosexual character, but a provides a glimpse into exactly how this affects his life. While the popularity of Yuri and Yaoi mislead outsiders on Japan’s treatment of LGBT members, in reality Japan is a very conservative place to live. It reflects how our characters can feel betrayed by our friends and our families, how they don’t feel comfortable with expressing or even being themselves. How they can hurt others due to their lack of understanding. So many manga focuses on the theme of “being yourself”, however this manga points out that for many people they
cannot be themselves.
This art is not stellar, but does a great job representing what the characters are feeling through the artwork alone. To provide any examples would be spoiling the manga.
Across the internet, I see a lot of LGBTQ+ anime fans desperately crying out for well-written representation. I'm here to point the big blinking neon sign to this beautiful gem of a manga.
To start, Shimanami Tasogare is a very real, raw telling of what it's like to be queer in Japan. It's authored by Yuhki Kamatani, a *nonbinary* mangaka-- which is incredible in of itself-- who is well-known for some of their previous work, particularly Nabari no Ou (which even itself had just a tad of nice representation). This beautiful piece is by and for the LGBTQ+ community, but I also highly recommend those outside
of the community give it a read for a lot of reasons, especially if you have LGBTQ+ friends, family, or loved ones, or even just someone you know, OR if you consider yourself a fan of the yaoi and/or yuri genres, not because of content, but to give you a bit of insight as to how to act respectfully to real life LGBTQ+ people and to put into perspective the way they *really* treat the community in Japan.
For those of us in the community, it gives a no-holds-barred, viscerally relatable experience. No matter where you stand in the big rainbow, you'll feel a sense of closeness with the people of Anonymous' Lounge. Fair warning, some of the content will probably make you uncomfortable-- they don't hold anything back when it comes to the realism of the homophobia and transphobia some of the characters experience. Nonetheless, you'll find this manga to be the emotional rollercoaster of feelings that you've always wanted, and I guarantee you'll be waiting (im)patiently for the next of the (unfortunately rather slow) updates.
If you're not a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I would still wholeheartedly recommend that you read this, just to do a little bit of learning on how to be more respectful to anyone you may know in the community. I know that especially younger anime fans have an unsettling fetishistic view towards LGBTQ+ people, likely because of yaoi and yuri manga (which, most of the time, are actually harmful to Japanese LGBTQ+ people because it portrays them in a played-up sexual, fetish-y manner). Read this to see the realities of what happens. It also makes a point to showcase how the little things people say and do that don't seem like transgressions can genuinely upset people. I'd particularly like to point to the ramen shop scene and Shouko's interactions with Utsumi for this one. I'm not trying to imply anything mean, but I do think it's good for anyone who would consider themselves an ally to check out for a very realistic walk in the shoes of someone who experiences this on a daily basis.
Kamatani's art is gorgeous, inspiring, and intricately detailed with symbolism and deep meaning. There's so many beautiful pages in this manga that I've lost track. You'll be completely entranced by the beautiful, frame-for-frame recreation of the city of Onomichi, a port city right at the start of the famous Shimanami Kaido, as well as the effort put in by them to discuss the city's issues with vacant, run-down houses making up a very large portion of their buildings. After reading through once or twice-- and yes, I can guarantee you that you'll read it more than once-- you'll probably wanna join Cat Clowder's restoration team too, no matter how adverse you are to physical work.
Overall, this is probably my #1 highest recommended manga of all time. I have very few complaints about it, but because of how utterly beautiful it is I can't even complain about the pretty much once-a-year releases of 3-5 new chapters. It's well worth the wait, even if I'm old and gray by the time it's concluded. Whoever you are out there, I definitely would like to see you reading this manga. Trust me.