- 付喪堂骨董店―”不思議”取り扱います” — “Tsukumodou Kottouten – ‘Fushigi’ Toriatsukaimasu” — Tsukumodo Antique Shop: We Handle “Mysteriosities”
- The novel: Amazon.jp — Books Kinokuniya — YesAsia
- The fan translation (by EusthEnoptEron): Baka-Tsuki
- MAL Entry — Forum
(Note: This site’s central focus is on light novels officially translated and published in English, but at times I will post reviews for stories that have only been translated by fans. Please support the Japanese books that don’t get English releases.)
I quite enjoyed Akihiko Odou’s first volume of Tsukumodo Antique Shop, so I was looking forward to reading some of the following entries in the seven-volume series (four of which I believe have been fan translated at this time). Just like the first volume, this second book includes four short stories that each deal with a different Relic–a supernatural item that tends to get used in such a manner that it leads to a great trial for the owner. While Tokiya is the main protagonist, these stories generally follow the secondary characters who come across the Relic of the episode.
The first story, “Silence,” is easily my favorite of this volume. In it, a composer obtains a mirror that turns a room completely silent, which allows him to focus on the music he pieces together in his mind. The characterization for this story is great, and the ending is especially memorable. The second story, “Self,” works with an interesting setup that would feel right at home on The Twilight Zone. A high school boy obtains a mask which can create a perfect copy of himself when placed on a puppet. It’s a premise that feels familiar as the boy has his clone do all the chores and obligations of life, but there is a good twist for this story that spices things up nicely. The third story, “Eyes of Death,” was one I didn’t particularly care for. A fortune teller wears glasses that allow her to peer into the lives of anyone she makes eye contact with, but the plot goes in a strange and action-focused direction I felt was out of place for Tsukumodo. The fourth and final story, “Makeup,” was much like the fourth story of the first volume in that it was about Saki and her relationship with Tokiya. After a camera Relic reveals a less-than-glamorous look at her future appearance, Saki dives into the world of makeup and skin care… and I’ll let you find out for yourself how that goes, ha ha.
Overall I think the first volume had a more solid lineup of stories, but those who enjoyed it will still find things to like about this follow-up volume. I think the translation for this volume could have used some editing though, as there were more grammar and spelling errors than I would have liked, along with sections that felt like they could have flowed a bit better. There also seemed to be a lot more “colorful” language this time around, which also felt out of place for Tsukumodo. For another point I didn’t care for, I have to mention the character Towako-san (the owner of the antique shop), who I feel has become increasingly difficult to like. Before I might have likened her somewhat to the mysterious Yuuko of xxxHolic, but in this volume she just seemed constantly mean to poor Tokiya.
Regardless of these nitpicks, I do intend to continue reading this series. The general tone for Tsukumodo is unique, I like most of the concepts the author plays around with, and I am anxious to see what becomes of Tokiya and Saki–both of whom are still very likable characters.
Cho’s Rating: Recommended