Takumi-kun 3: Tales Out of Season

October 21, 2008

Let me try to go back to my Halloween pledge with a couple different books tonight.  This one was only incidentally seasonal, but since it did have a ghost story, I’m going to go ahead and say I planned it.

I haven’t read the first two books in the Takumi-kun series, and I only read this one out of order because I had heard they were mostly one-shots.  This seems to be the case, and while there was some initial confusion while I sort of placed all the characters at the beginning of the ghost story/mystery, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t missing much by not reading the other volumes.  I plan on going back for them, though, because the main couple had a really cute relationship, not to mention steady, and having a plot that didn’t hinge on a love triangle was nice for a change.  It’s sort of like Make Love and Peace, it’s more a story about stuff happening to the couple rather than a story about the couple, which is unusual, I think, at least in the shoujo manga I’ve read.

So the story starts off with an explanation that the school that Gui and Takumi-kun go to has a haunted clock tower where someone fell, possibly while making out.  While sneaking into the school, Takumi and Gui are caught by a teacher, and they get sucked into an elaborate blackmail plot trying to separate said teacher and a student he’s in a relationship with, and the ghost and love story sort of mix and go back in time to mingle with the ghost story from earlier in the chapter.  Photography and Gui’s wealth figure into the mix, and while it’s not a very satisfying mystery, it was still fun to read.  And there were even real ghosts and everything.

The mystery takes up the first 2/3rds of the volume, and the last story is a Christmas story (the title, “Tales Out of Season,” comes from the fact that Takumi mentions it was too late in the year for ghost stories since apparently hauntings happen in July and the story is set in October, but whatever, that there’s a Christmas story is just a bonus).  It’s a pretty typical shounen ai story about Gui getting a cold and Takumi angsting about his Christmas gift and what kind of relationship Gui has with someone else and being separated from Gui for the winter break, etc.  Not too gripping, but again, I like the cute relationship the two share, so this story was a nice little bit of fluff for that.

In my personal BL scale, this series passed.  While the series does feature an underage couple, nothing more than a kiss transpired, and the kisses themselves were pretty cute.  More was heavily, HEAVILY implied, but never shown.  I don’t mind as long as I don’t have to see the underage stuff, so there you go.  I’m happy.

And on a side note, do you ever see acronyms that you have to say out loud in your head the long way every time you see them?  Like… mm, I don’t know, saying “in my opinion” every time you see imo in a sentence?  I was having this problem with Gui.  “GUI” is a graphical user interface, so everytime I saw Gui’s name, the phrase “graphical user interface” ran through my head instead.  It was maddening, but entirely my own fault for being such a geek.

There’s nothing terribly deep or engrossing about Tales Out of Season, but it was a pretty fun read, and I enjoyed the ghost story aspect as well as the Christmas story at the end.  The cute, steady relationship between the two main characters actually has me wishing for more, especially since I see the first volume is about how they got together.  Oh, I’ll definitely be coming back for more.

This was a review copy provided by Tokyopop.

7 Responses to “Takumi-kun 3: Tales Out of Season”

  1. jun Says:

    Since there’s such a glut of BL about now, I always wait until I’ve read a review of something before investigating it. And I don’t think I’ve seen anyone else talking about the Takumi-kun series! It does sound pretty cute.

    For my personal Halloween reading, I’m thinking Ghost Hunt, Sugar Sugar Rune, and Cowa!. I’ll not be able to finish all extant volumes of the first two, probably, but I can at least get started.

  2. Oliver Says:

    Sorry to inform you that BLU has dropped the Takumi-kun series after volume 3 :(

  3. Connie Says:

    Oliver: Bummer. I noticed that the first volume apparently never came out here, but I didn’t realize the others had stopped coming out.

    Jun: It’s not something you should rush out and buy, but it is great light reading. I’m going to see if I can get the first volume next time I place an order at justmanga. And I’m really, really looking forward to reading the last volume of Sugar Sugar Rune! I just got it the other day, and I’ll probably be reading it tomorrow. I’m really curious about the ending, even though it’s kind of obvious how some of the more major plot points are going to pan out.

  4. Marfisa Says:

    Apparently the series got a lot more upbeat after volume one. That volume was so angsty and full of creepy backstory about a rather twisted previous relationship Takumi had been forced into before coming to the school where he met Gui that I never even bothered to look at any of the subsequent volumes in the store. If you’re reading “Takumi-kun” for the cute, heartwarming Gui/Takumi relationship, it might be better to skip volume one entirely, since the way they get together is less meeting cute than meeting (psychologically) hurt-comfort.

  5. Connie Says:

    Wow, really? I wouldn’t have expected that. I wonder if the second volume is closer to the first or the third. Maybe I’ll read them backwards.

  6. jun Says:

    The head dude of Tokyopop has claimed that no series has officially been cancelled, just profoundly delayed. So… don’t hold your breath, but there might be a teensy sliver of hope.

  7. Connie Says:

    That’s right, it hadn’t occurred to me that this could be one of the series that has to weather the culling process. Eh, I’ll keep an eye out, hopefully more volumes will come out eventually.

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