Review: Tsukumodo Antique Shop (Vol 1)

(art by Takeshima Satoshi)
(art by Takeshima Satoshi)
  • 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.jpBooks KinokuniyaYesAsia
  • The fan translation (by EusthEnoptEron): Baka-Tsuki
  • MAL EntryForum

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Volume 1
Volume 1

Tsukumodo Antique Shop by Akihiko Odou is an interesting series that deals with a boy named Tokiya Kurusu and a girl named Saki Maino, who work together at an antique shop. Every now and then the shop owner obtains an antique known as a Relic, a supernatural item that causes unusual things to happen to their owners or to those who interact with them. The first volume of the series includes four episodic stories, and there is a different Relic and accompanying set of secondary characters involved in each one. The premise and general tone is somewhat reminiscent of xxxHolic.

There are a couple elements of Tsukumodo Antique Shop that make it stand out, however. One is the author’s use of multiple viewpoint characters, which I felt was used effectively from story to story. In the first story, the viewpoint switches back and forth between Tokiya and the character in possession of a coincidence-enabling Relic, whose identity is cleverly revealed toward the end of the plot. In the second story, the viewpoint switches back to a character who lived hundreds of years prior, which makes for an engaging way to gradually reveal how the mysterious Relic of that story operates. For the third story, the memory-perfecting Relic-owner’s viewpoint is shown to make the reader question what is really going on–which makes for some great plot twists. And lastly, in the fourth story, we are fortunate to get the viewpoint of Saki. This is helpful because she is an odd girl who rarely shows emotion–the fourth story is thus a big help in showing the different sides of her personality, making her a much more memorable character.

The other aspect of the series I greatly appreciated was what I’d term an overarching romance subplot for the two main characters. The first volume simply focuses on establishing the characters and having them gradually get to know each other better, but their interactions turned out to be quite sweet. Tsukumodo Antique Shop ended up much more charming than I expected–particularly in the fourth story, which had less drama or danger for the characters to worry about, and instead offered a more lighthearted (but still character-building) issue for them to deal with.

The translation in this one was good, and all in all the first volume of this series gave a lot to like. I look forward to reading more, and hope readers will give it a look despite lacking an anime or manga counterpart.

Cho’s Rating: Strongly Recommended

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