When we last checked in with In the Clear Moonlit Dusk, we saw Yoi and Ichimura take a trip to Kobe with some of their friends. During this trip, the two got even closer and opened up about some of the issues they’d been having as a new couple. Now it’s time to take a look at Volume 6 and find out how the story is progressing.
As we reunite with our cast, we find that the summer break is coming to an end, but since making the trip to Kobe, there hasn’t been an opportunity for Yoi and Ichimura to get together. This is partly because Yoi stuffed her schedule full with working at her family restaurant, tutoring and helping her friends with their summer homework. Still, she can’t help but feel lonely and wish to see her boyfriend.
Luckily for Yoi, Ichimura does come to eat at the restaurant after a while but acts as though he’s only come for the food and not to see her! He’s simply embarrassed that Yoi’s father is there so doesn’t want to make a big deal of his visit, but Yoi can’t help but feel saddened by his attitude. Still, he invites her over to his place once she has a spare moment in her schedule and Yoi promises to get in touch as soon as she’s free. Just knowing she has the open invitation to see her boyfriend whenever she’s free makes Yoi feel a lot better about the remainder of the holiday period.
Unfortunately, when Yoi does end up with some free time (due to her father falling ill and closing the restaurant), our heroine is invited out by part-time coworker Takuto. Having promised to help him find a gift for his little sister, Yoi reasons that this isn’t the right time to turn him down in favour of Ichimaru.
As we saw back in Volume 4, Takuto holds romantic feelings of his own for Yoi. While he completely understands that she’s unlikely to reciprocate them due to being with Ichimaru, he finds himself struggling on their afternoon together. In the end, Takuto confesses and while he’s turned down, this sets off a chain of events that’s sure to cause trouble for our heroine. Especially when she doesn’t tell Ichimura about what’s happened!
While usually a secondary character confessing their love to the main character would be a source of drama, mangaka Mika Yamamori handles it swiftly. There’s no cliffhanger of Yoi wondering what to do or stringing Takuto along, it’s a thoughtful scene of him conveying his emotions and her accepting them but rejecting him. And I think at this stage of the series it’s more than fair that Takuto be given this time to resolve his storyline.
And I think we can better appreciate Takuto as a character because of this. Even if he knows he has no chance of being with Yoi romantically, he still wants to be her friend and prevent any awkwardness while being true to himself. And he doesn’t want to see her hurt by Ichimura either, so willingly steps in later on in the volume when he sees Ichimaru hanging out with another woman (a childhood friend) when Yoi’s not around.
There’s a lot of tension between the two boys right now as Ichimura already suspects Takuto likes Yoi even before the confession, but I hope in time they’ll become friends and good support for one another. At the very least, Takuto serves as a good support for Yoi and that’s important when she often has no one else to turn to. Meanwhile, we readers can appreciate him for being something more than a simple romantic rival. Yamamori has always been good at developing the whole cast in their various series, so I’m pleased to see that remains true here as well. After all, Takuto could have been just as easily sidelined in Volume 4.
In the Clear Moonlit Dusk Volume 6 comes to the West thanks to Kodansha and continues to be translated wonderfully by Sawa Matsueda Savage with lettering by Lys Blakeslee. For this release, we’re treated to a beautiful colour page and there are also some translation notes at the back of the book.
Volume 7 of the series is due for a release in early July, after which we’re caught up with the Japanese releases. Thankfully, the series is returning to Japanese magazine Dessert this month after a 5-month hiatus, so hopefully, it won’t be too long until this is consistently being released in English again afterwards.
Overall, In the Clear Moonlit Dusk Volume 6 puts the spotlight on romantic rival Takuto and gives him some ample development. As usual, mangaka Mika Yamamori is handling these storylines with the sensitivity they deserve, not allowing them to become overly melodramatic and instead reflecting on real life where emotions are a complicated thing. A highly recommended read, as always!
Our review copy from Kodansha was supplied by Diamond Book Distributors UK.