We All Could Use a Little Someone-san

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“Tell me anything. I won’t listen, though.”

In this world, we meet all kinds of people who love to converse about all kinds of things. While important, there are those who are unfortunate that don’t have their voices heard as the louder and more open voices overwhelm them. When it comes to a conversation between those two groups, it can go awry. Sometimes, we get told that we need to listen more. But what if listening may not be the right answer?

Reading Our Dreams at Dusk: Shimanami Tasogare has me pondering this as one of its central characters takes pride in just existing and being there for others without being “helpful.” What’s astounding is that this character’s stance on people does end up helping the lives she touches.

The story of Shimanami Tasogare centers around a young man named Tasuku Kaname who fears being outed as gay in his high school.. Ashamed and thinking of suicide, Tasuku makes an attempt and witnesses a woman jumping off the window of her home. He rushes to save her, only to find her alive. Tasuku discovers that the woman, aptly named Someone-san (identified as she/her), is the head of a drop-in center for LGBT+ people who are trying to make something of their lives despite the disapproval of their sexual orientations by the public eye. Someone-san is noted to be a total mystery as she just exists with little-to-no attention paid to her at all.

Someone-san’s famous quote in the series, “Tell me anything. I won’t listen, though.” is something she says to the various characters during their lowest periods. It’s fascinating that she says this as there’s a lot of advice about being a great listener. With regards to mental health, so many of us that have mental …continue reading