First of all I'd like to apologize to people who applied for membership during the last few months - I've been on an unplanned hiatus and in fact took a break from any social media, so I kept you waiting for a while. Sorry!
Well, I'm finally back and right where I left - refreshing old fascinations. ^_^
So continuing the nostalgic mood from my last post, I bring another old story and another long forgotten pair: Haku & Zabuza.
Forgotten, but one of my favorite, as you may remember.
To be specific, it 's not one, but three stories, although so short that even put together they wouldn't make a particulary thick volume. This couple never was very popular and now, years after their appearance in "Naruto", finding a decent doujinshi with these two is practically a miracle. Anyway it took me years to gather these books.
Flower for Haku: Salvia
The first one, "Salvia", is the most rare of them all. I've only seen one copy to this day and it was the one I bought. Of course once I did and got busy enjoying the thrill of finding such a rarity, I discovered that it was reprinted later in one of "Naruto" anthologies I saw a dozen times on Mandarake. ^^' Oh, well, at least I can enjoy the lovely cover of the separate issue.
All three stories were written in the same year, 2001, divided only by a month or two, but each of them comes from a different point of view and gives a different interpretation of the relationship between two characters.
The first book, "Salvia", offer an insight the most original, but in a way also the most controversial. At least it goes against the way I'm used to picture Haku's feelings for Zabuza, which for me are those of the utmost devotion. But here the author shows their situation differently, as a stagnant and suffocating, with no room for change and tension turning into frustrtation. It's the most bitter story of the lot and I couldn't shake off a feeling that something doesn't work here.
I thought maybe I would find some clues in the songs that seemed to be inspiration for this book: "Salvia" by Ram Jam World and "Akai hana" by UA. The second title means 'red flower' but the lyrics are too poetic (and pretentious) to be of much help ("broken moons", "gods of tomorrow" and so on -_-'). But it's also beautiful when it tells about a flower of red petals, sweet, burning flower, flower of love which only blooms at night...
I was more curious about that "Salvia" song, mostly because I always thought about salvia as medical plant, hardly a theme for a song. But the lyrics are nowhere to find, and I don't think I'd be able to translate it from listening (or to listen to it more than twice, for that matter).
The situation became a little more clear after I managed to deciphere parts of Izumi's comment at the end (in a horrible handwriting -_-') - it seems she wrote the book while the original story was still developing and not everything was revealed, and thus she was convinced that Haku is in fact... a girl... ^^'
I'm not sure why, but somehow Haku as a girl fits better in this story... In the Japanese "language of flowers" salvia means "burning with expectation" as well as "passionate, burning love"... But playing with fire can be dangerous...
Flower for Zabuza: Camellia
The second story, "Red deep red", from which I took the lovely back cover from the beginning of the post, is focused more on Zabuza and written from his point of view.
I've been hunting for this book for years! I guess my expectations grew with the passing time, so I was bound to be a little disapointed. Mostly by the volume of the book - it's so short! But I love it anyway.
My favourite is the last story, "Guilt, a charming little piece I found quite unexpectedly in a short Kakashi - Zabuza anthology Izumi issued with a few other artists:
It must have been a very musical time for her because this story was also inspired by a song. This time she even used the lyrics as narration, so it's a bit like it's a part of a fanmix or something. The problem with using songs in that way is that they fit the story/fandom/pairing only if we want them to. Usually two, three lines in the lyrics are more or less spot-on, but the rest not so much and could be replaced with "na-na-na-na-na" just as well.. ;) Fortunately in this case the text is pretty universal (but I let myself for a little 'enhancing' with translating, so it fit better ^^). The song is "Yuuzai" ("Guilt") by BOOM and I put the lyrics used in the book in a different font.
Anyway I don't care much for the song, but the story is lovely, although it's rather a scene than an actual story, a simple situation, no more than a passing moment.
The setting is quite similar to the one in "Salvia", but the mood is completely different. The scene is nothing big, but for some reason it gives off a feeling of a real intimacy. I love the way it's written, so subtle, descrete even, leaving a lot to a reader's imagination.
As a matter of fact all these stories are somehow similar, as if various version of the same idea. The same motives return in all of them, similar gestures, imagery. Red is a symbolic color in all these stories, whether it dyes blood, flower petals or parted lips. Red flowers are in the songs played to the first story, red camellias grow on the cover of the second one and stand in a vase in the last one. In the Japanese culture red camellias mean both love and the life of a samurai, short but honorable, just like camellia whose flowers, beautiful, but fragile, fall to the ground after few days.
There is melancholy in these stories, a certain fatalism. Even though not all of them are as bitter as "Salvia", you know this story can't end well. It's like in the song Izumi quotes in "Red deep red": "We never win"...
Reading these booklets makes me wish she gave this pair more attention and wrote a proper story. This song ends well too soon. Or maybe that's what makes it so beautiful?
Flower for Haku and Zabuza: Red spider lily
For the end something you've seen before, but I couldn't resist posting it one more time. A picture which melts my heart whenever I see it.
The author of this beauty is Wolfina. The picture is the last piece in my red flowers collection, adding to it red spider lilies. In Japanese they are called "flowers from the other shore", which may mean Nirvana, paradise or afterlife. I like to see this picture, a scene from "the other side", as a beautiful epilogue to the story of Haku and Zabuza.
And that's it. Oh, wait just one more thing:
A tiny little request: Talk to me sometime! ^^
Let me repeat my request from the last post:
I started this community because in real life I don’t have anyone I could share my passion for doujinshis with (and maybe it’s better this way ^^’). And it all works great, you guys are awesome, but it’s all kind of a one-direction thing.
I mean, I would LOVE to hear something from you once in a while. We all know I talk way too much about the books I post, but I would love to hear what you think of them. Don’t get me wrong, all those “Thank you” comments make me happy and I’m glad you appreciate my efforts, but if you really want to make my day – read the book and write what you think ! ^^ Just a few words would be enough, like “Loved it!” or “It sucked” or you can blab like me for five paragraphs if you want. ;)
You know, it’s like when I go to the movies with my friend and after the movie we compare impressions: ‘Ah, that was so awesome when they…’ ‘And that moment was so cute!’ ‘But the ending was bullshit’ and so on. ^^ I miss something like that here. ^^
Anyway, it’s all up to you and it’s not an obligation in any way. But it’s something that would make me really happy. ^^
Title: Salvia - Red deep red - Guilt
Artist/Circle: Izumi Yakumo/GD Jack
Characters: Zabuza, Haku
Genre/Rating: serious, PG
Download - Mediafire
You may share and repost this book but you have to credit Divine Squids as a source (a link to this community would be nice :) and keep the credit page inside the folder intact. Thank you! ^^ Password: spiderlilies