I’m so late with this post, it feels like it’s after its expiration date! ;D
First, I had the translation ready like two years ago, started working on scanlation a year ago, did about 25% of the job and stuck. ^^; In the meantime the book got scanlated by somebody else - so yeah, the whole thing is a very old news. ;)
Second, the scanlation was finished in February and look – it’s already
Third, the story is about characters so long gone from the fandom, I guess only few people care about them anymore. When I think how long it took me to finish this project, it’s getting clear that their time has passed even for me, their faithful fan. ^^
But then maybe it’s a good book to say goodbye to them, because it starts at the end of their road: when Kakuzu dies…
The picture above is from the back cover, but I admit that the front one (which I like less) is more fitting.
Actually the cover is quite a spoiler.
To put it shortly: Kakuzu dies and goes to hell and who does he encounter there? Hidan, or rather his other-world alter ago, who is… an angel…
Yeah, I remember I wasn’t very happy when I saw the cover of this book. I mean – Hidan an angel? That’s extreme even for Rauhreif! ;)
Let’s say it, I’m not a big fan of angels, or rather of a version of them served by popculture and popular religious art (somehow they’re almost always sweet blondes with dreamy eyes and glowing faces ). So I had my doubts about this doujinshi.
It turned out however that Hidan isn’t your usual angel – or rather that being an angel in hell isn’t what it may be in heaven. He’s the King’s of Hell – Lord Jashin’s – beloved companion, but being his favorite means being his favorite victim, because what Lord Jashin seems to love above all is seeing his loved ones suffer.
Actually, the vision of hell served here is one of the most interesting things about this book. We see Kakuzu guided by Hidan the angel travelling through dreary wastelands, the pictures we’re all familiar with – visions of hell are quite similar in every culture. They meet various creatures on their way, variety of devils, winged, animal-like demons, some looking like taken straight from ancient scrolls depicting the buddhist hell.
This story is a little like all other stories about travels through the underworld – we move from one horrible scene to another, with occasional splashes of dark humor, scenery changes from one nightmarish landscape to another. But it’s a journey with a purpose, even if it’s not clear at the beginning. So Kakuzu follows his old companion, clueless at first, but gradually starting to understand his situation, learning the hard way that hell is ruled with an iron fist and that there is a high price to pay for his every step.
Only after his death Kakuzu seems to have time and will to stop and think about his old partner. So we get to see a lot reminiscing, scenes from the times when Kakuzu and Hidan travelled together in the real world. Actually this book is quite a treat for Kakuzu’s fans (such as me :D), because the story brings back his past, calling in, even if just for a short while, people dear to him, there are flashbacks, allusions to various events from his young years. When I first read this book I was just delighted – imagine this: we get to see his first ninja team! ^_^
On the other hand, if you’re more of a Hidan’s fan, you may not be so happy with the story. I never was very fond of Hidan’s character interpretation that Rauhreif came up with. It’s really hard to understand why she insisted on seeing innocence in a vicious, god-crazed mass-murderer.
At first it was only his boyish appearance (remember slutty baby-face Hidan from “Body Buddy”?), but from one book to another this picture of a troubled but innocent soul, trapped in an immortal body, always a victim in some way, settled in, he got a tragic backstory and a list of atrocities he suffered grew longer and longer. That could’ve ruined his psyche (he seems to have a personality of a severely traumatized child), but hasn’t left a scratch on his soul. He seems to be above any notion of good and evil, perfectly a-moral. He may be a blood-thirsty fanatic, but inside he remains crystal pure, like none of his crimes has any effect on him. That portrait was never really convincing to me and I always thought to myself: “come on, people don’t work that way”.
That’s it actually – Rauhreif’s Hidan never seemed a real human to me, so finding out that he’s also an angel wasn’t that big of a surprise. ;) But then, it’s only my opinion, so forgive me this little rant, but I've been holding it in for a while. ^^
Ok, I may have not presented this book in a very appealing colors, but it’s not all bleak and depressing. In fact, it’s a very moving story about bonds that tie stronger than we think, ultimate sacrifice and love that defy death.
Sounds cheesy? Well, this book doesn’t shy away from that either.
But really, if you don’t mind some blatant OOC or depictions of violence, you should enjoy it, one way or another. Plus if you are an angel aficionado, even though it’s not a typical angel story, you’ll find here an almost “classic” angel scene and a picture that could go to your prayer book, well, if you squint. ;D (Just kidding of course, but take a look at page 98. Kinda, right? If you squint, of course. ;)
Also the art is top notch as usual with this artist.
And for the end an unrelated question: is any of you a member of garagesalejapan? I have a big favor to ask! *_*
Title: My Dear 80 years [this is the original title in English given by the author so I didn’t change it, although it’s not a literal translation of the Japanese one]
Artist/Circle: Rauhreif/Inoue Yuki
Characters: Kakuzu, Hidan
Genre/Rating: serious, R-18. WARNING: violence, plus some sex scenes (but that’s not the main point here :).
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: tenshi