Note: Entry consists a lot of images.
So, this is my first time to read Konjiki Runa’s work. I just managed to stumble upon this tankoubon while lurking around HertZ’s site (B’s-garden) a month ago. Her art really intrigued me (since I’m a sucker for pretty illustrations) and when I read the synopsis in HertZ, I unhesitatingly ordered a copy. I’m not very familiar with her old works but I might try buying her “Yubisaki Kara Kisu o Shite” and “Te Tsunagi Gokko” if the last of my current orders arrive already.
It’s been a long time since I last read a comic with full Japanese texts (grade 4, I think) and some of the sentence structures and kanji characters gave me a hard time since my knowledge of the Japanese language is still not at that level. But nonetheless, I managed to finish it.
Moving on, ‘Hana no Arashi wa‘ is Konjiki Runa’s latest tankoubon release from HertZ. The story follows Sagano Kaede, a son of a prestigious family known for their skills in flower arrangement. Kaede grew up being mistreated by his mother, he lived a life full of angst and decided to runaway from home. He attends Hakuhou Academy with Shinotsuki Souichiro, whose family is well-known for their tea ceremonies. But before entering Hakuhou Academy, these two already had a hidden past. A year ago, Kaede disliked Souichiro for having a decent family. The two first met at Kyoto – where Kaede’s grandmother lives. Kaede was asked by his grandmother to teach Souichiro, the next iemoto of the Shinotsuki family’s tea ceremony tradition, about flower arrangements. Eventhough Kaede didn’t like the idea, he didn’t have a choice but to accept his grandmother’s order. A few moments later, Kaede was walking along the corridor when he heard a boy’s voice in one of their rooms. He saw that the boy was observing his flower arrangement and described it as “a work of a woman”. Annoyed, Kaede walked out and went to the garden where he suddenly reminisced about the mistreatment of his mother and how his life became so miserable because of her. Recalling some unwanted memories, he noticed that his necktie was too tight and couldn’t loosen it. The Shinotsuki twins came for help when Kaede suddenly collapsed.
Souichiro was the one who accompanied Kaede inside the room and while Kaede was still unconscious, Souichiro loosened Kaede’s tie and shirt. On that scene, you will notice that Souichiro already began to have an interest on Kaede. When Kaede finally woke up, he notcied his shirt was unbuttoned. Souichiro promptly explained and that he did that without thinking any malice (lol, so adorable. He was too obvious). Because of that, Kaede already speculated that Souichiro was interested in him. A few moments later, Souichiro was called by the helper that he’s being called for the tea ceremony. Kaede being curious about Souichiro’s skills in tea preparations, he went to the tea ceremony room and got astonished on how flawless Souichiro makes his ceremonial preparation.
Thinking that Souichiro was just like any other guy who would want him for his body, he tried ruining Souichiro’s well-being by having sex with him. He then noticed that Souichiro was very innocent about it so he felt embarrassed and told him that he’s only doing this because he hates him. Because of that, Kaede told him to forget everything that happened between them. And at the same time, Souichiro told Kaede to forget about him. The following day, Kaede was asked by his grandmother to take charge of their family’s tradition (become an iemoto) and to enter Hakuhou Academy as the Vice-President for the next term. This is when he knew that he’ll be studying at the same academy with Souichiro.
*The school by the way is divided into two academies: Hakuhou (exclusive for boys) and Shirasaki (exclusive for girls).
Two years later, the two met again but as expected, they act like something didn’t happen at all. Typical scene, lol. Then a few moments later, Souichiro asked if he can talk with Kaede privately for a while. But when you thought that everything’s going to be fine already, here comes an eyesore – Kaede’s fiance, Saki. Although, she seems pretty but meh. （￣□￣；） I literally flailed that time.If she were a trap I— okay nevermind.
So anyway, in the fourth story, which is one of my favorites, this is wherein you get to know more about Souichiro’s twin, Kotaro. Kotarou has a brother complex on Souichiro ever since they were kids. You know, the typical “I love my onii-san so much so better keep your distance from him”. When Kotarou knew about Souichiro’s feelings for Kaede, he pretended to be Kaede’s lover just so he can make his brother jealous. Kaede knew about Kotarou’s brother complex and at the same time, Kotarou knew about Kaede and Souichiro’s feelings for each other.
Later that night, Kaede was talking to Kotarou about Souichiro’s fiance when suddenly Souichiro knocked and asked if he can talk with Kotarou for a while. Knowing Kotarou, he then again tried to force Kaede into making his brother jealous. When Souichiro heard noises inside, he immediately opened the door and saw Kotarou kissing Kaede who was pinned down on the bed. Ah, such a dramatic scene it was.
A few days later, Souichiro confronted Kotarou about Kaede and Kotarou ended up being beaten up by Souichiro (no, not that kind of beating) because of Kotarou’s foul words – he said something like “but my face is more special (to Kaede)”. Since in order to distinguish Souichiro from Kotarou, Souichiro started wearing glasses in order for Kaede not to mistake him for his twin brother – remember what he said to Kaede before? About forgetting all about him? This is Souichiro’s way of responding to Kaede’s request. Now about what Kotarou said, he was trying to provoke Souichiro by bringing up Souichiro’s hidden past with Kaede in a not-so-obvious manner. Yes, Souichiro’s glasses are very essential to this story because it symbolizes his loyalty to Kaede. （*´▽｀*）
After Souichiro’s talk with Kotarou, he then went to Kaede and told him that his relationship with Kotarou is not worth it and that he must end it. Knowing Kaede, a usual tsundere uke, he still tried to push Souichiro away by telling him that he doesn’t care whoever he goes out with. But Souichiro told him that he does not want him to get hurt and that he’s the person Kaede really wants to be with. After convincing Kaede, Souichiro asked him if he can kiss him. The garden confession scene was just too beautiful – I literally cried because of it. (ＴーＴ)
Ahh. Shinotsukincest.❤ This part was so funny. Souichiro kissed Kotarou and told him “this serves as a last kiss from Kaede-san.” I swear I think my ribs cracked when I read this scene. It was so cute!!
In the last chapter, Kaede told Souichiro that he’ll be coming back to Kyoto after graduation. Thinking that he won’t be seeing Souichiro anymore, he was about to ask Souichiro if he can come and visit him in Kyoto. But just before Kaede can say anything, Souichiro told him that he’ll (definitely) come for him. The extra (and real final) chapter is obviously about what happened when they finally met in Kyoto.
Yes, such gorgeous scene brings me to tears once again. (;__;)❤
Anyway, I really think Kaede and Souichiro are such a beautiful couple. I’m happy that Souichiro is not the stereotypical seme. I loved the way he dealt with his feelings for Kaede. He was such a masochist, I swear. Lastly, I really liked his character development especially in the garden scene. Kaede’s character development on the other hand was so-so. He was the usual tsundere uke – he reminds me so much of Shinobu from Junjou Romantica – only better, lol (now relax Junjou fans, I’m very loyal to the cabbage couple!). Although I loved the last chapter when he was telling Souichiro that he’ll leave for Kyoto after graduation – he was so adorable. Also, his short antics with Kotarou was hilarious. IMO, it still lacks something. Although overall, I think it was beautiful since I’m a sucker for stories with main characters having angst. Konjiki Runa’s illustrations are just so beautiful. Reminds me of Kojima Lalako’s – or is it just me?
Aaaah. Sorry for the image spam, lol. I promise to make a more decent reviews next time.
All images are scanned by me.