Don’t know if this is out in stores yet but mines shipped early (thank you, Amazon~ <3) and I finished it in two days (less than 24 hours approximately, lol). I really couldn't put it down as it was a lot more intense than the first novel and oh ho, when I say that, yes, I mean the angst level got cranked up to eleven. It's pretty much the same on how tragic and maybe even "horrific" (it wasn't scary, just…well, you'll see) it was.
So I'll stop babbling blocks of vagueness now and will try to get straight to the point on certain things I want to talk about.
As always, SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN’T READ IT YET.
Oh, and ALL (crappy) scans are done by me. I own nothing. Story © Mizuki Nomura, artwork © Miho Takeoka, and everything else to the rightful publishers.
Our victim is Hotaru Amemiya, an anorexic girl who’s on the edge of death and at the same time, “possessed by the spirit of her late mother, Kayano Kujo”.
Yikes, just hearing that already makes me want to pity her even if I didn’t know her story beforehand (I listened to some of the drama CD
and am still looking for the third one T_T).
It is probably one of the most messed-up cases I’ve ever read in as well. Her mother had loved a boy (Aoi) she grew up with since they were just children but rejected him to marry a rich man. Said boy then wandered off, devastated, and later assumed dead which caused Kayano to grow sick and die after hearing the news. Aoi, however, is not dead but took on a different identity (changed his name, dyed his hair, looked every ounce of “shady” as one can get) and returned for revenge only to find out she passed on, leaving Hotaru behind which drives him into further madness. He then marries Kayano’s husband’s sister (Hotaru’s aunt) and killed them both before taking over Hotaru’s dad’s company as well Hotaru into his custody. He continuously tortures her by locking her up in the basement, starving her, only allowing her to eat the food he makes for her (because that’s how he did it for her mom when they were kids) and basically f*cked up her body’s system making her anorexic…all because he saw Kayano in Hotaru due to their close resemblances. And that’s just the first half.
WHY ARE PEOPLE SO CRAZY?! TT________TT
*cough* So…sounds very confusing, huh?
Well, the major book that Mizuki Nomura based “Famished Spirit” around is Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, where the scenarios are almost identical minus all the symbolization and whatnot. Though I haven’t read the book (but I plan to now) to say for sure if it’s an un-clever version of the same story, it doesn’t make the poor, innocent Hotaru, whose entire life was completely ruined, less heart-rending or Aoi’s vengeful acts less despicable but at the same time, very sad and pitiable as well.
The climax truly engulfed all the events by storm, just like how Konoha described Hotaru’s struggle to free herself and strike her own hatred on Aoi down to her final breath of calling him “Father”. Yes, Aoi was her biological father. Kayano had chosen to marry another man when she was pregnant with Hotaru to avoid her own uncle’s wrath and to protect Aoi, who was reduced to being a servant.
Honestly…it is quite impossible to summarize it all – the haunting presence of Kayano’s lingering “ghost”, Hotaru’s inner battles wrecking more havoc onto her already weak body, Aoi’s dark, murderous intent change to absolute shock at the discovery at whose child Hotaru really was, and the silence of the empty chapel broken by the release of all her raging emotions – into the right words
or I just suck at this :P. It doesn’t come to any closure either as Hotaru had already run out of time after uttering the last word that would surely hurt Aoi for the short remainder of his life.
Which draws us to what I think is the main theme of the book, introduced at the beginning by Touko’s equally weird relative, Ryuuto Sakurai:
“…hatred is the strongest emotion people have, right? Love weakens and changes over time, but true hatred can’t be forgotten that easily. It only gets stronger as time goes by. …I feel being hated makes love last way longer. You can keep hating someone because you love them, and you can keep loving them because you hate them.”
Hotaru had seen pictures of the Aoi her mother had loved before he came into her life and she discovered he was her true father. There are even very small hints that she might have felt drawn to him in a similar ways. So her “revenge” on him is still up in the air for interpretation. She certainly hated this man for what he’s done to her but she nearly went crazy with desperateness when he left her alone and in the end, wanted him to see her as Hotaru and not as Kayano. So did calling him “Father” right before she died mean that saw him as more than a necessity for survival? That she did love him in some way? As a father? As the man who was once the Aoi in the pictures she saw and admired?
If so, if Hotaru did want to be loved by him as herself and hurt him in the worst possible way, then it is only perfect to make him never forget how he treated her all those years by acknowledging him as her Otou-san.
And that, I guess, is the fine line between love and hate.
God, I hope the next volume would go a little easier on me.
Anyways, moving onto the less darker side of things, the supporting roles seemed to have played a bigger part in this mystery than the main lead herself did. We already shown how Maki is but in this book, she shows us the full capacity of her influence as the heiress of a old, high-status family as well as a deeper insight into her feelings on being trapped by her own position. Which leads her to sympathize with the Hotaru’s grim situation and at least was able to give her the brief freedom she needed from Aoi’s oppressions.
I was quite happy to see this side of her, though it’s not like she’s evil or ill-hearted at all. Maki is just unpredictable and loves to ruthlessly tease others, especially cute lil’ Touko-chan. x3 And I think the one-sided love is rather sweet, too. Touko will obviously never see her feelings as anything more than a joke to get her nude but I prefer the relationship this way. In fact, I think it’s the same with most of my shoujo-ai preferences. lol xD;
As for Ryuuto, haha, what an irresponsible guy! A masochist who likes dangerous women. “If she stabbed me in the stomach with love, I would have welcomed it”. WAT?! xDDDD;;
Well, his own mother sucks at parenting but still, for him to grow up that strange is really o.O;
But I like him. He’s one of the few people who knows about Touko’s secret and still treats her like an older sister. And her certainly knows how to leave an impression on people. This goes especially for Hotaru, since he was the only person who stayed with her despite all the bad things that came at him and saw her not for her mother but Hotaru. Now I feel bad. I’m not sure if Ryuuto was that much deeply in love with Hotaru or not but her death must have been a hard blow on him, nonetheless. At least there’s the reassuring thought that he was Hotaru’s salvation when she was alive so her life wasn’t entirely painted in darkness.
Anyways, expect him to come back again sometime sooner or later…surrounded by a dozen girls again, no doubt. :P But yea, he’ll have a really crucial part whenever it’s concerning Touko and their family past.
Moving along, we didn’t get to see Touko much because she was off fleeing and chasing ghosts at the same time (lol, oh Maki, you evil devil you x3) but her franticness just made her more adorable in my eyes. <3 Oh! And when she spent the entire time being angry at Konoha for not coming to club to make up with him when they got locked in the basement just made me squeal! Kyuu~! I love these two even when they’re fighting! x3
As for Konoha, it seems every mystery that comes his way will make him remember Miu somehow. Poor kid. I really want to give him a comforting hug. I mean, in less than a year, he saw someone nearly commit suicide and was just thrown into a vicious family affair that had nothing to do with him. On top of all that (yes, bright red cherry on top! /sarcasm), it's always about Miu, Miu, MIU.
But who can blame the kid? He wants to move on but refuses to forget about the girl he loves. He’s stuck in an emotional hellhole. Konoha~ T_____T It’ll be a loooong healing progress until he can finally let go. *sigh*
I suppose that’s it. Oh, and Nanase’s tsundere bitchy-ness is hardly slightly better. Not even the size of a rice crispy grain better. Though I did like how she and Touko ganged up together on Konoha (lol, poor Konoha ^^; ) which was hilarious but knowing how she keeps on being mean just to have a reason to talk to him AND when her feelings are the exact opposite just pisses me off. And yes, I did watch the third OVA and I don’t care. I’m not going to fall for the cheap moe charm crap. /P
So that ends it. Messy review post as always. Too lazy to go back and re-edit it. Sorry about that.
Third volume, “Book Girl and the Captive Fool” will be out in July and I’ll probably have a review for that as soon as I’m done reading…if I’m not in Hong Kong, that is. Anyways, I’m still looking for the drama CD that covers that book and despairing as I can’t find it anywhere! I want to know what happens before I read it, dammit! Dx
Right, in between that, Gosick Vol. 3 is coming out in March so going to do a review for that, too. K, then. Signing off. ;)