At the end of last year, a very good friend of mine, the lovely cyphomandra, lent me one of her favourite manga series - Banana Fish (Akimi Yoshida). The premise of the series is as follows:
1973, Vietnam - an American soldier goes mad and guns down his buddies. Since then, the only words he has uttered are 'Banana Fish'...
Twelve years later, in New York City, police investigate a series of puzzling suicides and a dying man gives a charismatic young gang leader named Ash Lynx a vial of a mysterious substance.
I've been reading the 19 volumes s l o w l y over the past year - cyphomandra has been lending them to me in 'lots' (for want of a better word). This was my first introduction to manga (although I've since been introduced to yaoi manga by the fantastical Kris of Kris 'N' Good Books) and I honestly wasn't sure what to make of it...and how to adjust to the style and learn to notice not just the words but the images, which convey so much. (Yes, when starting this series I forgot the saying 'A picture is worth a thousand words'.) But, slowly but surely, the plot and the characters have crept under my skin....until last night, when I finished the main story (leaving two short stories in the final volume for today). I never thought that I would be so invested in the characters of a manga series that I would finish reading and want to either cry my heart out into the pillow or beat my pillow up in frustration....or both. (Yes, my pillow is very hard done by :) The connection between the two main characters was...so strong, and so apparent...in what they did and didn't do, in what they said and didn't say. It was...perfect in all of its human imperfectness because it accepted everything that each character was. No rose coloured glasses. Just acceptance...and love. *tries very hard not to cry again*
But, somehow, without realizing it, I was invested. There I was last night...on the edge of my seat...well, the bed...desperately turning the pages. Without giving to much away (although I think the previous paragraph might have already let the cat out of the bag :) the ending was...not what I expected. AT ALL! It's not that I feel cheated out of a happy ending, because life isn't fair, but...I wanted one. So desperately! I felt the characters deserved one. And...in a completely illogical way (but logical in my world)...I feel if the characters can survive all that they did and have a HEA, well, then...there is hope for me.
I read the two short stories late this afternoon, one set before the main story, one 10 years after. And the latter had me choked up and then crying...again. I've decided this is a keeper series, and even if there are 19 volumes I'm going to buy them! And I'm going to buy them backwards, which I know is a very non-OCD thing to do, but...I need the books that made me cry first.
So, have you ever finished a book/TV series that so moved you that you wanted to cry into your pillow...or scream in rage and beat your pillow up...or both?