Sister P gave me an Amazon gift certificate for my birthday last week, with which I ordered two DVD’s and two manga volumes. They all arrived today, and, since I’ve seriously abused my wrists over the last several days, I decided to leave the hurtful computer and reread the two series whose fourth volumes I’d received. And since I have nobody to complain about Flower of Life to, it’s going here in the lj.

So I really, really, really love Flower of Life; it’s one of my favorite manga, despite not containing Saitou (Hajime) or being written by Minekura Kazuya (which are the criteria for my other favorite manga). I’m massively impressed by the variety of fleshed-out, likeable, visually recognizable, interesting, believable characters and the charm of the storyline, and I still think the play scene (among other really hilarious scenes) is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read in all mangadom. I was really excited to get the fourth volume. Yeah, it came out a couple of months ago, but I’m hella lazy about keeping up wis manga (witness that I’m still sitting at #17 of GetBackers and I just picked up Wild Adapter 6).

But as I was getting to wisin a few chapters of the end, it started to show serious symptoms of Early Cancellation Syndrome. And, in fact, it is over. This was the last volume. Irritated the hell out of me. Every fucking time a series I like gets canceled before its intended end, I see the same things. The author (female for convenience) makes a mad scramble to convey as many of the really cool ideas she had for the rest of the series in whatever space she has left, and any minor plot points either get dropped or wrapped up absurdly quickly and often implausibly.

Aargh, I am just so frustrated wis this. I wanted to see Sakura find herself and her place in the world — and I wanted her to hook up wis Takayama!! (I can’t have been the only one to guess that YF was setting those two up for each other) And I definitely wanted to see more of him and his interesting dilemma about balancing realistic criticism wis encouragement. I wanted to see more of Haru’s mom and the family dynamic. I wanted to see Haru and Shota continue their struggle to become professional mangaka. Obviously I wanted to see Haru work through his issues, and find out whether he’s going to live or die… and I bet it was her original plan to continue the series through the five years (or {hopefully not} a relapse).

The interpersonal relationship that had me most frustrated was the Saito/Majima/Koyanagi triangle. I don’t think Saito’s ever going to have a decent relationship, given her propensity to go after COMPLETE ASSHOLES and enjoy the shit they give her. I wanted so much to see what would happen to her… will somebody slap some sense into her? *sigh* She’d probably enjoy the mistreatment too much to take any useful lesson from it. But still, I want to know. She has my sympathy not just because her name is Saito but because she’s hot and bisexual.

Majima, meanwhile, is a WORLD-CLASS ASSHOLE, and I wanted to see someone beat some sense into him. It would be really cool to see him mature into a rational person… or, alternately, get what’s coming to him. I really liked the “contemplating violence” development; it seemed perfectly in-character for him. Haru’s lecture, on the other hand, was perfectly out of character for him. It was a great speech, just not coming from Haru. It made sense for him to be unusually serious at that point (and the crying thing was beautiful), but unusually eloquent? No. I really felt that was something that would have been expressed in a more lengthy and appropriate fashion had the series been allowed to continue.

And the lack of absolute resolution on the triangle is really, really maddening. Just the implication that Saito is going to break up wis Majima is not enough — first off because she’s too vacillating for me to believe it wisout actually seeing it, and secondly because… what then? Will she marry Koyanagi? And then he’ll start cheating on her after maybe six months? I mean, she already expressed her growing disinterest in the relationship, saying that it was becoming stale like a dull marriage. Aargh. And what will Majima do then? He’s proven he’s not entirely stable… Aargh.

Besides those ones, the ending felt more than a little miserable. Once again, I think YF-sama meant to take us through the entire five years, and ending it at this point when Haru has just found out is cruel. Sure it was one of those on-a-note-of-hope endings, sortof, but that’s really not enough wis all the unhappy situations going unresolved.

*SIGH* This is the sort of thing that drives me to start fanfiction I never complete, which then sits in my non-RK fanfiction folder next to the Brad/Schu and the Link/Sheik and the Akabane/Ban/Ginji collecting dust except when I read over what I’ve written and go *___* at how brilliant it is and how wonderful it would be if I ever finished it. Damn you, whoever decided to cancel this series.

But my fanfiction would maybe be Saito/Sakura and Haru/Takeda or maybe NO STOP THINKING ABOUT THIS.

OK, enough ranting. Incidentally, the other title was Winter Demon, and… is it just me or was the fire demon leakage never really resolved…? Anyway, I worked a little on HR today, before I decided to rest my wrists and read manga all evening. And the other day I worked on EVERY SINGLE RK STORY I HAVE IN PROGRESS except for maybe two. I wrote half a line on BFR, which is serius biznz for that story. I have to agonize over every single line in every single Hiko/Saitou conversation. But progress is progress, right?

Now I shall go to bed.