“I never know what the next second holds so I do whatever I want right away. That way, even if I die, I won’t have any regrets.” – Flower in a Storm by Shigeyoshi Takagi
All Riko Kunimi wants is to be normal. However, she’s not. Riko is far from normal as she possesses unnatural physical abilities, and can hump from three story buildings unharmed. When Ran Tachibana intrudes her life, disrupting her “normal” life, Riko is annoyed. Ran isn’t normal as he’s the heir to the Tachibana conglomerate, and Ran is in love with Riko. Coming into Riko’s life like a storm, Ran Tachibana is the absolute annoyance as Riko will never get the “normal” life she’s always wanted, or the “normal” relationship she’s always yearned for.
Riko and Ran
Shigeyoshi Takagi’s Flower in a Storm (Hana ni Arashi) is a light, funny read about a not-so-normal schoolgirl who desires to be normal and a boy who likes to do outrageous things to make a girl fall in love with him. Riko isn’t going to get the normal life that she’s always wanted, but she is going to get a boy who loves her for who she is-superhuman abilities in all. Being accepted, the person that one is, or being normal is the dilemma that Riko is in, and not surprisingly, she makes the choice that will make her happy.
Reading Flower in a Storm reminded me of a question that I’ve always thought about. What is being normal or ordinary? It’s something that’s dictated by society and what is “normal” may not be normal in the next year. Many people strive to be normal, and to “fit in”, but isn’t “fitting in” another term for being the same as everyone else? In my opinion, rather than desiring to “fit in”, accepting the person that one is better. It’s okay if the true self is like everyone else, and it’s okay, too, if the true self is different from anyone. What matters the most is that a person can accept him/herself.
Flower in a Storm also got me thinking about something else. A poem by Masuji Ibuse is quoted in the manga, and the poem goes like this, “Like a flower in a storm, life is full of goodbyes.” I’ve always liked Asian poems for their succinctness and deepness, and this poem is no different. Life is fragile, and one day, it will wither and die away. Days are numbered, and it’s only a matter of how many days one has that is different. So, it’s important to live each day to the fullest, and to have each day be a day that is satisfying. Days should be with sunshine, because there’s no telling when a storm will come.
(Side note: Ahhhhh... I ended the post with such a depressing note. *sniff sniff* I'll try to be more positive next time!)