Let me start with the sentence that has been hanging in my head for the last four hours.
I cannot imagine having this kind of commitment to anything besides a piece of writing.
And I’m not, for once, talking about my own!
I’m talking about having just finished the next fan-translated volume of my ultimate favorite manga of all time, “Immortal Rain” by Kaori Ozaki.
I must have started reading the series — I don’t know, five or six or seven years ago. I think there were two or three volumes out at the time. I quickly got into the series. I waited with bated breath for the next volumes to come out. And waited. And waited. And waited. That was when I hunted down the tiny, tiny following that it has online only to learn that Tokyopop had discontinued publishing this brilliant breathtaking series. After that, I discovered that it was also discontinued in print in Japanese and would be published in a webzine. I was pretty devastated.
Thankfully there are fans who took to the series as well as I do, who have also learned Japanese. Since then I’ve now read two volumes in this manner as well as a small prequel called “Shinigami of the East.” The volumes are translated by a team who puts them up for download here, which as far a I know is really the only active IR fanbase in English.
Tonight while I was supposed to be watching “The Fellowship of the Ring” (also good) I tore through volume 10, which I just found was already released by this team in English, in definitely no more than 45 minutes. I realized in that time that one admirable thing about Ozaki-sama is how good she is at weaving “layers” of “goodness.” There are the “good” guys, but then there are a number of “gray” guys and more still that begin on one side and develop into another.
It’s been a year since I read the last volume.
And that made me realize that I could never dream of following something this closely for this long with this much enthusiasm unless it was a work of writing. I thought about bands I’ve liked over the years and knew that I’d lose interest in a band after this long. Even some friendships don’t last this long.
But writing is so much more reliable! Ozaki-sama has definitely not slipped up in her delivery even if she was assaulted by tough times and a downturn in her work. And the same can be said for a lot of authors I’ve followed over the years – I know that if I were to go back to their work, I’d probably like it just as much if not more than I liked it before.
I guess this must be a big reason why I love written work so much. It’s different than so much of the rest of this temporal world. It lasts.