I just want to start off by saying that I originally LOVED this series. I was in love with the characters, the story, and the art. The first four volumes are fabulous and very much leave you wanting for more. Of course, volumes 1-4 were printed in English and available to purchase via TokyoPop. After TokyoPop went defunct no one picked up to print the final volume. I've been waiting to find out how the story ended for about seven years as of this writing.
Tonight I finally found a scanlation online of the fifth and final volume. There were
many, MANY pages missing (broken image links). And that was... frustrating to say the least. I'm getting ahead of myself.
Ushitora is a demon assassin for The Family who decides he does not wish to kill Masato, a demon flower. Ushitora kidnaps (read: runs away with) Masato and they live together for some time, eventually Ushitora finds Nao crying in the rain and he takes her in as well. Everything is sunshine and daisies. Until Ushitora's clan catches up with them. A lot happens from there, but I'm trying not to spoil it.
Character development is actually excellent. You can see how they grow throughout this short series and the progression feels natural and enjoyable. Their personalities bounce very well off one another. I have no issues with the characters themselves.
The art was also excellent. I love the ridiculously long bodies of everyone in the manga. They're exaggerated and graceful and all around lovely. The lines are a tad sharp but that doesn't draw away from the beauty of the series.
Now then, like I said the first four volumes are excellent. It's the fifth one that all goes to hell. There's a lot of heartache. And frankly it left me in tears because the ending didn't feel right. It made a lot of sense. But there was too much self sacrifice for my heart to take. This is a bit of a boys' love series so I guess heartache is to be expected, but this... this was just unfair.
BEGIN SPOILER The whole thing got retconned. Mizuki Hakase pressed a reset button in her manga and none of it ever happened. Ushitora changed the past so the future would be better for everyone but him. He remembered everything. END SPOILER
All in all the ending was terribly depressing.
If you're looking for something to give you a good cry, I totally recommend this series. But if you're looking for a happy ending I sincerely suggest you stay as far away from this manga as possible. You'll find no happy romantic ending here, only death and pain.