Hana to Ryū
|Hana to Ryū|
|Written by||Kazuma Kodaka|
|Original run||1993 – 2010|
Hana to Ryū (華と龍?) is a yaoi manga series created by Kazuma Kodaka in 1993. Designed as a doujinshi, Hana to Ryū follows Ryūji Kazama, the son of a dead yakuza boss, as he struggles to maintain a peaceful existence while dealing with harmful forces all around him. Hana to Ryū takes place in the universe of another Kodaka series Kizuna, taking place 10–15 years before Kizuna.
The Kazama syndicate had been one of the most powerful and respected yakuza syndicates in Japan. But one day, the leader of the syndicate is brutally murdered and the syndicate is brought down as members of the organization are forced to scatter. Among these are Kazama's young children, including his oldest son Ryūji. They take refuge with their aunt and in time forget the tragedy that befell their family.
Years later, when Ryūji has grown into a teenager, he comes home to find his aunt being gang-raped by apparently random thugs. The violence then escalates out of control and leaves everyone in the room dead, except for Ryūji who is covered in blood. Though it's unclear what exactly transpired in the room, Ryūji's arrested for all the murders, tried, and sentenced to life in prison.
Ryūji spends only four years in prison, but it's not an easy time for him. Brutally beaten and gang-raped constantly, he becomes bitter at the world and wishes for death. But it's in prison that he meets former allies of his father's organization and he truly learns what he is. He even gains the strength to stand up to his tormentors, although his actions will later come back to haunt him.
Upon his release Ryūji meets up with an older man named Hitoshi Araki, who comes to his aid when a thug tries to mug him. But Hitoshi isn't some stranger; he too was part of the Kazama syndicate—more so, one of Ryūji's father's most trusted allies and Ryūji's protector when Ryūji was younger. It's through Hitoshi that Ryūji begins to get a sense of his humility and innocence back and the two men form a deep, unbreakable bond that gradually grows into love.
Unfortunately for these two, being in with the yakuza won't give them an easy life of peace. And though Ryūji had already suffered so much in his young life, it's only inevitable that it gets worse for him.
- Hana to Ryū crosses over with Kizuna in issues 11-12, when Hitoshi and Ryūji pay the Sagano group a visit. Here Ryūji meets a much younger Sagano Kai and Masanori, Hitoshi's little brother, who are main characters in Kizuna. Perhaps in a humorous twist Kai becomes aggressively attached to Ryūji in his short stay and Masanori seems unable to keep an eye on him (even getting kicked in the groin for briefly ignoring Kai).