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- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - Unrequited by Lady Jaida - One of the recurring elements of HanaKimi is unrequited love (much as I want to brick Umeda-sensei if he doesn't get with the program soon >_<) and this set of three POVs (for Nakatsu, Nanba, and Akiha) plays beautifully on those--each hurts in that sort of HanaKimi way. It's not devestation, it's just the kind of hurt that's unavoidable and you wish you could make it better, even if you know you can't. Nakatsu's story just... it captured so much of what I love about the character and how much he hurts even knowing that Mizuki loves Sano back, that that's where she belongs. Nanba's was lovely, because it strode that line between someone who still misses that person they love so much, but still walking forward and holding his head up high. And Akiha... Akiha's was lovely, both fun and yet still softly painful when Sempai wouldn't look back at him. There's a line in the beginning of Akiha's story, after Umeda-sensei has returned his greeting coldly, when: He feigns being hurt to disguise how hurt he is. This Akiha is the Akiha I remember, the one who can seem flighty and silly, but there's still something more going on underneath. I also love that the three stories all have the same theme, but... none of them are quite the same. One is still dealing with fresh wounds, one is trying to let go of old ones, and one is still trying and has a chance. They play wonderfully off each other for that. (All the usual canon pairings.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - harlequin by measuringlife - Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a huge fondness for Akiha/Umeda. But it's more than just that, I have fondness for the characters themselves, Akiha is very near and dear to my fangirl heart. Much as I love pairing fic, it's wonderful to see fic that focuses on him as a character, especially one that uses such lovely, almost lyrical language to showcase his artist's mind, the way he looks at the world and the way he takes his photos. It may be a short fic, but it captures so much of the essence of the character, the people he works with, the people he takes pictures of, the way it's more than just a job to him. It's an absolutely lovely fic. (No warnings/pairings.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - when you're older you will understand by measuringlife - After reading the previous Akiha fic, I dove right into this one. It's a bit longer and it's more... both are beautifully written. Both have gorgeous language and lovely imagery and are everything about Akiha that I could want. Such short pieces, but such evocative ones, that pull forth emotion or insight for the character. This one... I was three-fourths of the way through before I even had the presence of mind to realize that I was caught up in it, that my fangirl heart was starting to ache because I knew what was coming. I would think it difficult to touch on that instance, to not ruin the power of it, to not weild a deft enough hand to do it justice. But measuringlife here... it's beautiful and powerful and everything that moment should be. I let out a long, breathy sigh afterwards because I love this character so much and she went right for my juglar with this one. Who knows if it'll affect others the same way, I am notoriously fangirly and Akiha is one of my two dearest loves. Whatever the reaction, though, if you like the character, I think you'll like this fic. (No warnings/pairings.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - tea & sympathy by measuringlife - After reading the last few days of measuringlife's Akiha fics, this was a perfect way to cap them off, one of those ideas I will never get tired of, no matter how much I contemplate it. But it's not just the idea of Akiha and Seira having tea together, it's the way the author pulls off the little details, the way there's an elegant edge to the writing, the way the ending snuck up on me even though I knew it was there and squeezed my fangirl heart until it ached a little for Akiha. Her Akiha is wonderful, the hint of nervousness about whether or not she'll like him, the retarded way you can tell he bugged the crap out of Umeda (the fic does a fantastic job of letting you picture those scenes without doing more than just touching on them for a moment), and that line. You'll know the one I mean. Her Seira is brilliant here as well, so young in form but there's wisdom of a mother, a grandmother underneath that you can pick up on if you listen carefully. Also. Akiha needs a good mommy figure and Seira would totally adopt him and they'd get along beautifully. I love. ♥ (Implied Akiha/Umeda, but that's not really the point.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - apron strings by measuringlife - Oh, oh, oh. Umeda and his mother and I flailed with love over this fic. Flailed so hard that I didn't even have any room left in my head to care that I probably made an idiot out of myself. Seira is brilliant here, both in terms of the character and the way the author writes her, the clever details worked into the fic when she brings her son lunch are just... well, brilliant. Hokuto's life is hell, but he still loves his family, he's a brat, but he's still a good kid, all of those things just shine through! And there is one of those moments in this fic, that takes half a second for the implications to sink in, and then I was laughing like a maniac because, oh, god, Hokuto never stood a chance. Beautiful characterization, beautiful batshit insanity of the Umeda family type, and... oh, god, have I mentioned how much I love Seira? Because I do. This is quite possibly the best fic for her, like, ever. ♥ (Tiny implication of a pairing at the end, but it's so completely not the point.)

- Hanazakari no Kimitachi e - threads by measuringlife - 119 words. That's how long this fic is. And, yet, it's quite possibly my new favorite for the author because her take on the Akiha/Ebi relationship after their divorce is just... breathtakingly gorgeous and complex, the kind that covers far more depth than just over 100 words should be able to accomplish. The things you can pick up from the little details in this fic, the hundred different things they say about these two characters and their relationship, are really rather amazing, it's just loaded with little insights as soon as you peer beneath the surface. And, oh, the writing is lovely and gorgeous and makes me nearly ache with it. This is why Akiha/Ebi fascinates me and makes me pine for more insightful fic like this. Just. Wow. Gorgeous. ♥_♥ (Some Akiha/Ebi, but it's not quite the point.)

Hanazakari no Kimitachi e: Winter Holiday by Serilda - As I was mentioning in the previous rec, one of the things that doesn't happen enough in fandom and I love when it does, is the inclusion of the rest of the Osaka Gakuen kids in an AkiUme fic, which Serilda is fantastic at doing. She really nails the feeling of canon here, the antics the kids get into (such good-hearted kids at that, but still such kids XD) are spot on and the way Umeda is in the background of their organization of the special day, the way he does things behind the scenes but deliberately stays out of the limelight is perfect because it's so very like him. He shows he cares through subtle ways that you don't necessarily notice at first. Plus, Akiha's inclusion in the whole thing, the Akiha/Umeda relationship is fantastic and the final scene is just.... I was complete goo by the end. (Akiha/Umeda, it's only half the point.)

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