Author Topic: Relationships between ShiSafu and NezuShi concerning the Japanese society  (Read 979 times)


  • Guest
I'm pretty inept at understanding Japanese society, but there were a few things in regards to Safu and Shion meeting up after the whole eviction from Chronos incident. I know distinctly that Safu mentions in her memories that her and Shion met up at his place of work, see here:
Safu sighed again. She had walked through a forest with Shion once. It was a forest park in the centre of No. 6, however, so all animals and plants were minutely scrutinized and managed by human hands. 'I don't think a place like this should be called a forest,' Shion had said, and grimaced in clear dislike.
Oh, I remember. How many years ago was it? I can remember it so clearly.
from chapter 4 of volume 5
And what's so interesting about this is that she says she can't remember how long ago it was. I always imagined, contrary to the original post, that they did meet occasionally between Chronos and Lost Town, typically in cafes or at Shion's place of work, but also phoned one another. Their relationship seemed casual, not something that they'd bother with every day, but like a general friendship were you make sure to take time out and see each other when you have free time. Especially considering this scene was in the same chapter.

You looked like you enjoyed being with me, though. You laughed a lot, and you were more talkative than usual. Oh, yes yes. It was only once, but you even said so out loud.
"It's fun being with you, Safu."
I don't think you were lying. You're the kind of person who could never lie.
Shion, do you enjoy being with me?

Yeah. A lot.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could be together forever?
Sure we could. Safu, you're my most important―
You cared for me. You cherished me. But you didn't love me. You didn't feel the kind of desire for me that burned your body with yearning.
Safu, you're my most important friend.
I always felt this scene was really important in conveying the fact that Safu knew where she stood with Shion. A part of her always knew, and she wasn't viewing him through rose colored glasses. Yes, she loved him. She loved him dearly, and she was incredibly human in that love for him. But she understood their relationship, and that being his friend was where she would always stand.
And even in the above quote, she mentions him being more talkative than usual. You can't form a basis of unusual or usual if there isn't consistency, thus, I always believed they met frequently. She never mentioned the whole incident with Nezumi (like listenforthelove said, probably out of understanding that Shion might not want to talk about it).
I always felt that Shion learned more about himself and his emotions in West Block, and essentially in No.6, he was restricted with those, so he wasn't entirely sure how to express his love for Safu (a very platonic one, much like you might have for a sister) then, but if he had met her later, things might have been different. He even had ideas of how he'd show her around and let her meet his friends become a part of their group again. I always felt the fact that Shion saw Safu at all was important because he and his mother were described as being anti-social among the community in Chronos. They were generally called weird in the novels.. I can't find the quote, but I distinctly remember it because I always considered it a very important aspect of Shion's personality and his eventual learning of his true emotions while with Nezumi.

And back on the Safu and Shion relationship topic, there's also this when he finds the coat which, as listenforthelove said, his reaction is very real and very fierce for. This follows that immediately after:
It was no mistake. This was Safu's coat. It had been a gift from her only blood relative, her grandmother, and even for a boy like Shion, he could tell that it was an elegant and becoming piece that complimented Safu's well-defined face.
"Your Grandma must really know you well, Safu. She always chooses things that look the best on you," he had said.
"Yeah, I guess so. I mean, she's raised me all my life, after all. Hey, Shion― if you were to give me a coat, what kind would you give me?"
"What? I'm sorry, but my wages are never gonna be able to get you a coat as nice as that one."
"I'm just saying, 'what if'? I want to know what you would choose."
"Hmm, tough question."
"Well, think hard. Solving difficult questions is your thing, isn't it?"
Last year, they had walked down a winter path holding this kind of conversation. The rays of the winter sun had streamed through the bare branches and shone down on Safu, making her coat glow dimly. That was the first time he had thought his childhood friend looked beautiful. The wintry sun, the warm smile, the grey coat. It was Safu's. He was sure of it.
from chapter 3 of volume 3

I'm probably just getting a bit emotional considering I considered Safu and Shion's friendship to be a beautiful part of the story due to the fact that.. I felt it was real in the way that they blurred the lines of friendship, family, and relationships in general as many close friendships do. You can love someone desperately but not be in love with them. And I felt Shion felt toward Safu the way I feel toward one of my close friends. We can lose contact for months and then pick it back up like we never lost it. We're not really touchy, but we both, at points, wondered if our feelings blurred into physical/emotional attraction in a romantic way, but if she were ever in danger (I've shown in cases of our friendship already) I would fight for her. I always felt Safu and Shion were in a situation like that, except, on Safu's side, she had a faint hope that Shion could accept her feelings, and if not, she sadly couldn't just toss them away like they hadn't ever mattered.

And you say Shion got over her death, but I always felt that in that situation, he hadn't time to mourn. On top of that.. I think he was focused on the man dying in front of him rather than the woman already dead. He had to focus on the moment in the moment to survive. He hadn't forgotten her. He was just facing a city at war, and then, shortly after, Nezumi's recovery. I have no doubts he cried when he was finally alone again. Not because Nezumi was gone but because he finally was able to feel the loss of everything he knew and saw as his future. I've always strongly believed Shion's analytical thinking and emotions conflict with one another.. so it was only  once his brain stopped constantly focusing on the here and now, that he let the emotions fully wash over him of all that happened. We didn't get to see Shion's breakdown. We just got to see later in Beyond that he was broken. I have no doubt that of course a large portion of that is the loss of Nezumi in his life, but it is also the fact that he failed at what he risked not only his life, but Nezumi's, Inukashi's, and Rikiga's to do. He put the lives of others beneath the life of Safu in his resolve to save her (of course, not by choice, only due to Nezumi saying the were going together but still..). He failed even with that risk, and he's lost his best friend forever. And that sort of thing.. you don't always think about it.. but you carry it on your shoulders. I've always felt that Safu's death was something Shion carried the way that Nezumi told him earlier, that he had to move forward, but remember her from time to time. I always felt that speech was eventually a full circle to Shion's later coping with loss.

But, these are just my thoughts, and I'm ridiculously bias toward the relationship between Shion and Safu and my views on its extreme importance. I know the two of you understand Japanese culture far more than I do, but.. I guess just as a human being with whatever feelings I have, I always felt they were something.. real. Not the unrealistically close friendships you see in dramas where the people can't stop hanging on each other or these.. distant sort of.. admiration built friendships.. but instead they were just two people who could interact with one another openly without feeling restraint, just honest to goodness friends.