Hotsuma and Shuusei

"I definitely think... the really amazing one... is... you... with your open gaze and charisma that sparkles like a precious jewel. But the only one who sees it... is me." - Shuusei

Hotsuma Renjou and Shuusei Usui are from the manga and anime The Betrayal Knows My Name where they were a pair of Zweilt fighters involved in an unceasing war that had spanned many different lifetimes. Although their lives were never easy, they knew that they could depend on each other no matter what and were often inseparable. They were both well developed and rounded characters, and I enjoyed the scenes where the usually emotionally detached and depressed Shuusei could be found being sarcastic or teasing Hotsuma to get a rise out of him, or when the impulsive and hot headed Hotsuma was so cute and eager to please Shuusei. They brought out different sides to each other that really added depth to the characters and series as a whole.

This series was an interesting one because the characters had so much history between them that was hinted at throughout the manga, including their past as lovers. They had lived many different lifetimes fighting side by side, caring for and ultimately losing one other, but even with their shared experiences throughout their past lives, Hotsuma and Shuusei really tiptoed around each other when it came to their feelings. They were both so afraid of hurting one another that they ended up doing just that time and time again by keeping certain things unsaid. I really found it touching how deeply they wanted to protect each other, and even with everything they had been through in their past and current lives that they were still so unsure when it came to being honest.

Although the story was sometimes convoluted with all the different characters and storylines to focus on, I just loved Hotsuma and Shuusei. I liked many of the other Zweilt partners as well, but there was just something really special about the unshakable bond between these two. The manga is still ongoing, but it has been hinted at by Shuusei that he felt that the war was going to come to an end within this lifetime, one way or another. It is moving how despite his indifference towards life, he tries to put his all into living it for Hotsuma, and how Hotsuma is continually trying to show Shuusei just how important he is to him. When granted the freedom to live as they choose, I am certain these two will be able to find the happiness they seek together.

Quotes

Episode 6 (The Boundary Between Light and Despair)

Hotsuma: "All I know is, I can only work with someone I can trust my with my life."

Shuusei: "You're quite the wordsmith."

Hotsuma: "I didn't just make that up. It's what I believe..."

Shuusei: "I suppose I should thank you for trusting me so much."


Volume 2

Shuusei: [thinking] 'Because you were there then... I'm alive and standing here now.'

Hotsuma: "Shuusei?"

Shuusei: [thinking] '...Each time... I heard my name fall from your lips... those were the only occasions when I was truly able to experience what it meant to be alive. I'm sorry. As long as you're here... I don't care about anything else. For thinking such a terrible thing... I'm sorry.'

Hotsuma: "...I trust you. You get me, Shuusei? You stand by me, right?"

Shuusei: "...Yes. Because I'm your partner." [thinking] 'Till the day comes... when you don't need me anymore. Till then.'

Hotsuma: "I- I tried to kill myself once. I just wanted to disappear and not exist anymore. To leave this world. So I used my pain-in-the-ass 'Voice of God' on myself. ...But just when I thought... 'now I can take it easy'... I was pulled back by this crazy strong power." [thinking] 'It was Shuusei."

Shuusei: [flashback] "Don't leave me here in a world without you!"

Hotsuma: "...It's a pretty stupid story. I gave Shuusei alone those scars that'll never heal. And then I... finally realized something. Hurting people... taking lives... if I think of all those things I've done as sins, then... even if it means getting down on my knees and groveling, I have to live to atone for them!! No matter how much it hurts... no matter what- It's because of him that I swore to do it. And the fact that I've made it this far... is because he was there for me! Maybe I'm too dependent on his kindness. But I know full well just how fragile I am, so... I needed someone... only one person. Just that one person was good enough for me. Someone, who even if the rest of the world turns its back on me... would be an unshakable presence. No one else but him... will do."

Shuusei: "I never once thought the war against the Duras was all that harsh. I think I lack something important that makes a human being... a human being. The times I've ever felt anything or been moved by something are few and far between. Everything before my eyes is always pitch dark. With the exception of you... everyone is- It's only when I'm with you that things look bright. I feel warmth. My heart is moved. Only a fierce light... like the sun... can reach this darkness. And I can feel like I'm 'alive'. No matter how terrible things get, I know with your 'love' for people, you won't turn your back on this world. And that's why I won't either. You're my reason to fight and the meaning to my life. So... as long as you need me... I can go on living."

Shuusei: "Say... there are lots of things that are important to you, right?"

Hotsuma: "Hunh?"

Shuusei: "But I only have you. I wonder it if might be easier if I had other things I cared about too. But... I know it's no use. It's not something you can come up with just because you want to. 'Something important', that is."

Hotsuma: "Shuusei... I'll say it in case ya didn't know, but yer the most impor-"


Volume 6

Luka: "If you give up here, Shuusei will never come back. That's what you think, isn't it? Then all you can do is act on that instinct. A partnership, a bond surpassing any other - that is what it is to be a Zweilt. Do you have so little faith in that bond?"

Hotsuma: "...No. That's not...!"

Shuusei: [flashback] "Hotsuma, don't ever doubt."

Hotsuma: [thinking] 'I'm the one who knows him best! Concentrate! Is it just a hunch that makes me wanna keep looking? No. It's 'cos I believe... that Shuusei is a guy who won't make a move without a solid plan in place. That he won't walk into something he can't walk out of. That until the bitter end... he'll keep tryin' to find a way to stay alive. He's gotta be... waitin' for me to find him!'

Hotsuma: "Dammit!" [shouting] "Where are you!? Shuusei!? Call out to me...! Even if you're at the farthest edge of Hell, I'll come get you!! So just call me!!! Shuusei!!!"

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