"Do you remember what you said before? That no one can ever replace me? That you don't want a life full of nothingness? Well... I'll never go away. I'll never leave you alone." - Shuichi
Shuichi Shindou, the vocalist in the band Bad Luck, and Eiri Yuki, a famous romance novelist, are from the manga and anime Gravitation. They first met in the park late one night when lyrics Shuichi was working on blew into the hands of Yuki, who promptly insulted the song, leaving Shuichi angry and a little bit intrigued by the stranger. Little did either of them know that that chance meeting would lead to them not only falling in love, but finding something in each other that they both desperately needed. This series is one of my favorites and was the title that got me started on manga when I needed more of the story after I finished the anime. These boys are among my very favorite couples and there is just something so compelling about them that makes them really special to me.
On the surface, Yuki could initially come across as cold and unemotional while Shuichi was whiny and needy, but their characters went so much deeper than that. The manga went much further than the anime with their story and really got to the core of the problems in their relationship. Yuki constantly battled the overpowering guilt at taking the life of his tutor, his mental health issues, and how to find a compromise between what Shuichi needed and deserved and what he could give. And Shuichi struggled with the pressures of his musical career, living his life in the spotlight, and how to give Yuki the support that he needed while not always getting back what he wanted. Throughout all their struggles, you could really see them growing closer and finding a mutual understanding. Their relationship was not an easy one, but they both seemed committed to making it work and underneath it all they really loved each other and wanted to be together.
At the end of the original manga, Yuki and Shuichi had finally reached an understanding and were going to New York so that they could visit Yuki Kitazawa's grave together. The final images of the series showed them wearing matching rings, Shuichi telling Yuki that he loved him, and Yuki smiling sweetly back at him. Their story continued in the Gravitation EX spin-off, where they took in Yuki Kitazawa's young son, and although his mere presence initially caused no end of suffering for Yuki, the little family eventually found happiness together. The Shindou Family Circumstances story after EX mostly revolved around Riku's adventures in high school, but it was so good to see Yuki and Shuichi still together and very much in love after so many years. Their relationship may not have always made sense to their friends and family, but it worked for them and I am sure that these two are stuck with each other for the long haul.
Yuki: "So are you happy now? I think we're even. I visited my father like you asked me to... and then I even came to vsit you. So don't ever make stupid excuses to see me anymore!"
Shuichi: "Wha--? What the hell do you mean?! Don't ever see you again?! You're saying it like it's all my fault! You can't stop me! I want to see you no matter what!"
Yuki: "That's not what I meant, you dumbass. I mean that you can come see me... without having to make up some lame story."
Yuji: "Thanks for bringing Ayaka-san. I know it was asking a ton. I suppose Shuichi-kun has put you through a lot, too. He's kind of emotional."
Yuki: "Understatement of the century. Every mood swing he had, I had to have with him."
Yuji: "I imagine you did."
Yuki: "You've hooked into some part of my brain, and I'm not sure how. It's a tough business you put me through, what with split personalities and vomiting blood. But I'd rather throw up my large intestine than throw everything away. I want to see where this plot is going."
K: "Did you have fun on your date yesterday, Shuichi?"
Shuichi: "Yup! Not everything went according to plan, but I did get my print club photo! It's the in thing to paste the print club stickers all over your cell phone. I arranged them chaotically to symbolize our love! What do you think?"
K: "Umm... well, it's certainly different. Very cool! I'm glad it worked out. It means all that fighting with the press was worthwhile."
Shuichi: "Yup, and I think Yuki had a good time too. A coupla peas in a pod... Little by little, Yuki is opening up to me... and I'm actually starting to understand him. It's not like it was before, when I never knew what he was thinking. I used to think, well... that Yuki was a certain kind of guy... and it wasn't really fair. The real Eiri Yuki is much, much different. And if that's part of his sickness... then I hope I can be patient, wait for him to open up, and help him get better."
K: "Shit, man... you really love Yuki-san don't you?"
Shuichi: "Yeah! I do love him. With all of my heart!"
Yuki: "What can I do? How can I make it so that you see only me?"
Shuichi: "Does... does that mean... that you... l-love me? Am I totally crazy, or is it that... you love me? Is that why you want me to see only you?"
Yuki: "I don't know any other way. I can't stand it when you're sad. That's why... I wrote those lyrics. But they didn't work. You're still not happy. Have you ever seen me bawl like this? You're not a replacement for Kitazawa. And there's no replacement for you. Without you... there's nothing. I don't want to lose everything... not again."
Shuichi: "I know you don't want to talk about it, but if it'll make you feel better, you can punch me. Unless you want to be alone. I know how sometimes you need to be-"
Yuki: "No. I'm not good with kids. That's all. It doesn't matter if he's Kitazawa's kid... I just don't want to deal with him. The kid didn't depress me so much that I need to be alone, though. Not yet. So he had a son. It's got nothing to do with me."
Shuichi: "...You say. But you don't mean it. I see."
Yuki: "Listen to me. I said I don't want to be left alone. I'm not going to let you... leave me."
Shuichi: "You're not... you're not... Yuki! That's so cute!"
Yuki: "What the hell are you talking about?"
Shuichi: "That too! The way you just sat up is so cute!"
Yuki: "I said 'please don't leave me', not 'please jump all over me'."
Ryuichi: "Hey, you know yourself, right? If you take away your good looks, what do you have left? Eiri Yuki!"
Yuki: [thinking] 'What are you going to do... run away again?' [starts towards Ryu and blindly trips and falls to the ground]
Yuki: [grabs Ryu's shirt] "...Nothing. I have nothing, then. So don't take this away. He's my only..."