"Gilbert Cocteau, you were the greatest flower to ever bloom in my life. In the faraway dreams of youth, you were a bright red flame, blazing so fiercely...You were the wind that stirred my branches. Can you hear the poem of the wind and trees? Can you hear the tumult of our youth? Oh, there must be others who so remember their own days of youth...."
It is 1880 at Lacombrade Academy, an all-boy's boarding school in France. Serge Battour is a cheerful and kind new student who is trying to fit in with the rest of the student body, despite the taboo of his Gypsy heritage, made obvious by his dark skin. However, his roommate Gilbert Cocteau - who will sleep with anyone if he can manipulate them to his advantage by doing so - is not helping the situation, especially when he makes it his personal goal to bring about Serge's downfall. The two boys may destroy each other or come closer together.Or both.Kaze To Ki No Uta, also known as either "The Song of Wind and Trees" or "The Poem of Wind and Trees," is a 17-volume manga series by Keiko Takemiya that was written from 1976 to 1984. It was one of the first shoujo manga to focus on a homosexual relationship between boys and the first to have sex play a major role in the story; Takemiya, along with then-roommate and fellow mangaka Moto Hagio, is credited with kickstarting the shounen-ai genre (Takemiya's earlier work, "In the Sunroom" was the first manga to have shounen-ai elements). The series, though controversial, was able to win the prestigious Shogakukan Manga award for shojo in 1979, as well as now being regarded as a classic.The series was also adapted into a 60-minute OVA that more or less summed up the first three volumes of the series, as well as revealing what happens at the end. The OVA was targeted towards those who have already read the manga, being quite fast-paced and skipping some story arcs.This is a great series for those seeking a more unique take on the male/male genre, interesting characters, and endearing storyline. And when watching or reading, be sure to have some tissues ready.Also has a character sheet, so please help out with the blurbs!
This series provides examples of:
The Ace - Serge is smart, athletic, good looking and, among other things, a musical prodigy and an excellent equestrian.
Anything That Moves - Gilbert, apparently. He only sleeps with one girl in his entire life, though, in contrast with the sheer number of male partners he's had (willingly or otherwise); also, it seems like he only slept with Camille in order to get back at Serge.
Book Dumb - Gilbert is easily more intelligent than most of the boys in his class, yet has little, if any, academic merit to speak of (although this may simply be because he just doesn't care).
Possibly subverted with Pascal, who has proven to be more than capable of doing well in classes, but has failed three years in a row because he prefers to spend his time studying more useful/interesting things (like knitting).
Book Ends - The titular 'poem' (see page quote) appears as both an opening and closing monologue.
Boys Love - Quite possibly the Trope Codifier, for manga, anyway. (A lot of the core BL tropes were put in place by Mari Mori's "aesthetic" novels of the 1960's.)
Broken Bird - Gilbert could probably count as one of those rare male examples. For comparison, have a look at another male example, Souma in the manga series Sakura Gari, which has a lot of similarities in style with KazeKi, with both Souma and Gilbert having very similar backstories and behaviour (i.e. rape, trauma, death, and a lot of Break the Cutie).
A Day in the Limelight - Koufuku no Hato, the one-shot epilogue to the story, focuses on Rosemarine and Jules.
Demoted to Extra - Sebastien, a reasonably significant character even early on in the manga, only appears twice in the OVA and doesn't do much. Patricia and Jules, who become important characters later on, don't appear at all.
Good Scars, Evil Scars - Auguste has some rather nasty scarring on his torso from when his step-brother tried to burn him after discovering Auguste was sleeping with his wife. On the good side, Angeline has some noticable burn-scarring on her face following an incident where her hair caught alight on a fireplace when she was trying to save Serge from a punishment she thought he didn't deserve.
Lover Husbandry - what Auguste does to Gilbert as a child comes very close to this, manipulating, torturing and warping his mind so he'll be absolutely devoted to him, "his puppet" as he calls him. The only difference is that the "lover" part seems to have been initially unintentional, and that Auguste didn't wait until he was an adult... or wait until he was even 10 years old. There's a lot of Squick in their relationship, to say the least.
Odd Friendship - Deeply religious, straight-laced, hard working honour student Karl and rebellious, eccentric, Brilliant, but Lazy atheist Pascal. Serge strikes something of a balance between the two, but they were friends before they met him.
Parental Abandonment - Serge's parents died within a year of one another when he was very young. Gilbert's moved away without him after his mother went a bit crazy and tried to kill him... when he was still an infant, no less.
Rape and Switch - Gilbert and Auguste. The former was raped first by Bonnard and then by his own "uncle" when he was nine, and the latter was raped by his stepbrother at a young age.
Rape Leads to Insanity: Gilbert and Auguste, which is related to the Rape and Switch trope above. Needless to say, these incidents are the reason how the two guys became so screwed up, especially Gilbert.
Roma - Serge's mother Paiva and, by extension, Serge himself.
School Uniforms are the New Black - Ususally justified by the setting, although not always (for example, characters are often shown in other clothes in the dorms, suggesting they're not mandatory outside of school hours, yet Serge and Gilbert still wore theirs for most of the summer vacation).
Screw the Rules, I Have Money! - Seemingly the only reason Gilbert hasn't been expelled despite the fact that he rarely goes to classes and engages in a lot of very un-catholic activities with other students.
Slut Shaming - Gilbert gets this from other students, making him a rare male victim. It also formed part of the discrimination against Serge's mother Paiva, which has lead to it becoming a Berserk Button for Serge himself.
Spell My Name with an S - Is the school named Lacombrade or Laconblade? Meanwhile, the headaches that the characters' names cause are covered on the character sheet; Gilbert's about the only one whose name is spelt consistently.
Spiritual Successor - To Takemiya's earlier oneshot Natsu e no Tobira (The Door to Summer), in that they both revolve around 14-year-old boys at a French boarding school.
Spot of Tea - Tea seems to be involved in nearly all of Jules' scenes, and at one point he rambles about how much it means to him.