Subject Line: Feilong – as I see him
Character: Liu Feilong
Fandom: You’re My Love Prize in Viewfinder/Finder no Hyouteki (Yamane Ayano)
Spoilers: All over the manga
Personal Website: Clueless Website
Please note that, due to the nature of the fandom, this essay contains non-consensual sex and violence terms, which you may find disturbing. I tried to keep it as minimal as possible, though. I think of him whenever the wound aches – Chapter 2, page 60.Liu Feilong
(or Ryou Feilon as referred in some translations/scanlations) is introduced to us by the magical hands of Yamane Ayano through her infamous, amazing series “You’re my love prize in Viewfinder” (Finder no Hyouteki). Viewfinder itself is basically a collection of short stories, revolving around the two main characters: Takaba Akihito, a photojournalist, who makes his living by stalking the dark world of illegal business; and Asami Ryuuichi, a businessman who is believed to have his hands on any kind of business, legal and illegal.
Honestly, I was completely unimpressed at Feilong’s first appearance for some reasons. Firstly, because he came to me as a typical pretty manga boy - drop dead gorgeous, with cold look, miles of silky hair and a personality that could kill. It does not help matters that I am not such a big fan of long-haired bishounens with girly face.
Secondly, in his first appearance, Feilong had to rape Takaba. After learning in Chapter One about Takaba’s abduction by Asami, which later included BDSM and rape as obedience tools, I was not too keen about another raping scene in a short span of time.
Thirdly, Feilong’s existence made me confused about who is actually the bad guy here. Chapter One led me to believe that it was Asami, considering what he did to Takaba, and the nature of his business. However, Feilong made it all suddenly unclear.
Then, as I went on reading, I also learned that Feilong sports a very typical mafia attitude, which got me less and less impressed. Everything he does is predictable. There is nothing really interesting to look forward to. Perhaps I watched too many Hong Kong movies. Even what he did to Takaba in the Chapter Five of Naked Truth arc did not surprise me at all. He is a mafia, he was trained as a mafia, and using people is one of the things mafia does to get what they want. Also, holding a grudge over someone that they consider to have double-crossed or betrayed them is a very mafia thing to do.
There are lots of theories being drawn to explain his horrible action, most of them being based on Feilong’s psychological background and terrible past. I must say that they are pretty interesting theories. And as I started to learn about the controversy around Feilong, I decided to take a good look into this character. … everyone else was dead, I was the only one left – Chapter 6, page 33.
Feilong first appeared in Chapter Two. He is a triad (Chinese mafia) leader from Liu organization, who came to Japan to collect a disk containing important information about his organization. The disk somehow fell into the hands of Takaba. Feilong’s men captured Takaba, and when they failed to make Takaba talking, Feilong took the matter into his hand and went as far as raping Takaba. However, Feilong admitted that he raped Takaba more to revenge against Asami, who he knew from several years back and gave him a bullet wound on his left chest.
Chapter Four to Six, which is the Flower in the High Loft arc, brings us to the past life of Feilong, a.k.a. seven years before the series started. Feilong was told to be an adopted (or I would say: illegal) son of a triad leader in Hong Kong, named Liu. Liu himself had a son, some years older than Feilong, named Yantzu.
Yantzu was not particularly happy to have Feilong as a younger brother. He thought their father preferred Feilong. Meanwhile, Feilong played the role of obedient child, although he was bullied by Yantzu all of the time.
Things got heated when a Japanese businessman named Asami Ryuuichi came to Hong Kong to provide a service to a politician named Tou. Suspecting Asami to get his hands on their business, Yantzu sent Feilong to kill Asami. When Feilong failed, Yantzu got so upset that he went beyond limit and sexually harassed Feilong. Feilong left the house, vowing to never come back, but fate brought him back to Asami.
The turmoil worsened and ended up with the death of both Liu and Yantzu. Feilong thought Asami shot Liu. Later, in a confrontation with Asami, Asami told Feilong who was his true father. Feilong refused to believe it, and ended up being shot. Asami got away and Feilong went to jail. When he got out, he took over Liu’s organization as the leader.
Feilong showed up again at Naked Truth arc, which was still ongoing, where again, he got himself between Takaba and Asami. I’m embarrassed by my own shameful behaviour – Chapter 6, page 10.
Feilong’s strength and weakness lie on the nature of the world he was born into. Everything he does, how he reacts on things, seem to follow a certain manual of mafia world. As a member of a mafia family, Feilong was trained to be a skillful, deadly martial artist. He also can handle guns very well. He gained his strength through hardships. He is very loyal to the family, in particular to Liu and Yantzu. To his enemies or anyone who gets in his way, he is a ruthless person. Later, he proved that he did not make it to become triad leader for nothing, and that he is worth for the position.
On the other hand, he is also gentle to people he holds dear in his heart. This is described at length in the Flower on the High Loft arc. He loved Liu unconditionally in return of Liu’s affection to him. For that, he carried out the role of an obedient child perfectly, and took care of Liu’s orders without second thought. Before Yantzu harassed him, Feilong also held high respect for his older brother. He was gentle towards the servants and bodyguards. Later, when he had become a harder, more cruel man, he still showed this gentleness towards his personal boy servant, Tao.
Even with Asami, he went through a period when he trusted Asami completely, even as far as putting his life in Asami’s hands.
However, Feilong’s character and personality underwent a big change after the end of Chapter Six. He is somewhat colder and more reserved. He also became more vicious and violent, especially when dealing with anything that relates to Asami. … I am a fool… to be touched by the warmth that you gave me – Chapter 6, page 32
It is obvious from the start that Feilong is trapped in a love-hate situation with Asami. He trusted Asami once, then considered Asami to have betrayed him, and held the grudge forever. That makes him wanting to destroy everything Asami has. Asami, on the other hand, did not seem to want to rectify that until Feilong got his hands on Takaba, who Asami claimed to be belonged to him exclusively.
With Takaba, Feilong only uses him as a tool to get Asami. He manipulated Takaba, and when Takaba got away, he simply taught Takaba a lesson in the most violent way.… but the scar remains… - Chapter 6, page 32
Despite of the controversy, the heated discussions and the theories, I feel that there is not enough information from the thirteen chapters manga, which was divided into short stories and semi-long stories, to draw a good conclusion over this particular character. I don’t think it is fair to stamp him as a bad guy, yet. If he is compared with Asami, perhaps they share the same level of evilness. One can say that Asami is less evil because he shows some affection towards Takaba, however, Feilong did that too long, long time ago, towards his father, brother and Asami.
Right now, I prefer to see Feilong as the victim of a system, a system that taught him and brought him up this way, a system called mafia. However, he is a unique character nonetheless, with so many faces he shows all through the manga.
Now that I finally got myself interested in Feilong and started to see him in a different angle and perspective, I’m keen in finding out what would happen next in this series. I want to know how Feilong will go from here.
And I’m well prepared if he turns out to be the real evil here.
* * * *
Thanks to gogoangelgunboy
who gave the first reading on this essay ^ ^