✿ suzumi nagase ❞
18 ✧ she/her ✧ april 3 ✧ aries ✧ bisexual
❝ Even when the gods held sway in the ancient days, I have never heard that water gleamed with autumn red as it does in Tatta's stream. ❞
— Ariwara no Narihira
— Ariwara no Narihira
proxy of suijin, representative of spring and the element of water, and resident of matsudo, chiba prefecture.
if suzumi were a dorito flavor, she'd be cheese because cheese is playing it safe and she's been playing it safe all her life. suzumi's almost painfully benign, often downplaying her own feelings to avoid inconveniencing others. she's opted for a cheerful front that isn't entirely faked since she naturally is a positive person. it just so happens that suzumi has stretched herself too thin, and sometimes becomes a bit of a doormat.
not wanting to trouble people by being anything less than perpetually bubbly and agreeable has made suzumi more closed off than she'd like to admit. the more she doesn't want someone to know about how she really feels, the more she'll keep smiling like nothing's wrong. the more she doesn't want to let go of something, the less she'll bring it up. she rarely, if ever, tells anyone how she really feels or what she really wants.
suzumi comes across as the average genki girl in most respects, which suits her needs just fine. she wants to be seen like that after all: someone friendly and inoffensive, the very definition of pleasant. she's quick to avoid confrontation at all costs, even if it means retracting her opinions and apologizing to avoid offending others. these tendencies stem from past instances when she expressed herself and regretted doing so, thanks to poor reactions. suzumi's indifferent in that she won't actively take sides in most situations, preferring to sit back and observe.
she'll settle for average if means less trouble for her.
occupation: a part-time florist at her aunt mariko's flower shop.
voice: misaki yatabe as tae from mushishi: the next passage.
backstory: the mixed daughter of a japanese father and a polish mother, suzumi's felt like an outsider all her life. suzumi's conception wasn't planned; kenjirou, who wanted his unborn child to be a japanese citizen, hastily proposed to karina. their eventual marriage, however, crumbled several years after suzumi's birth. karina didn't want to spend the rest of her life in japan, and the love she had for her husband and child wasn't enough to make her stay.
karina went back to poland after their divorce, cutting off all ties. kenjirou, who wanted his daughter to have a stable life, eventually transferred physical custody to mariko, his sister. suzumi was thirteen at the time, and secretly happy to settle down somewhere. since suzumi had to transfer schools so often during her childhood, there wasn't much opportunity for her to settle down and call any one place home. she didn't make any lasting friendships, which shook her confidence to the core.
nowadays, suzumi struggles a little with her identity as a hapa, a person of mixed ethnic heritage. she has no real connection to polish culture, but her mixed appearance unfortunately makes her an easy target for bullying: suzumi does her best to shrug off the jeers and swim away her troubles. the water has always been a place of belonging.
family: suzumi's very close with her father, nagase kenjirou, a second rank captain in the japan maritime self-defense force. kenjirou is a calm, even-tempered man who wants the best for his daughter. currently on patrol, and suzumi isn't sure when he'll be back, though she hopes that he'll make it home for the holidays.
karina winograd is kenjirou's polish ex-wife and suzumi's mother. neither of them have heard from her ever since the divorce, and well, suzumi doesn't really care either way. good riddance. if she can't even be bothered to write a letter, then suzumi's not going to put in the effort either. she barely remembers what karina looks like, save for photos.
suzumi now lives under the shirakawa roof with takashi and mariko. takashi is a down-to-earth man who manages accounts for a construction company. good with his hands and good at striking up relationships with people due to his easygoing nature. he strikes a good balance with his peppy, upbeat wife. mariko is suzumi's self-proclaimed "cool aunt" who owns a pretty well-to-do flower shop located along the way to hondo-ji temple. the shop's just a stone's throw away from their humble home. miyuki and kiyoshi are takashi and mariko's fraternal twins. suzumi gets along well with them both, but finds it easier to confide things in the bookish, reserved kiyoshi.
akano sayuri: suzumi's crush during the main events of canon and girlfriend post-canon.
one summer, sayuri crosses paths with suzumi, who's busy eating her second popsicle, near the entrance to hondo-ji temple. she asks suzumi to make a bouquet out of the flowers on her cart, and suzumi does her best to make it an impressive one. later on suzumi offers to show sayuri around matsudo, and the two begin a tentative acquaintanceship.
the two don't meet again until the main events of yuugen are in play, which is when everyone gets thrown together into the celestial games. sayuri and suzumi both see just how differently the other behaves in a group setting: sayuri keeps herself at a cool distance while suzumi hides behind easy smiles and laughs things off.
sayuri quickly notices how suzumi puts on a cheerful face around the rest of the cast and that sparks her initial interest: she senses a kindred soul who distances themselves from others too. sayuri decides that it'd be fine for now if she only got close to suzumi and played nice with the rest.
suzumi's perceptive in the same manner as sayuri but unlike sayuri, suzumi overthinks a lot (like sul from cheese in the trap). she often manages to overthink herself into passivity and complacency, observing and reporting on her life all while keeping it at arm's length.
as sayuri tries to get closer to her, suzumi squashes her own feelings down and wonders if she's thinking too highly of herself "because akano-san couldn't possibly be interested in me."
contrary to what suzumi thinks, sayuri finds herself growing more and more interested in suzumi: she wants to understand why suzumi hides behind fake smiles, and wants to know her better. she wants to see the real suzumi.
it's a mixed bag on suzumi's end. she's attracted to sayuri from the get-go and tries to interact with her a lot, all while wondering what's going on behind that neutral expression. she can't help but feel a little uneasy about it sometimes.
the star (tanabata) festival rolls around, and sayuri and suzumi make plans to attend together. as sayuri waits for suzumi to walk through the torii, she smooths out the folds in her yukata and hopes to herself that suzumi will find her pretty. suzumi tumbles through the gate shortly after, stares right at sayuri, and says she looks beautiful. that earns a blush on both ends.
the two end up walking around, eating at the food stands, and catching goldfish together. there's a few moments when suzumi makes sayuri's heart beat a bit faster, but sayuri just brushes it off as nerves. when it comes time to write down their wishes, they both already have something in mind.
"i wish to get closer to akano-san."
"i wish to understand nagase-san better."
sayuri finally realizes that she's got it bad for suzumi when she finds herself thinking it'd be nice if she was the one who could make suzumi happy. the one who'll be there to support her, see her through thick and thin. the attraction grows out of wanting to see a different side of suzumi for simple curiosity, as if she were a scientist looking through the microscope lens, into a genuine desire to accept everything. she falls in love slowly, less quickly than suzumi did, but her love is just as strong.
sazumis sit on their feelings for the longest time since they're also trying to develop and maintain other relationships with the rest of the ensemble cast. if they were only interacting with each other and no one else, they actually wouldn't be that healthy for one another in way of growth. it could easily turn into a powerplay of "i want to see you without your masks" and implicitly "i want to see you vulnerable." sayuri’s a little bit of both of those things, but it turns into this: "i want to see you without your masks and be yourself around me. i want to see you vulnerable so i can protect you, support you. we can support each other, and i'm not afraid to be weak around you."
sayuri and suzumi have a transparent conversation after the events of the main canon, and acknowledge their feelings for each other. it basically goes like this: "yes, i like you, i like you so much, but let's see if things will be different once we can't see each other so easily anymore." once the two become spiritual advocates in place of being proxies, they lose the ability to travel through the torii.
the two then keep in contact as much as possible, even while attending separate universities. one day, suzumi musters up the nerve to see sayuri in kumamoto, kyushu. she's always been a passive person in life, and so this marks a significant change in character as she decides she'll go and see sayuri and confess again that nothing's changed. of course it wouldn't, she knew that right from the beginning when they separated.
so, now in their early twenties, sayuri and suzumi meet at the train station at kumamoto and head back to sayuri's house, going up to her room. suzumi confesses that the feelings never changed and sayuri, after a long moment of blushing intensely, says she feels the same way.
the backstory i've created behind this picture by the wonderful olee is that it's their first kiss. suzumi asks for permission and sayuri consents, and then suzumi, being the nervous dork that she is, asks if she should take off her glasses and sayuri responds, "well i don't know, i. haven't exactly done this much." suzumi chuckles, takes it off and finally kisses her and it's all soft and sweet and tender and sayuri's hesitating because it's her first kiss from someone she truly loves.
moving on though, suzumi proceeds to major in and work in sports medicine and athletic training! sayuri's passion has always been writing, so she goes on to write though there's more of a focus on translating. she's always been passionate about communication and being able to convey a message in another language, since she had so much trouble with communicating before. she majors in writing, with a focus on english (she's fluent) and a minor in linguistics.
sayuri moves to tokyo to be with suzumi. the two have a busy city life before eventually finding their way together to the countryside, where suzumi opens her own flower shop and coaches a high school baseball team on the side. she also finds time to be a personal trainer, and does end up quite successful as one. as for sayuri, her writing and translations earn worldwide recognition and she goes on to write some books based on the yuugen adventures. the two get married when they're around their late twenties.
they don't adopt a kid, but they do have a dog, a cat, and a bird that they consider their children anyhow. and they stay together for the rest of their life!
arashida katsuya is
akimitsu takayoshi is
nakamura mamoru is suzumi's best friend who wants to get into college through a basketball scholarship. popular and well-liked among his peers, but somewhat cool and standoffish in demeanor. suzumi and mamoru used to date, but agreed to be friends after mamoru realized he was more attracted to his teammates, and suzumi realized she was crushing on sayuri. these two have a dynamic similar to these friends from tan jiu's their story, where they tease each other mercilessly but support one another with their romantic endeavors.
yuugen, which has an ensemble cast of nine people from different parts of japan.
suzumi wields a jumonji yari in battle, which she uses to control the movement of water. it's shaped somewhat like a trident. she can create water on her own, and doesn't reply on sources of water.
header by kohiu