“Garden Dreams” is a manga by Fumi Yoshinaga. Farhad and Saud are wandering minstrels who visit the castle of the Baron, who has a lovely flower garden. As they play their music, Saud is unexpectedly reunited with his daughter, whom he thought he lost after he was forced to make a sadistic choice of which of his own children he should let live. After the happily reunited family leaves the castle, the Baron reveals to Farhad about who planted the flower garden and his tragic past with his two wives. Will Farhad be able to heal the Baron’s wounded soul or will his dark past destroy him?
It’s a bit rough edged, but “Garden Dreams” is still a well written story with great artwork. The most interesting thing about Farhad and the Baron’s relationship is that while they don’t become a permeant couple; they’re still leading happy lives and are close friends, which is a refreshing change of pace from all of those over the top yaoi stories where it implies that you’re doomed to spend the rest of your life in agony if you break up with your first love. There’s even a scene poking fun at it when Farhad’s wife tells an edited version of the story to their daughter and afterwards, Farhad points out that she left out the part where he and the Baron are saved by a convenient rose bush. Although the reader may wonder if they might have gotten scratched by thorns. Still, the overall message of “Garden Dreams” is pretty uplifting, showing that you can survive some of the worst tragedies life throws at you and still find some lasting happiness. Although some readers may be a little amazed that Saud’s daughter doesn’t hold any resentment for what her father did to her when she was a child. Honolulu Fumi Yoshinaga fans should get it as soon as they can.
Buy “Garden Dreams” at Amazon.com