[Note: Chiduru will be Chizuru from now on. Thanks to kam for the correction. ^^]
June 24, 2011
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun [Chapters 13-16]
Originally posted @ tatsukida.pitas.com on June 18, 2011
[Note: Chiduru will be Chizuru from now on. Thanks to kam for the correction. ^^]
Chapter 13: 0 and 1 Shizuku got a rude awakening. First, it is the noisy alarm clock. Next, she found Haru reading a book in her room. His reason is that exams are coming soon so Asako asked him to fetch her so that they’ll study together. While Shizuku is still sleepy and wondering about why it isn’t a big deal to intrude into someone else’s house, she got a shock upon learning that Haru did try to go to her house the normal way but he was shooed away by Shizuku’s father. Her father didn’t know that there is no school today and told Haru not to tell Shizuku that he is at home. Shizuku, together with Haru, immediately confronts her father who looked nervous while reading a newspaper. Shizuku learned that her father’s store had closed up [/bankrupt] around two weeks ago but he is too scared to tell them else, he would shock them. Shizuku is totally aghast that she didn’t notice it because for some years, everything has been going smoothly. After calming down a bit, Shizuku decides to call her mother to inform her about it. While Shizuku is calling her mother, Haru asked the father if he should leave since they are busy. He tells Haru that it doesn’t matter anymore even if a stupid guy like him is there. On the phone, Shizuku’s mother complains on how many years and months, does that guy plan on making her work. Shizuku apologizes to her mother but she told Shizuku that she doesn’t need to apologize and she’ll just think of a way about it. After hanging up the phone, Shizuku tells her father to ‘just die, you small man’, as a message from her mother. While her father is freaking out on how much Shizuku’s expression and tone is the same as his wife, Shizuku sighs and says that even if her mother said not to worry but is it really alright. Shizuku says that she’s going to change clothes to help her father tidy the store up. She apologizes to Haru and tells him to go on ahead for today. As Shizuku went to change clothes, Haru muses that Shizuku is amazing on how she handled it. Her father comments that it is because this is already the sixth time it happened. This made Haru say that he is such a useless father. Shizuku’s father admitted that it is true and it is probably because of their set-up, Shizuku and Takaya [Shizuku’s younger brother] are a bit lonely..Shizuku become cold-hearted and have no friends. He then says that ever since before, Shizuku is only into studying, and when they are watching some television show, the two siblings don’t react at all. To her father’s surprise, Haru tells him that Shizuku has friends. When Shizuku comes back to ask if her father is really ready, Haru remembers the time when Shizuku asked him if it is cruel to make the other person wait when the answer is already obvious.
At the game center, Sasayan tells Haru and Asako that he had a girlfriend before during junior high. Apparently, Haru doesn’t even remember that Sasayan studied in the same school as his. Asako changes the topic by asking Haru about his relationship with Shizuku. Haru tells her that Shizuku told him that she’ll think things over between them during the school festival. Asako is shock for it has already been a month and there has been no progress. She blames it on Haru who is too satisfied with the situation and he just passing the situation on Shizuku. And, given Shizuku’s nature, it won’t be long before things will end between the two. While Haru and Sasayan are talking about it being inevitable to go steady with someone one likes and at times, not knowing what to do, they were surprised to see that Shizuku has overheard them. Shizuku looks aghast for she has totally forgotten that she told those things to Haru before. Shizuku tells them that she only dropped by to bring something and she’ll be on her way. Blushing Shizuku looks at Haru and wonders if he had been waiting all these time. Walking together Shizuku, Haru asks if her father is okay. Shizuku says that her father asked a friend to help him out. Haru tells her that her father told him that because her mother is working, he had made Shizuku and her younger brother lonely. He asks if it is true. Shizuku says that is what her father always says and if he is really serious, he should just go find some formal job. Shizuku tells him that she wants to become like her mother who is independent and can earn money for herself. Shizuku then comments about her father suggested that they buy a goldfish for a huge jar at the backyard but in the end, it didn’t happen. She studied and prepared the things needed for it that she thinks if she didn’t anticipate it, she won’t be that disappointed. While Shizuku wonders if she was lonely at that time, Haru has an idea that he quickly grabs her hand and says that he’ll show her something good. Then, Shizuku wonders if at that time, she also thought of the same thing. To Shizuku’s aghast, Haru plans to catch some crayfish for her by the riverside. Shizuku exclaims that she doesn’t need it but Haru insists that the crayfish there are huge. Shizuku shouts that she doesn’t want to have a pet in a jar.
At the library, Yamaken had asked the librarian for the 5th time as to where he can find a certain book. It turns out that he is lost in the library ^^; but miraculously, he finally finds E-5 as well as Shizuku. After exchanging greetings and why they are there, to Yamaken’s delight, Shizuku tells him that she always wanted to see him. Yamaken is happy for he thinks that Shizuku is interested in him but to his dismay, Shizuku just wants to say that she is still number one even if his grades in English is higher at the mock exam. Yamaken angrily tells her that he isn’t into some superiority contest with her and someone like her who is really into studying, what’s the meaning to it. He apologizes and says that for him, he finds her really stupid. Then, he says that even if he doesn’t study like his life is depended on it, his life can still be considered a victory against others. Shizuku asks if that is his so called ‘interesting life’ and whether studying can become a good outcome or not, it depends on oneself. Yamaken asks if she is with Haru. Shizuku says that Haru is at the riverside, catching some fish or shrimp. Yamaken exclaims that it is too cold for it is November. Shizuku says that Haru said that he’ll catch a big crayfish and give it to her. While he comments that Haru’s wisdom/sense is stuck at the elementary age, Yamaken notices that there is a change in Shizuku’s expression. While Yamaken is wondering why he brought up that topic, Shizuku tells him about what he told her before at the school festival had made her realize to go affront at the other person and what he said had moved her. Yamaken looks surprise over this. At Master Donut, Sasayan called Haru about his and Shizuku’s whereabouts. Then, as he brings the food on his table with Asako, Sasayan tells her that Haru is by the riverside playing while Shizuku went to the library. Asako laments over Haru doing some strange thing again that is why Shizuku said before that, she is only someone who just happened to be at Haru’s side. Asako decides to forget about it and just cheer the two on. Suddenly, a couple of girls from a different school come in. Asako quickly hides her face in the menu that Sasayan asks what she is doing. The two girls ask if it is that girl and is the one with her, her boyfriend. While Sasayan wonders what’s up with those girls, Asako looks really nervous and tense as she apologizes to Sasayan for getting him implicated/involved because of her. Sasayan is puzzled as to what she is talking about. Asako gets really nervous when someone asks if it is pretty girl Natsume. It turns out to be Micchan who got to them first before those two other girls. Micchan says that it is quite rare to see them and what is she doing there. Asako looks mildly relieved. When Micchan turns to the two girls, they quickly leave. While Micchan is puzzled over what’s happening, Asako seems to look lovingly at Micchan as if he is her savior.
Soon, it is night. Shizuku rides on a bus while Yamaken bids her goodbye and says that he is going to ride a taxi. After the bus left, Yamaken bends over and telling himself that the other person is that girl so what the heck is he thinking. Flashback: While Yamaken writes something on the notebook for Shizuku, he told her that if she cannot let go, then just co-exist. Why does it have to be only 0 or 1, she isn’t a robot. He ended up blushing when she praised him over how the way he said it. He exclaimed that he is only saying this in good faith without any other intention. Puzzled Shizuku thanked him. End flashback. Yamaken stomps away while thinking that it is a good thing that the trio aren’t there else they would laugh at him for falling for a girl like that..liking Haru’s girl. Then, he notices that he is holding Shizuku’s pen. On the bus, Shizuku thinks that every time she gets in touch with people, she felt her own unhappiness. She remembered her mother telling everyone that she will be working in place of their useless father. Then, Shizuku would call her mother about the high scores she got on the test. Then, while Shizuku is walking and asking why her father is useless, her father suggest that they buy a goldfish that wasn’t bought before. But, Shizuku exclaimed that she doesn’t want it anymore. End flashback. She wonders why she thinks of things as 0 or 1, could it be because spending time on something unreliable is a waste of time. When, Shizuku passes by the park, Sasayan greets her that she’s back. Shizuku asks if they haven’t gone home yet. Sasayan says that he’s on the phone. Asako asks Haru who is by the riverside if he isn’t cold. Haru tells the others that Shitayanagi and others were there and he had lots of fun. Shizuku asks Haru if there are crayfish there. Climbing up the bridge’s fence, Haru happily tells her that there are but they are sleeping. Shizuku thought that Haru has forgotten his main goal until Haru tells her that he is really happy that it is so much fun and even if he didn’t find a crayfish, he will find something better so she shouldn’t worry. While she somewhat blush over this, Shizuku remembers that right now, her younger brother has been using that jar at the backyard. She thinks that it is a useless thing but how come she feels that there is some meaning to it when talking about it with Haru. In the end, she cannot bear saying such things to give Haru something to expect. Then, the taxi passes by, Yamaken notices Shizuku so he asks the driver to wait so that he can return her pen. While he approaches her, he notices the flustered and small smile of Shizuku while looking at Haru. Sasayan and Asako call out to the two that they are going home. Haru tells Shizuku that he’s going to get his bag by the river. Shizuku tells him to get it because she doesn’t plan on waiting for him. After Haru got his bag, Yamaken calls out to him and throws the pen which Haru catches. Haru asks why he has it. Yamaken says that he met Shizuku at the library. Haru looks thoughtful and asks Yamaken if he had fallen for Shizuku. To Haru’s surprise, Yamaken asks what if he does, does Haru got any objections. Then, Yamaken leaves. While walking home, Sasayan asks where Haru is, Asako is excited over upcoming vacation and Shizuku telling her to study.
Chapter 14: Christmas Soon, it will be Christmas and Shizuku got an invitation to a Christmas party in her bag courtesy of Ayako who wants to surprise her. Ayako’s spirits are quite high while Haru’s are quite tense and agitated. Shizuku wonders why would Haru always be around her all the time as if he is afraid of something. She also feels a bit afraid seeing him like that. At the fastfood chain, the trio is surprise to see Yamaken and the trio. Ayako is aghast that they want to join the Christmas party that she tries to say that they can’t go without an invitation. Shizuku then asks if Yamaken is joining. Just when Yamaken is saying no, Haru leans at Yamaken and says that Yamaken cannot come. Yamaken got irritated that he asked why. To everyone’s shock, Haru says out loud that a few days ago, Yamaken said that he has fallen for Shizuku. In a pinch, Yamaken casually says that he is just teasing Haru. The trio say is that so, and tell Haru not to shock them. While Shizuku is speechless, Haru seems to have believed Yamaken. As the others get Haru to order their food, Yamaken angrily crushes his cup since Haru is an idiot to say such a thing out loud and why he [Yamaken] is in this situation. He notices Shizuku looking at him. He pulls up his hair and with a sparkle, he asks what’s up. Shizuku bluntly asks him for the Christmas party fee if they want to join. As they pay up, Yamaken angrily thinks in disbelief that he has fallen for this kind of girl. Asako watches them silently. Mubo then calls out to her where the party will be held. Soon, at the game center, Santa Micchan looks at everyone, and asks why they are all there. Haru says that they are going to have a party there. As she greets him, Asako seems nervous and blushes which puzzles Micchan. The trio seems nervous about Micchan looking at them and they are quite scared of him. Asako asks them about this. They tell him about their fight before with Haru and the bookworm girl. Asako says that she heard about it. The trio tells her that afterwards, they were threatened by Micchan not to mess around with Haru and Shizuku since it wasn’t easy for that idiot to make friends and if they come again, he is going to break their legs. Tomio says that it was really scary as if Micchan can actually kill a person. Shizuku and Haru are talking with Micchan if it is okay to hold the party there. Micchan says it is okay. Asako blushes a bit while looking at Micchan. She blushes even more when he waves at her. Micchan is puzzled that he asks what’s up with Asako. Haru says that she has always been weird while Shizuku says that she is a bit different from herself lately. At school, Sasayan has just finished a phone call on what else is needed. He sees Chizuru and asks her if she is going to the party because Asako got worried that she isn’t answering her phone. Chizuru says that it is because she is at a meeting. He asks about the invitation which Asako said that she thought it was a prank but it turns out to be from Asako. She finds it a bit awkward since Shizuku is there and she’ll just make herself depressed so she declines by saying that it isn’t too convenient for her today. Sasayan says okay, then he’ll go ahead. But, Sasayan looks a bit thoughtful and urges to Chizuru to come for he heard that party is really fun. Chizuru looks at him in surprise.
What they came to see at the party are the trio causing a ruckus about Santa being a fairy and eating the cake that Asako prepared. Asako is wearing a mask and cape as if she’s going some sort of cosplay. Sasayan and Chizuru think that they are quite vulgar. As Micchan tells them to keep the noise down, Haru sees Chizuru that he stands up and greets her. Soon, the trio is making a fuss over Chizuru about a tall girl, their type, being there. Asako is relieved that Chizuru made it. While Asako is carrying the cake to safety, Yamaken asks if Chizuru is that girl during the school festival and what does Shizuku think of her, love rival? Shizuku coldly tells him that for Chizuru to like Haru, that is Chizuru’s business and it doesn’t concern her. While Yamaken wonders if Shizuku totally comprehend what she just said, Micchan asks Asako if she wants the cake cut. Asako quickly turns around and says that she’ll do it herself. Micchan tearfully tells Sasayan that it seems Asako is avoiding him and he feels lonely over that. He asks Sasayan what’s up with that. Sasayan is about to tell him but stops to think that based on Asako’s reaction, she ought to have fallen for Micchan. Even if he is also a guy, he thinks that Micchan is cool. To Micchan’s bewilderment, Sasayan exclaims that he is cunning enough and why does he [Sasayan] have this feeling of ‘having lost’. While Sasayan joins the others, Micchan is pleased that Haru joined this Christmas party and looking at Haru, he seemed like an ordinary high school student and this should be because Haru feels that he isn’t as good as Shizuku. While they are eating the cake, Chizuru learns that Haru graduated elementary from Kaimei School. Mabo says that he doesn’t remember him until Yamaken says that it is that ‘face full of blood incident’. While Mabo exclaims in disbelief, Sasayan mutters to Haru about also fighting during the elementary. Haru says that it is so, generally but not to worry anymore because Shizuku is by his side. He happily puts his arm around surprised Shizuku and pulls her to him. Yamaken and Chizuru look uneasy over that. Then, Chizuru asks about Shizuku going to cram school during winter break. Chizuru is in the ordinary class while Shizuku and Yamaken are in the special one. While Shizuku and Yamaken are talking about the cram school, Haru looks extremely nervous because Micchan told him that they don’t have money for cram school and he doesn’t need it. Then, Yamaken is furious at himself for becoming someone whom Shizuku would always debate about studies. Then, Shizuku thanks him again for telling his views to her before, that she decided to find an opportunity to properly talk with Haru. Yamaken asks why after such a long time, she decides to do it today. Shizuku asks if it is too fast. Yamaken tells her to wait some more time. Asako watches them as they talk about this. At the toilet, Asako waits for Yamaken and tells him not to disturb Shizuku and Haru for he is someone irrelevant to them. Yamaken answers back that she is also irrelevant. To Yamaken’s irritation, Asako shouts that even if he likes Shizuku it is useless because Haru is there. He angrily holds Asako’s head and tells her that they are like a group of elementary kids. Just when Chizuru comes out of the toilet, Yamaken asks Asako why she isn’t telling that to Chizuru who confessed to Haru. Flustered Asako shouts that Chizuru is self-knowing [conscious/hopeless?] so it doesn’t matter. Yamaken takes the opportunity to head out to the fire escape stairs when Asako had to apologize to Chizuru by saying that isn’t what she meant.
At the stairs, Yamaken thinks about what Asako just told him. Then, he sees Haru after making a phone call. After a pause, Yamaken says that it is nice because it seems that Haru is really happy at school for didn’t he always say about wanting to have friends. Yamaken asks Haru what he will do if he will agree to be Haru’s friend in exchange, Haru gives Shizuku to him. Haru looks at him and says that having Shizuku, he doesn’t need him. Yamaken is astonished that Haru answered sincerely when he [Yamaken] is just joking around. Haru tells Yamaken that Shizuku is his and he is the one who found her. Then, Yamaken asks what he will do if Shizuku said that he [Yamaken] is better than him. Haru’s eyes look blank and he reaches out to surprised Yamaken’s face. Haru’s trance breaks off when Shizuku, who had seen him, calls out to him. Shizuku asks what he is doing there. Haru asks if she is going home, he’ll walk her home. Before leaving, Haru warned Yamaken not to lay a hand on Shizuku. While walking home, Haru comments about Shizuku’s hair being thin and long like a spider’s thread. Then, they talk about the story of the spider’s thread by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa about the criminal being tested, the criminal being greedy, etc. [If you want to read the story, go here. While walking up the stairs, Haru asks if she really has to go to that cram school where Yamaken is. She is going to spend the vacation with Yamaken there and isn’t her grades good enough. Shizuku asks him if he is jealous. After looking surprised, Haru admits that he is. Flustered Shizuku thinks for a while on what to say and why he is jealous of Yamaken of all people. To Haru’s surprise, Shizuku holds his hand and says that there is something she wants to tell him before the cram school. Thinking that she must first convey her feelings, Shizuku says, “I like you, Haru! So, there is nothing to worry about. Do not be perplexed again! I.. let’s do our best together! Haru!” Haru smiles at her that made Shizuku smile, thinking that she had assured him but no..it turns out that he still wants her to not to go to that cram school. So Shizuku’s smile freeze that night and the next day, Haru keeps on harassing Shizuku not to go to that cram school for didn’t say she likes him. Shizuku snubs him. Haru shouts for Yamaken, who is walking beside Shizuku, to stay away from Shizuku. As Haru continues to ask if Shizuku is listening to him, Shizuku snaps that she angrily shouts at Haru that he’s too noisy and she will decide what she wants to do, he is not to hinder her studies. Yamaken smiles at aghast Haru and says that he can only go up to there for he cannot go in the building. In cram class, Shizuku is still furious while Yamaken is happy that luckily, Haru is an idiot.
While Shizuku is heading to the cram school, Haru shouts for her to immediately come home afterwards and not go elsewhere. Shizuku snubs him and wonders why it turned out this way. To Chizuru’s embarrassment, her friend Yuu-chan asks if that guy [Haru] is the one she likes. Yuu-chan laughs about it being very interesting. Chapter 15: Yamaguchi family’s Kenji. Yamaken thinks that he is pretty satisfied with himself. Growing up in a free and unrestraint environment, and his parents putting their hope on him, he doesn’t plan on wasting it as he lived in accordance to their expectation. He wonders if this is the consciousness of being gifted, and even if he isn’t gifted, who else in the world has the qualifications of being called gifted. And if he is out of the ordinary, how come he has to join in this depressing cram class. While Shizuku is furiously studying, Yamaken gloomily thinks that the more he steals a glance at her, the more he feels that she is just a bookworm. At Kaimei High, the trio are complaining about how boring it is and wanting to also fall in love. Mabo asks if Yamaken is going to cram school and planning on chasing after that bookworm. He comments that Yamaken seems to be interested in her during the Christmas party. Yamaken tells them not to lump him together with them. Then, Yamaken meets a guy at the hallway who tells Yamaken that an otome girl whom he is contact with had broke up[?] with him, and she would want to date Yamaken. Yamaken asks if it is joke and tells the guy to tell the girl if she thinks that he’s great, she should make the first move to invite him. The guy exclaims as to who Yamaken think he is. While Yamaken thinks that an otome girl ought to be cute, the guy tells him that he is going the wrong way. Yamaken turns around and walks to the direction the guy pointed. ^^; Yamaken thinks that before until now, he doesn’t spend time thinking of girls. Then, he gets out of the taxi to see Shizuku. He becomes gloomy as he remembers Mabo asking him about chasing after Shizuku. He wonders if Mabo is inciting him, and he honestly doesn’t allow [himself?] into this kind of thing. He thinks that Shizuku is even reviewing while walking that she didn’t even look at him in the eye. A man in a bicycle rides toward Shizuku that Yamaken pulls her to the side. Shizuku thanks him. Then, when Yamaken is looking at her, Haru appears behind and smacks Yamaken on the head. Haru reminds Yamaken to stay away from Shizuku. While the two guys are fighting over Yamaken touching Shizuku, Shizuku tells Haru that she told him not to secretly follow her. Haru claims that he just so happen to be in the vicinity. While the two quarrel, Yamaken thinks that Haru is like an idiot. Shizuku reprimands Haru that she already told him that during this time, he is not to influence her studies because, for her, studies is still the most important thing and this has not changed. While Haru is furious, Yamaken pretends to put his arm around Shizuku’s shoulder. This made Haru throw an empty soda can at him but he missed and it hit Shizuku’s head instead. ^^;; Shizuku glares at Haru and walks away, leaving Haru looking sad. Shizuku thinks that she has summoned her courage to confess to Haru in order for him not to misunderstand and she wanted to convey her feelings to him but she didn’t expect that answer about wanting her to quit cram school so it seems that it won’t do at all if she alone found the correct solution/answer.
In class, Yamaken complains that his head hurt where Haru hit him. To his irritation, Shizuku apologizes in place of Haru for the trouble he caused. Shizuku tells him that during this time, she is going to try to express her feelings to Haru and she really doesn’t know why Haru is jealous of Yamaken. Yamaken becomes gloomy over this when he told her to wait. Yamaken asks if they are barbarians [/reckless] because they are very alike. There are two kinds of people. One is intelligent while the other is stupid. The so-called stupid are like them who are shortsighted and does things that are idiotic. He belongs to the other side while they are on that side. Shizuku asks, what’s the difference between him and her. Yamaken says that if it is him, he won’t let her feel uneasy and perplexed. Then, he becomes gloomy and wonders if he just said something like he cherishes her. Shizuku wonders where Yamaken’s self-confidence is coming from. To his surprise, Shizuku touches his bump and says that it is swelling, they should put ice on it. Shizuku tells him to come with her for she feels a bit responsible for it. Yamaken tells her that there is no need so Shizuku just lets him be. Yamaken blushes and thinks that his heart is beating fast. Shizuku tells him that it would be better if he doesn’t get too close with Haru nor with her. Yamaken angrily complains about this because isn’t Haru jealous and they [S&H] are showing off how intimate they are to him. Shizuku says that it isn’t about showing off but because Yamaken is a very charming/attractive guy. Soon, class is over and some people are talking about the possibility of raining. In front of the building, Yamaken just stands there and wonders if Shizuku is sincere over what she just said. He is blushing really red and thinks that this is bad. He starts giggling like an idiot that Yuu-chan watches him and tells Chizuru that there is a guy who was standing there and laughing by himself. While Haru is sitting by himself at the park, he is surprised to see Yamaken passing by. Haru asks why he is there, did the class dismissed early and is he lost. The cram school is nearby. Yamaken exclaims not to care about him and what about Haru, sneakily following Shizuku around like a stalker. Haru says that he isn’t, he got careless and was lost in thought that he realize it is already dark. Yamaken wonders if he will alright because before, Haru looked like he is going to push him down. Haru offers to walk Yamaken to the bus station. Haru asks if he is afraid. Yamaken answers back not to belittle him. While Haru walks ahead of him, Yamaken remembers the time when they were kids, he would shout for Haru to quit following him since it is disgusting. Haru shouldn’t forget get carried away just because his score is a bit higher than his. It is because Haru is like that so everyone bullies him though he [Yamaken] is the only one who can do that to him. End flashback. Yamaken thinks that he remembered something strange. He tells Haru that he changed a lot. Haru asks, huh. Yamaken remembers the time when Shizuku confronted him and the others to seriously become Haru’s friends. Haru tells Yamaken that he didn’t change a bit and the one who changes is usually Shizuku. He always felt that one day Shizuku is going to abandon him so at times, he really want to chop off her hands and feet so that she cannot go anywhere. Yamaken tells him that his way of thinking is scary. Haru says that he is just saying it and it is impossible for him to do such a thing. So, he [below the well] would always raise up his head and look up to Shizuku [who is on top of the well]. At the station, after hailing a taxi, Yamaken bids Haru goodbye [and won’t say thanks]. Before Yamaken leaves, Haru tells him that there is no way he can give Shizuku to him but anything else is okay. Yamaken remembers Haru’s scary idea earlier then he kicks Haru’s shin. Yamaken tells him that Haru’s actions are senselessly restrictive [/too controlling]. Yamaken wonders if this is so-called jealousy. Yamaken tensely also wonders what’s cute about Shizuku and he might end up being killed by Haru. He dismiss that thought and thinks that Haru had thought of it a lot and he only stopped up to this point [in carrying it out?]
Soon, it starts to rain. Haru takes shelter at the bus stop. He sits on the bench and remembers the past when his brother is in junior high. They are both wet in the rain. Yuuzan told young Haru that it would have been better if only Haru isn’t around [/doesn’t exist] and he always thought that way. Haru pouted over that. End flashback. Haru opens his eyes to see Shizuku standing behind him with her umbrella. She asks him what he is doing there and could it be that he is always waiting for her. Haru breaks into a smile and says yes. Shizuku looks away and wonders why she felt happy over that. Facing her, Haru says that he thinks she is a hero for every time he wanted to see her, she will appear in front of him. Shizuku asks what he is saying when he is obviously waiting for her. Haru pulls her to him and hugs her tightly. He tells her that he really likes her. This made Shizuku blush and mutters in agreement. Shizuku is surprised when Haru asks why is it that he is always the only one who has to endure. Shizuku breaks away and asks if he is always enduring and enduring what. Haru says yes, he has been enduring as if his life depended on it like for example, he truly wants to go in the cram school and run amok. Shizuku warns him not to dare do that else she’ll sever their relationship. Looking away, Haru says, see. Then to Shizuku’s surprise, Haru asks why it hurts so much. He likes her and doesn’t want her to hate him but he hates it that she’s gradually going far away from him. Shizuku wonders what is with this situation and what is the best way to answer it. Shizuku thinks that she thought that their progress will definitely go smoothly for one only needs to convey one’s thoughts and pour out one’s feelings to the other. Putting his head down, Haru says that he wants to be at ease, wants to have confidence, and, Shizuku’s everything, he wants it all. Shizuku exclaims that is impossible. Shizuku looks surprised at Haru who is looking at her. Haru tells her that isn’t what he meant. Flustered Shizuku says that she knows. She wonders why they are disagreeable like this, is it because some things make them wander but she doesn’t know how to resume things, and she also doesn’t know what the correct answer and what its outcome. Meanwhile, flustered Asako is looking at the game center.
Chapter 16: Year’s End Approaches Micchan welcomes Asako in the game center and says that it has been a long time since he saw her. He asks what brought her there. Blushing Asako tells him that Sasayan called her. At the baseball practice hitting area, Sasayan, together with his friends, apologizes to Asako for making her come and return those stuff she borrowed. It is because his older brother suddenly said that he cannot lend it to someone else when he said yes earlier. Asako is nervous that there are a lot of guys there and it is only with Sasayan that she can naturally get along with. She is surprised when Shitayanagi is suddenly pushed in front. While Shitayanagi apologizes, the other guys say that he got something to say. Asako got irritated by their cheering for Shitayanagi that she tells Shitayanagi off that if he doesn’t have anything to say, she’s leaving. Shitayanagi is tense by that and the other guys say that Asako got angry. Sasayan chases after Asako to the stairs and tells her that Shitayanagi doesn’t have any ill intention about it. He asks if she will forgive them if he can get them to apologize. Asako tells him that she hates guys since it is okay for them to just look after their own happiness. Even if she ends up being pushed aside by the girls, she doesn’t want to make everyone worry. Sasayan tells her that he thinks that it is because she has no way of resolving it. Asako shouts back that he is like the others and he shouldn’t belittle the friendship among girls. She starts to tell him that the girls’ connection is perpendicular, if someone got into it, it makes others envious, and the world of girls is like everyone holding hands and wins the championship. Sasayan thinks that is quite troublesome. Asako says that Shitayanagi always laugh like an idiot. Sasayan defends his friend by saying that he didn’t do anything wrong. Asako looks surprised and says that he is right, she apologizes for saying too much. She tells him that her feelings have been jittery because Shizuku is always in cram school, Haru’s feelings/mood is very bad and she always couldn’t properly talk with Micchan. Sasayan suddenly blurts out if that is because she likes Micchan. Sasayan quickly covers his mouth for not being careful about that. Asako is blushing really red that she exclaims what he is talking about. Sasayan asks if it isn’t so because before she can talk with Micchan in a normal and relaxed manner, but now, she has no way of doing that so isn’t that like being in love but then, he isn’t too sure because he hasn’t encountered this kind of thing. Asako tensely exclaims that it isn’t so and how could she like a guy. Sasayan asks why, and isn’t this a good thing, so what’s strange about it. While flustered Asako keeps on denying it, they were interrupted by a smiling Haru who asks them what they are doing there. The couple look at Haru and ask why he is such in a good mood, did something good happen, was he stalking Shizuku again today.
Flashback: Tense Shizuku called Haru’s name then blurts out that they go on a picnic. This surprised Haru. Shizuku told him that next year, after New Year, they’ll go on a spring excursion. He wasn’t able to go before because he didn’t go to school. Sparkling Haru is getting excited over this. Shizuku said that they can go anywhere, like wherever he wants to go. Haru blushed and looked away while muttering that he can go to that. Shizuku exclaimed that it is an agreement and until then, she’ll make a bento box but she would hope that he would behave during this time she has to go to cram school. Haru laughed over this and promised. End flashback. Asako and Sasayan think that Haru has been ‘tamed’. Asako asks if this is okay and does he feel that it is alright. Asako ends up agreeing to it because Haru also invited her to the picnic. Sasayan wonders if this idea is really good wherein she’ll put aside the thorny problem and make Haru promise this issue first. At school, Shizuku thinks that she didn’t think that painful proposal would unexpectedly have a huge result. Preparing to leave, Shizuku greets the others a Happy New Year. Haru happily tells her to ‘gambatte’. Asako just looks aghast. As Shizuku happily leaves, Asako asks if this is okay, Shizuku told him ‘Happy New Year’ so that means he won’t see her until the end of the year. Haru sadly tells her that it is fine with him because he and Shizuku made a promise, that deal for next year. Asako thinks that she really doesn’t understand Haru for how could he blindly believe people and how could he simply agree. Ayako decides to drop the topic, and because Haru has only eyes for Shizuku all these time, she can be at ease being with him. Holding a flyer, Asako happily tells Haru that after school, they are going to eat here. They eat some taiyaki [fish-shaped cake with red bean paste inside] and plan to eat some osiruko [red bean soup with rice cake] next time. Asako suddenly blushes when Haru says that Micchan is concerned about her because lately, he hasn’t seen her and speaking of that, she hasn’t been at the store for a long time either. Flustered Asako mutters that there is no special reason for that. She thinks that it is because of what Sasayan said that she felt it is quite awkward. Asako exclaims in surprise when Haru gets too close to her. [Sniffing?] Haru says that it is because he told Micchan that he guessed that it is because the toilet of Micchan’s house stinks of milk so Asako definitely won’t come. Asako sweatdrops and exclaims that it isn’t so, the toilet is nice and comfortable. Asako sighs and hopes Haru won’t conveniently say some strange reason on her behalf. Asako says that it is nothing and it just so happen that she is busy. Haru believes her. Soon, the two wave goodbye at each other. Asako watches Haru as he walks away. She thinks ‘next time’ would be ‘next year’.
Soon, days pass. 22, 23 Sasayan and others playing baseball, 24 Shizuku and Yamaken at cram class, 28 Haru is reading a book 29, 30 Chizuru and Yuu-chan are walking together. Soon, it is December 31 and the time is 16:15. Asako is in front of her computer chatting with her friends. They talk about a trip and playing snow and going to Hatsumode [first shrine visit] tomorrow. Asako looks at her cellphone and thinks that it is too quiet. Suddenly, her phone rings. It is Shizuku. Shizuku apologizes for calling her so near the end of the year and does she know how to set up a DVD’s schedule recording because her younger brother had asked her to record a year end’s program and she couldn’t find the instruction book. Blushing Asako is already speechlessly in tears that Shizuku asks if she is listening. Asako exclaims okay and what is the brand is her DVD’s brand. Shizuku says that it is Panasonic. After some discussion, Shizuku thanks her and she’ll try it out. Asako suddenly calls her out that Shizuku asks what it is. Asako starts crying that she’s so lonely. Soon, at her house, Shizuku looks dark and asks why even Haru is there. Haru tells Shizuku that Asako called and told him to come. He asks about Shizuku’s father and younger brother. Shizuku tells him that they went to her [paternal] grandmother. Asako happily starts recording ‘The Mysterious Phenomena 24 hours’. Asako exclaims that this is great because she has been really lonely that every time a friend would log in the chatroom, she would write that ‘everyday is fun’ that she starts to feel desolated. Shizuku asks why she is doing that. Asako tells her to please not ask that with such a serious expression. Shizuku asks if she plans on staying there for the night. Asako sheepishly laughs and says that she made this decision by herself so Shizuku shouldn’t mind it too much. She gives Shizuku a gift, which her mother made her bring. Shizuku thinks that she thought Asako is a ‘yes-man’ that she didn’t think her face to be so thick but then, forget it since Asako did help her with the recording. While they talk about how they spend Christmas, Shizuku asks them if it is okay that she cooks whatever she pleases since she didn’t prepare anything. The two who are at the living room tells her that it is okay. Asako happily puts her head on top of the kotatsu [table with heater underneath] and says that this is amazing, this kind of happiness. Haru looks at her and tells her that if she is lonely, she doesn’t have to bear with it silently because at any time, she can go to the store. Asako looks at a distant. Haru goes to the kitchen and asks if Shizuku is making a hot pot. She tells him to put the pot on the table. Then, since he is still minds, Haru asks Shizuku if she meets up with Yamaken aside from the cram school. Shizuku goes, ‘huh?’ Asako looks at the two and wonders if she can still be like this with those two if they really went steady. As she wipes the table, and Haru brings out the pot and condiments, Asako apologizes to Haru. Haru is just puzzled. Asako thinks that to protect her little world, she always has been doing her utmost best. Soon, they are thrilled over Shizuku’s hot pot that she even cut the carrots into flower shapes.
Soon, the hot pot is eaten clean. The cellphone is ringing and it wakes up the two girls who carelessly have fallen asleep. Asako answers her phone and it is Sasayan who greets her a Happy New Year. Shizuku quickly wakes Haru up and tells him to go home since it is already 1am. Sasayan asks if she is with Shizuku and others so how about they go for a hatsumode, where there are a lot of people. Asako is thrilled to hear that. At the shrine, Haru exclaims that there are so many people there. Asako exclaims that since they are there, they should all watch the year’s first dawn. Shizuku asks if it is alright for them to be out in the middle of the night. Asako assures her that it is okay for this is a Japanese tradition. Then, she is surprised that they cannot find Sasayan. Haru cannot contact them since there is no signal. They just hope to bump into each other later on. At some side, Yamaken and trio are starting a quarrel with some guys. Yamaken tells two guys to disappear because he is in a bad mood. The two guys got angry over it. Tomio whispers to Yamaken about saying that, when Yamaken obviously is weak at fighting. Yamaken continues to agitate the other two while muttering back that he just hates the feeling of pain. When Mabo is about to charge, Haru suddenly kicks him down and tells him not to fight. The other person tells Haru to scram for he is an outsider. This made Haru angry that Tomio starts to incite Haru to fight with those two. Yamaken quickly looks around because if Haru is there, then.. Shizuku sees him and greets him a Happy New Year. She tells him that Haru suddenly flew off there and it turns out that Yamaken and trio are picking a fight. When Shizuku is asking him why he is there with her when his buddies are quarreling, the vendor gives Shizuku a grilled squid. When Shizuku is about to pay the vendor, Yamaken pays for both of them. Shizuku tries to give him the money but Yamaken refuses and says that anyway, he also plans to eat. Shizuku still puts the money on his hand and tells him that just now, he just cut the line. Asako quickly goes to Shizuku and tells her that Haru is starting to fight with some people. Shizuku asks if there are a lot of people at the toilet. Asako exclaims that it isn’t the time for that and just help in stopping Haru. As Shizuku goes her way, Asako looks at Yamaken then teases him that if this continues on, Shizuku will not know his feelings throughout his life. Yamaken angrily squeezes Asako’s head for being annoying. After letting her go, Asako scolds him as an idiot. Yamaken angrily thinks that there is no way he’ll act like Haru like telling Shizuku that he likes her that is why he wants to treat her and how about they stroll around together. He suddenly remembers Shizuku’s warning that one day, his high pride is going to kill/ruin him. He looks at Shizuku, together with Asako, stopping Haru from fighting. After everything is okay, the trio sees Chizuru with Yuu-chan. They greet each other a Happy New Year and Shizuku wonders why people whom Haru knows are appearing one after another. After introducing Yuu-chan who is in some glaring contest with Haru, Chizuru asks if they want to have their love fortunes [/omikuji using sticks then take a paper in correspondence to what’s on the stick] told for she heard that it is quite accurate in this shrine. While Shizuku and Asako seem to want to try it out, Yuu-chan says that even if they do that, it is meaningless. Chizuru looks flustered and nervous. The three girls are nervous because they got ‘curse’ = bad luck. Chizuru: curse-> necessary endure. Shizuku: curse-> continuous disturbance. Asako: curse-> will have a disaster. Haru: great blessing -> be cautious in word and deed. Yuu-chan just smiles because she didn’t participate in it.
At the place where they tie the bad fortunes with hopes that it won’t come true, Chizuru tells Natsume to tie hers at her side on the top where there is space. Then, Asako seems to look surprised when she sees Haru, together with Yuu-chan, helping Shizuku tie her fortune. Then, Chizuru asks Asako again if it is okay to tie it there. Asako looks flustered and embarrassed for she wants to cheer Chizuru on but she couldn’t do it. Looking down, Asako asks Chizuru if other guys except Haru won’t do for her. She apologizes and says that she only thinks that if Chizuru likes some other guy who isn’t Haru, she will be happier. Then, Chizuru won’t have that sad expression. Chizuru looks at Asako then nervously laughs that she understands what Asako is saying but even if it is like what it is right now, it is still Haru’s face that appears in her mind. Then, Asako suddenly remembers smiling Micchan. Chizuru apologizes to Asako for she also doesn’t know what to do with herself. Asako tells her that she didn’t do anything wrong. Thinking that Asako likes Sasayan, Chizuru asks Asako if she likes someone. Remembering what Sasayan asked her as to why it [being in love] is weird and isn’t it good, Asako tells her that she doesn’t have anyone she likes. Soon, at the game center, they finally meet up with Sasayan who is with Micchan and Shitayanagi + others. They greet each other a Happy New Year. Asako looks really nervous and couldn’t look straight at Micchan that they wondered what’s up with her expression. Micchan says that he heard that they are going to lend his house’s top floor [roof] and it is huge. They apologize for the trouble. Haru asks Micchan if the key is that round one. Micchan says that it is and he better not jump from that place. Haru assures him that he won’t do that. Then, on the roof, Haru shows Nagoya to the others. While they are all fussing about, Micchan is freezing and thinks that youngsters are quite lively. Shitayanagi meets eye to eye with Asako but she quickly turns away from him. Shitayanagi tearfully wonders why Asako loathes him. Sasayan just cheers him up. While sitting by the side [I think away from the others], Micchan says that it seems that Asako’s mood is very bad. He tells her that the way she is, can hurt people’s heart and at this age, a guy’s heart is fragile. Asako asks if he has seen that. Micchan tells her that it is New Year and he is really very happy that Haru brought along his friends to play [/hang around]. He is also very happy to see pretty girl Asako and Shizuku so why don’t she be a bit nice. Asako tells him that she only doesn’t know what to do [in that situation] that her attitude turned out bad. Hoping that she can chat with Micchan like before, Asako shouts that she hates guys especially the guys who chase after her, she hates them. Micchan comments that she would actually say that. She, an upright [pretty] youngster would unexpectedly hate guys, that is quite too much for someone like him who really likes girls. Asako asks him if he also likes to talk about love. With a tear, Micchan laughs and tells her to let him clear off his debt first before talking about love. He comments that love, this plaything, is such an amazing thing for whether it is good or bad, a person changes as a consequence of it. It is a good opportunity to change oneself. As he and Asako look at Shizuku and Haru talking, Micchan says that love can make a person mature a lot. With somewhat blank looking eyes, Asako says that only having Shizuku, Haru and the people she love beside her, she doesn’t need other people. Then, she will establish a small Mizu-chan kingdom. Micchan exclaims, no, no, no! Asako says that no one will hurt each other, throughout their lives, they will be happy, a forever kingdom. Somewhat smiling, Micchan tells her that there is no such thing in this world and she ought to know about it. Micchan is surprised when Asako asks, then, if she is with him from then on, would she also become very mature. Asako looks flustered then leaves. Micchan is still stunned as the ash from his cigarette falls. From the side of the building, Sasayan looks up-sideways after hearing what they just talked about. Then, Haru and Shizuku are screaming over not being able to see the first dawn. [Probably because a building is covering it ^^;] Sasayan tells puzzled Shitayanagi that it is bad, the enemy has been alerted unintentionally. [<- hit the grass to scare the snake idiom].
Special: After the New Year Bell Rang Sasayan and others are at the shrine. They ask how many times the New Year’s Eve bell had already rung. Someone says that maybe it is 80 times this times now. [In Japan, it traditionally rings 108 times before New Year. Source: wiki] Shitayanagi asks Sasayan who is eating some noodles to help him apologize to Asako regarding what happened that time, because she is angry. Sasayan tries to assure him that she isn’t angry [about him personally]. A friend asks Shitayanagi what he likes about Asako, is it her looks. He tells them no, he doesn’t know how to explain it but he does find her cute. Then, the trio, together with Yamaken, exclaims if it isn’t Sasayan. Sasayan says that they also came. Shitayanagi and friends say that those are the scary guys who came during the school festival and in a way, they occasionally find Sasayan to be amazing [to get along with those people]. Then, Sasayan notices that Yamaken is looking at him. After a pause, Yamaken asks if they aren’t all together today. Sasayan smiles and asks who are the ‘they’, he is referring to. Yamaken turns around and says that they are leaving. [<- why Yamaken is a bad mood.] The trio bids Sasayan goodbye. Sasayan takes out his cellphone and calls but unfortunately, no one is answering. His friends calls out to him that it is already the countdown. Sasayan decides to call later on. At Shizuku’s house, Asako sneezes and wakes up. She says that she got careless and fell asleep after eating when she should have tidy the things up. She looks at the two then takes out her cellphone. She takes a picture of Shizuku and Haru sleeping together. While thinking that she should tidy the things up so that Shizuku would be pleasantly surprised about it, Asako falls back to sleep. And, at the shrine, everyone, including Chizuru and Yuu-chan, shouts, “Happy New Year!!”
Scans by kiri for BW.
[Note: Chiduru will be Chizuru from now on. Thanks to kam for the correction. ^^]