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Volume 05
Chapters 47 - 56
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What is the difference between a child and an adult? Punpun graduates middle school, and with his uncle still missing, Midori turns to him for comfort. Seki's existential crisis leads him to consider extreme measures to earn cash.

Chapter 47 Edit

Punpun passes the entrance exam for a prestigious high school, but he doesn't feel very self-congratulatory; his score was simply a result of all the time he spent numbly studying. He heard rumors that Seki got a girl pregnant and Komatsu was taken into custody for arson, but he's long detached himself from his childhood friends. In fact, the only thing he seems to care deeply about is losing his virginity. He brings his scores home to Mama and a morose Midori, who take him out for sushi to celebrate. At the market, Yuuichi buys a knife.

Chapter 48 Edit

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After his graduation ceremony, Punpun doesn't share the sentimental mood of his classmates. At least he doesn't have any regrets... He meets Aiko's eyes outside and leaves his middle school for the last time. He stops by Midori's cafe, who sets out a slice of cake for him as she talks about moving Yuuichi's things to his parents' home and perhaps moving back in with her own parents. She says Punpun and Mama's new home is close to the cafe, so she can visit often. She suddenly starts crying before two customers enter. Yugami sits down at a park bench to eat a bento, when the knife Yuuichi purchased lands in front of him. From the bench beside him, Yuuichi weeps and tells him to do as he wishes. Yugami says he doesn't have time for him unless he wants to discuss business. Midori and Punpun walk home, and though he doesn't ask whatever stupid reason Yuuichi ran away for, he offers Midori false confidence that he will return soon.

If pretending to know was childish and pretending not to know was adult, then Punpun thought that he was still probably just a child.


Chapter 49 Edit

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In the middle of the night, Yuuichi grabs a taxi to take him to the ocean, and the driver worriedly tells him he can talk about any troubles. Yuuichi admits that he committed adultery. It was a young married woman from his pottery class, and her husband sued him for two million yen. Yuuichi was going to pay it with the money he'd saved for his marriage, but Mama insisted on selling the house to pay for him instead. Yugami, who was his lawyer and his friend, had liked Midori first, but Yuuichi managed to keep his relationship a secret for two years until this event, but Yugami refuses to get angry. In between packing, Midori and Punpun play video games. They fall asleep in the living room, and Midori asks him to sleep next to her for awhile. Yuuichi says that although he once made Midori promise to kill him if he ever hurt her, she instead forgave him. The mercy everyone has shown him in this situation is too much. His driver tells him he used be a yakuza and did many terrible things, but he was saved by his wife, who passed away last month before he could thank her. Yuuichi still has time, does he not? Punpun, Mama, and Midori finish up moving and take a familiy photo on the porch. Punpun helps Midori clean up the cafe, and when she winds up crying over Yuuichi again, she wraps around Punpun.

I think that what people who've committed crimes need isn't punishment, but rather the knowledge and pain of being forgiven.

-Toshio Isogi


Chapter 50 Edit

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Midori lays down on the sofa and hugs Punpun to her while she tells him that Yuuichi had an affair then ran away like he always does. She almost wishes she could hurt him back, which she knows is unlike her; after you lose something very dear, it can be hard to recognize yourself. She asks Punpun if it would be okay... and then reaches into his boxers. Punpun jumps away immediately. Midori cries harder and asks again. Punpun ends up sprawled on the cafe table, and when Midori tops him, he thinks of Aiko. Midori holds him for awhile afterwards then gives him his graduation present. Punpun goes to the door, and Midori tells him to stop by again. He leaves without responding.

If he let even a single word out from his mouth, he felt that he would lose something very dear to him, and so he left without saying anything.


Chapter 51 Edit

Punpun opens his gift - a pair of square glasses. Not sure what to feel, he walks to his new apartment, where a note tells him that his mother is staying at a friend's. He remembers Aiko asking him to run away and wishes he could go somewhere less boring and trivial. Perhaps... the afterlife? No, Punpun will continue to be a cheerful, strong, independent boy. At a love hotel, Mama tells her lover that she's tired of this trivial life. When he looks anxious, she laughs and says she's not telling him to leave his stupid wife, and he says of course not, because Mama is strong and independent. She heads home and wishes the world would disappear. Punpun masturbates in the dark of his room.

Chapter 52 Edit

Seki sits on a park bench, and the nice weather causes his mind to drift; humans have so much freedom and capability, only hindered by artificial morals and unhappiness. Shimizu pops up, done with freshman midterms, and the two go looking for dropped cash. Shimi asks if Seki's dad has returned yet, and Seki says if his mom can't make the next house payment, they'll be homeless. He sees an odd-jobs poster and scratches out the phone number to write Shimizu's since he doesn't have his own phone. An old man catches them and asks if they need some cash, offering them a cleaning job. As they follow him, Shimi's phone rings. Seki answers and tells Shimi to meet him at the park after cleaning because he has to go to another job. Seki goes to a restaraunt to meet up with a lady, who gives him photos and the schedule of a man, telling Seki she wants something awful to happen to him. Today would've been their wedding day, had he not dumped her for another woman. Here, she decides she wants Seki to kill him.

I'm sure that there's nothing that can make everyone happy. Happiness is relative. And that's how people want it. Evil is also relative.

-Seki


Chapter 53 Edit

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Seki asks her if she's sure, because he will really do it. He uses the schedule the woman gave him and finds the man easily. He follows him around town and observes him, thinks about how no one is truly good or evil and everyone dies. It's easy to lose track of yourself in this life. The train station clears out until it is just him and the man waiting on the platform. He zones in on the man's back and reaches out his hand. He's free, right? He can do anything. Shimizu is led to an apartment where he's told the old man who passed away inside is probably already decomposing. When something peeks out of the window, Shimizu wets his pants and says this job is not for him. Seki boards the train, still tailing his person.

Chapter 54 Edit

Seki follows the man, who meets up with his pregnant girlfriend to talk about his hospitalized father. The God of Poop appears to Shimizu and tells him he can do anything. Shimizu calls him a liar and says Seki told him god doesn't exist. A homeless man tells him god definitely exists, but Shimizu must be very special to be able to see him. The man, called Pegasus, explains string theory and the musical vibrations of the world. Shimizu runs away, but the man yells that they are the chosen the ones and without intervention, the world will end five years from now on July 7th. Seki knows he could run off with the money or lie to the woman, but he meets her again and tells her he couldn't do the job. The woman cries, relieved because she had changed her mind. She leaves him money for dinner, and Seki tells her that happiness is relative to each person, so she should think of her own happiness instead of wish for someone else to suffer. She throws her water at him and tells him not to pretend he knows what he's talking about. He meets Shimizu at the park. Shimi asks if he was crying, and Seki asks why he changed pants.

Chapter 55 Edit

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Seki treats Shimizu to dinner. Punpun goes to karaoke with his class, wearing his new gelled hair and loose pants. He tries to get in the festive spirit but ends up sitting in the lobby, and a quiet girl named Kanie asks if he wants to leave with her. Seki muses to Shimizu over dinner that everyone determines their own worth and he won't blame other people for his situation anymore and maybe he should get a real job. He asks Shimizu what kind adults he thinks they'll become. Kanie tells Punpun she felt awkward at the party, and Punpun thinks they are similar. He asks if she wants to hang out next weekend. Kanie, Punpun, Seki, and Shimizu hear "Tsubasa wo Kudasai" play somewhere in the distance, conducted by Pegasus. Seki tells Shimizu that regardless of how they turn out, they should stay good friends. Punpun comes home, and his mother gets off the phone to tell him his grandfather is dead.

Chapter 56 Edit

At school, Kanie invites Punpun to her sister's upcoming art exhibit. Mama picks Punpun up from school, and she asks if he even remembers his grandpa. They make it to his home in Oofuna, and she goes upstairs to talk with Yuuichi and the funeral planner while Midori sits with Punpun on the sofa. She gives him a daruma as a wedding souveneir, and he's shocked to hear that she and Yuuichi going on their honeymoon soon, since he didn't even know Yuuichi had returned. She tells him that he returned the day after she last saw Punpun and is being treated for depression. Punpun feels a surge of hate towards her. When he leaves with Mama, he sees Yuuichi watching him from the upstairs window before closing the curtains. Punpun is irritated and gloomy on the way back to the train, so Mama gives him his monthly letter from Papa, but when he starts crying, she tells him he's not the only one who ever gets sad. Fed up, she says she's inviting a friend over tonight and not to come back until morning. Punpun plays with his daruma trinket and tells himself happy times will return, only to hurl the daruma at the sky. Somewhere, Pegasus senses a shift in the universe.

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