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Volume 09
Chapters 90 - 99
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Pegasus announces to Tokyo that he is the God who can save them from the apocalyptic Great Despair and begins his campaign for governor. After a bitter argument with Seki, Shimizu becomes a final and necessary member of the Pegasus Ensemble. Meanwhile, Punpun has his own falling out with Sachi after the stress of their failed manga pitch and a tragic injury of the Manager. Punpun reinvents himself just in time for his path to finally cross with Aiko's.

Chapter 90 Edit

Seki notices Aiko is dressed in black and asks if she's headed to a funeral. She says she's in a hurry and continues walking, and Seki wishes her luck with her gravure modeling. She tells him he's mistaken her for someone else. Pegasus announces to the crowd that his late father, Piroshiki Hoshikawa, used to say that God exists in many forms, but Pegasus is here today to tell the world that he himself is the God who can guide them through the end times. Seki brings Shimizu back to his recycling truck and finds the gravure magazine that Aiko is undoubtedly featured in. He sees her walk to Cosmos Health Center for the funeral of Piroshiki Hoshikawa. Sachi and Punpun make their way to the manga publishing house.

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Chapter 91 Edit

The manga editor tells Sachi that her artwork is great, but her and Punpun's story about a self-pitying 20-something just isn't engrossing. She argues that fortune and misfortune are relative, so she wants to write from the perspective of the everyman. He argues that her message is inaccessible and unclear and sends her on her way. Outside, Punpun tells Sachi that everything will be okay since she's truly a genius. She screams in frustration.

Now about your "A Midday's Shooting Star"... In it, the jobless protagonist living a monotonous life runs across his former highschool classmate while in Tokyo. A few days later, he hears that she committed suicide and, after realizing the world keeps on spinning as usual, decides to move on with his life... In my opinion, the protagonist is just too self-contained for this story to be any interesting.

-Editor


Chapter 92 Edit

On TV, Pegasus makes his statement for his running for governor of Tokyo. He tells his viewers that the current world will end and rebalance July 7 of this year, as the natural consequence of a falling daruma. He urges them to cast aside all else, including their individuality, to start a new world in unity. As governor, he can save everyone from the Great Despair. Good vibrations!

Chapter 93 Edit

Miyuki calls Sachi cold for not caring about the recent earthquake, and Sachi calls her concern self-congratulatory and temporary. As for Sachi, regardless of how the world changes, she will remain genuine. Later, she stares at her 100,000 Yen donation receipt until it's ripped away by the wind. She visits Punpun, who's crying alone as she predicted, and tells him it's okay to cry about failure as long as he moves on and tries again. He says he doesn't want to be her pet, and she retorts that they'll go their separate ways if that's what he wants. She leaves him with his tears and realizes that her words are useless on him, Miyuki, everyone.

Sachi: You don't have to worry, as long as you do what I tell you.

Punpun: I guess in the end, I'm just your pet.
Sachi: And? Do you have a problem with that?


Chapter 94 Edit

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One day after kindergarten, Seki's mom was too busy to pick him up yet again, so Shimizu and his mom had walked him home, but in the middle of the crosswalk, Seki had let go of her hand. He's pulled out of his memories by two coworkers trying to tell him a joke. They ask him for an interesting story, so he asks the philosophical question: If they were crossing the street between a friend and his mother and only had time to save one person from a speeding car, who would they save? The coworkers talk out the options, and Seki admits there's no right answer. After a night with his girlfriend, Seki gets his things, and she asks if he really has to work tomorrow. He explains that it calms his mind and he gets to see Shimizu. She asks why he's even dating her, and he says because she doesn't smoke. Child-Seki had pulled Shimizu out of the speeding truck's way, covered his eyes, and told him his mother was fine. Seki always has and will protect Shimizu. Present-Shimizu waves goodbye to his mom and meets Seki, slap mark across his cheek, who asks why Shimizu doesn't have a girlfriend. Shimi says it's a hassle and he doesn't want his mom to feel lonely. Seki manhandles him and yells at him for talking like his mother's still alive. Their fight is interrupted by a call from Seki's boss, and the two get back into the recycling truck, Shimizu stunned quiet.

As long as you believe in me, I'll be there to protect you no matter what. You don't need to face reality. I'll take care of it in your stead. Is that how it is...?

-Seki


Chapter 95 Edit

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Seki and Shimizu go to Cosmos Health Center, where Masaki Hoshikawa asks them to dispose of all his late father's equipment. Middle-aged cult women beg him to reconsider, but he refuses. His younger brother, Pegasus, joins the scene and takes interest in Shimizu's good vibrations. Masaki tells Seki the story of the Sagamihara Triangle Incident, in which an adolescent Pegasus and his helpers had constructed a perfect pyramid out of 900 school desks overnight. His only explanation had been that a stable tetrahedron could stabilize the world's oscillations and save lives. Elsewhere, Pegasus speaks of the misery of the dying world and presents Shimizu with a call to action. When Seki goes to find him, Shimizu tells him to go home by himself. After all, Seki thinks he's a nuisance. Seki tells him he wasn't being serious, but Shimizu won't budge. Seki sulks in the truck but is re-approached by Wada, who offers him a vague but well-paying "button-pushing" job. Unlike people, money is dependable.

Chapter 96 Edit

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At the cherry blossom festival, Mimura introduces the group to his surprisingly pretty girlfriend. The group splits up to get beer and find a seat, and Mimura muses to Punpun that it'd be nice if their little group could share trivial days like this year after year. At the mall, Manager sees a driver's ed book and considers buying it for Punpun since his real estate training is going so well. Sachi shrugs and says Punpun's pretty hit-or-miss. He tells her to make up with him already. He picks up a two-set of small maneki neko figures and suggests Sachi and Punpun share it, but when he turns around, Sachi is gone. He steps out to look for her in the walkway, but an older woman grabs him and cries shoplifter. When she reaches around to check his pockets for other stolen goods, he pushes her, and she falls and cries for help. A shopkeeper tackles him to the floor and guards tie his hands as Pegasus watches from the gathering crowd.

Chapter 97 Edit

Pegasus follows the old woman outside and recognizes her as the Dark Spot. Three weeks later, and still no one's been charged for Manager's dislocated shoulder and spinal cord injury. The real estate office has closed, and Misuzu talks of selling the place to move closer to the hospital and tells Punpun he'll have to get a new job. Sachi tells the bedridden Manager she'll never forgive the people responsible, but he weakly tells her no one's at fault and to not lose her faith in people. Outside, Sachi despairs, so Punpun holds her hand. She shakes him off and tells him his gestures, such as calling her a genius, are inappropriate inconsiderate. Frustrated and lost, her faith seems to be crumbling.

Chapter 98 Edit

Misuzu phones Punpun since, amongst the chaos, she forgot to ask if he wants to renew the contract for his room. Punpun suddenly remembers the promise he made to himself two years ago, that if things hadn't changed by this time, he would kill himself. At night, Punpun's room is flooded in white light, and Pegasus appears to ask him to help his cause. Punpun says he's never able to help anything, and Pegasus laments that he's another victim of the Dark Spot. Pegasus leaves, and Punpun's old God gleefully returns. The eleven members of the Pegasus Ensemble, now including Shimizu, or Freezie, greet their newest and final member. With twelve disciples, they may finally extinguish the dark spot and guide the new world.

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Chapter 99 Edit

Punpun wakes up in a blah. He reads a book on how to commit suicide but does not buy it. His bills are late, and he thinks it's time to quit his part-time job. He gathers all his things into trash sacks and dumps them out, when his neighbor, Takashi, offers to help. Later, he can hear Takashi having sex through the walls and masturbates to the thought of how kind and perfect Takashi is. The world must truly revolve around him. Yes, it is time for Punpun to die. From now on, he will be Takashi. At his driver's ed class, he introduces himself to several girls as Takashi Fujikawa and thinks life is much too easy when pretending to be outgoing and well-adjusted. He sits down, all too pleased, when a grown Aiko sits across from him...

At that instant, Onodera Punpun/Fujikawa Takashi, age 20, wanted to loudly holler at all the other worthless sacks of crap out there in the world: "The world is mine!"

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