Today’s summary, review and translation combo, Kawai Hideki‘s Seishun Hanashinjuu volume 01, is a special request by Nayung. Hopefully you’ll find this helpful. I wanted to summarise the story down to a few paragraphs but the plot … how should I put it… is dependent on the reader interpretation.
There are a lot of dialogues that’s left unsaid and if you analyse the manga closely or read a couple of times, you’d understand what the mangaka’s trying to portray. Oh don’t mind the Osaka-ben, it’s still pretty standard Japanese. :)
Visuals are extremely important as well because there will be scenes where there won’t be any dialogues but you can tell the story by looking at the character’s expressions. The timeline jumps around a lot too. I shall steal Kakashi/Minato’s line and advice everybody to “read underneath the underneath” or “read between the lines”.
Chapter 01 – Marsh
The chapter starts with Takenaka’s mum nagging at him to get a girlfriend while he’s doodling Yoshimura Shunichi, his ex’s name on the paper. She accidentally revealed that something must have happened to Takenaka in the past.
Takenaka couldn’t believe that his current football team, Tokyo Rocks wouldn’t renew his contract with them. The managers were putting their hope on Tsukahara, his junior whose performance improved tremendously after he replaced Takenaka who had knee injury, as the new striker.
No matter how he begged and promised that he’d still perform well, the managers didn’t want him anymore.
Ironically, Takenaka bumped into Tsukahara on his way out who had his contract renewed. He tried very hard to keep his emotion in check when chatting with Tsukahara. While peeing in the toilet, he thought about the game which caused his injury, the break up with his lover, Yoshimura in the hospital and Tsukahara consulting Takenaka on how to improve.
Yamazaki, Takenaka’s senior from high school was waiting for him at the entrance. There were a couple of girls commenting that the ace was willing to bed anyone. Yamazaki wanted to tease him a little by calling out to the girls but Takenaka didn’t stop him.
Takenaka admits his faults condescendingly to Yamazaki. He was even willing to sleep with Yamazaki who he didn’t like. He also revealed that he’s been sacked, thus no longer an ace, and he wasn’t dating Yoshimura anymore.
Even though he missed Yoshimura very much, he still slept with Yamazaki in a hotel. But it’s pretty obvious that he wasn’t concentrating on sex. His mind wondered everywhere while his body was on auto-pilot.
By the time Takenaka woke up, it’s time to check out. Since Yamazaki was still asleep, he called the front desk to extend their stay. Meanwhile, he remembered his life with Yoshimura, how he spoiled him silly.
Chapter ends with news of Takenaka leaving the team being published on the local newspaper.
Chapter 02 – Days Without Thoughts
The day after, Yamazaki brought Takenaka back to his home to screw him silly. He knew that it’s inevitable for Yamazaki to dislike him. Flashback to a scene when they were back in high school.
[You really want to sleep with me that badly?]
[…Let’s do it.]
Present day, Takenaka woke up with a jolt, thinking he had to jog. I guess old habits die hard but it’s useless now, since he’s been kicked out of the team.
Takenaka spent the days lazing around as if he’s given up on life and being screwed by Yamazaki. The epitome of hedonism.
Yamazaki asked Takenaka whether he likes him and Takenaka confessed (or lied) that he likes Yamazaki the most. But when Yamazaki pushed him more by asking if he likes Yamazaki more than Yoshimura, he blatantly lied and replied with a yes.
Yamanaki knew that that’s not true and poured a can of beer on Takenaka to wake him up.
“Don’t say shit like that just because of the mood,” he stated.
Yamazaki started feeding Takenaka cans after cans of beers. In his drunken and sexually intoxicated state, Takenaka mumbled things that was somewhat a reminiscence of the past with Yamazaki.
Takenaka: If you do this…
Takenaka: I won’t be able to sleep today…
[My uniform can’t get dirty…]
[I’ve told you that before…?]
Stunned, Yamazaki couldn’t stop sleep thoughout the night. I’m guessing he was contemplating his relationship with Takenaka. It’s been a while since Yamazaki went to work too?
In the morning, Yamazaki prepared to leave for work. He assumed that Takenaka won’t be there anymore. Though he couldn’t say, “Please feel free to leave if you want to”.
Yamazaki: I’ve used up all my paid leaves.
Takenaka: …You have work?
Yamazaki: Who do you think I am? (Or: What do you think of me?)
ST Yamazaki: Seriously!
Yamazaki: Your lifestyle has always been way beyond normal.
Yamazaki: That’s good too.
The room will be empty by the time I get back, but…
” Please feel free to leave if you want to”, I couldn’t say it.
No matter what,
I really couldn’t say it.
Just as he was leaving, Takenaka stopped him. Yamazaki promised Takenaka he’ll be back with a kiss.
Yamazaki: I’m leaving.
Takenaka: No! Don’t go!
The course it takes
for humans to fall…
Is endlessly foul…
At the same time,
it’s too sweet to resist.
Yamazaki: I’ll be back as soon as I can.
I should be floating with happiness right now,
but, I don’t know why
I just can’t shake this slight cold feeling away…
Out of the blue, someone rang the door bell. Takenaka thought it might be some debt collector and ignored it. But when he heard his name called out, he opened the door to find Kashima, the shorty senior from his high school. Kashima told him to change and they met at a cafe.
Though Kashima didn’t want to believe the fact that he’s with Yamazaki at first, but in the end he did find him there. He noted that Takenaka should be hating Yamazaki though they’ve always been together since high school.
Takenaka told Kashima that he broke up with Yoshimura when Kashima inquired about them.
Then, Kashima informed Takenaka that there were other teams interested to sign Takenaka with a contract but Takenaka was never home to pick up the calls.
In fact, his handphone’s battery died a long time ago too.
Kashima told Kashima that he’s being moved to another department from PR to planning. That department was also in charge of helping players who retired create a second chance to play again.
He adviced Takenaka to go home, listen to all the messages and charge his phone’s battery.In the worst case scenario where nobody wants to sign him up, he should try the union. Though for a player who played in a proper team may find it shameful and daunting at the same time to start all over again.
Flashback again. Kashima and Takenaka were from the same football team back in high school. Takenaka was a junior with a lot of talent but on the other hand, Kashima had nothing at all. When he was about to give up on the club because he thinks that his existence was insignificant, he met Takenaka who remembered him.
Every little thing in the past are important keys to shape the present we’re living in now.
Chapter 03 – Yoshimura-san
Chapter 3 happened in the past, before Takenaka dated Yoshimura.
What Takenaka remembered the most about Yoshimura’s house was the fish tank in the front porch with the red goldfish.
Takenaka visited Yoshimura’s family home to return the watch Yoshimura left behind during a match’s after party. Takenaka felt a little awkward to visit Yoshimura’s place because they’ve only met a couple of times.
Yoshimura stopped Takenaka from talking to chase his nosy family, who were eavesdropping on their conversation away. Yoshimura then admitted he left the watch on purpose to create a chance to call Takenaka. But Takenaka beat him to it.
Yoshimura mum asked Takenaka to stay for dinner. He played with Yoshimura’s kid brother and taught him a few tricks with football.
Yoshimura sent Takenaka off after dinner and they ended up doing naughty things behind the front door where Yoshimura’s family’s right behind the wall.
they treated me so kindly that I couldn’t help but to fall deeper and deeper.
They were the picture perfect family. Sadly, everything would be over once they found out about our relationship.
Only using his brother as an excuse…
Truthfully, my head’s filled with my love for him…
I was really low.
Yoshimura and Takenaka were meeting on a ferry.
Yoshimua: I’m surprised it’s empty here.
Takenaka: That’s ’cause today’s a normal weekday.
Takenaka: What about your work…?
Takenaka: You won’t get in troubled for taking a leave?
Yoshimura: Nah, it’s paid leave anyway.
Yoshimura: Usually we could only met for a while at night. //
Yoshimura: You have matches on Saturdays and they’re usually far away, so you’re not in Tokyo often.
Yoshimura: Since I’m just a normal salary man, our holidays are different.
Takenaka: You’re right…
Yoshimura: That’s why…
Yoshimura: Even if I’m overdoing it,
Yoshimura: I’d still want to meet you.
Yoshimura: This feels like a date.
Yoshimura: Chikara-chan, you’re a little slow sometimes…
Yoshimura: It’s not “like” one,
Yoshimura: we are dating.
Yoshimura: Right now,
Yoshimura: we’re on a date.
Yoshimura: Still need me to explain that?
Yoshimura: You should have realised that earlier…
And in front of all those kids running around, they shared a kiss.
Yoshimura: Haha, you looked really shocked.
Yoshimura: The ocean…
Yoshimura: Smells so good.
To tell the truth, the view wasn’t really that spectacular…
But in my eyes, Tokyo’s bay became really sacred to me.
Moving past many bridges and countless ships…
It’s as if I’ve been dyed brilliantly with red ink,
I loved him.
Yoshimura: Chikara-chan, look!
Yoshimura: That’s the Rainbow Bridge!
Chapter 04 – 2nd Year Middle School Days ~ 01
The first person who bought a football for me was my grandpa.
Takenaka’s grandfather was really weak since he was a kid. He grew up with a lot of health complication and couldn’t really play much sports. But, his grandfather really loved all type of ball sports, especially football.
When he was saying his thanks to his grandfather for giving him his first football, it got covered by the surrounding noise. Takenaka wasn’t a kid who’d express his happiness and sadness easily.
Since then, he decided to be a football player.
Komura was a pretty boy who was really friendly and joked around a lot. Now that he thought about it, both Komura and Yoshimura had the same aura.
Sadly, it seemed like Komura wasn’t as bubbly as he portrayed and he haboured some rather malicious thoughts for Takenaka who excelled in sports and popularity. He was a homophobe too.
One day while they were having lunch (and exchanging saliva via bread), Komura lamented about the caligraphy teacher, Ozawa. He commented that the teacher felt really disgusting and didn’t like the way he touched and hovered over him while teaching him how to write. He off-handedly uttered that homosexuals were disgusting.
Takenaka understood the teacher’s feelings for Komura though.
Takenaka had a meeting with the sports committee and Komura promised to wait for him. He didn’t think that Komura would really wait for him to finish since it was already so late. He bumped into Ozawa, the calligraphy teacher on the way out and thought about Komura’s comment again.
He was really happy to see the silhouette of Komura by the shoe shelves, but it turned out to be Yuuki, his classmate. She complained that Komura was really mean to have left Takenaka alone and went home like that. He advises her to not talk bad about a person when they’re not around.
Yuuki then asked whether Takenaka liked someone…
Yuuki: Do you have somebody you like?
This girl doesn’t know the meaning of shame…
Yuuki: You don’t like anybody then-
Takenaka: There’s one, all right.
Takenaka: But it’s not you.
Takenaka: You shouldn’t take it out on me just because I don’t like you.
Takenaka: Who made it a rule that
Takenaka: I should like you?
Yuuki: Then, who do you like?
*stares at Komura’s shelve*
Takenaka: I can like whoever I like, yeah?
Takenaka: It’s none of your concern.
Yuuki: Why won’t you answer?!
Takenaka: Why should I tell you in the first place?
Yuuki: It’s unfair that only Takenaka-kun knows! (Lol, wtf, this lady has some serious issues. :’D)
Yuuki: The person
Yuuki: You like…
Yuuki: It’s Komura, isn’t it?
Takenaka: Stop joking.
Takenaka: I won’t tell you.
Yuuki: I’m right, aren’t I?
Yuuki: I gues…
Yuuki: I’ve hit the mark.
I’m always observing you.
will sit by the window
to read some books all the time…
Yuuki: And you…
Whenever he’s reading,
Yuuki: Are always staring at Komura…
his mind was always somewhere else when I call out to him.
Even though I hate his insensibility,
but I guess I wasn’t worried since he never ever looked back,
Yuuki: You’re always staring at him.
Yuuki: You actually like men…
Yuuki: At first I thought it’s impossible, but…
Yuuki: You’re really disgusting, Takenaka.
Chapter 05 – 2nd Year Middle School Days ~ 02
The next day,
by the time I’ve reached school, the rumour had spread throughout school.
Table: Die homo!!
Someone spread a rumour that Takenaka and the caligraphy teacher, Ozawa was dating. His classmates who were still mucking around with him just the day before now turned their backs to him. One of them, Ishida even started bullying him. Though, thanks to Takenaka’s uber sports power, he managed to fight back and bashed Ishida instead.
Due to the fact that there were a lot of witness around, he wasn’t punished for fighting back. Unfortunately, all his friends started to move away from him and left him all alone.
That’s when he met Yamazaki-senpai.
Takenaka met Yamazaki in a store while the latter was shop-lifting. They’ve bonded while sharing Yamazaki’s loots.
Yamazaki: Here, want one?
Takenaka: Sure, thanks.
Yamazaki: the second year, Takenaka, right?
Takenaka: did you know?
Yamazaki: rather famous.
[Once I thought]
[that the rumour even spread to students on other grades]
[I felt really depressed.]
Yamazaki: You like high places?
Takenaka: “Humans look like trash”? (*Quote of Colonel Muska from Laputa)
Yamazaki: This isn’t Ghibli you know?
Takenaka: I saw that last week during the Friday’s special.
[Falling for my very male friend]
[is such a huge sin.]
[After morning practice,]
[I didn’t feel like sticking around for class,]
[so I walked out of school.]
[On my way, I went past Yamazaki-senpai’s home.]
[The funny thing is,]
[every time I look up, I see him sitting by the window.]
[I once thought foolishly,]
[that he’s waiting for me.]
Takenaka spends his day with Yamazaki quite often even though the latter’s someone who’s rather violent. There’s a rumour going round saying that if anybody went against Yamazaki’s wishes, they’ll be bashed to smithereens. He once hit a Ichii, the science teacher. The student of the school were so scared of Yamazaki that they held him in high regards.
It was in this delinquent that Takenaka found something in common with, that maybe he finally found a friend.
During the school’s sports day event, Takenaka made a bet with Yamazaki that he’ll win the mixed grade relay race, resulting his then losing team to win. Yamazaki thought it’s impossible because even though they said it’s mixed grades, they’ve been sending out third years only.
In the end, Yamazaki lost the bet.
suddenly became chillier.
that winter was approaching.
Chapter 06 – 2nd Year Middle School Days ~ 03
While he was supposed to be ridiculed and bullied due to that incident and rumour, but thanks to his “timely” acquaintance to the scary Yamazaki-senpai, he got off unscattered. That didn’t help the situation that he no longer had any friends though…
Takenaka no longer chat with Komura.
Yuuki confronted Takenaka and told him that Komura was the one who spread the rumour, not her. Of course, Takenaka found it hard to believe. He thought he didn’t leave any impression of his sexual preference but somehow, Komura knew.
Komura: Yuuki from our class’s really cute, right?
Takenaka: I prefer
Takenaka: a girl who’s more innocent.
Takenaka: …Someone like Ayakawa.
Text: Innocent idol type
Takenaka: Guess it’s safer this way.
Komura: Wow, that’s high standard!
The truth is…
The type I liked has brown hair, slightly bad personality and only looks that’s worth mentioning.
Takenaka: What about Komura?
Komura: I like a beauty with big boobs and is willing to listen to me.
Takenaka: Haha, wow.
As long as we’re able to continue chatting,
I don’t care if it’s a boring topic like women or idol.
Komura: Speaking of which…
The type of women or idol that I like, I always picked the safest answer. I couldn’t say that I wasn’t interested in shit like that.
Komura: Lets not talk about boobs or gender for now.
Komura: I think I really like you.
Takenaka: You’re saying that
Takenaka: just so I’ll let you copy tomorrow’s assignment.
Komura: Why are you blushing?
Takenaka: I’m not blushing!
Komura: don’t tell me you’re homosexual?
Komura: I’m just complimenting you. Not only are you friendly, you’re good looking too.
Takenaka: Moreover, I let you copy answers?
Komura: Right, right!
Takenaka: And very convenient?
Komura: Right, right!
ST Komura: Just joking.
I didn’t dare
to lift my head up.
I could only stare at Komura’s faint shadow on the floor.
Liking someone who’s the same gender…
Is it something that’s utterly forbidden?
“I want to sleep with Komura.”
“I don’t want to sleep with Komura.”
Takenaka’s mother confronted Takenaka about the rumour of him liking men. She added that she was so freaking embarrassed by it and wanted him to stop doing anymore weird things. Unable to stand being in his mother’s presence, he went out.
He met Komura’s father while walking around. Komura’s father noted that Takenaka didn’t visit their place in a while and asked whether Takenaka fought with his son. He also asked about Takenaka association with the local delinquent and advised him to stop meeting Yamazaki.
Takenaka got pissed at the fact that Komura’s dad was bad-mouthing his friend even though that uncle’s just giving his healthy uncle advice. Takenaka left the place immediately and went to Yamazaki’s place instead.
Then, in a world where there was no place for us to exist,
was like a ship floating aimlessly on a dark, endless ocean.
Chapter 07 – 2nd Year Middle School Days ~ 04
By now, it’s quite obvious that Yamazaki felt something for Takenaka. They continued to hang out merrily and I have a feeling that Yamazaki lost the janken on purpose so that he could stuff Takenaka silly with lolipop.
In an arcade center, both of them almost accidentally bumped into a teacher Takenaka fondly dubbed, Zenda-chan. They hid behind a wall and it looked like Takenaka was hugging Yamazaki. Yamazaki’s gotta be feeling a little hot there…
Takenaka: So free…
Yamazaki: What the hell?
Yamazaki: What the hell are you doing?!
Takenaka: It’s Zenda-chan!
Takenaka: Zenda-sensei’s here
Yamazaki: Guess he’s patrolling the place after school?
Yamazaki: But, it’s him. Even if we’re discovered, he won’t say anything, right?
Yamazaki: He’s a good man.
Takenaka: Your homeroom teacher?
Yamazaki: Back in my first year.
Yamazaki: Let’s go.
Yamazaki: Why are you so afraid of him?
Yamazaki: So troublesome.
Takenaka: ‘Cause he’s the football team’s advisor!!
Yamazaki: I don’t care.
Takenaka: Fine, fine.
Yamazaki: Smells like apple…
Takenaka: ‘Cause Zenda-chan
Takenaka: took great care of me…
Takenaka: When my mum heard I was about to join the football team, her face was so pale. Zenda-chan was the one who convinced her for me.
Takenaka: Whenever I’m failing my subject, he’ll tutor me in the morning too…
Takenaka: I like Zenda-chan a lot…
Takenaka: So I don’t want to cause him trouble.
Takenaka: What the fuck do you think you’re doing?! What the fuck! WHAT THE FUCK!!
Yamazaki: Nothing at all.
That place has nothing at all.
If you walk 10 minutes along the road, you’ll see a vast land of paddy fields.
It takes 30 minutes to get to the nearest convenience store.
Though there’s Mr. Donut, there aren’t any McDonalds here.
The so-called entertainment area’s just a depilated shopping district,
and the biggest 5-storey supermarket around the area.
Takenaka: One day, I want to go to Tokyo…
Yamazaki: You meant the city?
Takenaka: As long as I get to leave this place, whether if it’s Hokkaido, or Okinawa or even aboard,
Takenaka: anywhere’s fine…
Takenaka: I want to support myself as soon as possible.
Then, it goes to a scene where Yamazaki’s repairing an old broken down motorcycle given to him by his friend. Takenaka kept teasing him, saying that it’ll be impossible for him to repair it while helping him out. Takenaka asked whether if he could sit on it once it’s repaired as well. But, that wish never came true due to an incident during that stormy day…
[That day, there was a storm.]
Yamazaki: Here, use this.
*Random TV News*
*More news about the storm and possible floods*
Takenaka: It’s raining to heavily…
ST Takenaka: Can I go back like this?!
Yamazaki: You can just stay here till the rain lets off.
Takenaka: Ah, you’re right.
[the storm continued to rage on even ’til late at night.]
Yamazaki suggested Takenaka to stay the night but the latter didn’t want to do because of what his mother will think. Yamazaki convinced him to call home but his mother started bitching again and before he could even explain the situation to his mother, Yamazaki cut the call short. He knew that the tone from the other end sounded really mad. The mom yell:
[You’re with that delinquent, Yamazaki right?!]
[What the hell are the both of you doing there?!]
Disenchanted by the ruthlessness and his mother’s refusal to believe in her son, Takenaka started to cry. Yamazaki tried to comfort him. Swept away by the moment, Yamazaki kissed him but when he tried to take a step further, Takenaka got scared and ran away.
[That battered old bike,]
[did it get the extra seat installed?]
[In the end, was it completely repaired?]
[It’s been around 10 years since, but I still don’t know the answer.]
[That day, there was a storm.]
Extra – Abandoned Street, You and Me
This extra has nothing to do with the main story, but it’s so beautiful and oh-so-romantic!
Matsuyuki was staying in a beautiful town that resides by the beach until his third year in middle school. Even though he’s been staying in Tokyo, there wasn’t anything much he could do. He didn’t have a single good memory of Tokyo either.
He lost his job because he had to take care of his sick father who was staying in the hospital. He didn’t want to stay around because the boss thought he was lying to skip out of work. When his father passed away, he went back to the town near the beach even though there wasn’t any place for him to have his father’s burial there.
The view of the town brought back memories long buried deep in the past.
[The view below me’s so nostalgic.]
[I remember my last summer here.]
[The withering morning glories due to the heat…]
[Distorting images of the railway under scorching sun…]
[Dripping, melting ice cream…]
[Dried up lizards…]
[Fresh fragrance of greeneries…]
Matsuyuki reflected the days he spent with Yuhara. He was really close with Yuhara and even though he’s dating Miyano, his ex-girlfriend, he still did some really lover-like things with Yuhara.
One day, Matsuyuki and Yuhara ditched school to go to the beach. They shared a kiss out in the water where there are people lazing around the beach.
Matsuyuki: Have you every kissed someone?
Yuhara: What’s this?
Yuhara: Why are you asking this all of a sudden?
Matsuyuki: ‘Cause senpai’s really popular, //
Matsuyuki: I bet you have experience.
Matsuyuki: That’s all.
Yuhara: Yeah, I did.
Yuhara: You too, right?
Yuhara: You’ve kissed Miyano?
Matsuyuki: Heh, //
Matsuyuki: too bad, we didn’t.
Yuhara: What? //
Yuhara: That’s surprising.
Yuhara: It is because
Yuhara: she’s really cautious?
Yuhara: you don’t have the guts to do it?
Matsuyuki: Maybe that’s one of the reasons.
Yuhara: You wanna try it?
Yuhara: I’ll teach you.
Yuhara: Just joking.
Yuhara: That’s really dumb.
Yuhara: Haha, //
Yuhara: which guy would want their first kiss with a man? There’s a limit for doing something with no returns.
Matsuyuki: I want to try it with senpai.
Sfx: Kiss (on the cheek)
Matsuyuki: Not like that! To the lips!
Matsuyuki: Lips to lips!
Matsuyuki: I’m fine with senpai.
Matsuyuki: My first kiss.
Matsuyuki: I think it’s fine if it’s senpai.
And they kissed! On the float, in the water, on the rock… All out in the open. That’s when Matsuyuki realised that there’s more to the feeling of friendship he felt for Yuhara. Even when he finally manage to make out with Miyano, his mind kept going back to Yuhara.
Present day, Matsuyuki finally realised what he lost. He went back to his old house but it’s long since abandoned. All alone in the world now and with only his past memories, Matsuyuki felt the agonising pain of reality.
Suddenly, grown up Yuhara found him kneeling in front of his old place and brought him to the beach for an outdoor, charcoal barbeque seafood.
Matsuyuki acted as if he didn’t remember his senpai at first in case he embarrassed himself. But once Yuhara admitted that he will never ever forget Matsuyuki, he admitted his feelings and everything ended happily ever after.
Now that you’ve read this far, I humbly thank you. I can safely say that this review turned a little too long to be normal. Your patience is very much appreciated. I hope you’ve enjoyed the book and lets wait for volume two!!