Summary: Arakure (Wild Ones), Vol 4, Chp 17
The chapter begins with a flashback to Igarashi’s childhood. He is walking in a building alone and looking a little down. People in the background are talking. The things being said are, “What a weird kid” “He’s always so quiet”, and “What is he thinking?” Next some old guy is slapping young Igarashi around while saying, “What’s with the look on your face? Who do you think you have to thank for the food you’re eating?” Some more adults comment about how Igarashi’s facial expression never changes. Next we see young Igarashi being introduced to Raizo. Raizo remarks that Igarashi’s facial expression is not cute. Below Igarashi is introducing himself. He is smiling, but his eyes are blank and dull looking.
Back to the present. Kou is happy that the day is clear — perfect for watching fireworks. Igarashi is rude to him and tells his to leave quickly if he’s gonna leave. As Igarashi leaves the room, he crushes a soda can with his hands before throwing it into the trash. Kou wonders what’s with Igarashi’s attitude. Meanwhile, Sachie is looking at the bruise Igarashi made on her wrist when he restrained her and asked her not to leave with Kou. For impact, a drawing of a crush soda can is shown beside the drawing of Sachie’s wrist. (This is a little awkward. Clearly Sachie was abused, but I don’t know how this plays in Japan. In the US, I would say this is an alert that Igarashi is no good because he’s most likely abusive and the abuse will only get worse in the future). Sachie thinks about how her wrist was crushed like a soda can and flashes back on the memory of the event. Apparently after coming on so aggressively, Igarashi let go and said it was joke. He explains that he can’t go to the fireworks with her because he has kendo practice (a lie) and that it’s okay for her to go to Oosaka with Kou. “Really, I don’t mind,” he tells her with his gentle smile and lifeless eyes that don’t match. So Sachie goes ahead and tells her grandfather that she will go to Oosaka with Kou. Kou overhears and is very happy at the news. Igarashi asks if 3-days and 2-nights is too much. Kou tells him not to worry and that he will serve as Sachie’s bodyguard in Igarashi’s stead. Driving the knife deeper in Sachie, Igarashi gives a super-fake-smile and tells Sachie to have a good time. Raizo takes note of Igarashi’s behavior.
And so Sachie, Kou, and Kou’s entourage are in Oosaka at some kind of festival. Sachie is excited and wants to play carnival games. She picks a rifle shooting game and Kou thinks that this is a wonderful chance for him to show off his manliness. He assumes Sachie can’t shoot. Sachie, however, has perfect aim and looks fierce while shooting. Kou is stunned and feels intimidated. They move on to some more carnival games. All the while Sachie is angrily replaying the scene with Igarashi in her mind. She cannot figure out why he seemed so serious about asking her not to go, followed by telling her he was joking, and then sending her off with well wishes. After making 3 bullseyes at a darts booth, Sachie sees a guy that looks like Igarashi from the back. For a moment she is shocked but it’s some bucktoothed guy instead. Kou notices and tells Sachie to get a hold of herself because Igarashi isn’t coming all the way to Oosaka.
Back in Tokyo, Igarashi is the glittering prince of the fake smiles. He has prepared a meal for the household and the other yakuza are in misery because Igarashi is only cooking vegetarian meals. They understand until Sachie comes back, that Igarashi will be acting like a nut. Igarashi’s cell phone rings, and it’s Kou on the other side. Kou is calling to confirm that Igarashi is indeed still in Tokyo and tells Igarashi that everything is okay. Igarashi is very annoyed, of course. And then for a moment Igarashi’s composure is broken. Raizo comes along and sees Igarashi looking upset. Raizo reaches out to Igarashi telling him that he has not seen Igarashi with this expression since long ago. Igarashi turns and smiles with blank eyes and tells Raizo that he’s just tired. Raizo pats his head. While Kou is calling Igarashi, Sachie is trying to call Igarashi too. Instead of getting through, she gets a busy signal. Sachie gets really sad because now she believes that Igarashi is very angry with her and has, therefore, given up on her. Tears are welling in her eyes as she waits outside the bathroom for Kou. When Kou comes back out, she regains her composure.
Kou grabs Sachie’s hand and says that he’s going to take her somewhere else where there are fewer people. Sachie tells Kou that he’s kind and he is delighted to hear it. He then grabs Sachie and steals a hug while asking her how she feels about him. He uses “ore” for himself, the grown-up version of “I.” Kou father hears this and scolds Kou for using “ore,” reminding Kou that he’s still a child. Kou changes to cute little kid mode and laughs it off and Sachie jumps in to rat Kou out for using “ore” all the time. Kou tells her to butt out. A little bit later, Sachie and Kou are alone. Sachie says to Kou, “Can I ask you about yourself?” Kou spouts out a bunch of stuff about his birthday and blood type and so on, but that’s not was Sachie wants to know. She asks her question differently and specifically asks about the his use of “boku” and “ore.” Kou is at first annoyed with the question, but then begins to clarify the matter for her. “‘Boku’ is the good kid and “ore” is something I decided” He says. Sachie probes further and asks why he has to be careful when using the words. Kou says, “so I can’t be separated.” Meanwhile, there’s a cut away to Igarashi, who is walking around thinking about Kou’s challenge and Sachie’s shocked expression. He puts his head in his hand in frustration. “I’m miserable” he laments and then continues on with dead eyes. Back to Sachie and Kou. Sachie asks for more clarification. Kou explains that he acts cute because he wants to be liked. He says he smiles and agrees but behind the laughter he’s really manipulative and not very cute. Interleaved with this are drawings of Igarashi in full emo-boy mode. Azuma is walking around with a rice cooker and bugging Igarashi about it. Meanwhile Igarashi is pouting about how he could have handled the situation with Sachie better. Azuma asks Igarashi what’s with the face he’s making. Suddenly, Igarashi comes to resolution with himself and tells Azuma that he’s gotta run. In walks Raizo who tells the confused Azuma not to worry. Igarashi has realized that there’s something more he can do. Igarashi and Sachie are now both lost in though. Igarashi’s thoughts are kinda hard for me to understand, but here’s my try: “If I’m going to speak, the words … my intentions, my intentions …” They stop and look up in the sky as the fireworks begin.
Both Sachie and Igarashi look longingly into the sky, both asking themselves what they should do and questioning why things are this way. Then Sachie’s cellphone rings. It’s Igarashi. Sachie answers, but in her mind she feels herself falling apart. “No good” she thinks. She makes small talk by asking Igarashi how he’s doing and tells him that she doing fine. “Bear it,” she thinks to herself as she says words she doesn’t mean while tears are welling in her eyes. Igarashi then asks Sachie if she is now crying, which she is. Sachie is stunned and tries to make an excuse while in the background, Igarashi has said something. Igarashi repeats himself louder. “I’m leaving now.”
Igarashi, full of resolve, then goes to talk to Sachi’s grandfather. Raizo asks Igarashi what’s up and remarks about how hard it’s been on Igarashi. Igarashi then says, “I have a request. Please let me pick-up Sachie-sama.” The chapter closes with, “But surely that is the real me.”