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|| Summary of Vol. 1 & 2 ||

Vol. 1: The manga opens with IRIYA Tetsuo at middle school (9th grade in the US) graduation. He is expressionless, and walking away from his chattering peers. The students notice, and begin to talk about how he is always alone. Recently he had become cold, whereas before he was shy. We watch him tear up his diploma, alone on the roof of the school. "Ore no karada no oku ni puuru ga aru sore wa ima ni mo afuresou na hodo namidatte iruE ("In the depths of my body there is a pool, which is overflowing with my tears.")

Scene change! Now Tetsuo is in high school, taking on three guys, and thoroughly pounding them into the ground. He's protecting his (much larger) best friend, KASUGA Ryouta. KIZU Ryouji (an older schoolmate) sees and is intrigued. The stage is set...

Kizu begins watching Tetsuo at school, much to the amusement of his friend Hikone. Tetsuo notices while playing shougi (Japanese chess) with Ryouta, and is not amused. He and Ryouta have one of their classic 'talks' (i.e., Tetsuo snarls at Ryouta) about Kizu. Next we see that Tetsuo is a straight-A student. Ugh, he got a 100 on his math exam. He talks to Tateno-sensei about his attitude problem *grin*. The teacher says with grades like he has, he's wasted at this school. He urges him to take a transfer exam. Tetsuo explains that he went to all that trouble to get into a traffic accident so that he could avoid taking the entrance exam for the other school.

By the time he gets out of the meeting with the teacher, Ryouta has gone home, and he is stuck picking up the shougi pieces. He reaches for one and we see a foot covering it, and water splashing on the floor. Kizu is there, soaking wet from the rain outside. Tetsuo looks up. "Kizu, ore no ousama funderu yo." ("Kizu, You're standing on my king.") Kizu just stares at him expressionlessly. "Oi! Ashi dokero yo!" ("Hey, move your foot!") Several more long seconds go by before Kizu silently lifts his foot. Next we are treated to a nice butt-shot as Tetsuo wanders around on his hands and knees looking for his kyousha (the 'spear,' a game piece). Kizu watches him for a while before holding out his hand and asking, "Is this it?" "Yeah." Tetsuo reaches for it, but instead Kizu grabs his wrist and gives him a nice, big hicky on the inside of his forearm. Okay, it's more of a bite, but it definitely leaves a mark. Kizu walks off singing, "Born to be wild~" No, I'm not kidding.

Okay, enough of the play-by-play or this will be the world's longest summary. Couldn't resist, I love that scene.

Tetsuo spends the next couple of days remembering the bite and glaring at Kizu. Kizu spends them smirking at him. This distracts Tetsuo so much that he manages to spill boiling liquid on himself in science lab. Hikone teases Kizu about his new obsession with "Bunny." Kizu runs in to him at the nurse's office later when he comes in to get a wrap for his own bleeding finger. Tetsuo begins to wrap it for him, but Kizu ticks him off, and he stops. Kizu takes a moment to admire the bite-mark before wrestling Kizu to the ground and kissing him. Ryouta walks in just as Kizu walks out, and when he sees the shape Tetsuo is in he is pissed. Later he manages to get into a nice, bloody fistfight with Kizu and get himself trounced. After sticking his head in a fountain we discover that Ryouta looks good with his hair down instead of gelled back. Lucky for us, it stays that way for the next 2 volumes. Tetsuo and Ryouta actually have a serious talk for the next 10 pages or so about when Tetsuo was in elementary school. When he was younger he was a cry-baby (and hated it) but he always remembers the kindly woman (teacher?) who told him: "Iriya-kun, The insides of people are full of water. Like a pool, you see?" (Thus the title of the series.)

Next day Kizu pulls up to the school gate with a chick on his motorcycle. Two things which are not allowed on school property it seems. Huh, yeah I guess it is an all-guys school. For some reason (probably a fight) Tetsuo also has to serve detention, so the two are sent to clean the pool area. In his moody way, Tetsuo decides to jump into the pool with all his clothes on. Hey, connects to the title, see? Later, after he finishes changing in the locker room, Kizu decides to get a nice grope session going. He's egged on my Tetsuo, who doesn't seem to believe that he'd do anything to another guy. Kizu doesn't get very far before Tetsuo pushes him away and plunks himself into a chair. Kizu tells him not to tempt him again, then walks off, leaving Tetsuo swearing at the empty room. But our dark anti-hero is not as calm as he seems. Sitting on his bike, his hands are shaking so hard he can't grip the handles. "Yabei. Masaka maji da ze. Oi, oi. Oomaji da yo." ("This isn't good. I can't believe this. Hey, hey, this is serious.")

Next scene: Kasuga Sakaya, the liquor store run by Ryouta's parents. Tetsuo has stopped by for a study session. Tetsuo compares Kizu with Hanada, a boy in middle school who teased him mercilessly under the guise of kindness. Ryouta disagrees, saying that he thought Hanada liked him, and was just going about things the wrong way. We learn that the reason Tetsuo got into the accident was because he didn't want to go to the same high school as Hanada. Tetsuo worries that he's becoming the shy wimpy boy again. Ryouta gives his usual encouragement, causing Tetsuo to smile. "Ii yatsu da na, Ryouta." ("You're a good guy/bastard, Ryouta.") What's that supposed to mean? Ryouta wonders, none too happy.

At school: Tetsuo decides to take the exam to switch schools. He finds out from Tateno-sensei that Kizu also had the grades to go to the better school, but can't move that far away. Tetuo wonders about that, until he remembers a random comment from Tateno to Kizu about his younger brothers. The teacher sends him off to return Kizu's drivers liscense (which was taken when he drove the girl up on his bike). Kizu and Tetsuo have another face-off, with Tetsuo demanding his kyousha back. No go.

Tetsuo transfers to Eihou. The girls, of course, go nuts over Tetsuo. And poor Tetsuo runs into a bad memory in the form of HANADA Satoshi. He's president of Tetsuo's class, and assigned as his temporary tour guide.

Back at the old school, Ryouta has taken over Tetsuo's role of defending the weak guys from the bullies. Hikone applauds him, literally. (Did I mention I adore Hikone?) Anyway, they start a slight friendship.

Meanwhile, squeaky-clean Hanada keeps attempting to become friends with Tetsuo. Really close friends. But the second he tries anything, Tetsuo smashes his fist into his face. As if that would dissuade him. Now he keeps following Tetsuo around with that annoying smirk on his face. (How come Kizu can do the same thing and it's endearing?) Luckily Hikone is waiting for him after school to get him caught up on old news. It seems that Kizu works three jobs in an attempt to take care of his brothers, after his father declared bankruptcy and ran off on them. His parents are running all over Japan to escape creditors. And Hikone just happens to have tickets to Club 9, where Kizu works. Hanada, who has been listening to their whole conversation, takes one for himself.

And guess who happens to come have a little talk with Kizu at his job that night? Yep, Ryouta. They step out into the back alley, where Kizu tells Ryouta: "I know you want Iriya" and thoroughly ticks him off with other such things. And he's just in time to see Tetsuo enter the club, but can't get in since he has no ticket. Kizu (working the bar) sees Tetsuo and smirks, but before anyone can do anything Hanada shows up. Later it turns out that Hanada and Kizu know each other, having been rivals for a long time. They're mutually macho as they raise eyebrows and smirk at each other. But we all know who's the best. After a bit, Tetsuo gets fed up and tries to leave. Hanada grabs hold of him, and Kizu somehow manages to order Hanada to hold Tetsuo while he kisses him breathless. After Tetsuo makes his escape, Hanada throws Kizu's words back in his face, and asks: "You like him, don't you?" They discover something else in common, in that Tetsuo is the only man they feel attracted to. This relieves Hanada, who was worried about his liking a man.

Tetsuo is wrestling his mother for a bottle of liquor while his father ignores them. Tetsuo shows up, smiling faintly, and asks if he can come in. Tetsuo is stunned. They talk, and Tetsuo is falling apart. "Ore Kizu no koto kirai ni nare nee n da. Baka baka shiize... maji de." ("I can't bring myself to hate him. Idiot, idiot... I really am.") He begins to cry.

Later, there's a rumor that Kizu has been in a bike accident, and Tetsuo hears. He stands outside the club, waiting. When Kizu shows up: "Hairanai no ka?" ("Aren't you going in?") Tetsuo asks him if he is all right, then touches his face and Kizu's eyes widen for a moment while Tetsuo says, "kaoiro mo anmari..." ("You're so pale...") But when he realizes what he's done, he snatches his hand away.

What? Hikone's gotten a job at Club 9 too? Doesn't he look cute in a tux.... Ryouta has ridden to the club with Hikone when they heard about the accident, so he sits with Tetsuo. A very suspicious man is wandering around the club. He's been stalking the girl Kizu gave a bike ride to all those months ago. Turns out Kizu was just helping her get away from him. Now the guy wants revenge. He pulls out a wanking big bottle and smashes it over Kizu's head. Tetsuo is pissed. He chases the guy down and beats the crap out of him until Hikone manages to pull him off. He still doesn't want to stop, but Kizu (who's got a lot of blood dripping down his temple) hugs him around the waist. "Iriya. Iriya mou ii... Ore wa daijoubu... Mou ii, Iriya..." (Iriya. Iriya, that's enough... I'm fine... It's all right, Iriya...") *Kya!*

And then Hikone comes in, calling Ryouta "nidaime". Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't that mean that he's the second-generation leader of a group, usually yakuza? Maybe the nickname has to do with the bad-boy attitude Ryouta has been adopting. Oh well, anyway, they go wait outside Kizu's apartment, while Tetsuo takes Kizu home in a taxi. As Kizu drifts off, Tetsuo takes his hand and says, "It's all right, Kizu, you're not alone."

Then they get to the apartment, and Kizu goes in leaning on Tetsuo. Just before the door shuts, Ryouta shows up, shouting, "Tetsu-chan!" Tetsuo looks over his shoulder, surprised... But then Kizu pulls Tetsuo inside and the door shuts. And never was there a more forlorn face than Ryouta's.... Hikone throws an arm over his shoulder and leads him away as the first volume ends.

Vol. 2: I officially love the opening of this volume, so it's getting translated. So there! (Geez, these summaries are making me regress.)

Tetsuo is narrating: That night... I was drawn into Kizu's room. I...
*Kizu is settling into some heavy-duty necking*
Tetsuo: ".... Kizu...... Give me...... Give me back my kyousha.
Tetsuo: I could smell the scent of Kizu's blood.
Kizu: "'Give it back'?"
Tetsuo: It was intense.... And we... that was the first night.... we made our mistake......

Flash to the next morning. Tetsuo is wrapped in a blanket in front of the TV, while his mind wanders: to the fight at the club, to Ryouta yelling up to him, to holding Kizu. Kizu shows up and throws him some sweatpants before they go to eat breakfast. They eat their toast viciously and avoid looking at each other. Tetsuo asks him how his head is, and Kizu tells him he'll need stitches, since he, Tetsuo, was so violent. Flashback to what actually happened last night. Oh, lovely boys. Tetsuo grabbed hold of Kizu's head at one point in order to force him to stop before they went too far. His expression is precious as he stares at the table and mutters: "sorry." Any actual discussion of what happened the night before is cut off by the arrival of Kizu's younger brothers, the twins Kiwamu and Setuna. They have the cutest, sloppy speech pattern. They play shougi with Tetsuo, and by the time he decides to leave, Kizu has fallen asleep.

Meanwhile, Ryouta is remembering last night, and shouting out random things like "I'll KILL you!" at the breakfast table. He is being eaten alive by jealousy, wondering what happened that night. He challenges Kizu in kendou class and gets the stuffing knocked out of him. (Actually, Hikone volunteers him. I think these two would make a great couple! *crosses fingers*)

Later, Kizu shows up at Tetsuo's school and returns the kyousha. It was symbolic, and Tetsuo looks stunned by his casual "Jaa ne." The next day, Ryouta points out that the kyousha doesn't match the rest of the chess set, Tetsuo decides he'll have to return the piece. (What is with his obsession?) But when he finally gets up the courage to go back to Kizu's, a strange girl opens the door, and Kizu is in bed, just pulling on his shirt. *blink blink* Kizu smirks and asks if he's come to return the kyousha. Tetsuo decks him before taking off. But the girl is waiting outside, since she heard the whole conversation. Turns out she was simply cooking for Kizu, since she owed him for taking care of her brother, or something like that. The rest of the volume is taken up with Tetsuo learning all about Kizu from random women. Heh. He returns to Club 9, only to find out that Kizu has quit his job there. While moping, a model named Lisa asks him if he wants a job. Later we find out she also knows about Kizu's past, since they dated for a few months at one point. They were bound together by the fact that neither really had a childhood.

A new character is introduced, in the form of Ryuu (yep, the kanji for 'dragon'), Ryouta's cousin. We first see him walking in the door with Ryouta slung over his shoulder. Turns out Ryouta twisted his ankle. OK, so maybe Ryouta will turn out to be an uke? I could see it, with all his 'chan's. Ryuu is the epitome of cool. *grin* Tetsuo stays to help Ryouta run the store. And finally Ryouta corners Tetsuo with: "Tetsu-chan, suki da yo. Kizu ni wa watasenai." (I love you, Tetsu! I won't let Kizu have you!)" To which Tetsuo gets pissed and replies: "ORE WA OTOKO NAN DA YO! ONNA JA NEEN DA!" (I AM A MAN! I AM NOT A WOMAN!)" Then Ryuu returns to drive Tetsuo home and that's the end of that.

Or not. After his talk with the model the next day, Tetsuo goes to talk to Ryouta. Basically, Ryouta explains that while he may be in love with Kizu; it's an uncomfortable kind of love. He doesn't want anything to break up his friendship with Ryouta, one of the most important people to him. And Ryouta realizes that he didn't love Tetsuo, he was just obsessing. But now, now he does love him. *sniffle*

Meanwhile, the twins complain about various things, including the lack of Tetsuo.

The next day, Ryouta goes back to challenge Kizu to another kendou match (sprained ankle and all). And, after a vicious fight, he wins. The first thing he does is tell Kizu what a fool he's been, and that he'll never see Tetsuo again. Not much later, Tetsuo says goodbye to his parents and then sends the maid away. Then who should appear at his door? A still-bloody Kizu. "Are you alone now?" He grabs Tetsuo's wrist and starts dragging him along. "Where's your room; second floor?" "H-hold it! Wait, Kizu!" Kizu kisses Tetsuo into submission; complete and total loss of bones. *yum, me too* Things progress very nicely.

After the sex, Kizu explains that his father has finally paid off his debts, and that since his parents can now take care of the twins, he's moving to his own place. He gives Tetsuo a key.

Next day at school, Ryouta is moping on the roof. Hikone shows up to cheer him up. When that doesn't work, he keeps him company. He is curious about why Ryouta lied about Tetsuo never seeing Kizu again. Ryouta replies sullenly that it wasn't a lie.

Kizu and Tetsuo go out to dinner and talk about all the things they needed to get out of their systems. Hanada accosts Tetsuo in school, and Tetsuo discovers that he is no longer afraid of Hanada.

Then the whole gang (annoying female gaggle included) shows up to help Kizu move. And Kizu calls Tetsuo 'Tetsu-chan' instead of 'Iriya.' I sense progress. Ryouta says they won't last two months. End of volume two.

::SUMMARY VOL. 3 & 4::