Bronze ~ Zetsuai since 1989, by Minami Ozaki
Summary by Sumeragi, June 2001

Manga Number Ten

Volume 39

The chapter begins with a lengthy narrative that basically asks the question, "is love a sin?"

Kouji is at the apartment, wondering what is keeping Izumi. The phone rings.

At the office, Hirose also gets a phone call. He is told Akihito ran a car into Izumi.

Everyone is at the hospital: Kouji, Shibuya, Takasaka, Serika, Yuugo, and their ‘parents’. They are all told that Izumi barely escaped death, but now it looks like he may never walk again due to his backbone being damaged. It’s unlikely that he may ever stand again. Serika faints at the news while Kouji can only stand still without a word. Shibuya refuses to accept the diagnoses and asks the doctor about any type of surgery that could help. The doctor replies that there are limits to the surgery. They are welcome to try elsewhere, but the doctor doesn’t seem hopeful.

The police come to the room wishing to speak to a person involved. Shibuya decides to go and tells Takasaka to watch Kouji. In the hallway, Shibuya learns that the driver braked only after the accident, suggesting intent in the ‘accident.’ And then the police tell him the driver was one Nanjou Akihito. Once Shibuya hears the name, he orders the police to keep the whole thing quiet (good thing his father’s name is influential).

Shibuya comes back into Izumi’s room and tells Takasaka that he will have to call his father, so Takasaka is to continue to stay there. Shibuya has decided that they should stay in the room until Izumi has awakened. Before his call, Shibuya goes to the room in which Izumi’s family is waiting with Serika resting in the bed. Once there, Shibuya admits he knows who hit Izumi, but he can’t say for now. Yuugo is furious, and yells at Shibuya to tell them. Serika quietly calls from the bed agreeing with Yuugo, saying that it is strange Shibuya would want to hide this from them. Serika begins to breakdown. As tears roll down her face, she says that once Izumi wakes up and understands what has happened to him, he will say he would be better off dead. This all affects Shibuya, but he remains silent.

Meanwhile, Kouji stands next to Izumi’s bed. The jeweled cross necklace is in his hand as he watches his sleeping beauty.

In another hospital, Hirose watches his brother as he awakens from his sleep. Hirose asks Akihito if he recognizes him. Akihito calls Hirose by name. Hirose then asks if he is hurt. Akihito replies he does feel pain. He then asks Hirose what happened, and if it was because Father had trained him too roughly again. Hirose’s eyes widen in surprise.

Outside, Shibuya meets with Hirose. Shibuya tells Hirose that this accident will be hushed up in the media, but only for Izumi and Kouji’s sake. Hirose then assures Shibuya that Akihito will most likely not be dangerous to the pair any longer. He has suffered a type of amnesia that has reverted him back to a young age when their father was still alive and before Kouji entered their lives.

Hirose goes back into Akihito’s hospital room. The younger brother cries and tells Hirose that he is in a lot of pain. Hirose is about to leave for a moment, but Akihito begs him to stay. Hirose does and assures Akihito that they’ll always be together. This makes the little brother very happy.

Back in Izumi’s room, it is about four in the morning. As Shibuya and Takasaka nod off into slumber, Kouji is still wide awake at his lover’s side. He removes the oxygen mask and kisses Izumi as his hands go for Izumi’s throat. Tears running down his face, Kouji chokes his lover. The heart monitor’s steady beeping turns into one long tone as Izumi’s heart stops. "I have kept my promise." The tone wakes up Shibuya, and at the same time the nurse’s station is alerted. Shibuya grabs onto Kouji’s shoulders, asking him if he intends to kill Izumi.

Final Chapters: Volume 1

Kouji easily knocks Shibuya and Takasaka aside. When the doctor and nurses come to revive Izumi, they too are violently knocked away. Security arrives, but they are no match for this kendo master. Shibuya decides to avoid the physical route again, and hits Kouji mentally.

"Are you really okay with this…Kouji? To kill Izumi and thereby killing yourself? Is this Izumi’s wish for a happy end? Perhaps he would be happy dead, but there is nothing after death. Can you bare never hearing his voice again!? Never seeing him with your eyes!? Are you okay with never touching him again!!"

Looking up to the ceiling, Kouji can only say the word, "pro…mised…" Taking advantaged of the stunned person, the doctor and nurses go in to revive Izumi. In his mind, Kouji thinks that if he were to kill him, Izumi would never have to worry again. Nor be abandoned, feel pain, etc., etc. As his shaking hands come up to his face, Kouji thinks, "I can’t do it." From the bed, the doctor gives an "all right, we’ve brought him back" to the surprise of Kouji. Hearing this, Kouji asks his silent lover if he knows how much more pain and sadness is waiting for him. He then apologizes for not protecting his promise to Izumi. Shibuya, clutching his hand and crying, tells Kouji that death means ‘zero,’ however there is ‘possibility’ with life. He grabs Kouji’s shoulder as if to shake in some reason, saying repeatedly ‘compared to nothing’. "Once again, Izumi can say ‘it is good to be alive’." Shibuya tells Kouji that Izumi once brought him back to life, and now it is Kouji’s turn to give life back to Izumi. Unable to stay in the room, Shibuya runs out with Takasaka following behind.

In the hallway, Shibuya doesn’t sound very confident about his words. Takasaka tells him that he thinks he was right. Shibuya says it doesn’t matter what is right or wrong. He understands the amount of pain Izumi has and will go through, so maybe death would have been what he wanted. But to Shibuya, death leaves nothing behind, and that is unacceptable. In his mind, Shibuya asks his sister, Madoka, what he should do.

As Kouji sits next to Izumi’s bed (with Shibuya and Takasaka nearby and awake), he thinks about basically, can there be anything beyond that ‘one and only one thing’? What is kind? What is cruel? What is that one and only? Izumi’s eyes slowly open, and he calls Kouji’s name upon seeing the man to his side.

 

****Since I’m lazy as heck, I’m not going to bother with decent summaries of the short stories. Hope this will due, at least for now****

Scene 1 Kouji and Izumi get a new apartment (with an American sized bed, according to Kouji). The friends, via Shibuya, all get invited over for a type of housewarming, I believe. Of course, they overstay their welcome in Kouji’s point of view. Once they leave, Izumi goes to take a shower (threatening Kouji’s life if he decides to join him). Out of the shower, Izumi is offered some wine by Kouji. At first he declines (as Izumi doesn’t care for alcohol) but Kouji convinces him. Izumi really enjoys the wines Kouji has picked (one is from Izumi’s birth year). You can tell Izumi is getting drunk by the fact doesn’t mind when he finds out the bottles cost between about $1,000 and $3,000. After a while, Kouji asks Izumi how he is feeling. Lying on the floor, Izumi slurs that he is fine, but really hot. Kouji thanks God and then goes into to ‘help’ his lover. Izumi stares at him with those gorgeous eyes. Kouji goes in for a kiss, but Izumi instantly falls asleep. Kouji decides it’s not worth it unless Izumi is awake.

Next day, after the soccer game, the GK tells Izumi that he is an excellent player, but their team is too small for the likes of him. While he hates to say it, the GK suggests to Izumi that he should go to another country. Izumi thinks to himself the normal phrases of "I want to run faster than anyone", etc. But when he actually gets to the question of another country, he remembers the image of a comatose Kouji.

That night, Izumi watches one of Kouji’s videos. Kouji comes from behind, Izumi not minding the company. Kouji congratulates Izumi on his three points in the game. The team lost however 3 to 5. Izumi asks Kouji what he thinks about while singing, and Kouji replies that he only thinks of Izumi. Izumi then asks if he is an idiot for only thinking about soccer. Kouji doesn’t respond and instead tells Izumi that he’ll make those bad thoughts fly away. And he does.

Next day, Shibuya brings over Jesus (first time Izumi has seen the dog). Izumi takes the dog on a walk and Kouji of course joins them.

Scene 2 Kouji is looking over his cars when Izumi interrupts to give Kouji a ‘kind’ reminder to not smoke. He then nags Kouji about loving money, cars and women too much. With wolf ears and tail, Kouji replies that he only loves Izumi. Vacuuming, Izumi tells him to shove it. Kouji grabs him along the waist. Not in the mood, Izumi goes to kick Kouji, which is blocked, but the vacuum gets him in the face (bet Kouji wishes he had that arm back).

Shibuya and the band peoples show up (I guess their place is part studio?). Izumi tells Kouji to get to work and Izumi goes to start working out in the gym section. As Kouji sings in the recording room, the others watch Izumi on a leg machine. Seeing Izumi working hard, Kimie decides to try it out. He can’t move it an inch to the amusement of the others (except Kouji who is yelling from the sound booth). Shibuya gets Gunji to go next, with the same results. Takasaka decides to give it a try. After failing, he yells at Izumi, asking how he can possibly move that thing. Kouji yells from the sound booth that he’ll kill anyone that plays with Izumi.

Everyone joins for food later (Izumi made it), all the while Kouji tries to scare them away (poor Gunji!). They do leave after dinner, impressed with the good food. Kouji apologizes for them, but Izumi blushes and says it’s like having a big family. Kouji can’t help but to cuddle him for such a cute answer.

Looks like Yuri is back in town from New York, and she meets up with Aya. They talk about Yuri’s fame and Kouji’s big hit with Kreuz, etc.

At the soccer game, Izumi is frustrated and tackled hard. The game ends with Japan losing 2 to 3. Leaving the locker room, Izumi is attacked by reporters who ask about the rings Izumi wears and their connection with Kouji. Izumi just storms off. Security try to help Izumi through the angry crowd, but he gets pelted by an egg any way. For whatever reason, Aya and Yuri ‘save’ Izumi and take him to their place. Kouji comes over, worried about Izumi. Yuri gives Izumi ‘presents’ from New York. It’s jewelry, and the plan seems to be to cover up the rings. Holding up his hands, Izumi can only say it’s heavy. "That’s fashion." The ladies leave the two lovers for a moment of peace. Looking at his own ring, Kouji tells Izumi that he was stupid for doing this since others would find it strange. He wouldn’t mind if Izumi didn’t wear it. Izumi refuses, telling Kouji that idiots will say what they want. "I haven’t done anything wrong." Kouji tells Izumi he loves him. Looking at the ring on his left hand, Izumi says, "the ring is heavy…"

Scene 3 The image of Izumi and Kouji dressing each other is actually a commercial idea. Izumi isn’t for it. Stuff happens, blah, blah, blah. Aya and Yuri meet some model type person, then they go for a drink at a bar where they scare off a couple of guys with high wine prices. Eventually this ends up with Kouji driving a sleeping Izumi home.

Izumi wakes up, wondering how he always ends up in this position. He lifts off Kouji’s arm ("heavy") and looks at his sleeping lover. Noticing his beauty, Izumi wonders why Kouji settles for a guy like him when he could have any girl. He corrects himself that it isn’t a guy like him, but himself that Kouji loves. Kouji’s eyes pop open. Izumi stomps on him, asking how long he was awake ("but Izumi moved my arm…"). Looking at the cold weather outside, Izumi crawls back into bed. He can’t do anything with it raining outside. Kouji ceases the chance. Jesus comes in for the rescue, and Izumi happily uses the dog ("Jesus Kick!") as a shield. All the while, Izumi thinks to himself how happy he has become. It is enough.

Scene 4 This is a scene that takes place right after the Hirose/Izumi event. Since I’m not sure about the whole thing, I’ll keep this short. Hirose is very distraught by the event. Kurauchi can tell his master doesn’t seem well. At home, Hirose tells Kurauchi about raping a man. The servant is surprised and stops Hirose’s ramblings. They banter back and forth with what’s the purpose of living, I’d die for you, yadda, yadda, yadda, with Kurauchi eventually getting to Hirose to calm down and start thinking somewhat reasonably again. Or at least not suicidal.

The next stuff I don’t get. There’s something about an American company and then an introduction of a young girl, Nadeshiko. This scene is after the Kouji severing his arm night.

There’s an archery scene. Blah, blah, blah. Nothing terrible interesting in my POV

Later, as Kurauchi redresses Hirose’s wounds, Hirose thinks about Kouji’s words of having a person to protect. The two go into some deep discussion, which leaves Hirose with the idea that a person who has lost an irreplaceable something no longer has a reason to live.

 

Continue to Manga Number 11