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

Manga Number Seven

Volume 25

It’s the day of the finals for high school soccer nationals. Izumi is there to lead his team on. So far in the first half, the opposing team has a 1 vs 0 lead.

Backing up the clock a bit to the day after everything in volume six happened, Shibuya tries to convince Izumi to not go to soccer practice (‘Taku-chan…didn’t you get thirty stitches last night?’). But of course, Izumi has decided to go because he must win. Shibuya reminds him that Kouji shouldn’t be allowed to move from his bed for about a week, but that’ll be impossible to accomplish when Izumi isn’t around. Izumi just smiles and tells Shibuya that he already told Kouji that if he moved, Izumi would have nothing more to do with him. Thinking to himself, Shibuya remembers that night when he finally got the door open to find Izumi and Kouji covered in red-black blood. Panicking Shibuya tried to stop Izumi’s bleeding while telling Kouji to call the ambulance. To Shibuya’s questions of ‘why!?" Izumi looked kindly at Shibuya, saying he was sorry for being a bother. A week after the day Izumi goes to soccer practice, Shibuya lectures Kouji a bit, but he’s forced to take Kouji to Izumi’s game anyway.

Back at the game, the opposing team is really ripping on Izumi. They know he is basically the one man who can score. In the stands, Serika and Yuugo cry foul every time a player in other team rams into Izumi. In the press booth (guessing here), Kouji and Shibuya watch on as the reports in the background talk about whether Izumi will still go to Italy or not.

It’s halftime, and the score hasn’t changed. While the other players feel almost hopeless (Kunihide is apologetic about letting the one goal get by him), Izumi turns on the burners and yells at his team that they will win. The other players leave the locker room with only Kunihide and Izumi left behind. Kunihide starts to apologize for that one night, but Izumi gives the air of ‘nothing ever happen, so it’s okay.’ Kunihide begins to disagree, but Izumi slightly changes the subject to Eri, asking how she is. Kunihide replies that she’s been placed into the hospital. Izumi then asks, ‘And then…you? Even now do you love her?’ Kunihide says, ‘…yes. Even now…still.’ With a knowing look, Izumi says, ‘---still, huh? That’s like saying "when will it be over".’ The statement surprises Kunihide, but it is time to get back to the game before he can say anything else.

The second half is perhaps more brutal than the first. Kunihide manages to block a goal and passes the ball to Izumi. Running down the field, Izumi is tackled by two or three men, and falls to the ground hard. Standing up, blood runs down his leg. Everyone wants him to see a doctor, but Izumi refuses saying it can wait until after the game. Instead, he grabs some medicine (guessing hydrogen peroxide here) and pours it on his wound, letting everyone around him flinch in pain. Shortly after, he makes a goal. The half continues, and just before the end of the game, Izumi puts in the final and winning goal. The Takahamadai high school has won the first game of the finals. As the other players do their victory thing, Izumi runs to Kouji and jumps onto him for a hug (pretty impressive that Kouji catches and holds him up with one arm). As they hold each other, Shibuya tries to hurry them up so Izumi can see the doctor. Meanwhile, the other players are asking where Izumi went. Kunihide, seeing the whole hug scene, tells them that he went to see the doctor. Suddenly, Kunihide begins to cry. While the other players think he’s extremely happy to have won the game, Kunihide is actually crying for the relationship that Izumi and Kouji have. While to him it may feel wrong, thinking about Izumi’s words, he asks for God to let it never come to an end.

Back at the hospital (it’s a common theory that they have their own personal hospital rooms by now), Izumi gets fixed up. Kouji and Takasaka ask him if he’s all right, which Izumi replies in the affirmative. Shibuya corrects the statement saying that the stitches had ripped out, causing more damage (poor Takasaka is cringing from hearing the more detailed description). Kouji cuddles to Izumi, asking him to not leave and cause him more worry. Shibuya agrees, telling Izumi that he should stay for at least one day. Then Shibuya puts a hand on Kouji, telling him that Izumi shouldn’t have any intense movements for a week (reactions to this statement: Takasaka – confused as hell, Kouji – disappointed, Izumi – red as a beat).

Shibuya and Takasaka start to head out of the hospital. Takasaka talks to Shibuya, but it’s more so him thinking out loud about the pair. He thought before that Kouji would die (I’m thinking from when he had a coma), and now Izumi’s personality is different from the threatening doom from before. Takasaka knows Izumi was responsible for Kouji’s revival, but he can’t quite understand how. He knows there are plenty of lovely women who would jump on Kouji giving the chance, but Takasaka sees them as weak. And yet, Izumi has a similar ‘pretty face’ but he doesn’t see weakness in the boy. Seeing the two of them together really worries Takasaka. He has the feeling they could break apart at any moment, but watching them together, he sees them never falling apart. Looking at Izumi, he sees a fire on the verge of igniting. Then, suddenly realizing what he said, his words stumble as a thought dawns on him (‘Of course, those two…are they…’). Shibuya can’t help but to give the guy a hug for being too cute. This of course just makes Takasaka twitch all the more (poor guy). However, Shibuya really likes the image Takasaka gave of Izumi.

Back in the hospital room, Izumi feels Kouji’s fake arm. Kouji tells him that it’s just a temporary arm until he can get a movable, computerized one. Izumi asks Kouji to take it off, as well as the shirt. Seeing the stump, Izumi breaks down, saying it’s too horrible and wondering how he could do such as thing. Crying too hard to really make any full sentences, his words stagger. To calm Izumi down, Kouji kisses him and gently pushes him into the bed. Once Izumi stops crying, Kouji asks to see him as well. Taking off the robe and bandages, Kouji admires the red cross. Izumi grabs some of Kouji’s hair telling him, ‘…it is okay. Come…on. You can’t…be patient….’ Meanwhile, Izumi thinks to himself about which team he should chose.

Kouji and Shibuya watch the next finals game. Shibuya, with promotional deals in his mind, rambles on about how amazing Izumi is. The conversation turns with Shibuya calling Kouji a coward for the whole arm event. Kouji, while he does react to that statement, is more intense on Izumi, thinking about how beautiful he is, and yet he wants to clip those angel wings. As he recalls a memory of Izumi telling him that he loves soccer because he can forget everything else, Kouji wonders if Izumi forgets about him, too, on the field. Suddenly, on the field, Izumi is clutching his left leg in pain.

Volume 26

Kouji begins to walk over to where people are trying to get Izumi to relax and lie down on the stretcher. Meanwhile, a ball gets pass Kunihide. Izumi pushes everyone aside and demands to be let back into the game. He won’t listen to anyone’s explanations until Kouji places an arm in front of Izumi, instantly calming him down for a moment (the reporters love it). Kouji tells him that he can’t go, and Izumi’s leg collapses under him again, making him fall into Kouji’s arm.

At the hospital, the doctor’s announce that Izumi’s leg is rather messed up, but after 6 or 8 months of rehab, he can most likely play soccer again. The team visits Izumi, bringing the bad news that they lost. Izumi remains cheerful, telling them that there’s always next year. The siblings show up, crying over Izumi, but the big brother assures them that everything is just fine and there’s no pain. Izumi yells at everyone to cheer up, that it’s all part of playing soccer. Everyone leaves, and Izumi is alone with a far less cheerful attitude.

In the lobby, Shibuya cracks down a bit, asking God to be a little more kind to the couple. He wonders if he was born just so that he could watch all of these horrible things happening. When he begins to cry, Shibuya apologizes to Takasaka, but the latter understands and tries to comfort him.

The text over the flowers says basically this (Sorry, but I love this description):

The name Kouji means
‘a person who controls the light of day’
It has the meaning of ‘brilliance’

‘Brilliance’ is a word for the ‘sunflower’
‘Sunflower’ is the flower of Izumi’s birth

‘Izumi’ gathered all together
appears like the never dying land of Maria
‘Takuto’ has the meaning
of a person who cuts his own path

The sun doesn’t suit Kouji,
But the sunflowers of Izumi suit Kouji very well

A flower with a golden color like the sun
---------…

The sunflower always faces the sun
The ‘longing’ for the sun is a constant urge
With all its strength it stretches its stem

‘As if, when will I reach it’ Dyed with that color
‘As if, please let me reach it’ Opening its arms wide

However, with that determined wish, it cannot reach the heavens.

As if rejected, it hangs its heavy head
With that same ‘longing,’ golden pieces of itself scatters
It sheds seeds like teardrops
With the dream unattained, it leaves into the earth

Like a person who has exhausted his strength, it is tired
---------It has died…

Kouji walks into Izumi’s room silently, but the other still wakes up. Only with Kouji does Izumi finally breakdown, saying that his life would be nothing without soccer. If he can’t play soccer, he would rather be dead. Kouji tries to reassure Izumi, reminding him the doctor said he’d be fine given time. Izumi knows that, but this has scared him into realizing that someday he may never play soccer. Kouji reveals a bit of his worries about soccer being the only thing important to Izumi, but he can’t say right out to Izumi that he feels like he means nothing to Izumi. Izumi is left confused at Kouji’s tears, while Kouji thinks, ‘Am I in there?’

The next day, Shibuya visits, ending up just being a lackey to Izumi. He really wanted to see a soccer game on TV but Kouji was in rehab and couldn’t help Izumi out. Kouji gets back from rehab to see Izumi excited over the soccer game and Shibuya far less thrilled, reading a magazine. Later, Shibuya and Takasaka are talking to Izumi about TV deals, but Izumi couldn’t care less. He just wants to get better, and fast. Everyday he trains. Kouji is the perfect person as his coach, since he may be one of the few people that could get Izumi to stop and not overdo it.

One night, Izumi is talking to Kouji about how even though the team lost, he’s glad that got that far. Listening to Izumi talk, Kouji starts to think to himself about what would happen if Izumi could never run again. He scares himself with that almost wish, and begins to cry. Izumi holds him, asking if he’s crying due to pain. Kouji doesn’t reply to that, but says, ‘Izumi…Where do you think…the heart is?’ He goes into a talk about ‘is it really in the center of our bodies’ and heartache while thinking about easily Izumi can just slip through his fingers. To Kouji’s speech, Izumi asks, ‘…if I lost my leg like your arm, would that make you happy…?’ Kouji is shocked and tells him that him losing an arm would be nothing like Izumi losing his leg. From his heart, he wishes Izumi to heal as fast as possible. Looking into Izumi’s eyes, Kouji thinks nothing can be hidden from their intensity. Izumi hugs Kouji, asking if he hurt within himself. Izumi gets Kouji to sleep with some medicine, giving himself time to think about how Kouji has always chased him. Trying to run from him was like running in slow motion. He can never escape.

Time passes. While Izumi is training, Kouji talks to Shibuya about Izumi possibly going through depression (the whole, ‘if I can’t play soccer, then kill me,’ thing). Shibuya doesn’t seem worried in the least about it. The subject changes to Shibuya asking Kouji, ‘Where do you two want to go.’ Before Kouji can respond, Izumi gets back from training, happy to see Shibuya (it’s been a while, apparently). Shibuya somewhat jokingly asks Izumi if he has decided where to play soccer. Izumi replies the affirmative, shocking Kouji. He’s decided that staying in Japan would be the best after all. He doesn’t really care where he goes, as long as he can play soccer, so might as well stay in Japan. ‘I better hurry and find a room.’

***I won’t go into too much detail with the extra chapters since I’m damn lazy***

Extra Chapter, Sect 1

With Izumi’s decision to stay in Japan, Kouji is reforming the band. One of the former band members (Kai) has decided that he doesn’t want to be part of the group any more. Just when he walks out of the room, Kouji appears. He doesn’t care that the guy is leaving since they still have a guitar player left. He confirms the fact that he no longer has half of his left arm, but doesn’t really say what happened. Talking with everyone, Kouji names the new band as Kreuz (German for ‘cross’).

Yuri, the makeup/hair gal, is upset at what Kouji did to his poor hair and demands to fix it at once. She’s going to be leaving for New York and this is the last time she can do this for him. As a farewell gift, she wants a kiss from Kouji. He does…on her forehead, thus really shocking the woman. Aya, the stylist, knew about the plan for Yuri to steal a kiss (maybe hoping for more), and cheers her up when she finds at that nothing happened. Later, the new hair/makeup girl is brought in, and she’s truly happy to be there. Talk turns to messing with the new girl’s head, and Yuri steals the chase to get a real kiss out of Kouji (‘Gochisosan!’ she says once she’s done). Kouji instantly apologizes to Izumi in his head. The new guitarist shows up, too, upsetting Kimie for a while, but the manager type person easily cheers him up with flattery. All the while, Kouji just wants to go home to Izumi.

Extra Chapter, Sect 2

This is the story of Kunihide and Eri from the moment they met (nothing like a shirt being blown by the wind to show a guy some panties) and to before Kunihide transferred schools. Rather uneventful. It’s a case of Kunihide loves her and she loves him, until she finds out about Kouji. Then nothing can compare to the singer, and Kunihide is left with a very strange relationship.

Extra Chapter, Sect 3

Izumi wakes up in the hospital the morning after the events in the sixth manga. A doctor tells him the usual: no getting in the bath, no this, no that. Izumi upsets the doctor with the silly question of ‘do I have to take a break from soccer’ or something of the like. He meets with Shibuya and asks for some clothes. While Shibuya doesn’t think Izumi should go out, he knows he can’t stop the guy. Izumi heads over to Kouji’s room. Since Kouji is in a contraption for his arm, Izumi has to go over and sit on the bed. They go back and forth with the ‘why did you do that stupid thing’ type conversation. Kouji reaches to Izumi’s neck to touch the kiss mark still remaining, calling Izumi ‘Takuto’ for what may be the first time. Pulling Kouji’s hand away, Izumi gets angry with him for never thinking of what other people want, like about cutting the hair. Kouji just smiles and says Izumi grabbed a hold of it. Izumi pinches Kouji’s hand for being too cheerful about all of this. Izumi gets to the point of his visit saying that he is going to soccer practice (Kouji: ‘Today!? With that wound!?). He continues to say that if Kouji leaves before he is allowed, it’s over between them (got to love the look in his eyes). Shocked, Kouji tells him he understands. Izumi is about to leave when Kouji grabs his leg and asks for a kiss (to protect the promise). Izumi just threatens Kouji and heads for the door (Kouji: ‘I’ve lost.’). At the door, Kouji tells Izumi, ‘If it is you, no one can beat you. No matter...where you go.’ Izumi gives a thumbs-up, and as he leaves, Kouji swears he can see his pure white wings.

At the Nanjou office building (or whatever it is), Izumi pays Hirose a visit. Walking into the room and after apologizing for the interruption, he asks for the ring that was on Kouji’s left hand that one night. ‘Please give it back. It is mine.’ Hirose brings out the ring from his desk. Izumi holds his hand out for the ring, but Hirose says something along the lines of ‘why should you care.’ Izumi says he isn’t doing it for Kouji. Hirose asks, ‘are you afraid?’ Izumi replies, ‘Of what?’ Looking into his eyes, Hirose is impressed and hands over the ring. Izumi tells him that Kouji shouldn’t come back, and promptly leaves. With him gone, Hirose thinks over how Izumi is a great form of entertainment.

Walking to soccer practice, Izumi looks at Kouji’s ring, noticing something engraved on the inner part. ‘K.N. T.I’ Izumi immediately blushes, wondering if the ring was some kind of engagement ring in Kouji’s mind. He is also an amazed how large the ring is (it fits easily over Izumi’s thumb). From his pocket, Izumi takes out the ring case that still has his ring, places Kouji’s ring inside with it, and puts the case back into his pocket. Doing a bit of a stretch with some pain, Izumi says to himself that he can’t wait until he can play some soccer.

 

Continue to Manga Number 8