|Minami Ikoma Arc|
|Arc Guide (Manga)|
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Childhood Friend Arc →
Shining in the Night Sky
A girl was about to leave home, saying, "I always end up almost missing the bus." She said that it was because of her shriveled brown hair never listens to her and said that 'chlorine' is the cause of it. She managed to get to the bus on time. She then looks up at the sky saying that it is now summer time. Furthermore, she said that they were switching their uniforms and that their first semester of Maijima Gakuen Middle School was almost over. She then said that "It's the season we've all been waiting for - well, at least, it should've been..."
Her name appears to be Minami Ikoma and is 15 years old. She said that the summer had finished before it had even began. She then looks at the member rooster for the prefectual athletics meet. She was placed as the third substitute, meaning that there is a very slim chance of her participating. Minami stated that she would not be able to be in the last meet in middle school. At the Girl's Swim Team room, her friends told Minami not to take it so hard. The friends, Akko and one unnamed, said that they were both substitutes for the athletics meet too. The unnamed friend started complaining that the person to achieve the 100 meter breast strokes was going to be Koba again, even putting a curse on her. They complained that Minami has been trying so hard and even her hair turned out shriveled, and yet, was not able to be part of the meet. Minami said to stop calling her 'poor Minami'.
Minami believed that she tried her best, so she did not feel very upset. On the way to the classroom, they were discussing about how they should be optimistic, thinking positively. They exclaimed that they no longer have to practice, and to enjoy the summer at hand. Her friends asked Minami what she would like to do, as they had plenty of time, but ended up killing the mood with her comments. Akko tells them that they have already automatically entered high school, so there was no point studying for the entrance exams.
Minami then observed that the school was really big, as there were so many places that she had not seen or even known of. Minami stated that ever since the start of middle school, the only thing that she knew was the class and the pool. She then wondered what she would do next as she has very dull and boring clothes where her hair was all messy, thanks to the 'chlorine' in the water. She suddenly heard a voice. Elsie, a girl from high school, asks if she has seen Keima, described as a boy with glasses. Minami then asked Elsie to elaborate on what this boy with glasses looks like. Elsie then exclaimed that the boy wears glasses, with hair curled the wrong way, and is sort of 'god-like.' Minami was nervous about what to say, and replies "I... don't think so" in a stuttered manner. She had got nervous as the girls from high school look very mature. Elsie then thanked Minami for the attempt to help, with Minami replying "Oh no! If you'll excuse me..." It is here that Elsie's sensor goes off, and Elsie runs off hastily, indicating that the next target is Minami Ikoma.
Back to class 3-C, where Akko and Saito (the unnamed girl from before) were looking at a book known as 'the 'Mai-High Knighthood Files,' listing all the handsome guys in Maijima High School. They said that some person in high school had made it. Akko and Saito fantasized on how "it wouldn't be all that bad to spend some time with some studs." They stopped their fantasy and asked Minami to look at it too, as it will make her heart throb. Minami manages to get away from their clutches. They ask if she was going home, with her replying a simple "yeah..."
The scene changes to the gym 4th floor - indoor pool. She had ended up coming to swim again. "I guess it's okay if everybody else is done with practice..." before adding, "I... Guess everyone's moving on already..." The highschoolers then came out of the pool saying "bye, miss middle-schooler" as she was young and yet training harder than they were. They gave Minami some 'un-needed support' such as "keep it up!" and "We'll be there to support you guys at the meet!" Minami in her mind, stated that it was not for practice though as she will not take part in the meet this time. Minami thinks that "I'll have to... Change myself, too..."
She then took a firm stand stating that she would no longer go to the pool, after-school. To her surprise, she sheds a few tears as she has become attached to it, and was upset over the fact that she no longer had a purpose to swim. She then decided to leave but while packing up, remembers that she had forgotten her goggles. As she opens the door, she sees 'that person' for the first time. She was amazed as she sees a person, Keima, performing a beautiful stroke and that "he was shining... in the night sky...".
Distance ~ Even if it is so far
Minami's friends were asking her who was the mysterious guy that she saw and likes via the "Mai-High Knights profile". Minami then told them to give up, while thinking that her friends were too persistent. As her friends questioned about if she was trying to fool them, Minami said that the guy was more fascinating than handsome. Her friends quickly used their cell phones to find the "fascinating guy, glass-wearing with a sprung up hair". After that, her friends suddenly burst out in laughter, and showed her the picture of Keima which Minami confirmed that the he was guy she has been looking for. Hearing that, her friends laughed even more and told Minami that Keima is "the weirdest weirdo", because he only plays games all the time and according to the rumor, he had to redo a year with his sister, not to mention he lives in the school rooftop to communicate with UFOs. He also declared himself a god and was spreading some kind of religion and in addition he also uses dark magic. As Minami thought about this, her friends teased her and said that they will go ask him for his e-mail address while Minami kept on blaming herself that she shouldn't have told them.
Meanwhile at the High school section, Keima's arms was shown to be in bandages and he was groaning in pain as Elsie asked him to stop it. Keima then blames Elsie for pulling the hagoromo too fast while in the pool yesterday. Elsie argued that Keima told her that faster was better anyway, to which Keima said that the speed she made exceeds human limits, and now "thanks" to her, he was having injuries all over his body. Elsie then asked why Keima had to show Minami that he can swim. After Keima let Elsie read out the target's data so that he could teach her that "Being a senpai, is a love potion you get for free". Keima explained that in games, being a senpai is the ultimate plus factor and with that leverage, Keima can build a hierarchical relationship and to prepare for the future. Elsie asked what should they do now to which Keima replied, "Nothing" and that Keima's "other half" is doing the work.
The next day, at Minami's house, Minami complained that even though she no longer swims, she still has her ruffed hair. Minami's brother then suddenly jumps at her and made fun of Minami's "bird nest" in which the two got into a brief altercation extent to their breakfast. After that, while on the bus, Minami wondered if the summer will last like this.
Later at school, Minami watches the gate as she recalled how her friends asked her to stay away from Keima since the latter was pretty much hated. As Minami went in the high school thinking how it looks scary, she saw a person with bed hair as her friends suddenly came and said to go to Katsuragi-senpai but the person revealed was not him. Seeing that, her friends pouted in disappointment. Later they began to tease Minami and called her a "Charagi" (In-charge of Katsuragi), which Minami once again, regretted what she told them.
At the bus, Elsie asked Keima to explained about "the other Keima". Keima replied that the other him is an positive side image/impression of his to Minami much like how Jun originally viewed him as a problem child, while Minami see him as "the fast swimmer senpai". Keima however said that the development depends entirely on Minami's own imagination.
Back to school, Minami suddenly felt that her chest tightened while she was thinking about Keima but she didn't know what the feeling was. After that, Minami hurried to the bus, where she again met "Katsuragi-senpai".
Swim to my Heart
Minami was at the same bus with Mai-High's most famous "delinquent": Katsuragi Keima. As Minami assured herself that Keima does not know of her actions and her friends were not with her, the bus had reached her bus stop . As Minami tried to press the bell and nearly fell, Keima did it for her. Keima then asked her to be careful and revealed that he knew Minami was at the pool that night and more than that he asked her to keep it as the secret. Upon returning home, Minami's brother (wearing a toy belt and using a water gun) uses his "Final Heaven Driver" and shoots at his sister, who suddenly fell down fainting. This scared her brother while Minami wondered what has happened to her.
The next day, Minami went to Keima's class and found out that Keima really was just playing galge all the time. Even when Mobuko passed by and places the school newspaper on Keima's head, Keima remained stationary. Minami then wondered why Keima hasn't taken the newspaper off and more than that, why was she still stalking him. Realizing that, Minami returned to class and wonders if she's stalking him just because she got bored. At lunch time, with Minami continuing to stalking Keima, she was shocked that he still hasn't moved the newspaper away. Minami then saw Elsie taking off the newspaper and handed Keima a bento. While Minami wondered if Keima's lunch was always homemade, she then saw Keima running away and found out that Elsie was Keima's "sister".
At night, back to Minami's house, while Minami was making natto, she recalled what she saw early about Keima. She stated that the more she followed Keima, the weirder he was. Like the time she saw Keima's daily life of setting up a camp to wait for a galge and finding "hotspots" for flag events. As she was thinking, Minami's mother made her realize that the nattou she had been making was getting too big. Her brother then said that was she sick since she's never had eaten much for days. Seeing that, her brother teasing her hair and said that Minami was fixing her hair for a long time which made Minami embarrassed and the two got into a fight again.
At school, Elsie asked Keima if it's really alright if they do nothing as Keima assured her that the tailwind element- "senpai" was pushing their backs. Keima also said that they must not develop the situation too fast as Haqua told him that creating love was useless since all they need to do is fill the gap with love itself. Keima then said that he can see the ending but they must take a "detour".
At Minami's class, Minami's friends, Akko and Saito were happily discussing about the Maijima Shrine Tanabata festival. Akko said that she had already bought a yukata while Saito said that she won't be with them since she "has a person she's going out with". As Akko asks if it's true, Saito said that she'll leave it up to their imagination. Akko then said that she too has a boyfriend as the two friends began to argue. They bid Minami goodbye.
At the bus to her home, Minami wondered if she has anyone to go out to as Keima's image popped out of her head. As she tried to erased her imagination, she realized that Keima was right beside her again. Keima then said if she's bored since he knew she's been following him for days. Upon knowing that Keima was fully aware of her actions, Minami can only bury her face in embarrassment. As Minami tried to apologize, Keima invited her to the festival. After Minami reached home, she finally understands why she's been like this all this time; She's in love with Keima.
In the last panel, at the day of the festival, Keima and Minami was wearing their yukatas and greeted each other ....
With Every Ending Comes A New Beginning...
At Tanabata Festival, Saito asked Akko why she's alone even though she did said that she's coming with her boyfriend, which Akko then asked the same question. Saito then admits that she did said that because Akko said the same thing. Akko then said that she was wrong but she also said that she thought her fantasy would come true. Saito then dejectedly said that she might as well call Minami over to enjoy it as girls. But when Minami did not pick up, both then believed that she was probably with her family. Little did they realize that Minami was with Keima, celebrating the festival.
While Keima and Minami was walking, Keima asked if he's too fast and slows down while Minami said she's fine. Minami then said to herself that she's feeling as light as a cloud. She then thought that at school or clubs, she's always fine even with boys around but now with Keima, her heart was pounding fast. Minami also realized that the festival seems different (more colorful in her eyes) as she wondered if it's because she's in love. While Minami was muttering to herself, Keima invites her to a game of "Fish the yo-yo" and was surprised that Minami was good at it. (Since Minami has been playing this with her brother). After wining ten sets, Mianmi said she'll just take two of them and embarrassingly handed one to Keima.
As the duo were having a good time, Elsie was watching them while eating takoyaki.
Meanwhile, Keima appeared with two fried squid and Minami felt happy about Keima's kindness but as soon as she saw Akko and Saito was coming, she quickly drags Keima with her far away. Keima then asked why she did that and Minami said that she did not want some people to see them. As she was talking, Minami realized that she had been holding Keima's hand for some time. Embarrassed by that, she tried to shake it off but soon ignores it as Keima said about the starting of the bonfire. Keima then asked if Minami has anything to wish for which she, with a melancholic look, said she had nothing to wish for. Minami then realized somehow she wished that she would be in the swimming team but it didn't work and she was right now washed up like the fried squid.
The loudspeaker suddenly announced the ending of the festival and other reminders which made Keima complain since it was breaking the mood. Minami then began to cry since she did 4not wish for the event to end. Minami confessed that she used to enjoy swimming everyday and she desperately wanted to be in the swim meet and all she can do is swim but now it's all over and she felt dejected. Then before Minami knew it, she's alone the whole time, she then called out Keima's name in a worrying tone. Keima appears then replied because the meet was over, Minami was able to enjoy and come to the festival. Keima then walked up saying that because everything has its endings, people can still move on otherwise, it'll just be a buggy game.
Minami screamed to Keima and begged him not to leave, but Keima replied that soon, she'll also forget about him. While Minami hugged Keima, Keima said that there are many end and new worlds for people to discover and thanks to that, people grow up. Keima then assured her that even though the festival ended tonight, her memories about the time with Keima still remain and that every ending will make one stronger. Keima promised that he will always watch over Minami and wants her to keep moving forward. The two then kissed, causing the spirit to be released and subsequently, captured.
Sometime later, Akko and Saito asked Minami why was she still swimming although Minami retired from it. Minami then cheerfully said that she feels like it. While the two friends said that it was pointless since she won't be able to be in the swim meet. Minami replied that she just still enjoys being in water and that being in the swim meet isn't everything for her, which Akko commented that Minami's talking so "grown-up". Minami then said that the pool was sparkly today and she felt good about swimming there while she showed her water yo-yo. As her friends asked her about the water yo-yo, Minami was confused since she didn't remember when she had it. On the supporter bench, Elsie commented she feels sad since the festival was over, but Keima replied that the festival will reoccur every year after that. Hearing that, Elsie commented on how Keima looks sad too, Keima angrily denied it and called her a no-good devil.