Then it’s present day, and Kawada’s visiting the restaurant while Mii’s working, talking about Tora, whose punishment after last chapter’s episode is house arrest. So... I guess he’s not allowed to leave his house for a while? Haha. Okay. (What, do they put a guard outside? XD)
Mii thinks it’s all her fault for getting lost, but Kawada tells her to stop thinking about it, calling her timid and sodden (like a swamp) and slug-like (lol?). She doesn’t appreciate his choice of adjectives.
“Actually, wasn’t it originally YOUR fault?”
“Huh? Was it? I can’t remember.”
“And also, could you please stop coming here everyday?” (Hahaha. Kawada’s putting in effort.)
But then Mii’s grandmother comes to bring Kawada his food, and tells Mii to stop being mean. She seems to appreciate his appetite, and Kawada’s excited about trying different dishes.
Mii broods some more over Tora, who hasn’t come to the restaurant since before the incident. She thinks back to what her classmates were saying about Tora being scary and so on, but as she didn’t see any of it herself, she can’t bring herself to believe that forever-smiling Tora could have such a violent side to him. And then Ookami arrives! Banzai! He comments on Kawada being there (again), orders some food, and then Mii asks him what Tora’s doing lately. Ookami says he’s at home, probably painting. For Tora, being in house arrest gives him time to concentrate, so it’s not so bad a punishment, really.
If that was an attempt to relieve Mii of her worry/guilt, it fails. She hangs her head, still depressed. Granny asks Ookami to take Mii with him somewhere, since she’s been stuck in the same gloomy state for days now. He suggests she head out with Kawada instead, to enjoy their summer vacation. Kawada’s all, “Just the two of us? I don’t mind.” But Mii declares she would rather spend the day staring at potatoes. HAHA.
So Granny pleads with Ookami again, who starts to say that it’s not like he’s always free, but then stops short when she (I think) threatens to take away his food. XD
Tora is indeed at home painting. He’s having flashbacks to being bullied as a kid, the other children creeped out by the intensity of his concentration, and tearing up his pictures, calling them “gross.” He startles, returning to the present, and his brush hovers midair as he thinks back to what happened at the mountain. He sits back, thinking, “Ahh, now I’ve done it / messed up.” Not entirely sure what he means. I guess it’s up to interpretation. (‘Yacchatta’ - to do something unintentionally, past tense.)
Ookami has surrendered to the task of taking the kids out to play (Granny power!), and the three of them are now on a train. Ookami takes the opportunity to have a slightly lengthier flashback, this one depicting what happened after the picture-tearing in Tora’s flashback. Tora had gotten into a fight with the kid who tore it up, and now they’re being reprimanded by a teacher, who wants to know who got violent first. Tora admits that it was him. When the teacher tells him to go home and reflect, Tora tries to defend himself by telling him that the other kid started it by tearing his picture, but the teacher insists that the one who resorted to violence is the one in the wrong. Ookami, who was awesome as a kid as well, of course, steps up to claim that tearing up someone’s picture is a form of violence. “Why won’t you look past the surface?”
That gets Ookami sent home early as well, and as they walk together, Tora apologizes, but Ookami says it’s fine. “I really hate teachers.”
Present day Ookami wrinkles his brow, going, “Hm?” Then he bangs his fist on the door of the train, all, “Wait, why did we both become teachers?!” Hahaha. To balance out the loser teachers with awesome ones, obviously!
Then they arrive... at the zoo. Kawada finds this very uncool, calling Ookami a Sunday Daddy. Ookami tells him to go home if he doesn’t want to be there, but Kawada is soon excited about seeing the red pandas. Mii’s pretty happy, since she hasn’t been to the zoo since kindergarten.
So they walk around looking at animals. When Mii sees the flamingos, she remembers that Tora drew flamingos for his graduation project, and Ookami explains that he and Tora have been to this zoo a million times since their elementary school days. Apparently Tora only ever draw animals, and as he won’t move for hours once he starts drawing, he has brought Ookami so much trouble throughout life that handling a punk like Kawada is a piece of cake for him.
Then he talks about how Tora got bullied, and Mii is shocked. She says she thought Tora could only smile, that his life had no pain in it at all. Ookami stares at her, and Kawada stammers her name in disbelief, telling her that such a person does not exist, and if there did, they’d be an idiot. “Exactly how much of an idiot are YOU?”
Ookami comes to her, hm, defence? Saying that her brain’s made of simple stuff. Mii’s not sure whether she’s being praised or insulted (he’s insulting you, dear), but then he adds that she’s not an idiot. An idiot could not cook as well as she does. Kawada joins the praising, awkwardly saying that this part of her (the simpleminded part) is pretty interesting. Then there’s an announcement that the zoo’s closing soon, so they head home.
Ookami and Mii walks together, Mii thanking him for the trip to the zoo since she hadn’t been there in a while, and Ookami saying he hadn’t been there in a long time as well. He still remembered the layout of the park pretty well though, since he’s been there with Tora so many times in the past.
Mii: “You two really are good friends.”
Ookami: “...Not quite the kind of good you’re thinking of, though. Actually, not at all the kind of good you’re thinking of. ARE YOU LISTENING?”
Ha, you’re so sensitive about your masculinity :D
He takes a turn for the serious, saying life in Japan is tough for Tora, because Japan is still rough on artists. Then Tora appears, out on a walk or aomething (so no guards, heh), and he tries to smile as he asks them why they’re there together, if they’ve been somewhere. He can’t keep the smile in place though, it slides right off his face.
Tora says something about being in the middle of work and zombies away, and Ookami tells Mii to leave him alone as he probably doesn’t want anyone to see his face like that. But Mii, as the shoujo heroine she is, rejects the idea of leaving someone to stew in misery and sprints after him, calling out to make him stop. She says it’s fine, that he needn’t force himself, that Tora is Tora whether he smiles or not. “I like you anyway!”
Everyone puts on their best faces of shock. Awkward silence fills the universe.
“Uh, no, I mean, as a fellow primate (oh god HAHA), not as a p-p-p-person. In a g... global sense...”
The silence stretches, but Tora looks brighter. “I like you too, Mii.”
(This chapter is a collection of Mii’s Various Expressions of Shock and Surprise. This is now the title of this chapter.)
So anyway, she stares at him, and he goes on to say that he also likes the Himawari restaurant, and her grandmother, and Mii’s cooking. Then he thanks her, and smiles a little. Not his usual 100 watt smile, but a slightly complex one, and she thinks to herself that her heart just met with an unforeseen accident. Ookami observes from the side.
Some days later, Yayoi walks into Himawari in traditional Swiss clothing because she’s just not normal. But she’s cute. She’s just returned from Switzerland, and they smalltalk a bit, Mii being vague about the school field trip. Yayoi knows about the Tora incident, though, because her mother is a PTA person. Mii reassures her, saying it won’t become that big of a deal since the student was in the wrong as well.
Mii thinks back to the day before, as Tora came by, back to his 100 watt smile. She was a little relieved, but it also made her realize all over again that she’s not all that special to him. (Because he’s back to the mask, I assume.)
Yayoi gives Mii her very own Swiss dress and pushes her to put it on immediately. I am impossibly pleased that Mii also lets her hair down (DO THAT MORE). Yayoi squeals that the clothes suit her, Mii hesitantly squeals a little back, and then Yayoi convinces her to go for a stroll through town, because she seems to need some cheering up. I don’t know how attracting stares could cheer anyone up, but that’s just me.
People do stare, and wonder what sort of clothing it is exactly - kind of loli-ish, yet not quite? Perhaps more like Heidi or something? (Heidi being that Swiss girl who lived with her grandfather in the Alps, I assume most people know of it. I read it a million times as a kid, actually.)
Mii is a bit self-conscious, but Yayoi is full of energy from the “It’s like we’re someone else”-ness of it all, and when she sees ice cream, she insist they buy some, so they do. But then she bumps into someone and spills her ice cream on him, and he’s a total jerk, of course, who likes to take people’s money (judging by the comments of onlookers, he and his buddy often hang around that area, bumping into people with ice cream and demanding money for cleaning).
Bad Guy takes Yayoi’s wallet from her, and Mii continues to display how very shoujo-heroine she is, refusing to let the bad guys get away. She tries to snatch the wallet back, which gets her pushed to the ground. But then a hero appears! What a surprise. Can’t let a girl succeed on her own power in a shoujo manga, sigh. But then again, Mii is a weakling and doesn’t stand a chance, so whatever. Anyway, saviour saves the wallet from the meanie and throws it over to Yayoi. A friend calls out to him, calling him Shishio, asking if he’s okay.
Oh my god. This is a zoo.
Mii’s newest love interest (you know he’s gonna be one), turns to them, asking, “You okay? Heidi and Klara.” (Klara is Heidi’s city friend, who couldn’t walk.) He reaches his hand out to Mii on the ground, and when she stands, he goes, “Klara stood!”
And Mii thinks, “Huh?”
Mii’s like a piece of... Miit :D Hahaha. Attracting all the carnivores. And Kawada. Poor Kawada doesn’t stand a chance.
Expect Shishi to be Ookami’s rival when things get to a more serious point, because Tora isn’t really romantically inclined (at least not yet...?) and Kawada is... well. Kawada is a normal human being with a normal human name. He should just go vegetarian.