A stunning new work of the feminist noir that Natsuo Kirino defined and made her own in her novels Out and Grotesque. In a crowded residential suburb on the outskirts of Tokyo, four teenage girls indifferently wade their way through a hot, smoggy summer and endless “cram school” sessions... read more
On a hot summer's day, high school student Toshiko prepares for another cram school session. She has an unexpected run-in with her next-door neighbor, a boy she and her friends have nicknamed 'Worm.' After her classes, she finds that her bike and cell phone are missing. Frustrated, she returns... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
On a hot summer's day, high school student Toshiko prepares for another cram school session. She has an unexpected run-in with her next-door neighbor, a boy she and her friends have nicknamed 'Worm.' After her classes, she finds that her bike and cell phone are missing. Frustrated, she returns home to find that Worm's mother has been murdered. Toshiko is certain Worm has stolen her bike and phone, but when she is questioned by the police she does not mention her morning meeting or her stolen bike and phone. Later, Toshi's suspicions are confirmed when her friends Terauchi and Kirarin call her home and tell her they have spoken to Worm. Toshi soon finds that another friend, Yuzan, has also spoken to Worm. The next day, Yuzan visits Toshiko's house and returns Toshi's bike and cell phone. Yuzan tells Toshi that she has given Worm a bike and a new cell phone so that he can stay in touch with all of the people he has called, and Toshiko herself.
As Worm runs away from his pursuers, he calls Kirarin and asks to meet her. Curious, she agrees to meet him at Kumagaya station. When they meet, Worm tells Kirarin of his plan to return to Tokyo and kill his father, as well as anyone else he feels like. He offers to kill the person Kirarin hates the most - her ex-boyfriend, Wataru, in exchange for her help and company. She agrees, and the two begin to travel back to Tokyo. Kirarin first finds Worm to be intimidating and fascinating, but she soon becomes disgusted by him and views him with open contempt, which destroys Worm's fragile confidence.
Worm, desperate to regain the focus he had when he killed his mother, calls Terauchi and demands she write a 'manifesto' so the world will see him as brilliant when he is eventually caught. Terauchi agrees, while managing to discover the route he and Kirarin are traveling. She anonymously alerts the authorities to their location, who hurry Worm and Kirarin's location.
Worm and Kirarin hide from the police before determining that their only chance of escape is by hijacking a cab back to Tokyo. They hail a cabdriver and hold him at knifepoint while directing him to Tokyo. The cab driver eventually rebels while they are driving along a dangerous mountain road; the cab crashes, killing both Kirarin and the driver and severely injuring Worm.
When Toshiko, Terauchi, and Yuzan hear that Kirarin has died, they react with grief and guilt. Terauchi, knowing that her tip to the police must have led Kirarin and Worm to taking desperate measures, commits suicide soon after and leaves a note for Toshiko, hoping she will understand. Yuzan and Toshiko both feel guilty about aiding Worm and for not stopping Kirarin from getting involved with him, but Yuzan is deeply hurt by Terauchi not leaving a note for her as well, and soon disappears from Toshiko's life completely. Toshiko, left alone, receives a letter from Kirarin's ex-boyfriend Wataru, who also feels some guilt. He tells Toshiko that the only thing she and he can do as survivors is live and remember the lives of those who have died, no matter how painful it is. Toshiko makes a personal pledge to stop using her 'fake' identity, Ninna Hori.
“Let's face it: the world is twisted. And rotten.”Toshiko
“But even a nice mom and dad like this can't really sense how their child's been assaulted by commercialism ever since she was little, how she's lived in fear of being eaten alive by the morons around her.”Toshiko
“It sucks. It totally and absolutely sucks. That's why I became Ninna Hori. Otherwise I couldn't keep myself together, couldn't survive. It isn't much, but it's the least I can do to arm myself.”
Kids lose their trust in the parents they love, but still accept them, so they end up not trusting themselves anymore. Check it out, Worm. This is what I mean by something irreparable. Not murdering your mother.Highlighted by 8 Kindle customers
That’s the way it is for everybody—running back and forth between desire and reality, tossed about by life.Highlighted by 8 Kindle customers
When you don’t have the strength to fight against fate, you just have to accept what comes. That’s something that can’t be undone.Highlighted by 7 Kindle customers
I was frightened by the optimism of adults, their stupid trust in science to treat a troubled heart.Highlighted by 7 Kindle customers
Both the teachers and the students at this cram school lacked the same exact thing: affection for others.Highlighted by 7 Kindle customers
Novels are closer to real life than manga, it’s like they show you the real world with one layer peeled away, a reality you can’t see otherwise.Highlighted by 7 Kindle customers
But even a nice mom and dad like this can’t really sense how their child’s been assaulted by commercialism ever since she was little, how she’s lived in fear of being eaten alive by the morons around her. They just don’t get it.Highlighted by 6 Kindle customers
Loneliness. Sometimes that awful feeling causes you to do something stupid.Highlighted by 5 Kindle customers
There really are things that are irreparable.Highlighted by 5 Kindle customers
Complicated relationships with friends just wear me out. Why can’t I just be strong and simple? Thoughts like these get me a little depressed.Highlighted by 3 Kindle customers
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