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Manga Information

Title

Nine Puzzle

Alternate Title

Nain Pazuru (ナインパズル)

Author

Mayu Sakai

Volumes

2

Published

2002

Genres

romance, school life, shoujo, sports

Status

Complete

Publisher

Shueisha

Magazine

Ribon (Shueisha)

Licensed in English

no

Nine Puzzle (Nain Pazuru (ナインパズル)) is a 2 volume shouji manga series. The main character, Mika Sawamura, is a 14 year old who's not sure of what she dreams of, until she follows the mysterious Kaede to a billiard store and falls in love with the game. As she learns to play, she finds herself becoming closer to Kaede and the store as well, including its proprieter the famous young billiard champion, Youhei "Yoh" Ueda.

List of CharactersEdit

  • Mika Sawamura - a 14 year old in middle-school. She is very cheerful, and not one to really follow the rules.
  • Kaede Mirakami - in the same grade as Mika, though he hardly attends school and avoids limelight when he does. He doesn't have a good relationship with his family either as they focus more on his little brother, so he only feels at home in the billiard store
  • Youhei Ueda - 24 years old and the owner of the billiard store on the 7th avenue. He has Alzeimers and won a world championship at 15 nine years before the events of Nine Puzzle
  • Sonoko - Mika's studious friend who hopes to become an international ambassador. She is a strict follower of rules, unlike Mika.
  • Sara Fujita - the owner of another billiard stone on a building's second floor. She is also a skilled billiard player.

Manga Summary (spoilers alert!)Edit

Volume 1Edit

The first volume starts with students having to write their dreams, and Mika finds she has no idea what her dreams are. Kaede scrunches his paper and throws it away. Later, Mika and her friends see Kaede walk into a store that looks shady, but Mika visits later and finds it to be a small new billiard place, and she beats the till then undefeated Kaede on her first game. She returns and loses quite a bit, but she and Kaede become good friends after that. Mika also finds that Kaede’s brother is very arrogant, and that his parents like his brother over him so the only place he feels at home is the store. Some rowdy customers cause some trouble, eventually hurting Kaede, and Sonoko, a studious friend of Mika’s, reports Kaede to the principal because she is afraid for Mika. They make up when Mika takes Sonoko to see the shop, and the first volume ends.

The side-story is where Mika makes a ring for Kaede in arts class, only to find that Kaede is already wearing one. Kaede tells her the ring was from a very close girl that died in a car crash some years back, and Mika thinks she can’t compete with her. Still, she kisses Kaede and tells him to take his ring off because she wants to give him another one. He does so and accepts her ring, and she vows that even if she gets hit by a car she won’t die.

Volume 2Edit

The second volume starts with a school project where Mika and Kaede are paired together. They are walking home to find Youhei is closing his store so he can compete in billiard tournaments abroad. Mika appeals to Youhei to stay, saying that his leaving is affecting Kaede’s behaviour and he’s going out of control, and Youhei reveals that the reason he hadn’t gone already was because of Kaede’s state – how he looked as though no-one cared for him. Youhei says Mika cares for him now, so it is no longer necessary for him to stay purely for Kaede’s sake. Youhei leaves soon after, promising Kaede to play against him one day once he has further improved. The holidays come, and Mika goes looking for Kaede after he doesn't answer her calls. She finds him playing at a different store and is saddened by the fact that he didn't ask her to accompany him and is suddenly not confident about their relationship. Kaede comes after her and they talk about how they feel without Youhei there.

The end of chapter 2 in this volume contains more detailed character profiles.

Chapter 3 is somewhat out of the continuum of the story, as Mika and Kaede arrive at the 7th Avenue Billiard Store to find Youhei with a girl, and Mika and Kaede go to a different store instead to meet Sara Fujita, the owner. Mika and Kaede find themselves awed by her skills. Sara then challenges the pair to a 9 balls game with the losers bying her fruit juice (she hopes to collect the stickers). Sara tells of her undefeated status, and Kaede notes her boredom before playing his shot. Sara changes and declares that Kaede will stay if the pair of Mika and Kaede lose, however Mika gets the ninth ball in and wins the game. They then go to Youhei's billiard shop the next day to find that Sara and her shop were just ghosts of a billiard store that had burnt down ten years before.

Special side-story two has an author vs. character billiard competition with Youhei and author versus Mika and Kaede, however the author is more interested in Youhei than the competition so it ends without the doubles match.

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