► volume one, chapter zero


"Well, a miser isn’t really a bad thing to be—there’s truth and a good side to it—but defective has no good side and no truth." Mogana’s voice rang in pensiveness, her eyes wandering as she thought while her hands flipped idly through the pages of the magazine.


"Something defective is being held to the wrong standard. If you had a mug with a broken handle, it may be bad to drink out of but that doesn’t mean it’s no good for the rest of its existence; you can plant flowers in it, or use it as a pen holder instead. Nothing is defective, it just needs to find its place."

Her words were punctuated with a smile, soon faded as a result of the male’s brush-off. Regardless of how close they had become over the course of their friendship, Kikaijima still regularly came across pitfalls in her attempts to grasp his tastes. Nothing enough to discourage her of course—in fact, it was more of the opposite effect—but no one could ever entirely accept a failure.

There were still many other books for him to consume instead, a fact the girl was close to pointing out before Kumagawa’s quiet proposition. 


Her usual blush deepened just the slightest shade as she pulled away to face Kumagawa once more, although her gaze was fixed on anything but him. “I-I don’t have much to offer, but if it involves monetary favors I’ll have to decline!”

“I-I don’t have much to offer, but if it involves monetary favors I’ll have to decline!”

「 Is that so? I was hoping to actually borrow some money.. 」

Kumagawa would reply back rather weakly. Of course, this was obviously a lie — but he felt it would be appropriately to tease her for saying something so sentimental.

Of course, her sense of humor was a bit more realistic than his. So he felt he would have to quickly follow up that he wasn’t serious.

「 I’m joking. I’m joking. — Rather, the favor I want of you is to be honest with me. You’re not like Medaka-chan, or Zenkichi-chan at all. If I were an antagonist, I’d say you’d be the most terrifying out of the whole group. If I were a protagonist — I’d say you were the strongest in the whole group.」

He’d pause after speaking, as though musing on something before continuing.

「 I don’t consider myself popular or good-looking at all, but I’m confident if I asked Medaka-chan to marry me the scenario would be something like — ” I’d marry you tomorrow Kumagawa-kun! ” Of course, that’s only because of Medaka-chan’s nature to try to reform me completely. — Let’s look at it like this : What reason could you have to play along with something like myself? 」

「 No, let me rephrase that. — Kikaijima Mogana, what is it about me that you love? I don’t have a stable financial future. I doubt I’d be able to secure employment after graduating or further myself educationally. If you were to ask me the same question, I’d say for me this has already passed the level of love. Kumagawa Misogi is such a cheap man that a kind smile, and a pile of manga is enough to make him die for you. 」

► volume one, chapter zero


Much like any high school girl it was easy for Mogana to stay distracted by her phone. Mail sent to Kumagawa, her attention turned towards another message directed at Medaka ("are we still on for lunch tomorrow?"), then to Zenkichi ("have you decided to lower the vending machine prices yet, devil president?"), and was in the middle of another for Tsurubami when a voice cut through the room’s silence.

In circumstances such as these, it was hard to believe that merely a year ago this meek girl was so harsh and lonely that she barely had a single friend to call her own.

"Do you think we’re high-profile enough to do that? It’s been a few months since our terms ended, and Medaka-chan seems to be stealing the spotlight as always…"


The device that she had been so deeply engrossed in was slid back into her pocket before she continued to shuffle her stack of books into sorted piles of new volumes, then new magazines, older volumes and a lone fanbook, as she continued.

"If there was anything I wouldn’t like about that rumor, it’s that I don’t think the title ‘defective’ is very nice, but, ah—!" In a small scramble, she rummaged through one stack to pull out a single copy of Jump Square, holding it up with a proud expression.

"Tsurubami-kun lent me the issue with the first chapter of Te to Kuchi!” 


「 You’re fine with being referred to as a miser, but defective is a problem? — Mogana-chan don’t you think that’s a bit unfair? 」

Kumagawa would playfully complain about her weird choice in priorities. A light laugh would accompany him, as he slowly made his way to sit next to her.

"Tsurubami-kun lent me the issue with the first chapter of Te to Kuchi!”

「 Ah, Tsurubami-kun huh? His heart’s in the right place but Jump Square is a bit too refined for someone like me…  」

Kumagawa would attempt to politely dismiss the manga, before quickly changing his mind. While in truth her abhorred Jump Square — Mogana’s enthusiasm was another story.

Of course, having lectured Zenkichi numerous times over hurting a girl’s feelings — it would be a disgrace if he did the same, right? Sighing to himself, Kumagawa would sharply turn in her direction before teasingly whispering in her ear.

「 — Hm. Let’s make a deal, Mogana-chan! I’ll read Jump Square if you do something for me ~ 」

► volume one, chapter zero


Days like this were few and far between, even if Mogana’s time was no longer occupied by the student council. After all, she was still a large part of the swim team, and high school was demanding to begin with! It was obvious for her to want to enjoy the rare time she had in between classes and homework and tests and studying.

Although, considering the stack of books in her arms as she trudged through Hakoniwa’s bright halls it probably looked as if this were another extensive study session either way.

Truth be told, upon closer inspection anyone could realize each and every book was in fact manga—volumes and magazine issues stacked high enough the girl could only just see where she was going. Thankfully the hallways were empty and she had a fair sense of familiarity with finding the school’s library.

It didn’t take more than a few minutes for her to slip through the doors and find a secluded table to drop her books on (not that the library was exceptionally full; no matter what seat she took it was unlikely for anyone to stop by). A chair was pulled out for herself as she pulled out her phone, thumbs tapping out a message in a frenzy then hitting send.


09/24/2012 3:45p

misogi-chan☆! i'm in the library in the back near the world history
section. please hurry! i have lots for you today! ヽ(*≧ω≦)ノ

A familiar medley would erupt from the young man’s pocket — the source of which would be his cellphone. Even without checking the contents he’d know immediately who it was who had contacted him.

— Of course, meticulously picking distinct ringtones for each and every one of his acquaintances was just something that Kumagawa Misogi did.

This tone in particular was one he was quite fond of; the theme of a failing anime he had been cheering for since it’s initial debut as a mediocre manga.

This very same manga that he was so fond of was only known to one other person — or rather, only one other person knew such things.

「 Kikaijima-san — ah, I almost forgot. 」

Kumagawa would lightly sigh to himself, that ever present smile slightly plastered on his face.

Quietly the young man made his rounds toward Hakoniwa’s library, his mere presence resulting in no random encounters.

Lazily scanning the scarce populace of the library, Kumagawa would see her — surrounded by a pile of their mutually enjoyed manga as well.

「Mogana-chan, you know if you keep spoiling me you’re going to start rumors, right? Could you endure the rumors of the Swimming Miser and a Defective Product? 」

(Source: zitto-100)