|Chapters 13 - 23|
After several near-death experiences at the miso factory, Punpun realizes he doesn't have the money nor courage to bring Aiko to Kagoshima. The day he is supposed to leave with her, he must visit his mother instead, who had an "accident" at the hospital. After Aiko rejects his apology and his parents divorce, Punpun falls into a depression. Two years later, Punpun starts middle school and finds that Aiko has a handsome boyfriend.
Chapter 13 Edit
The mysterious figure inside the miso factory approaches them, and Punpun realizes he needs to pee. Out of the shadows comes a teenage girl with a sketchbook and a bloodied forehead. Ready to chide whoever's there, she relaxes when she sees the group is only children. She explains she comes here for privacy and that the wound on her head is just a blow from her father, something she's used to. She tells the kids they can stay but to watch out for the ghost of the owner who committed suicide by fire. While they rest between exploring, Harumi shares a snack and tells them he is moving to the next town over at the end of semester. They head inside their last building. Shimizu says he saw a man walk by, and Harumi frets that it is the owner's ghost, but Seki says Shimizu is lying again because the owner was a woman.
|“||But he thought this was a case where he ought to be brave. This was because he had to take Aiko to Kagoshima. It was a promise — a life-or-death promise.||”|
Chapter 14 Edit
Seki has a flashback to when he was younger and his dad brought him to the miso factory to get supplies. Seki had asked the president if she would still buy their lunches when he takes over the shop from his dad, and she promised she would, a happy promise he had believed in. Back to the present, he finds a photograph in her old office of her, himself, and his dad and sets it aflame with his cigarette. Harumi grabs it and stomps out the flame, asking Seki why he's being so weird. Seki rants about their childish antics and throws a nearby chair, which flies over the others but lightly scathes Punpun's forehead. The group travels to the roof and still finds nothing. That is, until Shimi spots a dark, ghostly figure that is, for once, definitely real. The boys flee but in their haste lose the way to the exit. Seki spots his cigarette burning a hole in the office carpet. On the roof, beams have fallen onto Aiko's ankles. Punpun frees her, only for another thin beam to topple on her head and knock her unconscious. Downstairs, Shimizu gets in his kamemeha stance and lifts open an overhead door. The other three crawl out, but Shimizu says he's going back for Aiko and Punpun and lets the door drop.
Chapter 15 Edit
Harumi and Komatsu go running and search for an exorcist to help them. Seki tries to open the door again, but it is too heavy to lift by himself. Shimizu calls to him through an upstairs window that there is a fire, right before part of the building explodes, sending a giant glass shard into the brim of Seki's hat. Through the smoke, the God of Poop appears to Shimizu. On the roof, the dark figures comes nearer and nearer to Punpun, until he pees through his and an unconscious Aiko's clothes.
|“|| What am I doing? I'm totally useless. After all I said, I'm the most worthless of all of them.|
Chapter 16 Edit
"Punpun found himself slowly, slowly traversing the memories scattered about here and there that made up his very short life." Flashback chapter. Punpun thinks of Aiko, of his father striking his mother, of Miyo, of the night Mama considered drowning herself and Punpun, of the day in third grade he became friends with Harumi, Seki, and Komatsu, of the time he got lost chasing after a shooting star and Yuuichi taught him how to talk to God. God appears and tells him that to be human is to be lonely. Punpun especially remembers the day he moved into his home and Papa and Mama swore they'd be a happy family.
|“||God had a strangely serious look on his face as he spoke to Punpun. "You know what I think, Punpun? There's a loneliness that's part of living as a human being that you can never get rid of."||”|
Chapter 17 Edit
Yuuichi wonders where Punpun is just as it begins to rain. Punpun wakes up to a concerned Aiko, Seki, and Shimizu and finds the short downpour has washed away the fire and his urine. The stars are out when the group exits the building, Seki carrying a hurt Aiko on his back. Komatsu and Harumi return with a supposed exorcist who begins babbling about the evil spirits of the building. The children leave and join hands under the glow of the milky way. Punpun realizes he won't be able to bring Aiko to Kagoshima, but he squeezes her hand, and when a shooting star passes them overhead, he hopes to see this same sky again someday.
Chapter 18 Edit
From the TV in Mama's hospital room, a news report airs about a murderer who turned himself in; the bodies were discovered in an abandoned factory, and a possibly related fire is under investigation. Only, Mama is not in her room. Nurse Midori finds her and scolds her for smoking on the emergency stairwell. Mama confides that she hates kids and is not looking forward to being discharged tomorrow. Punpun's class cleans up for the end of semester while Punpun dreads breaking his promise to Aiko, who will kill him. Aiko tells Punpun in a note to meet her outside City Hall, while Harumi says goodbye to the class and a teary Sonoda. On their way home, Harumi gives his six-speed bike to Punpun and his playstation controller to Komatsu and promises to find more porn by next time they hang out. As Punpun considers riding his new bike to Kagoshima, Midori finds that Mama has gone missing again.
Chapter 19 Edit
Yuuichi receives a call from the hospital and rushes Punpun into a taxi. Punpun is relieved for the distraction. Yuuichi talks about how a young Mama had traveled a lot and abandoned her old life, but rather than being free, she was just running away. Punpun is sure Aiko must've chickened out their trip to Kagoshima just as the taxi passes by City Hall, where a crying and rejected Aiko stands alone. At the hospital, Yuuichi chides Mama for "accidentally" falling off a third story stairwell and hurting her arm. He is uneasy about her and Punpun living alone and decides he will continue living with them. Midori finds Punpun moping in the waiting room, wishing for the world to explode.
Chapter 20 Edit
Mama is discharged from the hospital the next day and returns home. She stresses over Punpun's sour mood, and Yuuichi notes he's been depressed since yesterday. Punpun wonders if Aiko went home or to Kagoshima or is still crying, and he wishes himself dead. In the living room, Yuuichi and the lawyer discuss transferring ownership of the Punyama house to Mama. School starts up again, but Punpun doesn't feel like talking to his classmates, and Aiko is noticeably sullen. He trails her home like on the first day they met. He cries and apologizes, but she continues ahead without him.
|“||But no matter how many tears he cried, he was still all alone on this earth.||”|
Chapter 21 Edit
Here, Punpun runs into Papa, who asks him why he's crying, but Punpun denies any such thing. Papa asks if he was dumped by the little girl walking ahead and notes that although it's only been two months, Punpun seems much older. Papa talks of space and stars, and Punpun promises to bring him to Punpunia someday. Papa says he's not allowed to come by the house anymore, but he's moving to America soon to be a NASA space pilot. Punpun asks when they can meet again but knows his father is lying when he says "anytime". He goes home to his telescope to find that Punpunia has disappeared.
Chapter 22 Edit
The boys wonder where Punpun has gone off to, and Seki remarks that he seems back to his normal self. Punpun skips choir practice to go home, where his uncle, mother, and lawyer are seated at the table and inform him his surname is no longer Punyama but Onodera. Realizing the significance of this change, Punpun quietly grabs his bike and pedals away from there. He swears he will be a fearless adult from now on, but God laughs. He wanders through school, hears his classmates practicing the song "Tsubasa wo Kudasai". Punpun lays down on the gym floor and soaks in the remaining sunlight before heading home. He lays down and cries for the remainder of the night. "Goodnight, Punpun."
Chapter 23 Edit
Two years later. Yuuichi and lawyer Yugami are now good friends. They have a lunch at the newly opened cafe, and Yuuichi recognizes the waitress, Midori, from somewhere. Komatsu, who had persuaded Punpun to join the middle school badmitton club with him, is the only underclassman allowed to skip boring drills and do normal practices. He gets chosen for the upcoming prefectural tournament. Aiko comes by the club after school and walks home with captain Yaguchi. Punpun trails them and spirals into a panic when he sees them hold hands.
|“||Within the past two years, Punpun had not once talked to Aiko. Their eyes never met either. But even so, even still... Punpun was still in love with Aiko.||”|