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"Bond" (Kizuna 絆) is the ninth episode of the anime series. The ending theme for the episode is Honed Moon -Toga Reta Tsuki-.

PlotEdit

Keisuke and Akira fight. Throughout the battle, Akira tells Keisuke how he really felt. Akira gets cut, and some blood gets onto Keisuke’s face and mouth, which causes him to suffocate. Akira flashes back to his past, and snaps back into reality. He finds out that Keisuke is still alive and brings him to a bed. Akira watches over Keisuke until sunrise. Rin finds them and takes off with their tags in order to fight Il Re. Arbitro recognizes the jack, but still allows Rin to fight. 

SynopsisEdit

E09-tags

Keisuke produces tags for Akira

The episode begins with a recap of the end of episode 8, when Akira met Keisuke on the street. The scene continuies from where they left off, and Keisuke says Akira is self-centered, and that Keisuke wanted to show Akira that with his strength. Keisuke’s eyes are not visible as he says he got stronger for Akira’s sake, and pulls out many tags. Akira says what Keisuke has is not real strength. Keisuke says he hopes Akira will show him more expressions.

His eyes appear, wide and crazed, as he says he wants to see Akira’s agonized dying face. Keisuke pulls out Takeru’s knife, now bloody, and swipes at Akira. Akira draws his own knife and gets ready to fight as Keisuke laughs wildly.

Their blades clash, and Akira is pushed to the ground. Akira explains he didn’t understand what it meant to live before, and that death was meaningless to him. Keisuke demands to know what he’s talking about. Akira continues to explain that after Keisuke left the Hotel, Akira realized he hadn’t meant what he said. Keisuke tells Akira to shut up and lunges. They brawl, and Akira tries to get the knife away from Keisuke. Akira mentions Keisuke thought Akira hated him, and Keisuke pushes Akira off.

Keisuke insists that Akira hated him, because Keisuke was a weakling hanging onto Akira. He says Akira was laughing at him, and Akira denies it. Akira says he never hated Keisuke, but that he didn’t understand him, either. Keisuke says he was like Akira’s pet and asks if playing with him was entertaining. He tries to take more Line, but Akira tackles him to the ground before he can. Akira says he never thought of Keisuke like that, and Keisuke punches him. Keisuke lifts Akira up by the collar, and Akira explains that he hated it when Keisuke put himself down and compared the two of them.

Akira explains that Keisuke was fine as he was, and that Akira didn’t appreciate him. Keisuke tries to brush off Akira’s epiphany and reminds Akira that Keisuke hates him. He tries to tell Akira to shut up, but Akira argues that he found a reason to live: he wants to leave Toshima with Keisuke. They fight again, and Keisuke tosses Akira into an abandoned building.

Keisuke insists Akira should hate him, and tells Akira to get serious as he continues to swipe at him. He stabs Akira in the hand. Keisuke grabs Akira by the hair and talks about having a little “fun” – pain and struggling. Again, Akira asks him to leave Toshima with Akira. Keisuke yells at him to stop, and blood gets on his face. Keisuke wipes it across his mouth. Akira flashes back to Arbitro’s explanation of how his blood neutralizes Line. Keisuke falls to his knees and screams. His hands scrabble against the ground and stretch out to Akira before he stops moving. Clutching his face, Akira screams in horror.

The next scene shows a gun and a red battleground, as Akira explains that he was told to be a soldier, but the war was over before he ever got to fight.

A flashback shows Keisuke and Akira with letters indicating their assignment to new “parents”. They speculate about what they’ll be like before Keisuke asks about whether or not he and Akira can still hang out. Akira says they can if Keisuke wants to.

E09-home

Akira walks away from his "family" and home

The scene changes as Akira explains that his “family” of total strangers was like living a lie. He walks away from the house, and Keisuke catches up to him. Keisuke asks if he’s okay. Akira says it’s not a big deal, but Keisuke insists Akira can’t just leave home and asks if there was a fight.

Akira says he doesn’t think living alone is bad. Keisuke protests, but then decides to bring Akira supplies so he’ll eat real food. Akira tells him not to worry, then waves as he leaves. Even if everything else was built on falsehoods, Akira says the time he spent with Keisuke was genuine.

In the present, it is raining in Toshima. Akira sits before Keisuke's body and eventually gets up. He finds Keisuke’s pulse, then carries Keisuke to a room with a bed. Akira takes off his jacket and tries to drape it over Keisuke, but Keisuke wakes up. Keisuke grabs at Akira and becomes frantic begging for Line. Akira holds him down. The storm worsens as Akira keeps watch over Keisuke. Keisuke cries pitifully from the pain, and throws Akira across the room in a rage. He falls to the ground, and Akira puts him back on the bed. Standing before Keisuke, Akira asks him not to die.

E09-keisuke

Keisuke cries during his nightmare

What appears to be a flashback starts: Keisuke knocks on Akira’s door and enters his apartment. The inside is full of blood and dead bodies, and Takeru’s face appears among the blood before Keisuke is dragged down. He cries out for Akira, and Akira’s hand grabs hold of him. Akira appears enshrined in light, and Keisuke cries.

In the morning light, Keisuke is awake. He looks normal, and apologizes. Akira brushes it off, but Keisuke insists. Akira says it’s alright, and says they should go back home together. Akira puts on his jacket and asks if Keisuke can move before lending him an arm. They turn to leave.

E09-light

Keisuke in the morning

In the doorway stands the shadowed figure of Rin. He doesn’t respond as they ask what’s wrong and why he’s soaking wet. Rin orders them to give up their tags; he wants Akira’s jack, specifically. Drawing his blades, Rin threatens to kill them if they don’t hand the tag over. Rin lunges and puts a knife to Keisuke’s throat. He says he needs the tag to challenge Il Re.

Akira and Keisuke hand over their tags, and Rin kicks Akira away before he crouches down to compare his set. Rin declares he’s got a full set and now his "wish" can come true. Then he runs out. Keisuke tells Akira to go after Rin, who might die, while Keisuke finds Motomi.

Rin stands in Arbitro’s office, surrounded by the guards and the Executioners. Gunji crows about how there’s finally a challenger, and Kiriwar says they better get ready. Arbitro splays the tags out on the desk before him and notices the Jack. He waves off Kau and stands up. Arbitro accepts Rin’s challenge and declares that he’s waiving the initial matches, so Rin can fight Il Re directly.

The coliseum doors are unchained and the lights illuminate the arena before the episode ends.

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