"Bonds" is the eightieth chapter in Ahiru no Sora.
Sora quickly passes the entire Shinjo Towa Academy’s defense and effortlessly scores the layup. It is a sixteen-point difference, and the score is 62 to 46. A low-spirited Takahashi makes his way to his team’s bench. Upon seeing his depressed friend, Kojima instructs his freshman to tape his injured left leg and further comments that he can’t just sit still and watch his team get demolished. Kojima then recalls the moment when he and Takahashi enrolled at Shinjo Towa Academy. Their school’s advisor informs them that due to having no members, the basketball club is defunct. The advisor then hands over the gym keys to both of them. A depressed Kojima comments that he should have studied more and gone to Saijo High. Takahashi replies that he doesn’t mind being at Shinjo Towa Academy and further comments that playing for an elite school will be tedious, and he feels comfortable here. On hearing, Kojima quietly talks to himself and states that Takahashi, although an intelligent individual, has zero social awareness.
At the start of their school year, both of them try to recruit other students. However, they are unsuccessful. Afterwards, their school’s advisor recommends Kojima and Takahashi to coach junior high students at another institution and further comments that their basketball club doesn’t have any coaching staff. A furious Kojima informs Takahashi that their advisor just mocked them and will not babysit some junior high kids. Kojima then urges Takahashi that both of them should quit the basketball team. On hearing, Takahashi replies that he would like to try coaching them. A furious Kojima responds to Takahashi that he is a senseless individual and how he can think about others when their own basketball team is struggling to attain any new members. Takahashi then replies that their basketball team didn’t have any coaching staff back at middle school, and there are probably guys like us among them. On hearing, Kojima replies that he will not coach those kids and furiously heads out.
The following day, a depressed Kojima makes his way to the basketball court and, while entering, sees his friend is coaching some middle school kids. Takahashi teaches them the basics of dribbling and instructs the junior high kids to keep their eyes upfront. Kojima is shocked to see them at their gym. Takahashi notices his friend’s presence and invites him to participate. Kojima furiously disagrees and comments that this is their gymnasium and asks Takahashi why he is training them at their court. Takahashi smiles and replies that the second-year students will become freshmen by the time both are seniors at Shinjo Towa Academy. Takahashi then asks all the junior high kids that after graduating will they enroll at Shinjo Towa Academy. All of them confidently agree they will. Takahashi then informs Kojima that they are the only two members of their basketball team, and this is the only way for them to get any recruits. He further states that by the following year, more students will join, and the year after, these middle school kids will enroll as well. After establishing a complete team, neither Kitasumi High nor Saijo High will stand a chance against them. On hearing, Kojima smiles and replies to Takahashi that he is an annoying person as usual.
Kawamoto tapes Kojima’s left injured leg. A confused Takahashi stares at his friend. Kojima tells him he is participating in the match and can no longer watch his team get demolished. Takahashi ignores Kojima and instructs his teammates to strengthen their defense in the low post area. Kojima becomes angry and informs Takahashi not to ignore him. Takahashi replies that he told him earlier not to participate and reassures him that they will win the match. Kojima disagrees and furiously grabs Takahashi’s jersey and questions that if he was in his place, would he say the same thing to him. All the people at the court look at Shinjo Towa Academy’s bench. Takahashi then questions Kojima about his physical condition that can he possibly run with his injury and further advises that a knee injury in basketball is terrifying and, if taken lightly, can end one’s basketball career. Takahashi questions Kojima again and asks can he guard Momoharu with an injured leg? Kojima then recalls his doctors' advice to take a month's rest, and ligament injury is common in sport. Kojima then replies that sitting by and doing nothing hurts a thousand times more than physical pain and requests Takahashi again to let him participate. Kazushi then urges his captain to allow Kojima to participate and further states that if his leg gets further injured, they will sub him out. Ruko agrees with Kazushi’s suggestion and comments that both Kojima and Takahashi, are best friends, they share a unique bond, and why not use that to their advantage to win the match. The timeout finishes and Takahashi informs Kojima that they have a long road to reach the Inter-High Tournament. This match is just a starting point on achieving their goal and urges Kojima not to injure himself badly. Kojima smiles and heads to the court with the rest of his teammates.
- Yukinari Kojima
- Katsumi Takahashi
- Kazushi Kashiwagi
- Rokurou Hirai
- Tamo Yukio
- Masayoshi Satsuki
- Momoharu Hanazono
- Chiaki Hanazono
- Nao Nanao