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Behind the Iron Curtain! (鉄のカーテンを攻略せよ!, Tetsu no Kāten o Kōryakuse yo!) is the second chapter of The Wallflower manga and Volume 1.

Synopsis[]

Sunako transfers to Mori High and is relieved to have some time away from her housemates, Kyohei, Takenaga, Ranmaru and Yuki. Despite enjoying her new school, things take a turn for the worse when a competition to get a picture of the mysterious new transfer student's face has Sunako being chased down by the entire student body.

Plot[]

The boys try but ultimately fail to help Sunako get ready for her first day at her new school, and she is left with itchy skin after reacting badly to the products (and methods) they used. Sunako stubbornly refuses to cut her bangs and, although the boys protest, Kyohei is the only one who tells them not to bother.

At school, Sunako's introduction to her new classmates is met with fear and shock. However, Sunako remains oblivious to the effect she has on the rest of the school, simply enjoying her breaks in the science lab and library, even while her weird appearance causes rumors to arise that there's a ghost haunting the grounds.

Back at the boarding house, Takenaga tries to get Sunako to cut her bangs again, but she runs away before he gets the chance. Although Kyohei still says it's best to leave her alone, the others have seen the way Sunako is affecting the other students, to the point where a "Sunako Nakahara Derby" is created to try and get a picture of her face.

Sunako ends up spending her school time avoiding the entire student body as they try to take her picture. After being coerced by Kyohei, Sunako spills the reason why she is so adamant about hiding her face from everyone. Two years ago, she confessed to the boy she really liked. He rejected her and called her "ugly," and so she decided to give up caring about her appearance since all her efforts seemed to not make a difference anyway. In the end, she found she enjoyed not having to worry about her looks or compare herself to other girls. Although the boys can't really understand how she was affected by the words of one guy she used to like, they can't believe that somebody would ever call a girl ugly.

The following day, Sunako is again running away from her classmates and stumbles upon Kyohei with a group of his classmates. The others catch up to Sunako and she frantically searches for a way to escape. Before she realizes what's happening, she finds herself covered from the rest of the students and feels Kyohei's arms around her, protecting her from view. Angrily, he yells for them all to stop playing their stupid game and vows to find out who started the whole charade before carrying Sunako away. When he tries to check if she's all right, her nosebleed hits him right in the face.

Sunako spaces out as she remembers what it felt like being so close to a boy for the first time, but her thoughts quickly make her go red in the face and feel as if she's going to melt.

During dinner, Sunako announces that she's going to stay home from school until the commotion from the derby dies down, but the boys protest, saying she'll become even more isolated if she does. Takenaga tells her not to worry about the contest since Kyohei beat up some of the organizers and likely scared everyone else off. They promise not to try to change her anymore, and Sunako reluctantly agrees to keep attending school as normal. Kyohei asks if it wouldn't just be easier on her if she simply cut her bangs, but Sunako thinks the idea is ridiculous.

The next day at school, Sunako is cornered by a group of girls who accuse her of being stuck up and purposefully standing out to gain the attention of all the male students. Brandishing a pair of scissors, one of the girls creeps toward Sunako while she's held captive by two others, intent on cutting her bangs off so she stops standing out. Meanwhile, Sunako is lost as to how she stands out when she's done everything in her power not to.

Before Sunako's bangs can get cut, Kyohei appears. The girl with the scissors stammers out an excuse, saying she was forced by the others who were after the derby money, and in her nervousness she accidentally cuts Kyohei's cheek. Seeing him get harmed makes Sunako snap, and she kicks the girl in the face. She goes on to beat up the rest of the crowd too, with Kyohei, Takenaga, Ranmaru and Yuki on the side lines watching the spectacle in amazement. Rashly, Sunako cuts her own bangs off, revealing her face and demanding that everyone apologize to the "creature of the light," referring to Kyohei. When she looks directly at her housemates, however, she gets a nosebleed and faints.

On the way home, Sunako scrambles to find something to hide her face, not knowing how she'll be able to live like this. Kyohei calls her an idiot and tells her to just live normally. The boys aren't as afraid of being around her anymore and tell her this, vowing not to let anyone call her ugly ever again.

Quotes[]

  • Sunako about her past: "Until then I used to go on diets and worry about zits just like everybody else. But then he said, 'I hate ugly girls,' so why should I even bother? I figured if I'm ugly anyway... then what's the point of wasting my time? I'd rather just forget about trying to be feminine. And give up worrying about my looks. I decided that if I hid my face... then... I could stop comparing myself to all the beautiful girls. And once I tried it... it was so much fun! It's so much easier to be alone."

Character appearances[]

In order of appearance:

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