art by なご @ pixiv
★ Here’s a summary of the last volume of Golden Days by Takao Shigeru. I recommend looking through the actual book while reading this, since it will probably be less confusing, plus I didn’t translate some of the text-less scenes. (You can find RAWS of the series here). If you are currently reading this manga/considering reading it and you don’t want to be spoiled, DON’T click on the lj-cut. This is for anyone who read the RAWS and didn’t understand what was happening, or people who are curious about the ending and don’t mind the spoilers.
★ Some basic info:
Genre: Drama, Historical, Romance, Shoujo, Shounen-ai, Slice of Life, Tragedy
Description: [from Ivyscan’s page] Feeling rebellious toward his overprotective mother, Soma Mitsuya, a first-year high school student, only cares about his violin and his hospitalized grandfather. On the night his grandfather’s condition suddenly worsens, an earthquake hits, sending Mitsuya to 1921 in the Taisho era…
★ … I said “summary” but somehow it turned into a direct translation of the text bubbles (especially for the last three chapters). Clearly I’m not very good at summarizing things, lol (e.g. when explaining Glee to a friend: “It’s about a glee club.” “……………that’s it?” “………..yeah.”) It also turned out much longer than I expected (approx. 1900 words Σ(ﾟДﾟ|||) eeeek!) but nevertheless, I hope you enjoy reading it! I might do a proper translation of chapters 45-47 someday because the way it’s written right now really bothers me (so-and-so said this, so-and-so did this.) A proper translation would probably flow better when read, so if anyone’s interested, let me know and I will do it sometime in the futureヽ(´ー｀)ﾉ
相馬 光也→ Soma Mitsuya
相馬 慶光→ Soma Yoshimitsu
春日 仁→ Kasuga Jin
相馬 慶→ Soma Kei
春日 亜伊子→ Kasuga Aiko
相馬 百合子→ Soma Yuriko
国見 隼人→ Kunimi Hayato (Yuriko’s lover)
生方 祭→ Ubukata Matsuri (Aiko’s friend, the son of her governess)
春日 常保→ Kasuga Tsuneyasu (Jin’s uncle, runs an orphanage)
田辺 つゆ子→ Tanabe Tsuyuko (Acquaintance of Soma family, was working as a prostitute to pay off a debt)
The reason why Mitsuya was sent back to the past was to stop Jin from shooting his uncle, Kasuga Tsuneyasu. Yoshimitsu and Yuriko’s parents died in a car accident, but Yoshimitsu had doubts about whether or not it was really an “accident”. He ran away that day to find the truth. Originally, he left the evidence in front of Tsuneyasu’s house for the maid to find, but Jin got to it first while on his way to pick up Aiko and Yuriko (who were unknowingly being held as hostages). He ends up shooting his uncle and turning himself in to the police. (The story is a bit vague about this part, but basically he wouldn't have been able to escape his punishment for trying to kill a family member). Tsuneyasu was the one that made someone else tamper with Yoshimitsu's parents' car, and he called for them on a day when the weather was really dangerous (thus causing the accident). But because of Mitsuya, he was able to take the bullet and change Jin's fate.
While Mitsuya is unconscious, he speaks to his grandpa in his dreams and finds out the truth (everything mentioned above). Yoshimitsu remarks that if Mitsuya were able to stay by Jin’s side even in the future, Jin would definitely live more happily. Mitsuya says he really likes Jin, but it’s almost time for them to say goodbye. He finally wakes up and is greeted by Aiko, Yuriko, and Hayato. Hayato says Mitsuya’s condition was critical, despite the bullet going through his shoulder. He finds out that Jin was taken in for questioning by the police and only came back the day before. He was always asking about Mitsuya, but no matter how much Yuriko asked him, he refused to visit today. She says Jin must be afraid to see him. Mitsuya tells them that Yoshimitsu will be back soon and they’ll be able to hear the whole story from him.
Kei visits and brings the chess set. Mitsuya says that since he’s already completed his mission (saving Jin), he’ll probably have to leave soon. Kei doesn’t want to go back. Originally, he thought he was sent back to help Mitsuya, but he was wrong. In the present, he lost everything important to him and wasn’t able to do anything about it. He’s afraid of protecting anything because whenever he thinks about how powerless he is, he wants to give up and run away. Yoshimitsu appeared before him and told Kei he would let him escape one last time, but if he runs away from Setsu’s side, there won’t be any more chances left. Kei thanks Mitsuya for helping him, while Mitsuya hopes that Kei can achieve his goal.
When Setsu and Kei leave, he starts thinking about how he can’t be forgiven for changing the past, but he doesn’t care anymore. He’s willing to endure any punishment as long as Setsu isn’t taken away from him. Yuriko and Aiko also have to leave to let Mitsuya rest, but they promise they’ll come see him tomorrow. Mitsuya wonders how he can protect people he’ll never see again. He’s looking at his grandpa’s chess set when he notices Jin coming in through the window.
Jin apologizes for not being able to take the car to pick him up because of the police. Mitsuya asks where they’re going and Jin says to a place that won’t change even in a hundred years. Jin asks if Mitsuya will leave. He recalls how when they first met, Mitsuya said he was from the future. They arrive at Atago Hill (from chapters 3 and 4). Mitsuya says he’s only from 70 years in the future, not 100, so it’s almost like taking a trip to another country. Jin says it’s completely different because even if he wants to see Mitsuya, he can’t. They might never be able to see each other again no matter how much they want to.
Mitsuya wants to warn him about the dangerous things that are going to be happening soon and to tell him how to escape. He wishes he could somehow bring Jin to the present where it’s peaceful. Jin starts freaking out because of how close he was to killing Mitsuya. He says he can’t handle losing someone important to him. PUNCH!! Σ(ﾟ∀´(○------ (･∀･ )ﾉ!!! Mitsuya tells him to calm down.
Jin says Mitsuya has always been looking after/taking care of him, but he isn’t able to return the favour. He’s willing to do whatever Mitsuya asks him to. He only wants Jin to live happily. He has to be careful of his lifestyle habits and not disappoint Mitsuya. Until he dies, Jin has to always be happy. Jin says he likes Mitsuya and he doesn’t want them to be apart. Mitsuya doesn’t want to hear him say that because he’s going to start crying. He admits that he’s also really lonely. ( ´ 3 `)( ´ ε ` )
NOTE: Jin and Mitsu use “喜歡” when talking about each other. It means “like”, but it usually has a romantic connotation when used towards another person. (It’s also used by Hayato to Yuriko and Kei/Setsu). I checked the Japanese RAWS and they use “好きだ” and “すきだ”, suki da. According to this site, it means I like you a lot/I love you and is primarily used by men. Just clearing up the misconception that they don’t love each other/they’re just bros/ the love is unrequited etc. Of course, you could interpret all off it as platonic if you really want to, I suppose?
Mitsuya realizes that he accidentally brought his grandpa’s chess set with him. He gives the black knight to Jin to keep as a protective charm before disappearing. When he wakes up in the present, only 3 days have passed. He passed out after falling from the stairs. His gunshot wound is still there, as if it was made decades ago. Yoshimitsu begins to talk about what happened after Mitsuya left the past.
After the Kasuga Tsuneyasu business was dealt with, the Kasuga parents brought Aiko and Jin back to Italy to live there. Yoshimitsu was only able to go there once. He went to visit them and to bring Matsuri to Aiko as a present. Since Jin and Aiko left, Yuriko and Yoshimitsu went to live with Hayato’s family. Matsuri was allowed to work for the Kunimi household and also study at the same time. They married after he graduated from university, but he died before the war broke out. At the funeral, Aiko tells Yoshimitsu she knows everything will be fine because she keeps thinking about what Mitsuya used to tell her. After wards, she went back to Italy.
As for Yuriko, she and Hayato lost their first child during the war. She tells Yoshimitsu how if she didn’t already know Mitsuya would be born in this country, she would probably put a curse on the world. Hayato died from overworking the year after the end of the war. A year later, as if she was following him, Yuriko passed away as well.
Mitsuya’s mom brings Yoshimitsu’s photo album to him. Kei had been taking care of it. After the Great Kanto Earthquake, Kei adopted a lot of orphans. The Kinboshi (coffee shop) burned down so he stayed at a house provided by his previous boss. After the war, he established a support organization (kind of like an orphanage??) and he and his wife (Setsu) continued looking after many orphaned children. He was never willing to show his face in public. Until Setsu died, Kei always took care of her. In the next few years, after living the same way as before, he quietly ended his life. In the bottom of the chess set box, Kei left a picture of him, Setsu, and the kids for Mitsuya to see in the future.
Another soldier asks Jin (called Captain Bertini/Beldini?) if he’s writing a letter to his sister. They talk a bit about the other soldier’s relationships with women before he asks Jin if there’s anyone waiting for him at home. Jin believes he’ll be single for the rest of his life. The other soldier comments on how there’s no hope and no future in the world. He asks Jin what he’s fighting for and Jin says that in the past, he had a friend who told him he wasn’t allowed to be unhappy. As long as he has these memories, Jin already has enough happiness in his life. He’ll fight to protect the world for Mitsuya.
Mitsuya is organizing his grandpa’s belongings a year after his death. Yoshimitsu passed away 2 months after Mitsuya came back from the past. He finds a picture from his grandpa’s wedding with Tsuyuko. Mitsuya’s father reveals that they actually didn’t have any children. After the war, Yoshimitsu’s older sister and her husband passed away. He and Tsuyuko ended up adopting their child, who turned out to be Mitsuya’s dad’s father. Mitsuya’s dad doesn’t know much about Tsuyuko because she passed away shortly after he was born. Mitsuya finds his violin that broke when he fell off the stairs protecting his mom. He says that playing the violin is a form of liberation as well as escape. His dad asks who he’ll play the violin for now that his grandpa’s gone.
Until the end, Yoshimitsu never said much about what happened to Jin. If it wasn’t for Mitsuya, Yoshimitsu and Jin would have parted with regrets and guilt. Thanks to Mitsuya, Yoshimitsu was able to believe that they were true friends until their deaths. Apparently, Jin became a soldier during WWII and died in battle (specifically at the Battle of El Alamein, according to the Japanese wiki).
Mitsuya wants to go out on his own but his mother is worried. He asks her if she likes him and she says she likes him the most! He says he also really likes her. No matter how far apart they are or even if they can never see each other again, as long as she keeps smiling for him, that’s enough. (NOTE: Umm this part is a little hard to translate, he doesn’t use any pronouns other than “I”, so I just used “they” for the first part [Jin, Aiko, Yuriko & co.] and “she” [Mitsuya’s mom] for the second). He no longer wants to live like a dead person anymore. Mitsuya’s dad gives him a violin case that Yoshimitsu asked him to return to Mitsuya.
While leaving Yoshimitsu’s house, Mitsuya runs into a boy who introduces himself as Ubukata —. They go to Atago Hill. Mitsuya finds out that the boy is Aiko’s great-grandson. He asks if he really looks like his great-grandmother’s brother. Mitsuya says he looks more like Aiko, but his voice is similar to Jin’s. He goes to see the shrine while Mitsuya stays behind. He looks around and notices how much things have changed in 70 years. Ubukata says he came to deliver something for Mitsuya from his great-grandmother who passed away 3 years ago. Before she died, she always regretted not being able to deliver it in person. He gives Mitsuya Jin’s memento, the knight chess piece. It was said that on the battlefield, he kept it with him at all times up until his death. Mitsuya starts crying and is comforted by Jin’s spirit. Jin says that he’s already fought for happiness and in a way, Mitsuya was always able to stay by his side.
Ubukata sees the violin case and asks if Mitsuya could play it for him. When he was younger, his great-grandmother would play tapes of Mitsuya’s performances she received from Yoshimitsu. Mitsuya says he can’t because the violin’s broken, but when he opens the case, it looks brand new. Ubukata asks for just one song and Mitsuya agrees.
Those radiating and dazzling golden days.
★ I didn’t translate the side panel in the last chapter.. it gives some insight on how many times Jin and Yoshimitsu saw each other after Jin moved to Italy, what Yoshimitsu knew about Kei, and Mitsuya & Kei’s names. If anyone’s interested, I’ll try to translate it directly ( ´ ▽ ` )
★ I hope you enjoyed reading this! If you have any questions, leave a comment and I will try my best to answer them. Comments letting me know that you’ve read the whole thing would be great (so that I know people are actually looking at what I’ve written, lol). If you want a certain panel translated directly, I can do that. Just tell me the page number or link me to an image. Please let me know if I’ve made any mistakes as well! orz I had some trouble with the last two lines (trying to make them sound poetic.. it didn’t work lol) Any critiques/advice would be appreciated!
★ Any questions about volumes 4-7 are okay too, but volumes 6 & 7 will be harder for me to summarize /o\
★ Anon commenting is enabled so even if you don’t have an lj account, you can still comment.
★ For anyone who hasn’t heard of this manga or isn’t sure if they should read it or not, you definitely should. Honestly, it’s one of the greatest manga I have ever read, and one of my all-time favourites. The characters are loveable, the story is unpredictable, & it will make you laugh, cry, and smile. :) (I’ve included a link to the scanlation group’s site below if you’re interested.)
★ If you know anyone who wants to know the ending of this manga, please link them to this post. :)
→ Ivyscan’s Golden Days page for English scanlations
→ Pixiv tags (Contains spoilers)
→ Cocoon, a Japanese fanart site (Contains spoilers)
→ Tegaki tag (Thank you kilmeny11!)
→ Buy the manga: amazon.co.jp / books.com.tw / add a link? ╮('◡'✿)
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