Chapter 17th
Title Judo-Man
Chapter guide
Chapter 16
Chapter 18


Aota baits Sakuragi with the pictures while also appealing to him emotionally to quit basketball and join judo. Sakuragi, however, refuses to join the team. Aota asks Sakuragi if he wants these pictures, to which Sakuragi says he does, confusing Aota and Kogure. Sakuragi makes it clear that he won't join the judo team, but he will have the pictures. Aota gets frustrated, and Sakuragi tries to take the photos away by force. Kogure is delighted that Sakuragi's personality is getting in the way with Aota's persuasions, but Akagi knows that Aota is the wrong person for Sakuragi to mess with.

Aota tells Sakuragi that nobody's talked to him in that way since Akagi, and reveals to Sakuragi that he and Akagi have known each other for a long time. His tensions with Akagi started when he invited Akagi to join judo in fifth grade, but Akagi refused and called judo "lame", breaking his heart. Sakuragi fails to sympathize with Aota's story and tries to one-up him by telling Aota how Akagi choked him after he dunked on his head, but Aota also fails to sympathize. Aota recalls another time in sixth grade when the nurse measured their class, and though Akagi was the tallest, he beat Akagi in seated height, leading Akagi to tell him that judo gave him short legs. Outside, Akagi tries to remember if he actually said that, while Kogure disapproves of him for saying that. Again however, Sakuragi fails to sympathize with Aota and complains about how Akagi makes him do fundmentals, but again Aota also fails to sympathize with him.

Sakuragi and Aota then agree that the main reason to hate Akagi is that he's Haruko's brother, and they wonder how a meathead like him could be related to her. Outside, Kogure has to restrain an enraged Akagi from attacking them. Aota then tries to trick a fueled-up Sakuragi into signing up for judo, but Sakuragi catches on. Aota brings out the pictures again, but the two get into the same rut again and Sakuragi again tries to take the pictures by force. Aota calmly confronts him as the members of the judo team enter the room. Sakuragi tries to headbutt Aota, but Aota dodges and flips Sakuragi over. His teammates cheer, but Aota wonders if he flipped Sakuragi over because he was afraid of him.



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