Aki Kuga (Former Lover)
|Anime Debut:||Episode 7|
Chihaya Senou was the substitute teacher in Karakami Village who made the biggest impact in Aki and Kyohei’s life. Though both guys showed the same liking to Senou, it was Aki who made the deeper connection with her as they established a more personal relationship that eventually blossomed into romance
Chihaya and Aki had their first acquaintance shortly after her arrival in the village. Aki was being bullied by his step brother Atsushi and his gang after the former saved a stray dog from their abuse. Chihaya attempted to break off the tension, but just before she could, Aki nonchalantly walked away which in turn, aggravated the situation even further. Atsushi then brought out Kuramitsuha in an attempt to taunt and intimidate Aki, but ends up getting criticized for his inability to properly control the kakashi. Angered by his snide remark, Atsushi attacked Aki but was blocked and countered by Kyohei’s Kukuri. Bitter and defeated, Atsushi and his gang retreated
Chihaya then calls out Aki and tells him to take responsibility for the stray dog. He ignores her and tries to get away only to be pursued even further. This concludes their first encounter.
One day, on their way home, Kyohei and Moyako were conversing about sensei Senou, when the stray dog came out of the bushes in a leash held by Aki. Aki felt a bit embarrassed to be seen walking the dog and explained that the sensei simply made him do it.
Back in school, Chihaya got harassed by Atsushi who tried to force himself on her. She retaliated with a slap and ordered him to leave, to which Atsushi bitterly obliged. When the news of this confrontation reached the principal, the school immediately sided with Atsushi and reprimanded Chihaya regardless of her being the aggrieved party. She was also warned to stop her associating with Aki who was considered a nuisance because of his history of killing animals which could have easily escalated to him killing humans. She ponders on it on her way home, when suddenly she meets Aki who had been waiting for her. He immediately noticed that she seemed forlorn and naturally empathized with her as he himself had felt this way on a daily basis. This mutual understanding of each other’s unfortunate circumstances in the village brought the two even closer together.
Meanwhile, the harassment of Atsushi continued as he spread rumors about Senou’s past. This greatly tarnished her reputation which took a toll on her professional and personal life, despite Kyohei’s efforts to protect her. Soon enough, she was treated like an outcast.
Atsushi made another move on Chihaya but ends up unsuccessful as Aki and his dog attacks him. He pulls Chihaya away and they make a run for it until they reached his home. There Chihaya finally opened up about her past. She confessed that the rumors were true and that she had, in fact, had an affair with one of her student’s father. The man was unmarried and she was helping him with things and eventually slept with him. But when the man’s son caught the two together in bed, it shocked him and caused him to run out of the house. He was then hit by a car but fortunately survived the accident. This, however, got Chihaya fired and black listed from the other schools in the city. Eventually she was forced to accept the only job offer, which was in the remote village of Karakami.
Chihaya continued to explain that Aki reminded her of that kid before leaning in to kiss him. Aki sees right through her pettiness and called her out for wanting to get even with that kid through him. She shamefully admitted to it then pushed Aki down on the floor and made love to him. When Chihaya expressed her desire to go somewhere far way with Aki, he rejected her and told her that he will not leave until he regains ownership of Kuramitsuha. This plan never came to fruition as tragedy awaited the unfortunate couple.
The next day, Aki was seen cheerfully playing with his dog, Nono, while Chihaya was with Kyohei, whom at the time, was attempting to confess his feelings for her. Unfortunately for Kyohei, Chihaya cut him off before he could even mutter the words correctly, and told him to stay friends with Aki forever. A hint that she knew that their secret affair will affect Aki and Kyohei’s friendship knowing that both of them share the same feelings for her. This was the last time the two of them were shown happy.
Pictures of Aki and Chihaya’s affair surfaced in the principal’s office which ultimately got Chihaya fired. While she packed her things at home, she heard Nono barking before it whimpered into silence. She got out and looked for him only to be kidnapped by Atsushi. When Aki came home, he sees Nono dead with a note left under him telling Aki to go the shrine to retrieve Senou.
When Aki arrived at the shrine, Senou is already lying on the floor barely clothed. Atsushi vulgarly told him that Senou is no longer his woman alone and expressed how he detested him right from the very day he was taken in by the family. Aki remained calm and simply called Atsushi a scum, which instantly provoked him to use Kuramitsuha. Senou immediately got up and shielded Aki from the blade with her own body causing her instant death. The shock kept Aki frozen and accepted death for a short moment until a split second of realization caused him to regain control of Kuramitsuha. When other members of the family came, Atsushi blamed the murder of Senou on Aki and Kuramitsuha. But before anyone could do anything, Aki exploded into madness and massacres everyone in the room. By the time Kyohei arrived, Aki had already killed everyone. Kyohei beat Aki and allowed him to be sent to prison. Aki remained in prison for six years, quietly serving his time until he heard news that Kyohei had left for Tokyo. This drove him to break out of prison and hunt Kyohei down.
Chihaya is a warm and gentle woman who was also very strong willed. When faced with danger, she would show a brave demeanor and would not think twice to defend herself and others in need, even when the odds are against her. She shows a great deal of compassion towards Aki even after she had been warned to stay away from him due to his history of sadistic behavior. And it was her compassionate presence in his life that changed Aki into a livelier and more caring individual. But ironically, it was also her irreplaceable presence that drove Aki to the path of destruction after she died in the hands of Atsushi.