At the start of the manga, Takahashi is a typical high school alpha male—captain of the basketball team, popular with girls, effortlessly smart, and a bully to other "inferior" students. In an effort to give his girlfriend a ride home after school, he steals a bicycle, is chased into traffic, and is hit by a garbage truck, rendering him paralyzed from the chest down. Realizing that his popular days are over, Takahashi feels that he has nothing to live for, and that he has dropped from an "A" class person to lower than an "E" class (Takahashi is obsessed with ranking the people around him—in ranks from A to E, with A being the best). Nomiya, a former teammate, is one of the few visitors Takahashi receives, and the visit is initially enough to upset Takahashi and inspire him to rehabilitate. After realizing he will never recover, however, Takahashi gives up and refuses to help himself, even going so far as to tell his mother to die and never come back. The hospital staff calls Takahashi's father, hoping that a visit to the country will help in his recovery, but Takahashi hasn't seen his father in eight years and the visit remains highly uncomfortable. After spending time with his father, Takahashi breaks down and admits that he has a lot of unexplored anger and resentment toward his father for abandoning the family.