Chapter Summaries

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The One Pound Gospel
volume 1
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Originally Published in:
Young Sunday 1987 Vol 9-1988 Vol 19
Published in English as:
Animerica Vol 2 Issues 12-Vol 3. Issues 1-9
One-Pound Gospel Vol. 1

Chapter 1: Hakari no ue no mayoeru kohitsuji (Part 1)
(The Sinner and the Scale, Part One)
Our story opens with a young boy standing in the ring, about to begin his boxing match. The boy is Kosaku Hatanaka and today he has dropped out of high school to train as a professional boxer at Mukoda's Gym under Coach Mukoda and his assistant Ishida. Ishida is unsure of the boy, but Mukoda is confident as he witnesses Kosaku score a knockout. Three years later, on a jog, Mukoda is yelling at Kosaku for being ten pounds overweight so soon before his fight. At St. Mary's Nursery School, Sister Angela leads the children in a blessing at lunch time when Kosaku shows up to drool as he watches the children eat. Kosaku goes to confession with Angela and tells her about all the food he has indulged in that week. On his way back to the gym Kosaku stops for a bite to eat, and at his weigh in he comes in over the limit, forcing Mukoda to make him start sleeping in the gymnasium. Shunpei, one of Kosaku's gymmates asks Ishida about Kosaku and learns that Coach Mukoda thought that Kosaku was a boxing prodigy when they started out, but he quickly lost control of his weight and began shooting up in the weight classes and losing matches. The women at the nursery school tease Angela about Kosaku's crush on her. That night Angela stops by the gym to see Kosaku and meets Mukoda. She and Kosaku go for a walk where she gives him her rosary for luck in his upcoming match. Kosaku begins to think Angela feels the same way about him as he does for her, but he eats on the way home and ruins his weight training. Mukoda gives up on him and gets drunk, where Angela finds him and learns what happened. She confronts Kosaku and asks why he comes to confession, he admits his feelings and kisses her, but in return Angela slaps him.

Chapter 2: Hakari no ue no mayoeru kohitsuji (Part 2)
(The Sinner and the Scale, Part Two)
Angela and Kosaku are both depressed after what happened. Coach Mukoda takes Kosaku to a restaurant and tells him to retire. Sister Angela is there and happens to be completely drunk. She overhears two men putting Kosaku down, she stumbles over and assures them that he will win his match, before she promptly passes out. Kosaku vows to win the match for her. He trains hard and makes his weight limit. His match is against student champ Keiji Akagi, who predicts a first round knockout. Kosaku knocks Akagi down in round one, but Akagi scores a knockdown of his own in round two. Between rounds Kosaku sees Angela and drinks an entire bottle of water. In round three Akagi hits him the gut, sending him down. Kosaku begins to give up, but hears Angela call him a coward, and leaps up scoring a sudden knockout.

Chapter 3: Manaita no ue no kohitsuji (Part 1)
(The Lamb on the Chopping Block, Part One)
As Angela prays for Kosaku during a match and her rosary shatters, she feels something bad is about to happen. Kosaku is knocked out in the ring, but in the process throws up all over the canvas. The officials urge Mukoda to force Kosaku to retire. Soon after though, Kosaku is back doing his roadwork and accidentally punches a jogger in the face. The jogger quickly runs off without saying a word. When he returns to the gym Coach Mukoda throws him out. As he stands outside and wishes for a second chance, the mysterious jogger overhears his plea. Mukoda finds Kosaku in a restaurant later that night and tells him he has just received a challenge. As it turns out, the jogger is a boxer named Jiro Amakusa. Kosaku is the only man to knock him down and now he wants revenge.

Chapter 4: Manaita no ue no kohitsuji (Part 2)
(The Lamb on the Chopping Block, Part Two)
Amakusa and Kosaku meet at the gym for a photo session. Jiro becomes enraged at Kosaku's good-natured attitude and throws a punch at him, Kosaku blocks and gets distracted when Angela shows up. In the process he blackens Amakusa's other eye. Mukoda knows this is Kosaku's last chance to stay in boxing and trains him hard for the fight. Kosaku loses weight as he should and is in top shape. Angela praises him, but Mukoda is not sure he can last. That night Angela finds Kosaku sneaking off with a bag of snacks. She follows him to his apartment and as he is about to start eating, punches him in the stomach. She tells him he's throwing everything away and he realizes his mistake. She tells him she won't give up on him, and he excitedly embraces her before being knocked out by a victory statue he had on his shelf.

Chapter 5: Manaita no ue no kohitsuji (Part 3)
(The Lamb on the Chopping Block, Part Three)
Kosaku makes his weigh in, but has become depressed from lack of eating. Mukoda, Angela and Ishida take him out for a nice meal, but he complains that it isn't enough food. Mukoda then gives him a larger portion, which Kosaku happily devours. Mukoda is shocked, as he thought Kosaku would instantly throw it up. Ishida rushes him to the bathroom and tries to force him to get sick, but it doesn't work. That night, the match begins and Mukoda knows that one good body blow will have Kosaku hurling all over the ring again. As the bell rings Kosaku comes out swinging, winning the first round. In round two however, Amakusa can see how tired he is and gives him a strong punch in the gut at the end of the round. Kosaku is saved by the bell, but throws up in his corner. Angela begs the Coach to throw in the towel, but Kosaku makes her swear on a Bible that she won't give up on him. In the third round, Amakusa repeatedly nails Kosaku, but becomes overzealous and slips in a puddle of throw-up, sending him straight into Kosaku's fist. Kosaku wins the match and is ready to start pigging out again.

Chapter 6: Kohitsuji-domo no yume no ato (Part 1)
(The Remains of Dreams, Part One)
Kosaku is trying to keep cool in the hot summer months by munching on a popsicle, and Mukoda becomes so frustrated that he ends up needed bedrest. Mr. Tsukuda from a rival gym shows up and offers a match between Kosaku and a four-rounder named Kappei Onimaru. Mukoda refuses to lower Kosaku to a four round match, but when Kosaku hears that he would have to move up to welterweight status, he readily agrees. He goes to visit Angela and tells her the good news, she is surprised to hear he won't have to watch his weight anymore, but she sees how happy he is. Later, Onimaru visits the gym to meet Kosaku and when he sees him pigging out he becomes so enraged that he bursts a punching bag.

Chapter 7: Kohitsuji-domo no yume no ato (Part 2)
(The Remains of Dreams, Part Two)
Sister Angela visits Kosaku at the gym and is amazed at how well he can box on a full stomach. Even Mukoda is shocked to see that he hasn't lost any of his power or speed. As Kosaku walks Angela home, they meet Onimaru, who takes them to his house. He tells them that the last few opponents he's faced have gone on to become some of Japan's top boxers, but he won't allow Kosaku to join them. His wife appears, and encourages Kosaku to knock her husband out. She is pregnant and wants him to give up on boxing before their baby comes. Back at the gym, Kosaku spars with Shunpei, and it is revealed that Kosaku's punches are finally slowing down, along with the rest of his body.

Chapter 8: Kohitsuji-domo no yume no ato (Part 3)
(The Remains of Dreams, Part Three)
Kosaku decides not to cancel the fight with Onimaru, as he wants to see if training his way really will work. The day of the match, Onimaru's wife shows up with Sister Angela, and she begins berating her husband for entering another match. As she yells at him, she goes into labor. Kosaku encourages Angela to go with Onimaru's wife to the hospital. As the match begin, Onimaru floors Kosaku with his first punch. Mukoda realizes that its all over for Kosaku.

Chapter 9: Kohitsuji-domo no yume no ato (Part 4)
(The Remains of Dreams, Part Four)
Kosaku recovers from his knockdown and goes back on the attack, he and Onimaru trade blows throughout the fight, scoring two double knockdowns. Angela stays with Onimaru's wife until the baby is born and then she rushes back to Korakuen Hall to see the end of the match. She makes it just in time to see the second double knock out, which Kosaku manages to recover from, while Onimaru stays down on the canvas. Both men are badly bruised after the fight as they go to visit Onimaru's new baby. He is shocked that he now has a new daughter, but is proud of himself, because he gave the fight everything he had. Meanwhile, Kosaku decides that weight training is probably a better idea that he once imagined.


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