During the story: Noa drops her camera on the roof top, breaking it. She goes into a camera store and meets Suoh, a young man who owns the store. Not sure what it is about him that draws her attention, Noa thinks Suoh looks lonely and she tries to find out more about him. But Suoh doesn't talk much, especially about himself, making him mysteriously appealing to Noa. Suoh and Shuichi rent a room in the old building that Shuichi took Noa to.
Background information: Kusanagi, Suoh was born in a small village on the coast of Japan. The Kusanagi family had been fishers for many generations. Kusanagi grew up in a small house with his father, older brother and sister, his uncle and aunt. Kusanagi's mother died giving birth to him, his brother blames him for her death. His brother would beat him up but his sister (the oldest child) would always put a stop to it. Kusanagi grew up withdrawn from everybody else, despite his sister's best efforts. At a young age his sister showed him some paintings that their mother had done. They were all of the ocean, light houses, fishermen bringing in the catch of the day, and the like. His favorite past time became looking at his mother's pictures and trying to imitate them. Kusanagi finally got to join his father, brother, and uncle on their fishing trips when he was nine. By age fifteen he's very good and views himself as an expert. One day he's out by himself and he gets caught in a sudden storm, his boat capsize and he almost drowns. After two days of floating in the water he's washed on to the beach. When he becomes conscious his sister tells him that their father and uncle went out on the ocean to find him, but they drowned. Kusanagi's brother blames him, and for the first time he starts to wonder if his mothers death really is his fault, along with his father and uncle. For a while he stays and tries to go on like everything is normal, but since the storm Kusanagi has developed a fear of water and can't continue fishing, so he leaves the village of his youth and travels around. Eventually, Kusanagi moves to the city and opens up a camera shop. Because he's short on money he puts an add in the paper looking for a room mate. Shuichi is the only one who replies to it, they've been room mates for a year.