The Curtain Rises (開幕ベル, Kaimaku Beru) is the 1st chapter of the Karakuri Circus manga series.
The chapter opens up with Narumi Kato introducing himself, until he is approached by a boy with a big suitcase, who asks him can he take him to the circus. Narumi choices to ignores the boy, and starts to explain why he doesn't have time to take care of the kid. His father worked in the import-export industry and he lived in China for some time. During his stay he became crazy about Kung-Fu, as he was in his element. When all of a sudden he became ill with a rare disease known as the Zonapha Syndrome, which has no cure. All the symptoms of the disease will disappear if he can make people laugh.
He explains basically if he doesn't make people laugh, he'll die. That's why he's dressed like a bear and giving leaflets out for a circus, to make passers-by laugh and to save his life. The first several days no one laughed when they saw them and begins to bang his chest, claiming he can't breathe anymore. When the boy with a big suitcase laughs, Narumi becomes relived, knowing he's been saved. Narumi then walks over to the boy to discuss something with him, but stops. He sees the boy being attacked and calling for help, he realizes it's a kidnapping and the people around him don't realize it. Narumi rushes over towards the boy and begins a fight with the men trying to take him, telling them he'll kick their asses. After fighting with the men, the boy approaches him claiming they need to run away. Narumi picks him up and begins to run away until, the boy remarks about his suitcase being left behind. Narumi goes back for the suitcase and runs away.
After boarding a train from Milkado Josui Station, Narumi asks the boy who were those men, after their fight and claims what's the meaning behind all of it. The boy tells him he has a strange looking face than he thought and begins to cry claiming it's his fault. Narumi tells him to laugh quickly, but the boy continues to tell him something. He was threatened by Narumi to laugh otherwise he'll kick his ass, but the boy claims he doesn't understand, to which he is then forced to smile.
Narumi then introduces himself to the boy, who introduces himself as Masaru Saiga. Masaru explains the people came after his father's death, the president of Saiga Enterprise. Who had died when he lost control of his car, when it seems he had run over something, some sort of big puppet. He claims he remembers something his grandfather said, and thinks back to when his grandfather told him about puppets, and was told, when things happen run away and take the suitcase with him, as "Shirogane" will protect him. Narumi and Masaru discuss between themselves, who is Shirogane and what to do next, until a man in a black suit steps on the train. Masaru attempts to fight him, until he is picked and almost thrown out the window. Looking outside Masaru saw another man and panicked, until the train hit him, revealing him to be a doll.
As the train derails Narumi gets the man, and sends him out the window. The train then crashes into a circus tent. Stood outside Masaru comes under attack from the puppet, and starts calling for Shirogane. Suddenly a spot light shines on a girl high above the ground, stood on a tight rope. The woman jumps down and opens Masaru's suitcase and tells him to stay back, referring to him as master. Using a puppet that had come from Masaru's suitcase, she destroys the black-suited puppet.
Characters In Order of AppearanceEdit