03-31-2012 09:00 PM
Dang I gotta restart this. I don't remember what's going on. You're such a talented writer, but I think your biggest problem (other than the ones we talked about before) is how long between chapters. I think you might have a lot more readers if you were able to pump them out a little faster. I know you're a perfectionist when it comes to your work and I appreciate that, but it does make it a little difficult to keep track of what's going on.
04-01-2012 06:57 PM
04-29-2012 09:50 PM
I know I'm later than I want to be on this (there's a lot I want to put into this next chapter; enough said for now), but I'm now half-way done with KIGUMA chapter 11.
Also, I've edited the opening posts for each chapter to include sound effects director Shizuo Kurahashi as a staff member. Because there's no point in having a sound effects assistant (Sachiko Nishi from Sound Box) without a sound effects director.
05-20-2012 12:33 PM
Wow hey I did not see that this updated again I'll try to get to reading it I've just kind of been.... not around much really haha (seriously the last time I even logged in or posted was back in april) I'll read it soon!!
05-22-2012 07:52 AM
I can see how that is. Well, when things get back in order for you, I can't wait to hear what you have to say. And it's pretty interesting too... I came here to look back at old KIGUMA chapters as a resource for my progress on chapter 11, and the fact that this had a new response surprised me, in a pleasant manner, of course. And it's recent too.
This week is going to be a good week.
(Also, have you heard about Toonami's return and the new anime premiering on it this Saturday?)
05-30-2012 08:57 PM
05-31-2012 03:45 PM
CORRECTION: The doorway to the kitchen area as described in episode 9 actually leads into the dining area. Edits have already been made.
Speaking of which, this chapter will be more talky and descriptive than it is actiony. Also, no OP, and end credits play in episode, plus another post-credits sequence. Which is why the chapter is longer than usual.
(MUSIC: “never the same (instruments only)” by Takkyu Ishino)
OPENING NARRATION (SHIHO)
AT THE START OF OUR JOURNEY, MY ONLY PURPOSE IN THE KIKYUUREN WAS TO TAKE OVER AS LEADER WHENEVER TOSHIO CALLED ME OUT, AND TO PROTECT ITS MEMBERS ON OUR WAY TO TOKYO. NOTHING MORE, NOTHING LESS. HOWEVER, IT WASN'T LONG AFTER OUR TREK TO THE KIGUMA STARTED THAT I MET HER. IT WAS MY ENCOUNTER WITH HER THAT GAVE ME MY OWN REASONS FOR USING THE KIGUMA LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. SURE, SHE MAY HIT ME, CALL ME NAMES, AND OVERALL DISLIKE ME, BUT NONE OF THAT STUFF IS OF ANY HARM TO ME. I STILL LOVE HER NONETHELESS. SO IT'S ONLY NATURAL THAT I'D RISK EVERYTHING FOR HER AND MAKE SURE SHE'S SAFE NO MATTER WHAT THE SITUATION. BUT I ALSO CAN'T HELP BUT WORRY FOR HER AT TIMES LIKE THESE. *sigh* MISTRESS...
The episode begins at the beach along the shores of Hamakai in the neighborhood of Tairanumanouchi Suwabara; the same one where Nana lives. The sky is still clear as a bell, the sun directly overhead, but it's appearing to take on a more dull azure color, given the say's progression past the events beforehand. Birds squawk in the distance, out at sea. The beach, at the moment, is now nearly barren, a contrast to just a while before. The tent Toshio set up is still there, the opening flaps blowing in the wind slightly. Over near the sole rock formation brimming with trees, some of which are now broken and collapsed, lies Iva's Shirotero, against the sand in front of the edge of the forestated rock. The three protrusions on its left arm are gone, the middle protrusion on its forehead absent as well. Its red eye has a crack in it – a dull crack from a body part rather than a sharp crack from a bullet – and the exposed core in its chest burst open, smoking from the cracks still.
(MUSIC: “rise down” by Takkyu Ishino)
Inside the cockpit of the Shirotero, Iva lies back in her pilot seat. The green lighting that was given is now gone, and is instead replaced by a shadowy representation of the interior: a seat with a control panel to the left, right, and center of the pilot, as well as two handlebars with grips that can control movements. Iva lies in the seat, her head turned to the side as if she's unconscious. Her left hand is still gripping the left control handle, but her right is lying down by her side. She continues to lie unconscious for a few more seconds, her eyes closed and her mouth partially opened, accenting her lightly colored yet easily noticable lips.
But then, a noise of something heavy and mechanical touching upon the ground around the Shirotero wakes Iva up, but gently so; her eyes flutter open as the noise is made, and she looks to the right afterward. “Huh?” She gently raises her head, looking up at the front of the Shirotero's interior cockpit, now visible thanks to the disappearance of the screen that normally appears before them on a regular basis during piloting. “What the...”
Suddenly, a pounding sound is heard, and then a shout. “Hey! You still alive in there!?”
Iva gasps. “That voice.” Breathing softly, Iva gets out of her sitting position and onto her knees, pressing her hands against the control panel as she looks high up, her mouth open and her eyes wide.
From her POV, Iva sees the “eye” of the Shirotero be removed from the head and set aside, allowing the light from above to shine in. Numerous dust spots sparkle in the bright yellowish-white light that floods into the cockpit, lightening it up to emphasize the colors more clearly. Looking down into the cockpit, a stern if somewhat concerned expression across his face, is...
Iva then gets off her knees and onto the control panel (the POV showing a focus on her clothed ass), stepping up towards the entrance. She reaches her arm up toward the hole made in the entrance, and Daisuke grabs her hand pulling her out. As she's pulled out of the cockpit, Iva puts her free hand on the outside of the Shirotero, lifting the rest of her body out of it and resting her knees against the outer edge of the hole. She inhales and exhales for a few seconds after getting out, looking up at Daisuke in gratitude right after, a warm smile on her face; strange for her trigger-happy nature.
Daisuke gives Iva a small smile, but just as quickly as that smile first appeared, it disappears. Daisuke closes his eyes and raises his hand, resting his middle finger atop his thumb to make an O shape if viewed from the side, and flicks it forward, hitting Iva in the forehead.
Iva yelps and holds her forehead in pain, gritting her teeth. She looks up afterward at Daisuke, clearly more angered than before. “Hey, what was that for, jerk!?”
Daisuke moves his hand back and crosses his arms. “I did it 'cause you went off and did your own thing with the mission instead of going it like you told us before.” He opens his eyes and shouts at Iva again. “Isn't that obvious enough for you to understand!?”
Iva stands up, looking down at Daisuke as she moves her hand back in a pose, almost. “Of course! But I didn't think about that option from the get-go, now did I!?”
Daisuke stands up with his hands in his pockets, a bit calmer than before. “That's right, you didn't. Now then.” Daisuke reaches out and grabs Iva by the back, picking her up and carrying her in his arms.
Iva is a little confused and startled as she's picked up, but not confused or startled enough to yelp or scream. After being put in Daisuke's arms, she looks up at him, a little sassy in the face. “I don't need to be carried; I'm perfectly fine, y'know.” After a second, she takes on a face of realization. A second later, she forms a mischevious grin. “Unless... you're coming on to me, aren'tcha, (ya flirt?”)
(Daisuke's eyes open wide in shock at Iva's response,) but narrow once again as he turns his head away. “Please, I'm not trying to be romantic or anything like that... The grappling craft just can't seat two people.”
As Daisuke says this the POV zooms out to show a full shot of the scene. The grappling craft – a white aerial vehicle with helicopter blades, a glass-domed one-seater cockpit for the pilot, a cylinder containing machinery, and a grey claw-grabber with four claws – rests around the Shirotero, the claws surrounding its torso. The three missing protrusions from the left side are resting in the area between its head and upper torso, drooping down to either side.
“The only way I can take you back in there is on my lap.”
“Hmm...” Iva hums in a manner that shows centrally displeasure, but gives a hint of satisfaction.
The scene immediately cuts to inside the grappling craft's cockpit. The control panel in front has numerous buttons in neat rows, and in the center of it all, a small screen that acts as a sort of GPS, giving a map view of Hamakai. Daisuke presses a button and flips a switch below the screen. Outside, the grappling craft's blades start to rotate, the claw-grabber at the bottom clenching onto the Shirotero, lifting it up along with it. As it heads toward the sky, the copters go in front of the sun, illuminating it as it goes up.
Inside the cockpit, Daisuke continues to pilot the grappling craft by moving the stick shift in the front forward and to the left and right. Iva sits in his lap, her hands in her own lap and her head leaning against the glass as she looks out in the front. Her feet are propped up against the other side.
“So, I guess I really did screw up, didn't I?”
“I wouldn't say that.”
Iva gasps and looks up at Daisuke, her eyes sparking a little as if she's a little girl. “So you thought I did great?”
Daisuke looks up and smirks. “Believe me, you f*cked up quite a lot, all things considered.”
Iva lets out a groan of disappointment, the joy in her face disappearing.
Daisuke looks forward again. “But when I saw the live link Natsuko sent me of the fight's end, you actually put up a decent effort against Shiho.” He glances down at Iva from out of the corner of his eye. “I'll have to give you props for that.”
Iva looks up at Daisuke, blinking once before smiling again. “Thanks, Daisuke.”
Daisuke smiles in return. “No prob.”
Iva looks down and to the side again, her smile fading. “But, believe it or not, it isn't losing that's bothering me this time.”
“Hm? Then what is?”
“Well... This time, it didn't seem like Shiho was against us because of Operation BSA. It was more about the girl with her. (The one she called her 'Mistress'.”)
(The scene cuts to a flashback to episode 10. First, a shot of Shiho standing atop the Shirotero with her rifle pointed at it, and Hekireki in her arms, scared with partially open eyes as she holds onto Shiho's side. It then cuts to a shot of her looking down at it in more worry than fear.)
Daisuke looks down at Iva, a bit puzzled. “'Mistress'?”
Iva nods. “Yeah.” She looks back at Daisuke. “It's just worrying me, exactly what's so important about someone like her.”
Daisuke looks down at Iva in return for a few more seconds before looking forward. “Don't worry about it.”
The grappling craft flies south, away from the beach as it moves higher into the air, the Shirotero still in tow. The POV pans down back towards Hamakai, focusing on Nana's house specifically. It pans down as Daisuke continues to speak with Iva.
“If there's something you should worry about, it's the Prime Minister cussing you out for failing this round of the mission. Whatever the deal is with Shiho and her 'Mistress' is someone else's problem entirely.”
The scene cuts to inside of Nana's house, the central setting being an upstairs hallway. The walls are a yellowish shade, which is easy to tell from the little bits of light from the window at the end shining in on it; the rest of the hallway is dark, so it can't easily be told what color it is. The floor is carpeted, displaying a fancy-looking design made up of various shades of green, yellow, red, pink, and white; the kind you'd find on the floor of the hallways of an American hotel. Doors line either wall, three doors on the left side (two of which are actually a double-door for one room), two on the right, and one at the opposite end of the hallway. The place where a third door should be on the right, given the spacing patterns between the first two doors, is instead replaced by an opening for where a stairwell would go, some light shining from it as well.
Coming up from that stairwell area are Johnny and Cujo, both still wearing the bathing suits Toshio bought for them; Johnny a blue bathing suit, and Cujo a black bathing suit with diagonal dark blue stripes. He walks into the hallway and down it, his hands on either side of his mouth so his shouting, as slightly quiet as it is for yelling, can be heard.
“Hey, coz, where are you? Come on out!”
Cujo follows behind Johnny, yelling out without needing to use his hands to amplify it. “He's right, Thundert*ts! Get the f*ck out here! We know you're in here somewhere!”
Cut to the edge of the hallway. The shot focuses on a wooden door with two square carvings on top, and four rectangular carvings – both vertical, two rows of two – below it. To the right is a window, sourcing a majoirty of the light shining into the hallway.
“Hey! Where are you hiding out? Coz!” Johnny continues to yell as he reaches the door.
“In here...” a voice, presumably Hekireki's, answers from behind the door.
“Ah!” Johnny says as he opens the door. “There she is.” Johnny opens up the door to the room.
Cujo appears behind Johnny and looks down at him as he opens the door. “No sh*t, Limey-Lover. After all, she slept in here.”
Just as the two first step into the room, they look up. A second later, their faces turn to ones of confusion and surprise. “Enh?”
The inside of the bedroom is very nearly bare, save for a few things. Against the wall facing the door are two windows, both lighting up the unlit room plenty. The floor is carpeted, in a pattern similar to that of the hallway, but save for a desk with drawers on either side of the open space for the chair accompanying it to be pushed into and a mirror, as well as a single bed facing the door and backed up against the right window, there's nothing else there.
“Eh?” Sitting on the bed facing the door is Hekireki, her hair now slightly wavy like it is when she sleeps and after she showers, and just as simultaneously confused and surprised as Johnny and Cujo. The other two's surprise can partly be justified, seeing how Hekireki is naked; although her legs and arms, the former bent in a stretched-out sort of manner and the latter crossed over her rack, cover up the places that count. After a second, her surprised confusion disappears and she yells at the two of them. “Don't look!”
Giving off a startled noise behind their clenched teeth in reaction to Hekireki, Johnny and Cujo both swiftly turn around to avoid looking at Hekireki.
“Not you, Junichi.”
“Oh, alright then.” Johnny turns around and walks forward, moving off to the left.
Cujo turns his head and looks at the ground while facing the wall to his left, letting out an annoyed scowl. “Lucky b*stard...”
Hekireki lowers her crossed arms. “Hey, Junichi and I are cousins. Also, he's gay. So I don't really mind him seeing me naked.”
Johnny stops and looks at Hekireki. “Whatever made you think I was like that? Besides, why are you in the nuddy1, anyways?”
“Oh, this?” Hekireki looks down at herself, moving her arms off to the side2. “That nasty orange stuff that mecha from Ryudis, that Shirotero, trapped me in messed up the swimsuit that kid bought for me, so I took it off.” She looks over at Johnny. “Say, could you get me some clothes from my bag? Just a shirt and some panties'll do.”
Johnny nods. “Sure thing.” Johnny walks over to a bag in the corner of the room, resting alongside Hekireki's purse and some bags big enough to hold band equipment. It was in a corner adjacent to a sliding door into what appears to be a closet.
Cujo continues to stand, his head turned back to the front as he looks down at the floor. “Still doesn't explain why you'd leave the f*ckin' door unlocked.”
“Or why you couldn't just dress yourself,” Johnny adds in as he grabs a pair of lacy red panties and a T-shirt from the bag, setting them on the floor.
“Yeah, about that...” Hekireki glances down onto the floor, appearing a little more dazed as her mouth sits partially open.
Just then, a flashback to episode 10 of Shiho standing up and looking down at Hekireki, smiling as she does so. Followed by a close-up of her face.
She turns her head away, blushing as slight tears start to well up in the corners of her eyes again. “I don't wanna talk about it.”
“Aw, why not?” Johnny asks as he approaches her bed, dropping the clothes beside her.
“I just don't, alright?” Hekireki takes the panties and puts them on.
Johnny's face then gets serious, showing a rarer side of his personality. “It's about what happened with Miss Shiho earlier, isn't it?”
Hekireki's eyes widen as she gasps, turning her head away as she grabs her T-shirt and putting it in her lap. “Of course not! What does Freak Girl have to do with anything!?”
Just as Hekireki starts to put on the T-shirt, Cujo glances back and turns around. “You weren't all that scared when you described your earlier 'swimsuit malfunction' to us. If it ain't Sniper B*tch that's got you holed up in here, then you've got no excuse.”
As Cujo finishes speaking, Hekireki pulls her T-shirt over her head and down so she's now wearing it. It's an off-white T-shirt with the words “アジカンライブ in 武道館 – 2012.02.22-233” or “Ajikan4 Live in Budokan – 2012.02.22-23” on it – the ア, ラ, and 武 in red as a contrast to the rest of the text's black color.
Hekireki looks back up at Cujo after putting her shirt back on. “Will you just shut up? It doesn't matter, anyway.”
Johnny squats down and looks at Hekireki. “Listen, Hekireki.”
“Hm?” Hekireki turns to look at Johnny.
The POV switches to behind Hekireki's head, showing her looking at Johnny and Cujo, the latter of the two moving closer into the room. The former of the two resumes speaking to Hekireki. “You don't have to lie to our faces; we know you better than that.” He leans in a little closer, putting his hand on the bed. “So tell us: why'd you run away from Shiho? What was it that made you run in here and hide from her?”
Hekireki looks at Johnny, softening up a little bit as she blushes. She then looks down. “Well, you see...”
Johnny and Cujo move their faces in closer, anticipating what their bandmate has to say. “Go on...” Johnny urges.
Hekireki continues to look down, trembling slightly in nervousness. After a few seconds, she just closes her eyes and faces the two of them with slight fear but mostly confidence.
“I think... I might be in love with Freak Girl.”
(MUSIC: “unwilling mistress” by Takkyu Ishino)
The room stays silent for a few seconds afterward. Cujo just looks at Hekireki, unimpressed, but Johnny looks at her with what appears to be surprise.
“Wait, does that mean you're...”
Hekireki nods, embarrassed. “Yes, I am.”
“Wah!” Johnny gasps, putting his hand over his mouth as he does so. Cujo gets on his knees and gives him a dirty look via a glance. “Oh, coz! I had no idea that you were Sapphic5!”
Cujo turns his head and looks at Johnny. “The f*ck's that even mean, Limey-Lover?”
Johnny turns his own head and leans in towards Cujo's ear, whispering into it. “It means that she's a lesbian.”
“Oh...” Cujo says, more interested than he is concerned. He turns to Hekireki as Johnny moves back to the way he was before. “Well, well, Thundert*ts. I never expected you to swing that way.”
Hekireki growls under her breath. “Shut your hole.”
Cujo leans back, shrugging as he smiles like a jerk. “Guess that explains why you hate my guts, then.” He leans his head forward, looking at Hekireki. “Because you're not into guys?”
Hekireki leans forward, her hands on either side of her body as she starts yelling at him. “No! I hate you because of all the stupid crap you do, Mr. Superiority Complex!”
Cujo growls, clenching his fists. “Why you...”
But before he can do anything, Johnny turns to Cujo, trying to hold him back by moving his hands up and down slowly, the palms facing the ground. “Now, now, Cujo. Let's not go attacking her, now.” Johnny moves back and looks at Hekireki, now less worried about a confrontation and now as serious and thoughtful as he was before. “Besides, none of that has to do with what matters. Right, coz?”
Hekireki, still a bit angry and still a bit embarrassed, nods. “Yes.”
“That's good.” Johnny lowers his head and puts his thumb to his chin. “Hm...” He then looks up at Hekireki. “So, you said you were in love with Shiho, right?”
Hekireki nods. “Yeah, but I'm not really that sure.” She leans her head back and looks to the right. “It could just be my emotions toying with me or something, I don't know. Whatever it is, it's why I have these feelings for her now.”
“It still makes no sense why you'd go to this from hating her guts, Thundert*ts.”
Hekireki closes her eyes and lowers her head, facing Cujo. “No, Cujo, that's wrong. I hate you, not Freak Girl.” She opens her eyes. “Besides, it's not like my dislike's gone for good. (I still think she's perverted, intrusive, an out-and-out freak, and maybe a little crazy. But she just saved my life several minutes ago, and even told me how much she cared about me.”)
(Cut to a number of flashbacks. First, episode 4, where, in Yuri's apartment, Shiho is rubbing herself up against a freaked-out Hekireki. Next, episode 2, where, in the bedroom of one of the houses they stayed at in Aizubange, Shiho crawls up to Hekireki while on the bed, the former with a lustful look in her eyes and the latter with fright and anger simultaneously expressing themselves in her own eyes. Later, episode 7, where, in the kitchen of the house over in Tateishiyama, Shiho prepares to undo the ribbon keeping the apron she's wearing (the only thing she's wearing, to be specific) from coming off only to be stopped by Hekireki. Then, episode 8, where, in midair over Kaiya, Shiho shoots her rifle point-blank at the “core” of Daisuke's Shirotero, shattering it into pieces done in a straight-line quadrilateral style. After that, episode 10, where Shiho, with Hekireki in hand, fires down at Iva's Shirotero and blows it up. Finally, another episode 10 scene where Shiho, on her knees with her hands in her lap and her eyes closed, smiles at Hekireki, followed by Hekireki's reaction of blushing with widened eyes.)
Hekireki looks down and off to the side, a couple strands of her hair dangling in front of her blue-contacted eyes. “I feel obligated to her. I can't turn away her gratitude in the way I've acted towards her up to this point. And yet I don't want her to have any farfetched assumptions if I show the least bit of blatant affection.” She moves her head back up and looks at her two bandmates. “So, I want to start things off with her slowly.”
Johnny moves back, smiling at Hekireki's decision as he claps his hands. “That's good!”
“So, how slow're we talkin'?” Cujo asks. “Slow enough so Sniper B*tch knows you've got the hots for her?”
“That's not slow at all, moron!” Hekireki grabs the pillow behind her and throws it at Cujo, hitting him square in the face.
As Cujo falls to the floor, Johnny gets off his feet and rushes toward him to help him out. “Cujo!”
Hekireki moves her arm back and looks down again. “I ran because I had no idea what to do after Freak Girl saved me. I'm hung up on exactly what I should do. But now that I think about it...” She looks up. “I'm going to thank her for saving me.”
Johnny is over at the foot of the bed, helping Cujo sit up straight as he holds his left hand with one hand and puts the other against Cujo's back. After hearing Hekireki's reaction, Johnny looks at her smiling. “That's great!”
“There's just one problem, though.”
“Hm? What's that?”
Hekireki looks off to the side, blushing in embarrassment. “I'm a little nervous around her like this... So it'll be tough for me to show her my appreciation.”
Johnny and Cujo look at Hekireki, the former with concern and the latter as unimpressed as usual.
05-31-2012 03:46 PM - edited 12-27-2012 12:38 PM
The scene cuts to a little later in the day, in the courtyard to the immediate left of Nana's house. Shiho is sitting at the in one of the chairs surrounding the table the furthest back from the street the house is off of. She's back in her standard getup of a black tanktop, olive green cargo pants, and brown military boots, although the sniper gun she usually carries with her is missing. She sits in the chair at that table, shaded from the sunny cloudless sky with the red and white parasol covering the table area, her left arm resting on the table as her right hand holds onto a drinking glass filled with ice water. Shiho takes a small sip at first, causing the ice that dominates the glass to shift their position, and then continues to drink from it via the straw inside it, which she used for that first sip. The way she looks down at the table, coupled with the intervals between her drinking of the water, show that she's a little hung up on something herself. However, after a few more sips through the straw...
“Excuse me. Miss Shiho?”
“Mm?” Shiho looks up from the table, to see Yuri standing at another side of the circular table. She's also changed out of her swimsuit, having gotten into a white, short-sleeved shirt as loose-fitting as the ones she normally wears (despite showing a bit of her arm scars like the swimsuit did) and green cotton pants. She stands, her hands behind her back, smiling at Shiho. Shiho moves her hand away from her drink. “Oh, hi there, Yuri. What's up?”
Yuri looks off to the side, blushing slightly out of shyness. “Well, I haven't had the chance to tell you before, but...” Yuri looks back at Shiho. “Thanks for saving me earlier.”
“Oh?” Shiho smiles, putting her hands around her water glass. “No problem, then!”
Yuri smiles back. Behind her, Ai, having switched into a red T-shirt displaying a couple of musical notes on it, as well as a skirt, walks out onto the courtyard as well. She walks forward so she's next to Yuri, stopping herself as she looks at Shiho.
“You know, I didn't have the chance to say it either.” As Ai says this, Shiho turns her head slightly to look at her. “So thanks!”
Shiho closes her eyes and smiles again. “You're welcome!”
“Seems a little coincidental for you two to be doing something like that right now, isn't it?”
“Hm?” Shiho, Yuri, and Ai all look up and to the left (and for Shiho, behind her), to see Nana walking towards them. She is wearing a black and white diagonally-striped blouse (but even then, it's only a handful of stripes), a red skirt, and some knee-high stillettos. She has her glasses on and her blonde hair hanging down as usual, but she doesn't have any lipstick on.
Nana then chuckles under her breath a little and walks over to the table, past Yuri and Ai. “You mind if I sit here?”
Shiho shakes her head. “Not at all.”
Nana pulls out the chair and sits in it. Yuri and Ai walk off as Nana sits, putting her arms down on the table.
Shiho looks at Nana again, a little nervous. “I'm sorry, I don't think I properly introduced myself to you,” she says as she closes here eyes and puts her hands together, nodding her head twice in apology.
“Hm?” Shiho stops and looks up at Nana.
Nana leans back, smirking a bit as she points to Yuri and Ai off in the distance. “Those two over there told me all about you.” Her smirk fades as she lowers her arm. “A little too much, I might add.” She then puts her elbows on the table as she crosses her fingers with one another, intertwining them with interest. “Anyways, seeing how they thanked you for earlier, I might as well do the same.” She lets out a small smile. “That said, thanks for earlier.”
Shiho smiles a little sheepishly. “You mean that, right?”
Nana moves her arms back, putting them behind her head. “Of course. I would've almost died if it hadn't been for you. (In fact, you seem to be more honest than most.”
Shiho moves closer, pointing at Nana in a leisurely sort of way. “Well I should be thanking you then!”)
(As the two continue their conversation, Cujo, Johnny, and Hekireki watch from behind the opened sliding door from the kitchen leading out to the courtyard. The kitchen itself is faded in color, part of it due to shading from the lack of light coming into the kitchen plus the lack of lights on in the kitchen. There are a series of cabinets, plus a pantry, over by the sliding door, and part of an eating counter sticks out from the edge of the screen, as if it made a turn or something. Johnny is now wearing his standard pastel cardigan and khakis, Cujo a black long-sleeved shirt with slightly torn jeans, and Hekireki the same shirt she was wearing before, only with some jeans to go along with it. Cujo is standing on one side of the door, and Hekireki, eating from a bag of kaki-pi, on the other, with Johnny between the two.)
“See?” Cujo asks, holding his hand out. “Even the Doctor B*tch thanked her for what she did, and she hates everybody!” He then turns to Hekireki. “So this should be easy for you!”
Hekireki stops eating from the bag and glances down at the floor, still a bit nervous. “I dunno...”
Johnny turns to Hekireki, smiling. “Don't worry, coz! I'm sure you'll do just splendid!”
Cujo takes the kaki-pi bag from Hekireki, causing her to gasp in offense, and then puts his hand against her back, pushing her out of the sliding door. “Now off you go!”
Hekireki yelps as she's forced out into the courtyard. After she's out, she angrily turns around to face the two guys inside the kitchen. “Wait a minute-!”
Cujo interrupts her by closing the door and turning the lock so she can't get back inside.
Hekireki looks at the door, her mouth agape in shock and awe at what Cujo just did. She then straightens herself up, clenching her fists as she gives off a slightly sour look. “D*mmit...” She then turns around and starts walking toward the table Shiho and Nana are at.
Meanwhile, Shiho and Nana's conversation managed to go elswehere entirely. “By the way, I have a bit of errands that need running. You mind doing them?”
Shiho shakes her head. “Of course not!” At that point she turns her head toward the door and opens her eyes. Her smile disappears slightly as her mouth makes an o-shape that occurs during slight surprise. Shiho notices Hekireki walking towards her, the latter clearly displeased about it. Shiho then smiles again. “But first, I have to do something myself.” Shiho gets up and walks over towards Hekireki.
Nana leans back in her chair, putting her hands behind her head. “Take your time.”
Hekireki stops and takes a deep breath, closing her eyes and inhaling. As she exhales, Shiho stops in front of her. “Hi there, Mistress.”
Hekireki looks up, now less displeased and more nervous, blushing a bit more than before.
Shiho smiles. “It's a relief to see you back down here again.” She leans in. “So, you feeling better?”
Hekireki's eyes widen, some tears welling up as Shiho leans in.
Back inside the kitchen, Johnny and Cujo watch from inside. Johnny is leaning in, holding his hands together in hopes that Hekireki doesn't mess up. Cujo is leaning in, making circular motions with his right hand. “Go on...”
“I-I-I-” Hekireki stutters a bit as she continues to stand. After a few seconds, she closes her widened eyes and raises her head up, looking back at Shiho afterward, opening her eyes as she leans in, as mad as she is with her as usual. “What's it matter to you how I'm feeling and what it is!?” Closing her eyes and lowering her head, Hekireki walks past Shiho. “Jeez, don't be so nosy about that kind of thing, Freak Girl.”
As she walks off, Shiho looks back behind her at Hekireki in concern, her hand held up to her mouth.
Back inside the kitchen, the reaction of the two guys is... well... considering that Johnny's head is lowered in defeat, and Cujo's looking up at the ceiling while facepalming, the reaction should be obvious. “Aw, f*ck.”
Shiho continues to look back, blinking once. “Mistress...”
“Don't worry about it.” Shiho turns to see Nana standing there, her hands on her hips as she looks at the ground. “She's still a little on edge, that's all.” She looks back up and removes one hand from her hip, making a motion for Shiho to follow her. “Now c'mon. The house isn't going to clean itself.”
Shiho nods. “Right!” She runs off to catch up with Nana.
Over near the edge of the courtyard, in front of the side of the shed the driveway into the property runs up to, Hekireki looks down at the ground, sighing numerous times. She then looks up, a determined look in her eye. “Crap, why'd I do that!? Looks like I'll have to go for it again!”
(MUSIC: “the beat is loose” by Takkyu Ishino)
Through a slide from one scene to the next, the setting switches to inside the upstairs hallway of Nana's house. Shiho is at the window at the end of the hallway, wiping away a spray-on cleaner she applied to the inside half of the window with a rag. Looking a bit worried from earlier despite having an overall neutral expression, she hums the chorus part of the ending theme as she cleans the window, standing up as a container of cleaning supplies sits at her feet. A yellow spray bottle with a red and white label on it is pulled out beside the box. After finishing cleaning the window the first time, Shiho bends down and picks up the spray bottle, spraying the liquid on the window again with two pulls of the “trigger”, about to clean it. But then...
“Hm?” Shiho turns around, lowering the spray bottle. Standing three feet or so away from her is Hekireki, looking down at the ground as she rubs her wrist behind her back. She's also blushing out of nervousness, as she was before. Shiho smiles and stands up, setting the spray bottle and rag on the interior windowsill. “Hello again, Mistress! Feeling better now?”
Hekireki looks up at Shiho, giving a small smile as she continues to blush. “Yeah, just fine.”
Shiho turns around to fully face Hekireki, her eyes closed as her smile grows. “That's good! (To tell the truth, I've been a bit worried. I was kind of hoping that my rescue of you would've softened the edge you were on before, but still, it's nice to see you're getting better.”)
(As Shiho speaks to Hekireki, Hekireki's shoulders tense and her cheeks become flushed with the red of nervousness, as if Shiho's words are making her even more skeptical about her decision while touching her at the same time.)
“That aside, what brings you up here?”
Hekireki's eyes shoot widen open for a second, only to go back to normal after one second; at that second, her hands become fists and she leans in at Shiho, flustered and slightly angry. “You're being real stalker-y, aren't you!? Wanting to know my every intention and stuff...” Hekireki walks up to the door to her room, opening it and walking in. “Just go back to your cleaning, okay!?” Hekireki then slams the door.
Shiho looks at the door in even more confusion, blinking once.
On the other side of the door, Hekireki, leaning her back against the door with her arms spread out, heavily sighs twice before looking up and forwards, the determined look in her eyes reappearing. “D*mn, I did it again! Welp, third time's the charm.”
By way of the sliding technique from earlier, the scene transitions to the foyer of Nana's house. The white walls are bare, save for the one to the left if one walks into the door, where there is a window looking out onto the courtyard. Past the entrance is a large opening leading into a living area with dark blue carpet, a grey L-shaped couch with a similarly colored regular couch sitting across from it, and a brown table in the middle. To the right of the living room area is a stairwell, only the first half of it visible as it starts from the far back and works its way forward, the railing ending at that halfway point. Johnny and Cujo are kneeling on the L-shaped couch, facing in the direction of the foyer for some-odd reason...
Shiho stands in the foyer, looking over towards her left, where the entrance to the great room – the living room where the Kikyuuren spoke with her before – is. “I'm heading out to get the stuff for dinner tonight, alright?”
“Sure!” Nana responds from the great room. “See you in a few!”
“See ya!” Shiho waves back at Nana as she turns her head back, walking towards the door.
“Hm?” Shiho looks up to see Hekireki standing in front of the door, looking off to the side while blushing. “Mistress?”
Hekireki looks right at Shiho, trying her best not to blush so easily. “Freak Girl, before you go, I... want to tell you something.”
Shiho blinks once. “Okay.” She closes her eyes and smiles. “So, what'd you like to tell me, Mistress?”
Hekireki looks down, her eyebrows angled downward and her teeth clenched as she continues attempt to hold back her blushing.
“Mistress, are you okay?”
Hekireki's eyes shoot open wide. She then raises her head, closing her eyes as she balls her hands into fists. “You know what!? Forget it!” She opens one of the two double doors leading outside, holding it open for Shiho as she continues to look down. “Just go and do your shopping, alright!?”
Shiho, having stood there for a few seconds with a blank look on her face, closes her eyes and smiles after nodding. “Of course.” She walks out, stretching her arm back to wave at Hekireki. “See you later!”
Once Shiho is out the door, Hekireki slams it behind her, producing a loud noise. Shiho stands out on the porch for a second, still smiling as she was before, but after that second, she opens her eyes and her smile disappears. Sighing, she turns around and looks at the door, blushing a little bit as her mouth lies only a small part of the way open, her face illustrating her concern for Hekireki.
“DAMMIT!” Back inside the foyer, Hekireki starts banging her head against the window looking out to the courtyard in the foyer. (Her hands on either edge of the window, she pulls her head back and hits the window again with her head, repeating the motions over and over. “Dammit, dammit, dammit, dammit, dammit!”)
(In the living room, Johnny and Cujo watch from the couch. “Is it just me, or is Hekireki kind of, I dunno... bad at this?”)
While Johnny looks on regularly, Cujo is facepalming again, his hand covering his whole face. He groans. “D*mn... My face is gonna be a f*ckin' crater if she keeps this sh*t up...” The banging stops.
Johnny looks at Cujo, sheepishly smiling. “Now, Cujo, you don't have to go that far.”
As Johnny speaks to Cujo, Hekireki walks up to the two of them. “Alright, guys, I've decided.”
“Hm?” Johnny looks up at Hekireki.
Cujo removes his palm from his face and looks up at her as well, unimpressed. “Decided what?”
Hekireki stands in front of them, her hands still balled into fists although they are pressed against her hips as a sign of determination. “I've decided to straight up give her my thanks, no chickening out about it like before.”
“Excellent!” Johnny smiles as he claps his hands together.
“What makes ya so sure ya aren't gonna f*ck it up this time?”
“Trust me.” Hekireki nods. “I'll be prepared for it.”
The scene cuts to later in the day. The sun is starting to set, the sky now taking on a hue that's orange at the bottom and blue at the top, a bit of purple in the mid-way. After an establishing shot of Nana's house, the setting switches to inside of her kitchen. The setup is a pretty simple rectangular room at first glance, but the layout of everything in the room is a little unique. The nearest part of the kitchen to the screen borders the living room area, with barely any wall separating the two rooms. Despite this, though, there is a small entrance to the far right of the living room leading into the kitchen, bordered to the right by the wall used to separate both rooms from the hallway running between it and the dining room on the other side. To the left of that entrance is a large eating counter, bordered on either side by a square-base pillar of wall on either side. The counter is made of a copper-colored marble material that rises up to about the average person's chest if they were to stand, and once ending at the leftmost wall pillar, it emerges at a perpendicular angle, staying within the kitchen until it reaches the sliding door leading out into the courtyard. Five steel barstools with four legs connected by a circular ring of metal a foot off the ground, each one fitted with a circular black leather seat, line up along the counter. On a level below that of the counter, but still connected to the island it belongs to, is a lower countertop, at the level of a standing person's waist. That countertop is grey in color, and in the middle, there is a sink with two steel basins side by side, each with a drain at the bottom. From the POV of someone standing in front of the sink, the dishwasher can be seen to the right, with a black door and steel handle at the top. On the side of the kitchen the farthest from the living room, there is a wooden pantry on the left side, and to the right of that, lining the top of the room, are cabinets with white bottoms and sides and brown wooden doors. Below those cabinets are a range and oven, the former with four burners, and to the right of that, a steel refrigerator with black handles and side trim. Applied to the fridge with magnets are a series of papers, too far away to read. Pans, ladles, and spatulas hang from metal hooks behind the oven and the counter beside it that's next to the refrigerator. On that counter is a rice cooker, and below it a door opening up to a bottom cabinet. Those same doors appear below the countertop on the kitchen-side island. The floor is hardwood, and the walls white. However, they are shaded a dim yellow color due to the circular lights installed into the ceiling above, giving the room more light than the light from outside did when the kitchen was dark6.
Shiho is in the kitchen, standing in front of the countertop on the kitchen-side island. She looks down, pondering with one hand on her hip and the other held up to her chin. “Hm... It doesn't look like there'll be enough for everyone.”
On the counter Shiho is facing, there are numerous food items. In the front are three packages of meat cuts, presumably brisket; each one is in a white styrofoam package and plastic wrapped with the information and price tags still on them. Two are stacked atop one another, the third at a slant with the one on the bottom of the aforementioned stack. Behind the meat are, laid out upon numerous cutting boards, potatoes (about 10 of them), orange carrots (7), onions (4), and cucumber (2). To the left of the meat packages are two red boxes labeled “源の極上 牛の吸い物” or “Minamoto's Finest Beef Stock” on the front, each with a white tab on top where it will be opened. A cutting knife, a vegetable peeler, and a black plastic ladle are set out to the right of the meat packages.
“Guess I'll have to dish up small servings, (then.”)
(Suddenly, the sound of knocking is heard.) Shiho turns her head to the left to see who it is. “Hm?”
Standing at the entrance from the hallway into the kitchen is Hekireki, peeking into the kitchen from behind the wall bordering the right side of the entrance point. After standing for a second, she steps out and walks into the kitchen making her appearance known. She looks much more confident than the previous times she tried to speak with her, but the light blushing in her cheeks shows the preservation of at least a little bit of nervousness and doubt.
Shiho quietly gasps in excitement. “Mistress!”
Hekireki walks in a little more, moving so that she's facing Shiho. “H-Hi there, Freak Girl.”
Shiho rubs the back of her head a little. “I've been seeing you around a lot today.” She stops the rubbing and opens her eyes. “And it doesn't seem to be coincidence, either.”
Hekireki looks at Shiho as she speaks, a little tense in appearance. But after she finishes, her muscles loosen up a little, her shoulders moving down just a tad. “Yeah, it isn't.”
“You wanted to tell me something earlier, right?”
Hekireki nods. “Right.” She moves in a little closer. “You see, Freak Girl, I-”
Hekireki gasps, moving back.
Shiho looks down, smiling in a more somber tone than before. “Before you tell me, I just want to say... there's no need to worry, Mistress.”
(MUSIC: “waltz for humanity” by Takkyu Ishino feat. Kou Gabriel Kameda)
Hekireki gasps, her eyes opening wider than before in reaction to Shiho's words.
“I've noticed that you've been on edge today, after what happened earlier.” The POV cuts to a shot placing the post separating the right edge of the counter from the living room/kitchen border to the far right, with Shiho visible to the left of it, rubbing her right arm with her left hand. “It hurts me to see you so worried like that, especially after I saved you.” Shiho looks down and closes her eyes, the POV immediately cutting to a shot where the post is on the left, and Hekireki is visible from the right of it, standing there in the same sense of awe she was in before. “You could say that it makes me worried myself, and I don't want that.” Shiho blushes a little as she continues to look down in her aforementioned worry. “So what I'm trying to tell you, Mistress, is that whatever you're going to say...” She closes her eyes and looks ahead, warmly smiling. “Go ahead and say it.”
Hekireki just stands there, still in awe, but this time with a bit of a blush. The sound of her nervousness can be heard through her gritted teeth, unnoticable due to her partially opened mouth.
“Hm?” Shiho looks at Hekireki in worry. “Mistress?” She walks closer to Hekireki, reaching out towards her in concern. “What's the matter? You look a little flushed. Maybe I should...”
But the moment Shiho's hand is about to touch Hekireki's cheek, Hekireki grabs the top of Shiho's hand with her left hand and pushes it down forcefully. Her worry now inexplicably turns into anger. “DON'T TOUCH ME!”
As Hekireki yells this, her eyes clenched shut with tears forming in them, she moves her right hand back and brings it forward, slapping Shiho across the face with it. Shiho lightly yelps at the slap, its force causing her to fall to the floor onto her side. She skids a little bit upwards after the fall. But instead of the standard reaction, Shiho looks up at Hekireki with slightly teary eyes.
Standing above her with her right arm before her in the post-slapping position, Hekireki breathes heavily, her anger slowly fading as shock and sadness start to take over. After looking down at Shiho for a few more seconds, Hekireki squeezes her eyes shut and turns around, tears floating away from her eyes as she runs off, making a right turn into the living room area. Shiho is left on the floor, but she gets herself into a sitting position without much trouble. With both of her legs spreas out behind her while sitting, Shiho looks on, only slightly teary in the eyes as she looks at where Hekireki once stood.
The scene cuts to Hekireki's room. The curtains are closed, and the only light on in the room is the light in the ceiling above, giving the room a yellowish glow.
Hekireki screams this aloud as she punches the pillow on her bed. She's kneeling on the bed itself, her arm housing the fist that hit the pillow shaking as she looks down. Her hair is covering her eyes, and her teeth are gritted with combined anger and sadness. Every few seconds, a tear drops from her hidden eyes onto the bedsheets.
“Why? Why do I have to be such a coward? I'm just trying to give Freak Girl my thanks...” She opens her eyes, which are now tearier than before. “But I can't even do that.” The number of tears dripping down onto the bedsheets increases, combining with the few teardrops that have already soaked in. “I can't stay calm around her, even when she isn't acting like the Freak Girl I do know...” She starts to undo her fist, shaking a little as it leaves the surface of the pillow. “Why can't I do it? Why can't I be nice to her, just this once, while she's around to see it? So she can see this side of me?” Just then, her fist goes back to normal. “Why?” Hekireki moves her hand back and undoes the fist, but uses both hands to hold her head in despair. “WHY, DAMMIT!?”
After letting go of her own head, Hekireki throws herself down onto the bed, face-first in the pillow. As she lies that way, her teeth still clench a little, her eyes once again hidden by her hair, coupled with the angle her head is at with the pillow. Tears flow down from her cheeks and start to stain the pillow, the sound of crying heard through a series of quiet whimpers. The POV backs up as she continues to cry onto her pillow...
...to reveal her door opened ajar by just a little. Cujo and Johnny are looking into the room, looking right at Hekireki. Johnny looks with concern, while Cujo, looking at level above Johnny's head, surprisingly doesn't have his eyebrows angled downward per usual. As if he's really feeling for Hekireki.
“D*mn. Really hurts having to watch Thundert*ts bawl her eyes out like this.”
Johnny nods. “Yeah.” He turns to Cujo, trying to fake a smile. “But at the very least, she tried her hardest, right?”
“Letting things go like this ain't gonna cut it.” Cujo backs away from the door and turns around, his thumbs in his pockets and his eyes closed as his head angles toward the ground. “We'll have to finish things ourselves.”
“Are you so sure about that?” Johnny asks as he turns his head to look at Cujo.
Cujo glances back at Johnny. “Hey, we're Thundert*ts's bandmates. If she's having serious trouble...” Cujo looks at Johnny, smirks, and points at himself with his thumb. “...then we'll have to pick up the slack.”
Johnny, now turned around fully, looks at Cujo and blinks. After a second, he looks at him with confidence, forms his hand into a fist, and puts it in front of his chest as he nods. “Right.”
The scene cuts to an establishing shot outside of Nana's house. The sun is setting and dusk is beginning to set in, the orange color of the horizon starting to fade into a light purple, and then a blue color, as it moves up.
The scene then cuts back to Nana's kitchen. A large yellow pot with two handles on either side for lifting sits on the right front burner on the stove's range. A yellow lid with a black handle on top is set off to the side. Inside the pot, there appears to be chunks of beef and potato floating in the brown-colored beef stock. As the pot simmers, Shiho stands in front of the counter on the other side of the kitchen where the stuff still was. A wooden cutting board sits in front of her on the counter, Shiho herself holding down three carrots by the top and slicing them into circular disks with the cutting knife. Several circular slices of the carrot just like it are pushed off to the side, but not to the point of falling off at the slightest provocation.
As she prepares the vegetables, Shiho hums a small tune.
Several seconds later, Johnny and Cujo, the POV showing them from the shins down, walk into the kitchen and stand behind her.
“Hey. Sniper B*tch.”
“Hm?” Shiho stops cutting up the carrots and looks back, curious by who's there. After a second-long pause, Shiho closes her eyes and smiles, setting down the cutting knife and waving at the two of them. “Oh hey there, you two!”
Cujo looks at Shiho, unimpressed. “We have names, y'know.” Johnny just stands beside him, appearing calm despite the slight blush in his cheeks showing at least a tiny bit of embarrassment.
“Oh, I know.” Shiho turns around, putting her hands in front of her lap and holding them. “So, what's up?”
Johnny's cheeks become even redder with embarrassment, causing him to stiffen his shoulders and then immediately look down, shifting his eyes back in forth in a nervous manner. “Well, you see, Miss Shiho, we... uh...” Johnny looks up, his index finger to his chin. “How do I put this...”
Cujo puts his palm against Johnny's chest and steps forward, the action causing Johnny to stop and look down, blushing. “We're here to tell you something. It's about Thundert*ts.”
Shiho then gasps. “About Mistress?”
END OF ACT I
05-31-2012 03:46 PM
Cut to a little later after where the last scene left off. Shiho is still standing before Johnny and Cujo, looking down with a saddened look on her face, her hands behind her back as she squirms around a little.
“So that's how it is.”
“Correct,” Johnny says. “Hekireki's been spending all day trying...” He glances back behind himself a little. “...and failing...” He looks back. “...to thank you for saving her from Ryudis earlier on today.”
“And if you couldn't tell, she's gotten nowhere with it,” Cujo exclaims as he holds out his hands. He puts them in his pockets as he looks off to the side. “Kinda annoying, but a little tiresome too.”
Johnny turns to Cujo, holding up his right index finger and smiling in a slightly sheepish manner. “You mean 'saddening'.”
Johnny turns back to Shiho and bows slightly. “We hope this doesn't bother you, Miss Shiho, considering how much Hekireki means to you.”
Shiho stays silent for a second before giving off a small, kind smile. “I'm not bothered by it.”
(MUSIC: “who dat girl” by Takkyu Ishino)
“Eh?” Johnny and Cujo look up at Shiho in surprise.
Shiho lets go of her hands and lets them drop down by her sides. “In fact, I'm actually kinda glad that Mistress is doing such a thing. It delights me to know that she really cares for me.”
Johnny smiles. “That's good!”
Cujo, not convinced, points at Shiho. “Wait, but you're a masochist. I thought you liked Thundert*ts hatin' ya.”
Shiho shakes her head, still smiling, even blushing a little. “Don't get me wrong, I've got no problem with her beating, berating me, or anything like that.” She moves her arms up to her cheeks, pressing her palms against them. “Hell, I wouldn't even mind it if she (cussed me out, locked me up, and treated me like a mere toy for the rest of my days.” As she says this, she moves her arms around as she squishes her blushing cheeks in apparent enjoyment at the thoughts going through her head.)
(Cujo and Johnny then look at each other. Cujo gives off a disgusted, annoyed look while Johnny just shrugs to compliment an innocent look of confusion.)
She then stops and lowers her arms, still smiling and blushing. “But what I really want right now7, above all else, is for Mistress to praise me.” She opens her eyes. “That's what I desire most.”
“So... you're in?” Cujo says as he looks right ahead at Shiho.
Shiho enthusiastically nods, her hands holding one another in front of her lap. “Of course! I'd do anything to help Mistress give me her thanks for rescuing her today!” Her smile disappears. “However...” She puts her index finger to her chin. “I don't know how I'm going to urge her to do it without letting her know that I know.” She opens her eyes and points at the two. “Do you have any ideas?”
“Oh, we have a few ideas up our sleeves.” Cujo crosses his arms.
Cujo just stands there smirking as he chuckles under his breath. Johnny looks up at him for a second before turning to Shiho, giving off a nice, more vulnerable smile.
The scene then cuts to a second-long establishing shot outside of Nana's house. The sun has set, but the sky is still fairly light, the sky a light purplish-blue color on the verge of becoming darker.
Cut to inside Nana's kitchen. Isamu stands in front of the counter where Shiho was standing earlier, with no one else in the kitchen, looking down at a small white piece of paper. Much like any note, it is folded into quarters. On the paper, it reads the following:
Me and some of the guys are in town at the moment.
You don't mind dishing food up for everyone, do you?
Isamu sighs. “You're kidding me...” He looks at the paper for a few more seconds before lowering it, letting out another sigh, this one louder than the last. “Guess I'd better get started...”
(MUSIC: “Ninety-Three” by Takkyu Ishino8)
The song above plays as background music, faded in quality, originating from a building stationed along a multi-lane road, the only thing separating it from it being an asphalt sidewalk and a parking lot separated from the sidewalk by a white chain-link fence. The building is one-story, stationary, and is grey in exterior with a black awning. On that black awning, in white text, it says “ディスク·スタイル·レコード” or “Disk Style Records”. Below that main text, in smaller text, it says “CD · VINYL · RECORD · OPEN 24 HOURS”. Below the awning are numerous windows looking into the store – most of them covered by various album covers displayed in the windows – and a hinged door with a bell above it.
The scene cuts to inside of the store. The music gets louder, while establishing itself as background music for the store, with its white walls and blue carpet flooring. There are numerous two-sided rows of CDs against a white display. Signs hang above each row, listing off numerous genres: J-POP, ロック, オルタナティヴロック, ヒップホップ, テクノ (J-Pop, Rock, Alternative Rock, Hip-hop, Techno). Against the wall are numerous vinyl record cases, the sign above reading “ビニール” or “Vinyl”. Another cut from the left side, away from the door inside, shows, near the door, that there is a counter and behind that counter is a clerk, resting his elbow on the counter and resting his head on his hand, apparently bored out of his mind. Only a few people are frequenting the store, two of them – one a standard-looking college student with a brown T-shirt, blue jeans, and sneakers; the other an apparent “cool guy” with bleached spiked hair, sunglasses, and a white leather jacket – checking out music near the hip-hop/techno section of the store.
Closer to where the POV is, Shiho, Johnny, and Cujo are also seen to be there. Cujo is standing near the edge of the middle of the three rows, checking out CDs under the “アメリカンロック”/”American Rock” genre. Shiho and Johnny, on the other hand, are walking down that aisle, heading towards the other end where the Rock/Alternative Rock CDs are.
Shiho looks around the store as she follows Johnny. “It was a really good idea to come here and pick out a song to perform so Mistress feels better enough to thank me.” She turns to Johnny and smiles. “Nice work!”
Johnny smiles a bit, giving off a small hum as he looks up. “I thought it'd be fitting, considering Coz's interests. She always loved music, ever since she was a kid.” He closes his eyes. “It's part of the reason we started OH DADDY, after all.”
Shiho nods. “I see...”
Johnny opens his eyes and looks forward. “There won't be enough time to make up a song on the fly, so picking out something she fancies and covering it will have to do.”
“That's understandable. So, what kind of music does Mistress like?”
Johnny stops in front of the Alternative Rock section and begins thumbing through the CDs. “I don't know much about what she likes in general, but she once said she's a fan of these guys.” Johnny picks out a CD and hands it to Shiho. Shiho grabs the CD case with both hands and looks at it, holding it down near chest level. “I suppose you could give them a shot.”
“Hm...” Shiho looks at the cover of the CD. “Asian Kung-Fu Generation9.” she reads from the cover. After looking at it for a second, Shiho gasps her eye shrinking a bit in either shock or awe. “No way!” She yells as she raises the CD above her head and then brings it back down in the position she was holding it in before.
“Enh?” Cujo looks over at where Shiho and Johnny are, a little annoyed by having his CD browsing interrupted, but also startled as well.
Shiho just stands there, looking down at the CD with awe and occasionally gritted teeth. Johnny looks at her, a little concerned for her well-being.
“Mistress likes Ajikan!?”
“Yeah. You a fan?”
“A fan!?” Shiho says in a way implying that Johnny didn't understand her earlier reaction. She looks at Johnny, glancing at him right in the eyes. She's sweating a little from the side of her head, and she's also wearing a smirk. “Ajikan's one of my favorite bands ever.” She looks back down at the CD, holding it up a little higher as her smirks gets a little more fanatical. “I've listened to them ever since they first signed with ki/oon10 and made it big here.” She then holds the CD up, her fanatical face turning into one that is more fangirly, with realistically sparkly eyes and a bright smile. “I love them, and knowing that Mistress loves them too (makes it even more exciting!”)(Shiho takes the CD and holds it against her chest, closing her eyes and blushing.)
As she fangirls, Cujo walks up from behind them, one of his hands in his pockets. “And I take it we have our band.”
Johnny looks at Cujo and happily nods. “Yep!”
Cujo stops. “Now what?”
“Well, all that's left is to pick out the song to perform.”
“But which one?”
Shiho snaps out of her excited face and looks up, putting her finger to her chin in thought. “Hmm...”
The scene then cuts to the counter. At closer the inspection, the bored-looking clerk at the counter has black hair in a slightly longer, slightly messier take on the mop-top style, as well as glasses11. Wearing a blue work shirt that apparently comes with the job as clerk, he continues to sit, his head resting on his hand as his elbow sits on the counter, looking as bored as implied. His current position is interrupted when someone comes up and lays a stack of CDs in front of him on the counter.
“Hm?” The clerk looks up, blinking his eyes once to break from his bored stupor. On the other side of the counter, he sees Shiho, Johnny, and Cujo standing there. Shiho is in front, her hands on either side of the stack's base. Cujo stands behind her to the clerk's right, looking off towards the vinyl records, while Johnny stands behind Shiho to his left, smiling at the clerk.
“Does this store have a listening booth of any kind?”
“Uh...” The clerk blinks once more. After a second he sits up straight and points off to the left. “There's a few through that door in the back.” In the direction the clerk is pointing at, there is a wall between the counter and the wall of vinyl records, and against that wall is a plain gray door. “Spend as long as you like in there.”
“Okay.” Shiho nods and picks up the stack of CDs, heading off to the door. “See ya!” Cujo and Johnny follow behind her. Johnny continues to look and smile at the clerk, but Cujo grabs him by the collar and pulls him, startling him a bit.
“No problem,” the clerk says, going back to his previous position.
The scene cuts to the inside of the room containing the listening booth in question. Rather, listening booths. There are approximately six of them, three on either side, surrounding a large listening booth in the center. The walls are a dark blue in color and the walls separating each booth from the other a light tan. The tabletops are wood, the floor is a blue carpet like the rest of it, and in front of each listening booth is a single grey sitting chair with a long bar connected by the ends of the chair legs on either side resting on the floor rather than just the legs themselves; the sole exception being the large listening booth in the center, which has three. To the far left is the door out. Flourescent lights light up the room from above.
Each listening booth has a CD player built into the wall, and a pair of black padded headphones connected into a jack and lying on the counter. The middle booth has three headphones attributed to it, and three jacks as well. In front of the CD player is the stack of CDs. Sitting in the three chairs, from left to right from the POV of someone facing the wall opposite the booths, are Cujo, Johnny, and Shiho, each of them facing forward with a serious look on their face.
“All right then. Let's do this.” Shiho grabs her headphones.
Cujo and Johnny grab theirs, nodding in response. All three then pick up their headphones and put them on. After that is a short shot of Shiho holding out her right hand and pressing the eject button next to the tray.
(MUSIC: “Rewrite” by ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION12)
The scene cuts to a few minutes past. The analog clock on the wall – black in border, white in color, with numbers displayed all around for each hour – reads 9:15. Over near the large listening booth, a display to the right of the tray and above numerous other buttons – play, pause, stop, rewind, fast-forward, etc. - reads “002” in green blocky digital text. Next to that is a timer, starting at 1:18, and then counting down to 1:21 before a cut to the next shot.
That next shot is of Cujo, leaning back in the chair and drumming his fingers against the countertop to the music, smirking a little. He does this for a few seconds.
“This sh*t ain't half bad.” He opens his eyes, lifts the left headphone off of his ear, and glances over at Shiho, sitting across from him and Johnny, her arms resting on the counter as she looks forward, as if she's just listening to the music and not enjoying it. “Let's use this one.” Johnny, sitting between the two of them, just sits there with his arms crossed, appearing to be deep in thought.
“Eh!?” Cujo turns to Shiho, simultaneously annoyed and disappointed, but moreso the former. “Why not!?”
Shiho turns to Cujo, taking off her headphones entirely, muffling the BGM. “If we're going to pick an Ajikan song to play for Mistress, it shouldn't be one that was used as a tie-up13. That'd make us look lazy. And as such, all these songs are out.” Shiho holds up a blank sheet of paper with a list of songs written in black ink. The list is as follows:
ムスタング（mix for 芽衣子）
Mirai no Kakera
Kimi to Iu Hana
Loop & Loop
Aru Machi no Gunjou
Mustang (Mix for Meiko)
Maigoinu to Ame no Beat
Cujo turns his head in anger, crossing his arms. “F*ck. That's sucks the fun outta it.”
Shiho turns back, putting down the paper and smiling. “Don't worry. There's plenty more songs to choose from.” She reaches her hand out towards the CD player and presses the skip button (MUSIC END), the music shutting off as the timer switches to song 003 with time 0:00.
(MUSIC: “Re:Re:” by ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION15)
The analog clock on the wall now reads around 9:27 with the red second hand on the 5. The timer display on the CD player at the large listening booth now reads “008”, the timer ticking from 1:00 to 1:03.
Cujo, much like he was with the first song, is leaning back in his chair and drumming his fingers to it, only he's bobbing his head to the music as well. After a few seconds, he smirks. “Heh. Not sh*t either. Let's go with this one.” Cujo takes the left headphone off of his ear and turns to Shiho, who is listening to it in thought like she did the first one. “It's not on that list of yours and it sounds like it'd make a f*ckin' sweet cover.” Johnny continues to assume the position he took before.
“Nope, this won't do either.”
Cujo's smirk quickly disappears and is replaced by an angry scowl, followed by him raising his hands up and slamming them against the counter. “Hold up, you serious!?”
Shiho removes her headphones, muffling the BGM once again, and looks back at Cujo. “The song we're covering can't be fast-paced in the lyrics, especially for our cause. We need a slower pace...” She takes her hands and slowly pushes them downward onto the air below. “...to match the message we're trying to send to Mistress.”
Cujo raises his eyebrow in confusion. “You do know there's such a thing as 'off-vocal', right?”
“Yeah, but a song like this wouldn't fit that bill.”
Cujo lets out an annoyed and tired sigh, his arms slouching onto the counter.
“Now, onto the next one.” Shiho reaches out towards the CD player and presses the skip button (MUSIC END), causing the timer display to move to song 009 and time 0:00.
(MUSIC: “Laika” by ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION16)
The analog clock on the wall now reads around 9:54 with the red second hand between the 3 and 4. The timer display on the large listening booth's CD player reads “008” again, but with the timer now ticking down from 1:19 to 1:22. Also, the stack of CDs in front of the player has gotten shorter, two albums apart from the group and further down to the left.
Cujo is leaning back in his chair, his arms crossed with his eyes closed as if he's trying to act more serious about listening to the music like Shiho wanted him to. After drumming his right fingers against his left forearm for a second, Cujo looks up. “This one doesn't sound as fast as that other one.” Cujo takes his left headphone off of his ear and turns to Shiho, still listening to it in thought like Johnny. “How 'bout this one?” Silence. “Eh?”
Shiho then takes off her headphones, muffling the BGM. “No.”
Cujo then gets angry, slamming the counter again. “D*mmit, don't you like any of these songs!?”
Shiho nods. “I do.” She turns to Cujo. “But it can't just have lyrics suitable for our cover.” She holds up her hand, extending one finger, and then following it up with another finger. “It also needs lyrics pertaining to the situation at hand.”
Cujo glares at Shiho. “Gee, how many songs do we have left before finding sh*t like that?” he asks sarcastically.
“Enough to get us there.” Shiho reaches out again and presses the skip button again (MUSIC END), causing the timer display to move to song 009 and time 0:00.
(MUSIC: “Understand” by ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION17)
The clock now reads around 10:30, the red second hand at the top of the hour. The timer display now reads “004”, the timer going from to 3:13 to 3:16. The CD stack has gotten even shorter.
Cujo groans as he leans back in his chair, looking up above him. “It's hopeless.” Next to him, Johnny and Shiho are still listening to the music like they were before. “We've gone through a sh*tload of songs, album by album, and not one of them's f*cking good enough for you!” Cujo says this last part as he holds up one hand, his index finger pointing upward. He sighs and stands up, taking off his headphones and putting them on the counter. “You know what? Forget it. Let's go, Sniper B*tch.” Cujo turns around and looks back at Shiho. “Thundert*ts'll just have to let things go as they are.”
Shiho sits there, ignoring Cujo's words.
Cujo, more miffed than before, walks up to Shiho, squeezing his way between her and Johnny. “Hey, Sniper B*tch!” He leans forward a little, looking right at her with his hands in his pockets. “You f*ckin' deaf or what? I said let's go!”
Shiho continues to sit there.
“Take off those d*mn headphones already! We're leavin'! Understand!?”
Shiho sits for a few more seconds, as still as before. But once the BGM hits its ending seconds, Shiho gives off an ingenious smile.
“This is it.”
“Eh?” Cujo raises his eyebrow and tilts his head. “What's it?”
“This is the song we're going to use!” Shiho exclaims as she takes off her headphones, grabbing a piece of paper from a small stack to her left. She puts it in front of her and starts writing stuff down.
Cujo backs up. “Wait, are you serious!?”
“She sure sounds like it.”
“Eh?” Cujo turns around to see Johnny sitting there, leaning back in his chair with his arms crossed and a small smile on his face. His headphones are lying on the counter as well.
“With the exception of a few words, the lyrics almost perfectly match the jam Hekireki's in right now.” He opens his eyes looking up. “If you ask me, it's just the right song.”
Cujo looks at Johnny, unimpressed. “Yeah, but from what Sniper B*tch said...” Cujo points behind him at Shiho, continuing to write on the paper. “...it sounds too rock-y to make Thundert*ts get all confident and sh*t.”
Johnny stands up and faces Cujo. “Oh, Cujo. That's why they invented covers.” Johnny closes his eyes and cutely smiles at Cujo, chuckling a bit under his breath.
05-31-2012 03:47 PM - edited 12-27-2012 12:51 PM
(MUSIC: “Ghost in the Shell” by Takkyu Ishino18)
The scene cuts to outside the record store, the music in the background audible but muffled due to its source noise coming from inside the store. The lights are still on, as bright as ever, but the view inside is obscured by the album covers and posters hung up along the windows.
“Okay, just a few more things left to do. Here you go.” Shiho, standing outside the entrance to the store with Johnny and Cujo, hands two pieces of paper to the both of them. Both of them have several lines of musical notation, with numerous notes drawn on or around them in pen.
Johnny reaches to grab a sheet, but Cujo grabs both. “Hm? Sheet music?” Cujo then hands one of the two papers to Johnny, who takes it and reads it. Cujo does the same.
“Hm... I must say, very impressive.”
Cujo's eyes dart back and forth across the sheet as Johnny speaks, and then looks up at Shiho. “You sure all this is right, Sniper B*tch?”
“Hm!” Shiho nods, putting her hands on her hips in confidence. “I may not look it, but I know plenty about music. That, plus several hours of listening to Ajikan, and I can copy any and all of their works by ear!” Shiho takes her right hand off her hip, raises it up, and gives the two of them a thumbs up as she winks, sticking her tongue out cutely after finishing her sentence.
Cujo looks at Shiho with unimpression, groaning a little.
Johnny, on the other hand, looks at Shiho like he understands her clearly. He turns to Cujo. “I can buy it.”
“Eh?” Cujo turns to Johnny, disbelieved at him as well. Johnny just smiles. Cujo then turns back and sighs. “Fine, but how're we gonna play this thing?” Cujo stands up straight once again and hits the sheet of paper with the back of his right hand.
Johnny looks at Cujo. “That does pose a few problems.”
“D*mn straight. We have our amps, but we don't have one for the mike.”
Johnny lowers his head and closes his eyes. “Or a mike to begin with...”
Cujo looks at Shiho. “Any ideas, Sniper B*tch?” Johnny does the same.
Shiho looks up and off to the side, going between standing flat on her feet and on tiptoes as her hands are behind her back. “Oh, I may have a few.” She closes her eyes and gives a toothy grin to the two.
The scene cuts back to Nana's house. The sky outside is fairly dark, retaining at least a bit of the indigo-colored hue it had during twilight. Even so, some of the lights in the house are on, judging from looking inside the windows, the curtains partially open; and the carport where Nana's Corolla is parked is lit up by lights from the shed.
“Hm? A microphone?”
Nana, wearing her outfit from earlier but with her white doctor's coat on and some lipstick as well, stands inside a three-foot gap between the front of her Corolla and the shed, near the right edge of the carport. Facing her, are Shiho, Johnny, and Cujo. Shiho stands in the light right up front, holding her hands together with closed eyes and a smile on her face, as if she's almost begging. Johnny and Cujo stand behind her in the darkness, the former looking off to the side in nervousness and the latter looking up in disbelief. Nana looks at all of them, her left hand on her hip.
“That's an odd request.”
“So, how 'bout it?” Shiho asks, rubbing the top of one hand with the other as she brings them up to her chest. “If you have one, can we please borrow it?”
Cujo sighs loudly, lowering his head a little. “Forget it, Sniper B*tch. She's not gonna give it to ya. Hell, she might not even have one.”
As Cujo speaks, Shiho turns around and sheepishly smiles at him. “Well, it's worth a shot, at least...”
(Cujo: (leans forward, with anger in his disbelief) “What!?”)
(Shiho: (turns around with sparkles in her eyes, smiles) “You mean it!?”)
Nana stands and nods, smirking a bit. “Yep.” Nana walks over to the shed doors. “Not to mention that it came with its own amplifier.” Nana opens the shed doors and looks around for it. “I was going to throw them out, but they were in so good a condition...” She lowers her head and smirks, her shoulders twitching as she does the former action. “...I couldn't bear to part with them.” Her smirk disappears as she looks back at the three. “By the way, what're you using them for anyways?”
Shiho giggles under her breath as she looks at Nana, her hands behind her back as she smiles brightly. “Oh, you'll see!”
Nana sighs as she goes back to looking. “I don't like the sound of that...”
The scene cuts to a little later, about fifteen or so minutes. The sky is still the same as it was before, even with the lights hanging off the wall acting as the top of the first story of Nana's house shining onto the patio. The lights lighting up the carport are still on too, acting as sort of a backdrop of light. Shiho, Johnny, and Cujo are grouped in the middle of the courtyard, barren save for the three parasol-shaded tables and the nine chairs with it – all pushed off to the right side of the courtyard, out of the way – as well as their instruments. Shiho is in the middle, near the front, holding onto a microphone that's connected to a black, square, one-speaker amplifier several feet behind her. That amplifier is plugged into a creme-colored, five-socket surge protector that is plugged in itself, via a long cord connected into an electrical socket on the outside of the shed. Also plugged into the surge protector are two other amplifiers; another square-shaped black one-speaker amplifier plugged into Johnny's electric piano, a silvery-black keyboard with two sets of keys and triangle-shaped metal stands that lacks the back-packaging to be a piano and is too large in size to be considered a clavinet; and a square one-speaker amplifier with flames painted on the sides, connected into Cujo's guitar. Johnny sits at a stool behind his piano, while Cujo stands with his guitar in hand.
Slung over his shoulder and across his chest, Cujo's guitar is a red 1981 Gibson Flying V, with the word “Diablo” printed across one of the stems of the “V” shape19. Cujo uses his pick and strums his guitar a couple times, plucking the strings with his pick to make the standard sounds of a bass guitar. After strumming the second-thickest string on the guitar, Cujo lets the sound echo for a second or two before lowering it and smirking. “Things're good on my end.” He looks over at Shiho, tapping the microphone with her index finger to produce some slight noise. “How 'bout yours, Sniper B*tch?”
Shiho turns to Cujo, eyebrows lowered as if in confidence, and gives him a thumbs up. “All set.”
Cujo smirks. “Heh. Perfect.” Cujo turns in Johnny's direction. “Now all that's left is you, Limey-Lover.” Shiho looks back at Johnny as well, in slight concern.
Johnny's eyes shift around nervously as he sits in front of his piano, his hands buried in his lap. “You know what, guys? Forget it.” He closes his eyes and tries to fake a smile. “We shouldn't do this. My idea was stupid, don't you think so?”
Cujo sighs heavily as he lowers his arm, continuing to look at Johnny. “D*mmit, Limey-Lover, this is our only chance to get Thundert*ts back on track, and you wanna let your fears f*ck it up?” He turns around, holding onto his guitar again as he looks back at Johnny. “C'mon, remember our gig at TEC HAUS Ishino? Wasn't too long ago.”
Johnny rests his arms on the keyboard, its currently inactive power causing no keys to suddenly go off. He looks down, still nervous, but a little more contemplative. “Yeah, but I can't keep on doing that every time we perform.” He looks up a little. “I mean, why else would we even be here?”
“Eh?” Johnny gasps and looks up at Shiho.
Shiho looks back behind her at Johnny, microphone in hand. She has a slight scowl on her face for the first two seconds, but with a blink, it turns into a smile. “You wanna help Mistress, don't you?”
Johnny nods, grunting in approval.
Shiho moves her head back and looks forward, eyes closed. “If that's how it is...” She opens her eyes and looks up. “...then do the best you can.” What Shiho is looking at is the second-from-the-left window on the second floor: where Hekireki's room is. “It may be just this once, but if you do it, (she'll feel better.”) (Cut to Johnny looking up at the window with Shiho.) “Isn't that right?”
Johnny waits a second before responding, in which he straightens up and nods confidently, his lips making an upside-down V-shape to prove his temporary commitment. “Right!” Johnny puts his hands on the keyboard, takes a deep breath, and looks forward at the music sheet on the built-in stand before him.
Cujo adjusts the tabs at the top of his guitar as he places his pick hand over the strings, looking at the music sheet on a stand in front of him.
Shiho takes a breath as well, stepping forward as she holds the microphone up, but not putting her mouth to it. “Here it goes. One, two, three...” She puts the microphone up close to her mouth and begins.
(MUSIC: “Understand” by OH DADDY feat. Shiho Katsurada20)
“Your heart's ajar, I understand. Oh, oh, yeah, I understand. Please don't deny the way you were, oh, oh, on that twisted day...”
As Shiho sings these opening lines, Cujo starts strumming his guitar, going between the thickest string and the second thickest with his pick. The sound of the piano still doesn't enter, even as the focus continues to lie on Shiho singing, starting out just standing still, her eyes closed as she sings into the microphone with both hands on the handle, her pink lips clearly visible during the close-ups. After dragging the last word of the above line for a few more seconds, giving time for Cujo to strum louder, both stop, and Shiho mouths the next part of the song:
At that point, Johnny starts playing his instrument. His eyes appearing closed, he slides his hands across the upper keyboard of the piano, playing the keys in tune to the song without missing a beat, surprisingly. Cujo strums his bass to the tune of the song as well, staying within the three thickest strings on the guitar. Shiho nods her head as the two provide the music between the opening verse and the first main verse, each play advancing the song closer to the first verse each second. Once it reaches that point, Shiho lifts her head and opens her eyes, letting one hand go free of the microphone and letting the remaining hand hold onto it. With that, she starts to sing again.
“I'm grieving now, but worry not, those memories will fade, once we meet each other at the morning dawn.”
The music fades in volume, but still stays present. Johnny's piano plays to the tune of Shiho's singing, at a higher yet quieter tone than Shiho's sweet, feminine voice. Cujo's bass plays the main role of the main guitar in the original during this verse, switching between strings. As Shiho sings, her body movement mostly consists of occasional shakes to convey emotion at the start, finishing off that initial stretch with some shakes, ending with her head looking down to her right as her mouth stays close to the microphone. As she goes into the second half, she slowly moves her head forward, raising it up as she takes her free arm and stretches it out, her hand stretching outward in an elegant manner.
“It was an accident, I know, but with your frailty, I'm sure those memories will be gone.”
Cujo and Johnny continue their supplement of music to Shiho's singing voice. Cujo continues to switch between strings in a subdued manner. Johnny continues to play to the tune of Shiho's voice, but once her voice stops for a short while, Johnny joins in to a tune similar to that of the original guitar, opening his eyes a little and pressing down on the same keys a few times before switching back and forth between two hand positions twice. However, only the first is seen, because as the second goes on, the scene cuts to Shiho's eyes, going from partially open to open wide with feeling, tears welling up in the corners; not of sadness, but of passion.
“The light inside those muddy eyes, I'm sure that they won't disappear.”
The POV zooms out from Shiho's face as she looks up, stretching her arm out as she sings. Partway through that line, the POV moves back so it moves down while showing a perfect view of the three making their music together. As this happens, Shiho moves her arm back, bending it, folding her hand back inward, and holding it to her chest, between her breasts, as she lowers her head and continues singing into the microphone.
“It's in your heart, so please hold on, please hold it close and dear.”
Cujo continues playing to the tune of the original lead guitar on his bass, and Johnny resumes playing to the tune of Shiho's voice. As the last six syllables of the line are sung, three scene cuts follow: Cujo going between one string and the thinner one adjacent to it for the first two, Johnny playing different notes in the same hand positions for the next two, and Shiho singing in the last two. She steps forward, her head going forward too, as the tears in her eyes escape and float in the air as her mouth makes an o-shape. She then moves back and raises her hand a little, angling the microphone down toward her mouth.
“I wish for you that out-of-sight tomorrow right before your eyes. Unsounding, but surely someday...”
The POV starts to the right of Shiho, with a ¾ view of her as she sings into the microphone more, her voice resounding and mixing beautifully with the instruments accompanying it. The POV moves to the left and pans around Shiho, stopping at the ¾ view of her from the left side. As the camera pans, she continues to sing with feeling, brushing a strand of hair behind her at the start, and then holding onto the microphone with both hands again as she closes her eyes and slowly looks up in a hopeful mannerism. At the second part of that line, the POV focuses on her face, the pink lips once again visible as held to them, the microphone now resides in her once free hand. The tears continue to well, despite in small amounts, but at the end of the line, Shiho closes those eyes and opens them again, causing some of the tears to escape.
(“Your heart's ajar, I understand. Oh, oh, yeah, I understand. Please don't deny the way you were, oh, oh, on that twisted day, yeah.”)
(The scene cuts to inside Nana's house, particularly the living room adjacent to the courtyard. The room is dark, but the curtains concealing the sliding doors out onto the courtyard are pushed aside, the three playing music outside in full view, audible through the glass. Standing off to the side, in the small part of the room between the kitchen entrance and the beginning of the staircase up to the next floor, Nana watches the trio play their music, her arms crossed. “So that's what you wanted it for... Honestly, I'm surprised at you.” After a few more seconds, she then smirks. “But what a pleasant surprise it is.” Nana closes her eyes and steps back, taking a deep breath as she absorbs the music.)
The scene then cuts to the larger living room of Nana's house; the great room, so to speak. Almost everyone else is in there, sitting around and relaxing. Aki is sitting at the edge of one of the two two-seater couches – the one closer to the front windows – with his arm on the arm of the couch. Isamu is sitting on one end of the three-seater couch, looking down at Yuri, who's lying down beside him with her head resting on his lap. Ai sits at the other end of the three-seater, looking at the other three.
The music from outside is also audible from inside the great room. As the instrumental interlude between the first and second chorus comes into play, the piano tune staying closer to the original guitar performance than the bass tune, it makes its way into the room. Aki, his eyes already closed and his head looking down at the floor, starts tapping his index and middle fingers on the armchair, nodding lightly in tune to the music.
A second later, Isamu looks up. “Hm?” He looks around. “I hear music. But where's it coming from?”
Yuri, having initially possessed an expression of tiredness at the start of the scene, smiles. “Wherever it is, it's a very nice song.”
Ai, her head resting against her hand, the elbow on the arm of the chair, looks at the two of them. “It is, isn't it?”
The scene then cuts to upstairs in Hekireki's room. The lights are off, and the room is dark. Hekireki, wearing nothing but a pair of panties, her hair wavy and slightly wet from an implied earlier shower. She sits with her knees bent upwards and her feet on the bed, her armswrapped around her legs as she looks down, slightly dazed. She nearly drifts off once, but forcefully nods her head and brings it back into place in order to stay awake. After a few more seconds, she closes her eyes and turns, making her way off of the bed and walking toward the window at the far edge of her room.
“Where's that tune coming from anyways? That voice...” Hekireki walks over to the window and pulls back the curtain, looking down. After looking straight down, she turns to the left to see what's there, and...
...she gasps. “Freak Girl?”
“The light is lacking in your heart, but even then I'm still in wait...”
Cut to the courtyard. Shiho resumes singing, looking up at the window, showing no surprise at Hekireki's watching of the performance. She shakes her head off to the side once with fluidity as she continues to sing. Cujo continues going back and forth between strings on his bass, this time the thinner strings while switching hand positions up on the strings along the fretboard. Johnny continues playing to the tune of Shiho's voice, adding a little bit of tune in the parts where she doesn't.
“...for tomorrow, so don't let go before it gets too late.”
As she sings, Shiho continues to look up at the window where Hekireki is, her eyes showing a genuine feeling within them for Hekireki instead of the apparent feelings conveyed through her earlier actions. From behind that window, Hekireki looks down and blushes. Heavily. Just as Shiho's lines end and the bass and piano tunes get louder in sound, Hekireki swiftly turns away from the window, pulling the curtain closed.
“I wish for you that empty space that runs throughout the time we share.”
Hekireki runs over to her bed as the song continues playing. Once she gets there, she stops and grabs her T-shirt, lying on the bed in a form that's less than organized but better than wadded up. She gets it out and sticks her arms through the holes, pulling it over her head and down, covering up her chest completely.
“Unsounding, but surely someday...”
Down in the courtyard, Shiho raises her head and her microphone, unbothered by Hekireki's retreat from the window, singing like she's still there. Some of the light from one of the lights from the house reflects upon her face, visually emphasizing both it and her easily visible lips.
The song then gets into the instrumental portion after the second chorus. Both Johnny and Cujo play their respective instruments to the tune of the first portion, going from one position to another, playing in that position twice, and then going back to the first before repeating three more times. Once the second half starts, Cujo continues to play the first part over again, while Johnny plays the part of the original guitar on his piano. As he does, Shiho closes her eyes and steps back a little, prepared to sing again. Once that instrumental portion finishes, in contrast to the original...
...the music becomes quiet, soft, and somber almost. Shiho opens her eyes and resumes.
“You cried so tense, I understand. Oh, oh, yeah, I understand. Yes, even when those thorns were stuck, oh, oh, so deep inside you.”
Shiho softly sings this over the melodies behind her. Cujo strums softly, and Johnny presses the keys softly as well. Shiho looks up, the tears starting up again as she raises her arm up, as if she's reaching out.
“And when you cried while locked away, oh, oh, yeah, I understand.”
Cut to the upstairs hallway in Nana's house. The door to Hekireki's room is pushed open and she runs out into the hallway, slamming the door behind her as she makes her way from the far end to the near end; the far end where her room is to the near end where the stairs are. She's also wearing some jeans to add to her shirt. She's still barefoot, though. Once she reaches the near end, she turns and goes down the stairs.
“Please don't deny the way you were, oh, oh, on that twisted day, yeah.”
Shiho shakes her head as she sings, her eyes closed. She then opens them and looks up, putting both hands on the microphone in hope. She shakes her head slightly to the side as she keeps singing, to convey that feeling through her music. After the line ends, the scene cuts to Johnny, once again with eyes closed, playing the music to the tune of the original lead guitar, but in a more soft, elegant manner.
“Yeah, I understand.”
Shiho stands still, her microphone in her left hand with her eyes closed and her mouth to the mike. Once that line ends, the scene cuts to Cujo, strumming his bass to that same original tune; not loud, but still in a professional manner.
“Yeah, I understand.”
Shiho sings this, the pink lips once again visible thanks to close-up, and her tears of passion now visible through even her closed eyes.
The scene cuts to inside Nana's house. Nana continues to stand back and listen to the song finish. Just then, someone comes down the stairs, causing Nana to look with a face that grabs her attention while partially wondering who it is, even when seen. Standing there before her is Hekireki, catching her breath at the foot of the stairs.
That last line of Shiho's plays out as Nana smiles at Hekireki and points out at the door leading to the courtyard. Hekireki turns her head to see what's outside. She sees the three – Shiho, Johnny, and Cujo – finishing up the songs. Johnny and Cujo continue to play the tunes, but Shiho just stands there, her job finished. Hekireki's original face of curiosity as to what she just saw turns into one of surefire confidence and determination. She nods, making her way over to the doors as Nana, her arms still crossed, smiles.
Outside, the song finished. Cujo plays the last ten chords of the original guitar ending on his bass, but leaves off the final one. That final chord is replaced by Johnny finishing off by starting at the middle of the piano and playing, in a combination of talent and just sliding from one key to the next, makes his way up to the highest notes. As he does this, Shiho raises her microphone, holding it horizontally. Once in position, she lets go... and the mike drops to the brick-floor courtyard. It doesn't break, but it makes a small reverb sound.
05-31-2012 03:53 PM
After the song completes, Johnny takes a deep breath and then exhales it all in one go, slumping over his keyboard with his arms dangling, clearly tired.
企画: 南雅彦 竹田青滋 勝股英夫 峰岸卓生
“That... was quite... terrifying...” Johnny turns to Cujo. “Cujo...”
原作: bones x 濠沢彼太
Cujo glances over at Johnny. “Hm?”
“How'd I do?” Johnny asks as he attempts to sit himself straight, putting is hands on the keyboard as a support. “Don't bother sugarcoating it, please...”
Cujo looks up in thought. “Hmm... It was actually pretty good.”
Johnny gasps, leaning in. “Really?”
Cujo grins and glances back at Johnny. “Yeah.” He turns to look at Johnny. “In fact, it may've been better than our act at the TEC HAUS.” He gives Johnny a thumbs up. “Gotta give you props for that, Limey-Lover.”
Johnny blinks and smiles with his mouth open in bliss at Cujo's rare instance of a compliment.
(“Eh?” Johnny turns around.)
(“Enh?” Cujo looks up and lowers his hand.)
レコード屋店員: 後藤正文 (ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION)
Hekireki walks up to both Johnny and Cujo, a warm smile on her face as she applauds, keeping her left hand steady as her right hand does the clapping. This is first shown through a close-up on her hands, and then through a full shot of her body.
Cujo raises his hand again, only this time in a form of greeting. “'Sup, Thundert*ts.”
As Cujo says the above, Johnny lightly gasps in surprise, backing up a bit. “C-Coz? How long've you been here?”
Hekireki walks up to them and stops. “Just a few seconds.”
キャラクターデザイン/総作画監督: 菊池聡延 (nomad)
Hekireki closes her eyes and smiles, bouncing up a little with her feet still on the ground as she tilts her head. “You did really well, Junichi! I knew you could do it if you tried!”
Johnny looks away and rubs the back of his head, blushing in embarrassment. “Yeah... even if it was one time only.”
Cujo looks at Johnny and then at Hekireki. “So, what'd you think of the song in general?”
“Hmm...” Hekireki looks up, thinking to herself.
原画: 清水空翔 志賀道憲 伊藤一樹 香川久 内田信也 池島麻智 樋口香里 林央剛
坂口竜太郎 吉森直子 浜口頌平 和田伸一 久木晃嗣 備前克彦 細萱明良
手塚響平 井川麗奈 耳浦朋彰 松下将大 胡拓磨
迫井政行 肥塚正史 菊池聡延
“I don't think I should be telling you that,” Hekireki replies, moving her head forward a little as she speaks.
“Then who're you gonna tell?” Cujo asks.
Hekireki points to her right. “Her.” She's pointing at Shiho, who is standing with her hands behind her back, kicking her foot against the courtyard floor. The microphone is back on its stand.
臼井里江 笠原あずさ 池内直子 小室未来 長尾未来 谷方瑠衣
後藤潤二 石動仁 韓旻基
“Eh?” Cujo's jaw drops open realistically. Johnny just sits back and smiles. Hekireki smiles as well, making her way over to Shiho.
Shiho continues to stand, looking up.
“Hnh?” Shiho looks back behind her.
動画検査: 渡辺美佐 今岡律之
桑名美緒 糸数征哲 山本成敏
西田政司 小野あゆ美 孫家隆 山本洋平 菅沢龍弘 武佐友紀子 加納さゆり
今岡律之 笠原あずさ 長尾未来 林弘子
Within her sights is Hekireki, standing there smiling with her hands behind her back. She blinks and tilts her head, giggling a little bit.
Shiho blushes heavily, her mouth opening before she turns around. Once turned around, she keeps both hands behind her back. “Oh, hi there, Mistress. Long time, no see.”
動画: Production I.G フッズエンタテインメント TNK 遊歩堂 Triple A MSJ武蔵野制作所
FAIインターナショナル 太観アニメ Aniade
Shiho looks up and off to the side to easier conceal her blushing. “So, I take it you heard the song.”
Hekireki nods. “Yeah. You guys did a good performance.”
Shiho looks back at Hekireki, blushing harder and in a more SD style with the pink ovals and a sparkly sound effect. “We did?”
Hekireki nods again. “Yeah! And the song, too! How'd you know it was my favorite?” Hekireki moves her hands forward, makes fists with them, and brings them to her face in pure excitement, the opposite of she would've done in a normal situation.
岩見麻衣子 大谷道代 楢崎光弘 田中恵梨香 久納友香理 笹愛美
Triple A Aniade
Shiho's eyes open wide with a loss of what to say. “That was your favorite?” She closes her eyes and rubs the back of her head, holding her hand out. “To be honest, I chose it because of lyrics, you know, because they fit the situation and all that-”
Hekireki grabs Shiho's hand. “Freak Girl.”
“Hm?” Shiho blinks and quits rubbing her head, bringing her arm back down by her side. “Yes, Mistress?”
Hekireki grabs Shiho's hand with her other hand, along with the first hand, and sweetly smiles. “Thank you.”
(MUSIC: “nostalgia's garden” by Takkyu Ishino)
稲葉邦彦 林孝輔 芳賀ひとみ 船隠雄貴 千賀智恵
佐藤豪志 源恵子 藤井香織 髙橋哲 小幡和寛 青井孝 松ヶ枝恭子
Just then, Shiho gasps, blushing heavily in a more realistic style. She stands there for a few seconds in awe. “You... mean it?”
“Of course!” Hekireki exclaims, shaking Shiho's hand.
3DCGIプロデューサー: 神林憲和 (オクティグラフィカ)
神林憲和 齋藤勝彦 沖田貢靖 林太郎
井野元英二 都田崇之 シンゼフン 越田祐二
3DCGI制作協力: 井野元英二 (オレンジ)
撮影監督: 木村俊也 (T2 studio)
撮影: T2 Studio
木村俊也 加藤千恵 加藤絵梨 田沢二郎 別府光太郎 設楽希 金珍熙 刀根有史
Hekireki leans in, smiling a little wider. “You saved my life today, after all!” She looks over to the side, closing her eyes and lightly blushing in embarrassment. “I admit, it was tough for me to do it alone, but that song really helped.” The blush fades as Hekireki opens her eyes looking over at Shiho.
深沢美津奈 藤田哲郎 入山真二
Hekireki looks back at Shiho, the blush gone. “So again, thanks for all that, Freak Girl.” Hekireki holds Shiho's hand tighter. “Thanks a bunch.”
音響効果助手: 西佐知子 (サウンドボックス)
Shiho lightly gasps in appreciation. After a second with her mouth half-open, she closes her eyes, and once she reopens them, she smiles. “You're welcome, Mistress.” She closes her eyes and leans forward a little, lightly puckering her lips as if she's anticipating a kiss.
“Huh?” Hekireki blinks as her face turns from a warm to slightly confused.
The POV zooms in on Shiho's mouth, her lips once again visibly pink in color. They're definitely in a form that implies a kiss.
Hekireki's eyes are now flat at the tops, her eyebrows slightly angled down as her mouth wrinkles a bit in annoyance at Shiho's assumption. She then closes her eyes and looks down. “You idiot.”
“Hm?” Shiho opens her eyes, her lips still puckered.
歌: OH DADDY feat. 桂田志保 (CV: 清水愛)
編曲: いしわたり淳治 石野卓球
Hekireki lets go of Shiho's hand and turns around. “Come on, we're nowhere close to being like that yet.”
Shiho closes her eyes, unpuckers her lips, and rubs the back of her head, faking a laugh in embarrassment. “Yeah, you're right. How silly of me.” She puts her hands down and then opens her eyes. “Well, it's getting late.” Shiho starts walking. “I'm off to bed.”
挿入歌: ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION (ki/oon Records)
『リライト』 『Re:Re:』 『ライカ』 『アンダースタンド』
石野卓球 (ki/oon Records)
『Ninety-Three』 『Ghost in the Shell』
After walking past Hekireki, Shiho approaches the door into the living room of Nana's house. “Good night, Mistress!” she softly says as she waves to Hekireki. She then opens the door and goes inside, closing it behind her.
Hekireki looks at the door for a second or two more, the same look of slight annoyance and rejection in her face as before. After that, her eyebrows angle upward and she smiles.
キャラクタークリエイティブチーム: 濠沢彼太 kohikki 千頭悪戸 ボクサ mg天使 cid猫
波様RX 場藤一 月女神 鳳執事
Johnny and Cujo continue to hang out over by their instruments; the former is sitting on the stool, looking down at the ground, while the latter is standing with his hands in his pockets and his guitar on his back, looking up at the sky.
“There you have it,” Hekireki says as she walks up to the two, who look in her direction – Johnny first and Cujo second – once she stops in front of them. “I did it.”
Johnny smiles and nods. “Great! I knew you could do it, coz!”
“Now that that's off your back, looks like you'll go back to hatin' Sniper B*tch, right?”
プロデューサー: 米内則智 松家雄一郎 丸山博雄 大山良 細川修
Hekireki looks up at the sky, smiling and blushing. “Maybe.” She turns around and starts walking toward Nana's house. “We'll just have to wait and see.”
Johnny and Cujo watch as Hekireki walks away, both of them a little confused.
宣伝: 安藤ひと美 柴田亜矢 小森健一
編成: 関谷祐輔 田村健彦
協力: 亀田製菓株式会社 TOYOTA Gibson
Johnny lets out a small smile. “Well, it certainly seems like Hekireki's changing considerably.”
“Wait, so by “yet”, she meant...?” Cujo asks, surprised.
Johnny looks at Cujo and shrugs subtly. “Could be.”
The scene then cuts to later in the night, outside of Nana's house. The sky has become dark, save for a number of stars in the sky. The lights hanging from the outside of Nana's house, particularly the ones closest to the street her house is off of, flicker off.
Cut to inside Nana's house, the main focus lying on the hallway on the second floor. The POV is situated at the end where the stairwell is, zooming in towards the end of the hallway where the window, blinds closed, is; and focusing in on the door to Hekireki's room.
Inside her room, Hekireki lies down on the bed. The bedsheet only covers her body below her waist, leaving room for her right leg to stick out. She looks up at the ceiling, gazing to the side as if she's in some sort of trance. After a few seconds, her partially open mouth closes, and her tranced eyes become filled with one last determined urge.
絵コンテ: 濠沢彼太 迫井政行
The scene cuts to the inside of a room, mostly darkened so the only visible thing is the door leading out. Suddenly, the knob is turned and it slowly pushes open, the setting outside revealing itself to be the door at the end of the hallway, close to the stairs down; also, the window at the end is open, bringing in some light. Hekireki, wearing only the lingerie she went to bed with, peeks inside, looking around. She walks inside and goes to the right, moving closer towards the main area of the room whose left side is hidden by the room to the left of the hallway. Soon, various things come into light by the light supplied by the open door; a guest-sized bed in the middle of the room against the windowless wall it is put up against, with a desk and chair to the left, and a nightstand with a turned-off lamp on it to the right. Sleeping in the bed, everything below her shoulders covered by the white sheets with a red embroidered design along the sides, is Shiho. Hekireki looks at her from afar once she's behind part of the wall, looking into the room. Her face has the same determined look on it, but after a second, she smiles sweetly once again.
“I can't believe I let it slip out like that.” Hekireki approaches Shiho's bedside and looks down at her face, peaceful with her eyes closed, her mouth slightly open, and the stillness implying a deep sleep. “But...” Hekireki gets on her knees and grabs her right shoulder, bring her a little closer. “...it should spell good things for your future. Maybe even our future.” Hekireki leans in and gives Shiho a soft kiss on the forehead, making it long enough to last. That is a second. She pulls away right after.
アニメーション制作: bones KINEMA CITRUS
Hekireki stands up and looks down at Shiho once again. “Sweet dreams, Freak Girl.” Hekireki walks back to the door.
Cut to later, the door to her room closing shut. The POV strays away from the door and back towards Shiho, continuing to sleep in her bed. After a few seconds of focus, Shiho's blank sleeping face turns into an even more peaceful one, with a smile, a blush, and a slight giggly moan.
製作: 毎日放送 きぐま求職者連合 bones
The screen fades to black.
Cut to somewhere completely different, at around the same time as the previous scene. The setting is outside of a convenience store positioned along a 4-lane road with barely any cars driving along it; the exception is one compact car with its headlights and taillights on driving past. The store is very close to the street, separated by a brick sidewalk made visible by the glowing neon sign above the store that says “ナナトバ” or “Nanatoba” in red against a white and orange striped background. The lights are on inside the store, showing a magazine rack to the right of the sliding doors inside, and rows of goods to the left. Outside of the doors, there are three grey recycling bins to the left and some ads up against the windows to the right. To the left of the store is a street corner, turning onto the next street. To the right is a gap between it and the next building, housing a parking lot of sorts.
Cut to inside the store, at the cashier's post. An old man, around 60 years of age, sits at the counter, his elbow resting upon it with his head resting upon his hand, looking down at the counter. He's only slightly wrinkled, but he has a thin head, bags under his eyes, and grey hair that goes past his forehead and a little more. Displayed in the pocket-shelves in the front of the counter include wrapped candy bars and packages of gum. Behind the counter are packs of cigarettes, the package colors ranging from brown to white to grey to black to red.
Then, someone walks up to the counter, dropping a bag of baked tofu chips onto it. “Excuse me.”
“Eh?” The old cashier opens his mouth and looks up at the person at the counter.
The person standing at the counter is of a tall stature, around 6', maybe a couple inches more. His hair is dark brown, but up top, where the hairs in front are combed inwards toward each other in a messy fashion and the hairs in back are curled slightly, it's a lighter, more metallic shade of brown. He has sunglasses on, dark enough to hide his eyes; the eyes themselves are hidden thanks to the glare of the fluorescent lights shining above. He's wearing a zipped up hoodie that, while zipped, appears to show in a shade of grey, the Statue of Liberty facing forward in the middle and six arms, three on either side, holding guns up in the air. The lower torso of the statue is replaced by the Earth, with numerous planes shooting off from the surface, and several more circling around it, travelling away from each other near the bottom21. His hands are in the front pockets of the hoodie, and his head is slightly tilted.
“How much do you want for this?”
The cashier looks down at the package, blinking once, before looking back up. “300 yen.”
The man places three 100 coins on the table, pushing them past the package and towards the cashier. “Here you are.”
“Thank you for your purchase.” The man removes his hand and, as the cashier takes his money, he picks up the bag and leaves.
The scene cuts back to outside of the convenience store, backing up to the other side of the road, where three large, shadowy figures lie in wait...
“This is taking too d*mn long,” a breathy young man sounding like he's in some kind of cockpit complains. “How do we even know that he's in there!?”
The shadowy figures turn out to be three Shiroteros. They look all the same; standard Shiroteros with the red eye in the “head” and an exposed red core in the body area. All have what appear to be gun barrels attached to their arms, extending well past their hands. The barrels also have triggers that the hands of the Shirotero hold onto.
“Stay alert, ensign,” an older Shirotero pilot tells the younger. “We tracked his movements to this location. Now's the best time to get him, if any.”
“Hey, guys,” a deeper-voiced pilot says, his Shirotero (the rightmost one) pointing to the convenience store. The other two Shiroteros look in the first's direction. “I've got someone on radar.”
The scene cuts to the convenience store. The doors open and the man steps out, looking down. After the doors close behind him, he looks up a little. However, immediately after looking up, his eyes widen and his teeth clench in surprise, flinching slightly.
“It's him!” the older pilot announces. “Fire!” All three Shiroteros point their attached-to-the-arm guns at the convenience store and start firing. The bullets hit the windows on the left side of the convenience store, shattering them and causing them to cave into the store. As the bullets slowly move to the right and take out the glass in the sliding door and the windows to the right of that along with it, the man turns around, pulls his hood up and starts running to the right, dodging the bullets before they hit. After dodging the bullets that hit the convenience store, he runs into the parking lot next to the store, turning inside only when he gets past the second car.
Cut to inside of a car. The man opens the door, gets in the driver's seat, and closes it just as fast, muffling the shooting sounds from outside. He gets a key out of his pocket and puts it in the ignition, turning it to start the car. “D*mn! These b*stards are persistent.” As he speaks to himself, the man moves his gear stick down one notch and adjusts his rear-view mirror. He then slams his foot on the gas.
Just then, as the Shiroteros shoot at the walls behind the small parking lot, a black Lexus LFA quickly backs out of the parking lot and turns right onto the street. The Shiroteros stop shooting and look at it as it stops after backing up to the point where the two face each other. In the driver's seat of the LFA is the man. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a Kel-Tec P-11 pistol, looks at the Shirotero army, and shoots at them six times with the gun. All they do is deflect off of the Shirotero's chests. They raise their guns again at the LFA. The man then pulls his gun back into the car and hits the gas, switching the gear shift beforehand. The car speeds forward, running away from the Shiroteros.
“Hey!” The left Shirotero moves to look in the direction of the car and starts shooting. The other two Shiroteros move beside it to shoot at the car with it. “Get back here!” They all fire their rounds at the LFA, which speeds off down the road, missing nearly all the bullets behind it. That only inspires the Shiroteros to shoot at it some more from afar, at a longer range. The POV focuses on the car as it speeds off, moving upward to show the street ahead, numerous streetlights lighting up both it and the three-to-four story buildings that already light up the road. The lights of another city shine on in the distance down the road. And with a single shot that echoes, the screen fades to black.
TO BE CONTINUED
(MUSIC: “Typeset Interface – Second Coming” by Takkyu Ishino)
Daisuke: “The turning point of your long-term goal is not far from where you stand. With boosted confidence and an unexpected ally in your circle of acquaintances, you have to choose whether to keep to it or to let it go. Next time on KIGUMA, episode 12: Coming Storm.”
05-31-2012 03:54 PM - edited 06-01-2012 05:13 PM
It may have taken me longer than I wanted to write this. I deleted the OP, played the credits during the episode, and even extended it by an extra 30 seconds, just to get in all that I wanted inside. I personally think it was worth it.
TOTAL TIME: 24:59
JAPANESE VOICE CAST
Shiho Katsurada – Ai Shimizu
Hekireki Enzeru – Fumiko Orikasa
Junichi “Johnny” Ishimura – Daisuke Ono
Kujo “Cujo” Nakata – Katsuyuki Konishi
Yuri Yamada – Aki Toyosaki
Isamu Watanabe – Daisuke Namikawa
Ai Takahashi – Nana Mizuki
Nana Koizumi – Romi Park
Daisuke Takahashi – Junichi Suwabe
Iva Izumi – Ami Koshimizu
Man – Yoshihisa Kawahara
Shirotero Squadron A – Masashi Sugawara
Shirotero Squadron B – Atsushi Imaruoka
Shirotero Squadron C – Kouki Miyata
Convenience Store Clerk – Rokuro Naya
Record Store Clerk – Masafumi Goto (ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION)
ENGLISH VOICE CAST
Shiho Katsurada – Philece Sampler
Hekireki Enzeru – Michelle Ruff
Junichi “Johnny” Ishimura – Ethan Murray
Kujo “Cujo” Nakata – Steve Blum
Yuri Yamada – Stephanie Sheh
Isamu Watanabe – Dave Wittenberg
Ai Takahashi – Bridget Hoffman
Nana Koizumi – Mary Elizabeth McGlynn
Daisuke Takahashi – Crispin Freeman
Iva Izumi – Lauren Landa
Man – Travis Willingham
Shirotero Squadron – Liam O'Brien
Paul St. Peter
Convenience Store Clerk – William Frederick Knight
Record Store Clerk – Johnny Yong Bosch
BOARD MEMBER COMPARISON (in order of appearance)
Shiho Katsurada – PokeNirvash
Iva Izumi – SenseAcct
Daisuke Takahashi – Kohikki
Junichi “Johnny” Ishimura – Kohikki
Kujo “Cujo” Nakata – _Boxers_
Hekireki Enzeru – mgangel1124
Yuri Yamada – WavemasterRyx
Ai Takahashi – BadWitch
Nana Koizumi – MoonGoddess17
Isamu Watanabe – cidthekittyisfun
Aki Miyazaki – SenseAcct
Man – DeaconPhenix
()() – Two things are going on/being said at the same time.
Rated TV-14DLS for suggestive dialogue, profanity, nudity, and mild violence
1: “In the nuddy” is British slang for “naked”.
2: If this was on [adult swim], pretend they're using the light pixelation they did with Durarara!!, not the ridiculous blurring they did with Macross Plus on the Sci Fi Channel.
3: Pretend that the dash signals the point where it becomes two lines.
4: Ajikan is the Japanese pormanteau for the J-rock band ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION. Remember it, because it will be important later.
5: It was the only British slang word for lesbian I could find that wasn't derogatory. That, and “friend of Dorothy's” would be a term more likely to fit Johnny (but don't tell him that).
6: Let's just say that watching Eureka seveN AO and Sakamichi no Apollon made me realize that I should start detailing my backgrounds a bit more. This background scene in particular was drawn in at Stereotype Smarchill, one of two recently formed background art studios in the anime industry. Their real-life clients include (and practically consist of) Hayate no Gotoku! Heaven is a Place on Earth, some episodes of Persona4: The Animation, and the final two episodes of the Black Rock Shooter TV anime. The particular artist who worked on the scene setup for Nana's kitchen is Takeshi Satou, art director for series such as Please Twins!, Noein, Birdy the Mighty Decode, and Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. I haven't checked, but I also presume he's the founder of Stereotype Smarchill.
7: When Shiho says “right now” she means it in a way that excludes the potential wishes for the KIGUMA from the list of possibilities.
8: “Ninety-Three” is an insert song for the anime Eureka seveN composed by Takkyu Ishino. The song is 5:14 in full, but the version in this episode only covers 0:09-1:19, the total time being 1:10.
9: See, I told you it'd be important.
10: ki/oon Records is the sub-label of Sony Music Entertainment that ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION is signed to. It's pronounced “kyoon”.
11: The clerk is supposed to be an expy of ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION leader, singer, guitarist, and songwriter Masafumi Goto, to the point of being voiced by him.
12: “Rewrite” is the second song on ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION's 2005 album Sol-fa, and is also the 4th opening theme for Fullmetal Alchemist. The song is 3:45 in full, but the version in this episode covers only 1:15-1:38, the total time being 0:23.
13: A tie-up is a term for when a song on an album is used in a TV show as a theme song or insert song.
14: That list is of actual ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION songs used as tie-ups. The recognizable anime ones are as follows: Haruka Kanata (Naruto OP2), Rewrite (Fullmetal Alchemist OP4), Aru Machi no Gunjou (Tekkonkinkreet ED), After Dark (BLEACH OP7) and Maigoinu to Ame no Beat (The Tatami Galaxy OP). The more obscure ones are as follows: Mirai no Kakera (Under CDTV August 2003 theme song), Kimi to Iu Hana (Pooh! December 2003 ED), Loop & Loop (Suzuki Choinori promo song, Damenori! ED), Siren (AX MUSIC-TV ED55), Blackout (au music 05 summer promo song), World Apart (RecoChoku promo song), Mustang (Uchikuru!? ED), Solanin (Solanin theme song), Mustang (mix for Meiko) (Solanin ED), and Marching Band (Benesse Shingenzemi High School Course promo song). Yes, Shiho is that big an Ajikan fan.
15:“Re:Re” is the eigth song on Sol-fa. The song is 3:54 in full, but the version in this episode covers only 0:57-1:24, the total time being 0:27.
16: “Laika” is the eighth song on ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION's 2008 album World World World. The song is 3:51 in full, but the version in this episode covers only 1:16-1:39, the total time being 0:23. Don't let the upbeat melody trick you; it's about a dog doomed to die alone in space. See the name for reference.
17: “Understand” is the fourth song on ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION's 2003 album Kimi Tsunagi Five M. The song is 3:44 in full, but the version in this episode covers only 3:10-3:42, the total time being 0:32. However, the version sung by Shiho later in the episode is a cover of the full song.
18: “Ghost in the Shell” is the main theme for the 1997 Ghost in the Shell PlayStation game, composed by Takkyu Ishino. The song is 6:46 in full, but the version in this episode covers only 0:42-1:16, the total time being 0:34.
19: If I haven't mentioned this already, _Boxers_'s design for Cujo came from that of Murdoc Niccals of the virtual band Gorillaz. One of the many similarities between Cujo and Murdoc is their guitars; both are very similar, from the type to the color to the name.
20: Before you start questioning the italics, those are just to represent the fact that Shiho is singing. Speaking of which, judging from several internet sources, Shiho's Japanese VA, Ai Shimizu, is a fairly good singer. Don't know about Philece Sampler's singing ability, though; just pretend that she's singing good.
21: This t-shirt.
Here are the original Japanese vocals for “Understand”. Enjoy:
kishinda sono kokoro, oh, oh, sore understand
yukanda hi no kimi wo, oh, oh, sutenaide yo, yeah
nagekiatte mukaeru asayake de kieyuku sono omoi wo
futoshita koto de shiru muryoku sa de hotsureru sono omoi wo
nigotta me no saki no akari kienu machikado
yadotta sono kokoro, tayasanaide yo
hibikanai kimi nosaki no mienu ashita mo negau yo
kishinda sono kokoro, oh, oh, sore understand
yukanda hi no kimi wo, oh, oh, sutenaide yo, yeah
hikaranai kokoro, sore demo matsu ashita no
tsukanda sono te dake hanasanaide yo
hibikanai toki wo kakenuketeku aida mo negau yo
fuan de naita kimi mo, oh, oh, sore understand
sasatta sono toge ga, oh, oh, nukenakute mo
fusaide naita hibi mo, oh, oh, sore understand
yuganda hi no kimi wo, oh, oh, sutenaide de yo, yeah
07-07-2012 06:07 PM
08-08-2012 07:59 AM
08-09-2012 06:56 AM - edited 10-13-2012 09:30 AM
I apologize beforehand for the choppy pacing this episode. I gave the episode four storyboarders, though (one of which was me), to at least explain it away. Also, another extra 30 seconds. Had to race against the clock to make sure everything flowed well without going over the time limit (or at least more than 30 seconds beyond). Anyways, enjoy.
(MUSIC: “the queen breathes jazz” by Takkyu Ishino)
OPENING NARRATION (HEKIREKI)
I NEVER REALLY CARED MUCH FOR THE DESTROY EVENT OR THE KIGUMA. HELL, THE ONLY REASON I'M EVEN GOING WITH EVERYONE IS BECAUSE JUNICHI PERSUADED ME TO. AS MUCH AS I THINK THAT THINGS WOULDN'T BE ALL THAT DIFFERENT IF I HADN'T GONE, I HAVE TO ADMIT, LIFE HAS BECOME MORE EXCITING SINCE I JOINED UP WITH THAT KID TOSHIO. DON'T THINK IT'S RYUDIS'S FAULT OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT. ABOVE ALL ELSE, THE MOST EXCITING THING ABOUT THIS JOURNEY IS FREAK GIRL. SHE'S PROTECTING ALL OF US FROM RYUDIS AND THEIR SHIROTEROS, BUT BEHIND THAT INSANE EXTERIOR OF A FIGHTER LIES THIS EVEN INSANER PERSONALITY. SHE SHARES THE SAME BODY AS TOSHIO, IS TURNED ON BY PAIN, AND THINKS OF ME AS HER “MISTRESS”. BUT AFTER SAVING MY LIFE, I'M KINDA STARTING TO LIGHTEN UP TO HER. I DON'T EXPECT IT TO STAY THAT WAY, BUT IF IT DOES, I'M SURE THE BOTH OF US WILL BE PLEASANTLY SURPRISED BY IT.
原作: bones x 濠沢彼太
キャラクターデザイン/総作画監督: 菊池聡延 (nomad)
3DCGIプロデューサー: 神林憲和 (オクティグラフィカ)
撮影監督: 木村俊也 (T2 studio)
オープニングテーマ: 『the truth』
作曲: TAKUYA∞ 彰
編曲: UVERworld 平出悟
The episode starts out with another night shot of Tokyo, the Ryudis Governmental Building and its 50 stories dominating the skyline like always. Numerous windows in the building are lit up, much like those of the city in the distance, the dark blue night sky above providing some blue color to the buildings to mix in with the lights already supplied.
“I don't believe this!”
(MUSIC: “RYUDIS” by Takkyu Ishino)
Cut to inside Kataoka's office on the top floor of the building. Kataoka is standing behind his desk with his hands behind his back, looking front and center at the person on the other side of the desk: Iva. Her hands resting in the pockets of her fire-red hoodie, she stands and looks down with mixed feeling; her eyes show shame of defeat, but her mouth, twitching a little, gives signs of annoyance. Natsuko leans against the wall to the left behind Iva, and Daisuke and Kichirou against the wall to the right.
“It's one thing to see someone with a record such as yours fail a solo mission, but to screw up an important job such as this!?”
Iva looks up at Kataoka with a bit of nervousness, raising her hand slightly. “To be fair, sir, I did try my har-”
“THAT'S NOT THE POINT!”
Iva cringes at Kataoka's yelling, lowering her hand, closing her eyes, and slowly opening the right one in with higher nervousness than before.
Daisuke looks forward and then over at Iva, a little worried about her despite his body's show of confidence in his correctness. Like usual when out-of-Shirotero, he's wearing his blue blazer, white T-shirt, and slacks. Kichirou, wearing his grey hoodie, just looks down at the cigarette in his mouth as he tries to light it, failing a couple of times. When he finally lights it, he closes his eyes, lowers his lighter while closing it, and inhales as he smokes.
“Hard work and effort are no excuse for escaping the penalty of defeat. Sh*t like that only works in the classroom.”
Natsuko is dressed as usual in a form-fitting shirt – this one blue – showing off her shoulder, a black pencil-line miniskirt, fishnet stockings, and black knee-high high-heeled boots. She stands with her arms crossed and her right leg against the wall as the left stays on the ground. She lets off a rather sinister smirk, showing her teeth through that smirk after a few seconds of standing and snickering some.
“But this is different. This is your job. A life or death battle! The struggle you faced is nothing compared to the failure you're now stuck with!”
Now, Kataoka is turned around, his hands still behind his back. He lowers his head slightly and sighs. “And to think I gave you permission to go through with the mission.” Kataoka then raises his head and looks to his left, turning around afterwards. “Simple reprimandation isn't going to remedy your pitiful efforts this time.” He closes his eyes partway through his previous sentence, and opens them as he starts the next. “I'm afraid my only resort for you is to let you go.”
Iva takes one step forward and forms her hands into fists, angry. “Hold on a minute! You can't just go and fire me for something that wasn't my fault!” Iva puts her right hand over her heart to further emphasize her claim.
“You misunderstand, Miss Izumi.”
“Huh?” Iva, still angry in the eyes, looks at Kataoka in interest.
“You aren't being discharged. You're merely being reassigned.”
“Reassigned to what? Something that's not BSA?”
Kataoka smirks. “Hm. Yes, you could say that.” Iva looks forward, her anger calming as she puts her hands down. “A man who formerly held a high position within our ranks went AWOL just a few months ago. Since then, a group of Shirotero pilots from our Attack Force have been dispatched to find this man and put him down for his betrayal against us.”
Iva looks at Kataoka with confidence. “And what does this have to do with me?”
“The men have only just caught up with this man tonight, over in Naka City.” Kataoka stands, his eyes closed as he “looks” down at his desk. “They've been losing sight of him before then, and now that they've got their hooks in him...” He opens his eyes and looks up. “...they need someone to lead them forward.”
“Couldn't you've just sent their commander to meet with them?”
“Captain Yamamoto's busy at the moment, and given your survival record in your recent missions, you're as good a substitute as any.”
Iva smirks. “If that's the case, then I'll do it.”
Kataoka nods. “Good. The details of the mission will be debriefed to you tomorrow. Until then, get some rest.”
“Right!” Iva nods as she turns around, walking towards the doors out.
Just as Iva opens the door out, about to walk out, Natsuko leans in and looks over at her. “Just 'cause my old man's occupied right now, it doesn't mean he's any worse of a leader than you are, b*tch.”
Iva perks up a little at Natsuko's words, growling under her breath as she goes on. She then angrily turns to Natsuko and yells at her. “Shut up!” Iva walks out and slams the door behind her.
As she does so, Natsuko just moves her head back and smiles evilly. (MUSIC END) After the door closes, she then turns to Kataoka. “Speaking of which, what is my father doing, anyways?”
“I'm glad you asked. He'll be assisting Mister Shuuta in Operation BSA's third phase.”
“Huh?” Daisuke looks at Kichirou.
Kichirou's cigarette drops out of his mouth. Surprised, he turns to Kataoka and spreads out his arms with the palms facing outward, in a matter that says “Are you serious?”.
“As last mission proved, we can't spend every day forward dawdling around, straying from BSA's goal.” He looks over at Kichirou. “Killing Shiho while we still have the chance is a better course of action than waiting a day or two only for her to grow stronger than before. And for that, extra experience is needed to ensure total victory. You agree, Shuuta?”
Kichirou nods and gives a thumbs up.
Daisuke then steps forward, looking at Kataoka. “Wait, sir. You mentioned just Kichi, didn't you? What about me? Aren't I going too?”
Kataoka smirks. “Hn. Excellent point, Lieutenant Takahashi. You're not.” Daisuke stands in slight surprise to Kataoka's answer with a close attentiveness to his expression. “Tomorrow, a number of high government officials and I are holding a meeting pertaining to this mission. And as a key player, I'd like you to attend.”
With a miniscule step back, Daisuke gasps.
The scene cuts to the following day. It is late morning, and accompanying the sounds of the wind blowing is the sky; a bright light blue with some white clouds in the distance and the sun making the sky a brighter blue color. The sun also adds an unneeded brightness to the setting below: an asphalt street outside of what appears to be an old house. The house is white in color and made of wood, the paint peeling off and showing the dull brown wood underneath. Above that white exterior is a brown gable roof, the triangular siding formed by that gable roof made of stucco rather than painted wood. Part of the house sticks out from the left side of the front, a brown steel gable roof slanting downward above stucco on the upper half of the wall and grey cinderblock on the bottom half. Housed inside that small protrusion outward towards the very edge of the road is a storage area, fit for a car of some sort. It looks dark inside, the faint outline of a car visible... a Lexus LFA, to be exact.
Inside the car, sleeping with his arms resting on the wheel of the car, is the man who drove off in it in the previous episode. The hood of his hoodie is now over his head, a shot of it from the front revealing that on the hood, it reads “all shall perish” in English. He snores once or twice, inhaling and exhaling with each breath. After a few seconds of snoozing, the man raises his head up and yawns, putting his right hand over his mouth in good manners. After he finishes his yawn, he blinks once or twice, the tiredness in his gold-colored eyes clear and recognizable as such. “Morning already?” He moves back and reaches out toward the steering wheel of the LFA, black all around with a silver Lexus logo in the front. He presses the “ENGINE START” button on the right side of the wheel's center.
Cut to outside of the car storage area. The LFA creeps out of the carport, stopping once everything from the back of the front seats beyond are out in sight. The man, now with his hood down, looks out of his driver's side window onto the street, looking around. No cars are on the four-way street adjacent to the house's location, and very few pedestrians can be seen on the road either. The man, with as serious a look and scowl as before, moves back in his seat as he grips his hands to the wheel on the 10:00 and 2:00 positions and nods. “Hm. All clear.”
Just then, in a flash, the screen cuts to black, but just as quick, the setting change moves in from the right. The LFA is now driving on the left side of a straight road moving forward. To the right of it is a concrete sidewalk split up into rectangle-shaped divisions, bordered to its right with a white railing with a major case of rust along the two horizontal beams connecting to each vertical post. To the left is barren farmland, wooden telephone poles in the forground connected to one another with the wires; three up top, three below those, four thin lines with a wave-pattern line between a set of two below those a foot or two down, and a thick line blue two thin lines below those another foot or two down. One pole has two lines coming from the bottom row of wires connecting to the ground beside it in a slant; another has a lamppost hanging from it, which is not on, of course. After that, another quick from-the-right fade to black, followed by another POV change. This POV change now shows a close-up of the LFA, panning from the back to the front. After a focus on that for a couple of seconds, the POV changes via the drive-by black fade again, showing a closeup of the man, hood still down, from the driver's-side window of the LFA. His eyes show initial focus on the road, but occasionally shift to the left and right in caution.
The scene then cuts to someplace else. The LFA comes to a stop, the POV focusing on the back of the car. The white license plate attached to it reads “東京20 せ51-64” or “Tokyo20; 51-64”. After it stops, the scene cuts to a shot of someone opening a Coka-Cura1 soft drink can through the tab. The holder of the can – the man, his hood still down – brings the can up to his mouth and starts drinking. He stands outside of his LFA, his back against the driver's side door as his car rests next to a two-story building, leaving plenty of room for the man to drink in peace. The first story of the building is stucco and has a thin, tan industrial garage door attached to it; the second story is concrete, has no windows, and provides a small overhang for the area close to the first floor. The car's front bumper faces another building, with two steps leading up to some double doors with white border and the bottom half windows covered in grey, covered by a rectangular brown awning a number of inches in thickness. After drinking the soda for a couple more seconds, the man lets go and breathes a refreshed sigh of relief.
In another quick cut, the man gets back in the LFA and shuts the door. After getting in, the man turns to his left and faces his GPS, which is on a small screen above everything else in the middle, separating the driver's seat from the passenger's seat. After a few button presses, a map pops up, showing the streets in a blue-tinted white and everything that isn't in blue. The map zooms out from the current position – a four-way intersection turned approximately 45° - to a farther view, focusing on what appears to me a small city, with the subtitle “北茨城市" in white. A red dot blinks on and off with some circular lines coming off from it, indicating the man's position.
“Kitaibaraki...” The man tilts his head a little. “Hm. Must've traveled a long way, then.” The man puts his hands on the wheel and presses the “ENGINE START” button on his car's wheel again. The LFA starts to back out into the street. “If I get going now, I should reach Northern Honshu in the next few hours. At the very least, it'll hold those b*stards off for another few hours or so–”
But then, all of a sudden, something hits the tail end of the LFA from its right side, blowing off the top right corner of the trunk and taking out the right taillight. Startled by the hit, the man looks angrily to his right, out the window of his car. From that window, he sees three white figures standing in the middle of the road: the Shiroteros that were following him earlier. All three of them are standing there, their red “eyes” and cores shining even in the daylight, aiming their arm-guns at the LFA, with no chance of missing him in their position.
The older pilot of the three lets out a small grunt. “Heh. We've got you now, assh*le!”
The man scoffs and turns back. “Sh*t!” He backs his car up the rest of his way, quickly turning it to the right so its back bumper is facing the Shiroteros. After making that maneuver, the man presses some buttons in the middle of the car and then steps on the gas, speeding off.
“After him!” the older pilot commands.
“Right!” the other two command, nodding their Shirotero's heads at the Shirotero in center. They start to walk forward in a fast motion for a Shirotero, firing their guns at the LFA. As it continues to speed off down the road, veering from the right side of the road to the left, the bullets from the arm-guns shoot up the road behind the LFA, missing the target entirely. Grey dust clouds come up from the asphalt of the road after the area it comes from it shot up, obscuring the car before and after it merges lanes.
(MUSIC: “pushing buttons to keep up the good mood” by Takkyu Ishino)
The scene cuts to someplace different. The main shot is of someone sitting on a wooden bench, the kind with a back for one to lean against. That person is Aki. He lets out a refreshed sigh as he sits. “Ahh... Feels good to rest, doesn't it?”
After a compact car drives by on the road, the location reveals itself: a three-way intersection, with one road entering into a larger road, with no sign of that road going through. Both roads are two-lane, but while the road that goes through has its lanes separated by a yellow line, the road that branches off of it – separated from the road with a white crosswalk and a long metal grate cutting it in half vertically – has no such divider. Running alongside the right side of the main road is an asphalt sidewalk, with virtually no separation from the street proper, and bordered on its own right side by a metal traffic guardrail whose top shows significant rusting. Between the road and the sidewalk, facing the other road, is a white sign held up by two supports that shows a left-right arrow with a red vertical line coming down from the bottom of the midpoint, illustrating the situation at that intersection. At the edge of the sidewalk a little ways down from that sign is the bench, and hanging around that bench is the Kikyuuren.
Sitting on the bench, from left to right, are Johnny, catching his breath and looking down at the ground with his legs in a partial spread and his elbows resting on his legs, the hands pointing down at the ground; Cujo, his arms behind the bench as he catches his breath, looking up at the sky; and Aki, leaning back against the chair with a relaxed look on his face. Standing to the left of the bench are Hekireki and Shiho, the latter wearing her usual clothes with her sniper rifle slung over her shoulder, while the former has switched out into a purple blouse with the words “WHERE ELSE TO GO” in white, as well as her usual blue jeans. Hekireki just stands, leaning against the side of the bench as she looks off into the distance, while Shiho stands next to her, going between glancing at and away from her in slight nervousness, a slight blush in her cheeks. Over on the right side of the bench, Nana, in the kind of getup she normally wears around her house, kind of sits on the edge of the seat, only covering the very edge as she looks down and checks her cell phone. Standing off to the side, a foot or two away from the right side of the bench, are Isamu, Yuri, who is holding onto Isamu's hand, and Ai.
“Yeah,” Isamu comments. He looks over at the bench. “This is our first stop since we left, right?”
“Yep.” Nana looks up at her phone, which she brings up with her too. “And in four hours too.”
“It's like the walk here wasn't a sweat at all.”
Ai brushes her back a bit with her hand. “You know, that extra night we spent at Dr. Koizumi's place must've helped a lot.” She looks around at the rest of the group. “Don't you all agree?”
Yuri turns to Ai, closes her eyes, smiles, and nods at her. “Yeah, it did!”
Isamu looks at Ai too. “Same here.”
Nana lowers her head and puts her phone back in a shoulderbag she has on the ground between her legs. As she puts it away, Aki looks up at the sky. “Even with that incident yesterday, it's the most refreshed I've ever felt in my life!” Aki then turns his head towards Johnny and Cujo, still catching their breaths. He looks at them with disappointment. “Though the same can't be said for these two.”
Cujo brings his head up... “Ah, f*ck off.” ...and then brings it forward, lowering it a bit.
Johnny raises his head, smiling the best he can as tired as he is. “We just spent all last night working up a song to make Coz feel better, that's all.”
Aki looks at Johnny with a raised eyebrow. “Hm? That was you?”
Nana looks behind at Aki, picking up her bag and slinging it over her shoulder. “Of course it was. Didn't you get up and see them?”
Aki moves his head back, closing his eyes as his face once again angles up toward the sky. “Nah, I was comfortable where I was.”
Nana looks down, a bit disgruntled by Aki's response. She then stands up and looks over at Johnny and Cujo herself. “But if that's the case, then why isn't Shiho tired like you two?”
“Yeah.” Aki sits up and looks over at Shiho and Hekireki, the former inching herself closer toward the latter. “And why isn't she all over that chick (like she normally is?”)
(Hekireki overhears Aki's words and gets angry, turning around to him and yelling. “I have a name, you ass!”) Shiho isn't fazed by this at all, and even inches a little closer to Hekireki as the latter turns her head back.
“That? Oh, Shiho's probably happy that Coz finally did something nice for her.”
“And maybe she's finally beginning to respect Thundert*ts's boundaries.”
Shiho looks behind her and over at Cujo. “I wouldn't say that.” She turns her head back and looks down, squirming a bit as she blushes redder than before. “I mean, you're right. It's important now to make sure Mistress is comfortable around me...” She raises her head and looks up and off to the side, in the direction where Hekireki is standing. “...and respecting her boundaries is the first step.” She moves her head back down and blushes harder, less out of shyness and more out of affection. “But it's still my first time, (so I can't help but break them every once in a while!”)
(Shiho looks at Hekireki, leaps over and hugs her from the side, wrapping her arms around her and rubbing her face close to her shoulder. Hekireki is caught off-guard by Shiho's sudden move, surprised. She takes her hand and puts it on Shiho's shoulder in an attempt to get her off of her, looking at her with the annoyance an authority figure would have, not the anger she's had towards her before.) “Freak Girl, what are you doing? Let go!”
As the signs of Hekireki's struggle move on, Cujo looks down and sighs. “Ah, forget it. Nothing's changed between those two.”
Johnny turns to Cujo. “Hey, don't say that. You saw last night, didn't you?” Johnny looks forward and looks up, smiling. “The two of them are getting along better than before, even now.” He looks over at them. “It's only natural for people to change.” Cujo looks over at them, still as cynical as before.
Over with the other two, Shiho is continuing to hug and rub up against Hekireki, the latter growing angrier. At this point, she just takes her hand off of Shiho's shoulder and presses it against her face. “I'm serious, Freak Girl! GET OFF!” She pushes Shiho off of her with the one hand, causing Shiho to automatically let go and turn around. She yelps a bit as she falls face-first to the ground below.
Johnny looks back, nervously attempting to fake a smile. “That is, even if some parts don't.”
“Yeah, that's some classic sh*t right there.”
Shiho lies on the ground, appearing exhausted. She only has a small bruise or two on her forehead, and no bleeding anywhere on her face. Hekireki looks down at her with her arms crossed, lowers her head and sighs. “Seriously, what am I gonna do with you?” She opens her eyes. “Do I have to teach you how to behave, Freak Girl?” She turns her head to the side, eyes closed once again, aloof in expression.
“Oh!” Shiho, gets up on her hands and knees to turn around and face Hekireki. “Yes, please, I'd love that!” As Hekireki stands, her closed right eye twitching as she grows redder by the second, Shiho lowers her head very slightly and blushes, wiggling her behind a little. “Especially if you were a sexy schoolteacher, and I was a naughty schoolgirl, and maybe once you'd spank me with a ruler–”
Hekireki then suddenly groans in a sort-of scream. “You know what!? Forget it!”
Shiho closes her eyes and nervously smiles. “Hmm... Okay then.” She stands up, getting on her tiptoes before laying her feet flat on the ground, looking at Hekireki the whole time. “But you know what? Point taken.” She smiles a little more genuinely, putting her hands in front and giving Hekireki a slight bow. “Sorry about that.”
Hekireki looks at Shiho for a second or so before smiling; not a smirk with the eyebrows of her anger intact, but more of a genuine smile, one of appreciation. “That's better.”
Shiho then gives Hekirei a slightly toothy smile as she giggles under her breath, tilting her head a little.
Just then, not even a second after, a faint yet audible boom is heard in the distance. Shiho turns around and looks behind her, over in the distance. From the direction she turned, the sound appears to be coming from in the distance, behind the two-story stucco/brick building labeled "常磐共同印刷" or “Tsuneiwa Printing Association2” in red lettering above the building's top floor, its property separated from the road by a fence, and some power lines traveling alongside the road. Faint gunfire follows up the boom after it starts to get quiet.
The rest of the Kikyuuren take notice of the noise too. Most of them simply look over in the distance, either in attention or interest. The only people showing any reaction other than that are Shiho, backing up slightly in alert with her eyebrows angled downward, and Johnny, backed up against the bench in fear. “W-What was that?”
“I dunno,” Aki says, turning his head a little. “Maybe a bomb?”
Just before Aki can finish his sentence, Shiho runs off in the direction where the sounds, the gunfire portion still persisting, are coming from. Aki turns his head and takes notice, as do most of the other Kikyuuren members, who simply move their eyes down a bit so the focus now lies on Shiho and not the distant violence. But out of all of them, Hekireki is the only one to have an obvious reaction. She steps forward, her arms down by her sides and her hands balled into fists, and yells at Shiho. “Hey, Freak Girl! Get back here! Just where do you think you're going!?”
Shiho slows down, eventually stopping. “Where do you think?” She turns around partially to face the Kikyuuren – to be more specific, Hekireki – with look of determination in her eyes, and the sound of it in her voice. “It could be Ryudis back there!” She points behind her with her thumb. “You don't want 'em to find us, do you?” After grabbing onto the strap connected to her sniper rifle, still slung over her shoulder, Shiho turns around and goes back to running.
“Hey, wait a minute! Don't just run off! Freak Girl!” Hekireki eventually lowers her head, letting out a disgruntled sigh. “Geez, that girl's a piece of work.”
“Hnh. Tell us about it,” Cujo sarcastically comments.
08-09-2012 06:57 AM - edited 12-27-2012 02:01 PM
(MUSIC: “WHITE TIGER NO. 24” by KAGAMI3)
For the next couple of seconds, the POV lies square in the direction of the noise, the running Shiho getting smaller in the distance.
The scene then cuts to another location: what appears to be an industrial area. An asphalt street goes into the area, blocked off from the main street by a tall metal fence. To the left of the drive is a long blue-roofed building, with some trees filling the gap between it and the fence, and an orange mirror held up by a pole looking outward at the street. To the right is a grey gable-roofed warehouse with a yellow forklift truck parked outside. Things appear quiet initially, but then comes the sound of a car engine...
...and then the sound of its tires squealing as it turns and stops temporarily before driving forward into the industrial space. This car is the man's Lexus LFA, the right back side still damaged from before. The man continues to drive, going rather fast. After a few seconds of looking forward on the road while driving, running over at least speedbump, he looks back, the same expression of the want to escape plastered across his face, at the sound of metal clunking.
Standing at the entrance the man just went through is one of the three Shiroteros that were tailing him. Specifically, the one led by the breathy young man. “Try this on for size, you b*stard!” He raises his gun and starts firing at the LFA from his arm-guns.
The man immediately turns his head, looks back at the road, and slams on the gas, the LFA going faster as it tries to escape the Shirotero's gunfire just right behind it. The gunfire starts out a fair distance behind the LFA, but as the POV moves forward from behind the LFA to a focus on its left side, it gets closer, and after a couple seconds, the gunfire gets under the car. First it pops the tires, but not a second later, the underside of the car explodes in a dark grey dust cloud, causing the car to fly up into the air as some of the ground below it becomes rendered to prisms and cubes, blending in with one another almost if not for the shading.
The LFA lands on its roof, bounces back a bit while rolling, and then does another half roll before getting back on its tires and turning around so the right side is facing the Shirotero. In the end, the car is severely wrecked, the roof caved in, the underside still smoking, the glass either cracked or broken, and the exterior dented in almost every place. The driver's side door opens and the man gets out, slamming the door behind him. He raises his hand, pointing his gun at the Shirotero as it makes its way closer to him. He starts firing at it, its arms down as it walks forward towards the man. The bullets do no more than hit and reflect off the Shirotero's exterior. Eventually, after firing all of his bullets, the man keeps pulling the trigger. He only does it twice, both with clicks each time. Angered, he throws his gun to the ground.
The Shirotero nears closer with that action. “Oh, outta ammo, are we?” It raises its left arm-gun at the man, holding tight onto the trigger without pulling it. “Well, s*cks to be you, then.”
The man scoffs.
“Now, do this country a favor and die!” Just then, a stray gunshot hits the Shirotero in its left arm, causing a recoil. The man looks to his right in surprise by the action, and the Shirotero turns its head in that direction as well. “What in the-” The Shirotero is cut off by another shot, this time to the chest, forcing it to back up a bit as the pilot lets out a startled grunt.
Right at that moment, Shiho jumps out from behind the corner formed by the road as it reaches its end, that corner being where the wrecked LFA lies. She skids out in front of the LFA, her sniper rifle in her hands, one finger on the trigger and the other reloading it with two more shells. As the man looks forward in the same surprise he first reacted with, Shiho looks up at the Shirotero and smirks, raising her gun right after. “I had a feeling.”
Shiho shoots at the Shirotero, hitting it in the right arm joint. The Shirotero is blown aback a bit by it, the pilot grunting from inside the cockpit. He then lunges forward, reaching out to grab Shiho with his arm. “You b*tch!”
“Hn.” Shiho runs at the Shirotero, jumping onto its arm and running up it before getting midway. There, she jumps up into the air and turns around, floating backwards before pointing her rifle at the Shirotero's arm joint, her right foot against the back of the rifle as her finger continues to lie on the trigger. She shoots, and the bullet goes right through the Shirotero's arm joint, separating it with a small yellow and orange explosion cloud to go with it. The pilot gasps and turns his Shirotero around to face Shiho, the red eye flickering slightly. Shiho finishes reloading her gun and, still in midair, shoots right at the Shirotero's eye. The bullet goes right into the eye, causing it to go out, but unlike the other times, it goes right through. A small blood spray erupts from the cockpit as the Shirotero leans back, about to fall to the ground. Shiho quickly slings her gun back over her shoulder before forcing herself into a landing, with one leg outstretched. This landing causes her to go through the Shirotero's exposed central core. She lands with her legs spread, turning around and skidding back towards the POV, as if she's trying to accentuate her shapely behind. Through the hole she formed erupts a large explosion, the yellow and orange fire racing towards Shiho before she skids out from behind the blood-splattered head of the Shirotero, which crashes to the ground, causing cube-shaped asphalt debris4 to rise up around it before its and the head's submergence by the flames of the explosion. Shiho eventually stops skidding, standing up a little more while maintaining a slight slouch as she takes her gun off her shoulder and slightly raises it.
Just then, she hears the sound of guns – larger than the standard pistol, almost as large as machineguns – being prepared for firing. Shiho looks to her right without reaction. Standing there, in the middle of the street she came in from (which has taller, multi-story warehouses on either side), is another Shirotero; the one piloted by the oldest of the three. Its armguns are pointed square at Shiho.
Shiho smirks again. “Another one, eh?” She lets out a grunt as she turns and runs right at the Shirotero. Immediately, the Shirotero starts firing at Shiho, sending down a rain of gunfire from its armguns in way of her path. Shiho simply dodges it by moving back and forth amongst the barrage, doing it in quick flashes instead of fast movements. She then jumps up high onto the top of the Shirotero's head and leaps off it into the air, going up a long ways from that position.
“D*mn!” The Shirotero looks up and spreads its arms out, numerous square-shaped holes opening up in it. The holes in each arm are arranged in a single vertical row (the angle giving it a slant inwards towards the torso), with six per arm. Missiles shoot out of these holes and into the sky, each missile followed by a trail of white smoke.
Shiho gasps as she notices the missiles and moves back as the missiles speedily make their way towards her. Seven of the twelve missiles shoot forward towards her, catching up to her as she makes her way higher into the sky, with more clouds than before. As all seven missiles reach Shiho and the remaining five – three from the left, two from the right – make their way in towards her, the missiles moving forward explode into a cloud of yellow and orange, all the missiles disappearing within it. As the yellow and orange fades into orange and brown, Shiho shoots out of the dust cloud, backwards from the explosion as she reloads her rifle. While taking care of that, the remaining five missiles shoot towards her. She points her gun at them, and in two shots, the missiles explode all at once into a colorful barrage, starting out with yellow, then orange, then red, then brown, all in heavy succession as the explosion goes from a small circle to a huge cloud to a void surrounded by remaining dust, with no trace of the missiles left5.
Shiho lowers her gun a bit, the POV shaky as she does so. She lightly gasps a bit in surprise soon after. From her POV, which is shaky itself, the Shirotero appears in view, flying upward with the assistance of its built-in jetpack. Its arms are down as it floats up, but in an instant, it raises them and holds onto the triggers for its armguns. And then, it fires. Shiho cringes a bit, eyes wide open with a small squeal of alarm behind her clenched teeth, and moves down, out of the way of the gunfire. She falls back down to the Earth as she dodges the gunfire, making her way towards the street area she was on before, however, instead of aiming for the asphalt street, she aims for the dark grey-colored roof of a three-story brown warehouse. The long side of the roof, slanting downward as part of the roof's gable design, almost goes the whole length only to be cut off by a fourth-story section near the end reaching back as far as the roof's long vertex. Shiho lands on the far edge of the roof, the section missing the fourth story, and rolls slightly. She quickly gets back on her feet and runs a bit, reloading her gun as she misses the second-long burst of gunfire that follows behind her.
The Shirotero stops firing, and from inside it, the pilot growls in anger. “Grr... D*mmit!” It spreads its arms out like it did before again, only with missile launchers popping out of the shoulders instead of the arms. The missiles – one for each shoulder – fire out of their designated storage areas and make their way straight for Shiho. They go straight forward at first, but curve a little so they're prepared to shoot Shiho, now half-way down the roof, from behind. The smoke comes out of the back of the missiles in a pattern, which is, for the most part, fast with a small split-second bout of slowness. After running for a good short while, Shiho turns around and points her gun at the missiles. With a single shot, she hits the missile to her right in the dead center of its nose, causing it to blow up in a fiery burst of yellow and orange. That burst hits the other missile, causing an explosion from it that overtakes the first one as the first one becomes reduced to a smoky residue of a cloud. She then jumps back, skidding slightly and stopping just as she reaches the fourth-story not-so-dormer.
Then, she hears something crashing to the ground. She looks to the left to see what it is. Within her eyesight, it is the Shirotero, crouching in a position with its left knee to the ground and its right bent with the corresponding foot on the ground solo. At that height, it appears to be about two stories instead of the three it would be. It then raises its left arm up at Shiho, a missile launcher popping out of the hand. Shiho's eyes narrow at the sight of it, and she turns her body completely so she's facing the missile launcher, pointing her rifle straight at it.
After a small lull lasting a second or two, a beeping noise signified by two red lights around the missile launcher go off, and the missile heads straight for Shiho. Shiho backs up, clenching her teeth as she prepares to fire, but before she can...
Shiho gasps and lets go of her gun, but before it can drop onto the roof, she takes notice of the missile and forms a fist with her right hand, bringing it up as she grits her teeth harder. She then throws the punch...
...and the rifle hits the roof. Just then, the area around Shiho is an intense yellow-orange with flashing coming from the missile pressing against her fist. Her right eye is closed as her left eye stays open, her fist pressing against the missile in an attempt to block it and keep it from getting to her. As for the voice...
“What is it now, Toshio?”
“What else? You know what time it is, right?”
“No, I don't!”
“It's been 24 hours since you last came out! That means it's time for me to take over again!”
“Gee, that's great,” Shiho replies sarcastically, “But if you can't tell, I'm a little busy. Could you do it later, by any chance?”
“I can't! You remember all the times before, right? It was time to switch then, and as such, it's time to switch now!”
“I can't do it right now, Toshio!” In Shiho's open eye, the gold color starts to creep back, revealing the brown of Toshio's eyes underneath. “If I do, you'll die! And I can't let that happen, remember!?”
“But the contract...”
“Screw the contract! This is more important than that!”
“Shiho, why are you acting like this? And towards me of all people... Why, Shiho?”
“That's enough, Toshio!” Shiho's now showing clear and present anger as she continues to fight against the missile. “Quit worrying about that sh*t! Just sit back, shut up, and LET ME SAVE YOUR F*CKING LIFE, ALRIGHT!? Maybe then, you'll learn a little something!”
The missile is now heating up at the nose, and its heat is causing the skin around Shiho's right hand to singe off, quickly disappearing as it makes its way up her forearm. The gold color in her eye starts to creep back, overtaking the brown once again. Throughout these two simultaneous actions, Shiho lets out a yell of fury that starts out quiet but gets louder with each passing second. Eventually, as the screaming reaches its high point, and Shiho's eye becomes completely golden again, she throws her arm, the epidermis now burnt off up to her elbow, down and grabs her rifle. She brings it back up just as the missile crashes into the roof and explodes in a bright flash. In that flash, Shiho raises her gun so the barrel is pointing upwards at an angle off to the right, and rushes forward.
With that, she jumps out of the area she was in – represented from the outside by a large smoke cloud – and lets out a short yell as she heads right for the head of the Shirotero, now standing and looking at the smoke cloud. She lands on the head and jumps off, going to the right of it, back where the man and his car are, backwards so she's still facing the Shirotero.
“Don't even think about running away!” The Shirotero turns towards Shiho, raises its right arm, missile launcher exposed, and fires it after the designated pair of beeps. Without hesitation, Shiho lands on the missile as it's about to go under her, legs spread yet feet pressed together as she lands on the missile and then jumps up, doing two flips as the missile explodes under her in a stylized cloud of red, yellow, and orange with specks of white. After those two flips, she points her rifle at the Shirotero's head and fires.
The bullet, like the last one, goes straight through the Shirotero's red eye, cracking it. It's immediately followed by a quick blood spray, thin yet larger than the last one. After a few seconds of spray, Shiho forces herself down through the exposed core of the Shirotero, causing a large explosion from its stomach area, combining red, yellow, orange, and small bits and pieces of white; just like the last explosion, only with visible shards of the Shirotero's core and shell jetting out of the explosion in addition.
Behind the Shirotero, Shiho skids back, reloading her rifle once again. After a second-long lull, she hears another scream of anger and fury. She turns her head to the left, down a street perpendicular to the road she's already on. Down near the end of that street is another Shirotero, the last Shirotero from the trio; the one piloted by the young man with the deep voice. Initially in midair, the Shirotero, lands on the ground, legs partially spread as they only scratch the asphalt and not break it too, and raises its right arm-gun, pointing it at Shiho. “You b*tch!” It fires at Shiho several times. All Shiho does in return is turn to face it, run a bit, and then jump up in the air, right above the gunfire.
“D*mn!” She jumps up and forward, her legs spread and her behind once again accentuated through her olive green cargo pants. “How many of you guys are there!?” Shiho raises her sniper rifle, angles it downward slightly, and shoots at the Shirotero. The bullet goes right through that Shirotero's exposed central core, the immediate shot causing a thin, light-grey smoke cloud to shoot right through either side of its torso. A ceasing of the arm-gunfire and a second-long lull follow, and following that is an explosion erupting from the Shirotero's torso. The fiery cloud of orange, yellow, and white shoots out all sides of the torso, some of the blast hitting the ground below and creating grey clouds in the shape of an upside-down dome, bits and pieces of asphalt shooting out from the circular top.
Cut to inside the cockpit of the Shirotero. The interior lights are a flashing red, going on and off as the screen in front of the pilot's seat goes from a close-up shot of Shiho heading right for it to just switching off and showing only static. The pilot grits his teeth, scoffing through them. “D*mmit!” He takes his right arm and moves it forward, pressing a square red button that says “コックピット開く” or “Open Cockpit” above it.
Outside of the Shirotero, Shiho fires a second time, straight at the Shirotero's head. The bullet goes straight for the eye of the Shirotero, and just as it hits, the sound of yelling – presumably from the Shirotero's pilot – is heard. It gets louder the longer it goes on, even when the bullet, going straight through the “eye”, opened up, causes the head to explode into another yellow-orange-white cloud of fire. From her POV, Shiho looks up, lightly gasping a bit, and notices someone coming down from above. She sees it: the source of the screaming she heard before. It was the Shirotero pilot. He has short brown hair, the look of a young man with slight signs of age, and is wearing the same kind of pilot suit Daisuke and the other Shirotero pilots normally wear, but this one has a dull grey trim. He gets to the same level as Shiho and kicks her gun up in the air, making it fly backwards toward where she was before the jump. Shiho lightly moves to the left to avoid getting hit accidentally, but then when she turns back to the front after looking right at her gun, the pilot kicks her in the upper chest, causing her to scream out a little as she's blasted back towards the intersection she took off from. She floats in the air for a bit, her arms and legs outstretched before she hits the asphalt below. She bounces on the ground two or three times, making grunts one would normally make when bumping against the ground. After those bounces, she gets back on her feet, skids back, and picks up her gun, lying on the ground beside her. She reloads it quickly before putting a stop to her skid right at that intersection, and then points it forward, ready to fire.
“I don't think so!” The pilot runs up to Shiho, an evil smirk on his face. Shiho backs up, surprised. Her mouth trembles a bit before she gets angry again and prepares to shoot. The pilot grabs the end of her barrel and forces it downward, causing Shiho to fire at the ground and not the pilot. The bullet hits the asphalt of the ground, causing small pieces of it to fly up. Shiho scoffs a little, and the pilot grabs the side of her rifle and forces it out of her hands. Shiho gasps as she sees her rifle get flung from her grip and skid slightly across the ground. She turns back with anger, and the pilot throws a punch at her, landing it right in her left cheek. Shiho steps back after being punched, but before she can rush the pilot, he raises his left leg with great speed and kicks Shiho right in her side, all while retaining that smirk.
“Gah!” The force of the kick causes Shiho to fall to the ground on her side, coughing a bit after her right side hits the asphalt. She continues to cough for a little bit more, the pilot looking back at her.
“Hn. Now that that b*tch's outta the way...” He reaches into a holster on his right leg and pulls out a gun, turning around and pointing it right at the POV. “...time to take care of the unfinished business.”
Cut to the man, leaning back against his wrecked LFA. He gasps a bit, and then his surprised expression fades into one of indifference, his eyelids partially lowered as he puts his hands up.
“So, any last words, assh*le?”
The man smirks. “As a matter of fact, I do.” He steps forward, his smirk disappearing. “F*ck you, and your lousy sh*thole of a government!”
The pilot smirks some more. “Just as I expected from a traitor to the state of Ryudis.”
The man grumbles under his breath a bit, his frown growing.
The pilot's eyes grow wide as his smirk grows even eviler than before. “Now then... Die-”
Just then, all of a sudden, a gunshot rings out and a bullet goes straight through the pilot's head, causing a large amount of blood to splash out of his forehead. He begins to fall to the ground, his hand letting go of his gun as his eyes start to roll into the back of his head. The man gasps and ducks as the bullet flies past him and his LFA. After squatting down to avoid the bullet, his hands over his head in caution, he opens one of his eyes and begins to move his arms back, gasping a little. The man, now dead, falls to his knees, his eyes blank as blood continues to occasionally splurt out of the hole in his forehead, some of it coming from the side of his mouth. He eventually falls face-first to the ground. When he falls out of sight, someone is seen behind him: Shiho. Her rifle is lowered as she first comes into sight, and after standing for a second or two, she starts walking.
The scene cuts to another shot. The dead pilot lies face-down on the asphalt to the left of the POV, a pool of blood forming around his head as some more starts to soak the hair around the entry wound in the back of his head. To the right is a bunch of blank asphalt, the entire space between the corpse of the pilot and the Shirotero Shiho wrecked before she wrecked his. The bare asphalt is soon covered by a shadow, followed by footsteps, walking past the body lying to the left. Shiho's brown combat boots move past the pilot's lifeless body, her gun still pointed downwards by her side, held solely by her right hand. Shiho glances down at the corpse, her eyelids lowered a bit and her mouth forming a frown, implying some degree of regret or remorse. After another few seconds, she moves her eyes back, stops, and looks forward at where the man is.
“Hey, you.” Cut to the shot of the man, still squatting, about to put his hands down from over his head. “You alright?”
“Eh?” The man lowers his arms, putting his right hand on the ground and getting on his right knee, resting his left hand on his left knee. He looks up. (MUSIC END) From his slightly shaky POV, he takes notice of two things. First, the dead Shirotero pilot lying on the ground in front of him just several feet away. Second, as demonstrated through a quick shift of sight to his right, is Shiho. She stands before him for a second, and then raises her gun and rests it on her shoulder behind her, tilting her head a little as if he didn't hear her. The man looks down, closing his eyes and growling in frustration before getting up. “Yeah, of course I'm fine.” He walks off, quickly moving past Shiho and along the narrow path in the street made by the dead pilot and the wrecked Shirotero. “I ain't any of your concern, though.”
Shiho stands still for a second as the man goes past. “Hey, is that all?” Shiho turns around and asks the man, a little offended at his cold gesture. She slings her gun over her shoulder and follows after him. “You could at least say thanks!”
The man stops and turns around at Shiho, angry at her response. “Why should I!? I don't even know you!”
“Eh...” Shiho stops and lets out that small noise, a second of silence passing before she leans in with a wannabe deadpan look. “Hm... I could say the same thing, stranger.”
The man cringes a bit at Shiho's response, and then turns around, defeated yet still frustrated. “Fine!” He starts walking again. “If it'll get you off my back, then thanks.”
Shiho smiles. “That's better.” She follows him again. The two eventually get past the Shirotero wreckage along that road and head back towards the road Shiho came from. “From the looks of things, Ryudis must be after you too.”
“Too? You mean you're one of their targets?”
Shiho rubs the back of her head nervously with her left arm. “Something along those lines, I'm not sure what exactly.” She lowers her arm and catches up so she and the man are walking, more or less, side by side. “It's just the group I'm with has been running into them lately, and we can't seem to escape them, no matter how much I fend them off.”
The man stops. “Is that so...”
(MUSIC: “the breathing problem” by Takkyu Ishino)
“Hm?” Shiho stops too and looks back at the man in a perplexed manner. “Something wrong?”
The man snaps to. “Eh?” He hunches his back a little, looking off like he's hiding something. “N-Not much, believe me...” He turns to Shiho, a bit cautious. “It's just that you... You're her, right?”
Shiho tilts her head, still perplexed. “Hm? Who?”
The man straightens himself out to his normal self and turns his head back. “Never mind.”
“Don't just go and say that!” Shiho tells the man, a little more hostile with her curiosity. “Who are you talking abo-”
“Hm?” Shiho and the man both look forward; Shiho with a delightful smile and a blush, and the man with some confusion as to the noise. “Who's that?”
Shiho closes her mouth into a small smile. “A very close friend of mine.” She looks in the direction of the end of the road they're on, right when the dead-end leads to a small, dispersed forest of short evergreen trees, and past that a tall metal fence with the uppermost portion angled inward toward the area it's separating the street on the outside from. Running on the street towards Shiho is Hekireki, breathing in and out as she does so. She stops, putting her hands on her knees and lowering her head to catch her breath. “Hi there, Mi-”
“DON'T RUN OFF LIKE THAT AGAIN!”
Shiho steps back, caught a bit off-guard by Hekireki's words, which were acoompanied by her raising her head and yelling. “M-Mistress?”
After breathing in and out some more for a few seconds, Hekireki stands up, straightening herself and crossing her arms. “Seriously, Freak Girl, you could've had everyone all worried with what you did.”
“I got everyone all worried?”
“I said could've!” Hekireki then sighs. “Just be glad you didn't leave without warning us, or else things would've been a lot different.” Hekireki's anger lightens up as she takes a closer look at Shiho. “That aside...” The POV focuses on Shiho's right arm, taking notice of the fact that the outer layer of skin around her entire lower arm has been singed off, making the current outer layer appear more of an orange-ish color than the rest of her skin, with a bit of orange cracks throughout. “Shouldn't we have that wound checked or something? Looks painful.”
“Oh, this?” Shiho raises her arm and looks at it, as if she isn't bothered by its current state. The man backs up a bit, cringing slightly. “Don't worry about it, I'm just fin-” Shiho raises her arm and puts it behind her head, however, as it makes contact with her hair... “Ahhhh!” Shiho yelps as the sensitive skin of her right forearm makes that contact, leaning over and falling to her knees as her right arm goes stiff, her hand trying to form a fist as she cringes in pain, her eyes closed and her teeth clenched. “D*mn, it hurts...” She continues to make slight pain noises, most of them small moans and audible gasps, after keeling over onto the ground.
Hekireki looks at Shiho, annoyed by her incorrect assumption. She sighs and facepalms, covering only her closed right eye with her right hand. “What am I ever gonna do with you, Freak Girl?”
The scene cuts to Tokyo. The skies above the city are a little cloudier than the previous day, the shadows of some of them coming down upon parts of the city. They're white and numerous, some bunched together, but they leave enough room for the sun to shine down and the blue sky to be visible. As usual, the central focus is the Ryudis Governmental Building.
Cut to somewhere inside the building. The main area of the setting is that of a door, light tan and wooden with a metal commercial door handle and a two-foot long, two-three-inch wide window on the leftmost side above the knob, bordered with a dark brown-painted metal. Through the door, a diagonal cross-hatch pattern laid over the glass, is what appears to be a meeting going on. On the beige-tan wall outside of the door is a panel fit for holding signs outside of rooms. On the sign, it reads “進行中会議” or “Meeting in Progress”.
A voice from the other side of the door is heard, deep. “He's late.”
Another voice chimes in, older and raspier. “That surprises you?”
The scene cuts to inside of the conference room. The room has white walls, the top and bottom replaced by darkly-shaded cedar walls a few inches back from the edge of the white walls, the tops and bottoms of the white walls black in color. There is a picture of the Tokyo skyline at sunset in the background, and a fern of a taller-than-standard height potted within a cylindrical white container in the back right corner. On the right side of the room, on the high half of the wall, is a large HDTV, angled down at the table in the center of the room. However, instead of being large and in the shape of a rectangle with another rectangle cut out of it, and many seats around the outside edge of the table, the solid-countertop table in the middle of the rather small room is a standard rectangle, with three seats on either of the longer sides, and one on each of the shorter sides. All seats are brown in color, with a light taupe coloring against the back and seat. In front of each seat is a black nameplate with a white trim and each person's name.
The POV focuses on two of the six people present in the room. On the left side, sitting in the seat nearest to the back, is a man in his late 40s. He is a little overweight in body and aging in the face, much like the average Japanese politician, and has brown hair that is slightly unkempt. He is wearing a dark grey suit with a white shirt and red tie, and is sitting back in his chair, head lowered, eyes closed, arms crossed. In front of him on the table, behind his nameplate, is a small stack of papers. Sitting next to him is a man who looks a bit older, with a combover-pompadour style for his greying hair, horn-rimmed glasses, a liver spot on the left side of his temple, and slightly floppy jowls. He is also wearing a dark-grey suit, only with a blue shirt and a light grey tie. He is sitting closer to the chair than the man next to him, his arms on the table. Both of their nameplates are unseen. He speaks up in response to the raspy-voiced member.
“Given that he's always late to these meetings, I don't see why he should.”
The POV cuts to the raspy-voiced member, seated on the right side, closest to the back. Unlike the first two, his nameplate can be seen, just from a slight angle. The first part of his name, presumably his title, is small and unreadable, but his name, on the other hand, is visible: “紐柴清” or “Kiyoshi Himoshiba”. He sounds a bit younger than the member with the glasses, but is significantly older than the deep-voiced member. He has grey hair, wrinkles around his face, a slightly pointed nose, and eyeglasses. He is wearing a silvery-grey business suit with a white shirt and blue tie. He sits at the table, his elbows resting on it as his hands come up to meet one another, intertwining just at the level of his chin.
“Even so, he called us here. The least he could do is show up.”
“That, I agree with.”
“Hm?” Himoshiba turns his head to the left.
Sitting at the short end of the table closest to the back is a man who appears to be the youngest out of the men shown. His nameplate reads “防衛相 – 深園天雪” or “Minister for Defence – Amayuki Misono”, the smaller text first, then the larger. His seat is pushed back from the chair, showcasing his crossed legs. He has dark brown hair, greying slightly, messier than the glasses member, but not as messy as the deep-voiced member. His eyes are also closed and his arms are also crossed. He has on a black suitjacket, brown business pants, dark brown Derby shoes, a white undershirt, and a grey tie. Standing behind him is a man around his age. Blond hair, white skin, tall stature, broad shoulders... Misono's consultant, no doubt. His eyes are closed, so the blue color can't be told easily. He is wearing a dark blue double-breasted jacket with matching pants, a white shirt, a red tie, and black Derby shoes. His hands are behind his back. The POV pans up from the table to his face.
Anyways, Misono continues his response to Himoshiba. “For all the meetings he's held for his entire run as Prime Minister, Kataoka's been late to every last one. It wouldn't kill for him to be on time once in a while.”
“Now, now, gentlemen,” an older man speaks up, his voice less raspy but showing more age than that of Himoshiba. Misono silently opens his eyes and looks up.
The scene cuts to the last present member, next to Himoshiba. His nameplate is also visible, more visible than that of the others': “副首相 – 間佐堂総元” or “Deputy Prime Minister – Sougen Masadoh”. He has grey-white hair that is slicked back and held in place by a small black cap. His face has no present wrinkles, but it definitely screams “old guy”, especially the black, thick-rimmed pince-nez glasses and his slightly pointed downward nose and crow's feet around the eyes. He is wearing a dark black suit with his white shirt buttoned up all the way to the neck, no tie, and a cane resting against the table. His hands hold one another as they rest on the table before him. Much like with Misono, the camera pans up from the table to his face as well, albeit at a ¾-view from the left than a front view.
“There's no need to fuss over something of this inconsequence. Knowing Kataoka the best, if we wait patiently, he'll arrive in due time.” Just then, the sound of the door to the room opening is heard. Masadoh turns to look at it, in slight delight at the fact. “Well speak of the devil; there he is!”
Standing at the door, closing it behind him, is Kataoka, in his regular uniform he wears to work. Standing alongside him are Daisuke and Natsuko. The former is to his right, wearing his regular outside-of-work blue blazer, unbuttoned, grey business pants, and slacks, only with a white business shirt instead of a T-shirt under the blazer. Still, no tie. The latter is to his left, wearing her regular clothes, only the form-fitting shirt is pink and no shoulders are exposed. Unlike Daisuke, who seems cool and collected about the whole ordeal, Natsuko stands with her hands on her hips, a grumpy look on her face, and her glasses obscuring the appearance of her eyes.
Kataoka raises his hand to his members. “Hello. Sorry I'm late.” He walks over to his seat, Daisuke walking with him and Natsuko going over to the empty seat next to the glasses member.
Masadoh smiles again, a bit more calmer than before. He closes his eyes from behind his glasses. “No problem, we're glad you could make it!”
The deep-voiced member looks over at Kataoka. “You're still wearing that gaudy getup, I see.”
Himoshiba looks over in Kataoka's direction as well. “Hm... I see you brought some of your underlings with you.”
Kataoka sits at his seat, the nameplate in front of him reading “内閣総理大臣 – 片岡鉄平” or “Prime Minister – Teppei Kataoka”. “Correct. Allow me to introduce them.” Kataoka holds out his hands to either side of him. (MUSIC: “recollect the future” by Takkyu Ishino) “To my right is first lieutenant out of the JGSDF, and captain of my personal Shirotero combat unit, Daisuke Takahashi.”
Daisuke sits at his seat at the table, located between Kataoka and Masadoh. His nameplate reads “陸上自衛隊中尉・白テロ実戦部隊大尉- 高橋大輔” or “JGSDF Lieutanant/Shirotero Combat Unit Captain – Daisuke Takahashi”. He sits quietly with a serious demeanor and his hands intertwined with one another resting on the table. Masadoh looks at him, giving Daisuke a suggestive smirk, and a hum with the same level of suggestiveness. Daisuke backs away to the side a bit, cringing at Masadoh's implications.
“To my left is my personal hacker, and daughter of Captain Mamoru Yamamoto of our army's Central Attack Force, Natsuko Yamamoto.”
Natsuko sits down at her seat, between Kataoka and the glasses member. She scoots her chair back and puts her feet, clad in shiny black knee-high heels, up on the table, knocking down her nameplate, which reads “ハッカー – 山本奈津子" or “Hacker – Natsuko Yamamoto”. She crosses her left leg over her right one, closing her eyes and maintaining a rather grumpy expression.
Cut to Himoshiba's place at the table. His nameplate is now more readable, his smaller-font position listed as “総務相” or “Minister for Internal Affairs”. He looks over in Natsuko's direction and gives her a smirk, not as explicitly suggestive as Masadoh's towards Daisuke, but still with the hint of said suggestiveness. “Hm... So this is Captain Yamamoto's daughter, huh?” He squints his eyes a bit, focusing on Natsuko's legs at first. “Very nice...” His line of sight moves up from Natsuko's legs and towards her torso, but before he can lay his eyes on her chest...
Himoshiba makes a cringing sound as his eyesight shoots straight up to Natsuko's face, staring at him very angrily, with furrowed eyebrows and clenched teeth.
Natsuko moves her head back, closing her eyes and lowering it as a vein on the side of her head bulges in annoyance. “Keep your eyes to yourself, you perverted old man.”
Himoshiba moves back, putting his left hand to his temple. “Alright, alright, you got me.” He moves his hands down and looks at her again. “Seriously, though, where is your father?”
The glasses member looks over at Natsuko. His nameplate reads “法相 – 誹瀬織治” or “Minister for Justice – Oriharu Hise”. “Yeah. Shouldn't he be here, too?”
“You can't blame him,” Kataoka adds in. “The man's practically a workaholic.”
Masadoh looks down at the table, the light from the room reflecting off of his glasses. “Yes, with all those missions he's on and all–”
Just then, Daisuke puts his hand on the table and stands up slightly. “For your information, Captain Yamamoto and his attack force are helping my unit out with Operation BSA over near Kitaibaraki.” Kataoka glares at Daisuke with a look telling him to sit down.
“BSA?” Masadoh turns to Daisuke. “I don't think I've ever heard of that mission before.”
“What!?” Daisuke quietly exclaims as he backs up from Masadoh, with angry disbelief and a twitchy eye.
“Ah, so Captain Yamamoto's on a secret mission,” Hise responds.
“It's probably some Boy Scouts bullsh*t,” the deep-voiced member remarks. His nameplate reads “官房長官 – 角巻軌久” or “Chief Cabinet Secretary – Norihisa Tsunomaki”.
Daisuke slams his hand on the table again, raising his other hand as he looks to his right at the rest of the members. “How can none of you know about BSA!? Isn't this what this meeting's all about!?” He quickly turns to Kataoka.
“But you said–”
Kataoka turns to Daisuke with quick motion, showing the clear trying of patience as his eyebrows angle downward. “I said that this meeting pertained to BSA, not that it was the focus.”
Daisuke sits back down, quieter but still loud enough to convey present anger. “Well, what is the focus, then!?” He crosses his arms as he plops back into his seat.
“What else is there?”
“Huh?” Daisuke looks at Kataoka with slight confusion.
“Tsunomaki, the papers.”
Tsunomaki nods, takes the stack of papers in front of him, held together at the top with a black binder clip, and slides them over in Kataoka's direction. Kataoka catches the papers once they get to him and holds them up to Daisuke's face.
“Now do you see what I mean, Lieutenant?” As Kataoka shows him what's on the paper, Daisuke's eyes widen in realization, his mouth opening a bit. That's enough for Kataoka to smirk in deduction that the answer was a surefire yes. “Good.” He closes his eyes. “With that...”
(Kataoka raises the papers and slams them onto the table. The POV shifts from him to an above shot focusing on the papers. The papers are all nine separate copies of a stapled-together packet of information. On the front is the text “桂田志保最終決定” or “Shiho Katsurada Final Decision”. Above it is a picture of Shiho; the one that was displayed when Operation BSA was called for action.)
(“...I declare this meeting over the actions of and final decision against one Shiho Katsurada now open!”)
END OF ACT I
08-09-2012 06:58 AM
Cut to around the same time as the last scene, along an asphalt street. Near the back of the street is a tall fence, and some spread-apart, short-heighted evergreens in front of it. Walking down the street is a standard Shirotero, with the exposed glowing red core, and the standard glowing green eye. It walks with its hands by its sides, and its head looking straight forward.
Inside of the Shirotero's cockpit, displayed on the screen facing the pilot's seat, with two shots of the surrounding area to its left and right, is a map of the area, the streets a light white-orange color, the buildings a darker color, akin to brown almost, and the rest of the area bright orange. The main focus is on a small field of criss-crossing streets, approximately three buildings per orange square formed by each street, with four squares in all. To the left of the leftmost street in that circle is a moving signal, beeping as it moves up on the map. On the left side near the top there are three stagnant signals: one on the top horizontal street, one on the left vertical street, and one on the middle horizontal street, all within the boundary of the upper left square.
A familiar sigh is heard. “D*mmit.” That sigh belongs to Iva, holding onto the controls in front of her as she slouches forward slightly, her head on the verge of looking down while still looking up at the screen. “Those guys shouldn't have made the rendezvous point so hard to get to.” She lowers her head just a bit. “On top of that, their positions are so far apart...”
Cut to a shot of the wrecked LFA that belonged to the man from earlier, lying in the intersection. At an angle from above, the POV shows the damage done: flat tire in back, broken windows, nearly caved-in roof, and a bumper with numerous dents from bullets fired at it.
“Still, I've made it this far. There's no use in complaining now, when I've got a group to lead.” The Shirotero approaches the LFA as Iva speaks, casting its shadow over it. It looks forward. “Alright guys, I'm here.” Inside the cockpit, she's sitting up again. “You can quit dawdling around no-” Iva suddenly stops mid-sentence and stutters a little as she looks around some more, her eyes widening in shock.
The intersection was at the industrial area where the man was before. Further proof beyond the LFA shows itself to Iva. First, the Shirotero lying on its back with a huge blood splatter around the hole in its head and a scorched hole in its torso – the second one that was taken out. Next, the Shirotero with its head aimed toward the LFA, another blood splatter and some cube-shaped debris around the head – the first one. Finally, the corpse of the pilot lying on the ground close to the first of the two Shiroteros noticed – the pilot of the third.
Iva's Shirotero stands and looks at the wreckage before her. “No way...” Inside her cockpit, her eyes tremble a bit as she bites down on her lip. “All of them are...” After a second or two more of shock, Iva closes her eyes and scowls, gripping onto her handlebars. “No matter.” Her Shirotero reaches down towards the LFA. “They could've killed the b*stard before dying like b*tches.” It grabs the car by the hood and lifts it up to eye level, so to speak. “But if they didn't, then I might as well do it myse-”
Iva stops mid-sentence once again and stutters, her expression now less of shock and more of annoyed disappointment. As her stuttering trails off into a slow “Eh...” the POV focuses on the LFA in her Shirotero's hand. It's empty, with no one inside. After a second or two of being held, the LFA's driver's-side door falls off and crashes to the ground. A second or two more of annoyed disappointment, accompanied by a partially open mouth, commences before Iva changes moods again, this time to anger, complete with gritted teeth and a growl between them.
“You've gotta be KIDDING ME!!!” Iva's Shirotero raises the LFA above its head, and then throws it to the ground...
...only for the next scene to be one of a glass of soda slamming against the wooden counter of a bar, shaking up some of the ice inside.
“Gyah!” The scene then cuts to Shiho yelping in pain a bit as she closes her eyes and clenches her teeth in pain.
Shiho opens one of her eyes and looks over to the side. She, as well as the rest of the Kikyuuren, are inside of a dark, lightless bar with the entrance, the door missing, on one side and a window looking in on the other. Numerous tables with four chairs at each line up with the half of the window farthest from the door. To the left of those tables is a bar area with a wooden countertop, and behind it a shelf with various wine and liquor bottles lined up. The POV doesn't show the rest of the Kikyuuren, but it does show three of them at the three barstools the closest to the door. Shiho is sitting in the middle one of those three, her left arm resting on the counter as the right is stretched out. To her left is Hekireki, looking at Shiho with the slightest hint of contempt, blushing slightly. To her right is Nana, an opened first aid kit on the counter beside her as she wraps up Shiho's right arm with some bandages, starting from the elbow and going down toward the wrist, the hand covered in what appears to be more bandages, ones small enough to cover her fingers individually. She has an expression of utmost seriousness, combined with a tinge of annoyance.
“If you keep moving around like that, it's gonna take a lot longer for this wound to heal, you understand?”
“But nothing! Just be glad you didn't lose your arm altogether.”
Hekireki leans in and grabs Shiho's cheek, pulling on it. “She's right, Freak Girl. You should be grateful!”
Shiho squeezes her eyes shut and cringes as Hekireki pulls on her cheek. “M-Mistress, please don't do that...”
Hekireki only pulls harder. “Don't do what!? I thought you liked this kind of stuff!”
(“I do, now's just not a good time!”
“Not a good time!? Then how else am I gonna get you to keep still!?”
“I can hold still by myself, just watch me!”)
(The POV backs out and focuses on the other four barstools at the counter. Sitting next to the empty seat separating him from Hekireki is Aki. Next to him is Johnny. Both of them look over at the three girls on the other end of the bar counter. Aki sighs. “Geez. I don't know if she's arguing, or if she's flirting with her.”
Johnny shrugs slightly, sheepishly smiling again. “For all we know, she could be doing both.”
Cujo sits next to Johnny, drinking from a medium-sized bottle of vodka as Aki and Johnny do what they're doing. He quits drinking once they're done speaking, slamming the bottle on the counter. “Please, who cares about that sh*t,” he says sarcastically.
Aki and Johnny turn towards him, the latter the only one to speak in response. “Cujo.”)
Cujo looks to his left, pointing with his thumb. “What I wanna know is who that f*cker sittin' over there is.”
Who Cujo is pointing to is the man from earlier. His hoodie is once again down, and his sunglasses are still on, even in the bar that's empty except for the Kikyuuren, and dark with the only light source coming from outside. His hands are cupped around the base of the glass of soda from before. He looks over at the three. “Hm? You mean me?”
Aki and Johnny now look at the man, the former being the first to speak this time. “Yeah, why're ya following us, anyway?”
The man turns his head and chuckles a bit. “I was aiming north to escape those guys.” He looks up at the ceiling. “But hiding myself in a group heading the opposite way's fine too, I guess.”
“Eh?” Cujo opens his mouth wide, dumbfounded at the man's response.
“That doesn't answer my question.”
The man grumbles a bit. “Alright, fine.” He looks over to the right, past the three, and points. “That girl over there saved my life, and I'm returning the favor.”
Both Cujo and Aki turn in his direction.
(Aki: “How, exactly?”)
(Cujo: “You mean Sniper B*tch?”)
The scene cuts back to over with the three girls, but not from the POV of the guys. More like the POV is facing them too. Anyways, Hekireki now has Shiho in a Nelson hold, trying to keep her still. Shiho is still squirming around a bit, clenching her teeth and cringing as she lightly thrashes her head around in reaction to Nana bandaging her arm, now almost complete. Shiho occasionally yelps a bit in pain as the bandages are applied, only encouraging Hekireki to hold her tighter.
“Are you sure she's the reason?” Johnny asks.
(MUSIC: “surface zero” by Takkyu Ishino)
The POV then zooms in to focus on Shiho as Hekireki continues to restrain her, and Nana continues to apply the bandages to her arm. She's still squirming, although she's blushing slightly.
The scene cuts to the meeting inside the Ryudis Governmental building, the shot situated behind Kataoka's seat and moving up to show the entire table. Masadoh, Himoshiba, Hise, Tsunomaki, and Misono are all reading through packets not unlike the one Kataoka showcased to them earlier. Misono's consultant stands off to the side, looking down at Misono's packet. Natsuko just fiddles around on her blue cellphone (complete with a charm hanging from it) and Daisuke sits with his arms on the desk, looking down in what appears to be thought. Angry thought. Kataoka sits at his end and looks over at everyone else in general as he speaks.
“Having first appeared on our radar over two months ago, the amount of general information pertaining to the individual remains very small. (All that is known about her in that regard are her name and gender. But even so, her 10,000-plus kill count stands as her defining characteristic; (the very reason we even give her the time of day.”))
(Cue various cuts between the members, each shot focusing just on them: first Masadoh, then Himoshiba, then Hise, Tsunomaki, Misono and his consultant, Natsuko, Daisuke, (and finally Kataoka himself.)) Kataoka then flips one of the pages of his packet – one featuring Shiho's “mugshot” picture and a list of information – and turns to another page, consisting of numerous shots from what appear to be the second episode, only from a security camera standpoint, in black and white with time stamps to boot. These four include her standing on top of the flipped-over convenience store, her shooting off Daisuke's Shirotero's arm, her shooting herself through the core of Iva's Shirotero, and her walking out of the explosion resulting from her damage to Kichirou's Shirotero.
“She disappeared from our sights just as fast as she appeared, but approximately one week ago, she made a reappearance in Niigata during a mission assigned to Lieutenant Takahashi and Operation BSA's two other assignees, Ensigns Kichirou Shuuta and Iva Izumi.”
He turns the page again, featuring four more vertically-aligned images in security-camera mode, this time from episode 4: Shiho shooting Daisuke's Shirotero in the shoulder, her getting hit by Kichirou's Shirotero's Smokebomb attack, her shooting Daisuke's Shirotero after he got attacked by the Smokebomb, and an unknown one of her walking down the street leading up to where Yuri's former apartment complex is, going in the opposite direction.
“According to them, she also showed up one day later, during a mission in Aizuwakamatsu. One identification check later...” He taps the picture of Shiho walking down the street. “...and her involvement was confirmed.” He looks up at the rest of the individuals at the table. “Hence the existence of 'Blue Sniper Annihilation', a.k.a. 'Operation BSA'.” Kataoka's POV pans across the table from left to right, from Natsuko all the way to Daisuke. “The sole purpose of the mission is to locate Shiho, now confirmed to be travelling with an unknown group of individuals last spotted in Iwaki, and kill her so our nation will be safe from any future casualties she may produce.” Kataoka moves back a bit, removing his arms from the table. “That should answer any and all questions about the mission at hand.”
“Hnh?” Kataoka turns to Daisuke. “What do you mean by that, Lieutenant?”
“You said yourself that Operation BSA was initiated to ensure Shiho's death.” He raises his head and looks around; first to the right, then to the left. “If that's the case, then why'd you call a meeting of members from your cabinet to discuss this 'final decision', huh!?”
“You don't know anything, do you?”
Daisuke, startled with anger turns to Natsuko. “What was that!?”
Natsuko looks down, her eyes closed, her arms crossed, her phone on the table. “Like I said. You know nothing!” She picks up her phone and shows it to Daisuke, as a way of pointing at him. “And that includes how Shiho racked up all her kills!”
Daisuke, unoffended but still mad, backs up in his seat. “You know what? You're right!” He turns to Kataoka. “So tell me: how can a girl her age rack up that high a body count, anyways!?”
Kataoka silently smirks, intertwining his fingers as he holds them up a few inches beneath his chin.
“Do the words 'Saitama Massacre' ring a bell?”
(MUSIC STARTS AGAIN)
Daisuke gasps in shock, his eyes widening as the iris and pupil in each eye twitch around to emphasize the shock.
The reactions vary across the table. Natsuko continues to mess around with her phone, and both Tsunomaki, Misono, and his consultant stay still in reaction. Hise backs up a bit, gulping. Himoshiba puts his elbow on the table and puts his palm to his forehead. Masadoh moves back, puts his hands in his lap, and lowers his head in silence.
Daisuke lowers his arms onto the table. “No way... You mean–”
“Correct,” Kataoka responds. “Shiho Katsurada is the one responsible for that entire incident.” He opens his eyes just slightly. “I should know. I did lay witness to it, after all.”
March 12, 2012
After that title card, the scene cuts to that exact day; a flashback of sorts, as shown by the muted colors, almost to the point of being considered black and white without exiting the realm of colorization. The setting is on a busy highway, numerous cars jam-packed against one another while on the road. Above each lane is an overhang with a sign attached to it. However, the left side's overhang sign is the only one visible, blue with white text, reading “埼玉市" next to an up arrow, and the text “10km Saitama-shi” below it. One of the cars on the left lane, in the far left, is a black limousine about 1½ times the length of a normal car. That car becomes the focus of the scene after the first establishing shot.
“That day, I was supposed to visit Saitama City in Saitama Prefecture as part of my annual inspection of the country.”
Suddenly, the door opens and Kataoka, dressed in his usual Ryudis leader attire, steps out and looks forward, putting his arm over his head as the wind apparently starts to pick up, roughing his hair up a bit. But as it turns out, it's not the wind: it's a helicopter. Not a transport copter or anything like that; just a standard helicopter with an emergency ladder dangling down from the open passenger's-side window.
“Traffic was surprisingly bad that morning, so I opted for an alternative means of reaching the prefectural capital.”
As the scene changes, the helicopter, now up and running, appears into view and flies over towards the skyline of Saitama. Sitting in the cockpit, as the pilot, equipped in pilot gear and a helmet with a visor, flies it, Kataoka looks around. First out the front, then out the pilot's window, then out his own. But after looking out his own, his eyes widen in surprise as he puts his hand to the window and leans close, mouthing something. The pilot glances over as well.
“However, the method of transport I chose made what I witnessed upon reaching the city all the more shocking.”
The scene cuts to a birds-eye view of an intersection in Saitama6. The buildings all look down on the intersection, where the main crosswalks on all four sides not only form a square that's a faded shade of red inside, but also two diagonal crosswalks. However, the cars that are on the road facing it are stopped in their tracks, and there is practically nobody on the streets.
“The entire city, as I saw it, was barren.”
Except for the corpse of what appears to be a salaryman lying facedown in the middle of the crosswalk in a small pool of his own blood.
“Or to be more accurate, dead.”
The scene then cuts to various shots around Saitama. First, a Japanese stop sign (a red upside-down triangle with the words “止まれ” inside it in white) with a small hole causing a deep dent in the sign, acting as a foreground to a city street. Next, a Japanese streetlight (horizontally aligned with red to the far right and green to the far left) with all the lights shot out, hanging over the street with a lamp, the glass surrounding its light broken as well, in the background. Then, an exterior shot of Omiya Station, free of anybody on either the sidewalk or the overlook. Finally, the image of a building, the glass severely broken, with a number of bodies surrounding it. One person is limping over the glass, the shards poking into his skin stained with his blood. Another few, male and female, are lying face-down on the ground with blood pooled around their heads and staining their hair.
“No matter where I went, the city was either badly damaged, devoid of life, or littered with bodies.”
Elsewhere, on the side of a street, beside what appears to be a store entrance, a man in a jacket and pants lies on his front, some blood having pooled around his stomach. He looks up, his right eye closed and his teeth clenched, his mouth twitching in pain. Some blood runs down from the side of his head over his closed eye as well. What he's looking up at is Kataoka, standing over him with his hands in his pockets.
“Amongst all the victims I laid eyes on, I eventually found one lucky enough to still be alive.”
The scene cuts to the man, his jacket open, sitting and leaning against the wall of the store. His head is tilted off to the side, despite his continued breathing. There appears to be a bullethole through his blood-stained shirt, aimed right at his gut. Kataoka kneels on one knee before the man, taking out a notepad and pen, about to write stuff down.
“He didn't have much time left, though, and I used that as a chance to get a firsthand account of the massacre.”
The man turns his head up and speaks to Kataoka, his words muted out by Kataoka's own narration. As he speaks, Kataoka nods and writes down more on his notepad. For a second, he bears an uneasy look with wide eyes and pursed lips; a look which fades before he writes down another note on his pad:
“There wasn't much beyond the horrific personal experience he faced, save for claims that the perpetrator, a female, single-handedly killed over several thousand residents of the city; a number later confirmed as around 9,000, with an additional approximate 1,000 prior.”
The man finally mouths some words, unknown audibly but visibly identifiable as three “ah” sounds (with a “tss” at the end), an “ee”, and an “oh”. After that, he keels his head over, dead.
“Of all he said, his last words proved to be the incident's central piece of data.”
The flashback finally ends with a cut to an image of what appears to be security footage, its identity confirmed through the slightly grainy film quality, the black-and-white shading, and the “REC” symbol in the bottom right-hand corner. The camera focuses on what appears to be eye-level, focusing against the back of a storefront, the metal curtain pulled down. A salaryman with messy hair and thick-rimmed square-lens glasses backs up against the curtain, holding his hand up in a signal to stop as he looks away in fear, his mouth open as if he's yelling “No!”. However, the person in front of him, identified only with her hair in a ponytail, a dark tanktop, cargo pants and combat boots, pointing a rifle at his head, shoots anyways. Blood sprays out from the back of the man's head, splattering the metal curtain as he falls onto his side. Just then, the camera zooms in, focusing on the shooter. After glancing to the back, she turns around and faces the camera. That person is Shiho, and the still image that results at the end is basically a full shot of her “mugshot”, serious expression and all.
“Combined with security footage recovered after the incident, the perpetrator was finally identified...”
Cut back to the present day, the focus lying on a page of the packet in front of Kataoka. The text, presumably the man's last words, reads: “『桂田... 志保...』” or ““Katsurada... Shiho...””
“...as Shiho Katsurada.”
Everyone's reactions at the end of Kataoka's explanation vary. Tsunomaki, Misono, and his consultant are continuing to sit still and Natsuko's continuing to mess with her phone, but Himoshiba and Hise have joined Masadoh in looking down in memoriam, their hands in their laps, their eyes closed, and their heads lowered. Daisuke, on the other hand, sits with his eye twitching slightly, clenching his fists in an attempt to keep a straight face through what appears to be his anger.
“The Saitama Massacre was a huge event in this era of history, with widespread effects and serious consequences.” Kataoka looks forward at all the attendees. “Shiho's involvement in a disaster such as this is something that cannot go unignored.” He clenches his fists, resting on the table. “Because of that, this meeting is necessary, not only to get input from my fellow cabinet members on this decision...” He unclenches his fists for a second, letting them linger before he clenches them again, tighter this time. “...but also to ensure that Operation BSA is worth continuing, even after its initial failure.” Kataoka puts on his serious face, letting it last a few seconds as the BGM concludes.
“Gee, that's great.”
“Hm?” Kataoka turns to Daisuke. “Lieutenant, what are you–”
Daisuke stands up. “Don't get me wrong. I want to kill Shiho as much as you do. But ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!?” As he screams this out, he puts up his hands before him the palms pointed upward with the fingers angled inward in a way. The look on his face is that of pure anger and disbelief. “You send us out to kill some b*tch who wrecked our sh*t twice before, and the fact that she caused the Saitama Massacre wasn't the first thing to cross your mind!?”
(Kataoka approaches Daisuke with slight caution, holding out his right hand. “Lieutenant Takahashi, calm down!”)
(“Things would've been a lot different if) you'dve just told us right away!”
The scene cuts to some reactions to Daisuke's outburst across the table. Masadoh looks in slight surprise, Himoshiba looks with a small hint of satisfaction coming from the smirk on his lips, and both Misono and his consultant remain as calm as ever.
“Iva, Kichi, and I would've known what we'd be getting ourselves into if that was the case!”
On the other side, Tsunomaki continues to look down while Hise observes with intrigue. Natsuko, still with her legs up on the table, is now watching the outburst as if it's some kind of sporting event, snacking on the contents of a bag of kaki-pi and smirking once during the “spectacle”.
“But instead, you had to have your head up your ass and be all secretive until just now!” Daisuke steps back. “If that's the way you're gonna go about as serious a mission as BSA...” He swipes his arm across. “...then I'm out, you hear!?”
Just then, Kataoka grabs Daisuke by the collar of his shirt, causing him to grit his teeth in struggle, and pull him forward so they're face-to-face.
“Dammit, Takahashi, you're ruining my only chance at unanimity to authorize your goddamned mission right now!” He forces his hand down once, shaking Daisuke a bit. “Now sit back down, or I'll throw you out of this meeting, and maybe even this country as well–”
“The kid has a point, Kataoka.”
Kataoka and Daisuke turn around.
(Kataoka: “What was that!?”)
(Daisuke: “Who ya callin' kid!?”)
08-09-2012 06:59 AM - edited 01-07-2013 07:08 PM
(MUSIC: “fear with some dance to it” by Takkyu Ishino)
Masadoh sits, his hands on the table as he looks down. “Missions like BSA require utmost seriousness in handling. Skimping on important details isn't advised for such a mission.” He looks up. “And on top of that, those assigned to the mission need extra time to train, to increase the probability of success.” He looks off to the side. “Your men didn't have that time, which explains their failure.” He looks at Kataoka, the light reflecting off of his glasses as he turns. “Without those important factors, there's no point in continuing BSA.” He moves back forward, looking down. “Especially when you're treating your 'elite soldiers' like sacrificial pawns.”
“Speaking of sacrificial pawns,” Himoshiba adds. “...there's also the Central Attack Force.”
The scene cuts to a four-way intersection in Kitaibaraki. There isn't much in the background besides a yellow building with a blue hip roof to the left, a series of wooden telephone poles on the right, and some lampposts on either side. A large truck, with a white car front and a tall, dark-grey armored trailer in the back, comes into view down the street, turning to the right side is facing the POV. The side reads the following:
Ryudis Central Attack Force
Inside the back of the truck are four Shiroteros, all lined up near the back. While three soldiers in the grey pilot suits standard Shirotero pilots wear work in the background – one types on a handheld digital clipboard of sorts, another climbs an attachable stairwell to the opened pilot seat of his, and a third just stands around, smoking – two individuals stand in the foreground. One of these two, standing off to the left side, is Kichirou, in his red pilot suit, looking up and smoking a cigarette. The other is an unfamiliar man, wearing an olive green army suit, with some buttons on the left side. He has dark brown hair, slicked back, and a vertical scar running down the right side of his mouth. He stands with his hands behind his back and looks down at the large square table in the middle of the room, displaying a digital map of the area as well as a battle plan marked in yellow. The plan involves three trucks stationed around one 4-way intersection: one is down at the intersection with the highway below the central intersection, another is stationed near a park to the west, and a third at the intersection above that. Over thirty or so yellow dots representing Shiroteros are scattered amongst that area, surrounding the central intersection at various distances. The man – Captain Yamamoto – glances over at Kichirou. Kichirou takes notice and looks down, giving Yamamoto a thumbs up. They keep that position for a few seconds.
“They're the highest ranking soldiers in the Japanese Army, and yet they're below your personal combat unit, who failed to accomplish this mission on the first try. Now it's the third try, and you're sending them to do it instead. You have to understand that high numbers don't account for high success. Sending thirty or so army men to do a job three elites failed at is futile. They would be killed by Shiho in an instant, like the sacrificial pawns they are.”
“Let's not forget Shiho herself,” Hise brings up.
The scene then cuts to another road in Kitaibaraki, this one with two apartment complexes on either side of the street. The one on the left is two-story and made of tan stone, covering the back porches of the residence as a parking lot separates it from the road. The one on the right is also two-stories, but with a light tan upper half, a lower half that goes from blue-grey to bright yellow, and has a stairway going up to a second-floor balcony hall on the side. Walking on the left side of the street is the Kikyuuren. Aki and Johnny are in the back, carrying a drunk, red-faced, and light-headed Cujo by either arm in the middle. In front of them are Isamu and Yuri, once again holding hands, followed by Ai and Nana. The nameless man is in the front, guiding them. Behind him to the right are Hekireki and Shiho. As Hekireki walks, holding the bag over her shoulder with her right hand as she looks off to the left, Shiho glances over at her, blushing as she walks with a slight bounce, her hands behind her back. After a few seconds of walking, Shiho closes her eyes and leaps over towards Hekireki, about to hug her...
...only for Hekireki to press her palm against her forehead and block her. Shiho is caught off-guard by this and attempt to fight back through Hekireki's block, reaching her arms out in an attempt to hug her still. Hekireki, angrier at Shiho's attempts, stops and turns to Shiho, pushing her palms against her in her own struggle to get Shiho off. Soon enough, everyone behind them stops to see their struggle, while the man continues forward. After a second of her own struggle, Hekireki succeeds in pushing Shiho off. Shiho doesn't fall, but steps back a bit, looking down as she puts her hands on her knees and catches her breath. Hekireki just turns forward, an aloof look on her face as she holds onto her purse. While Shiho keeps catching her breath, Hekireki holds out her hand. Shiho takes notice and looks up to see Hekireki looking down at her. At first, it's the same aloof expression, but she breaks out a small smile. Shiho smiles wider in reaction, her eyes showing her lovestruck reaction. She reaches out, grabs Hekireki's hand, and pulls her along as she runs forward to catch up with the man. Hekireki yelps (Hise's narration below silences the sound) as Shiho pulls her, not so much angry as she is startled and embarrassed. As Shiho continues to pull Hekireki along with her, the rest of the group starts walking again.
“We don't know if she's as dangerous as she was three months ago. And if she is, who's to say that dangerous nature isn't limited to a combat zone? If that's the case, then outside the combat zone, Shiho might be harmless! To the point where she wouldn't hurt a fly! Considering that, you could just be provoking her, Kataoka! It'd be best to leave Shiho alone, or if that's not an option, detain her through non-violent means.”
Back in the meeting room, Hise looks over at Tsunomaki. “Anything you want to say, Tsunomaki?”
Tsunomaki keeps quiet for three more seconds before speaking. “Kataoka used to hold a high rank in the JSDF back when the monarchy still had relevance, and yet he's using his henchmen to do a job only he could possibly accomplish.” He turns to Kataoka, opening his right eye. “Cowardice such as that is proof enough that BSA is a waste.”
Kataoka slams his hand down on the table, his other hand having let go of Daisuke, who is now sitting back in his seat. “You're all insane! Can't you see that mass murder is a capital offense in this nation!?” He puts his other hand on the table. “It's something that cannot be ignored! Death is the only punishment that Shiho deserves!” He removes his first hand and swipes it across his body to prove his point.
Masadoh crosses his arms and looks at Kataoka. “Complain all you want, Kataoka, but it's no use. Everyone here at this table is against your irrational decision.”
“I beg to differ.”
Everyone at the table with the exceptions of Natsuko (messing around with her phone in one hand while eating from the kaki-pi bag with the other) and Kataoka (who's already facing him) turn to face Misono and his consultant, continuing to sit in the same positions they have been for the last several minutes. The POV pans up Misono as he sits, his arms and legs crossed.
“What are you saying, Misono!?” Masadoh asks.
Misono opens his eyes. “Just so you know, I'm not making all of your suggestions out as wrong. (Sure, strength in numbers won't work against Katsurada, and it is safer to apprehend her peacefully rather than aggressively...”)
(The scene cuts to three shots around the table. First, Masadoh and Himoshiba, the former looking at Misono in slight anger and impatience and the latter in seriousness. Second, Hise and Tsunomaki, the former looking at him in slight surprise while the latter stays where he is, only with his left eye open and pointed at Misono. Lastly, Kataoka, Daisuke, and Natsuko. Natsuko is still snacking while messing with her phone, but Daisuke listens to Misono with slightly widened eyes and lessened anger. Kataoka blinks once and gives a small smirk right after.)
“...but abandoning BSA as it is won't change anything. Take, for example, the Saitama Massacre.”
Over near the opposite end of the table, Daisuke gasps. At the same time, Kataoka lowers his head as his smirk grows wider. Natsuko keeps on messing with her phone.
“As Kataoka said, the effect brought on by the Saitama Massacre was widespread, and that effect still lingers strongly today.” He uncrosses his arms and sets them on the table. “Many of the millions of people who live in Japan today had friends and family who died in the Massacre...” He leans forward. “...and I assure you that at least one person in each of Ryudis's ministries is one of those affected.” As Misono speaks, the scene cuts to shots of Masadoh, Himoshiba, Hise, and Tsunomaki before returning to Misono himself. “No matter which recourse is taken, they won't be satisfied. Whether the passive approach or general dereliction of the mission, Katsurada will still be alive, making the odds of a second Saitama Massacre even (greater)than the first!” (He slams his fist down onto the table.) “Destroying her as soon as possible might not bring the deceased back, but it should at least give those affected the satisfaction of knowing that Katsurada won't go after them next!” Misono slams the table with his fist again. He takes a deep breath, and then exhales. He brings his hand back to meet with one another, intertwining fingers as they rest on the table. “Are we clear?”
“Clear!?” Masadoh cries out as he stands up, his hands on the table as he faces Misono. “That's just crazy talk!” He turns to the consultant. “Mister Ostrovsky, please talk some sense into your superior! I mean, you're his consultant, for God's sake!”
Ostrovsky lowers his head. “I cannot.”
“Back in my days in Russian intelligence, I came across many unpredictable individuals one would call 'ticking time bombs'.” He opens his eyes, revealing an icy stare that matches his light blue eyes. “Miss Katsurada is one such 'ticking time bomb', and it is wise to defuse her before she sets off.” He narrows his eyes. “We clear now?”
Masadoh backs up, stuttering as his eyes and mouth lie wide open in fear. He sits back down, letting out his last stutter as a long slow exhalation of breath. He nods. “Yeah.”
Himoshiba glances over at Masadoh, and then closes his eyes and nods, understanding of his reaction.
Kataoka continues to smile in satisfaction at Misono and Ostrovsky's support for him, letting out a small laugh under his breath.
“Now, I don't mean to go off-topic or anything...”
“Ehn?” Kataoka looks over at Hise.
Hise looks up, his right hand on his chin to represent thought. “...but that reminds me...” He turns to Kataoka. “Didn't the Saitama Massacre happen around the same time your buddy from the Secret Police ran out on us? You know, Saito?”
Kataoka looks at Hise and then moves his head back, closing his eyes and angling his head down at the table. “Yes, but remember, this meeting isn't about Saito. It's about Shiho.” He opens his eyes. “Besides, he's already being taken care of.”
(Kataoka looks forward at everyone at the table. Natsuko is still messing with her phone, Hise is now sitting with his arms on the table and his head down. Tsunomaki, Misono, and Ostrovsky are back to their original positions, Himoshiba holds the same position as Hise, Masadoh sits recovering from the shock of Ostrovsky's stare, and Daisuke facepalms, his elbow on the table.)
(“Right after his desertion, I sent out some members from Captain Yamamoto's Attack Force to track down Saito in their Shiroteros before he left the country.) Last I heard, they caught up with him in Ibaraki Prefecture, near Kitaibaraki and Isohara. If anything, he should be dead by now.”
“Hmm... Far from it, sir.”
Kataoka looks to his left, gasping a bit. “What's that supposed to mean?”
(MUSIC: “Kuru Arashi” by iLL)
Natsuko continues messing with her phone, her grumpiness now lessened by the appearance of seriousness. She's still rather grumpy in expression, though. “Whaddaya think it means? Saito's still alive.”
“How do you know that?”
Natsuko closes her eyes and stops messing with her phone. “I'm your personal hacker. I have the right to know that (kind of thin-”)
(“Just spill it!”)
Natsuko suddenly looks up from her phone and opens her eyes, angry as Kataoka's rude reaction. “Alright, fine!” She turns to Kataoka. “I hacked into some cameras up in the Kitaibaraki area, and found where my dad's attack force cornered Saito.” She looks at Kataoka with seriousness. “But not only is he still alive. The guys that trailed him... are all dead.”
Kataoka gasps in shock, backing up a little.
Masadoh lets out a whistle, crossing his arms and looking up. “Well, well. I never expected a mission as easy as that to fail so easily!”
“It's a shame,” Tsunomaki chimes in. “...because simple missions are more his style.”
Hise turns to Tsunomaki, laughing a bit. “You got that right!”
Kataoka sighs, his head collapsing onto the table as he holds his hands above his head. “That's just great. Two months of hard work, all gone in an instant.” Daisuke looks down at Kataoka, now free of his facepalm.
“Oh, but it gets worse.”
Kataoka glances at Natsuko “How, exactly?”
“I just looked into some earlier footage from the scene. My dad's men weren't taken out by Saito, but by someone else altogether: Shiho.”
Kataoka gasps, his eyes widening.
The scene cuts to inside the Ryudis Attack Force Truck, near a line of computer screens, like one would use for scouting research. Both screens, surrounded by a brownish-grey slanted steel base, are displaying something; the left a map not unlike the one Captain Yamamoto was looking down at earlier, and the right numerous security camera observations of Kitaibaraki. Below both screens are some buttons. Suddenly, a red dot appears on the map, blinking and beeping as it moves from the east to the street intersection surrounding the three rectangles representing the trucks. The man sitting at the screens – brown hair, brown eyes, young appearance, green suit not unlike Yamamoto's only for a lower rank – turns back to Yamamoto and calls out.
“Captain, we've got her position!”
“Hm?” Yamamoto, still standing near the large table-map, turns to the security officer.
“She's headed right for where we want her, coming in from the southeast!”
“Good work!” Cut to the map, a beeping red dot suddenly appearing in the same place as before. “All troops, get into battle positions and remain on standby until further notice!”
Soon enough, the pilots are getting into their Shirotero's cockpits, their hatches closing as the green eye turns to red as it glows. The back of the trailer open, they walk out one by one, the one nearest to the back at the left going first. The next one after that, like the first one only to the right, follows behind, followed by the one in front to the left.
Back near the table-map, Kichirou walks up to Yamamoto, his cigarette still in his mouth and now very short in size. He points to himself, sporting a casual expression of wonder.
Yamamoto, his hands behind his back as he looks forward, glances at Kichirou. “Ensign Shuuta, you're this mission's trump card, so you're exempt from the standby order.”
Kichirou frowns and balls his hands into fists in anger, biting down on his cigarette and causing it to bend.
Yamamoto looks back and grins. “Don't worry, we'll call you when we need you.” He steps forward. “Until then, go wait in your Shirotero's cockpit or somethin'.”
Kichirou, walking over to the only nonmoving Shirotero out of the four, looks back at Yamamoto and gives him a thumbs up. He resumes walking right after.
The scene then cuts to another intersection in Kitaibaraki, this time with the Kikyuuren. The man, still in lead, stops and looks up, quietly gasping.
The rest of the group catches up to him and stops, the first of the nine others being Shiho, still somewhat running as she holds onto Hekireki's hand. As she stops, her joyous expression fades and one of confusion appears. “Hey, what's the matter? Why'd we stop all of a sudden?” As Shiho stops, Hekireki lets go of her hand, glancing forward at her as she holds it with her other hand, blushing while showing a cute kind of mild anger.
The man stays quiet in his previous position for a few more minutes, before closing his mouth and looking down in seriousness. “They're here.”
Shiho looks at the man... “Who's he-” As she turns, she stops and her eyes widen as she looks forward. “Oh.”
“Well, sh*t,” Hekireki exclaims as she looks forward as well. Everyone in back looks up too, except for Cujo, who's still drowsy.
Staring them down from the street, between a barren park area without so much as a few red bushes by the side of the road and a stone sidewalk leading into an area surrounded by a hedge (minus the entrance), is a Shirotero. It's red eye glowing, it points an arm-gun – this one taking on the appearance of a machinegun despite being connected to the back of the lower half of its right arm – at them. The POV zooms in on its eye and zooms out to show it in full view, cutting off everything below the legs.
The voice, belonging to Yamamoto, booms throughout the area loud enough for all of the Kikyuuren members to hear it. Shiho backs up in slight surprise, cautious yet slightly fearful. Hekireki looks a little more fearful, but more towards Shiho than towards the presence of Ryudis. The other Kikyuuren members start looking around. The man remains silent and unmoving. Just as Shiho is about to reach behind her and grab her rifle...
“Don't even think about it!”
She stops. From the POV of one of the members (most likely either Shiho or the man), the scene shifts around to see various Shiroteros, all pointing armguns coming from their right forearm's backside at them. Aside from the one on the street, there's one on the roof of of a two-story cleaning establishment on one corner, one on the roof of a one-story coin laundry place (with a satellite dish) on the opposite corner, one down the road on their right, and three down the road on their left, those three with raised-up forearms ready to fire missiles rather than an armgun for each.
As all this goes on, Yamamoto continues to speak. “Don't move a muscle, and accept the fate my attack force will dish out to you, or everyone here will suffer the consequences!”
As the rest of the Kikyuuren members start backing up, Shiho crouches down a bit, grabbing onto the barrel of her rifle as if she's about to pull it out and use it. “Why you...”
But then, the man steps forward in front of Shiho and holds his arms out.
She looks at him in honest surprise as he stands there, facing the Shirotero pointing the gun at them. But then, he turns to the left, in the direction of the missile-launcher Shiroteros, anger poking through his serious expression.
“Oh yeah!? Well if you're gonna kill her, you'll hafta go through me first!”
“Don't you think that's a little clichéd?” Yamamoto asks through the loudspeaker. “That aside, you shouldn't be here! My men should've killed you!”
The man lowers his head and smirks. “That's where you're wrong. This girl here killed your goons and saved my life. At least she knows what I did to you jerks wasn't treason.”
“Treason?” Shiho looks at the man as he says that. She steps forward and stands behind him, looking forward. “You said treason, right?”
The man glances back. “Yeah, so?”
Shiho lowers her head, straightening up a bit more as she closes her mouth shut in offense. “If that's true, then tell us, who exactly are you?”
The man smirks. “Hn. Who am I?”
Cut to inside of the back of the Attack Force truck Yamamoto is in. He looks up at a security camera shot looking down at Saito standing and protecting Shiho on one of his security officer's two computer screens. He grips onto a handheld P.A. Speaker, his hand shaking as his eye twitches.
“Saito... just what the hell is he doing here?”
The scene then cuts to another street in Kitaibaraki, some more buildings on either side as the grey square-tiled sidewalk alongside it is separated from the street by thin grass groves with bushes growing in the empty areas. Walking down the street, now devoid of cars, is Iva's Shirotero.
Inside her cockpit, Iva looks forward with a look of defeat, with half-closed eyelids and an exhausted expression. “You know what? Forget it.” She sighs. “This mission's a real waste of my ti-” As she opens her eyes from her sigh and looks forward... “Eh?”
From inside her cockpit, the Kikyuuren comes into sight. A window pops up in front of her; a zoom-in focusing on the man.
“There he is! Finally! Wait...” As Iva's reaction suddenly turns to second-guessing from excitement, her camera moves over to get Shiho within the same line of sight. “No f*cking way!” Iva loudly exclaims this, leaning in as she looks on in disbelief.
The scene then cuts back to the meeting room inside the Ryudis Governmental Building. The HDTV hanging from the upper ceiling and facing down towards the table switches on, showing a faded-in-color shot of another security camera at the scene in Kitaibaraki; this time focusing in the direction of the Attack Force's main truck, with the man and Shiho's backs facing the screen.
Natsuko looks up, smiling as she lowers her phone. “Got it!”
Kataoka stands up from his seat and looks up at the screen. “Now observe closely, gentlemen.” Daisuke, Masadoh, Himoshiba, Hise, and Misono look up at the screen, the latter of the five being the only one to show a smile. Tsunomaki keeps the same position he has been, as does Ostrovsky, and Natsuko just glances up, her thumb ready to mess with her phone when necessary. “What you are about to see is proof as to why Operation BSA shouldn't be taken so lightly...” The POV then cuts to show the screen again, zooming in on the man and Shiho. “...and why Shiho Katsurada is a force to be reckoned with.”
Back in Kitaibaraki, Shiho steps forward, now angry with the man. “Just tell us already! Who are you!?”
“Alright, fine.” The man stays quiet for a second before speaking. “My name is Kane Saito.” He looks up. “And I'm a former member of Ryudis.”
Shiho keeps her angry face for a split second. After that second, it becomes one of fear, complete with a gasp through clenched teeth. “No way... Then you... know about that...”
All Saito does is smile.
“Fire!” Yamamoto yells.
All three missiles fire from the Shirotero's arms, white smoke jetting out of the tails as they shoot forward towards the Kikyuuren. The POV zooms in faster than the missiles, zooming in towards Saito, his eyeglasses now lowered and showing off his golden eyes. The POV zooms all the way into his pupil until the screen is completely black, displaying only the following text:
TO BE CONTINUED
08-09-2012 07:05 AM - edited 08-09-2012 07:06 AM
深園天雪 (防衛相): 立木文彦
間佐堂総元 (副首相): 平野俊隆
紐柴清 (総務相): 二又一成
誹瀬織治 (法相): 梅津秀行
角巻軌久 (官房長官): 楠見尚己
原画: 三輪和宏 佐古宗一郎 沈宏 藤田しげる 甲斐泰之 田中宏紀 根岸宏行 鈴木彩史
石野聡 仁井宏隆 中村豊 楡木哲郎 伊藤秀次 石井智美 小園菜穂 松崎正 森淳
杉浦幸次 織田広之 阿部尚人 浅井悠可 道下康太 福岡英典 堀川耕一 森聡 村木靖
酒井原美樹 野々下いおり 朴好英 岡田絵里香
P.A. WORKS 動画工房 Wish スタジオマーク ウォンバット A-1 Pictures
動画検査: 岩長幸一 亀山郁李
西島翔平 小久保聡美 橋本治奈 広江啓輔 関弘光 川合彩香 平田有加
西田政司 小野あゆ美 孫家隆 山本洋平 中林蘭子 阪野日香莉 小柏奈弓
阿武恵子 増子裕美 矢野美幸 星公子
スタジオコメット アニメスポット アートランド スタジオたくらんけ AI
スタジオギムレット スタジオマーク ガイナックス Triple A FAIインターナショナル
山本瑞恵 柴田恵美 三留裕美 成田照美 久島早映子 木下将兵
小木斉之 氏家誠 南風原竜也 村上弘 山口雅範 都甲佳代子
児玉愛実 安田ゆかり 篠原天元
ZHANG YUANZHEN QIU YIBO
LI JIANG WU RUZHUAN ZHU XIAODAN DAE YUCHUN
3DCGI: 大山俊介 太田光希 安東容太
神林憲和 齋藤勝彦 田邉茂 沖田貢靖 林太郎
撮影: T2 Studio
木村俊也 加藤千恵 加藤絵梨 田沢二郎 別府光太郎 設楽希 金珍熙 刀根有史
深沢美津奈 藤田哲郎 入山真二
音響効果助手: 西佐知子 (サウンドボックス)
歌: ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION
編曲: ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION
挿入歌:『WHITE TIGER NO. 24』
歌: KAGAMI (Aniplex)
原画: たないあやこ 光田史亮 吉田健一 大梶博之 沈宏 安留雅弥 宗崎暢芳 森聡
背景: 木原裕爾 永井一男
撮影: T2 Studio
原画: 鈴木典光 新井浩一 石野聡
背景: 宮越歩 (チームティルドーン)
キャラクタークリエイティブチーム: 濠沢彼太 kohikki 千頭悪戸 ボクサ mg天使 cid猫
波様RX 場藤一 月女神 鳳執事
宣伝: 安藤ひと美 柴田亜矢 小森健一
編成: 関谷祐輔 田村健彦
協力: 亀田製菓株式会社 TOYOTA
作画監督: 堀川耕一 森聡
絵コンテ: 濠沢彼太 寺東克己 三條なみみ 宮地昌幸
アニメーション制作: bones KINEMA CITRUS
製作: bones 毎日放送
キネマシトラス 博報堂DYメディアパートナーズ アニプレックス
(MUSIC: “Typeset Interface – Second Coming” by Takkyu Ishino)
Saito: “It's hard to get out of a conflict you're trapped in easily. The only way to break free is to fight back. If you're open to a potential disadvantage, no need to worry; a familiar face will pop in to fill the gap. Next time on KIGUMA, episode 13: The Beat Is Loose.”
TOTAL TIME: 24:59
JAPANESE VOICE CAST
Toshio Katsurada – Toshiyuki Toyonaga
Shiho Katsurada – Ai Shimizu
Hekireki Enzeru – Fumiko Orikasa
Junichi “Johnny” Ishimura – Daisuke Ono
Kujo “Cujo” Nakata – Katsuyuki Konishi
Aki Miyazaki – Tomokazu Sugita
Yuri Yamada – Aki Toyosaki
Isamu Watanabe – Daisuke Namikawa
Ai Takahashi – Nana Mizuki
Nana Koizumi – Romi Park
Teppei Kataoka – Norio Wakamoto
Natsuko Yamamoto – Rie Kugimiya
Daisuke Takahashi – Junichi Suwabe
Iva Izumi – Ami Koshimizu
Kane Saito – Yoshihisa Kawahara
Yevgeny Ostrovsky – Jouji Nakata
Mamoru Yamamoto – Rikiya Koyama
Minister for Defence Amayuki Misono – Fumihiko Tachiki
Deputy Prime Minister Sougen Masadoh – To####aka Hirano
Minister for Internal Affairs Kiyoshi Himoshiba – Issei Futamata
Minister for Justice Oriharu Hise – Hideyuki Umezu
Chief Cabinet Secretary Norihisa Tsunomaki – Naomi Kusumi
Shirotero Squadron A – Masashi Sugawara
Shirotero Squadron B – Atsushi Imaruoka
Shirotero Squadron C – Kouki Miyata
ENGLISH VOICE CAST
Toshio Katsurada – Johnny Yong Bosch
Shiho Katsurada – Philece Sampler
Hekireki Enzeru – Michelle Ruff
Junichi “Johnny” Ishimura – Ethan Murray
Kujo “Cujo” Nakata – Steve Blum
Aki Miyazaki – Crispin Freeman
Yuri Yamada – Stephanie Sheh
Isamu Watanabe – Dave Wittenberg
Ai Takahashi – Bridget Hoffman
Nana Koizumi – Mary Elizabeth McGlynn
Teppei Kataoka – Michael McConnohie
Natsuko Yamamoto – Cristina Valenzuela
Daisuke Takahashi – Crispin Freeman
Iva Izumi – Lauren Landa
Kane Saito – Travis Willingham
Yevgeny Ostrovsky – Jamieson Price
Mamoru Yamamoto – Kirk Thornton
Minister for Defence Amayuki Misono – Richard Epcar
Deputy Prime Minister Sougen Masadoh – William Frederick Knight
Minister for Internal Affairs Kiyoshi Himoshiba – Steve Kramer
Minister for Justice Oriharu Hise – Doug Stone
Chief Cabinet Secretary Norihisa Tsunomaki – Dan Woren
Shirotero Squadron – Liam O'Brien
Paul St. Peter
Other Voices – Kaiji Tang
BOARD MEMBER COMPARISON
Hekireki Enzeru – mgangel1124
Teppei Kataoka – PokeNirvash
Iva Izumi – SenseAcct
Daisuke Takahashi – Kohikki
Kichirou Shuuta – _Boxers_
Natsuko Yamamoto – cidthekittyisfun
Kane Saito – DeaconPhenix
Aki Miyazaki – SenseAcct
Shiho Katsurada – PokeNirvash
Junichi “Johnny” Ishimura – Kohikki
Kujo “Cujo” Nakata – _Boxers_
Nana Koizumi – MoonGoddess17
Isamu Watanabe – cidthekittyisfun
Yuri Yamada – WavemasterRyx
Ai Takahashi – BadWitch
Toshio Katsurada – PokeNirvash
()() - Two things are going on/being said at the same time.
Rated TV-MA for intense suggestive dialogue, suggestive behavior, profanity, fanservice, and graphic bloody violence
1: Coka-Cura is the brand of soda that Cujo kicked out of the vending machine back in episode 8. The can design for the two is just the same.
2: The Tsuneiwa Association of Printing is a real place in Japan, located at the intersection between two streets (as described earlier on before its appearance) in close proximity of the Kitaibaraki City Office.
3: “WHITE TIGER NO. 24” is a song that was apparently created for the movie Eureka seveN: good night, sleep tight, young lovers. I don't know if it actually showed in the movie or not, since I haven't seen it yet. I primarily used it because I thought no other song, fake or not, could do this scene justice. The song is 6:07 in full, but the version in this episode covers only 0:00-0:04, 0:25-1:56, 3:08-3:51, 4:05-5:03, 5:17-5:47, and 6:01-6:05, the total time being 3:50.
4: You can never have enough Yutaka Nakamura.
5: The same can be said for Yasushi Muraki.
6: Namely, the intersection of Japanese National Route 463 as it turns into Prefectural Route 34 and Prefectural Route 213 as it turns into National Route 463. If you go on Google Maps or Bing Maps (I suggest Bing to give you an idea as to what it looks like through Bird's-Eye View), it's over to the east of the Saitama Prefectural Office.
And here are some more lyrics, this time for “来る嵐 (Kuru Arashi; Coming Storm)” by iLL. Here are the lyrics for the song as they appear in the chapter.
曇った空に目が覚めた/Kumotta sora ni megazameta/I woke up to a cloudy sky
空気の暗い房雷が点滅/Kouki no kurai fusa kaminari ga tenmetsu/The flashing, thundering tufts of air
近い動いて、速く動いて/Chikai ugoite, hayaku ugoite/It's moving closer, it's moving faster
代替はない, 僕の時だ/Daitai wa nai, boku no toki da/There's no alternative, it's now my time
待って、待って、待って/Matte, matte, matte/You wait, you wait, you wait
近づいている/Chikadzuiteru/It's coming closer
自身を試して/Jishin wo tameshite/You try it yourself
動作しません/Dousashimasen/It doesn't work
心配しない、僕は助けるため/Shinpai shinai, boku wa tasukeru tame/Worry not, for I will help
YOU GOTTA BEAT ON TO GET ON OUTTA HERE
扉を開く/Tobira wo hiraku/Open your door
心を開く/Kokoro wo hiraku/Open your mind
息巻く風に耳を傾ける/Ikimaku kaze ni mimi wo katamukeru/Listen to those raging winds
土地を保護するためには、この最後に義務である/Tochi no hodo suru tame ni wa, kono saigo ni gimu dearu/To protect this land is my duty in the end
目を開く/Me wo hiraku/Open your eyes
耳を開く/Mimi wo hiraku/Open your ears
来る嵐に耳を傾ける/Kuru arashi ni mimi wo katamukeru/Listen to that coming storm
YOU GOTTA BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON
YOU GOTTA境界線を打破し世界を助く/You gotta kyoukaisen wo dahashi sekai wo tasuku/You gotta break the boundary to save the world
BEFORE YOU BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON
GOTTA BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON
OH YEAH BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON
GOTTA BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON
WE MUST BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON
GOTTA BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON
HAVE TO BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON
GOTTA BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON
WE SHALL BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON
GOTTA BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON
YEAH WE BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON
GOTTA BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON
BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON
BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON BEAT ON
11-22-2012 10:54 AM
Okay, so it's been several months since I posted the last chapter, so to let anyone still reading this know (and to save this thread from the pits of the second page), I'm still working on this, and I swear, I will get stuff done faster. I really want to get on to my next project, and finishing this is the first step. I got to the halfway point; now to do half 2.
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