August 29, 2011

RunwayϟWARS [Chapters 1-2]

Originally posted @ on  August 25, 2011

[Free Talk: Hehe, I just discovered this the day after yesterday. ^^; This is a new series by Arai Kiyoko for Cheese! Magazine. I have not read any of this author’s works but some of you might be familiar with her series like Beauty Pop. I have not seen the raws of this series so most, if not all, of the names are guesswork. If you know the names, just tag about it, thanks. ^^ So, on with the summary..]

A young short-haired girl is walking at the highway while pulling her luggage. Hungry and tired, she is also carrying a small carton board which she flashes on to any car that passes by. “Going to Tokyo” is written on it but to her dismay, a car passed by her again. Soon, a truck driver helps the damsel in distress. Looking like some sort of fisherman/trader, the driver happily says that it is good that a good guy like him stopped to help her. The girl thanks him for his help. The man laughs and says that she is really pitiful that her house is burned to the ground and her family got separated, and now, she is going to Tokyo where her grandmother is. To the girl’s irritation, the man ruffles her hair and says that she is amazing to do this even if she is alone and an elementary kid. The girl asks him if he wants her to grab that snoot [/actually a mole] from his nose and throw it away. “I’m already 17.” The man laughs and apologizes to her because she is very petite that he thought she is an elementary kid. Giving her a huge lollipop, the man says that he’ll give it to her as an apology. The girl angrily thinks that the man really doesn’t understand. Soon, the man drops her off at Tokyo and tells her to be careful. After thanking the man, she is on her way. Looking around, she thinks that she is really in Tokyo. After sighing, she pulls along her luggage and thinks that she should go to her grandma’s place, some Renge [蓮花] Dining Hall. She passes by a couple of girl who talk about some sort of shooting at that side of the street. The other girl says that it is a model photo shoot. They recognize the model as Misako [美真] who is super cute. The petite girl looks at this model Misako and sees the signboard behind Misako, ‘Ra—men’. The girl picks up her luggage and quickly runs toward the shooting location. A man shouts for her to stop, they are shooting but the girl runs fast and manages to evade all of them who try to catch her. The man screams for Misako to be careful but to their surprise, the girl zooms past Misako and, she quickly heads in the ramen restaurant. Inside, the girl calls out to the owner to quickly give her a bowl of ramen. The jolly owner says okay. The girl happily anticipates her hot bowl of ramen because it has been a long time since she has eaten one. Then, on the television, there is a show about the grand open of Japan’s biggest fashion festival, TGC [Tokyo Girls Collection]. There is an interview of new model, Reina [玲奈] who is very excited because it is her dream, as a model, to walk on TGC’s runway. The girl remembers telling her mother, “When I, Mili* grows up, I want to become a top model, and afterwards, I will walk on all the runways of the world.” [*毫米 or Miri. Her name literally means millimeter.] Her mother smiled and said is that so. Her mother patted her head and said that if it is Mili, she will succeed. “Definitely. *giggles* You’ll definitely succeed..” End flashback.

Mili looks a bit sad over this but she perks up when her ramen is served to her. She smells the scent and ah..she felt so happy for it has been a long time since she has eaten. Taking her chopsticks and soup spoon, Mili is really to dig in when a guy carrying a box-type bag passes by. The guy didn’t notice it but his bag hits Mili’s ramen bowl and it crashes on the floor. While the owner is shock over what happened, the guy asks him for a bowl of ramen. Getting some water from the dispenser, the guy says that he’s tired and it wasn’t easy to take pictures of the model. He complains that after a long time, it finally finished and he can eat lunch, even if it is already around 3pm. While the guy is walking to a table behind Mili, Mili put her foot forward. Thus, the guy promptly trips down on the spilled ramen and the glass of water ends up on his head. ^^; The guy freaks out over this and quickly ask for a towel which the owner promptly gives it to him. After wiping his coat and himself from the ramen, the guy darkly says that he couldn’t remove the stains thus, he can no longer use this coat, his favorite. The guy turns around and angrily shouts at Mili what she is doing, pretending as if it doesn’t concern her. Slightly irked that he calls her a brat, Mili tells him that didn’t he also act without a care after turning over her ramen. The guy is puzzled and asks what she is talking about. Facing away, Mili says that if he doesn’t know about that, then she also doesn’t know why his clothes are dirtied. The guy angrily grabs Mili’s collar and asks her what’s with her attitude. The owner intervenes by saying that she is right, Terazawa’s bag had bumped on her ramen and turned over her bowl. Terazawa asks why he didn’t say it early on. The owner apologizes that he cannot butt in when Terazawa is in such a talkative lively mood. Terazawa lets Mili go. Preparing to leave, he apologizes to the owner and tells him to give his bowl of ramen to Mili. He’ll just pay it next time. At the door, Terazawa looks at Mili and says, “Are you satisfied with that, brat?” After he left by slamming the door, Mili got irked by that comment. Mili tells the owner to put on that guy’s tab, the payment for the two ramen. The owner is shock by this and even more when Mili wants to add two more ramen on that guy’s tab. =P

At Renge’s Dining Hall, Renge, a curly haired smoking woman exclaims, “What, you are my idiotic son’s daughter – Mili?” Renge says that she doesn’t care if that idiot disappears from the face of earth or something, because she had early on severed ties with him, so she has no responsibility to take care of her [Mili]. Even if her house is burned down and she has no place to stay, she would still not let Mili stay there. Unfazed, Mili says that she knows. Renge exclaims that if she knows then quickly leave. Then, before leaving, Mili gives the grandmother a letter. She says, “By the way, your idiotic son..told me to give this to you.” Wondering if it is money, Renge opens the envelope and is shock by a picture inside. Renge screams how come that idiot has this picture. Below the picture, there is a note, “One of a hundred photos’, I still have a lot. ♡” Renge quickly tosses a key to Mili and tells her to go to room 101. Mili asks if she can. She thanks her grandmother and heads inside. While burning the picture, Renge is frustrated that evil son of hers has a hundred of those pictures and he would unexpectedly use her weakness. Inside, Mili notices that from rooms 101-105, 102-103 are occupied and the occupants are currently away. She climbs upstairs and heads to room 101. She opens the empty room that only has a small box at the side. She immediately lies down on the floor and exclaims that she now has a place to stay. She closes her eyes and thinks that a lot of things had happened, these past few days, she’s so tired. Flashback: Sleepy Mili is woke up by her father, telling her that things are bad. Mili wonders why there is a lot of smoke. Pulling her out, her father shouted that the house is burning. It turned out that it is because of her father’s cigarette butt that the house is now on fire. ^^; While the house is burning, her father told her that they can no longer stay there, because that land also belongs to someone else. He advised her to go to Tokyo and make her grandmother take her in. Handing her an envelope with a heart sticker, he told Mili to give this to her if she refuses to let her stay. He confidently said that his mother cannot refuse upon seeing it. Mili asked what about him. When his father is about to answer her, a couple of men ran after him over some payments, and shouted for him not to run away. End flashback.

Mili thinks of her darn father who happily told her that they will see each other again if he still lives. Then, she notices a couple of eyes glaring at her. She sits up to see a cat who furiously asks who she is when this is his room. Mili happily says that it seems someone is occupying this place. She tells the cat, who is ready to box with her, that from today on, she will be living there so, she’s under its care. The cat starts meowing and scratching. Mili takes out a Revenge Notebook [<- probably alluding to Death Note], and a small fish falls out. While the cat happily eats the fish gift, Mili remembers Terazawa’s parting words. Thinking that she doesn’t want to see that guy again and she should have punch him then, Mili writes on the notebook of making that guy giving her 100 years worth of ramen as ‘revenge’. Heading out of the room, Mili hopes to dissipate her anger by eating ramen. To her surprise, she sees Terazawa heading upstairs. After a pause and a scream, Terazawa carries Mili by her coat [like a cat] and tells the granny that he has found a gatecrasher [/intruder]. Renge hits his head with a frying pan and tells him not to call her granny but Renge, how many times she has to tell him that. Terazawa apologizes and repeats that there is a gatecrasher. To his shock, Renge tells him that she isn’t a gatecrasher but rather, a new occupant. Terazawa shouts how can she let a brat stay by herself, alone in a room, she is just an elementary kid. Angry Mili steps on his foot. He drops her and tries to wipe the foot mark from his shoe. Renge mutters that it is that again, his extreme mysophobia [fear over dirt/germs]. Mili stomps on the floor beside Terazawa and says, “I am not an elementary kid.” While Terazawa goes ‘huh’, a cutie girl comes in and asks what’s going on, it seems interesting, that she can hear it from outside. “Let me join, too ♡” Renge sighs and mutters that here comes another troublesome person. She asks the girl that wasn’t she suppose to be in Hokkaido. Cutie girl says that there is a change of schedule, she’ll be going there tomorrow. While asking for a cup of coffee, cutie girl notices Mili. She says that she’s cute and what’s her name. Mili says that she is Momori Mili [桃里毫米], age 17. Terazawa is surprised that she is already 17, it’s impossible because she looks like an elementary kid. Cutie girl squeals if she is Niigata [新潟]’s Momori Mili. Mili says that she is and who is she. Cutie girl says that it’s her, it’s her, Nadeshiko [抚子], and weren’t they models together before. Mili recognizes ‘her’ as grade 3’s Masao [雅男].. Nadeshiko quickly covers Mili’s mouth and tells her that Masao is already dead within her body. Using her horrified man’s voice, Nadeshiko tells Mili to call her Nadeshiko from now on.

Patting Mili’s head, Nadeshiko asks her if she is still a model right now. Right now, even if it is inconsistent with her looks, Nadeshiko is a hairstylist assistant. Nadeshiko offers to be Mili’s hairstylist, if she needs one. Mili says that she no longer does any model-kind of stuff. Nadeshiko asks her why when Mili is obviously very popular and it is such a waste. And, didn’t Mili tell ‘her’ [as Masao] before, that her dream is to become a top model. “Why are you giving up on your dream?” The girls stop when they overhear Terazawa let out a suppressed laughter. He asks if Mili is conscious of it that to become a top model, she has to be 170-180 cm [5 feet and 7 inches up to 5 feet and 11 inches]. With that petite body of hers, of course she has to give up on it. “Giving up is the correct choice. And you are called ‘Mili’ right? When you become ‘Mi’ [meter] then, you can talk big. Hahahahaha.” Nadeshiko calls out that room 102 guy’s words are too cruel. [<- hehe, I knew they’ll be next door neighbors =P] Mili sits down and looks at Terazawa. She tells him that just now, he’s quite arrogant. “What’s amazing about you?” Terazawa tells her that he is a professional photographer. Renge tells them that during junior high, Terazawa got a lot of rewards in photography and soon, he started his own career. He is what you’ll call a genius, but when he is conceited, it makes him into a gem with a flaw. Nadeshiko is infuriated that Terazawa has something to boast about. Terazawa tells Mili that he isn’t like her, he will absolutely not let go of his dream. “Because you are ‘Mili’ [/millimeter], so there is also no way. Haha, whether it is your name or body build, both are small.” Pissed off, Mili spits on his cheek. While Terazawa is freaking out over this and Nadeshiko laughs her head off, Mili tells him that it is bad, she didn’t brush her teeth for three days. While Terazawa is wiping his face and freaking out that it will rot, Renge lights up a cigarette and tells him to be quiet, and just go back to his room. Then, to Terazawa’s surprise, Mili asks ‘Mysophobia’, what he will do if she becomes a model. Terazawa smiles and says that if she becomes a model, whether it is to prostrate down to her as an apology, or make him do something, it is okay with him. Remembering her mother’s encouragement that she can become a top model, Mili says okay, he’ll prostrate down to her as an apology plus, 100 years worth of ramen. [<- lifetime] Terazawa accepts the dare but the condition is, she has to do it within a year. Mili says, “No problem.”

Scene changes to a flashy host saying that on today’s show, it is popular model, Mili. While the audience is raving about her, Mili goes out on stage. At the end of the stage, Terazawa is prostrating down to her. He timidly apologizes and says that he lost. Gesturing to a hundred years worth bowls of ramen at the side, he tells her those ramen are hers, in accordance to their agreement. While eating ramen, Mili steps on Terazawa’s head and starts laughing out loud. And, people outside of Renge Dining Hall are surprised by the loud laughter. Mili wakes up and it turns out to be just a dream. The cat in the box at the side is irritated that Mili woke it up. Mili looks at the clock and says that it is bad, it is already late. It is already 9:35am. She thinks that good dream could be a good omen. She had already applied to 50 companies and she thinks that surely, one of them will take her. At ‘Cute style’ audition, the judge asks if her height is 146 cm [4 feet and 9 inches]. They laugh and say that they only hire people who are at 160 cm [5 feet and 3 inches] above. At the 10th company, she is asked if she is really 17 years old when she is so small. The model beside her, giggles over this. At the 20th company, the judge asks if it is true and she isn’t an elementary kid. Angrily walking in the streets, Mili is furious that every company doesn’t want short people, and it isn’t like she likes being short. She thinks that she has to eat ramen to replenish herself before continuing. She goes to the ramen store and orders a bowl of ramen. The owner apologizes that there are a lot of customers there so why don’t she share a table with someone. She looks at her wallet and thinks that she only has 481 yen left. If she doesn’t find work soon, she cannot eat ramen anymore. She forgets about it and thinks that she still barely has enough for one bowl of ramen. She looks at her seatmate who turns out to be Terazawa. While eating a bowl of ramen, he blurts out that it is the short brat. Putting her elbow on the table, Mili laments that this is such a disastrous day. Terazawa shouts that is his line. When he is about to tell her something, Mili perks up that her Shoyu ramen has arrived. Terazawa is telling her that he only owes her one bowl of ramen when he turned over her ramen, so isn’t she too much that she’s charging two bowls of ramen on him.

To his irritation, Mili ignores him because she is happily eating and slurping her ramen. Terazawa mentions about their dare and asks her what she will do if she cannot become a model. After finishing her bowl of ramen, Mili tells him that she’ll prostrate down to him as an apology. Terazawa says okay, aside from prostrating, she is to polish his 100 years worth of shoes. He starts laughing and says that the one who will surely prostrate will be her. Mili stands up and tells him to shut up, she’s leaving. After she left, Terazawa giggles that Mili ran off with her tail behind her back. After putting his own spoon and chopsticks in the case and taking his own chair cushion [<-he’s mysophobic], Terazawa asks for the bill. He is puzzled why it is 900 yen because it is for two bowls of ramen. In the end, he angrily shouts in anger because Mili charged him for her ramen. Outside, Mili smiles with her toothpick. She thinks that it is his punishment for disturbing her meal. She begins to become nervous if it is okay that she told him that she’ll prostrate down to him, because she already auditioned into 20 companies and she wasn’t able to get into one. She imagines what if she wasn’t able to become a model. Imagination: Mili prostrates down to Terazawa and apologizes to him. Holding up his shoes, she tells him that she has finished polishing one hundred of his shoes. [<- I wonder if this is a typo, before it is hundred years worth, and now just a hundred shoes. ^^;] Terazawa takes the shoes and hits them on her head. He shouts that it isn’t clean, it is still very dirty. End imagination. Mili becomes dark and infuriated over this. She starts running around aimlessly that she doesn’t want to polish his shoes, and she needs replenishment because she has already digested the ramen. In front of her is a host [/gigolo] who is giving 50% discount to female passerby to his club called Labyrinth. Mili bumps into him and makes him spill all over the place the discount coupons. Just when the host is about to shout, ‘watch where you are going’, he quickly changes his tone upon seeing that it is a girl. He asks the cute miss if she wants to go with him to a hotel. Mili asks if there is ramen there. Thinking of H[/sex], the host says of course there is, and she can eat no matter how many bowls she wants. “I’ll treat you.” He urges her that they can go on their way.

After standing up, he looks left and right because he couldn’t find the miss. While calling out where she is, he screams in pain when someone steps on his foot. Mili angrily asks if he is looking down on her when she is obviously standing beside him. The host is disappointed that she is small. Sweating, he mutters that it is bad that he tried to pick up an elementary kid. He apologizes to her that as a ‘brother’ [someone older than her], he had said some strange things to her. A co-worker calls out to the host as Akira [光] and tells him to quit picking up on girls. He should distribute the coupons for it is almost time to open the store. To Mili’s irritation, Akira pats her head and asks if she can go home alone because brother [<- him] still has to work. At host club Labyrinth, Akira’s left cheek is swelling [<- probably slapped by Mili]. He apologizes and says that he didn’t know that she is already 17 years old. Burping, Mili says that the ramen isn’t bad. Akira is shock that she ate six bowls of ramen. Then, Akira is called out because a female customer wants him to entertain her. Akira quickly goes to the customer. Then, Mili sees a female customer asking someone to take her and her man’s picture. While they are happily clicking the camera, Mili remembers the time when she is posing in front of a clicking camera. Flashback: The photographer said that she’s cute and her smile is amazing. At the dressing room, a woman said that Komoe [小萌]’s dress won’t fit and she grew up again. Mili commented that she is envious of Komoe because to be a top model, one has to have a tall body built. Komoe said that it is alright for Mili and Kantsuna [杰娜], will also grow tall soon. Mili and Kantsuna exclaimed that is true. After a year, Mili peeked in the photo shoot of Komoe and Kantsuna who have grown really tall. She wondered why they are already 150 cm [4 feet and 11 inches] and why she is still 132 cm [4 feet and 3 inches] when she is already in grade 6. Soon, while posing with a couple of kids, Mili couldn’t quite smile like what the photographer told her, because she is really bothered about why she is the only one who didn’t grow tall. End flashback. At the bar of Renge’s DH, Nadeshiko is looking at her laptop and says that she found a picture of Mili when she was still modeling. Terazawa belittles it by saying that Mili is definitely posing for some dull magazine where she is dressed up as a cat or dog. While Renge is listening to them, Terazawa looks at the laptop and asks what’s up with Mili’s expression which is quite lifeless. He says that if he is the photographer, he has no way of pressing down the shutter if the model has that kind of expression. In that picture, Mili is 11 years old posing with Mitsuki [美月] aged 7 and Kae [佳慧] aged 8.

Nadeshiko sticks out her tongue at him and says that they won’t ask him to be their photographer. She says that even if Mili cannot become a model, she still wants to see him prostrate down in apology. Wearing gloves, Terazawa says that it is impossible for him to be the one who’ll be prostrating down in apology. Soon, Terazawa is searching through Nadeshiko’s laptop. She complains to him that her laptop isn’t dirty that he needs to wear gloves. He tells her how he would know if it is infected or not with germs, and if he wasn’t careful and touched it, his whole room will have germs and that is not a joke. Pouting, Nadeshiko sarcastically tells him that gloves are okay as well as gas mask, just do whatever he please. Terazawa learns that after this picture was taken, Mili had quit the modeling world. He wonders if the reason is because she stopped growing. He discovers something and says, “Hey, transvestite.” Nadeshiko tells him that she won’t listen if he calls her that way. Terazawa is surprised that Mili’s mother is former model, Aika [爱花] who is super popular in the modeling world. Renge perks up over this topic. Nadeshiko asks if that is so, and she did hear that Mili’s mother is a model. Terazawa exclaims that Aika is 180 cm [5 feet and 11 inches]. He laughs and asks why Mili is so small, could it be that she isn’t Aika’s natural child. Nadeshiko angrily asks how would she know, and maybe she got her genes from her father who is really short. Terazawa says okay, they go ask Mili. Nadeshiko agrees on this. The two were shock when Renge stabs a kitchen knife on the table and tells them to quit that. She tells the two that Mili’s mother had abandoned her and left home, so they are not allowed to mention about Mili’s mother to Mili. “Understand?” The two timidly says, yes. Back at the host club, Akira timidly asks if it is time for Mili to go home. To his surprise, she is sound asleep. He wakes her up and exclaims that isn’t it time for her to go home, it is almost 10pm. Mili wakes up and asks where she is, is it already 10pm. She stands up and quickly says that she should quickly go home. Akira is relieved. He bids her goodbye and tells her to take care on her way home, because he is going ahead for he still has work. Then, Mili overhears someone saying that it isn’t a definite wherein a condition [/requirement] to become a model is height. A host asks a woman if that is true, for it seems that in every magazine, the requirement is 165 cm [5 feet and 5 inches]. The woman says that it isn’t true even if their magazine do actually have a height limit..but because it is an US magazine. She also says that right now, there is a subject about building up a petit model.

Looking from the booth’s border, Mili asks the woman if it is true, someone with a small body built can also become a model. The woman looks at her then smiles. The woman laughs and says that it is true. “Then you.. want to become a model?” Mili tells her, ya. The woman laughs and exclaims that is an amazing expression. Holding both thumbs up, she exclaims, “Good--♡” While the host is giving her another drink, the woman tells Mili to start off a revolution in the fashion world. “Japan’, the whole world’s first, petite super model is born! Something like that. Ah ha ha, isn’t it amazing--” The woman’s companion says that she is drunk. While her companion is whisking her away, the woman shouts that if she [Mili] wants to become a model, whether it is her external appearance or her heart, she should properly temper them [/self-disciple/endurance] because that kind of personality is very important. Mili starts to smile and thinks that she likes that idea of starting a revolution to become Japan’s, or the world’s first petite model. “Because I’m not tall, at one time, I gave up on my dream. But if I can, I want to try it out again. Since I already have this inferior height, perhaps, I can use it as a weapon?” At Renge’s DH, Renge shouts that Mili is late. Mili apologizes to her for not being able to return before the 10pm curfew. She is puzzled that Renge didn’t fuss her with it and just tells her to be careful next time. Renge tosses some letters to Mili and tells her to take them for they are hers. Mili thinks that it is the result of the audition but she already knows of the outcome. Nadeshiko tells Mili to cheer up, and don’t be discouraged. Terazawa is trying to suppress his laughter. Mili becomes suspicious that she quickly turns her mails over to find that the envelopes had been opened and sloppily glued back. Mili looks at the three but the three quickly and nervously look away. Mili angrily thinks that they had looked in her mail. Later on, wanting to apologize to Mili, Nadeshiko knocks on Mili’s door and tells her that she brought some sponge [/cup] cakes. Nadeshiko freezes and drops the cakes upon seeing Mili’s crude make-up which is like how a child would do it. While the cat quickly takes the cakes to eat them, Nadeshiko laughs over what happened to Mili’s face, she looks like a monster.

Mili tells her that she wanted to change herself a bit because if things continue on, she cannot succeed. Nadeshiko is surprised by this. She slaps Mili’s back hard and exclaims that she is amazing. Nadeshiko apologizes for laughing at her even if her make-up is really laughable. She tells Mili to leave things to her. The next day, in the ‘Pretty Teens’ audition, Mili is fixed up, like Alice in Wonderland. [<- she is wearing a wig]. Mili asks if this is really okay. Looking like a secretary, Nadeshiko squeals that it is okay, she’s so cute. She says that her specialization is makeovers so Mili will definitely be qualified. She tells Mili that they should go to the audition. Mili asks why she is coming along. Nadeshiko says that having a guardian is a plus to become qualified. A note says that is a lie. Mili takes her word for it. Then, Nadeshiko’s stomach starts to rumble. She wonders if it is the rotten egg that she ate this morning because she doesn’t want to waste it. Nadeshiko excuses herself that she is going to fix her make-up so Mili is to just stay there and not go off somewhere. She quickly runs off before it comes out. Mili wonders why Nadeshiko is holding her buttocks when she has to repair her makeup. At some other room, a glasses man greets Terazawa and tells him that he’ll leave it up to him today’s picture taking and examination [for auditions?]. Checking his camera, Terazawa says that it is okay. The glasses man laughs and says that they are very excited over the genius photographer’s point of view during the examination. The man tells Terazawa to wait. After the man leaves, Terazawa mutters, “Genius..photographer, huh.” Leaning on his chair, he wonders why he is doing this kind of work. “What I really wanted to take a picture of, is obviously not these..” He looks out the window and sees a butterfly. He exclaims in disbelief that it is a huge Papilio macilentus. He takes his camera and quickly takes pictures of it while it is flying. Then, he is surprised when the butterfly gently lands on the finger of a girl dressed up as Alice in Wonderland. Mili overhears a camera click behind her. After turning around, she doesn’t see anyone because Terazawa has already sitting down below the window to hide. Blushing, Terazawa thinks that he has unconsciously pressed the shutter. He wonders what’s going on because his heart is beating so fast. Then, Mili hears someone calling out for the people who are going to take the audition to gather around. Looking determined, Mili thinks, “Okay, time to go to battle!”

Scans by defer.