Narration: “Gradually, gradually, years are leaving its mark on my body. I’m starting to become old. I will slowly lose value.” On stage, a man calls out that the official performance will start at five seconds..4, 3.. Mari is singing. Narration: “This throat, too. It’s high pitch is my greatest weapon. It is said that along with age, it will increasingly pass away. I used this voice to sing [live/with an audience] but how many times more.” While dressing up, Aki told Mari that he really likes her voice and even if her conversation voice is also good but in the end, her singing voice is the most amazing one. “So, always keep on singing.” Aki kissed her. Narration: “Fundamentally, there is no such thing as ‘forever’. Then, for me, Aki had also already left. Whether this or the voice, I only have to become more and more ugly[/shameful] and slowly be used up until nothing is left and if this keeps up, it would even be better to die and that’s it.” While in bed with Soichiro, he happily told her that he found a 16 year old high school girl with a very awesome voice. “And also— there is something quite funny about it. It seems that she is Aki’s new girlfriend (laugh).” Mari is stunned. She recalled Aki telling her that he actually likes his current girlfriend. Soichiro wondered out loud what kind of song he should make her [Riko] sing. Narration: “In my next birthday, I’m 30 years old. My shelf life[/expiration date] is quickly coming.” At her apartment, Mari overheard from the television about the introduction of Mush&Co. on Saturday midnight’s new music show, ‘music rush’. The interviewer asked Riko that they heard their family has a vegetable store. Riko said yes, because their family is very poor so her hair is always cut by her mother. The interviewer asked about the lyrics she wrote for the song and asked if her if it is close to her love life. Riko said yes, for the first time she fell in love, it is like a deer in headlights [<- heart beat fast like a deer about to be hit by a car] with uneasiness. “And even if it is only a tiny thing, but it is very important..” Mari had angrily thrown roses on the television. Narration: “With parents at your side, your family is engaged in a business, already second year high school and still a virgin. What kind of poverty is that. [You] fundamentally don’t know the life in the lowest layer. Naïve, innocent, stupid creature.” End flashback. Back in MST, while singing and playing the piano, Mari thinks that she still has some strength. “Let me destroy you. It must be stronger. More shocking and sing out. More. More. *notices the audience talking* What? There are still people talking? Properly listen to my song.” Aki looks serious. Miwako looks puzzled and wonders what’s up with Mari. Watching Mari sing, Shinya says that is no good. “With that kind of singing, it will thoroughly ruin Aki’s specially created melody to make her high pitch voice come out with the optimal effect while singing LIVE[/on the spot]. This is self-destruction.”
In the broadcasting room, Soichiro looks glum over Mari’s performance. This made Kiyotani [formerly just Kiyo ^^;] to comment that in the end, Mari isn’t good at singing LIVE and even if it is their side’s willfulness and said that she must definitely ‘sing LIVE’ but in the end, as an artist, this LIVE performance is very dangerous. “If I knew earlier on that it is like this, it is good if it’s lip-synching.” At the dressing room of Kaitouranma, after greeting ‘good job’, their manager tells them to quickly prepare for the next recording studio. He tells Kengo[/Shibaken] why he hasn’t dressed up yet and what’s up with his shirt. Shibaken is furious that Mushroom Head didn’t quickly come and greeted him when it is fundamentally common sense that after the performance, they would greet each other backstage. The manager calls out that they are going. Shibaken bends down on the table saying that he unexpectedly feels dizzy and it seems he has a fever. The manager tells him not to tease him and they’ll talk about it after, but first go to the car. Shibaken angrily ‘tsk’ over this. The manager comments what’s up with today for after Mari’s performance ended, she also said that she doesn’t feel well so could there be some cold spreading around. At Mari’s dressing room, a couple of representatives are thanking some people and handing out copies of Mari’s new song. They apologize that Mari wasn’t able to greet them and thanks them for their care[/yoroshiku]. Inside, Mari has taken off her shoes and bows her head on her shoulders on table. She apparently threw away the cosmetics on the floor after having a fit. She looks up and tells Soichiro to leave. “It’s alright. I know that I have failed. I will properly reflect on myself and afterwards, once again, properly stand up. Can’t you quietly let me lose all alone by myself?” While Mari bites her nails, Soichiro tells her that she should quickly go to Mush&Co’s side for right now, it is estimated that this caused a lot of trouble for Kiyotani. “Mari, don’t be like that, you’ll hurt your nails.” Mari kept on biting that Soichiro grabs her hand. Mari hits his hand away and shouts for him not to touch her. “Don’t you know? I don’t want to see your face. Before the formal performance, you had forgotten to come over at my dressing room. Are you that obsessed with that child up to that degree? Even if that is so, it is also fine for me to be like this. You quickly leave. Go out, get out!!” At the hallway, Kiyotani is happily greeting Shinya who is with Riko. Shibaken’s companions comment over how fast Kiyotani changed his face and could it be that he’s quite capable. Thinking that they are being pulled by Kiyotani, Shibaken says that he is really not a bit happy for they [Mush&Co] are unexpectedly more eye-catching than them. The manager pats Shibaken’s back and says that it is alright for Kaitouranma doesn’t overlap with their role and compared to that, he has a good point so that’s great. He tells Shibaken that in the next recording today, they’ll break the record.
As Shibaken glances at Riko one more time, Kiyotani shakes Riko’s hand and says that he’ll support her so gambatte. Riko thanks him and says that she’ll do her best. At Mush&Co. dressing room, the trio is quite exhausted. Miwako claps her hand and tells them to quickly change clothes and have the energy for a formal dinner. Miwako makes Riko change first. Then, Yuu and Sou are shock to see how many mails they got telling them that they’ve watched the show, about the ‘technical problem’ and LIVE performance. Yuu got 40 mail while Sou got 50. Riko comes out and says that she also wants to see it. The three happily look at their mails that Miwako shouts for them to quickly change. Shinya laughs and asks how it feels to have an overwhelming victory. Riko is puzzled. Shinya says, “..by the way, I didn’t think that Mari would unexpectedly have such a huge pressure towards Mushroom.” Riko is puzzled by this pressure thing but Shinya didn’t elaborate. There was a knock on the door. It is grumpy Aki greeting them ‘good job’. Riko asks what’s with that expression. Aki says that it is because he is furious even if it is for a bit. He starts ranting that it is because those related staff must stay and watch outside USING THE TELEVISION, it’s too mean! “It is rare for a producer to say, ‘If it’s Aki, I’ll give a special case..’ and why do I have to act cool and say, ‘it’s fine to be like the others’? Because I didn’t think that you’ll really sing LIVE! It’s really evil to make one HEAR IT MIDWAY! ..how frustrating. I don’t want it through the television. I want to hear Riko’s performance LIVE.” Riko blushes. Shinya is quiet. Sou tries to calm down Yuu who seems to be complaining over that mood. Miwako is also flustered as she clenches her first. She calls out to Aki and tells him that they are going to have a formal dinner next so does he want to join them. Aki sadly apologizes for today is a little bit.. Miwako looks puzzled. Slightly smiling [sarcastic?] Shinya says, “Yes, today, he must accompany Mari. It must be for one night, saying with a low gentle voice, ‘You’re very important’.” Riko looks surprised. Aki glances at Shinya and calls out his name. Shinya continues to say, “If you don’t, that person might possibly fall apart.” Aki and Shinya glare at each other. Frowning Riko says, “You go. *waving Aki off* Bye-bye, it’s work. I can understand.” Aki sweatdrops and says that her expression is incomprehensible. Riko says, “but, you should go, right?” Aki says generally yes. She asks if it is work. He says, yes. Riko says that’s it. Aki asks, really? “In order to comfort her, you also won’t say that hugging-something is not allowed, right?” This surprises Riko and she asks, “..is that so?” Pointing at her, Aki says that she is just bearing with it. Riko denies it and says that she basically doesn’t mind. The two angrily glare at each other. Then, Aki lets out a laugh. While Riko wonders why he laughed, Aki smiles and says, “Thank you..but, you can also express a bit of stubbornness[/willfulness].”
As some staff are preparing for the recording, Aki knocks on Mari’s dressing room. Mari angrily looks at the door and is surprised to see that it is Aki. She quickly stands up and starts crying. “..I’m sorry. It is rare.. it is rare for you to make such an amazing music.. I’m sorry.. *wipes tears* ..sob, do not be angry with me. Do not be angry with me..” Aki asks how can he possibly be angry with her. Trembling and crying, Mari kept on apologizing. Aki closes his eyes and goes give Mari a hug. At the car, Shibaken angrily complains that it’s just a Mushroom Head. His band mate says that he is still saying that. Shibaken says that if they aren’t first in all aspects, he would be in a bad mood. Their manager says that he got Mush&Co. CDs so does anyone wants to listen to it. Shibaken thinks that there is no harm to listening but at this time, would it be strange if he says that he wants to!? “The manager and everyone will definitely ask me..” His three other band mates wanted a copy. So, the others got it except for Shibaken. Shibaken thinks that if he knew earlier, he would have gotten one. His band mate asks him if he really hates that girl. Shibaken tells him to forget about it. His band mate says that he thinks that Riko is really courageous and insightful that he wonders how old she is since she’s in high school. Soon, on his phone, Shibaken is already researching about Mush&Co in the internet through Wikipedia. He thinks that she’s second year high school so a year younger than he is. “She works for O∙T company, and that is super near to our company!? Then, there is a very high possibility that we can meet again..” The band mate asks him what he is always looking at. His band mates look at his phone on Mush&Co. [I think, it said that the single has been completely downloaded] Shibaken quickly says that it is because he was just casually pressing and it automatically started to download. “That Mushroom! Next time we meet, I’ll ask her about the call charge. Band mate says that is so, it’s not bad to meet again. The other band mate thinks that Shibaken is really easy to understand. While eating yakiniku, Riko asks what to do, she felt like crying for it is the first time she’ll be eating really delicious food. Soichiro laughs and says that’s really great. “A [beef] plate costs 6000 yen and in comparison to today’s show, this thing is quite cheap. It’s okay to eat as many as you want!” Sou happily eats a mouthful of special Wagyu beef. Then, everyone is surprised to see Riko crying. Riko says, “..strange..?” There is a scene of Aki playing the grand piano at a luxurious room. Covered with a blanket, Mari sits by the window. Back at the restaurant, Yuu asks how come she is crying. Riko says, “I also don’t know. Is it possible that it’s really quite delicious, right? *Shinya watches her* Ah, in the end, it is still because I’m quite happy.” Aki continues to play the piano. And, Soichiro looks at the side. Blurb: “A fate determining night is over, everything will quietly start changing..!!”
Comment: So, after a successful LIVE and ‘winning against Mari’, we are back to real life. The ones who made it happen aren’t exactly smiling and rejoicing, because somehow, ‘Mari’s defeat’ is also connected to them. This part somewhat reminds me of the series, Nana. The main couple likes each other but because they belong to different music groups and are somewhat rivals, it poses a bit of problem when they cannot be together because of the ‘job’ and in this instance, ‘comforting one’s music companion’. The main girl wants to be understanding and knows that it is only a ‘job’ or ‘doing what’s right’ but that isn’t exactly going to make her happy. It does make me wonder if it is better for Aki not to tell her about the hug or at least, he is making Riko aware of what he might possibly do. Shinya seems to know the real reason why Riko is crying as well as Soichiro. Soichiro probably feels guilty for what happened with Mari. I’m a bit puzzled over Shibaken’s role in this series. His personality seems to be a bit like Yuu who acts mean to Riko but he actually is interested in her. Won’t that make him a redundant character? Since it is mentioned that Kaitouranma isn’t Mush&Co’s competition, would it be Crude Play? We’ll probably know later on about what Shibaken’s role is since Riko already has other ‘admirers’. And, about Mari, she turns out to be a bit complicated character. It reminded me of an observation if it would be better to not know the antagonist’s past so that we can just thoroughly hate him/her rather than pity him/her. Mari’s past and perceptions are deeply ingrained in her. Given her current status and everything, she is still ‘dependent on a man’ probably because she unconsciously thinks that without one, she’ll go hungry and be of no value. She cannot stand on her own. And because she is growing old, she is losing her self-confidence and presumed ‘value’. Other than being a ‘rival’ and jealous of her, Riko might represent to Mari as ‘what she was’ and ‘what she is currently losing’. Riko has the two guys important to her, a great voice and youth. This is probably why Mari is intent on destroying Riko so that she’ll somehow feel good about herself, that she still has ‘value’. Her flashback and thoughts also show why she leans more on Soichiro than Aki. It is because Soichiro is older and she believes that the older the man the better secure she is. Aki would have been a better choice since he is single and really likes her but because he mentioned that he likes her voice, she assumes that her voice is somewhat deteriorating so Aki won’t be the right choice. I guess that is one problem with Aki..if the person he likes loses their beautiful voice, would he still like them? I do wonder if Mari is really ‘losing her voice’ or it is just because she is just too stress out and pressured with thoughts that she’s old = no value and she’ll lose it eventually. Shinya mentioned ‘that kind of singing’ and about the ‘pressure’ so it makes me think that it is all in Mari’s mind. But do female singers tend to not able to reach high pitch when they are older? I tried searching about it on the internet but it seems not really true and it depends on one’s lifestyle and vocal training. Interestingly, she somewhat knows that things aren’t forever yet she never did anything to avert the future which she thinks is inevitable. In a way, it seems that she is self-fulfilling it unless she changes her ways or something before it is too late. It makes me wonder if Riko is partly good for her because even if she ruined her LIVE performance and might be doomed to ‘lip-synching’, it somewhat shows her ‘fighting spirit’ even if it is for bad intentions. I’m still not sure if Mari sudden sobbing upon seeing Aki is deliberate or not. If yes, I think she has a future in acting. And, she might still want to use Aki to get back at Riko. If not, maybe she would indeed reflect on what she did and what’s happening to her and as I’ve mentioned do something about herself rather than being fixated on ruining Riko. But about being dependent on a guy, I’m not too hopeful that can easily be ‘fixed’ especially since she doesn’t seem to have any friends and what’s ingrained in her since she was young is a bit hard to change. And I guess this chapter also shows how fickle the music industry can be if one makes a bad performance and how it can bloat one’s head with praises if one made a great performance. Scans by 红莲&wink炖蘑菇汉化组
Quote of the day:
You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair. ~ Douglas MacArthur