August 22, 2016

Skip Beat [Chapter 238 comments + 239]

[Free talk: Chapter 238 is mostly comments since most of you had already read that. As for chapter 239, it was supposed to be just comments, too since the English scanlations should be out soon..but it ends up into a summary in the latter part ^^; I’ll be working on KnInNN 29 next then, OnH 83.]

Comments for chapter 238: Kanae is doing well with the practice. That made Hiou happy and Kyouko would naturally fangirl over her. =P Kyouko is stuck with the basics reminds me of the first Karate Kid movie. What seems to be boring exercises will actually help later on for the final moves ^^ Since Kyouko can really twirl that baton really well, it would be cool to see if she uses weapons in the near future.
Nevertheless, for a complete beginner, Kyouko did well in parrying against Kotetsu on her first try. I’m surprised that the issue about Hiou getting back on Kyouko is still tackled. I really thought that was already resolved earlier on. I guess this is more on closure regarding that. Well, it seems that Hiou is having a bit of self-confidence issues that he still couldn’t invite Kanae out.
With all the 100 points that Kyouko is getting as Love Me member, I’m sure she will be graduating soon. ^^ Even if Kyouko didn’t realize it, others know how she can bring out the best from the others especially those who have pride in their acting and in this profession. Perhaps, Kyouko can even be some sort of acting coach later on who can inspire others ^^
And because of a bump from a kid, Kyouko meets someone who recognizes her.. Because of the hairstyle, I kept on thinking of the other person as the guy who tormented Ren. It turns out that Nora, a reader here, was correct in her guess. Wow ^^
So, in chapter 239, Kyouko recognizes that person through the her three bodyguards. It’s Erika, Kanae’s rival. The bodyguards are naturally pissed off that Kyouko didn’t recognize them and even spite her that they recognize her even if she wasn’t wearing that uniform =P They even scolded her for being slow-witted and rude. Hehe, going for a guilt trip, aren’t they?

Kyouko is flustered for how can she recognize Erika who was so arrogant and conceited before to this short haired gloomy person. They are totally not the same. Not only the outside appearance but also the life force is totally like someone else’s. Then, Kyouko notices that Erika is on a wheelchair. She wonders if Erika had a serious injury that caused her to lose her spirit [valor].

Before she can react some more, the bodyguards are already screaming over Kyouko having no make-up, her outfit being the one/matching pair similar to the ones she wore during the commercial audition before including this bag which she carries every day since then. Kyouko only wore sunscreen and lotion after the swordsmanship practice.

Kyouko and the other three look at Erika who totally had no reaction. Kyouko is of course worried even if she can imagine what the former Erika would say about it being tragic to have no money and she has to use something until it is worn out. Kyouko overhears the bodyguards lamenting over hoping that something would change after not seeing a Love Me member for such a long time so there should be some kind of reaction. Long haired tells the others not to give up and there should still be an opportunity wherein there will be a change..
The bodyguards are surprised when Erika calls out to Kyouko as Love Me member. So, I guess that is the minimum amount of reaction they had hoped for. Erika seems to be struggling to talk as her bodyguards are cheering her on. In the end, she just tells Kyouko that there is something she wants to tell her, and that is, not to tell anyone especially THAT PERSON that she became like that.

Kyouko asks if it is Kanae. Erika throws away the ball. While Kyouko picks it up, Erika asks her to keep the promise. Before Kyouko can ask anything else, long haired is already pushing the wheelchair away. Kyouko wonders why she would say ‘not tell’ for if Erika didn’t get Mizue [the ball], she wouldn’t have noticed her. So, being smart as she is, Kyouko wonders if there is something else Erika wanted to say yet impossible to talk about it with her.

Her thoughts are interrupted by the two remaining bodyguards who comment that someone as noble and arrogant as Erika are few [in this world] that it is impossible for her to ask something to this girl who is poor and lowly, having no beautiful awareness commoner. Irked Kyouko tells them that it really infuriates her the way they talk maliciously just like in the past. Then, she stops and thinks, ‘ask something’.

Kyouko turns around to see them all prostrating down on her. Of course, after everything they were saying earlier, Kyouko is totally freaking out about this. They tell her that they want to substitute Erika in saying her thoughts. They are asking Love Me’s Kyouko to please substitute for Erika in ‘taking revenge to wipe out a grudge’!!
Just like Kyouko, I suddenly remembered the request to Sawara before. So, could it be that the person who was desperate for the Momiji role had injured Erika. That means, if Kyouko wasn’t careful, she might end up like Erika. So, Kyouko shouts if the one who kept on asking for the same suspicious commissioned job at their office is..Erika.

Bangs says that he was the one. Kyouko is shocked for wasn’t it a young girl. Bangs says that he used a fake voice to imitate Erika. <- special skill. He explains that he thinks that they weren’t taken serious because it is becoming more half-hearted when talking on the phone. [<- they probably thought it was a prank caller] They tell her that was a fake accident which caused Erika to unable to walk on her two feet again, in short..

Kyouko interrupts and tells them to wait, they go somewhere else first for they’ll cause a disturbance among the patients upon seeing two guys prostrating down to a girl. Soon, they are talking at the courtyard. They tell her that in short, the injuries are only somewhat serious but to be able to only attain that kind of injuries [bump from fall and scratches/bruises] is considered a miracle after getting into that kind of accident.

Erika basically should be able to stand and walk but two days after she gained consciousness, for some reason, not only she couldn’t ‘stand’ but she couldn’t move her feet. The doctor said that it is probably a ‘psychological paralysis of the lower limbs’ caused by the accident. Kyouko says that is, she cannot stand after the accident struck her.
Bangs says that for outsiders, it is hard to imagine but it is definitely quite a frightening memory since Erika was dragged along by a car for several meters. According to the driver, Erika suddenly fell down on the road that he thought he can immediately evade her but unluckily, Erika’s belongings got caught by the car’s very low bumper so he didn’t notice that he was dragging Erika along.

According to the testimony of the car’s passenger, it seems that someone ran [/bumped] into Erika causing her to fly [into the road]. They believe that it is absolutely that girl who lost to Erika. In order to vent her anger, she had definitely committed this crime and this is absolutely unforgivable. The cast and crew of the drama thinks that it is impossible for Erika to recover early on thus, that girl naturally became the substitute for the role, ‘Momiji’.

Puzzled Kyouko asks wasn’t the second audition currently underway. They tell her yes, but Erika’s father lodged a protest that if the cast and crew don’t approve of another audition, the Koenji Corporation will stop sponsoring ‘A Lotus in the Mud’. This made Kyouko scowl and say that just like before, Erika would depend on her family’s financial resources.

The two bodyguards shout for her not to look down on Erika and for Erika’s honor, they explained that since Erika tasted bitter [defeat], she didn’t depend on her family again. Not only that, since then, she won’t let others know of her family background and rack her own brains to do things.
ON THAT DAY, in order to not to expose her identity as the audition approaches, she firmly refused them from accompanying her. So, that caused this irrational situation to happen..! This made Kyouko realize that Erika always fulfilled that promise with Kanae before.

The bodyguards lament that this wouldn’t have happened if they were at Erika’s side. They will definitely protect Erika and subdue the culprit to give her the punishment she deserves. [<- assuming the girl pushed Erika herself instead of getting someone else to do it]

With merely just one eyewitness’ ambiguous statement, it basically couldn’t form any evidence to investigate into that girl’s responsibility [for this]. Kyouko asks if Erika didn’t see the culprit’s face. After a pause, Bangs say that Erika won’t answer if she has seen the culprit or not. She would only just say ‘it already doesn’t matter’ and she basically doesn’t want to mention the incident again.
When the cast and crew decided to hold the second audition for ‘Momiji’, Erika had already totally lost interest in it. But today, there is a change. Flashback: While Bangs is pushing Erika’s wheelchair, Erika heard someone apologizing and saw Kyouko. After seeing a LOVE ME member, she spontaneous moved. Erika had pushed her wheelchair towards the ball and Kyouko. End flashback.

Bangs said that when they saw the Erika who would just accept everything after the accident, would move towards her without hesitation, they believed that actually it isn’t like that, even if before, they felt that Erika had already thoroughly ‘given up’ on everything. In the end, their Erika won’t easily give up on ‘Momiji’ because she wants to pour out these stirred up emotions so she talked with Kyouko.

Even if it is because of her strong ego haunting her but in the very end, she wasn’t able to say it out but he’s afraid that Erika wants to ask her to.. Kyouko asks if it is ‘replace me in taking back Momiji’. Bangs says that’s wrong, it should be ‘help me by using that unrivalled method of cursing that girl to death’ and why would they ask her to take back Momiji since that would be really shameless.
Kyouko shouts that she definitely cannot do that kind of thing and is Erika an idiot. She angrily thinks how she would even curse someone she had never met nor have some hatred towards to. Black asks what she is being modest about for didn’t she have some unseen baffling power that defeated their sudden attacks in order to protect Kanae. Kyouko scowls and goes !?

Bangs says, wrong, wait a minute, taking back ‘Momiji isn’t a bad way. If there are no other strong and formidable actress, in the end, ‘Momiji’ will fall into that girl’s hand. Anyway, it is possible that the second audition is merely just to temporarily appease Erika’s father so they are going through the formalities. The girl is actually recommended by the drama’s producer.

Kyouko says that kind of thing is okay but what was that about sudden attacks towards Kanae, when did that happen, and where did it happen. Kyouko is looking really creepy as she asks them to tell it all to her in detail. They refuse for this isn’t the time to be digging into that.
At 11:05pm  in her bedroom, Kyouko practices twirling with a gym club. Then, it slipped. As she picks it up, she thinks that it isn’t the same as a baton for the more she twirls it around, the more it becomes hard to handle. It makes the hand very flat that it becomes a bit heavy but she definitely has to practice well before the audition. 

She gloomily remembers the bodyguards getting excited that Kyouko had already registered for the second ‘Momiji’ audition and she is really quick-witted! They urge her to no matter what, get the Momiji role for Erika. Kyouko asked why would she do it for Erika, she did it because she wants to play Momiji. End flashback.

Kyouko thinks that in the end, if one is to ask her, she doesn’t like Erika because she did a lot of mean things to Kanae so perhaps, she hates her. But for her to fulfill the promise and depended only on her ‘strength’ to persevere on and finally get Momiji in order to be in the same world as Kanae to have a direct confrontation.

Kyouko recalled Erika asking her not to tell anyone especially Kanae. Kyouko wonders if that is really what Erika wanted to say. Kyouko thinks, “If you want to insist on me saying it, then I actually don’t like you, Koenji. *holds the club tightly and pulls out a blade from within* Even if I don’t like you, this development *looks serious* ..generally makes me feel a bit angry--..”
Comment: Is it just me or the viciousness of other actresses to get rid of ‘hindrances’ are becoming quite violent? ^^; I’m not sure how should I think of the intent of the person who pushed Erika. Was it to temporarily injure her, permanently injure her or kill her? Well, perhaps not kill her or else, the person would have decided to push Erika towards a truck.

Somehow, I’m wondering what that girl’s relationship with the producer is. Is there more than a professional relationship that the girl has to get a role no matter what? I do recall Kanae mentioned that girl wanted her role, too.

Amusingly, if Erika wasn’t injured, she would have starred with Kanae in that drama. Well, things are falling into place as Kyouko is getting ready to get that role. With what seems to be a closure with Hiou, this is most likely a closure for Erika and Kanae. I’m curious what would trigger Erika’s recovery later on ^^

Aside from how Kyouko will handle the role, I’m curious how she is going to ‘confront’ the culprit. As previous chapters show, the meaner the other party is, the meaner Kyouko would get back at them later on. Of course, this time, it isn’t exactly personal.

Hm..the way past characters are coming out again, it makes me think that Reino will make an appearance soon. Also, the hints of grudge, revenge, crime in this arc, are we going to know more about Ren’s past later on? Hehe, I’m getting ahead by myself again ^^; Scans by 红莲汉

Quote of the day:
Giving up on your goal because of one setback is like slashing your other three tires because you got one flat. ~ Author Unknown


  1. OMG I did predict that the girl is koenji and it really is her loll

    now time to go read the full chapter

    thanks as always kate


  2. Waaah! Thanks for the summary kat! 😘

    1. Thanks for reading, kuleetuleetuleet ^-^

  3. I love reino. So I hope for his appearance soon. Alongside with ren and shou of course.

    1. Maybe soon...nenden..and Shou would probably be involved. Hm..another possible closure?

  4. Thanks for the summary, Kat!

    True, as you pointed out this reminds me of Ren's past. We don't know the true reason of why that guy was bullying him since childhood. As they got older it got more violent and lead to his best friend's death. If that girl doesn't have a personal grudge against Erika, then she might go after Kyoko as well. Of course, that won't matter with Kyoko because she can be very scary when she gets angry, not to mention, she has quick reflexes. Not so much as Ren's but quick enough and she has her grudges to protect her if it gets out of hand. I wonder if the start of the audition will be next month or in October... maybe November at the most? Then there is Yayoi who's coming soon as well. So much is happening and I wonder how Kyoko will play this out, it seems dangerous. I wonder if the president knows what's going on? Sigh~ I can't wait until next month. XD

    1. Thanks for reading, Brittany ^-^

      I think the girl doesn't have a personal grudge on Erika. It seems like, she has to be in that drama no matter what. That's right..the girl will be in for it if she tries to do something to Kyouko.

      I'm not sure about the grudges because when she got back with Chiori or those other two in Box'R, she didn't use them. Kyouko's chracter as Momiji has weapons so...

      Ah..isn't their timeline around spring? Iirc, cherry blossoms had just ended <- props when Kyouko came to see Shou. Since the drama has been delayed already, I think the audition should be 1-2 months after.

      Yup..doesn't it make one wonder if Shou's parents coming will have a relation with this drama? ^^

      I would assume the president might want to look into things as to why they are going to hold a second audition which is unnatural. He might dig into something.

      Ya~ and when we are getting to the climax, we'll definitely become more impatient. ^^;

    2. Yes, what I meant was if the chapter of the audition will come out next month or after that, lol. :)

    3. meant Oct/Nov in our time. Sorry for the misunderstanding. ^^;

      Hm..cannot say. There might still be more training or maybe other revelations to be shown..or even Shou's parents coming..then with the slow can probably reach 3-4 months. Then, Ren might have also returned before the auditions.


  5. Hi Kat, thank you for your work.

    I agree, the rivalry between Erika and the mystery violent girl has gotten hardcore. I wonder if it will turn out to be so sudden, though? There was a whole backstory between Erika and Kanae. Also, there was that gap in their bad history, after Kanae dodged Erika’s snooping and selected a different senior high school. Maybe the mystery girl is an enemy Erika made during senior high?

    True, there could be someone in the crew or cast she wants to spend time with, instead. Maybe the male lead? Both the female parts mentioned play opposite him.

    Putting a rival’s life and limb in danger reads as more hate-fuelled than crazy in love to me, but we’ll see…

    Maybe it’s just for plot purposes, but I find it interesting that Erika taking Kanae’s advice does seem to close the chapter on their conflict, but the reformed, fair-fighting Erika has still run into the kind of problems she used to cause. Maybe she still has some sort of atonement to do?

    Me, too. Curiouser and curiouser ;) .
    How will Kyoko handle conflict without the “power-up” her demons got from her unhealed wounds over Sho and over her mother?
    Will the demons go on a Valentine’s vacation and leave Reino at her mercy?
    And what happens when Ren hears about actors fighting dirty over the “Lotus in the Mud” roles, just like rivals in his past?

    So much to anticipate :)


    1. Thanks for reading, Zozo ^-^

      Hm..for now, I assumed that girl is just really desperate to be in the drama. Iirc, Kanae mentioned of a girl also wanting to get her role. It is interesting to note that this girl seems to have a connection with the producer. If it was Erika's enemy during senior high, she and her bodyguards would have known about her in some way. They only mentioned about the girl related to the drama.

      True..or this is really a big drama and it can make her career. It is unknown if the male lead is already decided. I'm thinking that if it is just the male lead or the crew/cast, there will be other opportunities to work together but why be that desperate. So, I'm still betting that it is because of the drama and nothing too personal.

      True. Again, it depends on the intention. Was it just to give Erika a fright/slightly injury or more. It made me recall the time when Chiori pushed Kyouko down the stairs. ^^; Was the intention something like that?

      Yup. Maybe, it is karma =P Atonement..perhaps, sincerely apologize to Kanae for those stunts she tried/did pull before.

      I think Kyouko can handle conflict well. Her demons aren't appearing lately and I think she handled the bullies in Box'R quite well.

      Ah..but Kyouko has Ren to keep Reino at bay.

      About that...hoping in someway, it will connect to more revelations regarding his past ^^

      Indeed ^^

    2. Hmm… I guess I like that so many characters have a complex backstory, a motivation beyond present-day competitiveness, and so I wonder how the author would work that in with the latest minor characters. (…And keep it brief because the characters are too minor for more, not like the Saena arc, and also Kanae’s family backstory that got cut from the anime.)
      So I thought… a smart rival would have stayed off Erika’s radar as much as possible, especially if the story of Erika’s long-term persecution of Kanae at school got around – and it would have, considering Erika went to Kanae’s junior high, not a high-class one. Weird… People would talk. But the bodyguards wouldn’t tell Kyoko about Erika’s past misdeeds now, when they’re trying to win her sympathy.
      Hmm… There’s one way the mystery girl would be getting more desperate professionally. She didn’t get so far in the audition for “Chidori”, the more classy, ‘princess’-like role iirc, and then when she aimed lower, at the antagonist role, she came very close as the runner-up, but still didn’t make it. That must have stung.
      Mystery girl merely had fewer reasons to be so bitter if she didn’t know she was losing the low-class antagonist role to real-life corporate ‘princess’ Erika, and never got the haughty treatment from her. However, she could be driven by other professional jealousy demons, like in the Chiori case you mentioned. Kyoko did nothing wrong, just escaped the typecasting trap faster than Chiori, but still got thrown down the stairs because Chiori was jealous of her escape.

      Ah… Apologising. To be honest, I did think of adult Billy Madison apologizing for being a bully at school… and the victim crossing Billy off his “People To Kill” list ^^; . Not sure how much an apology would smooth things over according to Japanese morality, but if the idea in this story is “actions speak louder than words”, then I agree. Erika changing her ways and “slumming it” to become a worthy competitor to Kanae goes further towards redeeming her than a verbal apology.

      Yes, Kyoko still seems to have unearthly powers/aura, aside from the revenge demons. When she was getting protective over past threats to Kanae, for instance. I wonder whether this protective power will be problem-free, in contrast to the revenge demons, who are bad for the soul or something, iirc (but super cute!) ? …And demons can get captured by Reino.
      If the Box R experience was a sample of the new power, there are still some problems. Kyoko needs to be able to tap into her dark side to protect herself (and others) without outright crossing over to the dark side. She didn’t quite achieve that in Box R. She was completely channeling sociopathic Natsu and did not switch back to normal in time and shut down the bullying rehearsal after the chemical burns threat from Chiori.
      Ren – or his alter ego – needs to learn to switch modes before crossing lines even more, after nearly killing someone in rehearsal. So it would make sense for him to be part of this plot development. And he has let Kyoko know she has an “undersharing” problem, so she should be primed to keep him informed even though she will see parallels with what she knows or guesses of his past, and will worry that it will trigger his PTSD.

      I was and am actually kind of dreading that, revelations about Ren’s past ^^; …Such a waste, of Rick’s life, Ren’s lifeforce. Depressing. But if I dread it, it’s traumatic-dramatic and it’s probably going to happen, so we’re making the same bet on future plot development there ^^

    3. I see. For me, I would think that it seems to sudden that there was some rival from the past that just came out of nowhere. Then, the story might move from Kyouko to more about this girl, Erika and Kanae. Basically, a rival is a good premise but thinking that it will drag the story's progress...I'm not too thrilled about it. ^^; Like why would she have an ax to grind aside from failing to get the role, what she angry that Erika didn't consider her as a rival, etc.

      True, I think that is enough to make her push Erika instead of some long term grudge against Erika. I'm actually thinking of a more dark reason but it definitely won't happen in this series. Something like, she had a relationship with the producer to get roles but they aren't just that 'breakthrough' type = to become famous so producer told her about this drama. Maybe, even tried to pulled some strings. So, I'm still wondering if the girl was acting on her own or not. Anyway, she got fed up and decided to get the role the underhanded way.

      Well, not really a total apology with bows and everything. Maybe more of a grudging one. Seems more possible now unlike when Erika was arrogant like before. True..perhaps something like how the other girls/bullies end up being 'friends' with Kyouko. This time, with Kanae though they are still rivals in the profession.

      Ya..maybe, it is also having a high level of luck + good karma ^^

      True but perhaps, she can control it better if she wasn't threatened/getting back at someone? In this new drama, the jealousy and darkness is towards Kanae's character. Wait...if that is the key element to clinching this role, no wonder the other actress was the second choice. ^^; Anyway, I'm just wondering if Kyouko will use that girl's malice for her own role since she is personally not like that. From what she is shown, she ought to be able to deal with the martial arts' aspect of the role.

      Hm..after what happened in Guam, I would assume that problem is somewhat resolved. He seems to be 'doing well' since then.

      Yup. I'm curious how things will lead to that ^^ Actually, do you think there is still more traumatic-dramatic stuff we don't know?

    4. Oh, okay. See, I actually thought it would be shorter, the spotlight on Erika and co., if there was no new pattern and the author could show flashbacks from past chapters of Erika steamrolling people, bribing her way into lead roles, and add on “this affected the mystery girl in the past”.

      Whoa, ‘casting couch’ type shenanigans? Louche…. Although…are you sure the author can’t just imply that kind of thing, the way she does Shoko and Sho being in bed together (with living together, showering, and Shoko putting Sho to bed in her bedroom)? And she heavily implied that Reino was a physical threat to Kyoko, though Kyoko thought he just wanted to mess with her head. I would have thought threats from stalkers/suitors were even less suitable for teen readers than consensual-but-morally-questionable couples (?).

      Hmm… Erika did seem to have good intentions toward Kanae this time. But it looks like Erika still has such a fragile ego, even without the old massive arrogance, that everything has to be win-win; i.e. Erika doesn’t have to outdo and crush Kanae, but she still has to equal her. That makes it difficult to apologize, which is humbling.
      …Although there is the “Anne Shirley to Rachel Lynde” win-win apology. Sincere, groveling, but Anne ENJOYED apologizing, enjoyed pouring her creative soul into thinking up and delivering the apology. Very actress-like. …But Kyoko is the character most similar to Anne Shirley in the series – the open-hearted type… Secretive Erika would be more likely to do the opposite – set things up so she could deliver a sincere apology and pretend it was just a performance. And/or promote Kanae behind the scenes, and kid herself she’s doing it because Kanae starred in a Koenji-backed show, which would have had her, Erika Koenji, co-starring.

      Kyoko might find the mystery girl’s malice inspiring, true. I didn’t think of that. I just assumed Kyoko would react ferociously to the potential threat to Kanae posed by this girl who wanted Kanae’s role and committed assault and endangered life to get Erika’s.

      Hmm… I agree that Ren’s survivor guilt is resolved, but his self-control could be more sorely tested, maybe. I think it would be more confronting for Ren if he’s brought into the situation Kyoko is facing at the moment than before, when they tag-teamed on projects. It’s more like Ren’s past now. The ‘cast’ is the similar: a martial-artist contender-actor, rival(s) who play dirty, the contender’s friend and a love interest. (Ren was the contender and is now the contender’s love interest, whereas Tina was the friend’s.)
      It may be the time to fill in the gaps in the backstory, so that Ren can give Kyoko industry-insider advice and/or practice. Iirc, the scene shifted straight from Ren refusing to fight the bullies and being convinced by Rick to where the fight had escalated to life-threatening levels. The ideal point at which to de-escalate, or call in reinforcements or something, was somewhere in the middle, probably.

      Flashbacks to that, and/or similar things happening in the present would be dramatic, but not pretty. Okay, we might get pretty things, too, if Kyoko spars with Ren for practice ^^ … Still, not looking forward to seeing bullies’ ugly mugs. Raises my blood pressure.

    5. Hm..thinking of this, I would think that it is only Kanae whom Erika would consider a threat. It is one thing to steamrolled and bribe her way but then, Erika is also talented. And, she didn't have to do that to get the Momiji role. For now, it seems unlike that she was a victim of Erika's antics but for Erika to always get the roles she wanted, that is possible.

      Well, it is a possibility though I'm not heavily banking on it. For example, the Saena thing, I presumed it to be rape or something similar but that didn't happen. Though there are instances like you mentioned when the mangaka will show something like that. We'll just have to wait and see. her current state, I cannot quite imagine Erika doing that kind of scheme of an apology. Perhaps, if she is more or less back to her old form. It also depends how they'll meet again. Can Erika walk already by then? Will Kanae put back the competitive spirit in her and help her walk? So many possibilities on this situation.

      Yup..something like that..and perhaps, because there is a 'car accident' involved. Of course, I'm not too sure if Ren is 'allergic' to that kind of accidents. =P

      True..and there is also, who is Rick exactly to Ren before? Mentor? Friend? Did Kuu know about this? What happened afterwards? Was the bully ever got arrested?

      Yup, that would be interesting. Lol..though I wonder what that girl looks like. Oh, if you mean Ren's bullies..ya.. Personally, I'm not good in watching/reading characters being bullied and the bullied are totally helpless.


    6. True, can’t really tell whether mystery girl is an Unknown Rival trope (long-term) or a sudden obstacle when only the definite thing is the dangerous girl was unknown to Erika in the short-term, long enough for Erika to exit the audition without bodyguards.

      To be fair, the Saena thing WAS a little like rape by deception. Only you need an instance of mistaken identity for that, I think… pretending to be someone else, someone attractive to the victim. Misonoi was only pretending to be a better person than he was really was, not another person entirely. Misleading but legal, unlike his other actions.

      Yes, not possible now. The period drama with all that ceremonial bowing would have been a better environment for an apology in disguise. In the present… I haven’t seen this situation with a reformed villain before. Only with heroic characters (Heidi and Clara, say). I’m interested to see, too.

      That is true, the crash injury parallel… Shudder. That is yet another question mark in Ren’s past, perhaps. The driver of the car that dragged Erika was innocent and unaware, but it seemed to be late at night on a deserted street when Rick was hit. It may have been a getaway car driven by a member of the bully group.

      Ah… I was actually including the mystery girl in the “ugly bully” category because what we’re hearing about her is ugly, and that will color her physical appearance in my eyes… Red. She makes me “see red”.
      But you’re right, her appearance might be interesting… Maybe one of those girls in manga who looks like a handsome man? Someone tall, so that Kyoko has to practice with super-tall Ren in order to beat her in a simulation fight.

    7. Indeed.

      Hm..that's an interesting view. It can be thought of like that.

      True. Hope the mangaka pulls it off well ^^

      Most likely, the getaway car of the bully since iirc, Kuon had already beaten up the goons. Typically, the leader would have run away. =P

      Speaking of night, is it possible that 'accident' with Erika is also at night? Of course, I'm not sure when people usually announce who got the role in an audition. Is it on the day of the audition or some other day? If it is on the day itself, maybe when Erika was 'pushed' was late in the afternoon or night. Perhaps, while waiting for the stop light, the girl sneaked on her and suddenly pushed her?

      Hm..that is unless the audition entails for the girls to fight among themselves in a simulation fight..or it is with a martial artist. It would be interesting if the girl has an 'angelic face'. So perhaps, with that, even if Erika said that the girl has a reason to do it, no one would believe her.


    8. Hmm… Since he’s the type to run away, the ringleader bully may have had a bodyguard/driver who could have driven the getaway car – like Sho does. A way not to get his own hands dirty.

      Night/darkness would have helped the mystery competitor to attack Erika undetected, that’s true. It would also make sense to hold an audition for a ninja role after dark… realistic conditions, I guess.

      A devil with an angel’s face? That’s an option… I actually met a girl who used her innocent looks in that way, although she used her power for good (bully hunting), not evil.
      I’m expecting this mystery girl to be a pathological narcissist, though. That’s what the kind of person who is willing to “throw other people under a bus” usually is… though it’s more of a giveaway if the person is someone you’re supposed to care about, not a competitor. The “I am so wonderful, admire me” attitude is less important, but it looks more important when so many narcissists in fiction are drop-dead gorgeous, and so was the Narcissus of myth. …So, I’m more hoping for something a bit different from conventional beauty.

    9. Oh..didn't think that he might have a bodyguard/driver. Possible. If it is like that, he is probably screaming for bodyguard/driver to hit Rick.

      Hm..but won't they usually hold auditions on studios? So, just close the light? I'm actually thinking of daytime-type ninjas like Naruto.

      Really? She must be an interesting person ^^ I am a bit curious how she did the bully hunting.

      I see. Hm..from the description, it does seem like Erika. =P

    10. Yes, maybe. I was assuming Rick was caught in the middle, Mercutio style.

      Ah… I thought that way because I remembered something about a ninja running away using the rooftops. I checked, it’s from chapter 187. If it’s a stunt setting like that, it might be cheaper to hire one than make one in the studio.
      Speaking of stunts… Naruto style fighting…is that possible? If it’s live action, the special effects budget might bankrupt the production company ^^;
      The real-life innocent-looking girl attacked the bullies of other kids. She was very weak-looking herself, so the bullies weren’t stupid enough to pick on her and get into BIG trouble, but she could revenge-attack them for someone else, and the bullies were not believed when they complained about her. She was too much of a delicate little angel to be a vigilante, the adults thought!

      Ah… if the mystery girl is kind of Erika’s evil twin, a reflection of how she misbehaved in the past, that would actually explain a lot about Erika’s reaction. Kind of like she’s seen the Ghost of Christmas Future.

    11. Most likely. Hopefully, it isn't like Rick tried to stop the car like waving his arms. ^^;

      187 of SB or Naruto?

      For now, I don't think of running away using rooftops. Iirc, Momiji is kind of a bodyguard of Chidori instead of the ninjas who have missions so I would think the shooting is on the daytime. Still, it think the drama is more on romance-drama than action. I would assume the actions would be more like how Kyouko imagined her Momiji - fighting goons.

      Nah...most likely simple fighting skills. Since this seems to be a big production for one to be desperate enough to 'get rid' of a competitor, maybe the actors/actresses can be strapped on strings for a bit of special effects. =P

      A very interesting person indeed. But since she is 'weak looking' yet can 'revenge attack' so she isn't really physically weak?

      Yup, I'm thinking something along those lines so it could make her reflect on her own misdeeds to perhaps, want to apologize for the stunts she did before yet she still has some pride that she couldn't exactly do that..nor doesn't really want to be defeated by something like this..yet, well, her body isn't exactly cooperating.


    12. 187 of SB. Near the start of the chapter.

      Swashbuckling on strings? Possibly. It would be less work for the author and/or the assistants who work on backgrounds if it’s that way. Consistent with Momiji not having female ninja spy work disguised as a maid or a honey trap, too – less need for period settings.

      Well… she was strong enough for lightning attacks. She wasn’t just skin and bone, there was some muscle in there. But most of her strength was mental. She fainted easily and had to have mini-meals to keep her energy up. Not the type to start/finish a fight, they thought, heh heh.

      I see. “Scare her straight”, back to the right path… That makes sense. I guess I’m more hoping for some body comedy, though. Seems more likely without too much conventional beauty/bimbo looks in the picture. Well, we’ll see who gets their wish soon ^^

    13. Found it. ^^

      Yup..I recall in Chinese/Korean drama, there are kind of 'flying' to fight scenes. But then, perhaps, just for support like jumping down roofs =P it possible for Chidori to ask Momiji to do ninja spy work to spy/stalk the lead character? To know more about him or what he is up to so that Chidori can stalk him?

      I see. It makes me wonder what she does now. ^^

      Ah..comedy..maybe much later on. Yup ^^

    14. Ah… I find that gravity-defying “flying” kind of nerve-wracking, in a “the higher they go, the harder they fall” kind of way ^^;
      If it’s safety support ropes, that’s something the mystery rival could sabotage… but would that even work? Very athletic competition.
      I got the impression that Momiji already had a lot of information on the male lead. They sounded like close family friends… too close, so that the hero sees Momiji as sister-like. And wasn’t Chidori a love rival?

      Elementary school teacher.

      Yes, not unlikely that there will only little bits of comic relief in this serious part. Call me greedy, but the author does write fantastic slapstick.

    15. True. It's possible though very risky. Actually, at first, from the first time Kyouko heard about this 'accident', I thought that it was a studio accident. But I think it is better that it happened outside. I mean risky = easier to get caught.

      Do you think the rival would be on her guard to sabotage any possible rival during the audition? She might not want something like what happened in the first audition wherein she lost the role and have to resort to countermeasures. Still, for another accident to is still risky for it will raise suspicions. Actually, that might be good for it will lead to catching her in the act.

      Opps, my mistake. Yes, Momiji is with the male lead. Kyouko's 'I'll protect Chidori/Kanae' got stuck in my brain. ^^; So, how about spy ninja work to know more who are targeting Chidori since she has to be protected by the male lead?

      That's nice and fitting, too ^^

      True, maybe later on, or if the mood isn't too dark.

    16. Good points.
      I do think the mystery rival will resort to sabotage when she sees that the competition is strong. But another accident would look suspicious, as you say, so she may try to frame someone else. I expect her scheme to backfire, though, so I’m not sure she’ll get caught. Don’t villains generally face rough justice from Kyoko, not the criminal justice system?

      Hmm… Maybe. I read something a while ago which briefly mentioned hypergamy/“marrying up” and iirc it said there were times in Japanese history when women usually married into richer families, because there was a shortage of girls surviving to adulthood in the upper classes.
      If that’s when the period drama is set, Chidori would be a prime target for kidnap, because even though she’s lost her family and her wealth iirc, her expensive education as a “fine lady” should be nearer completion than most marriageable-age girls, and of course people prize an impressive family history as well.
      It’s very hard on Momiji, though, if it’s an era where it’s not unusual for girls to “marry up” and the class divide between her butler-like family and the wandering samurai hero isn’t that wide. Especially if Momiji has to do ninja spying, which seems to be done mostly in disguise as a commoner so lowly that they blend into the background. Butler/retainer types aren’t quite that lowly.

      Agreed ^^

      Yes. Sigh…

    17. Ah, framing someone else might be good. Oh yes, we still don't know if she is acting on her own or she has an accomplice. That's right..most likely it will just backfire. It will be a bit troublesome if the criminal justice system gets in. Perhaps, it only crossed my mind since her mother is a lawyer. ^^;

      Do you think this rival also have some sob story or perhaps, like the others, change for the good later on? I think she is different from the usual since it isn't Kyouko she is targeting..just yet. I guess she is just lucky that Erika's family didn't go all out on her because Erika is hesitant/refuses to do so.

      I'm also wondering if the bodyguards showed Kyouko what the girl look like. Or, they are going to leave it on Kyouko to just guess who it was?

      That's very interesting. Though, in most shoujos, it doesn't seem to be tackled. Did Chidori lost her family already? If not, maybe it is just for ransom purposes. I'm a bit confused about the story now..the lead is her bodyguard yet Chidori is supposedly stalking him. Could it be that he used to be a bodyguard but she ran away with him? Or stalking is only spying on him most of the time?

      Hm..but the hero is a ronin. Iirc, that is the lowest level of a samurai being without a master = no power/influence. I think she would be okay with that. Something like, just for him, I'll do anything. Butler/retainer types are usually like that..well, in manga =P

    18. It’s funny you should say that about lawyers. When I first saw Kyoko visiting the hospital, I thought she might be visiting Katagiri to thank him for saving her life. But it would make more sense to combine that with Mrs Fuwa, his sister’s visit, right? He may be out of hospital by then.
      Also, it’s possible Erika’s family would be very careful because of legal issues. Withdrawing from a project at a late stage of planning gets you sued for compensation in some industries. Probably not in entertainment, but reputations are still at stake. It’s a big business deal to jeopardize over a single witness who won’t testify. Obtaining concessions rather than breaking the contract is wise.
      There is also the danger of being sued for slander, or revealing “commercial in confidence” information, as there was in the case of Saena’s greatest failure (as she saw it).
      So, I don’t think it will be a police matter, but the legalities may feature, as you thought they might. Maybe along with lawyers to give explanations. Or even investigate, if it’s Toudou.

      Yes, I think there will be a sob story. It should be like that dark humor joke about the psychologist seeing a hit-and-run assault victim and immediately saying “the person who did this has serious problems” (when normally you would first worry about the victim).
      To me, it would feel a bit anticlimactic if she changes for the better so much she becomes a good person. I kind of enjoy the conflict the unrepentant characters create. …Though it’s true there hasn’t been an antagonist who persisted after they were revealed to have a traumatic backstory. (Sho has loving parents, Reino has pretty much no backstory at all, and Saena may not be won over, but she is also no longer an antagonist.)… That’s a good message, that once wounds are healed, the wounded/scarred don’t treat others the way they were mistreated. But I think we could have an exception, a victim-turned-bully who sticks to victimizing others lower down in the “chain of pain”. The author could do that without falling into the stereotype of people being doomed to repeat bad history, given the number of characters who have had the best revenge: living well.

      Kyoko could also ask Kanae about the mystery girl.

      Hmm… I think I have seen what led to the girl shortages in shoujo, ie marriage being a “takeover” of the wife, who now had primary responsibility towards her husband’s family; and also the crushing expense of educating girls in the “fine lady” arts. …Shoujo dads often act as if they’re about to lose a daughter when the suitor comes calling. Regardless of gender, the parents often seem to be happier if the suitor is someone they can “take over”, who isn’t another family’s successor.

      Yes, I double-checked chapter 152, page 5. Chidori is tengaikodoku (天涯孤独), without a relative in this world. The wandering samurai/ronin saved her life (no details given) and she is now in love with him and follows him around.
      The exact verb used for her behaviour towards the hero (付き纏う) translates as “follow around / shadow/ tag along (behind)”.
      Kanae questions whether Chidori is a stalker (literally, she says, “What is this setup? Stalker!?”).
      Kanae really hates Chidori’s behaviour, so the so-called stalking is her interpretation/accusation, not the way the author of “Lotus in the Mire” wrote the story.
      Now that we have more information, I would advance an alternative interpretation. Chidori is just being clingy and lovesick. She is not a stalker, because the textbook definition of stalking is “unwanted pursuit”, and it turns out the samurai likes her. She would be a big obstacle to his work, though, unless/until she learnt how to be an assistant… and then she’s taking over Momiji’s job.

      I don’t think Momiji can be a butler all the way to the soul when the boss she’s in love with is falling for someone else. …Besides, in Skip Beat, the quite butler-like Yashiro told Ren he was a beast when Ren got bromantic. Not much slavish devotion there ^^;

    19. Oh..that's right. I forgot about him but was he in the hospital or just staying home to rest? The mangaka might combine it with her/their visit. She's coming with Shou's father, right?

      Is that so. That's a possibility. I'm not too sure of sponsorship though. Can't they bail out at any time? Okay, that probably depends on their contract. In what way would one be sued for slander? Because there's no concrete proof? Anyway, since things will indeed become messy and complicated, the mangaka would probably just opt for Kyouko justice again ^^

      Lol..really, there is such a joke? Though, I do hear it often here wherein people fighting for human rights are fighting more on the human rights of the criminals rather than the victims.


      I got the impression that Kanae didn't know about the mystery girl. She seems to only know from hearsay or else, she would have known who was the original Momiji. Hm..normally, in this what seems to be a huge project, for that kind of incident to happen, it's surprisingly hush-hush, don't you think so? Perhaps, it is for the story to conceal things from the readers. I mean, we don't even know if the male lead was already cast or there is still a chance for Ren.

      'Regardless of gender, the parents often seem to be happier if the suitor is someone they can “take over”, who isn’t another family’s successor.' - take over as in have power/influence over two families? Isn't educating girls the job of tutors? Well, assuming that family is rich.

      Thanks for the info ^^ Well, these days that is called a 'stalker'. =P I think I have seen that kind of set-up in other series. That's a good theory. If it is so, no wonder Momiji hates her.

      Hm..from that kind of scenario, Momiji's situation is more interesting. Loyalty/work vs love. Kyouko might be able to use her conflict on that one. I wonder if Momiji also hides her feelings from the ronin so that it won't interfere with work.

    20. Er… I got kind of got lost with the details on Katagiri, but actually maybe he wouldn’t be allowed to eat that snack he wanted if he’s in hospital. … Yes, I think Mrs Fuwa said “we/us”, so it should be both of Sho’s parents visiting.

      Compensation cases are mostly in “heavy industry”, I think, not entertainment. …You need to be able to switch sponsors/backers, though. Switching would be harder if a big player pulled out – it looks like they lost confidence in the project. The Momiji re-audition looks bad, too, because even without publicity, outsiders know something happened to the first choice, AND there was something wrong with the runner-up, a reason why she wasn’t automatically chosen as replacement.
      Mm…yes, Koenji Group would probably only be sued for slander/leaking information if they tried to unofficially blacklist the ruthless rival girl. Even if Erika spoke up, it’s her word against the mystery girl’s, , and she presumably belongs to an agency willing to go into battle for her.
      That’s where it would have got messy… Instead, the pattern is the way things mostly get done, “in the shadow of the law”, i.e. letting other people’s lawsuits show you what you can and can’t do.

      Maybe it is only an English-language joke?
      Ah... what kind of criminals are those? The rhetoric sounds a bit like arguments for and against the death penalty, or the tracking of sex offenders (i.e. shunning/“social death” penalty).

      Kanae probably saw the mystery girl at the first round of the Chidori audition. Kanae mentioned a “terrible girl”, the sort to “take things by force” who was at the Chidori audition. Kyoko would have to cross-check against the ‘criminal profiling’ Erika’s bodyguards must have done, but they could send her that info. I think the face-to-face talk will be with Kanae.
      Mmm… it also makes good business sense to hush the suspicious incident up, and also, as you say, it’s great for story plotting/pacing, because it leaves big uncertainties.

      Oh…sorry, I wasn’t very clear. No, I don’t mean that parents want to lead both their own and their child’s partner’s families. I mean that parents seem keen on suitors who are available to more or less *completely leave* their own family and join the parents’ one (almost like an adoption – the biological parent gets replaced). ...A suitor with an eldest sibling to take care of their own parents, for instance. Or a suitor who has been abandoned by one or both parents, like some of those characters who live by themselves in apartments as high school students. …
      Eg Kyoko was emotionally and physically abandoned by Saena (though not financially). She was Sho’s parents’ top pick as a daughter-in-law, or so Sho claims.

      Hmmm…Actually, come to think of it, the constant clothing expenses were probably the most bankrupting part of raising “fine lady” daughters, not tea ceremony lessons, etc. Apparently, just laundering kimono is a huge amount of work. I guess less prestigious families wouldn’t have to buy such showy clothing for daughters to keep up their reputation.

      No worries ^^ .
      Hmm… I suppose so, a stalker at the start of the story. But then it turns into a love triangle …
      Oh, interesting. Were many of the stalkers female? Comedy or drama?

      Thanks ^^ .However, if I’m right, it will be pretty scary. Buddy film gone bad. (Shudder.)
      True ^^;

      Hmm… it would be very dangerous to be distracted during life-and-death samurai work. And pointless, once it becomes clear the ronin would reject Momiji’s romantic feelings.

    21. True..but what if it is bad for his health type? Isn't it expensive to stay in the hospital for a long time? I forgot how long he is taking a break. ^^; So, I assumed that he was at home with someone taking care of him. Is he married? Then, wants some snack that is bad for his health.

      That's right. Now that you mention it, is this the reason why the news about the audition isn't well known? I recall Kyouko's department didn't know about it but Kanae's knew about it. They are keeping things quiet in order not to raise too many people's suspicion regarding the second audition? Perhaps, it also works for them that the accident happened the day after the audition so they didn't announce yet on who got the Momiji role?

      You're on the right track. It is indeed that kind of offenders like murders, rapists, rebels etc. It's a big issue lately in our country though specifically for anything related to drugs.

      Oh, that's right. She did had an encounter with her there. Anyway, we'll know when Kyouko sees the girl.

      I see. Less responsibilities for one's own and more towards the 'new family'. In a way, 'less baggage'? I guess it depends on the parents. If the parents think of their child, they would want the eldest = more inheritance = probably more dowry. If the parents think of their future, they might want the younger sibling.

      Perhaps, just have a few ones for special occasions? Hm..I'm suddenly curious how do they launder a kimono for it to last long. Surely, they don't wear it often or it will fade/wear and tear soon.

      It's mostly male. Like, wandering samurai helps out kid and kid wants to be his follower = stalker..a bit reluctant but in the end, kid is pesky enough to make the samurai relent and let him come along. It is more on shounen. Still, I think there are other instances that happens...guy saves girl, girl ask for help and probably pester him a bit and soon, they're together.

      True. So, it is a fine balance of emotion = kept on thinking she really wants to get rid of Chidori vs dedication/loyalty to the master. Based on what we know, do you have any ideas what 'lotus in the mud' refer to? Mud = because the male lead is a ronin? Or, Chidori for what she became? I'm kind of guessing, it is the male lead though that might not be the reason for being 'in the mud'.

    22. I checked back: chapter 226, pages 27-28. The situation remains pretty unclear, though. It seems that Katagiri is resting at home, but probably there is no wife to manage what he is eating while he is ill, so his colleagues are concerned about him. … I don’t think that Japanese snack is very sugary, so he will probably be okay. Kyoko and that Casanova guy who was pursuing her earlier have both eaten that snack as a meal or dessert, and they have to watch their weight, being actors.

      Avoiding suspicion could be the reason why the second audition hasn’t been well publicized. Maybe not the only reason. The bodyguards said something about someone on the production favoring the mystery girl… so perhaps it’s also to avoid attracting strong competitors to the audition.
      It’s all a bit “Phantom of the Opera”. I wonder if showbiz people are prone to superstition in Japan, too? Like the English-speakers who call “Macbeth” “The Scottish Play” until the show is over, and say “break a leg” before a show in order to ward off bad luck (by reverse psychology?).

      It’s such a pity about recreational drug use. I have a relative who was a nurse in maternity before the heroin epidemic, and apparently it was THE most effective pain relief during labor, with the least side effects. But then drug dealers started burgling hospitals… And that was just the beginning.

      Yes, we’ll see.

      Hmm… It may also be quite risky for the child to “marry into money”/marry an heir, because of divorce and deadbeat dads. A majority of middle-class dads turn deadbeat as soon as the law lets them, research has shown. And that’s in areas where the dads have visitation rights (so it’s a really nasty rejection and injustice to the kid – the dad was ‘owed’ the kid’s time, but doesn’t owe the kid an education fund after they hit adult age). I don’t think there’s a lot of visitation rights or child support awarded in Japan. At any rate, I keep seeing reports on the poverty of single mothers there. (…And it’s all gender-reversible to some extent – a minority.)

      They unstitched kimono and washed the ‘jigsaw pieces’ in the river.
      I did some searching. When the merchants got rich enough to compete, there were “sumptuary” laws issued by the shogunate regulating how sumptuous kimono could be, depending on the social status of the wearer, and only samurai women were allowed to go on wearing silk kimono, the most expensive. The implication is that wearing something else would cause social embarrassment, disgrace to the family.
      If daughters must be billboards displaying the family’s wealth, it’s definitely cheaper not to have any.

      I see, stalking that turns into buddy film/romance. Cool. It’s creepy when writers think stalking is romantic, but it seems it’s not like that. … It is like that in the beginning in “Lotus in the Mire”, though, because Chidori seems to fall in love too fast. That’s not romantic “love at first sight”. You need a positive response for that, and the samurai doesn’t want her to follow him. Also, it’s unequal because Chidori would feel safe around him after he saved her life, but she can’t protect him. More need than love, that.

      I think so too.
      According to chapter 234 translation, it seems that the samurai, Shidzuma, is the lotus rising above it all, and Chidori gets her hands/heart dirty, getting up to her neck in “worldly desires”.

    23. I see. Anyway, whatever it is, it's not life threatening ^^

      That's a possibility. far, I have not read of anything like that.

      I see. Didn't know that though. The one I'm familiar with is morphine. It was used on me before when I had my KTx - after the surgery. I felt it ice cold at the back and a nice rush =P

      Ah, I was talking about the time before when there is no divorce..but of course, there will be mistresses. ^^; I'm not sure about the laws in Japan = half what the other owes belongs to the spouse after divorce especially if there is no prenuptial agreement. Speaking of that, I recall it was mentioned in this series which made Saena say that line about not having any kids.

      Wow..really. But these days, it's dry cleaned?

      Very interesting. It reminds me of this other series, Rere Hello. A girl [/other rival] is from a prestigious family but became middle class due to the grandfather being tricked out of his property and money. Yet, during gatherings, she would still wear a formal kimono. Not sure if it is the same one but it is always a kimono - of the few clothes iirc that they still have.

      True..well, I guess the stalking depends on how bad it is/degree = how much invasion of privacy. Of course, perhaps, the physical appearance of the stalker like being handsome or beautiful can make it less negative. =P

      It might be love at first sight = prince charming who saved the princess = fall in love type. It seems like that to me. Maybe instinctively, it is need, too. If it is a guy especially during feudal times, you saved me so you now owe my life/my life belongs to you.

      Hm..worldly desires is..lust or material possessions. It makes me curious what's Momiji role in that kind of set-up.

    24. Yes, not a worry.

      The first Talent competitor to hide from would be Kyoko, well known for supporting character/antagonist roles ^^;

      Maybe it’s bad luck to act lies about people? Like the real-life Macbeth, a rival who fought fair, in battle, no murderer in the shadows. All sons and grandsons were heirs to chieftainship in Gaelic lands. It was normal to challenge and kill your cousins at the time.

      Interesting - sounds effective and not unpleasant ^^ ...Morphine and heroin (diamorphine) have similar effects, but some side-effects are different. Heroin, easier for the body to process, but addictive with repeat doses. Morphine, maybe shaking, memory loss.

      The typical story is that a young couple divorces before the pair has much property to divide. Even young people from wealthy families may not own property. The heir/heiress may be required to live in the family home, or live rent-free in a property owned by the older generations. (Think Yanagi of Last Game (and sometimes sister) in the apartment near the university.)
      Right, the non-custodial mom with the visitation-denial issue was a gender role reversal. Probably pretty typical when it comes to most moms being poorer, though; she’s desperate enough to go on an advice show and ask a lawyer whose specialty isn’t family law.

      Yep, technicolor rivers ^^… Depends on the stains, but the recommended procedure sounds more like hand-washed and air-dried.

      Ah, that’s interesting… Doesn’t that annoy the normal middle-class people, reminding them of a class divide in the past? Or is it too pitiable? I heard that migrants whose traditional clothing got stuck in a time warp for decades were laughed at for being out of fashion. Very old clothes might be timeless/vintage, however.

      I think what makes it less of a stalker situation is if teaming up is a choice, and if it’s necessary/beneficial. Compare “forced teaming” where one person springs a joint project on another, no discussion – that’s predatory/stalking/controlling. = Eg when Kyoko is chased down by Ren (trying to dodge him after the “criticism from Ren, rude finger gesture from Kyoko” incident), they appear as rabbit and LION, and Kyoko sees Ren’s behavior as “harassment”. Hilarious, but not romantic, despite Ren’s beauty.

      Definitely need more detail about the “Lotus” team and why Chidori was allowed to join. Other options?

      Wow, intense! Maybe Momiji is a chaperone then, against her will. I guess Chidori’s reputation could be ruined (“compromised”) by being alone with the ronin.

    25. Lol, true ^^

      Is that so...I thought it is because of the play itself being bad luck. That play was mentioned in the manga Kasane though the 'bad luck' is more on being playing the role to the tilt that it was hard for the actress [Lady Macbeth] to get out of the role especially since the actress has 'blood on her hands' like Lady Macbeth. There are plays and movies that were said to give bad luck to the actors/actresses so I thought you were referring to that. ^^;

      Memory loss wonder people who got operated on multiple times especially those who were pregnant mention that they suffer memory loss/becoming forgetful.

      I guess there won't be a problem if they divorce early before the property are transferred to the heirs' names. Indeed.

      So, I guess those who rent kimonos out charged a lot for it. =P

      Not really but in one scene, the 'verbal attack' is towards the grandfather who still socializes with them = sucking up. In the story, it is just because the grandfather is good friends with the host of the party. Of course, the grandfather also tried to 'marry her off' = miai to have someone take care of her and secure her future. The other party was the lead guy, his friend's grandson, so that turned out okay..if it was someone else, I don't think it will end well.

      Anyway, I think one still can get away with wearing a formal kimono = being traditional compared to western gowns/dresses. ^^

      True. Maybe it's 'stalking' = other party is scared. If not, it is 'chasing/courting'?

      Maybe Chidori likes adventure? Don't you find it odd that she knows martial arts? Unless, she begs Shizuma to teach her to defend herself as a pretext for her to always hang around with him. In Kanae's view, stalk him.

      Most likely. I can almost imagine Momiji itching to get rid of Chidori yet I feel that in the end of the story, they'll team up for the sake of Shizuma. If there is a different antagonist.

      Possible though I'm not too sure if it matters to her nor to others. Since she has fighting skills, potential suitors might not like that kind of wife. Submissive ones are usually preferred.

    26. Oh yes, it is the play itself that is bad luck. I was just speculating about WHY that particular play is bad luck. (The realists say it’s because of the sword fights and ‘special effect’ stormy weather – a lot of props and action – and opportunity for accidents.) Interesting, to keep on channeling Macbeth after the show’s over. It’s almost like having Banquo’s ghost appear to Lady Macbeth instead of Macbeth. There may be an intertextual reference to Hamlet. The part where Hamlet hires actors to put on a show featuring a murder similar to his father’s murder by his uncle – and it makes the uncle guilty.
      Really? Which plays and movies give the actors bad luck?

      Yes, some of the recovery time gets wiped. I visited someone in recovery after surgery. With a book on me, because I was told the patient might sleep through my visit. It turned out we couldn’t talk properly because the morphine made the patient forget what was said 5 minutes ago. Ironically, they do remember me reading from the book instead. It wasn’t in our language, so it was relaxing, no need for them to try to follow the story.

      Well, it’s not a problem for the wealthy family, carefully keeping money in the family by leaving most in the elders’ hands. It does make the kids (heir/heiress) less attractive suitors, though. Too easy for rich grandparents to play favorites – and the ones with the upstart lower-class mother or father are not going to be the favorite, are they? Safer to stick to your own class.

      Not sure. I mean, there was underclothes, and an overcoat-thing for protection in the outdoors. That’s what took the punishment…

      There is a saying that could be used to attack a man who has been tricked out of his wealth: “a fool and his money are soon parted.” Was it anything like that? …That really doesn’t sound good, “marrying her off”. The grandfather isn’t a qualified matchmaker, and shouldn’t the girl use a matchmaking service herself if she wants to?

      Well, fashion in Western designer dresses (and pret-a-porter) does change dizzyingly fast by comparison.

      True, that is the number one sign that it’s stalking = the target feeling scared. Many people don’t scare easily enough, though. People who’ve grown up in the danger zone, or become acclimatized. Think Kyoko and her mother, Ren with his bullies. Both underestimate threats or fail to detect them sometimes. Whereas Ren’s co-actor Murasame grew up with a supportive mother (and gang(?)) and has an excellent threat-detection system.
      When the fear response is problematic, you need to judge by other signs. I think a key one would be whether a person “reads” others well, and is responsive to their needs. If not, a very bad sign.

      My guess is that Chidori had very strong motivation to go against the traditional pathway, arranged marriage. Since her life was saved by Shizuma, and she is the last of her family, maybe her family is the target of a vendetta/blood feud? And even if not, if she is only a target for kidnappers and forced marriage, it would be hard to go through the matchmaking process, knowing that rejected suitors could hire kidnappers. Easier to avoid attention in the first place.
      Well, Chidori would have at least been taught basic self-defense, to make her servants’/bodyguards’ work easier. Maybe more, if her family members foresaw that she could be left without their protection. The more she knows, the less she needs Shizuma’s help, and the more valid Kanae’s opinion is.

      True. The person who hired the goons Momiji is slicing up in one scene must be an antagonist. Maybe not the only one/ “big boss”.

      Quite possible. Usually when compromising situations are on the horizon, though, they are a problem because the lady doesn’t once a face/reputation-saving marriage in place of a love-match…and the man isn’t in love with her yet. They may both prefer each other to rival suitors already, however. Early stages of the relationship, no rush.

    27. Perhaps because of the 'witches'? Indeed. There was even 'washing of hands' after the play is over. Ah, possible.

      Superman/actors who played that role and some horror movies like Exorcist. Saw some documentaries about it when E! channel shows were popular here before. must be at a higher dosage. I can still remember what happened when I was in the icu after the surgery. I guess not being able to move, cannot sleep and cannot drink any fluids when very thirsty isn't exactly forgettable =P That's interesting. ^^

      True but it won't be a hindrance if the future in-law knows how to win the elders' side ^^ If someone timid/deemed not useful, it will be difficult. Actually, being headstrong isn't that good either. ^^;; Yet, it's still a lot more money than marrying to one's class. That is, if that is the goal.

      Realistically, it is harder to adapt if the rich elders/parents look down on the in-law due to class among others. In shoujo, it is love conquers all but rarely deals with the aftermath. I would sometimes think, is it really worth it. Won't they be worn down by the disapproving elder? In stories, the elders are usually won over.

      True...and, perhaps, they don't always launder it? It would fade and become worn out if washed too often, right? Hm..perhaps, super mild soap?

      Yup, he was a 'fool' for being too trusting, as it was implied, and bye-bye money. The girl is only a junior high schooler. She only went along to appease her grandfather.


      That's right. So, is that considered being 'tough'/not scared easily? Of course, it isn't good when underestimating the threat. Yup.

      Possible, or witness to a certain crime. Ah, her family's murder, perhaps? Hm..that kind of suitors seem to be very desperate. Chidori ought to be from a very 'special family' for them to resort to that.

      True and if it is so, she would be more of a 'tomboy' girl because during those times, it is very rare for girls especially in the upper class to know self-defense. That's right. So, Kanae abhors this role more on Chidori being a 'stalker'/desperate girl in love rather than being a weak timid 'someone always have to save her' girl.


      Indeed. Maybe there will be other sources of conflict that we don't know yet.

    28. The ‘witches’? That’s an interesting theory. Reminds me: The second thing I saw featuring Macbeth (after a comic book) was a novel-turned-cartoon with witches as heroines. “Wyrd Sisters” – one of the Discworld novels. The (herbalist/midwife/mystic) local witches were VERY unimpressed at being portrayed as ugly and evil by actors in a play! …Come to think of it, the “Lady Macbeth” Queen was still a control freak with a puppet husband, though. And she was a bit of a Hulkette, too. Not so feminist a spoof of Macbeth, then.

      I see – quite modern, then. Not like “the curse of the Mummy” on archaeologist for disturbing ancient graves… I hope the actors had insurance, at least. I heard masked heroes were popular with producers because the mask made the actor’s face less important. The actors couldn’t make successful demands for pay rises even though the shows were popular because they would just replace the actors. So to be fair, it’s the cheapskate producers who should have been cursed!

      Yes, probably higher dosage. Quite a surprise to see. ^^;

      Ah, I cut it too short; not clear. True, disapproving in-laws-to-be can be an obstacle to marriage. Have seen them in period drama and asked the same questions you did about the characters’ future, but got answers by the end (LONG dramas). >>Meant to mention a related problem: rich elders who control the family fortune can decide how to treat the youngest generation. The kid(s) of the heir/ress. There is no guarantee that the child(ren) of the heir/ess and the commoner would obtain “high social status” (if the match is disapproved), or even if they do, keep that status after the parents’ divorce – and probably the heir/ess’ remarriage. The child(ren) of the later marriage would be favored instead.
      Similar: Shiharu and her mom in “Love So Life”. The mom made a disapproved-of match and was left without support from her wealthy family when her husband died. The mom’s death softened the elders’ hearts, but not the mom’s generation, who wouldn’t raise Shiharu even if the elders covered the expense. Hence the orphanage upbringing.

      Yes, gentle wash, gentle soap. Although some colors improve as they fade, eg dark-indigo.

      Oh dear ^^; Breaking so many rules. Is that even legal? Even if the girl isn’t underage for marriage (min 16yrs), where are the parents or child protection people?

      Rather than ‘tough’… ‘shell-shocked’, from living in fear. A bit like when Kyoko calls herself “brainwashed” by her mother. Kyoko lived in fear of Saena’s rages over under 100% scores. The wrong thing to be afraid of. Not worth losing sleep over min 80% score. Counterproductive.

      Maybe, like Katsuki in “Dark Moon”. ... I’m totally guessing ^^; Something unattractive about suitors would help explain Chidori picking someone who is not a suitor.

      Hmm…maybe the characters’ pasts are related, but they don’t know at the beginning, like in a detective story. It’s suspicious, the ronin having lost his master and Chidori losing her family. But if Chidori was investigating/plotting revenge, it’s really not warrior-like to get distracted by romance.

    29. Is that so. Still, I'm just thinking that is one element that might attract 'bad luck' since the other elements might be common in other plays. Is that so. Indeed..yet later on, they switched roles.

      Speaking of that, I read that Poltergeist movie had used real corpses. That movie is also supposedly cursed. Well, they didn't exactly die during the filming but afterwards. Hm..masked heroes, are you referring to the Marvel/DC type of movies?

      I get it. It's like being disowned due to the disapproved match. How the 'grandchildren' are treated/gain 'high social status again' would depend on how hard the hearts of the grandparents. In some shows/real life, usually, they soften up because of the grandchildren..rather, if it is a grandson. If it's a granddaughter, chances are a bit lower. That is probably what happened to Shiharu.

      It seems so. Perhaps, because the other party is also young? It is like pairing up my friend's kid with my kid kind of thing. The father wasn't shown but the mother seems to be quite distress over the change of fortune so the girl has to do everything. Later on, her mother snapped out of it and start to help out the girl with groceries and stuff. That matchmaking wasn't mentioned again.

      True but since she was a kid, she didn't know any better. I guess it is common with kids who want to please a parent. Low grades = disappointment. The degree depends on what grade the parent expects. In Kyouko's case, 100.

      Possible..and after having a mother like that, what the other girls throw at her is nothing at all. Or, she doesn't want to cower again..her pandora box is opened courtesy of Shou.

      Hm..possible, so she fell in love with him because he is always saving/helping/nice to her.

      True..maybe it is related so perhaps, they are kind of teaming up/will team up later on if ever the culprit for both incidents is only one person.

    30. Hmm…the elements that attract criticism from modern writers and bring ‘bad luck’ to plays could be the same. Actors/creative types might be imaginative and sensitive enough to do research – and discover that in real life ‘witchery’ was an excuse to murder inconvenient women (mostly, sometimes men)/blame a scapegoat for people’s troubles in the past (inc Joan of Arc). Then they’d have a guilty conscience about participating in “Macbeth”, and be superstitious about anything bad that happens during production. … Nothing bad happened to the early psychiatrists who accused historical ‘witches’ of being severely mentally ill (delusional), though. The delusions actually came from the dirty minds of the witch-hunters, who forced the ‘witches’ to repeat them under torture.
      True, a role reversal. I wonder if it’s realistic? In non-fiction, the roles of control freak (abuser/addict) and puppet (enabler) are not usually so reversible.

      Whoa, ^^; I hope the dead people liked horror films when they were alive. Like the actors who donate their skulls to Hamlet liked Shakespeare. … Extra unfortunate if it’s after filming: no ‘work accident’ insurance money. … Ah, I was referring to masked heroes in adventure series on tv a very long time ago; I think they were called “serials”? Some of the recent Marvel/DC cartoons and movies might be remakes.

      Yes, that’s it, disowned/rejected.
      …In Shiharu’s case, it seemed to be because her mom’s family hated her father. They even spoke as if Shiharu had an unknown father, when her father was only a “nobody”/unacceptable to his wife’s family.
      I have seen that happen to initially normal/acceptable family members and grandsons as well, i.e. they get discarded. Like when Rei lost his immediate family in a car accident in “3-gatsu no Lion”. His doctor father had been the heir. His grandfather was too old to go on running the family hospital or raise a child. His aunt wanted her husband to be the heir and planned to put Rei in an orphanage. (Rei was adopted by a family friend who wanted an apprentice in shogi.)
      I think the “softening because of a grandchild” thing happens a lot more in fiction than in real life. Non-fiction writers (psychologists/sociologists) warn out-of-favor kids/kids-in-law not to expect a big improvement. …You need to make a decision about unbearable elders much earlier. A bit like Kyoko having that battle royal with Ren’s dad (although Kuu was only pretending to be unbearable; and Kyoko doesn’t know he is her future father-in-law).

      Well, there’s no marriage if the boy is under minimum male age in Japan (18), so there’s no forced marriage either. The girl might be considered an “at risk” child at the time, though, if her mother had collapsed and her grandfather was trying to “give her away” to another family via matchmaking.

      Not Kyoko’s fault, no. Totally the parenting. Saena was all about fear of failure. It’s usually harder to tell who is pressuring kids most – parents or the wider world (future education/employer requirements).

      Hmm... Maybe it was because Kyoko knew the girls’ bullying wasn’t her fault, but she did blame herself for her grades/her mother’s disappointment? Also, to be afraid, you need to have something to lose. Kids who are severely bullied are left with nothing to lose socially; the bullies scare away classmates they could make friends with, for fear they’ll be targeted too. ..“Hope” is also locked away in Pandora’s box, supposedly.

      Quite possible. It’s good for the plot, I guess, if he’s perfect but the match isn’t practical.

      Yes…maybe a bit like the steps to Kyoko and Kanae’s friendship? From competitors to “one side comrade, other side in denial/competitor” to true team-mates?

    31. Ah..but here, it is more on fantasy witches rather than those type of witch hunts. I'm thinking of be careful of playing with the occult/supernatural since who knows what 'evil spirits' might be attracted to the movie/show. Of course, that is if one believes in that kind of things. And bad things do happen at it would depend on the person's beliefs if they attribute it to a certain element.

      It can be realistic if the control freak somehow loses one's power due to something and somehow, with all the brainwashing like what Lady Macbeth is saying had unleashed one's 'courage' to pull things off/due to a slight like what happened to Kyouko. I'm not sure if it is the same. We used to have a presidential couple who are like that. The guy holds the power and the woman seems to a typical trophy wife. Then, the guy is getting sick and was caught womanizing. The woman starts to gain power and seems to partly use that womanizing as 'you've been bad to me so to make up for it, you are not to meddle with the things I do'. From the rumors, before they fell from power at that time, the woman is the one in control of almost everything.

      We'll never know. I read they find it cheaper to use real rather than fake corpses. That's interesting. ^^ So, what do they do with the skulls afterwards? For use for future Hamlet plays? sounds like some guarantee on appliances..1 year guarantee..then, oddly enough after a year, it breaks down. ^^; So, better get life insurance.

      Oh..those batman and green hornet ones?

      I see. Ah...there are those kind of things. I heard of one in real life which is similar to that. The grandfather had already split the properties to the heirs but of course, the eldest gets the biggest share. After the grandfather died, the eldest son had also passed away afterwards. The sister-in-law/younger brother wants to take back the properties from the eldest son's wife since the younger brother is now by default the heir. I'm not sure of the details but it seems that they [younger brother] sued and won.

      True..but I guess it depends on the circumstance. Only grandchild/son <- possible only heir so chances of taking the kid in is high. If there are other grandchildren, it will depend. But yes, don't expect to have equal treatment with the favored ones.

      I agree. In fiction though, it is usually love conquers all but in reality, it isn't that easy dealing with unbearable elders who most likely won't change/adapt to you. It is usually vice-versa. And, if they are many and you only have a bit of might take a toll.

      Oh, speaking of favored ones, it seems they have a way coping mechanism for that especially for very traditional families. I read it being mentioned twice in a manga before. The compromise is, the elders will allow the person keep the one he likes by making that person as his lover/mistress then just marry the ones they want. Win-win for them but not exactly for the women ^^; I'm saying that since the women might be okay with it. ^^; The wife might just have her own flings ^^;;

      Indeed. Though it can be quite an awkward situation since the male lead didn't know it was a miai and the girl's grandfather is telling him that he'll leave the girl under his care. And, the male lead already has a girlfriend <- got duped by his grandfather. The grandfather mentioned that it's okay just break off later on and get married to the girl. So, I mentioned the one above.


    32. depends, I think if the parents have very high expectations, it will be them. As for the wider world, it depends on the kid..does s/he have great dreams, okay with whatever = go with the flow, etc. In a way, it depends on the society, too. What kind of society does s/he live in..will s/he commit suicide over a lower grade than 100, didn't pass or don't care at all? I heard some instances about case 1 in Japan though I don't hear about it anymore.

      That is possible. She isn't directly responsible for it. That's right..nothing to lose can embolden them.

      In those times, being a ronin isn't exactly 'perfect' or do you mean perfect 'husband' material?

      Now that you mentioned it, yes.

    33. I guess they are seen as fantasy witches now, but the “Macbeth” witches were believed to be realistic at the time. Especially by the number one audience member, King James, a keen witch-hunter (and a descendant of the “good” characters). It was a type of science to them – “demonology”.
      Nowadays… I do know people who believe in demonic possession or witches. Not many. Once I was told the children of atheists need to be baptized for protection against evil spirits…and flying in the sky, naked, at night. (?). Not very nightmarish by my standards. If it was *falling* instead… ^^;

      I see. I guess it depends on the disorder/problem the abuser/controller has - and from that, what kind of assistance the enabler gives. If it’s narcissism, like with Sho, usually the roles are pretty stable. It is possible for narcissists to go into “collapse”, though. If they can’t sustain their inflated self-image because they can’t make others treat them as superior, they fall to the depths of despair – and make life hell for everyone around, jealously attacking them, blaming them. At that time, the enabler could gain control. …It’s really scary, though, because you think when the original wrongdoer is exposed, the victim has escaped, right? But there is no escape when the enabler starts being actively abusive. … I have heard of that happening sometimes in women’s refuges – more so in the past, when violence against children was considered acceptable by more people. But at least child abusers are a small minority of parents. Having a whole country exposed to a pathological couple ^^;… terrifying.

      Pity. That sounds like the bodies of people who have donated their body to science/medicine, not the arts. There would be a window of opportunity to film them after they have been used for anatomy classes, but before they turn into medical skeletons. Possibly in the same university, the medical faculty and the film department. … Yes, to keep appearing on the stage as a skull makes theatre actors a bit ‘immortal’ like film actors. …. Agreed. Reminds me of a story about a local man from where the Brontë sisters lived. He had just got life insurance months earlier when the doctor discovered he had a rapid fatal disease. The man said he was ‘lucky’ – to have paid very little money to the life insurance company before he got sick, but be worth a lot in insurance money to his family. Very businesslike ^^;

      Possibly. Old enough for serials and radio. But quite high-status, so more likely for copycat programs to have disposable actors.

      I have heard of property being “entailed” or willed only to descendants, or only male descendants. That means the heir’s widow gets nothing from them if she’s childless. I hadn’t heard of discarding the heir’s orphaned child before, though. Only stories where the orphaned child inherits the family property – and the wicked uncle tries to kill the kid to get it. Eg Richard III.

      Yes, it depends, sadly. Sometimes a kid is luckier with one set of grandparent(s) than the other. Eg the people around Maria’s mother (staff?) wished Maria was never born, but Lory is very caring.

      I understand how it happens in fiction – low space requirements, or a series get cancelled = the writer has to finish up quickly and resolve long-term problems fast. It’s dangerous when people take the fiction seriously and get high hopes, or give victims bad advice. Happens a lot, because badly-behaving family members are a minority – but dramatic enough to feature a lot in fiction. … There are support groups on forums online. DWIL Nation, etc. Use very rude words, though ^^; …Oh, also, I read a manga with a daughter-in-law who was victorious. She was actually a villain, but she went around defeating worse villains, like sexual harassers. “Seigi no Mikata” by Hijiri Chiaki: chapter 4.

    34. Wow, that’s really cold. I have read about situations like that in the next generation, with children of mistresses used as surprise competitors to becoming main heir, or the wife having to help raise the mistress’ kid, but the wife never knows in advance and/or the affair happens after the arranged marriage. Not premeditated.
      That underage miai situation is interesting for what it shows about tradition, but I think it should come with helpline numbers.

      You would think it would be a good thing, having opportunities to succeed available to most kids – as opposed to the English-speaking countries, where the big question is who has parents with the money to send them to private schools. But when there are entry tests for the “good” schools instead, kids are more likely to feel that failure is their own fault. And parents to pressure them.
      It’s very dangerous, but it’s sort of unmentionable. The authorities don’t keep track; it’s often the countries without coroners.

      I meant ‘perfect’ for Chidori = what she wants. Also, the Japanese version of a “flower of chivalry”, a man who keeps to the warrior code. Not practical = probably can’t support a family, wandering around in search of work or revenge, no stable lifestyle.

    35. True, and I'm thinking that way before BC [before Christ]..there are already who practice witchcraft. It is also forbidden on religions like Christianity so that might make people think that it is 'bad luck'/causes misfortune.

      I see. Here, I heard of occasional demonic possessions and they usually say the kids were playing with spirit of the glass and other similar things. Flying in the sky is different...I heard that for the first time.

      True. So, that is, the woman venting her frustrations and anger on the child? I heard instances when both abuse the child. Or, with the mother's consent.

      Very interesting. Hehe, well, not really sure he is 'lucky' but I guess having monetary compensation is good so his family is financially secured.

      I think it will hurt more if it is 'only male descendants' than being childless.

      True..and it can be dragging to keep on dwelling on that long-term problem. I have watched a few episodes of Seigi no Mikata. It was interesting. ^^ Everything is going her way =P

      I have not heard of surprise competitors to become the main heir, but I know about surprise during the funeral when the mistress arrived and wanted part of the wealth for their child. Wife helping raise the mistress' kid happened to a relative. ^^; The man claimed that since she cannot give birth, they adopt the child. Wife found out about it later on. In the end, they have their own child but still ended up divorcing.

      Well, I'm not sure if it happens in real life. In shoujo, There was even parents wanting their kids/not yet born to end up together because parents A and parents B are good friends. I don't seem to see that kind of scenario lately.

      Ah yes, where one studied would be important for entry exams. Parents' pressure would depend on their expectations towards the child especially the ones who wanted the child to be as 'smart' as they are or achieve what they didn't achieve during their younger years.

      I see but he might settle down later on like in Rurouni Kenshin. Something like, she'll feel the 'gap' of whatever is missing in his life.

    36. Well, neither Wicca, Druidism or Christianity are science – and only science makes people understand the causes of misfortune and calm down about it. Mind you, it is possible to have both. Very rich people had Jewish doctors hundreds of years ago, because Judaism did not limit investigations into the human body/progress in medical science.
      The spirit of the glass? Is that a looking glass/mirror, windows, or…? … Only thing I’ve heard of that matches the flying in the sky idea is ‘tripping’ – when religious people take psychotropic drugs like peyote in order to have visions.

      Majority of cases dangerous dysfunction – the father is violent, the mother is the victim, and the child(ren) are traumatized by watching…and neglected to some degree, as the conflict takes the focus off the kid(s). So, father=abuser, mother=enabler, usually. …You’d hope the mother escaping with the kid(s) would solve the problem. Most often, it does. The mother has to regain her self-protective instinct, but was always protective towards the kid(s). But yes, some women perpetuate the victim-to-abuser cycle – it tends to date back their childhood, but abusive relationships can reinforce it. Having an equally awful partner also reinforces it – if the pair of them can stand to share the starring role.

      Yes ^^

      Yes, probably worse for a widow with a child and no inheritance from the father’s side. Depends on the status of widows and remarriage possibilities.

      Yes, long-running problems can drag. But I don’t dare complain, because a replacement problem might be something I don’t like, like jealousy. … Cool, I didn’t know there was a drama. I must see it sometime ^^

      Surprise twists ^^; …I have mainly seen surprise desertions. Like the ex-wife moves away and later the new stepmother adopts her kid. Or a wealthy ancestor gives nothing to one family member or their descendants, as punishment for secret misbehavior.

      I’ve been told that underage arranged marriages happened back in the (great-)grandparents generation, when the minimum age was lower.

      True. Parents should be sensitive to the situation the kid is in, though. Kyoko had the bullying problem, and was working and learning business things.

      I hope so, but I’m getting more of a “tragic” vibe from the fragments so far.

    37. True..still not everything can be explained by science so some things can be open for other explanations.

      No. It is a glass/cup used to move on an ouji board as a method of communicating with spirits. Young people usually play it as a game and there are those who were said to have been possessed afterwards. Ah..tripping..I have heard of those who take drugs and thought they can fly.

      I would think that kids being neglected is better than being abused by both parents. We have a lot of stories here about that. The father beating up the mother then later on the kids. If he's a pervert and the child is a daughter, you know what happens.. There are times when it is with the mother's consent.

      There are those who can escape with the kids but it might also depend on 'how in love' the mother was with the father, or if she is very 'economically dependent' on the father. I recall a documentary wherein the father rapes the daughter and some other relatives but they won't put him into jail because he is the breadwinner. I'm always curious what happened afterwards.


      I see.

      How low are we talking about? During my grandparents' time, it is 16. Which seems to be the age of consent in Japan now for girls.


      Tragic love/life or someone dying?

    38. Yes, ‘second sight’ etc can be an interesting subject. But I read once that horror is usually a very conservative genre, because the story usually goes like this: status quo situation showing the heroes; the villain/’monster’ arrives and ruins things/makes the situation worse; eventually (usually after a lot of damage is done), the heroes defeat/destroy the villain. Too similar to lazy thinking in the real world, that the status quo is okay/not too bad, we can’t predict bad deeds, and some people are naturally evil/monstrous.

      I see, communicating with the dead. A strange thing to treat as a game. … Ah, generally they just see things as if they are flying (visions), not use their body.

      Neglect can put kids in situations where other people can abuse them. Like when parents are on drugs, and they are out partying and leave the kid at home with the door unlocked. Or sometimes the parents use the home for drug-dealing or prostitution and some of the customers are child predators. Lot of stories like this coming out of the methamphetamine epidemic.
      Yes, that is the typical story, an abusive husband becoming an abusive father as the kids get older. Whether it is physical violence or worse. (But there are exceptions. That serial killer Anders Breivik – it was his mother who abused him.)
      Because of the situations you mention, I think kids should be able to escape without their mother, if necessary. That’s more moral than a kid killing the abusive parent, which also happens. Or kids running away and becoming homeless.

      It was something like 14 years old iirc. I don’t think it was ‘normal’ to get married at that age, though. Usually, the age of consent is more about setting a minimum age for prostitutes than preventing early arranged marriages. I think there were money problems, so daughters were being married off in a hurry – maybe around the time of World War II, when there were economic problems in Japan?

      The "everyone dying" kind of tragedy, “Romeo and Juliet” style ^^;

    39. Hm..not necessarily. The horrors that I seen [<- closed eyes when the monster appears] or read usually ends with the possibility of the monster still alive. From that, it circulates the 'urban legend' about the monster. Of course in films, that is more on opening possibilities for sequels =P But usually, it is more on 'resistance is futile' ending. is mostly like that.

      Well, perhaps, it is a fortune telling game, in a way. Like, wanting to know what will happen in the future or who'll be your spouse. As a kid, I was told of some ways to know your spouse like in the middle of the night, go around the house 3 times then look at the mirror to see who it is. ..Oh, I see.

      I see. I haven't heard of that kind of situations here though or perhaps, they aren't reported. Regarding prostitution, I only know of parents 'selling' their kids to perform cybersex for money.

      But for them to run away without any other support might open them up for abuse. It helps though if one has a concerned relative/neighbor. For sexual abuse, it can be a bit hard since there are threats of being killed.

      Possible..and perhaps, the life span isn't that long at that time as compared to these days? age of consent and age when one can legally marry the same?

      Oh..well, it's a possibility. Usually, in this kind of set-up. I can almost imagine Momiji being the sacrifice like saving the lead or protecting Chidori from someone to 'show her love/loyalty' to the lead.


    40. I think I see: the defeat of the monster is only temporary, because it’s immortal, so the ending of each “episode” is only semi-happy?
      Not a fan (won’t pay for tickets), so I have mostly been shown by others the television variety of horror which kind of does have endings. Monsters die, but there are more monsters in the world, basically. So the pattern repeats, with different villains. It’s the main protagonists that live on. …But whoever stays, villain or hero, it’s quite repetitive. The saying goes “prevention is better than cure” and horror has a lot of “cure” = it’s too late/impossible to prevent damage and it’s necessary to attack. A little bit of that is interesting, but I like most difficulties to be “workable”, the kind which can be learned from and dealt with better next time = prevention.

      I see. I would have thought that any spirits only knew more than us about the past, and maybe the present, not the future. I know some games of chance for fortune telling, not supernatural. Though I never liked them. >> I sometimes get vague hints about the future in dreams – and déjà vu when the dream event happens in real life. I thought it was quite creepy when I was younger because I didn’t know very much about the subconscious making (fairly accurate) predictions – it seemed supernatural instead. Now I can use it as an early-warning system = resistance is not futile ^^

      It is only reported if there is a Child Ombudsperson and/or other researchers to interview the children, as a rule. … Argh, eww, I hadn’t heard of that. Only heard of less ugly things, about young adults who choose the sex industry (though without better options) – and hide it to protect their parents, even if they are helping them financially; or get found out and disowned.

      Yes, kinship and local “placements” are best, if they are available. However, since predators have often infiltrated kinship or local support networks, there need to be other options. Buddying programs, refuges, public housing, rent control. …People are afraid to do anything dramatic because the children in institutions in the former British Empire (child migrants, children immorally removed from First Nations parents in former colonies) were mistreated. But you can’t have modern children homeless, or in motels and ungated group homes. Or part of the youth suicide rate… Aid agencies know how to keep proper youth workers in and predators out. Welfare agencies could manage that, even when there are no reliable parents or relatives.

      The average life span of the parents marrying off their kids was probably shorter, yes. But I’ve heard of the kids in the arranged marriages because many are still alive. I hear back from travelers who have met them. In one case, it was how the hosts explained to their guest why their grandma feared and disliked their grandpa, something that had become painfully obvious at the big family meal. It was a forced marriage, and he hadn’t been a very good husband.

    41. … Ah, well… That’s very complicated. ((And everything I’m about to say may be slightly outdated, or become that way by the end of the year. Japanese politicians are talking about making changes to most of these minimum ages.))
      The history is quite complex. It seems, in Japan, the age of consent (13) is the minimum marriage age from the past. (Similar to the British Empire minimum until the late 1800s: 12.) It should perhaps be called the “minimum age to marry off a teenager” because parental permission was always required for minors (under 25, then 21, then 18 in the British Empire; 20 in Japan). The minimum age Kyoko quotes (as Bo) to Ren, 16, is the modern minimum marriage-with-permission age *for the younger partner* (in Japan, the woman) – the older partner must be at least 18 (in Japan, the man).
      I don’t know where 16 came from if it’s not borrowed from the West. The British had a big scandal about child prostitution, all over the newspapers, and changed the age of consent to 16. 16 was about the age that middle-class girls were considered “finished” (their studies at home/in convent schools/etc), and entered the social scene as marriageable “adults”.

      Oh, the Eponine from Les Misérables ending. Possible. It matches what I expect their attitudes to be: Momiji would die for the lead, while Chidori would live for him. Just not sure they will both “succeed”.

    42. P.S. (Because I guess we’ll have to finish up chatting soon – new chapter right around the corner.)
      Thank you for the discussion, Kat. Very enlightening, and lots of fun ^^

    43. Lol, I also only watch on TV. =P I'm not going to pay for something that I'll spend most of the time with eyes closed. ^^; Ah, tv series type. I'm more on curious how the story/monster was created and how it might/attempt to be defeated. For some reason, I like horrors that get back on 'bad people'. ^^;

      I see. ^^ Dreams coming true can be somewhat scary if it is a nightmare. Hm..good point, perhaps the spirit can now 'peek' in the future?

      Hm..why would they engage in sex industry even if they are financially able? Need more money? I heard in Japan, there are girls doing that to get designer bags.

      I see.

      Sounds like a violent husband for her to fear him. I guess it is a hit or miss at times. Lucky if it is a good guy, or one would end up falling for him. At times, it becomes out of duty and not for love.

      I see. Indeed, those are the ages mentioned in other shoujo which are used for secret high school marriages whether between a teacher-student or both students.


      Same to you, thanks for the discussion ^-^

    44. I hear you ^^. My friend/family the fan gets the DVDs, because most of the horror shows are on expensive cable channels. So, hours and hours of nonstop horror ^^;
      I see. Those are some ways to make the story more satisfying - showing how evil things were created, or just deserts/karma for the villainous “victims”.

      Yes, scary ^^; …Heh, I guess at first I did think it was spiritual, “second sight”. But your mind can do amazing things without supernatural assistance; it’s proven. For instance, you can hear while you’re asleep, hear the difference between familiar sounds and strange ones that might be a burglar. You just need time to get familiar with the house/neighbourhood sounds – usually just a night.

      I mean people who don’t have the options a minimum of money gives. People who are undereducated (no college fund), have parents getting old = medical bills. Maybe younger relative/kids to feed. The majority of sex workers are in that kind of position, iirc.

      All too true ^^; … I read a story once (from another country) about a very old lady who couldn’t die in peace until she made her grandchildren promise not to bury her in the same grave as her husband.

      Ah, interesting. So if the minimum age becomes the same for both sexes, the storylines will change…

      Much appreciated ^-^

    45. Indeed ^^


      I see.

      Wow..I wonder what he did to her.


    46. She met someone else and ran away with him. Her jealous husband chased after them and fought with and killed her lover ^^; So, "don't bury me with that man", she said

    47. Oh..but husband got jailed? Or, he got her back and she lived a miserable life until he passed away? Just curious why she had to make the grandchildren promise it. I mean, was it a tradition for both to be buried together even if that kind of incident had happened?

    48. Option 2. No jail. The “provocation”/”crime of passion” defence allowed him to get away with murder.
      There is a couple burial tradition, but not everyone was traditional, and sometimes it was fashionable to be “modern” (eg have a civil wedding, not a church wedding). The family could be untraditional, it was okay. But the matriarch only requested the separate burial at the last minute. She was too busy until then, taking care of her descendants, etc. The horrible husband wasn’t mentioned after he died – a long time ago, since he was older than her – so everyone else in the family had forgotten about him, or never knew him. >> It was the normal story – not thinking about one’s funeral/burial until death is close because one is too busy with life – with a twist.

    49. Oh.

      I see. Still, too purposely bring up someone hated who was long forgotten/unknown to most relatives just to make sure that they don't get buried together. That's some deep hatred to even expose herself to kind of 'living it again' by telling them all about it.

      I mean, why not just specifically tell the descendants that she wants to be buried in a specific place, far away from that man's grave, rather than mentioning that man again.

    50. Ah, she didn’t have to tell the full story when she was dying. It was such a big scandal in the past that even the grandchildren had heard rumors already. She only had to say she didn’t want to be buried with “that man” – and that was nearly all she could say, she was so ill.
      She could not organize it herself, but the descendants gathered very fast and promised her a separate grave, next to her kids.

    51. I see. Well, she got her wish ^^

  6. I guess my previous message didn't reach you. I meant to say: thank you for the summary! I love reading them. I can't wait to see if Kyoko actually gets the role (I hope so!)

    1. It seems so, Claudia. I checked the spam folder and there's nothing there.

      Thanks for reading ^-^ I'm sure she will ^^

  7. Hey Kat! Thanks for the review. I am so excited to read the audition process for Kyoko and how she will work with the sword!!! As for the mean girl, I think Kyoko can definitely deal with her effectively:)

  8. Yeah, really liked how Kyoko confronted the mean girls by being "Natsu"..

    How long will the next chapter comes out? Can't wait..

    Thank you very much for your all heart effort..

    1. Yup ^^ This time, it will be Momji-type..what would it be like?

      It will be out on Sept 20th so spoilers should come out around that time.

      You're welcome ^-^

  9. ~shirayuki

    As always, nice summary Kat. Thanks for this ☺ oh and love the quote, gave me hope ☺☺

    1. Thanks for reading, shirayuki ^-^

      Glad to hear that ^^

  10. September update pls! been waiting for 5 days now..your summaries are so good!

    1. Thanks for the comment, rai ^-^

      Hm..just wait for the English scanlations. They come out fast anyway. Usually, just a few days after my summaries. I decided to just write comments about it instead of full summaries.