Kimagure Orange College - Episode 31
by Stephen Tsai
  Index · Aktuelles · Anime · Manga · FAQ · Materialien · Links · Gästebuch · Logbuch (Stephen Tsai)

Kimagure Orange College

[Writer's foreword:  This is the thirty-first episode of a fan-fict 
series based on the characters in Kimagure Orange Road.  They are 
intended to take place after the movie, "I Want to Return to that Day", 
and follow the characters Kasuga Kyosuke and Ayukawa Madoka as they 
start the next phase of their lives in college.
        If you missed the previous episodes, notes about the new 
characters, and previous events are listed after the ending credits.  
In addition, previous episodes are available at
        One thing I would like to say up front:  Although I have 
graduated from college, my experience is in the American college system 
and culture.  The span of my experience in the Japanese advanced 
education system is limited to watching anime, pen pals and research.  
Any mistakes, inconsistencies, etc. are neither intentional nor are 
they meant to show disrespect for the Japanese education system.  In 
fact, I would appreciate any constructive criticisms, corrections, and 
insight any readers might offer me.  Mail all such letters, praises or 
flames to]

Episode #31 - All That Jazz

[Slow fade into Club Noir.  It's evening, and the place is almost full.  
Many people are talking, but it's impossible to distinguish any words, 
as they merge into constant noise.  A jazz band is setting up their 
instruments on the stage.  Ayukawa, Kasuga, Kimura, Sakurai, 
Hayashibara, Saito, Miyasato Yoko and Yuko, and Oda Kumiko sit around a 
table.  Ayukawa starts to speak, just as the band starts playing.]

Ayukawa:  Where should I begin?

Sakurai:  As a certain king once said, begin at the beginning and go 
till the end; when you reach the end, stop.

Oda:  I think the beginning is easy.  It's the ending that's hard.

Kimura:  Well, it depends on what are you talking about.  In math, you 
know where you begin and where do you want to get, so it's the middle 
that's hard.

Hayashibara:  What if you don't know where to begin?

Saito:  Or what if you don't know your goal?

Yoko:  Hmpf.  Once in a blue moon, we manage to get out with some 
friends to a club, and then they start arguing.

Yuko:  Well, arguments can be interesting, too.

Saito:  [Trying to sound comforting.]  Well, you both might be right.  
[Yoko pulls down her eyelid and sticks out her tongue at him.]  Hey!

Yuko:  [Whispering to Yoko.]  Now would be our chance to ask 
Hayashibara-san for an autograph.

Yoko:  [Whispering back.]  It'd be too be embarrassing in public.

Kasuga:  So, Ayukawa?  Listen, you promised to tell us about jazz.

Ayukawa:  [Looks around.]  Ok.  Listen!


Yoko:  Yes?

Yuko:  You're silent.

Ayukawa:  Shh!  Listen to the music.

[Everyone listens to the music, where the saxophone player steps 
forward and starts the elaborate melody.  Other instruments are mostly 
silent, providing only some accompaniment.]

Ayukawa:  So, where should I begin?  At the beginning, I guess.  A 
piece, like everything else, has to begin from something - a theme.  
You know, all instruments are playing at the same time, they are 
equally important.  It's like a friendly get-together, and everyone 
speaks at once.  After this, it's time for separate instruments to play 
variations, which is the main part of the piece.  These variations 
don't stand alone - they connect with the other ones, and have to work 

Kimura:  So they just add on top of one another?  Neat!

Ayukawa:  [Nods.]  You can say that.  But there's a lot of things good 
jazz musicians can do.  They don't have to do variations alone; 
sometimes, two instruments can play one variation, and they can either 
support, you know, play off each other - or they can fight with each 
other.  Sometimes, instruments introduce new themes, which get 
developed later; sometimes, they take an accompaniment and make it into 
melody; there're no limits to what can be done.  You just have to free 
and creative, and, most importantly, don't hurry, because sometimes it 
can be hard to find the connection between different fragments of the 
music; the whole is much bigger than the sum of its parts.  The 
listener has to let go and have the musicians choose the road.

Saito:  Road to where?  What comes in the end?

Ayukawa:  I don't know; what comes in the end of every piece of art? 
End credits?  A paycheck?  Realization that all this was just a waste 
of time?  The understanding of the meaning of life?  [Shrugs.]  If 
there was a simple point to art, it would have been much easier just to 
say, or write, this point and get done with it.

Kasuga:  How do they pick up the main theme?

Ayukawa:  Well, there's a lot of them written.  They can pick more or 
less anything.  The funny thing is that the final result doesn't even 
depend much on the theme; it more depends on how good the musicians 
are, and how well they work with each other.  If they're good, both as 
individual players and a group, you might get something interesting. 
But it's not where you begin - it's where you get and how you get there 
that's important.  So, if you know jazz, you know mostly performers, 
rather than composers.  I've started playing saxophone myself when I 
heard Ben Webster.

Yuko:  Webster?  Ahh... umm... all those foreign names are hard to 
remember - but wasn't he an American politician?

Yoko:  You dummy, he wrote a dictionary!

Ayukawa:  [Smiles.]  No, no, that's a different Webster.  Ben Webster 
played baritone saxophone, and when I heard him, that was it.  I heard 
"Gone With the Wind", and "All the Things You Are", and "My One And 
Only Love", and I knew I had to do it.  So - that's when I started to 
play jazz; that was the beginning for me.

Hayashibara:  But aren't your parents musicians?  They taught you music 
before, right?

Ayukawa:  [Nods.]  Yeah.  But, you know, that was classical music, and 
it feels a bit too... inflexible and limited to me.  Don't get me 
wrong, I love listening to it; but not playing.  So, I think I'm very 
lucky I heard that recording.  If not for it, I'm not sure I'd be 
playing now.  Maybe that's because my parents were away and couldn't 
force me to play.

Kimura:  [Thoughtfully.]  Lucky you.

Ayukawa:  [Slowly.]  Lucky?  Well, I don't think so.  Yes, I know, 
parents can be... misguided, but there's also love and affection they 
give you.  It's... hard when you don't know how to express your 
feelings.  People need to be emotional and creative, as much as they 
need love and inspiration.  Maybe that's why I'm playing jazz.  Maybe 
that's how it all begun.  Ah - listen!

[After a coda, the saxophone ends the melody, and the piano starts its 

Kimura:  [Shakes her head.]  I still think you're lucky, Madoka-san. 
It's kind of hard to explain what I mean.  Where should I begin?  Well, 
at first, what you're saying about parents - I agree, of course, it's 
nice to have someone to love you - but, you know, they can be too... 
inflexible and controlling.  Like, people keep telling me that they 
just want the best for me - but sometimes it feels like... too much of 
it, you know?  I don't even know why are they doing it.

Hayashibara:  [Almost to himself.]  Maybe they just don't know what's 
best for you?

Kimura:  Maybe.  But, you know, because of this it's very hard to be 
open with them.  It just feels like they don't understand me, or maybe 
I don't understand them.  But I agree with Madoka-san, everyone needs 
some human contact - somebody to be open with.  [Smiles.]  I, for one, 
am looking forward to finding someone special!  I think it would be so 
wonderful to have a person who just takes me for who I am!

Ayukawa:  [Glances at Kasuga and smiles.]  You're right, Keiko-san.  It 
*is* wonderful.  [Kasuga smiles back at Ayukawa.]

Kimura:  Maybe he'll also like me for what I'm doing, too - you know, 
my parents don't really understand what I do, and I can't explain it to 
them.  So it would be wonderful if this "special someone" would 
appreciate my creativity - because, you know, it's just so neat - to 
sit and make something from nothing!

Kasuga:  From nothing?  I don't know if you can make something from 
nothing; you have to start with something.

Kimura:  Well, yeah; in what I'm doing you never start from just 
nothing.  At first, you know what you're working on; like the main 
theme of your research.  For example, I'm working on Tanyiama 
conjecture, and we're trying to prove it.  The conjecture has been 
known for more than thirty years, it's a classic, and many people tried 
to prove it.  Nobody has succeeded, but there's a lot of really neat 
ideas, and the real proof should be somewhere close.  You just need to 
connect those ideas, the ones that were suggested by the people before 
you, and you need maybe one creative spark, and then you will see the 
connection.  You should work carefully, because sometimes it can be 
hard to find this connection between different ideas, but that's what 
makes math so much fun!

Oda:  Math - fun?  I don't really like math that much.

Kimura:  Oh, but if you take some advanced stuff, you might like it! I 
love it - I'm working on something that's really cool and neat, and I 
feel like I'm building on top of what was done before me.  The great 
thing is that I can build like that forever - there is no end, I can 
invent more and more wonderful things!  Listen, isn't it great?

Yuko:  I still don't see how you can be creative in science.

Yoko:  Well, I dunno.  My... friend tells me that sciences can be 
creative too.

[The trombone picks up the piano's line.]

Saito:  To begin with, your friend is absolutely right!  I keep telling 
the same thing to a friend of mine!  You know, if you're writing a 
program, it feels really good - like you are creating something!  They 
say when a writer works on a novel, or, say, a poet writes a poem, they 
experience this joy of creating something.  I feel the same when I 
write a program.  There was nothing before - well, almost nothing, just 
an idea.  Let's say, I know what kind of a program I want to write - 
and then I sit down, and start working on it.  And I open a new file, 
and at first all I see is the blank screen.  And, you know, it's the 
most awesome feeling - because it's not just a blank screen - it's a 
space where soon will be lines upon lines upon lines of code.

Ayukawa:  I think the most awesome sight is the blank music paper. When 
there's music written upon it, it can be great music - but nothing 
beats the blank page - because *any* music can be written there.

Saito:  [Nods.]  Yeah, that's what I mean.  You start with just two 
things: you know what kind of program you want to write, this is the 
main idea.  Then you also have the computer for which you're writing - 
the blank page.  And then you can start building, based on the main 
idea you have, and you can build just about anything you want.  The 
important thing, of course, is not to rush, and think carefully about  
what you are doing.

Oda:  Are you still talking about computers?  This certainly applies to 
journalism as well.  And, you know, to writing in general.

Saito:  Well, you know, my mom is a writer.  She also wanted me to 
become one, and spent a lot of effort trying to teach me the skill of 
writing.  I guess, she just wanted me to be - how shall I put it? - an 
even better writer than she is, you know, a kind of improved version of 
her.  I don't really think she succeeded, although I knew she wanted 
that a lot.  But she did one wonderful thing - made my dad give me a 
laptop, when I just entered high school.  So my dad gave me the one and 
only computer lesson I ever got.  He told me how to turn the thing on 
and where the manual was.  That was it - this was the main thing he 
taught me, and everything else I know about computers I taught myself.

Kasuga:  What about writing?

Saito:  [Shrugs.]  Well, some people still tell me that I write pretty 
well, you know, when I just sit down and carefully write down what I 
want.  When I'm speaking, it's different, there's a lot of things I 
want to say, and I think them up much faster than I can say them, so 
when I speak, it comes out kind of jumbled, you know?  [Everyone nods.] 
See, you understand me, and that's what counts.  In any case, I love 
doing it.

Hayashibara:  When... did you realize you do?

Saito:  I do what?  Love doing computer stuff?  [Hayashibara nods.] 
Umm... when did it begin?  Hmm... maybe, it was when I was a kid and 
got a construction set for my birthday.  I thought it was the neatest 
thing ever, and played with it, like, a lot.  No, more like all the 
time.  I became better and better, and one thing started to really 
annoy me.  Just when I would need another, say, wheel, I would realize 
I already used up all of them.  So, when I started to learn computer 
stuff, I saw that it's the same - but you never run out of parts.  The 
loop statement is not like the wheel - if you need another one, you 
always have another one to use.  You never run out.

Keiko:  Yeah, I understand.  It's very similar in math - you can always 
use another function, another variable, if you need them.  You never 
run out.

Oda:  Same in writing.  You never run out of words.

Ayukawa:  In music you never run out of notes, either.

Saito:  Yeah, I guess that's true.  And each statement is very simple, 
but they can add to really anything, the whole which is much greater 
than just the sum of its parts.  I also still think it's the neatest 
thing ever.  Listen, it's just... right for me.

[Trombone echoes of, and the trumpet picks up the melody.]

Oda:  This just proves that all people are different.  I can't even 
*imagine* myself doing something like this.  To begin with, I think 
it's boring, removing yourself from reality.  You're forcing this toy 
to do whatever you want, but this doesn't apply for anything else.  It 
feels too... inflexible and limiting to me, you know.  For example, how 
many words are in, whatchamacallit, that you are using?

Saito:  You mean, computer language?

Oda:  Yeah.  Let me guess, twenty or so, right?  [Saito nods.]  See? 
There are hundreds of thousands of words in every human language, and 
they can convey every details and nuances of anything you can think of. 
You can describe feeling and emotions of human beings, and isn't that 
what is so important?

Ayukawa:  [Shrugs.]  In music there's only seven notes - well, flats 
and sharps, too.

Oda:  But music's different.  I wouldn't call what music does 
"describing", because it's never precise.  You can have marvelous 
musical pieces, and the person who listens to them can feel joy, anger, 
elation.  But play the same piece of music to another person, and that 
second listener will feel something different!  In this way, the music 
is just like a mirror - what you hear in it just reflects who you are. 
It will never tell you *why* is that so.  Where do you come from? Where 
did it all began?  Each person is so very different from anyone else, 
more different than a violin is different from a drum.  But why is it 
so?  And is there a common core, something that all people have in 
common?  And why is it that we are what we are?

Kasuga:  Can writing let you know that?

Oda:  [Uncertainly.]  I... don't know.  I'm... trying to find out. 
Maybe that's why I'm in journalism - you go and interview someone, for 
example,  [Glancing at Hayashibara.]  a famous baseball player. You ask 
questions, and questions cause other ones.  You can play off the 
answers, or ask contrasting questions.  Sometimes, you can develop new 
themes; sometimes, you take an aside and elaborate on it; there're no 
limits to what can be done.  You just have to be free and creative. So, 
in the end, you might learn at least something, if not the meaning of 
life.  By the way, I read your answers to Kasuga-kun's interview, 
Hayashibara-san, and I feel I know more about you now.

Hayashibara:  [Seriously.]  Do you know why I am what I am?

Oda:  [Shakes her head.]  It takes more effort than that.  I'm not even 
sure I know why *I* am what I am.  I mean, it certainly seems that I am 
the most qualified person to find out what makes me behave the way I do 
- but I find it much harder than discovering it about other people.

Kimura:  Well, that's because of Bohr's complementarity law.  You know, 
it's the same thing as Heisenberg's uncertainty - the observer is part 
of the process, and distorts the observation.

[Everyone rolls their eyes.]

Oda:  Um, yeah.  Maybe.  I know why I write - that's for sure.  When I 
was in the hospital after my operation, you know, shortly after I met 
Ayukawa-san and Kasuga-kun, I was not sure if I would survive at all; 
the chances were fifty-fifty.  And then I just realized that it would 
be horrible if I died.

Yoko:  No kidding.

Oda:  Yeah, well, let me explain what I mean.  On one side, it is a 
very selfish thing - I realized I never been to another country, never 
went scuba diving,  [Pauses for a second.]  never had a real boyfriend. 
So I decided then and there, if I survive I will start trying all the 
new things - to make sure I will miss as little as I can.  Life's too 
short to go through living with regrets of what might have been.

Yuko:  No kidding.

Oda:  In any case, as I was saying, there was another regret.  If I 
were to die, there would be nothing left behind me, for other people to 
remember me by.  So I started writing.  It's very easy - you start with 
a blank page, and a sharp pencil, and you put those marks on the paper 
- and then it starts to live by itself, without you.  Listen, isn't 
this awesome?

[Trumpet ends on the high note.]


[Cut to a dangerous-looking alley.  Stacked garbage cans, broken 
windows.  Two girls in WWWA uniforms, a redhead and a brunette, are 
cautiously walking down the alley.  Then, suddenly, a dozen of heavily-
armed assassins are upon them.]

Kei:  Yuri, we're in trouble!

Yuri:  I see THAT!

[Yuri removes a flat credit-card sized object from her pocket and hurls 
it at the mob; she and Kei duck as the Bloody Card flies around.]

Voice Over:  Have you ever used your card with a built-in 
microprocessor to behead a horde of attackers?

[Kei and Yuri jump up and see that most attackers are dead - but more 
are coming at them.]

Yuri:  We gotta get OUTTA here!

Kei:  Just a sec!  [She plugs a pocket transmitter into an outlet at 
the base of her skull and concentrates.]

VO:  Have you ever screamed in panic through your neural interface?

[Kei and Yuri try to stop the attackers, but are almost overwhelmed - 
when they hear a whooshing sound, and see a helicopter hovering above. 
They climb up the rope ladder and see Mughi at the console.]

VO:  Have you ever genetically engineered your pet so he can perform 
simple tasks, like piloting helicopters?

[The helicopter soars above, carrying Kei and Yuri away from the 
dangerous place.]

VO:  You WILL!  And the company that will bring it to you - AT&T.

[Writer's note: standard disclaimer.]


[Clarinet picks up the melody in a rapid passage.]

Sakurai:  This *does* sound kinda like fun, but, to begin with, isn't 
it boring?  You sit, and you sit, and you *sit*, writing different 
stuff, but, come on, how much *different* kinds of stuff can you write? 
You can write only what you know, or what you're interested about, and 

Oda:  Well, I learn new things all the time; I can write about them, 

Sakurai:  Yes; but I don't think what you're interested in - why human 
beings are what they are? - is that hard to find out.  If your father 
tells you fairy tales when you're a kid, then you will like writing 
when you grow up.  If a construction set was your favorite toy, you 
will become some sort of an engineer.  I like jigsaw puzzles when I was 
little, so I'm doing math - but applied math, which can be used in 
business, and not that kind of theoretical, impossible to understand 
stuff that Keiko-san is working on.  I think it's boring, too.

Kimura:  It's not!

Sakurai:  Wait, wait, all I'm saying is that it's boring *for me*. 
Different people like different stuff, of course; and it's funny how 
there're people who like to do science, people who are in arts, people 
who make cars, you know, cooks, and so on.  I think it's interesting to 
see the way the society works, with the whole being greater than the 
sum of the parts.  [Coughs.]  Anyway, as I was saying, kids are very 
easy to impress, so everything that happens to them shapes their 

Ayukawa:  Only kids?  I believe that important events can change us 
even when we're adults.  [Kasuga nods.]

Sakurai:  Oh, that's certainly true.  I actually agree with Oda-san 
here.  Human beings love experiencing new things, and it would be a 
shame to let those experiences go by.  Look at me, for example.  I 
spent a year in Great Britain, and I had marvelous time.  *That* 
changed me at least as much as anything that happened to me when I was 
a kid.  It's a different culture; things I haven't seen before, even 
haven't thought they were possible.

Kasuga:  Like?

Sakurai:  Oh, all sorts of stuff.  Culture, people, you know.  All of 
this is really different from what we have in Japan.  Do you know, for 
example, that British girls like go to the beach topless?

Kasuga:  Really?!  [Ayukawa glares at him.]  Urk.

Kimura:  [Blushing.]  Wow!  Really?

Sakurai:  [To himself.]  It's good her mom isn't here.  [Aloud.] Yeah, 
they do.  [Pause.]  I met quite a few girls there.  Oh, no, nothing 
serious.  You know, come and go.  I've visited quite a few places in 
Great Britain - London, York, Dublin, so on, so I could never stay for 
long in one place; at least, not for long enough to have a real 
relationship.  It's good, from one point of view; as I said, it's lots 
of fun to meet a lot of different people, and to have many new 
experiences.  On the other hand, I had a lot of acquaintances there; 
but no friends.  It takes some time to make friends, and I didn't have 
that time.

Oda:  [Raises her eyebrows.]  Speaking of understanding why people are 
they way they are - you must be a girl-chaser.

Sakurai:  I didn't say that!  In any case, I enjoyed experiencing the 
Western culture very much.  One weird thing is to find common ground; 
something that is the same in Western and Japanese culture.  For 
example, medieval lords in Britain weren't that much different from 
Japanese shoguns; people there like to drink tea as much as we do; and 
we listen to the same music.  After all, we're all here listening to 
jazz, which is really not a Japanese thing.  Still, we like it.  I met 
a lot of people over there who like to watch anime; and people here 
watch American movies.

Hayashibara:  Too much, perhaps.  Japanese culture is losing the 

Sakurai:  [Shrugs.]  I wouldn't call it the battle; and not losing. Our 
country's culture has both weaknesses and strengths; when another 
culture interferes, it can feel like a threat to our national identity. 
But we must change and make an effort to understand - not comply with, 
you see, just understand - the rest of the world; and maybe we can turn 
it to our advantage, and learn from it.  Our culture works wonders to 
preserve the traditional Japanese arts, which center on collective - 
just go and watch Kabuki any time - but, you see, there're other, more 
individual, kinds of art.

Ayukawa:  Like jazz.

Sakurai:  Yeah, I guess that too.  Maybe that's why so many musicians 
and painters and such are traveling to study abroad.  But by doing so, 
they bring Japanese culture with them.  You see, it's both cooperation 
and competition; one culture penetrates the other, and makes it richer 
and more varied; builds on top of it, so to speak.  And, listen, this 
is good for everyone.

[The vibes player begins the melody with two mallets simultaneously.]

Yoko:  This is an interesting thing you said about competition and 
cooperation.  Something that feels like one can, actually, be another. 
For example, if a yard bully tries to steal your toy when you're five 
years old, and you *hit* him, right in the face, and he starts crying, 
and you suddenly see him reduced from a towering monster to an insecure 
six-year-old, and you feel *good* about yourself after this - well, 
then you won't really be ever afraid anymore.  So the bully, who wanted  
to attack you really *helped* you.  And you should be really grateful  
to him; after all, he didn't mean to, but he taught you something: hit  
back when you are hit, and you will never be attacked again.

Saito:  [Mostly to himself.]  That's a good start - beating up six-
year-olds.  And she wants to be a teacher.

Yoko:  [Glares at Saito.]  Yes, I do!  People warmly remember their 
parents, grade school teachers, and such, but the people who you don't 
know much - strangers, who you meet just for a short time - and even 
people who you *hate*, even they teach you a lot.  What I'm saying, is 
that every day, all the time, you learn new stuff - not because it's 
being lectured to you, but just because it's there to learn.  I'm 
majoring in education, and I think the best way to teach something is 
to tell students to think for themselves.  Tell them to keep their eyes 

Ayukawa:  Their ears, too.

Yuko:  [Nods.]  Yeah.  You know, Oda-san, I find it strange that you 
want to try lots of new things, and yet you do something as limiting as 

Oda:  Writing is NOT limiting!

Yuko:  But it's the same all the time!  Putting words on the paper, all 
the time - maybe something you can express better if you paint it? Or 
compose a music piece?  Or a play?  Take me, for one.  I'm doing 
liberal arts - I can do whatever I want, express myself in any way. 
It's much less limiting.  You use your knowledge of one area in the 
other - for example, you write a poem as if it was a painting.  Or you 
do a painting, where different objects are interacting like characters 
in a play.  Or you do a play, where the people interact like musical 
themes.  You have all this knowledge, and you build up on it - 
something that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Oda:  [Shrugs.]  You will end up knowing almost nothing about a whole 
lot of stuff.

Yuko:  Still better than knowing a whole lot of stuff about almost 

Yoko:  Actually, there is one area where you have to know a lot of 
different things.  It's teaching, especially grade-school.  That's why 
it's so interesting.  The kids don't know much, and because of this 
they can ask the most interesting questions.  They're discovering the 
connections between the things that surround them - for example, the 
fire is nice to look at, but it can destroy things, and it hurts a lot 
if you try to touch it.  Then the kids grow up, and start to think they 
know all there's to it, and stop making those connections, and that's 
wrong, because there's much more to it, and more connections between 
things.  It's just that people don't see them.

Yuko:  Wait, I don't understand what you're saying.  You said that 
people need to discover those things for themselves - and yet you're 
trying to teach them?  People should be self-reliant.

Yoko:  Well, you can be that, and you lose.

Yuko:  Lose what?

Yoko:  [Smirks.]  I would say, the right question is "Lose WHOM?"

Yuko:  Oh.

Kimura:  Listen, I have no idea what you two are talking about.

Yoko:  [Hesitating.]  Well, this is whole dreary business about 
Nakamura Sho.  He was my boyfriend -

Yuko:  No way, he was *my* boyfriend -

Yoko and Yuko:  Well, *our* boyfriend -

Yoko:  ...when we were in high school.  I guess, we were really 
immature then, but we both dated him, pretending to be each other, and 
we thought it was a lot of fun, you know, cooperating in something like 
this.  Then he found out, and we got into really hot water.

Yuko:  [Nods.]  Yeah.  Cooperation turned into competition - you know, 
there's two of us, we used to be best buddies, and here we are, 
fighting for a man.  This sounds ridiculous, I know.

Kasuga:  [Seriously.]  No, it doesn't.

Hayashibara:  So, what happened in the end?

Yoko:  [Shrugs.]  He dropped both of us.

Yuko:  He though we were being mean and copping out of having any sort 
of commitment.  [Sighs.]  So that's how it ended.  Tough?

[Bass player takes on the next variation.]

Hayashibara:  Tough.  He who chases two rabbits will catch none.  But I 
think you're taking this "self-reliant" thing too far.  You're proud 
and independent, and you'll end up having many acquaintances and no 
friends.  The thing is that one person can rarely accomplish anything. 
Like, for example, in baseball, you need to have the pitcher, the 
catcher, and the guys in the field.  Each of them is very good just at 
one specific task, but when they are all out there, they cooperate, and 
the result is certainly more than just the sum of the parts.

Ayukawa:  [Quietly.]  How about the batter?  He is alone, with the 
whole world against him.

Hayashibara:  [Pauses for a second.]  Yes, this is true.  But the game 
won't be any fun to watch otherwise, would it?  There has to be some 
competition.  The thing is that each player doesn't have much possible 
moves; but when you have many players, there is an infinite numbers of 
possibilities, and an infinite number of games.

Oda:  All of them boring.  I still don't understand what you people see 
in baseball.  It's so... uncreative.

Hayashibara:  [Pauses again.]  I wouldn't agree with that.  All of you, 
of course, create something, be it programs, or mathematical ideas, or 
whatever.  I, on the other hand, do one and the same thing; but I don't 
see any difference between sports and music - [Glances at Ayukawa.] 
we're just getting better and better at it all time, if we practice, of 
course.  No, this is not a problem.  [He's silent for a moment.]

Kimura:  *Is* there a problem?

Hayashibara:  Well... I don't know.  Let me see, I play baseball for a 
while, maybe even become really good at it - but then I'll be supposed 
to retire from pro baseball, and become some kind of an executive in my 
dad's company.  I'm not sure I want to do that for my whole life, until 
I die.  My father wants it, but I'm not sure he's right.  Of course, 
parents give love and affection, but they also can be... tyrannical, 
you know.  It's been... hard to communicate with him.

Kasuga:  How about your mom?

Hayashibara:  [Quietly.]  My mother died sixteen years ago, when I was 
four.  [Silence.  Kasuga looks at Hayashibara with his eyes wide open. 
Ayukawa glances at Hayashibara and then looks at Kasuga.  Hayashibara 
shakes his head.]  It's ok; I don't really remember her.  Coming back 
to baseball - I used to really like it, a lot.  Now it's... different.  
I know a lot of stuff, and it's no fun to practice anymore.  I don't 
feel... free and creative; the spark is gone, and I don't know how to 
get it again.  If only I could play it again, with no pressure on my 
back, just when I did when I was twelve... then, maybe....  [Sighs.]  
I'm not sure what else can I say.  It's hard to express myself.

[The drummer, who was mostly providing background, starts his solo.]

Kasuga:  Um, that's a good question, and I also want to know the 
answer, if anybody has it.  Where do you get the spark?  You know, this 
inspiration, the seed, something that you begin from?  It doesn't have 
to be something that important, and the final result might not depend 
much on what you started with; it might more depend on how good you 
are.  I agree it's not where you begin - it's where you end up, and how 
you get there, that's important.  But, in any case, you have to start 
from something.

Saito:  Are you talking about writing?

Kasuga:  Mostly, yes.  It's easy when I'm doing an interview; I just 
need to drop by Doko-sempai's office, and he always has a list of 
questions for me to ask.  Then, of course, I start with those, and then 
veer off, you know, improvise.  But I don't know where to start when 
I'm writing!  I understand why you, Oda-san, are writing; as for me, I 
signed for my major just because I thought it'd be fun.  You know, 
everyone has lots of stuff they can write about, and I like reading, so 
I thought... well, you know.  Now I see that I have to start somewhere, 
and I don't know where.

Oda:  Joining a newspaper was a good start.

Kasuga:  But I don't do anything creative there!  I get an assignment; 
I ask questions that somebody else wrote for me, and maybe ask some of 
my own.  Then the interview gets published, and - so what?  Nothing. I 
enjoy the interview itself, but it doesn't *get* me anywhere.  And I 
don't learn anything.  There's no feeling, you know, of one experience 
building up on the previous one.  Well, I thought, maybe I'm just doing 
the wrong thing, maybe I should really write something of my own, 
something simple at first.  I like to read science fiction, and 
mysteries - you know, spy novels - so I thought I can write something 
like this.

Kimura:  Maybe you should write a romance novel!  Will you show me what 
you've written when you're done?

Kasuga:  [Shakes his head.]  I'm not sure anything will be written.  I 
don't know where to *start*, so I don't know what to do.  And even if I 
did, so what?  I have this feeling, I don't know how to explain it, 
that the beginning is the easy part.  Yes, it's important, and yes, it 
will influence everything that will come after it - but I suspect that 
it's relatively simple.  For that, you only need this magical moment - 
something unusual which intrudes on the ordinary, like when you're 
walking along and there you see it, hovering like a UFO above your 
head.  Then the only thing you have to do is leap and catch it, and 
that's easy - if you only jump, it will fall into your hand like it 
always was *supposed* to!

Hayashibara:  [Smiles.]  A home run.

Kasuga:  [With intensity.]  But what if I do?  It's only a beginning, 
the first step, on the very bottom of a VERY long staircase, and it's 
the journey that matters.  No matter what it is - it can be something 
you do for life; it can be writing a work of fiction or composing a 
piece of music, from that very first word or note; it can be someone 
you just met.  It's relatively easy to make an acquaintance; but it's 
much harder to make a friend.  It's easy to sign for a major, but what 
do I do next?  As you are ascending that winding staircase, it gets 
harder and harder; each steps builds on the ones you made before.  At 
every step you have to consider every other step that you already made, 
and maybe the ones you're *going* to make in the future.  Listen, I 
don't even know how many steps are there in a staircase - or what is at 
the end.

[The drummer ends with a smash, and now all the instruments are joining 
again for the conclusion.]

Ayukawa:  [Quietly.]  You just make memories one by one, Kasuga-kun. 
Note by note.  Page by page.  Step by step.  It doesn't really matter 
where you end up; or, at least, it doesn't matter much.  What is 
important is the journey, what you do on that journey, who you meet, 
and all that jazz.

Saito:  The journey is important, of course - but then so is the 
destination; at least as important as the beginning.  You will get 
nowhere if you don't know where you are going.

Sakurai:  As a certain cat once said, if you go without turning away, 
you will definitely get somewhere.  Not turning away does it.

Hayashibara:  But what if I don't want to get where I'm going?  What if 
what waits for me in the end is not the understanding of the meaning of 
life, not the roar and applause of an appreciative crowd, not even a 
paycheck - but a withered grim old hag with a razor-sharp scythe?  The 
statue of Il Comendatore, who came for the foolhardy Don Juan?

Oda:  [Shakes her head.]  Dying is much less scary than being 
forgotten.  You leave something behind yourself.  Like...

Yuko:  Like art.  Create something truly inspired, which will survive 
you, or...

Yoko:  Or teach somebody else something that you know, for example...

Kasuga:  For example, your kids.  Maybe that's why parents want their 
kids to succeed in life?  Maybe it's the way humans want to become  
immortal: by having children that are just like them, only better, 

Ayukawa:  And then there will be no end.  The end is as important as 
the beginning because the end *is* the beginning.  You ascend the 
staircase, only to find yourself on step one.

Kimura:  [Dreamily.]  ...Or you fall in love.

[Pause.  Everyone is suddenly silent and looks at Kimura.  She smiles 
and blushes.]

Kimura:  Well, that's what I read in novels.  They say when you're in 
love, you feel invincible and immortal.  Listen, isn't this awesome?

[There's a final chord on the piano, and the music stops.  Silence.]

Ayukawa:  [Stands up and stretches.]  Well, it's time for me to go.  
I'm next.

Kasuga:  What are you playing?

Ayukawa:  It's one of the songs Ben Webster used to play.  "My One And 
Only Love".

[She waves and leaves towards the cast entrance, taking the saxophone 
case with her.  In a minute she appears on the stage, with her 
instrument.  There's a moment of silence, and then she begins her 

Kasuga narration:  The music surrounded me, with the shimmering wave of 
melody hitting me like the surf, with each single note sparkling like a 
star in the darkness.  I forgot where I was, and felt again as a kid, 
with the whole world new and open in front of me; just like I felt, 
long time ago, when I first heard her voice, and stood there, entranced 
and dazzled, clutching in my hand a red straw hat.


New Character Designer                  Stephen Tsai
Writer                                  Vladimir Zelevinsky
Pre-readers                             Stephen Tsai
                                        Robert Carragher
                                        Herbert Fung
Very special thanks to                  Hitoshi Doi

A tip of the hat and a deep bow to      Matsumoto Izumi
for starting the whole thing

If I left anyone off, my apologies.  Any mistakes/embarrassing faux pas 
are entirely my own.  If there is anything here you must flame, mail 
them to

Thank you for taking the time to read this episode of my series.  If 
you are interested, previous episodes should be available at 
site.  I've got the next episode in the works.

Hope you enjoyed it and thanks again!

Kimagure Productions|Nephrite:  [Exasperated.]  Yes, it's a dark evil mark!
    --present--     |
 Orange College #31 |Man:  [Shocked.]  Ahh...  I just wanted to know
  Sailor Ranma #19  |where the bathroom was.
   *Coming Soon*    |
Stephen Tsai        |Nephrite:  ...    |Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Ranma #18

  Zur Kimagure Orange College-Übersicht  
Home | Cat's Eye | Kimagure | Con-Bilder | Computer | NiNuM | TSP | Kontakt