From: email@example.com (Stephen Tsai) Kimagure Orange College [Writer's foreword: This is the fortieth 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 ftp://ftp.cs.ubc.ca/pub/archive/anime-fan-works/KOR/Kimagure-Orange-College/ 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 mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.] Episode 40 - Vice Versa [Cut to Akane's apartment. Akane is sitting on the chair in the living room as she listens to the telephone with an annoyed expression on her face.] Asako: [From the telephone.] ...and make sure your brother does all his homework. He shouldn't be peeking into people's minds to cheat, and if he doesn't study, he won't be prepared for his written tests. Akane: [Bored expression.] Right, mom. Yes, all his homework. [Pause.] Ja ne*. [Grumbles after hanging up the phone.] Well, that's just lousy.... There's no way I'll be able to make the boat trip with Madoka-chan now. [Looks at a family portrait on her desk.] You'd better not cause me any grief this time... *So long [Cut to the Kouryou Park playgrounds the next day. The lush greenery of the park contrasts with the nearby high-rise buildings of the commercial district. The park has most of the basic playground equipment and a small recreational baseball field. With summer vacation coming to an end, several elementary school students are playing and socializing. It is nearing lunchtime as Kazuya watches a set of bigger boys playing on the baseball diamond. To his left is a short-haired brunette girl wearing overalls.] Kazuya: Hrumph...those junior high guys think they can have all the fun.... They should let us play too, Maiko-chan. [Grins.] Maybe I can do something about this.... Asagiri Maiko: [Quietly.] Don't do it, Kazuya-kun.... They won't like it at all.... Kazuya: Oh, come on, you've never been the one to back away from a prank. Asagiri: [Unsure.] Well, I don't like the idea of picking on people big enough to beat us up. Besides, you don't even know them; they may be nice guys. Kazuya: Oh, I'll give them a chance first. [Asagiri shakes her head as she watches Kazuya head towards the dugout. The team is mostly composed of Junior-High students, around 13-14 years old. Most of them are noticeably larger than Kazuya, but he shows no sign of intimidation. As he gets near, he enters one of the dugouts.] Student1: [Annoyed.] What do you want? Kazuya: I want to play baseball too. Student2: Get lost, kid. We don't play with babies! Kazuya: [Indignantly.] Babies, huh? [Looks around, and sees the maintenance building. To himself as he steps away from the playing area.] I'll show them...! [Enters the small building, and looks around. He sees several tools including rakes, a chalk-line layer, and lawnmower. Against the wall is an electronic box marked "Sprinkler system timer". Kazuya smiles as he reaches for the timer switch.] [Cut to the Mason financial corporation. The offices of the financial company are alive with mid-morning activity. Hundreds of desks are lined with computer monitors, watching the Nikkei Stock Exchange's every move. In the midst of all this, Ikemoto is reading off a computer monitor while making notes on a set of printed reports. One of the many office ladies comes up to her and drops a printed memo into her "In" basket. Ikemoto picks up the memo and starts to look it over.] Ikemoto: [To the office lady.] Just a minute. OL1: [Nervously.] Ah, yes? Ikemoto: [Marks some numbers on the memo.] Some of your figures are inaccurate. The company's profile makes it clear that these percentages were changed early this year. Please fix it. OL1: [Annoyed.] Well, those percentages don't affect the purchase recommendation. [To herself.] Besides, it was your profile that provided those numbers... Ikemoto: Our client will be looking over this memo this afternoon. Even little mistakes like this detract from our company's image. [Hands the memo back.] OL1: [Takes the memo reluctantly.] Right... [Heads back to her desk.] OL2: [Discretely to OL1.] Did she do it to you again? OL1: [Grumbling.] It was her stupid profile that's wrong! Why should I have to correct her mistakes? Just because Kacho* thinks she's so smart doesn't make it so! *Section Chief [As the office ladies talk, another associate comes to Ikemoto's desk.] Associate1: Did you want to see me, Shunin*? *Chief Ikemoto: [Barely glancing up.] Your client lunch from last week was flagged for being higher than company mandated limits. Asssociate1: [Protests mildly.] But it was the client's favorite restaurant! It's not my fault that he likes expensive food. Ikemoto: I'm aware of that, and I'm not blaming you. But you still have to fill out an expense exception form. Please have Asano-san provide you a form and have it on my desk by this afternoon. Associate1: [Downcast, but nods.] Umm...right... [Leaves.] [Right at 12:00pm, an office bell chimes, reminding everyone that the lunch hour has arrived. At the same time, office workers begin to finish up their current work and get ready for lunch. Ikemoto finishes her report, closes down her computer, and locks her desk before she leaves. Catching an elevator down, she leaves the building and gets onto a bus that heads for a more residential part of town. As she sits down, a few nearby salarymen leer at her dress.] Man1: [Suggestively to Ikemoto.] Ohh...very nice. How about you have lunch with me and my associates? Ikemoto: [Coldly.] I'm having lunch by myself. Man1: [Defensively.] Oh, come now. We're honorable men! Ikemoto: [Contemptuously.] I wouldn't know. I've never met one. Man1: [Taken aback as his associates begin to scowl behind him.] Hah...?! [Offended.] Listen here, you! It's time we put you in your place! Ikemoto: [With authority.] If you pursue this, I'll report your offense to the nearest koban*. You can explain it to him. *Small neighborhood police office. [Man1 angrily tenses up, but stops as he notices other people around him taking notice. Swallowing his pride, he returns to his seat. The ride continues in silence as the bus nears the residential part of town.] [Cut to the Kouryou Park playgrounds. Kazuya is running fearfully for his life as a gang of dripping-wet junior-high school students is angrily chasing after him.] Student1: [Menacingly.] Yaro*...! Come back here! *<Netiquette violator> Student2: You're going to pay big for this! Kazuya: [Fearfully to himself as he runs.] Oh boy...they're really angry...! Maybe I overdid it this time...! [Looks around hurriedly.] Gotta find a place to hide. [Run towards the commercial district and sees the commuter bus heading to the stop.] The bus! [Runs towards the stop as the bus approaches.] [Cut to the bus. As the bus comes to a stop, Ikemoto gets up and heads to the door. The moment the door opens, Kazuya comes leaping into the bus without looking. Ikemoto's and Kazuya's heads collide with bone-jarring impact. Stunned, Kazuya tumbles backwards down the stairwell of the bus and onto the street and Ikemoto falls backwards onto the front passengers.] Bus Driver: [Confused.] Oi...weren't you going to get off? [Shakes his head when he gets no response. He looks at Kazuya sprawled onto the ground and sees several boys picking him up. Seeing this, he closes the door and pulls the bus back onto the streets.] Ikemoto: [Rubs her head painfully.] Ite-te-te-te...*! [Shakes head and looks around fearfully. When she sees everyone else on the bus looking curiously at her, she relaxes.] Whew...! Lost them. [Closes eyes and relaxes on the seat as the bus continues down the street.] *Ouch; expression of pain [Cut to the bus stop. The junior-high boys forcibly pick up Kazuya off the ground. He looks at them with a pained and confused expression.] Kazuya: [To himself.] Wh-what's going on? [Tenses up when he sees the six students around him.] Student1: [Pushes Kazuya against the wall.] Now you're going to pay, you little punk! Kazuya: [Recovers bearings.] Oh yeah? [With authority.] If you touch me, I'll report your offense to the nearest koban*. Students: [Amused.] Bwahaha...! [Advance menacingly.] Kazuya: [Deflates rapidly.] ...! [Cut to the city bus. The brief incident at the Park stop is forgotten as the bus pulls back to the commercial district. As the bus nears the next stop, Ikemoto gets up and heads for the exit door.] Passenger1: [To Ikemoto.] I beg your pardon, but you forgot your purse. Ikemoto: [Confused.] Purse? [Dismissing.] Oh, that can't be. I don't carry a purse. Purses are for girls. Passenger1: [Confused.] Umm...you were carrying it when you got on. Ikemoto: [Annoyed.] Didn't you hear what I said? Boys don't carry purses! Man2: [To Man1.] No wonder you struck out! She's weird or something like that! Ikemoto: [To Man1.] And you! Quit leering at me! [Chidingly after briefly scanning his thoughts.] Michiko-san would be ashamed to see you staring at guys like that! Man1: [Shocked.] H-how did you know my wife's name?! Ikemoto: [Smugly.] Oh, I know a lot more than you think. The hotels you go to without Michiko knowing, the bottle of booze you keep in your desk... Man1: [Stunned.] T-that's a lie! You can't possibly know anything about that...! Passenger1: [Looking at the ID inside the purse.] Umm...this is your purse after all. See? [Shows ID to Ikemoto.] Ikemoto: [Looks dubiously at the picture, then scoffs.] Oh, right. Not only is she a woman, but she doesn't even look anything like me. [The bus comes to a stop and the exit door opens. Ikemoto moves to the front of the bus towards the exit and freezes as she catches a glimpse of herself in the bus' oversized rear-view mirror. Her face goes pale as she looks around with momentary panic.] Passenger1: [Offers the purse again.] Sorry for the confusion. I guess you must have hit your head when you fell down at the last stop. Ikemoto: [Fearfully to herself.] Oh crap...! I am so screwed...! [Cut to the Kouryou Park playgrounds. Kazuya is tied to the monkey bars, trying to squirm free.] Kazuya: [As he struggles.] What's going on?! Where am I? Who were those insolent little brats!? Asagiri: [Runs back onto the playgrounds and stops at the monkey bars.] I told you you'd push those bullies too far. But you wouldn't listen; I should just leave you there this time. Kazuya: Eh? Who are you? Asagiri: [Breaks out laughing.] Ahahaha...! You're so funny, Kazuya-kun...! Kazuya: Kazuya? Who's Kazuya? Asagiri: [Still amused.] Oh, come on, that "amnesia" line won't work twice on me. [Relents.] Oh, alright, I'll untie you. [Climbs to the top of the monkey bars and pulls the knot apart. As the ropes come loose, Kazuya goes tumbling to the ground.] Kazuya: Ite-te*... [Rubs head painfully.] Young lady, I appreciate the help, but I'm telling you I'm not who you think I am. *Ouch Asagiri: [Giggles again.] "Young lady?" That's a new one from you. Kazuya: [Firmly.] My name is Ikemoto Sachiko, and I really must be returning to my office. Asagiri: [Sympathetically.] Gee, that bump on the head must have been harder than I thought. [Checks Kazuya's head for bruises.] Kazuya: [Resistant.] I am *not* delirious! Asagiri: [Playfully.] Well, if you're going to be a girl now, you'll need some make up. [Pulls out a girl's compact and starts brushing Kazuya's cheek.] Kazuya: [Pulls away in disgust.] Will you stop that!? [Freezes up when he sees himself in the compact's mirror.] Ah...! Ahh...! Kyaa...! [Collapses to the ground in shock.] Asagiri: [Deadpan.] Oh, come on, you're not *that* ugly... [Cut to the commercial district. Ikemoto is walking on the sidewalk in a daze, looking through her purse. She manages to find a business card and reads off the address.] Ikemoto: "Mason Corporation". [Looks at the streets.] That's only a few blocks away. [Forces herself to calm down.] OK, so I must have hit Ikemoto-san's head when I tried to jump on the bus. I'll just find her and switch back. [Pause.] Oh shoot! How do I explain it?! She'll probably demand to know about the Power and stuff! [Thinks for a few minutes, then sighs.] I'm going to need Akane's help. [Eyes flash with an idea.] I'll use Ikemoto-san's office phone to call! [She runs two city blocks to the Mason Corporation, enters, and walks to the lobby receptionist.] Ikemoto: Could you please point me towards Ikemoto-san's desk? Receptionist: [Looking down at the computer personnel listing.] Which company are you with? Ikemoto: Ah...ahh...[Thinks.] Snow-Brand Milk Company. Receptionist: [Punches a few keys.] Foreign Investments Division, 32nd floor. The office manager there should be able to point her out. [Looks up and freezes.] Ikemoto: Thank you! [Heads to the elevators.] Receptionist: [To second receptionist.] Ah...wasn't that...? [Cut to Kouryou Park playgrounds. Kazuya is running back towards the commercial district with Asagiri running behind him.] Asagiri: Slow down! Where exactly are you running? Kazuya: [Mostly to himself.] This can't be, this can't be happening! [Comes to a sudden stop and shakes with disbelief and shock.] This...this must be some kind of horrible dream...! [Realization.] That's it...I'm dreaming! [To himself as he closes eyes forcefully.] All I have to do is wake up! [Asagiri reaches Kazuya and stares at him with confusion at first, then smirks as an idea hits her. She pinches Kazuya's nose shut, causing him to cough as he suddenly loses his breath.] Asagiri: [Amused as Kazuya gags.] You're supposed to be sitting when you meditate. Kazuya: [Upset.] Will you stop that?! I'm not who you think I am! I need to return to my office and find out how to change back to myself! Asagiri: Your office? And where's that? Kazuya: [Somewhat proudly.] I'm Section Chief for Foreign Investments for the Mason Corporation. Asagiri: [Blank stare.] .... Kazuya: [Exasperated.] We're a financial institution on the Nikkei Stock Exchange. I'm responsible for the purchase of large blocks of stocks and foreign currencies. If I don't return soon, a lot of investors are going to suffer. Asagiri: Oh, come on, Kazuya-kun...you're barely passing elementary math in summer school. What do you know about stocks? Kazuya: [Takes a breath and tries to be patient.] Look, I appreciate you untying me from those bullies. And I guess you're a friend of this "Kazuya" person. I don't know what's going on either so some confusion is to be expected. [Pauses to think things through.] I'm not Kazuya. My name is Ikemoto Sachiko. Somehow, I have been changed to look like your friend. I could surmise that it's possible that the same thing has happened to him. Therefore, it is prudent that the two of us find each other, and try to find a way to reverse this process if at all possible, for both our sakes. Do you understand? Asagiri: [Thinks for a moment, then smiles and shakes her head.] Not at all! Kazuya: [Face-faults.] ...! [Cut to the Mason Corporation. Ikemoto gets off the elevator and walks towards the office floor. The large room is lined up rows of desks with financial and office personnel doing various tasks. The environment momentarily awes Ikemoto.] Ikemoto: Wow...so this is what a grown-ups' classroom looks like. [Frowns with disappointment.] Doesn't look all that different from school. [Walks up to the nearest desk.] Excuse me, do you know who I am? Associate3: [Surprised.] Eh? Shunin*? *Chief [Ikemoto stares at him intently as she sifts through the clutter of his surface thoughts, then walks away.] Ikemoto: [Gaily.] Never mind, thanks! Associate3: [Stunned.] Wh-what was all that about...? Associate4: [Sotto voce to Associate3.] Told you she's weird.... Ikemoto: [To herself as she makes her way to one side of the room.] OK, so this is my desk, and I'm the boss of this group of folks. [Confidently.] Piece of cake! Associate1: [To Ikemoto as she reaches her desk.] Um...here is the expense exception report you asked for. Ikemoto: Eh? [To herself as she looks him over.] Oh, he wants me to authorize it. [Pulls out her hanko* and stamps the report.] Sure, no problem. [Hands it back to him then looks over the rest of her desk.] *Signature seal/stamp used on legal or formal documents Associate1: [Stunned to himself.] Eh...?! S-she's not even looking it over...? OL1: [Hands Ikemoto a memo.] Here is the corrected memo you asked for. You wanted to look it over before releasing it to the client. Ikemoto: I did? [Looks it over with confusion, then nonchalantly hands it back.] Oh, that's fine. Just give it to them like that. OL1: [Stunned.] ...! OL2: [To Ikemoto.] Shunin, I need a late-arrival approval for my dentist appointment tomorrow morning. Ikemoto: [Shocked.] Eh...dentist?! [Sympathetically.] You poor dear; you should take the next 2 days off. I know I never feel like going to school for a couple of days after going to the dentist. OL2: [Stunned.] ...! Ikemoto: Well, all this work is making me thirsty. Does anyone know if there is any soda around? [Long pause.] OL2: [Unsure.] Ah...well, there are the vending machines in the break room. Ikemoto: [Enthusiastically.] Really? I'll be back in a few minutes! [Hurriedly leaves.] OL1: [Hesitantly.] Maybe...she's having a nervous breakdown? [Cut to the street intersection between the residential and commercial districts of town. Kazuya is trying to get a koban officer's attention.] Kazuya: I'm telling you that I need the police! Something really weird happened to me! Koban Officer: [Disinterested.] Look, I'm very busy right now. I don't have time for games. Kazuya: [Upset.] Do you think I'm playing some kind of game? I'm an adult woman who's been turned into this little kid! Koban Officer: [Skeptically.] Uh-huh. And I'm really a magical princess who's here to fight for love and justice.... Kazuya: Don't patronize me! My taxes pay your salary! Koban Officer: [Sternly.] I've had about enough of your nonsense. [Firmly nudges Kazuya back onto the sidewalk.] Go find your parents and stop wasting my time. Kazuya: [Stares at the koban officer helplessly and then makes a decision.] Well, if they won't help me, I'll have to find this Kazuya myself. [Determination drains away.] But where could he be? Maybe I should head back to my apartment; maybe this Kazuya will find my address in my purse. [Runs to a bus stop, then stops and fishes through his pockets.] Oh shoot...! I don't have money anymore. The bus driver will get mad if I can't pay the fare. [Pulls out a phone card.] At least he's got a phone card. [He heads to a pay telephone and inserts the card into the slot. He waits impatiently as the phone rings.] Maybe Ayukawa-chan came back early from her boat trip. [After four rings, the answering machine picks up.] Che*...! I guess I'll just have to walk. I hope this Kazuya is in decent physical condition. *Mild expression of irritation [Cut to the Mason Corporation. The end of the business day has arrived and several workers are closing down business transactions and getting ready to return home. Ikemoto is searching through her purse and inventories the contents. She makes a note of an address on an ID card, and looks curiously at a set of keys with a remote attached.] Ikemoto: Hmm...this is a car alarm remote. Ikemoto-san must have a car in the building. [Ikemoto leaves the office and takes the elevator down to the garage area along with several other workers. Once there, she walks from car to car, pressing the remote control by each one. Finally, she is rewarded as a black Nissan sports car replies by chirping and flashing its lights.] Ikemoto: [Stunned and impressed.] W-wow...! What a cool looking car...! Ikemoto-san must be rich! [Climbs awkwardly into the front seat, buckles in, and starts the car. The starter whines and grinds from over-cranking, but eventually the motor purrs to life. Ikemoto takes a moment to press the accelerator while idle, which causes the motor to roar with power. Her satisfied expression slips some when she finally turns her attention to the radio.] Radio: ...and the Agriculture minister stated that he did not anticipate any problems with this year's rice crops. On stocks today, the Nikkei average rose on mild trad... Ikemoto: What kind of boring stuff is this? [Pushes the station-select button until loud rock music comes out, which causes her to smile with approval.] Much better...! What's the point of having a cool car like this if you listen to that dull stuff? [She then turns her attention to the 5-gear stick shift and reaches tentatively to the control knob.] OK...I've seen adults do this all the time. It can't be too hard... [The car lurches forward and is just barely saved from wall collision by the concrete parking bumper. Ikemoto shakes her head, then manages to shift to reverse, and abruptly drops the clutch. The car lurches again, this time backwards into the parking alley. She manages to stomp on the brake and clutch just in time to avoid colliding with another parked car behind her.] Ikemoto: [Embarrassed and a little shaken.] OK...this is a little harder than it looks. [Shifts to first, and drops the clutch a little more gently, and is rewarded as the car begins to go forward at a slightly more controlled pace.] Alright! [The car bursts from the parking garage, cutting off several lanes of oncoming traffic, and barely managing to avoid collisions.] Driver1: [Screeches to a halt and shakes fist angrily.] Bakayaro*! *<Netiquette violator> [The Nissan swerves between two lanes before pulling mostly-straight onto one street lane. On the next intersection, the light turns red, causing all traffic to stop. Ikemoto manages to apply the brakes a little overzealously, causing the car to screech to a halt.] Ikemoto: [To herself approvingly.] This isn't so bad! It's kind of fun--even better than the video game driving! [The intersection light turns green, which prompts the other cars to move ahead. Ikemoto tries to apply the accelerator, but drops the clutch too rapidly, causing the engine to cough and die after only a short lurch forward.] Uh oh.... [Tries to restart the engine with the ignition key.] Driver2: [Honks horn angrily behind Ikemoto.] Move that piece of crap! Ikemoto: H-how rude...! I'm doing the best I can! [Finally gets the engine restarted, and pulls out unevenly onto the streets.] OK, so stopping and starting is tough. [Looks ahead and sees an expressway entrance.] OK, I'll go on the freeway. No need to stop for a while. [Cuts across three lanes of traffic to the entrance ramp, causing several other cars to come to uncontrolled stops, along with honks, screeches, and angry language.] Now this is more like it! [Suddenly sees flashing lights and sirens of a police car behind her.] Oh crap...what did I do wrong this time? [Manages to coast to a stop onto the shoulder as the police car follows her in.] Officer1: [Firmly.] Excuse me, miss, but what exactly do you think you're doing? Ikemoto: [Sheepishly.] Um...driving too fast? Officer1: [Starts writing a citation.] You don't look drunk to me, but your driving is creating a hazard. [After writing down several citations, he hands her the ticket.] You're very lucky you haven't crashed already. Please drive more carefully in the future. Ikemoto: [Looking over the ticket.] "Reckless driving...speeding...failure to yield right of way...failure to signal lane change...." [Despairingly as she carelessly tosses the ticket into the back seat.] Gee, who would have thought there were so many rules to driving? And to think Akane-oneechan's* going to take that driving test soon.... Oh shoot! I forgot to call Akane-oneechan! [Looks around, then sees the car phone.] Oh wow...Ikemoto-san has phones everywhere. [Pulls the phone from the holder and dials.] *Big sister (Akane) [Cut to Akane's place. Akane has a grumpy look on her face, as she looks at the wall clock for the third time in the last hour.] Akane: That brat...! Where could he be!? He was supposed to call hours ago! [Hears a telephone ring. Goes to pick it up.] Moshi-moshi*? *Hello Ikemoto: [Excited.] Akane! Boy am I glad to hear from you! Akane: Who...? [Thinks back then remembers.] Ikemoto-san? Why are you calling? [To herself as she hears loud background noise.] Is that...rock music? Ikemoto: [Sheepishly.] I need directions on how to get home! You'll never believe what happened to me today! [COMMERCIAL BREAK.] [Cut to a fine restaurant. Natsume Kyusaku is eating dinner with Nuku-nuku and Ryuunosuke when the maitre d' comes over to their table.] Maitre d': Excuse me, Natsume-san. Might I have a word with you? [Meaningfully.] In private? [Kyusaku and the maitre d' go to one of the restaurant's front registers.] Maitre d': I'm sorry to be the one to have to inform you. But the credit card of Natsume-san, [Voice broadcasts over restaurant's public announcement system.] who lives at Mishima district... Kyusaku: [Sweats nervously as he looks around.] .... Maitre d': [Voice broadcast all throughout Tokyo.] ...husband to Akiko, father to Ryuunosuke and Atsuko... [Kyusaku looks around as people begin to pay unwanted attention.] Maitre d': Your credit card, Natsume-san, has been...[Menacingly.] declined...! Crowd: [Gasps.] ...! Voiceover: Discover Card sends you an e-mail to let you know when you're reaching your credit limit. Another reason to Discover. [Writer's note: Standard Disclaimer.] [END COMMERCIAL BREAK.] [Cut to Ikemoto's and Ayukawa's apartment building. The skies are dark with threatening thunder clouds. Akane gets off the bus outside the complex and runs across the parking lot and up the outdoor stairs. After checking the apartment number, she knocks on the door.] Ikemoto: Come in! [Akane braces herself, then opens the door. She freezes at the sight in front of her.] Akane: [Big sweats.] Do...ki*...! *Sound of heartbeat skipping Ikemoto: [With her mouth full of chocolate.] Oh, there you are. [Swallows, then offers a piece of half-eaten chocolate.] Do you want some? Akane: [Stunned shock, then tries to regain composure.] Tell me this is some kind of joke. Ikemoto: Not really, oneechan! [Pauses and looks guilty.] But I'm working on solving it! Akane: Sou ka*...[Blows up.] You switched minds with a non-ESPer?! Are you crazy?! *I see Ikemoto: [Defensively.] It was an accident! And besides, you do stuff like this to Kyosuke-oniichan* all the time! *Older brother Akane: [Harshly.] Making a fool out of Kyosuke is one thing! But this jeopardizes our family secret! [Forces herself to calm down.] OK...where did you leave your body? Ikemoto: Hmm...it was sometime mid-day. The first time I remember noticing, the bus was dropping me off in front of Ikemoto-san's office. Akane: OK, maybe we have some time to pull something off. [Sighs.] I just wish Madoka-chan or even that idiot Kyosuke were somewhere around. We could probably use their help on this one. [Looks at the clock.] They were supposed to be back from the fishing trip by now, but that storm outside may be holding them up. [To Ikemoto.] OK, how much time do you think you have before she finds you? Kazuya: [Angrily as he pounds on the outer door.] I KNOW YOU'RE IN THERE! Ikemoto: [Fearfully.] Ah...maybe a few seconds more...? Akane: [Rolls her eyes.] Of course...! Kazuya: [Pounding on the door.] LET ME IN! Ikemoto: [Fearfully.] Sh-shimatta*...! What do we do? *Oh shoot Akane: [Dubiously.] I guess we don't have much choice. [Akane walks forward to open the door. She steps back nervously as Kazuya stomps into the apartment. Kazuya looks worn out and exhausted, but his expression simmers with controlled frustration and anger.] Kazuya: [Gestures tersely.] Come here. Ikemoto: [Hesitantly.] Umm...listen...I know you're probably not feeling all that good, and you're probably very confused right now.... Kazuya: [With authority.] COME HERE NOW! Akane: [Fearfully to herself.] Oh boy...now what? Ikemoto: [Mentally to Akane.] Oneechan...! What do we do?! Akane: [Mentally to Ikemoto.] I'm thinking, I'm thinking...! Kazuya: Listen, "Kazuya"... [Pauses.] That is your name, right? Ikemoto: [Nods.] Ah...yeah, that's me. And you're Ikemoto-san. [Realization.] You know, I didn't know you were Madoka-oneechan's roomma-- Kazuya: [Cuts Ikemoto off.] Fine, we have that out of the way. [Sternly.] Now how about explaining this! Ikemoto: [Unsteadily.] Explain...? Right...! [Long pause.] Well...I don't think I know how to explain it.... Akane: [Breaking in.] Well, of course he doesn't! He's just as confused about the whole thing as you are! Ikemoto: [Picking up.] Th-that's right...! I mean...one minute, I'm just a normal kid and the next, whammo! Akane: [Nods.] We're just as shocked as you are. We want to find a way out of this as much as you do. Ikemoto: I mean, it's not like we're a couple of ESPers--ite! [Winces as Akane pulls her ear painfully.] Akane: [Mentally to Ikemoto.] Don't push your luck...! Kazuya: [Calming down, but still sternly.] Yukimasa-san, what's your business in this? Do you know this Kazuya? Akane: [Casually.] This little brat is my brother. Ikemoto: [Shocked.] H-hidoi*...! Oneechan, how could you say such a thing...!? *Horrible Kazuya: So, this is some freak occurrence of chance. [Turns thoughtful.] We have to find out what happened and how. Ikemoto: [To herself.] She's distracted...! Chance! [Dives head-first towards Kazuya.] Kazuya: [Stunned surprise.] Waah...! [Ducks just in time.] Ikemoto: [Rams her head into the wall.] Ite-te*...! [Rubs forehead in pain.] *Ouch Kazuya: Baka*! What do you think you're doing?! I want my body back in one piece! *Idiot Ikemoto: Ah...gomen*...I tripped and fell. *Sorry Akane: [Mentally to Ikemoto.] Don't do it here! She'll figure out it was us if we do it deliberately like that! We have to wait for an opportunity to make it look like an accident! Kazuya: In any event, our best chance is to stay isolated until this wears off. We can't go interacting with people who know us or else we'll both be discovered. Ikemoto: Eh...?! I can't do that! I have a very important set of finals coming up in Juku*! If I flunk, I'll have to take the whole summer course over! *Cram school that helps students pass school entrance exams. Kazuya: [Coldly.] Well, that's too bad. I'm no more ready to take a Juku exit exam than you're ready to negotiate Jackson & Stein's investment in Tetsuya Motors. Ikemoto: Just because we've switched bodies doesn't mean we both have to ruin our lives. I mean, you're a college graduate. Passing an elementary juku should be a piece of cake for you. Kazuya: [Sarcastically.] Oh really? And just what are you going to do when someone asks you to make an investment for their portfolio? [Picks up an empty chocolate wrapper off the floor in disgust.] They don't take candy as currency. Ikemoto: [Confidently after scanning Kazuya's thoughts.] I'll just look up the appropriate legal regulation in the international database for financial investments. You keep all that on your computer at work! Kazuya: [Stunned.] H-how did you know that...?! Ikemoto: I mean, how hard can it be to start up a multi-national capital investmen--Ite! [Stops painfully as Akane rams her elbow into her head.] Akane: [Harsh mental whisper to Ikemoto.] Don't overdo it! [Cut to the next morning. At Ikemoto and Ayukawa's apartment, Akane is watching the morning television news relate the local events from the night before.] Television announcer: [With a pointer on a map showing heavy cloud activity.] ...and the Japanese Coast Guard is still combing through the damage as rescue efforts of the nightly fishing boats continue. Once again, Typhoon 16 has passed through the Tokyo area 2 days ahead of schedule, catching many small sea craft off-guard and causing substantial damage to nearby ports. The Coast Guard has search parties out looking for additional missing craft and survivors. Akane: [Depressed.] Kuso*.... I hope Kyosuke and Madoka-chan got out of that. [Looks around the empty room.] They never came back last night; they couldn't....[Shakes her head.] No, I can't think like that! *<Netiquette violator> Ikemoto: [Coming out of the main bedroom, looking very disheveled.] Oneechan, what's going on? Akane: Kyosuke and Madoka-chan never came back last night. There was a big storm and they may have been.... [Trails off.] Ikemoto: Oh come on. If something bad happened, then Kyosuke-oniichan would just use his Pow- Akane: [Clamps her hand on Ikemoto's mouth.] Even if he did, what about Madoka-san? And Hayashibara-san, Keiko-san and all the others? He wouldn't leave them to drown. Ikemoto: [Downcast.] Oh.... Akane: Not just that. But I was really counting on Madoka-chan and Kyosuke on solving this current problem. They have a lot more experience with dealing with close calls than we do. Ikemoto: But, but...Kyosuke-oniichan wouldn't just give up! Even if he had to use...[Catches herself.] his wits.... He wouldn't just let everyone down. Akane: [Slight smile.] I never thought I would be rooting for Kyosuke to save the day. That's almost as crazy as what's happened here. Kazuya: [Emerging from the second bedroom fully dressed.] I still think this is a big mistake. But if you really want to go through with this, we'd better get going. Ikemoto: Oh, I'm ready! I just need some sneakers and we can leave! Kazuya: [Exasperated to himself.] It's going to be a long day...! [Cut to the apartment parking garage. Ikemoto, Akane, and Kazuya are walking to a familiar Nissan. Kazuya instinctively heads to the driver's side, but is interrupted by Ikemoto.] Ikemoto: Wait a minute. You can't drive now! Kazuya: What do you mean by that? It's my car and I'm the only one who has a driver's license anyway. Ikemoto: But the license has the wrong picture on it. And the cops won't let an elementary student drive anyway. Kazuya: Well.... [Concedes to the logic.] But I'm sure not going to let you drive! Ikemoto: Why not?! I got it here OK, didn't I? Kazuya: You have no idea how to drive properly! My car isn't some video game and if you wreck it, it costs me a lot more than a hundred yen! Ikemoto: Well, if I'm not going to drive, then who is? [Long pause as Kazuya and Ikemoto both slowly look towards Akane.] Akane: [Surprised.] H-hold on! You're not expecting me to drive, are you? [Cut to a few minutes later. The Nissan is pulling onto the expressway. Akane is behind the wheel with a look of focused concentration. Ikemoto is sitting in the passenger seat and Kazuya in the back.] Kazuya: [Looking over a discarded traffic ticket.] Eh...?! [Shows the ticket to Ikemoto.] What's this?! Ikemoto: [Embarrassed.] Oh that! I forgot to tell you. The police in town don't seem to be very nice. Kazuya: [Indignantly.] This is going to really hurt my driving record! Not to mention my insurance rates! Ikemoto: [Lightly.] You know, you have a really big hang up about money all the time. Kazuya: You try paying for rent, food, and city permits on a commission-based salary, and then we'll talk! Akane: [Impatiently as she jerks the steering wheel off the expressway.] Will you two shut up? I'm having a hard enough time as it is! [Cut to the Mason Corporation. Ikemoto heads to her desk, not noticing the other co-workers quietly whispering amongst themselves about her sub-standard appearance.] Ikemoto: [Reading a written check list as she walks.] Let's see...check overseas prices for these companies, compare interest rates, compare exchange rates, overseas conference call at 7, client meeting at 8, section meeting with Ezaki-kacho* and some bankers from Tokyo Metropolitan Finance company at 9, conference call with purchasing at 9:30...[Crumples list in frustration.] sheesh...she keeps busy! I'm tired just thinking about it! [Looks at watch and sees it's 7:32.] Uh oh....[Starts to run the last few hallways to her desk.] I'm late! [Manages to stumble past several people and comes to a stop nursing her ankles.] Stupid heels! How do girls get around wearing these?! [Sees the conference room, and enters. Everyone else is already present and listening to a central conference speakerphone.] Um.... [To herself as she quietly takes her seat.] This isn't looking good. I hope Ikemoto-oneesan is doing better... *Section Chief [Cut to Kouryou Elementary School. Although normal school classes are closed for the summer, juku classes make use of the facilities. Kazuya walks past the playground with an uncharacteristically grim look on his face.] Kazuya: [Refers to a written schedule.] Reading, writing, math, foreign language, history, geography... [Sighs.] This is going to be a long, boring day... Male Student 1: Oi Kazuya! Kazuya: [To himself.] Uh oh...I wonder who this is.... [Out loud.] Uh...hi...uh.... Male Student 1: Yukio. Maiko told me you were pretending to have amnesia again. [Shakes head.] That stunt's not going to work this time. We still have to get together. Kazuya: Oh, yeah...right. I remember now. Yukio: OK, good. [Hands Kazuya a notebook.] I hope I get it better this time. Kazuya: [Takes notebook with a confused look.] Better? What's this? Yukio: [Expectant look.] Come on, let's see your half. Kazuya: My half? Yukio: [Impatiently.] You were supposed to do the reading, writing and history. I was supposed to do the geography, language and math. Kazuya: [Upset.] Are you suggesting I cheat? Yukio: Cheat? It was your idea! Kazuya: [Lectures.] The purpose of a juku is to prepare you for the upcoming entrance exam for junior high school. If you do not learn the basic foundation of education, you will be unable to do well on the test. Yukio: [Disbelief.] .... Kazuya: Surely you understand that the proper junior high school will prepare you for the juken to attend a good college. The quality of your future life will depend on the proper college degree. Yukio: [Indignantly.] Wh-what's gotten into you? This coming from the original study-hall skipper of school? Kazuya: Study hall skipper? I'll have you know I was an exemplary student. Yukio: [Look amusement, then bursts out laughing.] You...?! A good student...?! Bwahahaha...! Kazuya: [Stunned expression.] ...! Yukio: [Recovers, then heads to class.] Well, suit yourself then. I'll see you in English class. [Smugly.] Let's see how good you do without your homework. Kazuya: [After confirming that his English, geography, and math notebooks are indeed empty.] Why that...?! No wonder this little brat was so intent on coming to juku.... [Cut back to the Mason Corporation. Ikemoto finally reaches her desk as the conference calls ends.] Ikemoto: [To herself.] Well, I guess that wasn't so bad. I mean, sure I suppose I shouldn't have been late, but at least I didn't have to answer any serious questions. OL1: Shunin, your 8:00 appointment is here. They're waiting for you in conference room 2. Ikemoto: Ah...right. I'll be right there. [To herself.] OK, this can't be very hard. I'll just read their minds, and tell them what they want. [Gets up and walks to one of the glass-separated conference rooms around the main floor. Inside, two well-dressed gaijin businessmen stand up.] Jamerson: [Embarrassed, then bows clumsily.] ((Sorry we were late. Tokyo rush hour is still something we're getting used to.)) [Writer's note: "((" and "))" denote the character speaking in English.] McNamara: [Bows clumsily.] ((I hope we didn't disrupt your schedule too much. We're very anxious to negotiate an agreement with Tetsuya Motors.)) Ikemoto: [To herself with her jaw slack in stunned shock.] Oh crap...! [There is a long pause as Jamerson and McNamara look puzzled at Ikemoto's expression of panic.] Ikemoto: [To herself as she looks through the glass to the main floor.] Why didn't Ikemoto-oneesan tell me she was multi-lingual?! [Forces herself to calm down, then starts scanning the people at the desks below.] OK, just be calm! This is foreign investments right?! There's gotta be...[Eyes lock onto one of the junior intern brokers.] Pin-pon*! [To Jamerson and McNamara in very slow and broken English.] ((Wait...please...moment...)) *Bingo [Ikemoto rushes outside and grabs the junior broker on the shoulders, which startles him a lot.] Arima: Waah...! Shunin*! *Chief Ikemoto: Come with me! [Ikemoto drags Arima into a quiet corner as other people in the office look on in disbelief.] Arima: [Panicked whisper.] I can't negotiate an acquisition deal! I don't even have a license! Ikemoto: [Innocently.] A driver's license? Arima: [Exasperated.] A broker's license! We have to have one to make a legal purchase or negotiation on behalf of a foreign company! Ikemoto: [Awkwardly.] Um...yes, of course. But...but...you're here because you wanted to study mergers and acquisitions. Just think of it as a practice! [Ikemoto leads a reluctant Arima into the conference room. After a brief introduction, Arima begins his presentation with as much composure as he can.] [Cut back to Kouryou Elementary School. Kazuya sits with a bored expression as his foreign language class reads an English-language children's book. To her left, Yukio makes a mocking facial expression at Kazuya as the turn to read the passage out loud approaches him.] Student 2: [Stilted and heavily accented.] ((...something went wrong. He met Judy in the next room instead.)) Teacher: Very good, Tani-kun. Yukimasa-kun. Kazuya: [Picks up the book and reads quickly and fluently.] ((Jeff knew that something was wrong. He knew the reason. Judy would not meet him here. Jeff would need to go to the library.)) Yukio and rest of class: [Stunned expression.] .... Teacher: [Initially stunned, then suspiciously.] Yukimasa-kun, it will not do you any good if you cheat in class. Kazuya: [Indignantly.] Cheat?! Professor: The purpose of the verbal reading is to learn the proper pronunciation of a foreign language. If you have someone else read it to you before class, you won't be able to pronounce English properly on your own. Kazuya: [Harshly.] You want to hear some properly pronounced English? How about this...? [Cut to the hallway outside class. Kazuya is holding a bucket of water with a sign marked "Insulted the teacher" draped around his neck.] [Cut back to the Mason Corporation. Ikemoto heads back to her desk after the negotiation breaks up.] Ikemoto: That could have gone better. [Looks at the clock.] I guess I'm supposed to meet this Ezaki-kacho. Ginga: Ikemoto-san, could I speak with you for a minute? Ikemoto: Eh? Sure, I guess. Ginga: [Concerned expression.] I realize that this may seem like prying. But there are several people in the office who are beginning to wonder about your behavior and appearance this morning. Some are speculating that you are not feeling yourself today. Ikemoto: [Jovially.] Me? I'm fine! Heck, this is a lot more interesting than my normal day. Ginga: Ah...I see. We were just wondering. Ikemoto: [Gaily.] Tell Amano-san that he needs to stop worrying about my job and just do his own. Ginga: Um, yes, I'll let him know. [Watches Ikemoto walk off into Ezaki's office. He then heads to his desk and places a phone call.] I have some good news, Tanaka-san. I think Ikemoto-san is distracted enough for us to blackmail her as we previously discussed.... TO BE CONTINUED... END CREDITS New Character Designer/Writer Stephen Tsai Pre-readers Robert Carragher Greg Dreher Herbert Fung James Holman Vladimir Zelevinsky 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 mailto:email@example.com. Thank you for taking the time to read this episode of my series. If you are interested, previous episodes should be available at ftp://ftp.cs.ubc.ca/pub/archive/anime-fan-works/KOR/Kimagure-Orange- College/ site. Hope you enjoyed it and thanks again!