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Author Topic: An Annoying Paradise - Daria ch 2 - Serial Experiments Lane  (Read 153 times)

Offline resop2

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An Annoying Paradise - Daria ch 2 - Serial Experiments Lane
« on: September 22, 2017, 04:00:36 AM »
This will be a new experiment for me.  I am releasing this both here and on fanfiction.net.

Because it will also be on fanfiction.net some of the character names have been changed
so it cannot be accused of being a real person fan fic, but the characters should be
pretty obvious.

This is a distant sequel to the "An Annoying Paradise" fic.  Many years have past.  Most
of the major and minor characters have moved on, but Harmony Project, Jeneral
Entertainment, and Ajax remain.

If you don't like the idea of mixing American cartoon characters with H!P idol (trainees)
then you have been warned.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 09:45:48 PM by resop2 »

Offline resop2

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Re: An Annoying Paradise - Daria
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2017, 04:29:11 AM »
(promo)

Living in Tokyo, 8th grader Asamura Daria has always wanted to be a writer.  However, one day she is shocked to discover that a path is available to her that could greatly increase her chances of success at being an author.  However, this path will force her to do the last things on earth that she thought she'd be doing.  Ch 1 - "A Faustian Bargain", it's a complete turnover story.

(end promo)

An Annoying Paradise - Daria -- A Faustian Bargain

Author's note: This story includes many characters not from the Daria universe, many of which are based on real people.  No names of real people or real companies are used, however, many will be able to figure out who the characters are based on.


"Are you even listening to me?"

Startled, Asamura Daria (1) looks up from her book and looks at her sister, Asamura Quinn (2), through large glasses.  "Who are you again?"  The sparsely filled bus they are riding in hits a bump and jostles the two of them.

Quinn groans.  "Aren't you supposed to be watching out for me?"

"You're still here."

"Well, even though I don't mean it, I guess I should thank you for that."

"Mom paid me five thousand yen (3) to do it, so you don't have to thank me if you don't want to."

"Whatever!  Daria, you wouldn't understand what this audition is, but to me it means everything.  You could at least pretend to support me."

"Do your best, rah rah."  Daria dead pans.

"Sometimes I wish you weren't an alien.  Then you would understand what a big deal an idol audition is for a young girl."

"Is that what we're going to?"  Daria makes a disgusted face.

Quinn rolls her eyes.  "Here!"  Quinn shoves a flier in Daria's face.

Daria reads it.  "But, this isn't an idol audition, this is an idol trainee audition."

"When the see me, they will instantly debut me."

Daria keeps reading.  "Well, Mom might like that.  It says that there is a ten thousand yen a month training fee for trainees."

"She told me I should follow my dreams."

"She was probably surprised that you had dreams beyond correctly coordinating your outfit for the day."

"Yet another thing that you wouldn't understand.  Oh, here's our stop."

Daria and Quinn catch a commuter train taking them to the heart of Shibuya.  The train is crowded and they can barely talk to each other.  Terrified, Quinn holds on to Daria the whole way.

After getting off the train, Daria follows the directions on the fly to get Quinn to the audition.  "I am surprised at one thing though."

"At how pretty I am today?"

"Well, aren't your three friends from school also auditioning?"

"Yes, but they're riding with Sandi's Mom."

"Why aren't you with them?"

"Daria, being an idol is a constant struggle.  Since they are going to accept all of us, soon I will be rivals of Sandi, Tiffany, and Stacy instead of being fashion club friends."

"Oh, here we are."

Quinn shakes in fear and freezes.

"If you want to give up I won't care.  I've already been paid."

Quinn shakes it off.  "No, I will do it."

Quinn and Daria walk into the lobby of the Harmony Project building.  Quinn gets in line to sign up while Daria excuses herself to sit in the cafeteria to read.

...

"Excuse me, miss?"

Daria looks up.  A well dressed man is sitting across the table from her.  "Who are you?"

"My professional name is the English letter 'T'.  I am the head producer for Harmony Project."

"Asamura Daria.  Can I help you?"

"Asamura, Asamura, are you Quinn's sister?"

"Yes."

"You look just like her."

"I do not!"  Daria turns red.

"Will you be auditioning today?"

"No.  It is not my ambition to dedicate my youth to smiling and acting cutesy all the time."

"So why did you come?"

"To watch over Quinn."

"She left thirty minutes ago."

"What?"

"She left with three friends."

Daria takes out her cell phone to call her sister.  She confirms that she is riding home with Sandi's mother.  "I guess she's okay."

"I noticed the book you are reading.   The Housekeeper and the Professor by Ogawa Youko.  That was one of my favorites when I was young."

Daria blushes.  "Forgive me for asking, but are you ... (4)"

"Gay?"  T laughs.  "I am married and have two kids.  However, reading novels and manga written for and by women helps me get inspirations for songs."

"Sounds reasonable."

"Would you like to be a writer when you grow up?"

Daria blushes even redder.  "I guess so, but I probably would not be very good."

T laughs.  "Do you think you would have better chances if you had a mentor?"

"You?"

"No, I am way too busy.  But, have you heard of  Enchi Murasaki?"

"The authoress of 'A Tale of Masks'?  She's one of my favorites."

"Did you know that she teaches at Tokyo Fine Arts School?"

"Wow!  But, isn't that school really expensive?"

"One hundred thousand yen per month tuition."

"My mom would never spring for that."

"Would she spring for ten thousand a month?"

"The idol trainee fee?  Well, she apparently would have for Quinn.  But, why?"

"Well, if you became an idol trainee, one of the perks that come with the trainee fee is free tuition at TFAS."

Daria chuckles.  "That's really nice, but me?  I am untalented and nonathletic.  I would never be able to pass your audition.  You're just teasing me."

T laughs hard.  "Miss Daria, I think you have a misconception about the nature of this audition.  We didn't want to eliminate anyone.  The more people we signed, the more money we take in."

Daria turns white.  "So, Quinn and her friends passed?"

"No, those four, along with one hundred and ninety seven of the two hundred girls who showed up, all walked away by their own choice."

Daria smiles a sly smile.  "So what did you tell them to crush their dreams?"

"Well, I told them they couldn't date boys as an idol.  One of your sister's friends laughed and said that I was just saying that as lip service and I told her that I was deadly serious and the rule was enforced for all idols all the time.  That's when they bolted."

"And, the others?"

"Many more left when I mentioned how many hours a day they were expected to practice, and then all but three left when I mentioned that at some point they would eventually have to do handshake events where they would shake the hands of thousands of creepy looking middle aged men."

"So three passed?"

"Three didn't quit."

"Now, wait a second, are you seriously saying that I can be a trainee?"

"I think you are a good candidate.  You have a burning ambition to be a writer and you would be willing to fake being a trainee and waste your parents money so that you could have a famous authoress as a mentor."

"You don't care that I will never be any good?"

"I don't care at all, after all your parents' money will be appreciated.  But, there are three people that you would have to keep happy."

"Sounds ominous."

"Why don't I introduce them to you?"

Daria follows T while making a face as if she was being forced to eat unpleasant food.  They enter a large room.

"I found a straggler.  She's already heard the speech.  She wants to be an author one day and feels she can use Harmony Project to get into TFAS.  Daria, this is our head singing coach Sachiko."

Daria bows.  "Please take care of me."

The middle aged blonde lady bows and smiles.  "Please take care of me as well."

"This is Ai, she will be you dance instructor."

Daria bows.  "Please take care of me."

A thirty something short brunette bows and smiles.  "Please take care of me as well."

"And, this is Risa, our fitness trainer."

Daria bows.  "Please take care of me."

A thirty something short red head with short hair bows and smiles.  "Please take care of me as well."

"These are the three people you will have to keep happy.  If they are not happy with you, you will be kicked out of Harmony Project and your parents will have to pay the TFAS tuition."

Daria gulps.

"Honestly, they do not care if you are untalented and nonathletic.  But, they do care if you try or not.  If you follow their instructions, I am sure you will surprise yourself.  If you don't follow their instructions, they will notice."

Daria gulps again.

"So, will you go for it and chase your dream?"

Daria thinks for about a minute, looking at Sachiko, Ai and Risa with fear.  "Yes.  Even though I will fail at being an idol, I cannot pass up being mentored by Enchi-sensei."

Sachiko gives Daria a funny look.  "Daria, are you saying that my teaching is too weak to help you succeed?"

"I'm saying that I am too hopeless."

Sachiko laughs.  "You should have heard many of our most famous idols when they first started out."

"I'm probably worse."

Sachiko walks over to a keyboard.  "Just say 'ba' and try to mimic the notes.  When I get back to the beginning of the arpeggio you can say 'ka'."

Daria giggles over Sachiko allowing her to call call Sachiko a dummy (5).  "Okay.  Ba ba ba ba ba ba ka."

Sachiko laughs.  "Daria, you have no idea how many idols we have who couldn't even do that when they started.  But, they all worked hard, as you will, and they got better."

"Oops.  I should have pretended that I was worse."

T smiles.  "Don't worry, they will all start you at remedial level."

"What's that?"

"There are three levels: remedial, intermediate, and official.  Remedial trainees learn the basics in an individual setting.  Intermediate trainees apply the basics in a group setting, and official trainees are the ones considered good enough to be back dancers at Harmony Project concerts.  An official trainee will get an blog and a website profile, lower than that they will be anonymous.  An official trainee will also be under consideration to join existing groups if there is an opening or be placed in a new group.  Once they debut we pay them as opposed to them paying us."

"Well, I won't have to worry about that."

T raises an eyebrow.  "Who knows?  Besides, a blog would be good writing practice."

"If you say so."

"Now, there are three girls I want you to meet."

T leads Daria to another room.  "Girls!  I found a straggler.  Please treat her well."  T exits the room.

One girl glares at Daria with the scariest face Daria has ever seen.  Another girl, taller than Daria and having short hair, runs over and snatches her glasses.

"Minamo, take my picture!"

The third girl takes the taller girl's picture with her cell phone.  "Rikoko, you're scaring her.  You should give them back."

Rikoko complies.  "Sorry, but I love glasses shots."

The girl with the cell phone bows.  She has a prominent chin and long hair.  "Please forgive her.  My name is Minamo.  What is your name?"

"Asamura Daria."

"Daria-san, I should explain.  Rikoko is a junior model. She's super in demand.  She loves shoots where she can wear glasses because it makes her look smarter."

"Okay, I forgive you Rikoko."

"Thanks!  But, I will want to borrow them again.  Your glasses make me look really smart!"

"And, the girl over there who is glaring at you is Natsuko.  She doesn't hate you, it's just that her resting face looks angry."

"How are you, Natsuko?"

Natsuko breaks into a radiant smile.  "Good!"

Minamo looks relieved.  "What level are you, Daria-san?"

"You can call me Daria."

"Thanks!"  Minamo beams.

"I am remedial."

"Natsuko and I are intermediate.  Both of us have had three years of private training."

Daria's eye's become wide.  "Wow!"

"And, Rikoko is official."

"Amazing."

"Her dad is the lead singer of a metal band so she is a second generation musician."

Rikoko bangs her head and flashes the metal hand sign.

"How old are you guys?"

Rikoko holds up six fingers.  "Sixth grade."

Natsuko and Minamo hold up seven fingers.

"Eight grade here."

Minako grabs Daria's arm.  "You can be our cool senpai."

"But, I am remedial."

"Doesn't matter."

...

"Thanks for meeting me here."

Ame Nichijo and Daria put down the ramen bowls and squeeze into a table at the local ramen shop.  "No problem.  After hearing your story on the phone I had to hear more."

"Well, after I got home, Mom said that of course she would pay for my idol training.  Quinn was throwing a tantrum saying that it was unfair that I was going to stand out more than her and then spent her time scheming on the phone with her friends."

"Sounds like the evil empire is planning a counter attack."  Nichijo slurps her noodles.

"Maybe TFAS has a program in coordinating outfits?"  Daria giggles.

"They don't."

"You seem to know a lot about TFAS."

Nichijo dons a superior look.  "My mom wanted me to go there so I had to look through all of their stuff.  But, in the end, I thought it would be more fun to stay with the awful school that I was used to."

"You could go there any time you want?"

"Yes, I can.  When do you start?"

"Monday."

"That's when I will start, then."

"What?  You don't have to do this for me."

"I'm doing it for myself.  It wouldn't be fun to be the school outcast by myself.  And, since you as Miss kira-kira (6) idol are going to be popular, I think it would be fun being one of the popular students in the new school."

"Are you jealous that I sold my soul to the devil?"

"Of course!  I paint all sorts of pictures of Makai (7) and the devil never takes notice.  Men, who can understand them?"

"Well, at least you'll get to date."

Nichijo smirks.  "Well, there is that.  However, I suspect that the art teachers will run me ragged with assignments."

"Speaking of assignments," Daria pulls out a piece of paper, "here's what I have to do everyday."

"Is this all?  I could do this stuff in five minutes."

"Really?"

"If you need a coach, just ask."

Daria frowns.  "You're not going to be the type of character who can effortlessly do everything the main character wants to do but can't?  Maybe instead of Nichijo I should call you Mary Sue ( 8 )?"

"I was thinking of a different name for myself for the new school, but I'll keep that quiet for now."

Daria sticks out her tongue.

"Heeey, guys."  An older teenage boy walks up to their table.

Nichijo smiles.  "I asked my brother to congratulate you as well."

"Hi Totoro."

"Daria, I think you should know that my band, Mystik Spiral Kakko Kari (9) is debuting in a couple of weeks at the club Cyberia.  However, I don't think that Ame Totoro is a good name for a band lead singer."

"Oh, you have a new name now?"

"Yeah.  My new last name is a translation of my last name into English.  My new last name is Lane (10)."

Daria nods.  "Sounds cool."

"And, Totoro is the name of some anime character, so I will go with Trent."

Daria gives a thumbs up.

"So, you're going to be a sell out idol who sort of sings, sort of dances, and sort of looks cute?"

Daria crawls out from under the hundred pound anvil of Totoro's words.  "Yes, I am selling my soul to the devil so I can be a writer."

"That's cool."

"It wasn't my idea.  The producer, T, talked me into it."

Totoro's eyes double in size.  "Wait, T is going to be your producer?  T from Shazam Q?"

Daria gets a blank look on her face.

Nichijo pulls out her smartphone and looks it up.  "They are one in the same."

"Woooah.  Shazam Q is my favorite band of all time.  Their song 'Go Forth as Squids' (11) inspired me to be a song writer.  Maybe I will have to check out the stuff he produces."

Nichijo nods.  "Sounds like a good idea."

"Gotta go now.  I have a band practice scheduled two hours ago.  They should just be getting there now."  Totoro leaves.

"So, will you go with me to his gig?"

Daria blushes.  "Sure."

To Be Continued





(1) Asamura Daria's name is written 朝村 ダリア.

(2) Asamura Quinn's name is written 朝村 クイン.

(3) Author's note: 100 yen is approximately 1 US dollar.

(4) Daria is not homophobic, it's just shocking to her that a guy would read a girls novel.

(5) "baka" means dummy in Japanese.

(6) "kira-kira" means sparkling in Japanese.

(7) "Makai" is the netherworld in Japanese.

( 8 ) "Mary Sue" is a fan fiction term meaning a super overpowered character with no flaws.

(9) Kakko Kari means "kari in parenthesis" (仮) and translates as "temporary".  It is a similar meaning as if Totoro was saying "our name is Mystik Spiral but we are thinking of changing the name".

(10) The translation of Ame (雨) is rain, but Lane is pronounced the same as rain in Japanese.

(11) Really bad pun time here.  'Go Forth as Squids' would be Ika-masshoi, as opposed to Ikimasshoi which means Let's Go!.

Offline resop2

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Re: An Annoying Paradise - Daria
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2017, 09:44:42 PM »
(promo)

For Daria it's a new school, new mentors, a new rival, a new night club, and a new hair style for her best friend. Unfortunately, many of her old problems follow her to the new school. It's An Annoying Paradise Chapter two: Serial Experiments Lane, it's a complete turnover story.

(end promo)

An Annoying Paradise - Daria -- part 2 - Serial Experiments Lane


Daria and Nichijo breath heavily at the bus stop.

"Why did we run for three bus stops when we could have just took the first one?"

"Daria, if you want to be able to fake being an idol trainee, you're going to have to develop endurance."

"And singing, and dancing, and general body control."

"One step at a time."

"Oh, here it comes."

Daria and Nichijo board the bus.

"What are you doing here?"

Daria and Nichijo stare at Quinn and Stacy.  "Why wouldn't we be here?  Why are you guys here?"

Quinn gets a smug expression.  "We are starting at Tokyo Fine Arts School."

Daria makes a face.  "How did you convince Mom to pay for it?"

"Well, most people who go to TFAS get a huge tuition discount if they join one of the schools guilds.  So Stacy and I have joined the fashion design guild, as you would expect from the fashion club."

Nichijo thinks for a minute.  "Quinn, I happen to know a little bit about TFAS."

Quinn looks at Nichijo blankly.  "Who are you and why do you know my name?"

"Ame Nichijo.  You make fun of my fashion everyday in school even though you're my kouhai. (1)"

"Someone has to do it.  But, you're not her."

"I am wearing my hair up.  Doesn't it look cute?"

Quinn looks at Nichijo for a minute trying to picture her in her usual severe hair style.  "Oh, sorry."

"Anyway,  did you know that joining the fashion design guild at TFAS has nothing to do with coordinating outfits and has everything to do with," sinister pause, "sewing?"

Quinn looks sad.  "I know.  Sandi and Tiffany bailed when they heard that and went for the modeling guild."

Nichijo laughs.  "They are going to be so mad when they have to model clothes that they would rather die than be seen in."

Quinn nods.  "I know, but the alternatives were even more disgusting."

"So, you're willing to to brave the fashion classes?"

"I view myself a fashion avatar.  If I am not able to design my own style then I will be forever limited by other people's vision."

Nichijo smiles.  "You're willing to work?"

Quinn hangs her head.  "Please don't say that too loud."

Stacy squeezes Quinn's arm.  "It's okay.  We'll get through this together."

"Stacy, I don't think that fashion design is all that collaborative."

"It's not?  Quinn, don't leave me alone."  Stacy starts whining.

Daria and Nichijo roll their eyes.

Nichijo thinks for a minute.  "Quinn, you realize that the fashion guild does three shows a year and you'll be expected to exhibit a design each show?"

Quinn nods.

"And, if it's not up to standards they can kick you out?"

"No-oooooo!!!"  Quinn looks miserable.

Daria studies Quinn.  "Quinn, this isn't like you.  What is the real reason you're joining TFAS?"

"Daria, you wouldn't understand.  Once the word got out that my own sister was an idol and I wasn't then the entire fashion club would be branded as losers and we would become the school outcasts."

"So, it wasn't just that you were jealous that I was standing out more than you?"

"Well, of course there's that!"

...

"Class, we have two new transfer students starting today.  You first."

Daria and Nichijo stand at the front of the class.  Daria writes her name on the blackboard.  "My name is Asamura Daria.  However, my last name is a translation into Japanese of my father's last name.  He is from Germany and his last name is Morgendorrfer which means morning town.  That's where we got Asamura.  I am an idol singing trainee from Harmony Project, please take care of me."

Much to Daria's surprise no one teases her.

"And, now you."

Nichijo whispers to Daria.  "Ready for the big reveal?"

Daria nods.

Nichijo writes her name on the blackboard.  "Here is the kanji for my name, Ame Nichijo.  However, I am joining the fine arts guild so using my current name would be too ordinary."

Several members of the class face plant. (2)

Nichijo looks at the teacher.  "Was it that too bad a pun?"

"We have many students studying Manzai comedy." (3)

"Okay.  So, I will be using a kira-kira pronunciation of my name. (4)"  Nichijo writes her name on the blackboard in English.  "My name is Jane Lane."

Daria hears many of her new classmates murmur "cool name".

They sit down in seats next to each other.  "Jane, huh?"

"Please call me that from now on."

...

Jane and Daria put their books in their lockers.

"Daria, big trouble.  A girl is approaching who looks like she's going to beat you up."

Daria doesn't look up.  "I know who that is."  Daria turns around.  "Hi, Natsuko, Minamo."

"Daria-senpai!" (5)

"Oh, this is my friend Jane.  Jane, this is Natsuko and Minamo, by fellow idol trainees, although they are both way ahead of me."

Jane smirks.  "They won't be for long."

Minamo gathers up her courage.  "Daria-senpai, do you have a sister?"

"Why yes I do.  Her name is Quinn.  Although, in our previous school, she referred to me as the strange international transfer student who lives with her."

Minamo gets giddy.  "I knew it!  I knew it.  She's in our homeroom now.  She looks just like you."

"She does not!"  Both Jane and Daria say this in unison.

"She's so cool.  I want to wear the clothes she designs."

Daria rolls her eyes.  "I will be shocked if she lasts five minutes after the first time she stabs herself with a sewing needle."

Natsuko looks thoughtful.  "If she's your sister I think she will last."

Jane and Daria look at each other in shock.

...

"Come in, you must be Asamura Daria ."

"Yes, Enchi-sensei (6), that's who I am."

"Your producer T told me all about you."

Daria gulps.

"I told him that I would do my best to help you."

"Thanks."

"So, Daria, have you written a lot before?"

"Nothing worth showing."

"Well, don't worry.  Let me tell you a little secret.  The best writing is relating things that you have experienced first hand."

"Then I should quit now and not burden the world with depressing books."

Enchi-sensei laughs.  "Well then, here is your first assignment, due next week: Write a description of one of your friends as if you were introducing them in a novel.  Figure out what makes them them special and make them pop off the page."

"Do they have to read it?"

"No."

"Good, I get to keep whatever friends I still have."

"Daria, you need to change your attitude a little bit.  You're in the Harmony Project idol trainee program.  You will be meeting some of the most colorful personalities anywhere.  This is a priceless opportunity for a writer to start developing a cast of characters in her head that she can use."

Daria smiles slightly.  "I would like to disagree, but I cannot."

...

Daria walks into an empty music class room.

She is soon joined by her singing instructor Sachiko (7).  "Good afternoon, miss Daria."

"Good afternoon Sachiko-sensei."

"We should be joined by another remedial student later on.  She's never on time so we should just get started."

"Okay."

"Did you do those exercises I gave you faithfully?"

"They got done, not by faithfulness on my part, but by the fact that I had a friend to nag me to do them."

"Wonderful!  You're so lucky."

"To be susceptible to bullying?"

Sachiko laughs.  "That's a much better trait than to be completely impervious to instruction."

Daria smiles.

Sachiko starts the lessons with warm ups.

Ten minutes later, another girl enters the room.  "Sorry I am late!"

Sachiko rolls her eyes.  "Daria, this is Haruko.  She is also a remedial idol trainee.  She's been remedial for six months now because she never does her assignments."

"I do too!"

Sachiko ignores her.  "I would hope that you will reach intermediate long before six months.  If you do, you'll get to practice with the rest of the trainees."

"As if I needed more humiliation in my life."

"Now, Daria.  If I approve you for intermediate, your practices will be fun, not humiliating.  However, there will probably always be girls who are ahead of you in singing but they want to sing with you, not to show you up."

"If you say so."

"Haruko, please warm up in the corner."

"Okay."  Haruko pouts.

"So, Daria, first we will go ever the exercises I gave you at the audition, then I will give you a new set of exercises for next week."

"Okay."

...

Daria and Haruko walk the halls of TFAS to get to conditioning instruction with Risa-sensei.

"I'm so sorry I was late, but there was this really cute guy who flirted with me and I just couldn't break away."

"Sachiko-sensei looked like she wanted to kill you."

"Who cares about her?  It's only a matter of time before they debut me."

Daria cringes, remembering how Haruko sang at practice.  "You realize that T won't debut you unless Sachiko approves?"

"If they don't I will just switch agencies."

Daria rolls here eyes.  "I hope that works out for you.  I'm just a beginner myself, but somehow what you said seems unlikely."

"Just wait until you see me in dance practice."

They get to the room where Risa-sensei waits for them.

"No way!  No way!  No way!  Haruko is not ten minutes late?"

"I'm here!"  Haruko strikes a pose.

"Miss Daria, how are you?"

"I am okay."

"Did you do all of the exercises that I gave you?"

"Well, my friend made me do them.  However, it was pretty embarrassing that I couldn't do two repetitions in a row of anything."

"But, you didn't give up?

"I wasn't allowed to."

"Excellent."  Risa brings a chair over.  "This might help you on the squats.  Pretend that you are sitting down in the chair.  When your butt just makes contact with the chair stand back up."

Daria does this in a clumsy way.

"Again."

Daria does this again.

"There, two squats in a row!  You're definitely on your way."

"Well, that's better than falling over sideways."

...

Daria and Haruko walk to the classroom where Ai-sensei waits to teach them dance.

Haruko looks smug.  "So, you see how well conditioned I am?"

"I did notice one thing.  On the exercises we did together, Risa-sensei would give me tips on what I was doing wrong and how to correct my form but she didn't say anything to you."

"I'm perfect, that's why."

"You were doing the same things wrong."

"I was?  Oops."

"Has Risa corrected you many times before and you ignore her?"

Haruko blushes.  "Maybe."

They get to the room where Ai-sensei waits to teach them dance.

"Oh my god?  Haruko is on time?"

Daria smiles.  "I must have chased away all of her boyfriends."

Ai-sensei, who is shorter than Haruko, still looks down her nose at Haruko.  "Haruko, what have I said about boyfriends?"

"I was just being polite!"

"Miss Daria, please make sure that Haruko makes it to class on time."

"I'll do my best."

"Now Daria, how did the box step go?"

"Fifteen."

"Fifteen what?"

"Times I fell down doing it."

Ai-sensei laughs.  "It's not how many times you fall down, it's how many times you get back up."

"If you say so."

"I'll send you a video this weekend on how to do it."

...

Daria sees Jane outside of Cyberia.

"Daria, I wish you had ridden with me and Trent."

"That's okay.  I've seen Trent's car."

"Yeah, it is a little on the sketchy side."

"Have you given up on the new hairstyle?"

Jane laughs.  "Trent said that I would look more rock and roll with my old hairstyle."

Daria looks down her nose at Jane.  "Didn't he really say that he was embarrassed by how cutesy the new hairstyle was?"

"He might have said something to that effect.  But I will still use it at school."

Jane and Daria enter Cyberia.  It is a rundown and grimy nightclub.  The lights are down very low to hide how badly maintained the place is.

Daria rolls her eyes.  "Class joint."

Jane scans the area.  "Well, I can see this is an all ages show.  Plenty of people from TFAS are here."

"Well, it's only a couple of blocks away from TFAS."

"Including ..."

"Daria-senpai!!"

"Your fan club."

Daria rolls her eyes at Natsuko and Minamo.  "You can call me Daria."

Minamo shakes her head.  "No, no.  Daria-senpai is Daria-senpai."

"Is this your first time here?"

"No, no.  Natsuko and I have been going to TFAS for a while.  We go to most of the all ages shows to practice dancing."

"Wow, are your parents rich?"

Minamo looks embarrassed.  "Somewhat.  But they were happy when we got accepted as idol trainees."

"I am kind of jealous.  If I bomb out as a trainee then I will have to go back to my old school."

Natsuko looks concerned.  "Daria-senpai, if you ever need help, we're here for you.  Let's do our best!"

"Okay."  Daria sounds skeptical.

Minamo hands Daria and Jane some cardboard glasses.  "Check these out, there are hidden pictures on the wall that you need these glasses to see."

Jane and Daria try them on.

Jane smiles.  "Cool."

"They don't quite work if you already wear glasses."  Daria hands her pair back.

Jane bows.  "May I keep these for a while?"

"Sure!"

...

Trent's band takes the stage.

"Hello, we are Mystik Spiral Kakko Kari.  This is our first live outside of my parent's basement.  Please take care of us."

The kids applaud.

"This first song is dedicated to my sister who is also here tonight."  Trent points to Jane who waves.

Trent starts singing a song about a sister with really bad rhymes and really poorly thought out lyrics.

The kids applaud enthusiastically.

Daria rolls her eyes.

...

Jane meets Daria at their lockers at school.  "What's up?"

"Just my own physical incompetence."

"Aren't you getting good instruction?"

"Didn't I forward you the email I got yesterday from my dance instructor?"

Jane laughs.  "That was so funny!  It was a video of a cockroach."

"She later sent me the real video.  What a weirdo!"

"I envy you.  None of my art teachers are like that."

A strange boy approaches.  "Excuse me?"

"Can we help you?"

The boy stares at Jane.  "Are you Lane from the wired?"

Jane looks perplexed.  "The wired?"

"That's the name of the school web site.  They had a picture up of this super cool girl who was at Cyberia this weekend, and you kind of look like her."  The boy pulls out his cell phone and shows Daria and Jane a picture of Jane at Cyberia wearing the cardboard glasses with her hair down.

"If I told you that was me I would have to kill you."

"So cool!!"  The boy runs away.

"Are you going to keep your hair up?"

"Maybe."

...

Assignment 1:

Subject: Nomaru Minamo -  She is a very polite and conscientious girl.  She looks out for her friends and is always looking for ways to help.  She dances very stylishly and is not afraid to go to grimy clubs with her friends.

Note from Enchi-sensei:  You didn't make fun of her chin!



To Be Continued




(1) Kouhai means underclassman.  Nichijo is pointing out that Quinn acts cheeky for someone younger than Nichijo.

(2) Horrible pun time again!  Nichijo writes on the blackboard the kanji  雨 日女 (Ame Nichijo) Which means "Rain, Sunny Girl".  However,  日常 is also pronounced Nichijo and means "ordinary".

(3) Manzai comedy typically involves a straight man (tsukkomi) reacting to the misunderstandings and puns of the funny man (boke).

(4) Kira-kira names (names pronounced differently than their kanji) are a fad in Japan.

(5) Senpai means upperclassman.  Here, Natsuko and Minamo are using it to fan girl Daria.

(6) Sensei means teacher.  All students will address all their teachers with this honorific.

(7) Sachiko, Ai, and Risa are not TFAS teachers.  They have an arrangement with the school where they can come in and teach Harmony Project trainees once or twice a week.  At night they train the debuted idols at the Harmony Project building.

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