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Author Topic: Character Study [update 18May- oh?]  (Read 26033 times)

Offline gracula

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Character Study [update 18May- oh?]
« on: November 22, 2010, 10:45:58 AM »
This is the first of many (hopefully) character study ficlets I'll be doing for various MM girls, past and present. It's a little bit like stating the obvious, but with these little sketches of their personalities, I might one day build enough to come up with an actual fic. Do give constructive criticism and your own tangent on these situations. This is just my own take on it.
Enjoy.
~grac


---
Character Study #1: Yoshizawa Hitomi, 2002-2003

Do you remember when everything changed for us?

For the first few weeks, you'd turn to look at me with betrayed, bemused eyes every time I chipped in to tease you. You'd come to expect it from Yaguttsuan, of course- your biggest (tiniest) detractor. What you didn't expect was probably my brilliant tsukkomi follow-up to the sound of her raucous laughter. You were an easy mark, the natural boke- and I was just too quick and witty for my own good. When I displayed too much disgust after you described yourself as cute, when I literally denied our friendship on a highly-rated, nationally-broadcast TV show. That hurt me as much as I'm sure it did you. You were so confused you probably didn't realize you were whining. My voice was shaky from trying to maintain an off-hand teasing tone and I couldn't even look you in the eye because we'd both burst into tears. My cheeks were aching from pretending to smile.

You got used to it though, taking it all in stride. Becoming the kimoi chara that every junior could take a poke at. I made you. This chara you became famous for.  It was horrifying and adorable all at once. It was a testimony to the strength of your character and the twisted personality that lay behind that cute, dependable face.

"Hai!" I raised my hand quietly. You had effectively killed the scene after your latest ode-giri to self. "To counter Ishikawa-san again…"
"Nani yo?" you pouted easily.
A deep breath, "Back off! I'm warning you! You bug the hell outta me!" Thwap, thwap, thwap.
I think that day was the first time you actually got angry, as opposed to being lost and confused.

Sure, you probably got whiplash from the shock of my comebacks the first few times- wide-eyed, wordless stares. After all, no one was truly safe from my clever comebacks and cutting words- except for you.

Until that day.

---

"Yoshizawa, stay back for a bit." Manager-san was on a roll today, first Kemeko and now me. Everyone froze for a bit, before filing out as quickly as they could without actually fleeing the practice studio.

I didn't even realize our hands were joined until you squeezed it in silent support. "Mail me when you get home, okay? I'll be waiting," you whispered.

Kei-chan thumped me lightly on the back on her way out- she had been in quiet discussion with Yaguttsuan since after lunch, when she was called up to the carpet for something or other. I suppose it was empathetic support from the elder Nikki member. The room was empty now, save for me and Yaguttsuan, who was rifling through her practice notes aimlessly.

I gave her a suspicious look and she cleared her throat, refusing to look at me directly. We both jumped slightly when the studio door opened and the manager and some exec or staff from the main office came in. My heart was thumping so hard I could hear it, but I casually lifted my hand to give my chin a good scratch. No shaking, no outward appearance of fear or nervousness, even and steady breaths. We were introduced to the staff member- a PR exec from Upfront Works.

“Yoshizawa-san, we need to talk. About you and Ishikawa-san.”

I swear, it's never occurred to me before this, not even for a second- you and I. But as he said that, I could see it. I instantly knew what he was talking about- like a slide show, all the touches, the hand-holding and all those damned looks of genuine affection suddenly twisted and made... dirty, somehow.

----

That night, for the first time since we exchanged numbers, I did not mail you.

I don't really remember how I got home that night.

“I'm sure you don't even realise this yourself.”

You called twice around 10pm, I think. I was in the bath.

“Its natural for girls your age to be...”

I must've zoned out during the 'talk' because I don't really remember what he said. I was up all night trying to fill in the blanks, though.

“You cannot be seen...”, “You're a top idol group member...”, “I trust you understand...”

I didn't understand- I was 16, after all. I remember feeling scared, disgusted with myself  for some reason, confused, frustrated.

The third time you called, I stared at your name flashing on the caller ID, trying to recall our every interaction, reading the subtext everyone else seemed to see. I slid the phone under my pillow and decided to take another shower.

---

Do I need to put in references?
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 07:36:47 PM by gracula »

"I'm still blaming Sayu for my lolicon tendencies now." ~Essy

Offline Tightrope

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Re: Character Study
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2010, 11:52:23 AM »
My friend, you made me de-lurk, for once.  I read this little piece of work and I have to say I love it. I love your writing style so far. The idea, the style, I like it all.  I think the way you described and organized it, fits perfectly. Is short, yes, but in a good way. I usually like it longer, but this totally caught my attention.

You managed to give a glimpse of the relation of those two, different characters, everyday routine, in such a short piece. I find it totally awesome. And the last part, god.

I didn't understand- I was 16, after all. I remember feeling scared, disgusted with myself  for some reason, confused, frustrated.

The third time you called, I stared at your name flashing on the caller ID, trying to recall our every interaction, reading the subtext everyone else seemed to see. I slid the phone under my pillow and decided to take another shower

So sad, but so so awesome in many ways. It's my favourite part.

I don't really think it need references, but maybe it's just because I have watched enough of these two (and enough of Momosu in general).  Anyway, really good work. I'll be sure to stalk you and your writings for now on. Yes,  you got yourself a brand new fan  :yossi: I'm really bad at commenting, but I'll do my best lol And sorry for my crappy English

Can I ask who will be the next character?

Offline Beecubed

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Re: Character Study
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2010, 03:34:45 PM »
O. M. G

...

My heart is racing a little at the moment... but wow, gracula, just wow.  :bow:

I'm a huge IshiYoshi fan (I think I've said this a few hundred times already xD), and this. THIS. Wow... this is the kind of thing I've been waiting to read  :heart:

What you've written here I would say is excruciatingly accurate.

Maybe not if we're looking at facts and certainty, but from a fan's point of view, definitely. In the IshiYoshi thread @ Chuuch, there have been many discussions going on about this; the reason for Yossie's constant teasing, how they seemed to drift a little apart after those tabloids were released claiming they were dating. The thoughts that must've been running through their heads at that time... we all did agree that they were young, and must have been feeling confused, vulnerable and scared.

I'm definitely going to link your 'character study' piece to the IshiYoshi thread. We haven't had an IshiYoshi fic (or ficlet, no matter!) in a while >.>

ANYWAY. This is plain awesome. Despite being rather short, it's so well written, with such bite, and brims with deep thoughts and emotions. All this, and you didn't even need to be that verbose.  :nervous
I also have to say that it really rings true. Your take is very realistic, there's nothing that I would question here, seriously!


Quote
That hurt me as much as I'm sure it did you.

 :cry:
That was quite heartbreaking to read. >.<


Quote
I swear, it's never occurred to me before this, not even for a second- you and I. But as he said that, I could see it. I instantly knew what he was talking about- like a slide show, all the touches, the hand-holding and all those damned looks of genuine affection suddenly twisted and made... dirty, somehow.

Loved how you conveyed this moment, her thoughts.
I could really feel Yossie here.


Quote
I didn't understand- I was 16, after all. I remember feeling scared, disgusted with myself  for some reason, confused, frustrated.

Exactly how I imagine Yossie would've felt back then >.<


Excellent stuff, I can't wait to read more of your character studies!!!!  :w00t:
I'm personally interested in seeing a character study of Ai-chan. Just because, you know, she's such a mystery to a lot of us.  XD (I'm sure many of you guys would agree!)

You can put in references if you want to (it will show how much research you've done & how insightful you are!), but it's certainly not necessary. ^___^

All in all, you've found a reader in me, I will religiously follow this thread and your work as long as you continue to write!  :heart:

Thank you so much for starting this thread up, and for sharing with us your insights. I really hope JPH!P doesn't lose you as a writer; so many people have come and gone (in the blink of an eye at times), and it would be such a pity if you didn't continue this.  :yep:

Looking forward to another update!~
 :love:


---


I'm really bad at commenting

How on earth can you believe that you're bad at commenting, Tightrope? >.>
You're a whole level above the average commenter  :heart:
« Last Edit: November 22, 2010, 03:42:48 PM by Beecubed »

Offline oddball

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Re: Character Study
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2010, 04:42:28 PM »
Nice start to this series, really liked your writing style, looking forward to more in the future!  :twothumbs

Offline gracula

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Re: Character Study
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2010, 07:10:18 PM »
Thank you all for your fantastic comments, and thank you for the thank yous. I really didn't expect such comprehensive encouragement so soon. I'll just take it as a good sign and keep on keeping on.

Tightrope: thank you for delurking for me. Since you're my first ever commenter on a piece of fiction, you get to pick a character and situation for me to write about.  :theking I'll try my best, even if it means loads of research (boy, what a chore, huh?)

Beecubed: I went to the Ishiyoshi thread you were talking about and came across your piece. Wow, great minds, huh?  :) I've been meaning to get an Ai-chan piece out, but like you said, she is very mysterious. Just when you think you've gotten the corner on her, she shows an entirely different facet of herself. I'll have to go rewatch my Haromoni episodes again.

oddball: hope you don't get disappointed, cause my writing style really varies. Thank you for reading.


-----

Character Study #2: Ayaka Kimura, 2003

“Shit.” I sat up, yanking weakly at my pajamas to straighten the twists out. I sighed at the clock, showing 9:15am. “Shit. Shit. Shit.”

No, I wasn't late for work. I wasn't late for anything. I haven't been late for anything because there simply hasn't been anything to be late for.

“Shit,” I swore at my life one more time for good measure.

I checked my messages, on the off-chance that there'd be something important.

<<Hiiii Ayaka-chan!! Good morning, sleepyhead! I'm in the studio waiting for my turn to shoot our latest PV. It's soooo boring. :yawn: See you and Maichin tonight!>>

My brain stopped processing for a while. There were so many places to tear into I couldn't figure where to start until I'd emptied my bladder. Morning ablutions were performed on autopilot, I was definitely not a morning person. Waitaminute- I grabbed my phone and scrolled down my inbox. None from Mai. I opened Yossie's again, sent at 4:45am.

Those treacherous, gainfully-employed, little sacks of... My thumbs flew across the keypad, as I typed furiously, <<If you both loved me, you'd kill yourselves today>>. I stared at the blinking cursor and deleted each character one by one slowly. It was awkwardly phrased and 'kill yourselves' didn't translate very well in Japanese.

My kanji sucks and my English is borderline crap, not that anyone could tell. I was literally the one-eyed bilingual man in the land of the rising sun. I gave up a college education, warm tropical nights and hot surfers for what? Coconuts Musume, what a fucking joke.

“Shit,” I sighed as I speed-dialed Mai.

She picked up on the fifth ring, “Mushi-mush,”

“What's going on tonight?” I kept my voice flat and toneless.

“Ah, Ayaka. I was just about to text you when you called.”

Liar. “So, where're we meeting?”

“Our usual place next to the studio, Yossi and I have matching schedules for once.”

“Really.”

“I'm sorry.”

Silence.

“I'll hug you tonight when I see you, okay?

“Okay. Yossie's buying because I'm almost jobless and you might as well be.”

“I love you, Ayaka.”

When I get like this, only Mai-chin can get me out of my funk. I never have to explain it to her because she understands. In my saner moments, preferably mid-day with some coffee in me, I'd never begrudge my best friends their lives and would never even dream of comparing their situations with mine.

Sometimes, its better to just stay in bed. But pineapples need endorsing and Hello Project needs to display their remaining Coconut Musume during concerts.

Shit.

----

Huh, I really didn't expect to write today, so bear with the word vomit.

It's probably really OOC in RL, but Ayaka's always struck me as someone adorably cynical and profane. Like she knew how and when to be cutesy, but basically screaming inside, "Omigod, I can't believe I'm f*cking doing this for a living." Ayaka and Mika gets this fixed, frozen, cultural-shocked look anytime something stupid was going on around them.
Beyond the odd handful of Surprise English Lessons and that one time I watched the Futarigoto threesome, I can't say I am actually qualified to write about this. It was fun, though.

"I'm still blaming Sayu for my lolicon tendencies now." ~Essy

Offline Tightrope

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Re: Character Study
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2010, 11:45:37 PM »
Omg I just came back home and what I found? UPDATE! HELL YES. I never thought you were such a fast writer. I think I love you more now. But first things first...

Tightrope: thank you for delurking for me. Since you're my first ever commenter on a piece of fiction, you get to pick a character and situation for me to write about.  :theking I'll try my best, even if it means loads of research (boy, what a chore, huh?)

Seriously? I mean... like... seriously? OMG. I should have delurked before, such wonderful things happen when you actually show yourself!  XD
And thanks, thanks a lot. It the first time someone offer something like this to me. I'm moved  :cry:  I'll pick our beloved Charmy, Ishikawa Rika. And I think it's very cliché but... I'll pick graduation as situation (I don't mind if is her graduation or another member graduation). I really want to know what you can do with this ~

And now, for the chapter... I don't really care if it's OOC. I'm not qualified to judge that either but I love it anyway. I can picture that situation perfectly, poor Ayaka. I like a lot the portrayed friendship of those three here too.  I watched that futarigoto with the three of them and they are so funny and sweet together <3

And btw, I lol'ed so bad at this:

<<If you both loved me, you'd kill yourselves today>>

 :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I'll say it again, I'm really falling in love with your writing skills. It's like you took all the things I like regarding writing styles and mix them together. I'm envious at how well you can express so much in a few lines. They really get to me (no idea if that is the proper way to say it, but I hope you understand anyway lol)

About future character studies ~  From the actual girls I'm curious about Ai-chan too. The great and sexy mistery of MM. But if I think about OG, I'm interested to see how you are going to manage Nono and/or Aibon. Yes, I love those two and I haven't found anything satisfiying to read about yet lol I'm counting on you?


------

How on earth can you believe that you're bad at commenting, Tightrope? >.>
You're a whole level above the average commenter  :heart:

You are gonna make me blush here :heart: Thanks! I say I don't think I'm very good because I can't express what I really want to in a comment. I feel I left out so many things I want to point out. I try but because of it, I tend to rant a lot and do random fails at English lol. I'm agree 100% with the "writers put effort on writing, commenters should put effort on theirs comments too" <3 so you are like my idol commenter here in this forum.

Ranting too much again....

And waiting for the next update!  :heart:

Offline Beecubed

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Re: Character Study
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2010, 04:27:06 AM »
FAST UPDATES FTW!~  :heart:

Thank you all for your fantastic comments, and thank you for the thank yous. I really didn't expect such comprehensive encouragement so soon. I'll just take it as a good sign and keep on keeping on.

Of course! I was expecting more comments and more fangirling for that Yossie piece, to be honest. But hey, the forum seems to be moving quite slowly in recent times so I'd take it as a good sign too. ^___^


Quote
Beecubed: I went to the Ishiyoshi thread you were talking about and came across your piece. Wow, great minds, huh?  :) I've been meaning to get an Ai-chan piece out, but like you said, she is very mysterious. Just when you think you've gotten the corner on her, she shows an entirely different facet of herself. I'll have to go rewatch my Haromoni episodes again.

Hehe... that was more me going on a fangirly rampage than anything, but yah, I do think a lot about what really goes on between the girls, especially those who seem to have very tangible relations.

 :yep: That's Ai-chan for you! Initially, she seems quite... straight-forward and easy to figure out, but the more you watch, the more you begin to wonder...  XD
Such an interesting character~ can't wait to read an Ai-chan study from you!  :shocked:

That also makes me curious - do you have favourite members? Or are you the kind of fan who loves all members  equally?

OK.

So just to get this out in the open - I'm not very familiar with Ayaka  XD

I owe everything to her though, because Ayaka's Surprise English Lessons were what got me into this fandom in the first place. So Ayaka...  :bow:
But all I know about her is from what I watched in those lessons, and the odd guest appearance.

I won't be able to judge your character study of hers from a very informed perspective, so I'll take it more for entertainment  :)


Quote
Ayaka's always struck me as someone adorably cynical and profane. Like she knew how and when to be cutesy, but basically screaming inside, "Omigod, I can't believe I'm f*cking doing this for a living." Ayaka and Mika gets this fixed, frozen, cultural-shocked look anytime something stupid was going on around them.

Honto? That's interesting that you would think of Ayaka as somebody who's 'cynical and profane.' Really?  :lol:

I don't know, I never got that impression watching her, but I can see how it might work. While Tsuji was putting her through the Surprise Dance Lesson, you think she was really spitting obscenities in her head? The thought's kinda funny, actually.  XD

But interesting observation, and is certainly valid.  :thumbsup

Those treacherous, gainfully-employed, little sacks of... My thumbs flew across the keypad, as I typed furiously, <<If you both loved me, you'd kill yourselves today>>. I stared at the blinking cursor and deleted each character one by one slowly. It was awkwardly phrased and 'kill yourselves' didn't translate very well in Japanese.

 :rofl:


Quote
My kanji sucks and my English is borderline crap, not that anyone could tell. I was literally the one-eyed bilingual man in the land of the rising sun. I gave up a college education, warm tropical nights and hot surfers for what? Coconuts Musume, what a fucking joke.

Awwww, poor Ayaka  :(

Well, I can see that H!P hasn't been all that kind to her. Coconuts Musume was never a group that was given much significance; if Ayaka ever had those kinds of thoughts, I wouldn't blame her.

But Ayaka's English is good, isn't it? Why would she think it borderline crap?  :?
I always thought it was great.


Quote
Liar. “So, where're we meeting?”

xD

I really like your subtle characterisations. Lol.

Another great character study, although I couldn't do much analysis on this because I don't know Ayaka very well  :nervous
From what I can see, it's a valid interpretation, definitely credible. Ayaka could very well have had all these rather spiteful, lonely moments, those thoughts. H!P didn't utilise her enough, or allow enough time, space and exposure for her to grow and become the fully-fledged artist she had the potential to be. Pity.

Great writing, once again  :twothumbs
You really do harness the power of a first person POV extremely well; smooth execution, tight narrative.
VERY excited to see more...  :w00t:


I'll pick our beloved Charmy, Ishikawa Rika. And I think it's very cliché but... I'll pick graduation as situation (I don't mind if is her graduation or another member graduation). I really want to know what you can do with this ~

 :nya: :nya: :nya: :nya:

@Tightrope = I'll move our little new convo to here.

---

Thanks again, grac, for writing and sharing.  :wub:

Take your time with the Charmy~ one, you might need it   :rikabunny

Looking forward to the next update!
 :love:

Offline kuro_808

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Re: Character Study
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2010, 07:53:24 AM »
 :O I like this so far, its quite interesting has a catch to it, wow really great how it went together :thumbup
Random Thought:

tumblr

R.I.P. Jab!  Dad/friend

Offline oddball

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Re: Character Study
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2010, 03:22:18 PM »
Good work Gracula  :twothumbs

I kinda imagined Ayaka like this aswell (my knowlege of her is about the same as yours!  :doh:)

I can so imagine her being like this in the mornings aswell  :lol:

Offline Rayle

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Re: Character Study
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2010, 07:55:06 PM »
I have to comment on these, they're absolutely beautiful and with the dying quality H!P fanfic community(I'm not helping...kinda jumped ship to SNSD fic which is abundant although...less quality  :lol:) I never thought I'd see pieces of this calibre from a new writer.

These have taken almost a brutal look at the main "issue" at the heart of each girl(an alternative one for Yossie could be her being shoehorned into the masculine image, but it can also be argued that her ambiguous sexuality is what drove that anyways, to where even Iida was unsure of her sexuality) and I love it! There's a reality to these pieces without drowning in angst like other "look at how fucked up idol life is" stories tend to be, and I feel like it has so much more impact that way. The interpretation of the Romantic Two Girl Friendship has been brought into question as opinions on sexuality have changed, and what with the rampant shipping of idols due to their chummy behavior it really is something to think about. I love your take on it, especially still keeping the true nature of the Ishiyoshi relationship unclear.

I wonder what the Ayaka one would have been like even further down the road when Mai started getting popular again thanks to Quiz Hexagon. And it is somewhat a question of what the not so active idols do with all of their downtime, and how they deal with knowing that their time has passed or that they never had a chance to begin with.

You can be assured I'll be following this series with enthusiasm.

Offline gracula

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Re: Character Study
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2010, 09:43:46 PM »
You know, I'm really procrastinating all round by being here. Not like I really planned to write anything tonight either.  :nervous

Tightrope: request granted... just not today.  :P I got 3 pages full of notes and links already. Lets really go for the gusto here- Ishikawa-san deserves a whole lot better than a rushed-out ficlet. I was already working on an Aibon- we'll see where that takes me.

Beecubed:  :D i really was going for entertainment value- it was really fun to write. I think I was just projecting myself when writing it- muttering 'f*ck' repeatedly in the morning, while trying to muster some motivation to get into work. I just had to explore that with one of the girls. Ayaka is a fantastic subject- given her good-natured personality, it brings to reason that she'd turn to humor first in any given situation. So even when she is spitting nails angry or really depressed, there would still be an underlying dark humor present.

Quote
But Ayaka's English is good, isn't it? Why would she think it borderline crap? 
I always thought it was great.

It *is* great, given the fact that she isn't a formally trained translator and therefore not equipped to deal with the different syntax in Japanese and English, resulting in some truly hilarious grammatical interpretations. I'm quite certain that she actually realizes its wrong the moment it comes out of her mouth, and shrugs it aside with a "What the heck, its not like the viewers are going to realize its wrong. We just need to make sure Mika doesn't blow the whistle on me."

You can have great English, but still think that it needs work. And if you're Ayaka, in the middle of a deep funk, everything is borderline crap.

 XD

Kuro: thanks! hm, i wonder if I can tie all the character studies into one 'verse and start overlapping stories like a two-shot. Let me get enough portraits first though.

oddball: heck, *i'm* like that in the mornings.  :lol: thanks for the thumbs up.

Rayle: Thank you for the comment. It was incredibly insightful and I actually squeed a little to see a trope referenced. Pabo-era Mai occurred to me, but i will assume that Ayaka would be a little too mature to throw a tantrum like that, even with her best friends. :P Besides, Ayaka was probably too busy dating during that time too. I will, however, probably crank out how Mai would be like with Ayaka finding happiness in love.



-----

Character Study #3: Kago Ai
Or 4 people who feel personally responsible for Aibon, and one who doesn't

1. Nakazawa Yuuko
In the grander scheme of all things Hello Project!, Nakazawa-san feels responsible for everything. She saw the warning signs a long time ago and she just didn't think Kaorin would appreciate being told what to do by the ex-leader who had trouble letting go.

So she became that cool aunt figure who just wanted to hang with the kids and not really need to raise them. She doted on them, both on-screen and off. Playing pranks with Tsuji-chan, to the everlasting exasperation of their main target, Yaguchi and sneaking sweets in for Kago-chan when she was on a company-enforced diet. When puberty hit Kago-chan, she saw the girl mature at breakneck speed- even more so than the elder Tsuji-chan. Being the stained woman of the world she was, she bought contraceptives and discreetly passed them to Kago, along with gentle advice and loving acceptance.

On quiet nights, Nakazawa-san flips through old photo albums and tears up from time to time when she looks at the two children pulling faces at the camera, nostrils stuffed with coins.

2. Iida Kaori
She loved them both equally, she liked to think- but secretly, if she was forced to admit it, she had a soft spot for Aibon.

She made it a point to spend time with them in private- going out for movies, arcades, smuggling home-cooked meals into the studio and hiding in an unused practice room to enjoy their secret feasts.

At their graduation, it was all she could do not to cry at the beautifully stricken features of Aibon, who had grown up into a beautiful woman almost overnight.

3. Yaguchi Mari
The very bane of her existence, both Kago and Tsuji feature prominently in her nightmares about work. Often, they are late for their next Mini Moni appearance because of some prank, sometimes involving rope and Mika. There was that one time when Kago was chasing her on a dinosaur, sharp teeth snapping at her to the sound of childish laughter. Sometimes, she wakes up in cold sweat after Tsuji strips her down to nothing in front of a full crowd at the Yokohama arena. Yaguchi would be especially temperamental those days, and the daily lecture would be that little bit harsher than usual.

God knows she's apologised on their behalf often enough to be personally responsible for them.

4. Ishikawa Rika and Yoshizawa Hitomi
A parent unit counts as one.

They've truly tried their best with the girls. They tried everything, the 'good cop, bad cop' routine, the 'divide and conquer', 'carrot and stick'- but nothing worked. Yossie personally thought that Rika pampered them a little too much, especially Non since she'd throw a tantrum until someone pays her some attention. Aibon would just sulk and withdraw into herself if she felt ignored. Yossie recognized it for the teenage defense mechanism it was and left her alone those times. Maybe she should've just paid more attention then.

Til today, Yossie and Rika still cringe internally every time someone brings her up during talk shows.

5.Tsuji Nozomi
To be honest, Non was unapologetically self-absorbed during her teen years. Her carefree youth was spent and squandered exactly how she wanted, without regrets. How was she to know that her best friend's youth was a little less carefree than hers? Aibon was just the same as ever, always going along with whatever harebrained scheme Non thought was brilliant for the day.
She knew Aibon was dating, of course. They'd talk about boys and sex and giggle about it while flipping through the latest teen magazines. When Aibon got dumped, Non dragged her out of bed and they gorged themselves on sweets at their favorite patisserie. Aibon never spoke about her problems, and Non never questioned, loving her best friend just the same.
She matured by leaps and bounds during Aibon's suspension period. It was a blessing in disguise, it turned out, to prepare her for the eventuality of losing her partner-in-crime and work colleague forever.
Rika patted her head and held her as she cried, telling her she was not to be blamed for what happened and that she was just a "focussed individual, not selfish". Non knew better, but she decided a long time ago to spend and squander her youth and life exactly how she wanted without regrets. So she carried on with her life, sparing a few minutes sometimes to drop Aibon a note or call. Things changed, but Aibon was just the same as ever.

----
This was hastily written, but I got bit and it refused to let go until I got this piece out. I will do another Kago study in a different format some other time.

Will be swamped for the next three days, but who knows? I could end up being at my most productive just to escape from work.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2010, 09:52:34 PM by gracula »

"I'm still blaming Sayu for my lolicon tendencies now." ~Essy

Offline Tightrope

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Re: Character Study
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2010, 11:40:57 PM »
Another update? Yes, yes!  :otomerika: You sure know how to keep your readers happy, don't you?  :heart:

Tightrope: request granted... just not today.  :P I got 3 pages full of notes and links already. Lets really go for the gusto here- Ishikawa-san deserves a whole lot better than a rushed-out ficlet. I was already working on an Aibon- we'll see where that takes me.

3 pages?! Omgosh  :O  You are getting me excited already! Take all the time you need to write that one, I'll be waiting  patiently. Even if I have to wait a month, I know it will worth it. 

And this one is Aibon's...!  :cow: It seems today it's my lucky day ~

Personally, I always liked fics with the theme of  "X people who XXX and one who doesn't" or "X times that XXX and one that XXX" and such. Aibon + that theme = high expectations since the beggining. But I have to  confess the first thing I did after reading that was scroll down to spoil who were the chosen members  :lol:  I'm pretty satisfied with the selection by the way, even if I would have liked to see Nacchi there too.

With the first one you had me in tears already, you know? Okay, I'm a crybaby, I admit it, but...

On quiet nights, Nakazawa-san flips through old photo albums and tears up from time to time when she looks at the two children pulling faces at the camera, nostrils stuffed with coins.

... this sure was  heartbreaking. And the fact it was THE Nakazawa Yuko who was doing it, only made it worse. I miss those two together and happy, dammit  :cry: :cry: :cry: I like how Yuko somewhat see it coming but in the end she just does the best she can withouth really being interfering. Aw, gotta love the first leader.
 
Kaorin always give me this motherly feeling, and that's exactly how you portrayed her here too. I  find this part really sweet.  I went all "Awwww" while reading it. I guess I have a soft spot for Aibon too.

As for Yaguchi....  :lol: What can I say, first you almost made me cry and then, a moment later, I'm already laughing again.  I can't imagine how tough had to be to baby-sit those two and try to work at the same time.  All the nightmares were awesome, but THIS:

Often, they are late for their next Mini Moni appearance because of some prank, sometimes involving rope and Mika.

:lol::lol::lol:

This is made of win. I would love to read  the whole situation someday even if I feel a little sorry Mika. I bet is funny as hell.

Ishiyoshi comes together yay! They were like a happy family back then. Lol'ed with the routines :lol: But aw... kinda bittersweet this one too.

Til today, Yossie and Rika still cringe internally every time someone brings her up during talk shows.

I think that's true. No matter how much time passes they can't leave behind the "we are a family" feeling. They sure seems like they feel responsible of those two sometimes.  And this part reminded me, I don't remember where I saw it... Maybe a TV program, or an event? It was Rika saying something like no matter what, they will always be a family of four persons :cry:

And the last one... it has to be Nono. It was the saddest of all, no doubt :cry: I won't quote this one, because I'll end quoting the whole part. But it was really touching. In  a couple of paragraphs you described it well. Too well, in fact :cry: Poor Nono, really. It must have been very hard for her.

Those ficlets get better and better with each one you post. I cannot wait for the next one ~ 

Will be swamped for the next three days, but who knows? I could end up being at my most productive just to escape from work.

That happens to me a lot. The less time I have, the more inspired I get. Whatever happens, take it slowly. We will happily receive you back again when you finish with your work. But yeah, if you feel the muse, don't let her escape :lol:


Offline oddball

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Re: Character Study
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2010, 11:39:15 AM »
Another good profile Gracula  :twothumbs

the Non part at the end was both kinda sweet and melancholy at the same time I was my favorite out of all of them

Though I can totally see Yossie and Rika cringe when they are brought up in shows  :lol:

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Re: Character Study
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2010, 05:49:13 PM »
The Aibon character study was good at making what type of influences did drive her, although the Non one was great in description, good job
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Offline Beecubed

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Re: Character Study
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2010, 04:33:19 AM »
 :shocked:

Grac! Your updating speed is something to be admired! m(_ _)m

YAY!


:D i really was going for entertainment value- it was really fun to write. I think I was just projecting myself when writing it- muttering 'f*ck' repeatedly in the morning, while trying to muster some motivation to get into work. I just had to explore that with one of the girls. Ayaka is a fantastic subject- given her good-natured personality, it brings to reason that she'd turn to humor first in any given situation. So even when she is spitting nails angry or really depressed, there would still be an underlying dark humor present.

 :wub:
I love that you put that much thought into yours writing. It shows, if nothing else, the dedication you have, the effort you put in. I love that about a writer. <3
Again, I haven't really given Ayaka that much thought (bad Bee!), but I have to agree, you managed to mould a character from what you knew about her, gave her that extra pizazz and brought her to life in that previous study of yours. Well done.  :twothumbs


Quote
I'm quite certain that she actually realizes its wrong the moment it comes out of her mouth, and shrugs it aside with a "What the heck, its not like the viewers are going to realize its wrong. We just need to make sure Mika doesn't blow the whistle on me."

 :lol:
True. And you just had to question her teaching style... did the girls really learn anything? The learning took place through rote memorisation almost every single time. But hey, we got plenty of laughs out of it so I'm in no position to complain.  :P


Quote
You can have great English, but still think that it needs work. And if you're Ayaka, in the middle of a deep funk, everything is borderline crap.

 XD
"in the middle of a deep funk"
Never heard this expression before! I like it, there's a nice ring to it. Where are you from, grac?



Quote
Character Study #3: Kago Ai
Or 4 people who feel personally responsible for Aibon, and one who doesn't

I loved this piece even before I finished reading it.  XD
Awesome character study title. <3

Anyways, was I expecting the 4 people to be who they were? Yes. Must be the past Momusu leaders who were responsible for looking over them. Mari, who seems to have copped so much abuse and terror from them. And of course, Papa, Mama and Nono.  :cry:


Quote
In the grander scheme of all things Hello Project!, Nakazawa-san feels responsible for everything. She saw the warning signs a long time ago and she just didn't think Kaorin would appreciate being told what to do by the ex-leader who had trouble letting go.

Nakazawa-san and her undying love for Momusu  :heart:
It's very possible that Yuko would feel responsible, especially because she was their first leader, and she saw things through even after her graduation. I never actually thought about that though; I was always preoccupied with the thought that IshiYoshi might be ones feeling kind of responsible  :nervous


Quote
So she became that cool aunt figure who just wanted to hang with the kids and not really need to raise them. She doted on them, both on-screen and off. Playing pranks with Tsuji-chan, to the everlasting exasperation of their main target, Yaguchi and sneaking sweets in for Kago-chan when she was on a company-enforced diet.

In spite of Yuko's pretty harsh exterior, I do believe she is a very big softie inside. And when it comes to the kids, I really can imagine how doting on them like that.
Sneaking in sweets for Aibon when she's on a company-enforced diet? Awwwww~


Quote
On quiet nights, Nakazawa-san flips through old photo albums and tears up from time to time when she looks at the two children pulling faces at the camera, nostrils stuffed with coins.

 :cry:
Oh, the nostalgia!
I wonder if she's tearing up here because she feels she could have done more to help... or if she's simply reminiscing about old times? Perhaps, a mixture of both.  :love:


Quote
Sometimes, she wakes up in cold sweat after Tsuji strips her down to nothing in front of a full crowd at the Yokohama arena. Yaguchi would be especially temperamental those days, and the daily lecture would be that little bit harsher than usual.

 XD
Oh, Mari. Definitely the one who received the biggest load of hair-tearing annoyances from them. Can't begin to imagine how many lectures and scoldings the two 'monsters' had to listen (or not xD) to. I wonder if she's ever regretted her proposal that got Mini Moni started...  :nervous

Yes, Mari would've definitely had nightmares of them. She probably didn't let it show back then (at least, not to my knowledge) how much they affected her... but look at all the stories she's told since. ^^; Poor Mari, I really have to sympathesise with her!

Nightmares of Tsuji stripping her down to nothing in front of a full crowd... ? :bleed eyes:
Well, she did try, didn't she?  :lol:


Quote
Yossie personally thought that Rika pampered them a little too much


I got the impression that Yossie pampered them almost as much as Rika did, in her own, passively accepting way. ^__^ (and Rika & Aibon seemed to fight a hell of a lot, to the point where Charmy was forced into tears almost every time >.<).

Rika and Nono were as close as could be, and Yossie & Aibon were a match of their own. And even after the trouble pair left Momusu, you could still tell how biased Rika was (in favouring Nono during the Hello!Morning shows when Nono was guest xD).

But yeah, overall, 4th gen was an extremely tight bunch and the Ganko family will forever be remembered!  :heart:


Quote
Til today, Yossie and Rika still cringe internally every time someone brings her up during talk shows.

YES.
And not just internally either. You can see it on their faces. xD
I'm not entirely sure if it's simply because they may be feeling 'responsible'; but Aibon and Nono were first and foremost, a part of 4th Gen, their comrades, their friends. To have to hear about them like that, especially Aibon, it must be somewhat awkward, maybe even painful. I'm sure they'd be thinking something along the lines of, "*mentally slaps forehead* Can we just move on please?..."  :sweatdrop:

The Nono part was... incredibly bittersweet to read.


Quote
Aibon never spoke about her problems, and Non never questioned, loving her best friend just the same.

 :mon cry:


Quote
Rika patted her head and held her as she cried, telling her she was not to be blamed for what happened and that she was just a "focussed individual, not selfish". Non knew better, but she decided a long time ago to spend and squander her youth and life exactly how she wanted without regrets. So she carried on with her life, sparing a few minutes sometimes to drop Aibon a note or call. Things changed, but Aibon was just the same as ever.

Gorgeous. I love how there are no ill feelings towards Aibon at all, from any of the members (except Mari, but in her case it's justified  :lol:).
<333

I thought you were going to go into a bit more depth about... Aibon.. and her troubles. But you didn't. You made this endearingly nostalgic and kept it from the warm perspectives of her former fellow group members. I loved it.  :luvuluvu:


Quote
This was hastily written, but I got bit and it refused to let go until I got this piece out. I will do another Kago study in a different format some other time.

Hastily written or not, your writing remains great as usual; it really reaches out to me. Can't quite explain it, but whatever you're doing, keep it up!  :thumbsup
Can't wait to read more studies!  :inlove:


Quote
Will be swamped for the next three days, but who knows? I could end up being at my most productive just to escape from work.

That's fine; you've already been pumping out the studies over the past few days. I'd say an update a week from any writer would make me happy. You've already exceeded that in every way, so no worries. At all.  :P


Again, no elaborate plotlines or anything here (no need, as we already know what's happened xD). And I totally love the change of pace your 'studies' provide. :D

Seriously CANNOT wait for the Charmy one. I'd love to see how you portray my ichiban idol.  :twothumbs I'm sure I'd have a lot to respond to that, as my fangirling instincts just kick in big time if it's got to do with Rika-chan. And with those 3 pages of notes that you have, I'm sure you can't do any wrong!  :heart:

Thank you for the wonderful update!  :twothumbs

Waiting for your next study! 
 :otomerika:


Offline gracula

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Re: Character Study
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2010, 06:00:44 AM »
As always, thank you all for reading. I can still scarcely believe that people will want to read the junk I crank out.

Tightrope: Here.

'Doko on'nanoko-tachi?' she thought impatiently. Yaguchi pulled a tube of Tums from the little sling bag on her costume and popped two in her mouth. She glanced at Manager-san who seemed unconcerned that the three girls were missing and the Production Assistant was already giving the call to get onstage.

"Mika better have a damn good reason for being late," fumed Yaguchi, as she made her way to the dressing rooms at the far end of the hall.

The corridor was a little unfamiliar, even though she'd been there before. They stretched on a little longer than she remembered and they were lit in red and pink. Large pillows were scattered along the hallway and Yaguchi stopped briefly to flop onto the most comfortable surface she's ever rested on. As she was stretching out her kinks away, she heard screaming further down the corridor.

"Help!" Mika's voice rang out. Yaguchi tried running towards the call, but she found her legs failing her, as though she was moving through molasses. Mika was still calling for help in an unintelligible language, English, she supposed.

As she neared their dressing room, Mika's screaming and groaning took on a slight... ero tone. "What the hell?" Yaguchi thought as she threw the door open.

And there she was, in resplendent rope-play glory- Mika was buck-naked and trussed up like a fetishists wet dream, dangling from the ceiling by cleverly looped straps around her wrists and ankles.

"Yaguchi-sama, oshioki kibonnu!"

"Oh my gahd." Yaguchi ran out the door shutting out the sounds of the monsters' girlish laughter.

The Mini Moni leader sat up from bed, hyperventilating, heart thumping so loud she was afraid it would burst out of her chest, "I definitely need a boyfriend."

 :grin: Sorry, sacrificing quality for a bit. Am rushing somewhere now. But I couldn't stop thinking about Mika in ropes.


Oddball: Yeah, Non's was the most difficult to write, only because as I was writing it, I realized Tsuji-san was still, a little self-absorbed. I truly adore her personality, but I wonder if they even communicate at all. Oh well, we all lose our closest, dearest childhood friends. I suppose that's just a normal rite of growing up.

Kuro: Thanks! :) Aibon is her own person, but it really is the influences around her that make her. I'm sure everyone did some major soul-searching when she got fired.

Bee: I just got really inspired, I hope I find a somewhat regular rhythm to this.

Quote
"in the middle of a deep funk"
Never heard this expression before! I like it, there's a nice ring to it. Where are you from, grac?

I've always thought 'in a funk' meant 'emotionally under the weather'. I'm sure it's North American influence, but I'm Malaysian, as I have mentioned.

Quote
YES.
And not just internally either. You can see it on their faces. xD
I'm not entirely sure if it's simply because they may be feeling 'responsible'; but Aibon and Nono were first and foremost, a part of 4th Gen, their comrades, their friends. To have to hear about them like that, especially Aibon, it must be somewhat awkward, maybe even painful. I'm sure they'd be thinking something along the lines of, "*mentally slaps forehead* Can we just move on please?..."

Yeah, you know, I've seen a still of Yossi touching the back of her neck during the Shabekuri interview I don't know if they were talking about the girls then. That's actually an unconscious tell- a sign that she's angry. We must track down the exact moment.

Quote
Seriously CANNOT wait for the Charmy one. I'd love to see how you portray my ichiban idol.   I'm sure I'd have a lot to respond to that, as my fangirling instincts just kick in big time if it's got to do with Rika-chan. And with those 3 pages of notes that you have, I'm sure you can't do any wrong! 

Errgh- I hope I don't get excommunicated by the Chuuch if my portrayal of Charmy/graduation ends up a little less than ideal.  :sweatdrop:

-----

Here we go. This one was Really Difficult to complete, only because i keep getting distracted. Just take it for the entertainment value that only Fujimoto Miki's ego can provide.

-----

Character Study #4: Ishikawa Rika, October 2005
by Fujimoto Miki

Everyone exists for the sole purpose of Fujimoto Miki's entertainment. Wasn't it already clearly evident from the get-go when they had the First Fujimoto Miki Welcome Championship?

In her mind, your worth as a human being is determined only by the entertainment value you can provide her. A quick wit and natural comic timing is highly valued. God forbid if you were lame, or disgusting or just plain bland. Miki-sama has discriminating tastes in humor- and these do not include:-

1)Trying too hard to be funny
2)Buri-buri princess behaviour, forced or genuine
3)Lame puns, unless you were a senior leader and deference needed to be shown for proprieties' sake
4)Over-exaggeration of a role or character
5)Shameless self-praise
6)Ham

Imagine then, the surprise of one Yoshizawa Hitomi when her subleader said, “Rika-chan is really funny, ne?” with a fond laugh as they were packing to leave the studio.

Wide-eyed and bewildered, “Un,” was all Yossie could say right then in response.

“Yeah- she was fantastic, feeding me lines earlier, when we were dissing Sayu. And,” she broke up, ssexy beasting “You weren't here in the morning- I came with Aya-chan for the Eriku Kamezo corner. She was...” she bent over laughing, wiping her tears as she recalled the shoot. “Hehh. Ma, anyway, she's hilarious.”

“Hah?”

“Nandaiyo? Oh, for god's sake, don't make a big deal out of it. It's not like I'm declaring my undying love for her.”

“What happened?”

“You'll just have to watch it when it airs- I dunno if they'll edit it out, though. It was super, super funny,” she giggled again.

“No, I mean, what happened to you?”

Miki tsked in irritation, “You're the one who's always telling me to give her a chance, for the team.”

“Ah.”

“I got it all figured out. I spent the whole of yesterday's break with Aya-chan watching old episodes when she was Charmy. That was just fucking irritating. But you know what's really funny? That split second before she affects her Charmy chara and she realizes she has to do something really embarrassing. That is just too damned hilarious. She's fantastic.”

Yossie gaped in confusion as Mikitty continued extolling the comedic virtues of Charmy Ishikawa, like a connoisseur describing fine wine. Her head was beginning to hurt as Miki referenced parts of the Hello Pro News corner verbatim. When Miki described one scene as cute, Yossi almost choked on the aspirin she just swallowed.

Miki thumped Yossie on the back as she coughed violently, “Are you okay?”

Throat hoarse from coughing, Yossie nodded, “Mm- shall we go?” She opened a new bottle of water.

As they exited their joint dressing room, Miki slipped her arm through Yossie's companionably, “Ah, Yocchan.” she said, casually swinging her duffel bag over her shoulder. “You tell Rika-chan any of this, I will wedgie you repeatedly during a concert.”

She's never had water shoot out her nose with such force before.

"I'm still blaming Sayu for my lolicon tendencies now." ~Essy

Offline kuro_808

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Re: Character Study [update 29Nov- Study #4]
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2010, 07:24:24 AM »
Miki has her way around Yossie and admired Rika supposedly
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Offline Tightrope

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Re: Character Study [update 29Nov- Study #4]
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2010, 12:07:04 PM »
OH MY GAWD, YOU DID IT :rofl:

I came here searching for the update, but certainly didn't expect the extra. I was laughing like mad the while reading the whole thing  :rofl: I know you know, and probably I will repeat it a lot of times but I love you grac  :heart:

I love the little details like the corridor being longer and with weird lights and Yaguchi having trouble at running properly, because those are the kind of things that happens in dreams all the time. They are quite annoying  :lol:  The whole scene when Yaguchi find Mika at least is  :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: Seriously, this is better than I imagined. You made my day  XD Thanks

And now... time for dancing cows! :cow: UPDATE UPDATE, CHARMY UPDATE :cow:

I'm trying to figure how to comment without quoting the whole thing  XD

I love Miki, and the fact this study it's somewhat from her point of view, made it even more awesome. Just look at the beginning. It's so Miki-like. We have the study of Miki herself in those first paragraphs :lol:

1)Trying too hard to be funny
2)Buri-buri princess behaviour, forced or genuine
3)Lame puns, unless you were a senior leader and deference needed to be shown for proprieties' sake
4)Over-exaggeration of a role or character
5)Shameless self-praise
6)Ham

The funny thing is that all of those describe Charmy in one way or another XD No wonder why Yossie is like  'what's gotten into you? :shocked: '  hearing Miki saying good things about Rika. I found hilarous the way Yossie can't even find words to reply while Miki is ranting. Leave Yossie wordlessly or choked is not a easy task  XD And maybe Miki is saying Rika is awesome, but she is still Miki, you didn't alter her personality. We can see her personal remarks here and there all the time.I loved that <3

Quote
“Yeah- she was fantastic, feeding me lines earlier, when we were dissing Sayu.

Poor Sayu? :rofl: She sure enjoys being THE Miki. I guess I found the detail especially funny because it triggered some memories of Miki doing exactly that. Aw, I miss her ~

And Ayaya was mentioned! Ayayaaa ~ :heart: I totally see Miki forcing her friend to watch all the Charmy stuff with her, because she didn't want to suffer alone or die from boredom :lol: In the end Miki was enjoying it, but what about Aya, I wonder? 

Quote
“Ah, Yocchan.” she said, casually swinging her duffel bag over her shoulder. “You tell Rika-chan any of this, I will wedgie you repeatedly during a concert.”

Miki:     :shifty:
Yossie:  :on blackhole:

And that's the Miki we all worship and adore  :rofl: She have to keep her reputation XD I wonder how would Rika react at those news if she ever finds out? Well, it's not like that's going to happen  :lol: And this was, no doubt about it, the perfect way to end this work  :heart:

I love your characterizations so much. And your writing. And everything :bow: 

Waiting for the next one~  :cow:

Quote
Errgh- I hope I don't get excommunicated by the Chuuch if my portrayal of Charmy/graduation ends up a little less than ideal.  :sweatdrop:

Don't worry about that XD Who said it has to be ideal? It's gonna be great either way, I know  :heart:


Offline oddball

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Re: Character Study [update 29Nov- Study #4]
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2010, 12:16:42 PM »
Aww poor Rika, she kinda was the but of alot of jokes wasn't she, nice too see you give her a bit of vindication through Miki here  :lol: though It seems as thou poor Yossie is a bit overawed by the whole situation  XD

Offline gracula

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Re: Character Study [update 29Nov- Study #4]
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2010, 07:31:38 AM »
And Ayaya was mentioned! Ayayaaa ~ :heart: I totally see Miki forcing her friend to watch all the Charmy stuff with her, because she didn't want to suffer alone or die from boredom :lol: In the end Miki was enjoying it, but what about Aya, I wonder? 

Don't get used to this.  :smhid


*Oh Kami-sama. Please, please, let her let me pretend to sleep.*

"Oh, oh! Aya-chan, mite. Mite!" Miki poked me in the ribs a little too insistently and screeched a little too loudly for me to maintain the facade of sleep. A frozen image of Charmy ishikawa graced the screen, fist raised in mid-monologue. "Isn't that too funny?" Miki laughed, tears streaming down her face.

"Tan, I don't see what-"

"No, no- watch it from here," Miki pressed rewind to start the monologue again. "Haha! See how she dies a little inside when she does it? It's fucking brilliant, i tell you."

"Oookay." Oh god, I can't take much more of this. "Miki, we've been watching old Hello Morning episodes all night. We have to get up early tomorrow to get to the studio for recording. Didn't we say we were going to leave earlier so we can breakfast together?"

Miki wasn't listening to me, eyes glued to the screen. I huffed and made my way to the bedroom.

"On a side note, I want to tuck Takahashi Lovely into my pants and carry her with me everywhere." she mumbled, when she thought I was out of earshot.

"That's it, you're sleeping on the floor tonight."

And that is why, Rika-chan, I glared at you the whole of today's recording and refused to speak with you in the dressing room.

~Matsuura Aya, October 2005
« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 12:56:58 PM by gracula »

"I'm still blaming Sayu for my lolicon tendencies now." ~Essy

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