All the while we keep praying that the third season happens!
Let’s break our hearts~
Volume 7 Epilogue 2
Technically this is what really happened in the very last scene of Second Season’s Finale.
On the day of the school’s opening ceremony, Tomoya asks Megumi why she’s changed her hair style. She tells him that there’s no particular reason, and she didn’t change it because she’d turn into a vindictive and hateful woman when her hair is long. Tomoya thinks otherwise. She says her hair will grow back in a year’s time and he will just have to wait till then if he liked her with long hair.
Tomoya has switched to wearing contact lenses ever since Eriri took away his glasses. Megumi seems a little unhappy…
“What is it honestly?”
“Well, just thinking that Eriri really is special to Aki-kun, something like that…oh well, whatever.”
“…Why are you bringing it up then?”
“Eriri is Katou’s good friend, right?”
“Even though she left the circle, she’s still part of our group, right?”
“That’s true I guess.”
“No one is more precious to Katou than those in our group, right?”
“Things are always changing you know, Aki-kun.”
“What are you on about?”
“Ah, not good, not good…right now I have a short bob…I’m not the spiteful woman with long hair…”
“What’s wrong, Katou?”
Could it be that she has developed some interesting trait?
Meanwhile, Utaha chats with Eriri on their way to Mars (the game company, not a planet!).
“Have you spoken to Rinri-kun since then?”
“…I texted him.”
“Did you get any reply from Rinri-kun?”
“Has it been hard for you?”
“Then, you and Rinri-kun…”
“Megumi and I aren’t friends anymore.”
“I’m just saying what I think, I don’t really know…”
“Well, that’s Katou-san for you.”
“I didn’t think Megumi could be so angry and cry like that…”
Because of how the events unfolded in the finale, this volume now exists almost as if it’s a filler. Lol.
After Utaha’s and Eriri’s departure from Blessing Software, came old faces, new statuses.
– Aki Tomoya (planning, producer, director, scenario)
– Katou Megumi (planning, sub-director, main heroine)
– Hyoudo Michiru (music)
– Hashima Izumi (key visuals, graphics)
Project: Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata
Tomoya started speaking about the reason he gathered everyone: to celebrate the new Blessing Software’s formation. Tomoya talked about the game that the circle had made in the previous year to which Izumi showed her excitement, matching Tomoya’s. However, Michiru quickly slapped reality onto Tomoya by reminding him that Eriri and Utaha were no longer in Blessing Software which caused him to scream in agony. Michiru added that the last game only succeeded because of the duo’s popularity and skills, which tilted Tomoya even more.
Izumi, despite being a new member in the circle and a former member of a rival circle, comforted Tomoya and said she won’t leave the circle.
“…..Yes, it’s alright, Senpai. I will make you forget that woman’s words.”
And of course, she started bringing up Eriri.
“Sawamura-senpai is the worst… Abandoning Tomoya-senpai like that… She deserves a death penalty.”
“Ah, no, actually, Eriri has a reason for that…”
“A proper punishment is necessary… And so this time, I, Hashima Izumi, shall destroy Sawamura Spencer Eriri… Kashiwagi Eri.”
“Aren’t you both competing in the Winter Comiket!?”
“Nope, everyone who stands in Senpai’s way is my enemy.”
“Izumi-chan, can you please stop developing your character in a strange way!?”
Michiru continued the conversation, who said it was inevitable that Utaha and Eriri have left the circle. Tomoya asked what she meant by that and as she explained that both of them have lost their footing in the circle, Megumi entered the room, bringing in the drinks for the toast. Michiru said that Megumi was the one who “drove those two off just like a wife who is delivering judgment” in a joking manner, causing Izumi to baffle. Megumi retorted in her flat tone and told everyone to not make her look like a bad person (although everyone seemed to disagree) and “reprimanded” Tomoya as usual for being “so scared of her”.
Megumi asked Izumi to help her distribute the glasses and handed one to Tomoya, telling him to get a grip of himself.
“S-so, please take care of me from now on, Senpai’s sister-in-law!”
“You sure like to pick up fights with other people, aren’t you, Tomo’s suckerfish?”
…The circle won’t break up again this time, right? Everything’s going to be okay, right? Tomoya wondered.
At school, Tomoya met Eriri in the classroom.
Tomoya thought about how rumors have been spreading since Winter Comiket because he and Eriri were often seen going to school together, and also the fact that they have been getting pretty distant after that incident at the spring break.
Suddenly, a text message arrived in Tomoya’s smartphone.
“How is it going with your new work?”
Eriri sent a text message and kept on gazing at her smartphone despite standing close to him.
“Still in the process of tuning the plot.”
“I see; good luck, then.”
“You don’t have to say that.”
“What’s with that way of speaking? Are you pissed off or something?”
“No, nope, not really, not in the slightest am I pissed off at all, you know?”
“See, that strange way of speaking. Are you still holding a grudge on me?”
“What is it, Tomoya!? Didn’t we talk about it before!? Those words from that time at the Tokyo Line, were those only a lie!?”
“Even for me, swallowing everything down takes time, you know. Can’t you understand that!?”
Before they even realized, Tomoya and Eriri had stopped using text messages and spoke against each other loud enough to be heard by the whole class.
As Eriri went out of the classroom, she met Megumi at the corridor.
“Going home, now?”
Kasumigaoka Utaha ambushed Tomoya as he was about to leave school. The pair went to their favorite cafe as usual.
Utaha asked how Megumi was doing and reminded Tomoya to take care of both girls (Eriri and Megumi) since Megumi was actually pretty dark inside despite her appearance. Tomoya pleaded her to stop joking since he was also worrying about it. Utaha then asked Tomoya if he had told Megumi about their first kiss and wondered how the usually flat Megumi would have reacted, to which he replied that it was not something to be flaunting at others. Utaha suddenly wanted to call her through the phone (to provoke her obviously. Utaha NEVER calls Megumi, only texts), but Tomoya stopped her, saying it was rude to call someone in the middle of having a conversation.
Tomoya and Megumi were arranging the schedule for the circle’s new work at Tomoya’s house.
“Let’s see, we will come up with the plot until April, and Izumi-chan’s character design will be up in May.”
“Is it okay? Wouldn’t it be better to stretch it up to the end of Golden Week?”
“No, the beginning of May is the weekend anyway, so I’ll have Izumi-chan finishing it in one go.”
“But, last year, the plot was done at the very last day of the Golden Week, right?”
“And it was almost done on the next day, you know? We were late to school because of that, right?”
“You remembered that well, Katou…”
“That’s because I have been forcibly put to work the whole time. Have you forgotten, Aki-kun?”
“No… Of course I haven’t forgotten.”
Tomoya kept silent for over five seconds while reminiscing about his old circle, which made Megumi inquire him about it, interrupting his monologue.
“Well then Aki-kun, about the character design, how long will it approximately take?”
“Around two months, I reckon… Getting it fixed on June, and then working on the rest or something like that, I guess? Well, I will have to confirm this with Izumi-chan first.”
“About the scenario, will it take around the same time as the character design?”
“Yeah, of course. So from May… I think it should be finished around August, maybe?”
“Is that time limit okay? It isn’t much different from last year’s, right?”
“It’s alright, no problem. After all, we already have the experience from last year…”
“But last year, even Kasumigaoka-senpai couldn’t manage to meet the deadline, you know?”
“Besides, there was also that incident with that illustrator; if you do not make a schedule with enough leisure, there’s going to be a lot of troubles like last time…”
“Hmm? What is it, Aki-kun?”
“Why is it that you can properly call Utaha-senpai’s name, but you only refer to the illustrator as ‘the illustrator’?”
“………………………..It was just a mistake. There is no deeper meaning to it.”
“Of course there is! It’s really scary when you stay quiet for more than 5 seconds, you know!?”
After telling Tomoya how dense he was, Megumi started explaining that she didn’t really understand the reason Eriri left the circle, and asked if Tomoya understood any of it. Tomoya admitted that someone who was still trying to become a creator like him would not be able to understand, but one day he might become someone who would.
Megumi wondered if he would just discard the circle when that time comes, and Tomoya affirmed that he in the present still doesn’t know.
Megumi said that whenever she thinks about Eriri, her mind becomes hazy, to which Tomoya asked if it could be love (the word used is “恋”/Koi instead of “愛”/Ai); Megumi dismissed it and called him disgusting.
Michiru, who has been there from the beginning, finally barged into the conversation, telling the two not to ignore her, although Megumi denied her claims.
After that, Megumi took a break as Michiru started talking to Tomoya. She noted that Megumi didn’t hold back at him in the slightest. Michiru said that Tomo(ya) had been relying on Megumi a lot; Tomoya wanted to object but Michiru said that “because it is Katou” wouldn’t have sufficed for an answer.
Tomoya then asked for a reason Michiru came and she answered that she wanted to talk about her band, Icy Tail (Duh, Tomoya completely forgot about that). Michiru said that she wanted to aim higher and pleaded Tomoya to arrange a live show two months from spring, a CD release, and a major debut. As she was throwing all these demands, Michiru started pushing Tomoya down on his bed until Megumi came to the rescue after a bath.
They then talked about the job division, with Tomoya holding six roles (producer, director, planning, scenario, script, and band manager). Megumi questioned his sanity and thought that at least the matter regarding the schedule had been put together. Tomoya started bragging about two years of experience but Megumi relentlessly shut him up. Megumi demanded that Tomoya quit one of the roles, to which the surprised Michiru jumped over to the conversation saying that Tomoya couldn’t quit being her band’s manager since she was just getting started. However, Megumi quickly dismissed it by saying she has learned from the previous year – you couldn’t go anywhere with only hopes and dreams. She then said that she would take care of the script and she could help doing the directing. Tomoya noted that Megumi looked really sleepy, and she fell asleep after that.
“Are we really doing it here?”
“…Are you embarrassed?”
“Ra, rather than embarrassed, what if she wakes up?”
“It’s fine… Look, she is sleeping soundly.”
“B, but… Ah…”
“What is it, despite being reluctant, you are actually…”
“B, but, but… Ahhh…”
Megumi woke up to find Tomoya playing a galge with Michiru. Tomoya greeted Megumi and urged Michiru not to run. Michiru asked Megumi for help, while Tomoya convinced her that it would only be one more hour until the game ended and explained about the game. Megumi concluded that Tomoya forced Michiru to play the galge with him just like what he usually does with herself and Michiru was surprised that Megumi has been doing it all the time.
Megumi soon replaced Michiru as she fell asleep and discovered that the game was really bad. Tomoya said that he’d heard similar rumors about the game, and Megumi asked why he demanded other people to play a shitty game without himself having played it first; Tomoya reasoned that he was “busy writing the new work’s plot”.
While playing, Tomoya said to Megumi that it was alright to take it easier. Megumi replied that she wanted to finish this quickly as he might not be satisfied before one route was completed. Tomoya said that what he referred to was about the circle. Tomoya also wondered why Megumi had been burdening herself with the circle’s responsibility even though he was the one who founded it, but thanked her nonetheless.
“However, in the end it’s just a game.”
“And it’s just a band.”
Tomoya realized that this time, he wanted to think things through slowly with everyone; about the future that would bring happiness for all of the circle members, that was.
“It’s just study. It’s just a path. It’s just… life.”
“Well, indeed, it’s just a game, it’s just a band, and it’s just Aki-kun, isn’t it?”
“You don’t really need to add that last one… Oh well.”
While holding the controller, Megumi closed her distance with Tomoya just a little bit; and from within that “skinship” that couldn’t really be called a skinship, Tomoya could feel Megumi’s honest feeling.
“…….Sorry Aki-kun, this game is shit after all. Can I give up?”
“Only the epilogue is left, so just finish it!”
Tomoya was thinking about the name for one of the sub-heroines (which was coincidentally the one based on Eriri) in his room. Not getting any inspiration, he decided to think about the story plot instead while remembering Iori’s advice. Tomoya’s smartphone rang all of a sudden; it was a call from Eriri.
“Good morning, Tomoya.”
“Yeah, what is it?”
“Hm… Is Megumi there?”
“No; if you have business with Katou, shouldn’t you just talk to her directly?”
“Ah, well, it’s not like that… If she is not there, can we talk via Skype?”
“That’s alright, but…”
And so, the conversation was continued on Skype.
“You’re having such a worn-out face, aren’t you?”
“I haven’t slept for around 30 hours, after all.”
“Stop that appeal, you look like a good-for-nothing public worker.”
“Anyway, Tomoya, move aside for a bit, I want to see behind you.”
“Huh? What do you…?”
“Not in the bed… She is really not there, it seems.”
“What would you do if she was in the bed!?”
Tomoya then asked Eriri whether she had made up with Megumi or not, and she didn’t answer him clearly—implying she hadn’t. Tomoya warned her that things would become even more complicated if she didn’t do it soon. Eriri asked Tomoya to help her a bit, but Tomoya refused because Megumi is scary when she is angry and that Megumi is actually a really nice person, to which Eriri agreed. Eriri admitted that she didn’t want to lose Megumi as she is the first best friend she ever made.
They then talked about Eriri’s work. Eriri mostly complained about Utaha and her own work that involved 40 characters and 12 main characters having been among them. Eriri also started talking about Kousaka Akane who provoked Utaha to work harder without regards to her high pride, although she was reluctant to talk about Akane at first in consideration of Tomoya.
Tomoya then talked about Izumi’s 100 character designs that she’d made in only two hours and boasted Izumi’s improvement; naturally, Eriri didn’t seem to be pleased. Tomoya asked if she was still having that attitude despite being a pro, and Eriri answered that becoming pro doesn’t automatically make someone grow up. Tomoya comforted her by saying she has been improving throughout these few months and reminded her that she was scouted by that Kousaka Akane. Eriri asked Tomoya which one was better – her or Izumi; Tomoya said there was no way he was going to admit the loss of his circle member. Eriri started pouting again, and Tomoya called her annoying. The conversation ended after Eriri asked Tomoya if she could call him again and talk to him at school.
Iori was invited by Tomoya to meet in a cafe. Iori asked for Tomoya’s reason and noted that Megumi was also present. Megumi introduced herself and said not to mind her, although Iori already knew her. Tomoya said he wanted to talk about an important thing regarding his circle and showed Iori his revised proposal.
Megumi whispered to Tomoya, asking why he didn’t discuss something important regarding the circle like this beforehand and decide it by himself. Tomoya answered they are discussing it right now. Megumi said that is too late and guessed Tomoya didn’t discuss about it because he is meeting a former enemy. Tomoya inquired Megumi and asked her if she opposes his decision, and she said that was not the point.
After reading the revised proposal, Iori asked why he was shown this. Tomoya told Iori that he wanted Iori to become the manager of Blessing Software so he could focus on writing the scenario. Tomoya stated that he knew that Iori was not in any circle after having left Rouge en Rouge. Iori asked if Tomoya was okay with this even though Blessing Software is his circle; Tomoya replied that precisely because of that, he wanted to create the ultimate game no matter what it takes. Tomoya also expressed his desire to compete with Utaha head-on and remembered Utaha’s words to him: “I want to see an original work made by Aki Tomoya.”
Tomoya added that if he keeps everything to himself too much, Megumi will be angry at him.
On the other hand, Megumi exclaimed that she was angry because he didn’t discuss something as important as recruiting a new member to the circle.
Iori declined Tomoya’s offer. Even though Tomoya kept asking for a reason as to why he was rejected, Iori denied all of them; this reminded him of last year when his proposal was repeatedly rejected by Utaha and Eriri. Iori said that his proposal had a nice balance and all the heroines were well done, but it wouldn’t sell, which confused him even further. Megumi then stood up out of the blue and said that wasn’t right; even though Iori said it wouldn’t sell, he wouldn’t even tell why.
Tomoya told Megumi to calm down. Megumi argued that it was not fair, but Tomoya replied that it was certainly fair as he was asking Iori for a favor. Tomoya then confirmed with Iori when they would be meeting again.
Before leaving, Iori said to Tomoya:
“Your girlfriend is pretty severe*, you know?”
At that very moment, Megumi’s eyes died.
*Iori used 重い/Omoi to describe Megumi’s severity, which can be interpreted as serious, but literally means “heavy”.
“What should I do…”
“Hey, calm down, Katou.”
Right after the meeting, Tomoya and Megumi returned to his house. Tomoya initially thought she was down over the refusal, but Megumi was actually concerned over Iori’s last words. Tomoya convinced Megumi that she was still the usual flat heroine, which Megumi reiterated in her own monologue. Tomoya then added that Megumi was really scary when she was angry and quickly retracted it in order to avoid Megumi’s imminent wrath (bloody scary woman!). Tomoya ended up cooking for Megumi.
The next meeting with Iori would be held a day after the next, which meant they had to find the mistake and revised it in one day in order to persuade Iori. Megumi wondered if Iori was someone they could trust, to which Tomoya affirmed that if it was about whether something would sell or not, he was no match for Iori. Tomoya asked Megumi whether she had been listening to him or not, and Megumi asked him what was up with that “the only one who understands him is me” way of speaking (note that Utaha used this line against Megumi multiple times). Megumi compared the situation to a popular coupling among young girls between the main character and the rival who became a comrade from the middle of the story. Tomoya questioned if Megumi really is not an Otaku, and whether she was rotten or not.
Megumi asked about important points of a game’s story that went beyond simple remarks like “it’s interesting” or “it’s boring”, and Tomoya started giving her a lecture about them. The first point he brought on was “hate” with the following key words: hetare (“good-for-nothing”; protagonist, heroine), character decay, and NTR (main heroine, sub heroine). Megumi asked what NTR meant, and Tomoya explained it thoroughly. The second point was pakuri (“steal”) in regards to character & story references, one-time character quotes, and homages. The third point was tsukkomi parts (“straight-man”) like holes in the story that the audience can notice. After the lengthy explanation, they continued working.
Megumi asked Tomoya about the date event for sub-heroine 3 where the protagonist left the sub-heroine to chase another heroine while the sub-heroine only smiled in front of the protagonist but got angry after he was gone; she asked him if it was based on a real experience. Tomoya said he didn’t remember any experience like that, and Megumi said it must be her imagination after keeping silent for a while (I mean, the game was called Saekano and Tomoya was doing a good job at hiding his intentions).
She then asked if he had anything in mind about the scene where sub-heroine 1 and 2 argued against the protagonist’s complaint; Tomoya said it was just a coincidence. Megumi compared the protagonist to the first point Tomoya explained earlier (“hate”). Megumi then brought up about sub-heroine 4’s final story where she fell sick and the protagonist decided to go to her side even though he had an important thing to take care of. Megumi pointed out that the protagonist’s choice gave her an uncomfortable feeling (this is a reference of Saekano Flat Episode 5’s incident).
As they were struggling to find the problem, Megumi reflected on whether they could understand the problem or not. Tomoya replied that he did not know. Megumi wondered that Utaha might be able to, but added that she was not her. Tomoya said something hypothetical like that wouldn’t solve the problem, and it would be the same even if he was the one to become Utaha. Megumi said that it had to be her; since if it was Utaha and Tomoya, if it was TAKI UTAKO (the ultimate pen name), the problem would have been over quickly. Tomoya and Megumi decided to call it a day after that.
Megumi woke up in the morning and asked Tomoya the time, to which he answered 5 A.M.. After the newspaper came, they recalled things that happened last year. They then continued searching for the proposal’s problem, but to no avail.
The confused Megumi muttered, “really, all the heroines are done so well that it is impossible to tell which one is the main heroine, everyone’s routes are so good. I wonder, what could be the problem?”
Thanks to that, Tomoya finally entered Eureka mode and figured out the problem.
Tomoya who had realized the problem of the proposal said that the Meguri route was still not good. Megumi thought that Meguri route was head to toe comparable to the other routes, but Tomoya said that was exactly the problem; after all, he originally made the game for the main heroine. Tomoya explained that the quality of the plots had been increasing which was reflected in the improvement of the sub-heroines’ routes. However, this caused the sub-heroines’ routes to overshadow the main heroine’s route—which was the actual problem. They decided to redo Meguri’s route, to which Megumi said she will entrust it to Tomoya. Tomoya questioned Megumi’s decision of entrusting it to him. Megumi replied that she did it not because she had any basis or faith, but because she didn’t have any idea right then. Megumi told Tomoya that she wanted to go home to eat and change clothes first since she figured he would be staying at home the whole day to gather materials.
Tomoya said that there was a more fitting way to gather materials for Meguri’s event: a (second) date.
Tomoya had been waiting for 30 minutes inside Megumi’s house as she prepared everything before going on the date. Megumi noticed that Tomoya was sweating a lot, particularly because he was nervous of the situation he was in. Megumi offered Tomoya to eat some manju from her mother. Tomoya thought that Megumi’s mother was different from his imagination, and commented that she didn’t get mad even though her daughter went on a date right after she’d stayed overnight at her opposite sex friend’s place.
As they began their date, Tomoya asked Megumi to turn on the IC recorder. Megumi questioned Tomoya if he really wanted to record the date, and Tomoya replied that using memo was troublesome. Tomoya then asked Megumi for a suggestion regarding the date’s location; Megumi suggested Hourakuen Amusement Park, but Tomoya refused because he went there for research before (with Eriri). They eventually decided to go to Rokutenba Mall. Tomoya asked what shop she wanted to go to first, and she said she had already decided. Tomoya started making the plan for the date according to the shops that Megumi wanted to visit. After she finished buying something from one of the shops, Megumi told Tomoya to come along with her inside the shop, but he refused since “the hurdle is too high”. As they moved around the crowds and through the escalator, both of them held hands like last year.
Tomoya and Megumi got tired from going to all the shops, as Megumi said that the next one would be the last, which was the glasses shop that they also had visited last year where Megumi bought Tomoya a pair of glasses that later got taken by Eriri. Megumi said that since the key item for the protagonist and the main heroine had been lost, a new key item was necessary, she asked Tomoya what would be a good one. Tomoya wondered if Megumi had been sarcastic since earlier, while Megumi answered that this was only for the sake of gathering materials. When Tomoya refused because he didn’t want the material of “a yandere who overwrites memories”, Megumi suggested a leather jacket and piercings, which caused Tomoya to respond by asking what kind of boyfriend she wanted to raise.
At the food court, Megumi told Tomoya that she met Eriri there last year after Tomoya left her to meet Utaha and that it was an important event between her and Eriri, since that was when Eriri drew Meguri’s angry expression. Megumi said that it was because of that day that they could become friends; she exclaimed that this place felt so nostalgic because this place held something she used to have, all the while her expression turned sad. Tomoya offered Megumi to let him set up a meeting between her and Eriri to patch things up. Megumi initially rejected the offer since it felt wrong to ask Tomoya for that, but added that she was fine as long as Eriri was okay with it.
Two hours have passed since they’d left Rokutenba Mall. Megumi said it was fine, while Tomoya admitted he was scared halfway. Tomoya wondered if Megumi was as severe as Iori had put it, but Megumi denied that. Tomoya proclaimed that Meguri’s route would be awesome and that it was just a matter of time until Megumi became a true main heroine.
“Well then… Last attempt as the main heroine, shall I do it~?”
And then, as we reached out to the top of the slope…
“Err, just for now, is it okay to turn off the IC recorder?”
Katou, after giving me such a weird instruction, overtook me by walking a bit faster…
And then, close to the top of the hill, she looked down gently at me.
…No, actually, I couldn’t really see that expression of hers concealed by the night.
“Hey, Aki-kun… Nope, Tomoya-kun.”
Even so, her voice at that moment, those words…
That expression of Katou made me remember.
“Do you remember…? It has been exactly a year since then, you know?”
Of course, I remember that.
Even that time, I was struggling, having a hard time of thinking about the plot.
“Have I, compared to that time, been able to become closer to the heroine of your story, I wonder?”
At that time, Katou should have been staying in Hokkaido.
Even so, she looked after me who was in a pinch, prioritized me over her family, and encouraged me.
“Have I been able to become your strength, I wonder?”
She has become a tremendous strength for me.
“And then, do you remember…? Since then, it has been around a month, you know?”
“Eh, wait… Hey…”
Well… Even if I want to forget, I still couldn’t forget it.
After all, I was crying out loud like a dog while standing in front of Katou.
“There are no Eriri* or Utaha-senpai* here for me anymore…”
But, Katou is…
“Even so, would I still be able to cheer you up, I wonder?”
Her unchanging gentle voice is reaching out to me who is covered in shyness.
“Could I stay as someone important for you and for the circle, I wonder?”
She is still the heroine of my dreams.
The truth is, the truth is…
Today’s Katou somehow feels like a jack-in-the-box.
Flat, nice to hang out with, doesn’t feel like an opposite sex, sharp-tongued, dark, nostalgic, sweet, frail, unfair, annoying…
“As long as there is a will, there will somehow be a way or something like that; I have that kind of feeling.”
And also, this reliable.
“That’s why, from now on… please take care of me, alright? Let’s work hard together, okay?***”
Even so, it was a good thing the IC recorder was turned off.
After all, I don’t really want to hear a conversation this embarrassing again.
“Let’s work hard together, Tomoya-kun.”
“With the two of us, with everyone… This time, the ultimate game, let’s create it, okay?”
Why did I turn off the IC recorder… I am an idiot.
* The furigana beside is written as “Eriri” and “Utaha-senpai” while the kanji is written coordinator and acting instructor respectively.
** This line is used very often in confessions–maybe that was Tomoya’s intention? (“俺は、加藤が…”; ore wa, Katou ga…).
*** Literally “let’s vomit blood together, okay?” (“一緒に血反吐、吐こうぜ？”; issho ni chihedo, hakouze?) from the proverb “血反吐を吐きながら”; chihedo wo hakinagara.
Kasumigaoka Utaha used the same phrase in the hotel scene back in first season.
Kasumigaoka Utaha assured Tomoya that the Eriri he saw after her departure wasn’t for sure, the same Eriri he’d remembered her to be.
At the Field’s Chronicle XIII event, the promotional video was broadcast live so Blessing Software members got to watch it. It looked all good and normal until Izumi whom first realized that all of the pictures shown in the PV were actually connected, forming one large picture like a jigsaw puzzle which shocked everyone in the circle. For Kashiwagi Eri to have pulled something as creative as this, Tomoya now took what Utaha said seriously – about Eriri not being the same old doujin artist he’d once known.
More shaken by the circle was Megumi, who called out to Tomoya. He realized the difference in her voice: it contained both her loneliness and sorrow of being left behind by her best friend, along with her irritation of not being understood by that best friend of hers.
Well since the summaries pretty much have nearly everything to do with Megumi, there’s no point in me compiling this volume. Go and read the summaries to see how Megumi keeps up with Tomoya’s antics.
Girls Side Two
Taking place somewhere near end of volume 8.
Megumi gets pretty damn dark in this part. Let’s go~
Megumi was wandering around as she was unsure of what text to send to Eriri. After a long while, she still hadn’t written anything, and she considered going back to Tomoya for help. However, she rejected that idea, thinking this was something she had to resolve herself, and finally came up with a good message.
Megumi and Eriri were on a train ride for a trip. The mood was awkward and silent, so Megumi asked Eriri to talk about something. Eriri said that she didn’t want to because Megumi is scary when she’s mad. A long silence passed before Megumi told her she was not mad, but Eriri just said that was exactly why she’s scary. In truth, Megumi was mad, but she was mad at Tomoya for painting her in a negative light. Eriri told Megumi to start the conversation instead.
“Well then. I’ll start, but let me think a bit on where to start from.”
Megumi worked up her courage and looked at the sky for a while. She had so many things to say that it looked like they would spill out, but she took the time to pick the one that was comparatively the most gentle before talking.
“I definitely did get angry at you for no reason.”
“Without thinking about how things were for you, I selfishly made up my mind, treated you like a villain, scolded you, cried, and broke off our friendship…”
She had a bitter smile of depreciation as she rejected those hard two months.
“Thinking back on it, I’m the worst, aren’t I?”
“That’s not true, you’re not unreasonable at all…”
Eriri felt a drilling pain in her. Those words were so kind and gentle and yet had the opposite effect.
“I’m completely in the wrong here. Everyone understand that.”
After all, Eriri came prepared to be yelled at, but she wasn’t ready for Megumi to blame herself.
“But Eriri just wanted to do her best and grow as a creator.”
Megumi didn’t notice Eriri’s pain and kept on hurting herself and Eriri.
“Envying you when you’re giving it your best or feeling betrayed, as a creator, that’s just wrong.”
“Megumi stop! Blaming yourself like that…”
“No, I’m in the wrong here…but only if I were a creator, anyway.”
Megumi’s words of depreciation were just the beginning of a grand counterattack.
“I’m not a creator. I’m just a normal girl.”
“I have no talent nor motivation to work hard. Supporting and encouraging is the best I can do.”
“That’s why after you suddenly left the circle, dragged Kasumigaoka-senpai into this, and betrayed Tomoya-kun, I couldn’t forgive you. Even now I can’t do it.”
“To top it off, you act like you feel sorry, but in the end you’re the only one getting better. You chose to leave us and go on your path.”
“Me-Megumi, calm down…please?”
“What’s with that game’s key visual? If Tomoya-kun and I saw that, of course we’d be speechless.”
“I don’t get it, I gave it my all to draw that to make you happy and that’s what you think of it!?”
“That’s impossible. We can’t both do our best. I can’t keep up. You don’t understand…aah, just thinking back on it makes me want to cry…”
“Hey, wait a minute. Megumi, you’ve definitely been calling him Tomoya-kun for a while now!”
“…..no, I haven’t, you’re just imagining things Eriri.”
It was the worst trip possible.
They arrived at the mountains they went to in first season episode 0, but it was rainy, so they couldn’t do anything. Megumi was sad that their trip might have been meaningless, but Eriri tried to change that by using the area as a basis for a drawing for her game. Eriri gave Megumi her umbrella to hold for her and started drawing. She made something great, but Eriri’s creator mode only resulted in Megumi feeling isolated from her.
In the end, Eriri’s sketch took more than four hours. When they got to the lodge, the sun was completely gone.
“This is delicious.”
“It sure is.”
“A-and the open air bath felt really good…but the rain outside was cold, so I went from the washing place to the bathplace a couple times.”
“You should go to the bath after dinner. If you don’t you might catch a cold.”
“Yeah, I’ll do that…after I’ve calmed down a bit.”
Eriri had asked Megumi earlier to go to the bath and warm up with her, but she just said that she was tired and for her to go on ahead. During dinner, Eriri asked again, and Megumi absentmindedly responded with the same words and tired expression.
The conversation was at a standstill, the chopsticks weren’t moving, and the mood was cold. Things had just gotten worse, and from this Eriri learned how the Narita couple must have felt after their divorce.
(Narita couple refers to a couple that broke up at the airport as soon as their honeymoon was over).
“Hm? What is it, Eriri?”
That was why three minutes had already passed after the hot pot started boiling and yet neither had taken a bite.
“If I’ve done something wrong, I’ll fix it! If I fail, I’ll just try again!”
“So, say it already…what did I do wrong?”
“You aren’t really at fault for anything here. I truly am tired.”
“Did I hurt you again? Did I make you sad?”
Megumi didn’t meet Eriri’s gaze. As if nothing had happened, she waited for things to blow over, but Eriri wasn’t going to let that happen.
“Was it dragging you around in the rain? Focusing all my attention on drawing?”
“None of that was wrong, you’re fine.”
“If that’s the case, then it’s something I have to figure out from the mood, but unfortunately I’m not good at that sort of thing.”
That was a fault Eriri had carried since eight, maybe nine years ago.
“That’s not it, that’s not it…you did the right thing.”
It was why Eriri couldn’t make true friends for so long and focuses solely on drawing.
“You tried to cover for my failure and give some meaning to this trip.”
“Then why are you so depressed?”
“…you’re not the reason for that. It’s just self-loathing.”
“And that’s because…?”
“Earlier, when you were drawing, I thought ‘I hate seeing Eriri go away’.”
And because she focused solely on drawing, she could only solve things by drawing. She used her skill to overpower them.
“Even though I promised Tomoya-kun I’d make up with you…it’s so frustrating.”
The hot pot’s steam vanished and the room turned cold.
“I hate how I’m such a terrible person.”
Her sad, quiet voice rang through the room. A feeling of powerlessness drifted around. However, Eriri still chose to move forward and try to solve this through her own strength.
“What do I need to do for us to make up?”
After all, that was all Eriri could do.
“You don’t need to do anything. You didn’t do anything wrong in the first place.”
“I don’t care about that! Wrong, right, doesn’t matter! I’m saying that I’ll do whatever it takes for us to make up!”
“Why!? You won’t find out if you don’t try.”
“Because…the truth is, I want you to come back to the circle and make another game with me.”
“But now, no matter how you think about it, that can’t be done. This is a big chance and you have so much weighing on you. Above all, this is something you picked after worrying and worrying. That’s why I’m against it.”
And because of Eriri’s strength and pureness, her attempt self-destructed.
“So we’re at a dead-end. I’m sorry.”
Megumi lowered her head.
“Then, I’ll never be friends with you for the rest of my life?”
“Of course not…just, give me a little more time.”
Their food and room got colder and colder, and air felt heavy like the rain clouds from noon.
Once again, Eriri tried to force her way through this gloomy situation.
“I have to make up with you right now. I don’t want this.”
Tears were streaming down her face. No matter how much she failed or was repelled, she refused to give up.
“I don’t want this, I don’t want this, I don’t want this!”
Megumi envied that persistence. She didn’t think of it as the strength to feel despair.
Megumi gently, quietly wiped Eriri’s eyes with her handkerchief, as if to take in her strong emotions.
“I’m sorry. I’m really sorry, Eriri, but this is the one thing I can’t give up.”
Even though she was doing the exact opposite of that.
“After all, we’re best friends, and I really like you.”
“So I can’t compromise on our reconciliation. I can’t smile together with you when we haven’t sold anything.”
Eriri kept bawling, her tears overflowing.
Eriri’s constant earnestness and her strong, tender, pure, and passionate feelings moved her, and perhaps because of that, her hands continuing to press the handkerchief on Eriri’s eyes, Megumi once again tried to move forward.
“Won’t you go to the bath with me?”
Megumi and Eriri were taking a bath. Megumi asked Eriri why she had decided to leave Tomoya. Eriri claimed she’d never left, but Megumi said she did–or at least she hurt him. However, Eriri says that they made up. Megumi said that was not making up but Tomoya acknowledging Eriri’s resolve and that the only reason their relationship stayed at neutral was because Tomoya believed in Eriri. Eriri asked if the real reason Megumi got mad at her and they couldn’t make up was because of Tomoya. to which Megumi denied. Eriri asked why she’d been calling him “Tomoya-kun” and Megumi replied that she didn’t feel like talking about it. Megumi said that there was an order to their making up and there was still a lot of things they have had to resolve. She asked what Eriri wanted to become in the future and if it was really necessary to have left the circle. Eriri answered that she wanted to become (Tomoya’s) number one and that if she isn’t pressured, she won’t progress. She said that the circle had been too much of a paradise to her. Megumi said that the place she was aiming for seemed more like hell than heaven. Eriri hysterically said if that was the case, then after she reached hell, she’d just aim for heaven. Megumi asked what she would do after reaching number one, but Eriri denied that there was no definite number one because you could be number one in ratings or money, among other statistics. Eriri said that for then, her goal was to be recognized as number one by a select few people (furigana: the circle), to one day return to those select few people, and to become happy with them. She said it was not a goal possible to do with Akane and that she had to go further. Eriri apologized for not being able to be the person Megumi wanted her to be but she swore she wouldn’t give up on them and that she’d become the greatest, happiest illustrator. Megumi looked and saw that Eriri was in creator mode but didn’t feel the hate for it she felt before.
Megumi and Eriri got in their futons, but none of them were asleep. Eriri asked if everything would be back to normal when they wake up the next day. Megumi said that there was no way that would and that there were things Eriri didn’t want back to normal anyway, like her resolve to develop as an artist. She also pointed out how no one knew when “normal” really started and asked if Eriri would consider nine years ago when “normal” had started. Megumi further asked if she’d regretted the first time she’d betrayed Tomoya. Eriri interrupted and asked why Megumi had been calling him “Tomoya-kun.” Megumi said that it was nothing unusual and that Eriri had been doing it since she first met him. She then talked about how Eriri and Tomoya had met after fighting and how after the elementary school incident they didn’t start talking until high school. Eriri was puzzled on how Megumi knew all this, so Megumi showed her the Eriri Route. Eriri was furious until Megumi told her the scenario was a love letter towards the heroine. Suddenly, Eriri was eager to read the scenario; by the end she was crying. Megumi revealed that the scenario wasn’t actually completed and that she had to write the scene where the heroines make up. Eriri was hesitant about being used as the basis of the material, but Megumi said that she was being used as a basis as well and that if it was the two of them, they should be fine. The two hugged each other and worked on the reconciliation scene for the rest of the night. They took the train to get back home and fell asleep on their way.
An hour later, though in that time nothing had happened between them.
The Shinkansen was heading towards its destination at a good speed. The sky was like the day before, cloudy. Megumi and Eriri were sleeping, their shoulders touching.
Megumi opened her eyes and looked around. She turned and gazed at Eriri.
Megumi caught Eriri’s weight on her shoulder. She put her head against Eriri’s and started whispering into her ear.
“Don’t listen to this, alright?”
This truly was her last grudge left. She was supposed to say it last night as Eriri was sleeping in her futon.
“You and Utaha’s departure really hurt and angered us.”
“As allies, as friends, you two were that important to us. I couldn’t believe two who cared so much for the circle, for Tomoya, could leave us like that.”
“It was like our hands and our feet, no, even our brains and hearts, were taken away. You two made up almost all of Blessing Software.”
“We might not be able to make a great game like we could last year. Without Kashiwagi Eri or Kasumi Utako, our circle might just be any other circle doing this for fun.”
“Even so, even so…we’re going to have fun and feel pain and hardship, yet also be happy, making this game.”
“We might not make a big splash like you guys did. We might not even be anywhere close to as good as you guys are.”
“But together with the representative of this tiny circle (furigana: Tomoya-kun), this useless vice representative (furigana: me) is going to do her best.”
“No, not just us.”
“Hyoudo-san’s songs are matching our game better and better. Our game probably won’t lose to yours in this part.”
“And Izumi-chan is our new friend. Your always on her mind, and she’s always chasing after you. You’d better be careful so you’re not overtaken.”
“Anyway, that’s basically how our circle is.”
“Our circle might not be as ready as it was last year, but in terms of fun and joy, we won’t lose, you know?”
“If you’re going to be the world’s happiest illustrator, then I’ll be the world’s happiest main heroine.”
“…inside the game, anyway.”
“And someday, if that time comes, let’s make something together.”
“Like, if you really want to make something but can’t do it at work, then Blessing Software will welcome you anytime.”
“Or if Tomoya-kun gets acknowledged and lands a big job…if such a dream-like day comes…we’d be happy if you two came and help.”
“…thanks for not listening until the very end.”
“Let’s get along from now on, Eriri. Sleep well.”
Megumi was very sleepy by that point, but even so, she gave it her all to finish. Once she was done, she fell asleep. The two lay close to each other, rocked by the train.
And then, several minutes later, when Megumi was asleep without a doubt…
“Why are you assuming you’ll always be with Tomoya?”
It seemed that last grudge was heard after all.
Icy Tail held a concert. The circle, Eriri and Utaha attended. Eriri asked Utaha if she was okay with not having met Tomoya, to which she remarked that she came for the concert, not for that. The concert was a success. Michiru thanked the crowd for their support. She talked about her experiences up until then and expressed sadness that some of the people she worked with weren’t here anymore–a reference to Eriri and Utaha. She played the debut single of their album, titled Icy Tail Yo (Aishiteru Yo).
“How is it? Is it done?”
“It’s going pretty well. Thanks for helping with the reconciliation scene, Eriri.”
“Meguri and Eriri, is everything back to normal for them?”
“Even if time passes, nothing completely goes back to normal.”
“But what about things like unchanging feelings or eternal love?”
“Feelings keep on changing, Eriri.”
“And that means…”
“Like, there’s someone who you had never felt anything towards before, but one day, that all changes.”
“Of course, there are also times when those feelings go back to normal.”
“So which is it!?”
“Who knows? I can only say this.”
“And that is?”
“At the very least, that’s happened to me once.”
“What about you, Eriri?”
“My feelings have never changed like that.”
“But size changes, right? They get bigger and smaller…”
“If that’s the case, then yeah, they’ve changed, but…”
“They’ve never gotten smaller.”