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The iDOLM@STER Character Master Stories

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nowano:
Always the same day of destiny
Azusa Miura's circumstances
Source: The Idolm@ster Character Master


RIIIING...!

The tone that I used for my alarm clock is loud and terrible~. I used to have an alarm clock with much cuter music, but I'm no good at waking up in the mornings. When it played, I couldn't get up from bed, so I changed it to a different one. But to tell you the truth...this new tone isn't getting me out of bed either. Still, I tell myself every morning before I wake up, 「Today might be the destined day that I meet my destined person, so I have to get up.」

I'm connected to my destined lover by a thin red thread. ....I wonder if it's old-fashioned or girlish to still believe in such things. But even so, I believe that somewhere in this world, there is someone who can form a loving relationship with me.

O, oh my, I'm talking about such a heavy subject in the morning~. My breakfast is the usual toast and coffee. Nn~even so, I'm still feeling sleepy this morning...


When I close my eyes, my memories of my high school life appeared before me...my very first date. The moment before I panicked...

「Azusa-chan, where would you like to go today?」

「.....(A, anywhere is fine~)」

「A, Azusa-chan, what would you like to eat?」

「.....(A, anything is fine~)」

「.....Azusa-chan, are you listening to me?」

「.....(Of course I'm listening~)」

「I guess you're not talking because you don't like me? .....Alright. Sorry for pushing you so hard. Let's separate for now.」

「.....(Eh? N, no! I'm not talking because I'm nervous, not because I hate you! Wait, please~!)」



「W, wait!」

Gah!

....I fell asleep for a second time while I was eating my breakfast. And again, I had that dream about that terrible first date...we didn't hold hands, we didn't talk, and our love came to an end in only one day. No, I guess it was too short and too disappointing to call it love. It was a shocking event for me, and I never went on another date after that, and I never thought of going on one either. And ever since that time, I've been dreaming about that moment over and over again in my dreams.

I guess this is what they call 'trauma'?

It's hard for me whenever I have this dream. My confidence becomes shattered. I do believe that my destined one exists, but after I have this dream, where that person is and whether I'll meet him or not become two completely different problems, don't they...

I'm thinking about the past now. Sigh....It's all because I slept for a second time, and I've missed my fortune-telling program on the television too. I'm feeling a little miffed at myself...




It was no use staying in my house and feeling depressed, so for a change of pace I decided to go window shopping. I don't have much money, but going around and looking at this and that is more fun. Fu fu. If you don't take your time and always buy things quickly, doesn't it feel as if you're losing money? I have lots of free time now, so I can have fun shopping~.

By the way, the reason why I don't have enough money now is that my parents have stopped sending me my allowance. I graduated from junior college a short while ago, so I'm not a student anymore. I don't want to keep relying on my parents. As for what I'm doing now, I'm currently attached to the public entertainment company, 765 Productions, waiting for my debut as an idol.

My mother doesn't know when my debut will be, so she keeps telling me to come home. I think it's better to wait patiently. But there have been some problems in choosing the producer...if I can't work as an idol, I may have to get a part-time job in the meantime. The part-time jobs are the domain of the young students, so no matter how much experience I have, I'm a bit slow when it comes to doing things, and the staff at the workplace are always at my back.


「Miura-san, you're very polite when you're working...but you move too slow! You take too long to reply too! Can't you do something about it?」


...Or so they say. But when I hurry, I usually end up doing something wrong...it's a difficult place to be in.

Um....what was I talking about again? Before talking about the part-time jobs....but before that, where is this place?

It seems that when I was lost in my thoughts, I must have gotten lost somewhere. Even though I come here lots of times to shop, I've still gotten lost. It looks as if the sun is starting to set.

I'm really terrible at directions. My best friend from middle school, Tomomi, said, 「Your sense of direction isn't terrible at all, Azusa. There was never any sense to begin with.」

...Ara? Arara? Weren't Tomomi's words...impolite? I didn't pay much attention to it when she first said that, but now I've noticed it. You're terrible, Tomomi! I'll show you my anger the next time we meet...if I can remember it, anyway. Ahhh, more importantly, I don't know the way home from here. I'm in trouble~. I could go look for a police post, but I don't know where that is either~. And I'm too embarrassed to approach the locals. But there's no need to be embarrassed because you're lost, right?

.....No, actually, I'm really embarrassed.

Aah, I've suddenly become so lonely. Do I have to continue in life like this, wavering to and fro and getting lost everyday? Going through life without a target? When I wake up every morning, I keep telling myself that today will be the destined day. It always ends up being an ordinary day. Will I ever meet my destined person? I'm so heartbroken right now.

I crouch down unsteadily where I am, taking out my cellphone and sending a voicemail to my friend, Tomomi.

「Hello...? Tomomi? Help me~.」



In the end, Tomomi, who was going home from work, stopped by to pick me up. We went into a coffee shop to rest for a bit.

「Even so, it's strange to see you crying just because you got lost.」

「N, no, I didn't cry because I was lost. It's because I can't get my idol debut, I didn't meet my destined person, and lots of other painful things....I had a bad dream this morning...」

My face turned a little red when I said that, but Tomomi leaned closer to to my face while she jabbed her finger at me, a steely gaze upon her face.

「You're too soft. Where has that determination of yours gone to? Why did you want to become an idol? Why did you want to become famous?」

「Ah, well....if I'm famous, it'll be easier for my destined person to find me, I think. And because I want my destined person to see my best form and appearance, I feel that being a top idol is the best way for me to do so.」

Yes. That is my motive for aiming to be a top idol. Is it an impure motive? But to meet with my destined one...it's my only wish and dream to do so. I think my feelings are pure and simple, so I feel a bit sad when you say it's an impure motive.

「Since you've already decided on that, carry it out! Be stronger! I really think being an idol suits you. No, this is the only type of work that you can do! And if you keep spacing out like that, there's no way you'll be able to meet that destined person of yours! So keep looking forward.」

「...Yes, you're absolutely right. Thanks, Tomomi.」



After parting ways with a smiling Tomomi, I set out towards my home. Thanks to my dear friend, I felt somewhat relieved. Yes, I have to work hard, or nothing will change. Destiny is indeed around me, but I'm the only one who can make it work for me. Because I believed in myself and waited for my debut, I myself have to make the effort to become a top idol. If I don't believe in myself, who will believe in me?

If I work hard and become the best I can be, my destined one will undoubtedly notice me. Because we're both connected by this thing called destiny. And besides my destined one, everyone else will be happy to see me working hard and having fun. Fu fu.

...Ah! Speaking of which, I forgot to scold Tomomi for saying those mean things to me before. And her words just now weren't very polite either, when I think of it. 'The only type of work I can do'? 'Spacing out'? That's so rude!

...Fu fu. But she came to help me when I was lost, so I don't really have the right to complain, do I?

Even if I do find my destined one, Tomomi will always be my dearest friend.




RIIIING...!

I'm awakened by the loud noise, and once again I can't get out of bed.

But today, I'll surely meet my destined one on this destined day, so I do my best to get up.

I don't know if it's going to be an ordinary day again, but the one who can turn it into a day of destiny is me. Something like that. Fu fu. My mind is a bit fired up from yesterday.

By the way, I received a call to make a trip down to 765 Productions. Oh, I remembered that the tea for visitors has run out, so I guess I'll buy some more at the downtown area on my way to the office.

Say, there are lots of people on the street today. I wonder if somewhere in this large crowd, my destined person has seen me, and is coming up to meet up with me? Ah, I'm becoming anxious again.

But before that....is this the way to the office?

My word, I've lost my way again?

I'd better contact the office~....



「Why can't I remember the route? This is becoming a problem...」

「Excuse me. Azusa Miura-san, right? I've come to meet you.」

-Fin-

nowano:
Life's study
Ritsuko Akizuki's circumstances
Source: The Idolm@ster Character Master


It's morning. After washing my face and changing my clothes, I polish my glasses and tie the braids in my hair. Ritsuko Akizuki is ready for the day! As always, I help my mother to prepare breakfast.

「Morning, Ritsuko. Your final quiz is today, isn't it? Do you want to do some last-minute revision?」

「I'm fine, it'll be a cakewalk! Anyway, be careful. The omelet seems a bit thick.」

My father runs a store, and because my mother is helping him out with that too, we're all very busy in the mornings. Well, whenever I look at them being so busy, it's actually a pretty nice feeling. So I try to help them out whenever I can. But I'm not very good at domestic work.

「Morning, you two! Ritsuko, are you going to 765 Productions today?」

My father is back home, after opening the store. He starts work even earlier than me, which I think must be hard on him.

「Well....I guess so. By the way, since the term vacation is starting tomorrow, I'll be going to the office in the mornings from now on.」

「I see. Alright, do your best!」

765 Productions is the place where I'm working at. I have an interest in management, so I took up a part-time job as a clerk there. My parents said that it's better to see the world when you're young, so they supported my decision.

Speaking of 765 Productions, I've been offered a full-time secretarial job there in advance, to begin once I graduate from high school. However, due to some unforeseen circumstances, I'm currently an idol trainee. The President told me that there was a bit of a shortage in talent going around, so I got forcibly recruited into becoming an idol.

To be honest, I wonder if it was a miscalculation on his part. My producer hasn't been decided yet, and even if a new producer were to come in, there are lots of other, more talented idol hopefuls out there. To choose me specifically seems rather strange, since I don't look and act like an idol at all. Although I would be lying if I said I didn't hope to get chosen.

While I was busy talking with my parents and thinking about all this, breakfast was over before I knew it. I then left for school, eager to quickly take and finish the test.




Today's quiz is on Math, one of my strong subjects. Even though I double-checked and experimented with alternative answers at times, there was still plenty of time left over. But my classmates didn't seem to feel the same way that I did. The sound of the bell chiming to signal the end of the exam was mixed together with loud groans and sighs from all over the classroom. They're all third year students, so I guess they're all desperate as we prepare for the upcoming entrance examinations.

「Ritsuko, the math exam wasn't difficult for you, right?」

「Really? I thought the range of topics tested was a little too broad.」

「...Ritsuko-san, you're joking, right? You've already gone ahead of us and gotten employed. Now you're just waiting for graduation, aren't you? You're a real honor student, you know.」

「No, I'm not. And I've had difficulties deciding what path I want to take, too.」

「Hmm....Ristuko, maybe I should consult you later.」

Besides being the class representative, I've become something of an advice-giver for my friends. They usually talk to me about minor, everyday things. But recently, my friends have gotten a lot more serious in their questions.

「Akizuki, could you come to the staff office for a moment?」

Oops, the sensei's voice sounded quite urgent. I told my friends that I would talk to them another day, before walking off towards the staff office. I wonder what sensei wants to talk to me about...

「Akizuki, do you really have no interest in furthering your studies?」

When I entered the staff office, those were the first words out of my sensei's mouth. Not this again...I've already decided on this issue long ago, but sensei keeps bringing it up. He's unexpectedly persistent.

「With your grades, getting into university would be no problem at all. If you continue like this, you're going to have problems getting employed.」

「Sensei. I've already settled the job issue with my parents. And I don't feel that a university degree is necessary for me. How many times do I have to say this?」

「Ah, well...about that....」

「And anyway, I seriously doubt the importance of being able to boast of 「graduating from a first-class university」. Young people have been losing sight of their goal recently. I should be praised for having decided early on what I want to do in life.」

「Well, I guess so. Akizuki, that's good of you, but...」

「Is that all you have to say? If it is, then please excuse me. I apologize for making you worry about me.」

Haaa.....I do understand his feelings and that he's concerned about me, but I feel that he's wasting his time. Once I've decided on something, nothing can make me change my mind. Well, I'd better hurry to 765 Productions.



「Good morning....what the heck is this? Did something happen?」

When I reached the office, I was wondering if I had stepped into an earthquake zone instead. Files, binders, papers and other things from the shelves and cabinets were all over the floor. Sitting in the middle of the mess was the secretary of 765 Productions, Kotori Otonashi. She had a dazed expression on her face, and next to her was the President, a fluorescent light bulb in his hand and a large smile on his face.

...Or at least, that's what it looked like.

「Morning, Ritsuko-kun. Ahhh, I was about to change the light bulb when my hand slipped. It hit the shelf, and everything just fell to the floor! Ha ha ha!」

「'Ha ha ha', my foot! Can't you see that Kotori-san's turning pale?!」

「The papers....they're all over the place....all the important documents are mixed in together with the trash....ah ha....ah ha ha ha ha....」

「Kotori-san, get a hold of yourself! I'll help out too, so let's get this mess cleared up and put the files back on the shelves.」

Kotori-san got up from the floor and hugged me without saying a word, bawling her eyes out at the same time.

「Oh, friendship is such a beautiful thing. Ah, at least the light bulb didn't break, so I guess it's fortunate that nobody got cut.」

Kotori-san stopped crying and stared at the President with a glare that sent a shiver down my spine. If I don't do something quick, 765 Productions will become the scene of a most unfortunate incident.

「Anyway, President, go back to your office! We'll take care of things here. Kotori-san, let's hurry up and sort this out.」




3 hours later, Kotori-san and I finally finish restoring the office to its previous state.

「Well, we somehow managed to do it,」 I let out a sigh.

Kotori-san grasped both of my hands in hers and looked at me gratefully.

「Thank you so much, Ritsuko-san! I wouldn't know what I'd do if you weren't here...it's all thanks to you. Even though you're an idol trainee, you're still helping out with office work. I love hardworking people! Ritsuko-san, I really....really....」

Eh? Wait, wait a minute. This is a joke, right? But Kotori-san looks so serious. I, I don't have that kind of interest! No...!

「From the bottom of my heart....I really respect you!」

...R, respect?

Whew. I guess it was a misunderstanding after all. I'm exhausted, so I take a break with Kotori-san. When I'm tired, hot chocolate is the way to go.



「By the way, Ritsuko-san, why do you have an interest in management?」

「Well....I've seen my parents managing their work, using their own abilities to handle everything. Although all businesses are different, I find it fascinating how the basic principles are the same no matter what the industry is.」

Kotori-san nodded, seemingly impressed by my words. She suddenly clasped my hands in hers again. Watch it, you're going to spill the hot chocolate!

「I'm impressed, Ritsuko-san, it sounds like something that only you could think of. But...what about being an idol trainee? Are you reluctant to do it, after all?」

「Nope. To be honest, my heart is longing to learn as much as I can of this world. Even if I do become a manager in the future, having some experience as an idol isn't wasteful. It may even help me out later. So I'm going to try my best to be one.」

Kotori-san smiled encouragingly at my words. I haven't blindly thought about furthering my studies, but I do know that there are lots of people who are stumbling through their lives without a goal. I can't picture myself living like that. From yesterday to today, and from today to tomorrow, I have to keep up the pace, to realize my ambitions.

Well, I do know that real life doesn't actually go the way you want it to. In reality, it's not enough just to have lofty goals. You have to have a solid footing in your daily work too, before you can look further ahead. If you have a dream but don't do anything to chase it, I guess that dream isn't as precious as you thought it was, huh?



It's the morning after the day the President almost turned the whole office upside down. Since the teachers needed time to mark the students' exam scripts, school would be closed for a while. I, of course, came here to the office. I decide to check on the various documents today.

「Ahhh, these figures are all wrong! I knew we shouldn't have asked that sloppy accounting firm to do this work for us!」

Although I said that I would try my best to be an idol, my debut is still quite a ways from now. In the meantime, I'm spending time in the office doing the thing I originally signed up to do: managing. It's not a bad feeling. Although I know that the stage is an attractive place to be, where everyone will gaze upon you, I feel more at home being backstage and controlling the aspects of the performance with the strings in my hands.

I actually hope to manage a male idol someday. Ah ha ha! Ah, how I wish a promising, young man would suddenly appear before me....

Oops, I seemed to have gotten carried away for a moment there. I better clear up the reality in front of me first before I start to think about more dreams!

「Alright, I should be fine by myself...hmm? Who are you? I've never seen you around here before.」

「H, hello. I'm---」

-Fin-

nowano:
The Princess Sleeping in The Forest
Iori Minase's circumstances
Source: The Idolm@ster Character Master


The little birds are twittering and chirping to each other. With the clear morning air wrapping around me, I gaze out at the beautiful garden in front of me as I sit in the patio, gracefully sipping my orange juice. This is the start of the day for me, Iori Minase, the promising idol trainee at 765 Productions....ni hi hi♪

「You talking to yourself, Iori?」

「Brother! Grrr! I was just getting into the mood, and now you've ruined it!」

「Ha ha, sorry about that. My bad.」

This refreshing-looking young man is my eldest brother, Kaoru Minase. He's young, but he's the CEO of a corporate firm. I have another elder brother who is studying overseas, and he's intelligent too. To be honest, I have a slight complex about this....but I win when it comes to being cute!

「Hey, Iori. When exactly are you going to become an idol?」

「Why you-! I've already become one!」

「Well, excuse me then. But you seem to have a lot of free time as an idol.」

Kgh...as usual, he knows exactly where to rub it into me. I hate sarcastic people!

「Since you got into the company through father's connections with President Takagi, maybe even Jan could do it. How about it?」

「Woof!」

Jan, our family dog, barks in reply from the garden where he's walking around. Take my brother's side, will you? I'll remember this, Jan!

「My producer hasn't been chosen yet, but my debut will take place any day now!」

「Hmm.....well, do your best. I'll be looking forward to it.」

With a laugh, my brother walks out of the room. Kgh...I was completely defeated. And now I have a migraine. My beautiful morning is gone now~.

「Shindou, I'm going back to bed. I have a headache.」

Shindou, the family butler, comes up to me with a flustered expression on his face.

「Eh? But Iori-sama, what about school?」

「I'm not going. Send them a message for me, will you?」

Heading back upstairs to my room, I dive back into my bed. This headache...it's all my brother's fault!



A short while later, there's knocking at my door. It's Shindou, who has brought some ointment for my migraine.

「I've contacted the school....would you like to go to the hospital? Your parents aren't here right now, so....」

「Isn't that always the case? There's no need to go to the hospital. I'll be fine if I just take a rest.」

Yes. The members of the Minase household are always very busy. My papa and mama are rarely in the house, but I don't feel particularly lonely. Their daughter is sick, but it's probably impossible to ask them to come back from the opposite side of the world, since they're out of the country on a business trip....I've been having that train of thought a lot nowadays.

「Speaking of which, when you were little, Iori-sama, you always went to sleep whenever you had a headache. You haven't been doing that much since you joined 765 Productions.」

「It wasn't because my body was weak. Now that I think about it...I guess it was because my mind wasn't strong enough.」

「Iori-sama....」

Uuu. The atmosphere is starting to become depressing, something which I don't like. My parents could give me a little more attention, but I'm not that pitiful. I get angry when people look at me as if they feel sorry for me!

「I'm going to rest now, so get out!」

I chase Shindou out of my room, before throwing my favorite quilt over my head. This scene used to occur a lot when I was younger, and it's been a long time since it happened...



When I open my eyes....I find myself in the middle of a party being held in the Minase mansion. Hmm, I remember that this was when we held a party to celebrate my brother being promoted to CEO in his company several years ago. Hey, doesn't that mean this is a dream? I'm in a dream and yet I know that it's a dream...

「Mumbling to yourself, Iori-san?」

「Grrr-! I'm busy concentrating, so don't say that I'm mumbling to myself...ah! Madam Yoshiatsu and Madam Marichiro...」

I've been seeing these two elegant ladies at a lot of parties recently. They always put on a large amount of make-up on their faces. They're here at the party in my house, so I'd better remember their names for now. But it's probably not worth remembering their names after this, because they're just small fry who are trying to get into my papa's good books by currying favor with him.

But since they're invited guests, I have a moral obligation to be nice to them, acting like a proper lady.

「I'm very happy to be able to meet the both of you~♪」

「Thank you. You are always so cute to look at, Iori-san. Do you not agree, Madam Marichiro?

「Indeed, you resemble a princess. I am certain you will have a bright future ahead of you. Do you not agree, Madam Yoshiatsu?」

Each time the ladies moved their bodies, the smell from their plant-based make-up enter my nostrils. Ugh, it smells terrible.

「That's obvious.....no, I mean, thank you very much♪ Well, please excuse me~♪」

I turn my back to them and walk away. Ah, I'm exhausted. I'd better drink some juice. I move through the crowd and make my way towards the bar counter. When I come back, I hear the two ladies talking to themselves.

「That child Iori, she is just as conceited as before. It must be because her parents are so rich. But compared to her two brothers, that child has no talents at all. Isn't that right, Madam Marichiro?」

「She really does seem like a princess. It's true that she's cute, but her face also says that she doesn't know the meaning of hard work. Isn't that right, Lady Yoshiatsu?」

...Before I could think about how Papa would look at me, or whether they're invited guests or not, my body moved by itself. I throw my glass of juice onto the floor in front of them.

「Well, I'm sorry for being a princess who's wallowing in her parents' money! I don't know how to work hard? If that's the case, how about you? Besides putting on ridiculous make-up, what can the two of you do?」

「O, oh, Iori-san...」

「I may be conceited, but at least I don't talk behind people's backs like you two! If you have something to say, you say it to my face, you...make-up sisters! Your make-up is a waste of resources anyway!」

「My, my word! To say such a thing....」

The people around us began to notice the commotion, and were whispering amongst themselves when a smiling gentleman came up to me.

「Well, well. You must have had too many chocolate bonbons, didn't you? Ha ha ha. I guess it can't be helped. Ah, please excuse me, ladies. I have been searching for my friend here a few minutes ago.」

It's my papa's good friend, Takagi. He's the president of the public entertainment company, 765 Productions. The two ladies disappear back into the crowd with embarrassed looks on their faces, while the crowd resumed their partying as if nothing had happened.

「....I'm not drunk from eating chocolate bonbons.」

The gentleman next to me burst out laughing.

「Ha ha, is that so? I must have had the wrong impression.」

「Sir, I'm....really sorry. I want to become a real princess, and to show those people that I can do it. That I can be just as good as my brothers.」

I'm always being compared to my brothers in everything. But I refuse to be seen as having no talent at all, especially by people I don't know.

「To become a real princess.....that's a rather difficult goal.」

「Difficult? I'll work hard!.....can't I do it?」

The gentleman then held out a ticket towards me with a smile.

「I know of someone who became a princess by working hard. A singing princess. If it's alright with you, you can go and see her. I'm sorry to say, though, that 765 Productions has no idols of its own yet.」

Just like that, I went to the place on the ticket where the singing princess would be performing. The venue....is a dome. But this is indeed where she is at.

Hoping to catch a glimpse of her on stage with their eyes were people, people, and more people! I couldn't count them all! When she entered from the side of the stage wearing a gorgeous outfit, everybody stood up and cheered for her loudly in a resounding roar that shook the entire dome. And when she was singing, it was as if she was casting a magic spell; everyone who was listening to her were moved to tears.



This...is fantastic! Is this what it means to be a singing princess? Is this what an idol can do? All these people here, they're all her fans? To be an idol means to be accepted and recognized by so many people!

「This is great! Being an idol is amazing! I...I'm going to be one too! No, I must become one! I've decided what I want to do with my life!」



「Iori-sama? Iori-sama? Are you alright?」

I hear Shindou's voice when I open my eyes. I'm back in my room.

「I'm fine. I just had...a dream of the past.」

「I thought you were having a nightmare. Please forgive me. Oh, and your father is here. Would you like to meet him?」

I nod at him, and he walks out of the room. A few seconds later, my papa is standing there at the door with a worried face.

「Iori, are you alright? I was told that you were absent from school. If your idol activities are too stressful for you, maybe it would be better if you stopped.」

「I haven't even started on my activities yet, so it's not a burden! And my headache's gone, so I'm fine!」

My papa, the one who arranged for me to join up with President Takagi, has a slight look of regret on his face.

「If you say so...don't make too much trouble for the President. If you're not up for it, it's better to resign.」

「I got it already! I'll be going to the office tomorrow, and I'm going to be serious about it, so the results will come soon....I hope.」




The following morning, I went to the office rather reluctantly, since I already said in front of my papa that I would do so. I can't think of any special reason to come here though, other than the fact that I have a lot of free time.

「Haaaa....When will I have my debut? This is really getting me down.」

I think out loud to myself. Once my producer has been decided, I'll head for the top immediately. Hurry up and appear, already! My very first fan!

「H, hello there. Good afternoon.」

-Fin-

nowano:
The Prince's graduation
Makoto Kikuchi's circumstances
Source: The Idolm@ster Character Master


The weather is great today on this fine morning! I open my eyes as the morning light shines in through the gap in the curtain. Alright, I'm gonna work hard on this morning's dance training! I fly out of bed and get dressed in my sports attire. It feels great to be moving your body around! Heh heh.

After I finish warming up, I start jogging towards the nearby park. Along the way, I cheerfully greet the old man who lives near me. He's taking a walk with his dog.

「Good morning!」

「Ah, morning.」

「Morning, Jack!」

「Woof woof!」

I'm so excited at the start of a brand new day! Ah, the newspaper delivery man's coming towards me on his bike. I'll greet him too.

「Good morning!」

「Morning! Do your best on your jog, young man!」

「Eh? Young man....did you mean me?」

I come to an abrupt stop.

「Nn? Yeah. There ain't nobody else around, is there?」

What the heck is this kid talking about? I laugh it off before I resume my jog. Uuu, another misunderstanding by another person.



Yeah, that's right. I, Makoto Kikuchi, am actually a female. A young girl! But many people always mistake me for a guy, like what happened a few minutes ago. This happens all the time, and lately, I have to keep telling people 「No, I'm a girl」 a lot more often than before. Because although I don't look like it, I'm actually an idol in training. To become a bishoujo idol, I've joined up with 765 Productions. It's my hope to finally be one.

I will be become one! .....I think. I'm always being mistaken for a guy. My confidence is starting to take a beating.... hey, it's not good to feel so down in the morning!

I finally reach the park, and I pull myself together to practice my dancing. Let's go with this music....

「Makoto! What a coincidence! Come over here and join me for a while.」

Eh...? I take off my headphones and look towards the direction where the voice came from, and I'm surprised to see who is standing there!

「D, Dad!」

My dad, Shinichi Kikuchi, is a race-car driver. Although it sounds really cool, he isn't famous at all. He usually doesn't train in the mornings....I wonder if it's because the big tournament is almost here?

Ah well, it'll be good to have some extra training! Let's go over to him!

....

...I have to change my training schedule a bit. My dad wants to practice karate with me, as part of his training menu.

「Okay, don't hold back on me, Makoto!」

My dad sounds confident. I'm...not very confident. I started learning karate on my dad's advice. Although I said it's great to be moving your body around, I'd rather practice ballet or jazz dancing...

My dad really wanted a son, so when I was born, he gave me the boyish name 'Makoto'. Among the other things he did to make me act like a boy was to make me use 'boku' whenever I referred to myself. I soon began to use it naturally as time passed. Even though I found out later that girls normally don't talk like that, it's hard for me to get rid of this habit since I'm so used to it already. Because of that, the newspaper delivery man thought I was a guy. Actually, I think almost everyone thinks of me that way...

「An opening! YAAA!」

My dad made an excellent thrust, and I ended up sitting on my rear end on the grass.

「Come on, stop daydreaming! I want to see your fighting spirit!」

「H, hai! Thank you for your guidance!」

Fuu. I don't even have the time to stop and think to myself.




Even though my training was disrupted, I put that aside and head to school.

I'm really popular at school, you know! .....with the girls, that is. Haaa~....

In school, the girls in the same grade as me call me 'Makoto-kun', and my seniors call me 'Prince', as if I was some toy to play with. Uuu...my juniors call me 'onii-sama', and I guess it's better than being called a prince.

....No, actually, they're both terrible. Darn. But whatever the case, I'm glad to be so popular among my schoolmates.

Maiko-chan from the neighbouring class came to my classroom to hang out with me today. I've gotten to know her recently, and we've become good friends. She has a different hairstyle today, along with a red and white checked ribbon. That looks really cute. I'll include it in my list of the best three ribbons I should try sometime. Ah, but then I'd have to discard the white ribbon with the blue polka dots on it. And then there's the black velvet ribbon.....argh! Man, I'm so confused now! I stare at Maiko-chan's ribbon while I'm still thinking about it.

...Are? Maiko-chan's suddenly gone all quiet. And she's looking at me...with an enormous amount of blush on her face...!

「Kyaa-! Makoto-kun, what are you staring at?」

「That's the Prince for you! Straight-forward and manly!」

My classmates laughed at us when they saw how red Maiko-chan's face was, before saying goodbye and walking out of the classroom.

「It must be great to be so popular. I want to be like Makoto-kun, leading a worry-free life and having fun everyday.」

「Ah ha ha....」

Worry-free....do I really look like that?

「Ah, Makoto-kun, you've become quiet....are you angry?」

「Eh? Nope, not at all! Ha ha ha!」

Whoa, that was close. I made my friends worry about me with this troubled face of mine. I've got to keep smiling!




I continue to talk with my friends, and the hours passed by quickly. Ah, I did some studying too, of course. Even if it's only a little. Heh heh. Once school has finished, everyone breaks up to go for their club activities.

I haven't joined any of the clubs since I have no idea when my idol activities will start, so it's better to play it safe. Since I'm known to be great at sports, I've been approached lots of times to join the physical education club. But my aim now is to be a top idol. Because of that, I quietly make my way to the corner of the school courtyard, and practice my dancing on my own.

I didn't finish my morning training, so I continue where I left off: practicing how to do continuous turns. It's pretty tough and not easy to do. I can't seem to find the center of gravity, and my current physical strength isn't enough either....what should I do?

As I was thinking of a solution, my gaze fell upon the girls of the cheerleading club practicing their routines at the opposite end of the courtyard. They're wearing white miniskirts, and their pom-pons are white too. They're so frilly looking and extremely cute. If I were to join them...it'd probably look like one of the ouendan members had become mixed into the cheerleading group. I would probably be shouting 'Osu!' or something like that....ha ha, I guess I won't be able to fit in.

But I'm a girl, after all. I'd like to have a pretty figure, and I want a prince to come and pick me up on his white horse. Then I can finally say 'Oh, my prince!' to somebody else instead of being called 'Prince' all the time. Heh heh. Man, it was embarrassing just saying that.

The main reason why I knocked on the door of 765 Productions was so that I would be able to dance, which I love more than anything. The serious look in a dancer's eyes when he's dancing is great to look at, isn't it? Ah, but I guess another reason was that I could wear cute clothes while I'm dancing, and to have everyone look at me as a girl. Then I'll be popular not only among the girls, but the guys too.

But I'm feeling a little uneasy. Can a girl like me really become an idol? I'm rough, my movements aren't graceful and I wear jerseys all the time...I probably don't have any charm at all. I wonder if that's the reason why I don't have a producer yet...

「Makoto-kun, would you like to dance with us-?」

The cheerleader girls at the opposite end of the courtyard call out to me.

「Ah...s, sorry, I've got to go now...see ya!」



I don't know how to deal with this sudden invitation, and I'm so confused now that I think it would be better to go home for now. But...I guess I blew it. The chance to show off a bit of my feminine side. I want to act like a girl, and to do things like a girl...I know I'm the one who's supposed to take the first step. But despite that, I'm still waiting for my prince to come and make me into a girl...did that sound a bit too girly?

.....Ah! I, I didn't mean anything strange when I said 'to make me into a girl'! I didn't mean it like that! Not at all, you hear me?!




Night passed, and morning is here again. Yesterday was the pits. I was feeling so depressed and everything. I'm going to try to get over this gloom hanging around me. I'm heading down to the office in the morning, to say hello and to talk with the staff and the President. Once that's done, let's head for the sports gym near the office!

The morning air is cool but refreshing, and I'm all fired up as I practice my turning again.

「Hah~...ow ow ow ow ow....I guess continuous turns are still too much for me. Ah, this bump really hurts.」

To be able to appear pleasing to the eyes, it's best if you put on a beautiful dance, right? I've got to train harder to be able to do that. Even though I'm waiting for my prince, it's not my style to sleep and wait for him, like those princesses from the fairy tales. I'm gonna do it my way, moving about and working up a sweat while doing so. My prince will probably be surprised to see that too! Heh heh! Alright, let's do this!

「First, I'm gonna take a short break before trying again. The challenge awaits!」

「Hello there. Have you got a minute?」

-Fin-

nowano:
Fun x 2, sadness/2
Ami and Mami Futami's circumstances
Source: The Idolm@ster Character Master



Morning-! It's Ami. Today's weather is great, because the sun's energy tanks are filled up to 100%! On a day like this, it's better wake up quickly instead of lying around in bed! But it looks as if Mami's still sleeping. Nn~fu~fu~. Let's pinch and raise Mami's nose till she wakes up.

「...U~....Uu~......zat hurds~.....bwah! Wh, what are you doing, Ami~. Meanie!」

Yay, she's awake, she's awake! Ami's going to play and have fun with Mami again today!

「It's still too early to go to school, Ami. And Mami's still feeling sleepy. Let's go back to sleep...」

「Eh-! But Ami's already wide awake! Come on, let's play!」

「Play...what shall we do?」

Hmm...ah, Ami can't think of anything to play with. But it should be easy! Whatever Mami finds interesting, Ami thinks it's interesting too!

「How about making breakfast? I'm sure Papa and Mama will be impressed!」

「Ah, that sounds like fun! Let's do it, let's do it!」

See, Mami's wide awake now too♪ The two of us sneak quietly into the kitchen. Today's breakfast battle is about to begin!



「Hey, Mami~. What shall we make for breakfast?」

「Well....Toasted bread is too simple. How about making rice and miso soup? Ami, do you know how to make them?」

「No-pe. But we just have to mix the water and rice together to make the rice, and the miso paste, seaweed and tofu to make the soup, right?」

Although Ami's never cooked before, Ami has watched Mama cooking meals at the stove, so Ami knows a bit about cooking. Great, isn't it?

「Ami's really smart! Then let's make it together. Today's breakfast will be mixed rice!」



Although Ami tried her best....the dish looks kinda icky....uuu, how come?

「Mami, it looks reeeeally purple...」

「Ah, that's Mami's favourite blueberry jam! There's a whole bottle in there!」

Uuu....rice and jam aren't supposed to be mixed together, Mami. Even though we're twins, Ami does wonder about you sometimes, Mami.

「Ami, this rice smells of flowers....is Mama's perfume inside this?」

Of course it is! Ami loves fragrant rice. Why can't Mami understand this sense? How strange. Just because we're twins, other people always believe we think and act the same!

「Hey, Ami~. Do you...want to eat this?」

「Hmm.....nope!」

「I knew it-! Well, how about giving it to the cat that's always in front of the mansion?」

Let's do that! Our present for the cat. A good deed done first thing in the morning. The cat was so touched when it ate our present, it fainted. The rice might have been a failure, but our feelings managed to get through to it after all.



Besides that, it was good that Ami woke up early to play with Mami! It's more fun playing with Mami than playing by myself! Because we're twins! The day has just started, and we're gonna keep on having fun! Well, let's go back and have Mama's delicious breakfast, before going to school!




And...touch! It'll be Mami from here on out!

In the class at the elementary school where Mami and Ami study, everyone gets along really well. The girls are best friends with each other! We're always talking about the guys who appear on TV, about games, and we trade print seals* with each other too!

「Wow, this sticker is cute! Mami-chan, you look really good in this!」

「Ah, Ami picked the frame for that one~. It's cute because of that.」

「Nn...but Mami's really good at scribbling. Mami wrote this message here. It's really interesting!」

It's really lively when friends get together and talk! Ah, but there's this unpleasant guy among the boys. He doesn't like it when he sees the girls having fun.

「Oi, Ami Futami! Are you seriously going to be an idol? That's hilarious!」

Here he comes! Shin-kun's rough and lots of unpleasant things come out of his mouth.

「No, it's true~. But this is none of Shin-kun's business, right? Bye bye!」

Even though Ami has talked back to him, he's still not moving.

「There's no way a noisy person like you can become an idol. Mami's a much better choice to be one.」

「Hey-! Mami's an idol...ah! Uuu...n, nothing.」

「Shin-kun, stop saying such mean things to Ami-chan.」

「Yeah. Go away, Shin-kun!」

Ami almost let out Mami's secret, but Shin-kun got chased away by the angry girls around us. Take that! There are other people who talk like Shin-kun, but as long as Mami's together with Ami, it'll be okay! Even though it's enough to make one person cry, it'll be fine with two people. The sadness will be halved, because we're twins!

...And it's true that Ami's going to be an idol. Mami's going to be one too, but that's a secret. Mami is Ami's backup, and the two of us take turns to be idols. How come we're doing this? Ami and Mami are still elementary school students, so it's hard to be an idol and go to school at the same time...if the work is divided by two, it'll be fine. When we signing up to be idols at 765 Productions, Mami talked with Ami about it before we decided together. That was good of Mami, wasn't it? Being twins is so useful!

President-san says we still need someone before Mami and Ami can have our debuts. The protein...? Pro....proju.....juicer?

....Whatever! Once we have that, we can have our debut!

Mami and Ami are going to work hard at being idols, but Mami hopes we can have lots of fun too~.



Hello-! It's Ami again-! After school is over and eating a snack at home, it's time to play again! Although Ami and Mami usually play with our friends, today's gonna be a super important, national security meeting with Mami! What we're gonna talk about is Shin-kun.

「Hey, Mami. It looks as if Shin-kun likes Mami, doesn't it? Nn~fu~fu.」

「Mami doesn't like that spoiled brat! Besides that, Mami thinks that Shin-kun likes Ami instead. Nn~fu~fu.」

「EH-! Ami doesn't like that spoiled brat too! Ami thinks that having an older nii-chan is better.」

「Yeah! Mami wants a nice, middle-aged nii-chan too. But it would be great if he was nice and young!」

Mami has always been liking and wanting the same things as Ami. Ami and Mami argue sometimes, but there are more good experiences than bad.

.....Ami feels really lucky to have Mami as a twin.

「Hey, Mami...? Does Mami feel happy now?」

「Yeah! Super happy! How about Ami?」

「Ami's super happy too! Let's have fun from now on too, Mami!」

「Yeah! Lots and lots of fun, Ami!」

We have fun everyday, even now, but Ami and Mami want to become idols so we can have even more fun. Ami will be happy if everyone can smile when they see us.

....But Ami and Mami really want a new nii-chan...

Let's talk to President-san at the office tomorrow.♪

*Print seals: Photo stickers from arcade photo booths.



Ah-, it's a beautiful morning today. Good morning, everyone. I'm the President of 765 Productions, Takagi.

「But who did you mean by 'everyone', Mami-kun?」

These two children appeared in my office first thing in the morning, which I think is rather admirable, but they suddenly said to me, 「Since Ami and Mami have already talked a lot, it's President-san's turn to talk to everyone.」

...Well, since it's Ami-kun and Mami-kun, it must be some new game that they thought up.

「President-san! Ami and Mami want a nii-chan! Buy us one!」

「Mngh....such an impossible demand....you're making life difficult for me, you little devils.」

「Devils? Are they some type of bear?」*

「No, devils are imaginary creatures and...」

「Imaginary? Hmm....like fairies? Are Ami and Mami fairies?」

「Whatever! Mami and Ami are already great idols! Hurry up and debut us, President-san! And buy a nii-chan for us too!」



Ahh, I can't think anymore. These de...fairies are beyond my control. I had better quickly find someone to pass them onto.

「Come on-! Come on-! Buy us a nii-chan, President-!」

「Alright, alright! When the new producer candidate comes, you'll get the priority for meeting him first, so please spare me.」

「Is that a promise?」

「It's a promise. So I would like the both of you to practice your singing today, and...」

「Yes! We've bought a new nii-chan, Mami.」

「As expected of you, President-san! Well, let's go off and play now, Ami.」

....Ami-kun and Mami-kun completely ignored what I wanted to say.

....Well, that's fine. I hope the two of you will quickly meet up with the new produ...nii-chan I sold you.

....Please.



「Are? Who are you, nii-chan? Why are you staring at Ami and Mami like that?」

「Ah, I know! You want to kidnap Mami and Ami and sell us, right-?」

「Ggh....I guess 'selling you' is right in some sense. Because....I'm your producer.」


-Fin-
 

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