It was noon on June 12. One hour into the Comisun (So by deduction, the Comisun started at 11:00.), all 30 copies of Ruka’s manga were sold out. On average, she sold one copy in every two minutes. Not bad.
Looking back, it is justifiable to say that Hina, the mastermind behind Ruka’s drawing methodology and selling strategy, hugely underestimated Ruka’s manga, so they looked a bit stupid by having nothing to do after just one hour. I expect Ruka to show some disappointment in the near future to just how few copies they had decided to make. If she wanted to be a great mangaka, it was about time for her to show some more agressiveness and ambition.
At the moment, though, Ruka seemed highly satisfied with the sell out. She did not only sell all 30 copies of her manga, but had achieved it in one hour. Her manga was highly rated by the customers as well, as some people moaned it was a shame they could not buy one. They even bookmarked Flying Dolphin, recognized that it was a fast-selling circle, and decided to come earlier next time. In other words, Flying Dolphin was becoming more and more well-regarded by readers. Everything seemed to be going on very fine for Ruka, and as she saw Nagi she gave a thumb-up (the Like button?!) gesture.
Note that although Ruka suggested competition with Nagi, she did not have any negative feelings for her “rival”. All she wanted to do with her gesture was to share her happiness with Nagi, and hoped that Nagi could be happy for her.
Nagi, however, could not. As we can see from the last chapter, she was thoroughly shocked by the news that Ruka had already sold out. She did not understand why Ruka achieved it so easily, i.e. without too much effort. After all, Ruka had made no marketing campaign, had produced not many copies, had no eye-catching salesgirl to help with the sale (Unlike Maria the maid, Hina was only an ordinary high school girl.) and her circle did not cause as much hype as Nagi’s did. Yet Ruka’s manga sold, at the same speed as Nagi (30 copies in one hour), and while Nagi was still struggling with her remaining 970 copies, Ruka’s job was done.
What’s more, while Ruka’s manga earned compliments, Nagi heard people criticizing her manga, and some people actually threw her manga into the trash bins in the Convention Hall (How rude!). In Nagi’s very own mind, Ruka had won over her, in every aspect, with apparent ease. She could not take this, clicked the “Dislike” button (They say there is one if you use some specific code…?) and ran away.
And then we come to it. Nagi screamed on top of Sunshine 60. One and a half year since Ch. 268, we catch up with the FlashForward.
Nagi screamed, because she failed to become as special as Ruka. She thought that she could win over Ruka in the only thing she was interested in, but Ruka still beat her soundly. Nagi did not understand this. She thought that it was unfair for Ruka to be so special. She hated it and screamed because of it.
It must be noted that, although many people, myself included, predicted that Ruka must have done something horrible to make Nagi so pissed off, it turned out that Ruka did not try to harm Nagi in any sort of way – unless you say that she hurt Nagi’s feelings by outmatching her. Instead of any kind of suspicious conspiracy which had Nagi as the victim, what we could see here is that a young girl taking her defeat very badly. Well, as in the case of a certain Jose Mourinho, winners tend to be bad (and really bad in Jose’s case) losers, so the good thing about Nagi’s screaming is that she had the winning mentality. Ah ha…
Yet, Nagi did not know why she was defeated. She thought she had done as hard as Ruka did, in order to sell her manga. You can already see where had Nagi gone wrong from this line. Nagi worked her hardest to sell her manga, while Ruka worked her hardest to draw her manga. Nagi made the customers to buy her manga, while Ruka made her manga for the customers to buy. In simpler terms, Nagi had put her efforts in the wrong way, and the results were not what she had wanted.
Hayate sighed. The above might be too complex and abstract to tell Nagi with words, so he did not say much, but simply gave one copy of Ruka’s manga for Nagi to read for herself. Chiharu commented that Hayate was surprisingly cruel, but I think Hayate was doing the right thing. If Nagi really wanted to grow up, it was about time someone giving up treating her just so well.
The interesting thing is that, while Hina suggested earlier that they were all sold out, there was one copy left for Nagi to read. It looks as if this copy was purposedly reserved for Nagi…
Nagi flipped Ruka’s manga open and began to read from page 4 – what was on pages 1 to 3, we might never know. The artwork wasn’t really very good, but at least it was presentably presenting a highly interesting and funny theme. We know that Ruka had very good ideas which made Nagi laugh. Now that Ruka could draw in a way that many people could understand, many more people could recognize how good her ideas were. Flying Dolphin had become more popular for a reason.
Then Hayate explained. Ruka earnestly focused on drawing manga which people could enjoy, so they liked her manga. Nagi tricked people into buying a manga they didn’t like, so they threw her manga into the trash bin. Ruka was earnest and honest, but Nagi was not. “The ones who will have the last laugh are the earnest and the honest”, Hayate had been taught a long time ago. Therefore, Ruka had the laugh, and Nagi did not.
Nagi was ashamed of herself. Knowing that her way was wrong in a lot of ways, she wanted Maria to sell the photo book and her manga separately. This was already considerable improvement, as Nagi intended to stop forcing people to buy her manga. Yet, Maria’s photo book had to keep on selling, since Nagi still had an expenditure of 210K yen to cover. The funny thing is that, one way or another, Nagi was still selling Maria for money. So, one way or another, Maria was not likely to be very happy…
Yet, this new decision might leave 970 copies of Nagi’s manga unsold, and she surely wouldn’t be happy to throw them away. Chiharu then came into the discussion, challenging if Nagi would want to end up like this. It sounded as if she had a plan to sell Nagi’s manga in its own right. So what would that be?
Who would have the last laugh in the June 12 Comisun? Nagi or Ruka? Well, why not both?