Nagi left the Convention Hall to shout at the top of Sunshine 60. Hayate left the Convention Hall to show Nagi the manga drawn by Ruka. Chiharu left the Convention Hall to watch them. It means that 3 out of 4 members of Nagi’s circle were not helping with the sale of Maria’s photo book, and the remaining member was… Maria herself.
A girl selling her own photo book in the Comisun would give the others an impression that she was very stupid even shameless, and Wataru and Saki were proof of this. Even Maria herself could not stand this, so while she kept on selling on her own, she was secretly praying that the others could come back as soon as possible – although, even if they returned, the fact would remain that Maria was selling her own photo book, so there might not be too much difference.
Finally Hayate returned, but instead of helping Maria with the sale, he came and asked her to sell all remaining books by herself. He then took the train with Nagi and Chiharu, moving away from Sunshine 60. What would happen to the photo books, and more importantly the doujinshi, they didn’t seem to care any more.
Chiharu suggested that they had to get the fire burning again in Nagi, who looked as though hers was extinguished. She sat by a corner of the bench very quietly, and reflected on what she had been doing. She admitted that she had made a fundamental mistake. She was supposed to be focused on drawing manga, but she made the wrong turn at some point and began focusing only on selling manga. She played a trick on the customers, and she sacrificed Maria for this trick. Yet, she was not happy about the results, and instead of coming closer to Ruka, she found that she was left further behind.
In order to cheer her up, Chiharu brought Nagi to the Tokyo Big Sight. According to her, Japan’s biggest doujinshi event (Comiket) would take place here for 3 days, starting from August 3. It would be a long and hard battle, which could be easily made into a longer story than the Trojan War by Hata…
In any case, Nagi had accepted defeat in the June 12 Comisun. If she really had a love for manga, she would have to fix what had gone wrong, and step up for the Comiket battle. A defeat in one competition isn’t the end of the world, if the loser does not give up hope himself or herself.
And Nagi stepped up. She knew that she had sacrificed Maria, she had let Chiharu and Hayate down, and she had lost to Ruka – who appeared in front of her just then.
According to Hina, Ruka suddenly wanted to visit the Tokyo Big Sight on their way home. It means that Ruka and Hina had no more business for the day, and the visit to the Tokyo Big Sight was not in Hina’s plan. So, why had Hina insisted on selling all 30 copies in the morning? It remains a mystery.
Nagi understood that she would have a second battle against Ruka, right here, in August. She declared that, in two months’ time, she would overcome Ruka. Ruka took up her challenge, by giving a line of provocation: “I am not going to wait for you. I will leave you behind.” It really is some Declaration of War very common in shonen manga, which had Hayate and Chiharu noticed and commented on, and had Hina completely puzzled – remember, she had been reading manga for merely two weeks.
The most pressing matter for Nagi, though, was how to make herself a better mangaka than Ruka in two months’ time. She would need some very good advisers to take her to the next level. At the moment, Chiharu and Ayumu had been proven ineffective. Hayate was serving both Nagi and Ruka. Hina was on Ruka’s side, and in any case nobody other than Ruka acknowledged her contribution. So, who could the “super high spec adviser” be?
We arrive at Hakuou Academy, where two people were talking about Wataru’s quitting and his replacement. Those who had watched the Season One Anime would know who they are: Kuzuha Kirika, the (acting) chairperson of Hakuou Academy, and Kuresato Shion, her butler. Although they had appeared quite a lot (and created quite a lot of troubles) in the anime, it is their first appearance in manga.
Of course, Hina had mentioned Kirika’s name in Ch. 232 of the manga, but as no other information was given, it remains to be seen whether the manga Kirika and Shion would be as troublesome as they were in the anime. Hina showed no negativity towards Kirika in Ch. 232, though, so could it mean that they were getting on quite fine in the manga?
Kirika stated that she had decided on the grade skipper who would replace Wataru, and in came Tsurugino Kayura, a “new” character. The word “new” is in quotation because, well, Kayura isn’t exactly a character completely unknown to us. In fact, we have already seen her making appearances in the movie. Given that the movie is set in August, and it was June in the manga, you might say the Kayura we have seen in the movie is a FlashForward of her appearance in the manga.
As I have not yet watched the movie, I don’t really understand Kayura’s character in the movie. However, as she was a grade skipper, she would be very clever. Would she be clever enough to offer Nagi advices? Would she join the Violet Mansion? Let’s wait and see.
In the last panel, it is shown that Maria had sold all of her photo books. Even if she cut the selling price by half (250 yen per book), Nagi’s circle would make a small profit of around 40K yen. It would give a rather strong compensation to Nagi. After all, she had already lost her battle against Ruka, and it would not be a good news for her to lose money. Now that she could sufficiently cover the printing cost, Nagi would not have worry about her financial status… for now.
And this concludes the first part of the Mangaka saga. It has been predictable, but the story so far makes sense. There are quite a few things I could talk about in more details, so if everything goes on fine, you can expect a Featured Article in a few days.
Hata wrote on his BS that we are going back to the one-chapter short stories starting next week. It means that there could be a few “filling chapters” coming, but it also means that Hata is not taking his suggested break… yet.
Let’s look forward to a new start!