Finally here we are, 13 August, the day of the
Trojan War doujinshi competition. This day Nagi and Ruka would have their final battle on who’s the better mangaka, and the winner would get Hayate. The said piece of shit ass is stupid enough to promise Ruka that if she wins, he would marry her. I would love to see his face when he is forced to be separated from Nagi. Shout “Milady is my life in itself (Sparkling!)” again, won’t you?
Nah, that violates Rule No. 1: Nagi wins everything.
Jokes aside, both Nagi and Ruka are deadly serious about defeating the other, and they are quite evenly matched according to Kayura. She sees both as “good manga”, so instead of a “manga vs. garbage” contest back in Comisun, this time we have a “manga vs. manga” contest – though, as both manga are being “poorly-made and hard to read”, it might actually be a “garbage vs. garbage” contest to begin with. Anyway, manga or garbage, at least this time Nagi and Ruka are on the same level.
While Nagi has a major step-up in her competitiveness, Ruka has a major step-down in the size of her costume. Instead of wearing a full costume that makes her look more like a mascot than doujinshi seller, this time she has decided to just wear a mask given by Isumi (visiting her birthplace, I guess). Apparently Ruka has decided to ignore the other item Isumi gave her, and for good reason: the “mysterious bell” is likely to be very heavy.
Clearly, Ruka is confident that the mask alone would be enough to hide her identity, although she lives in a world where paper-thin disguise has been proven to be not working all the time.
Finally the rule (singular) has been clearly stated: “we each have 100 copies of our doujinshis for sale, and the person who sells the most wins”. This rule has not taken into consideration the possibility that both of them selling all of their copies, which is possible although very difficult (for them). There is no “time attack” or anything of that sort to decide who wins should both of them sell out. In other words, the rule is like a cracked wall which nobody has the intention to fix. Leaking through the crack – that is, a tie between Nagi and Ruka – is almost guaranteed.
There may be a good reason to such ignorance: both Nagi and Ruka are not confident enough to think that they can sell out. Once again, it is quite difficult for novices like them to sell 100 copies. My guess is that Ruka expects to sell about 50 copies, so she would win if Nagi sells 49, and she would lose if Nagi sells 51. Oh wait, even in such a scenario, there is a good chance that both of them selling 50…
If you girls are really serious about your competition, can you at least set your rules (plural) more properly?
Funny enough, while members on both “sides” keep changing, the “Nagi’s side” in Comisun is now reunited, with the addition of Kayura. “Ruka’s side”, on the other hand, remains disbanded. The main reason is that Hayate and Hinagiku are still in Hokkaido, and they cannot make it back to Tokyo in time for Comiket. Obviously even the fastest Lamborghini on earth can do nothing about traffic jams – in fact, in peak hours, a Lamborghini is about as fast as a tortoise. Not to worry, there is no need to hurry. You see, there would be festivals and fireworks and stuff, so why not forget about Comiket completely and simply enjoy some hours alone together?
Someone else is not going to miss Comiket. Maizumi, who first challenged Nagi exactly 3 years ago, decides to pay a visit to Nagi’s circle. I must say that this boy is starting to grow on me, as I find him more and more likeable with each appearance. This time, he has done well showing his acknowledgement and support to Nagi, even becoming her first customer. The funny thing is that he thinks Nagi’s manga is “as horribly-made as ever”, but he has never read Nagi’s manga in the first place: the manga he is referring to was sold by Nagi, but the maker was Ruka…
That is to say, Nagi has no reason to be pissed off.
The very picky Doughnut Gunso would like to say something bad about this likeable boy. For the third time in a row, Maizumi is a “no show” as a doujinshi maker. In Ch. 293 he came to insult Nagi (Ruka actually…), but we did not see him selling his own book. In Ch. 334 he managed to tell the whole world very loudly that he did not get his new book out in time. In this chapter… does anyone see his new book? In other words, while Maizumi has made his name as a possible rival to both Nagi and Ruka, it turns out that he is a huge flop. Each and every time the message is clear: we can simply forget about him as a doujinshi maker.
The real doujinshi makers we know – namely Nagi and Ruka – are selling back to back, so they can have an idea on how the other one is doing, if they pay close enough attention. The thing is that, as the event goes on, Nagi has quite forgotten about Ruka – and, in fact, Hayate. She is simply enjoying the event, and treasuring the feeling of the sales of each copy. I think now she is fully aware that any “competition” or “bet” is actually meaningless: she has entered all these doujin events to sell the artwork she has made by herself. She is happy not because she is winning or making money, but because her has got what she truly desires.
Well, remember Rule No. 2: Nagi gets everything she wants.
Maybe or maybe not because of Rule No. 2, Nagi manages to sell all 100 copies of her manga. It is of course a happy ending for her, but one must wonder whether Hata is oversimplifying things. Do you actually believe that Nagi, in her second attempt of selling her own manga, can do better than all Ruka’s previous attempts combined? Or, should we take this as evidence that Nagi is the real genius?
Of course, Ruka can outperform all of her previous attempts combined if she manages to sell all of her books as well. So whatever is proven about Nagi can be applied to Ruka as well. The question, of course, is how well has Ruka done. In true Hata fashion, this question is used as a cliffhanger, and we have to wait for further chapters to know the answer.
Here comes Rule No. 3: This is the kind of manga you are reading. Take it or leave it.