AINORI #296
This is a loose translation, just to give you an idea of what is going on. Sometimes it’s difficult to translate Japanese into proper English, due to obvious cultural and linguistic differences. I’ve tried to stay as close as possible to the original text. Feel free to contact me if you notice any typos, or weird sentences. Enjoy!

ルーマニア The seven of them are traveling in Romania, where peaceful sceneries of the past still remain.

Aya「Aaa~ It's the sea~」
Umechan「What a view」

On that day, they had arrived at a beach on the Black Sea!
The seaside, which extends for 70km, is Romania's vastest resort.
And it's really open!
When they walked on that beach...

Mie「They put mud packs on」
Aya「Oooh~!」

There were young people with mud packs on.
Actually, the Black Sea's mud packs are famous worldwide!
The mud is taken from a lake near the Black Sea, and abundantly includes a substance called 「Humic Acid」, which has an unparalleled effect as a beauty treatment. It comes from a kind of crustacean five millimeter long called artemia.The corpse of these organisms accumulate at the bottom of lakes, and merge into the mud over the years. They say that when you apply that mud onto your skin, it takes three years off it.

The Donai Clinic Director, Mr. Ladef: 「It's really magic mud. Everybody becomes a beauty, you know」

Actually, here in Romania, there's a national project meant to promote beauty and called 『The Great Cosmetic Country』. In short, there's a lot of beauties. At once, the group tried the mud packs.

Mie「Waaa~!What a feeling」

Among them...

Suuzan, smile, smile」
Suuzan 「Jumbo!」
「Waaaa!」

Suuzan had changed nationality.

パック Having put on too much mud pack, Suuzan, the would-be painter, invited Mie, the Kansai girl.

Suuzan 「This is great, you know. I thought about something funny!」
Mie「What is it?」

Then, Suuzan stick his head in the sand.
Mie「Ooooh!Ahahahaha!」
Suuzan 「What does it look like?」
Mie「Ahahahaha」
Suuzan 「Could you make a vertical line here?」
Mie「Ah, OK!」

In addition, (his head) was decorated with shells. The result:

Mie「Can you see it?」
Suuzan 「I can see a little looking at my shadow」
Mie「Did you see it?」
Suuzan 「Yeah」

ビーチ The seven of them, whose skin had become smooth, had a great time on the beach like they hadn't had in a while.
Among them, there was one who couldn't enter the group's circle. Alec, who caught the eyes right away with his white skin!

Alec「I can finish Super Mario in about 5 minutes. Maybe, there's no one better than me!」

Alec was a self-proclaimed game genius. However, He couldn't socialize with the group. The cause of that...

Alec「I have the face of a foreigner・・・」

His foreign-looking face was a complex. He looked like a blue-eyed, 100% Italian. However, inside, he was a Nara dialect speaking only, 100% Japanese. Due to that inborn gap, Alec had suffered and had become withdrawn. Still, Alec was floating by himself, body and mind.

禁断症状 On their way back from the beach, sitting next to Alec was Aya.

Aya「Since Ukraine, it's been raining all the time, you know」
Alec「Is that right?」
Aya「Yeah」
Alec「・・・・・・」

Aya was trying to make conversation, but Alec wouldn't reply. He kept silent for 10 minutes. Then, Alec started to have withdrawal symptoms・・・ Those finger movements, no way!?

Alec, the self-proclaimed game genius, was immersed into a a virtual game world, alone. He finished virtual Mario in 5 minutes, and then・・・ fell asleep.

Aya「・・・」

レストラン The next day, in the restaurant where they were having lunch・・・

Aya「Dinner last night cost a little more than expected, so today for lunch we can only have a little」
Suuzan 「I got water, I'm good」
Aya「Yeah, have some water」
Hide「Ok」

Aya, the shy 25 year old, was in charge of finance management for the trip.
Since she had been put in charge of meals by Hide, she became active and better at accounting.

午後 That afternoon, the Love Bus was moving away from the Black sea, towards western Romania. They arrived at the capital, Bucharest.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, that beautiful city that had been sung as the Paris of Eastern Europe, remains unchanged.

15 years have past since the revolution, and the people, who adjusted capitalism, filled the city.

翌朝 The next morning, Mircea, the driver, took the group somewhere...

Aya「It's a hospital」
Hide「It's a hospital」

Here was a national hospital, specializing in pediatrics. Here would be the place which would see a great change in the fate of a romance!

Group「Good afternoon (in Romanian)」

The, Mircea went to see one of the girls.

Mircea「That girl has been suffering from asthma since she was born. So she has been living in this hospital since she was small」

Larka was Mircea's niece. Larka, who had been affected by the disease since she was born, was separated from her family, and had been living in this hospital for 5 years. The kids in this ward were of course even unable to go to school, to play outside, due to tertiary asthma.

Since the revolution, Bucharest had been showing a rapid development. However, the downside to that was the beginning of an increase in car exhaust emissions , and serious pollution problems of all kinds.

The kids, who could hardly meet with their family, smiled when the group came to visit them. Among them, Hide...

Hide「You wanna see your friends?I guess you can't see them because you're in this hospital, right?」

Then...

「Larka's family is far from here, and she can hardly see them. She cries every day, saying "I wanna see my sister, I wanna see my sister"・・・」

Larka, who couldn't benefit from the love of her family, had closed her heart. On that day, Hide was not able to see her smiling face.

病院 Then, after the group had visited the hospital...

Group「Bye-bye」
Hide「Like, they were all having sad-looking eyes. I guess it's lonely when you can't see your friends」
Mie「It's hard for little kids」
Suuzan 「It's hard, you know」
Mie「That's why they said they couldn't sleep」

From Hide's diary“The loneliness of not being able to see your friends. The loneliness of not being able to see your beloved sister. I wanna see Larka smile・・・”

Wasn't there anything they could do for the children・・・?

The group decided to go visit the hospital again.

午後 That afternoon, Hide was seen thinking by himself・・・ At that moment!A God came down dancing to Hide

That evening...

Hide「How about under that tree?It's looks・・・ It looks cool, doesn't it?」
Aya「Yeah」

Hide had invited Aya invited.
Hide「Well, errr, (cough), yeah」
Aya「What is it?」
Hide「You know, together...」
Aya「Yes」
Hide「You wanna perform kamishibai?」
Aya「Kamishibai?」
Hide「Yeah」

The one who had come down dancing was Yuukun (note: an ex-Ainori participant), the God of Kamishibai.
Hide「I'd like you to draw a short kamishibai, about three picture boards」
Aya「Oooh~」
Aya「If it's only three boards, I guess I can do that quickly」
Hide「Really?」

Hide had something on his mind・・・

Aya「I really hate speaking in a loud voice, you know, and I'm poor at talking」

Aya was poor at talking out loud in front of people.

Aya「 I'm good at drawing pictures, so when I draw it makes me really happy」

Aya really loved drawing pictures. Hide wanted to give self-confidence to Aya through kamishibai.

紙芝居 Then they started making the kamishibai.

Hide「I'm glad. It's like, fun. Can you draw a boy who seems like he's smiling, but not really laughing?」
Aya「Ok. That's Shizuka chan(Japanese cartoon character)''s speech bubble, isn't it?」
Hide「Yeah!Yeah!Yeah!Yeah!Yeah!Yeah!」
Hide「(Speaking Romanian)?」
Local staff「(Speaking Romanian)!」
Hide「(Speaking Romanian)」

They would perform kamishibai in Romanian.

Aya「If I erase the line around him, his face looks like Koro(Japanese cartoon character)'s」
Hide「Huhuhuhu, it's true. It's a little gross. Huhuhuhu」
Aya「Huhuhuhu」
Aya「That's strange, hahahaha」
Hide「It's fine, it's fine. I can see what it is」

For the kids' smiling faces・・・

Aya「(Speaking Romanian)」
Hide「It's the last time we practice, can't you say it better? (Speaking Romanian)!」
Aya「(Speaking Romanian)!」
Hide「OK!OK!」
Hide「How's that?」

Local staff「Yeah. Well, it's ok. Aya's pronunciation seems better」
Hide「Wha~at!Really?」
Aya「Yeah!」
Hide「You beat me. Shit. I'll practice more」
Aya「Yea~aah!」
Local staff 「Give them a big surprise tomorrow, please」
Hide「Ok. I'll practice more」

Hide“To make the kids laugh, to give Aya self-confidence. I wanna make both my number one goal. I have two goals, but both are number one. I'll desperately do my very best (to achieve both)”

翌日 The next day, the seven of them had gone to visit the kids at the hospital for the second time. Each member of the group had prepared a performance.

First, Umechan wearing a Noh mask!Her game plan was to draw the kids' attention with her face painted. However...

Kids「・・・・・・」
Kid「(crying)」

Rather than getting the kids on her side, the kids seemed like they wanted to pull away from her.

Umechan「I'm sorry, I startled you. I'm really sorry・・・」

The group asked Umechan to withdraw.

Hide「In order to cheer the kids up, eerrr, we'll do our very best, so please enjoy yourselves」

First, Suuzan introduced a supernatural power he had never shown before. However, it was ad lib, i.e. he hadn't discussed it with the others first.

Suuzan 「Eee~rr, I will turn this girl into a camel with my powers」
Umechan「?」
Suuzan 「Camel, camel, one! Yeah!」

Suddenly, Umechan had been turned into a camel. How on earth would she get over that?

Suuzan 「You're a camel, a camel」

Then...

Umechan「Buooo!」
Suuzan 「Munch more with your mouth」
Umechan「Buuo~oo!」

However, this Ume camel was a really big hit with the kids!

Suuzan 「Aiaisa!」
Arashi「Arf!Arf!Arf!Arf!Arf!Arf!」

Suuzan , with his supernatural power, was turning the group members into animals one after another.
Mie「Cock-a-doodle-do~o!」

In the end, the sickroom looked like a small zoo. Finally, Alec! What animal would he be turned into, next?
However・・・

Suuzan 「You are a soprano singer, a soprano singer」
Alec「?」
Suuzan 「Yeah!Boom!」
Alec「Oooo La la la la la la la la la」
Suuzan 「Yes!Yes!Yes!Yes!」

The usually withdrawn, Italian-like Alec went like this:

Alec「♪The nights I can't sleep, it's because of you~♪♪My first kiss, was that kiss from you~♪I Will Give You All My Love♪」

Their performance was a success, and the seven of them brought the kids out of their shell.

リハーサルDuring that time, ヒデ and Aya ...

Hide「Great」
Aya「You want me to lead a bit?」
Hide「Ok」
Aya「Rehearsal」

They were diligently rehearsing their kamishibai. Meanwhile, Arashi was spending time with the kids in the sickroom. Arashi was there, unaware that Hide and Aya were doing kamishibai.

Hide「Let's do it!」
Aya「Ooooh!」
Hide「Good, you know!」

物語 Hide「Could I have everybody gather around?Around here」

Then, the kamishibai started.

AyaHide「This is the story of Toraemon」
Hide「Nobuta was a boy who couldn't do anything, but he liked Maria very much」
Aya「Nobuta was thinking of using Toraemon's magic tool to confess his love to Maria」

That was the kamishibai Hide had made for the kids. But it was also a message for Aya, who was next to him. Nobuta was the hero, who had no self-confidence and didn't believe in himself. Hide was comparing Nobuta to Aya, whose weakness was also that she didn't have self-confidence, and couldn't even make a step forward. Then, at the end of the story Nobuta could change and get self-confidence.

Aya「Nobuta changed for Maria」
Hide「Maria fell in love with Nobuta, who was able to do things without using Toraemon's magic tool」
AyaHide「(Thank you in Romanian)」

Their kamishibai was a great success.In addition, Larka・・・ laughed.

That was the smiling face Hide wanted to see the most.

ストーリー Umechan「Did you make that story yourself?」
Hide「I thought up the story」
AyaHide did」
Umechan「You thought it up」
Hide「But the pictures, Aya drew all the pictures」
Umechan「Awesome」
Hide「She's very good」
Mie「Nice!Nice!」

紙芝居をやり遂げたAya, who accomplished the kamishibai, felt really fulfilled.

Aya“To be able to perform kamishibai in front of everybody was a great experience.Like, I can't do anything for Hide, but he does so much for me・・・I'm really grateful for that”

Meanwhile, Arashi couldn't even look at the two of them. Arashi had met Aya in Russia. She was a shy girl, who had trouble expressing herself in front of other people. However...

Aya「Today everybody should spend about 12 000 lei on each meal」
Group「Ok」
Aya「Please」

The confidence to pull the group together as the one in charge for meals・・・
During the kamishibai, that vigorous and smiling face, which no one had ever seen before・・・
Aya's transformation had become evident to Arashi's eyes.

Arashi“I think it's great that she's so different from before. I think it's too bad I couldn't bring that out in her”

On that day, in Arashi's Power Up Notebook: 「Living hell=In this world you live in, to meet with a situation in which you are tortured as if you're in hell・・・」

NEXT WEEK ON AINORI

次週予告

December 19th

Monday night @ 11:30

"What's wrong, Umechan?"
A shadow falls on the fate of a romance

A shadow falls on the fate of a romance

The secret in Aya's heart!?

"After this trip is over, maybe I won't be able to see you (Aya) again"

AINORI #295             AINORI #297

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