Kouchi Ayako: A review of a hundred manga titles just sounds so tedious, who on earth is gonna read that? There’s simply no point in writing reviews. It’s meaningless, that’s what it is. Am I right?
Ibara Mayaka: Would Fuku-chan trust me? I seriously wanted to keep a low profile today.
Mayaka: (Pushes her chair back and stands up) What exactly do you mean by “meaningless”, Kouchi-senpai?
Kouchi: Fufu. The important thing here is the sales clerks, Ibara.
Mayaka: S-Sales clerks?
Kouchi: Exactly. No matter what you’re selling, it all depends on the sales clerks. Content doesn’t matter at all. If cute cosplayers say “Welcome customers~”, books would definitely sell.
Mayaka: So what you’re saying is that if the sales clerks aren’t cute, the remarkability of your work won’t be conveyed?
Kouchi: That’s right.
Mayaka: She’s saying that cosplay will change the sales figures, and that’s something I just can’t agree with! I won’t lose! If that’s so, senpai, following your logic, why is the cuckoo calling1?
Mayaka: Even when you’ve gone out of your way to cosplay, customers aren’t coming. That means that the sales clerks are questionable, isn’t that right?
Kouchi: Hehh…… So you said it. Then what about your cosplay? Do you think anyone today would know Frol2?
Kouchi: Of course, it was a masterpiece, but……
Mayaka: You didn’t need to follow up with that to make me feel better.
Kouchi: That wasn’t my intention. Anyway, that other club you’re in, the Classics Club, was it? The club president over there seems to be working really hard. Dressing up as a cheerleader and a maid.
Mayaka: C-Chi-chan did what?!
Kouchi: And this isn’t related to the Cultural Festival, but…… she even appeared in a white bikini during the second broadcast3. That’s some amazing foxiness. She sure has admirable willpower. Compared to that…… do you have any motivation at all?
Mayaka: I-If it’s motivation, I definitely have some!
Kouchi: Huh! Really? To me, it seems like you’re just turning your back on current popular culture. Indeed, it feels like you’re simply making an appeal. “I have a firm grasp on the old masterpieces~! Totally different from all of you fad followers~!”
Kouchi: Anyway, now’s not the time to be cosplaying as old characters. Isn’t it more logical to try and attract customers by having a firm grasp on the current style of characters?
Mayaka: I-If that’s so, then what about your cosplay, senpai? The initial version of Nakoruru4 is a too old-fashioned selection!
Mayaka: Frankly, the customers who would be satisfied with that costume would be around thirty years old or above5, right? Do you have a wish to be popular among such people?
Kouchi: O-Of course not.
Mayaka: Also, isn’t Nakoruru a fundamentally innocent character? But you’re not that type of person, are you, senpai? You have a forceful personality, don’t you?
Kouchi: Wha…… don’t decide that for me! I, I……
Kouchi: S-Stop spouting such nonsense! I just…… used to play Nakoruru.
Mayaka: Then I’ll ask you a question. What was Nakoruru’s birthplace?
Kouchi: Eh? That’s…… um…… Hokkaido?
Mayaka: There, you don’t know. The correct answer is Ainumoshiri-Kamuikotan8.
Kouchi: Normal people wouldn’t know that.
Mayaka: No, it’s the most basic of the basics! In short, senpai, you’re the kind of poser who doesn’t love the character enough! You hardly understand the setting and story. You only enjoy the camera flashes at events, and you just crave for attention.
Kouchi: No, the type of cosplayer you’re talking about wouldn’t choose Nakoruru.
Yuasa Shouko: Both of you seem to have been taking part in a heated discussion.
Mayaka: Oh, Yuasa-senpai.
Yuasa: Just a suggestion, but how about we have the customers decide? We could let them vote on which cosplay they like more!
Kouchi: Oh ho! Sounds interesting.
Yuasa: Mm! What about you, Ibara?
Mayaka: J-Just what I was hoping for. The customers have been looking properly, after all.
Yuasa: Then it’s decided! Now, I’ll give out your numbers. Ibara is number five, and Ayako is number six.
Kouchi: Five and six?
Yuasa: Yes, if we don’t consider other cosplaying members, it wouldn’t be fair, right?
Mayaka: Yeah, I guess.
Yuasa: Then, let the voting begin!
(End of school bell rings)
Yuasa: Now, the first day of the Cultural Festival has ended. Time for the announcement of results for the cosplay popularity vote!
Kouchi: Well, it’s clear who took first place.
Mayaka: That’s not exactly true!
Yuasa: Kohon! The first place goes to…… Miku-san9.
Yuasa: Second place is…… Ruka-san10.
Yuasa: And third place is…… tied between Rin-san and Len-san11.
Mayaka: A landslide win for the vocaloids, huh.
Kouchi: What about me and Ibara?
Yuasa: Both tied at last place. I asked the customers, and they said they didn’t recognize your characters.
Kouchi: Huh? What’s with the youth of today?
Mayaka: Unh. How deplorable.
Yuasa: Well, that’s how it is, I suppose. Now, I entrust the two of you to cosplay as the latest popular characters.
Kouchi: No thanks.
Mayaka: Definitely not.
Yuasa: Ahh…… Actually, don’t the two of you get along pretty well?
- Japanese idiom meaning that business is slow.
- Refers to Frolbericheri from They Were Eleven, a manga published in 1975.
- This was during episode 11.5 of the anime, where the Classics Club went to a swimming pool where Oreki was working.
- Nakoruru’s a character from Samurai Shodown, which was first released in 1993.
- Note that in the anime, Hyouka is set in 2012 (I think), unlike the light novel, which is set in 2001.
- Nakoruru’s winning phrase in Samurai Shodown.
- A film released in 2002 featuring Nakoruru.
- Samurai Shodown was set in 1788. During that time, Hokkaido wasn’t a part of Japan yet.
- Refers to Hatsune Miku, a vocaloid, or a humanoid persona voiced by a singing synthesizer application.
- Refers to Megurine Luka, a vocaloid like Hatsune Miku.
- A female and male vocaloid, respectively.