Ranma Half Moon 2: Phrase White - Chapter 19 - Interlude: Live Number Two

Author's note: Wotagei are dances and chants that male idol fans perform for female idols in concerts to show their devotion.

Author's note: Kuro no Musume perform songs that were image songs in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: "Happy Time, Happy Life", "Kiss2 Bang2", "Romance", and "Friend". Translation by sailormusic dot net.

Author's note: Making direct eye contact with audience members is a trick popularized by members of the Takarazuka Review.

Author's note: The songs that Phrase White perform are Carnival 2000 (Wieß), Last in my Winds (Weiß) and C no binetsu (Lucifer). Translations for Weiß lyrics by Tetris no Miko. Translations for Lucifer lyrics by Allen Tyner.

Nabiki Tendo sizes up a pretty blond who stands before her. "So, this is your first Phrase White show?"

Aino Minako smiles with pride. "Well, actually, I was invited here by both Phrase White and by Kuro no Musume."

"My, my. Do you go to Ouran High School?"

"Me?" Minako chuckles. "Thanks for thinking I have a mature look. But, will be starting eight grade."

"Amazing. Now, the rules of the show are that everyone must wear a mask and no one can mention their name. Now, do any of the mask here speak to you?"

Minako gets a surprised look on her face. "Will any mask do?"

"Sure."

"Even if it isn't one of these masks?"

Nabiki raises an eyebrow. "You brought your own mask?"

"I wanted to surprise Zoiki with my video game character." Minako pulls out a red mask and strikes a pose. "V is for Victory, V is for Sailor V!"

"It's no problem. The masks come with the cost of the ticket so you wearing your own mask doesn't cost me anything. Now, you were invited by Zoiki?"

Minako nods.

Nabiki pulls out a small piece of paper. "Name?"

"Aino Minako."

Nabiki gives Minako a badge. "Backstage pass. Don't flash it around, a lot of the girls here would do anything to get one."

Minako puts the badge in her purse. "Thanks."

"Enter, and please remember not to take your mask off. I will be watching on my monitor."

Minako salutes Nabiki. "Okay, boss." Minako enters the club.

"Next!"

Kino Makoto enters and stands before Nabiki. She carries a package. "Good evening, Nabiki-san."

"Good evening Makoto. Kunochi told me that you were bringing some food for Phrase White."

"Yes!" Makoto points to the package.

"Great, well you know the drill. Did you bring your mask?"

Makoto puts her lightning and oak tree mask on.

"Great. Here's a backstage pass. This will get you past security. Don't show it to any of the other girls or they might rip your hand off to get it."

"I understand. Thanks."

"Please enter."

The girl with the oak tree mask walks into the club. She sees a security guy and discretely shows him the badge.

The security guy points Makoto to the backstage door. "We're a little crowded today, with two groups. Good thing there are two rooms. They should have the group's names on them."

"Thanks!" The girl with the oak tree mask goes backstage. She finds a table in the hall to unwrap the pastries. "Yes!"

The girl with the oak tree mask starts to walk the tray of pastries to the Phrase White room when two girls wearing masks burst out of the Kuro no Musume room.

"Moe, you went to the bathroom just ten minutes ago."

The girl with a collie on her mask whines in a high pitched voice. "But, I am excited. Oh, wait. These pastries must be for me!" She snatches one of the pastries and bites into it.

The girl with the oak tree mask looks exasperated. "No, no. They're for Phrase White."

The other girl, who has an Airedale on her mask, jumps in. "Please forgive her, she's always doing stupid stuff."

The girl with the collie mask grabs the girl with the oak tree mask and kisses her.

The girl with the Airedale mask pulls the girl with the collie mask back from the girl with the oak tree mask who looks shocked. "What the heck are you doing to this poor girl?"

"I couldn't help it. These pastries are so good I was transported to heaven. I couldn't help but thank the chef."

The girl with the oak tree mask regains her composure. "I'm not the chef." She points to the logo on the package back on the table. "I am willing to forgive your stolen pastry and your stolen kiss if you support this shop. I think they do the best job in all of Japan."

The girl with the collie mask bows low. "Okay."

The girl with the oak tree mask disengages herself from the two strange girls and gets her platter to the Phrase White dressing room. "Excuse me. I hope everyone is dressed. I'm coming in."

The girl with the oak tree mask walks into the Phrase White dressing room to see a curious site. A blond girl in a red mask is applying lipstick to the bass player Jadero. "I hope I am not interrupting anything?"

Kunochi laughs and grabs the platter from the girl with the oak tree mask. "I assume you're ...?"

"I'm not allowed to say my name in the club."

"You are backstage."

"Well, how many girls did you invite to bring you snacks?"

Kunochi teases the girl with the oak tree mask by pretending to count on his fingers, then chuckles. Only you."

"Good."

"By the way, this blond girl is a genius at makeup. In just thirty seconds she told Jadero everything he was doing wrong with his makeup."

"Amazing. She looks like she really knows what she is doing."

The blond girl nods. "Thanks."

...

"Next!" Nabiki sees an tall dark haired pretty boy enter. "My, my. We don't get a lot of guys coming to these concerts."

Kyouya pushes his glasses back and smiles smugly. "I would imagine that ordinary guys would be too intimidated by the guys in Phrase White to want to come."

"And, you're not some ordinary guy?"

"You could say that myself and Phrase White are rivals."

"Are you in a band?"

"No, I'm in a host club with five other boys."

"Really? Wow, I will have to check you guys out! Now, you'll have to pick out a mask and wear it for the whole show. Also, you are not to speak your name while in the club. Now, do any of the masks speak to you?"

"The one with the serving platter and tea set."

"As expected. Please enjoy the show, ..."

"Kyouya. And, you are, princess?"

"Nabiki. Moe! You're going to take my money for sure!"

Kyouya dons his mask and enters the club.

...

"Now, remember: idol singers have been around for decades. They all bring their own tricks to the table, but they all share a common element. They want to see their fans be happy. I know that the crowd out there might be pretty demanding, but if everyone does their best they will wind up liking you guys. Okay? All hands in. Fire!"

"Greyhound!"

"Airedale!"

"Beagle!"

"Collie!"

"Mercury!"

"First gig, let's do this!"

Kuro no Musume, along with their producer and DJ move from their dressing room out into the hall.

The girl with the fire mask opens the door to the stage and then gives the signal to wait a minute for the stage hands to do more last minute set up.

The girl in the winged messenger Mercury mask starts shaking.

The girl in Airedale mask grabs her shoulder. "What's wrong?"

"What if I screw up?"

"You will do the same thing that I will do if I go off-key. I will continue to smile and assume that people will think the screw up was cute."

"Is it really okay?"

"I didn't bring you on board to set you up to fail. If everything goes perfectly, that will be great. But, I don't anticipate that or even hope for that. I'm sure we will all screw something up so don't worry about it."

"Okay."

The girl in the Airedale mask gives the girl in the Mercury mask a hug.

The girl with the fire mask signals for the group to go on.

...

Wow, aside from security, we are the only boys here. The boy with the tea service mask admires his friends' choices for masks: a crown, two identical masks with the sign of Gemini, a bunny, and a harpsichord.

Six girls take the stage. A girl with a fire mask takes a standing microphone. "Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the debut performance of Kuro no Musume." The girl in the fire mask leaves the stage.

One of the girls goes behind a soundboard to the side of the stage. The other four bow as low as they can without losing their masks. "Please take care of us!"

The music starts: "Happy time kiss me forever, it s okay to look at the sun. Happy start I noticed when I fell in love. Happy time, happy days, happy life. Woo, never forget, love and heart."

The girls sing in unison, then start doing one line per person: "I go through an arch of ribbons and flowers (Greyhound). The days I begin now will bring me smiles (Collie). My heart used to ache missing you (Airedale). But now, it s showered with light, Oh my love (Beagle).

The boy with the crown mask nudges the boy with the tea service mask. "The crowd is being so hard on them. Should we start doing wotagei?"

"No, they are stronger than you think. Let them tough it out."

"Happy times, happy life. Happy times, happy life." The music winds down.

The girl members of the audience look at them stone faced, obviously wishing they would get off the stage so Phrase White could play.

The boy with prince mask loudly claps. His friends join in.

The girl members of the audience give them dirty looks.

The masked boys return smiles.

The girl with the greyhound mask nods to her DJ. The music begins again. On this song the girl with the beagle mask sings lead, the girl with Greyhound mask sings harmony and the girls with the Airedale and Collie mask back dance and throw some random lines in in the chorus. "Don t look at me with a face that says 'I m sorry'. Sadness can even make a person forget how she walks. On nights when I don t see you, who are you with? Kiss! Kiss! It s love s fault, I know. Bang! Bang! A hole opened in my heart."

The boy with the tea service mask smiles. In spite of themselves the girl members of the audience are being sucked into the performance.

"I want a romance not just about smiles. I ll overcome my pain and protect you. Just thinking about you makes me feel warm.
( cause anytime) And that is what ... (rainbow in my soul) ... I put my faith in. I ll be here."
The music winds down.

Several of the girl members of the audience are faster than the boy with the tea service mask in starting to clap.

The girl in the greyhound mask smiles. "Thank you very much."

The music starts again. This time the girl in the greyhound mask and the girl in the beagle mask back dance while the girl in the Airedale and collie masks trade leads. "I love you, baby baby. Switch off the light. Baby baby, kiss me. Baby baby, romance, realize. Hey, don t keep it hidden. Hey, it s going to begin. (unison) The weather is good today (Airedale). I see your reflection in the window (Collie) I inscribe my love in my diary same as usual (unison). But in some way (Airedale) I feel the distance a little (Collie). You are locked in my heart (unison).

Jadero watches the performance on the monitor in the Phrase White dressing room and moves with the music.

Zoiki looks on with disdain. "I can't believe you're getting into such idol nonsense."

"Zoiki, how naive. Music does not begin and end with rock and roll. And, any form of music that can touch the audience is a valid form of music."

"Well you wouldn't catch me dead doing nonsense like that."

"Maybe you have no confidence in your cuteness?"

"What?"

Zoiki and Jadero have a stare down.

"I need you, baby baby. My heart races. Baby baby, my lips. Baby baby, romance, tremble. Baby baby, lay your cheek against me. Baby baby, it s whimsical, isn t it? Baby baby, but still, I m happy. Hey, I can see hope. Hey, it sparkles! Hey, it s going to begin (unison)." The music dies down.

The girl with the greyhound mask smiles. "Thank you so much for coming to out debut performance. This is our last song and then Phrase White will perform a little later."

The four girl say in unison "We are Kuro no Musume!"

The girl in the oak tree and lightning mask sighs. Gee, if I wasn't such a baka that could have been me up there.

The girl in the red mask nods in approval. I knew that Mizuki-kun could do it. That DJ they have is kind of cool as well.

The boy in the prince masks beams. My princesses are now showing the world the shining light that I see inside all of them.

The boy with the tea service mask ponders. Miss Mizuno is doing an amazing job on the sound board. I should send her a free visit coupon as a congratulatory gift. And, Kanon is really surprising. She spent an entire session with me venting her fears about performing and she hasn't embarrassed herself once.

The boy with the cake mask looks glum. How can they not serve cake at this club? And, what am I going to tease Erina about? She is so cool. She'll be heartbroken if I can't put her down.

The girl with the fire mask shrugs. They listened to me and did what I said and they succeeded. As expected.

The music starts. The girl with the beagle mask sings lead, the girl with the greyhound mask sings harmony and the girls with the collie mask and the Airedale mask sing counter lines. "Dear my friend, I kept running here. With my dream I kept searching for here. With no time to look back every day, our meeting isn t by chance." The girls with the collie mask and Airedale mask try to make direct eye contact and wave to audience members when they are not singing.

The girl with the collie mask makes direct eye contact with the boy with the harpsichord mask. The boy flinches noticeably.

Kunochi sees Zoiki following the song with great interest on the monitor. "I thought you said that this was nonsense?"

Zoiki blushes. "Well, I was just thinking this sound kind of fits the two of us."

Kunochi snickers. "Maybe."

"The miracle of our meeting and (miracle power) that irreplaceable time, (special time forever) I treasure them all, I can go on with life. Thousands of emotions (thousand words) vanish into the night sky (twinkle star forever). I want to complete the things we can only do now. I wanna be with you my best friend (I m proud of you). Together forever (feel my heart, please, please, please, my best friend)." The music dies down.

The group members say their farewells and wave. The girl with the Airedale mask gets their DJ to join with them in the waving.

The five girls plus the girl in the fire mask go back stage. The Phrase White boys are already in the hall to greet them.

The girl in the greyhound mask bows. "Thank you so much for allowing us to debut here!"

Kunochi gives them a hard look. "You had better be grateful. We were not expecting you to be so good. Now we will have to go out there and win our audience back from being your fans."

The girl in the collie mask gives Kunochi a hard look back. "You sound like this would be difficult. How disappointing. I heard that you guys had confidence."

Zoiki gets in her face. "Listen up, you guys are ten years too early to compete with us."

Jadero pulls him back. "Please forgive Zoiki. I caught him doing wotagei in the back. He's just jealous."

The girl in the collie mask pulls her eyelid down and sticks her tongue out at Zoiki. "Beda!"

The rest of the girls drag the girl in the collie mask to their dressing room before a fight can break out.

The girl with the Airedale mask looks at the girl in the collie mask in shock. "Wow, what has gotten into you tonight? I have never seen you act like this."

The girl in the collie mask seems to calm down. "Did I make trouble for everyone? What am I to do?"

The girl with the fire mask laughs. "Sorry, I can't put you down for what you did. Those boys were acting macho and deserved a sassy retort."

"But, certainly something I did in today's performance was off?"

"Nope. I was totally amazed. You four acted like you have been a group together for a long time."

The four girls with the dog breed themed masks smile nervously.

"And, you were really in sync with the performers. I can hardly believe that Kanon told me that you has only been doing this for a couple of weeks."

The girl in the Mercury mask giggles. "Thanks."

The girl with the fire mask looks at the monitor. "Oh, our rivals are about to go on, shall we watch?"

Jadero stands in front of the standing microphone. "Thank you all for coming. May I hear a hand for Kuro no Musume?"

The audience claps.

"They'll be a tough act to follow. But, since the new school term starts on Monday, I hope you all came here to rock?"

The audience claps.

"Good." Jadero signals for the first song to start. After the intro Jadero and Kunochi sing in unison. "Off on a journey to far off lands. Let us pay our last respects, for the world has disappeared. We will need to soil ourselves no longer. And also the future that was supposed to forgive our sins is disappearing. Yes, there is no turning back."

The boy in the tea service mask fidgets uncomfortably. How am I supposed to be these guys rivals if their music is this good?

...

A middle-aged man dressed as a woman with a wig and makeup fusses over a meal he is preparing in his cramped lower middle class apartment.

"I'm home!"

"Welcome back princess."

"Thanks."

"Oh my god! What happened to your hair?"

The short dark haired girl, the man's daughter, shrugs. "One of the neighborhood boys thought he would be clever and he put his bubble gum in my hair. It wouldn't come out, so I had to cut everything short."

"How horrible. I've always wished I had naturally beautiful hair like yours."

"Sorry that it hurt you, but cutting my hair didn't mean that much to me. High School starts Monday and having short hair mean less time fussing over it and more time for studying."

"I envy you. If I had aced a test to get a scholarship to one of the best pre-law high schools in the country, I would be worrying about making a good impression and standing out among the girls."

"Impossible. All the girls at this high school are rich, pampered, and apparently spend most of their time at the beauty parlor. Besides, I intend to do my best studying."

"That's my girl."

...

"Our next song is for everyone out there with something that want to forget or something they can't remember." Jadero signals for the song to begin which he sings by himself. "I don't know where I am. I can t see anyone. I don t know how I got here. My very memory is hazy. As if to hide all the answers from me, the gray winds blow fiercely."

...

A tall dark haired boy picks up his mail from his mail box. He sees a envelope from Ouran High School. Orientation? So it begins.

The boy puts on his motorcycle helmet and leaves.

...

"This will be out last song. I know that we won't always be there to catch you all when you fall, but we would like to." Jadero signals for the song to begin. "Sunrise, standing by the window, you're a work of art. If I touch you, you'll turn into a thousand tears. Sunset, as if to melt the icy moon, a lonely Venus holding out a lighter in the darkness. What you're in is a jail of sorrow that no one can save you from."

Backstage, the girl with the fire mask smiles. As expected, Nephuyu's prayers have been properly answered and Miss Nabiki was able to whip these guys into fine shape, for better or for worse.

The girl with the collie mask mopes. I wish I had more of those pastries. I will have to write down the shop name.

The girl with the Mercury mask frets. I hope they don't go too much longer. I have homework to do. But, it is kind of cool to see Jadero perform. He's so cool.

The girl with the Airedale mask nudges the girl with the Mercury mask. "What do you think?"

"They're very cool. By the way, do you mind if I steal Jadero?"

"Aren't you a little young for Jadero? He's going to be a senior in High School next week."

The girl with the fire mask butts in and shrugs. "I think that sometimes it might work out if a younger girl goes out with an older guy."

The girl with the Mercury mask gives the girl with the fire mask the evil eye. "Do you have someone in mind?"

"No. Just thinking abstractly."

"By the way, to answer your question, I think I would mind. That would mean we would get to hang out less often."

The girl with the Mercury mask laughs. "Or maybe we would hang out more often? I would have to come by the radio station a lot then."

"Maybe."

"Trembling cherry, I'll kiss you softly and let you fall asleep. Your breath swirling through the night is a fairy dance. Beloved cherry, you'll be shaken off this revolving planet. But if I can protect your dreams I can catch you."

The music concludes.

"Thank you so much for coming. I guess we will see the other version of you all in class Monday!" Phrase White bows and goes backstage.

Jadero knocks on the Kuro no Musume door. "Ladies? We were thinking of having a party to celebrate the joint show. Any interest?"

The girl in the greyhound mask speaks up immediately. "Sorry, we already have stuff to do."

"Sorry to hear that."

...

Jadero, Kunochi, Zoiki, and Nephuyu stand on a bridge over a main road, the bridge connecting the parking lot for the club with the club, watching the traffic go by.

Nephuyu gives Jadero a disappointed look. "Why do you think those girls didn't want to party with us?"

Jadero shrugs. "No idea. Maybe they had other stuff to do?"

Zoiki assumes a condescending pose. "Maybe you're not manly enough?"

"Not manly enough? A lot of girls think differently."

"Jadero, you're no Towa."

"Towa is someone you made up."

"I'm sure he's out there."

The boy who received the orientation notice from Ouran High School drives underneath the bridge on his motorcycle.

End of Interlude: Live Number two