I don’t have anything to do. Will you listen to my love story?
“骑单车路过 / 蜿蜒海岸线”
“哼唱 / 恋爱和冒险”
洛天依 -《Last Natsu》 by k4n3 Tuno 陌小幽 et al.
1： VIPPER : 2008/02/02(Sat) 10:56:35.77 ID:BeDcEal20
About three years ago, I went to Akihabara for the first time in my life. To buy eroge and doujinshi.
I’d been a closet otaku all my life until then. That means, I’d never been to Comiket and I’d been getting all my books and games by mail order. Needless to say, I was extremely nervous about entering the Holy Land for the first time.
You may think “Oh come on, it’s just Akihabarawwwwww”, but there I was, with a map in one hand and my body trembling like crazy.
5： 1 : 2008/02/02(Sat) 10:59:39.48 ID:BeDcEal20
I’d already decided on the stores I wanted to go to and since all stores were located in the center of Akihabara, I was able to get around in the Holy Land without getting lost.
When I saw the huge sacks of air freshener stuff planted in every corner of a certain store, I was genuinely moved that it wasn’t just an urban legend after all.
7： 1 : 2008/02/02(Sat) 11:02:14.31 ID:BeDcEal20
And well, I’d soon finished my first exploration of the Holy Land and headed to the nearest station of the Tokyo Metro Hibiya line, still feeling exalted.
In front of the station, just when I’d passed a park that was in front of a maid cafe (called Pinafore?), I heard someone call out to me.
9： 1 : 2008/02/02(Sat) 11:04:46.20 ID:BeDcEal20
It was a group of three men who didn’t look otaku-like, but more like, I dunno, fine young men.
They asked me if I know the way to a certain store, probably a restaurant, so I quickly answered “I don’t know”, frantically trying to hide my bag of spoils of that day from their sight.
12： 1 : 2008/02/02(Sat) 11:08:10.18 ID:BeDcEal20
All I had in mind was to quickly go home and enjoy my spoils which is why I didn’t want to waste time any more time with them.
But for some reason, one of the three men kept looking at one of my hands.
Wondering what it is he’s looking at, I followed his gaze with my eyes and realized it was my cell phone strap.
14： 1 : 2008/02/02(Sat) 11:12:40.52 ID:BeDcEal20
It’s a normal-looking strap a friend gave me years ago, but the man asked me “Do you like that?” for some reason.
As it turns out, it was a strap with the logo of a men’s fashion brand on it.
And the man happens to be working at a store of the brand, or so he said. 、
It’s not like I know anything about men’s fashion brands. I bet I sounded extremely indifferent when I gave him a half-assed reply like “Oh, really…”.
He said they’re having a sale soon and asked me to drop by with a friend or so. Then he gave me some sort of business card of said store.
17： 1 : 2008/02/02(Sat) 11:16:51.11 ID:BeDcEal20
Okay, so you guys might be thinking he’s the one, but no. My love story is not about him and me.
The group of three fine young men actually turned out to be a group of four guys.
The fourth guy came running to us saying stuff like “They didn’t have any cigarettes, sir!”. How do I describe him? He looked a lot like, umm, Kucchi from Genshiken. Imagine Kucchi wearing a tote bag with lots of can badges on it.
21： 1 : 2008/02/02(Sat) 11:22:59.99 ID:BeDcEal20
The can badges guy said “What are you doing? You’re not supposed to flirt with women.” to the business card guy, all the while looking at me with a huge smirk on his face. To be honest, he was creeping me out.
As I wanted to go home as quickly as possible, I took the business card and tried to leave.
But the can badges guy called out to me like “Hey, hey!” and stopped me. He was like “Take my card with you too while you’re at itwwwww” and gave me his business card. It had a drawing of a bear on it.
He told me he’s a hobby photographer and wants me to be his next model or something. I got all frightened, said “No, thanks” and went home as if I was running from him.
23： 1 : 2008/02/02(Sat) 11:28:37.35 ID:BeDcEal20
A few days later, my little brother came into my room to borrow a manga and stumbled upon the business card of that clothing store.
When he asked me “Where’d you get this?”, I made up a lie on the spot and said I got it from an acquaintance. Thing is, I’m still hiding the fact that I’m an otaku from my family. Though they can probably tell just by looking at mewwww
Seeing my brother’s eyes light up when he told me that he’s a big fan of the brand, I remembered their upcoming sale and told him about it.
And so we decided to go to check the store out when I’m free during the next week.
25： 1 : 2008/02/02(Sat) 11:35:20.37 ID:BeDcEal20
When I went to the store with my brother, the business card guy wasn’t there.
In the end, I ended up buying my brother a pair of pants because he kept saying “I want new pantswww”.
At the register, I was asked if I came at someone’s recommendation, so I showed them the card and got the pants that normally cost 30.000 yen for only 10.000wwwwww
It turns out the business card guy is the manager of the store.
Apparently, Mr. Manager had gone to the main store that day, so I decided to come again a few days later to thank him personally.
27： 1 : 2008/02/02(Sat) 11:42:11.63 ID:BeDcEal20
Having attained enlightenment, I soon started visiting Akihabara on a regular basis.
Enlightenment because I had realized that the subway ticket to Akihabara is way cheaper than the shipping fees of online stores.
First thing I noticed was that whenever I went to the corner of a store where they sell doujinshi for men, the guys standing around it would all walk away. I guess it’s kind of like when a woman enters the porn section of a video rental store. Though there were also guys who didn’t move an inch.
It felt great to be able to flip through the books and mags and before I knew it, I was spending loads of money, almost as if to catch up on all the years I’d been a closet otaku. I was getting so carried away that I was seriously considering quitting my job, studying up on programming languages and looking for a job at an eroge company.
Then, one day, on my way home, I saw him again in that park in front of the Hibiya station. Not the business card guy… The can badges guy.
As soon as our eyes met, he came running to me shouting “Whoa, whoa, whoa? We know each other, don’t we?wwww”. I thought to myself, “No, I don’t know you, retard.”.
28： 1 : 2008/02/02(Sat) 11:48:11.37 ID:BeDcEal20
I got kinda scared and was about to just ignore him, but then I figured the business card guy might be with him and changed my mind.
I still hadn’t found the time to go to the store again, but I wanted to thank him nevertheless.
So I asked the can badges guy “Are you with Mr. XXX today?”.
He answered “No, Gabrin isn’t here.”. I thought to myself, “Who the hell is Gabrin?”, but I guess it was the business card guy’s nickname or something. Probably.
I thought I could ask him to say thanks “Gabrin” for me and was about to tell him about it when CanBadge’s cell phone went off.
His ringtone was a tune I knew all too well. It was the OP of the anime that basically turned me into an otaku.
Since it’s a rather obscure anime and I’d never met someone who knew it and liked it, I couldn’t just ignore it.
Like I said, I was getting really carried away ever since I set foot in Akihabara. I guess I wanted an otaku buddy I could discuss otaku stuff with.
30： 1 : 2008/02/02(Sat) 11:53:14.58 ID:BeDcEal20
When I asked him “Do you like that song?”, CanBadge’s eyes suddenly lit up.
The reason I asked him about the song first is because I couldn’t possibly ask a stranger about an anime.
You know, I didn’t even expect to hear the song as a ringtone in the first place because I was sure an obscure song like it was never made available as a ringtone. He told me he extracted it from the original CD or something, but as I’m plain clueless when it comes to computers, I didn’t get his explanation at all.
All I remember is that I was amazed that you can do something like that. My mind was blown.
29： VIPPER : 2008/02/02(Sat) 11:50:30.98 ID:DMEuIL23O
An obscure anime, huh? What is it called?
31： 1 : 2008/02/02(Sat) 11:57:13.51 ID:BeDcEal20
“I’m Gonna Be An Angel!”
Though I guess it’s not really obscure anymore.
CanBadge, who seemed like the type of person that’s always fooling around, got a very serious expression on his face when he started talking about computers.
Looking back now, he must have been hesitant about talking about anime with me, a woman. Albeit obviously uncomfortable, I could tell he was trying his best to appear as if he was enjoying himself.
But I didn’t feel like talking on a street in Akihabara for very long and got quickly tired of it. All the more so because I had to constantly hide my bag of spoils with my arms and make sure to only mention mainstream games and manga.
33： VIPPER : 2008/02/02(Sat) 12:01:58.68 ID:pMKcE9Qg0
You have my undivided attentionw
It’s a Saturday, so let’s take it slow and easy.
34： 1 : 2008/02/02(Sat) 12:02:06.45 ID:BeDcEal20
Because of my job, I could only go to Akihabara on Saturdays and that’s what I did every week. Soon I had made it a habit to stop by the park in front of the Hibiya station on my way home.
When I say I stopped by the park, I mean that I just quickly checked if CanBadge was there or not. He was there almost every time thoughwwww
Back then, we hadn’t even exchanged numbers and we surely weren’t friends yet. But whenever I passed by the park thinking to myself “It’s not like I care if he’s there or not.”, CanBadge would come running to me 9 out 10 times.
I was glad that I’d finally found someone to talk about otaku stuff with, but I couldn’t help feeling a little embarrassed for some reason. I’m sure it would have been fine if CanBadge had been a girl, but he was a guy.
35： 1 : 2008/02/02(Sat) 12:06:20.73 ID:BeDcEal20
But there was one time when he didn’t call out to me.
He was talking to his friends and even though he saw me, he quickly turned back to his friends and just continued talking to them.
I got pissed at him thinking “Hey, don’t ignore me!”, but yeah, I know. I know, if I wanted to talk to him so bad, I should’ve just called out to him myselfwwww I guess I was just being stubborn, thinking “It’s always CanBadge who comes running to me. Why should I do it?”.
I swore to myself I’d ignore him the next time he called out to me so we’re even. I know it’s petty and narrow-minded, but that’s just how stubborn I am. orz
36： VIPPER : 2008/02/02(Sat) 12:08:02.73 ID:DMEuIL23O
She’s already fallen for himwww
38： 1 : 2008/02/02(Sat) 12:10:43.13 ID:BeDcEal20
Only when I thought about it after I’d calmed down did I realize it’s only natural that he can’t call out to me when he’s with his friends.
What if they were his eroge friends? He talked to me about eroge too, but it must be obviously a lot easier to talk to male friends about that kind of stuff.
The problem, however, was this: For CanBadge, I might have been just one of his countless otaku friends, but for me, he was the only acquaintance I could talk about otaku stuff with.
That’s all I kept thinking about in the train home.
Summer Comiket was right around the corner and I was determined to attend it that year. By the time I got off the train, I had reached a conclusion. I had to somehow make other otaku friends besides CanBadge at the Comiket.
39： 1 : 2008/02/02(Sat) 12:14:43.24 ID:BeDcEal20
As it was my first time at Comiket, I went there wearing sandals like I was going out for a walkwww
At least, it was sandals without heels, but after a few hours, my feet were hurting, sweating and reekingw In short, I was in no condition to make any friends.
Originally, I’d been planning to get off at Akihabara on my way home from Comiket, but I was so depleted that I changed my mind and went home directly.
Two days after Comiket, I was still on Bon holidays and headed to Akihabara.
As usual, I passed by the park on my way back, but the park was, of course, deserted. I was sure that even someone like CanBadge wouldn’t be there during Bon holidays, but let my eyes wander around the park anyway…
…and he was there. He was sitting there like it was a normal day. Eating canned Oden. In that goddamn heat in the middle of August.
41： 1 : 2008/02/02(Sat) 12:19:40.25 ID:BeDcEal20
I felt like shouting “This is the first time I see someone eating canned Oden in real life!wwwwww”, but before I had the chance to, CanBadge saw me and waved to me.
I’d already forgotten about how he ignored me last time. I wanted to tell someone about my first trip to Comiket so bad that I’m sure I walked over to CanBadge with the creepiest grin on my face. orz
“Long time no see.”
That was when I realized I hadn’t seen him for quite some time.
“I was worried because I haven’t seen you around lately. Thought you quit being an otakuww”
“I couldn’t. I’m way past the point of no return.”
“Who knows? Your boyfriend could have asked you to quit or something.”
It was when he said the word “boyfriend” that I realized something for the first time.
I had subconsciously decided that CanBadge couldn’t possibly have a girlfriendwww I mean, even I had started thinking I don’t really need a boyfriend anymore ever since I’d achieved enlightenment and started going to Akihabara.
42： 1 : 2008/02/02(Sat) 12:27:03.57 ID:BeDcEal20
If I’d started seeing someone then, I would’ve had to come out as an otaku and thus wouldn’t have been able to go to Akihabara anymore.
I’m sure there were guys out there who’d have been okay with me being an otaku, but I figured, instead of looking for them, isn’t it faster to just date an otaku?
In that case, who comes into question? CanBadge, right?
I guess I’d already fallen in love with CanBadge by then, but I had yet to realize it myself.
And here comes the moment that made me realize.
“I don’t have a boyfriend.”
“Introduce me to someone.”
“Hmm… I know some guys if you’re okay with programmers.”
The scales fell from my eyes when I nonchalantly asked him to introduce me to someone, because, in my mind, I caught myself hoping CanBadge would say “What about me?”.
I told him that I prefer an otaku.
That looks and age don’t matter.
That it should be someone who often comes to Akihabara.
That someone who likes “I’m Gonna Be An Angel!” would be perfect.
I said all that and it was so obvious that it could only be CanBadgeww
And yet, he was like “Hmmm…” and seemed to be seriously going through his list of friends in his mind.
“I know someone who’s perfect.”, he said.
“I’ll bring him here next weekw”, he said.
43： 1 : 2008/02/02(Sat) 12:30:12.17 ID:BeDcEal20
It made me realize that CanBadge wasn’t even the slightest bit interested in mewww
At the same time, I realized how shocking this was for me.
“Okay, cool.”, I said.
Then I told him something about how we should exchange numbers and e-mail addresses because it’ll make it easier for us to meet up or something.
With that, I’d finally gotten my hands on his contact details.
On one hand, I was so mad at myself for saying something stupid like “Introduce someone to me”.
But on the other hand, I was so happy that I finally had his number and e-mail addy. I remember I was holding my cell phone the whole time on my way homewww
45： 1 : 2008/02/02(Sat) 12:32:26.55 ID:BeDcEal20
I waited and waited for an e-mail from CanBadge, but he didn’t contact me until the day we’d promised to meet the following week.
I wondered why he wasn’t trying to contact me at first, but then figured he was just busy. Well, that was the moment I realized that I don’t even know what kind of job CanBadge has.
49： VIPPER : 2008/02/02(Sat) 12:41:39.40 ID:9lxlP78V0
I’ll go pick up a girl in AKIBA too.
74： 1 : 2008/02/02(Sat) 14:11:29.91 ID:BeDcEal20
The day we’d promised to meet arrived.
I got an e-mail from CanBadge in the morning. I think it said “The guy I wanted to introduce to you suddenly said he can’t come because of work.”.
I honestly couldn’t care less about the other guywww So I wasn’t sad, on the contrary, I was glad because I thought I could spend more time alone with CanBadge.
Having realized my feelings for CanBadge, I’d already started worrying about something else at this point.
“How do I introduce CanBadge to my friends once we start dating?”
I know it’s not a nice way to put it, but CanBadge is like a textbook example of an Akihabara otaku. His clothes, his hairstyle, everything about him screams otaku.
He’s the kind of guy that walks around with a huge tote bag with Key anime heroine can badges attached to it and wears a matching T-shirt with anime characters on it.
I’ve never been one to care about looks, but for some reason, all my past boyfriends happened to be handsome, smartly dressed guys.
I was thinking “First thing I’ll do once we start dating is go shopping with him to pick out clothes for him. I can’t introduce him to my friends with him looking like this.”.
I know it was incredibly rude and conceited of me, but that’s what was going through my head back then. orz
76： 1 : 2008/02/02(Sat) 14:14:21.38 ID:BeDcEal20
I was 100% sure that a textbook example of an otaku like CanBadge couldn’t be very popular among women and that he’d already given up on getting a girlfriend since he didn’t seem to care about his outer appearance.
I, on the other hand, may not have looked absolutely stunning, but at the very least, I looked normal. So I was strangely confident that he wouldn’t turn me down if I confessed my feelings to him.
On the contrary, I was thinking that I had to ask him out first because it might be harder for him to make the first step.
It’s ridiculous, isn’t it? Even writing about it now, I can’t believe how conceited I was back then… orz
To be honest, I didn’t stop at that. I was even thinking “He said he wanted to introduce someone to me, but maybe he made it up and just wanted to spend time alone with me?wwww”.
(Boon Scanlations: Scanlations of manga you probably never even heard of + Translations of 2ch threads)