The Anime-zing Race 2

Episode Two

Authorís Notes
Okay, back to regular one-hour episodes. A lot of stuff going on in this chapter, most of it in the "blink and you miss it" category. In particular, we begin to see some strategies, some teams on a good day, and other teams on a bad day. There's also some surprises as to which teams are proving themselves competitive enough to last. Unfortunately, like last week, it also featured a team I wanted to keep longer. The only drawback to having a cast of twelve teams that I really, really liked is that some of them have to leave prematurely.

Recap
Satoshi: (VO) Last time, on the Spirited Away leg of the Anime-zing RaceÖ

(Shot of Satoshi and Arumi starting the race as the twelve begin to hustle.)
Satoshi: (VO) Twelve teams took off from the starting line in Osaka, although some wereoverwhelmed right away.

Kasumi: (VO) One moment Nabiki and I were both readying ourselves for the race to begin, and in the next moment it already had begun, and weíre behind everybody.

(Shots of the several early position battles- such as Koji & Koichi beating Lina & Gourry to the kiosk, and Jessie, Tenchi, and Yukina getting their ticket for the van.)
Satoshi: (VO) While jockeying for earlier transportation, several key head-to-head contests surfaced.

Koichi: (VO) Getting on the first train was a huge victory for us. Besides the time advantage, itís a real confidence booster.

(Shots of Chiharu & Yamazaki and May & Max enjoying their time in Kyoto.)
Satoshi: (VO) Some teams formed friendships based on their positionÖ or lack thereof.

Yamazaki: (VO) Thereís a good chance one of us is going to be eliminated first. So weíre enjoying it now before we battle to the death tomorrow morning.

(Shot of Chiharu & Yamazaki jogging up to the Pit Stop.)
Satoshi: (VO) True Ďdat- Chiharu & Yamazaki reached the Pit Stop last, minutes behind May & Max. The classmates from Tomoeda were the first team eliminated.

(Rapid shots of each of the remaining teams at various spots in the first leg.)
Satoshi: (VO) Now, eleven teams remain. Who will be eliminated tonight, on the GoldenBoy leg of the Anime-zing Race?

 

**** THE ANIME-ZING RACE ****
12 TEAMS OF 2:
TOUYA & YUKITO (Best Friends / Students- Cardcaptor Sakura)
KOJI & KOICHI (Twin Brothers- Digimon)
JESSIE & AYLA (Rivals- Battle Athletes)
MAY & MAX (Siblings- Pokťmon)
SETA & KEITARO (Master & Apprentice- Love Hina)
NABIKI & KASUMI (Sisters- Ranma Ĺ)
LINA & GOURRY (Traveling Companions- Slayers)
YUKARI & MINAMO (Best Friends / Teachers- Azumanga Daioh)
NOBOYUKI & TENCHI (Father & Son- Tenchi Muyo)
MINATO & YUKINA (Sisters-In-Law- Nadesico)
CHIHARU & YAMAZAKI (Classmates- Cardcaptor Sakura) {ELIMINATED}
YAMAKI & RILEY (Dating Co-Workers- Digimon)

13 LEGSÖ
15 SERIESÖ
6 COUNTRIES, 6 DIMENSIONS, 3 PLANETS AND 2 SPACESHIPSÖ
**** THE ANIME-ZING RACE ****

 

Leg Two
(Shots of the bathhouse. Itís daytime, and the place is pretty much dead. Still, Satoshi walks across the bridge.)
Satoshi: This is the Spirit World. And one of its centerpieces is Abura-ya, a bathhouse owned and operated by the entrepreneurial sorceress Yubaba. This relaxing hotspot is the first Pit Stop in the race.

(Shot of Noboyuki & Tenchi checking in.)

Satoshi: Teams arrived here at the end of the last leg for a mandatory rest period.

(Shot of pretty much everybody is gorging on food.)

Satoshi: (VO) This allows them to eatÖ

(Shot of Keitaro lying unconscious outside the bathing hall, with a Keitaro-sized hole in the wall nearby.)

Satoshi: (VO) ÖsleepÖ

(Shot of Minato and Kasumi relaxing in the hot spring, discussing various things.)

Satoshi: (VO) Öand mingle with the other teams.

(Satoshi is sitting on Yubabaís desk. Yubaba is too busy with paperwork to notice.)

Satoshi: The eleven teams have no idea where theyíre off to next. They have to figure out for themselves how to get to the next route marker by solving clues theyíll find in sealed envelopes.

(Yubaba looks up and immediately turns angry.)

Yubaba: Get down from there!!

(Shot of Yamaki and Riley sifting through pigs in the previous legís Detour.)

Satoshi: (VO) Will Yamaki and Riley be able to work together more effectively as the race continues?

(Shot of May and Max hugging each otherÖ and SatoshiÖ after checking in.)

Satoshi: (VO) And will May & Max, who were in last place for much of the previous leg, be able to stay in the race?

 

(Shot of Koji and Koichi high-fiving and hugging after their finish.)

Satoshi: Koji and Koichi, who were the first to arrive at 5:56 AMÖ

(Onto the present, where Koji and Koichi stand, Koji armed with their first clue.)

Satoshi: Öwill depart twelve hours later at 5:56 PM.

(Koji tears the clue open and reads it.)
[KOJI & KOICHI- Twin Brothers- 1st to Depart- 5:56 PM]
Koji: Enclosed are two train tickets. Ride the train to Swamp Bottom and find Zenibaís cottage.

Koichi: We didnít have much of a lead on the girls so weíd better hurry.

(They run off.)

Koji: Well, round one certainly went to us. But that doesnít translate into much more than a three minute head start. This could get really fierce, really fast, since Jessie and Ayla donít seem like the type that settles for second place.

 

(Rapid shots of a train heading into a deep and foreboding swamp.)
Satoshi: (VO) Teams need to take a train and find the cottage of Zeniba, Yubabaís twin sister who lives quietly at Swamp Bottom. Trains depart every hour.

 

(Jessie and Ayla finish reading their clue and walk to the elevator.)
[JESSIE & AYLA- Rivals- 2nd to Depart- 5:59 PM]
Jessie: The best move is to run until we catch up to the twins.

Ayla: The important thing is to be on the same train.

Jessie: Right.

(They climb into an elevator.)

Ayla: Our finish last leg works well for us. Weíre both used to finishing first, but understood that it was unrealistic to win every leg. Second place meant that we did well, but ensured that we wouldnít get overconfident.

 

(Koji and Koichi exit the bathhouse through a side door and begin to descend a staircase. They hear a train whistle.)

Koichi: Down there!

(They look down. A train is coming up to the bathhouse.)

Koji: There has to be a station somewhere down there!

(They run faster down the stairs as the train goes under the bridge. They reach the ground as the train goes by, and they both run full-speed toward the nearby station. Before they can arrive, however, the train stops. A few spirits get off the train, and the doors shut right before Koji & Koichi get there. They take a moment to catch their breath.)

Koji: Damn.

Koichi: That would have been huge. The next oneís in an hour.

Koji: There goes our lead.

 

(Yukari counts the money as Minamo tucks away the clue.)
[YUKARI & MINAMO- Best Friends / Teachers- 3rd to Depart- 6:03 PM]
Yukari: WhooÖ weíre dealing with some dead emperors now!

Minamo: Does it add up to 20,000?

Yukari: Yessir!

Minamo: Then we have a train to catch.

Minamo: Yukariís insane. I already knew that. But thatís what makes Yukari Yukari. We may seem very different, but we have a unique way of working together. Itís hard to complain after finishing as well as we did.

 

(Yukari & Minamo hustle down, get lost a couple times, but eventually reach ground level. They slow when they see the other two teams waiting at the train station. Ayla is standing idly while Jessie stretches. Koji and Koichi sit on a bench.)

Minamo: I guess we caught up.

(Yukari runs up and stands at the very edge of the platform, right in front of the track.)

Yukari: Weíre in first place!

Jessie: UmÖ no, I donít think so.

Minamo: Does anyone know when the next train arrives?

Ayla: The twins said they barely missed one.

Koichi: The clue said itís every hour, so weíll have to wait awhile.

(Yukari scoffs, stomps over to the bench, and plants herself directly in-between Koji and Koichi.)

Yukari: This is why public transportation is for the weak! Drivingís the way to go!

(Immediately, Koji and Koichi stand up and scamper away.)

 

(Touya opens the clue as Yukito watches eagerly.)
[TOUYA & YUKITO- Best Friends / Students- 4th to Depart- 6:28 PM]
Touya: Ride the train to Swamp Bottom and find Zenibaís cottage.

Yukato: Sounds like a lovely place.

(Touya shakes his head and smiles as they begin the trek downward.)

Yukito: The key to the race is staying calm. As long as we think straight, nothing can faze us. In times when other people may be inclined to lose their tempers, Touya and I will be sure to stay together. OrÖ at least I will.

 

(Tenchi opens the clue and immediately hands money to his father.)
[NOBOYUKI & TENCHI- Father & Son- 5th to Depart- 6:31 PM]
Tenchi: Weíre very satisfied with our standing right now. Although we didnít win every battle, we won when we had to. And while some teams focus on eliminating some of the stronger teams, I hope we can quietly continue to win when we have to.

 

(Touya and Yukito arrive at the station. Yukari points at them angrily.)

Yukari: Hey! You were in the other van!

Touya: We caught up. Whenís the next train?

Koji: Twenty minutes, I think.

Yukito: Great! Touya, letís go back in and find something to eat.

(Touya stares at Koji. Koji stares back, standing his ground.)

Touya: Why donít we stay here?

Yukito: Itís up to you, Touya, but I hope they have a dining car.

 

(Riley rips open the clue as Yamaki looks over her shoulder.)
[YAMAKI & RILEY- Dating Co-Workers- 6th to Depart- 6:45 PM]
Riley: Ride the train to Swamp Bottom and find Zenibaís cottage.

Yamaki: I saw the station down below. Come on.

Riley: Hold on, hold onÖ

(Riley makes sure she has the train tickets and begins to count the money.)

Yamaki: Riley! We donít know what time the train gets here. We can do that once weíre down there. So letís get moving, okay?

(Riley frowns and shakes her head as she follows Yamaki to the elevator.)

Riley: You know, your God complex is a real turnoff.

(They continue to ride the elevator.)

Yamaki: Iíll admit I made a mistake during the Detour. But thereís no place for beating ourselves up over little errors. The faster we get over it, the faster we make up for it.

 

(The lobby is becoming much more lively as evening approaches and the bathhouse staff begins cleaning for the nightís guests. Therefore, Yamaki and Riley have a difficult time navigating their way through the workers.)

Yamaki: Out of the way, this is an emergency!

(They run outside to the bridge and look over. Riley points.)

Riley: Down there!

(Yamaki runs over and looks. They can faintly see the train station, and five teams waiting for the train. Worse yet, they hear a train whistle. They run to the other side and see a train approaching.)

Riley: We need to hurry.

(They hustle around the end of the building, down a rickety staircase. They reach the ground level and begin running. They are about halfway from the bridge to the station when the train comes to the bridge. Minamo, Koichi, Yukito, and Tenchi begin cheering them on. The train passes Yamaki and Riley and pulls into the station and slows to a halt. The first five teams board, which gives Yamaki and Riley the chance to run up to the platform. Riley pulls the tickets out.)

Riley: Wait!

(They run up to the train, not stopping until they give their tickets to the ticket-taker. He grinds them up and they are granted access to the train. They stop to catch their breath as many of the other teams applaud their efforts. Riley smiles and bows at the others. She turns to Yamaki.)

Riley: Nice work.

(She extends a hand. Yamaki shakes it as she turns it into a hug.)

Yamaki: You too.

(Riley, still exhilarated, continues to smile, panting the whole time.)

 

(In a break from the action, Minato and Yukina take off for the elevator.)
[MINATO & YUKINA- Sisters-In-Law- 7th to Depart- 6:59 PM]
Minato: I thought I heard a train whistle.

Yukina: We have to run fast then.

(They silently ready themselves before the elevator arrives.)

Yukina: (VO) We arenít a really fast team, but weíre smart. And weíre sneaky. So the best thing we can do is not make mistakes, and do whatever we can without getting away from the group.

 

(The train shuts the doors and departs from the station. Riley slings her bag up to the overhead compartment. Minamo gives her a hand.)

Minamo: Great job, Riley. We didnít know if you were going to make it.

Riley: Thanks. Thatís a big load off our chest.

Minamo: No kidding. Weíll have to keep our eye on you two!

(Minamo winks and sits back down. Meanwhile, Noboyuki sits down next to Yamaki, still trying to catch his breath.)

Noboyuki: Pretty tough for an old man, huh?

Yamaki: Youíre right about that.

Noboyuki: You really flew down here though. Way to go!

(Yamaki nods and accepts the comment. Riley approaches.)

Noboyuki: Well, your girlís here. Gotta go!

(Noboyuki sits up and allows Riley to sit down.)

Noboyuki: All yours, mílady!

(Riley shakes her head.)

Riley: Thanks.

(She sits down as Noboyuki leaves. As Riley and Yamaki take a breather, their eyes meet. A couple seconds later, they both smile and laugh a little.)

Riley: We made the first train by about a minute. It was really important for us, not just because of our position. We pushed ourselves to get down there in time, and despite our problems working together, we proved that we make a capable team.

(Lina reads the clue as Gourry stands by without one.)
[LINA & GOURRY- Traveling Companions- 8th to Depart- 7:08 PM]
Lina: Ride the train to Swamp Bottom and find Zenibaís cottage.

(Lina returns the clue to its envelope and tucks it away.)

Lina: (sarcastic) Great, more public transportation.

Gourry: Hey, this way we wonít get lost!

(They approach the elevator.)

Lina: Keep trying Gourry, youíll figure out a way.

Lina: We finished horribly on the first leg! Although we ended up in a strange world in the end, it didnít seem to scare any of the competition. But the place that everybody else considers ďregularĒ really took us for a loop. Weíre too talented to let it stop us for good, but it may take awhile for us to adjust.

 

(Seta finishes counting the money and they head out to the elevator.)
[SETA & KEITARO- Master & Apprentice- 9th to Depart- 7:12 PM, 30 Minute Penalty]
Seta: If weíre lucky, we can catch up at the train station.

Keitaro: (downbeat) Thatís a pretty big if, Mr. Seta.

Seta: Itís a shame we had to use our Fast Forward so early. Having it for emergency purposes is a nice comfort blanket. Our emergency just came a little earlier than expected. We had to use it, but we donít regret it. We made a mistake, and needed to make up for it.

 

(Shot of Seta crashing the car in the previous episode as Minato and Yukina look on.)
Satoshi: (VO) Whenever a vehicle is issued to a team, the rules state that the vehicle will be returned in the same condition. Failure to do so will result in a penalty. Since Seta & Keitaro crashed their car in the first leg, they were assessed a 30 minute penalty during the Pit Stop.

 

(Nabiki finishes counting the money. She nods to Kasumi.)
[NABIKI & KASUMI- Sisters- 10th to Depart- 7:21 PM]
Nabiki: Weíre loaded. Letís go shopping!

Kasumi: I thought the clue says we have to get to the train station.

Nabiki: I was being sarcasticÖ

Kasumi: Oh! Just keep in mind that if you do go shopping, I need a new apron.

(They walk to the elevators.)

Kasumi: Our biggest problem so far has been our lack of urgency. Weíre both very used to doing things at our own pace, and just like it is at home- that pace is much slower than those around us. We may have to do things much faster than weíre accustomed to in order to succeed.

 

(Max puts the clue in his pack and he and May depart.)
[MAY & MAX- Siblings- Last to Depart- 7:27 PM]
May: Ready?

Max: Affirmative!

May: Then letís go. We have a race to lose!

Max: You donít know that, May.

May: Thatís the spirit!

May: Weíre here to have fun. And part of having fun is accepting how well you do no matter how bad it is. We finished eleventh, and weíre thrilled. Because weíre still here, and thatís all that matters.

(By now, the bathhouse is opening, and the guests are starting to trickle in. May and Max leave the elevator, giving it up immediately to a number of large dog spirits. May laughs.)

May: (joking) Excuse me!!

(They continue to run, past a good variety of spirits. Most donít get in the way, but the ones that do donít remain an obstacle for long. Finally, the two get out the door. As soon as they are outside, they stop and start laughing.)

May: That was interesting.

Max: The creatures here are stranger than what we have back home.

May: And weíve got more waiting at the train stationÖ

(They begin running again. They make it to the platform without issue.)

May: Hi, everybody!

(No response. Nobody seems to be paying attention to them.)

Max: I donít think theyíre happy to see us, May.

(Yukina walks up to them.)

Yukina: Actually, itís more like none of us care. We knew you were going to be here, so why react when you show up?

May: That so? What do we have to do to make you care?

Yukina: Do something unexpected.

Max: We werenít eliminated. Doesnít that count for something?

(Nabiki and Kasumi walk by.)

Nabiki: It counts towards developing a begrudging respect.

May: Thatís no fun.

Yukina: Not unless we want to try a fierce battle for supremacy among the three sibling teams.

(Split-screen of May and Kasumi staring each other down. May is trying to look as fiery as possible. Kasumi has her usual hazy smile. May shakes her head.)

May: SorryÖ no way I could ever have a rivalry with Kasumi.

Kasumi: Isnít there another sibling team? The twins?

Yukina: Theyíre doing good. They donít count.

May: Besides, theyíre kinda cute. Whoíd want to be their rivals?

 

(On the first train, Koji and Koichi start sneezing. After a couple sneezes, they both stop. They look at each other and shrug. Everybody else in the train is staring back.)

Ayla: WowÖ they sneeze together.

Noboyuki: Thatís disturbing in a way.

Yukari: Hit Ďem in the solar plexus!!

Yukito: (to Yukari) Thatís to stop hiccups.

 

(The second train arrives. The five teams board quietly.)
Max: (VO) You feel a lot of different emotions when getting on the train. Itís a little gratifying- weíre square with several other teams and have the chance to start again. Itís also a little frightening. We donít know whatís ahead for us.

 

(The train departs and all teams have their luggage overhead and are seated.)
Minato: (VO) The ride was long, but also relaxing. Itís a shame it was dark because it would have been great to see the view. But it was tranquil, and a great opportunity to just sit there with Yukina, without worrying too much about what place weíre in or how weíre planning to get ahead of the other teams.

 

(The train continues to cruise down the track through the night.)

 

----

 

(Itís still very much dark, and half of each team is asleep. The train stops at a station for a moment. Nobody gets off. The doors shut and the train proceeds.)

Jessie: Thatís five.

Tenchi: They said it was station six, right?

(Touya nudges Yukito.)

Touya: YukiÖ wake up, weíre almost there.

(Jessie, Tenchi, Koji, Minamo, and Yamaki follow suit and wake their partners up. Koji takes a deep breath.)

Koji: Next stopÖ

Minamo: The stations arenít labeled, and all we knew was that Swamp Bottom was the sixth stop. Which meant someone had to keep track. And since thereís still a lot of distrust going on, every team had to keep track, since there was no room for error. Basically, one person on each team got no sleep at all and the other got a full nightís sleep.

(Koichi and Koji silently psyche themselves up.)

Koichi: Things really tensed up when we approached the last stop. We didnít know what we were doing out there in that swamp at four in the morning. Not only that, but some of us, like Koji, had to stay up to count stations so didnít get a good rest.

 

(The train pulls up to Swamp Bottom, a lowly, forgotten train station. The six teams disembark and begin running down the dimly lit path. They donít get far before a walking lamp stands in their path. The teams stop in their tracks.)

Jessie: What is that?

Ayla: I think it wants us to follow it.

(The lamp nods.)

Noboyuki: Did Timmy fall down the well?

(The lamp walks down the path, lighting it for the teams as they follow.)

Noboyuki: (VO) You could definitely say it was an unusual way to show us where to go. Couldnít those yellow-and-red flags have suited the same purpose?

 

(The lamp jumps on an overhanging gate. The teams quickly get the hint and run to the house inside. Touya and Yukito get the first jump and reach the cottage first, where a route marker waits outside. They open the door, and are shoved in by the other five teams waiting to get inside. The twelve are greeted to the sight of Satoshi getting help on his onmyoji training from sorceress Zeniba. Or rather- they are both magically controlling paper dolls, and fighting each other with them.)

Satoshi: Take that, that, that, that, and that!

(Zenibaís doll slices through Satoshiís and it flutters to the ground.)

Satoshi: AwÖ I want a rematch!

Zeniba: Sorry. Youíre very good, but itíll take quite a bit of magic to defeat me. And in the meantime, we have guests.

(Satoshi finally notices the six teams and stands up.)

Satoshi: Oh, hey! Did you have a fun trip?

Jessie: How did you do that with those paper dolls?

(Satoshi rubs the back of his neck.)

Satoshi: (false modesty) Oh, Iím an apprentice onmyoji priest. AnywayÖ

(Satoshi retrieves a box and sets it on the table.)

Satoshi: Listen up, since Iím about to teach you something that youíll need for the rest of the race. You guys need to learn how to hop dimensions. First and foremost, youíll need to find one of these.

(Satoshi pulls out a little yellow creature that somewhat resembles one of the puchuus from Excel Saga.)

Satoshi: This is an oni. He has magic that you can use to jump to any dimension you so desire. The process isnít too bad, as long as you really want to go to where youíre supposed to. Head out front and Iíll show you. Zeniba?

Zeniba: Iím coming.

(They walk out to the front.)

Satoshi: Stand in a circle and hold hands.)

(The twelve do so with a little hesitation. Satoshi and Zeniba stand in the center.)

Satoshi: (to the oni) Now you better do what youíre told this time!

(The oni jumps off Satoshiís palm and pulls a marker out of its marker space. It begins to create a circle around the teams.)

Satoshi: After this, youíll be on your own with these. First off, you have to fill your mind with only thoughts of your destination. For example, right now, weíre heading back to the mountain tunnel in the real world where you came in here. Everybody picture that.

(Everybody closes their eyes and does so.)

Satoshi: Now open your eyes because you need to see this. Stand in the center and face your partner back-to-back. In the absence of Arumi, Iíll have to settle for this old bag.

Zeniba: (defensive) I consider myself pretty for my ageÖ

Satoshi: Sure. Anyway, standing back-to-back, shout out the magic words.

(Zeniba and Satoshi stand back-to-back and hold hands.)

Satoshi / Zeniba: Kyu kyu noritsuge!!

(In a flash, the scene changes around them. The six teams, Satoshi, and Zeniba are in the real world by the tunnel. The teams are all somewhat in awe.)

Satoshi: UhÖ why arenít you running to the route marker??

(They spy the next route marker near the ďroadĒ leading through the woods. They all frantically make a run for it. Noboyuki and Tenchi were closest and reach it first. This one has a clue box and Noboyuki gets the first envelope.)

Noboyuki: Run through the woods to the main road, choose a marked vehicle, and drive to Daitoku Terayamaís estate outside Kyoto.

 

(Rapid shots through the dimly lit mountain path to the main road nearby. A line of sedans line the end of the path. Follow that with rapid shots through the windshield of said cars to a fancy traditional Japanese estate.)
Satoshi: (VO) Teams must run down the path and into one of the Honda Accords at the end of it. From there, they need to find the estate of Daitoku Terayama, a traditional Japanese house located in the mountains east of Kyoto.

 

(Noboyuki and Tenchi run full speed toward the vehicles, but are passed almost immediately by Jessie and Ayla. Yukari runs by, but Minamo holds back a little. Yamaki & Riley and Koji & Koichi remain in back. Jessie and Ayla nab the first car.)
[JESSIE & AYLA- Rivals- Currently in 1st Place]
Ayla: Iíll drive.

Jessie: You sure?

Ayla: You had to stay up while I got to sleep. Therefore, it makes sense that I drive.

(As they talk, they get into the car.)

Jessie: What? You want me to take a nap or something?

Ayla: If itís a long trip, perhaps. First we need to stop somewhere and ask for directions.

(Ayla pulls out and veers right.)

Jessie: No! Everybodyís going to do that! Letís put some space between us and them before we stop.

Ayla: Which way do we go?

(Jessie points out Aylaís window.)

Jessie: It looks like the sunís coming up on that side. So thatís east. So go the other way.

Ayla: Right. I distinctly remember going east when we left Kyoto.

Jessie: Exactly.

 

(Meanwhile, Yamaki & Riley and Koji & Koichi waste no time in finding an open gas station. Koji begins picking up a few food items )

Riley: At least you arenít one of those guys that refuse to ask for directions.

(As Koji gets the essentials, the other three run up to the clerk.)

Yamaki / Riley / Koichi: Where the hell are we?!

(The clerk raises an eyebrow.)

Clerk: My convenience store. And you damn well better buy something.

 

(Minamo is driving, and yawns.)
[YUKARI & MINAMO- Best Friends / Teachers]

Yukari: Youíre getting tired!! Let me drive!

Minamo: Iím not tired!

Yukari: Yeah you are. Canít you see the sign?!

(The sign ahead says ďTollway to Kyoto- 2 MilesĒ)

Minamo: Oh. Must have missed that.

Yukari: Itís okay, Nyamo. Weíre still friends, even if youíre wrong all the time.

Minamo: Okay, okay, see if you can find the address on the mapÖ

(Minamo looks over. Yukari has fallen asleep. Minamo keeps driving.)

Minamo: The drive back to Kyoto was very difficult, since I didnít get any sleep the night before. If we had thought about it, we could have had Yukari count the stops on the train, but she fell asleep before I could bring it up.

 

(Yukito is parked at another store. Touya jumps in and sets a bag between them. He slams the door and Yukito pulls out.)
[TOUYA & YUKITO- Best Friends / Students]
Touya: Figured youíd be hungry.

(Yukito prepares to pull onto the highway. Touya sees another teamís approaching.)

Touya: Go- get ahead of them.

(Yukito doesnít respond. A couple seconds later, the car passes by and Yukito safely pulls out.)

Yukito: Sorry. Better safe than sorry, right?

Touya: (disappointed) I guessÖ

 

(Random shots of the six teams on the highway. Everyone who slept on the train is driving except Minamo. Koichi stays awake to supervise his father. Back at the mountain, the second group arrives and goes after the route marker. The sun is starting to come up. Seta gets the clue first.)

Seta: Drive to Daitoku Terayamaís estate outside Kyoto.

Keitaro: This time, Iím driving.

(Another frenetic scramble to the cars. Lina & Gourry pass Seta & Keitaro.)

Gourry: (VO) Itís crazy. We go from relaxing on a train to teleporting to another dimension to running like hell in a matter of minutes.

 

(Minato and Yukina reach the cars after Lina & Gourry and Seta & Keitaro. They climb in and take off as the last two teams arrive. May and Max run right past their father, Norman, and claim the next car in line.)

May / Max: Dibs!

(Nabiki follows immediately as Norman runs up to it.)

Nabiki: Hey! You ran past yourÖ

Max: This is our chance, Dad, we need to move fast!

(The three pile in and drive off as Nabiki and Kasumi get into their car.)

Nabiki: Iím not used to losing. But then again, Iíve never been in a race like this before. Kasumi and I need to start moving as fast as we can every minute we can if we want to stay alive. So far, this hasnít been going according to plan.

 

(Minato is wide-awake and driving.)
[MINATO & YUKINA- Currently in 9th Place]
Minato: Itís a good thing I slept on the train, otherwise, Iíd be too tired to drive.

(Minato looks over. Yukina is already sound asleep. Minato smiles.)

Minato: Sleep tight, Yukina.

 

(The leading teams near Kyoto. Yamaki and Riley see a jogger.)

Yamaki: Slow down.

(Riley does so. Yamaki rolls down the window and checks the clue.)

Yamaki: Excuse me. Do you know where the estate of Daitoku Terayama is?

(The jogger points straight ahead.)

Jogger: Down that way to the next road, hang a right, and another couple kilometers.

Yamaki: Thanks.

(He rolls up the window.)

Riley: Good move.

 

(Jessie and Ayla stop at a gas station.)

Jessie: Weíre looking for the Daitoku Terayama house.

Clerk: Canít help you.

Ayla: Jessie. Letís get a map and find the address.

Jessie: No, letís just use this.

(They approach a large map on the wall and begin looking for the address.)

 

(Yamaki and Riley reach the gate of the large traditional Japanese house. They see the route marker, park their car, and run inside to the clue box. Riley reads.)
[YAMAKI & RILEY- Dating Co-Workers- Currently in 1st Place]
Riley: Drive to the Nishikyogoku Sports Park in Kyoto and find the route marker by the swimming complex.

 

(Rapid shots of the car heading into town and to the park. Olympic gold-medalist in swimming and Golden Girl #4 Ayuko Hayami is poolside with the scoop.)
Ayuko: Teams must drive into Kyoto and find this pool at the Nishikyogoku Sports ParkÖ and the route marker outside it.

 

(Noboyuki and Tenchi happen upon the estate. Noboyuki parks as Tenchi gets out. Noboyuki follows his son as he reaches and reads the clue.)
[NOBOYUKI & TENCHI- Father & Son- Currently in 2nd Place]
Tenchi: We have to go back to Kyoto. I can find this place.

Noboyuki: Right!

(They run back in.)

Noboyuki: It astounds me how well weíre racing. Weíre on the same page and working effectively. There definitely arenít any complaints so far!

 

(Koji and Koichi pull up to the estate next, with Touya and Yukito right on their heels. Koichi pulls out the clue and opens it.)

Koji: Koichi! Letís get out of here first.

(They run off as Touya and Yukito arrive. Yukito opens the clue.)

Yukito: Drive to theÖ

Touya: Thatís all I need to hear. Read the rest when weíre in the car.

(The four return to the car. Koji and Koichi take off right before the best friends.)

 

(May is barely keeping her eyes open as Max is buried in his map.)
[MAY & MAX- Siblings- Currently in 10th Place]
May: (whining) Max, could you please put that map away so I can get some sleep?

Max: (not looking up) I want to know exactly which exit we should take. If we make the wrong turn, we could be extremely far behind.

May: We have an hour to go. I really need some sleep!

Max: If you remain awake long enough, your biological clock will reset itself and youíll feel fine.

May: Iíll clock you if you donít put that damn map away!

 

(Jessie and Ayla are driving to Kyoto. Jessie is re-reading the new clue.)
[JESSIE & AYLA- Rivals- Currently in 5th Place]
Ayla: It would have been best if we bought a map.

Jessie: It doesnít matter now. We got there, and now weíre heading to a pool. Iíll give you three guesses what weíll be doing there!

Ayla: Swimming?

Jessie: (smiling) We have little to worry about.

 

----

 

(Yamaki and Riley pull up to the park. They see the route marker outside the swimming pool and approach it. Riley reads.)

Riley: Detour- Iron Man or Iron Chef.

 

(Shot of Arumiís hand pulling out a Detour envelope.)
Ayuko: (VO) A Detour is a choice between two tasks. Each has its own pros and cons.

(Shot of Ayuko doing laps in the pool.)

Ayuko: (VO) In Iron Man, teams must go into the swimming facility and collectively swim 1500 meters freestyle- 15 laps in this pool. There are no restrictions on the way a team shares the task between the members, but only one person on a team may swim at a time, and it is an exhausting length no matter how a team divides it.

(Rapid shots of a city street, to Noriko, Golden Girl #3, running a ramen cart.)

Ayuko: (VO) In Iron Chef, teams will need to navigate the streets of Kyoto on foot and find Noriko and her ramen cart. Noriko will help them make a bowl of ramen from scratch. Once the team makes a bowl that satisfies Noriko, they will be given their next clue.

 

(Meanwhile, Seta is asleep, but fortunately heís not driving. Keitaro, on the other hand, is having problems staying awake.)
[SETA & KEITARO- Master & Apprentice- Currently in 9th Place]
Keitaro: (to himself) Donít fall asleepÖ donít fall asleepÖ donít fall asleepÖ

(Keitaroís eyes suddenly burst open and he veers madly into another lane.)

Keitaro: (to himself, louder) Donít rear-end a semi!

(Keitaro sighs as he passes the truck.)

Keitaro: (to himself, calmer) Donít fall asleepÖ donít crashÖ donít fall asleepÖ

Keitaro: (VO) Since I didnít sleep well on the train, it took every ounce of energy to make sure I didnít crash again or fall asleep. Itís hard enough to not fall behind- gaining ground seems impossible.

 

(Noboyuki and Tenchi enter the pool facility.)

Tenchi: Are you sure about this? Those other teams are pretty strong. Can you keep up with them swimming?

(Noboyuki is barely listening. Heís busy staring at Riley, diving into the pool.)

Noboyuki: Thereís nothing you can do to change my mindÖ

 

(Koichi is buried in a map.)
Koichi: UmÖ oh, I guess that was our turn back there.

Koji: We missed it?

Koichi: Turn left up here. We shouldnít lose too much ground.

 

(Touya and Yukito read the Detour.)
[TOUYA & YUKITO- Best Friends / Students- 3rd at Detour]

Touya: Swimming or cooking. I can do both.

Yukito: I am a little hungryÖ

Touya: It says nothing about eating. But swimming seems faster. Letís do that.

Yukito: Sure thing, Touya.

(They rush inside. Koji and Koichi get the clue.)

Koichi: Well, swimming might be fasterÖ

Koji: Yeah, to the other teams.

Koichi: We can swim alright. Whatís the problem?

Koji: They can all swim circles around us. But if we do the other one, we wonít get tired.

Koichi: Well, I suppose.

(Koji and Koichi run, on foot, to the location specified for the cooking challenge.)

Koji: (VO) Weíre one of the younger teams, so we have a disadvantage when it comes to physical activity. We chose cooking because we didnít want to over-exert ourselves trying to keep up with strong teams like Jessie and Ayla.

 

(Yukito dives into the pool and begins swimming at an incredible pace. Meanwhile, in the next lane, Noboyuki finishes up a lap and gets out of the pool as Tenchi does a few. Noboyuki grabs a towel, but drops it upon seeing Yukito.)

Noboyuki: HolyÖ how does he do that?

Touya: He can do anything.

(Yukito finishes the first lap. Touya dives in immediately. Yukito gets out. Touya moves just as quickly as Yukito. Noboyuki is even more shocked.)

Noboyuki: HowÖ then how doesÖ

Yukito: Oh, he can do anything.

 

(Nabiki & Kasumi park outside the estate. Minato & Yukina pull up a little ways behind them. Kasumi and Yukina burst out of the car immediately and go after the clue. Nabiki and Minato get out as well and follow. Yukina wins the race to get the clue. She opens it, reads it, and shouts back.)

Yukina: Sis! Weíre driving back to Kyoto!

Minato: All right!

Nabiki: Thank you!

(Nabiki charges back into her vehicle and puts it in drive as Minato re-enters her car. Nabiki puts the car in reverse and backs up right next to Minatoís vehicle.)

Yukina: Hey! Donít even think of backing into us!

(Yukina hops in with Minato.)

Yukina: Go!

Minato: I canít pull out with her there.

Yukina: Then back up and get going!

(By the time she does, Kasumi is back in the car and the Nerima sisters take off, retaining their lead.)

Yukina: Dammit!

Minato: (reprimanding) Yukina, language!

 

(Yukari admires the pool from an outside window as Minamo walks up to the route marker, a little sluggish.)
[YUKARI & MINAMO- Best Friends / Teachers- 6th at Detour]
Yukari: Hey, Nyamo, a pool! Maybe a little swim will wake you up!

Minamo: We donít have time to go swimmingÖ

(Minamo reads the clue. She smiles a little.)

Minamo: On second thoughtÖ

 

(Jessie and Ayla are in their swimsuits.)

Jessie: Okay, you do seven laps, then Iíll do seven laps.

Ayla: Who should do the last one?

Jessie: I might as wellÖ

Ayla: Shouldnít the faster one do the majority of the laps?

Jessie: (angry) Donít try to imply that youíre a faster swimmer than me!

Ayla: Iím not implying that.

Jessie: So how do we determine who should do the last lap?

(Ayla walks up to Ayuko.)

Ayla: Excuse me. Could you time us so we know whoís fastest at seven laps?

Ayuko: OhÖ sure. I guess itís not a problem.

(Ayuko gets a stopwatch. Ayla lines up. After a second she turns back to Ayuko.)

Ayla: Iím waitingÖ

(Ayuko figures it out and smiles.)

Ayuko: Go!

(Ayla dives in.)

 

(Lina and Gourry are driving aimlessly through the mountains.)
[LINA & GOURRY- Traveling Companions]
Gourry: I canít make hide or hair of this map, Lina!

Lina: Of course notÖ

(Lina rolls down the window at somebody getting his mail.)

Lina: Hey! Weíre looking for some Terayama place! Where the hell is it?!

Man: What??

Lina: You damn well better know where it is!

Man: UmÖ I think you hang a left a few miles down the road.

Lina: (cheery) Thanks!

(She speeds away.)

 

(While most of the teams are distracted with Jessie and Aylaís performance, Touya and Yukito finish first. Yukito hops out of the pool. Touya throws a towel around his neck and takes the clue.)

Touya: Travel to Kogane City and find the route marker outside Mayor Juzo Katsudaís campaign headquarters.

 

(Rapid shots of a train going down the Japanese countryside to Kanazawa, followed by a trip to a campaign office. The Golden Boy himself, Kintaro Oe, offers a very educational explanation.)
Kintaro: (VO) Teams must find their way to Kogane City, a suburb of Kanazawa. There theyíll have to find the headquarters of the campaign to re-elect Mayor Katsuda. I used to work on the campaign. It was quite educationalÖ and quite painful too.

 

(After a long time searching, Koji and Koichi find their girl. Noriko is chopping vegetables when they arrive.)

Koichi: Hi! Weíre here to make ramen!

Noriko: Wonderful! If you could get a couple aprons from the cabinet below and a bag of flour, weíll get started.

(Koichi does so. Koji is suddenly a little nervous.)

Koji: I guess when they said make it from scratch they werenít kiddingÖ

 

(Yamaki assists Riley out of the pool and they get their next clue. After reading it, they come to the conclusion.)

Yamaki: Letís take a train. Iíll start the car while you change.

Riley: Alright.

(As they leave, Jessie finishes lap 14.)

Jessie: Done! Whatís my time?

(Ayuko is busy staring at the stopwatch.)

Jessie: (impatient) Well?

Ayuko: (awed) You just set a world recordÖ

Jessie: But did I beat Ayla?

Ayuko: Ayla had the previous world recordÖ

Jessie: SoÖ I beat her?

Ayuko: Ya.

Jessie: WowÖ I actually beatÖ

Ayla: You still have a lap to go.

(Jessie pauses for a second and looks up at Ayla.)

Jessie: Oh yeahÖ

(Jessie takes off swimming. Ayla turns around and folds her arms.)

Ayla: Iím not bothered by thatÖ

 

(Keitaro is driving, although now Seta is awake.)

Seta: According to my map, the pool is on the west side of the city.

Keitaro: Should I stay on the tollway until we get to that part of town?

Seta: Itís fastest, yes.

 

(Meanwhile, Lina angrily pulls up to the estate. She storms out of the vehicle. Gourry follows her.)
[LINA & GOURRY- Currently in Last Place]

Lina: These stupid roads around these stupid mountains! Why canít they just plow through them like we always did?

Gourry: Did we?

(Lina reaches the box and throws everything away except the Fast Forward envelope.)

Lina: Iíve had enough of this legÖ whereís that Fast Forward?

(Lina opens it as Gourry leans in and looks over her shoulder.)

 

(Rapid shots to a convenience store, and Golden Girl #5 Reiko Torayama standing by her motorcycle in appropriate biker gear.)

Reiko: Thereís only one Fast Forward in each leg of the race. The first team to get it can speed through everything like me and Bemo on a downhill straightaway. But the Man says they can only use it once, so theyíll have to be smart with it. To claim the Fast Forward on this leg, the team needs to find me at this convenience store and hop into the sidecar of my Bemo-baby. After we rip through the mountain pass at 120 per, theyíll know the true meaning of ďfast,Ē and can get their Fast Forward.

 

(Back at the pool, Yukari and Minamo are the only team left. Minamo is in the pool, but sheís seriously tiring. Minamo shouts to Yukari from the water.)

Minamo: Yukari, youíre up! I canít do any more!

(Yukari lines up to dive in. Minamo touches the wall and Yukari executes the most brilliant belly-flop into the water. She emerges from the water and begins swimming at a much slower pace than Minamo. Minamo gets out of the water, throws a towel around her shoulder, and sits down.)

Minamo: Keep going for awhile, Yukari, youíre fine.

 

(Lina and Gourry arrive at the convenience store. Reiko leans on her bike.)
[FAST FORWARD- Reiko and Bemo-Baby]
Lina: Are you the motorcycle-fetish girl?

Reiko: Itís not a fetish. Itís love. My Bemo-baby loves me more than any man ever could.

(Lina looks up at Gourry, then back to Reiko.)

Lina: No arguments here. Letís do whatever it is we have to do.

Reiko: Hop in and hang on.

(After doing all the necessary boring equipment checks, Reiko revs up the motor in her typically sensual fashion. She seems to be taking extreme pleasure in the action as the cycle begins to purr between her legs. Finally, she canít take it anymore and she explodesÖ taking off through the mountains as fast as she can go. Lina and Gourry barely hold in their breakfast.)

Gourry: (VO) That woman moved extremely fast! We were always complaining about how long it took to get through the mountains, but they should have given us a motorcycle instead!

(They finish up and pull back into the convenience store. Reiko catches her breath after the experience, while Lina and Gourry quietly step out of the sidecar and kiss the ground. Reiko walks up to them.)

Reiko: Itís a lot faster when weíre not towing excess baggage. When itís just Bemo and IÖ itís magic.

Lina: Well, we canít use magic so we need that Fast Forward thing if we want to stay in this race!

(Reiko hands Lina the Fast Forward. She opens it excitedly.)

Lina: Yay! Congratulations you have won the Fast Forward. Go directly to the next Pit Stop- Mayor Katsudaís mansion in Kogane City.

Gourry: Where the heck is that?

 

(Rapid shots to the Katsuda mansion.)
Arumi: (VO) Having won the Fast Forward, Lina and Gourry may go directly to the next Pit Stop- the mansion of Koganeís mayor, Juzo Katsuda. The last team to arrive will be eliminated.

 

(Koji and Koichi wait impatiently for Noriko to try their noodles. She smiles.)

Noriko: Well done!

(They both sigh in relief as she hands over the clue.)

Koichi: (VO) We were the last ones on the first train to complete the Detour, but we didnít mind as much, because we were still very fresh. Iíd imagine that after all that swimming some of the other teams may be pretty tired.

 

(Nabiki & Kasumi and Minato & Yukina reach the pool at the same time.)
[NABIKI & KASUMI / MINATO & YUKINA- Currently Tied in 7th Place]
Yukina: Weíre swimming. No doubt about that.

(They rush in. Nabiki still ponders it.)

Nabiki: Well, swimming would be fasterÖ but cooking is your specialty.

Kasumi: But swimming is faster.

Nabiki: Can you swim faster than those two?

Kasumi: Well, I can tryÖ

(Nabiki stares at Kasumi for awhile, then makes her decision.)

Nabiki: Letís do it.

Nabiki: My sister is not competitive. And thatís definitely a liability here. I feel like I have to be in charge of the team, because itís the only way weíll get anywhere. Still, Kasumi has her positive qualities, and the key to our success is knowing when and how to use them.

 

--

 

(At the train station, Jessie and Ayla run in, trying to figure out where to go. Meanwhile, Noboyuki runs in behind them, making a beeline for a ticket machine. Tenchi follows.)

Tenchi: Do you know which train we want?

Noboyuki: (quiet) Shh! Donít tell that to the amazons!

(Noboyuki pushes a few buttons.)

Noboyuki: Letís see hereÖ Iíve been to Kanazawa before. We want the Raicho trainÖ yes! Thereís one leaving in twenty minutesÖ

(Noboyuki confirms the purchase and gets the tickets. He walks away.)

Noboyuki: OkayÖ now we get out of here andÖ

(Jessie walks up to them.)

Jessie: How the hell do you get tickets here?

Noboyuki: Try the ticket office over there! Iím sure theyíll help!

Jessie: OhÖ thanks.

(Jessie joins Ayla and get over there.)

Noboyuki: Quick, letís get to the platform.

Tenchi: (slightly unnerved) UmÖ right.

(They get to the platform and find Yamaki & Riley and Touya & Yukito waiting.)

Noboyuki: Hello, everybody!

(No response from Yamaki, Riley, or Touya.)

Yukito: Noboyuki! Glad you could make it!

 

(Yukari & Minamo get in line at the ticket window. They see Jessie & Ayla at the front, although Jessie is a little angry.)

Yukari: What the heckís up with them?

Minamo: (yawning) Dunno.

(Koji and Koichi run in and see the line.)

Koichi: Everybody wants to get out of here!

Koji: Letís do this ourselves then. Canít be any worse than Shibuya.

(They go up to the ticket machine and futz with it.)

Koji: Damn! The 8:39 train is sold out.

Koichi: Maybe thereís another service.

Koji: Yeah, yeahÖ

(After more fiddling with it, they find something. Koji sighs.)

Koji: Yeah. 9:08. Itís more expensive though.

Koichi: The second train is better than third train. Itís worth it.

Koji: Youíre right about that. Okay, 9:08 it is.

(They get their tickets and head to the platform bumping into Jessie and Ayla.)

Koichi: Are you two on the 9:08 train too?

Jessie: (surprised) Thereís a 9:08 train??

Koji: Well, yeah. Itís a little moreÖ

(Koji trails off as he realizes what heís doing. A couple seconds of uncomfortable silence later, Ayla smiles.)

Ayla: Thank you.

(They run to try one of the machines. Koji and Koichi look at each other for a moment.)

Koji / Koichi: Dammit!

 

(Keitaro is cheering on Seta in the pool. He occasionally looks over to the sisters. Yukina has a slight lead.)

Nabiki: Faster Kasumi!! Show no mercy!

(Kasumi manages to pick up her pace a little as Yukina begins to tire. They are even as they reach the far wall and turn around. Slowly, Kasumi overtakes Yukina and hits the wall before her. Nabiki excitedly helps her out.)

Nabiki: Wow! I didnít know you could do that!

Kasumi: Neither did I!

(Ayuko hands over the clue as Yukina finishes. Nabiki rips the clue open.)

Nabiki: Too bad we canít celebrate. We have to get to Kanazawa.

(They run in to change as Yukina towels off, a little angry. Minato tries to calm her.)

Yukina: I canít believe we lost to them! I was second-team all-conference in my junior high school back on Jupiter! And somehow Nabiki and Kasumi were able to beat us! Weíll turn it around somehowÖ

 

(Yukari and Minamo are at the ticket counter. Minamo yawns, letting Yukari handle the transaction.)

Clerk: Iím sorry, but the next Raicho train to Kanazawa is sold out.

Yukari: What? Dammit!

Clerk: The next one is more expensive. Itís a Thunderbird thatÖ

Yukari: (interrupting) Oh I see! You want to hit us up for more money! Well, Iím not giving you the satisfaction! Whenís the next Raicho?!

Clerk: 9:39.

Yukari: Alright then! You wonít be yanking our yen!

(The clerk prints the tickets as Yukari storms away confidently. Minamo takes the tickets and looks at them closely.)

Minamo: Wait a minuteÖ did she just buy tickets for the third train when there were plenty available for the second?

Clerk: I believe she did, maíam. Thanks for using Japan Railways!

Yukari: (smiling) I did a number on that clerk! Sure weíre getting there 40 minutes later, but there are more important things, you know?

 

(May and Max finish their cooking with Noriko. She taste-tests.)

Noriko: Very nice! Good work on such short notice.

(She hands them the clue. They eagerly open it.)

Max: Iím not the best athlete, and Mayís hardly world-class. We did the cooking challenge because I have a solid sense of direction, and weíd probably finish faster.

 

(Koji & Koichi and Jessie & Ayla are boarding the 9:08 train. Just before the doors shut, Lina & Gourry hustle and manage to jump on at the last second. First thing Lina does is scream.)

Lina: I hate those stupid ticket machines!!

Jessie: I know. Primitive old clunkers, arenít they?

 

(Half an hour later, the final train boards. Yukari & Minamo, Nabiki & Kasumi, Minato & Yukina, Seta & Keitaro, and May & Max board. Minamo goes to sleep right away, too tired to be unhappy with Yukari. Yukina is a little worried, but Minato relaxes her.)
Seta: We didnít expect to be this far back this long. Itís always very dangerous to be stuck in the last group. Iím confident that we can hold our own against them, but the longer it takes for us to get ahead, the longer we run the risk of being eliminated.

 

(After a montage of train shots, the first train pulls into Kanazawa. All teams hail a cab. Touya and Yukito have luck on their side this time.)
[TOUYA & YUKITO- Best Friends / Students- Currently in 1st Place]
Yukito: Kogane, please.

Touya: And make it fast, we only have ten minutes on the second train.

 

(The three cabs speed out. The second train arrives and three more teams rush out.)
[Train 2- 13 Minutes Behind Train 1]
Koji: Taxi!

Lina: Yeah, taxi!

(Koji and Koichi get the first one, while Lina and Gourry pile into the second. Koji hustles the driver on.)

Koji: Whatís the fastest way to get to Kogane?

Driver: Which part?

Koichi: Probably someplace close to downtown. We need to find a campaign headquarters.

Driver: Oh yeah! I know where youíre talking about. I got a buddy in the yakuza.

 

(Meanwhile, Noboyuki and Tenchi arenít having the same luck.)

Tenchi: Itís in the suburbs! You havenít heard of it?

(The driver pulls over. Noboyuki shakes his head.)

Noboyuki: Itís a good thing we got the first train.

Tenchi: No kidding.

 

(Although Touya & Yukito got the first cab, Yamaki and Riley must have gotten the best one. As they arrive first at Katsuda HQ. Yamaki retrieves the clue at the marker.)
[YAMAKI & RILEY- 1st at Road Block]
Yamaki: Road Block. This person must be a golden go-fer.

Riley: I guess Iíll can do this oneÖ

Yamaki: Yeah. Iím not the go-fer type.

 

(Kintaro is walking in front of the HQ. He reads from his precious notes.)

Kintaro: Letís see hereÖ C-Base does not mean sex. WaitÖ wrong pageÖ

(Kintaro finds it.)

Kintaro: Aha! A Road Block is a task that only one person may perform! In this Road Block, that lucky person gets to take one of my old jobsÖ or three. Mayor Katsuda needs some help programming his website. I find it a little self-serving and subjective, but thatís just my opinion...

(Bicycle POV shot to Madame President, Golden Girl #1, waiting at an outdoor cafť.)

Kintaro: (VO) Anyway, the team member must strap on a backpack filled with notes from Katsudaís staff. Then, they must deliver the notes on a bicycle to one of the programmers I used to work for. Sheís one very hot but very sinister babe. Madame President will give that person another stack to deliver back to the HQ. The next clue is in there.

 

(Riley takes off as Touya & Yukito arrive. They donít take long to reach a conclusion.)

Yukito: Youíve been a go-fer for companies before, havenít you?

Touya: About a million times.

(Touya, who probably rivals Kintaro in number of part-time jobs taken, reads the details and bikes away.)

 

(Lina and Gourry, meanwhile, are struggling a little.)

Lina: Itís a big mansion! How many of those can there be?!

Driver: As far as I know, there arenít any. I donít know where youíre talking about.

Lina: JeezÖ

 

(Riley is consciously watching Touya on her tail. She reaches Madame President right before him. Riley drops off her backpack as the two look at each other and smile.)

Riley: Wow, didnít think Iíd bump into you again!

Mdme. President: Riley! One of my best employees! How you been?!

(Touya rushes up and drops off the backpack.)

Touya: What do I need from you?

Mdme. President: (temperamental) A sock to the face! Iím busy!

Riley: You havenít changed a bit, have you?

Riley: Yeah, I used to work for her. Itís the best place for a charming young female computer programmer to find work. Better than Hypnos, thatís for damn sure.

 

(Conversely, Koji and Koichi see the route marker from a distance.)

Koichi: Right there!

(The cab drops them off as they race to the marker.)
[KOJI & KOICHI- 3rd at Road Block]
Koji: Road Block.

Koichi: Iím rested up, Iíll do it.

(Koichi straps the pack on and leaves.)

 

(Touya overtakes Riley easily and returns with the new backpack. Yukito retrieves the clue while it is still on his back.)

Yukito: Check in at the next Pit Stop- the Katsuda mansion just outside the city limits.

 

(Rapid shots to the high-class mansion.)
Arumi: (VO) Teams must now find the location of the mayoral mansion just outside the city. This secluded, Western-style estate is the second Pit Stop in the race. The last team to arrive will be eliminated.

 

(Noboyuki and Tenchi arrive. Tenchi decides to do it without much fuss. Jessie and Ayla, however, are a different matter.)

Jessie: Look, I was the fastest swimmer today, so it makes sense that I go.

Ayla: I donít see the logic with that.

Jessie: You want logic? How about we alternate these? You can have the next one.

(After thinking about it for a moment, Ayla nods.)

Ayla: Very well.

(Jessie opens the envelope and smiles.)

Jessie: Sweet.

 

(Koichi reaches Madame President and silently drops the backpack on the table. She replaces the material inside with new papers and the route marker. He straps it on and bikes off. Madame President tilts her head.)

Mdme. President: Theyíre much easier to deal with when they donít talkÖ

 

(A cab pulls up and an intimidating blond and a confident redhead run out to the Pit Stop. Arumi and Naoko Katsuda, Golden Girl #2, greet them. In the display on the route marker, ďGOLDEN BOYĒ is written in large white letters, with ďKOGANE CITYĒ in smaller green letters above it. Naoko bows.)

Naoko: Welcome to Kogane City.

Arumi: Lina and GourryÖ youíre team number one.

(Lina holds out a peace sign.)

Lina: Now thatís more like it!

Gourry: Itís easy when you donít have to do all the stuff in the middle.

 

(Koichi pulls up to the end of the course. Koji takes the clue and opens it.)

Koichi: We have to hurry. Jessie was moving fast.

Koji: Okay. Call a cab.

 

(Touya and Yukito reach the Pit Stop. Naoko smiles at both of them and winks.)

Arumi: Touya and Yukito? Youíre team number two.

(Yukito smiles and pats Touyaís shoulder.)

 

(As Tenchi pulls in on his bike, Noboyuki runs up.)

Noboyuki: How did Jessie get ahead of you?

Tenchi: Because sheís super-human!

Noboyuki: Oh. I didnít know that.

(Tenchi takes off the backpack and gets the clue out.)

 

(Naoko couldnít care less about the next team to arrive.)

Arumi: Yamaki and Riley, youíre team number three.

(Riley smiles at Yamaki.)

Riley: Thatís much better, thank you.

 

(A couple minutes later, Koji and Koichi rush up hurriedly. Naoko smiles.)

Naoko: Welcome to my house.

Arumi: Koji and Koichi- you are team number four.

Koji: All right!

(They high-five.)

 

(The teams on the third train pile out and rush for cabs. May & Max sneak ahead and are able to get the first cab. Yukari and Minamo are in the middle of the pack.)
[Train 3- 56 Minutes Behind Train 1]
Yukari: (VO) Okay, maybe we should have paid the extra money. It was rough in the last group. Thereís five teams racing like hell, and one of themís going to get spit out. Nyamo and I have to make sure itís not us.

 

(Jessie and Ayla run up to the mat.)

Arumi: Jessie and Ayla? Youíre team number five.

 

(Seta and Keitaro are very nervous as their cabbie moves a little slowly.)
[SETA & KEITARO- Master & Apprentice- Currently in Last Place]
Keitaro: Can you please go faster?

(No response. Keitaro sits back, very nervous.)

Seta: Donít worry about it. We have to manage what we can control. Weíll probably have a Road Block next. Who should do it?

Keitaro: Probably youÖ

Seta: If itís something physical, youíd better take it. I did most of the swimming, so youíre more refreshed.

Keitaro: If you say so.

 

(Naoko seriously eyes Tenchi, while Noboyuki seriously eyes Naoko. Arumi coughs.)

Arumi: Please, if youíre going to ogle anybody, ogle me and take the beating you deserve.

Naoko: Oh, donít worry. My daddy and his bodyguards donít like it when people ogle me.

(Arumi nods.)

Arumi: Fair enough- Noboyuki and Tenchi, youíre team number six.

 

(May and Max reach the Road Block. Max runs out immediately as May turns to the cabbie.)

May: You rock!

(Max gets the clue.)

Max: Road Block.

May: I see bikes, Iíll do it.

(May is strapped in as Nabiki & Kasumi rush up.)

Nabiki: Road Block- mine.

 

(The next two cabs arrive. Minato & Yukina get to the clue seconds before Yukari & Minamo. Nabiki has just left.)
Minato: Road Block. This person must be a golden go-fer.

Yukina: This oneís mine. Nabikiís going down!

Minamo: Road BlockÖ

Yukari: MINE!!!

(Minamo eyes the bikes and hands Yukari the clue.)

Minamo: Thatís the first smart thing youíve said all day.

(With a rebel yell, Yukari heads for the safety equipment.)

 

(Seta and Keitaro hop out of the car. Immediately, Seta rushes for the clue and opens it.)
Seta: Road Block, youíre doing it.

(Seta opens the envelope skims it for a second, and hands it to Keitaro. Keitaro takes it.)

Seta: Youíre riding the bikes.

Keitaro: Got it.

 

(Yukina is pedaling as hard as she can, but Yukari madly whizzes by her.)

Yukina: Pedal, pedal, pedalÖ faster!!

(Sheís left in the dust as Yukari advances. Nearing the cafť, Yukari sees May on her return trip. They approach each other head to head.)

Yukari: Get out of my way!

May: No! You get out of my way!!

(After a rousing game of chicken, neither seems to be set on letting the other have the right of way. Finally, at the very last moment, May brakes hard and turns her bike to the side. Yukari is forced to veer madly out of control, but barely manages to stay on. May doesnít stop, as she pedals hard back to the route marker. There, Max is waiting with the others.)

Max: Someoneís comingÖ

(May is tiring quickly, but skids in to a stop. Max raises his arms.)

Max: You did it!

May: (tired) YeahÖ get the clue.

(May gets off the bike and sits down on the sidewalk as Max reads the clue.)

Max: Check in at the next Pit Stop- Mayor Katsudaís mansion. Ready May?

May: You bet!

(May looks exhausted, but it doesnít seem to be slowing her down.)

May: I had a serious adrenaline rush during the Road Block. We were ahead, and I was doing something I was good at. I was totally exhausted afterwards, but I didnít care because I kicked some butt!

 

(Nabiki is steadily on the home stretch. However, Yukari is attacking her as well.)

Yukari: Beep beep!

(Nabiki tries to maneuver herself to prevent being passed, but Yukari dukes a little and sneaks by, almost crashing into Nabiki in the process.)

Nabiki: Hey!

(Yukari reaches the end seconds before Nabiki. Kasumi takes the clue from the backpack.)

Kasumi: So how was it?

(No response. Nabiki is still eyeing down Yukari.)

Nabiki: Come on! We have some teachers to beat.

 

(Yukina is flat out done when she pedals in. She collapses as soon as she reaches the headquarters.)

Minato: Yukina!

Yukina: Get clueÖ

(Minato fetches the clue. She looks through it, hoists Yukina on her back, and carries her to the taxi.)

Minato: Just a little further and weíve made it!

(Right behind them, Keitaro finishes. He jumps off the bike, letting it crash into the HQís faÁade. He reads the clue.)

Keitaro: The last team to arrive will be eliminated.

Seta: I already assumed that.

(They get into a cab right behind Minato and Yukina.)

 

(While racing to the Pit Stop, Nabiki constantly nags the driver.)

Nabiki: Címon, get ahead of those two. We need to beat them to the mansion.

Kasumi: Why? There were two teams behind us.

Nabiki: Yeah, but they didnít cut me off.

(The driver makes an arguably dangerous pass on a two-lane highway.)

 

(At the Pit Stop, May and Max hurriedly jump on.)

Arumi: May and Max- youíre team number seven.

May: Nice!

Max: Way to bike, May!

(They high-five.)

 

(Behind them, Nabiki and Kasumi take to running as they beat out Yukari and Minamoís taxi by a few seconds. Yukari begins to sprint for the finish, while Minamo slows down.)

Yukari: Nyamo-chan!

Minamo: Donít worry about it. Itís not worth our energy.

Yukari: ButÖ

(Nabiki and Kasumi jump on the mat. Yukari rushes up to them but is forced to wait.)

Arumi: Nabiki and Kasumi? Youíre team number eight.

Kasumi: Thank you!

(Nabiki is satisfied. They step aside. Yukari jumps on immediately, while Minamo steps on afterwards.)

Arumi: Yukari and Minamo? Youíre team number nine.

 

(Minato is clearly aware of the cab behind them.)

Minato: Okay, Yukina, weíre going to have to run for the Pit Stop as soon as we stop, okay?

Yukina: I guess I can do itÖ

Minato: We only get one shot at this, so letís make it count.

(Seta and Keitaro are leaning toward the door. Seta has a small wad of bills in his hand.)

Seta: Ready?

Keitaro: Ready, Mr. Seta.

(The cab pulls over. Seta throws the money into the driverís lap and he and Keitaro pile out of the car at the same time Minato & Yukina do. Yukina, Seta and Keitaro gets a clean jerk at their packs and strap them on easily. However, Minato takes a little too long with hers. Seta and Keitaro take the lead. Minato and Yukina run full-speed after them, but simply arenít able to keep pace with them. Seta jumps on the mat, while Keitaro runs right past it, and into a compromising position with Naoko.)

Arumi: Seta and KeitaroÖ

(Arumi looks down at Keitaro.)

Arumi: If you survive Mayor Katsudaís hitmen, youíre team number ten.

(Seta smiles and exhales.)

Seta: That was a little too closeÖ right Keitaro?

(No response.)

 

(Both Minato and Yukina are disappointed as they slowly walk to the mat. Arumi tries to look as gentle as possible, while Naoko is gone- busy calling her daddy.)

Arumi: Minato and Yukina? You are the last team to arrive. Unfortunately, you have been eliminated from the race.

(Yukina is still breathing heavily, and doesnít respond initially. Until Minato hugs her.)

Minato: You did so wellÖ

(Yukina smiles.)

Yukina: Thanks. So did you.

Yukina: (VO) Itís hard to say what went wrong. We gave it our best, but so did everybody else. Everybody elseís best was just better in the end.

Minato: After fighting in a war for so long, I forgot how purely exhilarating competition can be when itís just for fun. This was a lot of fun, and Iím glad I could share it with Yukina.

Yukina: I canít say our relationship got stronger. It doesnít need to get any stronger. Weíre very happy with each other, and nothing can change that.

End of Episode Two

 

Authorís Notes
The last part of this leg was much of a blur because of a lot of things going on at once. It makes for an interesting effect, since most of the teams had their own individual plot going, but few got much significant focus. Since few of these plots become long-term, it goes to highlight the intensity of the race, even this early. Thatíll come into play next episode, when things really heat up.

Zenibaís control over paper dolls, as demonstrated in the movie, is a practice called onmyoji. Satoshi becomes an apprentice at the art late in his series, and learns to control paper dolls in the same way.

Since Madame Presidentís company consists entirely of pretty young female computer experts, it seems perfectly natural that Riley used to work there. And apologies to everybody who was hoping to see the always under-appreciated Golden Girl #6- anime cel painter Chie. I had a hard enough time fitting Girls 1-5 in there.

Next Week on the Anime-zing Race:
* Planes, boats, and motorcycles give teams a vehicular headache.
* Teams begin forming all sorts of partnerships, but how long will they last?
* One team strategically puts another deep in last placeÖ and fears their vengeance.