The Anime-zing Race 2

Episode Nine

Author’s Notes
Sorry that I’ve been sidetracked this much, but I’ve been working ridiculously long hours and really haven’t been in much of a writing mood when I get off. My only really strong writing day is Sunday, which still doesn’t give me enough time to put together two-hour specials. Here’s hour one, and I hope to have hour two in a couple weeks.

Arumi: (VO) Last time, on the Dirty Pair Flash leg of the Anime-zing Race…

(Shot of Touya & Yukito and May & Max at Furool spaceport.)

Arumi: (VO) Teams took a shuttle from the deepest recesses of space to a touristy version of home.

(Shot of Ayla hunting down JAIC.)

Arumi: (VO) After missing a key flight, Jessie & Ayla caught up and surpassed the leaders.

(Shot of the two checking in.)

Jessie: We were really gunning to at least catch up to them.

Ayla: The fact that we were able to pass them is very satisfying.

(Shot of May struggling at volleyball.)

Arumi: (VO) And May & Max began the single life in rough fashion.

Max: It’s been said before, but it must be repeated- you are not Misty.

(Shot of Yukari landing her glider on the yacht.)

Arumi: (VO) Their former alliance partners Koji & Koichi couldn’t beat Yukari & Minamo to the Fast Forward, and were the seventh team eliminated.

(Rapid shots of the five remaining teams at various points in the race.)

Arumi: (VO) And tonight on a special two-hour episode, the five remaining teams will race through Video Girl Ai, Chobits, and Naruto! Who will be eliminated next?

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

13 LEGS…

Leg Nine

(Shot of the whole damn planet.)
Arumi: (VO) This is World’s World, a planet-sized amusement park that fully immerses its customers into twentieth century life.

(Shot of the school.)

Arumi: (VO) Because of the many park employees, facilities such as hospitals and banks are not only attractions, but also are fully-functional. This includes schools such as the Sweet Seventeen Academy, the eight Pit Stop in the race.

(Shot of Jessie & Ayla checking in.)

Arumi: (VO) Teams checked in for a mandatory rest period…

(Shot of Touya, Yukito, and Tenchi all being offered box lunches from the female residents.)

Arumi: (VO) …so they have the chance to eat,

(Shot of Noboyuki and Max locked up in a room.)

Arumi: (VO) …sleep…

(Shot of Jessie, May, and several residents hunting for ghosts late at night.)

Arumi: (VO) …and mingle with the other teams.

(Arumi walks through a pretty garden on the grounds.)

Arumi: The five remaining teams do not know where they are off to next. They’ll need to figure out how to get to the next yellow-and-red route marker by solving clues found in sealed envelopes.

(Shot of May & Koichi’s parting moment.)

Arumi: (VO) Will May’s heart go on after Koichi’s elimination?

(Shot of Noboyuki & Tenchi shooting up evil Sasshis in the Detour.)

Arumi: (VO) And can Noboyuki & Tenchi continue to work together long enough to get out of last place?

(Shot of Yukari & Minamo checking in.)

Arumi: (VO) Yukari & Minamo were the first team to check in at 1:24 PM.

(Now, late at night, Yukari & Minamo need a flashlight to read the clue.)

Arumi: (VO) They will depart 12 hours later at 1:24 AM.

(Yukari opens the clue.)
[YUKARI & MINAMO- Best Friends / Teachers- 1st to Depart- 1:24 AM]
Yukari: Go to the World’s World representation of the Meiji Shrine and wait for Gokuraku’s video store to appear in the mists.

(Yukari hands the clue to Minamo.)

Yukari: You read it. I must be drinking too much.

Minamo: No… that’s what it says.

(Rapid taxi shots to the Meiji Shrine.)
Arumi: (VO) Teams will taxi to the Meiji Shrine in Harajuku. But once there, they will have to wait for the mystical video store Gokuraku’s to appear before them.

(It’s shrouded in mist and looks really ominous… but it is just a video store.)

Arumi: (VO) When it does appear, they will find their next clue in one of the video girl cassette boxes in the store.

(The teachers quickly hunt down a cabbie in the area.)

Yukari: Meiji Shrine, please.

Driver: Isn’t it a little late to be sight-seeing?

Yukari: Shut up and drive.

(Minamo laughs as they get in and the cab drives off.)

Minamo: I’m feeling much better now. At the beginning of the last leg, I really doubted our ability to win the race. But after that Fast Forward, consider me a believer.

(Jessie and Ayla are exiting the dorm and are also fetching a cab.)
[JESSIE & AYLA- Rivals- 2nd to Depart- 1:45 AM]
Jessie: Taxi!!

(They don’t see any in the area.)

Jessie: There has to be something nearby.

Ayla: Not necessarily. It’s quarter to two. Let’s start walking.

Jessie: You don’t honestly expect to walk all the way to this shrine, do you?

Ayla: No, I’m sure we’ll find a taxi somewhere. But we might as well gain some ground now.

Jessie: Every second counts, I guess.

(They walk down the street, keeping an eye out for cabs.)

Jessie: Last leg was a great moment for us. We caught up to Touya and Yukito, mostly through that volleyball Detour. But what really clinched it for me was Ayla’s outstanding job in the Road Block. Her talent had been frustrating me for so long that it was the first time I got to really appreciate how damn, damn good she is.

(Touya and Yukito are on the Pit Stop mat, ready for action. Yukito counts the money. Touya looks a bit impatient.)
[TOUYA & YUKITO- Best Friends / Students- 3rd to Depart- 1:51 AM]
Touya: Hurry up, Yuki, we can’t let them get too far ahead.

Yukito: You have 3,500 yen for this leg of the race.

Touya: Good to know. Let’s go.

(He starts running a little faster than Yukito.)

Yukito: (VO) It was very interesting watching Touya during the Pit Stop. I think we’ve been doing exceedingly well so far, but when Jessie and Ayla passed us last leg, Touya kind of lost his mind. I can’t restrain his competitive side forever!

(On the street, both are stuck waiting for a cab. Finally, one comes along. Touya waves his arms wildly.)

Touya: Taxi. Taxi!!

(He manages to get it and quickly loads his bag into the trunk.)

Touya: Yes, I’m a little disturbed by the way Jessie and Ayla got ahead of us. Yuki and I were playing our guts out, and somehow they catch up from an hour back and pass us at the Road Block. For as well as we’ve been playing, we’re going to have to really step up in order to win this. It’s on now.

(Jessie and Ayla are still walking down the sidewalk. Jessie sees a cab and raises an arm.)

Jessie: Yo! Taxi!!

(It approaches, and seems to ignore her.)

Ayla: It’s occupied.

(Upon closer inspection, Jessie makes out Touya and Yukito inside.)

Jessie: Damn, it’s Touya and Yukito.

Ayla: Let’s keep going. No sense stopping now.

(Jessie forces herself to start jogging down the sidewalk. Ayla wordlessly picks up the pace to meet Jessie’s.)

(May and Max are set to go. Both are determined to succeed.)
[MAY & MAX- Siblings- 4th to Depart- 2:12 AM]
May: Go to the World’s World representation of the Meiji Shrine and wait for Gokuraku’s video store to appear in the mists.

Max: A little strange but we’ll take it.

(They have no trouble hunting down a cab.)

May: Koji & Koichi’s elimination is making us work harder than before. We’re really out to see what we can do now. It’s us against the big boys, and we’re going to do our best to show that we’re up there with them.

(Yukari and Minamo’s cab pulls up to the base of the shrine. Yukari is half-asleep, and Minamo has to drag her to the shrine.)

Minamo: C’mon, let’s just get there and see what happens.

(Although there is a route marker there, the shrine is dead silent.)

Yukari: So where’s this video store thingie?

Minamo: Doesn’t look like it’s around here.

(Yukari pulls out her futon and rolls it out.)

Minamo: Good idea. Let’s…

(Yukari is already asleep. Minamo scratches her head.)

Minamo: It’s still a good idea.

(Minamo does the same, stretching out next to Yukari. She has more trouble falling asleep.)

(Noboyuki and Tenchi are leaving the academy.)
[NOBOYUKI & TENCHI- Father & Son- Last to Depart- 2:38 AM]
Noboyuki: You know where this is right?

Tenchi: Of course I do. But it still doesn’t mean it’ll help us.

Noboyuki: What makes you say that?

(They hail a cab and get in.)

Noboyuki: Meiji Shrine, please.

Driver: Right.

(The cab takes off.)

Tenchi: Because every cab driver in town knows where it is too.

(They keep riding.)

Tenchi: I think I’m doing this for myself more than anything else. I know I don’t need to prove my worth to anybody, but I just want to see how far Dad and I can go. This is only getting harder, so we just have to push ourselves harder.

(Touya and Yukito reach the shrine, and see Yukari and Minamo wrapped up in their bags.)

Yukito: Looks like we have to wait. At least we can appreciate such a lovely shrine.

(Yukito rings the bell and begins to pray, which is more than enough to wake Minamo up.)

Minamo: What was that for?

Yukito: Oh, I’m sorry! I was just…

Minamo: Yeah… I know what you were doing. So how long do you think this will take?

Touya: Probably won’t get here until all the teams show up.

Minamo: That’s what we were afraid of.

(Minamo stands up and leans against a wall.)

Minamo: Feeling better Yukito?

Yukito: Much better, thank you.

Minamo: Good to hear. I’d hate to see you two get eliminated because of that.

Touya: We’d hate to see it too.

(Minamo laughs.)

Minamo: I’ll bet. But you know we’re all kinda pulling for you. You’re nicer than any students I’ve had, that’s for sure.

Yukito: I’m sure you have great students.

Minamo: A few, but I bet your teachers love you two.

(Touya narrows his eyes.)

Yukito: Yeah. We get along really well with them. Right Touya?

Touya: Yuki, we should probably get some sleep. You tired?

Yukito: I’m fine.

Minamo: I’ve been trying to sleep. It’s not happening.

Yukito: Yukari seems to be doing fine.

Minamo: It’s Yukari. She sleeps through demo derbies.

Touya: Shoot…

Yukito: What?

(Touya points at Jessie and Ayla sprinting in. They reach the route marker.)

Ayla: Are we stuck waiting?

Minamo: Yeah.

Jessie: Good…

(Jessie points to Touya.)

Jessie: How the hell did you find a cab?

Touya: (smug) We raised a hand and said “Taxi!” Too easy for you?

(Jessie shakes her head.)

Touya: Did you just feel like walking?

Jessie: Shut up.

Yukito: Yes, we’re all even now, so it doesn’t matter.

(Ayla stares down Yukito. Touya and Jessie are still locked on each other. Minamo is trying not to get involved.)

Jessie: Yeah, it’s all square, so we’ll see who ends up ahead.

Touya: No, you’ll see who’s ahead. You’ll be watching us.

Jessie: You two boys think you can tangle with us? You’re going to have to do a lot better than…

(Minamo steps in.)

Minamo: Okay, it’s too early in the morning for this. Can’t we just try to get some sleep? The others will be here soon and I really don’t want to deal with them.

Yukito: (pleasant) We’ll ring if we need you.

(Minamo laughs and lays down again. Jessie and Touya continue to stare at each other, before Ayla leads Jessie away.)

Ayla: I think that’s sufficient.

Jessie: Just getting it out now…

(They settle down in a different part of the grounds.)

Ayla: (VO) Jessie’s trying to get into their heads. I don’t know if it’s working. I don’t know if Touya and Yukito would be disrupted by that. But she’s going to try because it looks like those two are our top competition.

(Touya and Yukito set up camp near Minamo. Minamo is immediately flustered.)

Minamo: What… are you doing?

Yukito: Like you said, we’re trying to get some sleep.

Touya: We figure the thing will appear around here, so we want to stick around. Those two can go off and get lost for all we care.

Minamo: What the heck happened last leg? I never pictured you two starting something with another team.

Touya: It’s just getting very tense. That’s all.

Yukito: We’re not trying to agitate them. But they seem to be very competitive. It’s going to get very interesting.

Minamo: I guess…

Yukito: Good night.

(Minamo turns around. She is greeted by Yukari, awake and smiling.)

Yukari: I heard that.

Minamo: What?

(Yukari smiles knowingly. Minamo turns back around.)

Yukari: I know what you’re thinking. That’s all you need to know.

(Minamo glances around nervously.)

(May and Max arrive, see the bodies on the floor, and silently join them. The final team, Noboyuki and Tenchi, get there well after everybody is asleep.)

Noboyuki: Looks like we’re camping here tonight.

Tenchi: Hold on.

(Tenchi tries to ring the bell as lightly as possible, and it doesn’t reverberate much, but Minamo shoots up immediately. Tenchi reels back in shock.)

Minamo: Dammit!

Tenchi: Sorry!

(Minamo collapses back just as quickly. Noboyuki adjusts his glasses.)

Noboyuki: That was strange.

(The sun comes up, and Tenchi is watching Touya & Yukito and Jessie & Ayla as they go about their morning routine- packing, breakfast, etc. Jessie & Ayla are both frequently shooting looks at Touya. Touya is quick to return them. Tenchi walks over to team bishounen.)

Tenchi: What did you guys do to them?

Touya: We hailed a cab.

Tenchi: Looks like they’re pretty angry.

Yukito: I don’t think they’re that angry.

(Tenchi looks up. Jessie and Ayla stare at him too, before Tenchi looks away.)

Tenchi: No… I remember that look. They’re pissed.

Yukito: I don’t think so. They’re only happy when they have competition.

Touya: I think they’re realizing that we’re not pushovers.

Tenchi: Just don’t push them too far. They certainly enjoy making our lives miserable.

(Tenchi walks away, doing his best to step over the sleeping May and Max. He actually bumps into May.)

May: (mumbling) Brock, call me when breakfast is ready…

(Tenchi quietly sneaks away.)

(Dissolve to late in the morning. Everybody is up by now, and most are gathered together by the shrine. Only Jessie and Ayla are distancing themselves, talking strategy. Both Yukari and Minamo are only half-awake.)

Minamo: Stupid bell… I think I’m converting.

(Touya leans forward. Yukito smiles.)

Yukito: Is it coming?

(Jessie and Ayla both see Yukito lining up, getting ready to go. They ready themselves as well. Before long, a fog starts rolling in. They are all captivated for a moment at the source of the fog before alas- all that appears is a small video store.)

Max: That’s it?

Touya: That’s it!

(Touya, Yukito, Jessie, and Ayla sprint after it. The other three teams are quick to follow, although Max’s hesitation cost him a few seconds.)

Jessie: The hell are we looking for again?

Ayla: A video girl cassette box.

Jessie: What the hell’s a cassette?

(Touya and Yukito barely beat the girls inside. Immediately, both teams begin randomly scouring the titles on the shelf. Yukari and Minamo barely edge out Noboyuki and Tenchi as the next teams in. However, Noboyuki ignores all of the aisles and immediately runs to the back. Bringing up the rear, May and Max see that Noboyuki is a man with a plan. They follow him.)

Yukari: C’mon, where is it?

Minamo: Not in the V’s.

(Noboyuki and Tenchi run to the far back wall. Noboyuki stops and looks around.)

Tenchi: Why do I get the feeling you’ve rented these before?

Noboyuki: Meet your new mother, Tenchi.

(Noboyuki sees a box with a cute girl on it. He opens it. Inside are clue envelopes. He takes one. Noboyuki opens his mouth to celebrate.)

Tenchi: Shh… don’t let the other teams know.

Max: Too late, Tenchi.

(Max grabs one as well and tucks it under his shirt.)

Max: Now watch this…

(Noboyuki hides his clue and follows Max’s lead. He walks down the aisles and picks a random one, away from any of the other three teams.)

Max: Found it May!

(He pulls the clue out, holds it in the air, and runs for the exit. As May follows him, Noboyuki does the same.)

Noboyuki: Got it!

(Immediately, the other three teams head to that spot as Noboyuki and Tenchi run out the door. They and the Pokémon sibs bolt for the street.)

Noboyuki: Great plan Max!

May: Yeah, that was clever! Now where are we going?

(While running, Max opens the clue.)

Max: Now that you’re back in your home world, hop in a cab and head for Kannai High School.

May: We’re in our home world?

(Rapid taxi shots to a remarkably average high school in Tokyo. Best friend, band member, and overall hunk Takashi Niimai is a student there. For those who are mainly familiar with Digimon, this one’s Matt.)
Takashi: They’re in their original home world all right, thanks to Gokuraku’s magic video store. Now that they are back to reality, they will have to find Kannai High School and find the route marker in the courtyard.

(The other three teams are left baffled, staring at the site of Max’s “discovery.”)

Yukari: What was he staring at?

Jessie: I don’t see it anywhere.

(Minamo walks off to the back of the store as the other five continue looking. Minamo wisely finds the clue and briskly retrieves Yukari, tapping her on the shoulder.)

Yukari: What?

(Minamo waves the clue and the two head out. Ayla notices this and runs for the back. Touya, Yukito, and Jessie all immediately pick up on this and follow her. Ayla finds the box and opens it.)

Jessie: Damn, those punks tricked us.

(Although Ayla gets the box open, Touya manages to sneak in and grab the clue first.)

Touya: Got it Yuki!

(They run out. Ayla grabs the clue, drops the box, and the pair run after them.)

Noboyuki: (VO) Hey, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m nothing physically when compared to Jessie or Ayla. Neither are May and Max. So we’ve gotta be smart to stay ahead of them.

(May and Max are quickly derailed, however, by an unlucky cab.)
[MAY & MAX- Currently in 2nd Place]
May: You don’t know where it is?

Driver: Never went to high school, sorry.

Max: Then pull over somewhere that has a map.

(Unfortunately for Max, he chooses the local library.)

Max: Man… I’m sick of libraries.

May: Come on, Max, sticks and stones may break your bones…

Max: But words will never hurt you…

(They run in.)

Max: (sotto) Unless you’re facing a paper user…

(Just as Yukari and Minamo take off in a cab, Touya & Yukito and Jessie & Ayla reach the street and begin hailing like mad. Once again, Touya prevails, almost jumping out in traffic to get a cab’s attention. They get in and speed off. Ayla gets a cab soon afterwards and the rivals are on their way, although Jessie is really peeved.)
[JESSIE & AYLA- Currently in Last Place]
Jessie: Jeez, they did it again.

Ayla: Jessie, calm down. Beating us to one or two cabs won’t decide anything.

Jessie: I’m just really pissed that they’re staying ahead of us.

Ayla: Jessie!

(Jessie is immediately hushed as Ayla raises her voice.)

Ayla: I thought turning things up was designed to get into their heads.

Jessie: Yeah, what’s your point?

Ayla: I’m afraid they’re getting into yours instead.

(Jessie is shocked at the outlandish statement, but is unable to respond. Ayla merely folds her arms and leans back in the seat.)


(Max is quickly looking through a phone book. He finds it.)

Max: I’ve got the address!

(Max goes to get a sheet of paper. May simply tears the page out of the phone book.)

May: Let’s go, we don’t want to fall too far behind.

(They run out and join the awaiting taxi. May hands him the page.)

May: Drive there!

Max: And hurry!

(The driver turns around and moves out. Max shakes his head.)

Max: Let’s hope that didn’t cost us too much time.

(The cab pulls into traffic, right behind another cab. May leans forward.)

May: Ooh… who is that?

Max: Looks like Touya and Yukito.

May: That’s not good…

(Meanwhile, Touya and Yukito are looking back as well.)
[TOUYA & YUKITO- Best Friends / Students- Currently in 3rd Place]
Yukito: Who is that?

Touya: Looks like May and Max.

Yukito: I wonder what happened to them. Maybe they got lost.

Touya: We’re just following the teachers. Hope they know where they’re going.

(Up ahead, Yukari and Minamo see two cars behind them.)
[YUKARI & MINAMO- Best Friends / Teachers- Currently in 2nd Place]
Yukari: Who the heck?

Minamo: Who cares, as long as we’re ahead of them.

Yukari: They’re following us!

Minamo: Let them. It’s not going to matter anyway.

Yukari: We know where we’re going, right?

Minamo: Yep.

Yukari: Shame to share that with those two cabs.

(Of course, the first team to arrive at the high school is Noboyuki and Tenchi. Both immediately run straight to the courtyard and find the clue.)
[NOBOYUKI & TENCHI- Father & Son- Currently in 1st Place]
Noboyuki: Using any available resources, find the home of Youta Moteuchi and find the route marker in his kitchen.

(Rapid shots to a quiet home in the city. It belongs to loser high school student #1 Youta Moteuchi. For those who are mainly familiar with Digimon, this one’s Tai.)
Youta: (VO) Teams must figure out how to get to my house using any clues they have.

(Rapid shots through the school to Takashi playing his guitar .)

Youta: (VO) Naturally, asking around school would be a good idea, especially since my friend Takashi is nearby.

(Noboyuki and Tenchi don’t puzzle over the clue for long. Instead, they run into the high school.)

Tenchi: There has to be someone here who knows where he lives.

(They must have picked the wrong door, because there’s nobody in sight.)

Noboyuki: There has to be someone here period!

(They continue running.)

(Yukari & Minamo see the high school. Their cab begins to pull up.)

Minamo: Stick around for a few minutes, okay?

Yukari: Ready…?

(Rather than get their bags, Yukari and Minamo dash out instantly. Touya and Yukito pull up behind them, but they get their bags out and go after the clue. Their taxi drives off, and is replaced by May and Max’s.)

Max: Yukari and Minamo are holding their cab.

May: Think that’s a good idea.

Max: Could be. Let’s see.

(They tell their cab to wait up and run after the prior two teams.)

(As soon as they grab their clue, Minamo wastes no time in running into the building. Yukari follows.)

Yukari: Where are you going?

Minamo: Office. Let’s see if they have a student directory.

Yukari: You know where the office is?

(Minamo stops in front of the office.)

Minamo: Good thing all these high schools are designed pretty much alike.

(They run in and convince the secretary to lend them a student directory. They don’t take long before discovering the name.)

Minamo: There it is. Write that down.

(Yukari jots the address down. They run out quickly.)

Minamo: (VO) Schools are our turf, and we’re going to use them to our advantage, because we don’t get to them often.

(Meanwhile, Noboyuki and Tenchi come across Takashi, playing the guitar in the gym. Tenchi runs up to him.)

Tenchi: Hey! Do you know where we can find Youta Moteuchi?

Takashi: Sure thing. Got some paper?

(As he gives them the address, Touya & Yukito and May & Max run in.)

May: Tenchi! Does he know where Youta lives?

Tenchi: Yeah.

(Noboyuki and Tenchi leave as the new pair of teams arrive.)

Yukito: Let me get some paper.

Takashi: Hey, you don’t sound so good.

Yukito: (pleasant) I’m feeling fine… now.

Takashi: Huh. Maybe it’s just me. Anyway…

(He gives them the address.)

(Yukari and Minamo descend the stairs and run out, dead even with Noboyuki and Tenchi. However, the teachers have the clear advantage, since they have a cab waiting for them. Minamo hands her driver the sheet of paper.)

Minamo: Thanks for waiting. Here’s the address.

Driver: Sure thing.

(Noboyuki goes over to May & Max’s cab.)

Noboyuki: Are you waiting for somebody?

Driver #2: Yep. Two kids.

Noboyuki: Can I pay you to take us instead?

Tenchi: Dad!!

Driver #2: Not unless you pay for their earlier fare too. And that includes a ten minute library stop.

(Noboyuki looks up at Tenchi, and quickly turns to the driver.)

Noboyuki: Uh, no thanks! We’ll find our own.

(Tenchi shakes his head.)

Noboyuki: (to Tenchi) I was just asking…

(Another cab approaches, but they can tell immediately that a team is in it. They hold off on hailing it until it stops. They look away as Jessie and Ayla get out. Noboyuki leans in to Tenchi.)

Noboyuki: See what they do…

(Jessie and Ayla pay the driver and get their bags out before running into the courtyard. Once they are clear, Noboyuki makes a beeline for the cab.)

Noboyuki: Hey! We need to get to somebody’s house.

Driver #3: Hop in.

(Tenchi is a little uneasy.)

Noboyuki: Come on, Tenchi! They paid! They were done with it.

Tenchi: I guess so…

(They get in, Noboyuki hands the driver the address and the cab departs just as May and Max reach their cab.)

Tenchi: I don’t know if this is a good idea. Especially with those two.

Noboyuki: They weren’t saving it. We can claim it.

Tenchi: Hope you’re right about this…

(Jessie and Ayla get the clue from the courtyard quickly, and see Touya and Yukito running out of the school.)

Ayla: That must be where they got directions.

Jessie: Right. Hope this doesn’t take too long.

(They run in as Touya and Yukito run out. With no cabs available, they are forced to wait for one. Yukito does most of the hailing, while Touya nervously looks back.)

Touya: We should have had him wait for us.

Yukito: No sense worrying about that now.

Touya: Come on…

(Jessie and Ayla get their directions from Takashi and run out. They see Touya and Yukito waiting for a cab.)

Jessie: Here’s our chance.

(Jessie starts sprinting, and almost runs right out onto the road. Yukito stops her before she’s hit by a cab.)

Yukito: Slow down Jessie!

Touya: Yeah, that one’s ours.

(They get in. Jessie tries lashing out at Touya, but the cab is gone. Ayla starts hailing her own cab, and quickly sees one approach.)

Ayla: You’re going to get yourself killed.

Jessie: I don’t like being in last place.

Ayla: We’ve been in last place before.

Jessie: Yeah, but this time wasn’t Noboyuki and Tenchi’s fault.

Ayla: It wasn’t Touya and Yukito’s either.

Jessie: That’s the problem.

(The cab pulls in. Ayla is trying to remain calm. Jessie is not.)

Jessie: This is really bugging me.

(Thanks to the listed directions, Yukari and Minamo pull into Youta’s house.)

Minamo: Wait here again. We’ll be out in a flash.

Yukari: Yeah, there’s no way they’re having a Detour in the house.

(They run inside, and easily find the route marker in the surprisingly roomy kitchen.)
[YUKARI & MINAMO- Currently in 1st Place]
Yukari: Detour- Date Ai or Date Moemi.

(Rapid taxi shots to a street in a nearby commercial district. Moemi Hayakawa is walking down the sidewalk, wearing her school uniform. For those who are mainly familiar with Digimon, this one’s Sora. This one is definitely, definitely Sora.)
Moemi: A Detour is a choice between two tasks, each with its own pros and cons. In this Detour, teams will have to choose to either Date Ai, or Date me- Moemi.

(Moemi stops at a route marker in the street, with a red octagon on it.)

Moemi: With either choice, they will have to take a cab and stop at this point.

(Rapid shots down the sidewalk to a bowling alley. The video girl herself is bowling in her usual way- and juggling the bowling balls between frames.)

Moemi: (VO) In Date Ai, teams will have to find this bowling alley and bowl one game, with Ai joining them. Ai is a bit of a goof-off and bowling ten frames may take some time, but there is no skill involved.

(Shot of Ai hustling people through rock-paper-scissors.)

Moemi: (VO) During or after the game, all a team has to do is beat Ai at rock-paper-scissors once in order to get the next clue.

(Sidewalk shots to a uniformed truant officer.)

Moemi: (VO) In Date Moemi, teams will find themselves under suspicion by this truant officer, who will try to catch them and make them return to the stop point.

(Shot to an alien-catcher machine.)

Moemi: (VO) As the officer chases them, they will have to find their way to this alien-catcher machine and win a doll. They will find their next clue inside it.

(Yukari is looking around the room.)

Yukari: Jeez… how the heck is a kid living alone in a house this nice? This room’s bigger than my apartment!

Minamo: Come on, Yukari, let’s Date Moemi.

Yukari: Nyamo, don’t you remember what happened last time you had a blind date?

(Minamo starts running out to the cab, but answers.)

Minamo: Yes, we ended up…

Yukari: Nightmare, wasn’t it?

(Minamo smiles slyly.)

Minamo: Maybe for you…

Yukari: Don’t rub it in.

(The teams arrive later in succession. Noboyuki and Tenchi reaches the route marker. Tenchi takes the clue.)
[NOBOYUKI & TENCHI- 2nd at Detour]
Tenchi: Detour- Date Ai or Date Moemi.

Noboyuki: Gotta choose one this time, Tenchi.

(Tenchi looks at the details.)

Tenchi: We’ll decide in the cab. We taxi to the same spot anyway.

(They run out just as May and Max run in.)
[MAY & MAX- 3rd at Detour]
May: Detour. Date Ai or Date Moemi.

Max: No idea, May. Your call.

May: Are you suggesting I’d be into that sort of thing?

Max: Just pick one.

(May reads it through.)

May: We’ll date Moemi. Let’s go.

(They run out.)

(Touya and Yukito arrive a little farther behind. They hit the clue box.)
[TOUYA & YUKITO- 4th at Detour]
Touya: Date Ai or Date Moemi.

Yukito: Interesting decision.

Touya: Let’s get in the cab and decide.

(They run out. Perfect timing, as Jessie and Ayla hustle in. Jessie tears into the clue.)
[JESSIE & AYLA- Last at Detour]
Jessie: Detour. Date Ai or Date Moemi. What do you think?

Ayla: I think we should use the Fast Forward.

Jessie: What? Are you nuts? That’s like admitting defeat.

Ayla: No, it’s practical. You’re letting your emotion get to you. We’re in last place. Let’s use it now, take some time to breathe, and start anew tomorrow.

(Jessie tries not to lose her temper at Ayla. She sits down on a chair.)

Jessie: You really think we’re losing it?

Ayla: I’m not sure. This is a precautionary measure.

Jessie: What if I said no?

Ayla: I am confident that this is the right move. I will not back down.

Jessie: Damn… no sense losing more time and arguing then.

(Jessie pulls it out and opens the Fast Forward card, shaking her head.)

Jessie: I hate you Ayla.


(Youta is ascending the stairs of his house.)
Youta: There is only one Fast Forward hidden on each leg of the race. The first team that finds it can skip all tasks and go directly to the Pit Stop. However, once a team uses the Fast Forward, that team may not use another one for the rest of the race. So they need to decide when it’s the best time to go for it.

(Youta reaches his bedroom, where a VCR is going haywire.)

Youta: To win the Fast Forward on this leg, a team will need to go to my bedroom and through my faulty VCR, enter the video world.

(The video world is a grayish shadow of reality, shadowed by a large glass staircase.)

Youta: (VO) In the video world, they must find their way to a glass staircase. The glass is certain to break as they climb it, but they must somehow get to the top. Once they do, they will receive the Fast Forward and will instantly return to my home.

(Jessie and Ayla walk up the stairs and see the VCR shooting sparks. Both are a little uneasy.)

Jessie: Are you absolutely sure about this?

Ayla: What is that?

Jessie: I guess that’s the VCR thing.

Ayla: Let’s do this.

(They slowly approach the device. Jessie pushes the Stop button. The VCR starts to glow, enveloping the two with light. When the light fades, the two are gone.)

(Yukari and Minamo reach the marker and get out of the cab, this time finally paying the driver.)

Driver: Thank you very much.

Yukari: Yeah, you struck gold with us today.

(He laughs and drives off. Minamo points down an alley.)

Minamo: This way. Keep an eye out for that officer.

(Yukari looks around cautiously as Minamo proceeds down the alley. It leads out into a maze of narrow streets.)

Yukari: No officer. No machine. The hell?

Minamo: Keep walking…

(They do so, continuing to be on the lookout.)

(In the cab, Noboyuki and Tenchi discuss their options.)

Noboyuki: How good are you with those machines?

Tenchi: Not sure. I’ve never really done it before.

Noboyuki: Well, I know how to bowl, and we’re bound to win rock-paper-scissors eventually, so I say we Date Ai.

Tenchi: Sounds good.

(They reach the marker, get out, and know exactly where to run. Another cab pulls up behind them. It’s May and Max.)

Max: They’re doing the other one.

May: We’re not. Let’s go.

(They run through the alley blindly, but stop as it opens into the streets.)

Max: How do you plan to get by this guard?

May: Simple. Stay quiet and let’s try to be sneaky.

(Minamo see the alien-catcher machine about ten yards away. She points it out.)

Minamo: There it is.

(Yukari points elsewhere.)

Yukari: There he is.

Minamo: Who?

(The officer is running after them. Rather than risk capture and break for the machine, Yukari and Minamo turn tail. The officer chases after them.)

Minamo: Crap!

Yukari: Follow me, Nyamo!

(Yukari turns and chooses a different alley.)

(Meanwhile, May and Max hear the commotion behind them. May turns around.)

Yukari: (OS) This way!!

May: Max, hide!!

Max: What?

(May grabs him and literally throws him behind a dumpster. They crouch down and watch Yukari and Minamo run by, followed quickly by the officer. Once they clear, May and Max sneak around to the other side and watch the action. The officer catches Yukari and tags her on the shoulder.)

Yukari: Damn…

(The teachers turn around and walk back down the alley as the officer watches them go back. May and Max duck down again. Yukari and Minamo go past them en route to the first marker. May and Max quietly sneak to the end of the alley, and waiting for the officer to get out of position, sprint for the arcade. The officer notices and chases after them.)

May: Inside the arcade!!

(They barely evade the officers grasp and get inside. May stops to catch her breath.)

May: Once we get in here, he can’t touch us. He also can’t get us while we’re playing.

(The officer walks away and the two step outside to try their hand at the game.)

May: Okay! Let’s do this!

Max: How do you start?

(They look down at the coin slot. Max rummages through the billfold and turns to May.)

Max: Got any spare change?

May: Aw, jeez.

(They both go inside.)

(Noboyuki and Tenchi, meanwhile, reach the bowling alley and rush inside. A few lanes are reserved. Ai is hurtling ball after ball down one lane, not really caring about how many pins they knock over… or how many hit the gutter, bar, overhead lights, etc.)

Noboyuki: Are you Ai?

Ai: Here to play me? Look out, because I’m pretty good.

(Ai hurls one ball like a shot put. It bounces on the alley and rolls into the gutter.)

Noboyuki: How fast can you go?

Ai: Oh, you’re going for a speed record? Cool!

Noboyuki: Find a few balls Tenchi. I’ll go first.

(Noboyuki changes his shoes while Tenchi digs through and finds a ball for himself. He struggles to find one for Noboyuki. Once Noboyuki gets shoes on, Tenchi holds up one ball.)

Tenchi: Think this will…

(Noboyuki takes that ball… and the one Tenchi reserved for himself.)

Noboyuki: Yep! Better find a couple for you too!

(Noboyuki drops one ball on the rack and approaches the lane.)

Ai: Ready?

Noboyuki: Yep!

(Without bothering to put his fingers in the holes, Noboyuki throws the ball down the middle of the lane, but doesn’t stop to admire it. He turns around immediately and grabs the second ball. The first throw knocks over five pins, and the bar descends to clean up the rest. While this is going on, Nobuyuki makes his second throw. The bar comes up moments before the second ball picks up the spare.)

Tenchi: Good thr…

Noboyuki: Your turn!

Ai: You can use the other lane too!

Noboyuki: Thanks!

(Noboyuki takes his first ball and does the same thing on the other lane. Tenchi gets the idea and repeats.)

Ai: You think that’s fast? Wait until my turn!

(Yukari and Minamo are still sneaking through an alley, but Yukito taps Minamo on the shoulder.)

Yukito: Hi!

(Minamo stops and tries not to scream.)

Minamo: Oh… Yuki…

Touya: How hard is this?

Yukari: Very.

(They head down the alley together and see May and Max exiting the arcade to start playing the game.)

Yukari: Shoot! How’d they get through?

(With no sign of the guard, both teams run over. However, they ended up moving a bit hastily. The officer appears out of nowhere and tags both Minamo and Yukito on the shoulders.)

Officer: Sorry.

Yukito: You must be the truant officer! Hi!

Officer: Get back to the start.

(May is doing her best with the catcher-machine, but just misses the hole.)

Max: C’mon, let me try.

(May steps back. Max gives it a shot, and through some intense concentration, is successful.)

May: Wow. Way to go.

(Max, smiling, takes the doll- a little Sumomo plushie. There is a zipper down the back. Max unzips it. There is a sheet of paper, reading “Yoronkode.”)

Max: Yoronkode? What’s that?

(Rapid taxi shots to a different neighborhood, and the Yoronkode restaurant. Yumi Oomura works there.)
Yumi: Using the clues found in the doll, teams will have to find this restaurant, the Yoronkode. The route marker is right outside.

(Using Noboyuki’s technique, Tenchi hurtles the ball down the alley and immediately turns around to grab his second ball. However, what he doesn’t notice is that he bowled a strike.)

Noboyuki: Strike, Tenchi!

Tenchi: Thanks!

(Tenchi sets down the ball and takes a moment to relax. Ai bowls immediately after him and also hits a strike. This gives them both a couple seconds.)

Ai: Ready to try again?

Tenchi: (sullen) Yeah…

Ai / Tenchi: One, two, three, shoot!

(Ai’s paper covers Tenchi’s rock.)

Ai: I win again! You guys are zero for fifteen!

Tenchi: Don’t remind us.

Noboyuki: You’re up, Tench’. Let me try.

(Tenchi goes up to bowl. Noboyuki challenges Ai and fails.)

Tenchi: (VO) Using Dad’s speed-bowling technique, we got through it really fast. The problem was with the rock-paper-scissors part. Apparently, she has some sort of mind-reading capacity, because it took us forever to beat her!

(Tenchi is about to throw his second ball on the tenth frame.)

Noboyuki: Don’t pick it up Tench’. Then you’d have to throw again!

Tenchi: Right!

(Tenchi throws it straight into the gutter.)

Ai: Yay! That means I win!

(Ai goes up, throws two fast gutter balls, and ends the game. Tenchi looks at the scorecard.)

Tenchi: Dad, if I would have picked that up, I could have beaten her!

Noboyuki: Who cares! We’re racing!

Tenchi: (smiling) Still…

Ai: There’s still one more thing.

Noboyuki: How do you always know what we’re throwing?

Ai: I’m a video girl! I know how guys operate. Ready Tenchi?

(Tenchi sighs, then smiles brightly at Ai. Ai is flustered for a moment, and throws paper. Tenchi’s scissors takes care of it.)

Noboyuki: Way to use the old charm.

(Noboyuki leans in to Ai.)

Noboyuki: I should have tried that at the beginning, huh?

Ai: Ew, get away creep.

(Ai hands Tenchi the Sumomo doll. Tenchi quickly finds the zipper and the Yoronkode slip.)

Tenchi: (puzzled) Yoronkode?

(Tenchi looks at the back. Printed is the a universal sign for dining- a knife and fork.)

Noboyuki: It must be some sort of restaurant. Any help Ai?

Ai: No idea. I cook for Youta. We don’t need restaurants.

Tenchi: Let’s find a directory or something.

(They run out.)

(Meanwhile, in the grayish, sterile-looking video world, Jessie and Ayla are walking to the staircase in the horizon.)
[FAST FORWARD- Video World]
Jessie: Little further…

Ayla: That’s the fourth time you said that.

Jessie: Forget this then, why aren’t we running?

Ayla: Good question.

(They pick up the pace and run their long-distance pace to the edge of the staircase.

Jessie: (VO) It was a very strange world to say the least. Dark, mysterious, and just creepy in a way. Felt like we had no business being there.

(At the stairs, Ayla feels the bottom step. It looks like it’s going to give way.)

Ayla: It looks very fragile.

Jessie: Then we’ll just have to run very, very quickly.

Ayla: Let’s both sprint up simultaneously. I’ll take the first step, you take the second. We’ll each take every other step from there.

Jessie: Right. Good plan.

(They back up.)

Jessie: On your mark…

Ayla: Ready…

Jessie / Ayla: Go!!

(They sprint up the steps, as planned. As they pass each step, it shatters, but they are long gone by the time it does. They climb the whole staircase in this fashion, neither hesitating for a moment. Finally, they reach the top, and run into the Fast Forward podium, using it to stop themselves. Both catch their breath and look down. There’s a lot of shattered glass down there.)

Jessie: Wow. That was something else.

Ayla: Good work.

Jessie: Yeah, you too.

(Ayla takes the Fast Forward and reads. As she does, they are enveloped in another light.)

Ayla: Congratulations you have won the Fast Forward. Check in at the next Pit Stop- Hideki Motsumuya’s apartment in Tokyo.

(Suddenly, they are back in Youta’s apartment.)

Jessie: Whoa…

(One good dateless student in need of a mechanical substitute deserves another! Rapid taxi shots to a small apartment complex, home of loser high school student #2.)
Satoshi: (VO) Having won the Fast Forward, Jessie and Ayla may go directly to the next Pit Stop- the apartment of Hideki Motsumuya.

(Yukari & Minamo and Touya & Yukito are again trying to get past the officer.)

Touya: Three… two… one…

(They both run out and dash off in opposite directions- Touya and Yukari taking one side, Yukito and Minamo taking the other. The officer is confused at first, and thanks to some very wide angles and cat-and-mouse, both sides are able to get through.)

Yukito: (VO) We were both having trouble getting past the guards, so we teamed up with Yukari and Minamo to get by. Even though we were both trailing the pack, it was necessary to work together.

(Inside the arcade, all four are catching their breath.)

Minamo: Thanks, Yuki… you’re a real lifesaver.

Yukito: No problem, Minamo.

Minamo: Please, call me Nyamo.

Yukari: Huh? Nyamo, you never like it when people call you…

(Touya opens the door to go outside, but Yukari instantly rushes out to be the first in line for the machine.)

Yukari: We were here first!

Touya: We teamed up…

(As Yukari and Touya argue, Yukito joins them outside. Minamo nervously looks around, hoping nobody notices her blushing face.)


(After much ado, both teams get their doll and run out to catch a taxi. Touya and Yukito get ahead.)

Touya: Best bet is to check a restaurant guide or something.

Yukito: Good idea.

Touya: Well… better lose the teachers first.

(Behind them, the teachers are keeping close tabs on the guys.)
[YUKARI & MINAMO- Best Friends / Teachers- Currently in Last Place]
Yukari: They seem to know where they’re going.

Minamo: Yeah. Away from us.

(Touya and Yukito pull over.)

Yukari: Hold up… what are they doing?

(Touya is asking a waiter at an outdoor café, who gives him verbal directions, pointing down the street.)

Minamo: Must be finding the Yoronkode.

Yukari: Great, let’s just follow them.

(Touya gets back in the cab, and Yukari and Minamo covertly follow.)

(Nearing the right neighborhood, May rolls her window down and yells out to a passer-by.)

May: Hey! Is the Yoronkode around here?

Pedestrian: Yeah, just down the street.

May: Sweet!

(They keep going down the street. Max spots the route marker.)

Max: (VO) We did really well in the Detour, and had no trouble finding the restaurant. If we can play to our strengths, and make sure our weaknesses aren’t such a big deal, we still have a shot at this.

(They depart, pay the driver, and Max takes the clue.)
[MAY & MAX- Siblings- 1st at Road Block]
Max: Road Block. This person must have no shame.

May: I don’t know about this one…

(Max hands her the clue.)

Max: I do.

May: Wow. That’s pretty direct.

Max: Yes it is. Besides, I’ve done three straight.

(May opens the clue and immediately raises an eyebrow.)

May: What the?

(Although not much taller than the plushie, the real Sumomo stands on a stool outside the Yoronkode and is programmed to announce the Road Block in her usual ridiculously cute and cheery way. She’s so cute…)
Sumomo: A Road Block is a task that only one person may perform!

(Shot of a line of Persocons, all five-foot-tall “girls” and all wearing dresses of differing color. None of them are turned on, so they have very blank stares.)

Sumomo: In this Road Block, that person will receive a Persocon of their own. The catch is that the Persocon is missing a few things- like any pre-installed software, speech recognition capabilities, or underwear. Whoever does the Road Block will have to overcome the first two in order to successfully program the Persocon to enter a local lingerie store and buy underwear. Once the sale is made, the team will receive their next clue!

(May approaches a Persocon and looks around, trying to figure out why it’s not moving.)

May: Hello? Are you this Persocon thing?

(No response. May turns to the nearest guy, which happens to be Shimbo, with Sumomo sitting on his shoulder.)

May: Hey, do you have any idea how to turn these on?

(Shimbo whispers something into May’s ear. May frowns. Max walks up to her.)

Max: So how do you turn it on?

May: Max, turn around, you’re not old enough for this.

Max: Uh… okay…

(May reaches between the Persocon’s legs and finds the on switch.)

May: I feel so dirty…

(The Persocon opens her eyes and stares blankly at May.)

Shimbo: Now you have to program it to… uh… you know.

May: Max, stay turned around. In fact, don’t look at us until I come back with the clue.

(May turns to the Persocon.)

May: Okay, come on! Let’s go get you some underwear!

Max: What was that, May?

(May holds an arm at Max.)

May: Nothing!!

(The Persocon points to Max.)

May’s Persocon: Nothing.

May: Wow, you catch on fast!

(After some coaxing, May gets the Persocon walking slowly down the street.)

May: I just need to find this place now.

(Meanwhile, just outside the door to Hideki’s apartment, our favorite Persocon Chii stands with Satoshi as Jessie and Ayla arrive. On the sign on the route marker “VIDEO GIRL AI / CHOBITS” is in large green letters, with “TOKYO” above it in small white letters. Jessie and Ayla step on the mat, rather emotionlessly.)

Satoshi: Jessie and Ayla? You’re team number one.

(Jessie nods. Ayla cracks a faint smile.)

Satoshi: What, you two ain’t happy about being first?

Jessie: That’s not it. It’s just that we aren’t really fond of finishing first this way.

Ayla: But hopefully now we can calm ourselves down and win the next leg honestly.

(They walk into the apartment. Hideki screams.)

Hideki: (VO) What the??

(Noboyuki and Tenchi arrive at the Road Block. Max is sitting at the restaurant.)
[NOBOYUKI & TENCHI- Father & Son- 2nd at Road Block]
Tenchi: Road Block. This person must have no shame. Yours!

Noboyuki: Mine!

(Noboyuki opens it and reads the details.)

Noboyuki: Lead the nearby blank Persocon to the nearest lingerie store and buy her underwear. Used the enclosed map.

Tenchi: This is right up your alley…

(Noboyuki heads to the Persocon and takes a short look at it.)

Noboyuki: Don’t think it’s turned on.

Tenchi: How do you turn it on?

Noboyuki: How else?

(Noboyuki immediately reaches under the Persocon’s dress.)

Tenchi: Dad! That’s!!

(The Persocon’s head rises and stares at Noboyuki. Tenchi walks over to the restaurant and sees Max.)

Tenchi: Hey Max, let’s get some drinks. First round’s on me.

(Noboyuki puts an arm around the Persocon’s shoulder and gently leads it away.)

(The next victim is Touya and Yukito. Touya decides to do it and heads to a Persocon. He looks at it for awhile. Touya turns to Shimbo.)
[TOUYA & YUKITO- Best Friends / Students- 3rd at Road Block]
Touya: How do you…

(Shimbo whispers in his ear. Touya frowns more than May did.)

Touya: What kind of freaks came up with this?!

Yukito: Go to it Touya!

(Touya turns it on, but immediately steps back. He has no clue what to do next.)

Touya: Okay… let’s go.

(Touya motions with his hand. The Persocon motions back. Touya puts a hand on her shoulder. She puts one on his.)

Yukito: I think she likes you!

Touya: You’re not helping!

(Touya leads the Persocon away by the hand, who struggles momentarily before being forced off. Yukari and Minamo are right behind.)
[YUKARI & MINAMO- Last at Road Block]
Yukari: This person must have no shame. That’s so you.

(Minamo is momentarily flustered, but looks over at Touya, struggling to get his Persocon to move. She takes the card.)

Minamo: I’d feel better doing this one anyway so I won’t argue.

(Minamo reads the details.)

Minamo: Yeah. Definitely better if I did it.

(With the help of a musical interlude, Minamo figures out how to turn her Persocon on. She smiles as the Persocon stares blankly.)

Minamo: Hi! I’m Minamo.

(Minamo points to herself.)

Minamo: Minamo.

(The Persocon points to herself.)

Minamo’s Persocon: Minamo.

Minamo: Uh… good!

(Minamo starts jogging away.)

Minamo: Run!

(The Persocon starts to jog towards Minamo.)

Persocon: Run…

Minamo: Good!

(Minamo checks the map briefly and starts to jog.)

Minamo: Minamo run!

(The Persocon jogs after Minamo, passing Touya effortlessly. Away from the action, Yukari joins Max, Tenchi, and Yukito at the Yoronkode.)

Yukari: (smug) My partner kicks more ass than your partners.

Max: Don’t rub it in.

(May is managing to lead her Persocon along, but she is forced to stop and check the map. The Persocon looks over May’s shoulder.)

May: Let’s see… uh oh… I don’t know where we are.

(May looks up at the Persocon.)

May: Do you have any idea?

(A blank stare is all she gets.)

May: I figured that.

(She sees Noboyuki in the distance, leading his Persocon down a different street.)

May: There’s Noboyuki! Maybe he’s going the right way! Okay, come on!

(May is forced to walk slowly, as her Persocon takes its time to go anywhere.)

(Minamo is just cruising, however, jogging along with her Persocon. She pulls out the map again to make sure, but keeps the Persocon moving at a steady pace.)

Minamo: (VO) Whoever said you need to learn to walk before you learn to run? Gym teachers don’t really believe in that sort of thing.

(Minamo approaches Noboyuki, who is still using the personal approach.)

Minamo: Hey Noboyuki, you’re taking it shopping, not convincing it to go to a love hotel.

Noboyuki: What I do with it is none of your business.

Minamo: Hope the rates are cheap!

(Minamo heads past him and into the store. She stops at a row of panties.)

Minamo: Minamo stop!

(The Persocon runs past her.)

Minamo: Right… haven’t taught you that one yet.

(Minamo gets it back before it breaks anything and carefully leads it to the rack.)

Minamo: Okay… pick up a pair.

(Minamo demonstrates. Persocon does same.)

Minamo: Good…

(Minamo tosses her pair aside and leads the Persocon to the cashier. After getting it to set the panties on the counter, Minamo quickly checks the clue again.)

Minamo: Okay… hope this works.

(Minamo looks at the Persocon and reaches into her shirt, gesturing for the Persocon to do the same. The Persocon reaches for Minamo’s shirt.)

Minamo: No! Yours!

(Minamo guides its hand into its shirt. Minamo quickly reaches back into her own and pulls out… nothing. But the Persocon follows Minamo’s lead, and pulls out a few bills. Minamo gets it to set the money on the counter. The cashier takes the money, rings up the purchase, and hands Minamo a clue envelope.)

Minamo: Yes! Great job… uh…

Persocon: Minamo.

Minamo: Sure.

(Minamo takes the clue as Noboyuki walks in. The cashier holds the panties up.)

Cashier: Ma’am! You forgot these!

Noboyuki: Can’t forget those Nyamo!

(Minamo grabs them quickly and races out.)

(Meanwhile, May is back on track, but is still struggling with her Persocon. Just behind her, Touya’s Persocon is clutching onto Touya. He’s practically dragging her along.)

Touya: Come on…

(Touya sees Minamo running back to the Yoronkode.)

Touya: How the heck did she do that?

(Touya continues to struggle with it.)

Touya: (VO) That Road Block was next to impossible. I’m not somebody who understands girls, and I don’t know robots at all. A robot girl? Forget it.

(Noboyuki manages to get his Persocon to buy the panties and he gets the clue, taking the panties with him for good measure.)

Noboyuki: (VO) I don’t know why everybody else was complaining about the challenge. Sure it wasn’t easy, but we’ve been through a lot worse than dealing with cute girls.

(At the Yoronkode, everybody else is waiting at a table for their respective partners. Yumi is serving the drinks and looks up.)

Yumi: Someone’s coming.

(Max hands her his half-empty glass.)

Max: It ain’t May- top me off.

(Yumi heads in. Yukari is elated to see Minamo run up, clue and panties in hand.)

Yukari: Oh yeah! No shame Nyamo does it again!!

(Yukari greets Minamo happily as Tenchi shakes his head, a little disappointed. Minamo opens the clue.)

Minamo: Take the panties to Satoshi at the next Pit Stop- Hideki’s apartment.

(Rapid shots to Hideki’s apartment.)
Satoshi: (VO) Teams must now head to Hideki Motsumuya’s apartment, the Pit Stop for this leg of the race.

(Yukari and Minamo excitedly run off, but not before privately asking Shimbo for directions. They hail a cab and leave. Noboyuki arrives soon afterwards. Tenchi runs up to him. Noboyuki flaunts the panties in his face.)

Noboyuki: Mission accomplished Tenchi!

Tenchi: Um… great… where are we heading?

(Noboyuki opens the clue.)

Noboyuki: Take the panties to Satoshi at the next Pit Stop- Hideki’s apartment.

(Back at the ranch, it’s a battle between May, still struggling to give good directions to her Persocon, and Touya- who has already given up on explaining anything to his Persocon.)

May: Come on… please… just a little bit more…

(Slowly, the Persocon edges forward. With occasional glances back at Touya, May makes it into the store. May leads it to the underwear display, and after several gestures, successfully gets it to grab a pair as Touya enters the store. May leads it to the register, simultaneously blocking Touya’s path to the panties.)

May: Sorry, Touya!

(Touya frowns as he steps aside to let May and her Persocon through. He makes a dash for the stash, but stops and turns around. His Persocon is slowly approaching him. He gestures for the panties. It hugs him. Meanwhile, using the same technique Minamo used, May draws the money out of the Persocon and gets the clue. She takes the panties and runs off, smiling.)

(A short cab ride later, Yukari and Minamo are at Hideki’s apartment building. They get their bags and look around nervously.)

Minamo: Do you see the guys?

Yukari: No No-kun. I think we’re in good shape.

(They run inside and see Satoshi, Chii, and the mat. Yukari hands Satoshi the panties.)

Yukari: Here you are, your royal perverted-ness.

Satoshi: You’re picking up on this game fast, Yukari.

(Satoshi takes the panties and stuffs them in his back pocket. He clears his throat, and enters his Keoghan spiel.)

Satoshi: Yukari and Minamo? You’re team number two.

Minamo: Strange way to get there, but we’ll take it.

(Yukari and Minamo high-five and head into Hideki’s apartment, much to Hideki’s chagrin. Chii looks at Satoshi, who admires Yukari’s gift.)

Chii: Chi?

Satoshi: Heh… birthday present for Arumi. She keeps losing hers.

Chii: Panties…

(After much coaxing, Touya finally gets his Persocon to buy the underwear. He gets the clue and almost collapses on the table, but he quickly recovers, and runs out to find Yukito.)

(Another gift for Satoshi, as Noboyuki hands Satoshi the panties when he and Tenchi step on the mat.)

Satoshi: It’s good to be the host…

Chii: Panties…

Satoshi: Noboyuki and Tenchi? You’re team number three.

Noboyuki: Not bad, not bad at all.

(Max and Yukito are both eagerly awaiting their partners, with Yumi watching as well.)

Max: C’mon May… c’mon May…

(Yukito remains silent. He has a faint smile, but even he is a little concerned.)

May: Max!!

(May is sprinting back to the restaurant, waving the panties and the clue. Max jumps for joy and runs out to greet her.)

Max: You did it!

May: Yeah! Hail a cab while I see where we’re going!

(Max does so as May opens the clue.)

May: Take the panties to Satoshi at the next Pit Stop- Hideki’s apartment. The last team to arrive might be eliminated.

(Max hails a cab, and quickly asks Shimbo for directions as May lugs the bags into the cab. Shimbo finishes helping Max, and the sibs jump into the cab as Touya runs up from behind. Yukito takes the first step to talk to Shimbo as Touya arrives. Shimbo gives them each directions. Touya doesn’t appear to be listening. He’s a little angry with himself. Yukito hails the cab and takes over as they get in.)

Yukito: Try to hurry please. We need to catch up to somebody.

(Montage of cab shots, until one cab pulls up to the apartment. We can’t make out who it is, until they step on the mat. A dead serious Satoshi greets them.)

May: Here you go!

(May hands Satoshi the panties. Satoshi smiles and takes them.)

Satoshi: Thanks a bunch, May!

(Satoshi sets them aside and immediately goes back to dead serious.

Satoshi: May and Max?

(Both are caught in the moment, and are a little nervous.)

Satoshi: You’re team number four.

May: Whoo! We did it!!

(They excitedly high-five, with Satoshi leaning in for a hug. May happily obliges.)

May: (VO) Surviving this leg was wonderful. We did this one ourselves, and we hung in there against the best. Now…who knows how far we can go?

(Of course… there’s the matter of Touya and Yukito. They slowly step on the mat soon afterwards. Satoshi silently collects their donation to “Arumi’s birthday fund.”)

Satoshi: Touya and Yukito?

(Touya and Yukito are both a little sad, with Touya a little angry.)

Satoshi: You are the last team to arrive.

(No reaction from them.)

Satoshi: The good news is that this is not an elimination leg.

(Touya nods. Yukito smiles in understanding.)

Satoshi: It’s the second of two, and you boys are still in this thing.

Touya: Doesn’t matter to me. I don’t know what happened on this leg, but we’re going to have to find out what it is and fix it before we get going next time.

Yukito: At least we’ll be around next time. That is the important thing. Whatever mistakes we made on this leg, rest assured that we won’t make them next time.

(Satoshi and Chii walk away. Touya looks up in the air, trying to calm down a bit. He shakes his head at the sky.)

Yukito: (thoughtful) I suddenly get the strange sense of irony…

Touya: You think?

End of Episode Nine- Hour One

Author’s Notes
There’s only two of these “combined” legs this time, as opposed to three last year. This time, these two legs are definitely put together for a reason- they both have the exact same plot. Hard-luck student who can’t score gets a stroke of divine intervention (and falls for said divine intervention instead). To be honest, I’ve only seen four episodes of Chobits, and primarily put it in the race since it was one of the most requested series… and episode four is the infamous panties debacle that just screamed out Road Block when I saw it (which was something since I wasn’t even considering AR2 at the time). Video Girl Ai is a decade older, but one of my favorite OAVs since it focuses more on the characters and the heavy teen angst.

The Digimon comparisons in this leg were done not only to help the non-mainstream-impaired, but rather to comment on something I’ve noticed in Video Girl Ai- the situation between Youta, Moemi, and Takashi is almost identical to the Tai, Sora, and Matt triangle at the end of Digimon 02 (using the commonly held exaggerations). Youta is secretly in love with childhood friend Moemi, who admits to having a crush on other close friend Takashi. Takashi (the most popular kid in school because he’s in a band) is pretty indifferent, but eventually accepts Moemi. The only difference is the divine intervention who tries to help Youta. Hmm… Mimi’s voice actress is named Ai…

Speaking of voice actresses, had to sneak in the obvious reference to Ai’s Japanese voice actress Megumi Hayashibara, since she voices Noboyuki’s wife Achika. The best part of the leg was the unique references stemming from the fact that Video Girl Ai is the only series in the race (except for the now-departed Ranma) dubbed in Vancouver, and makes heavy use of the original Cardcaptors voice actresses. Takashi thinks Yukito doesn’t sound so good since Takashi is voiced by the same guy who did Yukito’s alter-ego… er… alter-alter-ego Julian in the original dub. Also interesting to note:
Ai = same voice actress as Madison
Chii = same voice actress as Tomoyo

By now it should be apparent which character I’m doing the “in-depth character study” with. I always try to psycho-analyze a couple characters a series by tapping into hidden sides in their writing. Last year it was Syaoran. This year’s winner is Minamo. I find her to be the most complex out of all the characters in Azumanga Daioh, since her life is just as messed up as Yukari’s, but she’s not as open/comfortable about it.