THE ANIME-ZING RACE 3

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I guess scissors doesn’t always beat paper…

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Welcome to the latest installment of the Anime-zing Race, this time a leg which I was feeling guilty about doing for a couple of reasons, as I’ll explain.

When I made my original list for this, I wanted to make sure that every series I used as a leg or as a team hadn’t actually been a competitor in any way shape or form for the race. However, for this leg and indeed the next one, I broke that – mainly because I love these two series to death though. Of course, I could have changed them but believe it or not, I do plan and decided to stick with this, no matter how tempting it is to go to Kaleido Stage in the US or go to Wales to find Negi-kun’s home town.

The second guiltiness wasn’t because of the fact that I am using this leg, it’s because I stuck to my guns with the teams, even though I white lied to myself about the legs. Which meant two teams I had in the top of my head (Michelle and Maggie, or my first choice, Anita and Hisami) had to be removed. And trust me on this, with the first plan, Anita and Hisami were going to win. Seriously.

Ah well, least it makes it more open, and no-one, not even Mr. Pulver knows who is going to win! (At least he can breathe that it isn’t Taeko/Chika…damn him.)

Anyway, let’s read or dream!

* * * *

(Shot of the Gochiso ryokan, owned and run by Ruru, a.k.a. Ba-chan. It seems that Hibiki-sensei is at the girls dorms for this part (maybe to avoid people connecting) so everyone has a night at the inn, but not without a few precautions…)

(Shot of two certain perverts in Ruru’s ‘lab’ being poked in the cage by Eve as Lillith takes over host duties for this part.)

Lillith: This is the Gochiso Ryokan, the pit stop for leg 4 of the Anime-mazing race. Teams arrived here at the end of the last leg for a mandatory rest period that allows them to eat…

(Shot of Ruru’s whipping up a Chinese banquet, the heat is very intense but the brilliant smells are making everyone, in particular Naruto, Weda and Hiroyuki drool…)

Lillith: …sleep…

(Shot of Sasuke glaring at Shannon, not really forgiving each other after the siblings crack as they seem to be shown in the same room, Naruto not really trying to be peacemaker, whilst in a nearby room, Racquel, Oshige and Akari all relax, as Racquel finally begins to wear some casual clothing courtesy of Ruru…)

Lillith: …and mingle with the other teams.

(Shot of Sandora, looking rather depressed. Hale seems to be trying to cheer him up, but nothing working. Riku pats Hale on the shoulder, and realising nothing going, goes away with the elder Harada.)

Lillith: The 8 teams waiting here have no idea what's in store for them. They have to figure out for themselves how to get to the next yellow and red route marker by solving clues they'll find in sealed envelopes.

(A look at Riku and Risa, as Risa has just got up from an evening nap, it’s fairly late, but it comes with the territory of the race as the Harada’s get ready…)

Lillith: Thanks to Naruto and Sasuke’s penalty, Riku and Risa are the first team to arrive at 10.20am…

(…get set…)

Lillith: …so they leave at 10.20pm.

(And go!)

Lillith: Let the Read or Dream…er Read or Die TV…er…

Riku: Can we go?

Lillith: Huh? Oh…whatever. Go!

(The Haradas take that as their cue…as they get the clue from Ruru via the shop where she works, the Pit Stop mat about to get more footprints from it…as they do so, Riku glances at her sister…)

Riku: Risa is gaining more spirit and confidence with every leg, we couldn’t believe it when we heard Naruto and Sasuke had to get a penalty and we had the lead, so now is the time to keep it.

Risa: Head to author Nenene Sumiregawa’s house in downtown Narita, Tokyo.

Riku: Narita again?

Risa: Oh, fiddlesticks…let’s just go O.K?

Riku: I guess…

* * * *

(Cut to a young woman in her mid-twenties, normal looking with glasses, and surprisingly alone in the house. This is author Nenene Sumigerawa, our first host of the evening.)

Nenene: Teams must get the clue from me to get to their next destination….geez, it’s quiet here…

(Nenene sighs, leans back and tries to watch the television…)

Nenene: Who would have thought I would have actually missed this…hope those guys are O.K…

(They rush off, where they look at the back of the clue to see roughly where in the district of Narita she is…but it’s only the top half…)

Riku: Making things hard aren’t they? Well, if she’s an author, she may be famous, so people may know where she is. So…how do we get there?

Risa: Is Emiko-san here?

(Riku quickly looks…)

Riku: Guess not. Shin-Yokohama station it is then, though we could be a bit sleepy…

Risa: No matter…

(They start to run, though you can hear Risa groaning as soon as they leave…)

* * * *

10.22pm

HALE/WEDA – MOTHER AND SON – 2ND PLACE

(After getting the go ahead from Lillith and Ruru, the mother/son combo rush off in a blaze of glory.)

Hale: Last leg removed all the doubt I had us – we messed up previously but made up for it this leg, and now we got past that obstacle, we can go even further. We just need to stay on track…

(Hale checks his money…)

Hale: We’d have enough for a taxi, but considering how long it could take and it’s late, I’m not sure…

Weda: Aw…I wanted to drive again!

(Hale doesn’t comment…he needs to live…)

Hale: What do you think mom?

(Weda is surprised Hale asked her that…but she thinks.)

Weda: Well..with what I know of the city, at this time of night, trains can be a real pain to actually get, plus we don’t know where we are going in case so…

(Weda thinks a bit more…)

Weda: …considering we have a bit more money now, it might be worth it, considering the hint with Hong Kong dollars may mean a chance to go overseas.

Hale: So…that means we may not need Japanese yen?

Weda: Elementary my dear Hale!

(Hale takes that on board…)

Hale: Come on mom!

(Hale gets inside and asks Ruru how to contact a taxi. Ruru, through her endless amount of connections, gives Hale the quickest number. Hale thanks her, they use the pay phone on the counter and ask about trip downtown Tokyo…)

* * * *

10.27pm

OSHIGE/WAKAYOJI – WORKING PARTNERS – 3RD PLACE

Oshige: Considering the problems we’ve had just, we still need to be careful. We should either the bus or shuttle to head to mainstream areas, and take the relevant routes to Narita.

Wakayoji: Hope you’ve got your maps memorised Oshige-chan…

Oshige: Trust me Wakayoji, considering the amount of time we’ve been on the road, I could navigate through Spaghetti Junction blindfolded…

(Without going to Ruru for help, their knowledge of cities via their music connections is a help, as they plan a bit more ahead, hoping their higher position will be good for them…)

Oshige: Realising it last time how we have to be both careful and ruthless at the same time, we went ahead with our advantage of the world. I could have stayed behind for Akari-chan and Hiroyuki, but I think we are beginning to realise what this race is about, especially hearing about Pedro and Sandora…

(As they rush off, we see a cab closing in, and a mother and son duo getting their bags and dumping them to see if they can get to a passage in Narita. They show the small part of the map, and the cab driver recognises the Municipal Hall, and says if there is O.K. A double thumps up is all that is needed…)

* * * *

10.30pm

(Ruru gives Akari a wave goodbye, as the school friends head off and follow in the direction Ruru was giving them…)

Hiroyuki: So what do we do now? We have to head to Narita, and that old fool isn’t here…so we going how?

Akari: I guess…we can take the train…

Hiroyuki: And where is the station?

(Again, Ruru’s encyclopediac knowledge comes in handy as Akari goes back in and asks (Ruru even draws a little map). Hiroyuki sighs – about 25 minutes walk, could do it in 15 if he was alone and ran but with Akari…)

Hiroyuki: Let’s go Akari…

Akari: (nodding) Right Hiroyuki-chan.

Hiroyuki: I must admit, I was hoping Oshige and Wakayoji would have waited for us, as I’m sure they know more about travelling than two country school kids could. I kinda figured they would try and get ahead, but you live and hope. I’m just hoping Akari’s common sense can help, because we have a few problems last time out and with the currency this time, we can hunch about what we need to do this time…

* * * *

10.34pm

SHANNON/RACQUEL – STEPSIBLINGS – 5TH PLACE

(Shot of Shannon and Racquel, looking rather dapper in their casual clothing – Shannon is wearing a large blue T-Shirt with grey pant baggings, whilst Racquel is wearing a cut off white T-Shirt and jeans. Ruru admires the look with a sign saying ‘NICE!’ (She hides the sign saying ‘UNBECOMING’ of course…))

Shannon: So…we need to find this Nenene huh?

Racquel: Shall we take the shuttle again?

(Shannon shakes his head…)

Shannon: We’ve been here long enough to know how things work. Let’s just get there as fast as we can – at this time of night, we should be O.K now. Let’s go on a taxi and work from there…it’s not like we can’t survive without eating.

Racquel: There is Pacifica’s cooking…

Shannon: Same thing.

(The two do the Hale/Weda route as they talk with Ruru and within 5 minutes, they are also rushing off at the speed of light, just before another team can realise what they are doing…or not…)

* * * *

10.40PM – MIRIELLE/KIRIKA – WORKING PARTNERS – 6TH PLACE

Kirika: I heard a taxi screech…

Mirielle: Well, you now what they say, saru see, saru do…

Kirika: I thought it was…

Mirielle: Joke Kirika, joke. Build up some humour kid…only thing missing from you.

(They actually ask Ruru BEFORE because they know another team is about to head off, and instead of taking the call in the ryokan, they head out and look for the nearest pay phone, to make sure Naruto and Sasuke who are next to run don’t see them…)

Kirika: We did a saving bit but it was tiring, and we dropped more places. We can’t afford to drop anymore, after our flying start, we are slowly struggling. We need to get back to what we are used to…being the best.

* * * *

10.41PM (30 minute penalty) – NARUTO/SASUKE – RIVALS – 7TH PLACE

(Lillith appears for a quick reminder for the uninitiated or the ones with a short memory…)

Lillith: Last leg, Naruto and Sasuke finished the leg in 1st place. But earlier in the leg, Naruto illegally used his Kage Bushin No Jutsu technqiue during a detour. Because of this, his team were docked 30 minutes, and now languish behind the others. Ah, it’s a sad job…*pyun pyun*

(Neither rival seems too happy with each other…for obvious reasons…)

Sasuke: Let’s go dunce.

(That’s all that is said, Naruto for once doesn’t get mad…mainly because he knows Sasuke is right.)

Sasuke: To Narita.

Naruto: How?

Sasuke: Got money?

Naruto: Why?

Sasuke: Let’s just go there straight. Mirielle and Kirika headed out there to catch a taxi thinking we wouldn’t know.

Naruto: But…

Sasuke: Silly girls. Never mind that – let’s just do a little surprise shall we…

Naruto: Huh?

(Sasuke actually smiles…)

Sasuke: A way to get there without paying and to catch up…

(Naruto is confused…and even more so when Sasuke heads outside. Naruto shrugs, and follows his comrade…)

Sasuke: Naruto messed up – he knows it and I know it. But we just escaped with our lives, and we’ve learned from it. Now it’s the time to show us why we can be dangerous…and what we can really do.

* * * *

(Finally, a depressed team in last place emerges. Well, when I say team…I mean just one member…)

PEDRO/SANDORA – FATHER AND SON – LAST PLACE

Sandora: I’m pretty upset. I eliminated Chika last time, and I feel real bad. I know it was every team for ourselves, and we won that, but it still feels bad. I just hope I can put it past me…I know we have a race and I know I have to help my papa…but…

Pedro: We’re in last, so best bet is just to get there ASAP. And looks like you’re going overseas again Sandora!

Sandora: Papa, we’re Columbian. Being in Japan makes us both overseas travellers anyway…

(Pedro sweatdrops…)

Pedro: Never mind – let’s just ask Miss Ruru for the best way to get there – check our money and see if we can catch a cab, if not, we’ve go to the shuttle or the train…

(Sandora nods and goes back to Ruru, whilst in the distance, we see Mirielle and Kirika getting into the cab, unaware of something happening just above them…)

* * * *

(A quick shot shows of a map showing courtesy of Lillith, where dots are flashing as we how everyone is getting there. We see that most teams are taking a taxi, whilst three teams are actually taking a train. It seems that some are even taking interesting measures to get there…)

(Cut shot of Naruto and Sasuke, literally hitchhiking on the cab and holding on, and ignoring any weird looks they are getting…)

(Another shot of Mirielle and Kirika inside the cab, wondering what the noises above them are…)

(…it’s a long trip to Narita via taxi, but not as bad as going on the train, as three teams will soon find out…)

* * * *

10.45pm

(Shot of Riku and Risa at ShinYokohama where at the JR Yokohama line, with it being very quiet and the Haradas a bit nervous, they get some tickets from the ticket master as they realise a train is heading their way to Narita.)

Riku: In 10 minutes time though…

Risa: I don’t see anyone else behind though…

Riku: Weird, I thought we’d have seen Hale-kun rushing up just behind us, considering he runs faster than you do sis…

Risa: Funny.

Riku: No…true…

* * * *

10.55pm

(Indeed, when the train does come, the twins are getting worried, because no-one has come. They realise they must have done something else to get there, but aren’t too fussed for the moment considering they are in first place…)

(The Haradas head in (the only ones there as they sit down and wonder what the heck is going on…)

(A minute later…)

Oshige: Crap.

Wakayoji: Just missed one?

Oshige: Yeah…and the last one was about a minute ago, the next one is at 11.25. Which means we’re waiting.

Wakayoji: Oh dear…so now what?

(Oshige thinks, shrugs, sits down, slaps on a CD players and chills out to some Full Moon tunes…)

(A few minutes later, Wakayoji is saying the same news to Akari and Hiroyuki…though Hiroyuki seems a bit sore around the two adults, Akari is her normal pleasant self. Without much other choice, the two are waiting…)

Wakayoji: That was a set back and a half. Waiting means that we know there aren’t other teams coming on the train, meaning everyone has taken their own track so to speak…so that means there are some problems on the road ahead for us.

* * * *

(Fast forward to a few taxi trips, with Weda and Hale relaxing, Shannon and Racquel trying to adjust to their new clothes regime, Mirielle and Kirika still wondering what that noise above them is, Naruto trying hard not to laugh at the assassins, Sasuke just sighing, and Pedro and Sandora just hoping they can stay within the pack…)

(The added taxi speed gives a few teams better luck than others, but more on that. After a checking of the map, the first team arrives literally outside Nenene’s apartment…)

* * * *

NENENE SUMIGERAWA’S APARTMENT – 11.12PM

Hale: Is this it?


Weda: I think so…

Taxi driver: Famous author? It can only be Nenene…well, there are two in this area, but Nenene is the one that lives around here.

Hale: Thanks sir!

(They pay the man (and Weda moans about the lack of beer money before Hale drags her by the hand) before checking the route notice.)

Route notice: Nenene is a writer – so she can be visited until 2am. After that though, you disturb her and books will connect with your skull…

Weda: Pleasant huh?

Hale: Let’s go…

(The mother and son combo knock on Nenene’s door, who after a moment, answers.)

Nenene: Ah, first visitors huh?

Hale: First? Cool!

Nenene: I guess no time to visit though huh?

Weda: Sorry, but we’re busy!

Nenene: Fine.

(Nenene hands them the next clue as they look through it.)

Weda: Let’s see…find the next route marker located at the downtown book market in Jinbocho.

Nenene: (groans) Figures they’d be there…

Hale: Where’s Jinbochou?

Nenene: Not that far – take the late night bus just over the road, gets you there in about 20 minutes or find Narita station and wait for the trains, more of them, give or take a few book loving paper masters…

Hale: I take that isn’t a good thing…

Nenene: You’ll soon know…and tell that little brat she owes me for the cake!

(The two just shrug but follow Nenene’s advice and go over to wait for the late bus instead of going for the train, seeing one due at 11.25pm, they decide to stick it out, and wait to see if they see anybody else head their way…)

* * * *

11.25pm

(…once the bus does arrive at 11.25, Oshige and Wakayoji along with Akari and Hiroyuki are heading south for the winter, well not really, but heading down Narita way after a bit of a delay whilst everyone else is playing taxi driver is getting ahead of them (not knowing that) and just as Weda and Hale begin the next stage of their trip, another team gets ahead…)

Shannon: These things itch.

Racquel: Really? I think they’re cute!

Shannon: I never thought I’d say this, but I think I miss the dinosaur costumes.

SHANNON/RACQUEL – STEPSIBLINGS – 2ND PLACE

(Racquel knocks on Nenene’s door, and the same thing happens…)

Nenene: Well, from what they told me I expected you two to look kinda different…seems normal to me…then again, I can’t really say what’s normal anymore…

Shannon: If this was the effect they were looking for, I can safely say it isn’t working for me…

(After basic ‘pleasantries’ the stepsiblings escape from Nenene, go over the road and realise that there is one more bus coming, but it’s only at 11.55pm, and that will be the last one.)

Shannon: Do we risk going away knowing this is the last bus or do we go and catch a train?

Racquel: Well, we don’t know how long we’ll be waiting then either do we…

Shannon: True, but it’s about a 5 minute walk anyway, so if we go there, we should still have enough time to get back if it isn’t worth it anyway…

Racquel: Good idea.

(The two decide to head to Narita station, where three teams are heading there as we speak, whilst the other teams hope to simply angle ahead of each other…)

* * * *

11.36pm

(Coming into the midnight hour, we get two shots. One of Shannon and Racquel staying at the station and to take a Shinjuku (Mita line) train at 11.35pm to Jinbochou station, and the second of a taxi heading down towards Nenene’s apartment. It, of course, belongs to Mirielle and Kirika…)

Mirielle: I must say that the most unpleasant…

*BUMP*

Mirielle: What the hell was that anyway?

Kirika: (shrugging) Never mind – let’s just go.

(The two assassins step out…and Mirielle’s eyes widen.)

Naruto: Let’s go!

(Naruto and Sasuke run ahead to get to Nenene’s door in record time. Mirielle just gasps.)

Mirielle: Where did they…they couldn’t…

(Before Mirielle gets too involved, Kirika grabs her hand (this is the ROD TV leg, the shoujoai hints need to flow) and runs in the direction of the ninjas, who are already talking to Nenene…)

NARUTO/SASUKE - 3RD PLACE

Naruto: I messed up…and yeah…it cost us what we could have really enlarged a lead, but I must admit, Sasuke keeps a cool head, and it looks like we are still in with a chance to dominate!

Nenene: …a bus come over there at 11.55pm, it’s the last one though, and with the trains I haven’t got a clue when they come…

Sasuke: Best not risk it, besides, we don’t know at this time if we’ll be all together again…so makes sense to rest some energy…

Naruto: Right…holding onto that taxi was tough…

(Nenene raises an eyebrow but lets it go. The two ninjas go, smile at Mirielle and Kirika as Nenene explains the same thing to the girls…)

(…a few minutes later, Sasuke and Naruto are a bit unsure of what to say as Mirielle quizzes them to see if they indeed did a dangerous stunt…and Mirielle is a scary lady…)

* * * *

11.49PM

JINBOCHOU – DISTRICT BOOK MARKET

(Shot of Hale and Weda getting off the bus, and surprised at the busling atmosphere of the book market, especially of the Chinese-esque lighting. They are a little in awe, but that just gives them even more energy…)

Hale: So, we need to find the route marker in the middle of this?

Weda: Yep, come on kiddo!

(The jungle duo head into the district, which is busy but asking a few people around is good enough (they seem to know what they are up to) so it’s all good. It takes a couple of minutes, but they locate the route marker in the centre as there are around 6 book markets. They get the envelope…)

Hale: Detour. Frog or Find.

* * * *

(Cue our next host, sweetie-pie and Tomoyo clone Hisami Hishishi, also known as Hisa-chan. This 12 year old girl is a smart little lady who is just too, too cute! Hisa explains the detour, a little embarrassed…)

Hisami: A d-detour is a choice between two tasks, each with its own pros and cons. In this detour, teams need to choose between Frog and Find…

(Shot of a young girl in the book square, looking a combination of busy working on a kata, and complete bored around the book square. She’s wearing a Chinese-esque working outfit.)

Hisami: (blushing) In Frog, the teams must get a Mr. Froggy tape from Anita-chan – if they can do this, it is quicker and saves hassle, but Anita-chan has more than a few tricks to avoid people getting one…

(A cut shot of the various bookstores around Jinboucho, as Hisami explains the second choice.)

Hisami: In Find, the team will have to find two books around town, the books done by the first Young Writer of the Year, and the most recent Young Writer in the year. You avoid the possibility of getting hurt, but searching takes time…

* * * *

Hale: Hmmm…what do we do?

(We hear a Bruce Lee-esque howl from Weda, who goes into a martial art pose…)


Weda: I think it’s time to relieve some frustration…

(Weda runs off to find Anita, as Hale looks confused…)

Hale: Since when have you ever been frustrated?

(Hale runs after his mom…)

* * * *

11.52pm

(Back at Nenene’s apartment, Pedro and Sandora are getting the details from the author, and also the first book they need to find if they decide to take ‘Find’ as Nenene was the first Young Author of the Year.)

Pedro: Si…thank you miss!

Nenene: No problem…

(Suddenly a bus comes. The South Americans notice Michelle, Kirika, Naruto and Sasuke in the distance.)

Pedro: NOOOO…

Sandora: COME ON!

(Sandora doesn’t let his father do his trademark, and they tonzura. Kirika and Mirielle notice them and hurry up. Naruto and Sasuke do as well, but the bus driver doesn’t go.)

Mirielle: Hurry!

Bus driver: Sorry, here a little early, have to wait till 11.55…

Naruto: That sucks!

(Indeed, Pedro and Sandora get there with time to spare, much to the disappointment of the other teams…)

Mirielle: We still are unsure how Naruto and Sasuke got ahead of us, but the fact that now Pedro and Sandora are with us means this isn’t as good as we thought it would be.

Pedro: We needed that, a bit of luck, plus it seemed to get Sandora out of his funk. We need to be as alert as possible, we don’t want to be at the back of the pack all the time…

* * * *

11.54PM

(Shot of two people rushing into Jinbouchou after a successful train trip allowed them to get some difference on everyone else behind them…)

SHANNON/RACQUEL – STEPSIBLINGS – 2ND PLACE

Shannon: Now this…is interesting.

Racquel: My, seems like an old town…

Shannon: Well, let’s do what we normally do and explore…

(The duo find the route marker and look at it…)

Shannon: We can’t use magic can we – do you think we can get this?

Racquel: I think so…

Shannon: I wouldn’t mind looking through this world’s culture, but I know this isn’t the time. Let’s get a frog.

Racquel: Right!

(Shannon and Racquel head to find Anita, where Hale and Weda are already there…)

Anita: O.K guys, better beat me quick, child labour laws prevent me for doing this too long…

Lillith: (off screen) Like we’d let you off that easy!

Anita: (sighs) O.K, so that magic milk may be working, but still…

Weda: Quit stalling!

Anita: Fine, you want one of these then? Whatever…

Weda: I can see why that author called you little brat…

Anita: (smirks) Let’s see what a little brat can do…

(Weda tells Hale to step back, as she takes a martial arts pose. Anita does that as well, as Weda rushes in, trying to grab a Mr Froggy tape on her. Of course, it’s not that easy, as Anita jumps back, lands on one hand, springs and somersaults back…)

(…just as Hale runs up trying to grab one from behind. Anita sees it coming just and lands on the floor and rolls away.)

Anita: (dusting herself off) Wow, that was close…(looks at Hale a bit)…hmm, why do I sense a second coming of Junior?

Hale: (blushing) Um…

Weda: Stop flirting and start fighting!

Hale/Anita: WE’RE NOT!

(Resume battle. Weda is very skilled and quick, but Anita is in a league of her own in terms of agility that someone at the University Satellite or Kaleido Stage would appreciate. However, after Hale tries another rush attack, Anita rolls away but is caught by Weda who was antipicating her move, allowing Hale to grab a Mr. Froggy.)

Weda: Good job!

Hale: Yeah!

Anita: Well…you got it, the clue is inside the tape…

(They open the tape and read the clue.)

Weda: Head back to Narita and get plane tickets to Hong Kong via Narita airport.

(Hale thanks Anita, as they rush off, Anita wiping a bit of sweat, drinking a bit of the Yamibou branded milk, and her eyes raise as she sees Shannon and Racquel heading there…)

Shannon: So Hale and Weda ahead of us? Not a problem…let’s just deal with the kid first.

Racquel: You seem to be an expert in that don’t you?

Anita: Gah, we’ll see who is the kid!

(Anita resumes her stance…)

(It’s a fast and action paced fest as Shannon rushes like a mad man, with Racquel not really used to physical attacking, is surprisingly sloppy in trying to grab a Mr. Froggy tape. Anita begins running round in circles and mocking them. Shannon becomes incenced but his moves get more aggressive, which actually works in favour for Anita. Eventually, Racquel manages to rush at her, and trying to counter, she drops a Froggy. Shannon, ever the opportunist, rushes and grabs it. Anita curses, but the Scrapped Princess duo survive.)

Shannon: Geez…you’d think I’d be able to handle troublesome youngsters after dealing with Pacifica all the time…

Racquel: Well, if we hurry, we can catch up with Hale and Weda.

Shannon: Let’s see…

(One clue read, they realise they need to get a move on, with time and everything…so they tonzura…)

* * * *

12.03PM

Shannon: …so how did you guys deal with her?

Weda: Simple, Hale is a playboy…

Hale: MOM!

Racquel: (chuckles) Oh, come on, tell your big sister…

Hale: (all smiles) Hai, Racquel-nee!

Shannon: (groans) See what you started?

(The two are about to board the return train to Narita, as a stop before Narita Station stopped outside the airport, which works for them. As the two teams head on, tiredness catches in but determination just as much. And a couple of minutes later…)

* * * *

12.05PM

(Shot of two twins getting off the train, as one of three teams who didn’t take the taxi now may see the cost of that…)

RIKU/RISA – TWIN SISTERS – 6TH PLACE

(From 1st at the start of the leg, the twins don’t know how far they’ve fallen, but as they get off, just after midnight, they feel something isn’t right…)

Risa: (yawns) What’s wrong sis?

Riku: I dunno…but it seems that took longer than I expected. Let’s find this Miss Sumigerawa’s place now before anything else…

(They get off the station, and as they do, the map melts into a full map – Riku shakes her head and they follow the directions to find Nenene’s apartment…)

Riku: Something is wrong, and it was hard to point it…until we got to the apartment…

(The Haradas find Nenene’s place, and knock on her door.)

Nenene: (distant) Just a minute…damn, didn’t realise there were still other teams…

Riku: Huh?

(Nenene opens the door…)

Nenene: Hey.

Risa: Er…hi?

(A quick conversation shows that some teams have come, quite a few actually, as the Haradas worry slightly. Nenene gives them instruction how to get to Jinbochou. Instead of wasting time with the station again, they ask Nenene if they can call a cab. Nenene allows them and they head inside to use Nenene’s phone. The Haradas now are panicking…)

(5 minutes later, the cab arrives, and the Haradas ask to go to Jinboucho ASAP! Can they catch up…)

* * * *

12.20PM

(Shot of three teams getting off a bus and rushing into downtown Jinboucho, with Naruto and Sasuke ahead of the pack, Mirielle and Kirika behind them with Pedro and Sandora bringing up the rear.)

Naruto: Out of the way!

Sasuke: What’s the rush…

Naruto: I dunno, just felt like saying that…

(The ninjas make it to the route marker first and read the clue. The two smile reading it.)

Naruto: Sounds like our sort of thing…

(The two quickly choose frog, as they rush off. Once Mirielle and Kirika get there, they also don't hesitate and pick frog as well. However, they get a shock when another team makes their presence…)

Riku: (Distant) I see Mirielle! We’re catching up! Don’t slow us down Risa!

Risa: (distant) I’m tired big sis…

Riku: Sorry, no delays missy!

Risa: Slave driver…

(Indeed, they are coming from a different direction to Pedro and Sandora, as the cab was quite fast, as Pedro increases his speed to keep up. They get ahead of the Haradas, and look through it.)

Sandora: Papa, let’s go catch a frog!

Pedro: Right!

(Indeed, when the Haradas get there as well, they also pick frog and follow the South Americans…)

(…but then they see what they have to deal with…)

Naruto: KYAHHH!

(Naruto rushes in with a quick grab, but Anita backflips, lands on a rock which Sasuke promptly destroys. Anita handsprings, spins and her feet spins like a helicopter, forcing the two to defend. Naruto tries to grab, but his hand just connects with paper…)

Naruto: That’s paper?!

Anita: (smiling) Yep, this dress is made of paper, and trust me, not exactly easy to dispose of either…

Naruto: Geez…

Sasuke: (sighs) I guess scissors doesn’t always beat paper…

(Mirielle and Kirika could have joined in, but they are kind of in awe. Indeed, once Pedro and company join them, the Haradas witness it…and gulp.)

Risa: (nervous) We…have to deal…

(Riku thinks, and admits she may not be able to stop Anita. And looking at how nervous Risa is, she changes her mind.)

Riku: Come on sis, let’s do the other one.

(Risa hurriedly agrees, much to Riku’s disappointment…but relief.)

Riku: Seeing that, I know we can’t deal with that. Risa wouldn’t know what to do, and despite my athletic skills, I can’t keep up with that agility, hell, I don’t think even Niwa-kun could keep up with that!

(Back at the event, Sasuke finally gets a Mr. Froggy (and applause from everyone there). Sasuke smiles.)

Sasuke: You’re pretty good.

Anita: (out of breath) Same here…

(She bumps fists with Naruto and Sasuke, the two read the clue and nod. Naruto waves back at Anita as they head to find the train station. Anita prepares herself as Mirielle and Kirika rush up ahead (and Pedro and Sandora still in shock) as the Haradas go back to find a couple of books…)

* * * *

MAIN LIBRARY SQUARE – JINBOCHO

(Riku and Risa get a little help from the book preparatory staff and Hisami, and using Riku’s quick mind, they figure because of the earlier connection that they need to find the first book by Nenene. Risa and Riku begin searching a couple of bookstores and find one quite easily. However, the second one is a lot more difficult, as no-one seems either unable or willing to supply the information on the most recent Young Writer of the Year…)

Risa: Dammit, whose the brat whose book we are going to find?

(A girl sneezes, and feels a little sad…she is a lot closer than you may think…)

(As Risa does something unique to her and actually want to find a book, Mirielle and Kirika finish up with Anita as Mirielle does a forward thrust to knock Anita off her balance, as Kirika handsprings and in one unique movement, leaps, somersaults and grabs a Mr. Froggy tape. Anita grabs a breath, and a swig of milk but not long as Pedro and Sandora (now recovered from shock) quickly try to take advantage of a tiring Paper Master.)

Kirika: Back we go?

Mirielle: Yeah – let’s be quick, don’t know how far ahead the ninjas are from us now…

(The Noir duo rush off, as Pedro finally gets to show what he has learned from Nabeshin (still can’t use the Nabehameha though) with a Ranma-esque Chestnut Fist. Anita amazingly manages to avoid a Froggy getting caught, as Sandora tries to sweep her off her feet. She handsprings, launches herself in the air, corkscrew spins and lands in such a way that the impact hits dust in the two men’s eyes.)

Anita: That all you got?

(Pedro snarls, and rushes again. Anita holds them off for a couple more minutes before tiredness kicks in and she slows down, allowing Sandora on a lucky sweep to take her down and grab a Mr. Froggy from her.)

Anita: Ow…hope there isn’t much more, I don’t care what they say, I wanna sleep…

(Pedro and Sandora read the clue, nod, and rush as best as they can, also quite tired after that bit of exercise….)

* * * *

12.30PM

(It takes a while…but suddenly they realise the significance of the people around, and indeed of the signs inside the shop. After Riku actually gets smart and looks for a magazine around writers, she realises what is going on…)

(…and gets Risa to apologise to someone…)

Risa: (embarrassed) Sorry!

Hisami: No, it’s O.K!

Riku: I guess these will surfice…

(Yep, this years Youngest Writer of the Year is none other than Hisami Hishishi. After getting the nod, Hisami hands them the clue, as Riku and Risa realise how long that took and that they are back at square one…)

Riku: Let’s hope we met them at the station…

(Speaking of stations…)

NARITA AIRPORT – STATION STOP

(Two teams on complete opposite circles of lifestyle drop off a the airport, a bit tired but now have another job to do…)

Hale: O.K, how the heck do we get a plane to Hong Kong at this time?

(A quick look around night filled Narita airport shows it still quite busy, as Weda (who seems to know what she's doing, locates around the terminals for late flights around Hong Kong…Shannon and Racquel DON’T know what they are doing, and just follow the Jungle Duo. Weda looks a little peeved, but Hale seems to not mind it. Weda just let’s them tag along as she looks through a terminal station and locates 3 areas of late flights to Hong Kong.)

Weda: O.K, there is one from 1.15am…on terminal 11B. With it being late, looks like the terminal queues won’t be a problem, we should make it on time.

(They follow Weda, and indeed it’s certainly not that bad, so they plump themselves behind the nearest person.)

Racquel: Thanks for this.

(Weda snorts slightly but sighs.)

Weda: We’re still competitors, but I figured no real point hiding from you guys considering you’re likely going to be on the same flight anyway.

Shannon: Thank you.

Hale: Come on Shannon-ni, Racquel-nee!

Weda: (smiles) Besides, allows me to let him call you that…

Shannon: (groans) So that was the reason…

(The two queue up, and it isn’t too long before they are through. They advise that the last late flight is at 6am, meaning that this terminal will terminate at 1.30am.)

Hale: That means…

Shannon: If no-one else gets here before 1.15, we could have quite a lead on our hands.

(The four of them agree on something, they pray that none of the other teams make it on time…)

* * * *

12.40PM

Naruto: Geez…that was close…

Sasuke: Good work dunce.

Naruto: I’ll let you off for calling me that this time…

(Looks like Naruto and Sasuke actually made it before the train took off, and after Mirielle and Kirika could get on it. Now that have to wait another 35 minutes…enough time for others teams to catch up…well, almost…)

* * * *

12.45PM

(…And after all that, there are two teams WAY behind…)

OSHIGE AND WAKAYOJI – WORKING PARTNERS

AKARI AND HIROYUKI – CHILDHOOD FRIENDS

JOINT LAST PLACE

NENENE’S APARTMENT

Nenene: Cutting it a bit late aren’t you guys?

Oshige: Please…don’t ask…

Nenene: Right, right…just take a cab up the road if you can or catch the train…not sure how many are left…

(The foursome look at their yen and nod…)

Akari: We can combine and just share a cab…

Wakayoji: Not like we’ve got much of a choice now is it?

Oshige: If it’s O.K with you Miss Sumigerawa…

(Nenene nods and gets on the phone as the foursome sigh…)

Oshige: At the back, and we’re working together…not looking good is it?

Hiroyuki: Shall we just say, after this, anything goes?

Wakayoji: Sure…

Akari: (a bit nervous) Um….O.K…

Wakayoji: I think we decided that if we are at the back, and if we remain there, we have to take it one step at a time now – because one of us will be eliminated at this rate. So after we share this taxi, we’re going solo. I think they knew that as well…

Akari: It hadn’t occurred to me until they mentioned it at the fact that we could get eliminated. Now it makes me more nervous than ever not to let Hiroyuki-chan down…

* * * *

12.54pm

Oshige: (yawns) This is getting rather eerie…

Wakayoji: A book town?

Hiroyuki: Try a ghost town…

Akari: Scary…

(We can see the route marker ahead, just off screen, we see Lillith handing Anita a cocoa, and on the other side Eve giving Hisami some hot chocolate. And anyone else see the shoujo-ai meter rocket for this chapter with Yamibou, Noir and RODTV in the same arena?)

Oshige: O.K…what do we do?

(The two teams get the clue in the getting quieter route marker, but the lights are on so it’s business as usual for the guys and gals working. Oshige and Wakayoji are first to get the clue…)

Wakayoji: Detour…Frog or Find.

Oshige: Hmm…well, which is quicker?


Wakayoji: Frog…but sounds dangerous.

Oshige: Well, if I can calculate, considering how late it is, god knows where we’ll be, so I’d just take my time…besides, not like these guys will try danger, so let’s go for find, eh guys?

(Quiet.)

Oshige: Guys?

(Shot of Hiroyuki making a beeline for Anita. Akari turns out, bows and apologises before following her beau…)

Oshige: Sneaky…

(Despite that, they take find…and for another reason…)

Oshige: Keeping in current affairs is important in our line of business, so as soon as I saw what Find was about, I knew what I had to do. I knew that Nenene was the first person who won the YWA and it wasn't until I looked through the clue that I noticed Hisami Hishishi on the side – heh, can’t fool me when finding cute, talented little girls – though I guess considering how talented Mitsuki is as a songwriter as well, it isn’t that far of a stretch…

(So Oshige and Wakayoji have a bigger advantage than Riku and Risa did, but they still have to navigate the book stalls. Hiroyuki and Akari on the other hand, take the straight approach…)

Anita: Geez…and I was getting ready to turn in for the night…you guys are lucky…

Hiroyuki: Akari, stay back…I’ll take her on.

Akari: Hiroyuki-chan…

Hiroyuki: Don’t worry, remember, I helped Aoi-chan in her training, what can go wrong? She can’t be as tough as Aoi-chan…

(Hiroyuki rushes in, Anita casually trips Hiroyuki up as he flies off 6 feet away from the intended target…)

Akari: Oh, Hiroyuki-chan…

(Hiroyuki, unfazed, stands up and rushes again…)

Hiroyuki: TORRRRRRYYYYYYYYAAAAAAA!

(Hiroyuki, in a similar way to how he got past the Yuki fan girls, makes rushed grabs for Anita’s Mr. Froggy tape. Anita seems to dodge him easily but Hiroyuki’s basic martial arts skills are counting for something. After a couple of misjudged thrusts, it shows that Anita is tiring after a long night. Hiroyuki finally gets lucky with an open palm which gets by Anita’s defense and forces her to fall. Hiroyuki quickly grabs Mr. Froggy tape before the girl can kick him in the head…)

Hiryouki: Got it!

(He rushes back to Akari before he can recover and they go through the clue, as Anita sighs, takes her cocoa and gets ready for a good night sleep. The two however are unsure what to do considering the time…)

Hiroyuki: Let’s head to the station and see if there are any trains…if not, start looking for somewhere to stay…

(As they run, Oshige grabs a book known as ‘The Tale of the Honest’ which appears to be Hisami’s first book.)

Oshige: Geez, nearly sold out huh…well, you’re mine now my pretty…

Wakayoji: Oshige-chan, stop scaring the girl…

Oshige: Sorry.

(Hisami just giggles, as Oshige hands over the two books after Oshige founds a Nenene work. After confirming they can get through, they get the clue and look through it. Coming to the same conclusion as Hiroyuki and Akari, they head off to the station…)

* * * *

1.05am

(A mistake at the terminal…Hale and Weda along with Shannon and Racquel waiting outside it, just talking. Hale has his game boy out with his Pokemon rip-off game (won’t beat Chinpokomon), yawning occassionally but hey, he’s a game addict, he’s used to it) whilst Weda tries not to be tempted by the off-airport bar.)

Shannon: It’s time to board I think…

Racquel: Yep.

Hale: Huh…damn, I needs that Meta-X, it’s a toughie…

Weda: Come on Game-kun…

Hale: Fine…just don’t turn the power off this time…

Weda: Trust me Hale, we’re not getting bananas…

(They are heading towards the terminal…just as Naruto and Sasuke park their heads around the corner…)

Naruto: THERE THEY ARE!

(Shannon twitches, Racquel looks confused, Hale yawns and Weda waves. Either way, the insane speed of the ninjas make it to the terminal in record time, where the formerly sleep receptionist is now wide awake…)

Naruto: Excusemepleasecanwehavetheplaneto…

Sasuke: Slow down…this is the plane to Hong Kong right?

Receptionist: Er…yes…

Sasuke: Great. Sasuke Uchina and Naruto Uzumaki – reporting for Hong Kong.

Receptionist: O.K, checking you in, hurry, it’s about to go in under 10 minutes…

Naruto: Yosha! Let’s go!

(The ninjas rush in, as Shannon visibly shudders…)

Shannon: Of all teams…

(The three teams join in the flight (which has more people on than expected for the time) as Hale looks nervous as he never seems to enjoy flights, Guu on board or not. Sasuke glares at Shannon as well as the duo with a good sibling relationship compared with the one which…well…doesn’t…seem to pout.)

Shannon: Sasuke just irked me the moment that he mentioned how not everyone can have a good sibling relationship. It’s not my fault his took a turn for the worst, but it’s like he wants his angst to flow around everyone. And Naruto…well…he’s just a moron.

Sasuke: Shannon is a threat, no questions ask. That dunce of a sister he has as well just reaffirms though that there is always a bad egg in a family tree…a feeling I know only too well. In the end though, I just don’t like him…

(Hale sits down, trying to relax, and Weda puts her arm around him.)

Weda: Hale, let’s try and get some sleep O.K?

Hale: Mom…

(A stewardess (Excel Saga: Flight attendant! Only ES fans will get that joke, but that’s my one-liner for the episode) comes over and asks if they can have anything. Weda nods and asks for a small spritzer and a blanket for Hale. Hale is already asleep as Weda looks over her son, and ignores the daggers of angst baring from the Shannon/Sasuke combo…)

Weda: It’s not like I’m going to change my lifestyle, but seeing how strong we’ve gotten when we work together, I can sense a trend into this family work. I mess up, we do bad. He messes up, we do bad. We both mess up, we do bad. We both kick ass, we kick ass. Simple.

(Weda sips at her drink as the 6 hr trip to Hong Kong makes it’s way…)

* * * *

1.15am

(Shot of a train passing through as a plane just is about to take off, these teams having no idea on how far they will be behind…)

Mirielle: Well, guess we best be off.

Pedro: Si senorita…er Sandora?

Sandora: (half asleep) Gomen Chika-chan…had to do it…really sorry…

Riku: Poor kid. Still feels upset?

Risa: (half asleep) Dark-san…ignore her…I’m still here…

Riku: On the other hand…

*BOP!*

Risa: OWWW!

Riku: …have no sympathy for wayward sisters.

Risa: Meanie!

(They get on the train as it processes in, as the teams behind them are still a few minutes away so have missed this train. There is another one (the last one) at 1.50am, but it means it’s a long wait…but that is for ALL of them, bar three other teams…)

* * * *

1.30am

(A quick shot of the terminal supplying trips for Hong Kong now closing. On the plane, Hale is already sleeping as is Naruto, Weda finishing off her drink and deciding to try and catch 40 winks, Sasuke in concentration, whilst Shannon is wide awake, which is not the same for his sister Racquel, who is smiling as she lightly snores. It’s plenty of time for them to catch some zzzzzs, especially considering the others teams have a long time to wait…)

* * * *

1.35am

(Indeed, by the time they get there, whilst still open for some ongoing, outgoing and returning flights in Narita airport, they are about to find out the bad news…)

Kirika: Sorry Mirielle.

Mirielle: (sigh) Not your fault, guess even air traffic control have to sleep…

Riku: Why start now?

(No terminals to Hong Kong at 6am. Indeed, a very similar voice to Lillith seems to enjoy mocking the 3 teams stuck at the airport saying ‘ATTENTION: ALL RACE COMPETITORS INTENDING TO GO TO HONG KONG. I’M SORRY TO ANNOUNCE THAT ALL REMAINING OUTGOING PLANES TO HONG KONG HAVE DEPARTED, AND THE NEXT ONE WILL COME AT 6AM. YOU MAY REGISTER AT THE RECEPTION DESK SO YOU CAN PASS STRAIGHT THROUGH…IN OTHER WORDS, SORRY SLOWPOKES, WE’RE CLOSED! NYAH!)

(Kirika shoots a post-Chloe glare at the intercom. It promptly fizzes and shuts down. And the rest of the people there also seem to feel the effect of uber-Kirika…)

Risa: Scary…

Riku: I think we tend to forget just what Mirielle and Kirika do for a living – and every so often, that persona comes out. I know they are trying to act friendly and all, but in the back of our minds, we know what they can do…and frankly, it frightens me.

(The three teams know they have to do something until 6am…namely sleep.)

Risa: (yawns) First good idea of the night…

Mirielle: Can we camp here?

Riku: Just don’t lose our place in the queue…

(As Chloe cuddles up to Kirika…I mean Chikage cuddles up to Yotsuba…gah, I mean Haruka cuddles up to Kaname…gah! And you thought we’d run out of ADV references with it being a few Geneon legs now…O.K, try again…we see Sandora plop down first, then Risa, Mirielle sits by her, then Kirika, then Riku and finally Pedro.)

(Shot of Risa and Sandora quickly to sleep, but the others aren’t as tired, mainly because Kirika and Mirielle are wide awake, and the fear Riku said earlier may slowly be realising the fact they will be sleeping in a terminal queue with two professional assassins. Something tells me there won’t be much sleep tonight…)

* * * *

1.50am

(A split shot of Oshige and Wakayoji, along with Hiroyuki and Akari, both quite tired but still capable…well mostly…(close shot of Akari literally being dragged onto the train) and the conductors looking a little tutting at the youngsters.)

Oshige: God knows what is going on…I need a coffee…

Wakayoji: Wait till we get to the airport, and pray that there are some insane late night planes otherwise we’re sleeping there…

Hiroyuki: Sleep…what’s that?

Akari: (drowzy) Sleep…sleep…

Hiroyuki: Don’t pass out of me please…

(Oshige watches Hiroyuki fuss over Akari like a pet dog, as the manager broadens her grin…)

Oshige: I think I’m enjoying seeing Hiroyuki as a rival now, but it’s just SO obvious that the two of them are more than just friends. It’s just neither want to admit it…maybe I can give them a little push in the right direction…

* * * *

2.12am

(…we see Pedro, awake, and up for the coffee machine. In the queue, they all seem to be asleep now…)

Pedro: Rats…change…

????????: Here you go.

Pedro: Oh thanks sen…

(A smiling Wakayoji hands Pedro 50 yen. Pedro seems a little shocked, but doesn’t go for his catchphrase…especially when he sees the sight…)

Pedro: Excuse me…

Oshige: (all smiles) Isn’t it cute?

Hiroyuki: Oy…don’t keep saying that…

Oshige: But it is! And you’re blushing!

(Shot of a red Hiroyuki carrying Akari in his arms, fast asleep. Oshige and Wakayoji are carrying their bags, but Oshige can’t resist one more dig at Hiroyuki…)

Oshige: Hiroyuki…

Hiroyuki: Yeah…

Oshige: …kiss her!

(Hiroyuki nearly drops her…causing Akari to stir, but not awake. Hiroyuki sighs, glares daggers at Oshige who just laughs. Pedro escorts the foursome over to the rest of the misfits…)

Wakayoji: So we caught up…

Pedro: Not quite senor.

Wakayoji: I see. Hale and Weda, Shannon and Racquel, and Naruto and Sasuke. Is it wishful thinking to say they got lost somewhere?

Pedro: Si.

Wakayoji: Oh well.

Oshige: Guess we wait and try to sleep…get your sleeping bags out …(sly)…though if you want to share it with Akari-chan, we certainly won’t mind…

(Hiroyuki sighs, but he does put Akari down gently. Pedro gets some spare blankets as Hiroyuki thanks him. A slight stirring wakes up Mirielle…)

Mirielle: Ah…(yawns)…visitors?

Oshige: Sorry…don’t let us disturb you…

Mirielle: Ah…you guys booked in?

Oshige: Yeah. We kinda figured the time.

Mirielle: Fine…just put up your feet and try and catch some sleep…going to be a long night…

(Oshige nods as Wakayoji gets out a futon, running out of benches. Now Oshige blushes, and Hiroyuki notices immediately…)

Hiroyuki: (grins) And you were saying…

Oshige: (poutly) Oh shut up…

(The two teams that could be friends/more than friends seem to make an agreement for now, and try to get a few hours sleep…)

* * * *

5.40am

(No embarrassing moments for Sandora or indeed anyone this time – as we cut shots to the stirring teams at the terminal, whilst at the plane, we can see that everyone is now fast asleep. No such luck for our hapless teams at the terminal, though they may have an advantage of getting more sleep on the plane…)

(We see Wakayoji, drinking coffee, fully awake. A quick glance at the spread out and obviously uncomfortable teams, with Oshige now sleeping with Akari, Hiroyuki lighting snoring off camera, with Mirielle the only other person awake, as she stretches, re-adjusts her light, and nudges her partner.)

Mirielle: Hey.

(Kirika stirs slightly before her eyes adjust, she rubs her eyes as Mirielle shakes her partner to get the cobwebs out of her head…)

Mirielle: Time to get up sleeping beauty…

Risa: (in her sleep) Hai…

Riku: (not quite in her sleep) Trust me…I don’t think she was talking about you…

(Riku stirs, obviously even early riser Riku isn’t used to this, but as Pedro also begins to stir, they look at the time, check they’ve still got their passes to head over to the first plane…)

Oshige: So…more sleep when we get there?

Pedro: (yawns) Sounds good…

(The teams try not to reflect that they haven’t changed clothing in 24 hours (sounds like a Murder Game clue…^_^) and realise they could do with a shower, but a race doesn’t stop for the weary, and they are quickly at the terminal which seemed to open at 5.30am. After confirming the plane is ready to depart at 6, the teams give a tired exclamation, knowing in the satisfactions of getting another few hours sleep, they have given their rivals a lot more time to get ahead…)

* * * *

7.25am

(Indeed, whilst they try and sleep…)

HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Weda: I’m so proud of you Hale, you actually survived the whole trip without one panic attack!

Hale: Yes…now if I just lose the nervousness and anxiety of when I get back…oh, and the fact that those guys behind us are giving me the creeps…

(Shot of Sasuke and Shannon not really talking, but giving an aura which even seems to have Naruto spooked. Racquel could be as well, but can’t tell over that Kasumi-like face…)

Sasuke: Naruto.

Naruto: Er…yeah…

(Before anyone can react, the ninjas burst ahead, searching for the route marker. The two other teams begin running, with Shannon and Racquel getting ahead of the younger duo. With over 4 and a half hours advantage over their rivals though, you wouldn’t think they’d need to worry about rushing, but every second counts after all…)

(The ninjas however have one disadvantage which Shannon and Racquel also find to their displeasure…their lack of airport communication.)

Naruto: Where the hell…

Shannon: It’s not hard to find, big stripey marker with colours…

Sasuke: So how come you can’t find it?

Racquel: He’s colourblind.

(Shannon ignores that, as Naruto actually makes an intelligent remark…)

Naruto: Hey, where’d the brat and his mom go?

(Indeed. It seems Weda on the other hand has a natural ability to get through heat infested, busy crowds in an early morning at a respected airport…)

Weda: Move it, out of the way, VIP with child coming through, MOVE IT, MOVE IT!

Hale: Mom…you’re embarrassing me…

Weda: You didn’t seem to mind when Belle was doing that…

Hale: That’s because Belle would kill anyone that got in her way…

(Despite Hale’s embarrassment, Weda’s ‘don’t try this at home despite it’s effectiveness’ way of getting through the airport reaps it’s reward as they are the first to find the route marker whilst Shannon-tachi are still lost in the sea of masses…and it’s actually not in the airport, but rather outside in the parking lot)

Hale: Mom, promise me we won’t do that ever again…

Weda: Hmmm…I’ll think about it…

Hale: Why am I worried whenever she say’s that?

(The route marker is in fact on one of several vehicles – each vehicle which has a Lillith bumper sticker on it to be precise – and the clue is attached to the steering wheel inside. Weda picks her car and quickly snaps up the clue.)

Weda: Go straight to the 3 Paper Sister’s Agency – their apartment is located…blah blah…

(Hale doesn’t listen – he’s too busy freezing up on the fact his mom is driving again. Meanwhile…)

Shannon: Didn’t really get used to it before…

Racquel: Shall I drive then?

(Shannon thinks about it…for a whole second.)

Shannon: Let’s go…

(As Shannon doesn’t go into why he thinks Racquel driving would be a bad idea, Naruto also fears the worst…)

Naruto: I hope Iruka-sensei’s driving has improved…

Sasuke: Is that what it’s called in this world? I thought it looked like Jiriya’s jutsu…only messier…

Naruto: I guess it’s messier once you begin to hit things…

(The ninjas escape, ready for the next part of their trip…)

* * * *

(The other two teams get to their cars after Weda, Iruka comes out to meets Naruto and Sasuke as they choose a vehicle…)

Naruto: Let’s go!

Iruka: Where to boys?

Naruto: The 3 Paper Sisters Detective Agency!

Sasuke: Preferably in one piece…

Iruka: Huh?

Naruto: For the record, he said that.

Sasuke: For the record, I just echoed what you were thinking.

Naruto: Damn Sharingan…

Sasuke: Like I needed it to read those thoughts…

(Shannon and Racquel, a bit behind them after their navigation skills around masses of people once again leave them in shambles, arrive in the main lot searching for their vehicle. After finding it, they quickly head off behind the two leaders, with Iruka getting ahead of Weda, until the early HK traffic comes into play…)

Naruto/Hale: NO SHORTCUTS!

Iruka/Weda: Party pooper…

* * * *

(We quickly cut back to the plane as pretty much all the teams are taking advantage of a few more hours sleep than the winning teams have, however we can clearly see that a few members are awake, and just trying to make the most of what they’ve got…or in some cases, just damn excited to be going to Hong Kong…)

Pedro: I know…it’s certainly not the first time out of the country, but it’s just an experience to go to a different culture and try new things…

Mirielle: Yeah, I mean we do a lot of travelling in our line of work, but it’s not like we get much change to enjoy the scenery…

Pedro: (sweatdrops) Si, I think I can understand that…

(A collective shudder is met with most of them as Mirielle wonders if this assassin tag is really hurting their popularity…)

Wakayoji: Travelling isn’t always a good thing…trust me on that…

Mirielle: I can believe you.


Wakayoji: Oshige-chan and I have had our fair share of travel burdens…one in particular on a trip to America…

(Wakayoji sighs…)

Wakayoji: Sometimes what you most look forward to can be your worst memory…

Mirielle: (a bit guilty) Sorry…

Wakayoji: (shakes his head) No, it’s not your fault Bouquet-san, it’s just that recently, things have been…quite hectic in our line of work.

Mirielle: (leans over to where Kirika is sleeping) I think I can safely say I know how you feel.

Pedro: (looking over at Sandora) I think I can safely say that too…

(As they see if they can order some coffee, after all, they’ve all got their own tales to tell (and I’m not going to spoil them for once) we return to the three teams where we can comment about something happening…)

* * * *

Hale: Go left!

Weda: Right!

Hale: No, le…never mind.

(Navigator Hale-kun follows the maps instructions on the clue, but it’s not exactly an easy way to get through to the Paper Sisters apartment in busy morning traffic, and trying to find any possible shortcuts are not easy, especially for three travelling teams who haven’t been to Hong Kong before. Iruka on the other hand seems to be fairing a little better…)

Naruto: (sulks) So you don’t want my directions then…

Iruka: Yes, but if it were up to you, we’d be going in every Ramen shop in a 5 mile radius!

Naruto: (anime tears) B-but I wanna try true blue Hong Kong ramen…

Sasuke: Go straight.

(Naruto continues to sulk as Sasuke forges ahead, whilst Shannon and Racquel try to keep up with them…)

Shannon: I don’t like these traffic lights…if we had them in our world Pacifica would have been killed at least 6 times every day…

Racquel: I know, troublesome things aren’t they….

(Indeed. It’s roughly a 40 minutes journey to the sisters agency, made worse by three teams which driving isn’t their first language and traffic congestion. Plus they don’t want to avoid any penalties (a feeling Naruto and Sasuke know all too well) so they aren’t being too overly-cautious…)

* * * *

8.25am

THREE PAPERS SISTERS AGENCY

(…they are very surprised when they get there for the first time, it isn’t a fancy block, home or hotel…it’s indeed a very run down lot of apartment.)

Naruto: This is where a detective works?

Sasuke: Glad we don’t do that line of work…

NARUTO/SASUKE – RIVALS – 1ST PLACE

Sasuke: Well, at least we got here in one piece…

Naruto: (shudders) Please, no more shonen…

Sasuke: Wrong one piece…and come on, I saw you with that doujinshi that Watabe kid dropped!

Naruto: It just slipped out! I saw Sakura-chan on there and…

Sasuke: Hentai.

Naruto: IT WASN’T LIKE THAT! IT WAS JIRIYA’S, AND IT WASN’T HENTAI! IT WAS SAKURA WITH HI…

(Naruto stops himself…)

Naruto: Erm…anyway…

(Before Sasuke wonders what the heck goes on and certain Naruto fanboys get sore hands, we cut to the route marker which simply says…)

Naruto: …go inside the apartment and search for your next clue there.

Sasuke: Huh?

Naruto: Follow the note…

(The ninjas go upstairs as they enter the apartment, and find a note written in English, Chinese and Japanese all says ‘Paper Sisters Agency’. They are about to open it…)

(…but a creaking sound stops them…)

Naruto: I don’t like the sound of that…

(Indeed, hit the dirt, as the door collapses and a huge wave of books collapses onto our haphazard heroes. Sasuke emerges with about a thimbleful of dignity, Naruto even less than that…)

Naruto: O.K…

(The two rush in and find…more books…and not much else…)

?????: Um, hello…

(…oh wait. Under a teepee of books we see a cramped person reading a book. Her face is fairly pale, her cramped condition shows she’s is quite tall, and like another tall person in Azumanga Daioh (who this character according to the director is sometimes referred to), gets embarrassed easily…this is Maggie Chueng, the eldest of the three paper sisters in the agency.)

Naruto: Er…hello?

Sasuke: Clue?

Maggie: In there…

Sasuke: Where?

(Maggie points in the direction of…the books.)

Maggie: In there.

Naruto: You’re kidding…

(Maggie shakes her head and resumes reading. Naruto and Sasuke look at each other for a moment…AND bury themselves in books looking for a clue inside one of the books…)

Sasuke: Patience training dunce…

Naruto: Dammit…

(Sasuke and Naruto search inside the books, and to be fair it doesn’t take them long to actually find a clue. It’s attached to a piece of paper (attached by Maggie) and as soon as they find one, it gets de-attached. Naruto snatches the clue.)

Naruto: Road Block: This person must be in full control.

* * * *

(We now take a shot at the top of the apartment, where the girl who everybody should have as a sister is introducing the Road Block. She is the middle sister, Michelle Chan, the pretty, bubbly, blonde, lover of all things cute, surrogate big sister (she wishes) to Junior and Hisami and altogether kick ass long range ditzy idol (long range as in her attacks, Anita is close and Maggie is like the ‘summoner’ of the trio to quote an RPG term). And she’s our lovely host for the road block.)

Michelle: (excited) A Road Block is a task that only one person may perform. In

this Road Block, that person must...

(She just squeals!)

Michelle: Oh come on, I just want to see Hale, Sandora, Akari and Chika!

Lillith: Chika got eliminated.

Michelle: Huh?! Ooohhh…

Lillith: …just introduce the leg, I have enough problems with another blond ditzy sister…

Michelle: (humphs) Very well…

(Michelle continues, a little bit disappointed but still with a bright smile…)

Michelle: …that person must be able to shoot an arrow created at a target 100 yards anyway. However, we’ve made it a little more difficult…

(100 yards away is indeed her little brother (if she had her way) Junior-kun! Junior is another in the Chiriko/Hale/Nakahito mold, a young boy with very feminine features which just enhance him being adorable to Michelle. He’s a dangerous fighter though, but again, for once, I refuse to spoil anything…)

Junior: (embarrassed) Miss Michelle…

Michelle: …oh sorry Junior-kun! You’re fine with this though right?

Junior: I…I guess…

(Junior is nervous/embarrassed but Michelle continues again…)

Michelle: …as they have to shoot Junior-kun here. Don’t worry, he’ll be fine…but they won’t know that…plus they have to control their thoughts to actually create the arrow and shoot Junior – a double whammy. Of course, I’ll be helping them, but the firing must be done by their own will…

* * * *

Naruto: Well…

Sasuke: …I’ll do it.

Naruto: Hey, you’ve done the last two!!!

Sasuke: What you’ve just said proves it should be me.

(Naruto seethes, proving Sasuke further, but the Chidori specialist just ignores him. The kyubi sealed ninja nearly kicks a book in frustration, but something about Maggie makes him stop. He just follows him out…)

(…just as Hale and Weda crawl out of the sea of books just outside…)

Hale: Been a while since I’ve been looking through books…

Weda: Hello? Clue-chan?

(Sounds too similar to Guu-chan and Hale panics…but seeing Maggie…he relaxes…slightly…)

Maggie: Somewhere in there…

(Hale gets to work, whilst Weda casually gets a couple of books searching for a clue…)

* * * *

ROOFTOP

(Naruto watches as Sasuke takes his position as Michelle creates a bow with a quiver for Sasuke.)

Sasuke: That’s pretty good chakra…

Michelle: Huh?

Sasuke: Never mind.

(Sasuke prepares to aim, but suddenly the paper collapses. Sasuke looks confused…)

Sasuke: I’m not nervous, trust me, shooting someone isn’t something I won’t be averse to…

Michelle: Scary…you guys aren’t from a cute show right?

Naruto: Excuse me that Sasuke isn’t Sakura-chan…

Michelle: Oh, that cute magic girl?

Hale: (outside) WRONG SAKURA-CHAN! HE’S TALKING ABOUT THE ONES WITH THAT CUTE NINJA SAKURA, THE THREE OTHER GIRLS, THAT DOG…

Michelle: KYYYYAAAAHHHH!

Sasuke: Can we get on with this please?

Michelle: Meanie.

(Another quiver and arrow forms, as they realise Hale and Weda are just behind them. Sasuke however fails again, as Michelle tuts.)

Michelle: You need to create your own concerntration and aim for the target. I can’t do that for you.

Sasuke: I’m trying…

(Sasuke tries again, visibly struggling…)

Sasuke: This is different from chakra training – I couldn’t use that in case it showed as cheating, and doing something without it’s aid in a magical or powerful sense…and the fact that Hale was breathing down my neck…made this very difficult…

(Indeed, the mother/son duo don’t mess around as Hale takes the road block, and of course…)

Michelle: SO CUTE!

(Michelle pinches his cheeks as Weda chuckles with her ‘ladykiller’ line as Hale tries to speak…)

Hale: Can ci cave che coad clock clease?

Michelle: Eh?

Hale: (realising from Michelle’s iron grip) Can I have the road block please?

Michelle: Sure cutie-pie!

(Hale gets it and nods. Michelle creates another quiver, and Hale aims towards Junior…and doing so a lot better than Sasuke!)

Hale: It’s like a video game, just have to concerntrate your energies…though at least in a game I didn’t have to shoot anyone…

(Indeed, Hale’s only real letdown is his nervousness to shoot Junior…eventually, a willing nod from Junior seems to slowly get him into the groove…)

Hale: Just pretend it’s a video game…they won’t d…

(Fling. The arrow flies patently towards Junior’s body as Hale looks on in horror…)

(…and is stunned when the arrow passes through his body with a thud into the back wall. Junior calmly walks through it, removes the arrow…which turns into the clue…and hands it to Hale.)

Junior: Yours, I believe.

Hale: Uh…thank you…

Naruto: What chakra is that?

(Hale looks a little in shock, but Weda soon snaps him out of it (maybe he just thought it was Guu ahead of him, and just like with Guu, had no effect) as they get the clue as Junior calmly walks back, and Sasuke is now getting slightly annoyed…)

Sasuke: How…did…he…

Hale: Congratulations! Now head to the Pit Stop, the remains of the Dokusensha Buildings in Central Hong Kong.

Weda: Dokusenha? Sounds big…let’s go!

Hale: Uh…right…

Michelle: Bye bye Hale-kun!

* * * *

(Quick shot of the Pit Stop, where Lillith along with a tall blue haired woman are waiting…)

Lillith: Well, we’re at the Pit Stop again! The last team to arrive may be
eliminated…yadda yadda yadda…Nancy-san, is that barebque ready?

(The blue haired woman – Nancy (or Miss Deep if you prefer) nods vibrantly…)

Nancy: Hai!

Lillith: Goody! Lillith-chan is hungry!

(After all, even cute annoying demi-witches with bad bisexual tendancies need a good barbeque of course!)

* * * *

(The Jungle duo leave…and a mighty bump is heard inside…)

Hale: Owww…

Racquel: Gomen!

Shannon: Damn books…

(Sasuke now sweats mightly…)

Sasuke: Now…concerntrate…don’t force upon your chakra…

Shannon: This is it?

(He looks at the road block ahead of him as Racquel sits by Naruto.)

Shannon: Looks like something you’d do…why did it say control then?

Racquel: Hey!

(Shannon shrugs, but he is the weapon specialist, so after creating a quiver, Shannon takes the mound, just as Sasuke looks to have it sussed out…)

(…and an arrow fires.)

Junior: Well done.

Shannon: Easy.

(Sasuke is stunned as in about 10 second, Shannon has done what he couldn’t do. Shannon, normally one of few emotions, gives out a smirk to Sasuke as Naruto looks like he’s ready to explode. Shannon grabs the clue, and rushes out to try and catch up with Hale and Weda…)

Sasuke: Damn them…

Naruto: SASUKE! JUST GET ON WITH IT, WE CAN CATCH UP!!!

(Sasuke sighs and has to concentrate again. It takes him a moment or two, but he gets back to his former position, and finally gets an arrow on target. During this time though, Weda is already in her vehicle and rushes ahead, hoping to find Dokusensha. Shannon and Racquel however are more reserved, and they check inside their vehicle a map they got when they were at the airport.)

Shannon: O.K, let’s move!

Racquel: My my, you seem so energised…

Shannon: You know how I get when I discipline brats…

* * * *

Hale: So where is it?

Weda: Centre of Hong Kong, big derelict building, you’d think we’d be able to find it….

(Looking around the large Hong Kong district isn’t too good for them, whilst Shannon and Racquel take a long way round. Sasuke and Naruto have got into their vehicle and now a bit behind, no thanks to Sasuke sulking for a bit…)

(…with very little language barrier as well, it doesn’t help when asking for directions…so it’s up to speed…)

* * * *

8.30am

Nancy: Oh my, is it time for them to come? I’m so excited!

Lillith: Trust me, the novel nature soon wears off…

(And cue the first team…)

Nancy: Welcome to the Pit Stop!

(Two pairs of feet hit the ‘READ OR DIE TV’ mat…)

Lillith: Shannon and Racquel, you are team number one.

(Shannon smiles. A genuine smile whilst Racquel gives out a happy sigh.)

Racquel: Been a long time coming?

Shannon: Yeah, but now, like normal, we’ll stay ahead of everyone else…

* * * *

Iruka: I’m trying…

Naruto: Geez, you’d think an old derelict piece of crap would be easy to find…

(Sasuke just remains quiet…)

Iruka: Crowds…

Naruto: …suck.

(Sensei and student have an agreeing moment, as indeed, crowds suck. Not as much as getting stuck in them…oh wait they are…)

(…and as they begin to understand just how badly they suck…)

* * * *

Nancy: Hale-san, Weda-san, you’re team number two!

8.36AM

Hale: Man, we lost the lead…

Weda: Well, you just want to stay away from this place…

Lillith: Oh, I’m sure we could brighten it up with a little bit of paint…

(Shot of Eve getting an artist brush out of nowhere…)

Lillith: (sweatdrops) Not literally nee-san…

* * * *

(Cut shot of the plane as people are starting to awake just as two teams have already completed the leg…)

Hiroyuki: Makes a change for me not to be woken up by cell phone, but rather by a snoring South American…

(Shot of Pedro still fast asleep, and lightly snoring…Hiroyuki rubs his eyes as he puts his hand on a half-dazed Akari’s shoulder…)

Hiroyuki: You awake?

Akari: (yawns) Pancakes for breakfast?

Hiroyuki: Well, I’m sure you could probably order some, but maybe kind of a long wait to get them…

Akari: (just remembering they are on a plane) Oh right…

Oshige: Oh, it’s O.K…I’ll let you two snuggle up a bit more, just keep it less disrect in front of other passengers…

Akari: (blushing) Um…um…w-w-w-we-we-well…

Hiroyuki: (sighs) Don’t listen to her Akari…

(Akari seems kinda disappointed hearing that…)

Wakayoji: Well, looks like overseas trips can avoid problems…

Mirielle: Oh, there will be problems…when we land.

Wakayoji: (chuckles) I guess you’re right.

* * * *

8.45am

Naruto: I hate taking directions…

Sasuke: I just hated that whole last part of the leg.

Naruto: Hey, we’ve got ahead of almost everyone else after that mess up…

Sasuke: YOUR mess up…

Naruto: Hey, don’t need to take it out on me if Hale and Shannon…

(Sasuke looks ready to kill, but fortunately, Nancy and Lillith interrupt the situation before it can get worse…)

Lillith: Um guys, avoid a yaoi spat now please…

(The two glares at Lillith…)

Lillith: Scary!

Nancy: Um…Naruto and Sasuke, you’re team number three.

(Now they vacate, and try to avoid the other two teams, which is kind of difficult considering they are in a fast space they are trying to pass as a camp space I guess…)

* * * *

12.10pm

Oshige: Hong Kong huh?

Wakayoji: We never did a tour here did we?

Oshige: Yeah – though you saw what happened with the Hummingbird concert…

Wakayoji: I dunno – I always liked the one Asahi-chan did last year.

Oshige: Cosplay meets pop idol = money. That recent Aino and Hino one was kinda of interesting though, it was like they were trying to change from a live to more an anime culture…

Wakayoji: Can’t blame them…

Oshige: Oh yeah, we’re supposed to be in a race…

Wakayoji: Oh yeah.

Oshige: RUNNNN!

(So the other teams are a tad behind thanks to the planes, so rushing to try and find the route marker in an even more busy HK National airport makes things worse for our intrepid guys and gals…however Oshige and Wakayoji navigate it secondly only to Mirielle and Kirika. Behind them, Pedro and Sandora get ahead of the Haradas, with Akari and Hiroyuki trailing in last.)

Mirielle: Catch up Kirika?

(Kirika somersaults over some passing up tourists, and lands in front of Mirielle…)

Kirika: Can’t complain…

Mirielle: Show off…

(They head outside and see the Lillith sticker. Mirielle nods in understanding.)

Mirielle: Looks like we’re driving again. Hope you handle it.

(Kirika just nods as they begin searching for the vehicles. It becomes a game of the reserve for Team Noir, because suddenly instead of them hunting for everyone else, everyone seems to hunt them…or least follow them to wherever they have to go…)

Oshige: Cars…hired cars…where’s our vehicle…

Risa: So that means we’ve got Emiko-san with us again…

Hiroyuki: (shudders) Dammit, we’re still with the old man…

Pedro: Papa is driving again my son, now don’t you worry…

(Kirika and Mirielle find the Lillith-chan powered car as they move ahead, but congestion is even worse, so as they do, the timing isn’t do good as everyone else gets in their own vehicle. Fortunately, it means they are just as congested as it will take them a good few minutes to get out, and even longer to try and find the Paper Sisters apartment…)

(…some people use this to their advantage…)

Kirika: (in perfect Mandarin to a passerby) Excuse me, is it possible to locate the three paper sisters agency please?

(He replies back and makes some pointing motions. Kirika nods and relays the information to Mirielle. Just behind them, Oshige is doing the same thing and getting the same information…but others aren’t quite so lucky…)

Risa: Um…can…find…

(No luck…)

Riku: Risa…

Risa: Hey, I can barely speak English, never mind Chinese!

Riku: Whatever…

(In the South American’s car, they are just trying to look onwards…)

Sandora: (singing to himself) Will Sora-chan remain the same? Madison will be her name…

Pedro: NOOOOOOOOOO!

Sandora: Huh?

Pedro: Sorry…probably echoing some fans thoughts…

(Whilst in the back of the pack, it’s not exactly a party atmosphere…)

Akari: Umm…

(Sebastian and Hiroyuki’s silent treatment for each other kind of saying it or…or not I guess in this case…)

* * * *

(After half a year…well O.K, half an hour, the teams begin to actually move into the main square, and have to locate where the Paper Sisters are. Kirika and Mirielle and Oshige and Wakayoji have the advantage roughly knowing where to go thanks to their linguistic skills, but not helping by the fact that some teams have quickly cottoned on to that fact…)

Kirika: Um…Mirielle…

Mirielle: I know, but what can we do? Glare at them? Kill them?

Kirika: That’s what we normally do.

Mirielle: No, can’t do that here…sorry.

(We can see the Haradas a bit behind following them, as usual Riku is chasing after Kirika (^_^) but on the other side, Pedro and Sandora and Hiroyuki and Akari are tracking just behind Oshige and Wakayoji who have taken a longer route…)

Oshige: I knew Hong Kong was busy but…

Wakayoji: Can’t even enjoy the sights here…

(Behind them, Pedro decides to take a risk…)

Pedro: Let’s go Sandora!

Sandora: Huh?

(Pedro pushes ahead of Oshige and Wakayoji despite not knowing where he is going…or does he?)

(As he stops at a traffic light, he opens the window and says in both Japanese and English ‘Can you tell me where the Paper Sisters Agency?’ One of them speaks English and says he was a client of theirs recently and gives rough directions just as the lights change. Pedro thanks him and they drive.)

Sandora: (in awe) Papa…

Pedro: Let’s hurry Sandora!

(The South Americans head off, with Oshige-tachi behind them still unsure what went on…)

* * * *

PAPER SISTERS AGENCY – 1.00PM

(At 1, the first team reach the apartment…)

Mirielle: Not quite Paris is it?

Kirika: It’s…interesting…

Mirielle: Maybe we can find some Russian Literature to expand your horizon…

(After Mirielle kicks a few more books and struggles inside, Maggie is still there reading under her home made teepee…she nods once, and points somewhere in the books.)

Kirika: Guess we’re looking.

(They begin their search, which isn’t pretty as you can guess. As they do so, Riku and Risa literally fall in…well Risa does.)

Risa: (in a dead on Anita impression) Stupid books…I hate books!

Riku: Well, get used to it – looks like we’ll be digging in them…

Kirika: Got it!

(Kirika grabs the clue as Mirielle looks through it…)

Mirielle: Must be in control…

(She looks at Kirika, thinks and nods.)

Mirielle: Go for it.

Kirika: Why?

Mirielle: Because.

Kirika: Oh.

(That’s enough reasoning, and as they leave, Risa rushes to where Mirielle was and grabs the book to find a clue…only to not find one.)

Risa: Huh, what gives?

Maggie: The clues are in various books – just find another book with one in.

Risa: That’s cheating!

(Risa, you’re dealing with an author of 2 Murder Games and the hosts from Yamibou – next question. The Haradas begin scrounging around as Mirielle and Kirika head to the roof top for the Road Block.)

Kirika: So, we have to shoot him?

Michelle: Well…yeah…can you handle it?

(Kirika looks at Junior, and nods.)

Kirika: Not the normal kind of target but…

(Michelle sweatdrops, but creates a quiver with an arrow. Kirika easily controls the energies and shoots an arrow straight through Junior. Of course, it passes through and he retrieves the clue for Miss Yuumara.)

Junior: There you go.

Kirika: Um…thank you.

Mirielle: Wow, they don’t normally thank you after shooting – they usually just lie there forever.

(Michelle (and even Junior) sweatdrops again as Kirika gets it, they rush out, past Riku and Risa and almost knock over Pedro and Sandora on the way out, and say hi to an exiting Oshige and Wakayoji in their vehicle.)

Kirika: Dokusensha?

Mirielle: It’s that big Hong Kong agency which was made derelict a few months back – if I remember it was somewhere dead centre – emphasis on dead.

Kirika: So, we go?

Mirielle: We go.

(The assassins drive off, as the Haradas finally find a clue, whilst Pedro and Sandora dig in to their large serving of books…)

Riku: So, control?

Risa: Control? What’s that?

Riku: (sighs) Forget it…I’ll do it.

Risa: Oh, you do too many!

(But as they get out and Michelle explains what Riku has to do, Risa gladly withdraws as Riku gulps…)

Riku: I have to shoot someone? That wasn’t in the job description!

(Riku is now quite nervous and when Michelle creates the first quiver, it collapses. Riku isn’t concentrating.)

Michelle: My dear, just relax and don’t worry – do you realise you aren’t the only team who has done this…

(Riku realises that and Junior over there is alive so something must be doing that, but she still scared as heck. And not helped much when Sandora rushes up…)

Sandora: I took the clue because I think my father realises that he has had lack of control ever since the Miss Will incident. Whilst we are both disciples of the discipline known as Nabeshin, I think I have the advantage in that respect.

(Michelle does her ‘CUTE!’ think to Sandora but before she can do mass glompage, she does create a quiver for Sandora and explains what he has to do. Surprisingly, he isn’t as freaked out as Riku (maybe because he’s used to death and people returning back to life) so he’s able to concentrate easier. He does collapse the quiver the first time, but it’s much more steady the second time.)

Sandora: Aim…

Oshige: (off screen) Where’s that damn clue?

(Sandora ‘fires’ and it’s nowhere near Junior. Michelle says to try again as Sandora pouts, and Pedro shakes his head.)

Pedro: (getting angry) Quiet in there!!!

(Sandora and Riku try again, and this time Sandora manages to just hold his concentration to hit Junior. The arrow returns in the form of a clue as Sandora reads it.)

Sandora: Papa, let’s go!

Pedro: Well done my son!

* * * *

1.10PM

(At this time, just as the South Americans are leaving, Hiroyuki and Akari park outside…)

HIROYUKI/AKARI – LAST PLACE

Hiroyuki: (angry) Dammit, how could we get lost?

Sebastian: (angry) It’s not my fault the navigator is useless and couldn’t tell me anything!

Hiroyuki: Why you…

Akari: NOT NOW!

(Akari stands firm – both men are shocked…)

Akari: We can’t be angry or argue now Hiroyuki-chan, we need to get and complete this task, so come on!

Hiroyuki: (sigh) As always, you’re right Akari. Come on.

(They head up as Oshige and Wakayoji finally get the clue. The good prince takes it (for obvious reasons) and join Riku, still struggling with the Road Block. As Hiroyuki and Akari head up to join the mess of books (and Hiroyuki the latest person to hate books…)

* * * *

1.12pm

DOKUSENSHA – DERELICT BUILDING

Kirika: Nice place.

Mirielle: Could use some Paris classic y’know?

Lillith: Feh, what can you do…

Nancy: Mirielle and Kirika, you are team number four.

Mirielle: I guess considering the circumstances, that is the best we could have hoped for.

Kirika: Right.

(The hours difference between the teams is now going to be paramount, is this now a three horse race? Doubtful considering the legs still to come but…)

* * * *

Riku: DONE IT!

(Riku collapses as her arrow ‘hits’ Junior in the leg. A bit sloppy, but Michelle lets them get the clue. Risa goes over to her sis who looks exhausted…)

Risa: Are you O.K?

Riku: Yeah…just don’t want to do anything like that again…

Risa: Come on, let’s get you out of here…

(The Haradas escape just as a surprise choice goes up for Hiroyuki/Akari…)

Akari: Um, I have to…

Michelle: CUTE!

(O.K, enough kawaiing. Wakayoji is having problems, although death isn’t strange to him, it does bring back some bad memories, so his concentration isn’t too good at the moment. Akari on the other hand, seems terrified.)

Akari: I…have to…

Michelle: It’s O.K sweetie! Just concentrate!

(At that point, Oshige and Hiroyuki realise it is now just between the two teams, and Hiroyuki in particular feels a bit distressed…)

Hiroyuki: Wrong choice…

* * * *

DOKUSENSHA

1.19PM

Nancy: Pedro and Sandora, you are team number 5.

Pedro: Still hanging in there Sandora?

Sandora: (nods) I was upset to start, but I think getting through that Road Block helped me.

Lillith: I mean, what’s shooting an anime character these days?

(The South Americans sweatdrop…)

* * * *

(Back at the Paper Sisters Agency)

Wakayoji: Yes!

(Wakayoji has completed it and is heading back with the clue. They are about to leave, but turn to Hiroyuki sitting there…)

Wakayoji/Oshige; Sorry.

(Hiroyuki just nods as back at the Road Block, Akari is really struggling. She hasn’t been able to hold her power at all yet, and is still struggling…)

Michelle: Come on Akari-chan!

Akari: B…but…

(Even Junior saying it’s O.K and Akari seeing what happened when Wakayoji ‘shot’ him isn’t helping Akari.)

Akari: I remember seeing Lemmy with her kyudo…but it’s not working…she never had to shoot a person…and now everyone is ahead…it’s all my fa…

Hiroyuki: AKARI!

(Akari turns around)

Hiroyuki: Forget about them, forget about everything! Just do it…you can do it! I don’t care how long it takes…just do it…I know you can!

Akari: Hiroyuki-chan…

Oshige: (outside on the ground floor but still hearing) *VERY LOUD WOLF WHISTLE*

Hiroyuki: Damn her…

(Akari smiles…)

Akari: Hai.

Michelle: Just calm down sweetie, and let’s do this…

(Akari nods and Michelle begins to guide her…)

* * * *

1.26PM

Riku: …at least Emiko-san knew where we were going…my navigation skills were out there…

Risa: Just relax big sis, we’re there now.

(After a round robin around Dokusensha, the Haradas make it to the final route marker, where Lillith and Nancy await.)

Lillith: Tired huh?

Riku: You don’t know the half of it…

Nancy: Riku and Risa, you are team number 6.

Risa: And with that, can we collapse?

Lillith: Permission granted…

(The Haradas nod and take that as a heed, so they begin to look for everyone else…)

* * * *

1.30PM

(Akari is doing better, as she is forming better quivers each time. However, it is still taking a while, but Hiroyuki is for once, being patient.)

(Finally, Akari fires her first arrow, which hits Junior on the shoulder…well, not really, but still. Michelle says that counts, as Akari falls to the floor. Hiroyuki immediately goes over to her and crouches down.)

Hiroyuki: Akari, are you O.K?

Akari: Y-yes…

Hiroyuki: Can you stand?

(Akari struggles, but she does get up as Hiroyuki puts an arm around her to steady her.)

Hiroyuki: Good, because we’ve still got a race to finish.

Akari: I’m so so…

Hioryuki: (chuckles) Don’t be. I’m not.

(Junior hands them over the clue as they look at it.)

Hiroyuki: Dokusensha is our resting place. Come on Akari.

Akari: (nods) Hai, Hiroyuki-chan…

Hiroyuki: (chuckles) Don’t make me bop you on the head…

(The two head out…)

* * * *

1.32PM

DOKUSENSHA

Lillith: Cut that a bit fine didn’t you?

Oshige: Yeah…

Nancy: Oshige and Wakayoji, you are team number 7. Lucky for you.

Wakayoji: But unlucky for someone else…

(Lillith just smiles…)

Lillith: Oh really…

* * * *

(A cut shot of Hiroyuki and Akari in the back seat, Hiroyuki not arguing with Sebastian at all, just to take their time. Akari seems content and puts her head on Hiroyuki’s shoulder. Hiroyuki just smiles.)

Hiroyuki: A bad judgement call as Akari is easily more in control than I am, but didn’t realise how it referred to. However, I don’t think we’ll regret that. We’ve done well in a field where magic, ninjas and assassins make up a number of strong teams, and we beat an alien, shamanists and some baseball stars, so I’d say we did all right for two normal human beings.

* * * *

1.45pm

(Lillith and Nancy see Hiroyuki and Akari in the distance as the now smudged ‘READ OR DIE TV’ mat welcomes them.)

Lillith: Well done!

Hiroyuki: Thanks.

Nancy: Akari and Hiroyuki, you are the last team to finish the leg.

(They await the verdict…)

Nancy: But…

(They look up…)

Nancy: ..this is a non-elimination leg. Therefore, you remain in the race.

(Hiroyuki’s eyes widen and Akari gasps. Lillith chuckles.)

Lillith: (chuckles) Never expect the worst, *chiku chiku* so you may begin celebrating…

(Akari actually begins to cry…)

Lillith: Oh…don’t do that! Ah well, can look forward to us actually using our powers for the next leg…

Hiroyuki: Huh?

Lillith: Oh, you’ll see…

* * * *

Next time on the Anime-zing Race 3;

* * * *

Yay! First non eliminaton leg of the race!

Ah, RODTV – how I love it. I’ve got my bookcase with 5 DVDs inside and awaiting the last two in the set – considering my ‘to get’ list on the DVD lot has a number of specific series (Getbackers, Chrono Chrusade, Sister Princess, Scrapped Princess, Gunslinger Girl, Stellvia and DN Angel) ROD TV still tops it. Gotta love the paper sisters.

Time for the ADV insane VA referencing – in the bench scene, ‘Chloe’ is Riku (both Hilary Haag – which explains the whole ‘Riku is chasing after Mirielle quote as well)’ ‘Chikage/Yotsuba’ = Shelley Calene Black and Luci Christian (Mirielle and Risa), and Haruka cuddling up to Kaname – Kaname is again Luci, but Haruka is played by German exclusive VA veteran Tiffany Grant…who also plays Sandora – which may surprise a few to say the least (she also plays Misaki in Excel Saga so she does two roles). Ah well, needed to get it out of my system considering we’ve been away from Houston for a couple of legs. And yes, the Risa ‘I can barely speak English’ referred to Luci Christian’s version of Yukari in Azumanga Daioh.

Sandora’s speech ‘will Sora-chan’ etc: it’s from the Katsucon masquerade which Joe Klemm linked to the AGW website a while back. One of my favourite sketches is when 4Kids try to licence Mao-chan, and the whole ‘Madison will be her name’ is an obvious piss take to Cardcaptors. Other classic lines are ‘We could have the cutest hour!’ ‘If you fight with Mew Mew Power!’ Check it out, there are some class skits there, and I have to match that at Ayacon with my AAA (Anime Alcoholics Anonymous) sketch…

The ‘concerts’ that Oshige and Wakayoji refer to are all famous other anime ‘idols’ not named Full Moon. The ‘Hummingbird’ concert refers to Idol Defense Hummingburd, whilst Asahi-chan refers to Asahi Sakarai from Comic Party (though the anime has only a poor one-shot role, she is much more involved in the manga and in episode 3 of Comic Party Revolution). I do hope that everyone knows who I’m referring to though when I say Hino and Aino…

And that’s it! We’re in Germany for the obligatory insanely cute leg – and this was the other leg which I have used as a competitor in a recent reality series…but because the series lasted only one episode, I felt it was time that they got their spotlight. Well, not like Greta needs anymore anyway…

See you in Muhlenburg!