THE ANIME-ZING RACE 3

I think they are overdoing it on the magic thing…

*

O.K, after a few weeks of resting and relaxation we are back with our regularly scheduled programming, and we are going with the oldest show…or in this case movie of the race.

Yeah, I toyed with a lot of older shows, primarily Maison Ikkoku and Kimagure Orange Road, but simply put, the fact that Kiki’s Delivery Service is based in Germany helped it tie in with the Sugar leg. Of course, it’s a Miyazaki work, and one that seems a lot more understated than some of his more dynamic and recent works, such as Laputa, Princess Mononoke (a later leg by the way, PM is my favourite Miyazaki film BTW) and Spirited Away. It’s a lot more slower, and a lot more patience needs to be installed to watching it, but hey, I’ve sat through Lain many times.

You get absorbed with this touching story, and how the main character travels through adversity. Kiki is a sweet little girl witch, but she probably has the pre-standards to animal sidesicks, the likes of Ryo-Ohki, Menchi and Jonathan (along with a certain cat from Trigun and another one from Azumanga) set for. Yep, gotta love Jiji.

Anyway, let’s get a moving – brooms and airbikes await our remaining teams, so who will fly away into the sunset today?

* * * *

(Shot of the lovely home where Saga, Reggina and Sugar call themselves home. The teams are all inside relaxing, and sad to say, they still have the ability to see the Season Fairies, so it’s gonna get a little nutty…)

(…Saga (happy to get away from Lillith and Sugar for the moment, introduces our next leg.)

Saga: This is my home where I live with my grandma…and something else…

(She looks annoyed as back there, Oshige indeed lives up to her promise and hands part of a waffo to Sugar...er, I mean a waffle…damn, it’s catching…)

Saga: …which is also the pit stop for this leg. Here, teams can eat…

(Shot of them enjoying a combination of Regginas’ hot stew and spaghetti and meatballs. They all handily dig in, some more so than most, like Naruto…)

Saga: …sleep…

(It’s a small place, so again a number of teams camp out. In the spare room upstairs, Riku/Risa and Mirielle/Kirika get the nod to stay there, much to the twin’s discomfort…Kirika scary…)

Saga: …and mingle with the others.

(Outside, we see Hale star watching with Wakayoji helping out with constellations, Naruto and Sasuke practicing some chakra training (which would weird out most people, but not Hale…he’s seen too much weird stuff in his life already), and finally Oshige trying hard NOT to tease Hiroyuki as he and Akari go through an old photograph…and probably fails miserably…)

Saga: The remaining 7 teams 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.

(Shot of a wide awake and raring to go Shannon and Racquel…well, by Shannon’s expression, he seems vaguelly interested, which probably means he’s very excited…)

Saga: Shannon and Racquel came here first at 12.35pm…

(…the two thank Reggina for their hospitality…)

Saga: …so they will leave at (yawns) 12.35am…

(Late night for little Saga, but early day for Shannon and Racquel…)

Saga: …let the Kiki’s Delivery Service leg begin!

(The two get their clue from Reggina as they quickly look through it…)

Shannon: Never thought I’d be so happy to be away from magic…little fairy was damn annoying…almost as annoying as another little girl back home…

Racquel: My my, I’ll get your coffin ready…

Shannon: (sarcastic) Thanks for the backup.

(Shannon opens up the envelope…)

Shannon: Go down to the tram tracks down on South Muhlenburg and head to Koriko via a special tram.

Racquel: Special tram?

Shannon: I hate to ask…

* * * *

(You hate to ask, but we love to tell. Our first host for the day, and our lovely main character Kiki, tells us all. Kiki is a 13 year old girl who is wearing a black dress, dark hair and a pleasant aura and smile. Oh yeah, she’s a witch as well, but no real magic other than flying…but she has one particular talent, her own delivery service.)

Kiki: Teams will have to make it to Koriko the same way I did, by passing through the hay trams into the main city…however, I believe those other witches did something to make sure they all got to the same place…wish I had their magic…

Lillith: Quit complaining! At least you get paid for your work!!!

Kiki: That’s true…

(Lillith fumes, Kiki smiles, all is right. Well, we’ll see…)

* * * *

Shannon: Is there a specific tram we have to catch?

Racquel: It must be something we must know, maybe there is true magic being worked here…

Shannon: Talk later…let’s find how these trams go by.

(The trams will actually go through the train tracks to Koriko, yet another unknown European town but has a lot of resemblance to Amsterdam if that helps. All the teams have to get through using this system and head to Koriko, where they’ll face some trials almost as tough as Kiki went through, but more on that later…)

(The two begin to see if they can use their sense of direction to find where they have to go, Muhlenburg isn’t a late night people spot, so there aren’t too many people they can ask where they are going. Shannon finds out where the main spot is though before too long and they begin to head out…)

Shannon: Timing is crucial. Our big lead last time was quickly nulified with some bad luck for us and good luck for others. We’re still doing well, but wasn’t as comfy as we were before.

(Shannon and Racquel make it there just as…)

* * * *

12.45am

HIROYUKI/AKARI (CHILDHOOD FRIENDS) AND HALE/WEDA (MOTHER AND SON) – JOINT 2ND

(Technically, Hiroyuki and Akari are just ahead of them, but only by seconds, so as Hale and Weda stretch out on a midnight cruise, Hiroyuki and Akari, now using up their fast forward, quickly get their clue, knowing the two aren’t far behind, and both of them are superior in speed to Akari.)

Akari: I hate being a weak point to Hiroyuki-chan. He keeps saying I have all these strong points, but my weakness is what shows in a game like this.

(Indeed, when Hale and Weda get off the blocks, they are quickly running by. However, Hiroyuki and Akari aren’t even running, because they are searching a) where to do and b) about the tram information…)

Akari: Well, it’s seem quite common around here…

Hiroyuki: …so if we follow these paths…

(Despite the midnight hour, the two are quite focused in finding their location, whilst Hale and Weda simply head south…well…it’s a kind of logic…)

Hale: Are you sure this is a good idea?

Weda: If it’s the same place that we came in, there must be a connection…

(Wait, Weda is thinking? Well, they did come through a toy train track line to get here, maybe it is in the same destination…)

Weda: Hunches and luck can play as much as intelligence and skill. ‘Better to be lucky than to be good’ someone once said, and I live by that. Let’s see if our luck holds out…

(We see in South Muhlenburg, Racquel sees some coal smoke blowing out, a clear giveaway of the old-school trams and trains of the passing.)

Racquel: I think we’ve found something.

Shannon: Let’s see if it’s something good…

Racquel: Oh, stop it with the cold hearted magic using swordsman routine…

Shannon: Can’t help it…

(The two see a tram puffing and blowing, but it passes by. They miss the first one, but neither are too worried…)

Shannon: We’ve still got a good time advantage to most of the teams, I think we’ll be alright as long as they don’t take too long with the trams.

Racquel: Right, now what do we do?

Shannon: That thing we hate…waiting.

Racquel: Right…I need to see if I can make snowflakes like that Sugar girl can…

Shannon: Please no…I’ll have nightmares about sweets and cute voices for a while…

* * * *

(We fast forward as Shannon and Racquel await the train. We get cut shots of first Hale and Weda, and then Hiroyuki and Akari joining them at the station. The three teams do a bit of talking…)

Shannon: Was it a risk to take the fast forward?

Akari: Maybe…maybe we could have survived, but I guess considering how far behind we were, we want to stay in…

Weda: My my, never thought you’d be the competitive type Akari-chan!

Hiroyuki: She isn’t…I think she got it off the race…

Racquel: …or from you…

Hiroyuki: (groans) Please, I get enough of that from Oshige…

Akari: Hmmm?

Hiroyuki: Er…nothing…

Hale: Huh? What does he mean?


Weda: You’ll learn when you’re older…

Hale: If I live that long…

(The three teams wait until 1.10am, when a tram as mythical as the trains from Spirited Away trundles along. The door just opens to each of the coaches, where barrels of hay are showing, and a ladder to get to the higher areas where they can rest…)

(And cows below them…)

Shannon: You’re kidding…

Hiroyuki: I guess we get comfy…

Akari: But, how do we know where we going?

Racquel: I think there is a way we’ll know…the air of magic around here is very strong…

Weda: Well, last one up is a dirty stop out!

Hale: Mom!

(Hale and Weda take the first coach, whilst Shannon and Racquel, more used to this than anyone, take the second. Akari and Hiroyuki gingerly take the third, knowing they have to rest there for god knows how long…)

(A quick shot as Hiroyuki talks to Akari, advising her to go to sleep whilst he stays up.)

Hiroyuki: I’ll wake you in a bit and then you take over, we don’t know how long we’re going to be…

Akari: Right…

(Akari tries to get comfy with the hay, not easy when there are cows below you. Akari does her best to get comfortable, whilst next door, Shannon and Racquel both stay awake as Weda just collapses before Hale can even get in a word edgeways…)

Hale: Mom…

(He hears the mooing below him as he sighs…)

Hale: It’s going to be a long night…

(The three teams are heading to Koriko, unknown of what may come of them…so let’s let them rest whilst we see what our remaining teams are up to…)

* * * *

1.17am – REGINA’S HOUSE

(Saga has since toddled off to bed (along with Sugar) so a late Reggina and a not a morning person Lillith are the ones handing out the clues. And next up running…)

Risa: I’m not in my nightgown am I?

Riku: No sis, you won’t be dazzling the night streets with your lovely face and charm this night…now let’s get going!

Risa: Spoilsport…

RIKU/RISA – TWIN SISTERS (4TH PLACE)

Riku: We’re working hard, and dare I say it, Risa is being useful. But we get this feeling our luck won’t hold out forever, so we need to stay as high as possible, as quick as possible. We’re ahead of three strong teams who won’t take this lying down, so we need to take any advantage that we can…

(Neither sister is used to late nights…*thinks*…O.K, late nights where a night thief isn’t in action, so they have a little bit of the sleepies as they rush off, trying to find where to go…)

Riku: Where to go?

Risa: Probably that station I passed by when I got the road block last time…

Riku: You passed it?

Risa: I think so…

Riku: I hope so…

(Risa tries to remember, but the dark is really annoying her…yeah, dark is annoying her…makes a change, but Risa recognises where she passed when she found Turmeric, and manages to actually use a sense of direction as they begin moving…)

* * * *

Riku: So, we’re waiting…

Risa: Looks like it…

(The two girls sigh, and just hope for a quick tram to head down their way, whilst three teams try and enjoy the ride. Quick cut shot of Akari (unconsciously) snuggling up to Hiroyuki (think a certain scene between Sakaki and Maya…’I can’t move’), Racquel lying down as best as she can as Shannon listens to the sounds outside and the ricketty noises of the tram, whilst Hale whips out his Gameboy for his ‘One Piece…of Crap’ videogame (now with all new items, cookies, lollipops and pop guns!) as Weda snores away…)

(…and if things weren’t spooky enough for the twins…)

* * * *

1.45am

Mirielle: You O.K?

(Kirika nods as Noir head out as usual into the dead of night.)

MIRIELLE/KIRIKA – WORKING PARTNERS – 5TH PLACE

Mirielle: We’ve been slowing down, which isn’t our style. We’re in the lower half of the table so to speak, and we don’t like being there. So we are going to make sure we do what we normally do, always come out on top.

(Kirika, little information talent she is, is quickly onto where to go. Yes, even in an imaginary town she seems to be able to know where to go…)

Kirika: There.

Mirielle: Wow.

(She sees the overhead lights of the tram station flashing by as she somersaults on top of a hill overshowing the area. And she sees two twin girls looking bored…or tired…or both.)

Kirika: The twins are there.

Mirielle: That means the boy and mother, the lovestruck pair and the stepsiblings have gone, but we can catch up with the girls. Come on Kirika.

Kirika: Right.

(The assasins move down with great speed and balance as they rush over to the tram station, where the twins are about to get a rude awakening…)

* * * *

1.53am

(Grabbing a clue and a late night coffee, Oshige genkis up as she and Wakayoji, seemingly fine despite the late night, head off into the dark wilderness.)

OSHIGE/WAKAYOJI – WORKING PARTNERS – 6TH PLACE

Oshige: Late nights are common things for us, it’s just another day in the office. And yes, jetting across the world is another day in the office as well…makes you wonder why we haven’t been first for a while then…

Wakayoji: Oshige-chan? Where is it?

Oshige: Let’s see…it should be down there…

Wakayoji: Down the spiral road?

Oshige: Yes, past that weird girl’s home…just make sure we don’t get her parents to play dress up with us.

Wakayoji: Fair enough, and as long as you don’t adopt that sugar fairy as your new mascot…we’ve got enough with Takato-kun and Meroko-chan…

Oshige: (pouting) Awwww…she’s so cute…and I could have used her for special effects…

(The two head down…)

* * * *

2.00am

(The next tram comes round, where Mirielle and Kirika have joined the twins in a bond sharing silence…)

(…but when the ladders come down, they realise this is their ride. Risa struggles up, as they take the first cart, whilst the assassins, as nimble as ever take the second one. Once Riku makes it inside, the Haradas breathe a sigh of relief.)

Riku: That silence was awful!

Risa: Are those two robots?

Riku: I dunno…they seem…to give an aura of being invincible…they scary…

Risa: I dunno, they seemed nice, but just something about them always puts me on edge…

(Next door, both girls sneeze, as Kirika takes a sleeping position. Mirielle sighs, smiles and stroke a lock of the girls hair. Risa takes first sleep back on the Haradas side as Mirielle contemplates to herself…)

Mirielle: Content can be found in unusual places…

* * * *

(…where discontent can be found just outside.)

2.05am

Oshige: We…missed…it.

Wakayoji: Oh dear.

Oshige: That’s an understatement.

Wakayoji: Oh deary me.

Oshige: Nows not the time for jokes.

Wakayoji: I wasn’t joking.

(The two sit down, knowing they have to wait…and worse, they are second to last. Meaning that if a certain duo from a certain ninja show can get their act together…)

* * * *

2.30am

(…they can certainly catch up.)

Naruto: (half-asleep) Ramen…

Sasuke: Wake up dunce.

NARUTO/SASUKE – RIVALS – LAST PLACE

Sasuke: We messed up last time, but we’ve messed up before and we’ve always got stronger. Now, we need to be as strong as we’ve ever been to survive…

(Sasuke half dragged Naruto before our favourite ninja wakes up, looking around the world before wondering why it’s still black.)

Sasuke: It’s night…and if we don’t find this station quick, it will be a good night for us…

Naruto: Eh?

Sasuke: (sighs) We’ll lose.

Naruto: Oh…

.

..

Naruto: ….WHAT?!!!!

(Within seconds, Naruto has got his second wind without the aid of ramen, Sakura or the feeling of a last gasp victory. And soon, their insane speed takes them around the trees and rooftops of Muhlenburg, locating the station…)

(…and it’s Sasuke who spots a bored Oshige and Wakayoji who are trying hard not to fall asleep. Sasuke motions to Naruto as he leads him towards the station…)

Naruto: We have a good eye for all situations, and we need it. Let’s hope we can keep using it…

(Maybe not Sasuke’s eye, in case they get deducted more time off, but the time they got works…)

* * * *

2.50am

(After smug greetings from the ninjas and making the adult duo sigh in disappointment, the next tram arrive as they get up the ladders (Oshige-tachi climb, Naruto-tachi just jump), and…)

Sasuke: (sigh) I can’t take you anywhere.

(Naruto immediately falls asleep on the hay. Sasuke just sits down, and waits. Next door, neither adult seems ready to asleep, either not tired or just not wanting to after realising they are once again tying for last…and this time, no Hiroyuki to tease.)

Oshige: Not our night…

Wakayoji: Keep our chin up Oshige-chan.

Oshige: I would…but I’m too tired…

(She conks out as Wakayoji sighs…)

Wakayoji: Shouldn’t have been eating those waffos with Sugar-chan then…

* * * *

(Shot of three trams each heading to the same destination. On the first one, Racquel and Shannon, Hiroyuki and Akari, and Hale and Weda will arrive at Koriko first. Next will be Riku and Risa, along with Mirielle and Kirika. And in the final tram, Oshige and Wakayoji will be joined by Naruto and Sasuke. However, when they arrive there, the positions may become all change again…)

(After some alternate shots of teams interchanging their sleeping buddies, as they have no idea how long has passed, and waiting around for nothing never helps. With the exception of Hale, almost everyone changes around 2 hrs with their partner, Hale actually holds out for 3 hours (needed to beat that lollipop sucking Sanji) before just about waking up his mom. It’s a weird change of events which screws up with everyone’s minds…)

Hale: I’m not sure which was worse, sleeping or waking up mom, but the insecurity of what is happening always weighs on our minds so we always have to be careful…

Hiroyuki: Waking up Akari is an easy thing to do, but I only wanted to do it when I was sure I couldn’t stay up any longer…she has the hard job, waking me up! Fortunately, she’s used to it.

Shannon: I’m used to stay up late, but I felt if I didn’t get a little extra sleep, I wouldn’t be useful. And whilst I love Racquel like a sister, I wouldn’t trust her to find her way in a closet at times…

Risa: I hated that tram! Smelly, noisy and couldn’t sleep! But…didn’t want to admit to Riku when she got me up that I hardly had any sleep…so I grit my teeth and bared it…she won’t know anyway…

Mirielle: It was easy for us. We’re always on guard, even on a game. I woke Kirika up, she kipped up, stood watch and I slept for a couple of hours. Simple, yet effective.

Wakayoji: The nerves of seeing Naruto and Sasuke with us made the game hit us again. Sleeping was hard, but Wakayoji made sure I got as much as I could. Whilst I was awake, I couldn’t hear anything next door…and had to remember that we were in the last tram.

Naruto: Being in last sucks…and that crappy sleep didn’t help either! But I guess I’ll have to make do…we still gotta win after all!

* * * *

7.10AM

KORIKO – EARLY MORNING

(Welcome to Koriko, the sights and sounds of old school Europe in an East German modified town. Baring a lot of trademarks from native Holland as well as Germany and Italy, this is Miyazaki’s Europe. And hell, it’s not too bad. Early morning, we see the first tram get ready to deposit it’s cargo, as early rising farmers get ready for this shipment…)

(…and get 6 unexpected extra bits of cargo.)

(Shot of the first one down (Hale) wiping some stray bits of hay from his hair, as he gives his mom a hand down the ladder, as the two head into the farmlands of the town, where they get a surprising two people to introduce the route marker.)

Kokiri: Hello there, are you some of the people participating in the race?

Weda: Why yes!

Kokiri: Greetings, I’m Kiki’s mom! We’ve come over to pay our daughter for a visit, but they asked us to do this before we get to visit Kiki…

Okino: I hope Kiki understands.

Kokiri: Don’t worry, we’ve got all day to catch up…besides, she’s working isn’t she, so…

(Okino and Kokiri, proud parents of Kiki, hand over the route marker to the mom and child, just as Shannon and Racquel prop up behind them.)

Weda: Go to the marker square and meet Kiki, where you’ll have to give her a service to continue.

Hale: A service?

Weda: Your manly charm should come into play here Hale…

Hale: Why am I suddenly dreading this…

(The duo head off as the stepsiblings quickly take the route marker and follow them. Behind them, Hiroyuki and Akari (after Hiroyuki’s drowsy state is quickly spurred on by his childhood friend) also get it from the parents…)

Kokiri: Ah, you two are so…

Hiroyuki: Oh no…

(Akari just blushes as Okino smiles.)

Okino: Ah, reminds me of us when we were young…

(Akari and Hiroyuki run off as even at 6.15am, the morning is quite busy, and even busier once we greet our heroine, in the centre of town…)

* * * *

(Kiki isn’t hard to miss for Hale and Weda, who are just holding off Shannon and Racquel in first place.)

Hale: Is that her?

Shannon: Well, trust us, it’s hard not to realise what is magic and what isn’t…though hers isn’t particularly strong.

(Kiki hears that and looks a bit sad…)

Racquel: It’s O.K honey, you’ll get better.

(Kiki cheers up…)

Kiki: It’s O.K, I’m much better at this.

Weda: Better at what sweetheart?

(Kiki stands up and has an envelope, one of each team. It’s the next clue, but this one…is a bit tricky to get.)

Kiki: This will let you to your next destination, but…to get it, you need to provide a service to me.

Shannon: What…kind of service?

(Kiki smiles.)

Kiki: You need to give me something that is of exceeding value to one of you.

(The four freeze…)

Weda: Crap…

Shannon: So we need to give something to her to continue…

Racquel: …and it has to be something of great value to us…

(Hale looks a bit upset, Kiki looks guilty, so Weda sighs…)

Weda: Fine.

(She hands over a pitcher of personal stock (read: alcohol) towards Kiki…)

Kiki: Um…am I allowed to handle that?

(Above, Eve gives a smile and a nod. Hey, it maybe a fanfic, but we still can’t serve minors…)

Hale: (putting his hand on his gameboy) Mom…

Weda: (sigh) It’s not like I can’t get some more…sure it was my special stock I got from Rebecca, sure it was only brewed once in every 5 years, and sure even I can hold myself from drinking a little at a time…

Hale: …now I’m feeling guilty…

Weda: …but…kid, make sure it’s get to a good home.

Kiki: (nods) Thank you.

(Shannon and Racquel on the other hand are having problems giving up something…)

Shannon: What do we do?

Racquel: Um…

(At this point, Hiroyuki and Akari also make it. Kiki explains it, and again, it’s not easy for either of them to decide. Akari seems unsure, but Hiroyuki comes through for her…)

Hiroyuki: They’ll kill me but…

(A group photo of himself, Masahi, Lemmy, Shino, Akari, Hoshino and Multi. On the side, we see Kotone and Aoi, with Ayaka and Serika behind the two young men. Hiroyuki seems reluctant but…)

Hiroyuki: The last thing I want is your face when you have to give up one of your bear plushies…I’m sure Hoshino will get another group photo when we get back…

Akari: Um…thanks…

(The two leave as Shannon and Racquel realise they are behind now. After a couple of minutes, they finally decide on a lock of Pacifica’s hair. Kiki gets the O.k as just out of site, we see Hale reading the clue…or should I see the detour.)

Hale: Detour? Um…broom or bike…

* * * *

(A shot of a ordinary looking boy with glasses riding around a bike, this is Kiki’s love interest and aeronautics nut Tombo.)

Tombo: In this detour, you can pick either broom or bike.

(Shot of two choices of vehicle outside the belltower, several broomsticks or several bikes. Nice and easy one this time.)

Tombo: In broom, you must be able to fly around town via broom thanks to some expert guidance…

(Lillith yawns…)

Lillith: Why couldn’t we use Kiki for this…

Tonbo: Because she’s busy.

Lillith: And I’m not?

Tonbo: No.

Tonbo: …anyway, you can fly around broom rather quickly, but it’s difficult to get adjusted to it. Just don’t fall…

(Tonbo looks at his airbike and smiles.)

Tonbo: In bike, you ride around town via bicycle. Nice and simple, as long as you can ride a bike…a lot longer, but less danger.

* * * *

(Hale and Weda look through it before having a good think…)

Hale: And the survey says…

(Weda turns to see Hiroyuki and Akari coming behind them, as Weda looks through it…)

Weda: Will you get airsick?

Hale: (thinks) We’re not on a plane…and Guu isn’t around…so…

Weda: Good enough.

Hale: Hey wait, I didn’t s…

(Too late. Weda is taking the broom option despite Hale’s hopeless protests. Hiroyuki have already read the clue and heading to the tower themselves, their decision also tricky…)

Hiroyuki: I hate to take the slower option, but at least I know I can ride a bike. I leave brooms to Serika…

Akari: Hiroyuki-chan, that wasn’t funny.

Hiroyuki: I know, problem is, Ayaka would have laughed. Besides, I don’t want you to get hurt…you’re sense of balance is terrible.

Akari: Awww…

(The two follow the mother and son duo head off, as not far behind, Racquel and Shannon quickly look through, nod, and run off….)

Shannon: Broom equals magic. We can do it.

Racquel: Right…

* * * *

(Shot outside the belltower, where matching brooms and bikes are available. Tombo and Lillith wait there as Hale and Weda reach there first, and ask for a broom.)

Lillith: Lillith-chan says yes! Now, you’ve be whisked on the first current and there will be 10 balloons up there, you have to touch them…and we have someone watching…

(Shot of Eve smiling as usual…)

Lillith: …so just catch the current and ride the airwaves! Simple, né?

Hale: Famous last words…

(Hale and Weda have to share the broom, making it’s doubly difficult, especially for beginners. After a little assist from Lillith, the two are in the air…and Hale is screaming his head off…)

Hale: Waaah!

Weda: THIS ISN’T FUNNY!

Hale: Are you trying to kill us?

Lillith: Nope, just thought we’d show some of the humour used in a later leg…

Hale: Huh?

Weda: Hale, we’ve got to get control…move up front, you’re lighter, we’ll be able to distribute the weight better…

Hale: I’ll…try…

(The two slowly move with the broom, and realise this may not have been the best idea. Despite both witches watching to make sure an accident doesn’t help, this may not have been as fast as they hoped.)

Hiroyuki: Now do you doubt me?

Akari: I don’t like heights…

Hiroyuki: Then let’s bike!

(The double seater is ready as Hiroyuki props his rear on the saddle, as Akari blushes as she sits behind. Old school bikes as both of them have to pedal, as Tonbo explains.)

Tonbo: There is a selection of blue and red flags on the way marked with indicators. There are 10 altogether, you need to pick 10 up, and no picking up any extra flags otherwise you will face a penalty.

Hiroyuki: Drat…

Akari: You were thinking that Hiroyuki-chan?

Hiroyuki: Hey, we can play dirty if we want to Akari…everyone else has…

(Akari pouts, but they wave to Shannon and Racquel who have just arrived there. Racquel waves back as Shannon looks up as a nervous Hale and Weda slowly edge towards the balloon…)

Shannon: Oh dear.

Racquel: We still going for it?

Shannon: Yeah. We should have more of an advantage.

Racquel: Let’s hope you’re right.

(Shannon and Racquel get a broom, await instruction from Lillith, and head up there, getting on a running current. Hale has managed to touch 2 but already looks exhausted.)

Weda: Hale, don’t quit!

Hale: This…is…hard…

Hale: I can’t believe this is the quicker route – my mom made a bad call from this, not just of the difficulty of using the broom, but…I must have some fear of heights…because I didn’t think I’d be THIS scared…

(Hale slowly moves, but a bad turn nearly causes them to collapse and fall…)

(…and Eve quickly creates a current to make them upturn again.)

Hale: (gulps) That…was…scary…

(Weda puts her hands in front of Hale…)

Weda: Come on Hale, let’s do this together!

Hale: Mom…

(As they struggle, Racquel is taking control and is moving at a decent pace, not fast but good enough to get to the first one and already catch up with the mother and son duo…)

Racquel: (as she passes them) I feel like I’m doing something wrong…

Shannon: Don’t feel guilty, just pass them…

(They do, as Weda and Hale slowly, but surely begin to move…)

* * * *

BIKE TRACK

(Hiroyuki and Akari are enjoy the sights and sounds of Koriko, as they savour the smiles of people waving by, the smells of the foods around town as early morning baked bread and cheese is making Hiroyuki want to stop…)

(…and he does, just to get a flag.)

Hiroyuki: This is quite nice.

Akari: Mmmm.

Hiroyuki: You keeping up there Akari?

Akari: Yes, I’m fine Hiroyuki-chan.

(The two peddle down, Hiroyuki keeps it with Akari’s pace, the two actually enjoying the pleasant ride.)

Akari: It wasn’t a rush job. I think Hiroyuki sensed we were safe considering we took the fast forward last time, so he wasn’t rushing about on the bike and made sure he kept with my slower pace. We think on a similar pattern, we’ve known each other for so long.

(The two enjoy their bike ride as they collect a flag at a time, as back with the brooms…)

* * * *

(Racquel and Shannon have touched 6 balloons, whilst Hale and Weda have only got on their third. Hale’s fear of heights is now making this near unbearable, and almost enough for want to get off. However, a few motherly words (i.e. DON’T LOSE THIS NOW KIDDO!!!) seem to get him away from the fear, as they slowly begin to get the hang of this.)

(By the time they get their 5th though, Racquel and Shannon have done their 9th. The spellcaster and swordsman slowly guide themselves way like an old Pilotwings game to the 10th balloon as they land with time to spare.)

7.30AM

(Shannon and Racquel land as Lillith applauds.)

Lillith: I can see you made that look easy…

Shannon: That was easy?

Racquel: I think so…

Shannon: Tell that to my backside…

Lillith: *ahem* If you don’t mind…

Shannon: …same to you…

(Lillith grudgingly hands over the next clue as the lady and gentleman, as they look through it.)

Shannon: Head back to the marketplace and purchase the next clue.

(They check their remaining deutchmarks as they realise they could be in for a fun search…)

Shannon: So…it’s the book finding all over again…

(The two run off as Hale and Weda continue to sweat…)

Weda: Come on…come on…come on…

* * * *

(A quick shot of Kiki quickly explaining the market clue…)

Kiki: In each of the stalls there is something that is ‘out of place.’ They are items from either a show they’ve already been in, or from a show where a team has already eliminated.

(As Shannon and Racquel look…)

* * * *

7.44am

Hale: YES!

(It takes them a while, but they complete broom, both drenched in sweat. Lillith applauds them begrudgingly…)

Lillith: You guys were up there a while…

Hale: …you try doing that…

Lillith: Bah, on broomsticks, so old school…using books is now the best way…

Weda: I guess those girls from Hong Kong were over you then…

Lillith: (shudders) Don’t remind me…

(Lillith gives them the clue as they rather wish they could find a nice shower…)

Hale: O.K, we’ll do that in a…

(They gulp as Hiroyuki and Akari are shown in the distance after their bike ride, with 10 flags in tow. The two run off before Hiroyuki can see them, not looking at the clue and just get out of sight before looking at it.)

Tonbu: Yep, all present and correct! Next time, try it by air bike!

Hiroyuki: I’ll pass…

Akari: It was nice and relaxing, considering how those up there were feeling…

Tonbu: Bah, only Kiki can make flying via broom look cool anyway. So…

(Tonbu hands the childhood friend their next clue as they glance at it.)

Hiroyuki: Looks like I’m doing a bit more shopping…and not for teddy bears O.K?!

Akari: Aww…

(The two rush off as Hale and Weda ahead of them also head off, whilst during this, Shannon and Racquel have been at the market for 5 minutes and having problems finding a clue…almost as bad as a twinkle (last ep reference) but just not as cute…)

Shannon: How can we define what a clue is?

Racquel: Oh, how cute!!!

Shannon: (sighs) Racquel, now is not the ti…

(Racquel has picked up a couple of small figurines. They are actually the playing pieces used in Tina's homemade board game in AYA, the figures of course, being replicas of Aoi and Kaoru. Shannon sees it and notices that in a greengrocer stall, that is not exactly something that you would see there…)

Shannon: Excuse me miss, but did someone leave that there?

Shopkeeper: Oh no young sir, it’s always been there for sale as far as I know…I was wondering that, but oh well! It’s just 1 mark!

(Lillith groans as she curses out Eve for ‘messing around with the fabric of time…or everyone’s minds…or both…’ Shannon pays up, and as soon as he does, the figurines turn into a puff of smoke, and turn into another envelope…)

Shannon: Now what jumps at it? That dumb dinosaur costume?

(No, but an item connected with said costume may be coming next…)

Shannon: Road Block…this person must be born to bread.

* * * *

(Quick shot of outside the main base of Kiki’s Delivery Service, The Onono Bread Shop. Mrs Onono, a plump lady in her 30s is the adoptive mother of Kiki in this town, a very pleasant lady who’s husband, Mr Onono, never says anything, just grunts, smiles and accepts Kiki and Jiji. Mrs Onono is our next host for the day.)

Mrs Onono: The person that takes this Road Block must be able to make a good quality load of bread under our instruction that can be deemed sellable here. It’s hard, demanding but rewarding work, and whoever can complete this will get their just reward by completing the Road Block.

* * * *

(Both Shannon and Racquel looked stumped at the clue…)

Shannon: Born…

Racquel: …to bred?

Shannon: The spelling of ‘bread’…possible eating challenge?

Racquel: I don’t know, but I’m more used to selling bread…

Shannon: I dunno if the customers were that interested in the bread but…who is gonna take it?

Racquel: Hmmm…maybe it’s a regal challenge…

Shannon: …possibly, but haven’t got a clue. Let’s see, you did the last one, so I’ll do this one, sound fair?

Racquel: Sure.

(Shannon and Racquel now have to find the Onono’s shop, but it’s quite famous (considering it’s Kiki’s base as well as a great place for freshly baked bread) so after a quick discussion with some of the early risers of the town, they find where they have to go so they make a dash…)

* * * *

7.51am

(Hale and Weda are now searching whilst Hiroyuki and Akari are also there, trying to buy a clue (actually Hale is, whilst Weda is trying to bother Kiki to getting her pitcher back now, but that damn invisible barrier that was effecting the Yuki fangirls is coming into play again) but whilst Hale gets frustrated, Akari’s cool, cute head manages to quickly realise what a clue is when she gets to a toy store, and notices something unusual…)

Akari: Hiroyuki-chan, over here!

Hiroyuki: Yeah?

(A quick shot shows a rather unusual item at a toy store…a 6 pack of cat-shaped onigiri (Fruits Basket) – Akari’s combination of a) being an excellent cook and b) lover of all things cute works overtime here…)

Hiroyuki: That’s weird…and on sale here?

(The shopkeeper just shrugs. Akari buys them to see if she is right, and yep, she is (though they don’t have breakfast now) as it transforms into the next clue.)

Hiroyuki: I think they are overdoing it on the magic thing…

Akari: …born to bread…

Hiroyuki: Hmmm…considering the way we went on the bike ride, I have a hunch we could be either eating or cooking…

Akari: So…

Hiroyuki: Well…I’m the bread eater…and you’re the cook…so…

(They think…)

Hiroyuki: Well…

Akari: …can I do it?

Hiroyuki: Huh?

Akari: Well…you’ve done most of them, and I want to show I can pull my weight. You went to my pace just, and I want to show…

Hiroyuki: (smiles) Just make sure you don’t overeat then…

Akari: (smiles) Hai!

(As the two run, Hale and Weda see them going, and realise they must have found something, but they go over there and have no luck. They keep searching the stalls, and just prior to the clock going 8am, Hale gets some luck…)

Hale: Excuse me sir, is this in the right place?

(In an old armoury, there seems to be, of all things, a cute alien plushie toy (Onegai Teacher). Hale looks a little weirded out, but Weda snaps it up and pays a mark.)

Weda: That’s your dowry for when you marry Mari…

Hale: MOMMMMMM!!!

(After Hale is embarrassed (again) it does the transformation, and they get the clue. Hale snatches it, as they have to decide what the clue…)

Weda: WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN?

Hale: It means we are screwed.

Weda: Gah…

Hale: …but considering you’re still pissed about the alcohol…I can see it…I’ll do it. Bread probably means something to do with cooking considering where we are, and the last time you cooked you were an Egyptian relic…

Weda: Don’t make me drop you…

Hale: That didn’t mean I didn’t like the food…

(Weda stops…)

Weda: Thank you…

(Mother and son bonding moment over, they return to try and get back to the front of the pack…)

* * * *

8.00am

(Two events now occur…)

(A tram stops as two teams step out, one more worse for wear than another…)

Risa: Stupid cows…

Riku: Come on, you think With is cute…

Risa: Difference between a rabbit and a cow…

(Mirielle and Kirika jump off the tram and get greeted by Kokiri and Okino, who hand the duo their clue. They do the same to Riku and Risa (after Risa has uttered bloody death to the cows in the tram) but the assassins have an obvious speed advantage…)

Mirielle: ...just look for a busy market Kirika, it probably looks like a larger gathering whenever we go for coffee at a Paris café…

Kirika: Right.

(The twins struggle to keep up with the assassins, whilst back at the front of the pack…)

Shannon: What an idiot I am.

Mrs. Onono: O.K dearie, get started! I’ll help you with the basics, but you must do it yourself and make it passable to be on the front window…

(It’s not the breadmaking that’s the worse thing…)

Shannon: I’ll never make fun of Leo again…

(It’s the pink apron he’s wearing. Racquel is trying to look sympathetic…and failing. Actually, remove the ‘sym’ and you have the feeling that Shannon is feeling at the moment…)

Shannon: So I have to cook huh? Actually…make that I won’t make fun of Pacifica again either…

(However, a glare from the stoic Mr. Onono makes even Shannon gulp. After a bit of instruction, Shannon gets ready to work the hot stoves, whilst the Obonos prepare shop (without Kiki because she’s getting ready to be busy again…))

* * * *

Kiki: …I’m afraid that’s the deal.

(Kirika looks upset…as Mirielle tries to plea…)

Mirielle: There must be something else…

Kiki: (shakes her head) We need something which is true to their heart, and THAT seems to work.

(Kirika clutches her ID card, seemingly the item that Kiki wants to trade in for the clue as her ‘service’. A few moments of delay, and this gives the Haradas a chance to catch up. And they get the same deal, and are just as not happy…)

Risa: …but what can we give up?

Kiki: Well…what about….

Riku: Fine…

(Riku takes off her friendship charm which Daisuke got from Mio (no longer magic filled) – it’s used in the infamous ‘confession’ episode which Chrissy won’t go into…it’s just too cute…but you can see that Riku is doing this VERY grudgingly…Risa even thinks she looks ready to cry…)

Riku: You’d better take care of it…

Kiki: (gulping) Yes, Kiki’s Delivery Service always get their items perfect and on time…

Riku: Fine…where’s the clue…

(Kiki hurriedly gets it, as Kirika and Mirielle look surprised as they of, Riku trying to hide her face from them. Kirika fingers her ID card as well, but really does not want to let go of it…)

* * * *

8.10am

(A quick double shot of Akari and Hale now in the bread shop, with Akari and Hale trying hard not to smile at Shannon’s expression(whilst outside, Hiroyuki and Weda don’t even try to hold back…))

Shannon: I officially hate my life now…

Mrs Onono: O.K, just get it slowly and surely…

(Akari is the natural of the three, with Hale not too far behind. Despite having a time advantage, Shannon is the struggler, as the three continue to be born to bread. Meanwhile, Riku and Risa are not as struggling as hard on the detour as you may think…)

Risa: I’m surprised you didn’t pick bike!

Riku: Considering how bad you are on a bike I don’t want to risk it…besides, we’re both used to aerial combat…

Risa: I know…but…

(Risa sees Riku channels her aggression over the loss of Daisuke’s charm as Risa uses her own spritual sense to seemingly push the broom further forward at a rate almost as good as magic users Shannon and Racquel.)

Risa: I feel a bit more respect for my big sis now, that charm was something she treasured, yet sacrificed for this game. I don’t even know why she did it, or for that matter why anyone would volunteer for this…but…somehow, she did.

(Risa and Riku continue to go through touching the balloons, whilst back at the market, Kirika and Mirielle finally sacrifice an item…)

Mirielle: I’m surprised you want this.

Kiki: I believe it’s an item that is worth to you…more than you may think…

(In Kiki’s hand, is the watch. Yes, THE watch – Noir fans will know what I’m on about. Mirielle seems embarrassed, Kirika feels relieved…and a little bit guilty.)#

Kiki: Here’s your clue…

(Kirika and Mirielle read it, but just before they go…Mirielle enquires about something…)

Mirielle: Wait.

(Kirika looks up surprised…)

Mirielle: We left a bit of time because of this, but the others are still behind. Not only does this give us a chance to make up lost time, but make sure the others who haven’t used the Fast Forward get the chance to take it…

Kirika: Are you sure this is the best chance…

Mirielle: I think so. I don’t think you seem to be in the mood now to do any real challenging.

(Kirika is quiet, but solemnly nods. Mirielle reads through…)

Mirielle: (smiles) I think you may like this one.

Kirika: Why?

(Mirielle shows it to Kirika…who then gives her one of her rare smiles.)

* * * *

(Meowth, that’s right! Cue the coolest cat before a gold charm’s fleabag invaded our screens with Jessie and James, and after Tom and Top Cat retired – here’s Jiji!)

Jiji: Aw man, on my day off, they still gotta find me? Ah well…

(The witch’ black cat crosses our path and explains.)

Jiji: There's 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 can never use another one for the rest of the race, so they need to decide when it's most advantageous to go for it!

(Jiji licks his paw before continuing…)

Jiji: They have to find me and a white cat named Lily passing through the streets of Koriko. We’ll each have half of the fast forward when put together will make the final clue of where to go…just don’t go rough on the fur please, I know how these girls operate!!!!

(Jiji goes off to strut his stuff, whilst Mirielle and Kirika begin to do the same…)

* * * *

Mirielle: Finding a couple of cats in a town like this? Could it be any more difficult?

(Kirika just smiles…)

Mirielle: Then again…

* * * *

(Back with the bread making, the Odono’s are going through a basis of what the three need to do when making bread, and to see if they are doing well.)

(Whilst Akari and Hale are indeed doing well, Shannon is not having as much luck, as he needed to start a part again. The Odono’s are perfectionists, which coincidentally, probably fits Akari and Hale quite well as well.)

Akari: (wiping some dough off her face) This is kinda fun!

Hale: (doing the same) I guess it is, it’s hard work, but the pressure of doing it for someone is a bit off, and as long as I don’t see anyone else come through that door now…

(Hale waits for the inevitable next person to come, and when they don’t come…)

Hale: YES!

Akari: (chuckles) You’re funny Hale-kun.

Hale: Thank you Akari-san, but let’s be a bit quieter…

Akari: Huh, why?

(Hale points outside as Weda is doing her ‘chuckle and ladykiller’ motif. Hale sweatdrops…)

Hale: Help me…

Shannon: That’s what I was thinking…

(Shannon wipes off a bit of sweat, as they continue to work…)

* * * *

8.17am

(Shot of Riku and Risa touch down after completing the detour…)

Risa: Well done sis!

Riku: Same here.

(They get the clue, and nod.)

Riku: Back to the market…

Risa: Right!

(But two others are searching for different items…namely item in black and white…)

Mirielle: (shouting) Kirika, can you see them?

(Shot of Kirika who has actually gone up to the top of the bridge to oversee the search, her keen eyes trying to find Jiji and Lily. Kirika, who is a known cat lover, leans forward and catches a sight of a white cat on a windowsill, licking her paw…)

Kirika: Mirielle, go south!

(Kirika calls instructions whilst Mirielle runs, following what Kirika tells her. When she comes to the white cat, she looks surprised…Lily doesn’t have any talking powers though, but Mirielle just sighs.)

Mirielle: Don’t scratch me.

(Lily probably senses that Mirielle is dangerous, so she tenses up. Mirielle gently removes the clue, as Mirielle smiles.)

Mirielle: 1 down, 1 to go…Kiri…

(She looks up, Kirika isn’t there. Mirielle looks a bit worried…)

Mirielle: Kirika, where are y…

(A gasp from the crowd confirms where Kirika is. From the bridge, she jumped onto the hill, skidded down, somersaulted forward, landing perfectly…)

(…and picks up a shellshocked Jiji, hiding in an alley.)

Jiji: Geez kid, don’t scare me like that!

Kirika: Sorry…

(Kirika strokes Jiji’s fur, again, a little fear for the cat but Mirielle calmly walks over.)

Mirielle: This is going to get you in trouble one of these days…

Jiji: Just take it please…

(Kirika does so, sets Jiji down and they read the clue.)

Kirika: Congratulations, you have won the Fast Forward! You may skip all tasks and go directly to the Pit Stop…

* * * *

(KORIKO FOREST)

(….which is in the outskirts of town, where a heavy branch of woodland is located. Somewhere in the middle of this is a small woodland home, where our Pit Stop is. The last host is the artist Kiki befriends early in her service work, Ursula. She has a lot of animals, and her place is a bit messy, so the group may be camping out…)

Ursula: Having won the Fast Forward, Mirielle and Kirika can now skip all tasks and go directly to the Pit Stop. And make sure they don’t frighten any of my cats!

* * * *

(The assassins look through and begin to look around town to where the woods are, and finally notice the path out of town. They get this confirmed by a couple of villagers and run off.)

Mirielle: It is weird to try and use this to the advantage when you aren’t last, but this part has cheered Kirika up so it’s all worth it.

(They rush off…)

* * * *

8.25am

(RIKU/RISA – TWIN SISTERS – 5TH PLACE)

Risa: So THAT’S what we had to do?

(Riku picks up the rat and cat plushie from Fruit’s Basket she found inside a coffee shop. After paying for it, the keeper hands them the clue.)

Risa: Road Block. This person must be born to bread…

Riku: Huh?

Risa: Born to bread…what does this mean?

Riku: Let’s have a look…

(After seeing how it’s spelt, Riku nods.)

Riku: It’s something to do with bread.

Risa: Gah…you do it.

Riku: What?

Risa: If it’s to do with bread, it may be to do with cooking, and you know how I love that…

Riku: You’re improving your sarcasm every day…(sighs)…very well, I was getting hungry anyway…

(The Haradas leave to find the Onono’s, where quite a few teams are enjoying the bread smells…well, one half of them, the others are slaving away…but…)

* * * *

8.32AM

URSULA’S HOME

(After a navigation through the woods, the two managed to see smoke come from somewhere. On their assassin’s intuition, the two rush off and notice…)

Kirika: (smiling) My my…

Mirielle: Looks like you could have a few new friends…

(Ursula sees the two girls there, as Eve materialises with them. Ursula nods as Kirika and Mirielle step onto the ‘KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE’ mat. Ursula welcomes them in.)

Ursula: Been busy?

Mirielle: I guess…that was a nasty stunt you guys pulled off to get the clue…

(Eve just smiles as does Ursula. Both assassins don’t know what they are doing until Ursula speaks.)

Ursula: Mirielle and Kirika, you are team number one.

(As soon as those words come out, Eve pulls out something…)

(…the watch.)

Mirielle: What?

Ursula: (smiles) Kiki is a delivery service – Eve wanted the items to be delivered to, and now she is delivering them back. She wanted to see how everyone would get through it…

Mirielle: You…sneaky…little…

(Eve smiles again, and even Mirielle stops…)

Mirielle: Damn, stop that innocent face, makes me unable to get mad…but hey, we’re back in first.

(Kirika’s wipes something from her eyes…she was crying?)

Mirielle: Kirika?

Kirika: Hmmm…oh sorry, a bit of pollen…

Ursula: Righhhhhhhtttttt….

* * * *

8.35AM

Riku: Just for the record, pink aprons DON’T suit me, no matter what our teacher says…

Hale: But you look so nice Riku-san!

(Hale and Akari are actually resting as both of their bread sample as now in the oven, as Shannon has to be going through it AGAIN as Riku begins starting. She gets instructions from Mrs. Onono, but as a pretty good cook herself, she’s quickly onto it. Risa on the outside is talking with Hiroyuki, Weda and Racquel…)

Racquel: I guess the Cascull’s were never made to be cooks…

Shannon: (inside) Damn this…

Hiroyuki: Do you guys need some wet rags?

Akari: (inside) We’re fine Hiroyuki-chan, Onono-san has already done that for us.

(Indeed, Mr Onono has prepared to cool them off, see, he is a nice guy! Riku and Shannon begin to sweat more as soon, another tram will be joining them, in what may be a battle for last place now…)

* * * *

8.42AM

Mrs. Onono: O.K, that one is perfect!

(Onono hands the clue over to…)

Akari: Thank you!

(Hale has to wait a few more minutes before passing, as Akari and Hiroyuki escape the confines of the kitchen, where Riku is hummingly to herself, and Shannon is probably cursing to himself…)

Hiroyuki: Good work Akari!

Akari: Hai, Hiroyuki-chan!

(Hiroyuki looks through the clue and reads…)

Hiroyuki: After completing the detour, head over to Ursula’s cabin in the neck of the woods outside town.

Akari: Let’s go!

Hiroyuki: Right!

(Despite being in a sweltering oven for the last half an hour or so, Akari still has plenty of energy as they head off, Hiroyuki all smiles.)

Hiroyuki: I’m proud of her. Well, I’m always proud of her, but that was her leg and she didn’t let us down. We went for the F/F last time and I was hoping we wouldn’t lose our momentum, and by god, we haven’t.

* * * *

8.47am

(…and it isn’t long before our next Iron Chef has been approved as well…)

Hale: Geez, that was hotter than a barbecue in the jungle…

Weda: You O.K kid?

(Hale wipes off a bit more sweat from the towel…)

Hale: Yeah, fine. Shall we go?

Weda: Where to?

Hale: Here.

(Weda reads the clue…and nods.)

Weda: Let’s find the great outdoors shall we?

Hale: Make it so!

(Hale and Weda run off, and begin trying to find the woods. Weda smiling all the way now.)

Weda: Yeah, I was disappointed when I lost my pitcher, but not enough to know that winning is more important. Hale certainly gave his all after I did my thing before, so to say we were working together well is an understatement…I never expected it to go this smoothly, and am damn proud of my son for this! Be drinking tonight I hope…

* * * *

8.50AM

(At last, the final destination hits us, as Naruto/Sasuke and Oshige/Wakayoji get off the last train, and get their clues from Kokiri and Okino (Naruto and Sasuke as usual ahead because of their speed…)

NARUTO/SASUKE – 6TH PLACE

Sasuke: What now?

Naruto: Time to do some shopping!

Sasuke: Not quite..

(Oshige and Wakayoji, behind them, are a bit nervous considering the ninjas speed, and decide maybe to go for what Akari and Hiroyuki went for last time…)

Oshige: But if they go for it, we don’t have a chance…

Wakayoji: That’s true…

(It seems a bit bad as the managers head on, trying to see if they can keep up with Naruto and Sasuke…)

Wakayoji: A bad realisation came to pass that if a Fast Forward is available, and Naruto and Sasuke take it…we’re in trouble. We cannot keep up with them, that is a fact, so if they take it…well…

(Of course, neither know about Mirielle and Kirika’s turn of events, so we’ll leave them at that as they prepare to bargain with Kiki…)

* * * *

8.56am

Naruto: I can’t believe you’re doing this as well…

Sasuke: …this…isn’t something I’d want to do…

Naruto: YOU THINK SO? YOU KNOW WHAT I HAD TO DO TO GET IRUKA-SENSEI TO GIVE ME ONE OF THESE?

Kiki: I’m sorry…

(Neither ninja seems willing to take her apology, as they seem almost forced to give up their headbands (their chosen item). Interestingly, it seems that both of them are doing it, rather than just one person. Kiki accepts the payment for the clue, and Sasuke inquires about the fast forward. Kiki nods and gives it to them…)

(…just as Oshige and Wakayoji come up. Naruto smiles and bobs his tongue…)

Naruto: See ya suckers!

Sasuke: Cheered up quickly right…

Naruto: Not enough…

(The two rush off, needing to look for the cats, as Oshige and Wakayoji confirm with Kiki they’ve gone for the fast forward. Oshige contemplates seeing if they can beat them for it, but Wakayoji stops her.)

Wakayoji: No Oshige-chan, let’s not.

Oshige: Why?

Wakayoji: Just in case, someone else took the fast forward. If that’s the case, we’ll be even further behind…if there is a chance of survival, we’ll take it. Hiroyuki and Akari weren’t last but took the fast forward as well, so…

Oshige: …you’re going a lot on luck y’know?

Wakayoji: In our business, sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.

(After speaking with Kiki, it’s another tough choice…but in the end, they give up a beautiful looking music box with the tune ‘Eternal Snow’ dancing about. This is Mitsuki’s, a present from her mom and dad, which she seems to have given to the two of them. Oshige has some small tears in her eyes as Kiki apologises (again). After looking at the detour, they nod…)

Oshige: Speed?

Wakayoji: Brooms? No thanks…

Oshige: But we need speed…

Wakayoji: Let’s put it this way, seeing Takato and Meroko in action…we’re not them…

Oshige: But…

Wakayoji: Trust me.

(Oshige seems lost in Wakayoji’s eyes, and she is powerless against ‘The Prince.’ After a bit of doubting, Oshige nods.)

Wakayoji: Let’s go.

(The two run…)

Oshige: Why didn’t we take the faster option? Something was up there…I don’t think he’s scared of heights, so why?

Wakayoji: Despite what I said, I fear the worst, so I’d rather not make anybody suffer. I’d take riding a bike around a peaceful town than flying into danger any day of the week…I just hope Oshige doesn’t hate me for this…I’ve been more of a pessimist than she has been after all.

* * * *

8.58am

Ursula: Sorry sweetie, no bears in the woods…

Akari: Aw…

Hiroyuki: It’s one thing to be a fan of plush bears, but real ones…

Ursula: Akari and Hiroyuki, you are team number two.

Hiroyuki: Two?

Akari: Someone must have taken the Fast Forward…

Hiroyuki: Ah.

Ursula: Well…at least you do win something.

(Hiroyuki is surprised when Eve gives them his picture back, which he smiles at. Not so smiling when he sees Mirielle and Kirika in the nearby stream, catching some fish, Mirielle teaching. As long as there aren’t any Soldat based purification ceremonies I’m cool with that…)

(Finally…)

9.01am

Shannon: (near collapse) That is good enough?

Mrs Onono: Yes, see, hard work perseveres!

Shannon: If you mean ‘builds up a sweat’ I certainly agree.

Racquel: Are you O.K?

Risa: Find a spring outside!

Shannon: Where’s a mythical lake when you need one…

(Racquel takes the clue off Shannon and reads it.)

Racquel: No time…bye Miss Harada!

(Risa is all alone now, but Riku seems to be in cruise control and has just put her contraption into the oven, catching up quite well with the Scrapped Princess duo.)

* * * *

9.05am

Hale: Man, that takes a lot out of ya!

Ursula: Cooking and trekking too much for you kid?

Hale: Nah miss, I’m tough!

Weda: That’s right, he’s my boy, of course he’s tough…

Ursula: (to herself) I wonder if she is part of the reason why he is tough…


Weda: Huh?

Ursula: I mean…Hale and Weda, you are team number 3…and whilst Eve-chan is not one for drinking…

(Eve hands over the pitcher. Cue a loud ‘WHOOOOOOOO!’ from Weda and just as loud ‘NOOOOOOOO!’ from Hale, taking over from Pedro as our ever frantic and panicky male character for the series…)

* * * *

9.06am

(Shot of Oshige and Wakayoji around town, on their bike (literaly) as they begin to capture the flag…)

Oshige: (blushing/embarrassed as she’s riding back clutching onto Wakayoji’s waist…) Wakayoji-kun, you’re going a bit fast…

Wakayoji: Hey, I do drive a motorbike, you get the hang of this and more…

Oshige: But…oh what the hell!

(Oshige pedals to the metal, whilst the keen eyes of two ninjas establish a) what a cat is and b)

Naruto: WHAT?!!! NOT AGAIN!!!!!!!

Jiji: ‘Fraid so kid, you have to go back…

Naruto: THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING!

Sasuke: (sighs) Now we’re back in last…we need to catch up and fast. What was on that clue…

(They rush over to the bell tower as fast as they humanely can, once again, caught out by the fact that someone has already taken the fast forward…)

Sasuke: Twice that has happened, and we knew that if we didn’t have our speed the last time we were gone. And it seems the same is going to happen again…as in the fact we are going to come from behind…

(The ninjas tonzura…)

* * * *

9.12am

Naruto: …so we gotta hike on that…

Sasuke: Let’s think we’re doing chakra training…same kind of mentality…

(Naruto looks confused as usual. Sasuke sighs…)

Sasuke: Let’s just fly O.K?

(That logic hits home as yaoi fans squeal of Naruto clutching Sasuke from behind of the broom (and considering I just saw the Konoha Sports Festival ep, I wonder what yaoi fangirls thought about a certain scene) – both try and concentrate, and do a decent job, but not at a great speed by any strength or imagination. Still, they manage to get the hang of airborne concentration, and hope they can still get ahead…)

Naruto: LET’S GOOOOOOOOOO!

* * * *

9.15am

Riku: Thank you ma’am!

Mrs Onono: You’re welcome dearie!

(Riku has completed her bread and butter (O.K, just the bread) as she wipes some sweat and jogs alongside Risa…)

Riku: We’re heading outta town!

Risa: Lead the way sis!

(The two actually look like twin sisters for a change jogging in unison trying to head out of town to the neck of the woods…)

Riku: We’ve got our own skills, but when push comes to shove, we can get the job done together. Sure, we got a bit lucky there with something right up my strength, but Risa had the same thing last leg. If we read things right, there is nothing we can’t do…

* * * *

9.16am

URSULA’S HUT

Ursula: Made it?

Shannon: I never want to see bread again…

Ursula: Shannon and Racquel, you are team number 4.

Shannon: Dropped down a few…

Racquel: Oh well…

(Eve hands over the Pacifica lock, as the two join the others in a mountain stream wash off, whilst two other teams fight for survival…)

* * * *

9.18am

Naruto: That wasn’t so bad…

Sasuke: I guess all that tree climbing had it’s uses…at least you weren’t scared of heights…

Naruto: Very funny.

(They get the clue as they now have to find an item in the market. Making sure they’ve got their money safe, they rush out…)

* * * *

9.20am

Oshige: …that was fun!

Wakayoji: Now, let’s hope and pray.

Oshige: At least we’ve got a good memory of this place…

OSHIGE/WAKAYOJI – LAST PLACE

(They get the clue from Tonbo as they (unknowingly) follow Naruto and Sasuke into the path of the markets…)

* * * *

Sasuke: …so we have to find something…but what?

Naruto: Beats me, you’re the thinker.

Sasuke: Now you notice?

Naruto: Keh.

(The ninjas speed is good at moving from stall to stall, but not so good in trying to find something completely out of place…their speed certainly avoids the problem as a whole, and by the time Oshige and Wakayoji do get there, they get their item…)

Naruto: Why the heck?

Sasuke: Sense of humour.

(A mecha Rinrin doll combined with a mini Kurumi (Sister Princess/Steel Angel Kurumi) inside a flower shop is certainly out of place. The reason why it took so long is it is the last place Sasuke would probably be seen in.)

(After purchasing it, they look through the clue…)

Naruto: Born to bread?

Sasuke: Well, to say where I was born to isn’t exactly something I…

Naruto: Yosha! I’ll take it!

(Sasuke’s eyes widen, but Naruto just rushes off, trying to find where this shop is…)

(…and nearly bump into Oshige and Wakayoji.)

Naruto: Crap…

Oshige: (evil smile) We’ll be hunting you down…

Naruto: SASUKKKKKEEEE!!!

(Sasuke complies and lazily passes the two adults, as Team Full Moon begin their own search. Fortunately, despite their speed, locating something isn’t too good for Naruto and Sasuke, and Oshige and Wakayoji notice something out of place…or should I say, something very weird…)

Oshige: What’s this?

Wakayoji: Looks like a small doll…but in a fishmongers?

(Another alien esque doll, this one however is from Princess Nine, belonging to the lovely Yuki who people may recall had a pivotal role in Murder Game 2 despite not being a contestant or suspect (i.e. she made all my finalists think it was Izumi who was the killer)…the doll is of course Fifi-chan!)

Wakayoji: Kinda weird…you think Mitsuki would like that?

Oshige: Never mind, we’re not shopping…we’re racing, so let’s race!

(They buy it and get the clue. After reading it, both are unsure…)

Oshige: Were you born into royal lineage prince?

Wakayoji: Not exactly.

Oshige: Well…born to bread…

Wakayoji: Shall we just…

Oshige: No, I’ll do it. Bread probably inquires a food challenge, and hopefully it won’t be what I think it is…

(Oshige rushes off…)

Oshige: I was disappointed with Wakayoji’s choice in the end, but we managed to catch up slightly. I need to make sure we don’t mess up now, so I’ll play with all my might…

* * * *

9.30AM

Risa: Ah, that feels good…

Ursula: The breeze is picking up now right?

Riku: Indeed…

Ursula: Riku and Risa, you guys are team number 5.

Risa: Still in there sis…

Riku: Yep, we’ve come this far, let’s hang on…

(Eve hands Riku over her friendship necklace, as her tears of sadness become tears of joy as she clutches the thing to her chest. Risa seems ready to make a joke out of her expense, but surprisingly doesn’t. She just walks over and begins talking to Weda.)

* * * *

9.32am

Naruto: Crap.

(Naruto has just found out what the Road Block is…and Sasuke also doesn’t seem to like how this one is going…)

Sasuke: It’s not like we can’t cook, it’s just we normally either hunt our food, stay at someone’s place or buy it. We’re not specialists.

(Naruto cocks his head in an idiotic manner as Onono explains (or tries to) to the moronic (but loveable) ninja…Sasuke sighs.)

Sasuke: That, and does Naruto ever listen to anything when it’s explained to him?

(After Onono thinks Naruto has ‘learned’, he begins to cook. Of course, it’s no easy job for a rookie, but Naruto, as always, tries his best, and again, his adaptability may be a key…)

9.35AM

Oshige: Crap.

(Almost echoing Naruto’s earlier statements, Oshige now realises what she has to, the one thing she is really bad at…is cooking. Techincally it’s baking, but if it’s hot and it’s in the kitchen, she is most likely bad at it…)

Wakayoji: I think either one of us would have been a bad choice…

(Naruto looks up, gasps, and nearly messes up his mix, but recovers, as he tries in a vague attempt to think of a good way to making bread without using ninja techniques. Oshige puffs, rolls up her sleeves as Onono begins explaining again…)

Sasuke: LISTEN TO HER THIS TIME NARUTO!!!

Naruto: Eh?

Sasuke: (slaps his forehead) Damn idiot…

(That seems to work as Naruto seethes…)

Naruto: I’ll show you!

(He begins to stir like a madman as the manager of Full Moon gets her apron on, and looks at Naruto with evil eyes…Naruto gulps (no more calling her ba-chan again…) as Oshige slams a bowl on the counter.)

Oshige: Time to whip up a storm!!!!

(The battle ensues…)

* * * *

9.42am

Sasuke: This is going to take a while isn’t it…

Wakayoji: Indeed.

(Shot of both cooks not looking too happy with their creations so far, as the Ononos give more than their fair shares of helping hints. They want a bread that is palatable and decent enough to be shown in their front of window…and it could, as Sasuke said, with these two and their cooking skills, take a while…)

Oshige: Man…it’s hopeless…

Naruto: This isn’t exactly something I learned from Iruka-sensei, the food I know is…

(Suddenly, Naruto smiles…)

Naruto: Let’s try again…

(Naruto begins again, as Oshige wonders what is going on, but ignores the ninja and begins her work again…)

* * * *

(Shot of various cut shots of the two hard up in the kitchen, sweating, cursing and praying for results. But suddenly, one of them get the O.K…)

10.17am

Mrs. Onono: It’s unusually shaped, but unusual can sell, and it’s certainly good enough bread…well done, you pass.

Naruto: YOSHA!

(Shot of Naruto’s bread…if you can call it…breadsticks…or ramen sticks…might be a better term for it, very thin slices of bread fused together to make a spaghetti like bread together. However, it certainly meets with the Onono’s approval…)

(…as Oshige’s jaw drops to the ground.)

Mrs Onono: Here’s you go!

Naruto: Thanks!

(Naruto heads out as both Sasuke and Wakayoji’s jaws seem to hit the ground as well…but Naruto has done it.)

Naruto: Let’s go Sasuke, we need to go through the woods!

Sasuke: Huh…oh right…

(The ninjas run off, as a dispondent Oshige-chan looks like she’s going to cry…)

Oshige: Dammit! The one thing…it had to be cooking…and a little ninja brat with an IQ of 2 beat me at it?! For goodness sake…

Wakayoji: Oshige-chan! Don’t give up!

Oshige: What’s the point…

Wakayoji: Your pride?

Oshige: No.

Wakayoji: The fact that we can finish?

Oshige: No.

Wakayoji: (pauses) Then…how about the fact you’ll be letting yourself down as well as me?

(Oshige looks and wipes away a few tears…)

Oshige: Wakayoji-kun?

Wakayoji: (holds a hand out) Let’s just finish this. Let’s make sure we don’t quit…that’s something we NEVER do…(winks)…right?

(Oshige seems ready to cry more, but instead wipes a few tears and smiles…)

Oshige: You’re right.

Wakayoji: Thatta girl.

(Wakayoji sits by the side as Oshige, seemingly more relaxed, continues with her bread making…if disappointment is showing, she’s not trying to show it…)

* * * *

10.22am

Naruto: …admit it, I surprised you there!

Sasuke: Well…

Naruto: Ah, the mighty Sasuke is speechless!!!

Sasuke: You’re still a dunce…

Naruto: Why you…

Ursula: Ah-em!

(The two realise they are at Ursula’s cabin, as the young lady along with Eve greet them.)

Ursula: Glad you noticed.

Naruto: (rubbing the back of his head) Eh-heh…

Ursula: Naruto and Sasuke, you are team number 6.

Sasuke: We need to stop getting that close to elimination…

Naruto: We will…

* * * *

(A long winding shot of Oshige completing her bread making after an extra 15 minutes. She and Wakayoji take the long winding walk to the woods, Wakayoji’s arm around a tired but seemingly satisfied Oshige. Finally, they arrive at Ursula’s cabin…)

10.49am

Oshige: Ah well…I can’t make fun of Hiroyuki-chan anymore…

Wakayoji: They’ll be fine.

Oshige: It’s just hit now how much I want to be home, overseeing the sea, plugging away at work…seeing Mitsuki…

Wakayoji: Same here…

(After a few more steps, they see Eve. They step up to the ‘KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE’ mat as Ursula smiles.)

Ursula: You found your way…

Oshige: It wasn’t the directions, it was the stopping that was the problem.

Ursula: (chuckles) Well, sorry it has to end this way, but we gotta say it. Oshige and Wakayoji, you are the last team to arrive at the Pit Stop. I’m afraid you have been eliminated from the race.

(Oshige and Wakayoji look at each other, smile and nod.)

Oshige: Looks like I’m taking cooking lessons…

Wakayoji: Oh please no!

(The two laugh, as does Ursula, and at least they have a parting gift when Eve gives them back the music box. In the distance, we can see Akari looking sad, Naruto looking a bit guilty and Risa look relieved. We’re down to six…)

Wakayoji: It was a fun time. It was as close to a vacation that the two people of our work could take, and we went around Japan, Hong Kong and Germany. Shame it didn’t last longer, but we did our best, and that’s all we can hope for.

Oshige: It was fun! I enjoyed myself going worldwide with Wakayoji-kun, met some great people, particularly Akari and Hiroyuki, and I wish the best for them and everyone else!

Wakayoji: We may seem like the experience going against all this youth, which certainly helped us more than hindered us, and at least, we never went down without a fight. Some teams were just smart, better or luckier than us, and we can’t compete with that. But it certainly was good while it lasted.

Oshige: We can’t wait to go back home now – Mitsuki-chan, hope you’re feeling better, because we’ve got lots to tell you!!!

* * * *

Next time on the Anime-zing Race 3;

And we are done again!

The next leg will probably be a personal favourite of mine because of the show, this one was probably the hardest (so far) to write in my opinion, mainly because I didn’t want to ruin the image of this wonderful little movie.

Now, about Oshige and Wakayoji. Indeed, they were many of your picks to go down early – mainly because no-one had a clue about them. That was the plan – I’m sure if I went with Takato and Meroko they would have been more popular, but shinigami in races don’t work. Besides, these two have their fun moments, but enough seriousness to warrant a challenge in the race.

It was a shame, like most of the teams, to cut them, but I think they got as far as they should have -–this means that most of the real strong teams left are combined with either the excellent teamwork teams or the damn near full of energy teams. Who will take the gold?

As the dub has now been released, I can finally use my Shannon/Zelgadis echoing, as Racquel comment about the cold-hearted magic using swordsman fits Shannon to a tee, more so as both he and his fellow cold heart Zelgadis (Slayers) have the same VA, Crispin Freeman, who also played male Hibiki Amawa in earlier leg, I My Me Strawberry Eggs! Now, lets see I can fit an Anna/Racquel reference in there (both played by Bridget Hoffman/Ruby Marlowe, also voicing Jeri from Tamers, Miaka from Fushigi Yuugi and Belldandy in the OMG Movie, amongst others.)

One piece…of crap. Thank you Joseph Klemm for introducing me to this video – hilarious. More especially considering I’m not a big One Piece fan, but even I have to laugh at this. And then there’s the Narutard video…I bet that’s what a few people thought of me on Saturday 14th May at Midlands Anime Club – yep, I debuted my Hinata cosplay there whilst doing the anime quiz…the less said about that the better. J

The joke about the scene in the Konoha Festival – the whole ‘episode’ is based on Naruto not feeling too well and needing a potty break. 1st attempt – sneaky into girls lav – Failed (Hinata interrupts him…uber cute moment) 2nd attempt – use outdoor lavs – failed (Chouji uses his Meat Tank to knock them over for their bowling event) 3rd attempt – use Kage Bushin to subsititute – Failed (all of them need potty) and final attempt – get a clone in (who then locks it – Naruto clones are just as moronic as the real thing) and then find someone is coming out – Failed (that someone is Shino, who informs Naruto that the relay is coming and traps him in a pit of bugs…^_^). It comes to a climax when Sasuke passes the baton to Naruto…and passes the long thing thing into Naruto’s…erm…rear. Yaoi fangirls scream – but the best bit was the looks on Sakura, Ino and Hinata’s faces immediately after – classic.

Anyway, next leg…time for Noir’s junior division to come into play. Until next time…