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Day 23: The Ways of a Man

Manga Volume

Volume 3

Characters introduced

Sho Aikawa

Returning Characters

Midori Kasugano, Seiji Sawamura, Osamu Miyahara

Previous Day

Day 22: Seductive Advances

Next Day

Day 24: The Wonders of the Body

Day 23: The Ways of a Man is the 24th chapter of Midori Days and the second chapter of Volume 3 of the English manga.

Summary[]

Seiji and Osamu have a celebrity idol: Sho Aikawa. A Yakuza movie actor, Seiji and Osamu see him as a hero. To their surprise, it turns out Sho Aikawa is having a movie shoot in town, and the two (along with several unnamed friends) go to see, only to get surprisingly cast as thugs in the movie who work under Sho Aikawa's character. Their dream come true, they take the role a tad too seriously.

Plot[]

On the rooftop of his school, Seiji looks through a book titled "The Gang's Code of Conduct 2", which features two tough-looking guys on the cover. Seiji immediately remarks Sho-San (Sho Aikawa) is incredibly cool. He compliments the V-Cinema he saw from Sho-san recently, and quotes a line from the movie. He calls Sho-san "the man" and smiles proudly, while Midori thinks that Seiji is confusing the character Sho Aikawa plays with the actor himself. The two are, however, interrupted as Osamu bursts onto the roof to excitedly tell Seiji about Sho Aikawa filming near the site of the old bowling alley. Osamu heads off to the school gate to wait for Seiji, leaving Seiji to his joy. As Seiji tries to celebrate, Midori tells him he has tutoring, but in an effort to sound cool, he simply says "I won't be held back... by worthless crap like that". Midori doesn't respond, just thinking to herself "That makes no sense, Seiji-kun".

As the guys arrive, they notice a huge crowd of girls outside the bowling alley, and the two turn their attention just in time to see Sho Aikawa, in the flesh. Like the shrieking group of girls fawning over the lead, Seiji and the other boys begin absolutely shouting Sho's name over and over, excited to see their acting hero. As Sho-san looks at the group, each guy assumes Sho looked at them. This results in a loud argument which the director tells them to shutup. This ends in an argument between Seiji and the director.

As the scene changes, we see the lead actor, Hideaki, being attacked by a "hoodlum", managing to just barely dodge the knife and strike the guy in the gut, taking him down. The director laments that the "hoodlum" doesn't look like he's trying, his acting comes off as too unreal, and the director wants someone with more "I'm gonna kill you intensity" as he describes it. As the director looks over the crowd of squealing fangirls shouting "Kobayakawa-kun", the director's attention returns to Seiji and the boys shouting Sho's name. Suddenly getting an idea, he demands the assistant nearby to get "those idiots", and gives a wicked smile.

After having suited up in gangster garb, Seiji and the three others are informed of their role and told the narrative. Hideaki fights them, defeats them all, and then shoots Sho as the movie ends. The boys are awestruck that they get to be in a Sho Aikawa film, and Midori, hiding away in Seiji's sleeve, is just happy Seiji gets this chance. The boys stiffly approach Sho-san, all greeting him and saying how it's an honor to work with him. Sho-san agrees in return, and both Seiji and Osamu almost cry tears of joy at how "cool" Sho-san is. As the director begins to start the scene, Seiji asks Sho-san for tips. He's told only one sentence: "You need to become this role... with all your being". The words echo in the heads of the boys who begin to see themselves as Sho said. They were street thugs, Sho-san took them in, and they owe him everything. Seiji, now lost in his role as this henchman, gains an intimidating look as he remarks mentally "I would die for Sho-San!"

Sho draws his blade as Taki pulls his gun. The two duel to the death, however Taki manages to shoot Sho multiple times to Seiji's horror. As Sho falls to the ground, Taki remarks "Looks like... it's the end of our destiny. Seiji, lost in rage and despair, violently punches Taki as he remarks "It's the end of nothing, punk!" Osamu and the others pile in, attacking Taki violently for harming Sho.

The director's assistant briefly tries to stop the shoot, however the director stops him, and demands they keep rolling.

The henchman rush over to the dying Sho. They try to reassure him that he'll make it, but Sho simply places a cigarette in his mouth, chuckling to himself that anyone would cry at the death of a Yakuza like him. As the henchman look over their dying leader, he tells them he doesn't "wanna see grown men cry. Send me off... with a smile, okay?" With that, Sho passes, and the henchman shout his name to the heavens.

"CUT!!!" yells the director, snapping Seiji out of his mind and back to reality as Seiji realizes he got too invested in his character. The director compliments them all, happy for their performance.

The final page shows the word "later", and Seiji has gotten a copy of the film to watch. Both he and Midori are excited, and quickly pop the VHS in and start playing. Seiji and Midori are, at first, very excited, but unfortunately Seiji was caught almost entirely from behind, which bums him out. However, at the end, the two notice something rather alarming. Midori was accidentally in the shot, hiding in his sleeve and looking at the camera. The final panel ends with the narration "Thereafter, in certain circles, "The Grave Marker of Humanity became known for the ghost that appeared in the end".

Chapter References[]

Day 17: A Passionate Gaze: "The Old Bowling Alley" is the same bowling alley Seiji saved Kota Shingyoji from.

Trivia[]

  • Sho Aikawa was first mentioned in Day 18: The Return of the Nightmare, however this was only done in passing by Seiji.
  • Sho Aikawa's co-star (the lead) is a man named Hideaki Kobayakawa. He is apparently a teen idol, and the reason there is a large gathering of girls outside the set. His character is also named "Taki", as Sho calls him out once while on scene.
  • The movie being shot is the "Grave Marker for Humanity".
  • When Sho Aikawa first appears in person, he is accompanied by a "SHAAAA" sound effect in the background.
  • A number of characters appear in this chapter that do not appear again and never get names. The director, the third thug Seiji and Osamu work with, and the film staff in the background (some with a few brief sentences).
  • The scene that Seiji performs in is "Scene 98: Battle in the Ruins".
  • The term "V-Cinema" is more commonly known as "Direct-to-Video", and especially more well-known amongst anime fans in the west as an "OVA" when specifically regarding Japanese animation. It is a type of animation or movie that is able to skirt certain restrictions in cinema due to the way the Japanese film industry works. It isn't surprising that Sho Aikawa would have a V-cinema movie given one of the bigger draws from Japanese fans of the industry were Yakuza films made by these independent groups, especially since these films could get away with far more than an official movie released in theatres or on television.
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