Minami Maki is one of my favourite shoujo mangaka-s, partly because I kinda grew up reading her works when I was in school. Her one-shots are amazingly cute too. Her stories are not as good recently, the characters are becoming repetitive and the chapters keep getting cut. It could also be that I was getting older, lol.
I wished there was more to Komomo Confiserie; and I also wished she developed Kuon Senri’s character more in Seiyuu Ka; or the guys of Aqua. I also remember a time when I really shipped Yahiro and Megumi (of Special A). I actually love her writing style, it’s subtly adorable.
I will summarise/translate Tori to Megane to Shiina-san today. It’s one of her recent works, that I actually like. As I am translating from Mandarin, it would not be as accurate as the original raws. I do not post raws, it’s goes against the copyright. However! You can read the following summary alongside those raws. It’s detailed enough.
If, by any chance, you have a copy of these raws in Japanese, you could drop me an email – and I will edit this post. 🙂
Tori to Megane to Shiina-san by Minami Maki (2015, One-Shot)
The Chicken, The Glasses and Shiina-san
Translated by Kokon
Shiina narrates at the beginning, with a bloodied chopper in her hand. She’s panting away heavily, her eyes are tearing up.
I want to be stronger. I want to be equal with every single strong kid out there.
Kurihara Yuzuki is always there to hinder me.
Yuzuki snatches the chopper away and yells at Shiina, “What the heck are you doing!”
It turns out Shiina’s trying to summon courage by helping out her dad to slaughter a live chicken for that night’s dinner. Yuzuki insists to Shiina’s dad that she’s very weak and that she’s too young to wield a chopper, much to Shiina’s retaliation.
Yuzuki begins to nag at Shiina, reminding her about the homework she has not done, and that she dropped her apron (for her recess duty) by the gate. Shiina has had enough of Yuzuki’s constant rattling and retorts, “Ugh~ You’re so annoying!”
Shiina introduces Yuzuki in her monologue.
Yuzuki only knows how to study. He’s tiny and he’s often bullied by the other kids. I am the neighbour that’s always rushing to his rescue.
Back to the squabble, Shiina’s dad laughs it off and tells Yuzuki that he’s content if his daughter grows up to be energetic – she doesn’t have to be protected.
My parents’ primary educational policy would be to foster their children to grow into “strong kids who are able to live independently”.
Yuzuki argues with Shiina’s dad, for it was Shiina’s parents who got Yuzuki to take good care of Shiina.
This guy thinks…
That he should take care of me to repay the favour of rescuing him every single time he was bullied.
But, I am physically and mentally stronger than he is.
We’re gonna separate as soon as he’s done repaying.
I must be most foolish for thinking that way.
(A few years later…)
Kurihara Yuzuki is now a grown lad, and he scores a shot on the basketball court. Some of his schoolmates are going gaga over him. He flashes a charismatic smile.
Who would have expected that that obnoxious bespectacled boy…
Grew up into someone with unrivalled physical strength and technical finesse.
Yuzuki calls out to Shiina after the match. He waves enthusiastically.
“Shiina, did you see that?”
That’s not all. He’s so frickin’ tall now.
There is a whopping 20-30cm difference in height between Shiina and Yuzuki.
Yuzuki recalls something and starts to dig his pockets.
And then, just like before…
Yuzuki ties up Shiina’s bedhead with a ribbon.
“You’ve got bedhead. It’s curling out.”
He continues to treat me like my caretaker.
Shiina blushes really hard. She slaps Yuzuki on the arm and then the schoolgirls (who are fangirls of Yuzuki) start retaliating “This mountain ape, what gives you the right to hit Kurihara-kun! Don’t be so full of yourself!”
To top it off, he’s also very popular.
Unfortunately so, for me… I cannot afford to be enemies with such an annoying prick.
Yuzuki drops by Shiina’s house after school and teaches her homework. He wants to make sure she finishes her schoolwork before he leaves home.
He takes care of me relentlessly, every single day.
In this household, there would always be me, and Yuzu (She calls him Yuzu) and the chickens in the backyard. While I do feel sometimes that this setting makes me really happy, it might not necessarily be a good thing too.
“One day, I am going to leave Yuzu and become an independent person!”
Yuzuki agrees to leave Shiina when she achieves an average of 90 marks in the upcoming tests – Shiina argues that it’s almost impossible.
That’s because this jerk keeps pampering me.
“Then again, you can always choose to take things slow and leave me later.” Yuzuki bends his knees and looks at Shiina directly eye-to-eye. Shiina flushes red and pushes him away, “Stop kidding me, annoying-glasses !! ”
(T/N: I am guessing from the Mandarin raws that Shiina calls Yuzuki ‘Baka-Megane’ – which literally means ‘annoying/stupid/idiot + Glasses)
And I am just becoming more and more useless.
The very next day, Shiina is pictured lifting chickens with much ease, into the school’s coop. She agrees to attend a competition.
I can do plenty of things on my own, too.
So this could also mean, I am able to achieve 90 marks in upcoming test!
Yuzuki is amazed Shiina is taking the initiative to study on her own. “I can offer to teach you at the areas you are not too confident in,” He bends over to look at what Shiina is studying. Shiina refuses Yuzuki’s favour and explains that she can handle it on her own. She tells him that she wants to work at being someone independent. Yuzuki placates her with a saracastic “EHH!!” and then he goes on to pat her head “You’re so impressive.” Shiina unconsciously replies with a “Obviously.”
Yuzuki then says, “No matter what happens, I’ll wait for you with open arms. You don’t have to do everything on your own, sometimes you can just fly into my embrace.” Shiina obviously blushes at that somewhat-confession, but she’s also extremely dense towards Yuzuki’s feelings.
“Yuzu, you probably have repayed all of the favours I have given to you by now, okay!”
“No…” Yuzuki disagrees.
“It’s not entirely about that, either,”
I want to become stronger.
When I was younger and with my family’s methods of educating children, I used to think that perhaps it was about the favours.
Right now, it’s not entirely about that anymore.
If I continue to be who I am right now, I would be completely abandoned by Yuzu.
Truth be told, Shiina scores horrendously at her tests. Yuzuki comes over to encourage her to do better the next time, but Shiina looks extremely dejected.
He asks her, “Do you want to leave my side and become independent that badly…?” Shiina is startled at Yuzuki’s expression. A classmate asks Shiina for help, as the chickens have escaped again. Shiina dashes out and looks back at Yuzuki.
Yuzu…seems to be angry…?
I decided to leave Yuzu and be independent.
Isn’t that a good thing for Yuzu too?
He’s not being bullied anymore; he’s now someone who can achieve every single thing on his own.
Shiina loses her footing and falls off a tree while trying to catch the runaway chicken.
Yuzuki hears a “Shiina!!!” scream and turns towards the coop, his startled eyes wide open. Shiina regains consciousness and her classmates see Yuzuki running over.
Yuzuki shouts with much force, “Shiina…!!”
Shiina is subconsciously relieved to see him. She’s taken aback that she’s reacting to him in this manner.
Shiina comically picks up a snapped branch and points it at Yuzuki. “I told you I am not going to depend on you anymore!”
What will happen to me?
I’m really blessed and happy that Yuzu is always beside me.
If this goes on…
I would become someone that cannot survive without Yuzu!
Just then, right in front of Shiina’s eyes, Yuzu becomes dejected and sinks to the floor moping. His eyes downcast and his lips sulking. He wraps himself in a defence position. It’s almost like the Yuzuki that was constantly bullied in the past. Shiina is completely dumbfounded by this sudden twist of events. (If you hadn’t noticed by now, this is my favourite scene LOL)
“…Yuzu? What…what’s wrong? Are you feeling uncomfortable?”
Yuzuki was in a complete daze.
“…I don’t want to,” He mutters.
“I’ll say this first, I have zero intentions of leaving Shiina at all!” Yuzuki snaps.
“HAAA?? I don’t wanna! Stop sticking so close to me.” Shiina argues back.
“HELL NO!! I will stick to you 24 hours a day!”
“Why do you dislike it so much!”
“I meant, that I am not too much of a hindrance right? You can accomplish every single thing even when I am not around anyway.”
Yuzuki looks up at Shiina.
“…What are you talking about,”
He continues, “If Shiina is not beside me, I cannot achieve anything.” Yuzuki is on his knees.
“It’s because Shiina is there, I can go all out. That’s why…just stay by my side for a while more, will you.” Yuzuki pleads with Shiina with a pair of sincere eyes.
I never once knew about that.
Did I become a source of strength for this guy too?
If that’s the case…
“…Yuzu, come over here,” Shiina extends her arms (referencing to what Yuzuki said earlier) and offers to give Yuzuki a hug.
I feel like I’ve just received the power to achieve every single thing.
“No matter when, I’ll always be here waiting for you, with these open arms.”
Yuzuki breaks into a smile.
Hey Yuzu, isn’t that a source of great power too?
If it’s the one thing I love about Minami-sensei’s works, it would be that her female characters are often strong and independent. Her character themes are always about getting stronger, and becoming more mature. I love the guy characters she has created too. They are often flawed, and they love their girls a lot. More importantly, she’s good at very tiny details. It’s something I enjoy reading. I wonder if it’s the editor that’s behind this, but it’s amazing. There is this one shot where Shiina heaves a sigh of relief seeing Yuzuki looking frantic and shouting out her name out loud. She exhales, and then she stops. I got to say though, Shiina and Yuzuki look a lot like Senri and Shiro (of Seiyuu Ka!). I can’t wait to read Pinpon Rush! I’m waiting for the tankoubon to be out, which is probably going to be in a few months’ time.