The Cleaning and The Collection
-> RTS Page for Livingstone 1
Livingstone, Chapter 1 (Weekly Morning, No. 35, 2009)
[margin]A man attempts to part with his own flesh.
The physical death is never the end.
As long as the "soul" is still alive,
Life is repeated.
[black box]"What is the soul?" The answer begins in this new 56-page bombshell!!
Chapter 1: The Cleaning and The Collection
Author: MAEKAWA Tomohiro
Author & Stage director (Director; Ikiume Drama Company)
Artist: KATAOKA Hasei
Eureka Seven, Deadman Wonderland
[margin]Two people have appeared before a man ready to take his own life...
=Hello, nice to meet you.
=Mr. Kenji Shindo. Age 36, Blood Type A.
=Employed by Ohta Engineering 3 years ago, after divorcing his wife.
=Currently attempting to commit suicide with a knife...
=Am I right?
=We're here to—
[margin bottom]This is a fictitious work. Any semblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
=90% of your life is predetermined.
=How you live, how you die.
=It shapes your life, just like your DNA.
=It's called the "plan" of the soul.
=Those people are everywhere, aren't they.
[sign]Stone Shop//Stones of all kinds
=I'm not asking for anything cute and fancy,//But this store is just...
=Hey, you're late, Sakurai.
=...I'm constantly amazed by this store of yours.
=Makes me quite a bit of money, actually.
[bottle left]Citrus Sauce
=Here, this stuff is pretty good.
=Tastes even better than when you chug down your first bottle of soy sauce.
HA HA HA
=...No thank you, Mr. Tokieda.
=I appreciate your offer, but... Shouldn't we be getting to work?
=What's up, Sakurai? It's kinda you-know-what if you take this too seriously.
=In this industry, you gotta...//...Oh well.
=Here's the "point of negativity" you'll be cleaning today.
=It's a one-room apartment in this housing complex.
=6 years, I think.//This is the 36-year old man living there.
=6 years...!? That doesn't sound good.//That's more than enough time to upset the "plan" of the soul.
=...Apparently, he's been taking unexcused absences from his job for the past 4 days.
=Hey,//What is that?
=This?//Our goldfish died.
=Your soul becomes a rock when you die.
=The guy over there told us.//So...
=This is Deme's soul.
=Look, you guys...
=C'mon! It's time for work!
=We've got to save this man!
=—I don't think suicide is the right choice.
=Don't you want to hang on to life a little bit longer?
=Nah, this guy can't do it.//His face is like, "I can't!"
=You can just go ahead and kill yourself if you're ready.
=...I mean, who the hell are you people!?//How did you get in here!?
=Th-This is serious...!//I-I'll call the police on you!
=I'm sorry, I hadn't introduced myself.//My name is Sakurai.
=Please, have a look.
[card]Livingstone Collection Services//Cleaning Services//Shozo Sakurai//Address 27-0741//5-6 Minamisakae, Shinjuku, Tokyo//Tel. 070-3575
=Well,//To put it simply,
=My job,//Is to rescue you.
=Nah,//He's trying to kill you.
=Which one is it!?
=Amano!//Just shut up so you don't confuse anyone!
=Oh, hey!//Don't take it without asking! It's rude!
=You're too freaking slow, Sakurai.
=Hurry up and check on this guy's "soul."
=But man, this place is dirty.//And it smells.//How much is the rent?
=That's far too cheap for this sort of place.
=Guess we'll do the cleaning first.//Can you take care of it, Amano?
=Whoa,//That's a ton of "stains."
=Man, they're all over the place.
=—You see, this place is a "point of negativity."
=You must've heard of it before, for instance...
=—A tunnel where people frequently die.
=A road where accidents never cease to occur.
=Those are places where people's souls have been shattered due to "unplanned" accidents.
=They also drag down other peoples' souls.
[camera]Fulfillment Rate 52%
=You've also fallen victim to this "point of negativity."
=There must've been an accident... Possibly even a murder before you moved in here.
=The soul is like the DNA of your life.//Every individual's life is 90% predetermined.
=But in your case, the "fulfillment rate" has decreased all the way to 52%.
=Living in a place like this for 6 years has greatly skewed your "plan."
=Your suicide is an "unplanned" fate.
=...Huh?//Is this some kinda religion?
=Souls? Plans?//Who the hell is gonna believe that...?
=It's always difficult to explain.
Wish they would make a pamphlet or something.
=...But,//"Souls" do exist.
=...Take this story, for example.
=During the early 20th century, in 1907—//American physician Dr. Duncan MacDougall conducted a controversial experiment,
=Placing a dying tuberculosis patient on top of a scale.
=3 hours and 40 minutes later,//The very instant that patient took his last breath,
=The weight on the scale decreased by *three-fourths of an ounce.
[margin]*Approximately 21 grams.
=According to his later experiments,//The figure averaged out at approximately 30 grams.
=—That, is said to be the weight of the human soul.
=—The weight of the Livingstone.
=It's this thing.
=I got rid of all the stains.//Take a look inside.
=...Why is it so broken?
=I hate doing this...
=S O R R Y
=S O R R Y
[scrambled letters]=S O R R Y S O R R Y
[scrambled letters]=S O R R Y S O R R Y
S O R R Y
=Abuse... No, more like murder.//That must be the reason for the stains.
=Must've been 5~6 years old.//Poor thing...
=The Livingstone got shattered into so many pieces...
=Gimme a break.//You call that a soul...?
=It's just a little rock.
=This is a soul!
=...That child was trying to live.
=And this...//Is proof of his life...
=...//It's up to you whether you wanna believe it or not.
=So?//You wanna die?
=Or you wanna live?
=...Your suicide is an "unexpected" fate.
=So why don't we stop this.//Maybe we can,//Umm...
=Of course I'm gonna die.
=Got into all that debt,//Lost my woman,
=Ran away from that fucking boss and that fucking job.
=Nothing ever went the way I wanted it to.
=Have I eaten anything today...?
=That'll be 672 yen.
=Would you like me to heat this up for you?
[keep typo]=Oh, ye...
=I change my mind.
=We're gonna have to throw this away anyways, so...
=Please, take it.
=...//Getting that lunch outta pity.
=What was up with that.//What is up with me, anyways.
=Serves 'em right...
=Even I get to choose how I die...!
=...Oh well,//Looks like he's ready to die.
="...Unexpected" deaths damage the human soul.
=If your soul shatters in this room,//The same thing will happen to the next person.
=Our job is to prevent that from happening.
=We "save" the Livingstone, preserving its proper shape.
=And "kill" the body that's left behind in this world.
=Well... I sorta get it and I sorta don't...
=...If that's alright with you,
=Give me your soul's permission.
=Well, it's basically a signal that you're willing to die.
=Good luck... In the next world...
=Guess this wouldn't be too bad.
=...Well, my work is done.//You get rid of the body.
=The soul is like the DNA of your life.//90% of your life is decided predetermined That's "predestination."
=Once a soul has fulfilled its "plan," it matures, leading to success in the next world.
=Souls that stray from their "plan" will shatter, and the shards will remain in this world.
=The shards create a force field of negativity, and skews the "plan" of whomever draws near.
=In order to prevent the number of souls from decreasing in this vicious cycle, souls need to be protected and managed so they can mature properly.
=So when amending the "plan" proves to be impossible, we're forced to abandon the flesh in this world.
=But relinquishing this world in favor of the next... Is that really the right thing to do?
=Who are you?
=...The flesh must be at its limit, too.
=—Actually, we're not completely sure what souls are either.
=But souls are probably... What makes us human.
=...It doesn't hurt, right?
=...Don't worry.//You've already been saved.
=Thanks for making the collection.
=You're looking terrible. As always.
=...//I'm still young, you know.
=What's that supposed to mean?
=Can I go home now?
=Hey, Amano!//What did you just hit me with!?
I'm gonna get angry!
=Just a little rock.
=—The man's rotting body was discovered 2 weeks later.
=The police ruled it a suicide.
Stones, humans... They're just containers if there is no soul.
Chapter 1 / END
Watch out for another 55-page color release in the next issue!
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