Page 42: Comedy and Dialogue
Page 42: Comedy and Dialogue
Insert: The High School Mangakas Start Their Last Year of School!!
Box: April 8th The School's Opening Ceremony // We started our last year of high school.
Takagi: Haha, Miyoshi's assigned the seat behind you?
Saiko: Yeah, they assign seats based on our last names. Ugh, this sucks! I wonder if we’ll ever get to change our seating arrangements.
Miyoshi: Tell me how this sucks!
Miyoshi: You sat next to Miho in our last year of junior high and now, in your last year of high school, you get to sit in front of me. You're so lucky!
Saiko: Everyone’s been complaining that this school is weird. Most schools don’t have you change homerooms in your senior year.
Takagi: Classes 1 through 3 are for the students that want to go to college and classes 4 and 5 are for those that don’t. The school basically made it simpler for themselves to teach the two different groups of students.
Saiko: Huh!? / So you want to go to college too, Miyoshi!?
Miyoshi: I’m allowed to have my own dreams!
Saiko: Wait… You are smarter than me in school...
Takagi: No, she’s not.
Saiko: To be honest, I don’t really care about college anymore.
Takagi: I’m telling you, you’re better off going.
Takagi: It’s better to have some sort of academic background in case the series is cancelled.
Saiko: In case the series is cancelled!? Shujin is thinking about that already…
Saiko: But what a drag, having to take all the tests and stuff…
Takagi: Life in college will be easier than our current situation of drawing manga while we’re in high school. Plus, Azuki’s going to college, so you should too.
Saiko: Yeah, but in any case, I want to go somewhere that doesn’t require too much studying to get in. / I wish there was a college nearby that would accept students that excel at a skill. / Then, as a serialized mangaka, I'd be automatically accepted.
Takagi: Did you lose weight again after our series started?
Saiko: I’m too lazy to get on the scale but my pants do seem to be a bit looser on me. / I would quit high school if I could… This is so stressful going to school right after spring break...
Saiko: Sorry, I’m fine… Really. // So, you’re going to a college that’s worthy of your grades, right?
Takagi: But to be honest, I don’t want to go either. / But I think if I study criminal psychology, it’ll be beneficial for writing “TRAP.”
Takagi: But I think it's better to learn it on my own than to learn it at school. I’ve been reading a lot lately… // College is basically a place to just build your academic history and reputation as well as to please your parents, but I can't go to a college my parents expected me to go to anymore anyway....
Takagi: But it’s better than writing manga while having a separate job. It’s better to be a college student writing manga. / If “TRAP” becomes super successful by the time we graduate, I won’t go to college.
Saiko: If it’s super successful… / Yeah, I agree.
It’s okay. If we can keep our rankings stable for now, they’ll eventually go up…
Saiko: The early reports showed that our 7th chapter ranked 13th… / I think Miura-san’s speculation that our ranking went up last week because it was the final chapter of a case is correct. / If we continue with this pattern, hopefully some readers will stick with us.
Takagi: If these rankings continue, we’re going to be in trouble… We have to do something to increase our rankings… That means I have to improve my names…
Takagi: The next issue coming out on Monday with our 8th chapter, which is the one we have to worry about. / That issue will have Fukuda-san’s “KIYOSHI Knight” and the issue after that will have Nakai-san’s “hideour door.” / I’m sure they’ll be a billion times better than they were in the Golden Future Cup. That means we can’t rest easy with our current rankings. // Is Takahama-san the only one that’s here today?
Saiko: Yeah, I bet he’s awake and writing names or he's reading the manga that’s in our work room.
Takagi: Good morning.
Takagi: Oh wait, you don't speak if Miyoshi is here?
Takahama: No. I just didn’t know if I should respond to “Good morning” or “Hello” first since you two said it at once. / I’ve also been working on speaking to the other assistants these days, I hope you know.
Takagi: What did you think about next week’s issue of JUMP?
Takahama: Excuse me?
Takahama: Is “TRAP” doing poorly in the rankings or something? The chapter is closer to the back of the magazine…
Takagi: To be honest, the 7th chapter ranked 13th.
Takahama: 13th!? That’s not good… // Miura-san said that anything below 15th place would most likely get cancelled sooner or later.
Takahama: I’m not just saying this to be nice and I might be a bit biased, but I thought it would at least be within the top 10… Even 5th if not higher… / Are we just writing for the wrong audience?
Saiko: We’ve realized that we’re not exactly writing a JUMP-like manga, but I’m hoping readers will get used to it…
Takagi: What do you think we can do to increase our rankings?
Takahama: “Otter” is popular for it’s argumentative style.
Takagi: “Otter” is JUMP-like and maybe it’s good that it has a lot of gags?
Takahama: Then why don’t you make “TRAP” more comical?
Miyoshi: But “TRAP” isn’t a gag-manga…
Takahama: “Otter” isn’t a conventional gag-manga either. Plus, there isn’t just one way to make something funny.
Takahama: I think “TRAP” is better off with a solid mystery-based storyline but it could probably be loosened up a bit.
Takagi: Miura-san did say in the beginning that it could use some more playful attributes…
Takahama: Miura-san said that? Wow…
Takagi: Comedy… That would change the image a lot… // Comedy…?
Miyoshi: Isn’t that going to depend on if you have that ability or not?
Takagi: Are you saying I can’t be funny?
Miyoshi: Hmm, your face is pretty funny.
Takagi: Can you please just be quiet.
Takagi: Hey Saiko, Miura-san is coming at 10:00 to pick up the manuscript and to have a meeting with us right?
Takagi: I’m going to go buy stuff so I can research the art of comedy! I'm classifying it as a work expense. That's okay right?
Takagi: If I can study comedy, I should be able to write something funny. Criminal psychology is important too, but right now my focus has shifted. / Thanks Takahama-san!
Saiko: Study comedy… That’s such a Shujin-like thing to say.
Miyoshi: He’s just so hardworking. I love it.
Miura: Oh, “TRAP” ranked 12th in the real reports… // That’s one rank higher than the early reports.
But I can’t rest easy yet… The next issue will debut new series again. // If we can somehow get it to rank back in the single digits… How can we…
If we continue to fall… // We might be forced to take a different turn from the current storyline…
Miura: You haven’t said anything about “TRAP.”
Hattori: You’re the one in charge of “TRAP.”
Miura: If we rank in 15th or lower, we’re going to have to make a new strategy…
Hattori: There’s no written rule that says that. It’s something you and your mangakas decide.
Miura: Why don’t you care at all? You had expressed so strongly that you wanted to be in charge of them a little while ago…
Hattori: I do care and I am worried.
Miura: It’s okay to keep pushing this as a mystery manga, right?
Hattori: Of course.
Miura: What does that mean!?
Miura: If our rankings were a little higher we’d be less stressed out… I don’t want to have this all fall over just because of our inexperience…
Hattori: If you could rank higher because of experience, the rankings would reflect that the older mangakas rank higher.
Miura: Right! If it’s not about experience, then what is it about!?
Hattori: You’re so annoying…
Hattori: It’s taste.
Miura: But taste is something you’re born with… // And if you’re told you have no taste, it’s over…
Miura: Where are you going?
Hattori: For a smoke.
Miura: Taste… // If you have no taste… All we can do is try to become tasteful…
Miura: We just have to become tasteful!!
TRAP: You’ve fallen for my trap…
TRAP: I have proof!
TRAP: You did it!
Man: Wha… // What!?
Otter: A romantic and a humanist are one and the same.
Man: I don’t get it. Plus, you’re an otter so what can you say about being a humanist?
Otter: Yes, I’m an otter. // Even if I can forgive you as a man, I can’t forgive you as an otter!
Hattori: Where you going?
Miura: I have to go to the bookstore before my meeting! // Thanks for the advice!
Miura: What!? You’re researching comedy!?
Takagi: Yes! // You said that “TRAP” could loosen up yourself! So I thought I’d study the art of comedy from start to finish.
Miura: Wow, Takagi-kun! You and I are in sync!!
<Pile of comedy related DVDs>
Miura: I was thinking something very similar!
<Pile of books: Business Dialogue, Love Dialogue, Dialogue Between Lovers, Collection of Famous Movie Lines, Famous Lines in Manga>
Miura: I went to all the bookstores in Kanda and bought every collection of famous lines and dialogues! // I had a great idea while reading “Otter Number 11.” Do you have next week’s JUMP?
Saiko: Yes, here it is.
Miura: “If you atone for your crime, the crime will cease to exist! I commit my crimes by believing in that theory!” // “A romantic and humanist are one and the same.” // “Even if I can forgive you as a man, I can’t forgive you as an otter!” / The art in “Otter Number 11” is bad, but the lines and dialogue he writes are tasteful. That’s why it’s weird yet funny.
Miura: You have to improve your lines! / Watching these comedy DVDs will definitely be beneficial. / You have the ability to transform what you’ve learned into something amazing, Takagi-kun. I bet your rankings will improve if we can do this right!
Miura: But make sure not to be a copy-cat. Just use these things as reference!
Takagi: Of course!
Miura: It’s too late to fix the chapters we have now, so start with chapter 11!
Miura: I’ll do my own studying as well. Even after we've made a decision on some things in today’s meeting, we should continue to think about how we can improve the dialogue. / The next series meeting is the second week of May and we’ll discuss everything up to the early reports for chapter 12. It’s not too late so, let’s work hard!
Saiko: These two are working hard to improve the rankings and do anything possible to avoid getting our series cancelled… // I have to improve my art too…
April 12th Tuesday
Yuujiro: Yes! Early reports rank “KIYOSHI Knight” in 1st!
Miura: “TRAP” is 8th… I can’t be too upset about how chapter 8 through 10 will do for now…
Miura: Wait, but “KIYOSHI” just started this issue and ranked so high… // These are just the early reports… What’ll happen in the real rankings?
Takagi: Why won’t Miura-san call us about the rankings for chapter 8?
Saiko: I guess it didn’t rank so well…
Takagi: Ughhh what are we going to do…
Saiko: I’m too scared to call him and ask…
Saiko: The readers couldn’t have suddenly responded differently to our manga, so does that mean we ranked even lower…? // We’ll just have to depend on Takagi to improve starting chapter 11…
Saiko: You have a meeting today right?
Takagi: Yeah, we’re going to compare some lines that we liked from the stuff we’ve been watching and reading.
Saiko: Then maybe he’ll tell you the rankings then? / If he doesn’t tell you it means we really bombed…
Miura: How’s that? You can’t use it verbatim but just as a reference…
Takagi: It’s helpful and you can use this in different patterns. I’m starting to understand the equation a bit. / I’ll try to use it!
Miura: Good. Hopefully we can improve our rankings with chapter 11.
Takagi: Was our chapter 8 ranking that terrible?
Miura: Nope, it was 9th.
Takagi: 9th!? // It went up! Why!?
Miura: I’ve reread the chapter but I can’t figure out why. I was going to keep it a secret until the real reports come so you don't get your hopes up too high with the early reports…
April 15th Friday
Yuujiro: Oh no! “KIYOSHI” fell to 2nd place… And it was merely a 6 point difference…
Miura: They're still in 9th!
Miura: Why? Were the other mangas that bad?
Hattori: Why do you look so upset? You should be happy “TRAP” ranked a little higher.
Miura: Oh, yeah…
Miura: I wonder why it went up?
Hattori: I don’t know? Figure it out yourself…
One week later
Editor: Wow, “hideout door” ranked 1st?
Editor 2: The first chapter was exceptional. I wonder how many hours were spent on the art. But the second chapter will determine everything…
Miura: The 9th chapter of “TRAP” ranked in 8th!? It went up again! Which means the next chapter that wraps up the case should be…
One week later
Miura: I will now announce the ranking for chapter 10.
Saiko and Takagi: Okay.
Miura: It’s in 6th place!
Takagi: 6th!? It went up since the early reports!
Saiko: It was the right choice not to change our storyline away from a mystery manga…!
Miura: I guess we didn’t need to talk about fixing our dialogue after all.
Takagi: What are you saying!? It means we can aim higher!
Miura: I wonder why we suddenly went up so much…
Saiko: It’s obvious! It’s because the case was written so well and…
Saiko: The readers are starting to accept our mystery manga!
Miura: That reminds me…
Miura: I’m supposed to check all of them before I give them to you so I hadn’t had a chance to bring them by, but they’re fan letters. / They’ve suddenly increased in volume so I have nowhere to put them…
Takagi: Wow, there’s so many already!
Miura: You can see from those dates / that there are more these days than when you first started. / It really does prove that readers are accepting the manga more and more.
As our rankings improved and as we read our fan letters that expressed their encouragement, we became even more motivated to make our manga better.
At this point, “CROW” ranked in 3rd, “hideour door” (chapter 2) ranked in 5th, “Gitantei TRAP” (chapter 10) ranked in 6th, “KIYOSHI Knight” (chapter 3) ranked in 7th and “Otter Number 11” ranked in 4th. All the rivals lined up side by side.
Nakai: I’m getting pumped!
Fukuda: Unbelievable! Ashirogi's 10th chapter outrank my 3rd chapter!? // Pen attack!!
Yoshida: Where’s Hiramaru-kun?
Assistant: He said something about going on a journey…
Note: Please don’t look for me.
Insert: The young mangakas go head-to-head!!
Niizuma: Ashirogi-sensei is improving as I suspected…
Yuujiro: Yeah… // Niizuma-kun did say at one point in the past…
Niizuma: Ashirogi-sensei will become my rival one day.
Niizuma: Fukuda-sensei's, Nakai-sensei's and Aoki-sensei's series all got serialized, and they are working hard! It’s even more fun drawing for JUMP now! // Shupe---n!
Miura: Chapter 11th isn’t one that wraps up a case but the dialogue has gotten much better! And we can still make it even better!
Takagi and Saiko: Alright!!
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