Episode 01 - Finding my dream! - Is the first episode/chapter of Loveairaharune's first fan series, Pretty Rhythm: Melodic Dream.
Miyamoto Amane, a 13 year old middle school girl who has lived most of her life in China, finally gets to go to Japan, and start anew. Can she make it into Pretty Top, her dream, even with all the restrictions around her?
I change for you, jibun to,
itsudemo muki ai
I don't give up anata to...
The sound of Harune Aira's magical voice could be heard through the laptop screen, as Amane glued her eyes to the Prism Star skating around the rink.
How magical... Amane thought.
It certainly wasn't the first time Amane had watched this clip. She had started watching Prism shows ever since she was 9, and had never gotten tired of them. It's all thanks to Prism shows that I didn't die halfway through life, thought Amane with a smile. Especially Aira.
And finally, there she was, in Yokohama, living in her dream! She could hardly believe it was real. Amane stared at the screen once again, totally transfixed by the figure in the video, glowing, sparkling, shining with radiance...
"Aurora Rising ... Dre-"
The legendary voice was interrupted by the sound Amane feared most - the sound of an opening door, the rattle of keychains. Amane quickly slammed the lid down as she darted across her room, shoving her laptop in its usual corner.
"Dammit..." she mumbled. "I was just getting to the good bit!"
She rushed to her door, and opened it quickly, to see her mom walking towards her.
"Wipe that look off your face, otherwise you'll be in for you-know-what!" she said to herself. Amane blinked, and instantly a smile spread across her face.
"Hi mom," said Amane, just about managing to keep the annoyed tone out of her voice.
Her mom frowned at her, not smiling back. Amane prayed and prayed that her mom wouldn't yell at her for something, as usual. She had to fight off the urge to run back to her room and continue watching the video.
"Have you done all your math homework?" asked her mom, with a tone of warning to her voice.
Amane bit her lip to control all the anger inside her. First she was rudely interrupted from her paradise, and this was how her mom greeted her. It shouldn't be much surprise, she thought, but she still felt like throwing something at the wall.
"Yep," she said.
Her mom didn't reply. She only walked across the room, not giving her a second glance.
Amane sighed with relief. Finally her mom was gone. All the anger deflated out of her, and she rushed into her room once more.
Amane opened her eyes to see an unfamiliar ceiling above her head. Oh, right, she thought, I'm in Japan now! Just the thought of that brought a strange sort of happiness to her. She peered at the clock on her desk and almost screamed. It was 6:30 already, and she only just remembered that her mom wouldn't be waking her up any more this year. She sat bolt upright, slid out of bed, and stumbled towards the bathroom.
A while later
"Are you ready?" asked her mom, smiling at her finally. "It's your first day today."
"Yep," Amane said, trying to return the smile, and trying not to sound like her insides were twisting around. "I've got everything."
Her mom smiled at her, then turned around.
"WAIT!" yelled Amane's brother, Akio. The smile on their mom's face faded into a frown. "Are you done yet?! What takes you so long?!?! We're gonna be late, you know?!? And yet you just disappear into your bedroom..." Amane secretly rolled her eyes at the typical rant. Here it goes, she thought.
As soon as they set off, Akio mumbled, "Ughhh," at his sister.
"I know..." mumbled Amane. "Thankfully we won't be dealing with this for long," she said, glancing in the direction of her new school.
"Yeahhh..." said Akio under his breath.
Amane had something else bugging her though. Her face flamed red as she walked into the school gates with her mom and brother. Obviously her mom was still used to China, where it wasn't as unusual for teenagers to be walking to school with their mom. But Japan was different. Gosh, doesn't she get it?! In Japan, kids don't walk to school with their parents anymore! thought Amane desperately, just hoping that the long walk across the playground would just end already. She ducked her head down, hoping to avoid all the stares.
Amane turned around, and saw a little figure waving at her.
"Asuka-chan!" Relieved to find an excuse to leave the embarrassing situation, she turned and ran towards her friend.
"When did you get here?" asked Amane excitedly.
"I don't know," said Asuka, but this time, there wasn't the usual daydreaming tone to her voice.
"So," said Amane. "You excited?"
Asuka shrugged. "A little."
"I'm kinda scared, to be totally honest with you," said Amane, grinning. "But I just love being here, I mean, it's Japan and..." Amane lowered her voice. "That thing is here!"
"What?" Asked Asuka.
"Oh, you know, THE THING!" whispered Amane.
Asuka's eyes lit up. "Really? Here?"
"Yeah," said Amane. "Apparently Prizmmy are holding a show next Friday! Maybe we can finally go watch for real!"
"Yay!" yelled Asuka, smiling at her friend, her best friend, the girl who had introduced her to this magical world.
As soon as they got inside the classroom, Amane already had a bad feeling inside her. Sure, that school was a newly built one, so everybody would be new... but as she saw all the girls in her class cluster together, she felt her stomach twist. These girls were wayyyy too fast! They had already sort-of formed a group, during the first hour of the first day! And walking up to a group randomly and saying hi really wasn't Amane's thing...
I guess I'll be fine... Amane thought... I still have friends... She thought of Naomi and Reiko, the two girls in the other classes she had known since childhood. And then there was Miyako, the girl who lived right next to her, so they had took the train to school together that morning. Above all, there was Asuka. The girl who knew things about her which nobody else would ever find out. The keeper of her deepest secrets. She smiled to herself. I'll be fine, she thought.
As soon as they were dismissed at 3:00, Amane shot out of the classroom, breathing a sigh of relief. The long first day was finally over! She smiled happily at herself. She could finally go home and watch Aira Harune!
Oh right, she thought. I should really check when the next live performance from Aira is scheduled. Pulling out her phone from her schoolbag, she quickly did a Google search and found the Prism Stone website. Scrolling down the performance schedule, she saw that some text was highlighted pink. Frowning, she peered down at it:
Prism show event held at 4:00, August 18th, 2015...
She blinked. Wait. August 18th. 4:00. Was that... today?!
Her heart skipped a beat. If there was an event, she HAD to make it there! She just HAD to! The desire was like a pit of fire, boiling and bubbling inside her.
Amane checked the location box:
Prism stone shop, near Pretty Top school.
How helpful, she thought. How am I supposed to know where it is?
She wasn't deterred though - She clicked on Google Maps, directions.
"Let's see", she mumbled, "One... two... three... trains... and a 15 minute walk from the station... what?!" She exclaimed. That would take.... approximately... an hour at the least!
She frowned. Then without thinking, she quickly pulled out her mobile phone and texted her brother:
Hey, I'm going to some Prism show event. I won't be back till later, can you PLEASE tell mom I'm home when she calls? I don't wanna get into trouble. I promise I'll help you with any essays throughout if you do this for me ;)
Amane was mightily relieved that her mom had gone out with some of her friends for the day, and was eating dinner with them too. She knew she wouldn't be allowed to go off into the city alone, after her first day of school, when she barely knew the place. Her mom just wouldn't understand her passion for Prism Shows, and would never agree to it.
She felt a buzz on her phone.
Ok, but be back asap because she'll rage at me if she finds out...
Amane sighed, and typed: She's having dinner with her friends... ;)
Within a minute, she got a reply: YAYYYY GAMING!
Amane smiled. At least her brother was happy about it too.
She took a deep breath, and quickly ran out of the school, towards the train station, finding the way with the help of Google Maps.
In spite of all the excitement, Amane was beginning to feel very, very, scared. She barely knew the city, and there she was, sneaking off secretly, without telling her mom. She knew that this type of behaviour was very unlike herself... But she couldn't back down now, not when she had gotten this far. Amane stepped off the first train without looking back, and wished for the hundredth time that she lived nearer Prism Stone.
A little while later
Amane stepped out of the train station, staring at everything around her, feeling scared, yet excited at the same time. And there appeared to be many other girls her age wandering around too, so nobody gave her a second glance, she noticed with relief. She glanced at her phone. Turn left, then right, and go straight from there, she told herself.
After 20 minutes, Amane was beginning to panic, since she it didn't look like she was anywhere near. Taking a deep breath, gathering all her courage, she stood in front of a girl walking the other way.
"Hey, um, do you happen to know the way to Prism Stone?" she asked timidly, trying to sound as steady as she could.
The girl pulled a face. "Well, it's that way," she said, pointing towards a tall blue building. "Just get there and you'll see. It's easy to find your way, since there's such as big crowd of people there."
Amane sighed with relief. "Oh, uh, thanks," she said shyly, trying to smile.
"I'm warning you though, there's such a long queue of people. I gave up after a while," said the girl, walking away.
It doesn't matter, thought Amane with a smile. She ran all the way towards the blue building the girl had pointed out.
As soon as she was there, she found a sea of people, shouting loudly, shoving their way through, yelling at each other as they tried to get in...
... to Prism Stone? Amane thought.
But she still had no idea where the event was. Am I too late? she thought, panicking. She saw a blue haired girl coming out of the blue building, and once again, summoned all her strength.
"Excuse me... where is the Prism show event?" she mumbled.
"It started ages ago!" said the blue haired girl, giving her a look. "It's that way, inside that blue building, Pretty Top. On the first floor. If I were you, I would hurry, because they're calling up last people now!"
"Oh no!" shouted Amane, and ran off, without remembering to say Thank You. She ran inside and took the lift up to the second floor, her heart pounding. Just go faster, she mumbled to the lift, gritting her teeth.
"I take it that's the last one," said Takamine Mion, the new president of Pretty Top.
"I think so... wait!..." answered Wataru, who was working alongside her, as he ran off. "There's a last one here," he said, gesturing to Amane. "Lucky you made it in just on time," he said to her, grinning.
"Umm... yeah..." mumbled Amane. She stared around her, and felt happiness flood into her. She was there! Finally! At her dream place! Pretty Top! And she was meeting Mion! Takamine Mion!
"Okay," said Mion. "What's your name?" she asked, looking right at Amane.
"Amane. Miyamoto Amane," said Amane, feeling faint and dizzy.
"Uhhh... 13, gonna be 14 in December..." replied Amane.
"Right, follow me," said Mion, rushing off into a corridor, with Amane half jogging after her.
"Hey, wait up!" called Wataru. Amane pressed down a giggle in her throat and followed.
"Alright, Amane, you're #61. When you hear your number, you get on stage, hear me?" said Mion.
"W-what?!" gasped Amane. "S-stage?"
"Didn't you even read the event details?" asked Mion with an exasperated look on her face.
"Well," said Wataru, "This event is a trial event, our first trial event we've held in a while. Basically, you come in, pick your song and outfit, and perform a Prism Show for us. If we see you have potential, we take you in," he explained. "Don't worry if you don't make it in. You can still be a dance student or something, or maybe you can..."
"Okay, that's enough!" said Mion. She looked right at Amane. "I hope you can sing some of the songs?"
Amane breathed in relief. "Yes, I've memorized quite a lot."
"Then you'll be okay," said Mion.
"But wait... what about dancing?" asked Amane nervously.
"You are required to improvise for that," replied Mion. "We need to see your dance-on-the-spot skills too!"
Amane felt a weight drop. She knew she was no good at dancing, but at least she didn't have to follow a routine. She barely knew any...
"OK, you should go now," said Mion. "Good Luck!"
"Thank you-" said Amane, "-Mion-san!"
"Welcome to the Prism Show world!" said a brown haired woman wearing glasses. "I'm Akaii, nice to meet you!"
"WOW!" exclaimed Amane, gazing at the Prism Space. "Oh gosh! This is so pretty!" She gazed at the prism stones floating above her head dreamily.
"I'm glad you like it," said Akaii, smiling. "So you're here for the trial?"
"Y-yes," stammered Amane.
"Okay, pick your costume," said Akaii, holding out a little box.
"P-Prism stones?!" went Amane, fingering them carefully. She could hardly believe that she was touching them with her own hands!
"Yes," replied Akaii. "Choose whichever you like!"
Amane stared down at the beautiful stones in her hands. They all looked so beautiful... But one quickly attracted her attention. It was a pale pink sleeveless floaty dress, with little multicoloured flowers decorating the collar, and draping over the tops of her arms. Amane gasped at the beauty of it, and found the most beautiful pair of silver high heels, one shoe with little ribbons on it.
"Umm, Akaii-san," stammered Amane. "Will it be okay if I make some... alterations?"
"Sure!" said Akaii. "It's your costume choice anyway."
"Well... I was thinking... maybe we could add little silver balls in the middle of each flower on the dress, to make it match up with the silver shoes more, and spread some more flowers around the skirt area to balance the colour tones, and maybe add some on the top of the shoes too, and change the ribbon into a more floaty pink?" asked Amane, suddenly feeling more confident.
"My, your fashion sense is amazing!" said Akaii smiling. "Alright, your prism stone is in the making!"
"Thank you so much!" said Amane, feeling dizzy with happiness.
Akaii pushed a lever, and picked something up from the bottom of the machine. She opened her hand.
"Here, Amane-chan," she said, dropping the stones in Amane's hands.
"W-whoa..." said Amane.
"Well, we're running out of time now! Pick your song," said Akaii, but still sounded cheerful as ever.
Amane scrolls around the panel which had suddenly appeared. "I'll go with... " she just noticed that all the songs available had no official dance routine set up.
"Prism Wings," she said. It was a song she knew very well, and had recently fell in love with.
"Prism Wings? Are you sure? It's one of the hardest to sing," said Akaii.
"Yes," Amane said.
"Alright," said Akaii, "Here we go!"
And Amane felt a tingling sensation, and felt her body... sparkle. She closed her eyes, and when she opened them, she was behind a curtain in a dark space. And she was wearing the stone she was holding only 15 seconds ago!
"Oh my... " whispered Amane, staring at the beautiful costume around her body.
"What are you waiting for?" said a voice behind her. "It's time to get on stage!"
"Ah-ah, alright, Mion-san!" called Amane, as she skated out onto the stage.
Amane could felt hot spotlights shining down on her as she nervously went out. She blinked, trying to take in all the audience members. She stared up... and there was... a familiar face. She gasped. "Harune Aira!" she whispered.
The Prism Queen up on the balcony met her eyes, and smiled. I sense something special about this girl, thought Aira, and she smiled back down at Amane.
S-she smiled at me! thought Amane, feeling giddy with excitement, and all the nervousness leave her. Harune Aira smiled at me! She felt that she could fly one thousand miles up...
And the music started.
Amane knew she wasn't that good at skating - she was only competent, and she was no professional at singing. But she had faith in her costume.
"Wow, look at that outfit," said Mion to Aira.
"It's a totally new type of clothing, unlike anything I've seen before," said Aira, staring at the sparkling dress.
"This weird shy girl might have a chance," mumbled Mion.
Aira smiled. "Sometimes Prism stars come when you least expect it."
"Rainbow coloured light in the dark sky,
Drives out every and any sadness,
My Prism Wings have come!" sang Amane, feeling her heart bursting out of her chest. She had never heard herself sing like that before. Usually she only sang quietly in her room when she knew nobody was outside listening. And Amane felt her body moving naturally across the rink. She stumbled half a step once or twice, but she didn't fall. Maybe I really have grown my Prism Wings!" She thought.
"That aura..." said Mion, staring at her.
"She's good," said Aira, smiling once again.
"Fluttering with brightness,
Shining with radiant happiness,
The music of my Prism Wings..." sang Amane, feeling herself glow radiantly inside and out. I'm so happy, so happy right now, I don't want to stop! I want to sing and shine here forever!
I'm gonna shine, I'm gonna shine!
Amane glided across the rink, and felt herself float up. I'm gonna shine!
She found herself in a pale pink place, and saw glowing, pastel coloured petals float down, weaving through her hair which was flowing in the wind. She laughed; and jumped up, floating through the air, and saw little pastel coloured butterflies in the sky. She twirled around them, and felt ever so radiant, powerful, free. Happier than she had ever been in her whole life.
"Sparkling Fairy Paradise!" she called.
"That was a..." mumbled Mion.
"Prism Jump," finished Aira.
And suddenly, Amane felt herself standing back on the stage. But even though the jump was finished, she still felt the feeling of being up there, floating so freely. She smiled at the audience with happiness as they roared with applause.
I'm so happy! She thought. For the first time in forever, she experienced true happiness...
"Nice job," a voice said.
Amane turned around, and saw the face of her heroine smiling at her.
"H-Harune Aira!" she exclaimed.
"That was a really beautiful jump," said Aira, "And a wonderful costume. I'm betting you're in!"
"Aira-san..." whispered Amane. "Thank you!" And a grin of pleasure spread across her face.
"Well," said Mion, skating across, "Aira's right."