Episode 03 - Their hidden radiance - is the third episode of Loveairaharune's first fanseries, Pretty Rhythm: Melodic Dream. The episode marks the official debut of Akiyama Yumeko and Nishimura Sayuri.
With her mom out of the way, Amane is ready to start training at Pretty Top. Empty practice rooms are hard to find though, and Amane finds herself placed into a room filled with dance students of Pretty Top. Amane finds the training difficult, but later finds that maybe others need help more than she does...
"You sure you know the way?" asked Amane's mom doubtfully. "You have your head in the clouds all the time, you'll probably get run over by a truck or something."
"Mom, I'll be fine," said Amane, trying to hide the impatience in her voice. "I know the way." And she recited the whole route from memory, from the walk to the station, to the transitions between trains, and the walk to Pretty Top.
"I never see you having memory this good," remarked her mom. "You usually forget everything important, and remember all the nonsense. But I guess-" her mom paused "-I can trust you on this one. If you're home by 5:30. And if you do all your homework."
"Yes, I promise, mom," said Amane. Will you just let me go already?!?! she thought. "This is what kids in Japan do all the time."
"Okay, okay. Give me a call when you get to the station, and when you get to Pretty Top. And give me a call when you're returning. If you see any suspicious person, call me immediately, and if you can't..." Her mom started a lecture on all sorts of dire situations, while Amane tried her best to pretend she was listening.
"Okay mom, gotta go now!" said Amane desperately. "Love you, see you later!"
"Bye!" called her mom. "Did you remember to bring your purse?"
"Yes!" said Amane exasperatedly, taking it out to show her. "Bye mom!" She gave her a wave and hurried off.
Oh my gosh, I thought I would never get away, thought Amane as she hurried off, marvelling at her own freedom.
"Hi, Mion-san!" called Amane as she walked into Pretty Top.
"Oh, Amane-chan," began Mion. "The practice rooms for Prism Stars are all filled today..."
"Wait... what?!" gasped Amane. "So where can I practice?"
"If you don't mind..." started Mion. "You could go into the dance students' practice room..."
"Ohhhh..." said Amane, letting her voice trail off. She wasn't sure she was comfortable dancing in front of so many people, let alone singing. And skating.
"It's pretty crowded," said another voice. Harune Aira was walking towards them. "Hi Mion-chan, Hi Amane-chan."
"Aira-san!" said Amane excitedly. She thought about the practice room crisis, and maybe... "So, the practice rooms are all packed..."
"I know," said Aira apologetically. "For some reason it's really busy today. Crowds and crowds of dance students started filling in at the same time..."
"Well... I've been meaning to ask this... but what are dance students?" asked Amane sheepishly, ducking her head.
"Basically, they're just ordinary girls. No talent really required, and they usually don't have it anyways. They just come in, pay a bit of money, and they get to try on the Pretty Top practice outfits, try a rink, all that. They mainly focus on dancing," said Mion. "There are so many of them though. Maybe I should start setting a limit for how many can come per day. That'll stop the practice rooms being so crowded. But Amane-" said Mion.
"Y-Yes?" asked Amane nervously.
"I think you'll have to stay with the dance students for now," said Mion.
"Ohhhh..." said Amane. "That's, uh, fine with me!" She paused. "Can you show me the way?"
"Aira, you do it, I need to get on with something," said Mion, suddenly rushing off.
"Mion-chan..." said Aira softly, staring after her friend.
"Eh?" said Amane, staring at her awkwardly.
"A-Ah, sorry! I'll show you where it is," said Aira.
"A-Aira-san, are there any practice rooms... with no people in them?" asked Amane shyly.
"Well, we do have those rooms, but..." Aira realized what she'd said. "There aren't any free and available," she said quickly.
Those rooms? thought Amane. What does she mean by, "those" rooms? But she didn't want to be nosy, so she decided to keep quiet. For now.
"Here," said Aira, opening a door and revealing a practice room inside.
Amane stared. There were many girls inside, singing, shouting, talking, laughing, and the rink was filled with tons of people. The dance area on the side was just as crowded - and Amane didn't have any idea how she would squeeze into there.
"Yeah... it's kinda crowded..." said Aira apologetically. "Sorry I couldn't find any other spaces. It might be a little hard..."
"No, it's okay," lied Amane. She gave Aira a smile and said, "I'll be out of here by 4:45."
"Okay," said Aira. "Well..."
"Bye!" called Amane. "See ya later!"
"See you!" replied Aira.
Amane walked into the practice room, taking in all the crowds around her. It would be impossible to practice, with all the people there. Anxiously trying to look for a free space, she squeezed around, and suddenly, she heard a voice.
Amane turned around, and saw a girl with straight dark purple hair, cut just over her shoulders. Convinced that she would be calling someone else, Amane turned around again, but then heard, "HI, THE TALL GIRL WHO DID A PRISM JUMP THE OTHER DAY!"
Amane spun around in surprise, because she knew now that she was being called. According to Mion, no other girl in this room had ever pulled of a Prism Jump.
"Ummm... hi..." she said nervously, and thought, I'm not that tall.
"Hi! So what's your name?" asked the purple haired girl. "I'm Yumeko, Akiyama Yumeko."
"Amane, Miyamoto Amane," said Amane shyly. She could hardly believe she was talking to a random stranger girl.
"So Amane, how did you do a Prism Jump?" asked Yumeko.
"Ummm..." said Amane. It was hard to explain.
"Is it hard?" persisted Yumeko.
"Well, it's easy when you get the hang of it," started Amane.
"Hmmm..." said Yumeko thoughtfully. Suddenly she turned around. "Sayu-chan! Where are you?" She called suddenly.
All of a sudden, a shorter girl, with reddish brown hair tied in a ponytail, came running towards them. "There you are, idiot! Where the heck did you go?" She asked, laughing as she flicked the hair out of her eyes.
"You're the idiot! I was just here, and you took a million years to come!"
Then they both started laughing.
"Okay, so this is the prism jump girl," said Yumeko to Sayuri, gesturing at Amane, who was feeling invasive and awkward. "Amane, right?"
"Y-Yeahh..." said Amane.
"Hi! Sorry, I know that Yumeko-chan is kinda crazy and..." started Sayuri, laughing.
"You're the crazy one!" said Yumeko.
"You're the craziest!"
They both started laughing again, while Amane stood at the side awkwardly.
"Ummm... so... you wanted me to teach you the Prism Jump?" asked Amane shyly.
"What?" asked Yumeko.
"I said, so you wanted me to teach you the Prism Jump?" asked Amane as loudly as she dared.
"Yeah, but it's kinda hard, right?" asked Yumeko.
"What do you think?" asked Sayuri.
"Well... so... do you guys know how to skate?" asked Amane.
"Well, I do," said Sayuri. "This girl here," she said, pointing to Yumeko, "Trips and falls every 10 seconds."
"Like this!" said Yumeko, demonstrating.
Amane couldn't help laughing. "Really, Yumeko?" she said.
"Show the idiot how it's done," said Sayuri as she giggled.
The three girls stepped out onto the rink, and just as Amane started skating, she heard a crash banging sound behind her. She spun around, and...
"Wow, Yumeko, just... wow," said Sayuri, clamping her hand over her mouth.
Yumeko was on the ground, lying flat on her back. "That was fun," said Yumeko laughing as she stood up.
"Whoa, whoa, slow down!" said Sayuri.
"Dammit!" Just when Yumeko stood up, she slipped forward, and crashed towards the front.
"Ummm..." said Amane. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine," said Yumeko.
"Go a bit more slowly," instructed Amane. "I know, it's really hard at first, but once you get the hang of it, it's really easy," she said gently.
"Wait... Sayuri-chan?" asked Amane.
"Keep a hold of her hand while we skate, it'll be easier for her that way."
"Sure," said Sayuri, holding onto Yumeko's other hand.
"Okay, here goes..." said Amane, and started skating.
The three girls slowly made their way around the rink, trying their hardest to avoid crashing into anybody.
Just as Amane was starting to pick up speed, she felt her hand being dragged backwards. She screamed, and crashed onto the ice, without everybody staring at her.
Amane felt her cheeks go hot. She ducked her head, and said, "Guys?"
Yumeko and Sayuri were also sitting on the ice rink, rubbing their backs.
"Owwwww..." said Yumeko.
"Are you o-" Amane's voice was cut off by a sharp, "Miyamoto Amane!"
Amane spun around nervously, and there was a girl standing there. She was several centimeters taller than Amane, and looked just a tiny bit older. She had long orange wavy hair, tied off to the side in a ponytail flowing to her waist, and sharp turquoise eyes.
"Don't waste your time," said the girl sharply. "You should be practicing your spins, Amane, not messing around with the dance students."
"I-I'm sorry," mumbled Amane, wondering how the girl knew her name. "I was just trying to help-"
"Help them become Prism Stars?" asked the girl.
"Y-Yes..." mumbled Amane.
"It's no use doing that. Those girls have absolutely no aura, no potential," she said. "Guess the reason why they came here."
Amane stayed quiet.
"Yumeko, what was the real reason why you came here?" asked the girl.
"Because..." said Yumeko, with none of the confidence from earlier.
"Because you were bored, right?" asked the girl sharply.
"Yeah," said Yumeko.
"And I bet that you were just trying to tag along your friend, Sayuri," said the girl.
Sayuri didn't reply.
The orange haired girl then turned back to Amane. "They don't even love Prism Shows at all. If they show no love and passion, how do you expect to teach them Prism Shows? It's just going to waste time. You've got potential, why waste your effort on these girls?"
She took a breath and continued. "Being a Prism Star is not a joke, and it's a real disgrace that they're treating it that way! You don't know how many tears a true Prism Star is supposed to cry, how many times they're supposed to fall! And yet they still can't succeed!"
She then turned towards the door and disappeared.
"Minna-san..." said Amane softly. "What was the real reason you?..." Amane felt curious yet shy at the same time.
"We just came back from a holiday abroad," said Yumeko. "We went together. And it's just so boring at home, and we found this place. So we both came here," said Yumeko.
So, the girl was right, thought Amane with her heart sinking. But she didn't dare say anything else to cause trouble.
"You went on holiday together?" asked Amane curiously.
"Yeah," said Yumeko, brightening up a little. "We're best friends, so yeah!"
"Yup," said Sayuri. "Even though she drives me totally crazy..."
"She's the crazier one," said Yumeko. "But even she's crazy..."
"Even though she's crazy..." said Sayuri.
"I love her anyway," they both said at the same time. And then they high-fived each other, laughing, seeming to totally forget what the orange haired girl said.
Amane felt a prick of envy in her stomach, and tried to swallow it.
"Umm, are you guys still gonna skate?" she said.
"Well, I'm gonna fail, but who really cares?" said Yumeko, charging out onto the rink, with Sayuri close behind her.
"Whoa, watch out Yume-" called Amane, but it was too late. Yumeko had already slipped, dragging Sayuri down with her.
"Ouch," complained Sayuri, but she didn't really seem angry.
Yumeko turned to Amane. "Wanna come join us?"
And Amane felt a throb of happiness at that moment. She was almost never asked to hang out.
"Sure!' said Amane, skating out to meet them.
Yumeko and Sayuri both stood up.
"Amane," said Yumeko. "Teach us how to do the Prism Jump."
"Wait," said Amane. "You still wanna?..." And Amane saw that maybe the girl was right about the reason about why Yumeko and Sayuri came. But maybe she was wrong about the passion...
The two other girls smiled at her.
"To do a Prism Jump, you have to have the aura," said Amane. "You can't be thinking about anything else. You have to put all the passion and love in your heart, all into your movements. And then-" said Amane, "-you'll fly."
Amane was surprised at how easy the words flowed out of her. "Yeah, basically like that," she added.
"Come on then, Sayuri!" said Yumeko. "Let's put our passion and love all into our skating!" And then she zoomed out, accidentally knocking over several other girls.
"Wow, Yumeko," said Sayuri giggling. Then she took off after her friend.
Wow, thought Amane. They may not be very skilled, or professional. But their bond... can that?... maybe... maybe...
Maybe, friendship is the most important thing in Prism Shows, thought Amane.
Suddenly, a half-shout, half-scream noise interrupted Amane's thoughts. She turned around... and saw her friend crashing towards the ground, from 6 feet up, and plummenting headfirst down.
"Yumeko!" yelled Sayuri.
"Y-YUMEKO!" cried Amane.
Amane, in a moment of panic, dived underneath Yumeko, while Sayuri did the same, nearly knocking Amane off the side. As Yumeko crashed onto the ice, she knocked the two other girls out of the way, and suddenly the whole rink fell silent to gawp at the three girls, piled onto of one another, wincing and groaning.
"Ughhhh..." mumbled Amane.
"Yeah, ughhhh," said Sayuri.
"UGHHHHHHH..." said Yumeko.
And then, all of a sudden, all three of them started to laugh.
"I know, this is so weird but..." Amane stopped to take a breath. "It's just so funny!"
"What the heck were you thinking, Yumeko?" said Sayuri, laughing.
"Prism Jump," said Yumeko, giggling. "Obviously failing, but yeah."
"Well, do you girls wanna try again?" asked a voice.
"Mion-san!" said Amane. "So you mean..."
"No harm in trying," said Mion with a smile.
"What?" asked Sayuri.
"Don't you get it?" asked Amane. "We're gonna be able to do it! For real!"
"Do what?" asked Yumeko.
"Geez, those girls..." said Mion. "I mean, you three are going to be doing a show. In 30 minutes. I suggest you get ready."
"Wow," said Yumeko after a long silence.
"Wow," agreed Sayuri.
"Come on guys, let's go!" said Amane.
Yumeko and Sayuri looked at each other, and nodded.
"Welcome to the Prism Show world!" called a cheery voice.
"Akaii-san!" said Amane excitedly.
"You know her?" asked Yumeko in surprise.
"Yup! She's the women in charge of Prism Space," replied Amane.
"What's Prism Space?" asked Yumeko.
"It's a place where Prism Stars change their outfits for the show," said Akaii.
"Why aren't there any changing rooms?" asked Yumeko.
Amane did a facepalm right at that second.
"You don't need them!" said Akaii. "Come on girls, let's find you some Prism Stones."
"Prism Stones?" asked Yumeko.
"You'll see in a moment," said Akaii cheerily.
Suddenly, Yumeko and Sayuri felt an unfamiliar tingling feeling, a sort of free floating feeling too.
"Whoa," said Sayuri. Their bodies were shining, and suddenly, clothes had appeared on them.
"I totally love this outfit!" exclaimed Amane, twirling around. She was wearing a pale pink top, exposing her shoulders, but covering a bit of her arms. The outfit had a scoop down neckline, with a darker pink rose in the middle, and diamonds underneath, spreading out from the rose. It was complete with a sparkly white skirt with a smaller rose and diamonds.
Yumeko and Sayuri were wearing very similar outfits - only that Sayuri's was a darker green, with a little circular multicoloured bead instead of a rose, and little round twinkling jewels instead of diamonds, without the lace on Amane's, while Yumeko's was silvery grey, with streaks of red, and with a square jewel and little bits of gold lining instead of diamonds or other jewels. Amane's was a floatier skirt, while Sayuri's and Yumeko's were more straight.
"Wow," said Yumeko. "This looks good!"
"Awesome," agreed Sayuri.
"Thank Shou-san then! He designed these outfits for you guys!" replied Akaii.
"Okay," replied Amane quickly before Yumeko could ask more questions. "Come on, guys! It's time!"
"Alright!" they both said. Then the three girls looked at each other, smiled, and stepped out onto the rink, holding hands tightly.
"Hey, guys?" said Amane softly, trying hard not to move her lips. "You know the dance?"
"Sort of," whispered Yumeko. "We'll be fine."
"Ok, good," whispered Amane. "And do you guys know the song?"
"Only the chorus bit," mumbled Sayuri.
"That's okay, I'll sing louder on the other bits," said Amane. "But both of you, sing louder on the chorus!"
Sayuri and Yumeko both gave her a nod.
Suddenly the lights came on, and they all knew the show was starting.
"The lights come on, one two three!
My heart is pounding-pounding-pounding!
Show time has started!" sang Amane, with all the liveliness and enthusiasm she could manage.
"It's a lot like being born, really,
Looking up to the new world.
Opening a door of possibilities,
Mixed with friendship, magic, and a bit of love..." The song continued.
"Wow," said Mion from above. "Those girls really have more potential than I thought..."
"Yeah," said Aira, smiling. "Look at the aura..."
"That Amane girl must have worked the magic somehow," said Mion, smiling too.
"No," said Aira. "It's not just Amane. It's all of them, their strength combined into one, to form a team,"
"A team?" asked MIon.
"They look a lot like one now," said Aira. Maybe they really can... she thought.
"Now, Sayuri!" called Amane.
Sayuri nodded, and slowly skated forward.
Faster, faster! thought Amane, giving Sayuri a frantic look.
"We're always here," whispered Amane, and continued singing.
My friends... thought Sayuri. They'll be here for me...
"I've got nothing to lose!" called Sayuri, and with sudden confidence, she skated forward, and twirled.
Millions of multicoloured music notes appeared around Sayuri, and the background was a very pale green as she laughed.
"Musical Frenzy!" called Sayuri.
The crowd cheered and cheered. So this is what it means, thought Sayuri, This is what it feels like to pull off a Prism Jump!
"Yumeko!" called Amane.
Yumeko skated forward, a bit too fast...
Damn it, thought Yumeko. I'm gonna fall...
She saw Amane and Sayuri's faces staring at her worriedly. But even if I fall, she thought, I'll fall with a smile! I'll fall with confidence, not just for myself, but for my friends!
Yumeko clumsily regained her balance, and the crowd cheered for her.
Filled with energy, Yumeko skated forward gracefully, and twirled up.
A glowing red fireball rose up towards Yumeko, and laughing, she jumped on it, then bounced to another, until she bounced up high into the blue sky.
"Prism Explosion!" yelled Yumeko.
Yumeko... thought Amane, and a smile crept onto her lips as the crowd screamed.
Amane laughed, and skated forward, like she had done the day before...
And suddenly, it looked all wrong. I turned towards the wrong direction, thought Amane with a sinking heart. I don't think I can twirl this way...
"Amane!" called Yumeko.
"Amane-chan!' called Sayuri.
Their voices joined, and so did their smiles.
My friends... thought Amane. My friends... I love my friends!
With that, she twirled high in the air.
This time, she was in a dark place, with glowing petals floating down towards her, light glowing through her hair. She jumped up, and this time, saw a glowing shadow at the light on top in place of the butterflies. For a moment, all the noise around her seemed to die down as she stared up at the shadow.
Suddenly, the butterflies appeared again as the moment passed.
"Sparkling Fairy Paradise!" called Amane.
"Fly High Jump Bonus..." mumbled Mion.
"Sugoi, Amane! You were just AWESOME out there! You were so high!' cried Yumeko excitedly.
"T-Thanks," said Amane, not quite sure how to respond. "You were awesome too, both of you were! You two actually pulled off a Prism Jump!"
"Yep," said Sayuri, a smug smile on her face.
"You girls!" called Mion.
"Mion-san!" called Amane.
"You know her?" asked Yumeko.
"Umm, she's, Takamine MIon, the new president of Pretty Top," explained Amane. "She runs the place."
"Yes," said Mion. "But enough about that. How would you girls... how would you like to form a team!"
"A-A team?!" exclaimed Amane. She glanced nervously at Yumeko and Sayuri, thinking that they surely wouldn't agree, they had only just met!
But as she turned to look at her friends' faces, she could see no disgust. Instead, she was greeted with smiles.
"Yeah! That'll be cool!' yelled Yumeko, putting her arms around Sayuri and Amane.
"Yeahh..." said Amane, unable to believe it.
"I agree," said Sayuri, smiling.
"A team it is," said Mion. "Now come up with a team name!"
"Ughh, this is the kind of thing I suck at!" complained Amane.
"Think about things you can use as inspiration," said Aira, walking up to them. "Like your names-"
"What's your name?" asked Yumeko.
"Umm, Aira," said Aira. "Harune Aira. I'm a part of MARs."
"MARs?" asked Yumeko.
"Wow, you have a lot of learning to do," said Amane laughing. "MARs is a legendary Prism Star group, its members are Takamine Mion-"
"That president girl?" asked Yumeko in disbelief.
"Y-Yeahh," said Amane nervously. "She's a part of MARs. Its letters stand for Mion, Aira, and Rizumu."
"Rizumu?" asked Yumeko curiously.
"S-She's another legendary prism star," said Amane.
"So what thing-"
"You girls are hopeless," said Mion, shaking her head. "I was only asking you for a team name, remember?"
"O-Oh, right," said Sayuri.
"You don't have to use names," said Aira. "You could use other things, like personality type-"
"-And Prism Jumps!" finished an energetic voice.
"R-Rizumu-san!" called Amane in delight.
"Hi!" said Rizumu. "I'm Rizumu, and you're Miyamoto Amane the Prism Jump girl, right?"
"Prism Jumps..." said Sayuri. "Wait we could make a name from our jumps!"
"My jump has a lot of petals, so I guess "Petal" could be a word?" suggested Amane.
"And mine could be "Shine," said Sayuri. "Yumeko?"
"Ummm... the only think I can think of is "Explode."
Amane and Sayuri both laughed, and Amane said, "I don't think "Shine" is the best world, what about... "Shimmer?"
"Sparkle!" said Yumeko.
"Petal Sparkle," said Amane softly.
"Say that again!" said Yumeko.
"Petal Sparkle!" said Amane loudly.
"That's a nice one," said Sayuri, "Sparkle represents the two of us, who've just learnt to sparkle, thanks to you, Amane, the petal girl!"
Amane blushed a little, and said, "I-I guess <3"
"Petal Sparkle," said Mion. "You're now official!"
"YAY!" screamed Yumeko, and turned to hug both her friends.
"Wanna go hang out at the café?" asked Yumeko.
"Sorry, I can't, I need to be home by 5:30... and it looks like I'm gonna be a bit late..." said Amane apologetically. "My mom sets an early curfew."
"Wow, that is soooo early!" said Yumeko. "Why do you have to be home so fast?"
"Well, to get ready for school and-"
"Wait, which school do you go to?" asked Yumeko.
"T-The one next to Sakura Park..." stammered Amane.
"WHAT?" yelled Sayuri. "IT'S THE-"
"-SAME ONE AS US!" yelled Yumeko.
All three of them started to laugh.