Osaka's Horror Story
The bells ring, signaling the end of the school day. Osaka is ready to go home, but Chiyo asks if she minds if they made a stop at the bookstore on the way. Osaka doesn't mind, and asks if there's an interesting book that just came out. Chiyo says there's supposed to be a cute photo collection of pandas, but it's been talked about a lot so she hopes it won't be sold out.
Sakaki walks quickly out the door and down the stairs. Partway down this hallway, she breaks into a run, and Kurosawa-sensei calls after her not to run in the hallway. She wonders what Sakaki is hurrying for.
Osaka is wondering about what parts of pandas are supposed to be black. Chiyo thinks a bit, and tries drawing one. It's very basic. And... bipedal. Its ears, the areas around the eyes, and its upper torso and forelegs are black. Osaka thinks it looks a little off the mark, and Chiyo thinks she may be right. Osaka tries, going by her memory of one she saw on TV. It's at least a quadruped. Its ears, the ares around its eyes and mouth, its neck, all its legs, and a spot on its back are black. Chiyo doesn't think that's right, either.
Yomi asks what's up, and Tomo is ready to go. They look at the drawings. Tomo doesn't know what they are, and Yomi can only get as specific as "animals". Chiyo and Osaka say they're pandas; their respective drawings appear above their heads. Those drawings disappear as Yomo and Tomo say "Pandas?!", and a more realistic drawing appears. (Its ears, the areas around its eyes, its nose, its legs, and the area on its back between its forelegs are black. Osaka reveals that she's never seen a panda in real life. Tomo had seen one at the zoo, and found it cute. Osaka asks if it was black spots on white, or white spots on black. Tomo can't answer. Chiyo thinks they should go see pandas together. Yomi agrees. (SPOILER ALERT: Such a trip is never covered in the episodes I know.) Osaka realizes there's something else she wants to see, but it takes a bit to remember what it's called: her life flashin'. (Literally, soumatou, often translated as a "revolving lantern", and a sign of the same thing. Thanks, Numbnuts Unite!) Tomo advises against that.
Osaka relates that she had a terrifying experience yesterday. Tomo anticipates hearing about it, and hopes it isn't something like her waking up speaking standard Japanese instead of her Kansai Regional Accent. Osaka thinks that would be scary, and after some thought, says, "Hi! Hiya!" ("Oha", short for "ohayou", slang popularized by a member of SMAP.) Tomo says that's not standard, and wants her to get back to the story.
- Osaka: Sometime last night... I was all alone in my room... when suddenly... outta nowhere... the smell of a fart that wasn't mine wafted into my nose.
Tomo thinks it's spooky, and Osaka agrees.
Change of Pace
Yukari is booking it down the hall, as she's going to be late again. Kimura opens his door and speaks to her. She turns and stops to find out why. In the English dub, he asks her if it's because it's almost Christmas, and when she doesn't understand, says "Yule be running to get my present, huh?" and commends her on her sense of humor. In the original language, he asks her if she's running because an old Japanese name for December, shiwasu, is written with the kanji for "instructor" and "run".
In the English dub, Tomo asks what the old-fashioned name for the time around Christmas was, and if it was "Mule". Chiyo believes the word she's looking for is "Yule". In the original, Tomo asks the old name for the twelfth month on the Japanese calendar, and if it was "shirasu". Of course, it's "shiwasu", as Chiyo says. Either way, Tomo and Osaka get upset at her for stealing the punchline. Chiyo seems to feel bad about it, but Yomi tells her not to take what they say seriously. Tomo starts over, but Yomi tells her not to.
Yukari enters, sick and tired of being just a language teacher. So, she's going to be teaching math. But after looking through the Math I textbook for a few seconds — I, I stress — she screams with rage, and decides they're doing P.E. instead. She tells them to get outside.
They're outside, in the long-sleeved, long-legged version of the P.E. uniform. Tomo is shivering in the cold. Yomi wonders how they went from language to P.E.. As Sakaki stretches, Chiyo wonders what they'll be doing. Osaka wonders if it'll be like American P.E.. Kagura slides in to say that whether it's American or British P.E., she won't lose to Sakaki. (The translator's notes apparently did not go into the differences, and the Wikipedia article as of this writing is no help.)
Yukari wants to play soccer. (I say soccer because you know what I mean, even if you don't like the term; the other term needs more words to be unambiguous.) Tomo asks if she knows the rules. She says to leave it to her; in the English dub, she goes on to call herself "Mia Hamm", a soccer player so well known that even I know about her, and that's saying something. In the original, she called herself "Nakata", that is, Hidetoshi Nakata, whom I only know of because of this scene. (In the manga, she called herself "Péle", who also falls into the "so well-known I know of him" category.) Tomo doesn't understand.
Yukari, in orange, starts off by running the ball and kicking it into a goal with Chihiro, in red, doing nothing to stop it. She looks at it, confused. Yukari celebrates her goal, but Yomi, in red, informs her that it's her team's goal. Yukari says she was a spy for the other team. Yomi says she's not making any sense.
Yukari decided she's getting it in for sure this time. She's very loud as she moves the ball in the direction of a goal. Sakaki runs for her, only making the sound of running footsteps. Yukari yells to move it, but Sakaki seemingly effortlessly gets the ball and quickly moves it in the other direction. Yukari stands stunned as she kicks the ball. The outcome is unknown, but the white stylized outlines of people kick the ball back and forth a few seconds until Yukari changes the game to dodge ball.
Floating yellow cat-thing sighted.
They start playing. Kurosawa notices and wonders what they're doing having P.E.. Osaka is worried about being hit, and immediately is. Chihiro throws it at Sakaki, who catches it. Kaori cheers her on as she throws it at Yukari, who's hit. Chiyo worries about being hit, but is eventually the only one left on her side... because nobody can bring themselves to hit her, maybe? (We'll see something similar if we get far enough into Lucky Star.) Tomo yells, "Prepare yourself to die!" and throws the ball in her vague direction. Nobody's hitting her, though Yomi says to (probably just to get it over with).
The chapter divider has Yomi with her glasses being swiped, then Tomo wearing them with spirals instead of eyes.
At her desk, Yukari is looking at a catalog of End of Year Gifts when Minamo comes up and asks if there's a reason she's looking all serious, and what that is. Yukari says it's a gift catalog. Minamo asks if she's going to send something, and who it's for. Yukari seems confused by the question, and asks what the point is in giving it to others. (Hey, I buy gift cards to use on myself, but I know that's not the primary reason B&N makes them, or has them made. Whichever.) She turns back to the catalog, feeling that just looking at the catalog makes her feels like she's rolling in money. Heh, if that's all it takes, I could feel that way, myself. Minamo isn't so sure. Close-up of crab, close-up of slices of beef, close-up of... why does "blowfish" come to mind? Did I see that somewhere? Minamo sees a tableware set that looks pretty nice. Yukari thwacks her with the catalog, to her surprise, asks if she's some kind of idiot, and says it's no time to be acting all cool. She points out the snow crab, and seems disgusted that she'd pick flatware over crab. She looks a bit more, then asks "Miss Minamo" (Minamo-san) if she'd ever had Matsusaka beef before. (Wow, would you like a little meat with your fat?) She hadn't. Yukari says it's supposed to be delicious, and Minamo had heard the same.
Chiyo enters the communal office, carrying something to bring to Yukari. Accepting it, Yukari asks her if she'd ever had Matsusaka beef before. After thinking a bit, Chiyo says she's had that. Yukari thwacks her too, to Minamo's shock. While Chiyo is recovering, Yukari asks her what she would pick if she could have anything in the catalog. (Whaddya mean, "if"? She probably could, barring allergies, if any.) She looks over a few pages, and decides that the ice cream set on a particular page looks yummy. Yukari mocks her selection, asking if it's because she's just a kid, or if it's the complacency of the bourgeois, and still wants her to say that Matsusaka beef is more delicious.
The bell rings, and Osaka wishes Chiyo a Meri Kurisumasu. Chiyo greets her more generically, and asks what she's doing. She repeats it, which jogs Chiyo's memory as to the time of year it is. She says that's right, and repeats it again. (Though in English, it's "Merry Christmas, Chiyo-chan," "Merry Christmas to you," and "Merry, merry Christmas," respectively. Chiyo can't wait to see what kind of presents she'll get. Osaka feels the same. a few meters away, Kagura has a thought, and hesitantly asks Tomo if Chiyo still believes in Santa. Tomo goes and asks her straight up, but Kagura runs up and chops her head, calling her a moron. She quickly pulls Tomo away and noogies her, asking her what she's going to do if Chiyo does believe, and saying you shouldn't go destroying her dreams like that. Tomo asks Kagura how she was going to explain things like how Santa is financed (Kagura says that the government pays him), how he gets in when there's not a chimney (lockpicking skills), and how he even able to go to every house in the world in just one night (how does flying at 76,120 mph without causing destructive shockwaves -- or burning up -- sound?). Tomo doesn't figure a human could do all that, but Kagura says he's not a human. Tomo asks if that means he's an alien, and when Kagura says that's not what she means, Tomo guesses under the earth, or on the ocean floor. Chiyo speaks up, and tells them not to worry, as she already knows. They ask if he's really an alien or a mole-man. She explains that Santa is really "your" father. Sakaki overhears and misunderstands, thinking that Santa is specifically Chiyo's father. She then has an Imagine Spot with the yellow cat-thing holding a bag and wearing a red hat with white trim. He says, "Merry..." (In the manga, this is "Me-ri" with the me in hiragana and the ri in katakana.) In reality, Sakaki puts her hand over her own mouth, and trembles a bit. Osaka asks her what the matter is.
In another Imagine Spot, Santa Cat-thing wishes Chiyo a Meri Kurisimasu. Both are standing in a log cabin with a decorated tree in it. Santa Cat-thing holds a present, which it hands to her; she gratefully accepts. Holding the gift over her head, she proclaims her father's status as Santa. The cat-thing says that's right, and talks about the government paying him to deliver presents, and his speed of Mach 100. Both are "amazing".
In reality, Sakaki is now seated, hand over mouth, still quivering. Kaorin sees her, and starts looking around.
The bell rings again, and Tomo is over by Yomi's desk, asking her what she'd ask for if she could ask for anything at all as a Christmas present. Yomi asks if she really means "anything", even 100 trillion yen. (In the manga, the quantity was "a billion dollars". I guess the equivalent of 100 billion yen wasn't enough.) Tomo suggests something a little more realistic, and Yomi reduces it to 10 million. (Roughly the same as in the manga, where it was $100,000.) "Well, I guess if you're gonna ask for a price..." Chiyo approaches, and asks what they're talking about, so Tomo asks her the same question. She replies that she'd want the big star on top of the Christmas tree outside the station. Tomo tells Yomi that this is what we call "a pure and unadulterated soul", and repeats Yomi's original answer.
Kagura approaches with a "Might I ask you something?" Tomo wonders why she's being so formal. Kagura, knowing that Santa doesn't exist, wants to make sure that reindeer are still real. Why neither Yomi nor Chiyo speak up before Tomo snickers, then busts out laughing at her for believing in reindeer. It is only then that they say they exist. Tomo thinks she's lying, as flying deer aren't real. She sings, "You're tryna trick me! I'm not falling for it!" Yomi says she's confused. She asks Sakaki and Osaka if reindeer exist; both say they do. Chiyo has drawn a stylized reindeer on the board. Sakaki reiterates that they exist, and Chiyo adds that while they don't fly, they look like her drawing. Deer and reindeer are two different creatures. Confronted with this information, Tomo says she's not stupid.
Osaka says she has to start writing New Year's cards. She asks Tomo, who's pulling on Chiyo's pigtails, what animal on the Chinese zodiac pertains to next year. Tomo releases Chiyo, and she and Osaka recite: "Rat, ox, tiger, dragon, adder..." before getting stuck. Osaka then asks what this year is.Tomo doesn't know, so they recite again, stopping at the same place, then again. Osaka says she doesn't know what's after "dragon" and "adder". Tomo doesn't, either, so they try reciting again. Tomo remembers that this year is the dragon, and so Osaka figures that means the next year is the adder. They contemplate this. English-track-only joke: Osaka asks if those are the hangy parts on a cow.
In class, Yukari hands out report cards, starting with Chiyo, who she says is the top second-year student. Though she also say this kind of studying won't be useful out in the real world. Tomo is next. Yukari admonishes her to start working a little harder. Tomo repeats what Yukari just told Chiyo. Yukari calls her an idiot, and says it's what scholastics are all about. Giving Tomo... pushes on the head? she advises her to read Grandma's Fountain of Wisdom if she wants something useful in life.
Out in the city, Yomi, Tomo, Sakaki, and Osaka are waiting in front of the station. Chiyo comes up, apologizing for being late, and thanking them for waiting. Tomo greets her with a Meri Kurisumasu, and a "Let's party tonight!"
- Hang out for a while
- Sing karaoke
- Eat cake at Chiyo's
- Have a slumber party
They head off.
There's something Osaka always thinks about when Christmas comes around: the story about the red-nosed reindeer. She thinks it's terrible, as it being useful is no consolation; after all, if you told a bald man his head was useful on the road at night, you'd get clobbered. She figures Santa says some mean things.
She also wonders about Rudolph himself, like what kind of nose he has that can do that, and where he got it. She wonders if maybe Rudolph isn't actually a reindeer, but something else.
At karaoke, Osaka finishes singing her Image Song (it's translated on the English track), earning applause and a 65. (In the manga, it was Tomo and a 72.) Yomi calls that pretty good, and Tomo agrees saying it's way better than Osaka's last test score. Chiyo, who has the book, looks at them, then looks serious back at the book. (The manga reveals that she's just realized you get a score. Sakaki sings her image song amazingly, not even blushing until afterward. Osaka is surprised by this. Yomi figures it's her turn, and Tomo's tone of Oh, Crap! is priceless. So Yomi starts singing her image song, and, well, let's just say singing isn't Yomi's forte. She causes feedback, and the building to contort.
Afterward, Tomo remarks on how much they sang, and says Yomi's singing was something else. Osaka calls it "another big surprise". Tomo says that while Yomi is good at school and sports, but sucks big-time at singing. Yomi doesn't care as long as you put your heart into it.
Suddenly, they notice that it has begun to snow. Sakaki is the first to say something. Chiyo considers it romantic. "Yup," says a voice. They look, and Kimura is standing there. "It's a white Christmas. For sure." "Mr. Kimura?! What the—?!"
Next time: Episode 18!