(audience chatter. The trio begins to play “White Album” and audience applauds.)
Male student 1: They’re starting! Hey, they’re actually starting!
Male student 2: (laughs ecstatically, then stops in surprise.) Wait, what? I feel like I’ve heard this song before…
Male student 1: I dunno…
(Setsuna starts singing. Audience cheers in recognition.)
Female student 3: This is…!
Male student 2: “White Album,” right?!
Tomo’s friend 1: Wow, they’re doing “White Album”! What a tasteful choice…!
Tomo: Hmph. What’s she doing, singing something this old? She’s not such a big deal.
Tomo’s friend 2: She sounds great! This is incredible! She’s just killing it!
♪ With the seasons as they pass…
(cut to later in the song. audience is clapping along.)
♪ …Isn’t that strange?
The fleeting snow
Takahiro: What’s going on? Why is everyone so excited about Setsuna’s singing?
Setsuna’s mother: Say, Takahiro, I feel like I’ve heard this before. What was it…?
Takahiro: Isn’t Setsuna always singing it in karaoke? You could at least try to remember that much.
(Kazusa starts playing a saxophone solo. The audience goes wild.)
Female student 1: Whoa! Are you hearing this?
Female student 2: Wow. A girl, in that look, playing saxophone… This breaks all kinds of rules!
Female student 1: No kidding. Who is she? I’ve never seen anyone like her before.
Female student 2: Isn’t she a helper with the music department? Hey, I heard a rumor about her before. That the daughter of a world-famous pianist was here.
♪ Like a puzzle missing its most important piece
Just as the white snow softly buries the streets
Let’s fill up every blank page in this album
(the song ends. Wild applause and cheers. Setsuna addresses the audience.)
Setsuna: Um… Hello. We’re the Light Music Club. (audience cheers.) Welcome to the Houjou High School Festival. Is everyone having a good time? (more cheers.) Um… I haven’t exactly thought of anything to say, so I apologize if this gets a bit awkward.
Setsuna: To be honest, I’m surprised that so many people came to see us. If I’d known this would happen, I would have come up with a band name. (audience laughs.) Oh, so… for those of you who don’t know the song we just played, allow me to introduce it a bit. It’s called “White Album,” and it’s from maybe… ten years ago? It was Yuki Morikawa-san’s debut song. It’s a little old-fashioned, but at the time it was very popular, and it became a staple song for the winter, so a lot of people know it. It’s pretty, but also kind of a slow song, so we were afraid you all might not be able to get into it, but clearly we had nothing to worry about! I’m really glad. The truth is, at first, I had to muster up a lot of nerve to bring this song, since it’s an old one. If it was a miss, then everything afterward would fall flat. But all of the members liked the song, and I loved it most of all, so we were determined to make it happen.
Setsuna: So, now that I’ve introduced the song, I’d like to move on to introducing the band members. First… Okay, I’ll start with me. Setsuna Ogiso, class 3-A, on vocals. (audience cheers and applauds wildly.) This is actually my first time ever standing in a place like this and singing, so I was super nervous. But with all of your voices supporting me, I think I’ve been able to go beyond my own limits. Thank you all so much. (more cheers and applause.) Um, also…
Setsuna: (playfully) Voting for you-know-what ends tomorrow, so if you wouldn’t mind…
Tomo: Unbelievable. Talking about the election at a time like this? Damn you, Setsuna Ogiso…!
Tomo’s friend 2: I’m pretty sure that was just a gag.
Setsuna: Um, moving right along… Haruki Kitahara-kun, class 3-E, on guitar. (Haruki plays a short solo. Audience applauds politely.) Kitahara-kun is a member of the festival action committee and the student council, and handles all sorts of other posts, so I’m sure he’s been a big help to a lot of people. He’s a very reliable person, and has supported us members from both the front and the back, the same way he always does. (audience cheers.) He has a solo in the next song, so if he messes up, please feel free to laugh at him. (audience laughs.) And, lastly, Kazusa Touma-san, from class 3-E.
(Kazusa plays a keyboard flourish. Audience applauds, set abuzz.)
Female student 1: That’s it, Youko Touma! That girl is Youko Touma’s daughter! The girl genius who was number one in the country in the spring of her first year!
Male student 1: Youko Touma’s daughter…?
Female student 2: Number one in the country?
Female student 3: Of course. A girl like her would have to be at a high level… Hey, did she just say class E?
Female student 1: Huh? Why would she be in general education?
Setsuna: I’m sure you all must be surprised by Touma-san! It’s really kind of a mystery why she joined our group, since she towers so far above the rest of us in terms of talent. I can’t count how many times she’s saved us.
Setsuna: She’s in charge of keyboards, sax… (audience gasps.) and… (the group begins to play “Sound of Destiny.”) …bass!
(audience cheers and applauds.)
Male student 1: Seriously?!
Male student 2: No, she must just be pretending. Y’know, air bass, or whatever.
Male student 1: She was definitely playing the sax for real just now, though.
Male student 2: …Dang, I guess she really is playing it.
Male student 1: Yeah, she’s playing, no doubt about it. I thought Setsuna Ogiso was the only one worth any note, but dang, this is massive…!
(Tomo is humming along)
Tomo’s friend 1: Tomo?
Tomo’s friend 2: Looks like you’re getting into it.
Tomo: Huh? I’m just, I mean—it’s Rina, so I can’t help it!
Tomo’s friend 1: Um, really?
Tomo’s friend 2: Is that so?
Tomo: Whenever I go to karaoke, I never leave without doing a Rina medley. This is always my opening number for that.
Tomo’s friend 1: “Sound of Destiny” must be pretty good for pumping everybody up.
Tomo’s friend 2: Just like it is right now.
Tomo: She knew I was a big fan of Rina’s, and she picked this one just to butter me up. Such a cowardly move… You won’t get away with this, Setsuna Ogiso!
Tomo’s friend 1: I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know that.
Tomo’s friend 2: You make self-centeredness into an art form.
(Tomo sings along.)
(Haruki begins his guitar solo. Takahiro is rapt.)
Setsuna’s mother: Hey, Takahiro, haven’t we heard this one somewhere, too?
Setsuna’s mother: Takahiro!
Takahiro: Be quiet! Stop talking, Mom!
Setsuna’s mother: What are you talking about? Everybody around us is way louder.
Takahiro: Maybe I’ll take up the guitar.
Setsuna’s mother: By all means, if you can get yourself a part-time job and buy one.
Takahiro: Urk… The road is steep…
(the song ends. Applause and cheers.)
Setsuna: This one is our last song. (audience reacts with disappointment.) I don’t believe many of you know this one… Well, actually, none of you know it! This is an original one of ours, that we just finished yesterday. We’ve only had one day to rehearse it, so I don’t know how well we’ll be able to play it, but I’ll be singing and enjoying it from the bottom of my heart, to the last note. Please listen to it, everyone. The title is “Unreaching Love.”
(cut to the end of the song. Audience is cheering and clapping along with the rhythm.)
♪Even if my love can’t reach you, the day may come when it starts to show
Until that hazy answer appears
This love won’t come alive
(audience goes wild. Setsuna speaks over the end of the song:)
Setsuna: Thank you so much! Really, truly, thank you, everyone!
(applause and cheers continue.)
Audience: Encore! Encore! Encore! Encore! Encore!
FC: There will not be an encore! Everyone, please remain seated! I repeat! There will not be an encore!
(Setsuna’s mother and Youko encounter each other again after the show.)
Setsuna’s mother: Oh…
Setsuna’s mother: Well! We meet again, ma’am.
Setsuna’s mother: That was quite a show. Although, don’t you think being around loud noise like that all the time would make something go wrong with your ears?
Youko: Erm… Well, I suppose so, for most people. By the way, where is your son?
Setsuna’s mother: Ah, that boy… As soon as his sister’s performance was over, he said he was hungry and ran straight out.
Youko: Oh? Your daughter was performing, too?
Setsuna’s mother: Well! So you were also here to see your child’s big moment on the stage? What a coincidence!
Youko: Well, “big moment” might be pushing it… Anyhow, I suppose I was able to enjoy it, as a mother.
Setsuna’s mother: Is that so?
Youko: When you’ve neglected your daughter for so long, and suddenly you realize she’s taken on this flirtatious playing style, and developed the kind of sex appeal that has boys fighting over her…
Setsuna’s mother: How wonderful, being able to relax and watch like that. I was nervous the whole time, wondering when she was going to flub the lyrics!
Youko: Um… were you listening to what I was saying?
Setsuna’s mother: Huh? What was it?
Youko: Oh, nothing. I was just thinking that your daughter must be a cheerful, obedient, charming girl, completely unlike my idiot of a daughter.
Setsuna’s mother: Hardly! She’s more willful than anyone in our family. She only seems good from the outside, really.
Youko: Maybe she would have been happier, being raised by a mother like you…
Setsuna’s mother: Oh, no! I got so absorbed in talking that I lost track of time… Um, my children are waiting outside, so…
Youko: Yes, of course.
Setsuna’s mother: All right, be well! (she starts walking, then stops.) Oh, by the way, ma’am…
Setsuna’s mother: Pardon me for asking, but were you in something on TV, by any chance?
Setsuna’s mother: It’s just that my son said something about it earlier. And, to tell you the truth, I feel like I’ve seen you somewhere, myself…
Youko: Yes, but it was a long time ago. Nothing terribly big.
Setsuna’s mother: Ah! I thought so! What were you? An actress? Or a doctor, or a lawyer, or…?
Youko: No, Japan was praising me as a genius to the rest of the world.
Setsuna’s mother: Huh? Huh?
Youko: Goodbye, now.
(Youko walks off.)
Setsuna’s mother: She… She must be busy.