*Note: alcohol should not be imbibed before the age of 20.
To everyone who picked up this story, everyone who read it, thank you. I am deeply grateful.
This short story is a fanwork based on White Album 2, an 18+ adventure game released by Leaf and Aquaplus for Windows.
In the three days between her graduation from Houjou High School and November of her third year of college as depicted in Closing Chapter, how did Setsuna spend her time?
Around her parents, she acts as though she and Haruki were still dating. A thread as narrow as spider’s silk, precarious, weakened by lies—it is such a thread to which she clings from day to day.
In The Voiceless Idol’s Perch, Setsuna is written to be very withdrawn. She doesn’t have a job. She gets by on pocket money alone. And she behaves in such a way as to keep her mother, Akina, from figuring out that she and Haruki have become estranged.
That sort of lie wouldn’t generally be able to get past a mother. But she goes out now and again on her own anyway, as a sort of camouflage. Where would she stop and hang out at such times?
That question is where this short story begins, and I centered it around one of my personal hobbies—analog jazz records.
At this point in her life, Setsuna can’t listen to Japanese songs, so she listens to jazz. That’s my headcanon.
No matter what rock-bottom of sorrow Setsuna might fall into, or be pulled down into, there is a song in her.
Just like the women who left their names in the history of jazz, without a song, Setsuna is not Setsuna.
As I wrote in my other story, It’s Not Love, singing is part of Setsuna on an atomic level.
Setsuna and Kazusa captivated me entirely with their legendary school festival show. It was a “sweet surrender”—I could give myself up fully. That’s what Setsuna and Kazusa are to me.
So, I don’t believe Setsuna would just shut herself away completely.
She would sing again. To that end, she was absorbing something, even unconsciously.
That was my picture of that three-year interval as I wrote.
Finally, I was able once again to wrap my story in gorgeous illustrations.
I want everyone to see Ena-san’s artwork—I love it so much.
Let’s meet again some day, in Onjuku. My heart is always with Kazusa.
Ushineko April 30th, 2018
The Voiceless Idol’s Perch/White Album 2 Short Story: Setsuna’s Three-Year Blank
Text: Ushineko (@ushigara_neko6 on Twitter)
Illustration & cover design:
Ena (@ena686 on Twitter)
Date published: April 30th, 2018 first edition
Editing/publishing: Rurou no gakushi