It’s an average Sunday.
Today I had no work, my first free day in a while. I’m thinking of inviting my friends to go out for karaoke.
The door to my room suddenly opened and my father, looking like a zombie, was standing there, calling me in a voice that sounded like he was dying.
He had bags under his eyes, his skin was unnaturally pale, and looked thin, as if he had no soul. As I said before, my father is a mangaka who has a serialized series.
He needs to think about manga everyday all year around and he rarely gets any breaks.
As such, it isn’t surprising that he currently looks like he’s in a terrible state.
“What’s wrong? Not going to make the deadline on time?”
“No, I can afford a break this week, so I’m free.”
“Oh, that’s amazing. Finishing before the deadline? It’s been about a year since the last time that happened, right?”
“Don’t be stupid, it’s been about 5 years.”
“I don’t think you need to correct me if it’s like that… And? Do you need something from me?”
“Uhh, a little bit, I want you to help me”
Saying that, my father stares at me. When my father stares at me so intently with his thick eyebrows, it gives me a lot of pressure. However, since he’s a serious person and speaks to people while looking them in the eye, it can’t be helped…
“Yeah, that’s fine.”
I reply to him without moving my line of sight away.
“Here, you can enter.”
“S-sorry for bothering you…”
The place that I was brought to was a room on the fifth floor of a building, located one station away from home. It was my father’s workplace, which I’ve been to once.
Lined up within, was more than a thousand different mangas. The collection included about 30 years’ worth of manga that my father had drawn. In the back, there was a workplace set up for a mangaka with tools for drawing placed neatly on top of a desk.
I thought this before, but this place is amazing. It gave of the impression of a professional workplace, to the point where I would wonder whether an amateur like me was really allowed to enter.
While I was thinking this, my father sat down in front of the biggest desk in the area. Most likely that was where my father did his work.
I sat down on the sofa.
“Yoshiki, sorry for bringing you out on a holiday.”
“No, it’s fine. It’s been awhile since I’ve visited your work place so I’m pretty happy.”
After saying that, my father fell silent. After waiting a bit, he raises his voice.
“So, basically, I need you to help me brainstorm for my next work.”
My father had lowered his head while asking me this, but I still hadn’t quite wrapped my mind around it.
“Wait, new series… what about your current series?”
“Of course that series will be continued. However, I was suddenly told by the editor in chief, So I guess it’s about time to cut the series and start a new one!”
“If you refuse…”
“I can’t. To be honest, the current series is in a bit of a bad position. The editor in chief is giving me a chance. I want to write it properly.”
“Still, I thought you said that ending a series is a hard thing to do.”
“Aahh that’s true, but I have to do it.”
His eyes didn’t change as they stared straight at me. Looking at his eyes, I was just about to give in when a sudden doubt crept into me.
“I’m fine with giving you advice, but why me?”
“Well, the new series is supposed to be a romantic comedy you see, and it’s really hard to write. If I remember correctly, you are writing a novel, and it is a romantic comedy, right?”
Yes, I’m currently writing a novel. With that said, it was nothing on a professional level. It was just as a hobby. There isn’t really anyone who is going to read it, but writing it is a very fun experience.
I’ve only told my father about it. After all, other people like my friends at school, my sister, or my mother would seem pretty embarrassing.
“As I was saying, I don’t really have an interesting idea for a romantic comedy.”
“I see, a romantic comedy…”
I have lots of ideas for a romantic comedy, but they’re mostly for novels so I don’t know how interesting they would be as a manga. When it comes to storyboarding, my father should be overwhelmingly better at it.
So instead of thinking about ideas for a romantic comedy, I think that explaining the aspects of the romantic comedy itself would be more helpful. My father can then think of the story ideas himself.
For instance, I can give him the characteristics of the heroine, or help to describe the protagonist character. With that in mind, I started by describing to him the characteristics of what I would believe to be a charming heroine.
Although my explanation were quite long, my father listened intently. With that, time passed by in a blink of an eye. It was now 5 o’clock in the afternoon.
After finishing our talk about the romantic comedy, I took a break and drank tea. My father also drinks tea, as he moves his sharpened pencil. It seems he’s working on his storyboard.
“By the way, I heard that you got a girlfriend?”
“Yeah, did Mom not tell you? I have a girlfriend now.”
When I answered him, he removed his eyes from what he was doing and looked at me. His gaze had didn’t have much strength in them. In fact, it seemed surprisingly weak.
“Is that… true?”
“… Right now. Call your girlfriend over right now.”
“That should be obvious!”
My father stood up as he said it. Somehow, he’s a lot like mother in this aspect.
“I want to give her my gratitude. To be going out with a boy like this!”
“Talking about your own son like that… Well, if you put it that way, I guess I’ll at least contact her.”
If it’s Mamiko though, she’s most likely hanging out with her friends… While thinking this, I contacted Mamiko, but she responded instantly with “I’ll be right over!”.
Ah, I guess she was free…
“…My girlfriend, it seems that she’s coming.”
“Oooooh, I see I see! I guess I’ll clean the workplace up a bit! HAHAHA!”
“Y-yeah, I guess so…”
I could only nod at my father who had suddenly became excited.
Today, I’ve been at cram school since morning.
As I thought, being a student is tough. But, I have to work hard. I want to go to the same school as my brother after all…
With that in mind, I head to the station from my cram school. My cram school is one stop away from the station closest to home. It happens to be around my father’s workplace. Sometimes, I head over to his workplace to hang out.
However, it was Sunday. My father usually is at home on Sundays and not at his workplace. That’s what I thought, but on my way home, I could see a light coming from my father’s workplace.
Maybe he’s currently at his workplace? Or maybe he forgot to turn off the lights? I thought of a bunch of different possibilities, but for now, I’ll head over to check it out. If he is there, let’s go home with my father for a change.
I started skipping as I headed over to my father’s workplace.