Saiyuu no Ryokou: The Continuing Adventures of Yuriko
The Story So Far: Yuriko's still trying to figure out her co-star, while learning new
dance steps. It's like rubbing her belly and patting her head at the same time. With all
the work she's got ahead of her, she's decided to take the afternoon off.
Volume 1, Issue 14
Mariko lifted her hand in an airy wave, as Yuriko walked briskly down the hall. The blonde
removed one hand from the teddy bear she held to return the wave.
"You look lovely today," Mariko called out, "and don't think I don't resent
it. It's completely unfair that she has such nice legs," she said this last towards a
woman who stood against the wall, fanning herself lightly. The other woman grimaced
slightly, looking down at her own, somewhat stubby legs, and nodded forcefully.
Yuriko swept up, the light summer dress she wore moving loosely against her, still
clasping the rather large teddy bear against her chest. Mariko took in the wide-brim straw
hat and the sunglasses and smirked.
"Are you trying out a new disguise?" she asked brightly, gesturing at her
friend. "It won't work, you know, you're too tall to hide."
Yuriko smiled and pulled off the sunglasses. "Not at all although, come on,
Mari, the hat *does* hide my hair. Here," she handed the bear to Mariko's companion
with a smile, "hold that a second, will you?" With her hands free, the blonde
removed the straw hat then, as she spun, set hat and glasses back in place.
"Voila!" she announced triumphantly. "No one would ever know it was
Mariko laughed, "Except I recognized you right off even with the bear as
protective coloration. I assume it's a gift from an adoring fan?"
"Guilty as charged." Yuriko turned to the third woman and bowed slightly to
change the subject.
"This is Hitomi, Kaneda Hitomi," Mariko supplied, "she's Aki-san's
assistant. He and I are working together on this show. Hitomi-san has shown some serious
initiative and drive, so I figured I'd hitch myself to her star before she leaves me in
the dust." Mari smiled pleasantly at the other woman.
Hitomi blushed slightly. "Oh, not really Morinaga-san and Hayashi-san have
been very kind to me." She said this last to Yuriko, her voice admiring and thankful,
but not at all groveling.
"This is one of our top names, omnipresent idol Yuriko," Mariko gesticulated at
the singer, "although despite her incredible skills at disguise you probably
recognized her." She laughed at the look the blonde shot her. "I assume that
you've been freed for the afternoon since you're here?"
Yuriko nodded. "We have the shoot this evening, so I've been given leave for a few
hours of rest. I wanted to stop by and say hi before I toddle off and annoy Midori for the
rest of the day. How's the show going?"
Mariko nodded sagely. "It won't be remembered in twenty years or anything, but I
think Aki-san has a good seller here. It should be fun." Yuriko nodded. Morinaga Aki
had a reputation as an excellent producer with an ability to create popular, if not
world-shaking, game shows.
Hitomi agreed quickly. "Morinaga-san really understands what makes a good show
from strong visual images to good dialogue set-ups. I'm learning quite a bit from him
he's very generous with his knowledge."
Yuriko nodded again. "Aki-san is brilliant in his own way. Keep your eyes open and
you'll go far with him."
Hitomi smiled happily. "I intend to...go far, I mean."
Yuriko gestured approvingly. "That's the spirit!"
At that moment, the door to the studio opened and a PA - Type 1, Yuriko noted to herself -
interrupted them nervously. "Excuse me, Hayashi-san, erm, Kaneda-san, we're almost
ready to start..." the woman's eyes moved wildly back and forth between the three
women, as if in fear that she might be angering one of them.
Mariko pushed herself off the wall with a groan. "That's fine, thank you Rei-san.
We'll be there in a second. Sorry, Yuri duty calls," she said mournfully.
"Understood," the idol commented. "Well, I'm off to annoy my girlfriend
while she tries to get some work done," she smiled happily. "I'll see you later,
Mari. And it was a pleasure meeting you, Hitomi-san," Yuriko smiled down at the
producer's assistant. "Any friend of Mariko's..."
Hitomi looked up and met the idol's blue eyes with a smile. "The pleasure is mine,
Yuriko-san." Yuriko noted the other woman's confidence and upped her opinion another
notch. Mari had found a winner in this girl.
Yuriko turned away to leave, but Hitomi's voice cried out suddenly and she spun back to
face the woman.
"Your bear!" Hitomi said with a smile, holding the object out. Yuriko looked
down at the creature and shook her head.
With a little wave, she said, "Keep it. I get them all the time."
"Are you sure?" Hitomi looked at the stuffed animal questioningly.
"She's sure," Mariko said with a laugh. "Her hordes of admiring fans never
tire of sending them."
Yuriko grinned and waved. "See you later!" With a few strides of her long legs,
she was down the hall and around the corner before Hitomi could argue not that she
was going to argue. She hugged the stuffed bear to her chest and moved to reenter the
studio. With a small hesitation, she turned to Mariko and said, "Yuriko-san's very
nice, isn't she?"
Mariko caught the girl's eye and said dryly, "Yes, very." They both laughed.
"Yuriko-san, five minutes to make-up!"
"Okay," she waved at the assistant. Turning back to the mirror, she checked
herself once more. "I look like that J-rock guy, whatshisname
Amba grinned. "Exactly. Trust me your fans will love it."
Yuriko looked at herself dubiously. The lovely mauve silk felt smooth against her skin and
the color was magnificent
but the outfit itself
it was awful! The jacket was cut
close and long and was trimmed with fur the same color as the silk at cuff and collar. She
felt claustrophic in her clothes.
"Hmm, you're right though," Amba said. "There's something missing, wait,
" she handed Yuriko the sunglasses she had worn in. "Try that."
Yuriko put the glasses on and turned to face the costumer.
"No, still something missing. Chi? Any thoughts?"
The assistant pursed her lips. "I don't know she's got that Visual look
At the same time the two women said, "Sneer."
"What?" Yuriko asked, puzzled.
"You have to sneer." Chiyako said. "Or the whole look is ruined."
"Come on you're an actress, aren't you? Pretend to be any current male
Yuriko nodded doubtfully, then rearranged her features into a casual and insulting sneer.
"That's it!" Chiyako cried as Amba clapped. "It's perfect. If you can
saunter or better still, swagger out, the girls will go ballistic!"
Yuriko's face fell into her normal expression as she chuckled. "Okay, I'll take your
word for it, but it still seems silly to me."
"Trust us, trust us," Amba soothed, as the call for Yuriko to go to makeup came.
The two women hustled the blonde out the door making encouraging noises until Yuriko was
out of earshot. Chiyako closed the door, turned to meet Amba's eyes and they waited. A
beat or two passed as they counted steps away from the trailer, across the lot and out
into the open area before the makeup trailer. The shrill screams of hundreds of girls filled
the air even through the trailer walls.
"Damn we're good," Chiyako said, pleased.
Amba said nothing, but the smile on her face lingered as she began to place a final hem on
a dress for the next setup.