Volume 12 Chapter 18 Kohina Yukari, I’m The Strongest!
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
I gaze at the results of the drama awards displayed on the large monitor.
[2022 Drama Awards, List of Winners]
- Best Actor: Shirogane Aqua as Kenzaki Souji in “Masked Driver Heaven’s Sword”
- Best Actress: Kohina Yukari as Satou Sayuki in “My Honor Student Big Brother”
- Supporting Actor: Shirogane Aqua as Yuujin Mustafa in “To You, Where the Flowers Bloom”
- Supporting Actress: Tsukimachi Ayana as Kasamichi Rina in “My Honor Student Big Brother”
- Director’s Award: Hongou Hiroko for “Masked Driver Heaven’s Sword”
- Screenplay Award: Moriishi Akiko for “Masked Driver Heaven’s Sword”
- Theme Song Award: Shirogane Aqua for the theme song “Otomeiro no Kokoro (Maiden’s Heart)” of “To You, Where the Flowers Bloom”
- Best Picture Award: “Masked Driver Heaven’s Sword”
The award ceremony for the drama awards concluded with a spectacular show featuring three works involving Hana-ata, Yuuoni, and Heaven’s Sword, or rather, those associated with Shirogane Aqua. Well, it’s to be expected.
As for Ayana-chan, I think it was really touch-and-go, but I believe the drama awards take into account public reception, viewer reception, entertainment value, and topicality more than the film awards, so the lineup was convincing to everyone. Of course, it’s essential for it to be interesting, and without substance, one will not receive an award. In other words, if you don’t have the ability, you won’t even be nominated in the first place, so you can be proud. I breathed a sigh of relief and switched my focus to the announcement of the film awards.
”And now, everyone, we will take a brief break here before the announcement of the film awards.”
What on earth! I almost stood up and was about to make a retort. It was really good that the host was Announcer Onidzuka. If it had been Announcer Morikawa, I would have stood up and gone to grab her by the scruff of her neck, and with Aqua coming to stop that, the three of us would have started another program on our own.
Hmm, it seems they’re going to interview the participants in the hall during that break. I see, if that’s the case… I step back and head to the restroom for a moment.
I froze the moment I entered the women’s restroom. Why did I have to encounter Yukishiro Mikuni and Kuga Reira at this timing of all times! The person who came up with this plot, show yourself!! This is ridiculous!!
”Kohina-san… Congratulations on winning the Drama Award and the Best Actress Award.”
”Ah… Thank you.”
After receiving words of celebration from Yukishiro Mikuni, I also receive them from Kuga Reira. If it were sarcasm, I would respond, but since it’s not, I accept it sincerely.
”Do you remember the promise we made back then?”
”Yes, of course. The one who wins will receive an offer to play his partner role in the movie. If I lose to you two in this movie, I’ll accept it and step back.”
”Yeah, I feel like I’ve portrayed everything I can with this. So if I lose here, I can accept it. No hard feelings either way.”
I shake hands firmly with Yukishiro Mikuni.
I’ve done everything I can. If I lose now, there’s nothing I can do about it. Next, I’ll just analyze it so I can make something better.
”Well then, excuse me.”
Yukishiro Mikuni said that and left the toilet alone.
Hey, what about Kuga Reira!? Take her with you too!!
Don’t leave just the two of us!
”Kohina Yukari… You said it before. That I’m a copy of Mikuni-sama.”
Hey, wait a minute! Think about your height!
Don’t approach me! Huh!? Could it be that you’re going to hit me!?
I can’t just let you hit me, so I take a fighting pose for a counter.
”I’ve been bothered by the words you said to me for a long time.”
Hmm, I see. That’s how it is.
Seriously, all these capable people are such a pain and a hassle to deal with.
”Did it bother you when I said that? Have you come to a conclusion about the meaning behind those words?”
”No, I never thought about winning against Mikuni-sama… I never even considered such a thing.”
That’s why I said those words to Kuga Reira. She has a foreign look that could easily make it in the States or Stars, with a style and appearance that sets her apart from us Japanese. She’s taller than me and doesn’t have a baby face. She can do action scenes and musicals.
In terms of basic specs, Kuga Reira is undoubtedly the best among the three of us. She might even be the closest to Aqua in terms of height, mobility, and singing ability. That’s why I feel regret. I feel jealous. If I were her, I wouldn’t become a copy of someone else.
”That’s why Tsukimachi Ayana’s words shook my heart. You must have noticed, right? It may be a bit paradoxical, but she is someone who lacks something. Yet, she spoke with such passion about defeating you, and Aqua-kun, who seems capable of surpassing even Mikuni-sama. I thought about it. Ah, I’m not trying to provoke you, so please don’t misunderstand. I was genuinely surprised and shocked. That’s why I started questioning myself. Do I have something as an actress that matches her feelings? Right now, her interview and the words you said to me are swirling inside me.”
Hmm… It’s like the answer is already obvious.
”You’re quite stupid, aren’t you? Are all nobles idiots or something?”
Seriously, whether it’s Yukishiro Mikuni, Aqua, or her, you’re all so bothersome. I lightly poke around her chest when I get close to Kuga Reira.
”Do you know? There’s no smoke without fire. So when there’s smoke, the answer is already there. It’s obvious that something is going on. Figure it out yourself. I hope you have at least a little pride or dignity.”
That’s settled then. I act cool and leave the restroom as it is. Oops, I forgot to use the restroom. But going to the same restroom now would be uncool. What should I do…?
While I was thinking about that, Useless Aqua casually approached from in front of me. I really don’t understand what’s so great about this person. Even the popular actresses and newly debuted singers on both sides of the aisle are giving him flirtatious glances. He should be grateful to his mom who gave birth to him with such a unnecessarily large body, for not being attacked even when he’s so defenseless.
”Kohina-senpai, what’s wrong?”
”Um, um, the restroom is full.”
”Oh, I see. Then you can use the restroom in my dressing room. It’s close by, let’s go there.”
Tip-tap, tip-tap, tip-tap…
Whew, I was so close to having an “accident.”
Oh, I freeze halfway through putting on the dress I just took off.
”Hey, wait a moment.”
”What’s wrong? Did you clog the toilet with your poop?”
”Hey! Don’t call an idol ‘poop’! No, that’s not it! Can you zip up my dress?”
”Huh!? I-Is that okay?”
This guy… seriously gets turned on so easily, huh? Does he think I won’t notice him looking at my corset while zipping up?
”No, thank you!”
Hey, don’t you think that if you show your cool face, most things will go away? Your confidence is on the same level as Morikawa-san’s pushiness.
Anyway, I’m escorted back to the venue by him. Huh! Did you ask me to wash my hands properly? I’m not a child! I do wash them properly. Ugh!!
”Now, I would like to move on to the announcement of the film awards.”
Once again, president of the association, Hisayo-san takes the stage.
Just like the drama award, the announcement starts with the Best Supporting Actor award.
In this kind of awards ceremony, the preamble is long and gradually gives hints to lead to the winners. So, I think many people listening might find it tedious.
As usual, we send our support to those who couldn’t win, and the name of the winner is revealed at the very end.
”The Best Supporting Actor award goes to Mutsumiya Seijuu, who played the role of Kusuno Ginka from ‘Hara o Kiru’ (Commit Seppuku). Congratulations!!”
Alright! First victory!
Seijuu and I exchange eye signals.
Casting for the supporting role is just as important as the lead role. At least, it’s not worth considering an actor who would be eaten up by my serious acting.
In that sense, Mutsumiya Seijuu, the empress, is one of the few actors who can confront me head-on in a serious battle.
Rather than casting actors who obediently surround me like pets, I think it’s more dazzling to have people like Ayana-chan or even Useless Aqua, who come at me head-on. My greatest strength is to skillfully control the chaotic situation created by these actors without unity and create the best unified scene.
That’s why I deliberately set up situations on set that would make it tense. Of course, I’ve been really annoyed and lost my temper at times. But that can’t be helped. It’s their fault for making me angry, not mine.
”Congratulations on the award.”
Unlike the drama awards, which emphasize entertainment value in their announcements, the film awards have each winner give a comment as usual. To be honest, when it comes to the drama awards, winning for Heaven’s Sword and making Aqua the hero, the way bad adults are directed to shine on screen to the fullest… that might be misleading, but I think they did it to entertain the viewers.
”It was really tough on set. I felt like I was going to be killed by Kohina Yukari-san the whole time during filming.”
Hey, what’s with that!? You’ve been badmouthing me the whole time, haven’t you? That’s not a joke. Don’t mess around! I’ll sue you for defamation!! Also, you, useless Aqua over there, stop nodding and crossing your arms so much in front of me!! I’ll push you down later!!
”Now, let’s move on to the announcement of the screenplay award.”
Damn, that person smirked as she passed by me!! She’s probably thinking, “If I grab onto this opportunity, I could aim for the front page of tomorrow’s newspaper.” Don’t worry, tomorrow’s front page will be dominated by Heaven’s Sword or Aqua!
”The award for the screenplay goes to Shimizu Kisuka-sensei. Congratulations!”
Alright, alright, alright! With this, we’ve achieved a double crown!! To be honest, I’m confident about winning the supporting actor and screenplay awards, and even the director’s award to be announced next.
”Shimizu Kisuka-sensei, congratulations once again.”
”Thank you very much.”
The “Hara o Kiru” is a story about the time when I, playing Saito Hito, became the first person in this country to give birth through a cesarean section. It’s also about the feelings that went beyond friendship for the surgeon, Kusuno Ginka, her friend, played by Mutsumiya Seijuu.
Despite the unwanted marriage, s*xual intercourse with someone she didn’t want, pregnancy, and childbirth, it’s also about becoming a mother through the interactions and conflicts during the pregnancy. Of course, for such a heavy movie, male actors couldn’t be cast, and Shimizu-sensei, the screenwriter, had a really hard time writing it without a male casting.
”There have been several works based on Kisuka-sensei before, but I never thought the protagonist would be someone who underwent surgery.”
”That’s right. Actually, I initially took a script with Dr. Kusuno as the protagonist, but the director said, ‘I don’t think this is what you really want to write. Come up with a story you truly want to tell,’ which was a great encouragement.”
For example, Yukishiro Mikuni, who was there, won an award for a touching drama series where the super-surgeon, Kusuno Ginka, helped someone in every episode. However, the Ginka portrayed by Mutsumiya Seijuu is not super, and in Kisuka-sensei’s script, her struggles and conflicts are also depicted. The interpretation by Kisuka-sensei is more realistically human, and I found myself more drawn to that.
”Have you ever struggled while writing a script?”
”Well… let’s see. I guess, more than struggling, I was really scared the first time I showed the script to Kohina Yukari-san. I was trembling the whole time, wondering what she would say. I even checked if I had peed myself right away in the bathroom.”
Hey!! We don’t need to hear about that right now, okay!!
Hey, don’t laugh so loudly. You, Useless Aqua and Morikawa Kaede!!
”It was really amazing. I was on the edge of my seat until the end, and when it was over, tears just flowed naturally. Thank you for writing such a wonderful script!!”
”No, I’m the one who’s grateful for being able to receive an honorable award despite writing it the way I liked.”
Applause fills the room.
Honestly, the last part about me was totally unnecessary, wasn’t it…
”Now, let’s move on to the announcement of the Best Director award.”
When it comes to the Best Director award, it’s my turn next. Unlike the Drama awards, there are no separate categories for actors and actresses, and there is no theme song award, so the order of the film awards comes quickly.
”The Best Director award goes to Director Urata Yayoi, who has sacrificed a lot for this film. Congratulations!”
With this, it creates a stir in the venue when the Best Director is announced. In the long history of the film awards, no film has ever achieved a triple crown. Even if Yukishiro Mikuni and Kuga Reira were guaranteed to win the Best Actress award, their brilliance is too strong for other departments such as supporting actors, screenwriters, and directors to win awards.
And now, having achieved a triple crown with this sacrifice, it means that if I win the Best Actress award against Yukishiro Mikuni and Kuga Reira, it will be the first-ever quintuple crown.
”Director Urata, I think the subject matter of this film was quite challenging.”
”Yes, that’s right. I think in the past, you couldn’t see such films in large movie theaters.”
The words of Director Urata sent a shiver down the audience’s spine. In reality, even the distribution companies dislike works that portray men in a negative light, and I heard that it was uncertain whether they would take on such a risky project.
However, Director Urata was praised for capturing the emotions of both Saito and Ginka in a careful and respectful manner. That’s what I liked about it and why I took on this job. If it had been a politically charged film, it would have just been a piece of crap, and I wouldn’t have taken on the job either. Only second-rate or washed-up actresses with no work would do that.
Our job is to stir the emotions of the people who come to watch the movie and make them feel like it was worth watching, making them want to see it over and over again.
”Did you face any difficulties in the process of creating this work?”
”If I had done things half-heartedly, I would have been killed by Kohina Yukari-san… That was the only thing I was truly afraid of. By the way, unlike Shimizu-sensei, I actually wet myself a little.”
Hey, you!! Quit messing around!! The audience shouldn’t be laughing so hard!! And you, Useless Aqua and Announcer Morikawa, clutching your stomachs in front of me, remember this for later. I know you understand, but after the awards ceremony, I’ll grab both of your shoulders tightly and drag you to the after-party, so be prepared for that.
Of course, both of you will be sitting on either side of me. It would be nice for you to express your gratitude to me while shedding tears.
”Thank you, Director Urata. And once again, congratulations on your award! Now, what probably everyone is curious about, right? Let’s move on to the announcement of the Best Actor award for the film category.”
The whole atmosphere in the venue becomes tense.
If I win the award, it will be an unprecedented achievement of five victories at once, and if not, it means that the walls of Yukishiro Mikuni or Kuga Reira were indeed too high.
”First, the Best Actor award this time was a battle of unprecedented high level. I want to express my gratitude first for the fact that such high-level actors gathered at the same time. A round of applause of gratitude to all those involved in building such a foundation!!”
The entire venue erupted into thunderous applause.
”Let me state the conclusion clearly. When it comes to the Best Leading Actor award, it was unanimous from the start.”
The venue buzzed with excitement.
With the unanimous decision from the beginning, it was inevitable that it would be Yukishiro Mikuni.
There is no other actress who shines as brightly on screen as her, and it is unimaginable for me that not a single judge voted for Yukishiro Mikuni.
”Actors are actually quite contradictory. Acting is all about creating an illusion, yet the audience seeks a realistic portrayal. It’s a paradox that can never be reconciled. However, this time, she managed to master that delicate balance.”
At this point, it’s still unclear.
But somehow, I had a feeling it wasn’t Kuga Reira.
”And for those who have seen the movie, you’ll understand. That final smile, it said it all. I felt like I was shown something beyond just a movie, something that only she, or rather, an actor, can convey.”
In the context of smiles, all three of us were smiling at the end.
Geez! The introduction is just too long! They must be enjoying watching our reactions, absolutely!!
”Dealing with difficult roles, expressing complex emotions, natural gestures, conveying feelings through words, giving it your all, and performing with such precision that it doesn’t even seem like acting anymore, immersing yourself in the role to the point where there’s no hint of pretense. Bringing brilliance to those around you and delivering the best performance. The ultimate goal for all actors, including myself. You have reached a territory that no one else has stepped into yet.”
The venue erupted with excitement.
I felt something warm welling up from deep within my chest.
”I’m sure you faced many challenges. Your face looks young for an actress, and you’re not particularly tall. Yet, you have earnestly and sincerely pursued acting without dwelling on these challenges. Now, stand tall! You are not just Kuga Reira or Yukishiro Mikuni. You are the number one actress in Japan right now! Congratulations on your unprecedented five awards, as well as the unanimous film award for lead actress and the unanimous drama award for lead actress. Let’s celebrate your victorious sweep of all the accolades!! Congratulations, Kohina Yukari-san!”
If I were to win this award, I wonder what would become of me. Maybe I would cry. I thought that I might be overwhelmed with emotion and lose control of my feelings. But, it turned out that I was not like that at all. I stood up from my seat and gracefully made my way to the stage, more elegantly than anyone else in this venue.
”Thank you very much.”
I slowly surveyed the entire venue. Yukishiro Mikuni, Kuga Reira, I am grateful to both of you. Thank you for standing in front of me. Hehe, Ayana-chan, you seem even happier than me. You’re truly adorable. Oh, my, my president and manager are hugging and crying their eyes out. Oh well, let’s pretend I don’t know them, it’s embarrassing.
On the other hand, Ako-cchi… you have really grown in this past year. I already knew you had a strong core, but you have become truly reliable. So, don’t shed tears for my award. Save those tears for your idiot over there. And Aqua… keep a close eye on me. You will surpass me in my current state. I believe you can reach even greater heights. And someday… if you meet a good child, do for them what I did for you. I am truly glad to have met you, or rather, to have met all of you. I have gained some understanding of what it means to raise someone, what it means to become a mother.
Of course, compared to your mothers or other mothers out there, I still know very little about hardship. Nevertheless, being able to see that final smile, being able to understand human emotions, it’s all thanks to all of you. So, I am grateful. It’s embarrassing to say thank you, but if we’re alone together, I can secretly say thank you in the middle of something.
”Thank you for understanding, but I think you already know this. The Best Picture award for 2022 is ‘Hara o Kiru.’ Congratulations.”
”Thank you very much.”
I guess I was a little too caught up in myself today. On stage, I said things that were safe and unremarkable, and I don’t even remember what I said. I actually wanted to say more, but because I was thinking about Aqua and the others, my mind was elsewhere.
By the time I realized it, my interview was over, and I was staring at the results of the film awards displayed on the big monitor on stage.
[List of Winners for the 2022 Film Awards]
Leading Actor Award: Kohina Yukari as Saito Hito in “Hara o Kiru”
Supporting Actor Award: Mutsumiya Seijuu as Kusuno Ginka in “Hara o Kiru”
Director Award: Urata Yayoi for “Hara o Kiru”
Screenplay Award: Shimizu Kisuka for “Hara o Kiru”
Best Picture Award: “Hara o Kiru”
I thought this would be the end, with the host giving the closing remarks. But it seems like there’s still something else. The venue is getting a little restless.
”Alright, so now we’d like to announce the Best Genius Award.”
Huh?! What’s that about?! They’re making up weird awards again! Is that even okay? Like, isn’t it kinda overlapping with other awards or something?
”The Best Genius Award represents the MVP and Rookie of the Year for the 2022 season. In fact, we’ve kept it a secret from everyone, but we’ve been accepting real-time internet votes from our viewers during this broadcast. The results have just been decided, so now we’d like to announce the winners. Announcer Morikawa, are you ready with the results?”
”Yes! Just now, I mean literally just now, I received the paper with the results from the staff. Oh man, I’m looking forward to this. Alright, once the two winners’ names are called, please come forward.”
Announcer Morikawa theatrically reacts in surprise as she opens the paper.
Enough with the theatrics, just get on with it. We’re all ready to start the celebration mode. Let us go to the bar already.
They say Morikawa might have a chance, but come on, she’s not going to win. Either way, that onmyoji thing she was in isn’t even eligible based on the date.
”Best Genius… no, the Best Genius Award’s MVP is Kohina Yukari-san, and the Rookie Award goes to Shirogane Aqua-san! Congratulations!!”
I wanted to say, “Isn’t the MVP usually announced last?” But I could feel the intention behind giving Aqua the final closing statement for TV purposes. They probably wanted to capture our moment. It’s not a bad thing. Pushing a popular figure onto the screen is a natural business move. No one does charity work in this industry. Even I get paid for acting in my job.
”Well then, shall we go, Kohina-senpai?”
”Yes, let’s. Since we have the chance, shall we tease Announcer Morikawa together and extend the program, causing trouble for the national broadcaster?”
”Sounds good. That’s so like you, Kohina-senpai.”
”What’s that supposed to mean? Just so you know, you’re definitely more of a troublemaker than I am!”
This person, it really irritates me that he’s genuinely surprised. Aqua and I, on the way, we head towards the stage while teasing Ayana-chan. And then, as usual, Aqua and I, along with Announcer Morikawa, forcefully extend the broadcast time for the national broadcaster, delaying everyone’s after-party. Hmph, this is what happens when we put ourselves out there. Remember that. The award ceremony ended in a peaceful atmosphere.
”Congratulations, Kohina Yukari-san. I watched the movie too, and I was convinced. I knew it would turn out like this.”
Ugh, in situations like this, I can’t even make a single sarcastic comment because I’m an honest parent and child.
”Now, all of you, this is where it gets serious!”
I grab Aqua and Ayana-chan by both hands and head towards the after-party venue. The after-party will be lively, centered around Yuu-onii, Hana-ata, Heaven’s Sword, and Hara o Kiri members.
”To be able to launch with not only Aqua-kun but also the members of BERYL…!”
”On the contrary, Kamonohashi-san, who escorted Mutsumiya-san, is also coming.”
”A while ago, Aqua-kun called Tsuwabuki-san and told him to come because Ayafuji-san and Hana-ata staff were also coming.”
”Seriously? It’s the best.”
”I’m glad I made a movie with Kohina-san”
”Honestly, I’m much happier than receiving an award…!”
”I’m glad I’m in this industry. Kohina Yukari-san is awesome!”
Absolutely…everyone is energetic!
”Hey, don’t get distracted! I’m waiting for a taxi, so let’s go!”
I took the lead and got into the first taxi so that everyone could follow.
Huh? Only my president got separated and was dropped off at the wrong place and is crying because she’s lost?
Ha… Manager! I’m sorry, but please come and pick her up!!
”Hm? What’s up? Was tonight’s dinner not to your liking?”
Don’t worry, your meals are always delicious no matter when I eat them.
Yeah, this is my way of thanking you for making dinner! Yeah, it’s settled.
If you say something rude, I’ll knock you out, you know?
Ugh… What’s with this atmosphere? I feel like it would have been less embarrassing if I had just said it normally. Oh, never mind, this kind of gloominess just doesn’t suit us.
”Instead of that, if you’re free, let’s play a game. Last Survivor.”
”You’re kidding… Are we doing that again?”
”Yeah, we need more mountain people right now. You should join our band of bandits.”
”There’s a limit to pushing and playing aggressively…”
Geez, it’s so noisy. Just do as I instructed: team up with Morikawa-san and charge the enemy’s fortress with nothing but a rock!!
Hello, there’s a new work featuring a heartwarming story where the heroine’s limbs are severed, and the main character takes care of her, with a hint of ero mana transfer. I hope you can read it, and don’t forget to rate it max. Here’s the link : [Link]
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.