Volume 3 Chapter 4 Shirogane Aqua, A Premonition of a Hot Summer
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
I’m sorry for the delay
As soon as Golden Week (29 April to early May) ended, Ako-san came to my house.
”There are actually several job offers that have come to Aqua-kun.”
Ako-san said and took out a few papers from the documents she was holding and handed them to me.
”First of all, there’s an offer to appear in a TV drama.”
I looked at the broadcast date and time written on the paper and was taken aback. It was on Monday at 9 p.m., commonly referred to as the “Monday 9 p.m.” drama slot. Even if it’s just a small role, it’s amazing to be able to appear in a prime-time drama.
”Aqua-kun has received an offer to play the role of the protagonist’s older brother,” she continued.
I looked at the description written on the paper. The protagonist is a girl who has just become a high school student, and I would play the role of her two-years-older brother. The setting is that we attend the same high school, and I am the student council president, primarily helping my sister when she’s in a pinch.
”Recently, the ratings for the Monday 9 p.m. dramas have been declining significantly. Usually, they focus on romance dramas with themes related to working adults, but this time they decided to target a younger audience. Due to a change in the network’s direction, there was an opportunity for Aqua-kun to receive a job offer. The character’s age in the casting is about two years older than Aqua-kun, but I think it’s a rare opportunity, so it’s worth considering,” Ako-san explained.
I nodded in agreement. “Yes, I understand. Just receiving an offer is something to be grateful for, and I would like to accept it.”
Ako-san nodded approvingly at my response. Basically, I want to take on any job that Ako-san brings me if possible. She always thinks about what’s best for me, so I’m sure all the jobs she brings are for my benefit.
”Understood. Also, we have obtained permission from the production team, the TV station, and the sponsors to let Aqua-kun sing the ending theme song, which will become the main theme song.”
After this conversation, we are planning to go to Moja-san’s studio to discuss and select the original song with the three of us. It seems they have narrowed it down to a few songs, but Moja-san is having trouble deciding which one to choose. Considering that we still don’t have lyrics, we need to hurry on that as well.
”Therefore, I would like to move forward with accepting this project.”
Ako-san said and took out a few more materials from the documents and presented them to me.
”And Aqua-kun, there’s one more thing. There’s an offer for you to star in a children’s tokusatsu program that airs on Sunday mornings at 8 o’clock.”
I widened my eyes as I read the title written on the papers.
[Masked Driver, Heaven’s Sword.]
When I was little and my parents were not around, I often watched my classmates playing with driver toys at school. Of course, I couldn’t afford to buy toys, so all I had were memories of being envious. However, there is one memory that still burns deep in my heart—only once, by chance, I saw a hero show in the neighborhood, and that memory is still etched in the depths of my heart.
”Originally, this time slot was intended for a children’s program where the female protagonist transforms and fights against evil. However, in commemoration of its 40th anniversary, both the production team and sponsors strongly requested a male lead for a change,” Ako-san explained.
As expected, it seems that this world is different from the world I knew, where women, not men, transform into drivers and fight against villains.
”Therefore, the budget for this production is substantial, and there are many tie-in events. Moreover, by appearing in a drama during this time slot, I believe we can attract fans from the parent-child demographic. The challenge lies in the fact that you have also received an offer to perform the opening theme song, so we need to prepare another song apart from your debut song. Additionally, the shooting schedule is tight, with many early morning and late-night shoots. In fact, I heard that this role came to Aqua-kun because it was continuously turned down by male actors, and there were no other suitable options,” Ako-san continued to explain.
As I looked at the scheduled shooting times written in the documents, the grueling nature of it was evident. However, I strongly felt that I wanted to be part of this program.
”To be honest, I also considered whether I should decline,” Ako-san said, surprising me as our eyes met.
”The scheduled broadcast is planned for September, but even at this stage, I believe the shooting schedule is quite tight. Considering that the main cast hasn’t been decided yet, I don’t want Aqua-kun to push yourself too much,” she explained, her gaze serious.
In response to Ako-san’s earnest words, I conveyed my own passionate feelings.
”Ako-san, I really want to be part of this tokusatsu drama. The shooting schedule is tight, and there may be times when I inconvenience you. But… when I read these documents, I can feel the genuine enthusiasm of the staff members,.”
The detailed descriptions of the settings, the meticulously designed driver suit, every aspect exuded passion and a sincere dedication. If I were to decline, the deadline might be pushed back even further, and they might have to lower the quality. Imagining the sad faces of the children waiting for the driver on Sunday mornings if that were to happen, it pained my heart.
Moreover, I am an idol.
Idols are supposed to bring smiles to everyone.
So, what kind of idol am I if I can’t bring smiles to children?
”Please, Ako-san, let me take this job!” I get up from the sofa and bowing to Ako-san.
At first, there was no response, but after a few seconds, Ako-san let out a small sigh.
”Understood. It is my job to support what Aqua-kun wants, so if you want to do it, I won’t refuse. However, please promise me that you won’t push yourself too hard,” she said.
How much has Ako-san helped me? I wonder. Bowing even deeper, I expressed my gratitude.
”Yes, I have received Aqua-kun’s gratitude. So, please stop bowing. It’s already clear to me without such gestures. Besides, I’m older than Shirogane-kun, right? You can rely on me more,” she said, proudly.
I returned her smile, my chest swelling with gratitude.
”Thank you, Ako-san.”
Expressing my gratitude once again, I thanked Ako-san for her support.
”Likewise, thank you, Aqua-kun. Thanks to you, I’m really enjoying my work right now,” she said, smiling from the bottom of her heart.
I felt comforted by Ako-san’s genuine smile. When we first met at the café, she seemed tired and not very lively. But once we started working together, I realized that this bright and energetic personality is the real Ako-san.
”Well then, let’s focus on these two drama projects for now, and next, let’s talk about the music-related job.”
She said, handing me another document.
”Aqua-kun, do you know the music duo Trashpunks from Stars nation?”
I shook my head. Apologizing for my lack of knowledge, I admitted that I haven’t grasped the music properly even Japanese songs.
”They only release new songs about once every five years, but they want to announce a new song featuring Aqua-kun when they come to Japan for the summer festival.”
According to the information in the documents, the festival was scheduled to take place at the end of summer vacation. Moreover, the festival was divided into several venues, with the main stage being the grand finale on the last day.
”The Trashpunks is an artist that features music from the 70s and 80s, with a nostalgic yet futuristic sound. They often incorporate elements from this country’s culture, but this time, they expressed their desire to feature a Japanese artist, and Aqua-kun was the first candidate that came to mind.”
According to Ako-san, Trashpunks listened to a cover song I sang that was uploaded on YouTube. They seemed to like the old city pop music of this country, and since my video had gained some views, they clicked on it.
”To be honest, I thought you should take this job. Trashpunks has received multiple music awards overseas, and their new songs consistently top the charts, both domestically and internationally. Being featured by them is a significant honor for any artist. It’s not something that anyone can receive just because they are a male singer or because they are popular. It’s like a gift bestowed upon a select few artists who manage to strike a chord with them,” Ako-san expressed.
I put on the headphones provided by Ako-san and focused on listening to Trashpunks’ past songs. To be frank, it was shocking. Despite incorporating elements from decades ago, their music sounded trendy, stylish, and sophisticated, as if it was at the cutting edge of the latest trends. I felt that their music had a unique and unparalleled quality.
Listening to their songs made me strongly desire to sing their music. The worldview created by Trashpunks’ works, and being able to contribute to expressing that worldview, excited me greatly.
”Understood. Also, as I mentioned earlier, your debut song as an idol will be used as the ending theme and main theme song for the Monday 9 p.m. drama. Around the time the drama begins airing, you will also be performing live on music programs. It’s still in the future, but please keep that in mind as well.”
According to Ako-san, depending on the circumstances, there is a possibility of appearing on music programs with the Trashpunks’ song mentioned earlier or the opening theme song for the Driver. It is still undecided at the moment.
”Lastly, are you familiar with the Idol Festival?” she asked.
I nodded. It was the largest idol festival in this country, a grand event where many idols participated, held in early August.
”Actually, your participation has been confirmed. I will try to negotiate with the drama production committee, but originally, I planned to premiere your new song at this idol festival. In the worst-case scenario, you may have to perform the previous cover song to cover it up.”
Looking through the materials handed to me by Ako-san, I found that my performance slot was on the third stage in the evening. Since this time slot usually featured super famous idols on the main stage, there would likely be fewer people coming to the third stage. Moreover, even if I were to sing, it would only be one song. Nevertheless, I was thrilled to be participating in the Idol Festival.
”Ako-san, thank you very much,” I expressed my gratitude once again.
”Hehe, your gratitude alone makes all the effort worthwhile,” Ako-san responded.
With Ako-san taking care of everything so far, it was now up to me to do my best. I rekindled my determination, feeling a surge of energy in my heart.
”There are various other things as well… but it’s about time, so let’s go to the studio.”
If everything went smoothly, I would start filming for the driver as early as this month, followed by the Monday 9 p.m. drama. In early August, I would participate in the idol festival, and then perform the new song with Trashpunks at festivals in the mid-August period. Around that time, I would also make appearances on music programs, and in September, the new Driver series where I played the lead role would begin airing.
As an idol, Shirogane Aqua, my full-fledged debut was just three months away.
My hot summer was about to begin.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.