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A MASSPRODUCTION COLUMN (03/22/99, 03/25/99, 10/01/99 Revised)

    Just Before the Last Act of Kare-Kano

    On 03/26/1999, the last act of Kare-Kano is going to be broadcast by TV-Tokyo. Just before broadcasting it, we Japanese have to refer to several cultural background of the anime.
    First, TV anime-type Kare-Kano deals with a certain senior high school. It was called Kanagawa Prefectural Hokuei Senior High School.

    In Kare-Kano, Ms Aya Sawada is a professional novelist for juveniles. She is a friend of the heroine's. She wanted to produce a play at their School Festival. She wrote a scenario for Yukino Miyazawa, Maho Izawa and Tsubasa Shibahime. Ms Yukino Miyazawa, the heroine, had to play the role of the hero, a scientist. The scientist lived in the future world. He made a draft of android. Thereafter androids began to build the city to make people happy. Ms Maho Izawa, a cool beauty, had to play the role of such a new model android. The scientist left the future earth and lived in a planet with an antique android. Ms Tsubasa Shibahime, a little pretty girl, had to play the role of the antique.

    Such a situation was not rare.
    A girl was born on 06/17/1976. Her name is Ms Touko Shiina.
    Her mother Mieko Shiina is very graceful. But her thought was very childish! (She is a typical graceful lady of the upper-class in Japan.)
    Her father is a professor living in Yachiyodai, Chiba Prefecture. (My residence is close to Yachiyodai city.)
    By the way, her father expected he had a male baby. He was married when he was 37 years old. He had a baby when he was 46 years old. But his only child was female. He was disappointed. Therefore Touko Shiina decided to live as a male. Her mother expected Touko would study hard. What? Touko passed an entrance examination of Ooin Junior High School. The school for girls is very famous in Japan. The school also has a senior high school. Over 50 of its graduates (230 girls) enter University of Tokyo every year. It means students of the school are very excellent and cloistral....
    The Ooin Schools (for girls) are located at Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo. (1-5-20, Hongo, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo)
    93 Ooin graduates entered University of Tokyo in 1996. It was ranked fifth. Over 50 of them entered the university in 1999. But 60 percent of them entered Human Sciences.
    Kanagawa prefectural senior high schools can make few of their graduates enter University of Tokyo. Especially schools near Musashi-Kosugi cannot do. 7 graduates of Yokohama Midorigaoka High School, 5 ones of Prefectural Yokosuka, 4 ones of Atsugi entered the university in 1999. You will find Hokuei High in Kare-Kano of a sort.
    It is close to Tokyo Dome (located at Suidoubashi) and close to University of Tokyo. If you are a student of the school, you may get in a local train of JR Soubu-Chuou Line. In fact, Touko had to get in local trains of Soubu-Chuou Line. (Of course I must also get in a local train of Soubu-Chuou Line to commute to the office.)
    Her autobiography "Gorgeous" was published in the end of 1998 (12/20/1998) by Kadokawa Shoten. When I read it, I got in the Soubu-Chuou Line. The autobiography often deals with the line.
    She might get in the line from Nishi-Funabashi station to Suidoubashi station.
    Local train stations of Soubu-Chuou Line of JR East
    (From Chiba To Suidoubashi, yellow trains)
    She often gets off the local train at Ochanomizu station (not Suidoubashi). She is boyish and uses masculine words.
    She would often go from Ochanomizu station to Hijiribashi Bridge. And she went from Yushima Seidou to Suidoubashi.
    The terminal of commuter buses between Ochanomizu and University of Tokyo managed by Tokyo Metropolis is located on Hijiribashi Bridge. (The fee is 170 yen. It is called Gaku-Bus.)
    Touko Shiina would often walk about the town of Ochanomizu. She went to a flower shop near Ochanomizu station to buy cactus.
    A large-scale bookstore "Kanda Head Office of Sanseidou Shoten" is located at Jinbouchou. A humberger shop "Lotteria" is close to the bookstore. It has no smoking seats near the window at third floor. Touko and her friends would often occupy the seats. (I often go by the shop. Clerks often promote their shop in front of it. But after I read her autobiography, I do not enter the shop in deference to Touko Shiina.)
    She would often walk about "Ochanomizu Square." It is a complex of a library and theaters near Ochanomizu station.
    She would often go to a large-scale bookstore "Shosen Grande." (If you go to a large-scale bookstore at AKIHABARA, it is not "Shosen Grande" but "Shosen Booktower.") Shosen Grande is located at Jinbouchou. Its includes a lot of stocks about study aids for university entrance examination, military and martial arts.
    Her high school life was confused. Such a life is typical in such high school for preparation for university entrance examination.
    She had several bad friends. Ms Kaname Kumagawa was a head of dramatic club. She entered Waseda University and produced a dramatic club. She influenced Touko.
    She would often write novels. She had a set of "NEC 98-note." She did not study well. She did not do well in the school. She had a strong rival as a "novelist." Her name was Ms Sonowo Kosaka. Her penname is Asagi Takase. She is very strange but very graceful. She is also a typical graceful lady of the upper-class. She is a classmate of Touko. She often acted as Touko's rival. After all she had to be Sonowo's follower. She entered Department of Agriculture, University of Tokyo. She has the boyfriend.
    By the way, Touko surrounded with Sonowo and Kaname had to work as a deputy-chair of planning committee of School Festival. She worked hard. By the way, she decided to write a novel to escape her usual life. In 1993, she was 17 years old. She wrote a novel "Kai-on." She sent it to a large and old publisher "Bungeishunju", which I often refer to at this column. She won the newcomer prize of its monthly literature magazine "Bungakukai." Her penname is Hajime Shinohara. It is a male name. In the literary world, she became a male at last. Thereafter she entered Rikkyo University.
    By the way, graceful ladies in Japan often have two followers. For example, in Stella-Buster Mito's Great Adventure, Kafuko Kakugeiin (CV = Omi Minami) had two followers. She was the daughter of a village leader. She was also overbearing.
    In Nuku-Nuku, Ms Chieko Shirakaba (CV = Wakana Yamazaki) had two followers. She was also overbearing.

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