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Monday, January 18, 2016

Hakuouki Sweet School Life (SSL) Episode 3

Hakuouki Sweet School Life (SSL) Episode 3: The Person Who Understands, Runtime 25 minutes

Kyoto 1864

We start again in Kyoto of the past, where the Shinsengumi are fighting ronin at an inn to rescue Chizuru and to arrest the rogue samurai.

At the top of the stairs, Chizuru hesitates amid the chaos as Heisuke calls her to hurry and come down.  Both Hijikata and Soji are embattled with their own opponents.

What if...we found ourselves not here but somewhere else, in a different time...would our fate be different as well?

She rushes down the stairs and hides behind Heisuke.  Suddenly another samurai attacks him.
"You asshole!" the ronin shouts just as Heisuke blocks and parries his swing.  The ronin goes after Chizuru instead, but Heisuke holds him back.

Up top, Soji makes short work of his opponent after a few swings, and as Hijikata's opponent's strength forces the commander onto his knees, Soji gives the ronin a swift kick and incapacitates him.
"Thanks," says Hijikata, still panting.
"No need," smiles Soji.  "Even though I'm not that fond of you, if you, the commander, died here, then Chief Kondo would be very sad.  And I will absolutely not let that happen."

At that moment, both men take opponents approaching behind the other and clash swords with the enemy once more.  Turning to glance back at each other, Soji and Hijikata share a smirk.  But Soji sees Chizuru trapped in a corner at the foot of the staircase with Heisuke still trying to dispatch his opponent.
"Chizuru-chan, let me be the one to protect you," he says quietly.

Modern Day, 2015

Soji sits at a diner texting on his phone. At that time, Chizuru makes it back home and collapses onto her bed.
"It's finally over!" she exclaims.  "Aaaaaah...exams."  Her phone buzzes and rings.

Message: From Okita-senpai. [To the perplexed goddess.  Just kidding.] *You have one attachment.  No text.*

When she opens it, she sees the selfie Okita took earlier with her.

She types in a reply, [Thank you] and is about to send it but then changes the message.
[Senpai, there's something I want to ask you.  How do you see Hijikata-sensei?]  Chizuru sends it.  She lies down on her bed but as soon as she does, she gets a response.
From Okita-senpai. [Why do you ask?]    She texts a reply.

Back at the diner, Soji sips his soda and checks his screen.

[Because I feel as though Senpai always treats Hijikata-sensei coldly.] 
(TN: the text actually says Hijikata-san, but the Chinese translator uses 'teacher' instead)

Soji almost pushes the 'reply' button, but puts the phone back down.

School is back in session at Hakuen Academy.
"Good morning!"
In class Heisuke quietly takes his things out of his bag.  He looks up when Hijikata-sensei walks in.  Heisuke looks away, since he's reminded of the time Hijikata walked Chizuru home and how happy she looked.  Hijikata storms past and stops in front of Soji's seat.
"Is Soji not here yet?" he asks the class.
"No, sir," answers a student.
"That little bastard...," Hijikata mutters under his breath, glaring at the empty seat.

"Is something wrong, Hijikata-sensei?" asks another student.
"Huh?  No, it's nothing," replies Hijikata.  Heisuke catches a glimpse of Hijikata's clipboard where Soji has apparently doodled Hijikata wearing a crown and a military uniform while wielding a sword onto his Classics answer sheet.

As the bell rings, Hijikata announces, "Homeroom is starting now.  Let's start our first assignment.  The task is to determine what our class is going to do for the school festival."
Heisuke suddenly gets up to leave.
"Hey, Heisuke.  Where do you think you're going?" asks Hijikata.
"My stomach hurts," Heisuke says without turning around.  "I'll be back in a moment."

Meanwhile in Class 1-1, a student is writing on the board while Harada sits idly by.  Apparently he's writing instructions for the festival.
"OK everyone," he says enthusiastically.  "What do you think we should do?"
"Right here!" volunteers a student raising his hand.
"Yes, please speak!"
"We should create a snack stand!"  That suggestion gets a mixed reaction from his fellow classmates.
"We'll bake muffins!" suggests another.
"But this will be just like what the other classes are doing!" interrupts another student.
"That's true," everyone agrees.
"How about we decorate the classroom," interjects another, "and host a performance?"
"What will we perform?"

"How about a haunted house?" suggests another.
"Who's afraid of ghosts in this day and age?" asks Ryunosuke.  "If we do something like that we'll definitely be laughed at."  Everyone breaks out into laughter.

Meanwhile in Nagakura-sensei's homeroom, the class representative turns towards his teacher, who looks extremely uncomfortable.  Saito notices his discomfort.
"Nagakura-sensei, is something wrong?"
"No, not at all.  Just hurry up and continue," says Nakagura shifting uncomfortably.  He looks to the board and the students have suggested [haunted house] as their theme.

Okita sits by the windowsill somewhere on school grounds and takes a picture with his phone.
"So you were here," says Heisuke joining him.
"What's up?" asks Soji.  He snaps another picture of Heisuke as he sits down.
"What the heck?"
"I already took it," grins Soji.  "My picture of a downtrodden Heisuke."
"Hey Soji," asks Heisuke.  "Why do you hate Hijikata-sensei?"
"Now even you're asking me this question, Heisuke?"

"There are no real reasons behind feelings like 'love' or 'hate'," Soji answers nonchalantly taking another picture of the outside.
"Then why do you like Kondo-sensei so much?" asks Heisuke.  "We both started learning kendo from a very young age with him, so why is it you only dislike Hijikata-sensei?"
"That's why I just said there's no real reason behind it."
"Is that so?"
"What is it you want to know?"

Back in Class 1 - 1 the students are tallying their votes.
"By coffee house you don't mean that kind of coffee house, do you?" someone asks.
"It's exactly that type of cafe you're thinking of," answers Ryunosuke.
"Because of that I think it will be similar to the other classes," someone interjects.  They all murmur in agreement together.
Ryunosuke breaks out into laughter.  "Even though it's a cafe, our class' cafe will have one factor that none of the others will have."
"And what would that be?" asks Harada-sensei from his seat.
"Yukimura!" Ryunosuke points to the only female in the class school.

"Wha--? Me?!" Chizuru says in shock.
"The other classes have no girls, and that is to say..."
"What--" the others chime in in unison.
"--our class' cafe will be--"
"What will it be?" they all cheer.
"A MAID CAFE!" announces Ryunosuke.  Everyone cheers.  (TN: I face palmed so hard here I nearly knocked myself out.  (;一_一))
"Whaaaat~!" Chizuru exclaims, but no one is listening.  Harada just looks amused.

As that goes on Heisuke and Soji are still playing hooky.
Soji states, "Heisuke, ever since you were a kid you've understood people's virtues and shortcomings.  Yet you've never hated anyone?"
"For example, what about Chizuru-chan?" Soji asks innocently.

Back in Class 1 - 1 the students are cheering the decision to put on a maid cafe as their event during the festival.

"I absolutely would never hate her," Heisuke answers.  "It's not like you don't know.  Chizuru is not a bad person."  Soji just gets up without a word.
"Hey, Soji!" Heisuke calls after him.

Soji heads down the flight of stairs when someone calls his name.
"Hey there, Soji!"  He sees Kondo come down the steps after him.  "What's up with you today?  You look like you're in a bad mood."
"Kondo-san," Soji greets.
"The school festival is coming up.  What event did your class decide to do?"  As an aside he adds, "Toshi is really looking forward to the festival too, one-hundred percent."  Soji stays silent.

In Class 1 - 1, Chizuru is presented in front of her classmates.  Ryonosuke announces, "So, for this year's school festival our class will present a maid cafe."  Everyone cheers.
"With this we will no doubt be the most popular event!"  More cheering.

"Everyone's spirits are really high," comments Chizuru.
"Of course they are," comments Ryunosuke.  "For the first time we're actually excited about our event and it's going to be the best! Ahahahahahaha!"
"To bring on our class' success, let's have a cheer! 1-2--"
"Banzai! Banzai! Banzai! Banzai! Banzai!!!"

Meanwhile back in Nagakura-sensei's class, he's getting the serious chills with their decision to host the haunted house event.
"After our vote, it's decided that our Class 2-2 will create a haunted house for the school festival."
"H-Hey, just wait a second now," says Nagakura coming to the podium. "Are we really REALLY going to host a haunted house event?"
"Correct.  Based on your suggestion we took a vote and this is what the students decided."
"But don't they say that you attract real ghosts when you do and event like this?" Nakagura counters. "Right?"
"Nagakura-sensei...could it're afraid?"
"Absolutely not! If I, Nagakura Shinpachi, were afraid how could I possibly even be a teacher?" he insists.
"Then it won't be a problem then," says the class representative calmly.

"So then everyone, please go home and think about what ghost, ghoulie or goblin you're going to portray at the event."
"Okaaay!" everyone responds.  Nagakura collapses back onto his chair in defeat.
"Next, let's discuss for a bit which of us will be responsible for each task...."

Saito sits back quietly and observes Nakagura.  I feel it.  I can feel your fear....

And in the Student Council room...
"This is my destiny," says Kazama as he stares back at his row of Chizuru portraits, "a bride for my marvellous self, the woman who is fated to be mine.  The two of us really make a beautiful pair."
"Tch," snickers Shiranui.  "Your ring sizes don't even match.  Seriously...."

"As it stands, the finger issue doesn't matter anymore," Kazama dismisses testily.  "I'm certain there are other things more suitable as gifts to surprise Chizuru with."
"Kazama-sama," says Amagiri as he walks into the room.
"You've returned, Amagiri," says Kazama.  "Did you find out what activity is my bride's class planning?"
"Yes, please listen carefully. "  They lean in.  "Her class is planning a maid cafe."
"What?!" asks Kazama in shock.  "Maid cafe?  Huh."

In between classes, Chizuru reads a poster on the wall written in bold calligraphy. (TN: Hijikata-sensei's calligraphy style looks like he's about to kill people with his brush strokes...)  It is the Routine Exam Rules of Punishment.  The rules apply to the bottom 10%? of students ranked after the exam.  The list goes on and on as Chizuru walks along to read it.
"It's as horrific as always..." she comments.  She bumps into Ryunoske who looks like he's about to cry.
"This is horrible...." he sobs.
"Eh?!" Chizuru looks up and sure enough [Ryonosuke Ibuki] is listed as among the punished.
"I'm finished..." he says and slinks away.

"Yukimura!" Her homeroom teacher catches up with her.
"Harada-sensei," she greets.
"It's a relief your name isn't on there."
"No, I'm sure I just barely made the cut," she responds.
"Don't be so modest.  Your grades are actually pretty good."
"Thank you, sir," she bows.
"You know back there, your male classmates got unilaterally excited about the event, but, are you alright with it?" he asks.
"Yes," she laughs.  "I'll be fine.  Just seeing how excited they are makes me happy."

Harada chuckles.  "Is that so?"
"But I was too embarrassed to say 'I want to be a maid' loud enough because everyone was cheering."

Chizuru makes her way back to the roof for lunch.  She was hoping to find Okita there, thinking that he never responded to her question earlier about his relationship with Hijikata.  When he asked her why she wanted to know, it's not certain that even Chizuru knows that answer.  The roof appears empty.
"Does it bother you that I didn't answer your message?" asks Okita. He appears behind her down the steps.
"Okita-senpai," she greets.

As they sit down together for lunch Okita remarks, "Eeh, that's pretty awesome; do you pack your own lunch every day?"
"Did your class decide what it's going to do for the school festival?"
"Yes! It's a mai--" she stops short.  "It's a cafe."
"Cafe?  That's rather ordinary."
"Ehehehehe," she laughs nervously.
"What about your class, Okita-senpai?"
"I think they decided on a takoyaki stand.  (TN: my mouth is watering right now....) Also very ordinary," he responds.  Chizuru giggles.

"I hate him," he states matter-of-factly.
"Hijikata-san."  She stares at him in silent shock.  "Didn't you send that message because you really wanted to know?" he asks.
"Yeah," she responds.  "So that's it.  But why is it that you hate Hijikata-sensei so much?  There has to be a reason for why one person would hate another, right?  But to have that feeling is sad for the person who hates."

Okita regards her.
"Sorry!" she apologizes.  "I just imposed my opinion on you."
"He stole something precious from me," Okita adds.  "That's why I hate him so much."
"Kondo-sensei has looked after me ever since I was young, for me he was like my real older brother.  Yet his closest relationship is with Hijikata-sensei."  He suddenly  comes close and puts a finger on his lips.

"Keep this a secret for me, Chizuru-chan."  His finger wanders to touch her lips.  "This is our little secret.  OK?"
She nods once.
"It's strange," she says getting up.  "I've never discussed this with anyone else.  But with you it's like I can tell you anything."

Meanwhile, in the secret lab nurse's office, Sannan ponders over a bottle of elixir.  Harada-sensei wanders in.
"How goes it, Shinpachi?"  Apparently Nagakura-sensei is laying in one of the infirmary beds.  "They say you're not feeling well.  Are you alright?"

"The symptoms aren't particularly obvious like a fever or anything like that," say Sannan.
"Hey, Sanno," says Nakagura from his bed.  "What did your class decide to do for the school festival?"
"Huh? Oh.  A maid cafe," he answers.
"Don't tell me Yukimura-kun is going to be the maid?" asks Sanna incredulously.
"Yup.  The basis for that idea rests solely on her shoulders.  It actually makes me feel kinda sorry for her.  Yet without a single complaint she will silently give it her all, no doubt."
"That's good," comments Nakagura from his bed.  "It's so much better than what our class is...."

"What's wrong?" asks Harada.  "What's your class going to do?"
"Now, now,  that won't do at all," interrupts Sannan-san.   He shows them a bottle of elixir.  "Sure enough it seems the time is appropriate for this."

As he approaches, Nakagura shoots up from his bed.
"Aaaaaah, I'm afraid of ghosts!"  He makes a break for it and leaves the infirmary in a frenzy.
"Hey, wait a sec, Shinpachi!" Harada says, chasing after him.  Sannan is still holding out the glass vial, looking puzzled as to why no one seems to want to try his medication.  Queue in evil background music.

"And here I thought I could gather some useful data from Nagakura-sensei.  That's too bad."

The next scene shifts to the door of the science lab with a sign tacked onto it: [currently in use by the disciplinary committee].  Saito and Kaoru are going through their paperwork when Hijikata comes in.
"Here are the applications from each class and each school club."
Kaoru flips through them.  "There sure are a lot."
"I mean they're students first right?" he continues.  "Why they are so distracted by something like the school festival is beyond me."

"Being a student doesn't only mean studying," said Hijikata.
"Students should undergo the school festival to foster their ability to cooperate and combine their efforts as well as show their social ability," responds Saito.
"That's exactly right," says Hijikata.  "Even though I don't think the program needs to be censored by the Disciplinary Committee, I do want you two to review these."

He exits to shout at the students waiting for him in the hall.
"All right, you group of delinquents!"  They all line up against the wall with wash cloths in their hand.  "Accept your punishment."  They all sigh in unison as they sport their "punishment" arm bands.

"Excuse me..., Hijikata-sense!" Ryunosuke puts up his hand slowly.  "I have a question..."
Hijikata ignores him.  "Until I say say, you all will wipe the hallways sparkly clean and make them shine, from the first floor to the roof."
"Eeeeeeh...!" they all sigh in unison.
"Silence!" he shouts.  They all get down into position without further complaint.
"Begin!"  The students start the back breaking work of wiping the floor by hand.

"Hey!" Kaoru comes out of the room and waves an application in the air.
"What's wrong, Nagumo?" asks Hijikata.  He shoves the paper in front of Hijikata's face.
"Even though the Disciplinary Committee has no right to censor these events, but certainly as the advisor of the Disciplinary Committee surely you can't overlook this!"  (TN: He says "surely your eyes are in the right place" but that's a Chinese saying)  
"Haa..?"  Hijikata is at a loss.

"Grade 1 Class 1 application: MAID CAFE!  What's the heck--a maid cafe?!"
"There's a class doing something like that every year," says Hijikata.  "Ever since Class 1-1 announced what it was doing, a lot of classes changed their event."
"So that is to say my little sister is going to cosplay a maid!" says Kaoru, still upset.  Hijikata looks unnerved but doesn't have a response.

"Their class voted for it unanimously," interjects Saito, "which means Yukimura herself agreed to it.  This should not be a problem."
"What do you mean 'not a problem'?  It's a HUGE problem!"  He storms off.
"Where are you going?!" shouts Hijikata.
"I'm going to give them a piece of my mind!"
"Hey!" calls Hijikata chasing after him.
"I absolutely will not condone such an activity!" Kaoru turns around, but then stumbles over Ryunosuke who was on his way back from cleaning the floor.

"Nagumo!!  Don't go, Nagumo!"  Hijikata shouts.  When Kaoru falls over he and Saito get a hold of him.
"Calm down, Nagumo!" Hijikata orders.
"Let me go!  The guys are just going to pervertedly ogle Chizuru!"
"Calm down!" says Saito.
"Let go of me!!"
"You bastard," says Ryunosuke, holding his arm, which appears to be hurt from their collision.
"Let go of me!"
"You dislocated my shoulder," snarls Ryunosuke.  "I won't forgive you, you son of a---"

(TN: wow, so far the most ridiculous scene but I laughed really hard at Kaoru's sis-con.)

Back home, Chizuru is designing her maid outfit on a sketch pad.  She pauses.
"Maybe I should discuss this with the Disciplinary Committee after all...."

Hijikata is back in his apartment and is just stepping out of the shower when his cell phone rings......
...  (TN: Sorry, I've got to grab some tissue to staunch this nosebleed....)
...(almost there)
...(just about done)
...(ok.  I'm good.)

"Yes?"  His eyes go wide when he realizes who it is. "Yukimura?"
"I apologize for bothering you," she begins. (TN: How does she have his cell#?  Back in school I remember all my teachers were like, don't f*in call me, not even if your life depended on it.)  "But there was something I wanted to ask you."
"Me?" he asks incredulously.
"Yes.  It's about my maid uniform.  Later in the evening I started to get an unsettling feeling about it."
"Heh.  I meant to talk to you about it tomorrow.  There was one guy in particular who made a big stink about it."

In the background someone writes on paper [October 7th, Friday. Kill the target...maid...]  Kaoru smiles evilly.  (TN: wtf, bro?)

"Also..." she continues.
"What?" he asks.

Scene changes to Okita looking out from a bridge.

"No, it's nothing."  She changes the subject.  "It wouldn't do to make it too gaudy, right?"
"Hmmm.  That's right.  It's probably best that you not use colors that are too flashy.
"That's true."
"Also, be mindful that you're not exposing too much.  For instance, make the skirt a little longer.  In addition, your buttons and your sash should also be--"
"Wait, wait, hold on a sec!" she interrupts as she erases her sketch and starts over.  "Could you please repeat that?"

He complies. "First, the length of your skirt must be twice as long as a regular maid's costume."
"Ok."  The camera pans to something he has open on the coffee table.
"Second, it's fine if you creatively use buttons and the sash," he adds.
"I see," she murmurs as she reinvents her sketch.  "Hijikata-sensei, you're pretty knowledgeable about this."  He actually has a maid costume catalogue in front of him...
"Hah?"  He shifts uncomfortably.  "It's just--stuff I thought up.  I just--just thought it would look better like that...I'm just--giving my recommendations."  (TN: I don't know if that's cute or creepy that he bought a maid costume catalogue to research the subject and give her tips because he cares and didn't want her to look cheap or flirty...undecided)

"Thank you very much," Chizuru beams.  "Was there anything else in particular that I needed to focus on?"
"Well, yeah.  A low-cut bodice would be a little too provocative, so it's best you avoid that."
"Yes, sir."
"Good, that's about it.  If you have any other questions, feel free to come find me."
"I understand.  Thank you so much!"
"Do you best."
"I will!"   Hijikata smiles and hangs up.  (TN: I'm happy that all of their actual scenes together are really adorable in this drama)

Cutscene to Soji over the bridge.  I will not lose to him.  Then he walks away.

~End Episode 3~


  1. My god...your comments...they slay....

    1. ^_^ it was totally true when I said I was speechless as he walked out of the shower.... That's such fangirl service...serious... <3

  2. OMFG I'm so relieved to get a translation for this drama! Please say you'll do eps 1 & 2...

    1. OMG Fan buddy! You're welcome.

      All 6 episodes are translated now. See the right hand post list. :-)