Chapter 4:

Prologue: 11:45 p.m.

The Kimochi Warui Diary

I told my online friend, Torako, about my conversation with Hitagi.Bookmark here

I’ve known Torako for a few years both online and offline, but lately, we’ve been using LINE—a messaging service that’s extremely popular in Japan. Best of all, you can send images called “stickers.” They serve the same purpose as emoji, but they don’t look like smiley faces. Instead, they’re actual depictions of characters, both well-known and original creations by independent artists. Bookmark here

I gave Torako my rant about Hitagi and her resistance to Japanese things. In response, he sent me a sticker of an anime girl shrugging and expelling a sigh. Bookmark here

“What do you expect from normies? Of course she wouldn’t understand!”Bookmark here

“True,” I said. “I feel like she just hates anime, which is fine, I understand why some people don’t like it—but it’s like she’s pinning all of her hatred for anime onto Japan!” Bookmark here

“That’s to be expected of pig disgusting 3D women. They instinctively know that 2D girls will make them obsolete one day, so they try to make you feel bad for liking anything that has to do with it.”Bookmark here

“But don’t worry,” he continued. “Soon you’ll be travelling through glorious Nippon. You’re really going to like it.”
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“I have a good feeling about it too,” I said. “I mean, I’m not going to lie, I’m not really into traditional Japanese stuff like tea ceremonies and samurai and all that junk… It’s just something about the atmosphere of Japan that resonates with me. Like, the idea of walking through the rain in the Japanese suburbs gives me some big feels. You know?” Bookmark here

I punctuated my long-winded message with a sticker of an anime girl using an umbrella under a raincloud. Bookmark here

“I understand completely,” Torako said. “By the way, you should check out a net café while you’re there. I stayed in one for almost three days straight just levelling up my character in Eden of Eternia 2.”Bookmark here

“You stayed in a net café? But wasn’t Noah letting you live in his apartment?”Bookmark here

“Yes, but… Experiencing a net café in glorious Nippon? That’s something you can’t do anywhere else.” Bookmark here

Torako sent a sticker of a burly anime man, staring off into the distance as a solitary tear rolled down his chiseled face.Bookmark here

“That’s true,” I said. “But I don’t really play those kinds of games anymore.”Bookmark here

“You can always catch up on anime,” Torako said. “Actually, that reminds me… I saw all the tweets you’ve been liking. You sure do have a thing for those Japanese school uniforms. I might know a few anime that would be perfect for your tastes.” He sent a sticker of an anime girl with a psychotic grin.Bookmark here

“Hold on,” I said. “You can see the tweets I’ve given a ‘like’? Those things are public!?”Bookmark here

He teased me for a few more minutes until the topic of the trip came back up.Bookmark here

“By the way,” he said. “About Noah. You should message him before you go. He can probably show you around Tokyo.”Bookmark here

“Noah’s still there, huh? It’s been a year already…”Bookmark here

“Yep. He’s still finishing his degree.”Bookmark here

I sent a random sticker of an anime girl standing on her head. Truthfully, I didn’t know Noah very well and didn’t know what else to say. Bookmark here

“And what about Yuno?” Torako asked. To this, he sent a sticker of a mischievous anime girl—she was looking down at the viewer with a smug expression. “You’re gonna meet her too, right?”Bookmark here

“Yeah,” I said, and sent a sticker of an anime girl with her thumb and finger under her chin. A yellow spark of light glimmered from her giant grin. “I think I’m gonna have to.” 
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This Novel Contains Mature Content

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Jio Kurenai
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