When I was in Chicago for ACen, Serge, Donna, the wife and I all made
a trip to the Mitsuwa marketplace (thanks for driving Serge!) where I
picked up a copy of Cobalt Shueisha. My luck eith Cobatl is pretty
good - I always seem to pick up copies with short stories, and this
one was no different. I thought I'd synopsize it for you all.
The story begins with Ichigo's first day of High School at Lillian.
Only...it isn't. Ichigo was out of school for 10 months because of an
accident, so she's a first-year for the second time. It all has a
feeling of deja vu to her.
She is befriended by Futaba, and quickly becomes fond of the girl.
She likes Futaba's cheerful face, the way her voice says her
name...but everytime she hears Futaba hear her name, she gets a
feeling of deja vu.
One day, Ichigo sees Futaba with an older girl and she's immediately
filled with jealousy - and deja vu. She asks if that's Futaba's onee-
sama; of course it is.
And so the days go, Ichigo constantly assailed by conflicting
feelings of jealousy (but for whom, whe isn't sure. Is it that she's
jealous of Futaba? Or her onee-sama?) and deja vu.
Ichigo is leaving school when someone calls her name. Deja vu. She
sees that its Futaba's onee-sama, who asks if she can go home with
Ichigo. As they walk, the older girl takes Ichigo's hand....and it
all starts to come back to Ichigo.
She remembers herself screaming at someone - at this girl? - "Why do
you need an soeur? Isn't my friendship enough?" and running out into
traffic. That was the caus eof the accident that put her in the
hospital for so long. As her memory returns, she runs off again, only
this time, Itsue runs after her and catches her before she can get
(Itsue, btw, is Yumi and Yoshino's classmate that twists her anke in
the sports festival. In case you forgot.)
Futaba comes up to find Ichigo crying into Itsue's chest. She asks,
taertly, if her "onee-chan" is stealing her friend.
"Onee-chan?" Ichigo asks. Because one doesn't call one's soeur "onee-
chan." Yes, Futaba, explains...Itsue is her older sister. Her real
older sister, didn't Ichigo realize that?
And then the last of the repressed memories come. Ichigo remembers
her feelings for Itsue and how hurt she was at Itsue becoming her
club sempai's soeur. Which was shy she had run away from Itsue, and
been hit by the truck which sent her into a coma.
Itsue asks Futaba if it's okay that she and Ichigo become souer.
Sure, Futaba says, as long as I can still be her best friend. Ichigo
stares at Itsue, not comprehending. Itsue explains - now that Ichigo
is a first year, and she's a second-year, they can be soeur. Ichigo
"Ichigo-san, Ichigo-san, if you get an onee-sama, that won't change
us as friends, right?"
Is it deja vu?
Ichigo remembers someone somewhere saying that line.
Futaba is drawn as kind of chubby, which was a nice change of pace
for the illustrations.