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The Great Sardine Search
SCENE: MANKAI dorms - Lounge. Daytime. Casual clothes.
Izumi: Okay, so as far as casting goes, is anyone leaning towards a particular role?
Izumi: (Last time, everybody wanted to be the lead, which is why we chose the Arabian Nights motif.)
Izumi: (This time, there aren't any famous roles to duke it out over, but Tsuzuru also didn't write anyone a specific part. I really hope they don't fight...)
Tenma: The main role, Shiro, seems kinda young. Maybe one of the middle schoolers should take it.
Muku: Oh, I never thought of that. You have a point.
Yuki: Which means Shiro's older brother should be one of you old folks, right?
Kazunari: Ouch, Yukki! Lay off with the burns, will ya?
Tenma: Who are you calling old, toddler?!
Izumi: (So...instead of fighting over the main role, they're actually thinking about who would be best suited for which part...)
Izumi: (They're growing up...I feel so proud right now.)
Muku: Um, Izumi. Do you have a cold? You're sniffling.
Izumi: Ah, it's nothing! Just something in the air.
Izumi: Anyway! Are there any particular roles you guys want?
Misumi: I wanna play Tama! And Tenma can be Tama's brother, Mikke!
Tenma: Why me?!
Izumi: Mikke and Tama? Hmm... They're the brothers Shiro and Kuro meet along the way, who join them on their adventure...
Izumi: They live a privileged life in Meow Meow Manor. Tama is the younger one, a curious type. Mikke is his wary older brother who goes along to protect him.
Izumi: Sounds like a perfect fit for Misumi and Tenma.
Misumi: I wanna lounge around with Tenma at Meow Meow Manor!
Tenma: Again, why does it have to be me?
Misumi: Hmm... 'Cuz you just kinda seem like you'd live in a mystical car manor?
Tenma: What's that supposed to mean?
Yuki: I get it. You're both pretty out of touch with the way the world works.
Kazunari: Oh yeah, now that you mention it, Tenten and Sumi do seem kinda like they're on a different level from us normal people.
Tenma: Wait a sec... Don't group me with that weirdo!
Izumi: So you don't want to play Mikke, Tenma?
Tenma: That's not... I don't mind it, okay?
Yuki: Then stop whining already. You're giving me a headache.
Tenma: It's not the role that bothers me, it's the reasoning behind the casting!
Izumi: Right, so that decides Mikke and Tama. Anyone else have a preference?
Muku: Um...I'd like to try playing Nora, if that's okay.
Izumi: Oh, you're interested in Nora?
Tenma: Nora's a well-traveled, curt kind of character. Wouldn't have expected you to jump on a role like this, Muku.
Yuki: Honestly, I'd say you're a better fit for the main role.
Izumi: Seconded, but... Is there a reason you want to play Nora?
Muku: Well, he's this nomadic cool-cat, and, um, all of his lines are really manly. I just thought...I wanna be like that someday
Muku: I...I know I don't really fit the role, but...
Muku: I'm just a pile of foamy fish stuff, a flabby yam cake, an over-mashed potato that-
Izumi: Whoa, there! You're not any of those! And even if you were, they all sound delicious!
Tenma: I actually think you'd make an interesting sort of travelling cat. I'd like to see it.
Izumi: Me too. And more importantly, YOU want to play this role. I think you should give it a shot, Muku.
Muku: Thank you so much!
Izumi: So the roles we're left with are Kuro and the main role, Shiro.
Izumi: (Who'd have thought the two most major roles would be the ones no one jumped at this time around?)
Izumi: (Everyone's gotten to the point where they can look past their desire to be the lead and actually think about different parts they want to play.)
Izumi: (They really have grown. Oh shoot, I think I'm getting teary again...)
Yuki: You sure you aren't catching anything? Your eyes are all watery.
Kazunari: Yeah, you okay, Izumi?
Izumi: Sorry! I'm fine! No tears here! No tears at all!
Izumi: So, if you two are playing the main roles, in terms of age, it should be Yuki as Shiro and Kazunari as Kuro. Sound good?
Kazunari: No prob!
Yuki: Yeah, sure.
Izumi: Yuki, are you gonna be okay with playing the lead while handling the costumes? You were saying earlier how hard it'll be to make all those ears and tails.
Yuki: I'll be fine. I had a major role in our first play, too
Izumi: Are you sure? It sounds like a lot.
Kazunari: If you need help designing, I'd be happy to lend a hand.
Tenma: I'll do what I can to help, too. You know, as the troupe's leader and all.
Misumi: I'll help too!
Muku: If there's anything I can do to help, just let me know! Your wish is my command, Yuki!
Izumi: You guys...
Izumi: (All this enthusiasm for teamwork... It's completely different from how they started off as a troupe. They trust each other now, and they're gonna be just fine.)
Izumi: They're right. We're all here for you, Yuki.
Izumi: So that settles it! It looks like Yuki's our lead.
Kazunari: Lean on me all you like, Yukki!
Yuki: I don't need to lean on anything or anyone. Costume designs don't take that long, anyway.
Kazunari: Haha, true.
Muku: Yeah, you do always have the rough sketches done in no time flat, Yuki.
SCENE CHANGE: MANKAI dorms - Downstairs Lesson Room. Daytime. Rehearsal clothing.
Izumi: Well, now that the roles have been decided, let's get started with our first practice.
Izumi: Yuki, is there anything you want to say as the lead this time around?
Yuki: Like what?
Izumi: Anything, really. Like your feelings going in, or advice for rehearsals, or something like that?
Yuki: I...guess? Okay.
Yuki: So, since the roles are split into pairs, I think we should probably focus on getting each pair on the same page with each other.
Izumi: That's a good point.
Tenma: Got it.
Kazunari: Gotcha! Let's kill this, Yukki!
Izumi: (Yuki's young, but he's so mature for his age. I'm sure he'll be able to head up this cast just fine.)
SCENE CUT: Practice.
Izumi: All right then, let's take it from the top.
Muku: It is said that somewhere in this world there exists a great treasure, a single bite of which will bring any cat to their knees. They call it...sardines.
Yuki: Shardines...
Kazunari: It's 'sardines'.
Yuki: Shardines?
Kazunari: Hey, Shiro, try saying 'she sells seashells by the seashore'.
Yuki: She shells she shells shy za she shore?
Izumi: (I was a little concerned at how different this play is from their first one, but...)
Izumi: (Everyone's acting has improved so much, it doesn't look like they're having too muck trouble.)
Izumi: (Not to mention, seeing them act like cats is just...)
Misumi: I'm gonna go with you to look for sardines!
Tenma: You can't be serious, Tama.
Misumi: You should come too, Mikke!
Tenma: Mrrr. If I have to...
Izumi: ...So cute.
Tenma: I'm not cute! Quit calling me cute!
Yuki: I'm gonna be meowing even in my dreams.
Muku: You've definitely got it the hardest out of all of us.
Kazunari: I guess we should all start mastering our meows!
Yuki: Whatever. Kuro doesn't meow once in the whole script.
Misumi: Real cats talk like this! Meow, mrreow, prrrrrow!
Izumi: Whoa, that sounded like the real thing!
Muku: How did you make those sounds?
Misumi: Uh...you just kinda make your throat go all purry!
Yuki: Can we save this for later, guys?
Izumi: Yuki's right, let's get back to the run-through.
Misumi: Okaaay!
SCENE CUT Resuming practice.
Yuki: Nothing but catnip, meow and forever!
Kazunari: Snap out of it, Shiro!
Yuki: Paws off! This catnip is mine! Hiss!
Kazunari: Fine, just stay here, then!
Izumi: ...
Izumi: (Hmm... They've both gotten much better since their first show, but something's still off...)
Izumi: (Their characters are missing something important, but what...)
Tenma: The familian relationship between Shiro and Kuro isn't really coming across.
Izumi: That's it! I was just thinking something was off.
Yuki: What do you mean by that?
Kazunari: You mean the big bro-little bro dynamic?
Tenma: Exactly. They've grown up together, so they might as well be true siblings, but that's not translating into your acting.
Izumi: Yeah, the way you're playing Shiro, Yuki, he's too grown-up. Too independent.
Izumi: I know you're like that in real life, but it doesn't really fit the character.
Tenma: And Kazunari, you need to act more like an older brother.
Tenma: I played the oldest of three brothers in a TV show once. A big brother is more responsible and caring, almost to the point of being overbearing.
Izumi: Kuro is missing that sort of fuzzy tenderness.
Kazunari: Fussy... Hmm...
Yuki: We'll try again.
Yuki: Nothing but catnip, meow and forever!
Kazunari: Wake up, Shiro!
Yuki: Paws off! This catnip is mine! Hiss!
Kazunari: Fine, just stay here, then!
Izumi: Not...quite. Hmm.
Tenma: I mean, it's only the first practice. We'll work on it.
Yuki: ...
Kazunari: It's pretty hard acting outside our comfort zones, but we got this, Yuki!
Izumi: That's going to be the big challenge for everyone, this time around. You'll have to push your boundaries to get there.
Izumi: There's no rush, though. Just take your time getting into your roles.
Yuki: ...