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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.


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.)


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!


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 familial 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
...


The Great Sardine Search
Mankai Dorms - Lounge. Daytime. Casual clothing.
Mankai Dorms - Downstairs Lesson Room. Daytime. Rehearsal clothing.
Practice begins.
Resuming practice.
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