Written for Yuletide 2006
Nobuta wo Produce is a Japanese television drama about high school students: Shuuji (the popular boy, secretly worried about
being a "good person"), Akira (the weird dude with a black-belted heart of gold and a helicopter at his disposal)
and painfully withdrawn Nobuta, who comes into their class only to be cruelly bullied by other students. Over the course of ten episodes, Shuji and Akira attempt to "produce" Nobuta -- that is, make her popular.
By the end, all of them have been changed by their friendship. It is, quite simply, one of the best and most emotionally satisfying shows produced in any language.
Spoilers for end of series.
Thanks to Lynnmonster, not only for beta, but for introducing me to this quirky, funny, wonderful show.
How are you?
How is AKIRA! (Hee hee. I wrote it like that so he can hear me say his name, and think of me with a serious expression. "Just like Nobuta," he'll say.)
Yesterday was the election for class officers for the spring, and can you believe what happened? Uehara Mariko was elected Class Vice-President! She made a beautiful speech, which of course she would. She is a perfect person to be an officer. If you want my opinion (which you may not, but I will give it anyway) Mariko has become a stronger person since she knew you. I know she's grateful to you, even if you did have difficult times at the end.
I know you'll say it's not true, but I feel the same way. I'm glad I got to have you as a friend. You're a good person, Shuuji (don't say you're not!) and we both, Mariko and I, miss you very much. I'm sad you're not here, but it's a good kind of sad. Do you know what I mean?
Anyway, I should stop now, as I am writing this in class. Do you see what a bad person you've made of me? :)
Please write back to me if you have time. Or send some pictures. I would like to see you two in front of your school.
P.S. Please tell AKIRA our teacher has adjusted his trousers fourteen times today already.
P.P.S. I was elected Class Secretary.
NOBUTA WILL BE PRIME MINISTER SOME DAY! HOORAY FOR PRIME MINISTER NOBUTA!!
(CAN I BE YOUR MINISTER OF PARTIES???? - KONKON ^_^)
Hope you like the photos of the sea I sent you. Over the holiday A and I went to Hawaii. He spent so much time on the beach he got really sunburned and turned purple, like an eggplant, and he was in so much pain heNOBUTA-KUN! IT'S AKIRA! ^_^
AKIRA IS HIJACKING SHUUJI-KUN'S LETTER TO YOU. I'M SUNBURNED! OUCH! OUCH! OUCH! I CAN'T DO ANYTHING FUN!
WE MISS YOU! AKIRA
Please excuse the idiot.
Congratulations on being elected Secretary. I know you'll do your best. Please give my congratulations to Mariko.
We're doing fine.
Are you taking care of your sunburn? Don't let yourself peel too much.
Dear MOM stop
Don't worry stop
Shuuji-kun peeled Akira's back for him stop
He said "Ew, it's gross" stop
But I think he liked it stop
Because he's WEIRD stop
Even though he pretends to be normal stop
But we know better, don't we stop
Uh-oh, here he comes stop
Akira CAN'T STOP^_^
Shuuji peeled your back? That's...EWWWWW.
I told Mariko. This is what she said:
(miss you both. You sound happy, though)
We are happy.
SSSHHHH! Don't tell Shuuji. He hasn't figured it out yet. ^_^
News of the Day: Sebastian had a date. No, really.
Trouser-adjustment count: 15 (our teacher had a difficult class).
Mariko scored thirty points for the Women's Basketball team Saturday.
We took her out to celebrate and then she came over to my house and we talked forever. She's so pretty, and so very nice. She's kind, too, and always helps people. I don't think people always try to get to know her, because they think she's too perfect. That's wrong.
Last week we went shopping together - she has such good taste. She helped me buy clothes. Everyone made such a fuss about them, I was very embarrassed.
I can talk to her about all sorts of things. I really like being with her. Mariko's really my best friend.
--I mean, other than you and Shuuji, of course.
She talked about you, and a lot about Shuuji, about how the two of them were together for so long, but not really together...I thought she'd be sad because he left, and she was, because she misses him, but I guess not the way I thought she would. When she told me that, I felt, well, I don't know how I felt.
Yes I do, I felt relieved.
Why was I happy she didn't miss Shuuji more?
This is when I wish you were still here, because I want to be able to talk to you about things.
Anyway, please forgive me. I don't mean to say you both shouldn't have gone, because of course you did the right thing. I'm sorry to be so troublesome.
How is Shuuji? How is his family? Do you like your new school?
Hmmmmm. (Akira is putting on his thinking cap ^/\^). I know!
A. You like Shuuji-kun, and are jealous Mariko-kun dated him
B. You like Mariko
Akira thinks it's (B).
What does Akira's little piggy think?
I don't like Mariko THAT WAY.
YES YOU DO
I DO NOT!!!!
AKIRA KNOWS THESE THINGS ^!^
HOW do you know these things?
BECAUSE AKIRA FEELS THAT WAY ABOUT SHUUJI-KUN
...is Nobuta shocked?
I'm not shocked. I think I always knew. Why do you think I wanted you to go after him?
Shuuji is a wonderful, caring person. He's kind, and thoughtful, and if he doesn't have someone to watch over him, he'll never take care of himself, because he's too busy worrying about others. People like that, they don't think they're good people. They think they're shallow, superficial, because they're good looking. He's not. I mean he is, he's good-looking. I mean we know how good a person Shuuji is.
I'm glad you feel that way about him. He deserves someone who likes him.
So do you.
AKIRA IS SHOCKED.
Nobuta is smarter than me, and a whole lot smarter than Shuuji-kun!
Why are you shocked? I've always been smarter than you! HEEHEE!
(Not really, please forgive me).
Mariko is a person like Shuuji-kun. Nobuta should remember what she said to Akira about deserving someone who likes you.
Thank you for the pictures you sent us from graduation. It was nice to see everyone again, even if it was just a photo.
Akira misses you very much, and so do I. But we're having a great time here in our new school, and guess what? We'll be going to Todai University together next year. So I guess I'll never get rid of him, will I?
I know we'll see you in a few weeks, when we come back for a visit, but I wanted to tell you ahead of time, about something important. No, it's nothing bad. At least I don't think so. I could be wrong, of course.
This is kind of hard to say, but I guess I'll just go ahead and say it: I like Akira. I know, I know, we both like Akira, even though he's the
most annoying person on the planet, but what I mean is, I like Akira. And he likes me.
And we've sort of changed how we are together. We're together.
As a couple, I mean.
Do you know what I mean? This is a little awkward to talk about.
Nobuta, I'm really happy. I guess I'm weird that AKIRA is the one who makes me happy, right?
Anyway. I suppose somewhere in my thick skull I knew I liked guys - that's probably why I strung Mariko along for so many months. You probably think I'm terrible, but actually I didn't really know what was going on, until one day Akira told me how he felt about me. Well, he didn't exactly tell me. You know him. He's as subtle as an avalanche.
But you, you're probably not surprised. You've always been the smartest of the three of us.
What I was hoping was, would you mind breaking the news to Mariko about me and Akira? She'll probably be upset, even if we did break up. I don't want to make her miserable any more than I already have.
Thank you so much. I can hardly wait to see you. Both of us can hardly wait.
I can't believe it! You and Akira are going to Todai! SO AM I! AND SO IS MARIKO!
We'll all be together again. It's incredible. I suppose it's fate, don't you think?
I'm so very happy for you and Akira. I've always felt you should be together. Shuuji and Akira together makes me happy.
As for Mariko being upset about you two, really, I wouldn't worry. Mariko is very happy these days, because she's seeing someone else.
In fact, Shuuji, I guess there's something I should tell you...about us...