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Chapter 16: Keitaro Miura 1
I guess not, but we’re supposed to be working. How’s everything on your end?
Sector 2’s construction is going pretty smoothly so far. We should be able to sustain a second colony soon. All it’ll take is four more orbits, tops. You doing okay?
Still getting used to zero-G. And trying not to puke. As for the project, we’ve got a few complications. Got the ethics committee breathing down our necks.
Didn’t know space exploration was a matter of ethics.
No, they’re all worked up about our machines. Their self-replication is what’s making the board nervous.
…They’re worried about a war with aliens that might not even exist? Shouldn’t our ethics team be more grounded in reality?
You’re one to talk. Still reading about history 24/7?
Yeah. It’s fascinating stuff.
Two hundred years ago, right? When this all started?
Part of a world war, involving countless powerful nations. It reshaped the way we approach technology and ideology. Like I said, fascinating stuff.
Sounds like a big mess to me.
Oh, well… If you’d like I could send over some light reading on it.
I think I’ll pass.
So… any idea when we can meet up again?
It’ll be about 420 hours until the next time I’m off…
Nice. Is that still a thing in the future? Evidently not.
I guess one of them is receiving some kind of call.
Good. I’ll be looking forward to it.
Okay, so… what the fuck was that?
Music: Between The Lines (Kikuchi Yukinori)
No scar, interesting…
And not a single student attending.
They need every able-bodied student at the factories.
I know, we’re in a state of emergency.
Consider State of Emergency
(I heard a rumor from the marines at the port. They say we have no ships left, that it’s a hopeless war…)
Consider Takatoshi Hijiyama
(He’s a year above me, but we’re the same age. We grew up in the same town together. He was such a mess. Seems like he’s shaped up, though. He’s found a certain dignity ever since he enlisted.)
Don’t let your nerves get to you again. You’ll get to fight for your country before your peers. That’s an honor and a privilege.
One look at it, and you’ll know this war is ours.
At what, exactly?
*looks around cautiously*
…we have a secret weapon. Our own key to victory. You’ll see it in the armory soon enough.
Because… We’ve been chosen as pilot cadets for that very weapon. But keep it quiet. Maximum-level security. Not even your family can know.
So don’t worry too much.
Consider New Weapon
(A secret weapon powerful enough to win the war? And out of all the potential pilots across Japan… They chose me. What can I do? Will I be any help at all?)
Use New Weapon on Takatoshi Hijiyama
We’ve been calling it a Sentinel. A heavily-armored craft that requires a pilot to operate. It’ll help us gun down the enemy at our shores.
So the Americans really are coming for us…
We’ve been forced to abandon many of our posts overseas. At this rate, we’ll have to end this on the mainland. Our homeland’s future is in the hands of this Sentinel. But they’re good hands. A single Sentinel rivals aircraft carriers in terms of power. No… it could outmatch an entire military on its own. Whatever they’ve got, we’ll keep our homeland safe.
I didn’t think anyone else would come here.
I’ll see who it is.
Wait. Tamao… Kurabe?
So this is where you’ve been hiding!
Music: Halcyon Days (Yoshimi Kudo)
Hey, Tamao-san. What brings you here?
And when I heard you were back, too… I had to come!
Maybe you and Takatoshi-san can share them?
The rations don’t give us that much sugar. I’m afraid they won’t be very sweet…
I’m sure they’ll be delicious. Thank you.
Yes, I invited her along…
Pardon me, but… Have we met?
But he’s asking about you, Kiriko-chan!
I am… Takatoshi Hijiyama. Pleased to meet you… Wait… Douji? Any relation to professor Heizou Douji?
N-No, far from it!
Consider Professor Douji
I’ve heard about Kiriko-san’s father. They say he’s a remarkable teacher. Though I didn’t realize he was a professor.
We do, yes.
This poor bi idiot.
If he’s at the armory, that can only mean—
That’s enough, Keitaro. His involvement with the new weapon is highly confidential.
I-I mean—damn it!
Don’t worry, we won’t tell… You’re pretty funny.
He’ll be working alongside me. The armory’s not too far from here. However, it may be some time until he’s back.
You and the Kurabes have been nothing but kind to me. I can only give you my thanks, from the bottom of my heart. I’ll have to leave my little sister with you, so… Please, take care of her for me.
Don’t you worry about a thing, Keitaro-san.
And tell her I won’t be gone for long. The second I get time off, I’ll come visit.
We’d better get going.
Do take care, you two.
Music: Sneaking Suspicions (Kikuchi Yukinori)
Some kind of flash… Lightning, maybe? It came from around here, I think…
Consider Professor Douji
(Kiriko-san disappeared after that incident. And Professor Douji has gone silent ever since. It just doesn’t make sense…)
Consider State of Emergency
(Air raids have plagued several regions for months now. At this rate, the Americans will completely destroy Japan. We have to do something…)
Consider New Weapon
(Our new, top-secret military weapon, called a “Sentinel.” I’ve been selected as a cadet to pilot it.)
Maybe I saw a visiting god? …Not likely.
It’s already night. Chihiro’s probably worried about me…
I know you’re there.
It’s dangerous to be out this late on your own. Allow me to escort you home.
Who are you?
My name is Keitaro Miura. I’m stationed at the armory nearby. But I’m off-duty now, so I was on my way home. So, ah… what’s your name?
…Natsuno. Um, Natsuno Minami.
Kind of a complicated answer, though…
Music: The 13th Sense (Rikako Watanabe)
An air raid.
But that’s near where the Kurabes live…
It should be safe at this distance.
But what about you?
I have to go help.
Why did you follow me!?
I don’t know!
Hmph… Fine, but just stay there. It’s clear here, but the flames are stronger up ahead.
You’re not going in, are you?
I have to. That house up ahead is where my sister’s staying.
How could they attack civilians like this?
…There’s a munitions factory in Higoromo-cho.
It’s completely gone. It must’ve been a direct hit…
Consider Stuffed Rabbit
(Our mother’s terrible at sewing, but she made this for Chihiro. I’d never seen her struggle with anything so hard, but she did it. It’s pieced together with scraps of cloth. Not the best quality. Even still… Chihiro took it with her wherever she went.)
Welp, this is looking grim. Might want to see about getting a new family there, chief.
Oh, okay. That was short-lived.
I know… But you’re alive, and that’s what matters.
We ran to the shelters as soon as we heard the sirens… But Chihiro-chan ran off alone. She said she was going back to the house.
‘Cause you were coming home. And if nobody was there to see you… you’d be really sad.
“Tamao, this is a recent acquaintance of mine, Natsuno Minami. I found her hiding in the woods and she doesn’t have any pants.”
Music: KAIJU (Kazuki Higashihara)
What *is* that? Another American weapon?
We can’t stay here! Everyone, get moving!
Looks like it’s headed toward Kamazumi next.
Why are they showing up in this era…?
Not that I’ve seen. I’ve never even heard of weapons like this…
It’s almost as if they’re alive…
Use American Weapons on Tamao Kurabe
That thing has to be one of their weapons. …They’ve finally come for our homeland. And if we don’t stop them…
Please take care of Chihiro.
Stay with her, and do as you’re told, understand? Tamao-san… Can I ask you to look after Natsuno-san, too?
What about you?
I’m going back to the armory.
This is the day I’ve been training for. Against the Sentinel, they don’t stand a chance…
I know, I’m on it.
And that’s Miura’s prologue. Rough, buddy.
Miura is voiced by Zach Aguilar, who is Koichi from Diamond is Unbreakable, Tanjiro from Demon Slayer, Genos in One Punch Man, and Male Byleth in Three Houses after the original VA got replaced for being a sex pest! He’s not my favorite VA or anything but this is a role that really plays to his strengths and gives him a lot to do. It’s one of his better performances in my opinion.
Juro Kurabe (22% completion)
Iori Fuyusaka (28%)
Megumi Yakushiji (14%)
Natsuno Minami (25%)
Yuki Takamiya (14%)
Shu Amiguchi (28%)
Keitaro Miura (12%)
Takatoshi Hijiyama (14%, locked behind Ogata)
Ei Sekigahara (28%, locked behind Natsuno)
The poll is here.