EXT. DARK ALLEY – SHINJUKU – NIGHT
Amid the HUSTLE AND BUSTLE of the Tokyo streets, this alleyway stands a world apart, an environment of raw gloaming juxtaposed by the bright lights without. MINNA NO KODOMOCHAN, HONOKA and CINNAMON, stand furtively facing a closed DOOR.
Cinnamon: This is the right place, right?
Honoka: I … I think so?
The door is steel, poorly painted and rusting at the edges. A handwritten sign: CODOMO CLUB.
And nothing happens.
Suddenly, Cinnamon SCREAMS and Hono spins around and there before the girls is MILCBOY!
Milcboy: Thank you both for coming. My apologies for running a bit late. Do please come inside.
Milcboy UNLOCKS the door, and she and the two teens enter.
INT. FILTHY CABARET – CONTINUOUS
This club has seen better days — grime covers the walls and floor-to-ceiling mirrors, while a troupe of DENPA IDOLS skitter around on a dingy stage, their accompaniment played by a BOOMBOX. Strung-out SALARYMEN meekly MIX and DANCE in front. A BAND, GAUCHE, waits just off-stage for their turn.
Milcboy leads Honoka and Cinnamon through, past a plexiglass BAR studded with COCAINE MIRRORS and backed by OPIUM PIPES, to a VIP BOOTH upholstered entirely in stained PLUSH VELVET. Within are the members of ZENBU KIMI NO SEI DA — MEGUMI, MASHIRO, YOTSU and TOGARE. The latter two are barely conscious, slung like jackets across the plush; Mashiro DANCES, a vague expression on her face; Megumi, though, GLARES at the intruders and whispers to PRODUCER-SAN, seated like a mob boss in all his glory.
PRODUCER-SAN: Girls! So glad that you could join us. We’ve been just dying to meet you in person. Isn’t that right, Yotsu?
Yotsu’s face is as green as her member-colored skirt. She NODS with all the enthusiasm of a fresh corpse.
PRODUCER-SAN: Congratulations, belatedly, for winning the Corenament over our friends in Kakuriyo. We thought that we had it locked up, but you just slipped right in and sto– won it out from under us. Good job!
HONOKA: Thank you.
PRODUCER-SAN: No, thank you! You made me realize that we here at Codomomental needed to redouble our efforts to achieve supremacy in the loud chika idol space. As you can see, though, yami-kawaii … it takes its toll.
He RISES and STEPS OVER Togare to begin a slow PACE.
PRODUCER-SAN: Tomorrow is the beginning of Queen of the Scene. I’ve gone to great lengths to … let’s call it preparing. Yes, we have done quite a bit of preparing for the event. The change in format, though, to have a battle royale? That complicates things. I’m concerned that our entrants may face some difficulties.
CINNAMON: We’re worried about that, too. But we know that other idols will be gunning for us to keep us from working together, so we’ve been training.
PRODUCER-SAN: See, Red, that’s the kind of moxie that I’m talking about. (to Minna no Kodomo-chan) Girls, I’d like to offer you an opportunity. It fits, after all; “children” is a name that we share in common, and I think that our more creative approaches to music and performance would lend themselves well to each other. Join with us, support our Queen of the Scene competitors, and I can make you a very attractive offer.
He SNAPS his fingers, and NONAMER from KAQRIYO TERROR ARCHITECT slips into the lounge, carrying a giant NOVELTY CHECK. It reads: PAY TO THE ORDER OF MINNA NO KODOMO-CHAN Y100,000,000.
HONOKA: Oh wow, that’s a lot of money.
PRODUCER-SAN: It’s more than just a lot of money, my friend. Joining with us, leaving that TRASH-UP!! outfit behind, means money, endless one-mans, access to some of the best composers in the business, all the drugs and weapons that you could possibly want–
CINNAMON: We don’t want drugs.
PRODUCER-SAN: Did I say drugs? I meant cookies. Lots of cookies.
HONOKA: Producer-san, it’s a very generous offer, but Cinnamon and I are a team. Our own team. We’re happiest when we can make our fans happy, like when we perform at their house. And we can’t do the kind of schedule that you’re talking about — we’re still in high school!
CINNAMON: Right. And our band, we’re just getting started with them. We can’t leave them behind.
PRODUCER-SAN: Bring the band with you! Heck, I’ll buy your school, too, and you’ll never miss a lesson while on a 47-prefecture tour.
HONOKA: I’m sorry, I don’t think we can do it.
MEGUMI: That’s a shame. A real shame. You might want to reconsider.
CINNAMON: (nervous) No, it’s the right thing to do. Come on, Hono. Let’s get out of here. We have a battle royale to win.
MEGUMI: Do you know the Nakamura girl? The one with all of the groups?
CINNAMON: Soze? What about her?
PRODUCER-SAN: We made her a very attractive proposition as well. She said the same thing as you, and that she really wanted to focus on her own work. It’s a real shame about her knee, don’t you think?
HONOKA: Cinnamon, now.
PRODUCER-SAN: Last chance!
Hono and Cinnamon turn to FLEE, but — ARE STOPPED SHORT BY NOT SECURED, LOOSE ENDS!
HONOKA: Please move.
SHIDARE: It’s a very attractive offer.
Cinnamon lowers her shoulder and POWERS THROUGH the black-clad idols, nearly breaking through before being TACKLED by MARE A KOMACHI!
PRODUCER-SAN: It’s a shame that we couldn’t do business.
Hono and Cinnamon SQUIRM, each held by a pair of Tsurezure members.
MEGUMI: I’m really going to miss seeing you two tarts getting your asses handed to you in the ring tomorrow.
CINNAMON: What? No!
MEGUMI: Take them. Same place as the rest. (to Minna no Kodomo-chan) Take a few days to think about it. It’s awfully dark and awfully cold — not much more to do than think.
As the girls are escorted out, Milcboy SIDLES up next to Megumi and Producer-san.
MILCBOY: Everything else is ready.
PRODUCER-SAN: Good. (gesturing to the other Zenkimi members) Megumi, get these ones cleaned up. We have a war to win tomorrow. Continue reading