Off Air – Vol. 2 Extra 9

Extra 9: You Are Your Natural Colors




—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.

“Oh, Kunieda, I have a request for you to do a live report for the morning talk show. It’s a quick discussion with the hosts for about two minutes. Are you available next Friday?”

“Where will the live report be?”

“It’ll be in-house. It’s for a special summer event, so it’s an announcement, some publicity for it, and a thank you to the sponsors all in one.”

Such a pain in the ass. Aren’t there plenty of idiots with free time around here for a simple in-house live report? Kei thought. But well, it would be easy as pie, so Kuneida-san accepted it gracefully with a “That sounds fine, I’m free.” But that had been a big mistake.




When Kei returned home, Ushio heard him declare, “I’m gonna be busy for a while.”

“Why?”

“…Because I’m watching Gundam.”

“So you’re just goofing off.”

“No! It’s for work!”

“What? Are you going to pilot one?”

“How can I pilot one!?”

“Well, you know, isn’t there a factory or something for it in Shizuoka?”

It was a much duller job than a pilot when Ushio heard the explanation. As part of a summer event at Asahi TV, they would have vending machines that sold special canned coffee as part of a collaboration with the Gundam franchise. Apparently Kei was tapped to do some simple PR for them with a live report.

“And now I shall insert the money into the machine… So then I buy the coffee, right? It would be fine if it’s just the Gundam, but there’s like 25 different kinds. What the hell is a Dom? A Guncannon? Then there’s the Old Zaku, Zaku II, Char Custom Zaku, Z’Gok, Char Custom Z’Gok— Like seriously? Get a grip.”

“Don’t yell at me about it.”

“And I can’t say something like ‘Oh, it looks like I got one called a Dom.’ It sounds too disinterested, and it’ll be bad for the sponsor’s image. And I doubt the presenters in the studio will have anything good to say to back me up.”

“So it means you have to study up on it? But it’s also kinda weird to have Announcer Kunieda speak fluent Gundamese.”

“The spot isn’t even that long. I just have to get enough of a general idea about it so that I don’t look like I know nothing, and then I have to make a short comment about whatever sounds good.”

“So you’re a fair-weather fan, the type that geeks hate the most.”

“Shut up. I only have a week to learn everything, so stay out of my way. And I’ll eat at my desk too.”

When Ushio brought over a tray with a late dinner, Kei had his head on his desk as he complained, “There’s too many of them, ugh!”

My boyfriend is always too amusing.

“What is all this? Is this Tora-san?1 God, I don’t even know where to begin… Do I need to watch The 08th MS Team too?”

“I have no idea.”

“Aren’t you in the same profession!?”

“Uhh, our fields are kinda different.”




And so for the time being, Kei started to watch the TV series from the very beginning of the franchise (The First Gundam in other words?). Although he had the weekend to study up, he still had to do his regular news checks, and he seemed pretty frazzled with all of the work. Ushio had to wonder if there was something wrong with his sense of value and for what things cost. It didn’t make sense to throw himself into all this work for days on end for a fairly trivial live report that was at most a few minutes long. It wasn’t like anyone at work told him to watch the Gundam series for the job. It was incredible that he thought that this was what would help him get through life smoothly.

Nacchan had once called him a product of tireless dedication and hard work. Or maybe that was something that Shitara-san had said to Nacchan? Once he decided that he wanted something to be a certain way, he spared no time or effort to achieve it. The thought suddenly occurred to Ushio that maybe Kunieda-san was something like Kei’s work of art—an exceptionally brilliant doll born from vanity and the idea of perfection.

However, a genuine love was what gave it life inside. That was the promise of art.




Kei had even made timelines and character relationship charts (complete with their mobile suit units) to help with his studies, and at long last the Friday of the live report arrived. When Kei returned home, he looked extremely glum.

“Welcome back.”

“I’m home.”

“I saw your live report.”

“…What are you laughing about!?”

“I mean, you really got the Gundam can from the vending machine.”

As the only person in the world who could guess the complicated feelings inside Announcer Kunieda’s heart as he held up a can of coffee with a smile and said, It’s the Gundam, piloted by the main character Amuro Ray. This is wonderful, Ushio had gotten a great laugh out of it. With the 1 in 25 chance, Kei had probably thought that there was no way that he would be so lucky, but as luck would have it, he got the one mobile suit that nearly everyone was familiar with. Was it truly lucky or was it not? 

“Whatever, it’s fine! Gundam’s pretty interesting anyway!”

“I see, I see.” 

Ushio gave a light pat to Kei’s head.

“As long as it’s interesting, then I’m satisfied, even though I was neglected for a full week.” Ushio smiled at Kei. “Tonight will be the start of Ushio’s Counterattack arc.”

“You kinda sound like you know enough about it…”

“Ushio, rocketing off~ Oh, wait, you should be the one to say that, yeah?”

“That’s a completely different meaning!!”

Afterwards, Ushio was the one who started his TV marathon, and Kei might or might not have been neglected.




—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.

Please leave a comment if you enjoyed the story!❤


Translation Notes

  1. Tora-san refers to the long-running Otoko wa Tsurai yo (It’s Tough Being a Man) film series. There are about 50 films in the franchise.



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