The world sure is a convenient place.
With the proliferation of the Internet and the usage of social networking services (SNS), it is now possible to have many people view your comics, drawings, novels, blogs, and so on, and even receive feedback on them.
Himeno was one of them, and she has become well-known for sharing her comics on Twittet. Her account, Debiru-chan, has over 300,000 followers, and she receives a large number of likes within minutes of uploading a comic. Everything appeared to be going well from the outside, but Himeno still had an issue that she couldn’t address until lately despite all of her progress. It had to do with her manga, which was one of her jobs.
A month ago, Himeno posted a new romantic comedy manga on Twittet.
It was a four-panel story about a young girl and her boyfriend, who both harboured the same feelings for one another. They played a game in their room, where the loser had to do whatever the winner said.
The heroine was confidently playing a game at which she excelled when a spider entered the room. The heroine, who despises bugs, accidentally made a mistake. As a result, the male protagonist won.
The heroine, unconvinced, grabs the male protagonist by the chest and shakes him back and forth, saying, “One more time!”
The male protagonist couldn’t keep up with the momentum, and the heroine pushed him down.
They lock their gazes on one other, nose to nose, and it is the heroine who made her first move.
“We’re going to stay like this until you decide on the punishment.”
“I’m telling you to hurry up and confess your feelings because they’re obvious….”
“You mean right now…”
It’s pretty hard to call this a punishment game, but on this day, the male protagonist told the heroine that he liked her for the very first time. The heroine, hearing this, turned bright red, and she started making a quivering sound while her mouth was agape.
“Y-You’re going to make me happy, a-aren’t you?”
“Of course I will….”
“T-Then..why don’t you…say it?”
The heroine hides her embarrassment and agrees to go out with him. The manga comes to an end with a successful confession.
It earned 50,000 likes and was a huge success. As the number of followers grew, so did the manga’s popularity.
“It’s so cute!”
“You draw so well!”
“Where can I read the rest!?”
While the author(Himeno) received many positive comments, she also received the following messages:
“A good story, but not good enough. You should’ve shown more of the heroine’s thought process.”
“I know, right!”
‘You don’t know because you’ve never experienced it before, have you? You wouldn’t have written it like this if you did.”
“Development feels forced.”
These are known as critics. They appear whenever you post something.
Normally, one would ignore them. But for Himeno, this wasn’t something that she could ignore.
That was what she believed since they were right at the heart of the problem.
In the midst of drawing her manga, Himeno felt like she was deceiving herself. It was a blurred mess.
Himeno was the kind of person who would enjoy drawing manga’s closer to reality. The fact that she wrote this without having any experience on that topic made her uncomfortable. Even her editor pointed this out.
“Perhaps you would have written it differently if you had experienced it yourself. Let’s simply read a romance novel for now.”
“Okay, I understand.”
Himeno’s lack of experience with a boyfriend caused her to run into problems, such as discrepancies with her own feelings when she tried to expand on the story.
Knowing this, she wanted to correct herself immediately. If not, more and more people would start feeling the same way, which would lead to a decrease in the popularity of her manga, resulting in a loss of income.
If she didn’t have enough money to rely on, she would lose her job. Himeno immediately bought an e-book and began studying, which she called reading.
Head nudging, wall-banging, you name it. However, after ‘studying’ the novel for an extended time, she grew envious of the author.
The amount of realism in the novel was far beyond her expectations. All the emotions of the characters were correctly written out and conveyed in the story. It made Himeno’s heartthrob with anticipation when she’d imagine how she would react if such a situation were to happen to her.
“Did you feel a sense of joy when you were doing this?”
“Is it possible to make others envious of you?”
If you were to ask Himeno this question right now, she would be unable to answer.
To deceive yourself is to be lost in reality. The difference in levels can be seen in an instant.
“Your still far too immature.”
Even Himeno, who was in the manga industry, was humble enough to think this way.
Each manga artist has a distinct set of skills that he or she utilizes to produce wonderful stories. Himeno possessed a weapon inferior to that of other manga creators. It wasn’t an exaggeration to say she owed a great deal to her editor.
However, these worries recently solved themselves.
“Himeno-san! What going on here!?”
That was what the editor said to Himeno when she looked at her commercial manuscript.
“The depiction of holding hands between the two characters, the realistic portrayal of the characters emotion and tension between them….this is brilliant!”
It was the first time her editor had praised Himeno for her accurate depiction, but she was confident about it even before the meeting. Yes, Himeno expressed what she felt during the date with Shiba directly into her manga…
“Let’s keep going like this! First of all, Himeno-san, try drawing it the way you think it should be!”
It was the first time that the editor had ever urged Himeno to “leave it as it is” without giving any advice.
There was only one reason why Himeno was able to accomplish this, and that it was all thanks to the lover’s agency, Farfalle. Himeno used her experience from this agency and transmitted it directly into her manga.
“It’s all thanks to Shiba.”(Himeno)
Ryoma Shiba was just doing his job, but for Himeno, it was one of the many things that saved her life.
It was all because of Ryoma that Himeno overcame her problems and grew as a manga artist.
Today is the day to post the new episode 『Maybe it’s true.』
The story of my third date with Shiba.
The first story received 100,000 likes. The second story had 80,000 views. If things continued at this rate, the manga would soon be commercialized. And, recently, critics’ attitudes have shifted to be more favourable. Himeno, who was on a roll, shared the comic on Twitter, eager to see what type of reaction she would receive.
It took three seconds for Himeno to receive a notification.
After confirming this, Himeno’s mouth formed into an O shape, and she blinked widely. The first person to like it was someone she knew.
Himeno, who has a considerable amount of followers, knew of Aira. She even peeked at her profile page once.
All of this happened because Aira liked and commented on Himeno’s works for the past six months. Many people are supporting Himeno, but one of her most notable supporters was Aira. After reading her profile, Himeno became interested in Aira, which claimed that she was a high school student who lived close to Himeno. Himeno’s residence was just 20 minutes away from Aira’s high school. Her profile also gave Himeno the impression that she was a beautiful girl.
Three minutes later, Himeno received a comment from Himeno.
“Very satisfied! I’m looking forward to reading more!” Followed by a smiley emoji at the end.
Although Himeno was not as smiley as the emoji Aira sent, she raised the corners of her mouth a little and plopped her bare feet down as she liked the message.
As time went on, more and more messages of support arrived, but in the meantime, Himeno was exchanging emails with a certain someone.
“Himeno, I saw the manga you published today.”
“Did you enjoy it?”
“It’s interesting watching you get a lot of support from your fellow readers. But for me, it’s a little unsettling.”
“Like looking back on that date?”
“Yeah. And since you’ve expressed it in your manga, it’s easy for me to imagine. Of course, I’m happy to be able to help you, Himeno, so you can keep doing what you’re doing.”
“I know you have a lot of deadlines and stuff, but good luck. If there’s anything you need, you can always consult me.”
Even though Ryoma was aware of Himeno’s actual identity, he continued to treat her as usual. Himeno felt happy and a little disappointed at the same time.
“Shiba, do you remember our promise?”(Himeno)
“I promised you a date on Christmas eve.”(Ryoma)
“I’m still working on my schedule, but I’ll make sure I’m available.”(Ryoma)
“Please let me know when you’re ready.”(Himeno)
“Okay. I’ll let Himeno know right away.”(Ryoma)
“Then I’ve got some housework to do, so I’d better get going.”(Ryoma)
Himeno was happy to speak with Ryoma, even though it was just a brief email.
“I can’t wait to go on a date with you……”(Himeno)
Himeno’s white cheeks turned crimson red as soon as she expressed her emotions.
The heat on her face. Himeno knew best what she was going through right now.
Himeno, who had inadvertently placed pressure on her toes, stretched her slender legs cheerfully as she returned her gaze to the email.
On the calendar hanging on the white wall, in the slot for December 24th, a note read, “you have a date with Shiba.”
TL notes: Didn’t know I had to update it directly on Nu