The episode starts with a sepia-colored flashback of Ritsu confessing his love to his senpai back in his high school days. Present time Ritsu comments that it felt so innocent back then, but quickly cuts back to the present as he comments on what a jaded 25 year old he is. He is seen arguing with a young lady about how he wanted to work in the literature department of Marukawa Publishing, but she only shows him the paper that says that Ritsu is supposed to be in the Shoujo Manga Department. He internally fumes about how much it sucks that he's working in manga while they walk to the elevator. She tells him that it's not so bad, the shoujo manga department had actually made top sales because of that amazing new editor-in-chief and has quite a few handsome male editors (although that's only a plus for her, Ritsu thinks). She then starts talking about cycles, but Ritsu doesn't understand what she's talking about.
As they walk towards the department, Ritsu thinks to himself about how he wants to go home now and quit immediately, but decides that he should probably see how that editor in chief works. If he managed to make a dead department successful, then he must really understand how marketing works. When they arrive, Ritsu doesn't notice the girl's shock and introduces himself to the department before seeing that everyone in the department had taken a corpse-like appearance because of how tired they all were. The girl says something about the wrong part of the cycle and leaves Ritsu. Ritsu tries asking the other employee, but they avoid him saying that Emerald isn't their department. He walks into the department wondering if they're all right when one of them falls out of his chair. He tells him that he's the new guy in the department, so the other editor tells the editor in chief that the new guy's here.
Takano takes the book off of his head and puts on his glasses. Ritsu is shocked that his boss isn't what he expected, but manages to continue the conversation with him. Takano asks him if Ritsu has any experience in manga, but Ritsu only has experience in literature. Takano then calls him useless. One of the editors get a phone call about a mangaka and sub mat, so Takano leaves and asks Ritsu to come with him because the new guy's going to need experience. They both leave to see the mangaka, and Takano manages to make Ritsu even more irritated by mocking his lack of experience and common sense in manga. Takano flips through the mangaka's rough draft and asks her to redraw the kissing scene to make it more dramatic. Ritsu tells him that it looks fine as is, and they're making the printers wait, so Takano tells him that she's redrawing because he knows she can do better. He then calls Ritsu a noob who should stay out of it. Prior to this, he asks the mangaka if she ever kissed anyone. Ritsu says that the comment is sexual harassment, but the mangaka laughs saying that you don't see the kissing if you're doing it yourself.
Takano sees that she has a point, so he decides to show her an example that she should draw very quick. Ritsu thinks Takano is talking about references and offers to get her some. Both men had already stood up from the table, and Takano was taking his glasses off. Ritsu is about to leave to get references, but Takano is already explaining to the mangaka that she should draw it from this angle. He then pins Ritsu against the wall and kisses him. Ritsu is absolutely shocked as is the mangaka, but she manages to frantically draw out the scene using the example in front of her. While Ritsu rests against the wall, Takano asks the mangaka if she got it, and she nods yes. Ritsu asks him what the hell he was doing, and Takano replies "Work, of course."
Ritsu fumes over a cup of coffee. So far his day had gone through the Emerald Editorial Department that was full of weirdos that were passionate about shoujo manga and avoided by other departments. He agrees that they were definitely passionate if they were willing to be models for the mangaka...oh, and he was sexually harassed by his boss too. He then thinks back to his work in his father's publishing company. When he was little, he had always loved books, so he joined his father's company when he got older to create books that people would cherish. When he joined he had started managing that writer that was already quite well known. There were a lot of questions he didn't know he would have to consider, a lot of meetings, and a lot of work, but all he wanted was to see the book that so much work had gone into sell.
And yet, he overheard his jealous co-workers complain over how he got top sales just because he was managing the star author. They work their butts off only to get some low-ranking authors, but he must have it so easy. Ritsu thought he had worked hard too; it was never his intention to get success just because he had a connection. If he was that naive high schooler, then he would've never recovered from that shock, but he was jaded adult at the time, so he dealt with it by getting prideful and angry and deciding to quit this company to make that book that sells millions in another company to prove he's not riding on the coattails of his father's success. Then he remembers how he had confessed his love back in his high school days, and there's a scene with him and his senpai kissing in bed with their clothes on.
He shakes his head at that memory and remembers that he's supposed to be figuring out a way to quit this company. Takano comes over smoking a cigarette and thanks Ritsu for his help with the mangaka. Ritsu was still upset about the kiss, but Takano acts as though nothing strange happened. He asks Ritsu if he was the son of the head of the Onodera Publishing company, but Ritsu tells him that he has no connection with that company, so Takano asks him if he was disappointed that he didn't get into literature. Ritsu replies that of course he's disappointed, but it's mostly because shoujo manga has a heavy focus on romance, a concept he is not skilled in. Takano tells him to just quit already if he doesn't want to do the work because people rarely get to do what they love for a career. Takano then calls him useless again and that Ritsu will probably always be useless, but he questions if they had ever met before. Ritsu doesn't know.
Ritsu is seen in his little area of the department with huge stacks of shoujo manga. He can accept that he's useless if he's been tried, but being called useless without having been tried is something he can't accept. He then sets out to read the manga not noticing that Takano sees him doing so as he's leaving for the night. Ritsu comes back to work in the morning exhausted from reading 100 volumes of shoujo manga at night. He is reluctant to go back to his dump of a department, but he steps into a sparkly department with pink walls, dolls, stuffed animals, and energetic editors. Ritsu apologizes for stepping into the wrong department, but one of the other editors says he's not mistaken and that he's in Emerald right now. Two of them remember that Ritsu has no experience in manga and offer to show him the ropes. Ritsu excuses himself and runs to the bathroom with another editor and asks him why the department is suddenly all pink and the editors are suddenly no longer corpses.
The other editor explains that it's the beginning of the "cycle" and compares the editorial department to a 20 day radish. They start out energetically, get drained and exhausted, and then after the book comes out they become energetic again. The department is decorated like a five year old girl's bedroom minus the bed because Takano thought they should empathize with the reader and work in an environment similar to theirs. Emerald has a lot of rumors and legends surrounding it as well, giving it the nickname the "Maiden" Club. Ritsu then returns to the department that is still pink and unchanged, the two editors mentioned before then make good on their promise to show Ritsu the ropes. Ritsu asks about a particular scene wondering if the author half-assed it, and Takano throws a ruler at him for being an idiot. The scene was the dramatic love confession scene that is supposed to look the way it is. Ritsu just stares at the scene again and mentally questions all the things that shoujo manga is known for (too much toner use, random sparkles, etc.) He also wonders why the manga isn't very realistic, but dismisses it because it's manga, and he already knows that life doesn't work like a manga. Takano still questions if they had ever met before, so Ritsu thinks they probably lived in the same area or were at the printers at the same time before.
Kisa asks Ritsu why he has a manga catalog, and Ritsu says that he's planning on memorizing the titles. Kisa says that's impossible because they've got hundred of titles, but Ritsu says that he's also planning on reading all of them as well which shocks the other editor. Ritsu explains that it's not too shocking because he used to do something like this back in high school where he read all the books in the school's library. That particular comment catches Takano's interest, but he goes back to what he was doing before. Ritsu gets upset because he thinks Takano is mocking him again, and starts to read more of the shoujo manga resolving to prove he's not useless. Takano glances at him before leaving.
|Ritsu Onodera ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Masamune Takano ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
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