Osomatsu-San Extra Stories Translation ‘Karamatsu of Dreams” Part One
Another translation from the
Extra Stories (Bangaihen) novel. This time about Karamatsu and his dreams of putting on a live concert. Quite a lot of painfullness, as you would expect. Doing it in two parts this time.
Cultural note: The Nippon Budokan is a big indoor arena in Tokyo that was originally built to host martial arts contests. It’s also a well known concert venue, and it’s considered very prestigious to play here. An artist or group playing here is a sign that their career is on the up.
Karamatsu of Dreams - Part One
Beneath the blue sky –
Karamatsu was sitting on the roof of the house clutching his guitar.
“Heh… the Goddess of Music is fickle.”
He wasn’t playing the guitar, and he certainly wasn’t singing. From the outside, he didn’t look like he was doing anything other than basking in the sun.
His whole body was bathed in sunlight. He felt as if he were shining like the sun itself.
“Oh, Sunshine! What are you trying to do by heating me up even more? After you’ve lit my heart on fire, you’ll only end up burning yourself, aha?”
He faced the sun and put on his sunglasses.
“I’m dazzling, aren’t I? You can use me, Sunshine!”
The wind howled. It felt a bit ticklish as it stroked his cheek.
“I can hear the wind whispering! Has the time finally come?
Karamatsu stood up and softly closed his eyes.
“Ah… I can see it… all throughout Japan… no, all throughout the world, the Karamatsu Girls are waiting for my song. Their voices!”
The girls filling the concert venue gave a high pitched cheer for Karamatsu who was standing onstage.
Basking in this delusion with every part of his being, Karamatsu slowly stood up on that stage better known as a roof.
He breathed in quietly, as if about to start singing, and pressed down on the guitar strings with his fingers.
The first chord was F. It was a super difficult chord that beginners would stumble over, but there was no way he could mess up.
His fingering was perfect.
Now, the stage curtain will rise!
But Karamastu’s fingers did not leave the strings.
He slowly let out the breath he’d inhaled.
He had no choice but to get down. From this made-up, delusional stage.
It was all an illusion. Because this was not the stage at a concert hall.
He accepted the reality that it was just the roof of his house.
“What do I have to do to be able to give dreams to people in real life?”
Wrestling with this anguish, Karamatsu returned to the second floor room where Osomatsu and the rest of his brothers were lazing around as usual.
Unfortunately, he was unable to find anyone who was troubling over a similar type of problem to himself.
(Heh… even if I discuss this with my brothers, I’ll probably just end up bothering them.)
Karamatsu’s problem. It was making the impossible into the possible.
The brothers all had their own different problems. However, the only one who was troubled by the act of creating was probably him.
Karamatsu thought that was the cross that those who were born as artists had to bear.
Jyushimatsu, who was playing with a baseball board game, noticed that Karamatsu had returned to the room, and looked up.
“Welcome back, Karamatsu-niisan. You didn’t sing today, either?”
“There weren’t enough whispers form the wind. But I am a man who’ll definitely do it. One day, definitely.”
Jyushimatsu leant his head to one side in puzzlement. And as for the other brothers –
“And it’s started again. You really are painful, you know. You are too painful. When will that one day be? Next year? The year after that? If you don’t start something eventually, then you’ll never start.” And, “That’s right, that’s right. If you have the time to think of reasons not to do something, then you’ll be better of trying to actually do something.”
As well as, “Speaking of which, Choromatsu-niisan, don’t you always say you’ll do something and never achieve anything too?”
Following on with, “… Die Shittymatsu. Die twice.” They each said whatever they wanted too.
Thrummmmm. Karamatsu lightly strummed the guitar with his fingers.
Even though there were talking like this, they were definitely actually worried about him.
He was used to persuading himself like that.
“Please wait , brothers. Today I would like to… talk seriosuly about my problems with you.”
Osomatsu closed the manga he’d been reading. Yawning, he turned to face Karamatsu. Despite what he said, he would lend an ear. That’s the kind of man Osomatsu was.
“Well, I don’t have anything to do, so I’ll listen, but seriously, lay off the painfulness, OK?”
“Heh… I’m glad you asked.”
“No, being glad has nothing to do with it. You asked him to first, didn’t you?”
Ignoring Choromatsu’s put down, Karamatsu strummed the guitar. Thrummmmm.
His brothers looked shocked as the words came out of Karamatsu’s mouth.
They were clearly wondering what on earth he was talking about, but Karamatsu’s smug expression didn’t falter.
“That’s not a proper conversation, Karamatsu-niisan. If you just say words by themselves, we won’t understand at all.”
In this kind of situation, having a younger brother who could deliver put downs could be damaging.
“Is that right?… Was it too difficult?”
“Perhaps Karamatsu-niisan would like to put on a concert?”
That was a timely hit to the centre, Jyushimatsu. Oh! Jyushimaaatsu! Karamatsu thought.
Karamatsu pointed his thumb at his face with a snap and raised his voice.
“That’s it, brothers! I want to hold a huge concert for all the Karamatsu Girls around the world who have fallen in love with listening to my songs.”
“Wait, how did you get that from what he said before, Jyushimatsu?” Choromatsu asked, seemingly ill at ease. He was the sensible one and the conscious of the six of them, and his expression suggested that he did not understand one bit in his role as the one who tried to put the brakes on things. Karamatsu thought that it was a shame that all he did was push down on those breaks and never move forward.
“Anyway, are you seriously planning on doing it, Karamatsu-niisan?”
Choromatsu’s face suggested that he would at least hear him out.
It was transparently obvious that rather than seriously listening to him, he wanted to get the whole thing over and done with as soon as possible.
But Karamatsu wasn’t the kind of guy to notice this and show restraint.
“Yes, the time has come for me to show how serious I am in a way I never have before, from the time I was born, up until now. While there are people waiting for it, my song will never end.”
“It’s over before it’s even begun. You never even started in the first place,” Ichimatsu said, tutting, and turned away.
“Well anyway, first you have to secure a venue. Then there’s the rental costs for the equipment and props. You’ll be the only performer, I suppose, but you’ll need money to pay for the lighting, sound, and other staff too. You’ll have to sell the tickets as well, you know?” Choromatsu explained without hesitation. Unexpectedly, he’d been able to talk about something he knew a lot about, and he was kind of proud of himself.
Karamatsu covered his face with his hand and stared out of the gaps between his fingers.
Honestly, he had no idea what Choromatsu had been talking about.
“Just give me the conclusion, brother.”
“It’ll cost around ¥200,000, no, maybe ¥300,000? And of course the venue would be an underground theatre, at most a city owned hall, something like that. Just to let you know, a stadium or the Budokan are out of the question. And then you’ve got to put some effort into advertising and publicity. Even posters don’t mean a thing if all you do is make and print them. Whereabouts were you planning to put them up? Putting up a poster somewhere isn’t free, you know? Aside from that, you’ll have to put a lot of announcements up on the internet too.”
With everything Choromatsu said, Karamatsu received another shock.
To start with, he had no money.
Advertising? Publicity? Wouldn’t you get your message across without those things if you just sang? What did the slaves of capitalism understand about the value of the art called music?
He would have to think of some poses if they were going to take pictures for a cool poster.
But no thank you to those other minor preparations, thought Karamatsu.
He, who stood upon the stage basked in the spotlight, was not suited to behind the scenes work.
“Choromatsu-niisan, how come you know so much about it?”
Choromatsu puffed up with pride at Jyushimatsu’s innocent question.
“Eh? It’s normal to know this much. Or rather, you guys don’t know? You’re kidding. I mean, you’re adults, right? This falls into the category of common sense.”
“Choromatsu-niisan’s an idol otaku, so it can’t be helped… tee-hee-hee. Anyway, what’s common sense various from person to person.”
Todomatsu looked up common sense on his smart phone.
Common Sense Joushiki – 常識
Knowledge and judgements widely acknowledged by many people, and considered to be held by all members within a particular society.
It seemed that Todomatsu was trying to emphasize the widely acknowledged part.
“What’s the problem with being an idol otaku, anyway! I’m alive and breathing! So stop looking at me with those dry eyes, Totty! You dry eyes!”
“That’s not what having dry eyes means. And I don’t think anything in particular about the way you live your life, Choromatsu-niisan, and I don’t feel anything about it either.”
“No, think something! Feel something! Pay me a bit more respect! Generally speaking, it’s ruder to not think anything about someone at all!”
“I’m really sorry. That you’re an idol otaku.”
“Y, you! I’ll kill… whatever… When I tangle with you, I’m the only one who gets injured. Anyway, if you’re going to put on a concert, then you have to make it a success. And for that, you need a carefully thought out strategy, and money.”
Karamatsu was looking outside the window, with a faraway look on his face.
It was a fine day without a single cloud. If he had wings like a bird, he felt as though he could ride the wind and fly freely towards wherever he wanted to go.
But reality bound him emotionlessly to the ground.
“In the end, this world comes down to money… money… money?”
Osomatsu laughed gleefully.
“If it’s money, then you’ve got no worries.”
His brothers’ ears twitched.
“Osomatsu-niisan, might you possible have some money?”
“Rich guy! Rich guy!”
“Now, calm down, everyone. It’s not nice to lie, Osomatsu-niisan.”
As Choromatsu doubted him, Osomatsu opened his mouth wide and laughed.
“You guys have one track minds. If you want some money, just get a loan.”
“I, is that safe, Osomatsu?”
“Don’t worry about it, Karamatsu. All you need to do is sell all the concert tickets! In fact, the more you sell, the more you’ll make.”
“Oh! Of course! I just have to sell them all!”
“Right, right. And with those profits, you can have a concert in an even bigger venue the next time. And then, of course, those tickets will sell out. The money will roll in from the amount of seats you increase each time. They’ll come film it for TV too, and you’re fame will go up and up!
“Film for TV…huh?”
Karamatsu softly closed his eyes. He flapped the wings of his imagination. Behind his eyelids floated a vision of his success.
When he entered the concert venue, not just fans, but also television reporters and members of the press had assembled there.
He was surrounded by a ton of cameras and was bathed in the light of flashes from all four corners.
Ah, no need to push so much! I’ll answer all of your questions, so no rush. Sorry, little kitten, autographs later.
Karamatsu was absorbed in imagining his future self responding to the interview.
Osomatsu continued, as if to interrupt his delusions.
“Hmm, but it should probably be a nationwide arena tour after the first Budokan concert.”
“That’s it, brother! The tour finale will be in Tokyo. And… to the sold-out audience of Karamatsu Girls, I’ll announce my tour of the USA… heh, perfect plan.”
“That’s great. That’s great. And from there, we’ll head into a five continents tour, and finally, we’ll have humanity’s first ever worldwide simultaneous airing of a concert from a space station!