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Scene 1. Kei Yonagi[1] is the first chapter of Act-Age manga series.

Summary

This chapter begins with the scenery of an annual audition of colossal talent agency, Stars. Audition attended by 30.000 people had entered the 5th round of actress category with 12 participants left. The subject of this round is sadness. One of the judges, Sumiji Kuroyama wasn't satisfied with participants' acting skills, except for 1 person who caught his attention.

S1-YonagiTears

Yonagi instantly shed tears

Kei Yonagi, a high school student who didn't have acting experience before is truly inhabiting sadness in front of him. But another judge didn't see that from her. Kuroyama asks her to show him sadness that even an idiot would understand. Instantly, she shed tears from her eyes. Kuroyama is excited. It seems like he finds an actress he's been looking for.

Audition ends. Yonagi walks past a cinema with a big film poster in front of it. Movie tickets for 1500 yen are too expensive for her because that amount of money can be used to buy groceries worth for three days. She is determined that she will come back to the cinema with her family after she wins the audition grand prize. But, eventually, the audition result has come out and she doesn't pass the audition.

Yonagi goes home. She is welcomed by her little sister, Rui, and Rei. They immediately take a bath together. During that time Yonagi told Rui and Rei that she didn't pass the audition and also she was fire from her job. Rei tries to cheer her sister and advice her to be better and try again. But Yonagi answer that she won't try.

To fulfill her promise to her late mother to raise Rui and Rei properly, Yonagi said that she won't try to be an actress and will get a real job. Suddenly, tears come out from eyes, making her sister worried. She makes an excuse that she did it because she was carried away by the feeling of the audition.

After Rui and Rei fall asleep, Yonagi reads her family's financial records. Their economic conditions are in red again. While reading that records, tears come out again. She decide to reset her feeling by watching a movie. For her, the emotions actors portray in the films are always familiar to her. She remembers the feeling when her dad abandoned her family, the feeling when she lost her mom, and also the feeling when she held Rui and Rei for the first time. After that, she remembers the smiling feeling. Rui watches her sister watching the film and says to her self that her older sister likes another person at that moment.

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Arisa explains method acting risk

In Stars Agency office, CEO of Stars Arisa Hoshi explains about how Yonagi has mastered method acting. A form of acting that involves recalling events from one's own past to evoke the emotions required for a role. Then Kuroyama asks her why she rejects her to pass the audition. She worries because method acting will be dangerous for Yonagi and becoming a different person like Yonagi did is a terrifying skill. Kuroyama associates that statement with actress mental breakdown that Arisa had when she was an actress. Kuroyama says that he will make Arisa remember what a real actor is and the thrill for the people who can only survive in the acting world.

The next day, Yonagi shows her smiling to Rui and Rei and asks them about it. Rei who watched her sister last night suddenly shout to Yonagi. She says that Yonagi has to be an actress because if she isn't, she'll just be scary. After seeing Yonagi and Rei's conversation, Rui suddenly cries. While Yonagi tries to calm Rui down, someone appears in a good car.

He is Akira Hoshi, an actor affiliated with Stars Agency who also one of the judges in the audition. Rui knows him as Ultra Masked Man, a hero character from Sunday morning cartoon. Rui asks him why he's doing. Akira says that Ultra Masked Man is off today and he wants Rui to keep it secret for him. Rui says yes but he says it loudly so the other people around them hear that and immediately know that famous Akira Hoshi is there. Akira asks Yonagis to get in the car and follow him before people come around.

One hour before the last round of audition, three remaining participants already prepare themselves. But there is an empty chair beside them. In the Stars official meeting, while other people are discussing participants, Kuroyama announces that one participant resigned. During the trip to Stars' office, Akira says that Yonagi will replace one person who resigned from the audition. Rei suddenly congratulates Yonagi because she passed the audition and if Yonagi wins this and becomes an actress, she won't be scary. Akira asks Yonagi about what Rei said. She explains that ever since little she pored over a lot of films endlessly because whenever something sad or painful happens, people try to become a different version of themselves almost to the point of forgetting their true selves. Akira who heard that answer wonders what was she talking about.

Kuroyama decided to replace resigned participants with Yonagi without Arisa's knowledge. Yonagi arrives at the office. She stands in front of Stars official with other participants namely Yuu Kamiya, Ai Momono, and Sen Wakatsuki. The audition subject is pantomime. Before audition start, Arisa says that she's only interested in cultivating happy performers, and talent has nothing to do with it. Kuroyama asks her about how she can know what will make some else happy. She says to herself that Kuroyama is wasting his energy with Yonagi because she has the final word for the audition.

S1-YonagiDog

Yonagi imagines a feral dog bit her

Arisa and Kuroyama explain the scenario to participants. The scenario is participants wandered into a deep dark forest and meet a feral dog that is focused on them and extremely hungry. Right after Kuroyama ended his explanation, Yonagi do a fighting stance and seems like staring down to the dog. Ai, Sen and Yuu wondered why she did that and thinks about what they will do. Before they do something, Yonagi acts like her hand is bitten by the dog and then she punches it to the ground. Her acts is so real that made people as if they see a real dog in front of her. Kuroyama understands why Yonagi did a fighting stance to face a feral dog. In her imagination, she was fighting a feral dog to protect her family who happened to be at audition location.

After her acting is finished, Rui and Rei run to her and says that her act was awesome and super cool. Arisa comments Yonagi that her sense of fantasy versus reality is too fuzzy and it was dangerous. Suddenly, Stars official who watched Yonagi acted give her ovation. Kuroyama then says to Arisa that no matter how bizarre Yonagi psyche is, it has the power to make her a star when she stands before an audience. In his mind, Kuroyama said that Arisa should know wen the joy of acting has touched someone, there is no going back.

S1-Introduce

Kuroyama and Yonagi's Introduction

At night, Yonagi sits in front of her house and looks up to the sky. She can't believe that after everyone smile and applauded to her performance, they still rejected her. Rui and Rei pop out for the window and try to cheer her. Suddenly, a car appears in front of their house. a guy comes out. In his mind, he seems like he finds someone who will be his collaborator to make just one movie. This chapter ends with Kuroyama introduces himself as director and Yonagi introduces herself as an actress.

Chapter Notes

  • This is the first chapter of the series, also still the chapter with most pages in the series (54 pages).
  • Chiyoko Momoshiro appeared as a cameo on a poster in front cinema that Yonagi pass through after audition.
  • According to Yonagi, Her father abandoned the family and her mother was dead, leaving her with Rui and Rei.
  • Introducing of method acting.
  • Arisa Hoshi is a CEO and also the founder of Stars, She is also the mother of Akira Hoshi.
  • Kei Yonagi pass Stars audition until the last round but she didn't win the Grand Prize. It is not explained why Stars rejected her.
  • After witnessed Yonagi's performance, Kuroyama decided to meet Yonagi directly.

Characters in This Chapter

Trivia

References

  1. Act-Age, Chapter 1 by Viz Media
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