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[Note: Murayama Hikaru-sensei, the artist, writes all of the freetalks.]

Murayama-sensei likes to write A LOT, so right now only a few of the more interesting freetalks have been translated. New translations will be up, time permitting. Also, I can't read any of it myself so I have to rely on my translator having free time. ^^;;;

Freetalks are separated via manga and volume.

Kookie
Volume 1
When we were first starting out as a doujinshi group, we went by the name of Hikaru2 because we both have the same first name. But when we went professional, I thought to myself, ĎThis sounds stupidí so I changed our name to Usagi Blue on the first issue without telling Ru-kun. ^___^; (So then he was forced to live with it!) Of course, in revenge he makes me draw really hard scenes and poses and even makes the setting difficult so he can laugh at me! Geez.

Iíve always liked the image of a "blue rabbit." Thereís a car called that too Ė itís really old but kind of cute. <3 (<-doesnít know much about cars) Sakai Norikoís song "Aoi Usagi" is old but nice too! Maybe the image of a "blue rabbit" denotes something old but nice? I donít know, Ru-kun thinks that Iím just strange. He says, "What are you saying? The readers wonít understand that nonsense!" I think maybe heís right. ;___; Well, forgive me for being strange! Donít worry! I just handle the art so if the storyís strange you can blame Ru-kun!

Volume 3
Our professional debut was ĎSilent Angel.í (Have you read it?) Looking at it now itís sort of embarassing. I think to myself Ė did I really draw these things? What were we thinking? When I say things like this around Ru-kun he just grunts (but secretly I think heís embarassed too!). Well, anyway, even though there are many things that I would change if I were writing it now, I still really like it (just for sentimental value?). Please read it if you can find it and forgive all our mistakes! Read it and try to understand the force of our high school passion! ^_^; Haha.

Volume 6
Some readers have written to say, "Why do you call him Ru-kun? How come heís the writer and you write all the freetalks?!"
^^;
Well, Iíll try and answer all your questions the best I can. Heís laughing at me right now.

I call him Ru-kun because we both have the same first name. I used to just call him Kishida-san, Kishida-san all the time (even when he said I could use his first name Ė but itís weird, like youíre calling yourself all the time so I couldnít do it), but I really like short names best, so one day I just told him I was going to call him Ru-kun and there was nothing he could do to stop me! He just grunted and told me to draw three really complicated color pages. ;___; (I did them of course! I was too relieved that he didnít throw something at me! He had a really scary aura around him in high school . . . I once heard a story that he threw a television out a hotel window . . . but, of course, years later it turned out that that was someone else entirely. ¨_¨)
Conversely, he calls me "Mu-chan" because he says we can rhyme that way. ;__;

The reason why I write all the freetalks is two-fold. First because Ru-kun is a really, really taciturn guy! No, really, heís like those guys in old movies who barely say anything and just make their wishes known through their eyes and their hand movements. (Itís rather unsettling at times.) This is hard to believe because he writes so much dialogue! (The characters talk so much itís frightening! I end up having to structure the pictures around the word bubbles!) I think the way he expresses himself is through his writing and all his personal feelings are in the story so he doesnít feel like he needs to say anything extraneous.

The second reason is because I really, really like to talk. And because I only do the art (Ru-kun doesnít let me help out much with the script) I end up babbling at him non-stop 24 hours a day because otherwise I would feel way too repressed! (Donít worry, he tunes me out very easily.) So he agreed I could write all the freetalks if it would make me happier since he didnít want to do them anyway. ^___^

Kookie Artbook 2
A lot of you know Ru-kun and I met and started our doujinshi group Hikaru2 in high school but it was really a whole lot more complicated than that.
I was in junior year, Class 2-C, at S________ High, busy flunking all my subjects except art and Ru-kun was in Class 3-A getting top grades even though he skipped class all the time. I guess thatís just the kind of guy he is, *Sigh*
My friend Mariko introduced us one day after school, saying, "This is my friend Murayama and my brother-in-law Kishida. You both have the same first name." (Mariko had married Ru-kunís older brother the previous year! Talk about getting married young! But his parents adored her so it worked out well.)
I was busy wondering why she had introduced us (like I said before, Ru-kun was really scary back then) when she suddenly said, "Sheís going to be your artist!"
And before I could protest and explain that I didnít know what she was talking about, he said, "Good" and left for the day.
Somehow the next day we both ended up sitting at a library table after school and he handed a thick sheaf of papers to me and said, "Draw this!"
I was scared stiff, but I couldnít say no so I looked at the papers and found myself reading a really interesting story. I thought to myself, "Oh my god, did he write this? Is he that talented? How can someone so scary be so talented?!"
But then I kept reading and the more I read, the more disturbed I became until eventually I just wanted to throw my hands up into the air and exclaim, "A crazy person wrote this!"
I wonder if the readers remember our doujinshi? The plots were really strange! But then, I've had readers tell me our manga plots are very strange too. ;___; (I just draw the pictures!!)
So I tried to say I wouldn't be his artist, but before I could get the words out he looked at me with his really scary high school face and said, "Draw."
So I drew.
I drew the first three pages in an hour and after I finished the third one he looked at it and said, "No, do it over."
;_; Ru-kun was a slave-driver even back then!

The Crab Prince
Volume 5
So as a lot of you know by now, Ru-kun and I got engaged in September! It was really sudden and unexpected . . . but on the other hand it was like something that took a really long time to happen. Those of you who were following "The Crab Prince" in the monthly magazine saw his proposal (we took it out of the tankubon edition)! He snuck it into the August issue by writing in the bottom of one of the large word bubbles, "M-chan, will you marry me? Ė K. Ru." and it took me a WEEK to notice because I didnít have time to look at the printed copy! In fact, I didnít realize anything until the fan letters started coming in and then I was just confused until I bought a copy and looked at it (everyone I knew was keeping quiet!) and then I was shocked! I walked around for a whole day in a daze and everyone I work with now said they had never heard me so quiet in my entire life before! (But that's not true. Before I met Ru-kun I used to be really, really quiet! But now no one believes me. ;_;)

I was also really mean to Ru-kun and made him wait for my answer until the next monthís issue where I wrote, "YES" in big letters!!! (The editors werenít too happy, but . . .) The first thing he did when he read that was go buy a big bowl of ramen and eat it. Then he told me how relieved and happy he was. Apparently he had been so nervous the entire month that heíd barely eaten anything! Hahaha. Do I have this kind of power over men???

A lot of people wrote in with congratulations and some even sent flowers and gifts! I was very happy!!!

The Crab Prince Artbook
When Ru-kun and I started dating we had been doing doujinshi together for two years. He was going to college and I was working a day job as a waitress and the only time we had to work on the doujinshi was at night (and I had an eleven oíclock curfew). It was really a very stressful time! Somehow I blamed him for sucking me into this lifestyle and complained all the time about how I would never be able to find a boyfriend at this rate! Finally, eventually, he just got really fed up with me and said, "Whatís wrong with me?!" in a loud voice.
I was very surprised and embarrassed and we didnít talk to each other for a week after that.
Mariko (sheís always been our matchmaker though I didnít realize it until then) finally went to my house one day and said to me, "Hikaru-chan, whatís wrong with Hikaru-kun? Heís good-looking (which is true), cool (also true), and has a good personality (SO NOT TRUE!)." And I, who had been meekly nodding my head up until that point burst out with, "HE DOES NOT HAVE A GOOD PERSONALITY!"
Then she smiled at me and said, "You do like him after all!"
So I was forced to admit that but told her that there was no way I could work with him and date him at the same time!
The next day at my waitressing job Ru-kun was there with a couple of girls (I thought he was trying to make me jealous) so I was really mad at him. But after they left, I went to bus their table and found a napkin with a picture of a girl scribbled on it (Ru-kun canít draw) and the words, "Wonít you please be my girlfriend?" written on it in pen.
So, needless to say, I showed up at his apartment that night with a sketchbook and my pens and the first page of the sketchbook was a sketch Iíd done of him writing.
He smiled at me (his smiles are really rare but really nice!) and said, "Good. I canít draw."
The napkin is in a frame above my bed.

I thought that dating would be lots of fun but all we did for the longest time was the same thing weíd always done Ė work on our doujinshi. That was fun too but it was also a lot of hard work so it really wasnít the same thing as casually dating. Eventually we started renting movies and watching them together while working on doujinshi at the same time. This worked okay for Japanese movies but not so well for foreign films that weren't dubbed over. It's hard to read subtitles and draw at the same time!

Now that weíre pros, the days have gotten longer and we have a whole lot more work to do, but weíre happy and working hard so thatís okay. We also have a little bit of free time now and then so I make Ru-kun take me to the amusement park or the beach (the same one in the "Crab Prince") or out to dinner (but not too often) and then we really behave like a normal couple. Well, maybe we go a little overboard since weíre overcompensating, but itís fun all the same! One day I want to go on a long trip with Ru-kun!

I want to go to Venice but Ru-kun says, "Egypt, Egypt, Egypt!" all the time. (He's a really big fan of mummies and pyramids - maybe someday we'll make a manga about that. ^_^;) But we both think it might be fun to go to Scotland. (I want to see castles!) Sometimes before bed we look at travelogues and plan out trips we'll probably never take until we're old and retired (But I want to draw manga forever!). Haha. Well, we are going to visit some friends in Hokkaido during New Year's so that should be nice. I even received a new kimono to wear when we go to the shrines.

I Am For You
Volume 2
Hahaha. Now that Iím married everyone is calling me Mrs. Kishida and it feels really weird! Iím still Murayama Hikaru for legal documents and things but I really do like being called Mrs. Kishida! (It makes Ru-kun happy too!) He keeps saying he should buy a name plate that says Kishida Hikaru for the door but I tell him thatís ridiculous since we already have one that says the same exact thing! Hahaha! But now we have trouble figuring out whose mail is whose. ^^;; (And Iím shocked by how many girls write Ru-kun saying even though they're happy for him they're also crying a bit inside!) Please forgive me for stealing him from all of you! (But he was sort of mine to begin with. ^^;;;)

Married life is very fun (but still not much different from when we were dating). Now, however, I get to run around shopping with Ru-kun's credit cards and checkbook instead of my own. (It makes it feel like I'm not spending money.) Of course, since the money in his account is now my money I'm still spending the same amount. ;_;

*Sigh* I guess I'll just have to work harder and earn more to pay off all my debts! (When he's in a really good mood Ru-kun will sometimes spoil me with money he earns in the music industry *^_^* but we're using that money to save up for a house so it's not often. That's okay, I'm looking forward to living in a house - I've lived in apartments all my life!)

At any rate, we are very happily working on a new manga now, Please read it!

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