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CONTENT WARNING: MODERATE LANGUAGE

(Against a powder blue-tinted still image of the Isuten skyline, we see the Ugly NI and '70s style JuGo.)

Shugo's phone rings. The following is the resulting conversation:

"Moshi-moshi?"

"Hi, it's Mitsuuru."

"MITSUURU!? OMIGOD! What are you calling about?"

"I want to invite you over to my place."

"Really?"

"Yeah."

"Mom says if I go over to a friend's house, we're not supposed to have sex, but I'm fine with that command, since we're minors, and that would be just wrong."

"My mom doesn't want sex either, for the same reason as you."

"So what do you want to do?"

"Some stuff."

"Like what?"

"Like watch some movies."

"Do you have a VHS player?"

"Actually, yeah."

"Good! I converted all of my Drama Club DVDs to VHS, so I was planning on showing you some of your best performances."

"Sure. You can bring them over."

"Thanks!"

"Sayonara!"

"See ya!"

Shugo hangs up. She hurries to her room, saying, "I've gotta get the tapes ready! Mitsuuru's gonna be so pleased to see them!"


(OP: "Hopscotch of Love" by Lovely and Wild Angels)


Today's episode
"Meet the Takahashis"


Shugo, walking down the road where the Takahashis live, says to herself, "I sure hope Mitsuuru doesn't mind my outfit."

You see, she's wearing a T-shirt that reads "In Soviet Russia, Party Finds YOU!!" and displays Marx, Lenin, and Stalin throwing a literal Communist party.

She then says to herself, "Luckily I've got my Pistols N Flowers T-shirt underneath just in case."

After about 30 seconds, she finally reaches the house. (FYI she had received the addresses of everyone in the drama club.)


Yuki hears Shugo ring the doorbell. She runs over to the door and takes a look outside. She then yells, "MITSUURU! IT'S YOUR BIFAUXNEN GIRLFRIEND FROM THE DRAMA CLUB!"

"COMING!"

Mitsuuru runs down the stairs wearing a white tank top and a blue pleated skirt.

He answers the door. Shugo says, "I saw your sister. She didn't answer."

"I know that," Mitsuuru says. "What I don't know is why. Blast it, she never gives a reason for leaving the door-answering to me!"

Shugo says, "Well, I was kind of expecting you to answer because, to tell you the truth, I didn't even know you have a sister."

Yuki, who had returned to the door, says, "Well, now you know. Come on in and make yourself at home."

Shugo steps inside and removes her sneakers. She then sets her bag on the nearest table. Yuki notices and asks, "What's that?"

Shugo says, "Oh, those are just Drama Club performances I converted to tape for a nostalgic feel."

Mitsuuru walks over to the bag and sees the tapes inside, all in clear amaray cases and labeled accordingly.

"Gunslinger Girl, Fruits Basket... HOLY CRAP, YOU EVEN BROUGHT THE MELANCHOLY OF HARUHI SUZUMIYA: A COMEDY IN SEVEN ACTS!"

"WHAT?"

Yuki runs over to the scene. Snatching a tape from Mitsuuru's hands, she shouts, "Gimme that!"

After close inspection, Yuki recognizes the tape and says, "Wow... you actually brought it over!"

Shugo asks, "What of it?"

Yuki says, "I myself am a fan of Haruhi Suzumiya. This play is a personal favorite of mine out of all the plays Mitsuuru has performed in at Isuten Junior High. What role did you play again?"

Shugo says, "I was Kyon. I seem to recall being dragged around by Mitsuuru and being caught in a fight between Naomi Mitsurugi as Ryoko Asakura and Megumi Ohira as Yuki Nagato."

Yuki says, "Wow, Mitsuuru. Your muscle definition may not show it, but you sure as hell are strong."

Mitsuuru says, "If one of the veterans from my first year, Naoki Mizutani (who played Franco in Gunslinger Girl), was like a Panzer tank, I guess you could call me a Porsche."

Shugo says, "That's Mitsuuru for you. Slender, yet strong. I myself have taken self-defense classes during my childhood."

Yuki says, "That's good to know."

Shugo says, "I trust you still have Mitsuuru's yearbook from last year?"

Yuki says, "Sure I do. If you two will just follow me..."


The threesome enter Mitsuuru's room. Yuki walks over to the desk and picks up a maroon book titled "YEARBOOK 2009-2010".

Opening it, Shugo goes to the Drama Club section. On the first page is information about the first play performed after the grade advancement: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya: A Comedy in Seven Acts.

Yuki notices a picture of Mitsuuru and a rookie actress, Masumi Aida, and says, "You look convincing as a bunny girl."

Mitsuuru says, "Thanks. Shugo has a yearbook too, and she appears to enjoy looking at pictures of the Drama Club."

Shugo says, "Mainly because I'm in the club."

Mitsuuru says, "Yeah. She sometimes brings her yearbook to school with her, and the two of us enjoy the Drama Club section."

Shugo says, "There's also a section on Gunslinger Girl, and Mitsuuru and I appear to be made for each other."

Yuki says, "You just might be."

Shugo says, "Thanks."


The threesome walk into the living room where the bag of 3D tapes is located. Shugo asks, "Now, which tape do you want to view today?"

Yuki says, "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya: A Comedy in Seven Acts."

Mitsuuru says, "Whatever she wants to watch, I'm fine with."

Shugo picks up the tape and notices it hadn't been rewound. "I'm going to have to rewind this sucker," she says.

She puts it in the VCR and hits REWIND. This goes on for a couple of minutes.

In the meantime, Mitsuuru is fixing popcorn, and Yuki had gone upstairs to change into her Haruhi Suzumiya cosplay costume (not the same costume Mitsuuru wore in the play, though looking exactly like it).

As soon as Yuki comes down, Mitsuuru says, "That reminds me." He then goes back upstairs and gets changed into his own Haruhi Suzumiya costume.

Shugo says, "You two certainly are dressed for the occasion."

Suddenly, the doorbell rings. Yuki runs over. Shugo asks Mitsuuru, "What's her hurry?"

Mitsuuru says, "She just ordered some pizza for the three of us. We of the Takahashi family are known for being bottomless pits, and the fact that she got three pizzas for the occasion seems to prove it."

Yuki runs back into the living room with two boxes of pepperoni pizza and one box of cheese pizza.

By this time, the popcorn is ready. Shugo takes the three pairs of 3-D glasses out of the clear amaray case and gives one to Yuki and one to Mitsuuru before putting the remaining pair on herself.

Shugo then puts the bag of tapes somewhere else to make room for the pizza.

Then, pressing PLAY, she says, "And now for our feature presentation."


(Eyecatch 1: Rizuka and Shugo are jamming when Sakura runs past them and grabs the microphone. The PCHM logo appears in the bottom-left corner.)

(Eyecatch 2: The camera goes between Isuzu on her bass and Taiko in her drum kit and stops when Sakura with the microphone is in view. The PCHM logo appears in the bottom-left corner.)


The threesome are intrigued even at the start of the first act. As Haruhi makes her introduction, Yuki says, "It's you, Mitsuuru!"

Mitsuuru says, "Wow... I know that. It's just that... I like the nostalgia of my first year."

The act continues for about a minute as Shugo eats some pizza and Mitsuuru eats his popcorn.

As Kyon, Taniguchi, and Kunikida discuss Haruhi's antics, they reach the East Junior High graffiti.

Mitsuuru says, "If whoever adapted The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya into a Shakespearean comedy adapted Sigh and Boredom, I'd love to do the scene in Boredom where Haruhi draws that graffiti."

Yuki says, "I'm sure you would."

Shugo says, "During this conversation, nobody is overreacting the slightest bit."

Yuki asks, "What the hell are you talking about?"

Shugo says, "On Wikipedia, there's an article about how even the most saintly of editors can get involved in heated debates, including edit wars.

"To overreact in such debates in an attempt to gain the upper hand is known on Wikipedia as climbing the Reichstag dressed as Spider-Man.

"Reichstag climbing can even happen on other Wiki-like sites, even during disputes between admins."

Shugo then changes the topic: "The only words that can't be spoken on television are the Seven Dirty Words, Goddamn, and Muhammad.

"Why Muhammad, you might ask?

"Well, recently, Comedy Central turned yellow in the face of wannabe terrorists, especially since their warning concerning episode 200 of South Park was taken as a threat,

"As a result, they censored two thirds of episode 201 of the show, rendering it nigh unwatchable, especially since two minutes were disruptively beeped even though they didn't speak of Muhammad at all in those two minutes.

"That, my friend, is why I stopped watching South Park."

Yuki says, "Interesting. How do you know all this?"

Shugo says, "I talked with the author before he started writing this episode, and he brought it up."

Yuki says, "I see. I guess he knows a lot."

Shugo says, "Wanna go to the Nova Globe? It's for the nostalgic factor."

Yuki says, "Sure, why not?"


After the threesome finish viewing the performance, they set off for the Nova Globe.

The quarter-mile-long walk down the road leads to the Nova Globe, with the Northern Hemisphere painted on it (complete with latitude and longitude lines).

Shugo says, "Whoever painted on this dome must've gone through a hell of a lot to get it on there."

Mitsuuru says, "No kidding."

Once inside, the threesome go through the structure. Mitsuuru looks up and sees the lights. He says, "I still remember you guys."

Shugo says to Yuki, "The lights up there are bright for day scenes and dim for night scenes. What's more, the operators read the scripts for whatever play happens to be performed in this structure just so they know how bright the lights need to be."

Yuki says, "How elaborate! That reminds me of the artificial lighting used in other dome-like structures, such as the Tokyodome in Bunkyou, within the Big City."

Shugo says, "It's a wonder the city doesn't explode as often in real life as in the movies."

Yuki says, "Yeah, Mitsuuru and I went there during summer vacation last year, during Mitsuuru's first year at Isuten Junior High."

Mitsuuru says, "Come on, girls! There's more to this structure than the lighting!"

The girls stop their chatter and climb onto the stage. "All right, Mitsuuru," Yuki says, "show us this structure's history."

"Right, then," Mitsuuru says. "This Nova Globe was completed several years ago and is probably the most futuristic theatre in the Tri-Cities, yet also retro regarding its origins.

"The Nova Globe is housed in a dome-like structure that is painted outside to look like the Northern Hemisphere, thus taking its name literally. But that's not why this one's called the Nova Globe.

"In fact, the real reason is because housed inside is a futuristic recreation of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, which was originally located on the other side of the Thames under the name The Theatre.

"The move across the Thames was made because the owner of the land on which the Theatre was built raised the rent. Fearing the demolition of the theatre, the Lord Chamberlain's Men took it down themselves.

"Then, they took the remains across the frozen Thames and rebuilt the theatre, giving it a new name: the Globe.

"Like the original Globe, the Nova Globe has three main parts: the building proper, the stage, and the tiring house.

"The building proper is one-and-a-half times as big as that of the original Globe, and special lighting is attached to the ceiling.

"This building proper is housed inside the dome and made to look like that of the original Globe from the inside of the theatre.

"The stage juts halfway out into the yard, so that the actors are in much closer contact with the audience than most modern theatres.

"In the center is a trapdoor, which is believed to lead down to hell, just as the ceiling over part of the stage is believed to be the heavens.

"This ceiling is painted with stylized suns, moons, and stars, and contains a trapdoor through which angels, gods, and spirits could be lowered on a wire and sometimes even flown over the actors' heads.

"The tiring house contains machinery and dressing rooms and provides a two-story back wall for the stage.

"The gallery serves many purposes; spectators can sit there, musicians can perform there--hell, actors doing scenes from balconies, towers, hills, and the like can also perform there.

"The curtained area is mainly used for discoveries of things prepared in advance and hidden from the audience until the proper time. Any questions?"

Shugo says, "If it's all right with your sister, can you come over to my house tomorrow?"

Yuki says, "Yeah, it's alright. Mitsuuru, do you have Shugo's address?"

Mitsuuru says, "Yeah. We both know the addresses of everyone in the Drama Club. It's so we can track them down."

Yuki says, "I hope you two aren't stalking the others, since they want their alone time."

Mitsuuru asks, "Does it look like I'm a stalker?"

Yuki says, "Uh, no."

Mitsuuru says, "DINGDINGDINGDINGDING! You are correct! Shugo, tell her what she's won!"

Shugo says, "Yuki, you win a free pass to the rest of this school year's Drama Club productions!"

Yuki says, "Thanks."


(ED: "Raw and Wild" by Lovely and Wild Angels)


(Next episode preview)
NATSURU: What? You're bringing a boyfriend over?
SHUGO: Yes. And he's not just any boyfriend. He's a part of my drama club!
NATSURU: What's he like?
SHUGO: Very girly. He prefers to wear a skirt if and when he's able to.
NATSURU: Is he bi?
SHUGO: Apart from the crossdressing, he's 100% straight.
SAKURA: Hi guys, I hope I'm not interrupting anything.
SHUGO: Uh, no.
SAKURA: Next episode: "Meet the Kinos"! We're coming live and loaded!

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