Tokyo Nishi Public High School (4)

In our last installment, everyone, starting with Anno, was amazed at Ikeda Mana's sentiment that "Life is a race to be run.". Now we'll see what happened next.

Anno: Racing for all you're worth is fine, so long as you don't exhaust yourself.

Ikeda: You get tired because you think you're getting tired.

Anno: No.

Ikeda: You may get really tired, but if you're not aware of it, it's the same as not being tired at all, isn't it? Even if I should realize it and keel over from exhaustion, that's fine, because my life right now is good. It's great. Right now, I figure I'll keep on going the rest of my life, in just this way.

Anno: Speaking with a sense of grandmotherly concern, the scariest part of that line of reasoning is when you actually do keel over.

Ikeda: As long as each moment of my life is pleasurable, that's fine.

Anno: Exactly. That's just what that kind of person will say.

Ikeda: I'll get into college because the moments of my life are pleasurable.

Anno: Transience has its place, it's true.

Ikeda: Um, I just realized this recently, but one of these days, tomorrow might not come. That's why you hear things like, you've got to live for today.

Anno: Your high-school days will never come again, so that's just as well.

Ikeda: When it comes to exam study too, I've got to do as much as I can now, because there may not be a tomorrow. I like myself better that way than just letting myself go.

Anno: In terms if sensibility, yesterday is different from today, so one just needs to carry that same line of reasoning over to today and tomorrow.

Ikeda: Is it so radical to think that tomorrow may not come?

Anno: Yeah, I think it's better to believe that tomorrow is always with us, rather than that it can be cleanly cut away. That doesn't mean that you do the same thing tomorrow as today, though. It's important to form an image of tomorrow being even just a little different, say, even as little 3% or 5%, from today. If you believe that you want to be a certain way, chances are you'll move in that direction. Having a clear image is the key.

Ikeda I feel I could die happy right now, because I'm living each and every day without regrets.

Anno: I think it's a little early for talk like that.

Nagamori: Definitely too early. If you thought you were going to die right now, you wouldn't really want to, would you?

Ikeda: I don't want to die, but I'm doing all that I can, within this particular day. Isn't that great? It means I'm advancing myself.

Anno: I think your steering wheel could use a bit more play.

Nagamori: You may have something there.

Uehara: A little more flexibility.

Ikeda: I'm living my high-school existence with flexibility.

Takagi: Nope, you're pretty high-strung.

Nagamori: You're tensing up somewhere.

Anno: If you took it a little easier you'd be a very nice girl. Don't sweat it so much.

Ikeda: Do I really seem like I might go to pieces if something were to happen?

Anno: Exactly.

Nagamori: I get the feeling that you definitely don't have a man in your life.

Anno: It seems to me that if I were to prick you with a pin, you'd pop.

Ikeda: It's good to have tensions.

Anno: Having tension is better than not having it, but I think too much can be bad for you.

Takagi I don't have any tensions.

Uehara: Me neither.

Anno: Not having enough tension is as much a problem as having too much. I think you'd best think some more about your lives. I think that, in Japan, the best thing to do is use the system to your advantage, once you're within it. Thus, I think that he (Uehara) has the most realistic way of thinking. It is possible to know the system and make it work for you.

Takagi: I want to destroy the system itself.

Anno: It's tougher than you might think. I've tried numerous times, and I'll tell you, it's not at all easy. (Everyone laughs) The work itself is pretty enjoyable. But it's a fleeting pleasure.

Takagi: Then could we perhaps decide to destroy it again?

Uehara: I'd like to try it.

Ikeda: I see now. Even in play, I go all out. Yes, I do.

Nagamori: You need a little more distance.

Anno: Whoever becomes Ikeda's boyfriend will have his work cut out for him.

(From the July 2, 1998 edition of Mainichi Intermediate School News)