On my desk at work is a nendoroid figurine of Ritsu, which I got on the cheap in Kobe. For the most part, it just sits there, attracting little notice. But sometimes I get moments like the other day, at lunch recess, when I noticed two second-year middle schoolers sneaking around my desk and whispering:
Girl 1: Ask him if he likes Ricchan!
Girl 2: Ricchan? Who’s Ricchan?
Girl 1: Never mind that, just ask him!
Girl 2: Okay…. Uh, are you sure? He looks really preoccupied! (I was peeling the pith from an orange.)
Girl 1: Go! Ask! (She hides behind the shelf. Good going, kiddo.)
Girl 2: Okay, okay! Sensei, do you like Ricchan?
Me (still peeling): Of course.
Girl 2: (She calls over to her friend.) He said “of course”!
Girl 1: Okay, now ask him if he likes Tsumugi-chan.
Girl 2: Huh? Mugi-choco? (chocolate biscuits)
Girl 1: No, Tsu-Mu-Gi!
Girl 2: Why? What does that have to do with anything? (Oh, you poor dear. You’re like the Kagami to her Konata.)
Girl 1: Okay, okay, just ask him if he likes K-ON! Hurry! (She hides again.)
Girl 2: Um, sensei, do you like K-ON?
Me: Yup, I do. It’s fun.
Girl 2: What’s K-ON?
Girl 1: Look, on his desk, there’s that anime figurine!
Girl 2: Huh? (She looks.) You’re right!
Me (putting the orange down and looking at them): I understand everything you’re saying, you know.
Girl 2: That figurine is super cute! (“meccha kawaii”)
Me: Mm-hmm, it is really super cute. (“hontou ni meccha kawaii desu yo”)
Girl 1: Haha, he said it! (She walks away w/ Girl 2.) Wow, so he likes “Japanese animation.”
When they leave, I let out a long sigh. My co-teacher chuckles. Hey, man, don’t laugh. I know all about you and your love for Gamera, okay?
Anyway, what a funny pair. I’m glad I’ll be seeing them again next year.
If there’s a moral to the story, it’s this: Letting your colors show a little has its rewards.