Sparkle by the Pool! Edit

Aqours makes its own promotional video.

Story 1

Mari: So, before the music starts, everyone in Aqours will be standing poolside striking a dramatic pose.

Dia: Dr-Dramatic, huh? Okay, what's next?

Mari: Aqours will let out a great big shout, and the pool water will part straight down the middle! Cool, right?

Dia: ...What?

Yoshiko: I get it. The waters part and open the road to Hell. Then the fallen angel Yohane leads everyone on a tour of the underworld.

Dia: I don't understand a thing you two are saying.

Mari: Aqours will swim through the water right as the intro starts! Oh, what kind of fate do you think lies in store for Aqours!?

Dia: Wait just a moment! Th-That is not happening. Vetoed! Exclaimationpoint

Mari: But it's such a shiny new idea! I bet this movie will sell! MusicNote

Dia: We are not selling anything. Besides, the way you describe it makes it sound like a horror movie! Exclaimationpoint

Yoshiko: It's not a horror movie. It's a demon recruitment ad.

Mari: It is not! It's an inspirational film to bring out the samurai spirit! MusicNote

Dia: It is NEITHER! Argh, I give up! It never fails. Every single time, the two of you... Exclaimationpoint

Dia: *Sigh* All right, listen. We are making an MV for Aqours. Nothing more, nothing less!

Hanamaru: What's an emm-vee, zura?

Riko: MV stands for music video. It's a promotional video for us, I guess? The point is to introduce the group, as well as showing off our performance.

Hanamaru: Oh! So that's what Ruby was showing me the other day. MusicNote

Chika: All the school idol videos I've seen are so cute! MusicNote

Riko: And now Aqours is making one, too.

Chika: Mari promised she'd make a cinematic masterpiece. I bet it's gonna be awesome! MusicNote

Hanamaru: Once we finish this emm-vee, we're going mainstream, zura!

Riko: That's why we divided up all the work. Remember, we're in charge of the music and the lyrics.

Hanamaru: We're doing a swimming pool theme, right?

Chika: Yup! I want everyone who listens to think, "Yay, it's summer! Pool time!" Riko, it's all you. Exclaimationpoint

Riko: Umm, that's easy for you to say, Chika. I haven't really made any school idol songs before. I'm not sure if I can pull it off. BlueLines

Chika: It'll be okay! You play the piano so beautifully. MusicNote

Riko: R-Really? HeartBubble

Hanamaru: We can't compose songs, but is there anything we can help with?

Chika: I know! We can research school idol songs. MusicNote

Hanamaru: Maybe other groups out there have done songs about pools and summer stuff.

Riko: That's not a bad idea. If we listen to lots of different songs, maybe we'll find the direction we want to take.

Chika: Okay, let's do it. To my house, everyone! We'll watch my DVDs and talk things through.

Riko, Hanamaru: Yeah!

You: You Watanabe, head costume designer, reporting for duty! Exclaimationpoint

Kanan: No need to worry about the costumes if you're in charge, You. And Ruby, you're like a school idol encyclopedia! MusicNote

Ruby: *Giggle* You're really good at fitting clothes, Kanan.

Kanan: It's from working at the dive shop. Divers and school idols both move around a lot, so getting the sizing right is paramount!

Ruby: We're doing a swimming pool theme, so I guess we should do bathing suits?

Kanan: We're gonna record the video at the school pool. Should we wear our school swimsuits?

You: No, no, no. School-issued swimsuits aren't fancy enough for school idols!

Kanan: I guess wearing school-issued swimsuits would make us look like we're in our class. Just thought it might save you some time and effort.

You: The more effort you put into the costumes, the more attachment you'll have for them when they're done! I won't cut no corners there. MusicNote

Ruby: I want to have a costume that's so cute, people will "Ooh" and "Aah" over me like I do for the girls in my school idol magazines. HeartBubble

Kanan: I see.. Your enthusiasm is infectious. I'm gonna have to work extra hard to keep up with you two! MusicNote

You: We're going to make costumes that are comfy, mobile, and cuter than anything anyone's ever seen! It's gonna be tough, but I've got high hopes!

Ruby: I'm gonna do my Rubesty too! MusicNote

Kanan: Okay, let's start by talking about the design.

Chika: You think anyone will watch our video when it's released?

Yoshiko: Of course! Have you any idea how many little demons there are all over the country?

You: I can't wait! We might even have some fans when it's done! Exclaimationpoint

Kanan: Us...with fans... *Giggle* I feel really bashful all of a sudden!

You: There are lots of school idol groups in Japan. Have all of them released videos?

Mari: Of course! It's no exaggeration to say that making a promotional video is the first thing you do after becoming a school idol! Exclaimationpoint

Ruby: Is there something special we can do to make our video stand out from all the others?

Dia: An ordinary video will get lost in the shuffle. You've got the right idea, Ruby!

Ruby: *Giggle* You're making me blush. HeartBubble

Hanamaru: Way to go, Ruby! MusicNote

Kanan: Ruby and Dia... The Kurosawa sisters are both so versed in school idol knowledge!

Yoshiko: Hmph. Don't underestimate the power of a fallen angel. I can attract legions of little demos without resorting to cheap tricks!

Mari: I think we know how to show off our charms pretty well. But we need that extra oomph to make us succeed.

You: Everyone, I've got it! Exclaimationpoint

You: We live in Uchiura, right? Why don't we put on a swimming competition?

Hanamaru: The emm-vee is pool-themed. A race sounds like a good idea! MusicNote

You: I know, right? If we clock some impressive records, I can almost guarantee that people will be super interested in Aqours!

Mari: I like it. We sell Aqours as a group of seaside locals who are all singing, all dancing, and all swimming school idols! MusicNote

Kanan: Nice! That'll really make a splash.

You: Now we're talking! Let's get to work, Kanan! Exclaimationpoint

Kanan: Yup. Now it's our turn. Exclaimationpoint

Chika: Huh? Bwuh? Sweatdrop

Dia: It's wonderful! We're sure to steal the spotlight in the school idol world. Right, Mari? Exclaimationpoint

Mari: Yes! We need to start some intensive training so that people from everywhere in the country will want to see us! MusicNote

Riko: U-Umm... Excuse me... A-Are we really going to do swim training? Sweatdrop

Story 2

Mari: So here it is, the perfect Aqours music video is complete. HeartBubble

Hanamaru: Th-That was fast. It's finished already, zura?!

Riko: Wh-What? The song's still not finished, though.

Mari: *Chuckle* Just watch. MusicNote

Ruby: *Splish* *Splash* What a gorgeous day.

Ruby: I know we said swimming training, but I guess I'm allowed to use a kickboard, right?

You: Bzzz! kickboards are not allowed! Exclaimationpoint

Ruby: Eeeek! Don't take away my kickboard! Exclaimationpoint

You: Remember what we said. The plan is to make a video showcasing our astounding swimming skills and put Aqours on the map!

Ruby: B-But I'm not a good swimmer. Without a kickboard I can barely get anywhere!

Mari: ..................... Ellipses

Ruby: E-Excuse me! Recording is all well and good, but I'm gonna sink in about a minute!

Mari: I feel you... I know it must be tough. But you can't back down now! Exclaimationpoint

Ruby: Wh-Why not?!

Mari: Because this is the part where Aqours shows our grit and guts during the harsh training conditions. Show everyone your Rubesty! Exclaimationpoint

You: Yeah, yeah! Challenge everything! And without the boogie board, you're even cuter than usual! MusicNote

Ruby: Eep-

Ruby: Sis! Hanamaru! I'm in biiig trouble!!! What do I do?!

Riko: Umm... Maybe it's about time to wrap up the training? Sweatdrop

Kanan: We've got plenty more left in the tank. We'll take five, and then it's right back to work! MusicNote

Chika: Who knew school idols endured such brutal training... This is so cool! I've gotta work harder, too!

Riko: No, I'm pretty sure we're the only ones doing anything even remotely close to this... Exclaimationpoint

Kanan: I'll jump in and swim, too. We'll train together! Let's try to beat the national record! MusicNote

Chika: Woo-hoo! Exclaimationpoint

Dia: I was hoping this so-called special training would bear fruit, but no one told me it would be this hard! Exclaimationpoint

You: We've gotta show some results before we shoot the video. This is where it's most important to give 110 percent! Let's keep pushing, Dia! MusicNote

Yoshiko: A road... of hardship... is the road... to Hell. Mwa, ha, ha. This is the perfect regimen for a fallen angel.

Hanamaru: Yoshiko, are you okay? Hang on, I'mma lend you a hand.

Yoshiko: Demons need no assistance! They only need... The courage... to fall... *Glug*

Dia: Y-Yoshiko?! Hang on! Exclaimationpoint

Riko: Eek! This is awful! We've gotta stop this training, now! Exclaimationpoint

Mari: Okay... Well, everyone certainly shined! I could really feel the burning passion coming from you all. MusicNote

Mari: Well? Look at the blazing samurai spirit emanating from these adorable school idols. This feels like a next-generation school idol video to me.

Chika: This is definitely... new ground for a school idol video! Exclaimationpoint

Dia: A whole new kind of school idol video... we may be onto something.

Riko: Ah, ha, ha... Somehow, I don't think so.

Mari: I bet we'll get over a hundred million views in no time! If that's not shining, I don't know what is! MusicNote

Yoshiko: Wait, wait, wait! You can't be serious!? Surely nobody wants to see this!? Exclaimationpoint

You: If we swim faster, we might attract even more viewers. MusicNote

Ruby: Eeek! I don't think I want to have intense swim training anymore! BlueLines

Hanamaru: This ain't nothing like the videos I watched...

Kanan: I'm sorry. You all gave it everything you had, but the end result wasn't quite what we were looking for.

Mari: Oh, my... Perhaps my directions were a little too... intense?

Hanamaru: Riko said a promotional videos is supposed to showcase our songs and dances.

Kanan: True, and there's no singing or dancing in there at all... Well, we haven't even done that part yet.

Chika: Swimming's fun and all, but I really want people to hear Aqours's songs.

You: Of course! But we already talked about how no one will watch if it's too pedestrian.

Ruby: True...

Hanamaru: Hey, Ruby. What kinda videos would do you like?

Ruby: Me? Well, lately I've been enjoying... These girls, and these girls! *Giggle*

Riko: Do those group put on really high-quality performances?

Ruby: Huh... Now that you asked me what their performances are like... maybe they're not all that special? QuestionMark

You: So whatever the appeal is, it has nothing to do with their shows? What is it about them you like, then?

Ruby: Let me think...

Ruby: The videos I like are the ones that are so cute, they make me want to join the girls so badly my heart starts pounding. HeartBubble

Hanamaru: So it's a feeling of wanting to be part of the group!

Chika: I know exactly what you mean! School idol videos are so exciting, I get all worked up watching them! MusicNote

Kanan: They really show how much fun everyone is having. The groups in the good ones all have this positive glow about them! MusicNote

Mari: I hear you. So the secret to a school idol's charm is the way they sparkle and shine!

Mari: It seems that in my quest to make a striking video, I forgot what everyone likes about school idols in the first place!

Dia: I forgot about what's important, myself. At least we now know what we want.

Mari: Yes. Let's all redouble our efforts to make a sparkling, shiny music video for Aqours!

Together: Yeah!

Story 3

Hanamaru: Sparkling, shining school idols, huh? MusicNote

Chika: I want the people who watch our video to think, "Wow, that looks fun! I wanna sparkle like them!"

Riko: Hmm... So how exactly does one shine and sparkle?

Chika: I don't know how you shine, but I definitely found something I'd call brilliant!

Riko: Oh, really?

Hanamaru: I found it too! It was just a little bit ago, zura. Right, Chika?

Chika: Yup!

Riko: That's not fair, you two. No hiding things! If you found something, let me in on it, too! Sweatdrop

Chika: It is...

Hanamaru: It is, zura...

Chika: The song that Riko wrote for us! Exclaimationpoint

Hanamaru: Zura! MusicNote

Riko: Huh...?

Chika: When we heard it, we were both really moved. I thought there was no other way to describe the song other than that it shined! MusicNote

Hanamaru: Same here! I'm honored that I'm gonna get to write the lyrics for such a beautiful song, zura. HeartBubble

Riko: Oh, my... Thanks, you two. I never expected you to say anything like that. I'm so happy! MusicNote

Chika: Yeah, yeah! And then we went and got a whole bunch of stuff to help inspire us! Ruby loaned us all kinds of magazines, CDs, products...

Hanamaru: And I brought some of my favorite books! I had so many, I brought them in a cart.

Riko: S-Some of your favorites?! Sweatdrop

Chika: The initial research is the most important part. Let's get to work, team! Exclaimationpoint

Riko: O-Okay? QuestionMark

Ruby: A brilliant music video needs brilliant prep work!

Kanan: Let's all work hard!

You: I finished the costume design yesterday. Now it's time to sew! If you have any questions, come ask me.

Kanan, Ruby: Right!

You: Up until now, I've always done all the designing, sewing, and wearing by myself. This is such a nice, new feeling!

Ruby: I never knew! And now we get to wear such adorable outfits because we've got you on our team, You. HeartBubble

Kanan: I'll say. With You around, we've got all the costume making expertise we need!

You: I've got this! Put your faith in me, and I'll show you. Let's do it! Exclaimationpoint

You: This part is very detailed, so you should hand sew it instead of using the machine.

Kanan: Roger that!

Ruby: This starfish motif is so cute. HeartBubble

Kanan: Once I sew this on, we should be about done, right? And thanks to you, You. I had total confidence we could do it the whole time.

You: Heh, heh, heh. I told you so! MusicNote

Ruby: We finished way ahead of schedule, didn't we? Kanan, You, the two of you are amazing! HeartBubble

Kanan: Right... there. How's this?

You: Oh, that's perfect! We're all done!

Ruby: Hooray! MusicNote

Kanan: Huh? Hey... Hang on! Exclaimationpoint

You: What's wrong? QuestionMark

Kanan: This... This is only the first one, right?

Ruby: Hmm? Oh, now that you mention it... Sweatdrop

Kanan: Wait just a minute... Don't we need NINE of these?! Sweatdrop

Together: Waaaaaaaah! BlueLines

Dia: Moving on... What should we do for this segment?

Mari: How about a mad cartwheeling dash across the poolside? I guarantee the viewers won't be able to look away!

Yoshiko: No one in Aqours could pull that off!

Mari: Oh, is it that difficult? QuestionMark

Dia: I'm not sure if cartwheels even count as a dash... Yoshiko, do you have any ideas? Ellipses

Yoshiko: I sure do! I think we should strike a terrible pose so full of misery that everyone who sees it will fall straight to the depths of Hell! MusicNote

Dia: Rejected.

Yoshiko: The whispers of demons as we sink into the water... And from the underworld caverns, the flames of purgatory will rage forth!

Mari: Wow! What a dramatic dance. HeartBubble

Dia: I said your idea is rejected! We can't let people see us doing a dance like that! Exclaimationpoint

Yoshiko: C-Come on, don't be like that...

Mari: Hmm... Deciding on choreography is harder than I gave it credit for.

Yoshiko: We've only settled on a few minor things. And after the dance moves, we've got to work on formations, right?

Mari: The dancing you see on a music video looks like so much fun, and it's over in a flash. But behind the scenes it takes a lot of prep work.

Dia: Apparently the lyrics and costume teams are experiencing delays, too. Maybe we should revise our schedule.

Mari: Good idea. It'd be so dull if everything went according to plan, anyway. We'll be able to sparkle much brighter if we're desperately working our tails off! MusicNote

Dia: You're going way overboard again, Mari. BlueLines

Yoshiko: Heh. Behind every shining light is a dark, creeping shadow. There's nothing wrong with that.

Dia: Listen, I'm just as moved as anyone by the sight of people working hard to achieve a goal. I understand what you two are trying to say.

Dia: .................... Ellipses

Yoshiko: Are you okay? You just kinda froze up. Sweatdrop

Dia: I... I have a plan! Will you two work with me? Exclaimationpoint

Yoshiko: A plan?

Mari: I don't get what just happened, but it sounds fun to me! HeartBubble

Story 4

Kanan: Great job, everyone! MusicNote

Yoshiko: W-We made it... Sweatdrop

Riko: It was by the skin of our teeth, but we finished the costumes, lyrics, and choreography all on time!

Hanamaru: School idol videos might look brilliant, but we all learned that making them is really hard, zura!

Dia: The next task is dance lessons, and after that we start shooting. Is everyone all right with that?

You: L-Lessons? Now? Sweatdrop

Chika: *Sigh* We ran ourselves ragged working all day yesterday and today. To be brutally honest, I'm exhausted.

Mari: *Chuckle* Has the tiredness sapped your spirits?

Mari: I forgot to mention that this whole time, I've been recording everyone as they worked to get ready for the music video. Want to watch?

Ruby: Huh? You were filming us?! Exclaimationpoint

Mari: I wonder what we looked like while we were doing all of this prep work?

Mari: This will be the last move. We're shooting for something with a lot of impact, right? Like, "Bang!"

Yoshiko: First, we'll charge up. Fold your arms over your chest, like you're summoning a raging blast of flame.

Yoshiko: From there, you slowly raise one arm, like so. Incidentally, this is the scene where we declare our intentions before summoning the hellfire.

Dia: So, what will we do for the last move?

Yoshiko: Would you listen?! Exclaimationpoint

Mari: That's about all the time we have for the last move. We'll have to end on the scene where we declare our devilish intentions.

Yoshiko: R-Really?

Dia: We want this short moment to really wow the viewer. Perhaps the right formation would leave more of an impression.

Yoshiko: Formation? Meaning what?

Dia: I think that while the moves are difficult, if we place the nine members of Aqours in the right positions, the scene will look more impressive.

Mari: Oh, I see! Let's sketch some ideas out on paper and see what we come up with! MusicNote

Dia: Once we nail down the dance moves and the formation, it'll be time to shoot the video. Let's all push hard and finish strong.

Mari, Yoshiko: Okay!

You: Whew... Even after we realized we needed nine costumes, I still didn't think it'd take this long to finish.

Ruby: We thought we'd finished to job after the first one. We were really careless. Sweatdrop

Kanan: Huh?! Hey, we're short one starfish applique! This one doesn't have it sewn on. Exclaimationpoint

You: Huh?! We're all out of extras... What should we do?! Exclaimationpoint

Ruby: It'd be sad if one of us was missing accessories.

Kanan: We've got no choice. Let's go!

Ruby: Go? Go where? Exclaimationpoint

Kanan: We're short a starfish and we're out of money. But we still have the Uchiura sea!

Ruby: *Squeal* W-We're not going to hunt a real live starfish, are we?! Exclaimationpoint

Kanan: Yup! Nah, I'm just joking. MusicNote

Kanan: But we can go talk to the fisherman and see if they'll give us a pretty shell. It won't be quite the same as a starfish, but it should still look pretty.

You: Ooh! That just might work!

Kanan: And if it doesn't work out, we'll cover it up somehow. Let's go!

Ruby, You: Yeah!

Chika: Ah, ha, ha... Look at all our lyrical research materials. Are we gonna be able to read all this before we run out of time?

Hanamaru: You're worried we won't? I wanna read all this and more, zura! MusicNote

Riko: Thanks to all the books you two brought, I've come up with a few special keywords that I want to use.

Hanamaru: Can you write complete lyrics just by stringing together a few choice words?

Chika: If you just join individual words, the message won't come across. Hmm... What do we do now? QuestionMark

Riko: Maybe we can give each word its own line. Something like a hook, or a catchphrase.

Chika: Oh, I see. Then you'll be able to communicate the feeling behind the words, and the listeners will understand!

Hanamaru: Umm... I really wanna sing this one right here. HeartBubble

Chika: Aww, that's perfect for you! Let's split up our list of keywords, and start writing lines! MusicNote

Riko: This is so cool! I'm really getting excited now. MusicNote

Hanamaru: Out words are gonna become Aqours lyrics! Let's buckle down and write a song, zura! MusicNote

Together: Yeah!

Mari: And that's what we all looked like during our preparations. Fascinating, isn't it?

Chika: Is that really how we acted that whole time? It's kinda weird, seeing myself on video! Exclaimationpoint

Riko: It's cool, though. MusicNote

Chika: I was so convinced that our prep work wouldn't look very brilliant, even if the finished product sparkled like a diamond.

Kanan: But that's all right. Seeing us like this, it kinda feels like one scene out of the music video, doesn't it? MusicNote

Dia: *Chuckle* It's not as bad as you'd expect, is it? MusicNote

Chika: Nope! It was a ton of work, but looking back on it like this, you can't help but feel like it was a ton of fun, too!

Kanan: I had no idea what was going on with the other groups. Watching you all work on the lyrics was really interesting!

You: Yeah, the finished product was awesome. So that's how you fine-tune the lyrics.

Riko: The costume-making process was poetry in motion, You. I'm astounded you made such cute costumes with a shortage of accessories!

Mari: Is this the shell that Kanan was talking about?

Hanamaru: Wow... I never would've thought the shells lying around here could be turned into something so pretty. It's amazing, zura! Exclaimationpoint

Mari: *Chuckle* It's like magic! MusicNote

Riko: And after we're done here, we're going to have our dance lesson, and learn all the moves and formations!

Hanamaru: You said the last formation was a real showstopper. I can't wait to see it, zura!

Yoshiko: Heh... You think you can endure the trials of the underworld?

Dia: I'll ask one more time. The next task is dance lessons, and after that we start shooting. Is everyone all right with that?

Chika: Yes! I'm ready! I though dance lessons after all that work would be too much, but now I'm sure we can do it! Exclaimationpoint

Ruby: Everyone did their job to prepare for this moment!

Dia: *Chuckle* The way you've all excelled thus far, I have no doubts we'll be just fine all the way through the end of filming. MusicNote

You: Dance lessons to get the choreography down, then we shoot... Wow!

Kanan: It's going to be hard, but I think we're up to the task.

Chika: yup! I just know we can do it!

Mari: Okay, everybody! Let's make a shiny, sparkling music video! MusicNote

Together: Yeah!



Prologue · Chapter 1 · Chapter 2 · Chapter 3 · Chapter 4 · Chapter 5 · Chapter 6 · Chapter 7 · Chapter 8 · Chapter 9 · Chapter 10 · Chapter 11 · Chapter 12 · Chapter 13 · Chapter 14 · Chapter 15 · Chapter 16 · Chapter 17 · Chapter 18 · Chapter 19 · Chapter 20 · Chapter 21 · Chapter 22 · Chapter 23 · Chapter 24 · Chapter 25 · Chapter 26

The Day It All Begins · Aqours Chapter 1 · Aqours Chapter 2 · Aqours Chapter 3 · Aqours Chapter 4 · Aqours Chapter 5 · Aqours Chapter 6 · Aqours Chapter 7