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Shonen Fangirl

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He knew what she did on her days off when he was working, and it amused him slightly that she’d demand a day off every week while he was on call or actually working just so she could do it. Today, however, things had not gone according to plan, and she was standing in front of his TV, DVDs in hand.

“So, you’re sure you want to do this?” she asked.

He nodded. “It’s not like it’s a regular cartoon or something. You said there’s lots of fight scenes, right?”

“It’s shonen. It’s full of fight scenes,” she said, rolling her eyes slightly.

“Explain that in English?” he asked with an amused grin.

“You mean, what shonen is?” When he nodded, she grinned a little. “Shonen manga and anime are geared towards boys, usually. Lots of action, fight scenes, stuff like that. Some of these have great characterization, too, and that’s what gets the girls into it.”

“How did you get into it?”

“You mean this anime?” she asked.

“Yeah.”

“Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block. I’ve been watching since it started.” She smiled more. “I have very fond memories of me, Cowboy Bebop and a gallon of rocky road that I promptly forgot when Pierrot appeared in all his crazy glory.”

He raised an eyebrow. “I thought we were watching Bleach.”

“We are! Cowboy Bebop was just the first dubbed anime I ever watched,” she said. “Usually I download Japanese subbed episodes, but when Adult Swim’s anime block started I began watching dubbed anime.”

“Subbed? Dubbed?” he asked.

“Subbed means subtitled, dubbed means a whole new voice cast comes in and re-records all the audio in a different language. Most English dubs suck, hence why I watch subbed.”

“You ever thought about learning Japanese?” he asked.

“My father got me the Japanese Rosetta Stone software for Christmas,” she said, putting in one of the DVDs. “So…yeah.”

He grinned at her again and moved over once she came to sit down. “So, one more time. Explain the story to me?”

“Okay. There’s a sort of normal boy, Ichigo Kurosaki, who can see ghosts and communicate with them. One day he sees a woman garbed in black kill this huge monstrosity. She’s Rukia Kuchiki, a Soul Reaper. Soul Reapers help dead spirits move onto their form of Heaven, known as Soul Society. It’s kind of a slum, really, or at least parts of it are. Other parts are more like feudal Japan. In fact, a lot of the main Soul Reapers come from more dangerous parts of Soul Society.”

“When are we going to get to them?” he asked.

“As soon as we get through this entire boxed set,” she said. “This sets up Ichigo’s story. Next boxed set is more Rukia’s story.”

He put an arm around her shoulders before he picked up the remote and turned the DVD on. “And you say I’ll like it?”

“Probably,” she said. “Hopefully, anyway.”

“Well, if you like it I’ll give it a shot,” he said with a nod, relaxing into the sofa more.

--

They managed to get through the entire boxed set that day, and when it was over Flack tried to get her to start the second box set immediately. She got up and took her DVD out, putting it away. “Don’t you want to eat first?”

“Well, can’t I just eat here while we watch the next set of DVDs?” he asked plaintively. “I want to see that redheaded jerk get his. And the one with the weird hair decorations, too.”

Angell laughed. “I shouldn’t spoil you, but you’re going to eat your words by the time this second set is done.”

“How so?” he asked.

“That redheaded jerk becomes one of Ichigo’s biggest allies,” she said, going back over to the couch and looking at him. With a sigh, he got up. “Come on. It’s just a sandwich or two. Then we can start the next arc. But we probably won’t get to finish it before I’ve got to call it a night.”

He was thoughtful. “We could call in sick tomorrow, stay up and watch this set and then tomorrow start the third one.”

“Can’t. I have court,” she said. “But if you want to call in sick, I’ll leave them here with you.”

“Really?” he said with a grin.

She nodded. “And I’ll even link you to a page with character names and bios so you can keep everyone straight.”

“Thanks.” He followed her into the kitchen. “Who’s your favorite character?”

“Well…keep in mind, I’ve watched more subbed episodes than ones that have been dubbed, and I’ve read fan translated manga. My favorite character is Nel. She’s an Arrancar, a former Espada who got demoted thanks to Nnoitra’s punk ass move. My second favorite is Hisagi, just for what he does to Tousen late in the game in the manga. Plus he’s got an awesome tattoo on his face.”

“And…now I’m lost again,” he said.

“You’ll see Hisagi soon enough. Just look for the guy with a 69 tattoo on his face. Maybe if you watch all of this I can download some of the subbed episodes and you can watch them so you can see Nel,” she said with a grin, kissing him quickly and then patting his cheek. “But only if you take good care of my DVDs.”

“Yes ma’am,” he said with a grin. “So, we can start tonight, though, right?”

She laughed. “Yes, Don, we can start season two tonight.”

“Good.”

She shook her head slightly. “We’re just two huge geeks, aren’t we?” she asked, putting her arms around his neck.

“Yeah, but it’s not a bad thing,” he said, pulling her closer. “We just geek out about different things. I like Doctor Who, you like Bleach, I like Eureka, you like comic books…and we’re both pretty good about giving each other a taste of what we like and then backing off.”

“But you like Bleach?” she asked.

“I like it,” he said with a nod. “You have good taste in this kind of stuff, Jess.”

“That’s good to know,” she said, letting go of him. “So, food now?”

“Food now,” he said with a nod. “Can’t say no to food, especially if you’re making it.”

She laughed and then shook her head. “Why don’t you start the second season DVDs while I make us some sandwiches? I’ve watched them enough times that I don’t need to see the beginning of the first episode.”

“Okay,” he said with a huge grin, leaving her in the kitchen by herself. She chuckled quietly. If he liked Bleach, she couldn’t wait to get him into Cowboy Bebop…