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Kaguya Wants to Recieve Votes

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STUDENT COUNCIL ROOM

Miyuki sits at his desk reading paperwork. Kaguya and Chika sit across from each other on the couches drinking tea. Chika’s phone chimes.

CHIKA
Oh? An anime character popularity contest? I don’t remember signing up for notifications about that...

Kaguya hides her smile behind her teacup.

KAGUYA
You probably did and then forgot about it.

CHIKA
Yeah, guess so. It sounds like fun, though!

NARRATOR
ONLINE ANIME CHARACTER POPULARITY CONTESTS!

ONSCREEN TEXT
ONLINE ANIME CHARACTER POPULARITY CONTESTS!

ISHIGAMI’S BEDROOM

Ishigami sits drinking a can of soda while browsing the internet on his laptop.

NARRATOR
Contests are held online in which anime fans may vote for their favorite character. After a series of elimination rounds, one character is declared the winner.

Ishigami spit-takes.

ISHIGAMI
Best girl?! Are you kidding me?!

NARRATOR
These contests are a consistent source of salt for otaku and weeaboo alike!

Ishigami types angrily.

ISHIGAMI
She’s not even best girl in her own show!

NARRATOR
Despite such negative feelings, anime fans continue to subject themselves to inevitable disappointment.

Close-up as a single tear runs down Ishigami’s cheek.

ISHIGAMI
One day, wise wolf... one day...

STUDENT COUNCIL ROOM

CHIKA
I wonder if any of us are in the contest? Oh, I see you on the list, Kaguya-san! Maybe the rest of us are in here, too.

KAGUYA
Well, it says it’s a contest for female characters, so President won’t be in it.

MIYUKI
That’s okay. No one really cares about those contests anyway.

KAGUYA’S THOUGHTS
What? He doesn’t care? But I went through the trouble of finding out Fujiwara’s username and password and signing her up for the notifications...

KAGUYA
N-no one cares about them?

MIYUKI
Well... no. It’s just a silly online contest, after all.

CHIKA
That’s wrong! Lots of people care!

KAGUYA
T-they do?!

CHIKA
Yeah! Character contests show how much a character is loved by their fans! They’re super important! If an anime character can’t get votes in a popularity contest, they might as well not even exist!

KAGUYA
Oh... I mean, of course, of course they’re important! Definitely!

NARRATOR
The previous night...

ONSCREEN TEXT
The previous night

HAYASAKA’S BEDROOM

Hayasaka lies in bed, snoring quietly. Kaguya bursts through the door.

KAGUYA
Hayasaka!

Hayasaka groans and covers her eyes.

HAYASAKA
Kaguya... sama?

KAGUYA
I need you to check the contest results again!

HAYASAKA
Kaguya-sama... it’s 4 AM... the contest doesn’t end for another day and a half. Can this wait?

KAGUYA
No! Someone else might be winning! I need to know!

Hayasaka sighs, then crawls out of bed and brings up the contest page on her computer.

HAYASAKA
Your lead is still secure, Kaguya-sama, just as it was the last 3 times you asked. May I please go back to sleep now?

KAGUYA
Yes, but I’ll need you to check it again in the morning!

HAYASAKA
It already is morning... but I’ll check it before you leave for school.

KAGUYA
Thank you. Good night, Hayasaka.

Hayasaka groans and collapses back into bed.

STUDENT COUNCIL ROOM

KAGUYA
Yes, popularity contests are definitely extremely important to many people, President!

CHIKA
Besides, just think what an honor it would be for a member of the Shuchiin Academy student council to win a popularity contest! It would really help our school’s image!

KAGUYA
Fujiwara-san is correct. The outcome of the contest could be very important to me - us! I mean us! As a student council! For the good of the school!

MIYUKI
Really? I’m surprised at you, Shinomiya. I wouldn’t have thought something as trivial as a popularity contest would matter to someone of your social standing.

MIYUKI’S THOUGHTS
I can’t tell her I voted for her the moment the contest went live! If she knew that -

MIYUKI’S IMAGINATION

Kaguya looms large over a shrinking Miyuki.

KAGUYA
Oh? What’s that, President? You voted for me as soon as you could?

Kaguya looms ever larger.

KAGUYA
Even though it’s just a popularity contest that no one cares about? Were you so desperate to get in my good graces that you tried to give me the satisfaction of winning something so unimportant?

Close-up on Kaguya’s face.

KAGUYA
O kawaii koto.

STUDENT COUNCIL ROOM

MIYUKI'S THOUGHTS
Ugh, why did Chika have to sign up for those notifications! Wait, I know how I can get out of this!

MIYUKI
Still, I suppose I could be persuaded to vote for you, but only for the good of the school. It would merely be my duty as president, after all...

Miyuki pretends to fumble with his phone.

MIYUKI
But the app isn’t loading correctly on my phone.

KAGUYA’S THOUGHTS
What? His phone won’t load the app? I didn’t plan that malfunction!

Kaguya thinks furiously.

KAGUYA’S THOUGHTS
Oh! I need anti-Shirogane plan 153B...

Kaguya grabs her phone and surreptitiously sends a text message.

SHUCHIIN ACADEMY GROUNDS, EXTERIOR

Hayasaka stands talking with her friends. Her phone chimes. She pulls it from her bag and reads the following.

From: Kaguya
I need a raincoat, size extra small, and 5 kg of takoyaki!

Hayasaka sighs. Her shoulders slump.

HAYASAKA
153B? Right now?

STUDENT COUNCIL ROOM

KAGUYA
Don’t worry, President, I’m sure we can find some way for you to vote.

CHIKA
Sure, you can just vote on my phone.

Kaguya gives Chika a blank stare.

KAGUYA
But... but don’t you have to sign in with your own unique username and password?

CHIKA
Yeah, but I can just sign out and let him sign in. Easy!

KAGUYA
Oh...

NARRATOR
Kaguya has never shared a mobile device with another person in her entire life! Her inexperience with technology led her to overlook such a simple solution!

MIYUKI
Well... I suppose that would work...

MIYUKI’S THOUGHTS
Crap! Now what? When I sign in, it’ll show that I already voted. Maybe I can just hide the screen-

CHIKA
Oh, it looks like the characters are arranged by brackets. I wonder what bracket I’m in.

Zoom-in on Kaguya’s face as her eyes widen.

KAGUYA’S THOUGHTS
Oh no.

CHIKA
Hmm... not bracket A...

Zoom-in on Miyuki’s face as his eyes widen.

MIYUKI’S THOUGHTS
Oh no.

CHIKA
Not bracket B either...

KAGUYA
Uh, maybe we should just forget about the contest! Right, President? Right? Right?

Kaguya nods furiously at Miyuki. Chika doesn’t seem to hear Kaguya.

CHIKA
Huh... I’m not in bracket C...

MIYUKI
Uh, right! No one really cares about silly contests, after all! Ha! Ha ha!

CHIKA
That’s funny...

Wide shot of Miyuki and Kaguya frozen in their seats as Chika stares in confusion at her phone.

CHIKA
I’m... I’m not in the contest.

Dead silence.

CHIKA
Why am I not in the contest?

Chika turns to look at Kaguya.

CHIKA
I'm... popular, right?

KAGUYA
Uh... right...

CHIKA
I mean... I'm cute, and funny, and I did that whole Chika dance... people loved my Chika dance...

Dead silence.

CHIKA
I practiced really hard for that, too... I'm popular, right, Kaguya-san?

KAGUYA
Uh... Fujiwara-san... I think...

Chika stares at Kaguya with GIANT SAD PUPPY EYES.

NARRATOR
Chika used a shameless ploy for sympathy, which no one could resist!

CHIKA
Right, Kaguya-san?

KAGUYA'S THOUGHTS
That face... those eyes... I can't tell her she's less popular than I am. If I do that-

KAGUYA'S IMAGINATION

Miyuki looms large over a shrinking Kaguya.

MIYUKI
Really, Shinomiya? Crushing your friend's dreams like this? Rubbing your superiority in her face?

Miyuki looms ever larger, his expression twisting with distaste.

MIYUKI
Even when it's just a meaningless online popularity contest that no one cares about? I knew you were cold, but she's your dear friend. I had no idea you could be so...

Close-up on Miyuki's face as he glares at Kaguya in utter disgust.

MIYUKI
Heartless.

STUDENT COUNCIL ROOM

Chika continues to stare at Kaguya, tears starting to form in her eyes.

KAGUYA'S THOUGHTS
I don't want President to think I'm heartless! But I have to say something...

Kaguya smiles blankly.

KAGUYA
Uh, President can explain everything!

Miyuki recoils as if bitten by a snake.

MIYUKI
Wait, I can?

Kaguya nods furiously again.

KAGUYA
Yes! You're very good at giving advice and explaining things! Everybody says so!

MIYUKI
... they do?

Chika turns toward Miyuki, her expression still miserable.

CHIKA
How come I'm not in the contest, President?

MIYUKI
Uhhhh...

MIYUKI'S THOUGHTS
What is Shinomiya thinking? I can't tell Fujiwara she's less popular than Shinomiya!

MIYUKI
Uh, Shinomiya, don't you think it would be better coming from-

Kaguya stares at Miyuki with GIANT SAD PUPPY EYES.

NARRATOR
Kaguya used a shameless ploy for sympathy.

MIYUKI'S THOUGHTS
What? Why is she looking at me-

Miyuki looks back and forth between two sets of GIANT SAD PUPPY EYES.

MIYUKI'S THOUGHTS
Ugh! No one could resist those faces!

MIYUKI
Uh... well, Fujiwara-shoki...

ISHIGAMI
Fujiwara-senpai, it's very simple.

CHIKA
Where did you come from?!

ISHIGAMI
Fujiwara-senpai, do you remember the name of our manga?

CHIKA
Huh? Of course. It's "Kaguya-sama Wants To Be Confessed To."

ISHIGAMI
Right, and the name of our anime?

CHIKA
It's "Kaguya-sama: Love Is War."

ISHIGAMI
Right. So, the reason why Shinomiya-senpai is in the contest and you aren't is that, in general, the main characters in manga and anime will be the most popular characters, since they get the most screen time and character development.

CHIKA
Well, yeah. Everybody loves Kaguya-san. But side characters can be just as popular, can't they?!

ISHIGAMI
Well... With the right amount of fan service, I wouldn't say it's completely impossible...

CHIKA
I mean, look at Honoka and that other Chika! They're main characters, and no one ever calls them best girl!

ISHIGAMI
I guess not.

CHIKA
I know Kaguya's the star... I know I'm just here for comic relief... and to accidentally mess with Kaguya's plans to make President confess-

Close-up on Kaguya as she is stricken with mortal terror.

KAGUYA
You know about those?!

MIYUKI
Wait, her what?

CHIKA
But I'm still popular! I can be just as popular as Kaguya-san!

NARRATOR
She's wrong.

CHIKA
Oh, SHUT UP, Narrator-san! Nobody asked you!

NARRATOR
Uh... she's right, actually.

Miyuki, Kaguya, and Ishigami exchange puzzled glances.

KAGUYA
Uh... Fujiwara-san, who are you talking to?

CHIKA
Nobody! It doesn't matter! Popularity contests are stupid anyway! Nobody cares about them! I'm going to go home and die of loneliness!

Chika runs out the door, nearly bumping into Hayasaka, who's carrying an extra small raincoat and a large box.

MIYUKI
Well, okay, but don't actually die.

CHIKA
I will! I really will!

NARRATOR
She won't.

CHIKA
I said shut up already!

Wide shot of Shuchiin Academy's exterior in the late afternoon sun.

NARRATOR
Today's battle result: Fujiwara's defeat.

ON-SCREEN TEXT
Today's battle result: Fujiwara's defeat
Because she wanted to be popular