In this Photoshop created cover, the focus is on Nao (left) and Sumire (right). The purpose of this cover is to highlight how far both girls have come since their high school days as beginners, to the current story where they are just as well pros.
The text boxes are small, so below is what I wrote in each:
“Nao has come a long way from hiding backstage performing live mixing at shows. She has become almost center stage as she performs live with her fellow “Wakaba Girls” and her vintage Roland G707!”
“Sumire had once been a novice drummer, a maid of the household in which she married the daughter of the Kotobuki family, Tsumugi.”
“Now Sumire is an accomplished drummer and core of the band in which she shares an endless friendship with ‘The Wakaba Girls.’”
As always, all Manga credit goes to Kakifly—period.
Last time Ritsu was given the opportunity to return to school and change her shame into an honorable outcome. Jun and Azusa were preparing for meeting their fellow “Wakaba Girls” at the recording studio. Now, let’s find out what the girls are up to as they converge on their coming out as a band with an album…if anything, they will have something to sell at events!
“Lately all I’m worried about is how other people see me. Maybe I’m the odd one out…” ‘Answer’ “The Wakaba Girls” By: Nao Okuda.
Keion!!!! (K-ON!!!!) “Dust In The Wind” Part 5.
When Nao pulled up to the lot of the studio in which she and Sumire had rented for the entire day she could see that no one else had arrived yet. Always early and always waiting, but that was OK, she had the most to move into the studio, so she figured that she might as well get started.
Nao stepped out of her Ralliart and appeared to be glowing in the sunlight, she wore a tight pink top with very short sleeves with a translucent green vinyl corset over it with black laces strung through the center of the front and back and even buckling shoulder straps. Nao wore pink arm warmers that were laced like her corset with bows at the top near her elbows; this was done to prevent her getting the tied laces caught on her Roland G707 or anything else while playing. Below her waist, Nao wore a short, pleated translucent green vinyl skirt with a black under skirting so her panties couldn’t be seen through the plastic. Covering her legs were black fishnet stockings and knee high pink vinyl boots with raised soles that gave her five feet an extra inch or two. The boots were laced in black matching the rest of the lacing on her outfit.
Although her glasses were still the same, Nao had strands of pink and green clipped to her shoulder length black hair enhancing her look. The final piece to her ensemble was a necklace with a silver 45 Record adapter hanging from it—she thought a guitar pick would be more appropriate, but Sawako knew best.
Nao opened the back door of her car after walking around to the left side and pulled out her rectangular guitar case which housed her Roland G707, she carefully leaned it against the rear fender of her car then continued to remove cases which she should have put in the trunk–she was worried that they would slide around. One case had her GR 700 pedal box and another had her laptop computer and the final had anything else that would be needed.
When Nao closed the door a bright red European sports car pulled up near her, it was Sumire. Sumire tipped open the Lambo door on the right and got out next to Nao who pulled her translucent pink mini backpack style purse over her shoulders, inside was the common items of a girl including her wallet which leaned against the front—bad place, but it was safe enough.
Nao turned to Sumire who held a rectangular case that was metal with a handle that contained multiple pairs of drum sticks and brushes; she also pulled a large square case from behind the seat that contained her cymbals. After putting the cymbal case on the ground she pulled down the door and closed it.
Sumire wore a green bra top and pink vinyl shorts with thigh high green socks and pink sneakers with green laces, she also wore a pink buttoning sweater with short sleeves that was open. Her blond hair was in high pigtails held with pink bands and she had a streak of green in the left tail and a streak of pink in the right.
Sumire smiled at Nao and said, “You look so amazingly pretty Nao-Chan!”
“Thank you, you look nice yourself, I’m glad you match me in color, I didn’t want to stand out,” replied Nao.
“I’m the Gaijin, I always stand out…thank you for what you did for me…that time…” Sumire said sadly.
“Don’t cry Sumire, you don’t want your make-up to run—you know I’ll do anything for you. And, you aren’t the Gaijin, you are Japanese, you just have a pretty face so they were jealous…” Nao started but was briskly interrupted by Sumire who said quickly, “but they beat you up!”
Nao took Sumire in her arms, she was so short compared to her friend even with her boots and said, “But I’m still standing, and I know you are safe that is all that matters. What did I tell you all those years ago about family Sumire…I was always there for my brothers and I will always be there for my…sister…now grab one of my cases, I’m not letting you get away with your nothing packages…”
Sumire began giggling and broke out laughing, it was the kind of laugh that a lady doesn’t do in public, but it was also the kind of laugh caused by being relieved. Nao had let go of Sumire who picked up her cymbal case and then took hold of the GR 700’s case after putting her drum stick box under her arm. Nao grabbed her G707, slung her laptop bag over her shoulder and lifted the utility case from the ground and followed Sumire into the building.
Inside, the girls were greeted by a guy around their age from behind a desk, he quickly went to them and offered to help with their equipment; the girls declined, but were thankful for the thought.
Sumire and Nao put down most of what they carried and Nao said, “We are the reservation for “The Wakaba Girls.”
“Ah, great…I’m sorry to inform you that your engineer and photographer have not arrived yet, but they will be here; cost will be adjusted accordingly. Forgive the wait,” the man said.
“It’s fine; the rest of the girls aren’t here yet either; so don’t worry about it. I need the extra time to set up, so if there is anything else to sign, let us do that and we would love to see the room reserved for us,” Nao replied.
“You are all ready to go, nothing to sign, its been prepared in advance, so just follow me and I’ll take you to your studio,” the man said, he then took hold of the GR 700 case and the utility case and Nao and Sumire followed taking what was left—it was really kind of him to take the weight—Nao wouldn’t let anyone touch her Roland, no one.
Nao and Sumire were taken to a studio that was full of large amps, a new-looking green-sparkle Yamaha drum kit minus the cymbals, a few microphones, and jack boxes everywhere. The front center of the room had a chair with a tilt to the back and a microphone positioned low with an amp cable in a latch so it could be accessed easily. To the left of the chair was a microphone and guitar amp set up and to the right was a work station table and jack boxes. The large Marshall Amp stack made Nao smile, everything was perfect. Near that position was a bass amp that looked as though it could produce a nasty beat—Jun would be quite satisfied.
The wall to the front of the room had a large window where the engineer would be seen through to record for them. Everything was perfect, but Nao had a lot to set up and Sumire had to mount her cymbals, then hopefully Ui, Jun and Azusa would arrive soon—not to mention the photographer and engineer.
The man left the room and closed the door behind him after receiving the ok that everything in the room was in order. At this point Sumire got to work on mounting her cymbals on the empty stands on the drum kit and Nao started by unpacking her laptop computer and sitting it on the work station table that was high enough for her to make quick adjustments without issue.
Once the computer was running, Nao opened the GR 700 case and lay the pedal box on the floor in the best position for her, she then attached the cables to it and drew the other ends to the work station where she jacked into her computer with a Fire-wire cable and lay the multi-prong cable on the table to attach to her Roland guitar.
Guitar stands were set up where they were needed and Nao opened the case to her silver G707 and placed it in the stand, she then plugged the amp cable and pedal box cable into it and finally picked it up and slung the padded pink strap around her body and did a sound check and made sure the tuning was correct. After Nao was satisfied, she returned the Guitar to the stand and looked over to Sumire who had mounted her cymbals and put the case out of the way, she opened the case that held her sticks and pulled out a pair and then a single brush and placed the brush at an easy to reach distance.
Sumire checked the tuning on the drums and when she was satisfied she smiled at Nao who smiled back—they were going to make an album, it was going to be great!
Nao took hold of the utility case and opened it revealing four pairs of large headphones and a selection of packs of strings, picks and cables. She took out a black pair of headphones first and handed them to Sumire and said, “This should protect your hearing and you can communicate at the same time, there is also a metronome function—I think the jack is on the floor near the throne?”
Sumire took hold of the large black headphones and unwrapped the long cord, she then looked around her stool-called a throne—and saw a box in which to plug into. Sumire knelt down and pushed the jack into the box and covered her ears with Nao’s gift to her, she could tell right away that the sound around her was muffled but there was still the ability to hear too. Sumire uncovered her ears and put the headphones on the throne and walked around the drum kit to Nao who was removing the rest of the headphones for the other girls.
Nao took the red and white headphones in which she had always used and plugged them into the jack near where Azusa would sit, she then hung them on the microphone stand and moved on taking a pair of gold and black AKG’s for UI and gray and black Beyer Dynamic for Jun and setting them up. Finally, Nao opened a case with-in the equipment case revealing a large green, black and silver pair of headphones which she wrapped around her neck, they were pretty big for Nao’s small stature but as always, she needed to mix on the go and she had to match her outfit.
“That’s a lot of cost there Nao-Chan…and you are giving Azusa your red ones?” Sumire said.
“They match her guitar,” replied Nao returning to her area and plugging her headphones into the pedal box at her feet. Nao clamped her large green, black and silver headphones over her ears and said, “Custom made, just for me, and worth every penny, the sound reproduction is actually perfect, there are no flaws, all gold wiring…although the 3 pounds of pressure is kind of uncomfortable, but the padding is thick enough to make it feel not so bad…here, check this out.”
Nao took up her Roland G707 and stomped a few pedals on the GR 700 and then adjusted a program on her computer, she took hold of a pick from her table and strummed the strings then began a tune. Sumire watched as Nao played “Boys of Summer” from Don Henley and then she began to sing. Nao was forbidden to sing, she was basically tone deaf with vocals even though she was a master with her rig. Sumire began to laugh as the words to such a great song were being butchered—Nao’s English was perfect in saying the words, but her voice tone was horrible and she finally stopped singing, yet continued to play the song in a softer tone and said, “I know, I know, no singing.”
“I’m sorry Nao-Chan, but it’s just too much—I can’t believe how good your English is though, its really impressive,” said Sumire.
“I spent a lot of time reading books on English and I guess I just learned it as I did so,” Nao replied, she then stopped playing “Boys of Summer” and began another song after making adjustments on her equipment. Nao started to play “Sea of Love” from Phil Phillips and once again began singing, this time her voice couldn’t handle any of the vocals and she sounded horrible, so Sumire went over to Nao and playfully covered her mouth and said, “No more Nao-Chan, please stop! …And why are you doing English songs, you write all of ours, you should be practicing them not those from other people; I never even heard the one you were just playing.”
Sumire let go of Nao and smiled as her friend stopped playing and reverted all of her settings back to “Answer” her first song written for “The Wakaba Girls.” Nao took off her headphones and put them down on the table and took her silver Roland and put it in the stand and said, “I like to play some English songs every now and then; it’s fun because you can see if you can copy someone that you like—as though you are performing live for yourself. But, I prefer to write my own songs, I like the originality of it, I don’t want to be a cover band, however playing “Fuwa Fuwa Time” isn’t really covering a song, Miss Nakano was part of “Hokago Tea Time” so it is like it’s her song too…”
“…And don’t forget about that, Nao-Chan, I don’t see Mio starting a lawsuit anytime in the future against me for using her song—sorry we are so late, but we were watching and listening to you two for a few minutes—no more singing Nao-Chan, and at Karaoke tonight, just listen; there Jun are you happy, I told her,” Azusa said as she, Jun and Ui entered the room with their guitars in gig bags. Jun and Ui carried large Bento boxes and Azusa was turning the wheels of her chair herself, convincing Jun to let her do it was never a fun experience, but with all that Jun was carrying including Azusa’s Mustang and her Bass, she had no choice.
Ui giggled at Azusa’s comment and helped Jun with all she carried. Ui took both Bento boxes and placed them beneath the window of the sound booth and then went to her position on the left closest to the door and unzipped her gig bag revealing her old Fender Stratocaster which was Surf Green with shiny chrome hardware. She had chosen to use her old guitar over her Gibson because it gave the sound that the band used to have back in high school. Ui set the Fender in the stand and plugged the amp cable into it and went over to Jun and Azusa to “Azu-sist” them with setting up.
Jun pulled out her blue Bass and followed in what Ui did with setting up and then said, “I have to wear the really big ones?” Referring to the headphones in which Nao had placed in Jun’s area. Nao replied, “Smaller than mine and more comfortable too Miss Suzuki.”
“Stop complaining Jun, Nao-Chan and Sumire-Chan are being so generous, let’s just follow their lead…”Azusa said as she unpacked her Fender Mustang.
Azusa’s guitar was on her back when she was struck by the car that hit her, it was in its padded bag and survived most of the assault, however some of the clear coat and paint had been stripped from a corner or so and there were a few nicks in the body. The neck had to be rebuilt—she didn’t want to replace it with a new one and the other minor damage was repaired as needed. Azusa didn’t want a new guitar, she didn’t want anything more than for it to be playable and tuned; its appearance was important now—she wanted her Muttan to match her.
Jun took hold of the Mustang and plugged the cable into it and put it on the stand near the chair in which Azusa would transfer to after the photos for the book were taken, she then pushed Azusa close to Nao and the rest of the group came over.
The girls looked each other over, seeing that they all matched in some way or other. Azusa wore the planned long black skirt, boots and black top with long sleeves and Jun’s green camisole over it, her hair was in pigtails like Sumire and her bangs were combed down in the middle and sides of her face.
Jun wore glossy black vinyl shorts with pink knee socks and black low cut boots with pink laces, on top she wore a pink camisole with a black fishnet top underneath. Jun’s long brown hair was down over her back and shoulders with the left side clipped with a silver pin. Jun and Azusa were the reverse of each other where Sumire and Nao almost matched.
Ui had worn a combination of all the colors with a green top and black camisole, pink vinyl pants and black sneakers, her long brown hair was in multiple tails each held with a mixture of green, pink and black clips.
“I think we’re ready, we look like a band, we all match in some way and most of all, I can tell that each one of us is excited—if not a bit nervous about producing our CD and photo book,” Azusa said to the group. The girls agreed and at that point there was a knock at the door to the studio and the man from the front desk opened it and entered; with him were a man with a bunch of cameras and photo equipment and a woman with a clipboard of papers and other info. “The Wakaba Girls” looked to their crew—it was time now to begin their journey to becoming a true band…
Next time: “The Wakaba Girls” have their photo shoot and record their album! Be there for K-ON!!!! “Dust in the Wind” Part 6!!!!