Omake Episode Notes

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What follows now are omake (おまけ; meaning bonus or extra) episodes. They may take place before, during or after the main story, or are alternate universe stories. The AU stories will be marked with AU so you know it's not an actual canon story.

As these remain being in Japan with Japanese culture, these have things that may need some prior explaining. So here are some notes! Again!

University clubs and circles are essentially a student activity outside of one's classes. Clubs are most often sports clubs and are serious clubs which are sponsored by the school. In other words, a baseball club in a university would be the university's team and they'd have practises focused on winning games. A baseball circle would focus more on the fun and social aspect of the game. Many, but not all, circles are focused on culture, such as choirs, band, cultural exchange, literature, and so on.

A student can be in more than one of these, though the clubs have more serious activities, which take up more time. It's worth noting that the time in university can be seen as a time to relax for the Japanese because of the high expectations in middle and high school and before students have to get into the "real world" and find a job.

So when Fujiki Arata mentions he was in a "club" it means it was a competitive activity sponsored by the university he went to.

A ryokan (旅館) is a traditional Japanese inn. 

Kyudo (or kyūdō, 弓道) is a modern Japanese martial art: archery. The art can be very ceremonial or contemplative in its approach, but there are schools descending from the military art. I suggest reading up on it further if you're interested in it, and if you want to learn a bit more and see (beautifully animated) kyudo, I can suggest watching Tsurune. There's too much to say to shortly describe it. But it's worth mentioning that there are kyudo competitions.

I have chosen to write comics and animated shows instead of manga and anime, simply because manga means comics and anime generally means that and is a shortened form taken from animation. It also never specifically says if it's Japanese comics or from a different country, so they may just as well be from America or Europe.

Fujoshi (腐女子) is a play on a homonym (婦女子, fujoshi, meaning woman or wife), and is written "rotten woman" (腐 means spoilage or corruption). It used to be an insult against women who enjoyed reading comics with romances between men. It has been claimed by the community of fujoshi both in Japan and the West. Being a fujoshi can be seen as something negative by society, but it depends on your environment.

A fudanshi (腐男子) is a more recent term and refers to a man who enjoys romances between men. It simply changes the woman in fujoshi to man. A fudanshi can have any sexuality, Arata just happens to be both a fudanshi and gay. But he's also very enthusiastic about many things other than BL.

Boys Love (shortened BL) is the genre fujoshi and fudanshi enjoys. In the West, it is traditionally divided into yaoi (BL with sexual content) and shounen-ai (BL without sexual content), but in modern Japan, both can be called BL. It's also more clear, for those unfamiliar with the terms often used in the West, what it is about. I might add that the line between yaoi and shounen-ai was never a completely hard line in Japan and the terms could be used somewhat interchangeably in the past. The term BL comes from translating 少年愛 (shounen-ai, literally boy(s) love) and seems to have originally been used instead of shounen-ai, but these days it's interchangeable with yaoi as well. (Or perhaps I just hang around the wrong Japanese people online and read about it at the wrong place.)

ararada is, as mentioned in the story, a play on arara and Arata. Arata is pretty obvious what it is, but arara is an expression of mild surprise, annoyance and disbelief (among other things). The da (だ, is a soft-sounding た (ta)) is a grammatical thing and, while unnecessary, it's somewhat creating a user name that can very loosely be interpreted as "it's oh-oh" or "it's huh" or "it's tsk", which I hope you can make some actual sentences out of. As also mentioned it's chosen because he wears cosplays of "sexy" women. It's chosen for multiple reasons, so feel free to imagine what might be the main reason for Arata to choose that username.

While not mentioned in the short stories, there is information on my Twitter which mentions Arata is called Ana-chan online on his private account (ararada), and not Arata.

Informal (casual) and formal (polite, 敬語 (keigo)) language are relatively different in Japanese and have different uses. Makoto doesn't write in formal Japanese, but is extremely casual when he writes messages to Arata (which I hope is clear by the writing style). It surprises Arata because Arata is older and he didn't change his language and write politely to Makoto because they don't know each other very well.

In all messages in the Horizon Social App, which is used by Arata and Makoto, I'm put the message in brackets [ ] with a time. Except for ZZZ and ... which is with a timestamp and no brackets. This is not a mistake. While not obvious due to it only being in there twice, this is like a sticker or emoji in Horizon. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it more obvious due to the restrictions of Wattpad. If published in the future, I wish to make this clear visually.

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