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Yurukyara or yuru-chara are mascot characters of sorts, and like, different prefectures have their own mascots and stuff.
Also, I use the term ‘tiny’ to describe a girl, but it could very well (and probably does) refer to her posture and bearing as well (and not just her physique).
Lately in my science and social science cram classes, I’ve spotted this girl I’ve really got my eye on.
She’s a tiny and docile looking girl, and she occasionally sits next to me you see, and so one day I spotted a certain keychain on her bag that I just couldn’t take my eyes off of.
A “Tarow the Taro” plush toy keychain!
“Tarow the Taro” is just as you’d expect, a taro yuruchara mascot character.
He’s a mascot created for a town that produces taros, but even if he’s a yuruchara (relaxed/lenient character), what’s really too yurui(relaxed/lenient) is the quality of his conception!
He looks exactly like a taro with eyes, a nose and a mouth stuck on. And what’s more, his face is pathetic looking. His eyebrows slant downwards pitifully, after all.
Perhaps the person(mascot?) himself is painfully aware of how pathetic his looks and popularity are, because during yuruchara events, he always stays in a small corner to avoid getting in the way of the stars.
He’s a complete extra.
And as for me, I actually really love this weird little yuruchara!
He kinda makes you wonder if they couldn’t do a little more for him.
At festivals, he’s overwhelmed by the star yurucharas, and has really little presence.
But because of the occasion, he wears a little tie to make himself a bit more presentable, and you’re just left with this odd sense of melancholy.
The first time I saw him, I thought, ‘Whoa, definitely not popular. He’s so plain, and his face isn’t even cute.’ but after seeing him a few times I started feeling sorry for him, and before long I was starting to think that maybe his lazily created face was kind of cute too.
Even though he was a mascot character created to revitalise the town, he doesn’t have any self-assertion at all.
‘But that timidity and cowardliness, I totally get it too. I have a Tarow in me as well! If I don’t cheer for him, who will!’
Or so I thought as maternal instincts started firing up inside me.
And that’s who Tarow the Taro is. And a girl with his goods hanging from her bag is sitting right besides me.
I wanna be friends!
It’s not often that you’d find a girl who likes such a plain and inconspicuous yuruchara.
I wanna talk to my heart’s content about Tarow.
Or rather, I had no idea they even made Tarow merchandise!
But I haven’t been able to find a good way of becoming friends with her.
If I suddenly went “Please become my friend.” I’d seem way too suspicious.
How are you supposed to break the ice again?
At school, it’s always people around me that approach me first, so I’ve never had to make the first move.
Uwah~ Just how useless am I.
Anyway, I’ll just speak to her casually.
Right! Think back to Akizawa-kun’s friendliness. First is the greeting…
But even if I had decided that I wanted to call out to her, Tiny-san didn’t show any signs of looking my way at all.
It’s like the mood is some kind of wall around her.
No, no, this is where you need courage!
“Umm, your bag…”
The girl turned my way, looking at me tensely.
“Ah-, it was getting in your way, wasn’t it. Sorry, I’ll move it right now!”
“I’m really sorry!”
She hastily moved the bag with the keychain to the other side of her desk, and distanced her body a little while she was at it.
Doesn’t she seem kinda, scared of me?
Could it be that I’m actually scary?
This time she really has created a total wall of rejection, so I couldn’t find the courage to speak to her anymore.
But I won’t give up.
Each time, I sat next to her again, or sometimes even closer, and I desperately tried to give off an ‘I’m not scary at all, you know~?’ aura, and whenever our eyes met I gave my best smile.
Maybe she noticed that I was totally staring at her, but she almost never looked at me herself.
Aren’t I like, totally the same as Stalker Kaburagi right now?
I stared at myself in the mirror.
“Reika, what are you moaning about in front of the mirror for?”
While I was thinking by myself in the living room, Oniisama came along.
Perfect timing. I’ll try asking Oniisama.
“Oniisama, do I have a scary face?”
My face isn’t that mean looking, right?
It’s true that I don’t think I have a particularly approachable face either.
Well, I think I look like I don’t have many openings.
Because of Okaasama’s taste, my hair is curled neatly, and everything I wear is brand-name clothing.
Since it’s all children’s wear, the moment I grow a little all this clothing will just go to waste, but well, as the young lady of the Kisshouin family, I don’t suppose wearing fast fashion would do.
Since I have so many clothes, maybe I’ve never worn the same thing to cram school before.
So it was that after all, huh?
My lack of openings might be the reason people are scared of me.
Or rather, is it because I have intensity?
It’d be nice if it wasn’t because I have a mean-looking face, wouldn’t it…
My eyes aren’t sharp-looking, right?
“Who told you that you had a scary face?”
“No, nothing like that happened.”
I looked at Oniisama’s face.
Maybe Oniisama’s inner-self projected from his face or something, because although it wasn’t too sweet-looking, you could feel the kindness from it.
Whenever I talk to Oniisama, the corners of his mouth curve up a little, and I think that’s part of why he feels so easy to get along with.
“So it’s not just eyes. The mouth is important too.”
I looked at the mirror and smiled.
“I don’t think your face is particularly scary. Although you standing here changing expressions in the mirror is. Anyway, why are you so worried all of a sudden?”
“…There is a girl I would like to get along with, but I get the feeling that she is frightened of me.”
“Hmm~ Is this a girl from school?”
“No, a girl from cram school. I have been trying my best to appear friendly, but the more I try, the more frightened she becomes. I wonder why. Is it because my appearance truly is scary?”
“What kind of girl is she? Depending on what she’s like, your approach should change, right?”
“Docile, and somewhat ‘small’. But cute like a small animal.”
“Quite different from the girls normally around you, isn’t she. In that case, if you’re too assertive about it, it’s true that she might get scared, huh. How about thinking about if you were in her position?”
If I was in her position?
That girl isn’t plain, but she seems the docile type, so she probably wouldn’t be in the centre of her class.
I get the feeling that the old me would’ve gotten along with her without a problem.
I wasn’t docile, but I had friends like her around me.
In that case, could the old me have become friends with a girl like Kisshouin Reika…?
…No way, huh.
I mean, I doubt our conversation would mesh, and it’d probably get troublesome if an intense ojousama like Reika got angry at me.
Aahh, I guess it’s true that if I didn’t want to become friends with her but Reika continued to forcefully approach me, it would be kind of scary.
Just like how I’m afraid when Stalker Kaburagi approaches me to make me a spy, huh?
But I never went and ambushed her, did I~
“If I cut my hair and wore cheaper clothing, I wonder if she would be less vigilant.”
“I don’t think our parents would ever let you though.”
Okaasama wants me to act like an ojousama from a proper family.
I’m sure she has her own ideas of what I should be like.
But her taste… like this curled hair for example, her taste is pretty classical, huh?
Could it be that she really wants me to become like the Rococo Queen?
“Then whatever should I do?”
“Let’s see. I guess there isn’t any other way except diligently have her understand you, huh? Because you’re an honest, and good girl.”
“I understand! I shall do my best!”
“Yeah. You really are honest, aren’t you.”
For the first time in a while, Oniisama rubbed my head.
My mood is on the rise.
I’m impatient to talk to her about Tarow the Taro, but just like Oniisama said, it might be better if I slowly get closer to her.
I’ll learn from Kaburagi’s bad example, and try my very best!