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Happiness List


Page  1


Panel 1:

A young wife with shaggy brunette hair named Mayuko Namiki stands at the sink washing a glass, her mother in law enters the kitchen holding a telephone.


Mother-in-Law: Mayuko-san, the neighborhood watch committee is calling for an emergency meeting.


Mayuko: Wha!?



Page  2


Panel 1:

An outdoor scene showing the front of Mayuko’s house. Fully brick, with a tall brick wall and gate surrounding the front, facing a street.


Mayuko (narration): The first damage was a newly built house,


Belonging to the Otoro’s.


Panel 2:

The Fukahire’s house is identical to Mayuko’s except the front gate is different, the couple is standing in fear at their front door, watching a small fire burning outside their gate.


Mayuko (narration): The second time it happened to the Fukahire’s home.


He’s a higher-up in a foreign owned company, and his beautiful wife...


Who also happens to be pregnant.


Panel 3:

Another house, this one larger, with a stone porch and railing. The Wagyu family watch a fire burning right in front of them.


Mayuko (narration): And then on the third day it was the Wagyu’s house.


This family of four was enjoying a summer barbeque when it happened.




Page 3


Panel 1:

The next day, outside the neighborhood watch’s meeting place.


Chairman’s voice: They seem to only be targeting affluent homes.


And they always strike at the front door or outer wall.


Mayuko (narration): Fortunately we had an officers meeting of the neighborhood watch.



Panel 2:

Inside the meeting room of the neighborhood watch, the Chairman, a heavy set, bald man with glasses points to a map of the neighborhood, showing where the fires occurred. The rest of the group watching him includes Mayuko along with Nakatani, a plump woman with pinkish hair, Yasue, a sullen young girl with long black hair, an old man with shaggy gray hair, and a middle age man with a receding hairline.


Shimoda: How frightening…


Mayuko: It must be arson, right?


Panel 3:

A closeup of the Chairman, looking serious and the other two men listening to him.


Chairman: The neighborhood association needs to begin conducting nightly patrols.


I hope all of you, our officers, will participate…


Television: We’re coming to you live from the Narita Airport.


Panel 4:

Mayuko looking unenthusiastic.


Mayuko (thinking): Meh…


What a pain.


Page 4


Panel 1:

Mayuko, back home, putting on a large coat .


Mayuko (narration): Just when my husband has transferred out of town...



Mother-in-Law: Be careful out there, Mayuko-san.


Mayuko: See you later.


Mayuko (narration): Leaving me to live with his mother.



Panel 2:

Mayuko outside, bundled up in her coat, a scarf and toboggan.


Mayuko: Oooh, cold.



Panel 3:

Mayuko hears a voice behind her and turns around to see who it is.


Voice: Namiki-san.

Panel 4:

Shimoda, the older woman from the meeting approaches Mayuko.


Mayuko: Ah, Nakatani-san.


Nakatani: Night patrol, huh?


Let’s go together.


Page  5


Panel 1:

Nakatani looks back at Mayuko as they walk together.


Mayuko (narration): Nakatani-san is the town gossip.


Nakatani: This is so annoying, isn’t it?


Being out in this cold and all.


Mayuko (narration): She’s a widow who manages an apartment building.


Panel 2:

Mayuko and Nakatani walking down the street.


Mayuko: What’s this all about.


They seem to only be targeting happy homes, y’know.


Nakatani: Maybe they’re jealous or something, I dunno.


Panel 3:

Mayuko and Nakatani walk past a house and hear a loud argument coming from inside.


Man’s Voice: Yasue! Where’ve you been, you’re late!


Probably having an affair, I’ll bet!


Yasue’s voice: I told you I have to go on neighborhood patrol.


Ugh, you reek of booze!


Panel 4:

Mayuko and Nakatani huddle together outside the house, listening to the couple argue.


Mayuko: That’s the Shimoda’s house…


Nakatani: Her husband’s out of work, and drunk it sounds like.



Panel 5:

Mayuko and Nakatani look shocked as they hear a very loud noise.




Page 6


Panel 1:

Yasue, the sad looking woman from the neighborhood watch meeting comes out of her house, holding her cheek. On her face is a very visible handprint.


Yasue: Sigh.


Panel 2:

Nakatani and Mayuko hide behind a telephone pole watching Yasue.


Mayuko: Judging by their voices, it sounds like they’re having a tough time.


Nakatani: Yeah, it sounds pretty rough.


Panel 3:

Outside the local 7-Eleven.


Chairman’s voice: Is everyone here?


Okay, let’s go.


Panel 4:

The entire group from the earlier meeting walks down the street together. The chairman walks in front, with the two men behind him, Nakatani and Mayuko together and Yasue alone in the rear. The Chairman bangs two sticks together and chants….


Chairman: Fiiiiire…




Panel 5:

The two men are walking together behind the Chairman, talking.


Older Man: So many nice houses in this part of town.


Middle Aged Man: And then, all of a sudden this pyromaniac shows up.


Page 7


Panel 1:

The Chairman is surprised by something and stops the group.


Chairman: Shh.


Middle Aged Man: Hmm?


Panel 2:

A four door car is parked outside a house similar to all the others where fires have been started.


Chairman: That car in front of the Kanie’s house… don’t you think that looks suspicious?



Panel 3:

The Chairman, middle aged man and Mayuko watch the car from behind a telephone pole.


Middle Aged Man: Someone’s inside.


Mayuko: What the…


Panel 4

A shadowy pair of figures are kissing in the back of the car.




Panel 5

An attractive young woman climbs out of the car.


Voice: Look, someone’s getting out.


Panel 6

Mayuko and Nakatani lean forward to get a better look.


Mayuko: Huh!?


Nakatani: That’s Kanie-san’s wife.


Panel 7

Mayuko looks stunned as Nakatani slyly smiles.


Mayuko: Huh, making out where everyone can see…


Nakatani: I wonder who the other person was.



Page 8


Panel 1:

The Chairman looks concerned at what he has just witnessed.


Chairman: Okay everyone,


Nothing to see here.


Panel 2:

The night sky.


Chairman’s voice: Fiiiire saaafety…


Panel 3:

The group hears a commotion coming from inside a house the walk past.


Voice from inside the house: Shaddup you dumb bitch!




Panel 4:

Mayuko looks surprised while Nakatani wears the same sly smile as she watches the house. The middle aged man watches as well.


Mayuko: What was that?


Nakatani: Oh, that house…


That’s their son Goro.


Older Man: He’s studying to get into medical school.


Panel 5:

Mayuko looks back at the house as they pass by.


Mayuko: It’s a nice home, nevertheless.


Nakatani: Something like that.


Panel 6:

A dark, hazy panel.


Mayuko (narration): And so, night after night, we continued our patrols.


Panel 7:

Mayuko and Nakatani find themselves in front of Yasue’s house again, hear an argument and another loud noise.


Mayuko (narration): The next night.


Male Voice yelling: Where the hell do you think you’re goin’, Yasue?


Yasue: I have to go on the night watch…




Page 9


Panel 1:

Yasue walks outside, this time with a black eye.


Yasue: Sigh.


Panel 2:

Yasue is surprised to see the two women outside her house.


Yasue: Ah!


Mayuko: Oh!


Panel 3:

Yasue holds her hand over her injured eye, offering up a weak smile.


Yasue: It’s nothing…




Mayuko: No…


We should be the one’s apologizing…


Panel 4:

A close up of Nakatani.


Nakatani: Shimoda-san,


Are you okay?


Panel 5:

Yasue looks down at the ground sadly.


Yasue: I’m so embarrassed…


He’s a good man at heart,


It’s just having gotten laid off, and drinking too much…


Woman: My husband passed away.


Panel 6:

Mayuko looks down and sees how angry Nakatani is at Yasue’s response.


Yasue: He takes it out on the world…


Page  10


Panel 1:

The next day, crows landing on a rooftop.


Nakatani: So what do you think?


Panel 2:

Nakatani is sweeping the sidewalk as Mayuko comes out to drop off her garbage on the corner.


Mayuko: About Shimoda-san’s husband you mean?


Nakatani: The part about him blaming the world?


I thought about it overnight, but I doubt it.


Panel 3:

Mayuko stands in front of Nakatani.


Mayuko: Do you think we should report it at the police box?


But… we don’t have any proof.


Panel 4:

A woman holding a dog walks towards the pair.


Otoro: Good morning.


Panel 5:

A closeup of the woman, Otoro, the attractive woman who was making out in the parked car the night before.


Otoro: So… are you still doing those nightly patrols?


Sorry that you’re having to go to so much trouble.


Panel 6:

Nakatani looks surprised.


Nakatani: Oh, Otoro-san.



Page 11


Panel 1:

The three women talk, Nakatani and Mayuko together on the right, Otoro with her dog on the left.


Mayuko: Oh, its fine, your house was the first one that was burned, wasn’t it Otoro-san?


Otoro: Yes, I was so scared.



Panel 2:

Nakatani looks up at Otoro with a concerned glance.


Nakatani: So, Otoro-san,


You didn’t see anyone that looked suspicious?


Panel 3:

Otoro looks scared as she responds.


Otoro: It’s like I told the police,


All I saw was a man running away.


Panel 4:

A flashback, Otoro standing at her gate the fire blazing in front of her as a man runs away down the street.


Otoro: But since my husband wasn’t home that day,


I was too frightened to chase after him by myself…


Panel 5:

Nakatani leans in, questioning Otoro.


Nakatani: There wasn’t a lingering smell of alcohol was there?


Otoro: Hm… well…


Panel 6:

The night sky.


Chairman: Fiiiire saaafety.


Panel 7:

Nakatani and Mayuko approach the Chairman.


Nakatani: Um, chairman.


Chairman: Yes?


Page 12


Panel 1:

The group walks down the street. Nakatani talking to the chairman as he continues to clank his sticks together.


Nakatani: Um… where is Shimoda-san’s wife?


Chairman: Oh, she called me this evening.


Panel 2:

Mayuko looks at Nakatani, who is stunned.


Chairman: She said something about getting hurt, so she was going to stay home…


Panel 3:

Mayuko seems concerned.


Mayuko (thinking): I wonder if her husband hit her again.


Panel 4:

The Chairman in profile.


Chairman: Everyone,


Today is Friday.


Panel 5:

The Old Man stands next to Mayuko.


Old Man: Yes…? And?


Panel 6:

The sudden sound of sirens attract everyone’s attention.


Panel 7:

A hazy panel.


Mayuko (narration): That night was the fourth arson.


Page 13


Panel 1:

The group arrives outside the house to see a fire truck and firemen cleaning up.


Mayuko: Just a small fire by the looks of it…


Its the Iberiko’s place, I was going to congratulate their daughter on her engagement.


Panel 2:

A crowd has gathered around the scene of the arson. The Chairman looks on clutching his wooden sticks in his hands.


Chairman: That pyromanic…


He’s mocking us!


Mayuko (narration): The arsonist always struck on Fridays.


Panel 3:

Mayuko notices Yasue Shimoda at the back of the crowd.


Mayuko thinking: Ah…


Panel 4:

Yasue watches the firemen, a band-aid on her face, her head wrapped in a bandage.


Panel 5:

Close up of Mayuko as she realizes its Yasue.


Mayuko thinking: Hmm…?




Panel 6
Yasue turns and walks away.


Panel 7
Mayuko watches Yasue leave.


Mayuko thinking: What’s… she doing here!?


Page 14


Panel 1:

Mayuko back home in her kitchen is peeling a potato, deep in thought.


Mayuko thinking: Well…


She lied about staying home to rest…


Why was she at the scene of the arson…


It can’t be Shimoda-san…



Panel 2:

Mayuko remembering Yasue at the scene covered with bandages.


Mayuko thinking: But when I think about it,


Shimoda-san does seem to be unhappy with her husband…


Panel 3:

Mayuko looks up upon hearing the doorbell ring.



Panel 4:

Nakatani enters Mayuko’s house.



Nakatani: I just realized something big!


Panel 5:

Nakatani tosses the local paper down on the table.


Happy Neighborhood News


Good luck to our new officers!


Sakura Police Meeting

Page  15

Panel 1
Mayuko and Nakatani are sitting on the couch reading through the paper.


Mayuko: The block association bulletin…?


Nakatani: It started six months ago! See here, in the corner!


Panel 2:

A closeup of the paper, showing a photo of Otoro and her husband. Mayuko reads…


Mayuko: Ah… happy families…


Panel 3
Mayuko reads the paper as Nakatani watches excitedly.

Mayuko: My goodness, you’re right!


Otoro-san, Fukahire-san, Wagyu-san…


Nakatani: Yeah, and in the forth edition they talked about Iberiko-san.


Panel 4:

Nakatani raises her index finger with a serious look on her face.


Nakatani: In other words the culprit must have read this…


It has to be someone from the neighborhood.


Panel 5:

Mayuko reads one of the copies of the neighborhood paper as Nakatani looks through another.


Mayuko: Wow…


Up until now we’ve been totally oblivious to this newsletter.


Nakatani: You don’t read it?


We’ll tell the chairman about this, but only him…


Page 16


Panel 1:

Nakatani and Mayuko visit the Chairman at his office. He looks at the newsletter with concern.


Chairman: This can’t be a coincidence.


We’ve been beaten… by an article I wrote…


Mayuko: This is a police matter now, Mr. Chairman…



Panel 2:

The Chairman looks over to Mayuko.


Chairman: I’ll say.


Especially after the fourth incident with the Iberikos.


Panel 3:

Nakatani in profile, frowning.


Nakatani: There are still some houses remaining.


Some of the families mentioned in the article that haven’t been attacked yet.


Panel 4:

The Chairman stares back at the women.


Chairman: Yes, we’ll be sure to patrol those areas of the neighborhood.




Panel 5:

The Chairman sitting down, discussing the situation.


Chairman: I’m suspicious of our fellow residents now, we’ll have to keep this a secret from them.


Mayuko: Ah…


Panel 6:

The neighborhood at night.


Chairman: Fiiiire saaafety.


Panel 7:

Mayuko in the rear of the group with Yasue.


Mayuko: Um… Shimoda-san?


Yasue: Yes…?


Page 17


Panel 1:

A close up of Mayuko turned to question Yasue.


Mayuko: Your injuries… are you sure you’re alright?


Panel 2:

Yasue stares at the ground, embarrassed, her face still has a bandage on it.


Yasue: Oh…


I’m sorry, that’s why I couldn’t go on patrol the other day,


Because I had to go to the hospital.



Panel 3:

Mayuko looks at Yasue in silence, Yasue just stares at the ground.






Panel 4:

Mayuko looks sullen as the thinks.


Mayuko thinking: She didn’t mention being at the scene of the arson…


That’s a bit suspicious…


Panel 5:

In the distance a man and woman are walking a dog and see the neighborhood watch coming their way.


Man: Oh.


Panel 6:

The Chairman and the other two men approach the couple, the Otoro’s.


Chairman: Good evening, Otoro-san.


Mr. Otoro: Thanks again for doing these nightly patrols.


Panel 7:

A closeup of Mr. Otoro, a handsome looking young man.


Mr. Otoro: We really appreciate it.


Thanks to you, everyone feels some reassurance.


Page 18


Panel 1:

Mr. Otoro smiles cheerfully as his wife looks on.


Mr. Otoro: When I’m at work, I worry about my wife…


Ms. Otoro: It can’t be helped, your work keeps you busy.


Panel 2:

The Otoro’s walk away from the group, Ms. Otoro looks back at them.


Ms. Otoro: Thanks again.


Panel 3:

Yasue seems to be smiling as she watches the couple walk away. Mayuko stares at Yasue.


Yasue: … they get along so well.




Panel 4:

Back home, Mayuko sits on her couch, staring up at the ceiling, lost in thought.


Mayuko thinking: The arsonist must be jealous of other people’s happiness.


Because they aren’t happy.


Panel 5:

A close up of Mayuko as she ponders the evidence.


Mayuko thinking: As far as I know,


the unhappiest person in the neighborhood is…


Panel 6:

Mayuko’s eyes widen as she has a sudden flash of realization.


Mayuko thinking: Huh!?


Panel 7:

A flashback of Ms. Otoro holding her dog.


Mayuko thinking: If what Otoro-san’s wife said is true…


Ms. Otoro: All I saw was a man running away.


Page 19


Panel 1:

A dark panel.


Mayuko (narration): The arsonist is… a man…?


Panel 2:

Mayuko and Nakatani walk down the street at night. Mayuko is deep in thought.


Mayuko thinking: Hmm…


Nakatani: Hey, Namiki-san.



Panel 3:

Close up of Nakatani, scowling to herself.


Nakatani: I hate to admit it, but this has me puzzled,


Panel 4:

Mayuko looks down curiously at Nakatani.


Mayuko: Hmm…?


Nakatani: What I saw.


Panel 5:

Flashback to the neighborhood watch outside the latest arson site. Nakatani staring at a man in the crowd.


Nakatani: When the Iberiko’s house was burned, and I saw him amongst the onlookers…


Panel 6:

Mayuko looks stunned at Nakatani’s words..


Nakatani: Shimoda-san’s drunkard husband.


Mayuko: Wha!?


Panel 7:

Mayuko stops in her tracks, looking down at Nakatani.


Mayuko: Wait, you mean his wife, right!?


Nakatani: No, not his wife.


Panel 8:

Mayuko and Nakatani are distracted by a loud noise and the sound of a couple arguing.


Yasue’s voice: I saw you!


But I didn’t say anything!



Page 20


Panel 1:

Mayuko and Nakatani rush toward the sound of the argument.


Mayuko: Shimoda-san!?


 Panel 2:

The sound of arguing spills forth from a slightly open door.


Yasue’s voice: Last Friday,


You were at the scene of the arson!


Panel 3:

Mayuko and Nakatani creep closer to the front of the house.


Yasue’s Husband’s voice: Shut up, I was comin’ back from the liquor store!


And what about you anyway, you were there!


Panel 4:

Louder shouting coming from behind the door.


Yasue’s voice: I was coming back from the hospital after you beat me up!


You set that fire…


Panel 5:

Mayuko’s mouth hangs open as they listen to the loud fight a few feet away.


Mayuko: What should we do.


Panel 6:

Mayuko watches the door and listens to what she hears.


Yasue’s Husband’s voice: Oh yeah, well you say you go out there on those nightly patrols,

But I bet you’re really the one setting those fires…


Page 21


Panel 1:

Moving so that they can finally see through the slightly opened door, Mayuko sees Yasue lifting a large sake bottle over her head intent on using it against her husband.


Mayuko: !


Panel 2:

Mayuko and Nakatani rush inside.


Nakatani: Stop it, Shimoda-san!


Panel 3:

Yasue Shimoda turns around to see the women, her face covered in blood. Her husband crouches in front of her, his arms up to defend himself.  The screens of their house have been ripped, walls cracked by their violent fight.



Page 22


Panel 1:

Nakatani and Mayuko surround Yasue. Mayuko takes the bottle away from her. Her husband sits on the ground, looking at the floor.


Nakatani: We heard everything.


Mayuko: And anyway, you both need to calm down and explain this.


Panel 2:

Close up of Yasue as she begins to cry. Bruises cover her face, blood pouring from her nose.


Yasue: Arson…


That’s a serious crime, isn’t it?


Panel 3:

Nakatani stares down at Yasue, who quickly looks up to meet her gaze, a scared look on her face.


Nakatani: It is…


Yasue: And what if you turn yourself in…


Panel 4:

Yasue continues to address Nakatani as Mayuko kneels behind her.


Yasue: If you turn yourself in, will they go easier on you!?


Mayuko: Shimoda-san…


Panel 5:

Closeup of Mayuko’s eyes, looking very determined.


Mayuko thinking: It really was Shimoda-san…




Panel 6:

Yasue turns to face her husband.


Yasue: You have to surrender!


Panel 7:

Yasue and her husband in profile. His face is red from the argument, he has a scraggily beard and his mouth hangs open as he listens to his wife.


Yasue: I know it’s been tough since you got laid off.


I know you’re holding a grudge against the world.


Yasue’s Husband: You…


Page 23


Panel 1:

The couple kneel in the corner talking. Mayuko and Nakatani stand away, watching them.


Yasue: I know it’s been tough…


Yasue’s Husband: But you don’t think I would…?


Nakatani: Which one do you think did it?


Mayuko: I… I don’t know either.


Panel 2:

Nakatani and Mayuko look up, hearing the sound of a fire alarm.




Panel 3:

Nakatani and Mayuko step outside and see a few people rushing toward the sound.


Woman: It’s nearby!


Man: The arsonist!


Panel 4:
Mayuko and Nakatani can only stand there watching.

Mayuko: Today’s…


Nakatani: Friday…


Panel 5:
Mayuko and Nakatani look back slowly and see Yasue and her husband staring tiredly back at them.


Panel 6:

Yasue and her husband look exhausted, sighing.


Yasue: It wasn’t… you…


Yasue’s Husband: Or you…


Page 24


Panel 1:

Outside Mayuko’s house at night, the plaque on her outer wall lit by a street lamp.


Sign: Namiki


Panel 2:

Mayuko has returned home, relaxing on the couch, eyes closed her mother in law talks to her..


Mother in Law: Well, they didn’t catch the arsonist.


Every night has been tough.


Mayuko: Yeah…



Panel 3:

Mayuko takes a bite of a cookie.


Mayuko: Hmm, this cookie is delicious.


Mother in Law: Oh, those.


Panel 4:

Close up of Mayuko’s mother in law.


Mother in Law: Otoro-san’s husband brought them over.


They’re from a hotel in Kobe.


Panel 5:

Flashback to Otoro’s husband delivering the cookies with a big smile on his face.


Mr. Otoro: Thank you for the nightly patrols…


Panel 6:

Mayuko looks surprised as she hears the story.


Mayuko: Huh.


Mother in Law: He said he’d been busy at the office and was getting home late,


Panel 6:

Mayuko listens intently as her mother in law continues the story.


Mother in Law: And that every Friday he has to go away on business trips,


So he worries about his wife.


Page 25


Panel 1:

A large panel of Mayuko as she has a flash of realization.


Mayuko thinking: Every Friday!?


Panel 2:

Mrs. Otoro kneeling outside, petting her dog.


Mrs. Otoro: Caviar-chan, let’s go for a walk.


Panel 3:

Mrs.Otoro in profile as she walks down the street.


Mayuko thinking: But…




Page 26


Panel 1:

Outside, the sky is turning dark, Mrs. Otoro stands in the street with her dog on a leash. Behind a wall, Mayuko watches her.


Panel 2:

Suddenly Nakatani pops out from behind Mayuko, chomping on a cookie.


Nakatani: So you got cookies too, Namiki-san.


Mayuko: Nakatani-san.


Panel 3:

The women emerge from behind the wall and begin to follow Otoro.


Nakatani: I am surprised though, she was the first victim after all…


Mayuko: Yes, but…


Panel 4:

Mayuko walking, looking worried.


Mayuko: But that doesn’t mean we’ve found the criminal…


Mayuko thinking: We don’t know the motive.


Panel 5:

The back of Otoro’s head.


Mayuko thinking: They live in a newly built house and her husband seems kind.


It would seem that she’s happy.



Page 27


Panel 1:

Mrs. Otoro crosses the street and stands facing the wall of a house.


Mayuko: She stopped…


Panel 2:

Mayuko and Nakatani hide behind a telephone pole.


Nakatani: That’s the Kanie’s house.


Mayuko: Ahh, the first night we went on patrol we saw her getting out of the car here…


Panel 3:

Nakatani scowls as she watches Otoro.


Nakatani: And the Kanie’s house,


Was mentioned in the most recent bulletin,


Panel 4:

Mrs. Otoro kneels in front of the wall, holding a bottle in her hand.


Mayuko thinking: It’s the last house mentioned that hasn’t been damaged!


Panel 4:

Mrs. Otoro begins to pour the liquid onto the ground.



Page 28


Panel 1:

Mrs. Otoro lights a match.


Panel 2:

Mayuko and Nakatani look shocked at what they are seeing.

Mayuko thinking: It’s her!


Panel 3:
A blank panel.


Nakatani’s voice: You there!!


Panel 4:

Otoro rises in surprise and drops the match.


Mrs. Otoro: Huh!?



Page 29


Panel 1:

The fire ignites.


Panel 2:

Mrs. Otoro looks up and notices two people emerge from the seeing her and the fire she set.


Chairman: It’s Otoro-san!


Mrs. Kanie: Kyaa, fire!


Panel 3:

Mayuko and Nakatani rush over to help.


Mayuko: Chairman!?


Nakatani: I called him.


As soon as I saw Otoro-san go out for her walk!


Panel 4:

Mayuko and Nakatani confront Mrs. Otoro.


Mayuko: Otoro-san…


Nakatani: You…


Mrs. Otoro: Wh… why…


Page 30


Panel 1:

Mrs. Otoro collapses on her hands and knees and begins to scream.


Mrs. Otoro: Why!?


Mayuko thinking: That’s all she can say… that!


Panel 2:

White panel.


Mayuko (narration): Otoro-san confessed.


Panel 3:

Mrs. Otoro looking sad, surrounded by darkness.


Mrs. Otoro: The first…


Fire was just an accident.


Panel 4:

Flashback of Mrs. Otoro carrying newspapers outside her house.


Mrs. Otoro (narration): That night I was taking out the recycling when,


Panel 5:

A closeup of the photo of the Otoro’s in the paper and the accompanying article.


Mrs. Otoro (narration): The article about us in the bulletin caught my eye.


We seemed so happy.



Page 31


Panel 1:

Mr. Otoro leaving for work.


Mrs. Otoro (narration): But the truth was,


My husband would lie about going on business trips…


Panel 2:

Mrs. Otoro stares down sadly.


Mrs. Otoro: Every Friday,


I found out… he was staying with another woman.


Panel 3

Flashback to Mrs. Otoro kneeling in front of the newspapers. The article is engulfed in flames.


Mrs. Otoro (narration): I just wanted to burn the article.




Panel 4

Flame flickering from the edge of the stack of papers.


Mrs. Otoro (narration): The stack of papers I was throwing out caught on fire too…



Panel 5

The Chairman and Mayuko stand in front of Mrs. Otoro, interrogating her.


Chairman:  So you cooked up the story about the pyromaniac.


And set the fires at newly built houses,


Panel 6

Mrs. Otoro continues to look down, unable to face her neighbors.


Mrs. Otoro: Because I was so mad at my husband,


Besides… I thought that if I set the fires on Fridays, that maybe he’d start coming home, but…


Page 32


Panel 1:

The Chairman, Mayuko and Nakatani all frown at Mrs. Otoro.


Nakatani: So why did you only attack the houses listed in the bulletin…?


Mrs. Otoro: Because…


Panel 2:

Mrs. Otoro in profile.


Mrs. Otoro: Everyone seemed so happy,


It frustrated me.


Mayuko (narration): Otoro-san was arrested.


Panel 3

The six members of the neighborhood watch sit around the table in their meeting room.


Chairman: Wow, that was pretty overwhelming.


I guess that’s the end of the bulletin.


Middle Aged Man: Keep your chin up, chairman.


Yasue: Otoro-san was a weak person.


Nakatani: And you’re strong, Shimoda-san.


Mayuko: Did you husband start his part time job?


Panel 4

Clouds in the evening sky.


Mayuko (narration): Thus, the night patrol group dissolved.