Scene: open field. Wooser and a few disgruntled waifus have descended upon me from an airship. Wooser wants me to reveal my best waifu, but I have a different plan.
(Enter Scott, Wooser, a dozen waifus alongside Wooser)
Wooser: You? Give your honest feelings about me? (laughs) Go on. Let’s hear it.
Scott: Well… you see–
Wooser: So did you think it was a masterpiece? Great enough to someday get a fourth season? Or maybe you thought it was horrible, and that’s why you’ve made me your enemy.
Wooser: It’s fine. I can take it. I may have been popular in Japan, but nobody knows what I am overseas. Oh, what a sad day.
Scott: Oh, will you just shut up already!
Kiriha Kurano: (gasp) How dare you speak to Wooser that way!
Kameko: Poor Wooser…
Margay: Haven’t you had enough lines as it is, you fake fan!
Scott: Whoa! Whoa! When did you all get so hostile?
Kirishima (KanColle): Oh, we’re not hostile. We’re only taking orders from Wooser now.
ALL: (wink and put hands together in the shape of a heart) HEAAART!
Scott: Yeesh! Remind me never to make my nemesis a pervy yellow rabbit ever again! (Enter Sakurako)
Sakurako Kujō: Quit wasting everyone’s time and just tell him! Honestly, we’re all waiting!
Scott: Alright. (clears throat) Look, Wooser, your show is–
Wooser: Great? Terrible? Funny? Diabolical?
Scott: It’s average.
Wooser: (blinks) What?
Scott: Yeah. For a show that runs short gags with varying comedy styles and anime cameos, it’s okay. Sure, I’d wish that the animation quality or writing could have been better, but what can I say? For such a low budget, it was actually kind of fun.
Wooser: Kind of?
Scott: Okay, a lot of fun. I had a good time with it. Sure, I was skeptical at first, given that I was bored with the first two seasons, but over time, I came to appreciate its simplicity. Its surprising volatility. And it wasn’t afraid to make fun of popular shows that the rest of us would have taken so seriously.
Wooser: Impossible! Fans do take me seriously! Why else would I have been approved for three seasons?
Scott: Wooser, I used to hate your guts like no other because you did things so differently from the way I would do them. Your show was like the anti-anime to me. But now, as I’m writing this parody of a fan fiction, I think I get it. It can be a lot of fun to just go back to the simple things and make light of them. And I totally laugh at bad plot devices now, because… I don’t know. I think so hard on them, that I stop writing. (Wooser steps off the airship to stand in front of Scott) Wooser, you may be average, but you are the best average show that I have ever watched. You helped me put the good and the bad in perspective. And you helped me realize on a whim that… reviewing doesn’t have to be so static. Sometimes throwing in a little bit of chaos can be a lot of fun.
Wooser: I… I don’t know what to say.
Scott: (happily) I’m glad I have chosen you to be my foil, Wooser. As a critic, I would be happy to support your show as best I can.
Wooser: That… that makes me… so happy to hear you say that. I feel like I’ve done something wrong to have upset you. To exploit all your girls so that they would all eventually become mine.
Scott: Hey, it happens, Wooser. (Scott reaches out his hand to shake Wooser’s) So how about we call a truce then? Friends?
Wooser: I… I would be honored. But I… I… (slaps Scott’s hand away) No way! You and I both know that this is not how you wanted your story to end! The sentimental ending? That’s sooo boring, and overused!
Wooser: Come on, Scott. You know what’s in your heart right now. You know exactly how you want this to end. So bring it on! Let’s end this story in the best way possible.
Scott: (puzzled, he blinks a couple times, trying to figure out what Wooser means by that. Then he smiles once more) You’re right Wooser. Let’s end this the right way. With…
BOTH: That cheese ending!
Kiriha: Face it, Scott! Wooser’s gonna beat you good this time!
Kazuki Ferrari: You’ll never want to write another anime review again.
Hibiki Hagyū: Heh Heh Heh! Wooser’s got all of us to support him! What do you have left?
Sakurako: (joins Wooser’s side) Face it, Scott. You have broken all of our hearts, and you have nothing left. You’re all alone. Just like me.
Scott: (cowers as all the anime girls he once had a crush on stare him down, with Wooser standing front and center) It’s true. What do I have left? (lowers head in shame, when he feels a firm hand on his shoulder. Enter Yona)
Yona: You’re wrong. He’s not alone. He’s got us. (Enter Jaeha)
Jaeha: His waifus, and his hasbandos. (Enter Sūko)
Sūko: He knows our flaws, and embraces them. (Enter Nanako)
Nanako: We’re not his waifus. We’re his friends. (Enter Sawa)
Sawa Okita: We may have never met, it may be impossible to ever have these conversations in real life. But we share a bond with viewers like him through the stories we tell. (Enter Birthday)
Birthday: We need critics like him. To make sense of our worlds, and bring meaning to our audience. (Enter Kaon)
Kaon Lanchester: When he laughs, we laugh. When he cries, we cry. When he smiles, we smile. (Enter Nanana)
Nanana Ryūgajō: Sure, he can be a real piece of work, but he’s got a kind heart. (to Scott) And you still owe me pudding. (Scott rolls his eyes. Enter Ito)
Ito Hikiotani: You’ll… you’ll regret turning your backs on Scott, after he loved you so much!
Hisa Takei (on Wooser’s side): Eh. I just like to screw with him. (Enter Ritsu)
Ritsu Kawai: Hey, Scott. This scene’s getting really confusing and convoluted. Why are there so many girls on Wooser’s side too?
Scott: You know how in all the popular shows, where the heroes have the entire world back them up, while the villain stands all alone? That never made sense to me. If you really want an epic fight, the heroes and villains should be on equal ground!
Ritsu: (stares at Scott with distrust) You’re stupid, you know that? I’m starting to think that you’re the villain.
Scott: Yeah, I know. (Enter Louis)
Louis Andō: So who’s it going to be, ladies? Wooser? Or Scott?
(As more waifus and hasbandos gather and yell on either side for the final battle, Scott raises his hand for all to see. Everyone quiets down).
Scott: It’s alright, everyone. I got this.
Wooser: Oh really? This is rich, coming from you. So which cosplay power are you going to use? I know them all! And I know how to counter every one of them.
Scott: I don’t have to be anyone else. All I have to be is me.
Wooser: Oh? Have you forgotten? I’ve studied you. I’ve watched you. I know every last trick in your book.
Scott: Oh? Then how about this? (Scott pulls out a card that has data on it)
Wooser: Impossible! How could you possibly have that?
Scott: Face it, Wooser. My blog is low budget. Just like your show.
Wooser: No way!
Scott: Activate, Anti-Climactic Plot Device!
(The card lights up and creates a white flash in the palm of Scott’s hand. He shoots a beam of light in Wooser’s direction. Wooser screams, as the beam sends him off into oblivion. Twinkle.)
Scott: I’m sorry, ladies. I had to get rid of him. I’ll accept any and all your punishments. Do with me as you wish. (awkward pause)
Kiriha: (nonchalantly) Oh. There goes Wooser.
Hisa: Eh. He wasn’t so special at all.
Kameko: He’s probably just going on vacation.
Sakurako: I really need to get a vacation.
Scott: ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW!!
Louis: Yeah. We knew all along.
Kazuki: None of us really liked Wooser that much. Only you do.
Nanana: Wooser just wanted to have some fun with you, Scott. Keep you honest.
Birthday: We’re all proud of you. You did well.
Sūko: Thank you for keeping us in your heart.
Kaon: After all…
ALL: We still love you! (The girls and guys gather around Scott and take turns hugging him or patting his head. This appears to be the sentimental ending, that he didn’t want. But no. Something’s not right.)
Scott: Wait. Everyone, stop! (all listen attentively) I’m sorry. I can’t return any of your feelings. I don’t love you that way at all! Listen, I’m not that special. I’m just an anime critic with a philosophy background. A blogger who shoots his mouth off that nobody cares about. But you were all created by so many unique artists, who gave you the love and attention you deserved, and you touched so many hearts with your growing audience. But let’s face it: you’re not real. None of you can satisfy me beyond my imagination. So I’m sorry. There is no last waifu standing. (Exit all but Scott)
(The entire scene disappears, as all characters leave Scott behind, and fade away. He sits on the empty void, head lowered).
Scott: I can’t be with you forever. (long silence, as he cries. Alone.)
???: Yeah. We know that. (Scott raise his head, and slowly stands up again. Three mysterious, yet familiar characters come forward. Each with physical features that only he has imagined up to this point. Enter Lystria, Prof. Ginkgo, and Shuko.)
Scott: You guys. What are you doing here?
Lystria: Who, us? That’s silly, we’ve been here the whole time. We are you.
Prof. Ginkgo: You created us. Loved us. Used us as your voice, when no one else would hear you.
Shuko: But you don’t need us anymore. You have made wonderful friends in real life, who will listen to you, and share your experiences.
Lystria: We never left your side, and you never left ours.
Prof. Ginkgo: You kept us in your memories. And held on to our names closest to your heart.
Shuko: Even if none of our stories were ever complete…
ALL: We still love you, Scott.
Lystria: Scott. You never actually published my story on this blog. You only worked on it when you played WoW. Those days of fun we had are long gone, yet you still had the love for me to watch over your blog as its namesake. The True Lystria. Thank you for loving me as the chaotic-good warlock that I am!
Prof. Ginkgo: Scott. You may have created me on a whim to express your nostalgia for Pokemon, but you developed me into a character that you wanted to become, both in my universe, and yours. You bridged your imagination with your reality, in a way most people might never have considered. And now you use my name for social media platforms, as your alter ego. Thank you for loving me as the pragmatic pokemon professor that I am!
Shuko: . . .
Scott: I’m so sorry that I never fully developed your characters. You’re all still incomplete, and I’ve left you behind.
Lystria: Oh. That’s okay. It’s all in the past, right?
Prof. Ginkgo: Besides, our stories are still being told, but in different form. Through your real life narrative.
Lystria: No matter where you go in life, I’ll always be your fierce, passionate, youthful side, ready to take action!
Prof. Ginkgo: And I’ll always be your rational, cool-headed, responsible side, ready to make a difference.
Shuko: . . .
Prof. Ginkgo: If there’s anything that this whole experience has taught us, it’s that you will always keep us in your heart, and love us just as we are.
Lystria: And so, we’ll be there for you, too.
Shuko: After all…
ALL: We are you.
(Lystria gives Scott a big hug, and Prof. Ginkgo gives him a handshake. The two of them wave goodbye, as they fade away. Scott and Shuko stand alone together. Shuko’s head remains lowered, too ashamed to look into his eyes).
Scott: Shuko. I’m here for you. Is there something you wanted to say to me, too?
Shuko: I… (Shuko slowly raises her head to look at him, tears still flowing from her eyes) I don’t understand, Scott. Who am I?
Scott: (looks at her puzzled, trying to understand her inquiry. Then he smiles) Well that’s easy. You’re Shuko Oda, Priestess of Ransei. Prof. Ginkgo’s twin sister. Keeper of the legendary staff Sangen, and trainer of your three Eevee siblings.
Shuko: But who am I to you? (Scott tilts his head in confusion) Lystria and Prof. Ginkgo have such elaborate backstories that have held meaning to you so personally, that you have used their names in other media. But what about me? Am I not special to you?
Shuko: ANSWER ME!! I don’t even know who I am anymore. My story is incomplete, but I feel so lost. (pause) Tell me, Scott. Who am I really? What do I become? Does my life, my story, have a purpose?
(Scott ponders for a moment to figure out how to answer her. Then he smiles gently and rubs her shoulder.)
Scott: Shuko. You are a very special person to me. So special, that I can’t describe you with words alone.
Shuko: That’s stupid. You’re able to do that with the others. Why not me?
Scott: Well, it’s true that I couldn’t describe you all by finishing your stories, but there was a reason I intentionally left yours incomplete, that’s different from the others. See, Lystria was going to become a champion warlock in her narrative. Prof. Ginkgo was going to be a professor in the Special Investigations Department, with a clear conscience of what to do, with rational decision-making. Their stories may not have been completed, but their endings would have been obvious.
Shuko: But… what about mine? (Scott leans over to Shuko’s ear and whispers the spoiled ending for Oda Twin Chronicles that he originally intended, before he put the project on hiatus) Are you serious? Me? Becoming… what? That’s impossible.
Scott: Yeah. You were that special all along, Shuko.
Shuko: But… but… that’s so boring. I wouldn’t have written my story that way!
Scott: And that’s exactly why I couldn’t finish it.
Shuko: I don’t follow.
Scott: You see, Lystria and Prof. Ginkgo’s stories may not have been complete written-wise, but they were already complete, experience-wise. They both represented facets of me that I’m aware of, and could easily write their story as if it were my own. But you, Shuko. You’re different from that.
Shuko: And how so? (Scott grabs Shuko’s hands and holds them together in his).
Scott: Shuko. You’re a very special side of me that no one else can be. You’re kind. Intelligent. Thoughtful. And honest. You listen to others. You care about them. And you always remind them of what’s really important. You’re the part of me that I can’t see for myself. But I can feel. You are the part of me that can only be realized by others. (Shuko’s eyes widen as they gaze upon each other with this revelation, in silence.) Shuko. You’re the one I love most.
Shuko: (blushes) I… I don’t… I don’t know what to say.
Scott: It’s all right. It’s okay not to know. (Shuko fights back more tears, as she tries to stay strong. She sobs, wipes her face, and straightens up.)
Shuko: I have one more question. Before I go.
Scott: Ask away.
Shuko: Glasses. Does my character wear glasses?
Shuko: Lystria gets those goggles for being an engineer warlock. And Prof. Ginkgo has been wearing glasses since he was a kid. You like girls with glasses and you wear them, too. So do I wear them?
Scott: What? I wear glasses and contacts interchangeably. Whether or not I wear glasses doesn’t matter to your character.
Shuko: Well it matters to me!
(Scott takes a step back and thinks for a moment. He takes his glasses off , and studies them. After a few seconds, he snaps them in half and smiles)
Scott: You never needed glasses to be beautiful, Shuko. I loved you just the way you are.
Shuko: I… How could you… Well that’s not good enough!
Scott: Oh, what more do you want?
Shuko: I want an accessory. A jewel. An accent that gives my character meaning by appearance. Weapons and titles are but forms of action. Give me a trait that defines what I look like! (softly this time) Anything would do. (pause)
Scott: Well, there is one thing I can give you, Shuko. But you have to promise not to make fun of it.
Shuko: Of course not.
Scott: Okay. Close your eyes. (Shuko closes her eyes, with relaxed composure. Scott leans in closer, caresses her cheek, and pushes back her hair that’s covering her ears. He clips two earrings on her lobes: two emerald studs. Shuko opens her eyes as he gives her a compact mirror to see for herself)
Shuko: They’re beautiful. But what do they mean?
Scott: Well, they don’t have a meaning yet. I just made them up on a whim.
Scott: I want to give them to you so that you can give them meaning. A purpose. A story.
Shuko: I don’t know if I can. You’re always the one telling my story.
Scott: (grabs Shuko’s shoulders and faces her) Of course you can. You are me, after all. And besides, green is my favorite color. (Shuko stares at Scott in surprise, then bursts into laughter) What! I thought I said you couldn’t make fun of me!
Shuko: (laughs) But it’s so… it’s so… it’s so you. You really did want that cheese ending!
Scott: Well let’s be honest. I’m not very good at being romantic. (they laugh together)
Shuko: Well… One cheesy ending deserves another, right? (smiles)
Shuko: Okay then. I want… I want to kiss you.
(I gaze upon my own character in confusion, knowing just how absurd it is to kiss her, a fictional character who was supposed to represent a specific facsimile of me. But I decide not to overthink it and smile. I caress her cheek once more and kiss her warmly on her lips. Satisfied, Shuko disappears, and I am left alone once more, in that blank space.)
Scott: I love you. I will take a lifetime to get to know you. You will always be in my heart. Be the beautiful person that you are. My other self. My last waifu standing. (Curtain)