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The 16th episode of Deep of Muscle.

The following is a fan-translation of the Japanese content.

Summary

The suffering and efforts of home appliance chojin left behind the times, such as Stereo-Cassette King, Mr. P.C and Playerman.

Story

Chapter 1

Part 1

【Prologue】

The world of chojin is a place where generations and popularity change rapidly, but there are some worlds where the times change even more rapidly. One such world is the consumer electronics industry.

Just when you think there's been a breakthrough in a new product or a new standard, a new technological breakthrough comes along, and the tool that was the darling of the times just a few years ago easily disappears as obsolete. Such a scene is now commonplace.

The MSX, the Betamax, the LaserDisc, the pager, the MD, and so on. How many of the heroes of the past have disappeared in this way!

But this is the inescapable fate of consumer electronics. It is a fate that we are born with, a fate that we have already accepted.

Even the most advanced tools of the day may not be what they seem tomorrow. Even the most advanced tools of the day may not be what they seem tomorrow, because the race to develop them is still going on at this very moment.

And this topic of technological innovation is no stranger to the metahuman world. Because in the world of the superheroes, the incarnation of the chojin in the form of household appliances is a very powerful force. For them, this fear is not something to be ignored. It is only natural.

And in the case of the chojin, the reality is even crueler. They are tools, but they are not just "things". They are all living beings with minds, wisdom and feelings. They are a personality.

And so, when the technological wave has passed and their functions have become obsolete, how do they feel? How will they feel for the rest of their lives?

In this issue, we pick out three of the chojin of consumer electronics who have been left behind by the times.

We'd like to take a look at their feelings, their struggles, their efforts and their sorrows.

Part 2

───SCENE 01 "SteCase King".

SteCase King is one of the members of the "Seven Demon Superheroes" led by Buffaloman, who tormented Kinnikuman and the other Justice Chojin in the past. He is the incarnation of a radio cassette player, which was once a staple in every household.

He has two main special moves. The first one is the "symphony of hell", in which he puts the headphones of both feet between the ears of his opponent and plays a loud volume of up to one million digibels, destroying the eardrums and the sense of hearing and making him faint.

The other was the "Chojin Daizenshuu", a special move using a super-sized cassette tape.

In order to perform the "Chojin Taizenshuu", you first need to record the fighting style, gestures and habits of one of the best superheroes on each tape. Then, when the tape is played back later on the body's player, the user is able to fight as the recorded superhero for the entire duration of the tape, from the basic body movements to the unique techniques.

Of course, if he switch tapes, he can fight as a new chojin recorded on that tape. The Miracle Randoseru always had about five pre-selected, oversized cassette tapes packed in his backpack. This meant that during a match, he could select the best of several strong superheroes and switch between them at will, depending on the situation.

SteCase King has recorded the data of more than a thousand of the best superheroes on tape. For this reason, he was also known as "the superhero with a thousand bodies" and was feared.

But with a collection of over 1,000 superheroes, it's not just a collection of special moves, it's a treasure for him!

And adding to his collection was not only a way to strengthen his skills, but it was also his life's work, as if he was completing an unfinished picture book.

That's why this announcement of the discontinuation of production is so painful! It hurts like hell!

For SteCase King, it was a crisis in his life, and he felt as if he had lost his reason for living.

In front of him lay a brand new cassette tape, the last one in stock, which had been sent to him as an apology.

“Oh dear, what a relief, this is the last one..."

But there was no point in getting too sentimental about it. That's right. No amount of crying or laughing will change the reality. There's nothing we can do. Then there's only one thing to do now!

“All right. Well, now that it's come to this, I'm going to devote my whole life to this guy! I'm going to make this last one the best one ever, worthy of being the final volume of the chojin Collection! Kekeke! That's what I'm getting excited about!

That's right, how to make the most of this last one. That's the most productive thing he can do right now. He is the king of the cassette deck world, and he must show the world what the cassette is really capable of!

With this passionate vow in his heart, the SteCase King once again carried the familiar Miracle Bag on his back. Packed with one brand new cassette tape and four of his favourites, he set off on his final recording journey.

“Well, well. Well, wait for it, the best one yet! I'm going to copy all your abilities and use them to do the most evil thing ever, kekekekeke!”

As he set off on his journey in high spirits, a small chojin walked by, his mouth twisted in a mean grin.

“It's a strange coincidence that you're here, isn't it?”

“I'm sure you'll be able to understand that I'm not the only one with a big cassette and a heavy bag on my back. “

“But, Senpai, can't you stop doing that?”

Ipodman is a newcomer to the market, with its MP3 data format, which means it can store music in his body without weighing you down, and it has over a thousand songs on it.

"Fuck! What's with you, Ipodman? Just because you've been selling a lot lately doesn't mean you can't get your act together, you little bastard!”

"No, no, the age is now digital. I think you should have an operation and change to a data recording system.”

"Oh, come on, that's none of your business. Just leave me alone!”

“But if it's that heavy, it must be hard for you to walk, even if you were once a famous devil chojin, right? In that respect, data is easy! You can even record it in an instant! Gahahaha!”

What is a young man who has not yet experienced a setback in his life talking about in a pompous manner? The arrogant tone of the young man's voice made SteCase King feel a little annoyed.

"Damn! Listen, Ipodman, it is not enough to make everything light. The weight of this bag is a weight you will never understand. It takes time to make each recording, but it's worth it. I don't know if you can understand that or not, maybe you'll never understand it.”

"I'm sure you'll be able to understand that," he said. "This is the first time I've ever seen this kind of tape."

Suddenly, SteCase King's gaze turned cold. When Ipodman saw this, he felt that he was in danger and started to run away.

"Oh no! This guy is really pissed off!"

"Hahahahaha! You can't let him get away! Come on, merry-go-round in hell!"

"Gaaaaaaaah!"

The body was dented and the large LCD display on the front of the body was cracked and leaking.

"Kekeke! You see, no matter how heavy it is, it can still move like this. I'm sure you've heard of it, but I'm not sure if you've ever heard of it."

He wanted to give him a long lecture, but Ipoman seemed unable to stand up.

"I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that I'm not the only one who's had a bit of trouble with the whole thing. Just as well. Now you'll have to start all over again, this time with some proper data! I'm sure you'll be able to find something that works for you."

After saying that, SteCase King left, playing "Gift Words" by Kaientai as background music from the boom box on his body. As he listened faintly, Ipodman thought: “You may think you're a hot-headed teacher, but that's... too old-fashioned a choice, old man..."

"Personally, I would have preferred GReeeeN's "Kiseki" or something similar," he thought, before Ipodman passed out completely.

Part 3

“Thank you very much for using the home delivery service of Demon Chojin Seikatsu Cooperative! We are very sorry to inform you of this sudden news, Mr. Steckaseking. Due to a delay in the arrival of the "10 sets of extra-large cassette tapes (for professional use)" that you recently ordered from us, we have contacted the manufacturer and they have informed us that they have decided to discontinue production at the end of last month due to a sharp decline in the number of users. There is no plan to re-produce or re-ship the product in the future. We are sorry to inform you that we have no choice but to discontinue the production of this product, as it has been regularly ordered by SteCase king. However, we have secured the last bottle left in the warehouse of the manufacturer as stock. We will send it to you free of charge, and we hope that you will forgive us if we have to cancel your order. We hope that you will continue to patronise the Satanic Superhero Co-operative for many years to come. Thank you very much.”

–From The Satanic Chojin Co-operative Secretariat.

"Huzakkenner!

With both hands trembling with anger, the person who received the letter in a sealed envelope tore it up and threw it away. The person who received the notice was the demon superhero Stecaseking himself.

“I'm not sure what the Co-op guys are thinking! If I lose the cassette, I won't be the Stecaseking, I'll just be an AM/FM radio man! I'd be out of business! Does this mean you want me to go out of business? Damn it! Don't fuck with me!”

In a fit of rage, the SteCase King stared at the huge cassette deck that made up his body and rubbed his stomach slowly.

“It's perfectly maintained. I can still do it, I can still do it...!”

── To be continued

Chapter 2

Part 1

After beating the cocky Ipodman to a pulp, the SteCase King was feeling a little better, but that was a minor detail.

Yes, he is in the middle of an important missio: to find and copy all the chojin who are worthy of being included in the last tape of the "Chojin Collection". But there was no hint of hesitation in his face as he tackled this difficult task. Because....

“I've already decided," he said.”I've already decided which superhero should be on the final tape!”

Who is the chojin that the Stecaseking has chosen?

It's Kinniku Mantaro, one of the best new prospects in the world of justice chojin!

He is the son of Kinniku Suguru, aka Kinnikuman, who was called the strongest man in the Justice Chojin world. And now, Kinniku Mantaro had grown up to be a great warrior who would lead the next generation of Righteous Superheroes!

After much thought and deliberation, SteCase King decided to narrow down the list of candidates to include in the final episode. After much deliberation, Stecaseking decided to choose Mantaro Kinniku as the final candidate for inclusion, and it was with tears in his eyes that he decided to include him.

***

To begin with, SteCase King's life started to go wrong the day he was defeated by Kinnikuman, the first fighter of the "Seven Devil Chojin". Until then, he had been recognized as a member of the Demon Legion, an elite force personally selected and led by General Devil, and his future was bright.

However, his misfortune began when, in the middle of a battle, he set down a very weak tape of "Kinnikuman from three years ago", randomly selected from his prized "Chojin Collection".

Instead of learning the "48 Killer Moves", SteCase King became the Kinnikuman from the time when he was a useless superhero, before he competed in the Chojin Olympics, and he was helplessly defeated by the later Kinnikuman, who had become the Chojin Olympics V2 Champion! And so it goes.

He was too careless to keep such a useless tape in his bag, but since then, he has always been looking for an opportunity to update the tape of the "Kinnikuman of three years ago". However, if we recorded it when he was still half as strong as before, we'd be back to square one. So, cautious as he was, he thought: "This time he's strong enough.”

“I'll just have to re-record it when he's strong enough...!”

Later, Kinnikuman defeated Buffaloman.

“No, no. He'll get stronger!"

Kinnikuman also defeated his own boss, General Devil.

"No, no, no, he's going to get even stronger!"

He even defeated the Perfect Chojin, Neptuneman.

"Not yet, not yet, not yet!”

At last, Kinnikuman had mastered the 52 Joints and Muscle Spark, and even defeated Super Phoenix, the protector of the God of Intellingence

“Alright! Now! It's time to re-record him! Now, get on with the next fight, get on with it, Kinnikuman!"

But then came the twist of fate. Kinnikuman decided to retire from the chojin mat world after that match.

"Kiiiiii! Damn it! Asshole!"

On the day he heard the news of Kinnikuman's retirement, SteCase King's dull eyes were filled with tears and he slapped the floor in frustration.

In short, he had waited too long and lost his chance.

In the first place, you can't learn a technique unless you have a match and record yourself actually doing it. Now, if I went to the Royal Palace and pressed the record button secretly next to Kinnikuman, all I could record would be his lame sense of jokes and his vulgarity of farting everywhere. I don't want that.

So, having lost the chance to acquire the most powerful weapon in history, SteCase King has been living in a somewhat uncomfortable state of mind ever since.

Of course, he's been doing his best to air-check the strongest chojin he can find, but no matter how much he records, he can't find anything better than Kinnikuman at his peak.

Every time I record a new tape, I feel so empty. I've got a hundred of these fucking tapes and they'll never be as good as the Kinnikuman of that era!

But... after more than twenty years, he has finally found a rare alternative to Kinnikuman in the world of superhero fighting that can dispel these vague feelings.

And that person is the rightful heir to Kinnikuman's strongest genes. Kinniku Man II, or Kinniku Mantaro!

***

He had been looking for an opportunity to record the fight of Kinniku Mantaro, when he was informed that this tape would be discontinued.

He has been looking for an opportunity to record the fight with Kinniku Mantaro for a while now, and then this tape was discontinued. Terryman's son and Brocken Jr.'s beloved disciple were also worthy of recording, but for the last time, it would have to be the son who had inherited all that Kinnikuman had been chasing for so long! Well, if that's the case, then let's give him the best recording of all time on his biggest day!

Finally, the day of reckoning arrived, and he decided to set off on his journey. It was the day of the finals of the Chojin Olympic: The Resurrection, which had been revived in a new century. His destination was Japan. Kinniku Mantaro, the son of Kinniku Man, was about to face Kevin Mask, the son of Robin Mask, one of his best friends and rivals, in the match of the century.

Kinniku Mantaro had already mastered the Kinniku Buster, Kinniku Driver, Fireball Power, and even created a new original favorite. And today, he's going to give it all he's got. It's not every day you get a fight on such good terms.

“Kekeke! This is the very last one I'm going to spend recording, and I've been wanting to do it for a long time, and I'm finally going to be able to do it with a better fighter than Kinnikuman!”

Sad that it would be his last, but more than sad, SteCase King arrived at the National Stadium in Tokyo, Japan, a long way from home. Just as he was about to enter the stadium after checking the entrance, something happened.

"Oooohhh! What's wrong with you? Get a grip! Ohhhhhh! Somebody help me!”

In front of the entrance to the National Stadium, a bald man, naked and wearing a loincloth, is holding a middle-aged woman who has fallen in the street and is crying out loudly. But the man's fashion is so eccentric that everyone around him is oblivious to it. But it is clear that he is distressed and sad.

“What the hell is that? I don't see why anyone would want to talk to a suspicious man like that.”

At first, SteCase King thought so, and tried to ignore him as he walked past. But the screams were so plaintive that he couldn't resist.

"Kekeke! That's funny! A human being is crying out! Come on, you bastard! What are you doing screaming in the middle of all this traffic?”

He couldn't take it anymore, so he called out to him in his usual evil tone.

Part 2

"Oh, please listen to me! My name is Sasaki Yoneo, and I'm asking for your help!”

The man in the loincloth turned around and spoke to the SteCase King with tears in his eyes.

“My wife and I were just about to arrive at the venue to cheer on my beloved Mantaro Kinniku. My heart was pounding, my wife's heart was pounding, and we were just getting to the venue when my wife's pounding finally reached its peak. I'm having a heart attack!”

“Stupid!"

With a quick, light-hearted snap, the SteCase King tore off the man's bald head.

Why would you bring such a sick woman to the less heart-healthy place in the world, you idiot? Do you want to kill her? Aah!”

“I really wanted to see it with my wife. I'm sorry!”

But there was no time to blame him for such folly. But there was no time to blame him. His wife was suffering in front of him, and there was no time to spare.

"Hey, hey, hey, we've got to get her to a hospital, don't we?”

“No, there's no time for that! She was barely conscious, but his whole body was stiff and he couldn't open his mouth... But fortunately I have a bag of medicines that I always carry with me. But luckily, I have a bag of medicines that I always carry with me, including one for heart attacks, but there are so many different kinds that if I give him the wrong one, he'll get into trouble, and I don't know which one works..."

"Oh, no! Any hints?

“She's been trying to tell me something with his eyes while he's on the verge of losing consciousness, but I can't make any sense of it and I'm in trouble! Oh, if only my wife could speak at least a little, I could ask her right away!”

For a moment, a crazy idea popped into the SteCase King's head. But immediately afterwards, he did his best to pretend that it hadn't occurred to him... and tried to run away from the situation as quickly as he could.

“Oh, well. Well, I can't blame him. But unfortunately, I'm not a pharmacist, so I don't know anything about that... Well, then, do your best. So..."

"Ohhhhhh! I guess I can't do it anymore! You - get a grip!”

As he walked slowly, he told himself: “I am a Devil Chojin. Whether a human being dies or lives is of no concern to me. I have a more important mission than that. From now on, I'm going to use this tape to perform the greatest... I'm going to use this tape to do the best move ever...”

"Old man in a loincloth!"

Suddenly, he shouted and turned back. As soon as he had snatched his wife from the arms of a disappointed Yone Sasaki, he put one hand on her forehead and the other on her chest and said half-heartedly: "Hey, old man! I can't use my hands at the moment. Press the red button on the side of my stomach instead!”

"What? What are you doing?”

Come on, come on! I want you to do it quickly, before I change my mind!

When he pressed the button, the cassette tape inside the body of the SteCase King was activated. The reels began to spin with a loud bang. What the SteCase King had made Yoneo press was the button to start recording! He decided to use the tape, which he had saved for Mantaro Kinniku, to copy the brain data of Mrs. Sasaki, who was suffering in front of him!

“Start saving! Hey, middle-aged lady! Can you hear me? Now picture in your mind which medicine you need!”

"What?

“His wife hears his voice and tries desperately to picture something in her head.”

“No, no, no! If you can think of any heart attack medication, I can help you, now!”

With a pained look on her face, she struggles to think of something.

She is still struggling to think of something: "Yes, in that bag... not that one, not that one, that one? That's it!"

At that moment, SteCase King took his hands off her and immediately took out a pill from the countless pills in the medicine bag lying by his side and forced her to swallow it!

The dying woman, who had been suffering like a demon, began to look so much calmer! At last she came to her senses and sat up, tearfully embracing the man in the loincloth.

"Oh, Yone!”

With the middle-aged couple crying and hugging each other in public, the SteCase King turned his back on the national stadium and began to trudge back the way he had come. Because there was no point in watching the match any more. The last of the cassette tapes had just been used up...

He hear a voice behind thanking him.

“You're the best! I'll pay you back later, I promise!”

Yone shouted as he stared at the big back of the departing SteCase King.

── To be continued

Chapter 3

Part 1

"Oh no, I've done it..."

And so, at a loss for words, he slipped past the National Stadium and began to wander aimlessly from Jingu Gaien to the Aoyama area.

From the pavement along Route 246 to Miyamasuzaka. Before he knows it, he's in the middle of a very busy city.

Shibuya. This is one of the busiest areas in the big city of Tokyo. It was near the scramble crossing in front of Shibuya station.

“What is this place? There are so many people here!”

At the corner of the intersection, you can't help but notice a large electronics retail shop. The latest home appliances are lined up in the shop, and people on the street are happily shopping for them.

"Huh. In the past, we used to be treated like that..."

There is only one man in the midst of all this, and he is desperately trying to advertise something, even though he is being ridiculed by the children. He is not a human being. He is clearly a chojin. And it's a somewhat nostalgic look.

“The same as me, there is also one here..."

───SCENE 02 "Mr. F.C."

"Hey, you guys! Attention! We're about to start a fun, fun,  video game play contest!”

The man who shouted out in front of the electronics shop was a mechanical chojin who looked like a certain national video game machine (early type) that it is said that there was always one in the family in the past. His name is Mr. F.C., and he loves to play games from the good old 8-bit era.

The only thing that comes his way is an unrelenting barrage of abuse from the children in the crowd.

"What the hell is wrong with you people? You're so mean!”

“He's a piece of shit!”

"That's right, that's right! If you don't speak up, I won't buy you!”

However, no matter what abuse is thrown at him, he is a proud man and does not flatter his children in any way. But no matter how much abuse is thrown at him, the proud man does not flatter the children.

"Shut up, you kids! I'm going to let you play with my body, and you're going to find out how much fun it is! Once you've seen it, you'll never be able to resist buying one of my brothers and sisters!”

Mr. F.C. used to be an elite player in the video game industry and a top seller. He must be very proud of himself. His demeanour remained consistently arrogant.

“Who would bother to buy such a thing now?”

“So shut up, you kids! If you actually touch it and play it, you'll become addicted and you'll never be able to let go of the one controller that extends from my right side.”

Undeterred by the snide comments of the children, Mr. F.C. continued.

"Well, let's have a look at the pile of cassettes in the wagon in front of us.”

There are over a hundred of them, all in different colours, some with boxes, some without.

These cassettes are actually a pile of software to be plugged into his chest. And lo and behold, with each one, you can play a completely different video game! Isn't that amazing?

"It's not amazing! Everybody knows that, you idiot!”

Yeah, yeah, yeah! Don't underestimate the knowledge of today's children!

I'm trying to teach them from scratch, but they're so cheeky. Oh well. I'm sure that if I let them play with my cassette now, they'll be so enthralled by the fun that they won't be able to stop giggling.

"All right, you there! Pick a cassette, any cassette!

He let the boy in front of him choose one of the cassettes. It's called 'Spelinker'. The boy placed the ROM on Mr. F.C.'s chest and switched it on.

“Oh, it's started," he said. “It's a classic action game where you have to navigate your way through a cave to find a treasure that lies deep beneath the surface. There are many traps along the way..."

But before he could finish his explanation, the boy had run out of time and the game was over.

"Hey! How can you die just by flying over a few steps?”

"Why? Because that's the limit of the Spelinker.”

“You're too weak to go caving! You should be sleeping in a hospital!”

The child is clearly unhappy with the hero, who dies every time he presses a button: "Gumu, I see. I think the best part of the game is that you have to use the weakest of the weak to get through... How about this?"

Mr. F.C. then pulled out a ROM with the words "Dragon Quest II" written on it. When the children saw it, their eyes lit up for the first time.

'Oh, look what we've got here! This is the second 'Dracula' game, isn't it?

"Oh, really? It's amazing!”

"Hahahahahaha, you know what I mean! Yes, it's the first game in the immortal RPG series, whose sequels are still being sold today. I'm going to let you play the climax of the game, from the hollow of the earth that leads to the castle of the last demon king. Go ahead, give it a try. Here!"

Mr. F.C. proudly handed the children a piece of paper with a long, strange string of words on it.

"Taruku, Sazana, Nugozupi, Pibazu, Nitsuho, Koyagi… Um, ah... what's this?"

“It's a resurrection spell.”

“What's that?”

“You have to type in about 50 words, one at a time, before the game starts...”

“What a pain!”

The children jump! They slammed the piece of paper into the ground and abandoned the game.

“Come on! What are you doing? This is a very important spell!”

“I don't care! There's usually a way of saving data! Why do you have to type the password?”

"Save data? Oh, you mean the adventure book! I'm sure you'll agree that it's a great idea. Here!"

So Mr. F.C. picked up a new ROM from the wagon, this time with the title "Dragon Quest III" written on it. Once again, the children gasped at the sight of the title.

"Now let's start with Book of Adventures 1, which contains the data from the last game!"

With that, I crashed the game into my chest and turned it on, only to be greeted by an unbelievable display. Just as I was about to turn it on, however, an unbelievable message appeared: a black screen and an ominous sound effect.

"I'm sorry, but the first book of adventure has disappeared."

No-o-o-o!"

Oh no, he had accidentally forgotten. That's what happens when you plug in a cassette too fast.

── To be continued

Chapter 4

Part 1

There was not even a shout of abuse from the children any more. Mr. F.C. cried out in anguish, and the children just stared at him in silence, with pity in their eyes.

One of them patted Mr. F.C. gently on the shoulder from behind.

“You know... you've had enough. It's time you retired, eh?”

“Stop it! Don't look at me with such pity! Don't look at me!

“No, I mean, it's just too much, you know? I don't want to lose my save data, honestly.”

“No, this used to be normal! That's how fun it was! So it's definitely interesting..."

“I'm sure you'll agree. You are Wee Majin, Prestiman III, and X Boxer! Why are you here?”

The three newcomers are all chojin incarnated in the latest gaming hardware with the most advanced technology. In contrast to Mr. F.C.'s dismay, they are all calm and composed.

“We're in an electronics shop. I'm sure there's nothing strange about us being here.”

"I'm surprised you're still here.”

"Hey, guys, it's much more fun to play with us than with that loser!”

"Yeah, let's go over there, guys!”

"Oh, the graphics and sound are so different!”

Mr. F.C., who was about to lose the whole gallery, made one last appeal.

"Wait, wait, wait! Look at the two controllers in my left hand! See the microphone on my left hand? I can even do karaoke with it! Come on!”

“I don't need it at all, you idiot!”

“No, I heard that there are games that you have to sing to complete! Come on, let's sing "Ame no Shinkaichi" together!”

But his voice is no longer heard. But his voice doesn't reach them any more, and the children are far away, cackling with the chojin of the latest video game consoles.

“I was so close... I'm not sure if the kids are right and I should really retire...?”

“I was about to ask myself the same question”

He looked him straight in the eye and said: "Can I play a game with you?”

“What is it, old man? If you want to play a game, you'd better look elsewhere..."

But the man quietly shakes his head.

“No, I want you. You're the one.”

As soon as he had said this, he quickly located a ROM in the wagon and placed it on Mr. F.C.'s chest. As soon as he had done so, he quickly found a ROM in the wagon and placed it on Mr. F.C.'s chest, with the words "Star Soldier" written on the cassette.

It's the definitive shooting game that once drove children all over Japan into a frenzy and even led to a national tournament.

The middle-aged man sniffed and replied, "Hmmm," and proceeded to prepare the game with a practiced hand. Mr. F.C. didn't care, he just wanted to go on and on with his memories.

“It's a game that requires a delicate sense of control, a good sense of enemy movement, and a certain amount of rapid-fire skill. It will be difficult for an old man like you.... Oh, I remember now. Back then, there was a legendary master who was particularly good at that game. He could fire 16 shots in one second, it was really amazing..."

He was about to say this when he gulped. His heart nearly stopped. As soon as the man in front of him grabbed the controller, his eyes turned sharp and he started to show off all sorts of amazing tricks!

"I don't believe it, are you...?"

The man's fingers trembled and glistened as he made his move! Immediately afterwards, the aircraft began ejecting an unbelievable number of ballistic projectiles. The number of bullets is 16 per second... no doubt about it, this man is!

"It's been a long time!"

Mr. F.C. cried and hugged the man in front of him. The man, who was called Meijin, smiled again and gently patted him on the head and said: "Without you, I wouldn't be in the game business today. Take heart, my friend!"

Mr. F.C. was able to avoid desperation thanks to the master... and also thanks to his fans and users all over the world.

Through his words, he could feel how much they meant to him, how encouraging they were.

“Thank you, Meijin! I'm not going to be weak anymore, even if the craze is over, I've built something, just like you said. I'm going to keep on trying until the last person says I'm not needed!”

In the middle of Shibuya, Tokyo, in front of a large electronics shop, Mr. F.C. is crying tears of joy, and Meijin looks after him with a reassuring smile...

── To be Continue

Chapter 5

Part 1

“I was so impressed that I almost forgot that we were in front of a shop.”

Suddenly, a man interrupts them and asks a question.

“Excuse me, do you now if this shop sell record needles?”

“What, a record... needles? Oh, no, you have to go to a specialist shop to buy record needles. I don't think you can find them in these big shops anymore.”

"Oh, that's right.... I'll try to find a smaller shop. I'm sorry."

The man who left after thanking him was also a chojin. In the back of the man's head, Mr. F.C. felt something like he did just a few minutes ago, and he couldn't help but impulsively call out to him.

“Hey! Don't give up!”

“I'm not going to give up! Let's do our best!”

"Yeah, let's do our best!"

───SCENE 03 "Playerman".

The name of the man who left Mr. F.C. with such an exchange is Player Man. He is from England, 180cm, 150kg, 500,000 power. He is a chojin incarnation of an analogue record player, one of those household appliances that you used to see in every home.

His special move is the "Great Record Turn Swing".

He has a collection of famous records, which he sets on his body so that he can play them at will. But the frightening thing about him is that these songs are not just wavelengths of sound.

The music he plays has the hidden effect of amplifying the emotions of the chojin to such an extreme degree that it is like an amplifier. At the same time, he had the ability to read the emotional waves of the person in front of him.

In other words, he could instantly analyse the emotions of the person he was talking to and, by playing a record appropriate to their state, he could amplify their thoughts and stimulate their brain waves in an effective way. In other words, he can even manipulate his opponent's behaviour to a certain extent!

Sometimes it's a "mental attack", a powerful weapon to defeat your opponent!

“I'll play this song for you now! Go to hell!"

"Oh, please don't play “Esashi Oiwake”! Oh, mother!"

There are countless chojin who have had their hearts broken and their rings sunk by his exquisite choice of music.

But on the other hand, depending on how you use it, it can sometimes be the "ultimate healer" and heal the wounds of the listener in no time at all.

Playerman has been a magician of sound for many years, but now his pride and joy, the record player, is no longer able to play music properly because the needle on his right arm, the key to its performance, has been damaged.

“It's no use. I'll just buy a new needle.”

At first he thought it would be easy, and looked for a shop, but only then did he realise that record needles no longer existed. It was only then that he realised that record needles were no longer so easy to come by a fact.

Again, Playerman set off on a quest to find a replacement. It was here, in Shibuya, that he came across the exchange between Mr. F.C. and his friends.

“But it's been a month since I left the country. I'm hoping to find something around here soon..."

He has been searching for that long and still haven't found anything satisfactory. By the time he arrived here, he had already been on a journey of suffering through the whole world.

Part 2

“I tried to buy needles for various collectors, but they kept refusing me, and even when I found them, they can’t sell me the right ones. I wondered if I would ever be able to play again.”

It was the second week of his trip. One day he was so terrified that he even went to the Antarctic to visit the home of Prisman, a chojin who was said to live there.

Yes, Prisman is the famous Rainbow Shower Prisman, who fought as a member of the Phoenix Team in the survival match for the Kinniku throne.

“Please, I'm begging you, help me!”

Prisman was taken aback by Playerman's plea, and asked him why. Playerman, a little flushed, pointed at Prizeman's pointy finger and said: "Ki, you've got a sharp point. I want you to play my records with your sharp fingers.”

He was immediately thrown out, and he almost got a rainbow shower. It would have been rude to ask such a powerful man to become a needle only for playing his own records.

“No, I was out of my mind..."

But the fact is that Playerman was in such a state of mental distress that he couldn't see what was going on around him.

“Normally I'd put on some classical music to calm myself down, but now I can't even do that. Poof, a player that can't play a note. What's the point? I don't know what I'm living for..."

At the end of his agony, he came with one last hope.

***

Japan is a country far to the east of his native England. To Tokyo, one of the most electrifying cities in the world.

But even here, he couldn't find the record needle he wanted, and the only people who can easily find them are the electronics giants like himself, who are about to be swallowed up by the waves of the times.

But he persevered, thanks to the help of a master. Yesterday he was in Akihabara, the famous electronics town, where the electronic sounds of moe songs swept the streets at high volume. His analogue playback can't compete with that kind of music!

Before he knew it, he had unconsciously fled to a jazz bar in the basement.

The austere gloom creates a mature atmosphere, yet the place is perfectly clean. The quiet piano jazz trio is, of course, played on his favourite analogue record.

“That's Winton Kelly on the piano, isn't it?”

“Yes, exactly. You've got a good ear, sir.”

“Oh, he's good. You can tell immediately. He always has the perfect balance between attack and defence. I'd like to learn from him. I used to be very aggressive and overworked my body. I used to be all about the offence and overworked my body, but now it's starting to give me fits. My body, my mind. I don't know if I'll ever be able to play music as good as this again..."

The master took one look at Playerman and spoke quietly.

“You've got a very old, haven't you?”

“Oh, yes, it sounds old, but it's just a piece of junk. It's just a piece of shit record player that's lost its needle.”

The two men are silent for a while. The piano jazz in the background was soothing and relaxing.

When the most gentle song came to an end.... The master walked up to the analogue record player on the counter and gently lifted the needle up. The spinning turntable slowly comes to a halt and there is complete silence.

Playerman looks into the bourbon glass in front of him and sees his own face reflected in the large ice cube. Then the master returns.

“Why don't you try it?”

He puts the record needle on the counter in front of him!

Part 3

“Hang on a minute, Master. This is the needle from your player, isn't it? And this is the same needle that produced the tone I was so keen to admire... Aren't they quite expensive?"

The master smiled at the player's question.

“Yes, you do have good ears, and this is one of the finest record needles in the world, my pride and joy.”

"Then why do you have such a precious thing?”

After a moment's pause, the master looked up at the pile of record jackets behind him.

I”'m going to miss it, but that's all right. I was going to close the shop today anyway.”

“Oh, what a shame that such a good shop should close today.”

“But you know what? It would be a shame to use the world's best needles only in your own room, for your own pleasure. But you are a chojin. You are going to be out in the world more and more, in many places, in front of many people. And you know what real music is all about. I wanted to give this needle to someone like that.”

“But how can you trust me so easily, when you've only just met me today?”

Just then, the door of the shop opens and a man rushes in behind Playerman at the master.

“Master, listen to me! A miracle has happened!"

He turns around to see a chojin in the form of a nostalgic cassette player. Yes, it was SteCase King, the devil chojin who had used the last tape destined to Mantaro Kinniku's fight today to save a middle-aged woman from a heart attack.

"Well, well, well. Did you put that last tape to good use?”

“No, but I don't need it any more! I was on my way to the National Stadium today to record the last tape, but by some chance someone in front of the stadium ruined my precious tape. I was about to give up, but the man who ruined the tape came after me. He was the chairman of a big conglomerate. I don't know where he got the information, but he said he was going to re-produce my oversized cassette tapes, which had been discontinued! So I don't have to stick with my last tape anymore! That means I can start recording new chojin all the time!" 

"Well, well, well. If there's a God who gives up, there's a God who picks up.”

"Oh, so the other day I spent a lot of time on here complaining that I was out of date, but I take it back. This must be a revelation from the superhuman gods that I'm not too old to grow old! So, you too, let's work hard, fellow clunkers!”

He then slapped the back of the player next to him, who he hadn't met before, and encouraged him strongly, in a good mood.

“Oh, yeah. Well, thank you. Thank you, cassette player extraordinaire..."

As soon as the door behind him opened, Mr. F.C., the chojin of old video game consoles whom he had met before coming here, came into the shop, also in a good mood.

"Oh, wow! Aren't you the record-player chojin I met in Shibuya? How did it go? Did you find the needle you were looking for?”

"Uh-huh. Well, yes, I did, but I can't take this needle..."

But when Playerman hesitated, the master, still smiling, said: "What do you think? These two, and the other chojin behind them, are all regulars of ours.”

Playerman turned around and was surprised to see a large group of chojin of old appliances, just like him, enjoying a drink together...

“As you can see, they're all old-fashioned chojin with old-fashioned appliances. They come here to complain about how they've been left behind by the times, but when they're needed or recognised in this way, they regain their energy and go off to fight a new battle. See, don't they all look shiny even though they are all such old-fashioned appliances?”

“It's a wonder they're all so old-fashioned. They're all still going strong..."

The Master looks at the variety of chojin drinking behind Playerman. Tears well up in his narrow eyes.

“Yes. This is exactly what this restaurant has always been about. And today, when you came as the last customer, I felt destiny. I want you to inherit the atmosphere, the tradition, the spirit of this shop... Along with this needle."

Playerman looked at the needle for a moment, then looked forward and made a strong promise to the master.

“All right! That's the spirit I'll carry with me for the next hundred or two hundred years! And Master... thank you, thank you..."

And with all his heart he began to play one of the last pieces in the shop, an old jazz arrangement of Chopin's "Farewell", Op. 10, No. 3, from his collection.

── The End

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