Acchan just can’t seem to get life right. After being fired from his job over a year ago, and unable to find any meaning in what he is doing today, he is ready to give up. That is until he runs into an old friend who tells him 4 fairy tale like stories that he hopes will cheer him up and change his outlook on life. These 4 stories would become the novel 四つ話のクローバー (The 4-Story Clover)
4. 深沢会長の秘密 (Chairman Fukasawa’s Secret)
Japanese Level: ☆☆
Everyone wants to talk with Chairman Fukasawa. He is the owner of one of the largest companies in Japan, and has success beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. All you have to do is send him an email with your name, written out as numbers, and hope for a little luck. Takeru, out of luck, realizes that the chances of his name getting read from the thousands of emails sent a day is near nil. But here he is, now sitting in Fukasawa’s office for a 15 minute meeting, where he will be taught the one absolute secret to success.
With trepidation, Fukasawa turns his executive chair around and what a horse he is. He’s actually a horse. In a business suit. And talking. And has a carrot dangling from his head.
Shocked by this revelation, but willing to put aside the lack of reality of the situation, Takeru asks for the secret. This 15 minute chat is enough to change his mind on luck and the world.
3. ハッピーコロシアム (Happiness Colosseum)
Japanese Level: ☆☆☆
Every year at the end of December, Japan holds a national competition of dire importance. In the Happiness Colosseum, combatants face off to find out who is happiest. The winner is viewed as a national idol, and a role model for how people should try to be happy for the new year.
There are two finalists left, and with some fancy future technology, their thoughts and happiness levels are measured.
The 3 challenges that will decide the winner:
– Meal Happiness
– Facing Criticism Happiness
– Debate Happiness
Who are the contenders? Multi-millionaire who has it all vs. average guy who has learned to appreciate the small things.
Where does happiness really lie and how can it be obtained? Through these 2 finalists you will be ready for a happy new year!
2. 見えない学校 (The Invisible School)
Japanese Level: ☆☆
Waking up on a train platform bench can be a bit startling. Seeing your own body still sleeping while you are standing several feet away makes things worse. Unable to figure out what has caused his out of body experience, other bound spirits all start gathering on the platform near Yuusuke. In comes a train with a team of Skeleton Angels pouring through the doors. They are holding a test to decide which bound spirits will get released and be able to go on to the afterlife.
But Yuusuke doesn’t belong here. After pleading for mercy to be returned to his body, he is given one chance. He has to pass the “Sympathy Exam.” He has one hour to answer a riddle by taking a picture of the following view, which occurs somewhere on the train platform:
“This view can’t be seen by people who ride the train, but it can be seen by someone who is thinking about everyone.”
Can he figure it out before time is up?
1. 氷の親子 (Ice Father & Son)
Japanese Level: ☆☆
2 ice sculpted bears (father and son) are on a mission in an amusement park: not to melt. They were part of the summer ice show exhibit, but now that it’s over, the cold air was turned off. Their ice bodies are fading fast and they need a way to get cooler. There is nowhere cold in the currently closed theme park, and they don’t have access to any of the buildings. There only hope is to get help from the rides.
Thrills! That’s it. Overhearing people at the park say that a ride sent a “shiver down their spine,” they think that may be their only hope to save themselves. Circling the park, the bears convince the roller coaster, haunted house, and others to let them ride them, in hopes to send shivers down their spines to keep them cold.
Can they beat the heat? Or will there be two melted bear puddles.
What sounds like a ridiculous premise turns into a heartwarming father and son story and may even make you shed a tear.