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Fond Remembrance

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“Oh, Goku!” Zakuro sobbed dramatically and pounded a fist against the nearest tree, shaking birds from the limbs. “Goku, my friend! My companion! If only fate were not so cruel as to put us on separate sides of this war!” He tearily looked back at the spot where he’d last seen him, when the space between the panels had been black with dread in the wake of his illusion, when the three unkind men who’d beset his erstwhile savior had been trapped in his dungeon (and sweet, simple Goku with them!) Oh, the agony that their friendship had ended so soon! “We barely got to be in two chapters together, and who knows if I’ll get to appear again?!” Zakuro pounded a fist against the tree again, or perhaps just the edge of the panel. “But I will never forget!” He hitched back a beautiful sob, hoping his tears flowed with the grace deserving of a bishonen such as himself, and wailed on, “I will never forget the kindness you showed me, for as long as I live!” He stood tall, clenching his fist with determination. “I will stand for you, Goku! That is what the hero of the manga, such as myself, would do!”

Before he could go on, there was a whistle from the tree above. Zakuro looked and saw a guy wearing raggedy, baggy hipster clothes, a colorful bandanna, and sharp, oval sunglasses, holding a pipe and raising an eyebrow at him. “Hey there, Mr. Flashy Hero. Uh, you wanna be in an anime?”

Zakuro’s tears dried in an instant, displaced by an eager smile. “An anime, you say?”

“You’ll even get a slick makeover.” The hippie took a puff of his pipe. “All you gotta do is give Goku a chance to rehash his origin story.”

“Oh, yeah, sure!” Zakuro began to scale the tree, discarding his promise as quickly as his crocodile tears. “Tell me more about the makeover…”