Damn it, why does this always happen with 3 AM? Q-check’ed pages were unsaved, and lots of other little goof ups. Forgivable to some, but not good enough for me. Especially since this is the FINAL chapter. This is a proper release, worthy of recognition. As of right now…8:56 PM Pacific Standard Time, I’ve updated the link in the first post with the version 2 download. But to make it convenient for you, please peruse this link here for the updated version of 3 AM DZ’s Final Chapter: Download
Just moments ago I tried to reheat my coffee in a kitchen cabinet. I swayed sleepily into the kitchen, yanked open a kitchen cupboard, deposited my mug between the jar of pink Himalayan salt and packages of potato starch and panko, and then I waited. Moments later, I realized it was the kitchen cabinet and NOT the microwave, and that I had nestled my cup of coffee in between dried goods. Moments after that, the blood rushed to my ears.
Had anyone seen me? No, it was quiet, except for the resonant hum of the refrigerator. Phew.
Dear Friends, Lurkers, and Stalkers alike (especially you Stalkers), July 31st is the night where we Heelians gather together as pustules of excitement to commemorate five years of “sloth-paced” industriousness. With releases, yes, but more importantly, with many thanks to you, the readers, and especially the wonderful staff here at Stiletto Heels.
Can you believe that five years ago, on July 24th, we nearly gave up the idea of keeping up the group? /waits for the collective screaming to subside.
We did a bit of tug-of-war with another group over Oboreru Knife, but lost our bearings under the galvanizing pressure of their kind admin’s glowing halo. However, little did we know that this ill-timed scrapping of a shoujo project proved to be a blessing in disguise, as Stiletto and I next turned our rapacious, roving eyes toward the treasure trove of untapped Josei. /wipes drool
Stiletto: Gee, Mimi, what do you want to do tonight?
Mimi: The same thing we do every night, Stiletto – try to take over the world!
Stiletto picks up a tanko and pretends to smash it over Mimi’s head. Unfortunately it was George Asakura’s Oboreru Knife, a sober reminder of their failure to secure a decent project.
Mimi (fingering the dust jacket): What about her other project – Heart o Uchinomese?
Curtain opens and the angels start to sing, bathing Mimi in a swatch of soft light.
Well, it wasn’t exaaaactly like that, but a week later, on July 31, 2009, we were bringing bra-snapping Josei goodness to the world in the form of Negishi: Our very first release (Does it count that she’s only in middle school?)
Every year – and I really mean it – every year that I try to do something special for the anniversary, something bad happens. Like the year I decided to secretly trim the money tree into the shape of two hands “raising the roof,” or the year I had to break up the releases into two days because we couldn’t finish everything in time, or last year, when the release was a day late! This year proved no different.
I ordered a heel-shaped cookie cutter (lame idea), so that I could bake chocolate-filled pastries for the staff. The cookie cutter never came. (Curse you, Ebay!) Determined not to lose out, I ended up using heart-shaped cookie cutters over a bit of leftover pastry dough. I had enough to make one – uno, ichi, ein – heart-shaped pastry. (Oh mah gah, so lame!) But after it was finished baking and left to cool, my nephew nabbed it off the counter and ate it while I was busy abusing my eyes over a thank you card for the Balancing Toy staff.
It would have been delicious, I kid you not. I can’t bake for crap, but it would have been! /so unconvincing.
So my lovely girls and guys at Heels – lurkers, readers, stalkers, and staffers, alike – never mind that the anni gift was a big failure (lame!), that I’m too frikkin’ tired to make a decent anni card (lame!), and that I forgot the date until very last minute (lame!).
The releases are just a click away. Go get ’em.
I miss my dad. With the recent fiasco between me and my brother’s fiancee, who said she could not personally come to give me an invitation to her wedding because, according to my mom, her foot hurts. Oh, wait, no, now it’s her arm? Oh, wait, was it her stomach? Anyway, enough was enough. Their wedding is two months away, and I had to call my mom about it to give her a piece of my mind.
Mimi: I live five minutes away from you…by foot. If I was living in Iceland, or something, then it would make perfect sense, and I would not be holding that against her. And how did she get to your house anyway? Doesn’t she have to drive there? I’d hate to think of all the pressure she’s putting on her poor, swollen feet, so swollen that she cannot make her way down the block to my house to hand me an invitation.
Mimi Mama: You so mean, I afraid you might do something to her.
Mimi (in an exaggerated Valley Girl tone): Yes, poor, sweet girl. All 140 pounds of her might come here, and, like, get her hair yanked by my skinny little fingers, and even though I’m, like, only 98 pounds, I will somehow wrestle with her and come out the victor, and I will somehow manage to shove her out the door and onto my lawn, and she will accidentally bump her head against a lawn gnome on her way down…
Mimi Mama: See? I told you so.
Mimi groans in frustration.
I broke things off with the last guy I was seeing because he was her friend, and she was unhappy with seeing us together, and it was making him feel miserable to be shunned by everyone because of his association with me. And because I’m a freaking saint, or seriously stupid, I bade him farewell, and now he’s happy, and she’s happy, and I’m at least – if not happy – then moderately satisfied that they’re all happy.
After that conversation, though, I avoided that side of my family like the plague. My sister and friends think I’m punishing myself, that I should just tell everyone what’s she’s done to me and set matters straight. But I don’t think that helps. I’m not cut-out for all that juvenile crap. Never was, never will be. She’s going to marry my brother in two months, anyway. Plus she really is very sweet to everyone else. Who am I to pull the carpet from beneath her feet? (Though I do relish the idea of standing up and shouting, “I object!” when the guy doing the wedding vows asks if anyone has any objections.)
But I do miss my dad. The poor man was forced to call me the other day, in secret, in the driveway, behind his parked boat, lol. I still remember the day I almost killed us both, like it was yesterday.
The year is 2003 and it is late afternoon at a parking lot of a community college. Mimi Papa is in the passengers seat showing 17 year old Mimi, who is at the steering wheels, how to work the gas pedal.
Mimi Papa: OK, just put you foot down on it gent-a-ree (gently).
Mimi: Like that?
Mimi Papa: Yeah, OK, good. Now…
Mimi Papa suddenly throws his hands in the air and shouts: P- POLICE!
Mimi’s right foot accidentally goes heavy on the gas pedal instead of the breaks, maneuvering the car over the curvy premonitory of grass dividing the sidewalk and parking lot, onto the sidewalk, and manages to wrestle her foot onto the brakes just in time to stop it from crashing into a palm tree.
Mimi: Piece of craaaaaap!
Mimi Papa (dropping his arms and slowly, then pats himself, as if to ascertain that he is still alive): Good thing I teach you how use brake first.
Lesson learned: Mimi Papa’s insane fear of the cops leads to car almost hitting tree, leads to cop car pulling up to check IDs, then said cop eyeing the IDs suspiciously, and then finally letting them go with a-
Suspicious Cop: You need to learn the mechanics of your car before getting behind the wheel.
Mimi: Yes, sir. Thank you, sir. We’re sorry, sir.
…And now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, releases, releases, and more releases for you! Take one, take all. I know you really want to throw your clothes off and run naked through the sprinklers from joy, but keep them on. No, really, put them back on! /shields eyes/ If you’re really happy to see them, then don’t forget to thank all the staff that helped us with these projects, especially our new freelancers: StormspikeX and Kat. ‘Cause I really do appreciate the help.
P.S. Thanks to Lilanar, we will be having weekly, Friday releases of Chiruhi by Kawachi Haruka (author of Sekine) in May. So please don’t forget to drop by next Friday and offer your support!
P.P.S. I’m still duking it out with Otoko no Issho Volume 1. I am almost, almost done. Don’t give up hope yet!
I’m a sucker for Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I’ve watched it dozens of times, and it’s whirring away in my DVD player right this very moment. The scene where Holly recovers “Cat”, tucks him under her trench coat, and then stumbles into Paul’s embrace always manages to choke me up. Yes, that’s what I’ve been doing all this time. Watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s on an endless loop cycle for about a week now, tissue box within reach, sputtering, “Oh my god, Holly, Cat is right there!”
Depression freaking sucks.
I really should get out more…
3 AM Dangerous Zone v2, ch.10: SPOILERS!!!!!!! Momoko dumped Tagaya?! She actually dumped the cuddly-as-a-bear, oyakodon-loving, and very, very married Tagaya? OK, so the girl has every reason to go through with the breakup; I would, too. Poor thing. Not only did her boyfriend cheat on her, but her next beau happens to be a man who can’t seem to remember where he placed his wedding band! Still, I love Tagaya, so I can’t deny the part of me that wishes for our hero and heroine to embrace wildly on the rooftop, screaming, “F- it, let’s make teddy-bear-like-oyakodon-loving babies together!”
Speaking of breakups, Momoko laying around in bed drowning in sorrow reminded me of how painful these things can be. Ah, those were the days. The last time I felt that way was in high school, once upon a time. I wonder what happened to all that fresh innocence so incidental to youth? Now when it happens, I can easily get over the guy with a sake bomb and some cheap AYCE korean bbq.
Teketeke Rendezvous v1, ch.7: Lily takes Tayoko on a (truncated) sightseeing tour of the island, while the rest of the inhabitants of Mekake gather together for a… wild drunken party? Yeah, this chapter definitely got hit with the signature Teketeke Whacked Out Syndrome inherent to all prior Teketeke chapters. Well, at least one thing is certain: Kota never fails to transform into a sexy beast when totally wasted.
July 31, 2013 marked four years of scanlation for the team. ┗(｀ー´)┓ ┏(｀ー´)┛ Let’s hope we’ll be able to keep going for another four! In celebration of our anniversary, I’d like to present a fairy tale for you. One that brings wonder, excitement, havoc and mayhem, and of course, many releases too!
Once upon a time in a faraway land called the Kingdom of Steamy Heels, there was a lonely queen named Stiletto, who had an insatiable love for Josei. In order to feed her desires, she locked up a group of editors, proofreaders and translators in an extremely high tower with doors made of fire, and placed creatures called Josei-a-fans to guard the doors. These Josei-a-fans were infamous for traveling together like a swarm of locusts. Faceless and shapeless, they took the form of a cloud of dust, and whenever a work of art was created, they would swarm up and snatch it away for Queen Stiletto’s vault, leaving only a trail of Critique bugs in their place.
The editors who were trapped in this tower were forced to dream up art, and the proofreaders and translators writing, but the amalgamation of individuality created havoc within the tower, and it become a warzone of mismatched pieces and disconnected thoughts. With nothing but Critique bugs to feed their hunger, the editors, proofreadres, and translators became increasingly depressed.
The longtime editors were beginning to feel their limitations: katamari began karaoking to Beyonce (“Bey”) videos in her head; amatsu’sendless smiles and Go-and-get-’em attitude was beginning to lose its fizz; Kelpie and pirato4ka, who both felt largely ignored, began slowly disappearing; Flapper Girl’s mind was occupied with ’30s starlets, Gatsby, and hair jewelry;Lilanar of Dustbowlia, unable to control her daydreaming, would crowd the room with her wild imaginations, which belly-danced their way to life, disrupting everyone’s concentration; and Mine-of-Lauva, remained huddled up in her corner of the tower, suffering from tea withdrawal, muttering the words, “J’ai besoin de thé. J’ai besoin de thé. J’ai besoin de thé.” (But alas! Nobody could understand her, for she was from the Kingdom of Lauva.) The other editors, shuyiin, stellar, Gypsie, Jenn, Ivy, Gazechic, Betakoi, and SwirlyOwl could only look on in despair.
The translators and proofreaders suffered no less: Mimi, bubblesinmysuitcase, otaku_mel, octopus, Mo, niflheim, Miwachan, badtzphoto, kiraxjinwood and cheesecrayon spent the better part of their days fending off the attacks of the evil, script-eating creatures called Mangiwi and Kiwango, who were able to penetrate the towers through their distortion of shadows.
After several years trapped in the tower, these prisoners lamented their fate, but resigned themselves to it and continued to dream up their art and scribble away at their writing, while the Josei-a-fans continued cloud-dust-snatching their work to store in the vault, and leaving behind Critique bugs in their feeding bowl.
But as the days and months and years wore on, the Josei-a-fan guards began to notice the editors, proofreaders and translators. A few of them even fell in love. These ones began to gather up secretly and band together to train to free the imprisoned occupants of the tower. When the day for another Giant Raid finally came, the changed Josei-a-fans separated themselves from their usual swarm of yellow dust of Critique-bug-planting Josei-afans and raced to block their newfound enemies’ ways.
“What are you doing? Get out of our way!” their former partners shouted.
“Over our dead bodies!” the changed Josei-a-fans replied.
In the fierce melee that ensued the changed Josei-a-fans overpowered their enemies and turned out as victors, thus able to free the imprisoned editors, proofreaders, and translators, and destroy Queen Stiletto’s vault, removing all of the stories from within, so that every citizen of Steamy Heels would be able to experience in these exquisite delights:
Delight# 01: 3 AM Dangerous Zone v2, ch.9
Delight# 02: Ane no Kekkon v1, ch.4
Delight# 03: Kiyoku Yawaku v2, Act 3a
Delight# 04: Nigeru Otoko ch.5 — FINAL CHAPTER!!!
Delight# 05: Nobody Cry Story, ch.1 *new*
Delight# 06: Principal v3, ch.9
Delight# 07: Principal v3, ch.10
Delight# 08: Principal v3, ch.11
Delight# 09: Sekine’s Love v3, ch.14
Delight# 10: Torch Song Ecology v1, ch.1 *new*
P.S. An innocent typo from our new typesetter, Gypsie, gave birth to this story. So Gypsie, thank you for sending in an application wanting to join “Stiletto Steam.” And though you are probably clutching at your head going, “No, why’d you tell?!(;*´Д`)ﾉ”, we’d just like to say that we really did appreciate it. ^(#｀∀´)_Ψ
P.P.S. There were many more chapters planned, which did not fall through because of my deteriorating health. (I was down with a fever yesterday and could not finish checking over everything.) I’d just like to say that I appreciate all you loyal readers. We are working hard on more chapters from seemingly dead projects such as Futago, Heartbroken Chocolatier, Tokyo Alice, and Toribako House, along with new projects as well. We hope you will be patient and will continue popping up to check on us from time to time.