Riko’s exhausted from studying and yet, she’s still not ready for the math exam. Momoko’s cheering her on and Student Council President, Murasaki looks composed, as usual, but at the Samurai School for Girls, anything can happen!
A little while ago, I was a part of a podcast called Otaku on Writing with two other authors. We would take it in turns to pick classic anime, watch it, analyze it, and then create original short stories from our discussions. It was a lot of fun and we had some crazy conversations. Anyhow, as it’s Halloween, I decided I would post one of my stories here.
This one was inspired by Project A-ko, a 1986 science fiction anime that parody everything popular at that time. It didn’t take itself or the genre seriously and as a result, it’s completely bonkers. I love it and it’s probably the moment that I knew that my sense of humour perfectly aligned with anime.
For this project, we kept the scope fairly vague. Our main focus was to include as many tropes as possible and ruthlessly parody them. I decided to completely embrace Japanese elements by setting mine in a school. If anime has taught us anything, it’s that you can’t really go wrong with schoolgirls!
Anyhow, this is my story. I hope you enjoy!
Samurai School for Girls
Riko stumbled to a standstill, the other girls hurrying past. She swept back her long white hair, raising both arms into the air. Her muscles groaned as let out an audible yawn.
“Hey, Riko. Riko!” Momoko skipped along the corridor, her pink pigtails swinging and bouncing instep.
The other girls carried on, ignoring the commotion as they headed towards the open classroom door. One by one, they filed inside.
Riko pressed her hand against her face, wiping the sleep from her eyes. She let out a long sigh before looking up again.
Momoko stopped beside her, linking their arms together. She gripped Riko’s hand and pulled her along the corridor. “So, did you read the chapter on levers?”
Riko looked down at her feet and groaned.
“It’s really not that hard.” Momoko stared up at her with her big doll eyes and a wide grin. “The longer the lever the more force you are able to apply with less effort, but then you already knew that didn’t…”
Riko stopped suddenly, almost pulling Momoko over. She stared along the corridor, past the bouncing waves of brown and black hair, beyond the orderly train of students. Momoko looked up at her and then turned to follow Riko’s gaze.
“Murasaki!” Riko’s eyes narrowed.
“You really shouldn’t pick a fight with the Student Council President.” Momoko pulled on Riko’s arm, but she refused to move. “Why can’t you two get along?”
“I don’t remember.” Riko ground her teeth together.
“Well, maybe we should bake her some cupcakes or invite her to a sleepover. I’m sure you two can work things out.” Momoko lifted her free hand and waved to Murasaki.
Murasaki stared back at them, her flat purple hair gliding over her shoulders. Riko took a step forward, placing her hand on her katana.
“Riko! Please don’t.” Momoko grabbed Riko’s hand, squeezing it tightly.
A metallic howl echoed along the corridor. Riko tried to ignore it, her gaze locked on Murasaki.
“Um, Riko. Who’s that?” Momoko tugged on Riko’s hand, breaking her concentration.
Riko glanced over her shoulder and took a step back. A huge man walked along the corridor, his head dipped to avoid the ceiling, dragging a massive sword behind him. It scraped against the wooden floorboards, carving a deep trench down the middle of the corridor.
“Riko, let’s go to class.” Momoko stepped back, pulling Riko with her.
“I don’t think I can do it. I’m never going to pass this exam.” Riko’s gaze remained fixed on the massive sword.
“Sure, you can. Just relax, we’ve got this.” Momoko stepped in front of Riko and smiled.
“Ladies, if you don’t mind.”
Riko’s eyes widened. She turned slowly and gulped when she saw the hunched frame of Kambei Sensei leaning into the corridor. An uneasy silence washed past them, even the screeching of steel on polished wood faded away.
“Coming, Sensei.” Momoko gripped Riko’s hand and dragged her along the corridor. She glanced up at her and nodded. “Don’t worry, you can do it.”
The sound of pencils frantically scratching at paper filled the room. Riko lowered her head, forcing her gaze to fall on the exam book. She flipped through the pages and then closed it again. Jumbled symbols and complicated diagrams floated through her mind, but none of them made any sense.
“Hey, Riko.” Momoko leant towards her, whispering out of the side of her mouth. “You can do it. Remember what we went over.”
“MOMOKO!” Kambei Sensei’s raspy voice sliced through the air, scratching at their eardrums.
Murasaki glanced over her shoulder and shook her head, her long purple hair brushing over the shoulders of her black blazer. She snorted at Riko and Momoko before turning back to her own exam paper.
Kambei Sensei narrowed her eyes and curled her lower lip up, almost touching her nose. Her face turned red and then purple. She raised her hand and pointed at Riko, her finger wagging in the air. Then she toppled forwards and landed face-first on her desk.
The scratching of pencils continued. Riko glanced at Momoko. They turned towards Kambei Sensei in unison. She had slumped face down on her desk. They leapt to their feet, knocking their chairs back. Murasaki also stood, pulling her katana from the desk holster. She took a step towards Kambei Sensei and then froze.
Momoko raced behind the desk. She reached down and touched Kambei Sensei’s neck. Riko glanced back around the room. All the other students continued to work on their exams, pencils scratching, pages turning.
“She’s dead!” Momoko looked up at Riko and Murasaki. “She’s been poisoned!”
Black foam bubbled out of Kambei Sensei’s mouth, pooling on the table below her face. Riko’s jaw swung open. She turned and looked at Murasaki for guidance, but she just stared at the desk, her hand resting on her katana.
“Well, that’s it. I’m going home.” Riko walked back to her desk and grabbed her bag and katana. Something moved behind her, forcing Riko to turn, instantly drawing her sword. “You can’t stop me, Murasaki.”
Murasaki widened her stance, her short, black skirt sliding up her muscular thighs. She ground her teeth together as she scanned the room. Momoko moved behind the desk, hiding behind Kambei Sensei’s lifeless body.
“What’s got into you two?” She stared at Murasaki but suddenly became aware that the Student Council President wasn’t staring back at her. Riko dropped her bag to the floor and turned, gripping her katana with both hands.
Something flashed in the corner of her vision. Riko spun to one side, whipping her sword up to meet it.
Sparks flew into the air as blades met. Riko pushed against her classmate, knocking her back onto her desk. She spun to see all of the other students standing behind their desks. Shimmering light flickered around the room, bouncing off the collection of drawn blades.
Riko moved back, stopping once alongside Murasaki. “What’s going on?”
Murasaki tightened her grip on her sword, the leather groaning under the strain. “I think the exam is over.”
One of the students charged forwards, her eyes locked on Riko, her face emotionless and cold. She stepped onto a chair and then a desk before launching herself into the air. Murasaki hurried forwards, meeting her attack with a swift block. The clash of steel echoed around the room as Murasaki drove her back.
The student landed on top of a desk, the legs exploding out from beneath her. She hit the ground and released a long metallic groan. Riko looked at Murasaki with a furrowed brow. Sparks shot out of the girl’s side, singeing the torn white fabric of her school shirt. She jerked to her feet, jittering as she moved.
Murasaki stepped back as the other girls grabbed their desks and threw them out of the way. Some table legs pierced the walls, leaving them standing unnaturally on one side of the room. Others exploded on impact, wood and metal scattering across the floor.
The student gripped her exposed side, sparks flashing between her fingers. Her shirt hung open, buttons dangling on threads. She stepped over the remains of the table and picked up her sword.
“Argh!” Riko dashed forwards, slamming her sword down on top of the girl. Her blade bit into her shoulder, slicing diagonally across her torso.
Sparks erupted as the student’s body split in two. Her legs staggered forwards as the other half fell back, dropping to the floor, a mess of mechanisms and electronics pouring out of her insides.
Riko swept its legs from beneath it with a low kick. She stood, spinning to face the other students. “They’re not human.”
“So?” Murasaki held her defensive stance.
“So, I don’t need to hold back.” Riko glanced over her shoulder and grinned.
“Riko, wait…” Momoko leant on Kambei Sensei’s desk, reaching forwards, but it was too late.
Riko charged into the closest of her classmates, flashing her sword through the air. The classmate raised her blade but could do nothing to stop the force of Riko’s attack. Her sword flew back, clattering over the wooden floorboards.
An electronic screech filled the room as the classmate’s head followed. Her body dropped to its knees and then slumped forward, pistons and gears rolling out of her neck as her skirt puffed up full of air.
Riko skipped over her twitching classmate and spun forwards, swinging her blade around her. She dropped to one knee as one of her classmates’ swords flashed above her head, clipping a few strands of her brilliant, white hair. Riko growled as they drifted past her face.
“RIKOOOOO!” Momoko’s scream snapped Riko from her fury.
Surrounded by her classmates, Riko was helpless as the huge man from the corridor burst through the classroom door. He charged into the room, swinging his massive sword at Murasaki. She blocked, but the force threw her back, sending her skidding and rolling across the ground.
Riko spun, swinging her katana through the air, before turning to face the man. Her classmates fell to the ground around her, their uniforms ripped and tattered, sparks and steam erupting from their wounds. Riko lifted her blade and directed it at the man. He glanced at her and laughed, but didn’t slow for a second.
Riko took a step forwards, kicking away a grasping robotic hand. “No. Momoko!”
The huge man scooped Momoko up and dived through the window.
Murasaki rolled onto her back and reached for her sword as a flash of steel shot towards her wrist. She closed her eyes, preparing for the worst, but when she opened them again, Riko stood over her, her black skirt torn and tattered, her school shirt untucked and flapping in the breeze.
Riko’s katana rested on the ground next to Murasaki’s hand, blocking another blade. She grinned and then drove her foot into the robot classmate’s chest, throwing her back against the wall. There was a crunch as it exploded on contact. Riko reached down and offered Murasaki a hand up.
The room hummed and buzzed with the sound of broken machinery, sparks and smoke filling the air. Murasaki stared at Riko, her lips pressed together. She slowly reached up and took her hand.
“Come on. We’ve got to get Momoko back.” Riko pulled Murasaki to her feet and pointed towards the window.
Murasaki surveyed the room, her gaze drifting over the fallen robotic classmates and their tattered and burnt uniforms. She reached down and picked up a scorched school emblem. “We’re going to make them pay.” She tightened her fist around the patch and then let it fall to the ground.
Riko stepped onto the window ledge, her skirt pressing against her thighs as her long white hair fluttered in the wind. Murasaki rolled her neck, swishing her purple hair as she shook out the kinks. She straightened her blazer and picked up her katana. Riko smiled. Murasaki moved forwards and nodded.
They leapt through the window and dropped to the ground, two storeys below. Glass cracked and shattered beneath their uwabaki. Riko raced ahead, following Momoko’s screams. Another group of students appeared with their swords drawn, charging at them from one side.
Murasaki veered to her left, directly into their path. She spun, swinging her katana across her body, before slashing down. The students stopped suddenly, staring ahead. Murasaki’s sword hummed. She placed her palm flat on the blade, silencing it before exhaling. The students dropped to the ground, sparks erupting as their bodies fell to pieces.
Riko raced onto the playing fields and skidded to a halt on the running track. The huge man stood in front of a soccer goal, Momoko strung up in the net like a fly in a spider’s web. Murasaki stopped beside her and leant forward, gasping for air.
“How are we supposed to fight him?” Riko looked at their swords and then his.
Murasaki stood up and took a deep breath. “There’s two of us and only one of him. It’s simple mathematics.”
Riko shook her head. She rolled her arms swinging her blade through the air. “Well, shall we?”
“Yes, let’s.” She took a step forward and then started running.
Riko clenched her teeth and followed. The huge man grinned, his blazer bulging as his muscles tightened. He swung his massive sword up into the air, holding it with one hand, his sleeves ripping apart as he tensed. He pointed at them with his free hand and gestured for them to come closer.
Murasaki got to him first. She raced into the penalty box, stepped to one side and swept her sword towards him. He twisted his body and nonchalantly flicked her attack away. She staggered back, unaware that his sword was swinging down towards her.
Riko raced to her aid, knocking Murasaki out of the way, as his blade slammed into the ground. Dirt and grass erupted around them. He growled and tugged at his massive weapon, but it was stuck.
Riko rolled to her feet, crouching over the top of Murasaki. “Are you alright?”
“Yes, I’m fine.” Murasaki let out a sigh and stared up at Riko through her tattered skirt. “Thanks to you.”
“Save it for when we’ve beaten this guy.” Riko stared at his sword as he pulled on the other end. Her eyes narrowed as she examined it. “I think I know how to beat him.”
Murasaki crawled out from beneath Riko and picked up her sword. “And how’s that?”
“His sword is like a lever. He can put enormous amounts of force into it with little effort based on the length.” Riko pointed towards the man. “I need to get closer.”
“Huh!” Murasaki stepped back, pulling Riko with her as he pulled his sword free. “And how do we do that?”
He growled as he swung his massive sword towards them. Riko jumped into the air, leaping over the blade and flipping forwards. The man shifted his footing and pulled his sword all the way around, angling it up towards her. She pivoted in the air, blocking its edge with her Katana.
Sparks flew as the two razor-sharp edges slid over one another. Riko shot back, the world spinning around her. Murasaki leapt into the air, catching her before she could crash into the ground.
“Thanks. That didn’t go quite as I planned.” Riko chuckled to herself.
“No shit!” Murasaki landed, her uwabakis skidding over the grass.
“I need you to draw his attack down like before.” Riko pointed to the crater where his first attack landed. “I only need a second.”
“Right.” Murasaki nodded. “Ready?”
“Yeah, let’s do this.” Riko brushed down her white shirt and flicked her katana to one side. She took a deep breath and charged forwards.
The huge man planted his feet on the ground, his massive sword resting on his right shoulder. He smiled as they approached, taunting them with his left hand. Tufts of grass drifted through the air.
“Now.” Riko darted right as Murasaki went left, circling around him.
He adjusted his footing, his eyes shifting back and forth between the two girls. Once level with his sword, Murasaki cut towards him. He chuckled to himself and then threw his blade into the air, swinging it down. She raised her katana to meet it, glancing it to the side by a fraction.
It crashed down into the ground, millimetres from her foot. She smiled and stepped on top of the tip of the blade. The huge man growled as he tried to pry it free. His eyes widened as deep wrinkles set into his brow.
Riko raced towards him, hidden in his blind spot. Murasaki stared back at him, pressing down on his blade. He turned his head suddenly, possibly aware that he’d lost sight of one of them. Riko gasped but charged on.
“Hurry, Riko.” Murasaki strained to hold his sword down. “I can’t stop him.”
The blade twisted and slid out from beneath her foot. He turned, swinging his sword in an arc at waist height. Riko raced forwards, charging straight towards him. The blade whistled through the air, closing in on her. She wasn’t going to make it.
“What?” The massive man’s muscles bulged, his blazer splitting down his back, tattered edges rippling in the aftershock.
Riko stood two paces away from him, her katana held in both hands, pushing against his blade. “All the force is applied at the end of the lever. I’m too close for your sword to be effective.”
He growled, his blazer falling away and his shirt exploding to reveal his veiny muscles, but still, he couldn’t move his massive weapon. Riko ground her teeth together and thrust all of her strength into her blade. The huge man’s grip slipped and his sword swung free. Riko stepped into him, slicing her blade in an upward arc.
He stumbled back, clutching his chest, steam rising up from his wound, oil and lubricants trickling from his eyes and mouth as he dropped to his knees. He let out one final growl and managed a brief smile before exploding.
Riko buried the tip of her blade in the ground as her uwabakis skidded across the grass. The force from the explosion set her long white hair flapping up behind her. When the smoke had cleared, she looked up, rubbing her eyes.
Murasaki hurried to Riko’s side and helped her to her feet. “Is that?”
“Well done, ladies. You have passed your applied mathematics exam.” Kambei Sensei shuffled across the grass, clapping her hands together. “Excellent use of pivots and levers, Riko. You get the top mark, but you both pass with flying colours.” She turned to Momoko, now climbing out of the goal net. “I’m amazed you managed to get through to her, Momoko. Outstanding tutelage.”
Momoko charged into Riko, wrapping her arms around her. “See, I told you, you could do it.”
Riko toppled backwards and hit the ground with a thud, Momoko still clinging to her. She stared into the sky as the remnants of the explosion drifted into the distance. Murasaki looked down at her and shrugged.
“This is no time to be lying around, young lady.” Kambei Sensei waddled towards them and prodded Riko with her walking stick. “You need to hurry to your next class. What is it you have next?”
Riko let out a sigh. “Gym!”
So, there you have it. Thank you for reading Samurai School for Girls. I had a lot of fun writing it and it’s something I think I would like to continue in the future. There’s definitely potential for much more to the story. Maybe, I’ll get my act together and turn this into a manga.