"The Curtain Rises" (Japanese: 幕が上がる Maku ga agaru) is the first episode of the Cheer Boys!! series, produced by Brain's Base and directed by Ai Yoshimura. The episode originally aired on July 5, 2016.
Due to his injured shoulder, Haruki decides to quit the judo club. Kazuma joins him, and they then discuss their plans in college together, which eventually leads to the formation of an all-male cheerleading team in order to commemorate Kazuma's parents. Haruki is still hesitant at this point, but when they watch a cheerleading competition with their first recruit, Wataru, it sparks his interest in the sport.
Haruki watches his sister's judo match from the stands alongside the other Judo Club members, cheering her on. Every so often he stands up to yell encouragements to Haruko, accompanied by his close childhood friend, Kazuma. Kazuma reveals that Haruki only ever raises his voice when he cheers for his older sister, just as Haruko successfully defeats her opponent. In that moment, she becomes the first to achieve a win for the Women's Judo Club of Meishiin University. Coincidentally, this was the first tournament in which Haruki watched without his uniform on.
Haruki then joins the judo club in a celebratory get-together at Cafė Sunflower, where the club captain is fighting a battle of his own; finishing a special meal in 20 minutes in order to avoid the bill. He sits beside his sister who chides him being so shy even though he is now in university. With their parents returning bac k home to concentrate on tomorrow's training schedule, and Kazuma visiting his grandmother, Haruki finally congratulates Haruko for her win. She replies that she had won because he was cheering him on, adding that his cheering has a kind of power behind it. He is silent and she tells him that everything would work out; that his shoulder would heal right up. He turns to reply but is cut off when the timer beeps, signalling the captain's failure to finish the meal in time.
Kazuma is in the Kohinata Hospital, where he offers a peeled apple slice to his grandmother sitting on the hospital bed. Turning to watch the television, she calls out his name just as the program flickers to a scene of cheerleaders waving their pompoms in the air.
At the Bandō Dojo, the Bandō siblings are walking back home when Haruki turns his head back to stare at the Judo Club sign by the large wooden doors. Haruko continues to walk ahead, passing the Bandō Gym before entering the house to receive her parents' praise. Their father insists on treating his d
aughter to a meal to celebrate, which she replies that they had already eaten. She faces Haruki to prompt his answer, but he instead says that he is going to take a shower, leaving the conversation. A picture of Haruko and Haruki when they were young, dressed in judo uniform, is seen sitting on the table.
Haruki takes a shower, rotating his shoulder every so often as to test the mobility of the joint and the pain of the swollen shoulder. With his sister knocking at the door, waiting for her turn, he quickly dresses and heads up to the roof. His head is tilted to look at the evening sky, before he casts his gaze down at the street below, causing him to grip the fence uncomfortably due to the height.
Just as he lies down and closes his eyes, Kazuma shows up. Haruki wonders why Kazuma is there, and he replies that he was planning to use the shower before knowing that it was already occupied. Kazuma crouches down by his friend, water bottle and pills in hand. He gives them to Haruki, telling him he needs to take the medicine to stop the inflammation. Whilst Haruki ingests the pills, Kazuma asks whether there is something wrong since he tends to come here when there is something in his mind. Haruki throws the same question back at him, saying that he also comes up here when something is bugging him. When the two don't receive a response to their question, Haruki is the first to ask whether Kazuma's grandma is feeling well. Kazuma replies that she is feeling great, and no matter how many apples he had peeled, she ate so many that he couldn't keep up. Haruki ponders on visiting Kazuma's grandma next time but Kazuma says that it's fine, ending the conversation about his grandmother's state.
He changes the topic to Haruko's win in the Women's Championship, that she must be wicked strong. Haruki wonders as he places the towel ov
er his face, hiding his emotion from his friend. He expresses why he was born into a family of judo specialists, entering what Kazuma calls the sentimental mode. Haruki knew he would be relegated to sidelines with his shoulder injured, and that he will never be as cool as his sister. Kazuma reassures him, saying that he already is; that whenever Haruki threw an opponent it looked as though he was being thrown himself, hence that was what made his style of judo so cool. Letting the words sink into his head, Haruki feels a raindrop land on his nose. Kazuma says it is like an urban legend: if a raindrop lands on your nose, your wish will come true.The next day, Haruki is about to enter the sports science office when Kazuma exits the room, startling the former. Haruki asks what Kazuma is doing, in which Kazuma replies "the same as you" before leaving. He asks the teacher what Kazuma wanted, and finds out that he was going to quit the judo club. The teacher also adds that Kazuma told him that Haruki would come by to do the same thing so the teacher should listen to him. Haruki runs out and catches up with Kazuma.
He confronts his friend about his retirement from the judo club. As well as the confrontation, Haruki reveals that he had always wondered whether he was good enough for the judo club, or if he was recruited because he was the son of the Bandō Dojo, so he was relieved when he had injured his shoulder because that meant he could quit the club. He thinks that Kazuma doesn't have a reason to quit, but Kazuma says that Haruki was the very first friend he had made when his parents passed away. He only started judo because Haruki asked him to, and they had always been together, so he believes that they should quit together as well. Still unconvinced, Haruki tries to reason with his friend but Kazuma says that he wants to start something new with him.
What Kazuma was planning to start was, in fact, a men's cheerleading club. Haruki, albeit still a bit weary of the idea, joins Kazuma with handing out the flyers. Haruki expressed how he thought cheerleading was only for women, Kazuma informs him that men can also join nowadays. One notable person who collected the flyer was Wataru, who seemed interested in
joining but was left isolated when the duo moved locations to continue recruiting members.
After a week, the two boys still have no new recruits. Kazuma remains persistent; offering to go back home so that the two can brainstorm alternative strategies to attract more members. Wataru is standing outside their classroom, about to call for their attention but he remains unnoticed. Haruki and Kazuma purchase an ice-cream on the way to the latter's house, and when they arrive Haruki speaks out that he hasn't been to Kazuma's place in ages. About to go in, Wataru finally makes his presence known whilst eating an ice-cream. They both don't recognise him, but Kazuma invites Wataru inside the house with them when he holds up the poster. However, Haruki has his doubts about the new recruit.
In Kazuma's bedroom, Wataru reveals his reason for joining the club: that his opportunity has come knocking, so he had opened the door. He enjoys trying new things and wants to challenge himself to do something no one else has done. Haruki asks Kazuma what made him decide to form this club, so his friend brings a cardboard box which neither Haruki nor Wataru had seen the contents of.
The cardboard box contains his parents' mementoes of their college memories. He reveals that his m
other was a cheerleader of the cheerleading club in which his father was the coach of. His mother had told him that a cheerleader supports everyone, inspires them, makes them smile, and he wants to fly high like she did; he wants to move people like she did.
The next day, Kazuma invites Haruki and Wataru to watch a co-ed cheerleading club, called the Sparks, perform. Kazuma voices that people tend to think that cheerleading is for girls and that there are mixed teams, but he wants to try it with an all-men's one. Pumped, Kazuma and Wataru are ready to start but Haruki is still a bit hesitant. A member of the Sparks overhears their conversation, and butts in with his thoughts. He tells them to give up now if they were doing it for fun since it takes a long time to do well with such a small group.
Haruki mutters that they wouldn't know if they could do it unless they tried, in which Kazuma takes it in as his affirmation of joining. He adds that Haruki's cheering is powerful in a way, which causes Haruki to think back to his sister's words so he decides to give it a shot. And with that, the cheerleading club has three official members. Back at university, Wataru starts to practice the basic moves, embarrassing Haruki but he still joins in alongside Kazuma. Onlookers are confused at what the trio are doing, and Kazuma uses this opportunity to inform them of the new men's cheerleading club, once again trying to recruit more members.
- Haruki Bandō
- Kazuma Hashimoto
- Haruko Bandō
- Wataru Mizugochi
- Kaoru Hansaki (unnamed)
- Haruki's house
- Bandō Dojo (flashback)
- Meishiin University
- Kazuma's house
Episode Notes Edit
Character Revelations Edit
- Haruko is the first female judoka of Meishiin University to ever win the Women's Championship.
- Haruki had injured his right shoulder, which prompted him to finally quit the judo club.
- Haruki is afraid of heights.
- Kazuma's mother was a cheerleader, and his father the coach of the club.
- The message on the flyer is as follows: Men's Cheerleading Recruiting New Members!!! Become a hero by supporting someone else! Gain the strength to inspire someone to greater heights.
- It is said that at 3AM during the full moon, the university's statue comes to life.
Image Gallery Edit
See here for a collection of screenshots from the episode