A.N. I'm not sure if I'm going to continue updating this. This is more like a oneshot than a story at this point.
Isuzu Miyamura had a secret.
It was something that she never told anyone. A secret she kept hidden from her parents and even her twin brother. Many times, she thought about telling them in the past. But in the end, she always decided otherwise.
She was able to recall her past life's memories.
A shocking revelation, one that she found herself confronting when she suddenly gained several years' worth of information one day in middle school. Despite the strange experience, it wasn't as if she changed that much once she became aware of her previous life. Once she got used to the fact that she had reincarnated, she accepted that she was not that person any longer. She was now Isuzu, a spunky girl who liked sports and eating cake.
Still, that wasn't the strangest part. Because within the memories of her previous life, Isuzu had discovered a shocking fact.
The world she had been reborn into was a product of fiction. One with events that centered around her brother as the main character in a world where she never existed.
By the time junior high came to an end, Isuzu was in shock as she realized that her memories had predicted a couple of things. Her brother's isolation, his newfound friendship with a cheerful boy named Shindou, and even his decision to enroll in Katagiri.
Now faced with the truth that there was a manga based on the events of this world, Isuzu realized that the events of the manga only began to occur sometime during the later part of her brother's second year. And that meant that until then, Izumi would be forced into isolation until his encounter with Hori-san.
No, this will not do.
She decided. Her goal was to make sure that Horimiya became an actual thing, and that was only possible if she enrolled in the same school as her brother did.
So at the start of April, Isuzu Miyamura found herself in front of the gates of Katagiri Senior High.
Just you wait, she clenched her fist. I'll find you, Hori-san. And you will be friends with my brother no matter what.
That was her promise.
Chapter 1 - The Class Bell Rings
"Ikkun, look!" Isuzu began to wildly shake her brother. "We're in the same class!"
A strange whine came out of his throat. "Don't call me Ikkun at school. It's embarrassing."
The Miyamura siblings were currently in front of the school board looking at their class placements. Since Isuzu had woke up early to drag her brother here, there weren't that many other students around in the hallway.
It was clear to anyone who saw them that they were twins with how similar they looked, with the same height and hair length. Her brother Izumi was the eldest since he was born a few minutes earlier than she was. The glasses on his face were a bit tilted from Isuzu's roughhousing, but he quickly adjusted them back to their original position.
Since she was the same height as her brother, she was slightly taller than average in comparison to most girls her age. While she wasn't as skinny as her brother, she maintained a lithe figure due to her active lifestyle. A wide smile blessed her face as she had an arm around her older brother.
"Hurry up, let's head on over to class."
Pulling him along, she ignored his cries of protest as they made their way through campus. Several other students turned their heads to stare at them, but Isuzu passed by all of them without even glancing at them.
While she knew that her current actions were drawing attention to them, Isuzu was hoping that showing off an excitable and bright personality would help her make a strong impression on others. Although she didn't exactly plan a high school debut, she hoped that this would also help her brother's image in the eyes of the other students. Not that she was confident that first impressions could pass onto others like that, but it was a plan in the works at least.
"Ah, it looks like our seats are posted up in the front." Once again dragging her brother along, she finally released him as she began peering down the list of names in her class.
She frowned as she didn't find anyone she recognized, meaning that she didn't see any names that she recognized from her past life's memories. Not that she recalled most of their names, but nobody else in the room looked familiar to her.
"Isuzu," her brother called out to her. "Class looks like it's starting soon. We should probably go to our seats now."
She sighed. "Alright, I'm going."
Time passed and the rest of her classmates began to pour in. Soon, the teacher came and introduced himself before starting off roll call and introductions.
When it was her time to stand up, Isuzu barely resisted the urge to introduce herself as Jugemu*. Probably a good thing, since she got the feeling that people would have started to call her the rakugo girl if she actually managed to say the entire thing without stuttering.
"My name is Isuzu Miyamura, nice to meet you all."
Behind her, her brother also introduced himself.
"My name is Izumi Miyamura, nice to meet you all."
She ignored the whispers of her classmates wondering whether or not they were siblings and turned around to smile at her brother. He awkwardly returned the gesture with a smile of his own, quickly lowering himself back into his seat while doing so.
Between the two siblings, it was clear that she was the more outgoing one. Her brother had issues with expressing himself when he thought it would ostracize him. Unless he was at home or with Shindou, it seemed that Miyamura would put on a mask to protect his heart from the words of others.
As his sister, Isuzu wanted nothing more than to rip off that mask and give him the confidence to truly express himself. But she knew that attempting to doing so would only scare her older brother into retreating inside himself even more. No, it had to be a gradual process.
Since they were in the same class, there was no way that there was going to be any bullying on Izumi's part if she could help it. Still, that didn't mean that isolation was off the table. With her brother's sensitive personality, that was almost as bad in his book.
With how shy he was, it was clear that Izumi didn't expect to make any friends anytime soon. Her brother was strangely less confident in things like this compared to his usual personality.
Not that she was any better. But if she wanted her brother to open himself more, then it was up to her to help him get started.
Homeroom soon ended, and Isuzu found herself having lunch with her brother in their classroom. Both of them had the same school bread for lunch, slightly larger amounts than their classmates since they both bought several kinds.
"So Bro**, are you going to talk to someone?"
He gave her a strange look. "Bro?"
"You said not to call you Ikkun at school," she replied. "And it's obvious to others that we're related. So might as well own up to it and call you my bro instead." A teasing smile covered her face and she fluttered her eyelashes. "Unless you want me to call you Onii-chan~!"
Her teasing voice only made him roll his eyes.
A voice called out to them. "Umm, Miyamura-san…"
Both siblings blinked as they turned to stare at each other.
"Well," Isuzu trailed off awkwardly. "This might get confusing…"
Truthfully, this was the first time that she was in the same class as her brother. Until recently, she had attended a different middle school from her brother. And during elementary school, they were always in different classes.
So this was a first for the both of them.
"Ah," the girl who spoke to them also blinked. "Erm… I meant Isuzu-san, if it's alright to call you that."
"No, no, it's fine." Isuzu waved a hand. "In fact, just call me Isuzu. Makes things easier for everyone if that's the case."
"T-Then Isuzu-san, would you like to have lunch together?"
Her eyes widened in surprise at that, and she quickly glanced over to Izumi. To his credit, he merely smiled in her direction.
"Don't worry about me," he told her. "Just go, I'll be fine."
But why can't you just come with us!? Of course, Isuzu didn't say that aloud. She knew that it was difficult for some to simply invite a person of the opposite gender. Looking past the girl, Isuzu noticed that several other girls were gesturing for her to come their way. It seems that this was just an invitation for them all to connect with one another.
"Alright then…" she turned to answer the girl. "Sure, I'll come."
Once she joined their group, she was barraged with a volley of questions asking about various things. Was she actually related to the other Miyamura, what school did she go to, what hobbies was she interested in, questions like that.
While it was nice to get to know her classmates, she couldn't help but glance back at her brother every now and then. Noticing this, one of the girls blinked.
"Are you a bro-con, Isuzu?"
She almost spat out her drink at that. "That's a bit forward, isn't it? And the answer is no, I'm just curious at what he's like at school."
"Oh?" Her curiosity was clear. "Did you two not go to the same middle school together?"
"No, no, we didn't." She laughed at that. "Truthfully, I didn't expect to be in the same class as him either. In fact, just a few months ago, I was pretty sure we wouldn't enroll in the same school."
"Huh?" Another girl raised her voice. "How come?"
"I was thinking of enrolling into East High."
Their eyes widened. "Seriously? What the heck are you doing in Katagiri then, did you fail your exams or something?"
She awkwardly laughed. "No, nothing like that. It's just that I realized that Katagiri sounded nicer. I hear that East High's curriculum is seriously heavy on homework. I'm not really interested in staying up and burning the midnight oil just to maintain my grades."
Everyone else nodded. Even though East High was an elite school and one of the top high schools in the area, it was also reputable for its harsh expectations of its students. For some, an elite academic school wasn't necessary for them to pursue their careers. In the Miyamura siblings' case, the two were set on continuing their family business once they grew up.
In comparison, Katagiri's curriculum was a lot laxer in that regard. It fulfilled the minimum academic qualifications, but it wasn't exactly a big name or anything. Just an average school.
In fact, there was a good chance that Isuzu could never study for the next three years and still graduate without suffering from any failing grades. After all, she already lived vicariously through her past life's memories of high school.
"Did you hear? Rumor has it that there's supposedly a super handsome guy in our year. He's apparently in another class, but even the upper years have heard of him"
Super handsome guy? Isuzu wasn't sure who they were talking about for a moment until she heard the next words from someone else.
"Oh, do you mean Yanagi-kun? Yeah, I heard about him."
"He's suuuuper cool, isn't he?"
"I know, I thought he was an actor at first."
Hearing the other girls fangirl over the same person, Isuzu couldn't help but awkwardly smile as she tried to keep track of the conversation.
Ugh, I can't handle these kinds of topics. But I guess I should've known better. Romance and high school go hand in hand after all.
Not that this was anything more than a slight curiosity at the moment, but it seemed that the flow of the conversation was headed in an unexpected direction.
"Let's check him out. I know which class he's in."
Her eyes widened at that, and she quickly turned to where her brother was at. Unfortunately, she missed the moment he left a minute ago to go get something else to eat. Without a choice, she was forced to follow the rest of the girls as they made their way out of the classroom.
Yanagi… Yanagi… isn't he that funny nearsighted guy who confesses to Hori's friend in the manga?
Since Isuzu only got a second-hand account of events from sorting through her past life, she didn't recall all the characters of the material except for the main ones. Other than the Hori family, Isuzu had trouble recalling the full names of everyone else.
Passing through the corridors, Isuzu discreetly separated from her classmates as they passed by a couple of other students. If they asked her later why she left, she could claim that she got separated by accident.
As she walked past another room, she couldn't help but pause as she caught sight of someone. Turning their way, her eyes widened.
It's her… Even though this was the first time she saw her, there was no doubt in her mind that the person Isuzu was looking at was the person she was here for. The figure of Kyoko Hori filled her eyes as she saw the other girl talking to her classmates animately.
So that's Hori-san, the person my brother will…
Her thoughts were interrupted as a voice called out from behind her.
"Excuse me, can you please move?"
Isuzu blinked as she turned around only to find two students staring back at her. With a start, she realized that she was blocking the door.
"No, no, it's alright." One of them, a tall boy with short hair swept to the side, smiled at her. "I don't recognize you, are you from another class?"
"Ah, yes." She quickly moved out of the way. "My name's Isuzu Miyamura."
"It's nice to meet you," the other student - a girl this time - responded. "My name's Yuki Yoshikawa."
The other boy spoke. "And I'm Tooru Ishikawa." Gesturing towards the classroom, he jerked his head. "So, are you here to meet someone?"
She shook her head. "No, I was just looking around. Sorry to bother you."
"Eh, it's fine." Yoshikawa gave her a bright smile. "I think everyone's curious right now. After all, this is the first day all of us became high schoolers. It's an exciting experience."
She laughed at that. For her, it was her second experience if she counted her previous life. Although, living life through someone else's experiences rather than being a part of the events itself was an entirely different thing. Maybe it wasn't that much different in her case either.
"I know, I'm excited to start off the school year too."
"But it doesn't feel that much different from junior high yet," Ishikawa said. "We still need to settle in first."
"That's not it," Yoshikawa whined. "It's the feeling, that tingly bubbly feeling that gets you excited about growing up! Don't tell me you're not feeling it?"
He gave an awkward chuckle at that. "Is that what it was? I thought it was just nerves."
"I'm pretty sure being nervous is part of the first-day experience too," Isuzu quipped. "But I should probably take my leave here. I still need to track down my wayward brother before the lunch period ends."
"Brother?" Yoshikawa gave a curious look at that. "Is he a senpai here?"
"No, he's the same year as me. We're twins."
Her eyes sparkled. "Oh~ this is the first time I've met a twin. What, do the two of you look exactly alike or something?"
"That's identical twins you're thinking of," Ishikawa said. "Since he's her brother, that would make them fraternal twins. There's no guarantee that they'll look the same."
"While that is somewhat true, my brother and I do share pretty similar appearances." Isuzu stared at the clock inside the classroom. "But it looks like I have to go. Nice meeting the two of you."
She bade them farewell before making her way across campus.
It took her a while, but she eventually found Izumi standing around on the roof all alone.
"How come you're here? There's no one else around."
Her brother just shrugged his shoulders. "I guess that's why I came up here."
Something about his tone made Isuzu pause. "Ikkun, is there something wrong?"
"I thought you said you weren't going to call me that at school." He sighed. "How come you aren't with your friends."
"Eh~ I wouldn't exactly call them friends," Isuzu said. "Maybe friendly acquaintances at most. They left to go look at some eye candy or something."
His brow furrowed in confusion at that for a moment, before he sighed. "Did you ditch them just to look for me?"
"Please," she rolled her eyes. "It's not like I base all my decisions around you. You know I'm not interested in that kind of thing."
She didn't like the look her brother had on her face. It seems that just being in school was making him gloomier than usual.
"Maybe it wasn't a good idea for you to enroll here," he suddenly said. "I think it would have been best if you went to East High instead."
Her eyes narrowed. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"I'm not blind, Isuzu." He turned to face her. "You were set on enrolling in East High for months. Why would you suddenly decide to change to Katagiri at the last minute?"
"I told you already," she began. "Katagiri's closer and I didn't like how East High's curriculum was like."
"That wouldn't matter to you," he said. "Admit it, you decided to come here because you're worried about me."
"That's not true at all," she lied. "Is that what you really think?"
He sighed. "I don't know, it feels like you're looking out for me because you think I can't take care of myself. It was like this back in middle school too, and the only reason you lightened up was that you met Shindou."
"He's a good guy."
"Yeah, and he was my friend. That was enough for you to stop worrying."
"So what?" She raised an eyebrow. "You think that I'll stop bothering you if you weren't friendless and lonely. I'm your sister, I'm going to get involved in your life regardless."
The two of them stared at each other for the next several seconds.
He broke his gaze first. "I'll head back to class first. You should come too since lunch is about to end."
She sighed. "Fine, lead the way."
As she followed her brother downstairs, she realized that her goal was going to be a lot more difficult to fulfill than she thought.
And thus, that was how their first day of school together went.
Well, that's it for now. Horimiya is one of my favorite manga of all time, and I was quite excited when the anime came out. I've been meaning to attempt at a school life story ever since I took a break from my other story Lost Artworks, since I realized that this was an area I was weak in.
As for the main character, Isuzu is more of an original character than a self-insert. Even though she has memories of her previous life, she only experiences them vicariously. It's not like she's suddenly older than she looks or more experienced in life. Rather, she simply connects with the fact that there was a manga based on her world in her previous life. The reason I made her a female protagonist is that I want to have a generally equal number of M/F protagonists for all my stories. Plus, I feel like a sister would help Miyamura a lot better than a brother or male childhood friend could.
Also, this story has no plans for any shipping or romance outside what is already confirmed in canon. I'll also state this now, so that some readers won't entertain the idea, that there will not be any incest between the Miyamura siblings.
Since I'm busy with other stuff, I'm not too sure whether or not I'll continue this. If it looks like this picks up interest, then maybe I'll change my mind.
Notes: The name Isuzu means "that one" (伊 i) and "bell" (鈴 suzu).
* (Jugemu) is a Japanese folktale and is one of the most famous stories in rakugo, a form of Japanese spoken entertainment. It's well known for the repetition of one of the character's ridiculously long names.
** (Bro) in the context of this conversation will be something along the lines of Aniki instead of Onii-chan.