Chapter one: My Wish
I haphazardly wished on a shooting star, and now my life is a harem anime.
That’s the realization that college freshman Yuki Moore would soon come to. From a young age, Yuki’s mother tried desperately to impart some of her heritage on her son. Growing up in the United States, Yuki honestly couldn’t be bothered to participate in his maternal half’s family traditions. Aside from a few dietary habits, the young man really only latched on to the part of his mother’s culture that his peers had, anime and video games. When he moved out on his own and started his higher education, his mother finally gave up on trying to change him.
He wasn’t lazy, by any means. He was actually quite intelligent in mathematics and science; however, his proficiency in those fields ended where they lay. Literature, history, health and fitness.... All fell short. Through a combination of financial aid, loans, and an abundance of overtime at his job between highschool and present day, he managed to afford pursuing the first two years of a degree in astronomy.
“Ahh~ Princess Jupiter, my love!” Yuki threw his hands up in the air as he spun his computer chair around, “Leave that nasty Prince Protag! He only wants your royal status! He’s going to dump you for Earth-Chan, anyways.”
Yuki’s dramatic monologue fell on death ears. Despite his dramatic declarations of love, he knew that these lovely girls he crushed on were no more than a collection of drawings.
“How pathetic have I become? Talking to myself as if she were here in the room with me…” his tone changed dramatically as he muttered these self-deprecating words to himself.
Stepping away from his favorite anime for a moment, he wandered out to the balcony of his small apartment.
It’s already dark?
Yuki slumped against the railing and looked at the ground three stories below him.
It must already be nine oclock… Nine oclock on a Sunday, and I’m alone watching anime. Not studying like a responsible student, or getting drunk with friends like an ordinary 21 year old.
Friends? Plural? I’m so pathetic that even my own brain is trying to trick me. As if I have anyone other than Derrick. Friend. Singular.
On a whim, Yuki looked up at the sky. Amongst the many tiny lights twinkling above his head, he saw it. A shooting star.
“Ah!” Should I make a wish?
He didn’t ponder the question for long. He couldn’t. Stars that fall will soon land, after all.
“I wish my life could be more like a harem anime.”
Though quietly, he did vocalize this wish. As the star faded out of sight, he laughed.
Look at me, wishing on a shooting star like a child. As if some space rock is going to grant access to life filled with my degenerate desires. Maybe I should have wished for better grades, or a scholarship.
After letting out a yawn, Yuki got ready for an early bed. The itching at the tip of his nose went ignored. Though summer was ending, he was particularly sensitive to seasonal allergies, and this tingle, though annoying, could easily be written off as a sneeze that simply wouldn’t come out. He had already fallen asleep before this itchy little tingle would spread across his face and down his body, and by the time the morning light began to scream at him through his window, the changes had already occurred.
Shit! What time is it? The sun is already fully risen, I must have missed my first class!
Yuki rushed to shove his legs into the nearest pair of pants with no regard for how recently they may, or may not, have been washed. He fumbled with the buttons of his shirt in a way that most certainly took longer than it typically would have when done correctly as he rushed to the bathroom. As he shoved a toothpaste covered toothbrush in his mouth, he looked up for the first time that morning and was startled by his unusual reflection.
Wait… Who the Fuck is that?!
The man in the mirror was not quite who he was used to seeing each day. His hair had turned from black to red and had grown into a long, thick, spiky mess that seemed to defy gravity. Like his hair, his formerly dark brown eyes now glinted an unnatural crimson hue when hit by direct light. His teeth were not only so white that he wondered if the toothpaste was necessary, but they had also been shaved into shark-like points. His face, though still resembling him, was somehow slightly off model from his previous daily life, and when he tilted his head at just the right angle, his eyes seemed to disappear completely.
“What the hell happened to me?”
Okay, calm down. There’s got to be an explanation for this… Let’s see, last night I was watching my favorite knock off harem, and then I saw that meteor and went to bed. I don’t remember drinking or getting high at all this weekend, but surely that’s what happened here, right? I must have gotten high and in a daze, got a haircut that made my hair longer, thicker, and a different color. Then, I probably thought that I looked like an anime character and bought contact lenses from somewhere. Lucky for me they didn’t get stuck behind my eyes when I fell asleep with them in. Then, finally, I went to that shady body modification place down the street and got my teeth sharpened, for some reason…
Yuki’s attempt to explain why and how his appearance changed didn’t make much sense, even if he had been high, but in his panic, he didn’t care. Thinking that there must be a receipt for at least one of these aesthetic changes, he began methodically searching all of his pockets and drawers. After what felt like hours of digging around in every corner of his small apartment, he gave up.
Returning to the mirror, he placed his finger gently against his eye in an attempt to remove the red contact lenses. Pulling the finger away slowly, no lens came off. Not only was there no lens, but the feeling of his finger against his eyeball felt suspiciously like he had just touched his bare, wet cornea. Now a bit panicked, he tried once more. His fingers moved far less carefully this time, and his eye would suffer for it. There were no contacts. His real irises had turned red.
He took a deep breath to calm his rising nerves. Surely he was simply missing something and there was an explanation. So his contact lens theory was wrong, but that’s just one piece to the puzzle that he didn’t have, hair extensions and dye were a thing, and though he didn’t know much about them, he convinced himself that that explained the change in his hair. The body modification place typically only sharpened incisors, not all teeth, but this kind of modification wasn’t unheard-of either. Nothing weird was going on here, he just got too high and drunk to remember what he did. These alterations to his appearance must have been his choice.
That doesn’t make sense though…
“Who cares….” Yuki sighed.
I’ve got to get to my next class before all my professors start thinking that I’ve given up on my diploma…
Giving up on figuring out how he got to this point, he checked his phone for the time and got ready to head to campus. He had already missed his first two classes, and lunch period was starting. The thought of waiting for his afternoon classes crossed his mind, but the urge to find Derrick and split something at the cafeteria was too strong. However tiny, he needed something normal to still his racing heart and mind.
On his way to his usual table in the commons, three girls managed to trip into Yuki, nearly ruining his tray of chicken tenders.
Good thing I didn’t get soup today, I would have lost my whole lunch by now.
“Hey, Yuki! There you are!” a familiar voice called to him.
Derrick, the only friend Yuki had managed to make in the past five years, was sitting in his usual spot and waving.
“I was worried you wouldn’t show today. I didn’t bring any cash since it was your turn to buy our meal.”
The pair had been splitting lunch since the end of orientation week. The burden of pay would flip back and forth between the two depending on the day. Though they had known each other since highschool, Yuki never made an effort to reach out until he realized they were both freshmen at the same school. What were the odds that they would be freshmen at the same time, given that neither of them started college straight out of high school like most others that they graduated with?
“Would I ever let you go hungry?” Yuki said, forgetting the hectic start to his day for a moment.
“Wellll-” Derrick playfully drug out his words while shrugging exaggeratedly.
“After you sucked me into your little sports group despite my total lack of agility, how could I leave you hanging?” Yuki sat down next to his friend, placing the tray between the two.
“You even brought me extra ketchup! You do love me~” Derrick’s sarcastic line was followed up by a lean in for a fake kiss.
Yuki leaned back, laughing awkwardly as he glanced at Derrick’s teammates across the table. Thankfully, they didn’t seem to pay much mind to what the two of them were doing. Unsurprisingly, whenever Yuki showed up, they would act as if they were off in their own little world. Derrick didn’t seem to notice his friends’ clear discomfort around Yuki, but he still didn’t want to stir the pot with them. The last thing Yuki wanted was to drag down Derrick’s experience with his teammates by making them think that Derrick was any more intimate with Yuki than he actually was.
“Oh!” suddenly the memories of what had happened that morning came back, “Do I look different to you?”
“Hmm?” Derrick looked puzzledly at Yuki, “No.”
Derrick’s eye ran up and down Yuki’s body once more, intensely scanning each detail.
“No. You look like you always do.”
The confusion in Derrick's voice was evident.
“Why? Did you change something?” Derrick asked, trying to get his head around what his buddy was implying.
“No, I don’t remember doing anything, but when I woke up this morning, my hair and eyes were a different color,” Yuki paused, a bit stressed that such a big change wasn’t noticed, “Can you really not tell a difference?”
“What are you talking about, man? Your hair has always been this color.”
Yuki looked deeply in Derrick’s eyes, searching for any sign that he was pulling a prank or making a joke, but all he found was concern.
“Man, maybe I did just get too high… I don’t remember buying anything though, much less smoking…” Yuki mumbles to himself.
Derrick’s face lightens almost immediately and lets out a laugh.
“Dude, I told you that stuff is gonna catch up with you eventually. You’re turning your brain into a turtle. No wonder you’re acting so weird.”
“Heh, yeah-” Yuki laughs along, halfheartedly.
He wasn’t fully convinced that this explanation was right, or what it even entailed. Did he get so high that he somehow forgot not only that his hair and eyes were red, but that was a possibility? Or is he still high and what he saw in the mirror was just some kind of hallucination despite the fact that he’s never had that kind of reaction to smoking or drinking before? It just didn’t add up to him, but for the time being, he had no choice to go along with it.