Apocalypse Witch:Volume1 Afterword
This is Kamachi Kazuma!
For some reason, I get the occasional urge to write a revenge story. This is a collection of the various ideas I had gradually built up whenever that urge hit me. It was originally darker than this, but it ended up like this in the end. I am just glad it ended up as a completed novel.
I had trouble deciding what kind of magic to use, but I ended up focusing on weather and calendars this time. Do you all remember the Central and South American calendar that supposedly claimed the earth would be destroyed in the year 2012? First it was 1999, then it was 2012, and now they’re talking about when AIs will surpass humanity. Even if I make a living based on this, I’m still impressed with all the different things they manage to come up with. Anyway, the fact that I still remember it may be a sign that it struck a chord with me. But to get back on topic, all civilizations around the world have tried to accurately predict the weather and climate conditions, especially when it comes to preventing disasters, providing a stable food supply, and planning the courses for ships. Like it said in the book, priests and priestesses carry the special power to bring people together to form a civilization and I thought that would be a nice theme to go with.
With the collision of energies coming from outer space and from the Original Crystal Embryo in the center of the earth, I created a magic system based on occult high and low pressure systems that people have to learn to read in order to wield their power, similar to how people read the weather map to grow wheat, prevent flooding, and raise their sails. I initially thought it would make for a prettier image to compare it to an aurora, but I ended up unifying the magic rules with the weather forecast format. You can think of the weather lady as a Halloween witch and the isobars behind her as a magic circle. The Catastrophe never actually happened (on the first ship), but just as the name suggests, that event is all about overcoming disasters. I thought that and the unidentified Threat lurking beyond it would make for a decent goal for them. What did you think?
I see God-Worshiping Magic as being the people who can’t read the world’s atmospheric conditions and instead locally determine the weather using artificial rain.
In that sense, there is an absolute wall between Crystal Magic and God-Worshiping Magic, but the former contains possibility the latter lacks. That should be the easiest way to sum up the balance of power there.
That said, I thought it would make for too surreal a visual if they were waving around calendars and horoscope charts instead of magic wands, so I rearranged that into an electronic device. And exposed circuitry would not be very appealing, so I expanded the idea from silicon wafers to silicon and then to silicon lifeforms to arrive at Crystal Blossoms.
I seem to see a certain romance in the idea of silicon lifeforms since I used that as a main gimmick in Blood-Sign and then this too. Making the protagonist’s weapon an expressionless girl he can give commands to is probably another form of romance.
Crystal Blossoms and Aine. They are both luxuriously beautiful yet delicate and brittle. I tried to include plenty of contrasting elements there, but I will leave that for all of you to judge.
The overall theme was focused on the idea of “the strongest”. But in addition to having strongest characters go on a rampage, I also decided to focus on what being the strongest would mean. That should be most obvious in the second half of Chapter 4 and the Epilogue.
No one can be the strongest all on their own.
Either they follow the existing rules to become the strongest or they become the strongest and twist the rules to match them.
When God-Worshiping Magic was the strongest, its users created a world that was most comfortable for them. And some people were sacrificed for the continuation of that age and their prosperity.
But once Crystal Magic rises to the forefront, it will apply pressure to God-Worshiping Magic.
This might look like a standard revenge story at first, but I hope you also saw it as the story of one set of strongests being overwritten, devoured, and removed by another set. When you view the big picture, you should be able to see why the Problem Solvers acted so unreasonably at the beginning of the story.
And before Crystal Magic or even God-Worshiping Magic, this fruitless cycle has repeated again and again in this novel’s world. I think of it kind of like humans being thrown in the furnace and hammered in order to gradually strengthen their culture and civilization.
Then what does it mean to be the strongest?
And who benefits most from propping them up?
I created a setting where the novel’s world should open up quite a bit if you think about those questions.
Being the strongest requires being surrounded by a system that praises that power.
You can think of the strongest as being both the characters themselves and that which creates the necessary situation. I think the people who place them on those rails and urge them onward are much more frightening, but what about all of you?
If you could destroy that surrounding system, wouldn’t that make you the true strongest?
I give my thanks to my illustrator Mika Pikazo-san and to my editors Miki-san, Anan-san, Nakajima-san, Yamamoto-san, and Mitera-san. Thank you for helping me with this new series! They were wearing school uniforms, but the Crystal Magic armor could not have made it easy. Sorry for all the trouble I put you through.
And I give my thanks to the readers. This was a series of merciless battles, but it was the interaction of the boy and the girls that supported that. I focused a lot on that alternating slowing down and speeding up of the pace, but how did you like it? The standard methods won’t work and winning does not necessarily give you what you wanted, but this was still the story of a group who kept fighting to the end. I hope you enjoyed it.
And I will end this here.
It’s fairly unusual for me to use a katana as a main weapon, isn’t it?
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