HEAVY OBJECT:Volume9 Afterword
Doryahh! We’re finally at Volume 9!!
This is Kamachi Kazuma.
This may be sudden, but I have a habit of intentionally leaving black boxes in my series. It’s less of a technique and more of a product of my writing process. In Heavy Object, the protagonists move between battlefields around the world, but their everyday lives are left vague (for example, what level of technology their music players are at) and the biggest example is the safe countries. Most likely, everyone who has read this series has their own idea of the safe countries, ranging from the setting of a normal school life story to that of a serious near-future SF story.
For these black boxes, I have an actual setting in mind, but I never actually reveal it. The black boxes can really relieve the author’s mental pressure. After all, it leaves room for creating a side story at any time. You can think of it like a heroine’s hair. If it’s long, you can give them a different impression by toying with the hairstyle, but if it’s short, you can’t play with it like that.
This volume focused on a safe country, but – as everyone who has read the book knows – it was mostly filled with foreign spies and the Faith Organization intentionally caused the law and order to decay in order to create a model case for a city of crime. It was far removed from the normal safe countries.
Some of the readers might be wondering why I would do something so strange, but cutting some things out like that leaves the flexibility to fit many different ideas inside the series. That’s the wonderful thing about those black boxes.
Anyway, this story was set in a single city, so the each chapter focused on the passage of time instead of a change of setting. I think Putana’s position was the most obvious example, but actions of Mustard Cowboy Leader George Coral and the other residents of the city were constantly changing.
The residents given in bold may have interacted with the protagonists and may not have, but that was to make it feel like one big city. I constructed the story so you could find out what happened to them or who they really were as you read each consecutive chapter. I couldn’t do it this time, but it might have been fun to show different sides of the city by dividing the chapters up by morning, noon, and night.
Also, spending an entire volume on the Faith Organization might be pretty rare. The Objects were based on Hinduism. The previous novel Festival of Death already had an Object with the name of Ratri, the goddess of the night. The legends say all of the stars in the night sky are her eyes, so you can see how Hindu legends are a wonderful treasure trove for things that appeal very, very, very much to the chuuni mind. This volume included Sarasvati, Garuda, Kali, and Nataraja. If you’re interested, it might be amusing to look into them. It should be about three times more appealing than what you’re expecting.
Unlike the Princess or the Oh Ho Ho, Putana Highball is the kind of Elite whose skills can be used in direct combat as well. The other two Elites are unbeatable in their Objects, but they can be dealt with if you aim a gun at them while they’re outside of their Objects. That will not work with Putana. As you would expect of the Faith Organization, she has constructed a method based on her faith that keeps her from betraying anything.
On that note, the most dangerous person in this series might be Mariydi Whitewitch who has the same specs as an Elite but isn’t bound like an Elite. She can’t defeat an Object, but I think she would be a thorough pain in the butt if she infiltrated the enemy safe country controlling the Object.
It may be because they’re used to dealing with the Princess, another Elite, but an important point is how the comments by Quenser and the old maintenance lady stabbed directly into Putana. I wanted to show through Putana that they have an understanding of all Elites (who are a symbol of awe in a way) as human beings, but what did you think?
The theme of the masterminds here was “somewhere else”.
It can take many different forms: an overseas trip, beyond the solar system, the home of the gods, simply running away from home, into your dreams, a special job such as in show business, reincarnation, an alternate fantasy world, and maybe virtual reality too? The desire itself is pretty popular. This series takes place in an age with villas on the moon, but I put together the story while thinking that wouldn’t stop people from dreaming of falling asleep on a crescent moon bench.
Then again, this is Heavy Object. When you add this series’ flavor to a popular desire, it ends up like this.
Some readers might have been excited by the sudden introduction of the term “artificial planet”, but even the Collective Farming in Chapter 1 had its beginnings in the terraforming technology that can create a livable environment on the moon or Mars. Of course, it was being used for the Re Terra project to reclaim the earth’s undesirable environments such as deserts instead of going to other planets.
The other theme this time was genius boys and girls. And not just as allies to consult with or targets of protection. They can become pure enemies as well. But when you think about it, they’re human, so it seems to me there’s going to be good ones and bad ones. Unconditionally rejecting someone’s malice feels like turning them into a doll to me.
The Hindu coloring to this volume was to use the polytheistic motif to highlight the idea of kind geniuses and frightening geniuses. Of course, it was wrong of Quenser to decide not to judge geniuses by his standards because he couldn’t know what they are thinking.
The masterminds here became malevolent gods, but they might have traveled a different path had they had someone like the old maintenance lady is to the Princess.
I intentionally omitted most of the descriptions of the adults who had decided to destroy themselves when faced with the children’s dream. But if you think about their position, it seems to fit their style best for them to speak with their backs instead of their words. If you follow the story from their point of view, it might have a somewhat bittersweet structure.
Speaking of technological geniuses, the series has already shown Sladder Honeysuckle in Adoption War and Claire Whist in Path to the Third Generation. Compare this to them, and you might see what position geniuses hold in the series. It really is like the good and evil gods of polytheism. Quenser uses his skills to destroy Objects and protect the social system, so from the polytheistic perspective, is it possible he could grow into the same position as a god of destruction?
I give my thanks to my illustrator, Nagi Ryou-san, and my editors, Miki-san, Onodera-san, and Anan-san. Everyone ended up in normal clothes most of the time and I think that alone caused trouble on the design side. Thank you very much.
And I also give my thanks to the readers. What did you think of this story structure that began in a city of organized crime and ended up in a battle against an Object? There are still a lot of curveballs I want to use that fall outside “the usual”, so it would help a lot if you stuck with me for quite a while yet.
And I will end this here.
I hope this book will remain in your heart in some way.
The term Hand Axe never actually showed up even once.