Kamisama no Memochou:Volume 1 Afterword
Before this, my friend once told me some good advice that felt somewhat unpleasant to me. ‘Not only do your novels lack content, even the afterwords are lame. Your topics every time are empty and full of useless content that have absolutely no connection with your novel, do you actually think anyone wants to read this? Stop dreaming. A rich woman won't appear and pity you just because you show how poor you are in the afterword, or buy clothes for you and give you financial assistance.” Although I didn’t know why he knew my small dream in such detail, his words always made sense, causing me to be unable to retort. And it was because I loved to show off useless information: for instance, cup noodles that are soaked for twenty minutes would expand, filling the stomach easily; and they would make people lose their appetite because of its nasty taste, so a meal a day would be sufficient— and that caused the others to suspect that there’s a problem with my personality. So it’s about time to change the subject.
Then what should I write? My friend told me, the people who flip through books at a bookshop, most of them read the afterword. So I should introduce the contents of the novel in the afterword, and let people understand the contents at a glance. I agree. So that’s why many books have things about the contents in the afterword.
So here are the contents of the book:
“We are a group of dropouts known as people who only graduate from middle school, who don’t want to study, have no intention to work, and are labeled NEETs by the government. We left the wings of our parents, and stayed at the ramen shop; but are not cooped up at the ramen shop doing nothing! As long as we are free, and depending on how good the payment is, we, the NEET N Squad, can do anything. Changing the possible to the impossible, crushing the calculations of the Labour Bureau! We are the jobless NEET N Squad!
‘I’m Shionji Yuko, a NEET leader. Everyone calls me Alice. My special skill is drinking a can of Dr. Pepper in one gulp and hacking into computer systems. If not for a genius commander like me, I wouldn’t have the ability to be the leader of these useless NEETs.’
‘I’m Kuwabara Hiroaki, everyone calls me Hiro. With my handsome appearance, women can’t escape me. Because I’m living a life of a gigolo, from bras to panties(as long as they’re lingerie), I collect them all.’
‘Hi, sorry for the wait! I’m Mukai Hitoshi, everyone calls me Major. My wiretapping and photo taking skills are top notch! You’re saying that I’m a Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure otaku? A military otaku? So? So what?’
‘I’m Ichinomiya Tetsuo, everyone calls me Tetsu the Pachinko Master. I can beat up the police who are out patrolling, but don’t play dices with me!’
We are the NEET N Squad who don’t have any value for survival, bravely challenging the society that says we won't eat if we don't work! If you dropped out too, remember to look for us!”
…… And that’s how it is. Furthermore, although he’s not in the summary, the main character is actually a male high school student.
Because some professional nomenclature often appears in my work, I’ll explain to the readers here—
‘NEET’ : The word is formed from the initials of the sentence ‘Not in Education, Employment or Training.’. The one that is most misunderstood is the first one, ’unemployed’. This is not related to one’s salary. Just like me, who is always showing off his poor financial status in the afterwords, dreaming of the day when a rich woman will feed me — although I have a salary, I’m still a NEET.
‘Dr. Pepper’: A beverage that was released in America in 1885 and is now common everywhere, is the oldest carbonated drink of them all. In Japan, because there’s only five companies that import Dr. Pepper, including the Coca Cola Company, the vending machines that sell Dr. Pepper can only be found in the Kanto, Niigata, Shizuoka and Okinawa districts.
‘Playing dices’: A game that was played in Japan since old times, the requirements are three dices. A large profit can be obtained if played as a gambling game, so it is against the hundred and eighty fifth law of Japan’s gambling law. I nearly went against the law too.
‘You won't eat if you don't work’: According to the twenty seventh law of Japanese law, each and every person has the right and obligation to work. I’ve asked my friend in the law profession: I don’t need rights, so can I not have the obligation? After laughing heartily for twenty minutes, he told me: 'If you want to return the rights, then you must first relieve yourself of the obligation to live.'
Since the publisher said that I could write four pages for the afterword, I feel that I can put in some simple and useful information in it. Although people probably will write useless things if they have spare pages, there’s still one page, so I would like to say something meaningful.
About the starting point of the book: the idea of a ‘NEET detective’, I thought of it when I was chatting on a BBS late at night. The initial setting for the detective was a twenty eight year old jobless NEET man, even though he’s a detective, he’s reliant on the Internet and stays at home every day. If someone gave him a request, he would use Google to search, or post questions on major BBSes to search for an answer, a useless character.
Although I say this every time, this book could only be published with the help of many people. A special thanks to Y-san who proposed that I change the detective to a girl, the responsible editor, Yuasa(?)-sama who edited my drafts repeatedly, Kishida Mel-sensei who gave life to the characters, here I give them my greatest thanks. Thank you.
November 2006, Sugii Hikaru
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