Kamisama no Memochou:Volume 4 Afterword
The last male panda in Japan, Rin Rin, died at the Ueno zoo a month and a few days before the third episode of this series was released— the end of April 2008.
As it can be said that I’m living a life with no chance of using the television, I never found out that such a thing actually happened for nearly a year. That might be because I’m not particularly interested in black and white pandas. When I went to the Ueno zoo two years ago, I was probably standing behind the children on the glass of the panda hall who were looking at the still-present Rin Rin, but I have no memory of it at all right now. In my mind, there is only the happy look of a small panda shaking its fluffy tail, walking here and there under the shade.
In any case, when I found out about his heath, it was coincidentally the time when I was writing the forth episode, and I still can’t recognize this truth. Although I say that I’m uninterested in it, in my subconscious, I still think that pandas are indistinguishable from Ueno. Besides, there are still panda statues at the Ueno station, while the names ‘Panda Pass’ and ‘Panda Bridge’ and the like are still kept.
They’re guides for people to think back on their memories one day, perhaps? To keep a certain place for certain people, the most important thing is to give it a name, and continue to treasure it.
The content of the four books in the Kami-sama no Memo-chou series are stories similar to this. To treasure the places named for a certain person, until that person returns— they are stories like that. If everyone can use this chance to look back in detail, I think it’s not hard to notice the theme lying under the story.
After my previous series was complete, I once discussed with my editor about my next work. As there was already two or three new ideas, I originally planned to write a brand new series, but he told me this in the phone instead—
‘Remember to think about the contents of Kamimemo 4 as well!’
As I’m a classic Japanese who just can’t say no, I actually answered like this: “Then I’ll send a few proposals over including Kamimemo 4.”, when I actually never thought of continuing.
I thought to myself: ‘Whatever, let’s just send them the proposals for the new series, and it’ll be fine as long as one gets through’
However, things didn’t go as I expected. When I sat before my desk, the new proposals that I was originally confident of completely disappeared, and could not be given form. When I came to my senses, I realized that my mind was filled with Narumi, Alice, Yondaime and ‘Him’ when I was staring at the blank document.
After that, I took out the first novel and flipped open the 215th page.
Up till now, the memory is still fresh in me. When I was writing Yondaime’s lines, I did indeed think of ‘him’— the story of ‘him’ parting with Yondaime, and not knowing if I could write the story that must be faced, the story of ‘his’ reunion with Yondaime.
Thus, I kicked away the new proposals that were in my mind, and completed the main structure of this story. I planned to write the proposal for Kamimemo 4 later, but it was sent to my editors the earliest instead.
In the end, as you can see, of course, it passed.
Probably because the place named for Yondaime and ‘him’ still exists in my editor’s heart— and in my heart as well? After all, this series has stories just like this.
Although I’m speaking somewhat triumphantly, actually, I just thought of the speech above just now, ramblings that I thought of after that. If any reader really flipped through the previous books because of my words, I’m so sorry. Although I wasn’t really ‘deliberately spouting nonsense about the main theme of the story in the afterword of the forth book’, my illness of rambling on hasn’t seem to be cured, and I actually did it for two pages, speaking as though it’s really true…… If anyone throws the book directly on the wall after reading the afterword, I can’t have any complaints as well.
Although I, who kept playing the role of the boy who cried wolf, might not be trusted after this anymore, the part regarding ‘him’ is actually true. I kept planning to write this from before, and I finally completed my task, so I really have mixed feelings about this.
It feels like I should apologize for many things, so please allow me to express my most sincere apology for making everyone wait for a whole year. As for what I did in this period of time, people who once read my previous works should have known that I completely ignored kamimemo, and went to write other stories. Very sorry.
Speaking of which, regarding the second hand shop that appeared a few times in this story, there are some stories that will be released along with the novel as drama CDs.
This is the longest afterword that I have written in my whole life. Inavoidably, I’ve brought various troubles to my editor, Yuasa-sama, when I was writing the drafts of the story, and delayed the deadline of other short works, so I’m expressing my deepest apology over here. I’ll have to thank Kishida Mel-sensei for creating beautiful illustrations for me in his business. Apart from that, NoSeul-ki-sensei helped me out as the translator for the Korean version when I was gathering information, so please allow me to use this chance to express my deepest gratitude.
May 2009 Sugii Hikaru
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