Maria-sama ga Miteru:Volume9 Chapter10

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What, you were worried about that?

Hello, this is Konno.

Well, there are pros and cons to being one of those that got it, but I feel a bit relieved today now that I've delivered "Maria-sama ga Miteru: Cherry Blossom."

The first half, "The Cherry in the Ginkgoes," is the "magazine story" that I've often mentioned in previous afterwords, and there had been a lot of requests, both from the editorial department and in letters sent to me, to turn it into a light novel series, so it was something of a problem child. It was becoming hard to get hold of, since it was published about a year ago, and some of the people who hadn't read it at the time were visiting libraries just to look for it … sorry for the inconvenience.

Now then.

When I said there were pros and cons, one of the things I was conscious of is how things have changed up to now.

First and foremost, the change in the main characters.

The previous third-years, Mizuno Youko, Torii Eriko, and Satou Sei have all graduated, although Sei makes a brief cameo in this book, and a bunch of new first-years are strutting around like they own the place.

For those of you who have been reading since the first "Maria-sama ga Miteru" novel, this cast change may seem bewildering, leaving you feeling conflicted, like Yumi in the middle of "Background Noise." Because it surprised me how popular the former Roses were.

But in one sense it had all been leading up to this point. Because "The Cherry in the Ginkgoes" is like the genesis of the "Maria-sama ga Miteru" series.

So, I'm not going to say you should force yourself to like the new faces, but it would make me happy if you watched over them for the long term.


As per the first words of this afterword, I'm sure there will be plenty of readers who will feel it's a bit of an anticlimax and say, "What? That's it," when they find out the cause of Shimako's worries. With all I've written of Shimako's suffering to now, there were some people who imagined she must have been carrying an unthinkable secret.

However. I don't think the impression of Shimako is an over-exaggeration. The person who's worrying about something can dig themselves into a hole that's far deeper than those around them can imagine. Young people in particular seem to do this. When you're in the middle of it, you get caught up in what's going to happen tomorrow and can't take the long view.

But I digress.

About a page ago I wrote, "first," but there hasn't been a "next" yet.

Let's see, next, right. Thanks to Noriko, there's now the scent of boys. "Takuya-kun," still with only a first name. Noriko herself denies the boyfriend theory, but those readers who don't want any males in the cast are surely booing. I understand. Even so, here he is ( … no need to comment).

Oh, while I said there were pros and cons, everything so far has been cons. But the pros are the reverse of all the cons. There were readers interested in Noriko and Touko, as well as those who thought that "having boys highlights the good parts of the girls."

At any rate, Yumi and Sachiko, Yoshino, Rei and Shimako are all going strong, so I don't think there will be any changes to the cast of "Maria-sama ga Miteru" from here on.

There were a number of corrections and amendments made in this version of "The Cherry in the Ginkgoes" compared to the magazine one. But most of the contents are unchanged.

I looked for the disk, but couldn't find it (or, rather, maybe it wasn't put on disk in the first place. Since I faxed over the manuscript). Like an idiotic author, I had to type it back into my computer from the magazine. It seemed like a bit of a waste, but it may have been for the best. It took some time, but it felt like it helped me remember the feel of the characters Noriko and Touko.

There's still some pages left, so about the Maria Festival.

The Maria Festival.

They had such a thing when I was in kindergarten.

So while I wrote that it was peculiar to Lillian's, it would be wonderful if Catholic schools had a festival of the same name. Although it could cover a number of things.

When I was in kindergarten, the younger boys and girls would hold hands and walk to the statue of Maria, where they'd make an offering of carnations.

The older girls would be angels. The boys, I don't know, they would wear something like a sailor's uniform, or a choir uniform, or pants that looked like those from old European nobility. At the time I didn't really question it, but I wonder what they were supposed to be dressed as.

Incidentally, I was only average height back then, so I was a flower bearing angel. I faced the statue of Maria and scattered petals over it.

Every girl looks cute when dressed as an angel. (Spare me the jokes about reveling in my decades old glory.)

Now, to the present.

Once again my supervisor has changed. This time it's an older lady.

Since the previous supervisor was only here for a short time you may be suspicious that they left because of a fight, but rest assured it was simply due to a re-organization of the editorial department.

… Although I doubt anyone was actually worried about that.

Konno Oyuki.

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