The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village:Volume5 Afterword

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Here we are at Volume 5!!

This is Kamachi Kazuma.

This time, the theme was the Amanojaku. It’s a strange Youkai that’s name appears in everyday conversation with no connection to the occult, yet even the experts’ opinions are split as to its origin. As a symbol of lies that always answers with a lie, that position left quite an impression on me, but what do all of you think?

At first glance, this series has a lot of eccentric behavior, but it’s actually more human (for better or for worse) than the characters from my other series and it tends to move things along by saying “Well, there’s no other way of solving this”.

I emphasized that this time and created a conclusion that the characters are being inevitably swept toward and a conclusion that that they struggled until the end to achieve.

The Perfect Shinobu who appeared at the end of the “worst ending” in Side A is one possibility I pictured for Jinnai Shinobu’s perfect form. He was not born to be a hero, so if he doesn’t head down a new path himself, he would be stuck with an unchanging life (while giving up on a few things). But if he steps off the path, he can tumble down to the very bottom. That was what I was trying to briefly show, but what did you think?

He intentionally made use of how Youkai like him, he mastered both technology and the occult, he even made use of a girl from his class, he threw away everything, and he ran down the path of evil to overcome that great past and reclaim his life with the one heroine, the Zashiki Warashi. I really threw everything in there, but I’m fine with characters like that. C’mon, everyone loves ordering something with “everything on it”!! The story structure of the high school baseball player gradually improving over time isn’t my kind of thing, but you can enjoy the story of a legendary hall-of-famer’s exploits in an entirely different way and I don’t think you can really say one or the other is better. I just wish I could create a world wide enough to include both kinds of enjoyment.

And in this story, I wanted to make a conclusion that wasn’t the result of pre-installed elements or talents. I wanted it to come from the strength of the characters’ choices influencing each other.

I suppose the main centerpiece was Singer Song Liar. Automatic songwriting software isn’t all that rare these days and I hear it’s looking like they might develop a program to mechanically write novels before long. As an author, I have to admit that something someone didn’t work to make wouldn’t be as enjoyable (although as an author, so I can continue writing them myself), but these days, you can type on a computer and have the kanji automatically chosen for you and you can instantly send the manuscript data to your editor over the internet. To the literary masters of the past, things today are probably so convenient they would skip straight past anger and just feel exasperated.

Also, if you include things from other fields (like people casually wanting to make a movie or wanting to make a dream team in baseball or soccer), then “casually wanting to write a novel” is probably a pretty popular desire for a lot of people. That’s why I added in something a few steps ahead of that in this story. If a service like that really did exist, you would all want to use it, wouldn’t you?

In addition to the two-layer structure of Side A and Side B, another gimmick I used was having the characters in Side A act a little off. I casually put in things I couldn’t in my other series like having a protagonist die. I just hope you found it really exciting. And if you can guess why I’m not able to do that in my other series, you might be what is known as a “connoisseur”.

I give my thanks to my illustrator, Mahaya-san, and my editors, Miki-san, Onodera-san, and Anan-san. The illustrations must have been tough with so many differently-colored locations like the casino, the mountain, the airport, and the cruise ship. I appreciate it all as usual.

And I give my thanks to the readers. I think the Kechibi might have been a little rare, but what did you think? There are still a ton of Youkai I want to put in the story, so I hope you will stick with me from here on too.

And I will end this here.

The hardest part of this one was coming up with the concrete “proof” for the end of Side B.

-Kamachi Kazuma

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