The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village:Volume8 Afterword
That was Volume 8.
This is Kamachi Kazuma.
Volume 8. Volume 8, huh? This series has gotten pretty long, hasn’t it? But why is it that I feel like I’ve done about twice that much work? While that sinks in, I’ll announce this volume’s theme. It was love!! The most obvious examples were related to Shinobu, but I mixed in some other romances outside of that.
Romance is not necessarily a pretty and happy thing. In one chapter, it was a motive for murder. In another chapter, it forced a choice between selecting one girl and abandoning the other. I decided to put in as much love as I could, both the pure and the impure.
I set up a large framework to reconfirm Shinobu’s feelings for the Zashiki Warashi, but I omitted any major explanation on her feelings for him because I felt that went without saying at this stage. Unlike the heroines in my other series, I didn’t have to include the “meeting” and “growing” stages of their relationship, so it’s a bit of an exception even in my novels. The story began in checkmate, so it was over the instant they realized their feelings for each other.
And even though I made bittersweet love as the theme, for some reason the entire story was about a zombie hell. That was a very Intellectual Village style of twist.
Personally, I think the true heart of a zombie story can be found in two points:
“Where did the zombies come from?”
“How can they overcome the zombie outbreak?”
And during that process, it might be important to build up some excitement as you wonder what you would do and where you would go in that situation. Unlike a normal action movie, you place yourself in the same hopeless situation as the protagonist and feel like you can move around relatively freely in that world. What did all of you think?
And that’s why I tried a zombie story since Intellectual Village allowed for it. I hope you enjoyed it.
About Chapter 1.
This chapter was used to explain the basic rules of this world’s zombie outbreak. Would you move on foot for some freedom despite the danger or would you use the solid dump truck that could get stopped and leave you trapped? Which means of transportation would you choose?
I set the zombies’ strength at the level of a grizzly bear. I thought comparing it to a real animal would make it easier to understand, but I also feared it would make the monsters less frightening. However, I decided it would still work since having ten or a hundred grizzly-level monsters charging at you would be enough of a nightmare. And Nagisa is a quite a monster herself to fight against those grizzlies with just a shovel.
The villain’s motive was powerful love.
I discussed how the zombies tell friend from foe and how they pursue their prey so accurately and I took advantage of those facts.
About Chapter 2.
I had some time pass to set the chapter in Bozen City after the zombie outbreak had spread some. I tried to make a story that made you question if the zombies even existed and if humans were maybe the real threat.
I made the twisted version of Nagisa as a character centered on an extremely simplified version of human relationships. While Shinobu is constantly pursued as her yandere target, Hayabusa and Enbi were placed in a different classification and could more easily see who she was.
If you reread Chapter 2 after reading Chapter 4’s parting with Shinobu, you might get a different impression now that you know why Nagisa is doing what she does.
Also, Nagisa reveals that the zombies are chewing anything that draws their attention rather than eating the living.
By the way, the original incident with the St. Bernard was not the only reason that Nagisa broke. It was also because she learned that Shinobu’s feelings were shifting to the Zashiki Warashi (even if he wasn’t aware of it) back in middle school. He can’t exactly complain if she stabs him, can he?
About Chapter 3.
I decided a superhuman like Mai wouldn’t be that interesting fighting a bunch of zombies, so I had her take a parachute shortcut right to the center and focused on her battle with Hishigami Shikimi, another Hishigami Woman. That changed the setting from the city to the pit and shifted the tone from Western zombie horror to Japanese-style horror (things like bloody rituals).
And since it was a Mai story, I took the dog square, a symbol of hope and escape in Chapter 1, and revealed the horrific tradition behind it to completely turn its value on its head.
The first three chapters all had hopeless endings, but in accordance with the rule that using the Deadly Dragon Princess means she has 100% lost, the most awful defeat awaited her.
About Chapter 4.
This chapter made use of all the rules set up in Chapters 1-3. For example, capturing the zombie Zashiki Warashi in the bear trap, controlling her with the cellphone and smartphone, and switching between using her with the zombies or Shinobu with the humans. I think I did a good job of giving off the sense I mentioned of “I’d do this if it was me!”, but that is for all of you to judge.
It was almost entirely from Shinobu’s POV, but I did include Uchimaku Hayabusa, Hishigami Enbi, and Hishigami Mai as zombies for an all-star appearance. Since Shinobu had himself bitten on purpose at the end, all of the main characters except for the Sunekosuri fell prey to the zombies. …In that way, maybe the Sunekosuri has the most amazing survival ability? Maybe he isn’t an official member of Hyakki Yakou for nothing.
With the battle against Majina, I felt it would be wrong for a high school boy like Shinobu to fight some long battle, so I had him instantly killed before he could even speak the first word. Attacking before your opponent can say anything is taboo in a battle series, but I went with it since it’s hard to say this series is really a battle series. (I’d have trouble telling you what kind of series it is, though.)
This chapter of course had Shinobu and Yukari risking their lives for their love, but it had the same with Majina and Mei. You might enjoy imagining what love means to each of them and what value those two who lived with a Zashiki Warashi place on it.
I give my thanks to my illustrator Mahaya-san and my editors Miki-san, Onodera-san, and Anan-san. The heart of this volume may have been the before and after of the main characters. This might have been even more trouble than a simple costume change, so I’m thankful they stuck with me.
I also give my thanks to the readers. It was all about love and all about zombies. I fused together those polar opposites, but I feel like the person that moves your heart at the very, very end in those extreme situations might really be what that’s all about. What did you think?
And I will end this here.
The Kasha had a casual appearance in Volume 7 too.
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