Toaru Majutsu no Index:NT Volume11 Afterword

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If you bought each volume one by one, welcome back. If you bought them all at once, welcome.

This is Kamachi Kazuma.

Let’s start with some inside information! This series was leaning pretty heavily toward the transcendent global magical battle centered on Othinus that ended last volume, so this story was mostly meant as a correction to bring things back into balance. That’s why the topic was entirely science side and the battle would only resolve extremely personal problems no matter who won or lost. Basically, I turned the rudder in the exact opposite direction from the last couple of volumes.

And the protagonist this time was Shokuhou Misaki. I had actually planned out her past early on but later realized it would be difficult to actually use. However, I decided it would be a waste to never use it when I already had the idea, so I worked to reconstruct the story.

Shokuhou herself (much like Mikoto) is a difficult character to use because she’s almost too convenient, but after the personal breakthrough that was New Testament 9, I decided I could handle a tricky psychological battle using her and had her actually enter the fight this time.

Before, she was something like the other family’s girl visiting Dengeki Bunko while Mikoto was staying over at Dengeki Daioh, so she had felt like a guest instead of an actual family member, but this might have broken free of that.

However, I thought the readers would be disappointed with a story that takes place entirely in the past, at least timeline-wise. Instead, I had Shokuhou pursuing “those days” along with the reader while afraid that her past may have changed. I was hoping to make a story that left you unsure what the truth was as the story progressed and I hope you found it thrilling.

As for the enemy character, Mitsuari Ayu, I actually used an initial rough for Shokuhou that Haimura-san submitted. I thought nothing could be more perfect for a girl who could not become Shokuhou and insisted that he use the design. I am truly grateful.

Her name means “honey ant” because there is a famous ant that gather so much sweet honey inside itself that it swells up like a ball and can’t walk on its own. (Its stomach grows translucent too, so it’s surprisingly pretty. It’s something like a glass ball.) I named her that because she first shows up in that three hundred kilogram form, because she filled herself with so many emotions that she couldn’t move, and because I wanted to include the character for “ant” to act as a counterpart for Shokuhou.

With Shokuhou, I initially wanted to give her family name a queen bee motif, but most everything I could think of there had already been used. I finally settled on her current family name with the idea that she eats into the entire societal structure and not just the queen at the top. I apologize to anyone who was shocked when they first saw a name meaning “bee eater”, but I did put some actual thought into it.

As for Shokuhou and Mitsuari’s given names meaning “control and pray” and “love and joy” respectively, you might be able to catch a glimpse of where their hearts lie and what their differences are by comparing them.

Both of them control people’s minds, but neither of them looks down on people’s minds or hearts. Sometimes, they will risk their lives to fight for those things or start down the wrong path because of them. I wanted to write a story about girls like that.

I give my thanks to my illustrator Haimura-san, my editors Miki-san, Onodera-san, and Anana-san, and for the first time, all of the Dengeki Daioh staff starting with Fuyukawa Motoi-san. I relied on a lot of people to flesh out what was nothing more than lines of text in the plot and eventually create the beloved character named Shokuhou Misaki. Without all of their help, I would never have finished this story centered on her. I am truly grateful.

I also give my thanks to the readers. As I already said, I wouldn’t have given the go-sign for this story without the success I felt from New Testament 9 and this might have forever remained nothing but an idea in my notes. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me the push I needed.

It is time to close the pages for now while praying that the pages of the next book will be opened.

And I lay my pen down for now.

But the connection between Kumokawa Seria and Kamijou Touma is still a mystery!

-Kamachi Kazuma

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