Hello, this is light novel author Sakaki.
The second volume of Hitsugi no Chaika has now been completed.
Come to think of it, at the time of writing this afterword it will have been a month since the great Eastern Japan earthquake disaster (although by the time this book makes out into the world it will have been about two months, I suspect).
Because I live in Kansai, the rolling blackout and such had no effect on me, and except for worrying about my older brother who lives near the area of the disaster and several fellow authors whom I have not heard from in awhile, my life has pretty much been the usual.
However, I have felt several repercussions in the past month.
Relating to the publication process, probably the most pressing is the ink and paper shortage, PP processed paper in particular—the kind of smooth, slick paper that’s used for the front cover and illustration in light novels. In addition, special colors of ink like “golden” have been scarce.
Well, while I feel that compared to a magazine light novels use considerably less of that stuff, it still apparently led to the editorial department having to scramble around for replacement ink and paper.
But then directly after that came the tempest named “self-control.”
Not only were the few works out there that had content featuring natural disasters culled outright, but neurotic editors even called for refraining from “dark content, like someone fighting to the death out of sheer hatred for their opponent.”
And so as a result, I would like to announce that moving from this volume forward, Hitsugi no Chaika will now, with absolutely no context or explanation, be transformed into a cheerful slice-of life school love comedy. Please look forward to seeing the truant Tohru, his stepsister Akari, and the transfer student Chaika’s fates intertwine in a laid-back, rejuvenating setting.
…Well, of course that’s a lie though. (lol)
However, it was true that I had to exercise some self-restraint here and there. I had always disliked the fact that when a natural disaster happens, in the anime industry it’s necessary to refrain from broadcasting material containing similar content, but apparently that even holds true in the publishing industry.
I had always envisioned one of Hitsugi no Chaika’s core concepts as “people left behind at the end of halcyon days” (though in this case the ‘halcyon days’ were an era of war). Actually, in the real world, there is apparently a nationwide kneejerk reaction to anything involving the “change” or “end” of the peaceful, everyday era we’ve had since WWII…for people like us who are in the profession of writing about the “unusual and unexpected,” there are a lot of things we’re forced to consider.
Personally, I’d have to say that we should keep the tension and the memories of the deceased in our hearts and support our fellow victims, but do so in a quiet and skillful manner. I feel that these aforementioned normal days, our anchor, should be preserved so that everything operates as per usual.
And with that, see you in the next volume!
Ichirou Sakaki, 4/15/2011