Afterword, 6th edition

Kizuna is now out in the wilderness of Kanazawa Station.

Both the famous tsuzumi drums and our resident school idol had to wait for their times in the limelight, but in return, the station gate gets a new coat of paint and Kizuna becomes the only girl able to model her own clothes on the book cover.

My relentless thanks go again to Rumikuu for her precision efforts at capturing the image in my mind. If possible, I’d like to borrow whatever camera she has. I’m sure it’d help me getting my words out easier, although it’d probably need several rounds of editing afterwards.

The release of the sixth volume has been a long time in the making. I remember when I was writing the first volume, I was already thinking about the story I wanted to convey in this sixth book, and as a result, my scrapbook of lines, settings and plot points that will never see the light of day is largest for this particular volume. That I’m able to show any moderation is remarkable to me. Not being gifted in the craft of storytelling, I write what I want and not what I need, and as a result, I will never be granted a seat in any self-respecting writer’s den.

Still, I wonder if this will at least let me peek through the keyhole.

My fixation with volume six is not without reason. It’s not a very good reason, but that hardly matters. At the time, it seemed to me that most of the light novels I was reading had some kind of narrative fireworks display to showcase around that time, and so for no reason other than lacking creativity, an editor, or just some random dude off the street to tell me no, I set my heart into making sure that in the sixth volume, a state of change will occur. In the end, I wonder if the things I wrote felt like a fireworks display or a shoulder tap by a Hokkaido’s night breeze?

For now, only I know. But I don’t believe in keeping secrets.

The slide has been ridden, and now the only path is forwards, faster and faster than before. I intend for it to be more gentle and more fun than a rollercoaster.

Lily Clairet will continue in the seventh volume. However, it will not continue indefinitely. I suspect the ending will come sooner than most people expect.

When it does, I hope people can read it with a smile.

Like a reliable older sister

At long last, the journalism club + one is now complete.

Natsumi posing outside the Katsurazaka Gate, Kenrokuen

Natsumi Nakazawa fronts the cover for Lily Clairet, Vol. 5. In doing so, she completes the line up for regular occupants of the Saisei High School journalism club room. Or in Natsumi’s case, just the doorway. I wonder if the day will ever come when those hinges will finally be squeak-free.

Volume 5’s reference photo, taken in spring 2018

For the background landmark, I’d planned on going for Kanazawa Station and its famous tsuzumi drums covering the east exit. Sadly, it’ll have to tap its feet for its long overdue appearance. Another iconic location has taken its place.

I briefly wrote about Kenrokuen in one of my earliest posts. And it also features in volume 3. Here, Natsumi is posing outside of the Katsurazaka Gate, leading directly to a tidy spree of souvenir shops before turning into the garden proper.

Although this is the main gate, it’s not the only one. Smaller, quieter entrances with their own little charms can be found dotted around its sizable perimeter, ensuring the garden remains one of the most accessible locations in Kanazawa.

And if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the gardeners at work, tending to the place one blade at a time.

Literally!

In Volume 5, Lily and company heads back home to Saisei High School to continue where they left off. Two weeks have passed since the trip to Hokkaido, and for some reason, the fit on Lily’s shoes don’t feel quite as comfortable as they did before. The world turns slowly for high schoolers, but as Satake says, nothing stays unchanging. For Lily and a few others, that turn happens more abruptly than they could have imagined.

And sometimes, I think that’s for the best.

Lily Clairet, Vol. 5 will be available January 21st, 2020.