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.

Spring has come, and so has new editions

Or at least, this was true when it happened in March. Summer is only a hopscotch length skip away now, and as usual, I have to remind myself that this is the case.

Being the thoughtful type, Mother Nature ensures that the best way for us to appreciate summer is to live in constant fear of winter. As June peeks around the corner, a cold air mass from Siberia arrives with the unfaltering stubbornness of an old Casio watch.

Someday, one or the other will break first. And to be fair to the watch, I think it might actually be the north wind first.

Left: The revised cover of volume one featuring the Asanogawa Bridge

New editions have arrived for the earlier volumes of the Lily Clairet light novels, prior to the publication of the 4th volume. On the surface, the covers have received an update. The feature characters remains the same, but both the backdrops and the title styling itself have changed. Beneath the surface, a number of interior illustrations have been redrawn, and the written content has received a significant editing pass.

The backdrops for all the covers now feature recognisable locations from Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, where the series is set. The backdrops are true to their real life counterparts, beautifully captured by Rumikuu and referenced directly from photographs I took around the city. I’ll write about some of the locations I chose in future blog posts, starting with the Kazue-machi tea district where the (new) 1st volume cover is set.

The title has received a trim just in time for summer. I’m still immeasurably fond of the longer, more zany title, but common sense dictated that something less head tilting would be more suitable at drawing in new readers. To my relief, this has been the case so far.

Left: The revised illustration without visual effects

A number of interior illustrations have also been redrawn, scene for scene, specifically to remove the visual effects elements more commonly seen in manga titles. This example (volume 1, chapter 7: Red Light / Green Light) has the most offenders with dotted lines, speech bubbles and a one-third sized illustration cut-in.

However, the main purpose for the new editions was a chance to smooth over a number of niggling written passages which didn’t hold up to the test of time. While none of the content has changed, readability should be more natural, and Lily’s copious use of similes and metaphors should make sense to at least one more person out there.

But not too much sense.

Then she’d no longer be Lily Clairet.