Thursday, September 29, 2016

Gate - Thus the JSDF Fought There! Volume 7/8 Afterwords

Translator: Nigel
Editor: Deus Ex-Machina, Skythewood

My sincere condolences to the victims of the Tohoku Earthquake. I pray they will recover soon and live a peaceful and happy life.

It happened on 11th March, 23rd Heisei year (Year 2011). At that time, I was walking from Nakano to Koenji. When I saw the vending machine before me shudder, I wondered, “Is the vending machine broken?” Shortly after, the trees lining the street shook, and a great crash came from the high-rise buildings. At that time, I thought, “The earthquake they said would hit the east has finally come”. Roof tiles fell, some houses collapsed, and the exterior of some high-rise buildings fell off. The glass in shopfronts shattered, the street lights in front of the bus stations fell, and many people were injured.

Still, it was not much worse than what I saw, and when I went home, not knowing where the epicenter of the earthquake was or how intense it had been, I thought, “Ahhh, that’s good, that’s all there was.”

However, that was not the case. Ibaraki Prefecture in the northeast was closer to the epicenter and it was not only hit by the earthquake, but by the resulting tsunami. This caused unspeakable devastation. Many lives and hopes and dreams were cut short as a result.

In addition, that was not the end of the disaster. The aftereffects have spread through our lives in various ways. Of course, it is nothing compared to the suffering of the people caught up in it, mere trivial matters, but they can hardly be written off as something small.

The manuscript for the final volume of Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought Here : [4 : Underworld] was completed on 7th March.

I have already penned the closing words and sent it to the publisher. It added up to 618 pages. Currently, I’m still thinking “So it’s over already?” The problem is the earthquake which comes up in the last third of the volume and the resulting scenes of devastation. I was thinking, “Is it really okay to print something like that at a time like this?” Therefore, after contacting the publishers, we decided to split the first two-thirds and the final third into separate volumes, edit them and then publish them separately.

And so, the book has ended up like this. The problem still lies in the final third, but I want to share it with you when the time is right.

Many people have said, “Good luck”, so I will not repeat myself now.

However, things will surely get better. It’s a pity that there are no protagonists who will say, “It’s fine, leave it to me!” in real life, but in contrast, all the branches of the JSDF, the police, the coast guard, the politicians, the local people, the employees of related companies, as well as various volunteers are all thinking of a way to deal with this problem.

Let us put our hopes in them, and hold out just a bit longer.

Yanai Takumi

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