Full Metal Panic! - Volume 7 - Chapter Aft

Afterword (Dehumidification Method) 
Umm. Things have developed rapidly. 
Nowadays, this kind of story seems to be called a “depressing development”, but I don’t really like those words. It’s just serious, not really depressing. So everyone isn’t giving up. 
Since developments where the hero of the story secludes himself in a shell without doing anything, is hesitant and worries all the time are called “deep stories”, I wonder how long they could last. It will be 10 years soon (gazes far off). 
Sousuke is not that kind of hero. 
He worries, but he moves. Decisively. 
Released from the limitations of the short story world, he will increasingly demonstrate more and more characteristics. That’s, well, like a muscleman who flew through the skies on a fart in the beginning, and has become strangely cool since the superman Olympics! (<-a delicately incorrect example) 
So with that, let’s try guessing the author’s next development! 
1: A heartbroken Sousuke heads to a north-eastern hot springs town by himself. At the Japanese inn full of human interest, his heart is touched by the various people. While he is living comfortably every day in the gentle natural scenery, Sousuke gives up on going after Kaname, and resolves to live his remaining years in this hot springs town. He hooks up with a maid from the Japanese inn and it’s a happy ending. 
2: In order to find information on Kaname, whose whereabouts are unknown, Sousuke infiltrates another school. 
There’s a pretty girl who assumes that Sousuke is her long-lost older brother, and a big ruckus when 108 people crowd into his apartment. He looks into the bathroom by mistake, peels the covers from the girl who wakes up in the morning, and is told, “Ahhh! Big brother, how dirty!” With these delightful developments, both Sousuke and the author completely forget about Kaname. 
3: Following Tessa and the de Danaan after it has lost its supplies. In order to earn money, they form a traveling circus group. Tessa, whose reflexes are zero, after intensive training, is even depicted as an incredible trapeze artist and big star. It’s a terribly moving story. In the event that it’s animated, the DVD would be sold by *son only. 
4: Kaname, who has been captured by Amalgam, purges Leonard and the leaders with her harisen, and seizes control of the organization. Now the new great leader, Kaname’s raised objective is complete control of the Kantou mafia world! At the outset, the ones facing the inhumane Amalgam, which has begun to sweep destruction on the Sengawa streets, are the Mikihara gang, which has accepted the resourceful general President Hayashimizu as their young leader, and Bonta-kun! Sousuke is lost somewhere far away without any knowledge of this. 
...something like that. It’s still page 3... 
Ah, by the way, the other day I went to Taiwan and Hong Kong for business. I signed autographs in Taiwan, but the wonderful reception I received surprised me. The food was delicious, the town was interesting, and the girls were pretty, so I 
had a lot of fun- Yano, Shi, Cindy, and everyone else from Taiwin Kadokawa, truly, thank you very much! I want to come again! 
Now, as for Hong Kong... I collected data with the anime staff (smile). The time and the media are not released yet, but thanks to you, a new anime is in production. I shared a room with the director, Mr. Takemoto, and I guess it was the fatigue, because I bothered him by snoring loudly. It was a busy trip, but a very interesting and incident-filled one. 
Now then. Since the main story will rapidly continue from here on, the next book won’t end it. There’s still a ways to go. The ultimate objective is to precisely and tightly end it. There won’t be any dragging on with endless developments or stopping it incompletely to start another series. 
So don’t worry. 
What will happen now? What will you do with the story? 
I don’t know. Both Sousuke and I are greatly perplexed right now. 
But well, if it were him, he’d try to do something. Please believe that. 
Until next time. 
September, 2004 
Shinji Gatou 

Translator's Afterword: 
Wow, this has been one hell of a ride with this book. Since I started it, I've gotten married, had three different jobs, and have had numerous other life changes. I almost can't believe that I've finished it. When I started, I got a good start on it, then real life took over, and it got put on the back burner for almost five months. I appreciate those people who had the patience to wait for me to get back to it. This has been my favorite book by far, because it moves so fast, so much stuff happens, and the characters grow in ways they hadn't before. I'm just glad that I have the ability to share it with others, because while spoilers are nice, everyone likes to read the original. I think my favorite part in this book had to be the end, where Sousuke has fallen to Leonard, but he doesn't give up until Kaname gives herself over. Just the determination- I had that part perfect in my head when I first read it almost two years ago now. It's amazing how just wanting to do one part will carry you through an entire book sometimes :D To be honest, I was able to fly through the last two chapters of the book in the past three weeks (for anyone wondering, that means absolutely ALL of my free time and half of my sleeping time taken up translating). Anyway, so we've finished COMO, and in the next book, Burning One Man Force, we follow Sousuke as he starts on his journey to find Kaname. It's a pretty wild ride, too, and I look forward to bringing it to everyone. 
Well, it's almost one in the morning now, and after working on this ever since I got up this morning, I think it might be time for a break. Think I'll finish up some pork barbeque, listen to some BoA, then head to bed. I'm working too hard this Memorial Day weekend. 
Well, until Burning One Man Force (all Sousuke, all AS fighting, all the time!) 
May 29th, 2006 

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