Hello. I’m Okina Baba.
Another year is nearly over.
And this series is nearly over, too!
Believe it or not, Volume 16, the next and final volume of the series, will (hopefully) be coming out at the beginning of the year!
In other words, two back-to-back volumes in two months.
Two back-to-back volumes in two months!
It’s important, so I said it back-to-back, too.
Why did I attempt something as stupid as publishing volumes two months in a row?
Well, it all started with something that was said at my meeting with the editor after I finished writing Volume 14.
“I think Volume 15 is going to be the preparation for the final battle, and Volume 16 will be the last volume, but I feel like Volume 15 won’t be exciting enough in that case.”
Yes, that’s right.
As you have probably already realized, having presumably finished reading Volume 15 just now, there were basically no actual battles in this volume.
Although there’s almost a battle in a bed.
I suppose that technically the battle between Black and White started, but that won’t really get serious until Volume 16…
It’s all necessary for the story, but that leaves Volume 15 here as only a buildup to Volume 16.
Volume 14 came out in January, almost a year ago. Will the readers really be happy if they waited a whole year for a setup volume?
That’s what I was worried about.
“What if Volume 16 were to come out at the same time, or just a month later?”
Yeah, I said it.
I blurted it out, just like that!
“Let’s go with two months in a row, then.”
And my editor Ms. W fought valiantly to make it happen just like that.
What followed were endless days of writing in order to put out volumes two months in a row!
How many times?! How many times did I regret saying something so stupid?!
Even before that, I’ve regretted saying, “Yeah, sure, I can make that work!” time and time again, but apparently, I never learn.
How many times must I tie the noose around my own neck before I learn my lesson?
And so your old friend Okina is here to tell you all not to go around saying stupid things to other people without thinking it through. The end.
Ah, it’s not over yet?
So yes, I certainly did suffer in the process, but at least it means I’m able to bring Volume 15 and Volume 16 to you with hardly any time in between.
Please look forward to the final volume, too.
Now, if I may give some thank-yous.
To Tsukasa Kiryuu-sensei, my illustrator.
Since I decided to suffer, that means Kiryuu-sensei got stuck with a brutal schedule, too!
I’m really sorry…and thank you so much!
Thanks to Asahiro Kakashi-sensei, the artist of the manga adaptation, and to Gratinbird-sensei, the artist of the spinoff manga.
I’m sorry I’ve been late on confirming the thumbnails and such because I’m so busy this year…and thank you so much!
To everyone who was involved in the making of the anime.
It’s thanks to the hard work of director Shin Itagaki and countless other people that both cours of the anime aired successfully.
I want to use this space to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who helped with the anime. Thank you all so much!
To my editor, Ms. W. Listen, I know I caused a lot of trouble for you with the schedule and stuff, by suddenly saying that we should put out two volumes in a row, and all that… I’m really sorry! And thank you so much!
Half of these thank-yous were mixed with apologies, but I can at least offer my pure thanks to everyone who picked up this book, and to everyone who watched the anime.
Thank you so much!