It’s an embarrassing story, but when I write afterwords, these days all I seem to end up with are complaints or excuses. I think it is absolutely necessary that every story―No. 6 as no exception―should refuse any complaints or excuses.
For this reason, this time around I’ve decided to write not any sort of afterword, but just my thoughts as they come to me.
While I was writing No. 6 Volume 4―or, rather, throughout this whole series―I’ve been thinking about what “hope” is.
Hope is believing in the future.
In this world right now, did I really hold a firm belief in the future as I was writing? I’m still thinking about it (since this series is still going, after all).
I think and I think, but no matter how much I do, I can’t seem to grasp the answer.
It’s not that I’ve lost hope. In this day and age, I do naturally feel a sense of imminent danger, to an extent (though it may not be directed accurately at the right things). But I’m not despairing, nor have I given up. But if someone were to ask me how much true hope I’ve got in my hands―then, well, I’ve got no choice but to tilt my head in perplexity. It’s certainly an uneasy story…
Hunger, warfare, destruction, poverty, murder, despair…
Change is occurring both on the surface and within people, and these changes twist and turn; and in our every day lives, like people riding on a flimsy boat of bamboo leaves in a swift current, we don’t know when we’ll be sucked into the whirlpool.
The small light of hope that winked inside me while I was still writing Volume 1 has now become hard even to make out with my degree of vision.
Has my eyesight gotten worse?
Or has the light gotten weaker?
Hmm? This is starting to sound a lot like a complaint. Note to self: mind that it doesn’t.
Stories detest and avoid complaints and excuses like nothing else. At the same time, they encourage your struggle to believe in the future.
Stories will not develop or be born from anyone who says, “Well, that’s just how it is” with a skewed and pessimistic outlook; nor does it come from those who have thrown everything away, saying, “I don’t care what happens anymore”. Only those who squint at that tiny ray of light, and take that hesitant half-step forward―only from that half-step is a story born.
Perhaps believing in that half-step you take is somehow connected more largely to believing in the future.
And to you, who has read this story thus far―let’s take that hesitant half-step forward together, why don’t we?