Qualia the Purple
This story was originally a short story I had planned for publication in the November special edition of the Dengeki Bunko Magazine.
It was going to be a collaboration with the manga artist Tsunashima Shirou-shi, and my editor gave me "robots and girls" as a theme, so I... well, I exhausted every effort to make this story. If you're reading this afterword after having finished the story, then I'm sure you'd agree with me that there was nothing but "robots" and "girls" in this work (at least, from one point of view). I really did work very hard on this... well, not that I'm trying to make a big deal out of that, but I will say that I have a strange emotional attachment to this work, and when I was writing my short story I remember really wanting to publish this work as its own separate book.
And so, here we are.
Moreover, Tsunashima-shi ended up sticking with me after our work for the magazine and illustrated the novel for me.
At any rate, this was a manga artist who had to keep up with his own series, so I honestly was prepared to not have any insert illustrations at all, but when I unwrapped the bow on this gift I saw that not only had Tsunashima-shi drawn both title illustrations for each arc and insert illustrations, but had even drawn bonus illustrations. I'm thankful to have been able to work with someone who, although he designed a lot of things for me based on the aforementioned themes of "robots and girls," still could come up to me afterwards and honestly ask me to not use any of the robot designs in the actual book (given the setup around our protagonist, showing those designs might come off as a bit weird, after all. But I'll still probably include those robot designs as a bonus at the end. Maybe. I think.)
Honestly, I feel I'll end up being happier with this work than the readers will be.
Much thanks to everyone for giving me this opportunity.
The contents of this work are presented in three story arcs:
Various Notes on Marii (this arc was the one originally published in Dengeki Magazine and had been titled Qualia the Purple back then)
1/1,000,000,000th of a Kiss
... To be honest, there were moments when I thought that having two stories plus an epilogue was a bit too little for a book, but when I saw the title illustrations that Tsunashima-shi had prepared for each arc, I once again regained my convictions. Yes, putting in more stories would just be too much... just these three are plenty, I convinced myself. Of course... if you read the book, then you might come to agree with me as well, but there really was a gaping, inescapable difference between reading something and seeing it for yourself. When I read other works too, I always find myself feeling jealousy towards the persuasive power of illustrations, since with them it only takes a single glance to get the desired effect (I'm not saying that words didn't have their own kind of power, but I digress...)
Whenever we look at anything, we definitely take in something more than just the pure fact that we "see" something.
But, we just don't realize it.
To be precise, we can't be conscious of this something because we don't need to be. Conversely, we "see" things like we do precisely because things need to be "seen."
This work is a theatrical production drawn from that something.
And so, I present to you this slightly (?) strange (?) story that came to fruition by accident from a work I had produced for industry.
Qualia the Purple.
A work that was brought to you today by plenty of lucky meetings and chances.
To those who have already finished reading, and to my future readers:
I hope you enjoy yourself.