The title of this post refers to the galgame series produced by the once existing KID, though there is no obvious relevance between the game and this article(though the protagonist in Yubikiri no Kioku does have a memory loss and mistakes himself for someone else). By the way, an eighth installment of it is near its publication by MAGES, the franchise’s now owner, along with GloriaWorks. It was once decided to be a homage to one of the songs of Jin’s Kagerou Project, but you are not seeing it here because I forgot that and went for this one.
This article contains spoilers, which may harm or even completely ruin your playing or reading experience of the works, including but not limited to:
Game Shichinen go de Matteiru (waiting for you seven years later), fumi_md
Lightnovel Tosho Meikyuu (the labyrinth of book), Juuji Shizuka, Shirabi
Lightnovel Boku no Shiranai Rabukome (the love comedies I don’t know), Kashimoto Tsubame, Pyon-Kti
Lightnovel Owari no Album (album of the end), Sugii Hikari
Note the pen names are kept as is: their surnames – if those could be called surnames – sits before their names.
Make sure before reading on.
One can never overemphasize the import of memories. Without them, we would be brushing our teeth repeatedly until death. Those who don’t brush their teeth in the morning will be a little more fortunate – they will die from eating too much breakfast.
In addition, the overall development of humanity will be hampered, given the fact that we learn by memorizing. Imagine a physicist has to go over the basic of physics every day, just like eating breakfast, never could they reach anywhere beyond what a person can go through in one day. Even if we do not need the most elemental to progress, it still bears some liking to the game of Tiny Wings: the bird flaps its wings trying to fly as far as it can, only to be caught up by the darkness in the end.
But that’s not what I’m driving at, since the it is not interesting enough to erase all people’s memory periodically, what is interesting is to manipulate a person’s, as is present in abundance in today’s works. It is one of the most easy ways to set up suspense by removing the past from the protagonist. It is safe to assume almost all memory loss twists serve this specific purpose, but the ways to do it can vary – getting hit by a car, magic, such and such.
A mobile game I’ve mentioned in a previous post – waiting for you 7 years later, or whatever it translates to – features the very plot. The protagonist, losing his memories of a childhood friend but only the appointment with her, returned to his hometown after seven years as promised, and there by going through time loops, he comes to know what really happened seven years ago, and decides to go back to save her. The loss of memory, as it turns out in the end, is the reason behind all these ruckuses. And to add to it, the removal of it was intended for everything to happen seven years later. So the loss of memory could be used not only for suspenses but also as an integral part of the story.
And the same mechanism is also utilized by Juuji Shizuka to near the extent of plagiarism in their lightnovel Libryrinth(I just made the word up, the name of the book is Tosho Meikyuu, namely “the maze of book”). The maze of books is, as its name suggests, a maze full of magic books located under the city of Alexandria. Soushi Okutsuki, in the incident five years ago, witnessed the murder case of his father Kai Okutsuki there, who is a Doctor Magna and accredited the triumph over the Devil. At the same time, Soushi lost his memory and capability to use magic. After spending 5 years away in Japan, he returns to the spot trying to find out what happened on that day. However, when he suddenly wakes up from a bad dream wherein he gets killed, he finds himself in the dormitory of Apothecaria, an academy in Alexandria. And soon he realizes it is not a dream at all, and he is still alive because he’s become a vampire, the most loathed of all species. To make things worse, as a side effect of becoming a vampire, he can only maintain memory for about 8 hours, plus the capacity of a 1000-page Saigo no Inori (the last prayer), one of the rare and powerful magic books. In order to find out the truth as before, and now the book which cures amnesia, Soushi sets out down the maze again with Alteria, the origin and most highly ranked vampire(called “high daylight walker” in the book) and the person who saved him by turning him into one of them.
So one may ask, why bother going into detail about nearly the same plot again? You could probably take a hint from my previous post. But let’s save the surprise for now. The killer who beat the crap of Soushi yesterday shows up in the same classroom, and after another painstaking, no, livestaking fight, she, Erica by name, apologizes for having been mistaking Soushi for one of the assassins sent by the “Scenario Writer”, who’s the mastermind behind the death of Soushi’s father, from whom she has owed a lot. And it’s known now that she’s trying to locate and bring justice to the Scenario Writer. Ironically, she nearly takes the life of her benefactor’s son twice. She joins the party on the second day out of guilty, when Soushi departs for the labyrinth.
As the story progresses, more about Saigo no Inori is known: it is not a book that records memories, it is one that MANIPULATES memories. More surprisingly, what we are reading is the content of Saigo no Inori itself. Yes, it is a meta-fiction. It could never be more substantiated than by the pages torn in the middle of this novel to protect the tactics from being known by the Devil, who is able to read other’s mind.
The story plays with the concept of memory, interfering with one’s memory can even render the baddest vampire innocuous, or vice versa. And our emotions – love, fear, and determination – all rely on our memories to come into being. Soushi’s affection with Alteria, and his resolution to protect others, all turn out to be implanted five years ago, like in Inception, by manipulating his memories. In this way we can relate to a computer: if one has the access to all the memory of a computer, then they can make arbitrary code be executed on it, or in other words, they have complete control over the computer. That’s why the Scenario Writer is called such: tampering with everybody’s memory to make everything go as expected.
There’s a lot more to this lightnovel, just as the author(of this lightnovel, not Saigo no Inori, since the author of that will be Soushi) said in the postface: all things they like are crammed together to make this book. There is the obscured boundary between reality and fantasy, existential crisis, and the most of all, the glorious loliferatu(amalgamate of “loli” and “Nosferatu”, coined by Sagara Sou in one of his lightnovels). The joke aside, much of the book is left out here because I’m lazy. Although I just fumbled upon it in the store, but it has what one could expect from a one-volume lightnovel, as it turns out in the end. The one-volume ones never fails to impress me – they have the creativity, the plot twist, everything; but a reader usually finds nothing but a new disposable stereotype character as a story moves on to another volume. Maybe it is due to the lengthy process of creating a lightnovel, since the game industry is not troubled by the same problem too much, because a game is released as a whole, mostly.
Because most of my points are elaborated here, I won’t go into much detail about this novel from Kashimoto, at least for now. In this novel, Yuuta Ashiya, who values the outcome over the process, accidentally discovers his skill to pass time in a sec. For example, he can jump right to the end of school without possibly having the memories of being caught sleeping in class. He makes a jump, and he becomes the boyfriend with Nozomi Yanagito, the infamous delinquent in his class. And another jump, he loses her, almost. The lightnovel, though with love comedy in its name, is more of a “seishun shosetsu” (youth novel), which talks about the dialectics between the process and the outcome. And what piques my interest is that the author managed to wrest out a sequel – which will be out in a few days – from themselves, despite the end in the first volume.
What if a whoosh, and I’m not remember everything? This novel reminds me of this and prompt me to write something to make a record.
So, please write down what you see and feel, no matter how trivial they seem. That’s what make you who you are. Besides, the odds and ends of life could be a precious source of inspirations. That concludes my writing tips of the day.