Kazuki Tsukumo/Side Memories
|Chapter 1||An Afternoon’s One Act*|
|Daigo||...Yo, Sensei. I know yer reading, but can I speak to ya for a sec?|
|Kazuki||...Hm? Daigo, Ryo… and you, Producer? What is it?|
|Daigo||...You don’t seem t’ be makin’ much progress in that book you were readin’ just now.|
|Ryo||You looked like you were kinda out of it, so we were worrying if something had happened… huh?
I’ve heard the name of that novel’s author before. Could it be… the one who was on the news yesterday…?
|Kazuki||...That’s right. The author of this masterpiece of a novel unfortunately passed the other day.
...He was one of my favourite authors. I kept losing myself in thought whilst I was rereading this.
|Daigo||Oh… I see...|
|Ryo||...Um. I think I want to try reading that author’s work!|
|Daigo||...Me too! Have ya got any recommendations, Sensei?|
|Kazuki||...Is that so? In that case, I’ll pick out ones I think the two of you would enjoy.
...He wrote many things before his death, so I’m sure that there will be one that both of you will enjoy.
|Ryo||Thank you! I’m looking forward to reading what you recommend, Kazuki-san!|
Translator's note: 一幕/One act (as in an act of a play, etc) bares a strong resemblance to Kazuki’s name, as it uses some of the same components found in 一希/Kazuki
|Chapter 2||Confronting A Certain Book|
|The next day, and Kazuki is reading with his head in the clouds again...|
|Kazuki||...Huh? Oh, you’re here, Producer.
...Yes, I was just trying to read that author’s novel.
...It seems as though I haven’t quite sorted out my feelings yet.
|Producer||Are you okay?|
|Kazuki||...Have I been worrying you? I’m sorry.
...I met him a few times when I was younger. My father knew him.
...He would come over to visit us. He was a kind and fascinating person…
...Hm? Ken is calling you, Producer. It’s something on the work phone.
|Producer||It was a job request|
|Kazuki||...A request for me?
...I see. Please tell me the details.
|Chapter 3||Unfinished Work|
|Kazuki||...Nice to meet you. Then, you are...|
|Editor||That’s right, I’m the editor. I look forward to working with you today.|
|Kazuki||...I look forward to working with you as well. So, the work request for me is…?|
|Editor||You see, he actually left behind a last wish before he died.
If he were to die before finishing the novel he was working on…
He wanted you, Kazuki Tsukumo-san, to finish it for him, he said.
|Kazuki||...Me? Have you made some sort of mistake?
...I’ve only written light novels… and they were useless trash at that.
...Besides, why wouldn’t it be his friend, my father, rather than me...
|Editor||I don’t know that either. But this was his last wish.
I know that it would be hard for you to write whilst working as an idol, but… please, won’t you give him his final wish…!
|Kazuki||...His final wish…
...I’m sorry. I need a little more time to think about it.
|Chapter 4||A Hidden Past, Drawing Closer|
|Ever since the editor came to visit, Kazuki has been lost in thought.|
If I were to accept that request…
...Would my schedule be okay?
|Producer||I’ll adjust it as much as possible|
|Kazuki||...I see. Thank you.
I can’t decide yet though… It’s dependent on my feelings, huh.
(Ever since becoming an idol, I have done some writing in the form of writing lyrics.
I’ve also had to communicate my own thoughts and expressed words that I put together myself.
But… A novel is a whole other story…
Not to mention… Continuing the novel of an author I admired is a very heavy responsibility.
For the me who put down his pen, and the me who decided upon the path to becoming an idol…
Am I even qualified for this job?
...Even if he’s the one who requested me for this, can I meet his expectations…?
|Chapter 5||The Meaning of "Me"|
|Kazuki||(It’s already evening… I’ve been worrying about this all day, but I still haven’t reached an answer…)
...Why did he write my name instead of my father’s?
|Producer||I got you something to drink|
|Kazuki||...Thank you very much.
...Hey, Producer… Could you give me your opinion on something?
...Do you think that there was a reason why that person asked for “Kazuki Tsukumo”, instead of my bestselling author father?
|Producer||I'm sure there was a reason|
|Kazuki||…...I see. If that’s the case, I wish I knew why.
...I didn’t see myself writing novels again after becoming an idol.
...So I don’t see this as an opportunity to make my return into that world.
...I would simply be aiding in the completion of the novelist’s unfinished work.
...I do have experience with copying others’ writing styles, as well.
...I’d like to proceed with this request, Producer.
|Chapter 6||Dialogue Inscribed Upon Paper|
|Kazuki||(I received the manuscript and reference documentation from the editor…
I suppose I should read the manuscript first.)
|Fade to black|
|Kazuki||(I was drawn in and completely immersed before I even realised what hit me…
His skill at being able to draw you into the worlds of his novels through his writing is strong here, as it always was.
Am I really up to continuing on from his work…?)
...Anyhow. Next I’ll read through the reference document.
|Fade to black|
|Kazuki||(The information in here is fragmented and incomplete.
Inferring what the author intended through these notes alone… that’s difficult.
I wasn’t expecting this to be an easy job, but… It does seem as though it’ll be rather difficult.)
...To be frank, I do feel quite a significant amount of pressure surrounding my continuation of this manuscript.
...But it’s just a one-off job that I’ve taken on. I’ll be sure to finish it by the deadline.
...Now then. First off, I should start by jotting down any ideas I’ve come up with.
|Chapter 7||Who is it that you pick up your pen for?|
|Kazuki||(It’s been a while since I received the materials from the editor now. The manuscript is nearing its end…
I don’t, however… know how to end this story.)
...When you find yourself unable to continue, take a moment to go back to your roots.
...That’s right… If I step back and take another look at the characters…
...The protagonist is kind but strong. He reminds me of Ryo.
...The protagonist’s friend is powerful and always smiling… He reflects Daigo somewhat.
...When I think of the characters that way… I feel closer to them.
...Closer… Wait? Speaking of Ryo… This scene in the middle portion of the novel…
...As the protagonist readily steadies themselves to confess their secret… It’s reminiscent of Ryo back then.
...And here… This part is imbued with the same feeling as Daigo’s strong virtuous nature*...
...It’s no coincidence that the characters turned out this close to the pair of them. They must have influenced his writing…
...I see. There really was a reason why he chose me to finish this manuscript.
...The last ever novel he was to work on was one with F-LAGS as the inspiration and motif.
...I see. In that case… Yes, I can most certainly complete this tale.
...I think he was cheering the three of us on.
...In that case, there’s only one thing left for me to do. I’ll get back to finishing the manuscript now.
Translator's note: 仁義, (the same ‘virtue’ in the Barren Flower event), it’s a term that’s very much linked to yakuza.
|Chapter 8||Tentative Title: “A Flag Raised to the Sky"|
|Kazuki||...The first draft has been sent off, Producer.
...If you have the time, I’d like it if you would read over it.
|A few hours later, I informed him that I had finished reading through the first draft.|
|Kazuki||...You already read it? Thank you. Well then, how did you find it?|
|Producer||Is this based on...|
|Kazuki||...That’s right. F-LAGS were the motif for this novel.
...It isn’t exactly blindingly obvious though, you have to read into it a little bit…
...But of course you of all people would be able to tell, Producer.
...This manuscript is still the first draft, of course…
...I’ll be continuing to polish my sections of the novel.
...If you have any remarks on it, I’d like to hear them.
...You’re the one who knows the most about F-LAGS after all, Producer.
|Kazuki||...That’s encouraging. I’ll be sure to make this work the best I can, without allowing any compromises.|
|Chapter 9||One pen stroke, turning 99 into a perfect 100*|
|Kazuki||(It’s been a few months since the completion of the manuscript.
Today is the day when his final novel is going to be released…
His name is listed as the author, but my own is there, listed as a collaborator...)
|Kazuki||...Producer? Yes, it is quite windy up here, isn’t it.|
|I told him about how the novel is being talked about all over the world.|
|Kazuki||...Is that so? I’m glad that so many people could read his work.
...The part that I wrote came out of my experience being in F-LAGS…
...I included what I would like F-LAGS to be doing in the future as well.
...I think that’s what he would have wanted.
...I did what I could right now. I hope the novel turned out well.
Translator's note: This title is really complex with a ton of layers to unpack, thank you to Kelly for the help here! The original is 九十九に沿えた一筆 if you’d like to look into it some more yourself. Kazuki’s last name is Tsukumo, written as “九十九”/99, and the first character in his first name Kazuki is “一”/1, which brings the 99 up to 100. It’s quite notable that Kazuki’s first name is what is able to round the 99 up to 100, as it’s Kazuki’s individualism that allows him to improve on himself and break away from his life as his father’s ghostwriter. The “沿” in the title and the “希” in Kazuki’s first name carry a similar feeling of meeting expectations/hopes, in the same way that Kazuki’s name itself and other references to 希望/hope in Kazuki-centric events such as Aside Famille and his 315 Special comic give off the feeling of Kazuki being his father’s “only hope”. We don’t know if Kazuki’s father writes with his real name “九十九”/Tsukumo, but if he does this also carries the meaning of Kazuki living up to the “Tsukumo” name, as well as any expectations of his father himself. In essence, Kazuki's "one" brings the "ninety nine" up to a perfect 100, but it's also this "one/Kazuki" that lives up to the "ninety nine/Tsukumo name".
|Chapter 10||This story of idoldom* isn’t yet over|
|Kazuki||...I wore a mask for so long… I sealed off my own true “self”...
...That started to change after I became an idol.
...Ryo, Daigo, and, of course, you, Producer…
...It’s all because I was able to meet such irreplaceable people.
...I still have far to go as an idol. I have much to improve upon.
...I want to convey my own words and feelings to everyone through my singing and dancing.
...And those heights that I cannot reach alone, I wish to reach together with Ryo and Daigo…
...There are other things that I want to aim for, and other things that I want to try out, but…
...What I tried to convey through that novel? That’s one of the goals I have. A goal that can only be reached together, as F-LAGS.
|Producer||Let’s aim to do everything you want to do.|
|Kazuki||...Yes. I’d like that.
...If I’m to become a top idol, your input will be essential.
...So, I look forward to continuing to work with you, Producer.
Translator's note: Uses 偶像 rather than the usual アイドル, which seems to be used more often for stuff like “idolising” someone, etc.