This is Kawahara Reki. I have now delivered『Sword Art Online 10: Alicization Running』.
The『Running』subtitle has the meaning of execution, progression. The “run” in the sense of a program running. Thinking about it, this volume didn’t really give much impression of running though…… Particularly the first half, which was assigned to explain the current situation (it’s usually the case for my books), the second half was when the sword performed its art! With that thought, I hope readers won’t mind it too much. Now I would like to use this spot to say my usual words. I’m sorry for the part used for explanation!
Next, I have to apologize for one more thing. In the chapter in question, Kikuoka-shi, who was finally revealed to be an essential member, said various things; please note that those thoughts aren’t the author’s ideologies. His motive was born from his social position, of course, there were many characters who opposed that as well (in the chapter, it was Asuna who denied Kikuoka’s idea……) This «Sense of distance by author from his character» should be inserted within the content itself without having to explain it to the readers like this, but my works are not exactly so clear that I could do it…… I hope I can do better next time, but please understand that for the time being!
Here is another apology. The release date of this volume, which was 10th July 2012, broke the «Bi-monthly publication on even months», which had been kept from debuting until now. While it was intended to match the start of the SAO anime broadcasting, the truth is that we barely made it through the schedule, I am sorry to everyone who expected the bi-monthly publication! The current plan (ideally?) is, after the release of『Accel World 12』,which will be released in August with its pace up to this point; we should be able to return to a bi-monthly basis from that point onward. I’ll hurry to make sure I reach that point in time. If someday the regular pace collapses, I’ll give my apology again. ……With that said, if that someday happens this year, then I’m really sorry……
As I mentioned earlier, the release of this volume was planned for the start of the anime broadcasting. SAO, which started as a web novel in the corner of the internet ten years ago, was published by Dengeki Bunko, became a comic, had its own drama CD, then finally reached the point of being made into an anime; of course, I’m glad about all these, but things also feel strongly like a miracle. For a game that doesn’t even have a scenario to reach this point, it could be said that it passed numerous division points. Without Miki-shi being the editor in charge, if the illustrator wasn’t abec-san, if I didn’t apply to the fifteenth Dengeki Novel Grand Prix, if I stopped serializing the web version somewhere, and if I didn’t think of “writing about a VRMMO death game” ten years ago, I wouldn’t be at this current position. I am a person who basically thinks of doing things I can do, and not doing things I can’t, but even so, when it was about SAO, I don’t think I could reach this point without the guidance from my great supporters. Of course, I greatly appreciate the support from the readers for this story and its author up to this point. As the story is still ongoing, I’d be glad if you will still accompany me on Kirito’s adventure from this point onward.
By the time I realized it, the afterword already broke into the third page, from this point it should be about the current situation, but…… now that I think about it, I don’t have anything special to mention……! My sole hobby is cycling, but when I rode my bicycle, the course was totally fixed so it wasn’t very different from riding on bicycle rollers at home. When the input quantity diminishes, of course, the output quantity would be empty as well, in that sense, while I wanted to do various things and wanted to go various places; the time constraints had awfully restricted what I could actually do. To be honest, I want to do it now from the bottom of my heart! But I am writing this manuscript while thinking that (Laugh). Nevertheless, it would be just an annoyance as long as I still can’t increase my writing pace anyway.
However, when I think that it has been more than three years after my debut, I am really happy that I could write the story I wanted to write. That might sound simple, but in fact, there were many hurdles along the way. Furthermore, there were surprisingly few hurdles that could be dealt with just my own effort alone…… But for the sake of my health, I’d like to continue cycling at the very least. My target is one hundred and fifty kilometers per week!
Although there were fourteen lines remaining, the submission deadline is in ten minutes, so I think I’ll sum it up here. If it was the usual, I’d use five lines for thanks, but I already wrote those, so I’ll talk about the development in the next volume instead……
In volume 11, which is the third volume of the『Alicization arc』, Kirito and Eugeo will finally enter the core of Underworld. The questions of how the world was created, and who controls it will be revealed……probably…, I hope you will continue to follow the series as well.
Please also give your support to the anime version, and the currently developing game version of SAO as well. Perhaps it’ll turn out to be a death game which is impossible to escape!
A certain day on May 2012, Kawahara Reki