Akari Funato's Notes on "Kokuhaku Suru Kioku" ("The Memories I Confess")

Note: The following is a translation of what was once a section of Vheen Hikuusen Monogatari mangaka Akari Funato's webpage, Himawari Lamp. The pages translated have, unfortunately, been taken down; I was lucky enough to have saved the accompanying illustrations on my hard drive, though, and have posted the pictures here.
The pics are actually pages from the original version of "Kokuhaku Suru Kioku" printed in the
Asuka DX manga magazine. As explained below, Funato posted them to show her readers a sampling of the differences between the magazine version of "Kokuhaku Suru Kioku" and the later tankoubon compilation (over which she had more control). The differences are noted in the descriptions.

Page 1


Kokuhaku Suru Kioku [The Memories I Confess]
(extra for Vheen Hikuusen Monogatari [Tales of the Vheen Airship]

[Magazine version of tankoubon pgs. 93-95, the opening shot of Vheen and Zain's funeral. Identical, except the pages here are in color.]

When the manga was published in the magazine, the first three pages were in color.
When the original drafts were made into a tankoubon, parts of the artwork were painted over with other colors in order to make it easier to print in black and white.
In other words, the original artwork was ruined and survives only through its reproduction in the magazine.
This happens to me so often; whenever someone asks me on occasion to put out an artbook, I just wince inside.

[Magazine version of tankoubon pg. 144, Rouj on his deathbed. Since this apparently was the first page of the second installment of the magazine's manga, a little character guide and "story thus far" summary takes the place of the two panels that have Latona running from the room in tears at Rouj's comment that it's his time.]

To tell you the truth, I generally didn't have much of a hand this time in [compiling] the tankoubon... [I'm not sure if that's quite true, considering the differences in "Kokuhaku Suru Kioku" between the magazine and book versions, but perhaps she's referring to a different part of the process than content.]
The manga was published in two parts for the magazine, so I had to leave a space blank in [the beginning of] the second half for a synopsis; I filled it in [with additional panels] later.

The two pages of the katamiwake [Tagak allowing Ghaleon to take something of Rouj's as a memento] in the second half were added for the tankoubon.
I just couldn't find the space in my page count for it in the magazine, so I finally had to cut it, to my great regret.

To make a confession - and I'm sorry for this - the initial plot was called "The Traitor Latona", where she challenged the then-current guildmistress for rule of Vheen (with the same outcome, but still); I thought there was no way anyone would sympathize with Latona, she's such a horrible woman, but it seems that I jumped to conclusions, as my readers actually responded sympathetically to her.

[Magazine version of tankoubon pgs. 172-176, the guildmistress incinerating Latona. Very abbreviated, cut down from six pages to two, with no reaction shots from any of the characters.]

There were many scenes that caused me problems and many places where I didn't have enough pages, but for the magazine version, I ended up putting Tagak's "...the wind's stopped" on the very next page after this [the one shown, of the Guildmistress incinerating Latona].

That personally was fine with me, but a friend panned it and told me that Morris was too cold, so I felt sorry and decided to put in a little more follow-up.
Doesn't it take a lot of pages for the panel layout of a follow-up like this? But where could I afford it if not at the climax?

[Funato's words below constitute a spoiler warning - "if you haven't read the manga yet, you won't know what's going on", etc. If you've read this far without reading the manga (or the translation), I assure you that you've already been spoilered, so proceed.]

Page 2

[Magazine version of pgs. 184-187, Ghaleon and Niea ascending in the airship, Morris talking about Latona, and Ghaleon telling the guildmistress that he, Morris, and Tagak are leaving Vheen and that the airship is hers. The airship scene is left untouched, but many panels have been cut from Ghaleon meeting Morris at the transmission spring and Morris's talk.]

This seems to have been ridiculously compressed.
(This always happens to me.)

Just everything seems cut except for the highlights, so it's so hard for me to look at (so why am I looking at it!?)! As you can see, the panels are, naturally, widescreen (and longscreen).
I have a great love of movies and feel comfortable doing panels like this - but I get into a rut because of this, so I'd still like to break myself of the habit.
(They're second nature to me now, though, so I wonder if I really can stop...)

[Above is a li'l rough (rough) sketch of the back cover pic of the cast.
Li'l side notes appear describing each one, translated below.

Tagak, man of many trades and skills. Sheetmetalworker, artisan. Unsociable.

Rouj, old scholar (hence his name). Child of the old city, born and raised. Chikao Ohtsuka [she means the seiyuu she had in mind for Rouj. Ohtsuka's had tons of roles, but not anything I think instantly recognizable to Westerners; he has done Dr. Eggman tons of times, it seems]. [A scribble between Rouj and Tagak notes that they are parent and child.]

Morris, premier of Vheen. Has a sly, Takeshi Kaga voice. [I presume everyone knows who Mr. Allez Cuisine is.]

(cool sidelong glance away from the camera) Ghaleon at seventeen years old. (Fourth son.) [Note: Funato in several places says she had tons more unpublished story pertaining to both KSK and to Lunar in general; I don't know if the idea of Ghaleon being the fourth son in his family belongs to that material or if it was rejected and Zain is indeed Ghaleon's only sibling.
Then again, we're never told in the published KSK that Zain is Ghaleon's only brother. It seems odd not to mention the others, but then I imagine the first and third sons, as well as any daughters, would have time to meet their deaths over the long lifespans of their magic-race parents. Still doesn't sit quite right, though.]
Student of divinity. [He's sighing in the thought balloon.]

Zain, scholar. Second son. [See above about this.] Dead older brother.

Latona. Like a foster mother/governess. Vocalist.

[A "character love relationship chart" is next, drawn in the same scribbly style as the previous pic. I tried and tried to modify this chart so as to replace the Japanese text with English text, but my image editing program keeps screwing the image up after I add the text, so I've just added the translated text (which keeps slipping from first to third person and back again) below.]

Guildmistress -> Zain: Her first love. She went and had Niea with someone else, but...

Zain -> Guildmistress: Though he was gentle with others, he was at times very harsh to her. It was a sort of twisted love... The personal accounts differ, and not all the facts are known.

Guildmistress -> Latona: I respect the magic race.

Latona -> Guildmistress: Vague dislike.

Zain -> Latona: Vaguely senses Latona's feelings, but kind of goes "oh, well" at them - not anything beyond "hmmm, this may be a little bit of a problem".

Latona -> Zain: Quite in love with him. Meaning, she's serious.

Zain -> Morris: Friend [li'l heart!].

Morris -> Zain: We get along quite well, for some reason - particularly seeing how our personalities are different! Sees Zain as a rival - hates him to a surprising degree. [Switching from Morris's voice to Funato's.]

Latona -> Morris: He can't hold a candle to Zain!

Morris -> Latona: Love. Why do I have to fall for women like her...

Latona -> Ghaleon: Like a little brother!

Ghaleon -> Latona: Like a big sister.

Morris -> Ghaleon: He hates Zain, just like me!!

Ghaleon -> Morris: He's always giving me a hard time, and it's like he reads my mind. I hate him!

Ghaleon -> Niea: Like a little sister.

Niea -> Ghaleon: Love. (But she'll naturally find another man when she grows up...)

Note near Ghaleon: Reverse brother complex. He means to hate Zain, but he in fact fervently loves him. Dain and Zain's names have a one-character difference [not unintentionally, I suppose].

Note near Niea: The only character who takes to everyone, human or magic-race. Somehow or another endears herself to everyone. That's the sign of good character, Niea!!

[Now, Funato's typed commentary beside the chart...]

At Beruno Ootsuki's request [kono Beruno Ootsuki tte, dare? Dare ga, oshiete!!], I scribbled up this character relationship chart.

Rouj was Zain's teacher and the member of the magic race to whom Ghaleon perhaps feels closest.
Tagak is unsociable and awkward with dealing with emotions and therefore is prone to being misunderstood, but he was close friends with Zain.

"Kokuhaku Suru Kioku" is a tale set in the dead of winter.
I wanted to draw a world being buried beneath snow white, with the trees and buildings seeming pure black as shadows upon the snow, and so I ended up with a all-white visual composition.
The next project I drew was "Hoshi no Sabaku" ["Desert of Stars"]; my editor there was uneasy with all the white and sent the first draft back, saying "We're extending your deadline; go back and make these pictures a little darker." Ah, good times.
The visual concept was that of a funeral.

Disclaimer: Lunar, Vheen Hikuusen Monogatari, "Kioku Suru Fuukei", and all related official works are property of Game Arts, Asuka DX, Shounen Ace, Akari Funato, Working Designs, Xseed, and Althena knows who at this point; this document isn't affiliated with any of them. Translation by R. Capowski at RACapowski@sceneryrecalled.com; please don't repost it without permission.