Akari Funato's Notes on "Tamashii no Kokuhaku" ("Confession of the Soul")

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; doubly unfortunately, I do not still have the pics that illustrated the page.
The pics included were various pages from the original version of "Tamashii no Kokuhaku" printed in the
Shounen Ace manga magazine. As explained below, Funato posted them to show her readers a sampling of the differences between the magazine version of "Tamashii no Kokuhaku" and the later tankoubon compilation (over which she had more control; the original version is a bit abridged in comparison). The differences are noted in the descriptions.

Page 1

[The first page of the magazine version, which shows Remilia being told of the airship emergency and Dain spotting the airship. Omits the tankoubon's opening Dain-Ghaleon "bird" exchange on the night of the storm and a shocked/worried close-up of Remilia's face. The panels are also rather crowded in the magazine's version - the tankoubon's version of this scene unfolds over two pages.]


Tamashii no Kokuhaku [Confession of the Soul]
(collected in Vheen Hikuusen Monogatari [Tales of the Vheen Airship])

After I drew Younenki no Owari [Childhood's End], there was one thing that always bothered me.
Of course, the manga was adapted from a game, but I kept saying "people who aren't familiar with the game won't understand any of it".
Of course, this was primarily due to my own failings, but the game's characters are just dropped into the proceedings without introduction; when everything comes together and the climax occurs, the readers just have the feeling of "what the hell?".

[The magazine's version of the tankoubon's pgs. 24-26, showing a befuddled Dain being told the way to Vheen ("up") and Remilia and one of her assistants discussing Dain and Ghaleon's arrival in the city. The magazine again crowds and crops many panels, and several shots of Dain and Ghaleon beaming up to Vheen and close-ups of Remilia's assistant were cut (as was some of the dialogue, which seems to have been "condensed" Reader's Digest-style). The slightly fanservicey scene of Remilia zipping up her dress in the magazine was removed from the tankubon.]

I got the opportunity to publish this manga when the Saturn version of Lunar 1 was released.
I was told that I didn't have to redo the game, that I could do whatever I wanted, and so I just did the story I'd wanted to do the most.
I decided it would be better not to resort to a "save the world" plot.
With no global crisis to deal with, I would have plenty of chances to focus on, you know, character development and those moments when the characters change.
I thought that the characters who appeared in the games were easily recognizable from their depictions in the game magazines and the games themselves and that players could easily transfer their feelings for them onto their manga incarnations.
That, however, alienates readers who have no previous knowledge of the characters - ends up giving them the sense of "everybody knows what's going on here but me", so to speak.
I didn't like that, so I insisted on making it the story of three nameless people.

[The magazine's version of tankoubon pgs. 36-39, Remilia and her assistants discovering Dain and persuading/tricking him into telling him how Ghaleon managed to get them to Vheen. Panel-crowding and panel omission again - several reaction shots from the assistants and several scenes of Ghaleon fixing the transmission spring. And, of course, the action of four pages is condensed to two in the magazine. Ghaleon gazing out the window at the ruins is left relatively intact, just a little "squished".]

These pages come from the magazine version of the story.
I'm posting the magazine versions because I'm redoing some dialogue and panels and stuff for the book version, and I'm getting some requests to "tell me what was changed," etc.
There are some other places where I redrew the pictures only, not shown here.

To tell the truth, I had really wanted to redo some parts from the minute I finished drawing the first half of the manga.

Page 2

[Magazine version of tankoubon's pgs. 55-57, Remilia at night watching for the lamps to be sent up to tell her how much energy the ship has left and Ghaleon assembling the control device in the ruins and telling Dain to go get something to eat. Three pages condensed to two, pic of Dain watching Ghaleon assemble device and pics and dialogue of assistant comforting Remilia omitted.]

In the original edition, the first half ended with the scene in the library, which ended with Remilia sitting down after being seemingly ignored by Ghaleon.
I had an extra page [in the tankoubon] and things I wanted to do, so I fleshed them out in the tankoubon. [Note: I suppose this means that Ghaleon just left Remilia in the library instead of coming up and wordlessly taking the books from her, but I'm not sure. (His behavior in the tankoubon could constitute "ignoring her" as well, I suppose.) None of the pages in the tankoubon contributing to this scene are easily excisable, but the panel composition in the magazine version, as detailed, often doesn't match that of the tankoubon - the magazine version could very well have omitted the panels at the top of pg. 54 and compressed pg. 53 and the bottom of pg. 54 on one page, which would leave the scene as detailed above.]
In the Lunar I drew, there is ongoing tension between the magic race and the human race, but not a word is really said about this in the game. [I think she's referring to Eternal Blue - much of it takes place on the former Frontier, now populated by humans, and the magic race is curiously unmentioned. Silver Star, of course, has its magic race/Frontier issues as a central plotline.]
That's because players occasionally got confused by it...
I was surprised to see that there was a scene in the Magic School manga (I just flipped through a few pages of it in a bookstore) where the heroine was shocked to discover that she was of the magic race or something (do I have that right? Please point it out to me if I don't).

[Magazine version of Ghaleon casting big big spell to save airship, cobbled together from tankoubon pgs. 79 & 81. Omits close-ups of Dain and Ghaleon's faces and shots around Vheen of everyone praying.]

One thing I failed to do was explain the difference between the magic race and the humans in how they cast magic.
In the Funato Lunar, the magic race was magic power made flesh (and was granted very long life because of it), and so they don't need to use incantations - casting magic is as natural as breathing for them - but since the magic power of humans is half-borrowed, they cannot cast magic without considerable effort of some sort.
(This seems to have had an influence on the novelizations.)
This idea doesn't have any big importance for "Tamashii no Kokuhaku", so I didn't really mention it there.
In the subsequent "Kokuhaku Suru Kioku", when a human and a magic-race are fighting, I had wanted to create a tense mood with the idea that the magic-race had an insurmountable advantage with not needing time to chant, but I failed... I didn't set the stage enough, I guess... [My apologies for majorly screwing up this paragraph into a statement on a supposed general human/mazoku war when I first translated this page way, way back.]

[Magazine version of tankoubon pg. 85, Remilia's mother greeting Ghaleon. Omits...nothing, believe it or not.]

At the time, I'd wanted to draw an idea I had had in my head for a story about Ghaleon's youth. I just couldn't wait to carry it out!
(Incidentally, the first idea I had for the story was healthier, and big brother stayed alive...it had Ghaleon as a boy, at the end of it all, finally fly away from Vheen in the airship and, upon disembarking, set foot on the earth for the first time, then run and chase after his brother - a cute ED that seems unthinkable now.)
One could say that "Tamashii no Kokuhaku" existed as a stepping-stone to "Kokuhaku Suru Kioku". Sorry, Remilia-chan.
I wanted to draw the history of Vheen and Ghaleon.

You might call him "big brother longlegs", hm? [From "ashinagaoniisan", a take on "ashinagaojiisan", the Japanese name of a daddy longlegs. Since we're showing TnK scans but were just talking about KSK, I'm not sure if we're talking about Zain or TnK Ghaleon here. Perhaps it refers to the first panel on pg. 85?]
Pages 86 and 87 took me three whole days to do all the detailed drawing. Thanks to them, I had no free time during that whole period.

Page 3

[OK, now, here, Funato gives ua a flowchart of "The Succession of Guildmistresses from 'Kokuhaku Suru Kioku' to 'Tamashii no Kokuhaku'" assembled from pics from the aforementioned pgs. 86-87, which starts at Nia (from 'Kokuhaku Suru Kioku') and ends at Remilia's mother (that's what the caption beneath her pic says). Thin, handdrawn arrows connect younger Ausas to older incarnations of themselves, while thick pink arrows with a kanji symbol (for "daughter") on them connect a mother to her daughter.]


[A pic from "Kioku Suru Fuukei" of one of Dain's fellow juvenile delinquents sitting in the tree, his hair colored red.] As you can see, I've tried adding some color here, since I thought that maybe you'd recognize him if I did so.
No one was able to realize it, but this's (naturally - I said, "naturally!") Arhes's [Alex's] father...

No matter how many times he runs away from the village, I'm afraid he'll always be brought back.

Incidentally, Beruno Ootsuki-chan really liked Dain's grandfather - she said "he looks like Saburo Kitajima". [He's a famous singer, and "Sabu-chan" is his nickname - why didn't I recognize "Kitajima" as a surname before?]

Just about the time I first got a job on Lunar, Shigema-san told me about an idea for a story where "Ghaleon, while traveling, is asked to catch a chicken thief coming out of a barn in a village, and when he tries to do so, we see it's Dain" that I always liked and thought would make a perfect prologue here, so I got his permission to draw it up.

Translation revised 5/12/10. Disclaimer: Lunar, Vheen Hikuusen Monogatari, "Kioku Suru Fuukei", and all related official works are property of Game Arts, Asuka DX, Shounen Ace, Akari Funato, and/or Working Designs; this document isn't affiliated with either. Translation by R. Capowski at RACapowski@sceneryrecalled.com; please don't repost it without permission.