Continues on from New Life
It’s been a long time since volume twenty one was published. It’s Ishibumi Ichiei here. Fans may have thought that after volume twenty one and DX3, the story would soon progress into the final arc, and this is indeed the case for volume twenty two. The final arc will have a very lively style, similar to how it was in the first three arcs. The fourth arc was the beginning of the events involving the Three Factions, exposing the Underworld and the darkness of the Rating Games, so in comparison to the first three arcs which were brighter, the plot was somewhat more serious. Having said that, part of the reasoning behind Ise’s promotion to a High-class Devil is because the respective problems that were brought up in the early stages of the story with the upper echelons of the Devils and the Three Factions had to be dealt with first. The final arc will use a similarly bright tone to deal with the heroines, and I feel that everything that has been saved up so far should be pierced through at once. The final arc (possibly) won’t reach volume thirty. —But there should be DX volumes in between, so I would be honoured if you can accompany me to the end. In summary, the final arc has finally begun. After the backbone of this story, Ise, rose to fame, all of the characters who have been introduced thus far are now participating in the International Rating Game, which has become the final open stage full of festivals. Following below are various individual topics.
Finally! Ise has become a High-class Devil, and now stands on the starting line for his journey towards becoming a Harem King. Thinking back, this was the ambition that he held in the first volume, and it has finally progressed after twenty volumes. I’m sure many readers also feel deeply emotional about this. I was also burning up as I wrote the about the promotion ceremony. After the promotion, he immediately promised his future with Rias and Akeno as well. With his aim to become a Harem King, he made a public declaration that would make everyone happy. The decision on his relationships with the heroines is also a theme of the fifth arc. Please continue to pay attention to Ise’s consciousness. Now, who will be the next to swear their future together with Ise, to become a member of his harem? Based on the present status quo, Ise’s peerage includes his [Rook] Rossweisse, [Bishops] Asia and Ravel, as well as [Knight] Xenovia. Irina, Bova, and Bina are not part of his peerage, though they are his comrades and team members. Several other members of Ise’s peerage are expected to appear in the final arc. The search for future peerage members is also one of the themes of this arc. However, the final arc probably won’t be able to show all of his peerage. The reason that Rias has been separated from the team is to emphasise the fact that Ise has become a High-class Devil. Taking into account the relevance of opponents, and the activity of the late heroines at the same time — especially Ravel and Rossweisse, whose roles in the fourth arc were rather inadequate, I chose to present them in such a way this time. The matches of Rias’ team will also be mentioned throughout, so please rest assured. They will take the form of a separate description. After reading the volume, you will probably think that Ravel has a very active role in the final arc. Just as everyone saw, it would have been impossible to win in the tournament without Ravel. Ravel will have an important role to play in this final arc, so please witness her growth together with Ise as his manager.
The mysterious new characters
This time, the mysterious new characters of both Ise’s and Rias’ teams have appeared. The [Queen] of Ise’s team, Bina Lessthan and the [Knight] of Rias’ team, Lint Selzan. As for exactly who they are, please confirm this in the next volume or later. In this case, please also take notice of the mysterious [Pawn] on Rias’ team. I think it will be interesting to see how the vacancies in Ise’s peerage will develop in the future.
The competing groups for the International Rating Game Tournament
The world tournament has begun! It’s been a long time since I last wrote a Rating Game. It’s been around five years since a proper Rating Game like Sairaorg’s (I did write about the rematch with Raiser in the first DX volume, but that is separate). Five years…five years!? What actually happened!? If a fan first started reading in middle school, it’s actually been so long that they might think “I’m going to graduate soon”! The Rating Games were obviously a major theme of this series, but they were put aside. What have I been doing these past five years…. I’m sorry, when I think about it, it’s my fault. In summary, at the very end, the matchups that were announced were Ise versus Dulio, and Sairaorg versus Cao Cao. However, basically only Ise’s (as well as Rias’ and Vali’s) matches will be written about. So aside from those matches, I will avoid making them too detailed unless it is a very important match. It is more or less impossible to write about every single match. But the editors would also like to see the match between Sairaorg and Cao Cao, so if possible, this match and some others may be published in Dragon Magazine. For the readers who are interested, please check out Dragon Magazine or the Fujimi Fantasia Bunko website. Perhaps some of the games will be finished in the DX volumes. The editor-in-charge would also like to see the matches aside from Ise’s ones, so perhaps the matches of the world tournament will be made up for in some unexpected form. (But please forgive me if it doesn’t happen.) For comments or requests such as “I want to see this battle!”, please be sure to mail the Fujimi Fantasia Bunko editorial department by all means if, as I would also be interested in writing other battles aside from Ise’s one. Because it has been five years, I’m sure there are many wanted game matchups. But I will not write Ise’s rematch against Sairaorg. For those two, I don’t think I could write anything better than the tenth volume. So I apologise for that. Now, about the competition of the world tournament. There may be some contradictions or loopholes in the special rules for this and future matches, I will give priority to atmosphere and form, and then do my best to make it reasonable. Regarding the content of the games, not all of the matches that Ise faces will be smooth-sailing. After all, there are some powerful rivals participating, so it will not be a simple or easy journey.
Shiva, and the Heavenly Emperor, it’s finally time for the gods!
In the previous afterwords…I have said that the last boss of the final arc may be Shiva. Just as I previously said, it will be closely related to Shiva. The Heavenly Emperor that has been mentioned in the background since the beginning of the third arc has finally appeared. Until now, there hasn’t been a character where you might think “It feels like he’s always so mighty”, but that will become more active from now on. And all of the foreshadowed characters will also make an appearance. A challenge to the many Gods is also a theme of this arc. The Gods who have appeared around Ise have gradually been introducing themselves, and he has finally become an existence that the Gods take notice of, and as the author, I also feel deeply emotional about this. This was not something I could have imagined at the time of the first volume.
Next are the acknowledgements. Miyama Zero-sama, I am grateful to you every time. While preparing volume twenty two, my editor-in-charge changed. I worked with the previous Editor H-shi for eight and a half years, through thick and thin for a long time. I take this occasion to thank you once again from the bottom of my heart. And for the newly appointed Editor T-sama, I look forward to working with you from now on. It is my first time working with an editor younger than myself, so I’m also a bit nervous. The upcoming twenty third volume includes Ise versus Dulio, a dream showdown. Various characters associated with the Church will also appear, and needless to say, the Church trio will have some great scenes. However, it’s not just about the progression of the tournament, there are also people who are secretly watching Ise and the others…?
There is some foreshadowing here to say that resolving the enemies is also a part of the final arc, so please look forward to this while you wait. —I originally wanted to talk a bit more about the contents of volume twenty three, but according to the publishing schedule, the next one is DX3. It will include the dreamlike short story of Xenovia and Irina’s first meeting [Cross Crisis]. I think this is a very valuable one, so if you’re a fan of Xenovia and Irina, it’s a must-see. Thank you for that as well. Ah, in future, there may be something planned in regards to the final arc, so please also check out Dragon Magazine to see what happens.
(Part 1 of 1) (23/5)