HighSchool DxD Volume DX5 (Afterword)

Continues on from Infinity Underwear.2

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Hello everyone, this is Ichiei Ishibumi. It’s been a while since the last short story compilation. Because the previous volume [DX.4] was filled entirely with two matches from the [Azazel Cup], it’s been a full year and a half since [DX.3], which was a true short story volume.

In the afterword of the second volume of [True High School DxD], I announced that ‘the next volume will be True DxD volume three’, but I’ll explain why that turned into the short story compilation [DX.5] in the latter half of this afterword.

Anyway, I’ll first begin with commentary of each episode. The magazine publications and the new complementary episodes have been anomalously chronicled in a roughly alternating fashion.

[Resurrected? The Immortal Bird] — between volume seventeen and nineteen of the original series
One of Riser’s [Bishop] positions were vacant due to the transfer of Ravel, so I decided to write about it. Even so, it’s rather chaotic…. A kappa appeared, a snow gorilla appeared, a Nagoya Chicken appeared and Bapple-kun came out as well…. It feels like there’s a lot of momentum when I read through it, and I think it’s somewhat nostalgic as well. 

[Unknown Dictator] — during the preliminary stage of the [Azazel Cup]
This episode is related to the Phoenix team. It’s a short story that delves deeper into the premise of the new Longinus [Unknown Dictator] that’s been rumoured to be able to manipulate machines in the main series recently. I think it’s the first American agent that I’ve introduced. I’ve occasionally thought that it would be nice to introduce a CIA agent or the like. Magnus’ image is based on the flying superheroes from Marvel comics. He has joined the [Phoenix] team, but he seems to have good compatibility with Seekvaira. Magnus Rose will soon make his appearance in the main series.

[Maid of the House of Pendragon] — between volume seventeen and nineteen of the original series
This is a story that I wrote to dig deeper into the background of Arthur and Le Fay. Elaine-san wasn’t really mentioned in the main series, so I almost forgot what kind of person she was until I reread this episode. I’d like to make the most of her hereafter.

[Collbrand] — after the preliminary stage of the [Azazel Cup]
This is a new short story I wrote after rereading [Maid of the House of Pendragon]. It’s a story about Arthur and Elaine, as well as the new Longinus [Alphecca Tyrant]. Since the possessor of [Unknown Dictator] is a CIA agent, I decided that the possessor of [Alphecca Tyrant] should be related to British royalty. In any case, I plan to elaborate on this in Le Fay’s volume. This story is more of a prelude. I haven’t written about it yet, but I think Arthur will do his best.

[Sleepover Party for the Gifted and Talented] — between volume seventeen and nineteen of the original series
This is a story that I thought up for exploring Tosca’s background. As she’s a girl who doesn’t appear much in the main story, I’d be delighted if you read this episode and thought about her. However, Kiryuu is…bad at teaching! Though, beginning with Asia, she’s become an expert at becoming friends with those related to the Church, and she’s certainly been successful again. As the author, I also really like the last interaction between Rias and Tosca.

[Go West!] — between volume seventeen and nineteen of the original series
I wrote this because I wanted to write a story about Vali. When it comes to Vali, it’s easy to talk about those associated with Journey to the West, so I introduced the current Zhu Bajie and current Sha Wujing. This episode is the first appearance of those two. As for Sha Wujing, there are indeed occasions when they are referred to as a kappa in Japan, and of course, Salamander Tomita also made an appearance. In fact, when you read through [DX.5], Kuroka seems to appear quite often.

[Salamander Tomita] — after the preliminary stage of the [Azazel Cup]
After deciding on the composition of [DX.5] (which episodes to include) and re-reading it all, Salamander Tomita seems to stand out! I mean, his name often comes up in short stories, and he fought with Kuroka when he first appeared as well…a monster of the Grigori…. Even though I created him, I don’t really understand this kappa, but I feel like he has a strange charm, so I decided to make him a reserve member of the Vali team. And with that, I can reproduce the members of both the original version and the Japanese version of Journey to the West. I’ve noticed that the tone and expressions of this kappa seem to differ depending on the story, but I didn’t fix it because I feel like it would be more interesting that way. By the way, he’s something of a kappa genius amongst the Youkai, so he gets stronger every time he appears. That’s what I’ve decided. To be honest, I don’t even know what an Ultimate-class Kappa is myself….  

 [Flower Arrangement of the Princesses] — sometime around volume twenty-two of the original series (after proposal to Rias)
Personally, I really like the short stories in DxD. In any case, this is a story that I wrote because I wanted to make everything about some rather gibberish elements funny and comedic. After all, Seekvaira is a character quite suited to short stories. It’s just that, to my surprise, Kiba became a girl quite naturally…. Since Kiba occasionally turns into a girl, there are times when the author himself is unsure of whether the character is male or female.

 [Kimono Girl?] — during the preliminary stage of the [Azazel Cup]
This is a new short story that I wanted to write about Tosca. I can’t imagine putting Ise in a feminine body, so I don’t think I’ll ever do it.

 [White Dragon Emperor of Black History] — after volume twenty-four of the original series
[The Fallen Dog God -SLASHDØG-] which has a shared world has already started publication in earnest, and this is a story about the Slash Dog team and Ice Princess Lavinia which I thought about including in the main story. When it comes to Lavinia, Vali obviously has to be involved as well. It’s a complementary episode to the black history diary which was introduced in volume twenty-four. Nanadaru Shigune didn’t appear in the magazine edition, but was added to the story upon inclusion in this volume. The independent avatar of Four Fiends [Toutetsu] having three bodies is probably the most surprising scene for readers of [The Fallen Dog God -SLASHDØG-]. I think this will be continued in [The Fallen Dog God -SLASHDØG-] and mentioned also in True DxD. There are still other members of the Slash Dog team (including its collaborators), so I think I’ll try to introduce them in the DxD timeline as well.

 [Restaurant] — during the main stage of the [Azazel Cup]
In this newly written short story, we’re at the forefront of the main timeline. Ingvild, who has just become a member of Ise’s peerage also makes an appearance. I talked about the restaurant where Tobio Ikuse is a chef in [White Dragon Emperor of Black History], so this short story is complementary to it. I also wrote about the daily life of Vali and Cao Cao which you don’t normally get to see. Sharing a table with Vali, Doumon Genbu is borrowed from [The Fallen Dog God -SLASHDØG-]. For those interested in her relationship with Vali, please check out [The Fallen Dog God -SLASHDØG-].

 [Superhero Trial] — between volume twenty-four and twenty-five of the original series
In this episode, I thought I’d talk about the new Hero Faction. I once went to Shibamata (and Shibamata Taishakuten Temple) for research and inspiration, and that’s when I came up with this idea. For the playful holy spear wielder and cleaner Cao Cao, the new members are Momotaro and Zhuge Liang. With this, it’s become a fun team again.

 [Infinity Underwear.1] — during the main stage of the [Azazel Cup]
This takes place at the forefront of the current timeline. This is a short story that I inserted after discussing with my editor that first-time readers of the [First Errand] story following it would find it easier to understand with this. Even so, the timeline can be confusing. Sometimes, even the perverted Ise wants to sip cola on the rooftop alone.

 [First Errand] — just after volume twelve of the original series
This is a story that became an addendum of a volume, making it volume 12.5 in the form of Dragon Magazine. This is an episode about Ophis’ issues with daily life around everyone following her arrival at the Hyoudou Residence. This was around the time when Asia had normal-sized breasts. They continued to grow after this. This story was written in 2012, roughly seven years ago, so it is the oldest one included in [DX.5]. Because of that, the writing style and Ise’s feelings are slightly different from what they are now. As the author, it feels somewhat refreshing, but at the same time, it certainly makes me feel as though I’ve gotten older. Ise was young back then, as was my writing…when I think about it like that, I feel like I’ve aged a bit. From my early thirties to late thirties, my thought process and perspective has certainly changed somewhat. In terms of age, I feel like I’d be close to Azazel and Ajuka.

 [Infinity Underwear.2] — during the main stage of the [Azazel Cup]
This is the continuation of [Infinity Underwear.1]. I thought it’d be a good idea to write a few pages about peaceful everyday life as well.

—And, that concludes the commentary of each episode.

Now, as I mentioned at the beginning of this Afterword, I’ll explain ‘why True DxD volume three turned into [DX.5]’…. I am currently receiving treatment for high blood pressure. Last year, my physical condition crumbled because of overwork. In fact, while I was writing the previous volume of True DxD volume two (around autumn last year), I became sick, had frequent headaches, had lots of palpitations, and felt tired but was unable to sleep — it was a rather painful situation. Afterwards, my physical condition deteriorated while on a business trip and I went straight to hospital. As a result of my examination, although not a serious illness, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. At one point, my blood pressure went up to nearly two hundred. The headaches, palpitations, insomnia and the like that I experienced during work seemed to have been caused by high blood pressure from overwork. In addition, I also discovered pain in my neck, shoulders, and arms. This was due to a problem with my neck bones. It was because I had been looking at my computer with the same posture for a long period of time. I am currently resting while I treat my blood pressure and neck problems with medicine. Regarding my blood pressure, it’s actually fortunate that I was able to start treatment of it early. If it had been a little later, it’s possible that I’d have caused serious symptoms in my brain and heart due to overwork.

In 2018, I was writing DxD and SLASHDØG, writing the special story [High School DxD Zero] for the fourth anime season [High School DxD HERO]’s broadcast, Blu-ray and DVD releases, working on the tenth anniversary book, doing various research, checks, and talk events — this made it the greatest workload that I had ever had and my body just couldn’t handle it. As a result, I rested and received treatment from the end of 2018 to the beginning of 2019. I was only able to write short-story length compositions because I had lost my physical strength (I wasn’t in the best condition to write action scenes in particular). That’s why the main story volume turned into a short story compilation this time. Having said that, I think I’ll be in a fairly good state by the time this is released. I will definitely continue writing True High School DxD volume three and [The Fallen Dog God -SLASHDØG-] volume four, so I highly appreciate your patience in waiting for them.

Now that we’ve talked about my physical condition, here are my acknowledgements. Miyama Zero-sama, Editor T-sama, once again I’m indebted to you and I apologise for the inconvenience.

Next time, I’d like to present True High School DxD volume three. In order to do so, I am improving my physical condition and gradually restoring my writing ability. As announced previously, True DxD volume three is the new Kyoto arc and will feature Kunou (and Yasaka). Please look forward to it.

(All 1 of 1 parts) (4/9/20)

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