Shaman Q&A: Arc.5

The Shaman can't become a Hero

Act 5: Worst Harem Party

Author's Q&A: Arc.5

The theme for arc 5 is How do the cliche heroines react to a man besides the protagonist?, I suppose.

If we call Souma Yuuto the protagonist, you can pretty much say that, starting with Souma Sakura, all the pretty girls in Class 2-7 are his harem heroines. All those girls like Yuuto, sometimes coming on straightforwardly, sometimes getting him to pamper them, sometimes not being quite honest with themselves, they truly have attitudes that cute girls would have.

Now, how would these pretty, and on top of that, clearly in love, heroines interact with a guy who’s not their protagonist, who they don’t like, and who they don’t think much of in the first place?

The answer to that would be the many types of ill treatment that Momokawa Kotarou has received from these girls in the 5th arc.

In my humble opinion, this Template Heroine that you often find is quite a stubborn existence. In other words, They don’t break their character (archetype), and they always react in a predictable fashion. Something like that.

That’s why Souma Sakura will always keep to her perfect and righteous personality, and Kenzaki Asuna will have an anachronistic sense of values.

This is a very important aspect for a Light Novel heroine. Stuff like Sakura being neat and lovely only when her brother is around, or Asuna dilly-dallying on her phone whenever Yuuto isn’t looking, that sort of surface-level acted out persona, just doesn’t happen.

It doesn’t feel real for a female character, and even in fictional entertainment other than LNs, it should be a protected code. If they don’t start of with the setting that they’re actually faking everything, a character, especially a heroine, should be as she looks, as she feels, or else it’s no good.

These straightforward personalities are great for LN heroines, and fantastic for the protagonist towards whom they seem to have boundless love... But what exactly are they, with their obstinate characters, to another guy in the same fictitious world?

Kotarou: “They hate you once, and it’s pretty much over”

He speaks from experience. So it’s like this,

If it’s the protagonist, even if his relationship with the heroine takes a wrong turn, they can definitely recuperate and sometimes even deepen their relationship, and an event to accomplish this will be prepared for them. But if you’re not the protag, you won’t have destiny give you any helping hand. In a fictional world, the protag has the magical double-standard known as fate working wholly in his favor, and people other than him should just have normal, realistic lives like you and me. At least, it’s like that for this story. It’s not a nice and fluffy world where everyone everywhere can find happiness.

With that, after Kotarou was found out about masturbating in the fairy square, he instantly lost the trust of all those girls. For the protagonist, it would be just barely inside the line of recovery... But for those girls, the protag isn’t Kotarou but Souma Yuuto. And naturally, there’s no prepared event that conveniently has Kotarou regain their faith... So what happens is, he chooses to make something that was not supposed to happen, happen.

That would be, giving up on reconciling with the girls, and using the precursor of violence from Mei-chan, he forcefully plunders away a position and standing for himself.

Now then, Momokawa has resolved to take the position of sub-leader despite not actually wanting it. What will happen to him now? Please look forward to it in Arc 6.

With that, let’s start off the Q & A corner!

Q. So I haven’t read Kuro no Maou

A. I see this in the comments sometimes... And it’s honestly quite surprising.

I thought that my reputation was all Kuro no Maou, and that anyone reading this would be reading that one as well, but yeah, I guess there’s people like this too.

If you’ve read and liked Shaman, I’m sure Kuro no Maou will be also to your liking. Currently, KnM also wins in the yandere department.

Q. Isn’t announcing that Netorare and Rape aren’t a thing useless and also diminishing for the breadth of the story?

A. I completely agree with you that it may be the case in the meta perspective of a story. In the stories found in Narou, you sometimes see these in the summaries or post-scripts, and I get turned off too. I even think the author is being lazy in trying to make sure their readers don’t drop the story.[1]

(TN: Narou, short for Shousetsuka ni Narou — Let’s become an Author, is the site where a lot of Jap WNs come from. Including this one and KnM. )

But at least a warning like, Rated R-15, Violence and Profanity, should be placed in.

My, “Heroines are NOT raped or NTR’ed”... isn’t quite similar to an R rating. It would be my credo, my personal policy if you will.

If this declaration happens to limit the level of anticipation you can feel reading, then sure it’s a demerit to the story, but even at the risk of the readers’ ire, I feel that it has value, and I stand true to my position. Meaning, you can’t derive any pleasure from the defiling of a heroine from my stories. In both The Shaman can’t become a Hero and Kuro no Maou, you have Violence and Profanity, and pretty dark plotlines, but you may have the misunderstanding that since we have those, we may have the heroine fall into some bad danger as well. I have my literary style, so I imagine there is meaning in me proclaiming, declaring, that that is not the case.

Not saying I denounce stories like that, but I have no interest in them, and will have no interest in writing something similar. Author’s who can’t show the heroine in a bind unless it involves a danger to their chastity, could be third-rate, or could simply like Rape and NTR, or whatever... but, I don’t denounce any of that.

The Author should just write what they want. And I’ll be writing how I feel like as well, thank you very much.

Q. Can Red Fever become something like a love curse by Black Bloodline?

A. It won’t become a curse that makes someone fall for Kotarou. There’d be no meaning if they fall in love with the MC without concern for his actions and personality, and something like falling in love through magic is just absurd.

Aren’t you just in love because of his curse? If you ask this to Mei-chan, you may end up like Kenzaki Asuna. Let’s be careful how we say things to a yandere.

Q. Don’t any of the girls realize it’s because Mei-chan loves Kotarou? They’re girls, so they should have some intuition like that right?

A. It isn’t like they never considered it. Rather, right around when they encountered, looking at how Kotarou and Mei-chan were interacting, everyone thought something to the likes of, “That Futaba, she’s wayy too into him.”

Just that, those girls thinking Mei-chan in love with Momokawa would only be the basic premise, and adding on how he’s her savior and how they’ve been alone together ever since, all that together makes their final conclusions. For example, Souma Sakura even claimed their pure trust in each other is actually a “mind control” of sorts.

Anyway, all of them thought, and with reasonable minds, that “No one goes this far just for love”. Yes reasonably, since these girls don’t quite know what a yandere is.

Q. Mei-chan VS Kenzaki duel was pretty epic

A. I myself was pretty surprised. Among all chapters, this one got the most comments ever. The number of comments even topped a lot of Kuro no Maou chapters.

In all honesty, this part wasn’t supposed to be in the 5th arc at all. I’d gotten a lot more story down, and it happened when I went back revising. The duel was supposed to be had much later. So the duel part coming in on the 5th arc was something I decided almost right before posting it.

I was a bit nervous about this at first... But I made a firm decision.

You gotta have these things in the story where it fits the easiest.

Plus, there was the accumulating frustration from these worst harem members so... Suck it, violent bitch!

With a small bit of vengeance, you got Mei-chan showing off her yandere prowess quite nicely.

Man, yanderes are, soo best.

Q. How’s Mei-chan’s Yandere-level now?

A. Mei-chan’s levels have gotten pretty high but... compared to Lily and the rest, it needs more fine tuning.[2]

(TN: As in Lily, Fiona, Nell + ??? from Kuro no Maou. )

What I means is, it’s not about her level of love as a yandere, but a difference in the concept so to speak.

The main yandere heroines of Kuro no Maou were made quite high spec. The strongest of them being Lily who started off that epic Great Yandere War... but Mei-chan began as an honest to goodness sow with a power level of 0. She’s become the type who’ll be leveling up alongside Kotarou. So from the start, or rather, even after becoming a Berserker, she can’t be willful with her love. And she isn’t able to read his mind through telepathy, and isn’t any kind of genius either. She doesn’t come with any cheat tier powers, and so Mei-chan can only act as someone who was, until recently, just a normal student.

Meaning, she isn’t able to have the situation in the palm of her hand. She got Kotarou mad at her for the duel and thus even cried, so clearly she can’t aim for the perfect result. Looking at said results, she makes way too many mistakes compared to someone like Lily... but, that’s exactly why, she can display a different genre of yandere-ism, in my opinion.

She can’t be a genius doing anything and everything perfectly, so she musters up every scrap of her brains, and with love, courage and violence, Mei-chan becomes a yandere suited to her.

Q. At the time of their duel, how much of a Stats difference was there between Mei-chan and Asuna?

A. Mei-chan in terms of power, and Asuna for speed. But there really wasn’t that much of a gap. Their only difference would be, just as Asuna guessed, that one of them had years of combat experience... But Mei-chan was able to overcome that with guts and fury.

If they were both in pristine condition and fought with their all with killing intent, Asuna had a good chance to win too. Well, it we’re talking all out, Mei-chan has her Reagent X available, so Asuna’s chances of winning aren’t to the point of overwhelming.

Q. Mei-chan throwing the sword, then mounting, then beat down, didn’t I see it in that Drifters anime recently?

A. I watched it too! Drifters, it’s hella fun.[3]

I’ve been reading the drifters manga since before writing this story, but I had no intention of ripping it off alright? No really, please believe me.

Though I do say so myself, Mei-chan winning like this doesn’t have much bearing on the plot. Throwing the weapon, or splashing sand on the eyes are both things that have come to be from long ago, and it isn’t easy to inspire something new from that.

Anyway, the point of the battle was that once Mei-chan got a hold of Kenzaki, the fight was over. Those techniques used were just thrown in. Something like throwing a sword or using sand would come as obvious to Mei-chan, a (former) normal girl.

Q. Only scum get off on girls getting pummeled in the face

A. Well, I admit it’s fun to read about, but for the parties concerned, they might think it horrendous having to see such an atrocious scene.

Of course, being the one writing it is quite fun too.

Q. With just Kenzaki losing, Souma Sakura loses her edge in the votes huh

A. I was surprised that some readers actually guessed this before the last chapter in arc 5. Just goes to show, Shaman has some sharp readers too.

It’s just as Kotarou said. Them attaining Kenzaki Asuna’s vote would, at the present time, let them confront Souma Sakura and rival her say. And in reality, the results of the majority vote depended on who could convince Class Rep better.

Now Class Rep, as leader you must take responsibility and own to your decision.

Q. Class Rep: “Stop... c’mon STAHP...”[4]

(TN: There’s a pun / meme here involving Roger Clemens the baseball player. like Yametekuremensu. Yametekure meaning please stop. As for why Clemens, fuck if I know. )

A. Stuck between a rock that is Kotarou’s arguments and a hard place that is Sakura’s appeal to emotion, and on top of that, being subjected to the sheer weight of her guilt and fear in regards to Mei-chan, our Class Rep, Kisaragi Ryouko, is so very close to passing that fine line that is her limit.

But having been put in the position of someone with common sense, we’re gonna have to have her work with this from now on, without breaking down of course.

Regarding Class Rep’s attitude when the subject of duels came up, or when Kotarou was made sub-leader, it has been said that she just lets it happen and lacks the ability to make a firm decision. But we need to understand that Class Rep isn’t some experienced, veteran politician, but simply a girl who was assigned the role of Class Representative. It’s a bit harsh to expect her to anticipate everyone else’s emotions and conduct herself in the most optimal manner.

Just being able to calmly deal with circumstances that could make others crazy makes Class Rep quite a splendid person.

That being said, there’s going to be a lot more trouble coming, so good luck, you Class Rep, you!

Q. Natsukawa-san isn’t becoming air is she?

A. She was asleep along with Kotori during the duel, and after witnessing Asuna all bashed up, she was only shaking, also with Kotori. So please forgive her for not being able to speak up.

Q. He uses Ointment A a lot, but there’s B and C too right?

A. They’re there, but as of currently, there wasn’t any incident of them being poisoned, paralyzed, or gone down with a fever, so there simply hasn’t been a chance to use them.

Kotarou has Ointment A made in larger quantities since it works on external wounds, but he hasn’t neglected keeping a stock of B and C in his bag too.

Q. Kurono and Meiko are both Berserker characters, but their outside and inside are completely flipped huh?

A. So you realized.

That’s correct, I more or less intentionally did this one. In Kuro no Maou, the protagonist, Kurono, has a face that makes your skin crawl with the Berserker feeling, but inside, he’s a really nice guy.

On the other hand, you have the big busty bishoujo that is Mei-chan who can make the sweetest face while bashing another girl’s face in. Her heart’s already gone all Berserker.

They’re both blatantly written to my preferences, so It’d be great if you can appreciate this small contrast.

Alright, that should be it for this time.

[1] Narou, short for Shousetsuka ni Narou — Let’s become an Author, is the site where a lot of Jap WNs come from. Including this one and KnM.
[2] As in Lily, Fiona, Nell + ??? from Kuro no Maou.
[4] There’s a pun / meme here involving Roger Clemens the baseball player. like Yametekuremensu. Yametekure meaning please stop. As for why Clemens, fuck if I know.