Everyone, good evening. This is Kimura Shinichi. Well, time sure flies, doesn’t it? Kore wa Zombie desu ka? is now celebrating its first full year.
This was all thanks to the people who bought this book. Thank you very much.
Now then, I’m still a hopeless amateur and I’m showing no signs of improvement… but I even got a kouhai now, so as a pro I’ll just have to try my best and do my work proudly, right?!
Well, that’s what I’d like to say to try and get focused, but…
On a fundamental level, what exactly is a pro’s work? At least, for someone as stupid as me, I found myself thinking about that a lot.
While I had that on my mind, they told me they were going to record our drama CD, which I realized I had to go for. I was a bit worried that I was going to be just in the way, but I gratefully took the opportunity to join them.
And that recording was… well, it was seriously just incredible.
There was Mizubara Kaoru-san, who I’m now following very closely, there’s Tamura Yukari-san, who I’ve been a big fan of ever since hearing “Watashi-tachi, Tobimasu!” on the radio, and Itou Shizuka-san, whose ability to say the word “disgusting” just was unbeatable by anybody else.
And everyone did an absolutely incredible job.
Geez. Everyone was just sooooo cute. These were all idols, dammit. Idols.
But who was the most incredible was the audio director. He was so handsome I thought he would fit right in with the band Chemistry, but he was also just amazing.
As I nervously flipped through the screenplays we were handed, the recording immediately began.
“Well then, as a test let’s start from episode one.”
It was a voice test. Ahh, everyone’s voice was just way too good… it was just perfect. I listened to all their beautiful voices while covering my mouth so that nobody would realize I was smiling so much.
But, the audio director turned to me and said this:
“Hm, I think Sera should sound a bit more cool, and maybe we can get a bit more variation into her voice. What do you think?”
What… did he just say…?
“Well, I think everyone was just perfect though…”
“Hmm, I think it’d be better if she were a bit cooler sounding though.”
“I think it’s fine right now. Ah, but could we try it a bit cooler and see how it feels like?”
So, we did it again. And then… wow. It was better than before.
“Which one was better?”
“This one… please, let’s go with this one.”
Like that, he meticulously instructed the talent on how to play each character.
And then, the real recording. We went through a full episode of dialogue.
This was once again perfect, and made me feel that my presence here was utterly unnecessary. Seriously, I couldn’t say anything about that. But…
“Ehh, Haruna-san, take a look at your second line on page four…”
They had to do it over…? But it was perfect! That was definitely perfect!
Don’t tell me… after just hearing everything once, he was going to pick out an issue on every page?!
“Next, Haruna-san. Another line on the same page…”
It wasn’t just one on each page either! Was he going to try to make them redo every part he found fault with?!
“Try to speak a bit higher and faster-“ Huh? That sounded really hard.
“Alright, understood.” She could do it?!
“Make it sound something like it’s a girl coming out of a boy’s body-“ What the hell did that even mean?!
“Okay. Understood.” She could do it?!
The audio director wouldn’t take any compromises. And, all the seiyuu answered his wishes. I was the only one standing there thinking “can she really do that?” or “I thought that was perfect already.”
Was this… what they called a pro’s work? To never compromise and respond to someone’s wishes.
Like that, the high-quality recording proceeded… wow, Noto is really cute, Noto is.
To be quite honest, I came here for the recording so I could meet the female seiyuu.
The people lending their voices to the heroines all had just lovely voices, and it became truly a night to remember.
But… that made me want to say it even more! It made me want to shout it to the heavens! The male seiyuu were also great!
There was Inada Tooru-san as the gorilla, and all the other jolly people giving us our background chatter. They were all great!
The first episode. Because of Haruna, Ayumu has to go and defeat an entire other dojo. It was the scene when the disciples attacked, and Inada-san and all the others were yelling to liven up the scene, when someone suddenly said this:
“Wait, did you hear Choushuu Riki in there?” (1)
Really? I must’ve missed that. And then, the disciples began to laugh.
“Did you just hear Ashura Man?” (2)
This time, I could tell too. There was definitely one person who was imitating Ashura Man.
And then, once again, when Ayumu was fighting the disciples… yeah, there he was! Choushuu was there!
For the people who bought the Drama CD, and for the people who are thinking of buying it, definitely look for Choushuu Riki and Ashura Man.
Normally, I wouldn’t listen too hard to the background voices in something like this… but maybe even in other works there were people in the background playing around a bit like this.
They sure were doing a lot to make sure that the people who bought this small part of the story were in for a treat.
I was also truly impressed by the acting power of Takahashi Shinya-san, who played Orito, and the soothing voice of Terashima Takuma-san, who played Ayumu. And the narrator, Taraki Fumihito-san! He was the real deal.
Tachiki-san was going to play the narrator? My heart was fluttering.
“It doesn’t matter what the ending is. If Tachiki-san says ‘And they lived happily ever after’ at the end, then the ending is a good one.”
The audio director said that. What did that mean?!
“And they lived happily ever after!”
They didn’t seem happy at all! That sounded so wrong! And yet… it was so good!
Because of all these inside stories, I really want everyone to be able to hear this drama CD.
But really, this was truly a day when I saw exactly what it meant to be doing a “pro’s work.”
I returned home and to my own work. The New Year was approaching, so the work started to pile up, and after a truly exhausting time I managed to submit my manuscript. I wonder if that manuscript was a good one.
As a reward, I got to feast my eyes on the illustratiosn of Kobuichi-san and Muririn-san, who I’m sure had much busier schedules than I had. Whoa! What was this?! These were way too cute!
It must’ve been insanely difficult to design a new character while having so much other work to do. But, look at this quality! Was this also what it meant to be a pro? When I got the cover illustration, it was amazing enough to leave me speechless. That little animal accessory attached to her head was also so cute!
This design was probably Muririn-san’s doing, wasn’t it? Kobuichi-san’s drawings with their smart designs and detailed angles were also really cute. Those two really were excellent at what they did.
Ah… speaking of illustrations, it seems like Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? is getting a manga!
How generous must they have been to think of drawing this queer work into a manga?
… Wait a second. Kobuichi-san and Muririn-san were top-tier artists.
Could whoever was doing the manga really bring that much cuteness out of the art? But the minute I thought that, I got a copy of the rough draft of Sacchi-san’s Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? manga.
Amazing! He took an incomprehensibly random character like Ayumu and made him look just like a real protagonist!
Haruna was also spunky, and I could’ve sworn that Sera’s breasts looked bigger. But most importantly…
Yuu was sooooooooo cute! These heroines were even cuter than they were in the novel!
The Megalo were also cute in a different way than in the novels, and they were great. I hope everyone will take a look if they get a chance!
These people drew so well, didn’t they? As expected from pros. Once this work went to other media, I got a glimpse at just how amateurish I was. Could I… could I also do a pro’s work like these people?
Ah, my manager is calling me.
“Ah, thanks for your hard work.”
“To you too. Thank you for submitting your manuscript. It was good.”
“Thank you very much. I guess this means I’m also a pro-“
“So, I need to talk to you about this part here at the start… and this other part here… and next…”
Here talking to me was another pro who wouldn’t compromise. I should take a leaf out of those seiyuu’s books and go “Understood.”
“Ehh, but even if you say that… well, umm…”
… Nope. I couldn’t say it.
And so, this volume of Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? was brought to you all by professionals, except for me. I hope to one day also be able to hold myself up proudly as one of those pros, so please continue to support me in the future!
Last, to everyone who got this book, to Kobuichi-san and Muririn-san. To Marine Entertainment, which allowed this work to be made into a drama CD, and to everyone who took part in that endeavor. To Sacchi-san, who took on the task of making the manga of this work. And to Morioka-san, my manager.
My feelings of gratitude towards you all just grow stronger and stronger each and every day. From the bottom of my heart, thank you very much.
– December 2009, Kimura Shinichi
*There are currently no plans to actually sell Haruna’s songs that were displayed on the color illustrations at the start of this volume.
(1) Pro wrestler.
(2) From the manga Kinniku Man.