In 1986, I was overwhelmed when I learned of some stories children had made up. They were all so intriguing: A story about the spirit of a dead TV idol that re-appeared on TV; a rumor about a tragic ending of a cheerful cartoon series. I jotted them down. They came to several pages. It was my intention to later present them in some kind of critical review. One night in early 1987, however, when I was reviewing these notes, I read a word in kanji " xxx (literally meaning inorganic king )" as "No Life King," which inspired me to write this story. I kept mumbling like a child with a high fever. My wife awoken from a deep sleep, drowsily wrote my words down on any available piece of paper (telephone memo pads, supermarket receipts). The synopsis was completed in two hours. Later, my wife said that on that night, I looked like a shrine maiden possessed by a holy spirit. It was thus that "No Life King" came into me as a story. I was under his spell for the following twenty days, writing it all down. He kept telling me, "Don't write a novel. Write a story. Don't be a poet. Look only at me." The only way to resist No Life King was to have Makoto and the other kids survive. The warriors in the story are therefore still fighting. I hope they will continue to fight inside you, too, which means that you too, will be under his spell. Coming next, I'm sure, will be a novel. Its title is already embedded here. July 2, 1988 Seikou Itoh
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