Mobile phones started to become popular among students right around the time when I was in high school.
At that time, the things a student could do with a mobile phone were limited to phone calls, text messages with a limited number of characters per message, and creation of ringtone melodies. Depending on your phone model, you might not have even been able to send messages to someone on a different carrier, and it was a time when most of the displays were monochromatic, so things like “You can choose from one of green, white, red, or blue colors!” were still valid selling points.
There was no such thing as a wallpaper or background image, and only a few high-end models had a camera function that you needed to attach extra equipment to use.
People who wanted to stand out from the crowd could decorate the handset and replace the standard antenna with one that blinked on receiving a signal. However, doing that didn’t improve the functionality of the handset in any way.
It was just an additional feature meant to improve the appearance of the mobile phone. Even without considering that, it was a time when strict schools had rules about wearing the school uniform even when meeting up with friends outside, and even carrying a mobile phone was against the rules.
The logic behind that rule was to not bring things to school that were not related to studies, but even elementary school students nowadays carry one for the sake of safety, and at the middle and high school level, talking to classmates is being replaced by conversations using a messaging application on a smartphone. It’s interesting to see how the conditions have changed.
It’s nice to meet you, or maybe it’s just been a long time. My name is Wagahara Satoshi.
My first mobile phone was a bar-shaped model which had no internet connection capabilities. All it could handle were voice calls and short messages. Even so, at that time, I was excited about owning such a futuristic device, and along with my Famicon, it is one of the few things I begged my parents to buy for me.
I’d exchange useless messages with friends even though we had nothing in particular to talk about, carefully hide it deep inside my bag at school to keep the teachers from finding it, and do my best at creating ringtone melodies using triad notes. On the way to school in the train, I would use my Walkman (which would also be confiscated by a teacher if found) to listen to ‘My Best’ MiniDisc that I created by dubbing titles from CDs and MDs, and inputting the titles on the keypad.
However, now is the age when high school students play social games on their smartphones while listening to downloaded music on their way to school.
When I first came up with the idea for this book, “The Hero’s Son”, I was worried if an old man like me from the Triassic period of digital devices would be able to write about a modern high-school student using my imagination alone.
The educational environment, digital environment, and manner of examinations that surround a student, never mind a decade, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say they become obsolete in a mere three years. That’s why, for writing this book, I used the current methods of examinations and the current style of prep schools as a reference.
Not only exams, I was also able to obtain a lot of important information regarding the current practices of education, and the daily life of students in school. I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Nakagawa-sensei, Takeda-sensei, and Hayashi-sensei from a certain prep school for readily agreeing to help me collect data.
This book, “The Hero’s Son”, is about a young man who thinks doing your best is not required to live, and he faces a sudden situation that causes him to want to overcome his definition of doing his best.
I would like to create a new story about a “Hero living in Modern Japan” along with 029-san who created “Hataraku Maou-sama!” along with me, and knows me inside out.
I hope we can once again meet in the chaotic land of the Hero’s Trial (exams)!