This translation makes use of colloquialisms from the English-speaking fandom of the Toaru Majutsu no Index franchise. For example, "OT" refers to the first series of light novels prior to Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no Index. ("OT" are the initials for "Old Testament", as opposed to "New Testament" which is used for the volumes under Shinyaku.) As such, something like "OT 14", refers to the 14th volume of the Toaru Majusu no Index light novels.
Miki: I will double as the host while the three of us who have been working together for 10 years talk about our memories. Welcome.
Miki: I have some topics prepared for this cross talk. First, what was the most difficult illustration for the Index series? This one is for you Haimura-san.
Kamachi: Was it the powered suits in OT 14?Haimura: It was the dragon illustration in OT 17 (laugh)!
Miki: Until then, the opening illustrations were used to introduce the characters or girls, but did this idea suddenly come to you for Volume 17?
Kamachi: I remember thinking we needed to make Acqua look cool at the time. I made a request that I really wanted to do even if it was clichéd and I think it got a little carried away.
Miki: That wasn’t clichéd at all!
Kamachi: Clichéd from a picture book perspective.
Miki: Oh, you meant it like that. I remember really, really hoping Haimura-san would refuse when you suggested it.
Haimura & Kamachi: (laugh)
Miki: After all, I normally wouldn’t be able to approve something like that. It doesn’t have any characters in it!
Kamachi: (pointing at the center of the illustration) There’s a princess right here.
Miki: She’s too small! What is this, Hydlide Special!?
Haimura: OT 15’s cover and the like were a lot easier. It was different, but it at least had a character. The color illustrations tend to have captions to introduce the characters, so it’s more natural to focus on the characters. In that way, I may actually have more freedom in the black-and-white illustrations that don’t have to focus on the characters like that.
Kamachi: Speaking of memories related to the illustrations, I had wondered when to make the change to winter clothes. I was afraid to increase the amount of clothes the characters were wearing because then I couldn’t go back anymore.
Miki: I remember the plots around that time saying “before they change to winter clothes” a lot. I wondered why it bothered you so much, even if it reduces the amount of skin. (laugh)
Kamachi: A lot is completed with the summer clothing, the end of swimsuit season comes at August or September, and the time to change to winter clothes comes in September or October. There’s nothing you can do about it, so those two months are pretty scary.
Haimura: So that’s why the time schedule for the series is so crowded during September. You were trying to hold it off as long as possible.
Miki: Next, let’s talk about the illustration that moved us.
Kamachi: I think Kamijou-san facing the angel in OT 22 was the best. It was a good one to go out on.
Miki: I really like the angel illustration in Volume 21. You would never guess it was an illustration for Dengeki Bunko and I like that this is a series that can have illustrations like that. I thought filling it with text would be wrong, so I remember keeping the explanatory text to a minimum.
Kamachi: You sometimes use this series to expand your horizons, don’t you?
Haimura: I search out how far I can go without making anyone mad. (laugh)
Miki: You do that too?
Haimura: Yes. Like the poster illustration in OT 15. I’m actually bad at illustrations with the characters standings straight up. I find it hard to bring the illustration together. I also noticed this while drawing the package rough for the Miracle of Endymion, but when I try to have all of the characters stand out equally, I end up with something like a group photo at graduation. If the characters are standing right in front of the camera, the readers don’t know where to look and the flaws in the composition stand out. That’s why I don’t like drawing anything like that, but I think that one came out pretty well. I got it just right. To be honest, it was a parody of the DVD package for the movie Usual Suspects.
Miki: I like the subtle sense of distance between them. They’re all basically enemies who wouldn’t normally line up next to each other, so it’s like you’ve had them begrudgingly line up like criminals.
Haimura: They’re all looking wherever they want, so their eyes are all pointed in different directions.
Kamachi: Acqua on OT 18’s cover also left a strong impression on me.
Haimura: Yeah, that one was a bit of an adventure too. I wasn’t sure it would be allowed.
Kamachi: It’s a lovely image of an older man protecting a girl as her knight.
Miki: Why aren’t you two choosing the fan service scenes? I like the one of Kinuhata lifting her skirt!
Haimura: But you can’t see her face, so it’s not really focused on the fan service. Hamazura’s reaction is the main focus.
Kamachi: What about this Kinuhata panty shot? (The scene where she’s flying through the air.)
Miki: That one almost looks like she’s showing off her panties because she knows how cute she is.
Haimura: That’s not how I meant it. (laugh) Put her in an action scene with that outfit and you can’t help but have that happen.
Kamachi: You wouldn’t be able to walk around in real life dressed like that.
Haimura: That’s right! She shouldn’t be wearing normal panties under there.
Miki: Let’s move on to the illustration that betrayed your expectations.
Kamachi: It’s not actually an illustration, but I was surprised that every member of New Light showed up. Was it around OT 17?
Haimura: Lancis alone didn’t have an illustration in the actual book.
Miki: Was that when you suddenly handed over character designs for all of them?
Haimura: The two New Light members were supposed to be on the opening pages of OT 17 and 18. Bayloupe in 17 and Floris in 18. That was how it actually turned out, but I accidentally made a rough for Lessar and once I’d drawn three of them, I had to draw Lancis too!
Miki: That certainly did betray our expectations.
Kamachi: Item was the same. I wasn’t expecting for it to look so gorgeous by just gathering four or five girls in one place.
Haimura: That’s about how it works with cultural clubs that have the minimum number of members. Even in real life.
Kamachi & Haimura: (bitter laugh)
Miki: I even put her as my favorite Kamachi character for my Kamachi Kazuma 10th Anniversary Comment.
Haimura: Then I guess that’s who I’ll make for the artbook’s new illustration.
Miki: Let’s all choose that one together, okay!?
Kamachi: If you put her next to Kakine Teitoku, it’ll all work out. (laugh)
Haimura: If I was drawing her, I think I would put Kakine in. Actually, can we really decide on this here?
Miki: Sure, why not? (laugh) But you don’t have to draw the girl in a dress. She’s my heroine. Haimura-san, you often say it’s easier to draw side characters, but relaxing and drawing whatever you wanted let you draw a really cute character. (laugh)
Kamachi: With a main character, you have to be more “protective”. You can’t give them weird speech patterns like “gozaru” or “ja yo”.
Haimura: I don’t want to hear that from you. (laugh)
Kamachi: Looking back, the #7 sure changed a lot. And in an unexpected way. (looking at the character design) He went from this to this.
Haimura: Yeah, he really did. My first design had him as a super background character.
Kamachi: And then you just stopped holding back.
Miki: One I think you drew completely naturally was Silvia.
Haimura: Simply put, she was like Ghibli’s Okami. Yeah, there are definitely some characters that are easier to draw.
Kamachi: Like the background girl (headband) who’s always showing up?
Haimura: Oh, her. She’s an unfortunate girl who still hasn’t received a character rough. I call her Mobko. I have a design rough for Tatsugami Otohime, so it seems strange I don’t have one for her.
Kamachi: Mikoto’s father was an adventure too, wasn’t he?
Haimura: Yes. Tabigake-san is a lot like the shady crook of a company manager seen in American games.
Kamachi: He’s an unfortunate boy.
Miki: Kamachi-san, do you ever look at these old illustrations and decide to use something you’d more or less forgotten about?
Kamachi: Don’t you get the urge to use characters no one focuses on? Everyone thinks they’re unimportant, so you want to bring everyone’s focus to them!
Haimura: Wait, wait. I know what you mean, but if no one’s focusing on them, doesn’t that mean they aren’t popular!? A normal person would be worried about using an unpopular character.
Miki: Is Kamijou the character with the most illustrations?
Miki: It’s sad that you didn’t mention Index. I’m always thinking we definitely need to put Index in more.
Kamachi: Haimura-san, is there anything you think you drew really well?
Haimura: The seventh black-and-white illustration from the BD exclusive novel with the fight against Brunhild. That’s actually a type of illustration I don’t draw often. It’s symmetric in just the one illustration. I often break things down in a manga-like way, but this one actually feels like an illustration-like illustration. Also, it was published in a bigger than light novel size, so I could put in a greater density of information.
Kamachi: Looking at them all together, the Kanzaki SS has really good illustrations.
Haimura: Ellasone is another unfortunate character that never got a character design. I ended up having to draw him from behind with nothing prepared.
Kamachi: Another illustration I thought was amazing was Misaka Worst. As a part of the clone series, all the parts had to be the same. You cheated with Last Order by shrinking her down as much as possible, but I was shocked to see how much you could change the impression Misaka Worst gives off without altering the proportions.
Haimura: How about we keep going and decided what I should draw for the artbook?
Kamachi: I was just thinking about the elf story from the Kanzaki SS. You can draw the creatures mentioned there.
Kamachi: Then how about a group shot of New Light? I don’t think there’s an illustration of the four of them talking together.
Haimura: Come to think of it, you’re right! Coincidentally, I was thinking of doing a scene from OT 17 or thereabouts. After all, the opening fold-out illustration for that one wasn’t used to introduce any characters. I also think there’s a scene in OT 15 where Measure Heart, Kakine Teitoku, and Hamazura Shiage talk, so that’s another possibility.
Kamachi: I think the three British princesses would make a good image too. I don’t think there’s been a color illustration of that.
Haimura: Riméa was never in a color one.
Miki: Carissa-san is pretty good too. I like girls with a harsh look in their eyes. That would make a good illustration.
Kamachi: Why do you like all of the girls that look like cabaret club girls or have an otherwise slutty design?
Miki: I don’t…do I?
Haimura: Anyway, are you sure I shouldn’t draw Kamijou-san, Index, or Mikoto for this illustration?
Miki: We have more than enough illustrations of them already.
Kamachi: And we’ll see a new illustration of one of them elsewhere in the book.
Miki: What else could it be? …Oh, I know. How about Terra giving a flower to a small child?
Haimura: Are you sure you want me to draw that? And that’s not even a scene from the series!
Miki: The Birdway sisters could be good too.
Haimura: Or Sogiita-kun. Then it’d be a guy, though.
Miki: Musujime acting suspiciously after being called a shotacon?
Kamachi: I can’t choose. (sweat)
Haimura: This is a tough one.
Miki: This is getting nowhere, so let’s take a break. If you want to know what the new illustration for this artbook was, just turn the page and find out!
Haimura: That’s quite the image of the future. (laugh)
Miki: Anyway, thank you for showing up today. Until we meet again in the third artbook.
Kamachi: What’s that about? (laugh) Thank you very much.
Haimura: Thank you very much.