I thought, ‘Hey, I wonder what would happen if I get cryogenically frozen for a century?’ And that was how 139 Years to the End of the World happened. It was one of those happy, spontaneous accidents. Those lurking ideas in the back of your head that sometimes take form. If you missed them, they’re gone for good. Like its beginnings, the whole of the story had been a sort of experiment on spontaneous storytelling. The only story arcs that were planned from the beginning were Goes In Threes and Cyborg People. Everything else were created the week before the serialized chapters.
The most recurring theme with 139 Years was of family. I made sure to have a connection to that in every single chapter. I also had quite a lot of fun with the characters. My favourite to write was Amelia and Clover. Those two had such unique speech patterns, one fun, the other challenging. It was hard not to pair them up by the end of their story arc.
My personal favourite arcs had to be The Healer and Goes In Threes, simply from how great I felt the climax chapters came about. The topics those two touched on, the reunion between parent and child, and the death of your significant other, meant a lot to me, and I made sure that I was crying while writing before I put those works out for read.
Unlike a lot of my other works, 139 Years was heavily inspired by Japanese visual novels. Most significant were the magnificent works of Jun Maeda and his team from Keys. His stories, especially Clannad and One: To the Radiant Season, had brought me to sobbing tears. Though I doubt I could ever write something that could as literally bring someone to their knees as he did, 139 Years is my humble attempt at learning from the great man.
Clannad was particularly touching and life changing for me. It brought about my greatest period of depression, an episode that lasted for 2 whole years, during which, I attempted suicide once. But at the same time, it made me rethink my entire concept of family. I have a less than favourable relationship with my father, but after the whole battle, I made more efforts to better our bonds. It hasn’t been the most successful thing, but I will admit, that without Clannad, we could be planets away by now.
One of the strangest thing I found during that period was a great love for my child. Let me set this straight, I don’t actually have a kid at the time of this writing. But I found the idea of having a child such a stirring thing that it became a driving point of my life. I like the idea of the multiverse, and it’s entirely possible for me to imagine that somewhere, in this very universe, there’s a kid and woman, who would have as easily in another universe been a wife and child that I loved. That idea drove me to work hard to try to make the world slightly better for them. People who may or may not exists. But I think the idea is beautiful in its own mentally ill way.
Milton Jones gave me the chance to turn that idea into something tangible, a reality that can be explored via his cryogenic freezing, though more grounded than my far-fetched fantasy. I modelled his personality more towards those of traditional visual novel protagonist. Though they had their own thoughts and personalities, I tried not to be too outrageous or specialized in them so that people could more easily place themselves in his shoes. I hope I did a good job of it.
I hope you, my dear readers, have enjoyed my humble attempt at a slice-of-life. It’s a genre that I love writing, though this is the first time I’ve explored it as completely and in-depth as 139 Years.
The 139 Trilogy, starting with 139: In Evening, and followed by 139 Years to the End of the World, will end with The Chronicles of Tearha: The Number 139. I hope that you will continue to read, support, and most importantly, enjoy my works. See you all again at the next end of the world!