Disclaimer: notes transcribed as is, no editing has been made so as to preserve my original feelings as I read the chapter.
Part 6, Around The World And Above; Chapter 4, Kondo Tatsumi.
I have to admit that Tatsumi-san’s story is a compelling reason not to become addicted to information-scouring on the internet. Having had to stop myself from doing just such a thing adds a personal touch. I’ve spent hours, or even days trying to search for a solution to whatever-problem. Sometimes forgetting to eat or drink. It’s not quite like being addicted to some on-line game as the facts you find have meaning in “real-life”, a solution found to some problem in everyday reality.
Tatsumi-san, being the extreme variety of this kind of information hound. It both works for & against him, he admits his physical strength is somewhat lacking even if his brain supplies the necessary knowledge to survive.
It’s kind of funny though, this addict suddenly being unceremoniously weaned off both his fact finding treasure hunts & the shared glory he used to get from other like-minded “otaku”.
One thing I can’t understand though, is his complete lack of need, concern & (apparently) love for his parents, at a time when most adolescents acknowledge their presence if only to scorn them. He simply doesn’t know what has become of them. He didn’t even know they were gone until he had to feed himself instead of simply waiting for the tray of prepared food. So closed off from his surroundings he doesn’t even notice the danger closing in on him. Safe in his cyberworld & mentally removed from his surroundings. To not be aware of your own surroundings is a dangerous situation at any time in life, no matter how mundane the situation.
How he manages to escape the zombies, or saifu (to use the Japanese term) is a complete mystery really, despite it being explained to me word for word.
It is his discovery of the army issue sword & his deep, sincere thanks to the previous owner that makes me hope for the boy who is now fully grown. It still sits at his side and is a nod to his hither-to ignored heritage. He has changed since those days of his late teens, so much so that he now aims his fact finding skills into finding his parents. Or at least, to know their ultimate fate.
Perhaps he is now a teacher of some sort, re-educating his fellow Japanese into a blend of past & future technologies, re-affirming links to their combined history to re-learn about themselves & how best to move forward.
He doesn’t mention what he does post-war, I’m just guessing, but the information he once searched for was useful enough to aid a physical weakling to victory, to survival. Why not then pass on this kind of information to others both during the war and now post-war.
Perhaps Japan has a version of the USA’s retraining programme (DeStRes), I can see Tatsumi-san being a useful, veritable mine of information in this kind of environment.