The What Now?You read right. What many fans of I"s might not know is that the ending shown in volume 15 of the manga was NOT the original ending, thought it was the intended one. Confused? Let's back up a bit and look at the evidence.
In the author's note for Volume 15, as translated by Viz, Katsura says this.
" I”s has reached its conclusion. As it drew near the end, my request to end the series in a certain number of episodes resulted in a miscalculation, and it was one or two episodes short, making the magazine version end rather abruptly. So this time I added a bunch of new material, and have created the “director’s cut” for you! However, I”s really was exhausting. I think I’ll stay away from regular romantic comedies for a while. "
Now let's look closer at the bolded part. What could he have meant by that? I was originally under the impression that where it says 'episodes', he meant chapters, and for a while, my theory was that the magazine version stopped when Ichitaka had fallen into his coma. 'What a horrible ending that must have seemed', I thought, but I never knew for sure that my hunch was right.
I had been considering making this site or something like it for about a year or more before I finally did it, and in preparation for that, I downloaded scanlations for the manga to my computer (for picture use only, I legally own the Viz released volumes). On one site I went to, it had something called 'Alternate Ending' listed right after Volume 15. Confused, I downloaded it, but I guess I never was able to find where it went after unzipping it.
Flash forward to a few months ago, and I was cleaning up my computer a little and organizing everything. I found the unzipped folder, opened it, and low and behold - the alternate ending of I"s! Before we go into detail on just what it really is though, I'll let you read it for yourself. To get the full experience of this, please read up until the last 19 pages of the final chapter, and then read these pages here.
That's It?It would appear so. Rather than 'chapters', what Katsura (or perhaps the translator of Viz's English release) meant by 'episodes', was 'pages'. The conclusion of the story remains much the same. However, I much prefer the volume ending that most fans are familiar with. Without those extra pages, the ending is really unfulfilling. This alternate ending is really abrupt, but it's still interesting that it was done this way first, only later for him to revise the ending for the volume version, to end it the way he really wanted. That shows how much Katsura cared about this series, even if it tired him out by the end of it's run. For taking the time to do that, we thank you Katsura.
In appreciation for the Japanese fans of the time though, think about how this ending would have felt to you, compared to the actual ending. Which do you guys prefer yourselves, and why? Send me any thoughts you might have about that, to email@example.com, and you just might find your thoughts posted here for other fans to see!