I’ve putting off writing this letter for weeks, for months, maybe even years. It may have come as a sudden shock to many, but Kazamatsuri has passed on for me for a long time now, as I’m sure anyone close to me is aware. I’m not the same person I was when I started Kazamatsuri. In many ways, I feel like I’ve lost the qualifications to lead this community.
I’ve been… Afraid. After all the scars I’ve endured, it felt hard to turn back to this place sometimes. I was afraid of being attacked, that people wouldn’t accept me anymore, or that I’d be reminded of all the things I’ve lost. I’m a coward, and the scars I’ve endured are deep. But… I don’t want to forget. I don’t want to forget all the good memories we’ve had with this place, to let them be painted over by sad ones. Even now there’s a part of me telling myself that it’s too late for that, but I’m not going to let it win. I know this place had immeasurable value.
Kazamatsuri, is a step. A small step on our journey through life. For some it might be smaller than others, but for many of the people who’ve shared their hearts here, I’m sure Kazamatsuri was irreplaceable to them. It was a place we could call home, for many of us who had nowhere else to be. A place where we could experiment, learn to express ourselves, learn to understand ourselves and each other and grow.
Many will probably criticise me for closing this site, but for me, it’s because I know that Kazamatsuri was more than a website that I know I’ve made the right choice. It was something of immaterial value, more than the sum of it’s parts. Something you couldn’t replicate just by keeping the server running and letting people go about their time. In order to allow Kazamatsuri to remain as a good memory, and to serve as a valuable step in our journey, rather than something to weigh us down. I don’t expect everyone to understand my philosophy, but understand that I am happy. I’m happy to see Kazamatsuri reach such a beautiful end, with all of your wonderfully kind words and thoughts. I’d rather this than see Kazamatsuri in 10 years with people saying “That place still exists? It’s really kind of a shithole now, it used to be so much better.” Rather, I want people to think, “Kazamatsuri was pretty amazing, wasn’t it?” That’s the kind of feeling I want to leave behind.
So, enough sadness, enough remorse and anxiety. Time to clench my fist once more, and rise to the stage as the leader you all know, one last time.
Hold your head high, for you were a member of Kazamatsuri, the greatest forum in the world! A community built through our shared love and passion for all things Key, where everyone gave their all to make things for awesome for each other! A place where nobody was left as a shadowless pebble on the side of the road, where everyone had a chance to be somebody! A place full of love, where everyone was having fun and felt included, no matter where they came from or what kind of life they lead. A place of memes and shitposts, but also heartfelt proclamations of our love of art, where the two could co-exist in mutual harmony! A place filled with the highest quality discussion you could find anywhere, the number one source for Key news, and a thriving community of passionate artists that even made a giant book together! (Coming soon.)
Here’s to the Bookclubs, the ultimate culmination of our love of discussion and impassioned celebration, where everyone was encouraged to analyse, to reflect on WHY they loved something, what it was that made evoked feelings of beauty in themselves. To the lengthy discussions about what we’re eating for dinner before and after each podcast. Here’s to the kfes, the sushi drops, the MasaKaga, and to the Saito Characters that were also confirmed! Here’s to the Movie and Game nights that brought our community together in new and fun ways! Here’s to the spontaneous Tankas, the voice calls listening to Bonecuss on the train to work, and to all the people who had to endure the same tired opions of the Charlotte finale every week on the Discord and not be annoyed about it! Here’s to the Suginami army, and to everyone who fought on the frontlines of the H-scene debate topic! Here’s to the Little Busters Minecraft Build, to the planetarian Dramas we translated, to the Key Chorus that saw expert and amateur singers alike grab a mic and sing their heart out together! And importantly, here’s to the Winter Festival, one of the most fun and heartfelt group activities I’ve ever had the joy of hosting! Y’all really hit it out of the park with that one.
And here’s to everyone who made Kazamatsuri amazing.
I take a deep breath to meditate and focus my life force.
Here’s to nekotea for her hours of work keeping the Blog running in the shadows! To rpgcaster for his amazing Little Busters covers! To LostConcept for appearing from the shadows at the last second to spam the Kaza discord! To Dizzyworld2 for her amazing art! To thonglinh90 for providing the very first Kazamatsuri logo! To kittytama for joining the fun of the winter festival! To On_TheBounce for making that one really good planetarian fanart and post and disappearing! To nemeios for their awesome discussion! To Kluck for being patron meme ghost of Kazamatsuri! To prototypeOEZ, a migrant from Rokkenjima! To Brigadoon for being an awesome friend! To epika for, well, being an awesome friend and my valued colleague at Rokkenjima! Here’s to Golden_Tranquility, to HandMC2, to Karu-Sama, Hovlane and Inohara just for being part of this all! To balance for his amazing Little Busters analysis! Here’s to ArdWar, JDC, Leale, Ost, Hustler_One, Joe_Bagadoe_Nautz, Who_ci, POTATO, nemoma, joeross75, wha2les, CLANNAD_Rewrite, DaniHernandezxD, Mecynogea! Here’s to JimRaynor_2001, my fellow MIo fan! Here’s to kiraboshi for being a guiding light in my time of need an awesome person! Here’s to Japesland for his Sexy Saxophone Covers and his religious analysis! Here’s to Armando-Rl, here’s to ArtiFedEx for all the amazing art! Here’s to Iotheria for being an OG Moeboy with a sexy voice! Here’s to Nuo, to Kierva, to TomoyaOkazaki, to Misuzu. Here’s to minatahatsune for keeping the Vietnamese Key fandom alive! Here’s to Beancurd for being one of the final Busters! Here’s to Exenorate for some really silly and really deep posts. Here’s to ChickenWingz, I met you at KSL Live! Here’s to mechgamer123, to Pike3rob! Here’s to the wonderful cloud668 who achieved what many of us could only dream of, working side by side with Key! Here’s to nathanielevan, to magicflier, to to JmTrad, to Wizzerd! Here’s to Rippleshadow for having good taste, to Madekuji for shining in the Winter Festival, to Eivver, to ukulelembo, to daysofsummer for being there for me when I needed yout he most and giving Kazamatsuri some much-needed direction! Here’s to octoberpumpkin for reading CLANNAD really fast! Here’s to Draconyan (Draconian or Draco-nyan?), to AustinDoujin for his amazing NAZE DAAAA, to TRBO_188 for the early memories! To Nin for helping me build the Little Busters school in Minecraft! To Tamamo-no-Bae for keeping the Discord alive! To 42megabytings for some great planetarian discussion! To Mitsuna for being one of our megafans and a valued friend. To SymphoniaXX for all the random times she jumped in on our Discord calls to talk really fast about something nobody understood! To ghagler! To Phlebas for all his work on Little Busters! To Celeskastel for becoming someone very precious to me and supporting Kazamatsuri in our final stretch! To Tidulimar, to s0ewhat and Necem! To waravim for being our token 日本人 and making a special effort to partipate despite the language barrier, and making some pretty great posts along the way! To Idiology for some phenomenal discussion! TO Nav, DMB, Realta! To Odinbeard_McSparkles for his wonderful LB Analysis! To ThePlasticSpork, to soggysadboi’s memes and feelposts, to Maebatame’s amazing art and giving designs to the Jerusalem cast! To JDAM_Cid for being with us for a looong time, to KaiMiang, to Bowiie, my Moeboy brother with a sexy southern accent! To Shizuru-chan, to Mow, to Rincchi for being one of the oldest and biggest Little Busters fans I know! To Purple for redeeming himself from being a loser, to Rabla for being there since the beginning, being an awesome friend to have fun with, and for that one time he repped Rewrite Ignis Memoria pretty hard! To Kirara3500, EndOfRefrain! To grooven for being awesome fun to chat with and being a wonderful person to work beside! To NotKyon, for continuing to remain a positive presence in my life! To Echo, one member who went through enormous character development and ended up becoming someone I’m indebted to. To DangoDaikazoku! To chesca, for her amazing art and amazing tweets! To the rationalpi, the high level encounter that always brings smiles when he stops by! To ZakM, Kotomi795, to Ekalina for all her art and shipping! And to Akito, the art bro! It feels like you two always came as a pair! To shiro021, another amazing artist who I finally got to meet recently! To Sonic112003, long name but a super nice dude! To kyuketsukimiyu, someone I’ve worked with more than most people on this site. It’s always a joy to work with you, and I hope we can continue to be friends long after this! To IkaCZ, invincible meme man who always struck a nerve with his earnest passion for what he loves! Good shooting! To Gnashes, the other moeboy with a sexy southern accent who’s supported Kazamatsuri from beginning to end! To Totoro_Futaki, another success story of ours! To VyseGolbez, someone I’ve been proud to see grow so much in the time I’ve known her! To bionic, always there, always bringing the high quality posts. To liclac, server mom and technowitch. One of my closest friends and most valued colleagues. It’s been an honour working aside you! To MagusVerborum for his awesome analysis in the latter half of Kazamatsuri’s life! To LinkThinks, for embodying the strange harmony of ridiculous shitposting and heartfelt sincerity! To RyuuTamotsu, my brother, who’s supported Kazamatsuri from behind the scenes more than anyone! See you in the next life! To Karifean, I know we’ve been through a lot, but I still love and respect you and wish you all the best, keep shining! To SuikaShoujo, Kazamatsuri’s idol! Sorry boys, she’s taken by Komari! To Hardscope, I don’t think anyone on Kazamatsuri had such a dramatic character arc as you, from troll to moderator! Thanks for everything. To Bonecuss, my dear friend, for all the memes and heartfelt posts. It wouldn’t BE Kazamatsuri without you! To Mogaoscar, and his achievement of Tomoyo After Bookclub MVP! I still remember your Dungeons and Takafumis stream! To StarfishBender, token old man who’s kept Kazamatsuri alive all this time! To cjlim2007, fellow mod and impassioned Key fan, thank you for everything! To Bizkitdoh, the driving heart of Kazamatsuri for so long. I really love you man, and I wish for your happiness! To BlackHayate02, a comerade who understands the value of words more than anyone, thank you for supporting me and Kazamatsuri all this time! To Yerian, thanks for all you did for Kazamatsuri! To Kanon, I know we’ve had some arguments, and you’ve caused me no end of trouble, but you still managed to be one of the best damn posters on this site, always bringing in a different kind of quality that everyone admired. Despite everything, I still consider you a great friend. Thank you for everything! To Naoki_Saten, our resident Kengo! someone who started out the straight man, and developed into one of the most fun guys on the forum! Your discussion posts are unrivalled! To HeliosAlpha, asshole to some, beloved mascot to many more. You’ve always continued keeping the spirit of Kazamatsuri alive, striving for quality and encouraging others to do the same. I owe you so much, but all I can say is, thank you, and I wish you all the best in the future! And to Takafumi, most divisive member on the site who seems to have really weird and contrarion opinions most of the time… I love you man, thank you for making Kazamatsuri such an interesting place to be! And to Pepe, my dear brother who’s stood at my side as co-admin of Kazamatsuri all this time, shared in all my joys and frustrations, and kept me from losing sight of what’s important. I can’t begin to tell you how much you saved me, but more than anything, I’m just thankful to have such an awesome friend like you. I’m sure we’ll remain in each other’s lives long into the future!
And thank you, to everyone else I neglected to mention, who helped make Kazamatsuri the amazing experience it was for all of us. This place, was really kind of awesome, wasn’t it? Let’s all miss it, let’s cherish it, and let’s take everything we’ve gained with us into the future, as we all blaze our own trails into the night sky.
Thank you, everyone!!