Chapter 2:

A Snazzy-chan by Any Other Name

Why Kill? When Witches Can Be Tentacled!

“And that does it for this session of Living the Otaku Life with Snazzy-chan! Do me a favor and click that subscribe button. Like me, follow me, and all that jazz as I continue to bring you all the tidbits of the latest trends in Japan as seen through the lens of an otaku.”Bookmark here

Sunou Kazuki clicked the button on this computer to turn off the camera and microphone. He stretched his arms up high before letting out a deep sigh in satisfaction. With a light kick to the ground, his desk chair swiveled around to a glorious sight. Wall scrolls, figurines, bookshelves upon bookshelves of anime and video games – just about anything a fan would want.Bookmark here

For many years, he had been living the high life of otaku fandom. Despite living in some small city in America, he was able to get all he wanted from online stores and such. Having Japanese parents with foreign accounts definitely helped when it came to buying all the goods overseas.Bookmark here

Of course, he couldn’t sponge off his parents forever. Especially not since he had left the house a few years ago. His hobbies cost money, and a lot of it at that. A casual glance across the room would invoke a sense of wonder at spending tens of thousands of dollars, maybe even six figures at this point.Bookmark here

And Sunou wasn’t particularly a good student, so university was a bit tough for him. Working menial jobs wouldn’t get him what he wanted either, as the pay was simply too little. But shortly before finishing high school, he found his calling, that of an internet personality.Bookmark here

As he kept up with the latest news in Japan about his hobbies, he noticed a gap that he could fill. Given his fluency in Japanese, he was in a prime position to expose the English speakers to all the magnificent wonders that were waiting to be discovered across the Pacific.Bookmark here

With that, he adopted the persona, Snazzy-chan, and started spreading his enthusiasm across the internet. That particular nickname had come from one of his childhood friends, who had a hard time pronouncing his foreign name. But as soon as “Snazzy” came out of his lips, that sounded like the perfect thing to describe his secretly bombastic self.Bookmark here

While recording live, he was dynamic, he was stock full of energy, and he loved the attention that he got in the comments. That was the person he wanted to be. Not the boring, average guy that did just okay in school.Bookmark here

As Snazzy-chan, he could be the goofball version of himself among fans, something that normies in everyday life failed to comprehend. He didn’t blame them at all. They were just cut from different molds. They were raised in different societies, in an area that was yet to be teeming with otaku influences.Bookmark here

As the number of fans grew and grew, Sunou knew that it would get there. Eventually, even his small-time city would hold an anime convention someday. And he would be right there to lead the way, a guiding light for new otaku to embrace their interests.Bookmark here

Of course, it wasn’t real life without its hang-ups. Haters raiding the comments, flaming emails that bashed his content, and internet trolls that tried to throw shade on his reputation – there was no shortage of that.Bookmark here

But all the good always contained some bad, so Sunou shrugged it off and kept on fighting. There was no doubt that some of his content was questionable to some people’s eyes. Ecchi material, strange customs, and weird kinks were commonplace for the fan of Japanese media. He couldn’t expect that everyone would approve of it. Even his own parents gave him strange looks at times after reviewing the order forms.Bookmark here

Grin and bear it.Bookmark here

You can’t win over everyone.Bookmark here

We support you! With much love!Bookmark here

The encouragement from his fans kept him going. Even if certain parts of society didn’t agree with him, he was content with his circle of fellow enthusiasts. And to all those that rejected him for it and continued to treat his kind with tinted lenses…Bookmark here

He laughed. Bookmark here

“Laugh, laugh, everyone! When life has decided to make fun of you, turn it around and make others smile! That means that we have not given in to the fight. As long as we can make light of our troubles, we WILL be okay!”Bookmark here

That was the message that he conveyed to his supporters.Bookmark here

That was what he always believed in, until one day during a live stream…Bookmark here

CRASHHH!!!Bookmark here

“POLICE! GET DOWN NOW!”Bookmark here

A SWAT team broke through the door to his apartment, guns trained on him. Completely thrown off his rhythm, Sunou panicked from the sudden entrance. Rather than get down, he accidentally rose from his chair. With his mouse still in his hand, he lifted his hands up in surprise.Bookmark here

Apparently, one trigger-happy officer mistook the mouse for a grenade. He fired off a shot immediately to take down the target. In full view of his online community, Snazzy-chan was gunned down in a false swatting call made by someone with a personal grudge against him.Bookmark here

By the time the SWAT team realized their mistake, Sunou Kazuki was already dead. He had become a martyr simply for following his dreams. The only silver lining came from the fact that this tragic incident gave a tremendous exposure to all of his accomplishments. As various images of his life and his work were spread across mainstream media, people came to embrace what he believed in.Bookmark here

His supporters banded together to continue his dream – that of making a place for otaku to thrive in.Bookmark here

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Sunou awoke in front of a mysterious sight. What looked like the cosmos stretched out in every direction, and even, below him. He wasn’t sure what to make of it.Bookmark here

A dream? A hallucination? A bad case of the chicken enchiladas from the local taqueria?Bookmark here

Whatever the cause, the surreal scenery messed with his vertigo. Even standing up seemed iffy, like stepping on a pane of glass several stories high. He expected to fall down into the unknown at any given moment.Bookmark here

But then, a beam of light shone down, drowning the cosmic shimmers like stars escaping the morning sun. There was no doubt that something was calling for him to approach. He felt his legs moving, taking steps toward it. His arms reached out for it, like it would offer salvation. His body simply couldn’t resist.Bookmark here

As the first rays of white light hit his extended arm, a loud voice boomed around him. “Welcome to the Afterlife.”Bookmark here

“What the-, you’ve got to be joking. I was, I was-” Sunou’s voice faltered as he recalled the last few moments of his life. Wasted talking about sexy robot butts and exploding clothing.Bookmark here

It had happened all too quickly. One moment, he was happily chatting away. And the next, he felt an excruciating pain in his chest as heavily-geared men burst into his home. There was just no time to think or react. No moment to regret that his meteoric rise had been cut short. The darkness instantly swept over him.Bookmark here

What a fricking way to go! Oy~! he thought in exasperation.Bookmark here

He fell to his knees, understanding that he had died. Bitter tears bubbled in his eyes at having his life stolen from him. The beam of light was silent for a few moments as it tried to process the person before it.Bookmark here

Finally, it flickered before disappearing, leaving a giant, old Asian man standing before a similarly huge podium, presumably some god that ruled over this domain.Bookmark here

“Sunou Kazuki, you are here to be judged on your life actions. And afterward, to decide what is in store for you in the next.”Bookmark here

Sunou choked back his tears at those words. A sudden fear swept over him.Bookmark here

What have I done with my life? Is it enough to make a god proud? But then he remembered. Laugh – laugh in the face of opposition!Bookmark here

He shook his head. Why did it matter what some deity thought of his goals and aspirations?Bookmark here

I lived my life on my terms. I believe that what I did was for the greater good. That is enough, even if some dumb guy behind a podium thinks otherwise!Bookmark here

“You know. I can hear all your thoughts,” the old man interrupted.Bookmark here

Sunou recoiled in a panic. Instantly, he shifted gears.Bookmark here

[Japanese then! Have to make my language skills useful!]Bookmark here

“[Um, Kami-sama here. English isn’t going to get the better of this old deity this time. And neither will Japanese.]”Bookmark here

“Son of a-, okay, you win! Read my thoughts! Not like it matters! I’m used to letting it all hang out and winging it!” Sunou scratched his hair in frustration. At this point, whatever happened didn’t matter. He was dead, and his record was already set.Bookmark here

“Back to the matter at hand. It appears that you have done quite interesting things with your time on Earth.” Kami-sama put on a pair of reading glasses and flipped through several papers, which gave off the feeling of a paper pusher at a government office. “Spent all your positive karma too. Quite the luck you had in life.”Bookmark here

Looking back, Sunou could say that he was quite fortunate. He had supportive parents that indulged in his whims. There was a fair share of troublemakers that didn’t like his otaku scent, but he acted normal enough to have some decent friends to back him up. And the streaming that he did accumulated enough money to live a lavish nerd dream life. But it was always bitter to lose it all when you were seemingly satisfied with life. Bookmark here

All that was missing was a similarly nerdy girlfriend to share it with. That was the most regretful thing.Bookmark here

Kami-sama smacked the papers with his hand as his eyes stopped upon one part. “Ha! There we go! Just the person that I was looking for...”Bookmark here

Taking his glasses off, Kami-sama stared at Sunou.Bookmark here

“I feel sorry for you, dying in your early 20s, but can’t change anything about that part. You have two options. One – start anew, clean slate, random birth, random world, and hope that things work better for you next time. Or… given your interesting skillset, you can work a little task for me. I can send you off with your current memories to some world where your talents can shine. Good help is always hard to come by. Even the Gods can’t handle everything down there.”Bookmark here

The latter concept seemed like the holy grail of options, thanks to Sunou’s love of isekai anime. But still, he knew the caveats. There was always one. Power fantasies and instant harems only existed in fictional content, and he was highly skeptical that reality would be anything of that sort.Bookmark here

“Wait, who are these people… that I have to save? I’ll tell you now that I have my specific tastes.”Bookmark here

That was the first obvious question. Sunou wouldn’t be able to get motivated if he was stuck with some annoying archetype that he couldn’t get along with.Bookmark here

“All right, all right. Figures that you’d mention that, with your background and all. Fine, be that way. Let’s take a look through the problem worlds.”Bookmark here

Kami-sama brought up a hovering screen which he flipped through, like swiping at holograms in the air. Each one displayed a different scenery, presumably a glimpse at the different worlds. Finally, his hand stopped on one, before pushing the floating image towards Sunou.Bookmark here

Before him, a girl with magenta hair flapping in the wind stared upon a city in the distance. Her face had a solemn expression. Her eyes looked down, as if hesitant to move forward. Her hand reached up to a book-shaped earring dangling beside her face.Bookmark here

The way she dressed accented her curvy figure, like one of those cosplayers that got the allure of an anime character down to the tee. Simple, but otherworldly.Bookmark here

Sunou could think of nothing else but how Kami-sama had happened to pick a girl that aligned with his perception of perfect waifu material.Bookmark here

“Nice girl, really. A bit of an unfortunate circumstance. She is referred to as a Witch in her world, a person cursed with demonic powers that faces certain death. But that’s all just flavor text. Just magic and reality manipulation. Nothing really special compared to divine powers. Your job is to change her fate. Something where a little of your pizazz could really brighten her future. I’ll even throw in a divine blessing to aid in your task.”Bookmark here

Sunou was sold. A lovely damsel in distress, his full memories, and new powers – all for a brand-new life in a magical world.Bookmark here

“This one! I choose this one! My instincts tell me that I won’t regret it!” Sunou excitedly jumped up and down. He couldn’t wait to meet this gal. Not having a girlfriend ever did that to a guy.Bookmark here

“Oh, by the way, if you happen upon other Witches as well, be sure to help them out too. It will be better for you in the long run,” Kami-sama added. His hands waved around to cast some magic.Bookmark here

“Yes, all the girls! Beauties should not live in fear of being slaughtered! They are meant to be protected and loved! That is a true man’s romance!” Sunou cheered as a white light enveloped him. There was no doubt that he had less than noble intentions for wanting to save all the girls. But that was just the mindset of a determined, young man with a healthy libido. It was normal for him to want some favors in return, but he believed that he, at the very least, was a gentleman. Well, that was what his mother told him.Bookmark here

As the light around him faded, the figure of a comical jellyfish appeared, yelling “Alright, let’s go save the day!”Bookmark here

His beady eyes widened as the high-pitched squeal, much different from his own voice, had exclaimed the words on his mind. Definitely, something felt off. And as he bent down to see multiple tentacles fluttering in the air, he realized that he had just been screwed over.Bookmark here

“Interesting, the current karma that you had remaining wasn’t enough to reincarnate as a human for this task, but this… is a rather peculiar form…”Bookmark here

Kami-sama coughed into his fist, trying not to snicker. While he had expected for Sunou to transform into a more normal pet or familiar as a summon, the bluish blob with feelers caught him off guard.Bookmark here

“Peculiar? You tricked me! I would certainly say so! I have things! Many things!” All at once, a dozen feelers danced around the air, squiggling in anger at the result.Bookmark here

“Hey, I never said that you’d be human for this.”Bookmark here

The jellyfish’s jaw dropped. Sure enough, he had not said that. Cursed hidden fine print!Bookmark here

Now breaking into a muffled chuckle, Kami-sama hid behind his podium. Several gasps of air were audible from behind it, along with intermittent wheezing. In the meantime, Sunou huffed and puffed while floating in midair. It didn’t even cross his mind that he was hovering in place without water.Bookmark here

When the two finally calmed down, several minutes later, Kami-sama wiped the tears from his eyes from laughter and posed a question.Bookmark here

“Did you think of something… er, strange at that moment?” He was referring to when the divine magic hit Sunou.Bookmark here

Thinking back, Sunou’s face fell slack. At that time, he was… thinking about how he could possibly handle a harem of girls in his life. After all, a savior would have many admirers. And just as he thought that… one of the stranger kinks of anime popped into his head.Bookmark here

I’m going to need many more limbs to embrace all of them at once…Bookmark here

That accursed thought made the jellyfish break into a cold sweat. Not that it had sweat glands, but somehow that managed to happen. Jellyfish didn’t have eyes or a mouth either, so he was already some kind of cartoon caricature of a sea creature.Bookmark here

F! That is such a big F!Bookmark here

If only he had nobler intentions at the exact moment of transformation, then something a little grander, or at least more respectable, would have been ideal. The jellyfish clutched its bulb-like head with its feelers and wallowed in pity.Bookmark here

“Don’t feel too bad. At least, I bestowed you with some neat abilities. But time is short. Best be moving along now.” Kami-sama waved his arms farewell as he activated another spell.Bookmark here

“Wait, powers?! What kind of powers?!” Sunou tried to yell, but even his voice was drowned out in the white light.Bookmark here

A moment later, he could feel his body soaring through space and time, like he was viewing travel through a wormhole. After the initial discomfort died down, he had a few moments to think.Bookmark here

So I’m a jellyfish now, so what?... God, even in times like this, I still have the mind to stupidly joke around with parodies! Whatever! I’m stuck now! Must make the best of it!Bookmark here

Sunou looked at himself. Clenching the ends of his tentacles into fist, he made a vow.Bookmark here

Laugh, laugh, Sunou Kazuki- no, Snazzy! As silly as you are, there is still something you can do!Bookmark here

As the surroundings shifted to a blue sky that quickly whizzed by, he decided that he was no longer the human, Sunou Kazuki.Bookmark here

From now on, he was the amazing Snazzy-chan, body and soul!Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.