|Reviews for Fear No Evil|
| Lapis Lazuli Ichigo 6/29/12 . chapter 10
cool, i like it
| amamiya 3/3/10 . chapter 10
This is so exquisitely written; you certainly have a unique and poetic style. I'm very glad I stumbled across it.
| skepsis66 2/1/10 . chapter 10
Wow... incredible story. It's wonderful how Kenshin is rediscovering himself on his journey. And though his past still reaches out to touch him, he's gradually learning how to live again. It's a shame you haven't updated in such a long time since this is such beautiful writing!
| Blunablue 4/6/08 . chapter 4
I loved those last chapters with Yoshi and Gozaemon... they are very interesting characters with good hearts...
I like the fragile, almost starving Kenshin, who get new energy ("the kid's an athlete") at Gozaemon's home but still is very much caught in the past (the shaving-scene with tomoes tanto was angsty but brilliant). I always like to see Kenshins character through the eyes of others and you did a good job with this... sad, that he had to leave those two so soon but it was inevitable - though he has now found a new spirit to continue his journey.
| Blunablue 3/9/08 . chapter 1
the subject itself is not really new, but you have your very own writing-stlye. it's very, i'd call it "intense" - all those dreamlike (or nightmare-like) scenes, blending together - you really transport kenshins feelings of timelessness and desperation, pointless wandering and days rushing by...
I like the Idea, that he went to see Hiko again ("Go get yourself a stick" lol :D) and i like also the selfpunishment of starvation that he inflicts upon himself, it's a logic result out of his "unworthyness". he seems almost like a hurt, hunted and scared animal to me...
... a very different wandering-years-fic in the positive meaning :) sorry my bad english, greets from germany
| Jellybean06 11/21/07 . chapter 10
I love this story so far. I'm always interested in reading stories about then ten year gap between hitokiri and rurouni. Please update soon! :)
| krachum 7/5/07 . chapter 10
Like your style!
| skenshingumi 7/30/06 . chapter 10
This chapter is just so sweetly endearing. It is so nice to see Kenshin open himself to love and a sense of purpose and belonging even if only for a brief point in time. A part of me dreads this as the light before some darkening storm that is sure to build around this relationship. It just seems the idea that Kenshin could feel as if he helped someone without risking repercussions is not likely to happen this early in his journey.
I loved the young Kenshin and Hiko interlude. Kenshin is just too adorable for words here and Hiko is appropriately gruff, hiding his warmth and affection while vowing his deshi's well being. How sad that he feels he needs his harshness, “No matter, it was what was required, and to ensure the boy’s life, the man would sacrifice even being loved in return, if it came to that.”
| skenshingumi 7/30/06 . chapter 9
This chapter was short but absolutely chock full of precious nuggets of writing and insight. The opening sets the standard, “He had never known… silent, undemanding companionship; companionship with no hint of foreboding and lacking any stain of shared, regrettable history.” Like Tomoe, it takes another slightly damaged, withdrawn soul to get Kenshin’s attention, to pull him from the “serendipitous pleasure,… the sanctuary” of silence. The fact that the boy beat him to the solitude of the morning seems both a shock and a sign of a kindred spirit. I almost choked with glee at Kenshin’s thoughts on trying to engage Shin’ichi in conversation, “Hm… Is this the kind of thing that Okami used to complain about?” You must have had fun writing that. I like how Kenshin notes he is “uncharacteristically curious” and quietly pushes himself to intrude. You capture the tenuous beginnings of a gently forming friendship quite well.
Beyond this there were two parts of this chapter that I know will stay with me long after the story. The first is the quiet agony and desperation Kenshin faces upon realizing the pain of Tomoe’s absence is not quite so near. “He found this disjointing: guilt, and relief, and uncertainty, and, yes, fear—fear of what this meant, fear that he would forget and lose the only part of his heart that he still valued, fear that he wouldn’t forget and would remain an emotional cripple forever.” Everything about that passage rings true to the pain of surviving a deeply loved one.
The other passage that I loved just seems so quintessentially Kenshin in its strength and calmness and the phrase repetition you invoke in your writing adds emphasis to that. “The walk to the river took all of two minutes, but while he was still quite young, it was two minutes that tested his courage. …it was two minutes of private contemplation, two minutes to center himself, two minutes to connect his spirit with the world and face it in his own way, free from the demands of training and chores.
He loved these two minutes.”
| skenshingumi 7/30/06 . chapter 8
How interesting that Kenshin finds another "different looking" person! He sounds at least partially African with the curly hair, or possibly Persian (there was still a Persia then, right?), the Middle East. Since you mention a Nigerian name in the author's notes, I have to go with my first guess. I would think he would be shunned by a small Japanese village. It will be very interesting to get that back story. In the meantime, you continue to enrich Kenshin’s traveling years by creating these memorable OCs and settings. Japan is so tied to the sea that I greatly look forward to how you will spin Kenshin's experiences in a small fishing village. You spun a fabulous tale of the storm in few words. I like how you capture so much loss in general by examining the closely personal as in the carved name on the gunwale, "nearly crushing what little remained of his [Shin’ichi's] new-broken heart." More, more!
| skenshingumi 7/30/06 . chapter 7
Kenshin is certainly healing and coming alive in his solitude. I loved the kata scene. Your language is transporting, sweeping us away as the Hiten Mitsurugi Dragon begins its dance. I love that sense of union you create, the transformation that simultaneously condenses him to a singularity and spreads him wide across the sky, taking the whole world into his being…. Suddenly, with a sigh of steel against wood, the dragon’s claw is free.” Free indeed as he cavorts about the canyon, reveling in his element, “his blessing and burden, that set him immutably apart.” I had to chuckle at Kenshin so respectfully putting out his fire in an effort to restore the natural setting to the canyon after he has ended his kata with what sounds like a “do ryu sen.” Anyway, it was glorious to have this image of a fully alive Kenshin reveling in his sword art hidden in this canyon, free to truly express himself. Of course, on the lighter, side, the image of a wet, naked Kenshin drying himself off in the sun was not too shabby either.
| skenshingumi 7/30/06 . chapter 6
I like how we continue to see Kenshin waking up to the world even as it discomforts him, because “She is not sharing this with me. Each day separates us further.” There is the catch for him, he cannot deny the beauty on the world or that he is still alive in it. So perhaps he isolates himself not just for his safety and that of others but to minimize that sense of betrayal of living on without Tomoe. The Kenshin you show seems to see the whole world, women children, beauty through the experience of her loss. Yet you also show that his senses are waking up despite that, taking in the new world that he fought for, including the famine victims and the disenfranchised refugees. My sense of this state Kenshin is in is that he participates in the world only to the extent needed to stay alive and maintain his vow not to take the easy way out. He seems to truly live for his interior life, for sorting the pieces he can keep close to him of Tomoe. "And I’m alone again—and free. As always, parting brings him a palpable sense of relief." I look forward to life, perhaps children, slowly bringing him out of this shell.
| skenshingumi 7/30/06 . chapter 5
This is quite a lovely chapter informed with the bitterness of the final battle and yet those are overshadowed by the clarity and sweetness of Kenshin’s memories of Tomoe and their life together. I liked how in retrospect he is able to see the truth of their emotional states and how they changed each other over time. It was nice to see Tomoe as he saw her, not a cipher as she can seem in the OVAs but a calming presence whose focus could charm the children not put them off. The recollection of their first time sharing a futon is beautiful. For Kenshin it is obviously such a different world, so foreign, he doesn’t even register what Tomoe is saying. That might be the saddest thought of all. I like how careful and tentative they are with each other which seems very right for both them. For all they’ve been through it seems like they are two lost children clinging to each other. I also loved the line about Kenshin’s feelings on Tomoe falling asleep in his arms, “He smiled in the dark, pleased with himself, though he couldn’t think why.” It as if he is surprised and delighted that such closeness can exist for him.
| skenshingumi 7/30/06 . chapter 4
It was nice to get that moment of reflection from them but also points out the danger Kenshin's in. If even these two nice, old guys had to stop and decide not to turn him in, how many more will take the opposing view?
| skenshingumi 7/30/06 . chapter 3
Gozaemon really is a wonderful character and along with Yoshi obviously Kenshin’s lifesaver here. I really like the way he is “not put off by Kenshin’s silence” allowing Kenshin to work side by side while he quietly observes his reactions to his own stories and learns about him that way. I like the way you had him catch Kenshin’s pale face and trembling breath as he fondly remembers his dead wife. It is all too close still for Kenshin as shown so nicely by the shaving incident. There I liked how Kenshin’s first reaction was practical but upon actually seeing the blade it reverts to horror. I had to chuckle at Kenshin’s mood lightening “from this sepulchral muteness to its customary sobriety.” I can just picture that.
The market scene I sadly image as one of many similar ones for Kenshin, “eyes averted anxiously at his approach, surreptitiously turned to follow his retreating figure. “Revolutionary soldier.” “Ishin shishi.” And even, once, as from the depths of a nightmare: “Assassin!”
All in all, this chapter is a nice chance to see our Kenshin begin to emerge with the soothing help of food and laundry. One of my favorite passages from the chapter shows this so well:
“As the days passed, Kenshin took over many of the routine chores. He had a way with the stew pot, and a penchant for laundry. Gozaemon gladly released these tasks to the boy, happy more for how they seemed to soothe the youngster than for his own relief of them. The small tense face relaxed, absorbed in balancing seasonings or in working soft white suds and clear cool water through coarse country fabric. Real peace softened the features; once a flickering smile disturbed its constant solemnity when the boy gazed in obvious satisfaction at the full line of clean clothes snapping in the breeze.”