|Reviews for Learning to Live Again|
| Anna from Russia 3/10/13 . chapter 8
Thank you very much for updating!
Please, please. don't abandon that wonderful story.
You're my favourite author.
| misaki-toyodome 3/2/13 . chapter 4
First, thank you for bringing back Yoshida! He was wonderful in Descent into Madness, and it's so fun to see him here again. And I am enjoying the angle with the Osaka Oniwaban too.
And while the story itself is a great read, the little details you add in about the changing lives of those in the Meiji era (about the foreigners and adapting to their presence in Japan) makes it stand out, in my humble opinion. Also, the position of women in society is very much in keeping with the times; it's not often that fanfic treats these realistic problems, so it's very refreshing. Thank you again for all your hard work! It's a joy to read.
| misaki-toyodome 3/2/13 . chapter 3
Ah, the plot thickens! Kaoru really would have had a tough time as a woman trying to protect her dojo and her rights in the Meiji era. And I laughed at Kenshin's make-over; it's such a manga thing for characters to wear the same clothes, but he really needed some variety to his wardrobe.
I very much appreciate your attention to detail (the research into 1878 and the telegraph poles). It really adds some nice touches to setting the scene. And I very much enjoyed Chief Uramura's cameo here! He's one of my favorite secondary characters in the series and he's just such a nice guy. (I'm rather partial to the policemen in RK, hahaha.)
| misaki-toyodome 3/2/13 . chapter 2
It's so nice to get a glimpse at ordinary life for Kenshin; Japanese fans often joke about the fact that he's a NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) so I had to laugh at his 'job hunting'. I think you handled it realistically, as always. And yes, where does Kaoru get money to maintain her dojo?! Good call on the government reward. However, my favorite part of the chapter has to be the scene between Yahiko and Kenshin. As I said in my previous review, Yahiko is still a young boy, and he still has a lot to learn, especially about the responsibility that comes with power. The insight into Kenshin's psychology is very interesting also, both about his training under Hiko and about his time in Rakuninmura. Not many people tackle the true impact (or horror) of learning Amakakeru Ryu no Hirameki and I think you did it masterfully.
| misaki-toyodome 3/2/13 . chapter 1
I regret that it's taken me so long to read this story - my excuse is that I was too busy to do much fanfic reading (or writing) over the last few years, but better late then never. I'm so glad that I finally took the time today! Thank you so much for this wonderful story! You've always had a fantastic knack for realistically portraying the struggles that the characters face; this time too, the questions that Kenshin faces are so natural considering his history. Not only Kenshin, but I appreciate the twist you've put on Yahiko too - my impression is that he's often portrayed as an incredibly mature wunderkind, but the fact is, he's a human child who will make mistakes. He's still got a lot to learn. And it's nice that you're not rushing the relationship between Kaoru and Kenshin too; they've got many issues to work out before they can get to where they are in Meiji Year 15.
My apologies again for the tardy review, and I'm just glad that you're still writing!
| BiblioMatsuri 1/16/13 . chapter 8
Prolix: verbose, long-winded. Yay, new word!
I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what comes next. - Matsuri
| BiblioMatsuri 1/16/13 . chapter 5
Wow. Extrapolations galore - and they all feel like they would fit right in with the original story. I admit to being slightly skeptical about the OCs, until I remembered that of course any friends of Kenshin's would be far from ordinary. Besides, I like Yoshida and Eiko.
| BiblioMatsuri 1/16/13 . chapter 3
Nice worldbuilding. ...Kenshin. On a trip. "Go smoothly." HA!
| BiblioMatsuri 1/15/13 . chapter 1
*applauds* Off to a very good start. The character reactions are conceivable .(Yahiko's thirteen - no one is sensible at thirteen; and who's worried about taxes when someone recently tried to kill you?) A bit of a cultural backhand to the running theme of romantic love in the manga (it is subtitled Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story).
| unsigned 11/11/12 . chapter 8
So glad for an update. Thanks!
| Guest 10/28/12 . chapter 8
Well, I really enjoyed sitting down and rereading this story along with the latest addition. I love the ways you let Kenshin's hidden self come through in the presence of Yoshida, someone he trusts. His reflections that as a rurouni he could never show anger, his satisfaction, contentment and surprise at the idea of being more than his sword, his glimmer of hope even as he fears it won't be justified all show the subtle ways he is changing as he leaves wandering behind. How clever of you to provide him with job prospects too! I did love how Kenshin was caught smiling at the idea that he could bring something of value to the marriage although I think Kaoru would bonk him with her bokken for feeling that he needs to do so. Perhaps best of all, you give us all the hope that Kenshin's sword skills are not lost.
The difficult Oniwabanshu really have added flavor to the story. I love how Kenshin can never relax (the blanket, once again being on guard as he sleeps, his uncharacteristic slip that almost gets his friend killed). They are so suspicious of Kenshin and reluctant to help and now are bowing in deference. The mother giving him the tea was a great touch. As for Kenshin's slip of the tongue re the Oniwabanshu, this is the second time his words have caught him off-guard, his statement about marrying Kaoru being the other one. It seems his own mind is betraying his past need for privacy and concealment as he makes this transition. Just as you show the creation of Kenshin's rurouni persona in "An Unexpected Lesson,", we now see you deconstruct that into "a settled man." I am enjoying every bit. I have no doubt the Yakuza will be vanquished but it does sounds like Kenshin is worried that perhaps revealing aspects of his character will push Kaoru away.
| thesadisttensaifuji 10/22/12 . chapter 8
Great chapter to set up the impending ending! I especially liked the scene with the entire clan bowing their heads to Kenshin. That was really nicely done. It's really nice to see people acknowledging Kenshin as a person.
Just a small concrit: in some parts, Kenshin didn't sound like himself. Like when he said the 'call Himura' lines. I thought it was a bit too whiny for Kenshin.
But awesome chapter nonetheless! Thanks for the update! :)
I'm sure I'm gonna love the climactic action bit next chapter!
| omasuoniwabanshi 10/21/12 . chapter 8
I've probably said it before in other reviews, but I absolutely love the way you take canon characters, use them in new and different plots, yet still keep them true to themselves and believable.
Kenshin's reflexes are still spot on in the way he jumps up, sword drawn when the trapdoor opens. I absolutely loved the blanket trick as well. Sounds comfy as well as sound muffling.
Score one for financial realism too. How would Kenshin have money for a train ticket if someone else hadn't bought one for him? Wanderers only have as much money as the last odd job they took paid them, and Kenshin is looking out for Kaoru's interests because he wants to, not for money. The rurouni lifestyle may be perfect for blending in and losing oneself in the Meiji era, but it is financially ruinous.
I really enjoyed how this story delves into Kenshin's state of mind and his feelings about being Battousai.
"People always seem to assume that I'm nothing more than my sword" really shows his frustration that his past reputation defines him in many people's eyes. After ten years of wandering and atoning and growing, he has a right to be disappointed that his past reputation keeps haunting him.
"For all I know, this may be as close as I'll ever come to knowing what it's like to be a normal person." was heartening and heartrending at the same time. It was heartening in that Kenshin is finding joy in feeling that he has something to offer Kaoru, but heartrending in his conclusion that doing something as natural as marrying the girl he loves is the closest he'll get to feeling normal. He does tend to forget at times that he is a normal human being with the same emotional vulnerabilities and capacities for joy as anyone else. Yes, he's got skills, training, and a resume as an assassin that surpass most every other warrior on the planet, but it didn't turn him psycho like Shishio Makoto. He's really got to start giving himself a little more credit!
Mizuki sure was excitable and prickly. That can't be good in a leader of a ninja clan. That 'pot had stopped boiling' analogy fit him well! Kenshin's decision to relinquish the documents to him went a long way to propitiate him. He handled that very well, and it was a good way to show character development in Kenshin being willing to trust someone else with something important.
If Yoshida were a real person I'd hug him for giving Kenshin hope that a gaijin doctor might be able to help him. I found it sad that Watsuki intimated that Kenshin's body was deteriorating in the manga. I like the idea that Western medicine could help him, and that Kenshin might be able to supplement his income by making and selling traditional Japanese medicines as well (didn't he pose as a medicine seller when hiding out with Tomoe too?)
Good thing Kenshin is as smart as he is skilled with a sword. He's not the only one with a 'mind like a steel trap', and reminding the ever threatening/excitable Mizuki that Yoshida has the same goal and that he trusts him with his life and did back in Kyoto as well, was a masterful way to protect his friend.
One thing you've got to love/hate about Kenshin is his willingness to put himself in danger to help others. Here he is, about to leave and another dangerous situation drops in his lap. Does he take the tea and run? Nope, he lets himself be used as bait. By the way, the tea gift was a lovely addition to the story. I could totally picture Kenshin completely nonplussed by the matriarch's gift.
Good chapter! I'm so glad you're continuing the story!
| Brukaoru 10/17/12 . chapter 8
Ah Conspirator, I love your writing, I really do. You have such a feel for these characters, even ones you create are interwoven so lovely into the RK world that it feels like they are actually real-not to mention your knowledge of Japanese history really brings your writing to life.
But I must point out one little bitty mistake you made, otherwise this would be flawless! You said that Aoshi was protected by three comrades who died. There were four! Beshimi, Han'nya, Hyottoko, and Shikijō.
Looking forward to the next chapter. Also, I think it's crazy that you fear posting a chapter because you might have 'blown it', your work is always amazing!
| The Wandering Pen 10/17/12 . chapter 8
Excellent amd well-thought-out as always. Thanks for another chapter. :)