|Reviews for You Who Never Arrived|
| Rizza chapter 1 . 1/8
Happy New Year! Just got off early from work and just wanted to greet one of my favorite authors. I spent my New Year in the office, it was awful _. Anyways, hope you have a wonderful year ahead of you together with more stories to come. Kudos AnnabelleG! Your stories are always ever inspiring, such a great relief from work! Thank you very much!_
| Velox chapter 15 . 9/29/2014
It takes true talent to convert someone like me into an Enishi Misao shipper with a story. Seriously, their dynamic is great and you make the banter interesting and entertaining to read.
Would this story's rating ever be switched to M in the future? You have the potential to make it really gritty and explicit.
| WhiteInfinity21 chapter 12 . 5/26/2014
this is an absolutely enthralling fic. Have you been to Venice or are you a fan of Renaissance history?
| limone's angel chapter 15 . 5/10/2014
It's been a long time since I last visited this site, I'm super glad your story is the first story I came across..Misao and Aoshi is my first otp, then along came Enishi. I love the developments between aoshi and misao, for me I dont know if it shifting to another phase. They are like almost lovers but now gearing into something else. I 'm intrigued between the palpable passion and chemistry between Enishi and Misao though. I hope in your next update, you will focus in their relationship more. Hehe. I will be happy with whatever pairing but I'm leaning towards the latter though. More power authornim and I will be revisiting this fandom more, all thanks to you. I cant wait for your next update. Fighting!
| Crackpot chapter 7 . 3/22/2014
Aoshi is the same fool he's always been; cold and untouchable on the outside, naive, self-absorbed, and quick to judgment on the inside. I love your portrayal of him. As usual, he can't try to see beyond his own impression of things. He keeps falling into the same trap. I can't wait to see what you've got in store for him when the foundations of his reality are shaken.
| Rizza chapter 15 . 2/28/2014
Amazing! And so deep it clutched my heart. I remembered why I yearned deeply for an update on this story. I love how you portrayed the characters' thoughts and feelings in very meaningful and intense wording. I had to go back and forth to reread superb lines that in its greatness, it left unforgettable impressions and made me understand the events well and it's meaning. I also love how you tied bits and pieces of scenes in previous chapters by explaining the past. It is simply beautiful in a dramatic and eye-catching way. I'm so ecstatic with Aoshi's decision to stay and what that entails. I really look forward to how Enishi and Aoshi will clash when it comes to Misao and I'm waiting eagerly and anxiously for another update. It is currently a point in my life wherein life and work is too exhausting, but your writing woke me up and had me on the edge of my seat right from the beginning. I'm officially a fan. Thank you for this wonderful piece and I hope you continue sharing this marvelous talent of yours and write more! You're simply fantastic! Kudos to you!_
| dragonstwilight chapter 15 . 2/20/2014
Happy New Year! What a treat! Loved the Enishi flash back and the explanation behind Misao's scars. It's great to unravel and piece together how such a close-knit partnership started out completely the opposite at the beginning. I like how Sano's light dialogue keeps the sense of humor during Misao and Enishi's arguments at the Display. Awesome ending and setup for the next part. I can really picture Enishi and Aoshi sizing each other up wondering what intentions and business each has for Misao. Looking forward to the next one!
| Bonsoir chapter 15 . 1/29/2014
It's been years since I've read this piece, and I just went back through it over the last handful of days to re-read. I remember being confused the first time I read it, and seeing as how you updated significantly since then, wondered if I would be less confused rereading it now.
There is good and bad news! The good news is that a lot was cleared up by the fifteenth posted section of this story. The bad news is that the story itself is pretty confusing, still.
Please don't take this as an insult. Writing is my greatest joy and hobby and intended career, so I'm coming at this partially from a storytelling perspective–as a reader and writer both. This is not to say that you don't know what you are doing, because obviously you've carried this story this far, and you have learned a lot yourself over the years! So please, hear me out.
This is a whale of a story, and I think the plot is fairly interesting, but the way it's told is not as good as it could be. Since I don't know what your overall aim/goal is, with this tale, I can't really offer any concrete suggestions (and frankly, who has time to go back and rewrite to implement them anyway?), but this reads like a choppy mystery novel in some sections, when I feel that isn't really something you've intended. I understand that some things you want the reader left in the dark about, but it doesn't quite work sometimes; you have too many points of view for it to work. If this entire piece was in Aoshi's point of view, it might have worked better, since he would know only what the reader knows, but even with multiple perspectives (which I'll talk about in a second), the reader is still being left in the dark–despite the story being told from the perspective of characters who do know the truth.
(Multiple perspectives otherwise do this story a great justice; I feel if we only saw things from Aoshi's perspective, we'd be missing out on too much, and the story would, frankly, be rather boring. Including Misao/Enishi/Saito/Sano definitely was for the best. I'm merely saying that despite having all these perspectives of characters who do know the truth about Misao's situation, the reader is left in the dark, and I think it works sometimes, and doesn't work at other times.)
That said, things did get less confusing the more I read, but if I had to guess, but I still feel I'm hardly understanding the situation as you've intended me to understand it. I'd go so far as to say it's why, at some points, readers started to drop away; they got confused, couldn't understand what was going on currently in the story (let alone the mysterious past stuff), and while some hints were dropped, they weren't dropped in a way that allowed many readers to draw concrete conclusions. (The allure of a mystery novel is to be able to go back through the piece and find the hints that you might have missed previously, but very astute readers will perhaps see them on the first try; it's great if readers are picking up on a great many of these hints you're dropping as you drop them, but from some of the reviews it seems they're not.)
I can't really give any suggestions, of course, as I've said, but I wrote this review at four in the morning and I'm not sure I could offer any substantial advice at this point, anyway, considering what little I know of the plot.
I think my biggest, and perhaps only real, issue with this story is definitely its structure. It's not a make-or-break deal with reading (since it's fanfiction), but some of your reveals felt as if they came too far out of left field, if that makes sense. I picked up on some things, but not others, and some of the things I did pick up on were last-second understandings, right before the big reveal, which I felt was poor storytelling in the sense that the hints just weren't enough in the story, earlier.
In particular I'm talking about Misao's scars and her lack of weaponry. I think, all things considered, unless I missed this since I did read late at night almost every night (and if I did, please ignore this), Misao's lack of weaponry would be something Aoshi would notice fairly early on. Even dressed to the nines, I can't imagine a Misao without some kind of weapon on her (and relying heavily on her kenpo training is not something Misao would do canonically); I feel Aoshi would notice this fairly early on and would have made a note that she didn't actually have a weapon on her. Regarding her scars, it was clear something really bad happened to her, but it was never hinted at very clearly what that was. Now, to be fair, Aoshi didn't really have a clue, either, so the reader was left just as in the dark as he was…but something about it just…bothers me. I felt there should have been some kind of connection that, when it was revealed, I could think, "Oh, if I'd have been paying better attention, I might have seen this coming!"
As a writer who loves realism, I understand the need to make things realistic. Stuff like Misao's scarred back can come out of left field in real life, and it can feel shocking because it's something you've never had a hint of, and Misao is good at "performing" so there's that, too; she has a lot of people fooled, not just her contacts, but Sanosuke and Aoshi, too. Still, fiction is different from reality; we have to cut dialogue and we have to tell a story; much like Misao, we as writers are performing, and sometimes that means dropping hints, as unrealistic as it is.
(As an aside, you've hinted at "worse" things happening (though I'm almost doubting something can be worse, since that incident seems to be what "broke" her to begin with); I wonder how this plays into the whole thing.)
I don't want you think I'm saying you're a poor writer, because that is certainly not the case. I just want you to be aware of what I, as a reader, am walking away with after reading this particular piece.
That said, I am still interested to know what happens in the story. "You Who Never Arrived" was one of those stories that I started reading a long time ago (the poem (I think it's a poem?) you used as a base for your title has never left my mind), and I was always a little curious to know how it might end–like a movie I'd never finished. The problem is having to re-read the piece to see where I was, and boy was that a lot of time taken up. (What is actual work that I should be doing? I'm not sure; I'm too busy reading fanfic!)
Critique of the storytelling aside, I want to praise you for two characters that I feel you've really done justice in this piece, and perhaps add a little critique as well: Aoshi and Enishi. Particularly in the flashback of Enishi in this chapter, and hell, Aoshi throughout this entire last chapter, especially. You've really captured them well. Aoshi has always been a favorite character of mine, because his history is one not easy to understand and that makes him interesting, especially in conjunction with his relationship to Misao–and how that works out, for better or worse.
The premise of this story is a little cliché, but there are so few stories about Aoshi and Misao out there these days that it still feels like a treat to find something with an actual plot, and Misao leaving is great. Better yet is that Aoshi isn't even gone very long, but comes back to find that Misao has left of her own accord. While there were parts at the beginning of this story that I disagreed with characterization-wise (when he says she's coming home with him, or something to that effect), for the most part, but again, especially in this chapter, I think you really got him down well: simple, not unaffected by jealousy but also not ragingly passionate or outspoken or TOO of anything. He's always very straight and to the point, and the things he says aren't beautiful and sweet and affectionate, but they just fit him so well, sometimes. I really liked the hand-holding; I know some people will tell you that they want the romance to hurry up, but this is my favorite part of a story: when the little things matter and start to really mean something for the characters. And I get the feeling that Aoshi is kicking himself for missed opportunities, because if-only-if-only he'd done this or said that, Misao would not have left and would never have had to suffer as she has had to. I pulled that from the way he acts and the things he thinks without it being told to me; Aoshi is someone who feels guilt so easily that it's easy to imagine him bringing it here.
And it seems Misao has come to feel that way, too.
If I had to critique anything about the characters, I would say that… I really don't know them. I know that's a really harsh thing to say, so let me backtrack a bit and back it up at the same time: I really like your Aoshi, but I don't know him very well. I still know him better than some of the others, though; characters like Aoshi are solitary and are very hard to write, so I was surprised to see that he was written so well, and felt more complete than characters like Sanosuke. Sanosuke just doesn't feel complete as a person because he's used strictly, it seems to me, anyway, as a plot device, and not so much as his own person. Something you want to keep in mind is that he's in this story and you've chosen to use his perspective sometimes, so we need to really understand who he is through his actions, words, thoughts, et cetera. Though Misao's past is the one most people are questioning, I'm questioning Sanosuke's; why is he there? Why did he leave Kenshin and his other friends? Does he still talk to them? The problem I have is that he never mentions them, and I think characters like Aoshi might find this a bit odd (but only because he's so observant).
Misao is definitely the worst for me, though. She's changed so much and while there are small "flashes" (that Aoshi seems to note) of her old self, for the most part it's almost as if you're writing a completely different person. That's legit, because of this story and the trauma (singu
| Nagasasu chapter 14 . 1/24/2014
Apologies for the late review! Initially read this via mobile, so hopefully I didn't forget too many of the points I wanted to make.
Aoshi: I'm not sure how I feel about Aoshi as narrator since he's pretty withdrawn as a whole and just watches so damn much, lol. Also, super glad to see he realizes he's been jealous this whole time (I always find it super Jerk-some when dudes are angry at women and don't realize it's because of their own issues and no fault of the woman's). I'm very intrigued as well that performing ("'Nothing. I see nothing.' Aoshi performed.") seems to go against his very nature (especially considering his self-deception re: his own jealousy).
Plot reveals: I feel a bit dense, but while Aoshi may have figured it out, I'm still pretty foggy? (I haven't read ch 15 yet though) Self-harm? Human trafficking? Sexual assault? I've suspected the latter for awhile, but that's just a feeling. Unsure of what to make of Enishi holding Misao's weapons; the thought of her being a beserker crossed my mind, but doesn't quite fit I think. But part of the fun of reading this story is the mystery of it all. What is the Nishitaka's ultimate goal? IDK, but I'm sure all will be revealed in good time. :)
Misao: My feminist goggles are on so hard with her. (Not sure how that works out considering I'm accustomed to US discourse on feminism and this story takes place in Asia though). On the one hand, I think it's very clever of Misao to be so adept at using men's assumptions/sexism against them. As a result of that though, a lot of men's egos, follies, and plans get played out through her body even though she has very little to do with any of them - having her mediate men's desires seems unfair to her especially when her own sense of self is shaky at best.
Anyways, really enjoyed meeting the Regulars, was very intrigued by the gender roles in the dance scene (and excited by seeing same-sex attraction!), and wondering what role Himeko (urgh, I think that's her name?) will play.
(Also excited to see you're on AO3 now!)
(And of course, was exceedingly surprised to see all these updates! Hope all is well with you!)
| AMFW chapter 15 . 1/19/2014
Wahoo! Happy New Year! This was such a surprise when I found this a few days after the new year. I'm just getting around to re-reading again and reviewing.
I cannot wait until Saito comes back, I really missed his presence and witty remarks. He's practically the linch pin in all this too. So, things are starting to ramp up now, I think we are still in the dark as to why Misao quit acting and what it really means to act on stage again (unless I missed something?!). The subtle romance on the balcony with Aoshi was fantastic! I'm so curious as to what Enishi is going to do/say/think about this new partnership between Aoshi and Misao. There's so much to still reveal and so much to Misao that needs healing, so I hope the next chapter comes a wee bit sooner. :)
Thank you for updating!
| whitefng585 chapter 15 . 1/2/2014
Blown away by the chapter as usual! It was really interesting to get a bit more of an understanding of Misao's history. It explained a lot of the questions. Also, very happy to see Tokio in the story as well! I'm looking forward to how she fits into things and also seeing Saitoh make a return to the story! Looking forward to the next chapter!
| lemon-lime-whispers chapter 15 . 12/31/2013
I can't believe I almost forgot how spellbinding you work is! Love the subtle love triangle. (Side note: With Misao in love with Aoshi, I'd like to keep Enishi for myself lol). In all seriousness, your characterizations were great, keep up the good work!
| croquette queen chapter 15 . 12/31/2013
Wonderful, wonderful chapter. 15 so far and you're still stunning me with the complexity of each character and how they fit against one another. Aoshi and Misao's relationship really is gorgeous in its subtlety, and how they're slowly finding each other again. The theatre group is adorable. And the interlude was perfect- exactly how I believe Enishi would first act towards Misao. Really looking forward to watching the Aoshi-Misao-Enishi relationship plays out. Thank you so much for the update- it's a fantastic way to end 2013!
| delp chapter 15 . 12/31/2013
i'm so glad you have posted a new chapter!
this fic has me enthralled and your writing is superb.
don't ever stop!
| AMFW chapter 3 . 12/26/2013
I am also waiting for the update! Will we see one before the end of 2013? This story isn't abandoned is it? It is so beautiful and developed, I hope you continue.