|Reviews for In the Wolves' Den|
| Animercom chapter 5 . 6/14
This was such a lovely story. It's funny and sweet even though the brooding Saito is one of the main characters. Personally, I don't like Saito as a character-I love Kenshin too much-but this is one of my favorite stories. Tokio is compassionate and strong enough to crack through Saito's defenses, compelling Saito to show her sides of himself that he has never showed anyone else. This makes them the perfect pair. Tokio's utter adoration of Saito was hilarious. I died at the part where Saito was thinking that she probably thought his honesty about "sleeping alone with her" was honorable instead of a necessity. It was the funniest part of the story by far. Okita, however, really shines throughout this work as well and I enjoyed his part in the story, especially how he conspired to get the two of them together. My favorite part of this story is the scar showing competition between Saito and Tokio-Saito being prideful and competitive enough to show Tokio his scars, Okita coming in at just the right moment, and its role in the ending where Saito said he would marry Tokio to prove that someone would marry her despite her scars. It really wrapped up the ending nicely. As always, this was very well written. Thank you for writing this!
| Chades chapter 5 . 9/27/2014
This was amazing. I had such a good laugh and really enjoyed reading your little story. :D
| chibi heishi chapter 5 . 8/3/2012
Such fun, such fun. I bet Okita is going to be laughing over this for YEARS.
| chibi heishi chapter 4 . 8/3/2012
And again with the Saitoh hilarity. This is so much fun!
| chibi heishi chapter 3 . 8/3/2012
Aww, the end was practically cute! And Saitoh would gut me if he heard me say that. ...actually, me being female and unarmed, he would probably just glare. Really, really hard. With Okita laughing in the background.
Although to be honest, there when the guys were waiting for her to come out, I almost expected Saitoh to lose patience, sneak up to the door to check what was taking so long, and find out she'd fallen asleep on his futon. XD
| chibi heishi chapter 2 . 8/3/2012
Oh, God, Saitoh is HILARIOUS! Give him any swordsman in the city and he's utterly bad-a$$, but toss a girl at him and he's hopeless!
| chibi heishi chapter 1 . 8/3/2012
...she feinted, didn't she? Oh, I can just SEE Saitoh standing there, blinking down at his 'enemy'. Or better yet, being all defensive and deadly and "you can't fool me with that trick" towards an unconscious girl.
| Redseraph chapter 5 . 2/10/2011
Adorable! ::luvs Saito::
| Clorinda chapter 5 . 4/5/2009
I hate reading a fic, reviewing it, and not being able to do much when I re-read the story a year later. In this case, I found myself my own opening: I hadn't reviewed the first time (probably because I was too busy devouring the hilarious sequel.) Re-reading this, I certainly liked it much more than the first time, and I'm suddenly able to appreciate the novelty and the uniqueness of the fic much better.
I like the beginning, how Saito's concern for Okita is thrown so blatantly out in the open: "There was nothing Saitoh could do, so he gave Okita the illusion of secrecy he desired." The comment about Aku Soku Zan being useless *hurt.*
Saito and Tokio simultaneously depicted in the first chapter was brilliant. Talk about a good hook!
The tree-climbing part could have been a little more concise— it got hard to follow, but I liked the nuances and the tiny details, like her grandfather's oversized clothes flapping in her face. Her backstory was quick and good (her father reminded me a bit of Maugham's Philip Carey. I liked Takagi a lot. The grandfather, too.)
[She was being carried in her father’s arms. She must have fallen asleep at dinner again. Her mother always said she played harder than any girl child she’d ever seen, and it tended to catch up with her after she’d eaten.]
I really, *really* like Tokio's characterisation in this story— she's as good as it gets, not to mention the way you present her.
Typo in the first chapter: you called him "Serizawa Kama."
[“I’m going on patrol. You watch her.” He told Okita, then stalked back to the barracks to roust his lazy squad members and force them to go on patrol a half hour earlier than scheduled.] (Second chapter: should be "rouse.")
[“I’m sure you’re familiar with our motto.” The man’s voice purred chillingly, like a midnight sea wave, its calm beauty hiding the power and full force of the sea tides below as it rolled inexorably toward the beach. “Aku Soku Zan.”]
It would have been a usual rendition of "still waters run deep," then you thwacked me over the head with "rolled inexorably toward the beach." Absolutely deadly. I could picture the weight of the "Aku Soku Zan" when he said it after that description. ::shivers::
I don't know where the drama in the story is (as per the genre— romance DEFINITELY) but I just couldn't stop laughing all the way. This scene is ghoulish and classic:
[Saitoh felt his jaw clench as Okita’s eyes dropped interestedly to the body in his arms.
“Is he dead?” Okita asked in surprise.
Hah. So Saitoh wasn’t the only one to mistake the hakama and gi clad girl for a boy, and Okita was seeing her outside in the starlight. Cheered by the thought, he smirked and began to carry her past the younger captain.
“ ‘She’ is ‘he’ and no, she’s not dead. Not yet.” It wouldn’t do any harm to reinforce his reputation as a soulless killer to Okita. The boy was remarkably irreverent towards him. Saitoh noticed that Okita’s mouth dropped open in a round ‘o’ shape as he watched Saitoh pass.
Then the girl ruined it by stirring in his arms.]
Saito's fifteen seconds of jubilant meanness comes crashing down! ::keeps on waving Styrofoam thumb inscribed with omasu #1::
And of course, there was:
[Saitoh skipped breakfast. He didn’t want to lose momentum. The girl wasn’t cracking. Surprising. Perhaps she’d had ninja training after all. Then he remembered the way she’d called him ‘papa’ and snuggled against him.]
The riot was brilliantly played, and amidst it, Saito composure and bad-ass-ness was a brilliant complement.
Him sitting with Tokio in his room was tender and touching. Tokio's retelling was convincingly jerky, her sobbing and mourning were sad. But yes, TECHNICALLY Saito didn't kill Serizawa. Okita was one of the group who did; but it does good for Saito's image.
[He could imagine exactly what Serizawa had done to the mother, especially if she’d been pretty like her daughter.]
That last bit was perfect.
[It had been such a novel experience, protecting one single individual, holding her literally in his arms, instead of just protecting the massive population of Kyoto as a whole, that he’d forgotten to ask the most vital question of all.]
Ouch. Either that's incredibly beautiful ("protecting one single individual ... instead of just protecting the massive population of Kyoto") OR Saito needs to get a life.
The best part about the story is the irony.
I like the fact that while Tokio's stubborn and a self-sufficient girl (like every Mary Sue Tokio around), she's also a little naïve, and a little good in the purest sense of the word. Unpolluted. It's not that I'm revelling in the dumbness of her character, but it's a nice change to come across a girl who's this trusting, and yet not stupid. A well-written girl, rather.
[He hadn’t asked her name.
What? … Such restraint was incredible.]
Her mad admiration for Saito really cracks me up— I'm not deriding Tokio, just applauding your sense of humour and irony, as exhibited in full glory in the scene where Saito is cornered into marrying her.
I wished like crazy I was a fly on the wall during the scene where Saito comes in on Okita combing Tokio's hair— a delightful contrast to Okita walking in on Saito just previously, only funnier.
[He returned from the bathhouse down the street to find Okita making her laugh and he’d felt…proprietary? Well, she was his prisoner after all, not Okita’s.]
Wah! Whatta way to put it. I guess Tokio's not the only stubborn one.
[“What did you say?” asked Saitoh incredulously. Not get married? What sort of a woman didn’t want to get married?]
Pig. Him, I mean. Not you.
[If Serizawa had touched her, Saitoh resolved to march down to the cemetery, find Serizawa’s funeral urn, spit in it, then break it to tiny pieces and stomp all over the ashes before laying a curse his grandmother had taught him on Serizawa’s soul.]
Precisely why you are, not a pig, but absolutely divine. That was thE funniest.
After the showing-off-scars competition, I thought I was floating in heaven. What came next made me hit the roof of even that.
[“I knew it. I saw that and I just knew you were an honorable man.” As Saitoh watched, flabbergasted, she straightened her spine and pulled her sleeve back down. “I too shall be honorable and protect my family name, as you protected the honor of the Shinsengumi.”
Saitoh felt like beating his head against the wall.]
[Saitoh hoped to Buddha and all the gods in the Shinto pantheon that the girl didn’t have that asinine look of hero worship on her face again. Kami help her, she probably thought his honesty was honorable, and not a necessity resulting from Okita’s presence.]
More of the divine irony I was talking about. I love how you manipulate the circumstances and make them marry each other against a convincing backdrop, without rushing it and making it unbelievably. Dues ex machine, true, but believably so.
[He’d never had the chance to see her other scars, and if he didn’t marry her, he never would.
… Besides, he was absolutely sure that his scars were still more numerous and impressive than hers. This was a perfect chance to prove it to her once and for all.]
Priceless. This DEFINITELY stands out in the Saito x Tokio collection; it's one of the very well-written ones, and IMHO one of the best.
[“Tokio.” He repeated. “It is a good name.” His eyes gleamed with a hint of a smile that he’d surprised her grandfather with his question.
She felt her mouth bend in an answering smile. That was when she knew that despite their strange, two-day courtship, this was a marriage that would last.]
And I also think, that it was one of the best story endings I've ever read. Extremely well-rounded. Kudos!
I still can't believe there's not more coming, except "Tokio's Wedding." "Over the Wall" *is* a nice companion piece, but honestly, there *should* be more. This is one immortal Tokio.
| ferryboat George chapter 5 . 10/17/2007
This is the first story I've read about Saitoh and Tokio and I loved it. Wonder, sweet and funny without being OOC
It was at this incredibly inopportune moment that Okita poked his head in the door, those quick knowing eyes of his going from the blushing girl, her hand tangled in the neckline of her gi, to Saitoh, who was hideously aware of the disheveled neckline of his own hastily yanked up gi.
"Oh, you were playing my scar is bigger. Sure you were " ROFL!
Besides, he was absolutely sure that his scars were still more numerous and impressive than hers. This was a perfect chance to prove it to her once and for all.
| SodiumFree chapter 5 . 2/20/2007
This story was soo cute and depressing, but I loved it so thats good lol. You should write more Saito and Tokio stories! The personallity that you put into your writting is enjoyable to read. Keep up the good work!
| TrisakAminawn chapter 5 . 1/21/2007
Yes, that was good. Very well managed, and funny, and touching, and not sloppy, in any sense of the word. The scar scene was good, sorry I forgot to remark on it in the right chapter. Unlikely as the forcing-Saitou-to-marry-her thing was, it was fine. The moment when Saitou siezed on this as an opportunity to prove to her that he was more scarrified was excellent. I am so fond of him. And now, before Mother, sister, and the gods of the SAT descend upon my head, I'm for bed.
| TrisakAminawn chapter 4 . 1/21/2007
Hehehehehehehehehe! Poor Saitou. This is getting worse and worse. She's just stubborn, and he hasn't got any good ways of getting anything out of her in this situation. And he's obviously attached to her by now. Hah.
Yes, a review made up entirely of broad plot comments. Oh well. It's late. Mother wants me to go to bed. I think I'll read the last chapter first...
| TrisakAminawn chapter 3 . 1/21/2007
Wow. Saitou sitting on his bed with a girl crying on him. Special moments. The humour in The World According To Hajime is nice, too. Why is he reminding me of my father? As usual, good execution.
| TrisakAminawn chapter 2 . 1/21/2007
Heheh! That was extremely funny. Okita just went along...not perfectly, but not badly. More balance. And of course Watsuki's Okita looks like Soujiro with a ponytail, and his Harada Sanosuke looks like Sano with a piece of grass instead of a fish, so Okita, being moderately more normal that Seta-kun, is unbearably adorable. Gah. Heh. And Saitou is funny too. I'm glad you aren't overplaying the embarrassing situations, though. And why exactly am I talking in present tense when the story is ancient? Oh well. It's present for me.