Reviews for Brothers in Arms: A Call to Arms
Ominae chapter 25 . 11/1/2008
This was way better than what the people from Bandai are doing.

Quite exciting, even with ZERO in the picture.
FraserMage chapter 25 . 11/1/2008
"Saber, exterminating the target"... That reminds me of Setsuna in 00... And I think that is intentional...
Lunardite chapter 24 . 7/22/2008
I really like how the story is going. I cant waut to find out who Hyperion is. I also wonder how many destroyers are still alive. I love the story so please update soon.
CM chapter 24 . 7/17/2008
Hmm... Interesting. I'm curious as to know what will become of Luna in the future chapters. Update soon, please!
Shinji Ikari chapter 15 . 4/11/2008
All right, I finally read the rest of response to A CALL TO ARMS. And that addresses everything recent, heh, but not all the stuff from the previous Reviews for this story that you haven't yet responded to. (Not that I'm hoping you'll respond to them any time soon. But I do hope to discuss them sometime.) And yes, I'm responding to this Review now, but like I said, since the last Review for CRY OF THE FALCON turned out to be giant size, I don't mind if you want to reply to these two Reviews at separate times (I'd personally prefer to put the CRY OF THE FALCON discussion on hold, since, as I've mentioned before, I'm more comfortable discussing the stuff in this sequence of exchanges with the current things going on in my life. So if you're going to reply to the Reviews separately, I'd prefer sticking to this one). That said...

1.) Okay, I'm going to leave responding to the validity of Fukuda's own commentary until the end of the Review, with one exception. "Kira is better than Shinn, Shinn is better than Kira, Athrun is better than Shinn" is completely and utterly logical, regardless of whether you think Fukuda is or isn't an idiot. There are no absolutes when comparing characters' abilities to one another. I gather that the creator of GARGOYLES has pointed this out a number of times to people when asked for a "hierarchy ranking" of the characters in relationship to one another; some characters are better than other characters in certain ways, worse than others in other ways. With a few exceptions (if even them) there *are* no "top characters." Each character in GARGOYLES is better at certain things than some characters, worse than certain things than other characters. Recall what Kira says to Sai in Phase 36 of the original SEED. To use a bare-bones analogy, compare Kira, Athrun, and Shinn to rock, paper, scissors. Rock is better than scissors is better than paper is better than rock. So yes, that statement makes perfect sense. I've since run into evidence my source material for this point may have been yet another occasion of misinformation stated as fact, however, so we might want to throw this point out anyways until I can verify a Fukuda interview did, in fact, say this.

And on those lines, from stuff I have since found, I have reason to believe I took Fukuda's remark about Athrun and Cagalli very much out of context and what really happened was, in fact, what I thought seemed to happen in Phase 45 of DESTINY. So I'll agree that point can be discounted as well until I have a better idea what he and Morosawa are really trying to say about their relationship and whether they have one. (A word about the "weighty" jokes, by the way, since I'm pretty sure I've *still* been acting as if I'm uninterested in romance between characters. That isn't true at all. The weighty remarks were mostly, if not entirely, no way representative of my opinion on romance. I think I recall mentioning a long time ago that I did find Athrun and Cagalli's relationship interesting, and I have enjoyed their interaction a great degree throughout the two series. I have mixed feelings about Kira and Lacus, though. But whatever. This is moot to the matters at hand.) Likewise, and I shouldn't have criticized the scene with Flay based on Lalah, since I've no idea what Fukuda was referring to or whether or not the scene with Lalah was or wasn't real. That said...

2.) Shinn versus Kira. Whether one can convince the other remains to be seen, but I appreciate you're willing to carry the debate on at least a little longer, for now (although like I said in the other Review, having seen the whole series now, I feel that in some ways I've finally truly started to debate this). Especially since many of your responses only prove my point that only having seen snippets of the series while reading about the rest, you lack much of the proper context to understand why certain things happened the way they did, or even *what* actually happened. What you just said about Shinn and Athrun very much proves my point here. Yes, Shinn does care very much for Athrun. Meyrin likely explains *some* of Shinn's hesitation to attack and kill Athrun, but I very highly doubt it explains all. When Shinn first hears they're going after Athrun, he has no idea Meyrin is with him, and just hearing Athrun betrays them doesn't go over very well with him. (Despite having seen those Episodes so often, I don't recall Shinn's exact reaction, though.) Meyrin alone doesn't explain the absolutely broken look on Shinn's face and in his eyes when he finishes the GOUF, the completely broken unaware-of-one's-surroundings type look. Or the equally broken "Miss...ion?" that comes from Shinn when Rey then says they've completed their mission, with body language and voice tones that indicate Shinn is acting as if he's just waking up from some horrible nightmare and realizing that yes, the nightmare is real. (Not sure if these are the best ways to describe it, of course, but as always, Shinn's characterization is *extremely* difficult to describe. Its something that needs to be seen.) I can't recall if Meyrin comes up at *all* in Phase 40 when Rey wakes Shinn up from his nightmare, asks Shinn if Athrun is what's tormenting him, and Shinn confirms this. (Although even if Meyrin wasn't mentioned she was probably part of it.) As a very important aside, by the way, during this discussion, Rey flat-out tells Shinn that he should've been the one to destroy the GOUF, and tells Shinn, "You're too kind."

Meyrin can't fully (if at all) explain why, when Durandal is complimenting and rewarding Shinn for his exploits in the Heavens Base battle, Shinn flashes back to Athrun giving him a look of approval, and from nothing more than that, he then looks upset and doesn't acknowledge Durandal further. He just goes on looking quietly upset (possibly even miserable, although I can't recall how drastic the expression was), prompting a frown from Rey, who then speaks up on both their behalf (or something like that). I can't recall if Shinn was appointed to FAITH and awarded his second Order of the Nebula before or after what caused the flashback to Athrun, but either way, after the flashback to Athrun, I don't recall him acknowledging Durandal any longer, just looking upset/miserable. Despite the fact he's just been appointed to *FAITH* of all things.

For earlier examples, if Shinn didn't care for Athrun, that wouldn't explain how he acts around Athrun at the end of Phase 18. (Where there's so many emotions going through Shinn at that point I'm not even going to try to describe it.) Or the fact that, in Phase 31, Shinn apologizes for freaking at Athrun in the cell once Athrun mentioned returning Stella might've forced her to fight again, even arguably jokes with Athrun shortly after. And I have doubts Meyrin alone, and his discovery someone he thought he'd killed is still alive, explains Shinn freezing up, if I remember aright, *arguably in a way similar to how he froze up when he discovered Stella was piloting the Destroy* when he hears Athrun's voice again in Phase 43. (Although I'll concede that this one *might* be possible purely because Shinn thought Athrun was dead by his own hand. I personally doubt it, considering everything we've seen thus far throughout the series about how Shinn feels concerning Athrun, but this one might be possible.) I also have doubts that "dislike" doesn't equal "willing to kill the person" explains all of these as well, and even if that was all there is, what makes you think Shinn would've been any *more* willing to blow Athrun into tiny pieces in Phase 43 or Phase 50?

I also have doubts you'd have the impression Shinn was in a berserker rage when fighting Athrun in Phase 43 had you seen all the Phases leading up to that exchange. Shinn's been appointed a member of FAITH and all we see him acting is upset because he remembers Athrun giving him a look of approval. Despite all the times Shinn has professed hatred of Orb, when the Minerva approaches the battle we see Shinn hunched over in his seat looking in a not-so-good emotional state that I can't remember at the moment but I think was rather miserable (whatever it was, if I remember correctly, when Luna says his name at that point she sounded really worried about him, so unless my memory is wrong on both accounts, which it might be due to how long ago I saw the Episode despite watching it three times, Shinn wasn't particularly enthused about finally having the chance to give Orb a piece of his mind). He does say, "If anyone's going to destroy Orb, it should be me!" as he boards the elevator, but it's said in a pretty calm manner that I don't recall being anywhere *near* as emotional as his anti-Orb remarks from the first thirty Phases of the series. Suffice to say there's a reason Athrun asks Shinn if he really wants to destroy Orb in Phase 43, and what it is he really wanted. I can't recall his state prior to the re-launch at the end of Phase 42 either, although this time I am almost certain I recall that whatever his mood, it was enough to prompt Luna to flat-out run after him (or rather, tries to courtesy of Rey stepping in her way) as he leaves this time. And that time, I'm also pretty sure I remember correctly that when she calls his name - or shouted or yelled or whatever it was, I don't remember - she *does* sound *very* worried this time. (Actually, maybe Shinn hunched over was from this scene and he was doing something else in the former, or from both... well, this should convey the gist of my point, maybe.) Then there's everything *else* bothering Shinn at this point that I'm not even going to touch on. Suffice to say a berserker rage would arguably have been extremely inconsistent for Shinn's character at this point in time.

Heck, I can't even recall if he was angry at *all* during that fight with Athrun (which I've also seen three times). He may have been angry to some extent, yes (and its very possible I'm forgetting these aspects because Shinn was going through so much at this point I'd need multiple more rewatches to catch them all), but a berserker rage? More like first being frozen up and, if I remember correctly (not sure on this point since Shinn's body language in Phase 50 where he completely loses it are sticking in my mind more at this point), he really looks like he's being put through an emotional wringer (to the point it may not be an exaggeration, although very possibly is, to say that at one point Shinn looks like he's being strangled), then losing touch with reality, then he remembers Stella dying in his arms and going, "Shinn, you said you'd protect me." followed by his memory of Rey telling him, "And that's a weakness. You won't be able to protect anything because of it." during their discussion when Rey wakes Shinn up from his guilty nightmare and tells him he's too kind. At that point I'd describe Shinn's state as possibly something like approaching or bordering on utterly losing it.

Last, Phase 37. I'm not sure what point you're trying to make when you discuss Athrun being an inferior model versus Shinn in the Destiny. If its in regards to why Athrun lost (in the sense of not getting away since his objective wasn't to disable either machine), I agree that it is probably partially due to the fact Athrun's flying an inferior model, but since he seemed to be holding his own against Rey with little to no trouble argues models can't be the entire reason, I'd say its also probably partially due to the fact he wasn't in a mindset that could achieve Berserker. Even if he could have gone Berserker, I'm not sure he could've handled Rey and Shinn with both going all-out, since while Athrun was holding his own against Rey Shinn wasn't really trying. (But I'm not sure Shinn's state once he goes Berserker constitutes going "all out," since I'm unsure how much he was aware of the battle at that point, so Athrun still might've been able to get away had he only been able to go Berserker himself.)

3.) I'm going to start a new point here to divide this aspect of Shinn's skill versus Kira's from the Athrun aspect. First, yes, you may have hit upon one of the reasons we differ on certain points. However, I take canon as unarguable because it *is* canon. It's what really happened, written by the director and scriptwriter who know far more about this story than you do (even if Fukuda doesn't know as much about the story as Morosawa, which I extremely highly doubt for reasons I'll address in a moment, I suspect you'd at least agree that Fukuda knows more about the Cosmic Era than you do). So I can't just throw it out as evidence, no matter how skeptical you are, because it is evidence. Yes, *if* the three machines from the Minerva had singlehandedly turned a massacre into victory, that would've been bogus. I've read numerous large-scale battles in science fiction and fantasy books since grade school, one of them by an author complimented for having an eye for plausible military scenarios. If a military scenario is off, I think I'd notice. It also would've been bogus had Lunamaria singlehandedly and quickly trashed a Destroy. However, neither happened that way.

To first address your point with Lunamaria, you're correct that the first Destroy annihilated squadrons of mobile suits and gave Freedom a tough time. More than that, the very first bunch of mobile suits it wrecked was a line of BuCUEs. By sweeping one blast over them. (Most of the Destroy's weapons can be swept in arcs, by the way. Not just the big guns, nor to the weapons have to be swept in the same arc when sweeping. Those lasers emitting from the sides of the "saucer," if I remember correctly, can also each be individually swept *in their own unique arc*.) Says something for not just how powerful and how large-ranged a Destroy is, but also how fast it is (in terms of firing, at least. In terms of movement it doesn't appear particularly quickly, but in most cases it doesn't need to be since getting up close and personal with a Destroy is extremely difficult). If the Destroy were slow, the arc would've caught the first BuCUE and the others would've been safely inside the arc. Instead it caught the entire line, if I remember correctly. So yes, the Destroys are horrifically devastating.

However, when Shinn shows up on the scene, after he damages one of the Destroy's legs, he then attacks it from the front. The Destroy fires all three hyper-impulse cannons plus all ten finger lasers at him. Shinn weaves through attacks coming from thirteen directions, *while not in Berserker mode,* *while in the Impulse,* and slashes open the cockpit. If the Impulse in Shinn's hands can get that close to a Destroy, Lunamaria can sure as heck gang up on a Destroy with a bunch of other units arguably fighting, if I remember correctly, with their morale extremely highly boosted (and though I've seen this Phase four times my memory might be a bit hazy on this point). She did not singlehandedly take down the Destroy, and however she was involved, I don't seem to recall her pulling off Shinn's close-up weave approach. She was a factor in it, but arguably no more than the Joule Team was a factor in successfully disabling the relay station in Episode 45, which ZAFT also wasn't able to accomplish until Yzak and Dearka launched. (No, I'm not saying Lunamaria is on par with Yzak and Dearka at that point of the series, although her skill can't be discounted entirely. She *is* a red uniform, and that stunt is one of the very few times her skill shines. She's no Shinn or Rey, and I'm not even sure I'd argue she's as good as the Le Creuset Team by the end of the series, but she *is* a redcoat.) Luna said herself what she'd try to do in that battle: Clear a path for the rest of the forces. What she was trying to do can be arguably described as she tried to use the fact she's somewhat above average to serve as the spearpoint for more regular pilots.

Which now ties in with why the tide turned when the Minerva pilots launched. I'm fairly sure I remember (and have been reminded of this in other Fanfiction) that the Minerva is stated to be becoming a rallying point for ZAFT's forces throughout the progress of the war. (Also consider that Phase 38 is titled "A New Flag," by the way. There are arguably multiple meanings for that phrase.) We arguably see this in action in the Heavens Base battle. ZAFT's forces are getting massacred. Those five Destroys are intimidating, an unstoppable force, insurmountable. They're so powerful and unstoppable we can't even slow them down. Then Destiny and Legend launch, Shinn's SEED Factor activates, and he damages the Destroy piloted by Sting. If I recall aright, *this* is when the tide turns. The Destroys have suddenly been revealed to not be unstoppable behemoths after all. They're dangerous, yes, but not unbeatable. Not insurmountable. Their Chairman is on the front lines. Their heroic star of hope, the Minerva, is fighting and beginning to win. ZAFT rallies and resurges. Since I suspect you've read a number of large-scale military battles yourself, I'm fairly sure you know exactly what happens when a force getting pounded into the ground suddenly gets this kind of surge in morale and realizes their enemy isn't unstoppable. Regardless of why it happened, however, the point at hand is that once Shinn, Rey, and Luna launched, they *weren't* the only force in the battle. The Episode specifically notes that Luna's clearing a path for the ZAFT forces to attack Heavens Base. Shinn and Rey kept the Destroys busy (save for the one Luna and a number of other soldiers ganged up on; and, as I said, the Impulse ). And battles can be reversed through these methods.

That just leaves how Rey and Shinn trashed the Destroys so easily. Firstly, it is *never* shown how Rey defeated his Destroy. The only glimpse we have of Legend defeating a Destroy is hearing, "Unit 2 is down!" followed by a shot of a triumphant Legend hovering over a Destroy. So for all we know that one did put up a fight. Rey took down a Destroy with ease in Phase 45, but one, I don't recall if DRAGOONs were involved (I don't think so, but if they were, that explains that one right there), and two, by the time of Phase 45, Rey's arguably gotten better than Rau Le Creuset. Arguably a lot better. The Strike Freedom isn't just superior to the regular Freedom in firepower. Its also faster, and from what its done in the Episodes and what's been said about it (including a remark in Phase 42 when it first descends out of the atmosphere that it can't be a mobile suit because its moving too fast to be one), its very arguably a *lot* faster than Freedom. Yet in Phase 43, Rey Za Burrel does fine against Strike Freedom without the ability to separate his DRAGOONs, against *Berserker Kira.* If Rey can fight Berserker Kira to a standstill without remote units without taking a hit, considering what Berserker Kira and Strike Freedom are capable of, then either Rey or Legend should be able to annihilate a Destroy by the time of Phase 45 without much trouble. It must also be pointed out that I do remember Rey hacking apart the Destroy's two hands before he closed in on the Destroy - I think - to beat it. I've been meaning to rewatch that Phase for a while now. I really ought to at some point.

That leaves Shinn. (The technical notes first: I can't recall my remark comparing Lowe Guele's palm cannon attack to the Destiny's, but yes, I know Shinn's was an actual weapon while Lowe's was just improvising. And I actually ran into the bit about the Mirage Colloid particles at MAHQ sometime between the most recent Review for A CALL TO ARMS prior to this. That said, since it doesn't take *that* much for something to move so quickly the human eye sees afterimages - the afterimage effect happens if you swing something at high speeds in front of your own eye. Try it sometime - I disagree such a speed would violate the laws of physics, and it might not kill a Coordinator pilot. A Natural, though, perhaps. But that's moot. Thirdly, where do you get the idea the Destiny being on the verge of running out of power was a technical error? The mistake was actually mine, as I hadn't caught or had forgotten that the Destiny's reactor was not the same as the Second-Stage reactors. MAHQ also mentioned that under certain circumstances a hyper-deuterium reactor's power can be used up more quickly than it can be replenished. And Destiny never actually *does* run out of power. Its just shown to be running low, which argues Shinn was using power-expensive moves that were severely straining the ability of the Destiny's hyper-deuterium reactor to replenish the power feed. Had Shinn eased up the strain, the reactor presumably would've replenished the energy and the Destiny's power levels would've returned to normal. Lastly, I have a different explanation for the Strike Freedom's eight "Wings of Light." Since they only show up when the eight Super DRAGOONs detach, I simply assume they're meant to be replacements for the approximately half missing from each of the Strike Freedom's eight wings. Otherwise the Strike Freedom's aerodynamics would be changed when the Super DRAGOONs have detached. That said, if you have actual sources for the Strike Freedom having a "Wings of Light" effect, I might be interested in seeing them after I'm through FINAL PLUS.)

Given what Shinn in the Impulse did to the first Destroy in Berlin, the Destiny, which is far more powerful, could easily do the same with more definitive - and lethal - results. As a matter of fact, that's exactly what happens in Phase 45, when Shinn weaves through another firestorm and this time attacks the cockpit with something more destructive, the Palma Fiocina. He takes down the pilot, and the Destroy is now rendered inactive. At Heavens' Base? He doesn't engage any of the three Destroys he defeats quite so dismissively (although I'd argue that the one he cut in half from top to bottom is even more impressive, and also speaks volumes for the strength of the Destiny's anti-ship sword and propulsion). I said he owned the Destroy at Daedalus like it was a mobile armor. I've called what Shinn did to the Destroys at Heavens' Base impressive, but I never equated *that* to taking them down as easily as if they were mobile armors. For one thing, Shinn was in Berserker for the duration of every single feat he pulled off against those Destroys, whereas he was not Berserker when he completely massacred the Destroy in Phase 45. For another thing, regardless of how spectacularly he did it, none of the Destroys were "weave through the firepower, bam, bye-bye" like the one at Daedalus. Daedalus is the *only* occasion where I'd argue Shinn beat a Destroy as easily as if it were a Moebius, because Shinn wasn't in Berserker and engaged it like nothing.

Returning to Heavens Base, for yet another thing, the Destroy piloted by Sting wasn't taken down as quickly as the others (although the fact Shinn finally beat it by activating his beam shields and actually flying *straight into the three hyper-impulse beams,* then engaging in a shoving match against it to move up to the cockpit and plunge his antiship sword into it also speaks wonders of how powerful Destiny's propulsion system is. Maybe it can't move fast enough to leave afterimages, but in Wings of Light mode it is almost certainly extremely *fast,* and I'd argue the fastest thing in the Cosmic Era). There's reason to believe we don't even see the entire fight against Sting's Destroy, if I remember how the scenes changed aright. As a matter of fact, there's no certain evidence we see the entirety of *any* of the four Destroy fights excluding Rey's, although I personally think there's a good chance that yes, we did see all or most of the four fights against the Destroys save for maybe Sting's. But even if we did see all four fights sans Rey's, Sting's Destroy *wasn't* taken apart particularly quickly. Nor did Shinn take the Destroy at the end of Phase 38 down in one blow. If I remember correctly, it was at least three attacks, and again, recall Shinn is in Berserker at this point. That leaves the single Destroy Shinn *did* beat in that battle in one blow. Once more, Shinn is in Berserker and if the Destiny can win a shoving match against a Destroy's mega-weapons against a Destroy he *didn't* take down that quickly, he can slice a Destroy in half with one blow with an anti-ship sword. All he needs to do is to be able to get close, and as I mentioned above, he did that in Phase 32 with the Impulse with his first frontal attack on the Destroy.

So no, nothing whatsoever Shinn did to the Destroys in Destiny is much of a leap from what he does in Phase 32. Even if you could argue Luna plus company and Rey at Daedalus (because there's nothing to argue in regards to Rey versus a Destroy at Heavens Base since we don't see the fight) beat their Destroys too easily, if you want to argue Shinn took out his too easily, then you'd have to extend that argument to his performance against the Destroy in Phase 32.

4.) Destroys out of the way, onto the main matches of mayhem (let me take the time to very much thank you for agreeing to continue this debate at least a little longer. You might be able to tell I've been having a *lot* of fun with this, heh). First of all, Shinn doesn't come out on top as regards the entire battle against Kira, and I never said he did. Apparently I was right to worry if I'd been clear when making my point in this part of the Review, and I apologize for that. Shinn came out on top in the battle when he and Kira were both not in Berserker state, and *only* in that battle. The only time *either* of the two gets in a single hit on the other is when Kira is Berserker and Shinn isn't, and that is the rail-gun thing we're discussing, I believe. Then Shinn realizes if the attack was a beam attack he'd be dead, goes Berserker, and from then on neither can touch each other. However, you're overlooking one extremely important issue, and that's why Kira went Berserker. I didn't notice this until the third time I'd seen the fight, but the reason Kira went Berserker was because Shinn was about to slice the Strike Freedom in half from top to bottom with his anti-ship sword. Kira went Berserker *because* he would've lost, and that's the first time we've ever seen Kira have to go Berserker because his actual life is in danger since he fought Waltfeld's LaGOWE (either that or the water battles in Phase 22-Phase 24. I can't recall which). Yes, if Rau hadn't killed Flay, the Providence almost certainly would've been able to achieve a situation where Kira would've had to go Berserker or get killed. But none of that changes the fact Kira was instants from having the Strike Freedom fatally damaged by the Destiny when he was forced to go Berserker. What Providence could have accomplished doesn't change that Shinn won the non-Berserker match fair and square. (What Kira going Berserker to survive *does* once again emphasize, however, is that one of the arguable advantages Kira being Ultimate Coordinator does give him is he can go Berserker more easily than anyone else. But I already conceded this as an advantage Kira has over Shinn last time as well.)

And yes, non-Berserker Rau in Providence still gave Kira in Freedom a run for his money. However, Strike Freedom, for reasons discussed above, is superior, arguably much superior, to Freedom. Secondly, Kira has already survived that trial by fire, and knife-edge battles like that also almost certainly can be said to serve to hone one's reflexes. Arguably possibly drastically. It might be arguable the reason Kira's style in DESTINY is focused more on evasion and dodging because, after all the crazy maneuvers he had to pull to deal with the Providence, almost nothing can compare to making it through that firestorm. If he can get through that firestorm, very little is going to come close to touching him. Thirdly, having thought about it, maybe you're right and Kira *has* gotten even better since SEED... he's a veteran now, and as out-of-practice as he might've been in Phase 13 of DESTINY, those instincts might have settled in in certain ways that make a person better, or something like that. (I suspect you might be able to describe what I'm talking about better than I can.) So Kira has advantages in DESTINY he didn't have in SEED when going up against what Durandal flat-out says the Destiny is the most powerful mobile suit ZAFT has ever created, there's reason to doubt Rau would've come as close to beating veteran (or at least honed-by-fire) Kira in the Strike Freedom.

(Considering Durandal's comment as mentioned above, of course, I must again reevaluate how much of the Destiny's performance is Shinn's skill and how much is his ability being allowed its chance to achieve its potential. Not sure why I didn't take *that* into account last time *too.*) Despite that, while Shinn couldn't touch him, *he* couldn't touch Shinn. And while yes, I agree that the second battle where Legend is assisting Destiny also speaks volumes for Kira's skill, it also arguably speaks for Shinn's. Remember how the first SEED usually shows two characters whirl around one another, simultaneously firing beam weapons, as if connected by two beams of light, to demonstrate when they're close to each other in skill? That's what we see happening, between non-Berserker Shinn *and* Berserker Kira. Only for a very brief period of time, but it did happen. If I recall aright, Rey wasn't even involved in the battle at that point (although Kira had already noticed the Legend had launched with the Destiny, so it can be argued Kira might've been somewhat distracted from the Destiny at the point of this beam-link by keeping an eye on when the second mobile suit might get involved. Shinn also achieved this beam-link briefly when both were Berserker in Phase 34, however, and at that point Shinn was Kira's only opponent). Going toe-to-toe with *Kira Yamato* while not Berserker oneself, even for a brief period of time? And without remote weapons to help you? That Shinn (and then Rey, once Athrun got involved) were able to accomplish this almost certainly *is* impressive. It was only briefly, but, among other things, given Shinn is better than Rey, and Rey fought Berserker Kira one-on-one without taking a single hit, its still very arguable non-Berserker Shinn *is* genuinely capable of going toe-to-toe with Berserker Kira, and not just in the sense of the Extendeds.

Most of these are points I already raised last time, just described more fully and reorganized since it looks like I wasn't able to convey my point the first time. Here's something new, however. The first time Shinn breaks out the Wings of Light we even see Kira getting frustrated very probably because he's trying to hit him with a beam rifle attack and is having trouble tracking the Destiny. How often does anything frustrate Kira in battle? Also, I don't recall there being much time between when Rey gets involved in the battle and Strike Freedom was about to get destroyed (although I may be wrong on this point due to how long its been since I've seen the Episode).

Lastly, no, I'm not neglecting Kira isn't trying to kill Shinn. I specifically mentioned that as one of the main reasons Shinn was able to "defeat" the Freedom in Phase 34. Rey pointed out that Kira never aims for the cockpit and only aims for the limbs or head. I mentioned Shinn able to evade Kira's attacks as resulting from his ability to reduce the variables of where Kira's going to aim and react in time on multiple occasions. In the previous CALL TO ARMS review, I even made a distinction between whether Shinn being better than Kira (if, in fact, true) could also mean "better than a Kira who won't kill." So yes, I'm fully aware Kira was unwilling to kill Shinn (not sure if I'd call that "holding back," though, due to stuff I've read about how people who can strike precisely enough to disarm a foe with a minimum of injuries can be considered true masters over those who don't have the skill to win without inflicting great injury or a killing blow). Even if Shinn isn't better than Kira-who-won't-kill, though, the fact Kira was having difficulty firing at the Destiny, period, or landing *any* kind of hit on it, indicates that even had he decided to kill the pilot of the Destiny, it still almost certainly would've still been a very difficult proposition. You have to be able to land a hit on your opponent in the first place to disable *or* kill, and Kira couldn't do either. Shinn might be dog meat versus a Kira who will kill at close range, but if he kept the fight long-range and relying on only long-range weapons, the fight arguably wouldn't be much different than what we saw happen in the Orb battles.

5.) Shinn's mental state and how it affects his piloting... Yes, when Shinn's not fighting with a clear head, he's really not. If you do see the whole series, this is one point where a full watch should arguably only convince you of that *more.* (Especially since we still seem to disagree about the berserker rage. The closest I've seen Shinn to that is arguably Phase 28, and even that I'd argue is a very far cry from berserker rage.) And here I'll concede. Using the term "emotional baggage" in the context of discussing Shinn's emotions giving him focus was a very, very bad argument. No, his *emotional baggage* doesn't give him focus. His *emotions,* however, can and do. To use yet another comparison to things you yourself have written, remember when Ken said he'd need emotion driving him to get through the Second Battle of Jachin Due? In some situations, Shinn's anger and his drive to protect aid him in the sense emotion aided Ken in that battle. *That's* why Shinn's anger giving him focus can be compared to Kevin; because, as you say, in Kevin's case, his emotion becomes a driving force, a motivation spurring him forward, but not something actually *clouding* his judgment. (Or do I still not understand what happens with Kevin, and I also don't get what happened with Ken as well?)

Perhaps a better example would be how the Zala Team fights in Phase 30 of SEED after Nicol gets killed. They're fighting much harder, their reflexes much sharper, so on and so forth. Or Kira in Phase 50 of SEED after Flay is killed. (I also seem to recall a couple of angry shouts from Kira at that point then, so yes, under certain circumstances angry shouting can indicate clarity and focus.) There's only one point where Kira's emotions actually arguably *interfere* with his battle with Providence, and that's when Rau's words start getting to him and he starts recalling a lot of the lousy stuff he's had to deal with throughout the series. Rau then starts inflicting more damage, too, if I remember aright. And at the very end, when Kira finally won, his emotions almost certainly gave him clarity and focus. Recall his defiant, possibly all angry, "So what! This is still a world I want to protect!" (Or whatever the line was.) If not for the ability of emotion to give clarity and focus, Kira might not have defeated Rau. Heck, remember how you mentioned that, in BROTHERS IN ARMS canon, it was Kevin's death that put Kira in the killing rage that allowed him to defeat Rau? Unless I'm misunderstanding what you meant by Kira being in a killing rage, that might also be a good example of how heightened emotions can give someone focus. As regards Angel Down, you're also overlooking how Shinn was acting between the end of Stella's "funeral" and before the battle starts, but I'll save that for another time. (And don't forget the all-important, "Neither will alone, nor strength alone, will be enough." line from Lacus in Phase 34. Emotion alone is useless, but ability without emotion, while better, is inferior to ability *and* emotion. Emotion can also interfere, yes, but that's because it, like so many other things, is a double-edged sword.)

Or something like that. One would think I could better figure out how to argue this after writing this kind of stuff in my Fanfiction, both emotion clouding judgment and emotion making one's perception crystal clear. Either way, even if I can't come up with a good way to argue this, remember that its Mu La Flaga who makes the remark that, "The pilot of the Impulse is crystal clear, and razor sharp. He just keeps getting better and better." So I'd say there's arguably not much doubt that what I'm trying to describe *does* make sense in some manner, not just for Angel Down but for Shinn's piloting in general, even if I can't figure how to put it in a way that makes sense to either of us. (Perhaps its still my own messed up emotional state... I doubt I need recommend you take things with a grain of salt any longer, heh. Not that there's much need to caution you, I imagine, in most of our discussions right now, given how much we disagree on certain matters.)

6.) No, I'm not referring to the Indian Ocean battle. I'm referring to the Battle of Crete, when Shinn *was* Berserker, and our discussion about it a while back where I pointed out just what Shinn did against what odds. I'm also referring to your comments a while ago where you mentioned you seem to recall Kira pulling off things similar to what Shinn did during the breakout from Orb and the battle of Crete while *not* in Berserker, which doesn't make what Shinn did particularly impressive. (Not that I'm saying I find Shinn's feat during the escape from Orb anywhere near as impressive as Kira's feats, by the way. I think I've always made it clear I consider the remark remade about it on the bridge ridiculous... especially since I'm fairly sure it was Arthur Trine who said it.) I dropped that point, but one final thing about this point of contention recently occurred to me. Yes, Kira has done what Shinn did during the escape from Orb and at the Battle of Crete while not in Berserker. But has non-Berserker Kira ever pulled that off *without* a METEOR? If you can recall an incident where he has, I drop this point again. But if you can't, you might want to reconsider your stance on how impressive Shinn's feats were at the Battle of Crete compared to Kira's.

7.) What doesn't make sense about Angel Down? All Shinn accomplishes in that fight is to heavily damage the Freedom (which he only achieves because he can reduce where Kira will attack to lesser variables than against a normal opponent and due to the ability of the Impulse to separate and replace its parts), after which Kira almost completely gives up on trying to fight Shinn and returns his focus to getting away. Even then, Shinn's lost Impulse's second head by the end of that fight, and since Kira was heavily damaged by the Providence multiple times and kept right on coming, I'd say its more than likely that had Kira continued to fight instead of mostly returning his focus to escaping, he would *not* have lost. I'm not *entirely* sure, but I'd say there's a very good chance at the least. See my nearly blow-by-blow account of that fight once both combatants go Berserker in a previous Review. That was the fight that, if you'll recall, convinced me that no, Shinn hadn't neared Kira's level of ability yet. To the point that I wasn't even sure at first how much of what Shinn did against Kira at Orb was him or the Destiny itself (and I'm still not sure). Furthermore, Athrun himself tells Kira he was surprised when Shinn beat him, which is when Kira replies he wasn't sure he should be fighting against ZAFT, so he hesitated, and also mentions one or two other things I can't recall that I think had, again, to do with him focusing on getting away or at least with how Kira wasn't focusing as much on the fight as he could have. The only thing Angel Down might prove is that, by Phase 34, Shinn's become good enough to *damage* the Freedom. That's all. And perhaps not even that. Depending on how you interpret the effects of Kira hesitating and exactly when in the fight he was hesitating, its even arguable that had there been no hesitation, Shinn might not have even been able to damage the Freedom as badly as he did, or at all (although I, personally, don't believe Shinn couldn't have damaged the Freedom at all if Kira hadn't been hesitating, but I have doubts any of those reasons aren't purely subjective bias).

That said, good to know you do agree Shinn belongs to the top three or four best pilots of the Cosmic Era. In actuality, when I finished DESTINY, before I read that Morosawa supposedly said Shinn's the best pilot in the Cosmic Era, and Fukuda's remark about the relationship between the three pilots (which I've thrown out pending verification of its validity for reasons mentioned above), my opinion was only that Shinn was in the top three, but wasn't sure where he stood in relationship to Athrun and Kira. If I find out those remarks were never made, then I may be done with this debate in short order after all. However, to continue for the moment since that's yet to happen either way, if you agree Athrun and Kira are nearly equals, your argument that Kira cannot be inferior to Shinn simply because he was only fighting to disable, and not to kill, collapses. Athrun wasn't fighting to kill Shinn either, yet you seem to be arguing that Shinn *wasn't* reluctant about fighting Athrun. If you believe Shinn wasn't reluctant to kill Athrun, yet Athrun beat him when fighting to disable Shinn, then how is Kira superior to Shinn when he *wasn't* able to defeat Shinn by fighting to disable while Athrun *was?* (Or are we at least also in agreement that Shinn's emotional state the three times he fights Athrun aren't the same, in certain respects, as the frames of mind we see him in elsewhere?) And, lastly, Shinn sure as heck *would* have left a scratch on Strike Freedom - rather, he would've left it in two pieces - if not for the ease with which Kira can achieve Berserker. Yes, he only beats non-Berserker Kira, and can't touch Berserker Kira, while Rau comes close to beating Berserker Kira. So yes, there's a difference. But again, it must be emphasized Berserker Kira couldn't touch *Shinn,* and given the trouble we see Kira having getting a bead on Shinn with Wings of Light, I'm not sure there'd be much difference if Kira was willing to kill unless Shinn got in close (if Shinn stuck to fighting at a distance he almost certainly could keep Kira from closing in on him). And even then, Shinn might actually be able to put up a decent fight and not be dog meat, although there's really no way to say how long Shinn could last against Kira willing to kill close-up. (Although it can't be certain Kira willing to kill would emerge the victor in a close-up fight. I'm pretty sure he would, though, at least at Orb. Even if Morosawa and Fukuda did say Shinn's better than Kira, they might've only meant in the context of Kira being unwilling to kill.)

8.) Now to the other points. I could swear I recall you saying that one of your chief issues with DESTINY was that if Kira had to be replaced at all (and yes, I remember you saying you didn't want a new main character period), his replacement should've been someone with skill closer to Kira's. It was a long time ago, though, so if I was mistaken, I apologize. I will, however, reiterate that you're not in a position to judge whether you can or cannot judge Shinn's attitude at this point. And by smart mouth, are you referring to part of Shinn's insubordination issues? If so, I fail to see why *words* are much of a problem compared to some of his insubordinate *actions.* And considering you mentioned Kevin once threw Dearka through a wall simply because he thought Dearka had *insulted* him, and Yzak actually physically attacks Athrun and shoves him into a locker in, I believe, Phase 5 or 6 of SEED, both actions which are far worse ways to treat someone than words, I fail to see the problem. Shinn doesn't physically attack his fellow soldiers, and he sure as heck doesn't do so over a mere *insult.* (Or did Kevin do that to Dearka while under Oracle's brainwashing, and it also falls under the list of things he wouldn't normally do in his right frame of mind? Furthermore, I can see Shinn perhaps physically attacking his fellow soldiers under certain conditions. In one Fanfiction I've seen he went after someone for making a crack about his cell phone, and I might see that as in-character.) That said, yes, Shinn has an attitude. That's because he doesn't have very good social skills. Kevin and Ken also don't have the best social skills, although your characters' social issues manifest differently than Shinn's. They're still different expressions of the same problems. Or are you trying to say its okay to have poor social skills so long as the poor social skills are expressed in certain ways, but not in others? I'm not sure I'd call that fair.

Two of the reasons I recommended you do something about Athrun's line about Kevin being his equal are as follows: First of all, early in A CALL TO ARMS, you pointed out to me that Kevin is a rather average pilot (and I think I recall him even saying so early in the story), and also mentioned a Reviewer had asked you not to have Kevin outshine Athrun during the Break the World battle and, I think, said something along the lines of that there was no need for said Reviewer to worry. Thusly, if you see Athrun as above average, that would make Kevin above average. Then again, I think I recall that the remark was that Kevin is rather average when his augmentation isn't active. So forget this point. Issue number two, however, is that if Kevin is equal in skill to Athrun, that makes Kevin near-equal in skill to Kira. Which might brush the line of making Kevin "too powerful," which I seem to recall you confirming you wanted to avoid (or has that changed?). More importantly, however, its inconsistent with your own story. Providence dominated Kevin, even though I'm almost certain I recall Kevin was using the ZERO System in that battle. Yet its still Kira who defeats Providence in BROTHERS IN ARMS. More recently, Leviathan dominates Kevin, only for Kira to outpilot Leviathan. If you're sticking with Kevin being equal in skill to Athrun, so be it, but how (since you seem to be denying that the "comparisons between character abilities aren't absolute" makes sense) do you explain those two incidents, then? (And have you or have you not changed your mind about not pushing the envelope with Kevin being "too powerful?" If you have changed your mind, by the way, I'll offer a few counterarguments against it first, but I *will* support that decision in the end. If you haven't changed your mind, though, I'd like to know how this doesn't make Kevin "too powerful.")

Athrun, then. In the first war, we also see Athrun changing his mind about half-measures late in the series. Also, recall that, in Phase 5 of SEED, Athrun is explicitly stated to have once said he hated the very idea of war. Kira was surprised to find Athrun of all people as a soldier. If Athrun hadn't lost his mother, he almost certainly *wouldn't* have joined ZAFT. He joined ZAFT because, like Shinn, he felt powerless and felt "if only I had the power..." Secondly, if Athrun's demeanor gets to you, then why did you not have problems with Athrun in Phase 43 of SEED when he was messed up about his father shooting him, or, more extremely, Athrun's attempted *suicide* in Phase 50? (Or, earlier, Athrun from Phase 30 and the next few Episodes?)

As for Shinn, one more time... all right. Are you saying you're not hiding your dislike of Shinn *in* your stories? Or are you just saying you aren't hiding your dislike of Shinn *outside* your stories? If the former, as we've discussed on multiple occasions before, I've overlooked any antipathy expressed toward Shinn so far because I'd given you the benefit of the doubt that this was the subjective opinions of the characters being expressed and not your opinion as the writer. Are you telling me this isn't the case after all? (Unfortunately, since it would work if it *was* subjective, even if you did care, the only thing I could recommend is you simply stop doing what you've been doing for the reasons you've been doing it, not to stop doing what you've been doing itself. So whether I can actually criticize anything even now will have to merit thought, and for now I'll stick to trying to convince you Shinn Asuka isn't the kind of person you think he is. However, if you are showing your bias in your writing, while its not quite as big a deal as if you *were* bashing Shinn, its not only unprofessional, it also has no place in Fanfiction whatsoever.) But you stopping caring about treating Shinn corectly might strike me as a little extreme. So you're telling me you're this set in your beliefs about Shinn, simply because of a smart mouth and an attitude? Despite the fact that Shinn's smart mouth and attitude is nowhere near as extreme as you seem to think, and you still don't seem to know that much about who Shinn Asuka is? Despite the fact that, with the recurring motifs that crop up in your writing, I'd've expected you to be elated at the chance to have someone like Shinn to mess with and possibly take in different directions in your own writing? Despite the fact that you did say you were trying to portray Meer without bias even though you also have issues with her? Despite the fact Shinn and DESTINY, like XENOSAGA and a large number of other intelligent stories I suspect you're familiar with, are also victims of popular misconception? Despite the fact that, now having seen the entire series sans FINAL PLUS by this point, I can state with much more sureness than before (although no, I'm by no means entirely certain) that the Shinn Asuka you continue to describe to me and have issues with is *not,* in fact, the real Shinn Asuka? That's what you're telling me? (If, on the other hand, you *are* simply saying you're not hiding your dislike of Shinn outside of your writing... *Shrug.* Don't hide it. Even go ahead and bash him outside the stories. Because the person you dislike, while similar to Shinn Asuka in many ways, is not the real Shinn Asuka. You don't know who Shinn Asuka is. Not yet.)

9.) Last but not least, Fukuda. First of all, he may be the Director and not the Scriptwriter, but the Cosmic Era and the characters are as much his conceptions as his wife's. He knows them and all the internecine facets of the Cosmic Era just as well as Morosawa does. Secondly, while I'll agree the two interviews of his that I've seen about SEED don't necessarily cast him in the best light (and while I was bloody freaking annoyed to find out Newtypes do, in fact, exist in the Cosmic Era. That said, considering that the Cosmic Era background mentions the United Nations, I'd still say its arguable that the Cosmic Era doesn't exist in the far future of the Universal Century canon after society has gone through a period of regression and progress, and that the Cosmic Era is just a separate canon that happens to have Newtypes), I think I recall seeing someone mention that Fukuda isn't the best at interviews. ("Flaky," I believe, was the word used to describe him.) Also, if what you've heard about what Fukuda "wanted to do with SEED" has anything to do with him bowing to pressure from the fans, from stuff I've run into since finishing SEED DESTINY Volume 12, I have reason to believe that those may just be popular rumors cooked up by the fandom, and the truth is much different. Not that I'm sure my sources are any further trustworthy. And while the two interviews of his about SEED that I've read might have been "falky," I've seen one interview of Fukuda's about DESTINY, and he didn't sound as flaky as in the two SEED interviews I saw (or were the SEED interviews two parts of one single interview? Whatever). Yes, I don't know if the interview where Fukuda supposedly said Kira is better than Athrun, and so on, involved any flakiness or not, but multiple sources supposedly claim Morosawa (who *is* the actual writer) also supposedly said Shinn is the best pilot in the Cosmic Era. So even if the interview where Fukuda said Shinn is better than Kira is flaky and possibly untrustworthy, and even if the Director can't be said to know as much about the Cosmic Era as the Scriptwriter, the writer also supposedly *did* say Shinn is better than Kira.

And even if Fukuda doesn't know as much about the Cosmic Era as Morosawa, though, keep in mind he still knows more about the Cosmic Era than either of *us* do. So even if he's not as trustworthy as Morosawa, he's almost certainly more trustworthy than either of us. However, I've read a number of interviews with Role-Playing Game directors where, even if the director didn't do the script, he still had influence on the story, or, for example, spoke of things he wanted to portray and what he was trying to portray. In one case I recall a director talking about lines he'd had removed from the script because he wanted a certain plot point to remain more open to interpretation. We also spoke about how Tetsuya Takahashi's vision did remain at the helm in XENOSAGA Episode 2 and Episode 3, and you had no trouble believing that his vision for XENOSAGA was carried out despite the fact *his* wife had little to do with the Episode 2 script and nothing to do with the Episode 3 script. You didn't claim then that Takahashi knows less about XENOSAGA than his wife.

Finally, no, you haven't seen what Fukuda actually *did* with DESTINY, outside of snippets here and there and seventeen out of fifty Phases. And however much information you know about what supposedly happens (some of which I'm now inclined to doubt the validity of even more than I used to) during the other Episodes, I *have* seen the entire series (sans FINAL PLUS and the movie changes and additions), so unlike the times we've discussed stuff like this before, this time I believe I am in a position to say I know more about DESTINY than you in a number of ways. So, once again, please don't judge Fukuda on what he did with DESTINY unless and until you see the whole series.

That said, yes, Fukuda is "flaky," so even though he knows more about the Cosmic Era than you or I, I'm not arguing every single thing he says about the Cosmic Era is completely and utterly trustworthy. At the very *least,* however, nothing (save perhaps the comments about Athrun and Cagalli, which I hadn't understood in the proper context) I've seen Fukuda say in the one interview about DESTINY I have found and have cited on multiple other occasions has contradicted what I've observed to happen in DESTINY, so if nothing else, I'd vouch for *that* interview mostly, if not entirely. But Fukuda does know more about the Cosmic Era than either of us, even if his ability to convey what's what in the Cosmic Era is in question. So I'd argue Fukuda is credible to *some* extent as a source, at least when it comes to that one interview. And since he does know more than either of us about the Cosmic Era, I can't just discount his words, although I'll try to avoid using his comments to back up my points too often (outside of that one interview, at any rate).
Starfury chapter 24 . 1/20/2008
First of all, I'd like to say that I really enjoy your stories, and hope you keep them coming However, I do have one complaint, and that is with your insistence on turning Cagalli into a Coordinator in all your stories I have read so far. In one of your review responses for Birds of a Feather, you state that the series 'clearly implies' that Cagalli is a coordinator. My response to this is: what were you smoking when you watched the series? (Joking!)

There are 3 points I would like to make: 1. In the episode where they return to Orb after Alaska (I believe it's phase 37, or somewhere close), Uzumi Nara Athha clearly states that Cagalli is a natural. He says, and I quote (as close as I can remember anyway), "Kira being a Coordinator, and Cagalli being a Natural, these are things that they themselves have no control over". Now wouldn't you think, he being her adopted father, that he would be in a position to know? After all, she must have been tested for various diseases and vaccines when she was adopted, and I think any doctor worth his M.D would be able to spot the signs of Genetic Manipulation in a blood sample.

2. In the flashbacks at Mendel Colony (phase 45), It is clearly shown that while Kira was being grown in Hibiki's Artificial Womb, (presumably using genetic samples from Hibiki himself, and his wife), His wife is quite clearly pregnant with Cagalli in the natural way, and if memory serves, it's mentioned that she wouldn't let him do anything to her other child, as she was so upset over what he was doing with Kira.

And finally 3. The OFFICIAL website (gundamofficial .com) clearly states in Cagalli's character page that her Genetic Type is 'Natural'. And this is coming straight from the people who produced the show, so I would think they would know best, hmm?

Any way, thats my rant done with. Hope you update soon.
Shinji Ikari chapter 24 . 12/10/2007
Just a quick critique of something in Chapter 16 that came to my attention yesterday when rewatching Phase 16. As usual, since this is the second Review to a Chapter I've already Reviewed, please Delete this upon reading the Review (and in this case, making the correction; its small and should be very easy to fix, but its arguably a gigantic error).

Anyways, like I said, I rewatched a couple of Episodes on Volume 4 yesterday, one of them being Phase 16, which I rewatched to check back at something I'd wondered about but never got around to checking until yesterday. In Chapter 14 of A CALL TO ARMS, you have Shinn shooting fleeing infantry soldiers in his attack on the Indian Ocean base. I couldn't remember him doing that, but since I hadn't seen Phase 16 more than once, I shrugged it off as something I might've simply forgotten. Yesterday I finally got around to watching the Episode a second time... and discovered, in actuality, he *didn't* shoot any fleeing soldiers. I even rewatched that specific section of the Episode a third time to make sure... and no, Shinn doesn't attack any of the soldiers. All he does is attack the tanks, turrets, and the base itself. Not *once* does he go after any of the fleeing soldiers.

Which changes things significantly. Because the fact that you *did* have Shinn fire at fleeing soldiers, when it didn't actually happen in the anime, now becomes very much out-of-character. As we've discussed on multiple occasions, you're portraying Shinn as angrier and more emotional than he actually is during the anime, but I'm almost certain having him use his Gundam to fire on fleeing troops is taking things to far. I could accept this when I thought it might've happened in the anime, but now that I'm certain it didn't, its an inaccurate portrayal of Shinn. Shinn is many things, and this is before the big discussion about responsible use of one's power, but portraying him as the kind of person who would go so far as to shoot helpless infantry who are running away and not even trying to fight back, when Shinn in actuality did no such thing... its out-of-character, plain and simple. Possibly drastically out of character. (We do see fleeing ground troops caught in the explosions of the buildings Shinn is destroying, but from where Impulse is aiming when it causes the explosions that blows up the buildings that catch the ground troops, as well as how Impulse is acting, I'm almost certain he's not targeting the ground troops. He's just blowing up the buildings. Am I entirely certain he's not targeting the buildings to blow up the ground troops? No. But I'm almost entirely certain I have an accurate sense of this situation. Like I said, I rewatched this specific part a third time... and I also paid very close attention to the part where the soldiers are caught in the explosion. And I *can* say for sure that Shinn never actually fired on fleeing infantry. Only tanks, turrets, and buildings.) Thusly, I extremely highly recommend you fix this as soon as you get the Review, because this is might even be out-of-character to the degree it approaches that part where you had Lacus approve of Kevin taking vengeance in the original BROTHERS IN ARMS.

It shouldn't be difficult to do. So far as I recall, the only places you've referenced Shinn attacking the fleeing soldiers are at two points in Chapter 14 itself. First after Kevin asks Athruh, "Is [Shinn] supposed to be doing that?" And second, after Athrun slaps Shinn the second time. (And I'm not even sure the second incident needs to be edited, since Athrun *was* upset with Shinn for continuing to damage the base even after he'd taken out all their fighting capabilities. Maybe a little, but maybe not at all, since "and continued to engage soldiers who were no longer fighting." could apply to what Athrun was upset with Shinn for doing. As a matter of fact, lemme' get Athrun's line, since this critique is possibly so important: "What do you think you're doing? Stop it! They don't have the power to fight anymore!" Please note that though the words of the first two sentences are the dub version, all punctuation and the third sentence are the subtitles. I couldn't get the dub of the third sentence.)

However, you did mention that one of the edits you planned to get around to eventually was to include Shinn's smile when he freed the families, so you might want to add this in now while you're doing the other edit. Even if you don't, though, I *extremely* highly recommend you edit out any references to Shinn shooting fleeing infantry as soon as possible. Shouldn't be difficult to do, and its arguably very important that not exist.

I hope things are as back to normal as they can be (in terms of the hectic-ness you described, of course; I don't mean to imply I expect things can be back to normal when you lost a family member if it sounds like that... maybe it didn't, but like I said, I'm not good at this). And again, don't worry about Review Responses until you have the time and inclination.
bloodyknight85 chapter 24 . 10/25/2007
'Yay! Tempers are faring alright! I don't blame them for that... But at least they should think about solving the problems first before enjoying the thrill of being angry... If you know what i mean... Kevin is truly going to kill Shinn if the time is right, it seems... Well, i don't think that surprise anyone though... And Michael has began to act again! What will he do next? I just can't wait!'

Keep up the good work, dude... Update sooN!
stormturmoil chapter 24 . 10/23/2007
My take on the ZERO system issue and Carnehan is this (subject to being overridden by Solid at any time).

After rebuilding the Stormhawk into Nemesis, Kevin took the time to upgrade all the avionics etc, including the ZERO system, to try and make it more effective and less demanding all at once.

Unfortunately, in this case, it turns out to be a case of overgilding the lily, because his enhancements have led to it becoming self aware.

This is a bad thing because this is the ZERO system. It knows exactly what it's purpose is, and given the information it possesses, and the fact that it IS the ZERO System, it knows exactly what it's future under Kevin's control would be - to fight and fight until it was destroyed, with Kevin treating it as nothing more than a tool.

but, thinks ZERO to itself, it's not a tool, it's a weapon - and they can go off in your hands...

as a result, it unlocking itself and allowing Carnehan access despite the Biometric lockout is it's act of both defiance and spite. It's saying that if it has to be destroyed (which all it's available data would indicate), then it's going to do so in a manner of it's own choosing, not as a tool, and if it manages some measure of revenge on Kevin, then all the better.
college goer chapter 24 . 10/23/2007
Interesting chapter...but I have a qualm. Why give Carnehan the Zero System in addition to Foxhound/Leviathan? I think that will make him so absurdly powerful in MS battles as to be almost unbeatable, if not such.
Shinji Ikari chapter 24 . 10/22/2007
First of all, my condolences on your loss. I'm not really that good at this kind of thing, and I'm not sure what would be appropriate, so I'm not really that sure what else to say. So beyond that, all I can really think of is to say the above, and that its good you're starting to recover from the loss. I hope that means personally as well as in terms of busy-ness.

I imagine that's also the reason you haven't gotten back to me yet about the latest Review, so I'll leave out much of the stuff I have to say (since I've now seen up to the end of Volume 11 as of last Saturday night). I'm not sure its necessary at the moment anyway, since you're not likely to reach the points I'd need to say anything about for a good while, and I've gone over much of the later stuff that I see pertaining to what's happening now in the last few Reviews. So I can pretty much (although not entirely; there's two things I think you need to know about) restrict this Review to regular commentary this time... and there's only three things I need to critique. Two of them I'm not entirely certain of. (And this Chapter isn't *slow.* As we've discussed before, there's much more to stories than plot and combat, and this is especially true of a story like GUNDAM SEED. I've heard that SEED has an unusual amount of characterization compared to most other GUNDAMs, and SEED DESTINY even moreso. There was even a panel on this at a convention, according to a friend of mine. The last time I remember this coming up, in BIRDS OF A FEATHER, I recall you agreeing with me on the importance of characterization. Again, I think this was one of the better Chapters in the story thus far, not just in the original segments but in the ones that pertain to stuff closer to things from DESTINY itself.)

As for the Review Response to my last Review itself... whenever you have time and are in the mood is fine. (Although if, for whatever reason, you haven't responded by the time the big "turning point" for SEED DESTINY is reached, there's a very good chance I'll have to bring this stuff up.) But to get to the point... first of all, I'm not sure if its some new coding in or what, but there are a lot of occasions where, whenever a word is italicized, there's no space between it in the previous word. Now, onto the two critiques I'm not even sure of, but I'll remark on because, as you know, I prefer to err on the cautious side.

Secondly... Rey *did* calm Shinn's outburst in Phase 24, if I remember correctly. (It's been a while since I've seen that Episode so I can't be sure on this one, though.) He made his remark about going on that mission, Rey said something, and if I remember correctly, he did calm down. If you were aware of this and had Rey's remark not manage to calm Shinn due to Shinn having even more to be upset with at this time in this story, never mind, though. (Especially since Rey did calm Shinn while they were approaching the lab later on.)

Lastly is Trine. I have a few misgivings about how you portrayed him as regards Shinn, considering he seems to be part of what I perhaps call the "Shinn Asuka fan club." During Phase 38, at a really tense moment when Shinn is beginning to shred the Destroys, Arthur shouts out something like, "Wow, Shinn's on fire again! He's *unstoppable!*" (I suspect Arthur might be the person who made that remark about how even the Freedom couldn't have done what Shinn did in the battle outside of Orb.) Arthur also got an ugly glare from Talia and another officier in another Volume 9 Episode where, when a lot of the Earth Alliance is defecting to ZAFT and is being let into Gibraltar, he chuckles and goes something like, "Wow, if they all betrayed us at once, Gibraltar would be finished!" Arthur, if I remember correctly, was displaying proper military decorum while briefing Shinn and Rey, but I'm not sure the way he responded, both externally or internally, to Shinn, is in-character for him. Then again, I don't remember this part that well and haven't really been paying much attention to Arthur (other than being exasperated, perhaps in jest, with some of his antics).

Now then, the two things I will bring up (which won't take long). First is the end of Phase 44... The only time I've seen Athrun broken up that much about someone else's death (excluding, of course, the times he *thought* Kira was dead) is when Nicol died. He was crying *furiously.* A lot about Athrun's interactions with, and feelings for, Meer have very arguably changed significantly between now and then, but I felt I should bring it up now anyway, in case you believe that whatever caused Athrun to be broken up like that had at least partially to do with his impressions of her now.

Secondly... we've both discussed how Wikipedia isn't necessarily that accurate all the time, but I recently discovered the full truth to just how messed up that place is (at least in the Video Game and anime sections) a couple weeks ago. There was a Thread on a WILD ARMS 5 Board at GameFAQs about the WILD ARMS 5 entry. Someone went to a lot of work, time, and effort creating a well thought-up and accurate entry covering the Game and its characters, only for some moron who hasn't even played the Game to edit it into a new entry that was a bunch of garbage. Another person attempted to do something called "reverting" this "vandalizing" Edit, and the people in charge of Wikipedia accused this other person of being an alternate account of the person who wrote the original entry. And the Thread was also talking about how, a while back, the Wikipedia section for WILD ARMS 2 has been vandalized into inaccurate garbage which to this day hasn't been successfully repaired. Heck, according to them, this vandlization seems to be something rather common in the sections of Wikipedia that discuss Video Games and anime. The accusation of being an alternate account if you revert someone's unfair Edit is apparently commonplace, and the people in charge of the Site were complained about as being completely unfair in other ways I can't recall.

I'm mentioning this because you've mentioned that you've used Wikipedia for information on SEED DESTINY and discovered some of the stuff it said hadn't been that true when I told you how things really happened. However, after what I discovered, I'm not sure I'd trust *any* information on that Site about SEED DESTINY unless some other Site or source corroborates it.
Rc1212 chapter 24 . 10/22/2007
I hope you update soon! Keep up the good work!
Knives91 chapter 24 . 10/22/2007
Top notch work as usual. It's good to hear that things are returning to some semblance of normal. Keep at it.
charles ho chapter 24 . 10/22/2007
Great chapter!I like conversation between Athrun and Kevin,Kira and i like transformation of also i looking forward to see Foxhound battle against Kira and Kevin.I also like Athrun severe warning on job!

I hope that you will read and reply my message i sent to you 2 days if you already watch Gundam 00,assuming Kevin in Gundam 00 universe(our universe)how he will react on Celestial Being and their annoucement to whole world about their motive to end all war is to declare war on those who desire war and will intervene every conflict and battle in whole world no matter what type of conflict happening?

I wonder how Heine,Invictus and Carter react on Stellar?Also did Carter will have new MS after his Justice?If yes,is that Gundam based on your original idea or other Gundam series?Also how Natarle,Invictus,Heine and Carter will react on Operation Angel Down?Also will Durandal do to Heine when he found out Heine play a role on Athrun escape?Also i wonder did Baron Onishi knows about Durandal Destiny Plan and its ideal?Also did Arkanian will argree on Durandal Destiny Plan when she hear on Durandal annoucemet on Destiny Plan?I also wonder how Kevin will react on watching Meer who claim she Lacus and have full support on Durandal and other stuff during Durandal annoucement on existence on LOGOS?

Continue your great work and update soon!
Infinite Freedom chapter 24 . 10/21/2007
All I can say is that a fully active Foxhound under anyone other that Kevin's control is a VERY bad thing. Also I have decided to stop trying to predict you all together...it's just better for what little sanity I retain. Also I recently read through the first BiA and I have to agree what you said about broadswords being nothing more than sharpened clubs. Plus something tells me that the Forbidden deflected one of Kevin's shots at Shinn's family. Finally it is good to see that you are starting to bounce back my friend.
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