|Reviews for The Last Messenger|
| Nom de Plume chapter 19 . 8/9/2013
OMGOD - woman, I - I don't even know where to start. I'll be honest, there were some rough bumps here and there but for the most part, I could not stop my eyes from devouring all these words! That last stand-off! The whole WILL-I-MAKE-IT-IN-TIME run! The silence before the storm when the army was ready to go all in - all of that had succeeded in getting my adrenaline rushing. Just from words alone!
But I'll start with my constructive criticism first before I end this review in sweet-nothing(something) words. Ahem, as you probably already know, there were some spelling and sentence structure errors throughout the story (I think it occurred even more so as we neared the end but I easily overlooked all that for the simple fact that my eyes were trying to catch up to Kaoru's time-bomb run) and there are not enough errors to ruin the story's flow but if you ever decide to revise this for some reason, this story will sparkle even more so.
I feel like Kaoru's parting with the ghosts was a bit... lackluster, and even more so with her sister. You have given us this great impression that Kaoru practically worshiped/depended on/loved-her-to bits Tomoe but then when they finally meet again since that unfortunate day... all they say is, Take care? I mean, I guess there's not much to be said or any issues to resolve between the two of them but I don't know.. I expected a more heartfelt sisterly reunion and then departure. Heck, even with her comrades that she was supposedly close with! I liked how you gave them their own scene during Kaoru's memory marathon but I feel like you did not develop Kaoru's relationship enough with her messenger comrades to the point that I felt any sympathy when she reunited with them again. I felt like I was merely reading random names of people she once knew who still feel like strangers to the reader. The same goes for Tomoe. I know you tried to repeatedly hammer in the point that Kaoru loved/idolized her but... they were just statements. Flashbacks are one of the best mediums for authors to develop both the characters and the relationships. Yes, it is very tedious to make up the background stories and then decide where to input them within the actual story but that's what gives the amazing stories that brilliant shine!
And the last thing I will comment on is Kaoru's love for Kenshin. In that chapter when Kaoru finally admitted that she loved him to herself, I.. did not believe it. Well yes, it's true that she believes so but as a reader, I felt it was a bit rushed. Obviously they've been through some death experiences which is one of the quickest ways to form a close camaraderie and there's also the fact that she despairs for him over his past so sympathy is one thing (and attraction certainly helps) but love? She barely knew the guy when she had confessed...(to herself). Sure she knew a few important facts about him from what Hiko said (if I recalled correctly that she knew his past before the love admittance..) and she knows of his certain personality quirks but I still felt like there was so much more to develop, so much more potential for more obstacles in their adventure to build up their relationship! Before that point of no-return (i.e. love). Most times, I felt like the instances when Kaoru started babbling about her past for no apparent reason... it was more of a convenient way to get Kenshin to open up. That was probably your intention all along but if the reader is able to pick it up in a way that feels like it's unnatural? Then somehow you need to find a way to make it feel less contrived. But by the end, I believed her love right then, it was just the beginning of it that irked me.
OKAY, now on to the good stuff. Ohgods, where do I even start... I think I'm just going to list everything wonderful to keep this review short (or try to). The beginning, hands-down, was my favorite part of this story- don't get me wrong, the adrenaline-rushing scenes were awesome too but for some reason, the opening stuck with me. Kenshin as a spirit and the method of how he regained his heart (using his name's meaning as the method was very clever of you), and the 'legend' that went with his curse were all so- MAGNIFICENT. I also loved that small detail of how you clarified that his voice was unnaturally emotionless, it further reinforced the point that he truly was missing a heart for how can you feel if you are missing that essential factor? (Nevermind the fact that the chemical transmitters in ours brains are actually the ones calling the shots of our emotions.)
I adored the start of their acquaintance as well, of how detached and blunt Kenshin was and... seemingly schizophrenic he acted (that bar scene was great). I love your explanation for his changing eye color - that explanation at least made more sense than in the anime where his emotions simply changed it - the use of magic as the source was a nice move on your part. It made the situation more realistic. I liked how amazingly detailed you were with Kaoru's interaction with her physical body: the drag of her spirit as Kenshin ran with her 'corpse' and how she could only faintly sense the physical world. How you juxtaposed her detached feelings while spontaneously feeling fear at this detachment was great. All of these details allowed your readers to truly feel like they were in Kaoru's position. And don't get me started with the spirit interaction - I did not expect that whole room of spirits behind Enishi and Soujiro and the fact that you included them really nailed in the urgency of the situation and their pleas to be freed.
Hmm, what else did I adore? Oh yes! Your concept of Shishio's tendency to separate things was extremely clever. How you tied in all of his actions at the beginning and to the very end... they all came together so seamlessly! I was practically gaping when I read that explanation; it was quite obvious that you had planned this for some time. And the 'reincarnation' of the wizard's powers was a -very- nice touch as well. Everything had a reason in your story and I love that! It's so easy to just do deus ex machina and be done with things but you took the time to invest some patience and planning and it paid off well. We, as your readers, greatly appreciate that.
The only thing I did wonder about though was why exactly Kenshin had casted off his powers? Sure, he was embittered by how magic could not help him save his family... and he was also quite young and hence rash at the time... but is that really the only reason why? If he truly did think that magic would do him no good in saving anybody, least of all his loved ones, then would it not make sense that he would quit his swordsmanship as well? Obviously it did a fine job of eradicating people for the king but wouldn't combined with magic, he would be able to do much more damage and hence further his goal of helping the King then? Or maybe you're sticking with the reason that he was young and stupid at the time and it was a last-second decision... okay, I can run with that I guess.
OH, but back to the things I love- yes, this is the last thing, I swear! That story that Hiko had told of how his apprentice evolved into the Battousai- the gradual mental blocking of his emotions, further separating himself from his own 'skin'/identity until he could not return, and then the final break when his spirit got ripped out, completely cementing the loss of his emotions. YES. That was brilliant and even more so when you tried to explain for his erratic temper tantrums, the surge of his emotions had overwhelmed him from centuries of not needing to exercise emotional control - what a clever way to wrap things up!
Now, I am finally wrapping up this review and I, on behalf of the other readers, would like to say thank-you! For sharing AND completing this story. Honestly, if the RK fandom was more enthusiastic like Bleach/Naruto, I swear this story could easily garner a few more hundred reviews because this was amazingly executed with great ideas. If you had managed to develop Kaoru's feelings more (a more gradual pace to 'love') and her interactions with her friends/sister (so we the readers could actually connect with her and begin to feel the loss when the time came) , this story... would have been an atomic bomb.
The Kenshin's release of his powers, why?
| Illusions of Dreaming chapter 19 . 4/29/2013
Awwww this is so sweet C': I'm glad I took the time to find it AND complete reading it! It made my heart flutter! I especially loved the way you introduced Kenshin as a spirit. Oooh the fact that he ran himself through his sword and literally placed his heart back in his body was pretty cool, albeit a bit scary. You would think Kaoru would faint right away - as one who was not used to killing - but I guess, killing a human and killing a spirit is quite different and Kenshin didn't die anyways so eh :B
I love the plot of the story and how you managed to merged the RK story together into this AU C': explaining several different quirks with 'magic' here. Like how Kenshin's eyes could change color, Shishio's unnatural body heat, etc etc. Pretty cool I say C:
The only thing I might might have a bit of trouble with, would be the development of Kaoru and Kenshin's love. It felt underdeveloped? The story was extremely good and enjoyable, but I thought the interactions between Kaoru and Kenshin were few - too few to actually see them start building a love relationship, especially when Kenshin seemed so cruel to her at the beginning. It felt strange when Kenshin suddenly 'worried' for Kaoru. However, perhaps that's just me being the romantic nit picky me. xDDD I really did enjoy this story and this would probably be the longest review I've written yet. But yes.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful story with us :')
| Fenris Jin chapter 19 . 3/6/2013
Kaoru's first awakening after the battle had me laughing.. So it's really well known that Misao doesn't 'talk to' but rather 'talk at' people.. XD
And Enishi and Soujiro! I had been wondering why they didn't say goodbye last chapter.. And you must have purposely kept them as young boys, especially Enishi, so that Kaoru will be able to mentor them as the next King's messengers.
I was half expecting Kaoru to have received the magic, Yahiko's not a bad choice, I like the idea too!
Gosh I can't stop smiling right now, I feel so happy reading this ficcie! Definitely worth reading!
Thank you so much!
| Fenris Jin chapter 18 . 3/6/2013
Wow, that was certainly an action scene to remember! XD
I got a bit worried about the chapter title.. but in fact, it was quite heartwarming. I suppose you purposely left out the -comrade part on it for tease.
I really love you! Imagine being able to give Kaoru such a nice supporting role!
| Fenris Jin chapter 17 . 3/6/2013
Saitou might have had a different opinion on the matter of crimes and such..XD
But still, Shishio's revelation about receiving Himura's magic, that was a nice touch. Certainly something the redhead would be torturing himself over.. No wonder Shishio was unable to beat Battousai before..
| Fenris Jin chapter 16 . 3/6/2013
I was rather proud of Kaoru dashing about like a madwoman.. Not that she was.. It was just amusing to watch.. or read.. XD
There's something about soldiers preparing for battle that makes it all exciting, even just by reading about it.
I wonder how Hiko knew that Kaoru would go to Sugihayami? Did he arrive at the Aoiya and had to follow her there? Hmm.. may teleported his wizard self around. Anyway, if they're cutting the travel short, doesn't that meant that they'll arrive there before Himura himself? Won't he be surprised at the welcome party.. XD
| Fenris Jin chapter 15 . 3/6/2013
The chapter title had me laughing when I glanced at it at the end of the chapter.. XD
Damn! Her efforts took her two days to get a reaction from her body?! Wow, it's like a sleeping beauty story, except, well it's not.. XD
So I guess the emblem meant something? Would she need Katsura's or just her medallion? Oh.. If only Himura had given her that trigger kiss sometime sooner.. then perhaps she would have awoken? Hmm, but then she wouldn't have been able to access her memories freely.. Anyway, I guess it's a good thing that Kenshin has vowed to get rid of Shishio so that she'll awaken.. That should keep him alive long enough for reinforcements.. XD
Kenshin asking permission about the kiss made me squealing like the fangirl that I am.. yet again.. XD
| Fenris Jin chapter 14 . 3/6/2013
Kaoru should favor slipping into coma more often.. This way she could learn more about our precious hitokiri. Come to think of it, this is probably FAR more words he spoke with her when she was conscious.
I certainly loved the flashbacks and the storytelling.
| Fenris Jin chapter 13 . 3/6/2013
Awww.. It nice to have some alone time with Enishi and Soujiro.. With Kenshin in the room and not interfering.
Looks like Himura's priorities have shifted from killing Shishio to protecting her. Well isn't that nice? I'm squealing like a fangirl right now. XD
Damn, those were some good action scenes too!
| Fenris Jin chapter 12 . 3/6/2013
Great Kaoru, taunt the crazy sorcerer! Hah!
Yay! I'm skipping around in joy! Admittedly we all know Kaoru won't beat Shishio, but man! Was I pleased with the outcome of the battle!
Did Shishio just remove her soul from her body? Is this how he made Soujiro?
| Fenris Jin chapter 11 . 3/6/2013
There's really something reassuring behind that smile of Soujiro.. XD
I really appreciate the fact that you put Kaoru in situations that she is in danger and alone without the help of Battousai. Despite her dependency, you really have a knack for keeping her on shape.
| Fenris Jin chapter 10 . 3/6/2013
Would it be evil for me to be proud that Kaoru had made it up to Shishio's 'To personally kill list' on her own accord? XD
Battousai is getting all broody about Shishio again. It makes me think that the sorcerer isn't just Kaoru's sworn enemy.. More like a rival for Kenshin's attention.. XD
| Fenris Jin chapter 9 . 3/6/2013
I certainly enjoyed the action. Thank you so much for making Kaoru kick ass.. and make Himura worry!
I wonder if the Kenshingumi would sort of pick-up together? Probably not seeing as Katsura is there to be protected after all.
| Fenris Jin chapter 8 . 3/6/2013
Kenshin and Kaoru bonding.. XD
Himura really still is 'inexperienced' despite his experience. I'm very glad you were able to portray him as such. Kaoru can be a shrink or a prosecutor in modern time. She sometimes knows more about a person than the person themselves.
| Fenris Jin chapter 7 . 3/6/2013
No wonder Himura hasn't gone insane after five centuries..
I never thought Hiko to be so talkative.. XD