Reviews for Keeping My Sanity: Mirrorscape
RandomTopic chapter 1 . 12/21/2008
Cool. Awesome fic.

Love the ending, especially Lance's actions.
Rastaban Bright chapter 1 . 2/13/2008
Woah. That was incredible.

The metaphor of colour is amazing.


Kudos to you

Merry Muppet chapter 1 . 8/15/2007
That was an amazing fan-fiction. I don't believe I have ever read anything so complex on this site. . . I love the way you explained the differences between the two versions of Lance. . . That was just so. . . good.
velshtein chapter 1 . 7/3/2007
Oh wow. Excellent story with great characterizations. Nice work!
A Parliament of Owls chapter 1 . 4/27/2007
I liked the way you portrayed Lance's halves by his hair and eye color. Excellent work.
Ventress chapter 1 . 3/7/2007
Well done. You have portrayed Lanc excenlently, also his view on the other Elites. This is one fic I would not call a failiure.
Ditched. New Account Pending chapter 1 . 1/12/2007
Finally, a non-shippy fic that takes a really deep look into Lance's clearly incongruent personalities! I'm not the biggest Lance fan, but I have thought a great deal about his character because of my need to determine how and why I can/cannot see him having certain relationships with certain other characters. I can safely say I detest PokeSpecial manga Lance, not because he wanted to destroy humans for polluting Pokemon habitats, but because of the hypocrisy he displayed in abusing—harming, maiming, brainwashing, killing—countless Pokemon (including his own) in the name of saving them. Anime Lance I don't dislike that much, but I have come to the conclusion that he has the following traits:

1. He puts Pokemon above everything. (Same as manga Lance.)

2. He has a hero complex (like a lesser version of manga Lance's god complex).

3. He is a friendly enough person but has trouble empathizing with individual people and is somewhat dense to the more subtle emotions of other people—but not Pokemon—in other words, much like Ash. (This may also be a less-exaggerated version of manga Lance's misanthropy.).

4. He has a very strong sense of justice and therefore a strong need to seek out evildoings and stop them. (Same as manga Lance, just that anime Lance's way of dealing with injustice is different.)

5. He has a very strong sense of duty. (Manga Lance also has this, except for him it’s more of a personal feeling of duty to Pokemon rather than the duties of an “official” job.)

So with that in mind, I move on to the fic.

Firstly, I can appreciate how you blended canons in this fic, which is rare because blended canons are a pet peeve of mine, especially when versions of a character (e.g. Lance) differ so greatly between canons. Very interesting idea to have PokeSpecial Lance as some dark alter-ego of anime Lance—going by your profile, I suspect Yugioh influence? I do think perhaps you made Lance a bit too thoughtful. Even if he is capable of being that “deep”, he would ostensibly choose not to do so because of the demands of his job, and eventually it would become second-nature to him to avoid thinking too deeply about anything, especially himself. After all, cops and soldiers don’t have much luxury to philosophize.

The following section of critique will be based on how you portrayed Lance's interaction with certain characters (namely Wallace and Steven) because I'm fairly confident that I have a good grasp of those characters and their personalities (in all canons).

Lance and Wallace: As perhaps the biggest Wallace fan in the English-speaking fandom, I greatly appreciate you giving him a fairly significant role in your fic, and not only that, but giving him a fair portrayal—or as fair as it can get coming from Lance's POV. I do think Lance would be able to pick up on the fact that Wallace has an immensely keen, perceptive, and thoughtful mind hidden behind the dashing smile and at times flamboyant behavior. I personally would say that Wallace is in fact THE most intelligent and perceptive of all the Elites based on the statements he makes about people and Pokemon in R/S/E and the PokeSpecial manga, though anime Lorelei/Prima and R/S/E game Steven come in as close seconds. I think it was accurate of you to portray Lance as being uncomfortable around Wallace; Wallace is the type to instantly pick out people’s emotional/mental/psychological issues and force them to face up to those problems because he knows it’s the only way they can help themselves—and clearly Lance doesn’t want to do this, even if he knows that ultimately it’s probably the right thing to do.

Lance and Steven: I've always been of the opinion that these two would not get along, with little exception, and usually my feelings are easily justified because almost all the Lance-Steven interaction I have read is of the shipping kind with little to no effort made on the part of keeping canon characterization. If you’re curious, perhaps I can send you an email or something detailing the reasoning behind my opinion, but it basically boils down this:

Lance (mostly anime and PokeSpecial): focuses on stopping people who mistreat Pokemon, proactive in taking aggressive action, prefers to work or if necessary (as in the case of PokeSpecial Lance) find some people willing to come under his control, tied to a strict sense of duty

Steven (mostly game and PokeSpecial): focuses on encouraging people who are raising Pokemon properly, usually passive and takes aggressive action only to protect someone/something from immediate danger, prefers to work with a partner whom he treats as his equal, free spirit who does not like being bound by duty and prefers to act on his own whims

As for how that reflects upon your fic… Well, obviously the first issue is that in your fic Steven still holds some sort of official League position. The anime makes it clear that there is only one Champion at the head of the League, and that would be Lance, so Steven probably does not have ANY an official position in the anime, making him just a strong Trainer of the Day who likes to dig for rocks. In PokeSpecial and the games, Steven gives the position to Wallace. In PokeSpecial canon Wallace is actually the original Champion, but he left for Gym Leader duties so Steven took over for a while. In Emerald, Wallace points out that Steven prefers rock-hunting over battling, likely because Steven associates battling with a former "duty" as a trainer that he came to dislike. Again, it comes back to the fact that Steven doesn’t seem nearly as fond of duty as Lance does. In your fic I’m afraid you made Steven too proactive. I do agree with the assessment that he is a "diplomat", but not the kind that tries to be at the head of all the issues like he is in your fic. You have Steven trying to oversee and mediate a large group of people. Yes, Steven likes interacting with people, but individual people one-on-one, and always on his own terms—not terms imposed upon him by a job. Nowhere is this more obvious than in Emerald (and there is also some evidence of it in Ruby/Sapphire).

Also, the following:

“Steven’s one of the few things for which all parts of me are in complete agreement: he’s my friend.”

I highly doubt the PokeSpecial part of Lance would recognize ANY human as his friend, though I agree that Steven would try his best to be as kind to Lance as he is to everyone else. Nevertheless, if PokeSpecial Lance had been capable of acknowledging any human as his friend, he wouldn’t have hidden himself away in the Whirl Islands. He’s still very much the misanthrope—just look at how little he cares for the fact that he’s sending Silver off with his Pokemon to fight in a dangerous situation.

“He’s the only one who can match me in power during a pokémon battle, and so I respect him.”

Except if you’re including PokeSpecial canon, then Wallace is the most powerful trainer in Hoenn (manga 21-22), and more importantly no matter how powerful Steven is, he does not LIKE to battle. I doubt he would willingly battle against Lance even if Lance asked him to, and I think Lance would find it difficult to respect a strong trainer who does not seem proud enough of his Pokemon’s strength to enjoy demonstrating it in battle.

“He’s calm and determined, and so I admire him.”

So are Wallace and about half of the other Elites. What makes that Steven’s special trait?

“He takes me for what I am, without pressing issues like Wallace and Lorelei do, and so I appreciate him.”

Agreed, except for Lorelei, who I think would end up responding to Lance’s issues with apathy. Steven is the kind of person who would step away from uncomfortable territory to avoid conflict, while Wallace would rather choose the more difficult but ultimately more meaningful tactic forcing a confrontation with the issue.

Overall, this fic is certainly is the best attempt at writing any-canon version of Lance that I have ever seen, and even if the Lance-Steven interaction in this fic still seems a little off to me in terms of characterization, it’s far more in-character than any of the OOC portrayals I’ve seen in all those Neochampionshipping fics. A very commendable effort. In fact, you’ve impressed me so much as a writer that I’d like to keep up a correspondence with you. Email would be fine, but some sort of IM may be faster and more convenient?
Guest chapter 1 . 1/4/2007
Wow. This is amazing! Go Lance!
Aenlic chapter 1 . 1/1/2007
I am speechless. This has to be one of the best pieces of fanfiction I've ever read in this fandom. The way Lance notes his eyes and hair colour, the interaction between Lance and Steven-

I hope you write more inside this fandom~
shadowphantomness chapter 1 . 12/30/2006
I love you and I am so happy you are back in the fandom! *Glomp* I did have a sneaking suspicion that manga!Lance would have to take over at the end though...
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