Reviews for Love Hina: A Friend in Need
doctor3027 chapter 20 . 11/5/2020
This is one of my favorite Love Hina fic. I've already read this 3 times.
pavook chapter 20 . 10/7/2020
I haven't finished the manga also. My thoughts are that the girls were both there, but there is an age problem, meaning the promised girl was Mutsumi, but Naru got herself to say "me too" or something. In all together I think their memoriies are not completely reliable and fuzzy after all this time, especially the youngest Naru which most likely gets to the promise thing from some rehearsal from another person's mouth later.

To this story itself. I was pleasantly surprised by how much it caught me. I was just randomly browsing some of the anime/manga fanfics that I recognized and looking for mature content. Even though there was not a sex scene at the end, I think it's fitting for the audience. Great read.
pavook chapter 15 . 10/7/2020
I hate to say it, but this fanfic is great reminder as to why I could not finish reading the original manga.
While I get some punishments at start and it was comedy manga, I was smiling at gags, how exaggerated it was at first, it grew old and stale. They went way overboard on physical punishments (or bulling him just because of the wrong look) and continued to do so for far too long without a change, never feeling remorse over their actions. I was just feeling sorry for the MC and how the girls treated him. Any other guy would probably just crumble, run away or try to evict them at least.

By the way this fanfic is great, it shows out many unanswered issues that I had with the work that I abandoned.
Nederbird chapter 9 . 9/23/2020
Hello, Tezza

So, for a bit of context: I started reading this back in 2007 or 2008 and followed your updates up to and including either the third or fourth chapter of the Tarnished Blade arc, and had kind of forgotten about it since. Then, of all things, I was reminded of it thanks to a fanfic recommendation on the TV-Tropes entry for Love Hina, where it was listed as completed. I believe it was still unfinished back when I dropped it all those years ago, so at long last, I decided to come back and even give it a reread to boot.

And I am glad I did so!

At this moment, I'm sitting here with a very contented feeling in my body. You have certainly managed to provide a good sense of closure to this story, building up the drama from the tenants' initial reaction to Keitaro and Kitsune's relationship till the resolution of all the major interpersonal conflicts. From the Aftermath and forward, the chapters grow gradually longer, and for good reason, as you devote more and more textspace to describing the characters' thought processes, justifications, internal turmoil, and everything inbetween.

Then comes the Tarnished Blade arc, where your skills truly begin to shine, as (especially in the latter half) you explore the characters thoughts and feelings in even greater detail. Motoko's internal battle with herself, the conflicts between her ideals and her prejudices as well as the facts she's so long denied, make for some of the single most engrossing reading in the whole fic. I think you've handled her character really well, keeping her true to her canon personality even throughout her transition away from her old fixed ideas. Whether intentional or not, she essentially becomes a third main character during that arc, and that's definitely not for the worse.

Aside from that, Kitsune's interactions with Keitaro come off as the most realistic to me. Having met a few women who were just as flirtatious and confident as her, it was quite fun to recognize the familiarity of the situations an awkward guy like Keitaro recurrently found himself in. Once they make it official, the tenderness of their private moments gradually went from comical to truly heartwarming, and one could feel the earnest love between the two. The same goes for Tsuruko and Satoru, once they're introduced, as you've skillfully managed to capture that special dynamic so typical of long-time couples. Lastly, Shinobu's own thoughts were also well rendered, in a way I think would make it hard for one not to sympathize with her, while Granny Hina's warm and caring relationship with her tenants was like a welcome breath of fresh air compared to her usual depiction.

When it comes to negative aspects, I can't say I've many gripes about this story, and the ones I do are things you'd certainly be able to amend with your present writing skills.
One is how I felt that Kitsune's and Keitaro's relationship developed a bit too quickly, even feeling rushed at times. In a fic of 20 chapters, they get physically intimate in the sixth and officially get together in the seventh, with the preceding chapters being relatively short. A good way to improve it would be to go into further depth about how Kitsune gradually begins to realize how effectively harmful their collective abuse of Keitaro is, as well as elaborate on both character's thought processes as they slowly work out their feelings for each other, perhaps utilizing some time skips to move it along faster. Essentially, giving them the same treatment you gave the characters in the latter third of the fic.
That being said, I think you managed to save it quite well by having Kitsune requeest her boyfriend to take it slow for a bit, due to the sheer speed of it all. That made a lot of sense and felt very believable.

My second issue was mostly with how you depicted Naru: it came across as a bit too harsh at times. True, she's infamous for how much crap she dishes out Keitaro's way, as well as her pigheaded stubborness and unwillingness to reflect on her own actions; you captured that well. Even so, she still had her moments, even in the anime, where she was actually sympathetic to him, sometimes even affectionate. This intermittent reinforcement, an incredibly effective manipulation technique which I myself have fallen victim to in the past, is likely one of the reasons why Keitaro stuck with her so long. Moreover, I can't really recall her ever being mean to the OTHER tenants, expecially not Shinobu (referring to Chapter 9 here). I think her representation could do with a bit of softening in this regard.

Besides that, there were only a few minor errors really, such as Keitaro's friend being "Haitani", not "Hiatani", the proper Japanese spelling/romanization for "Fuyutski" being "Fuyutsuki" (even if you spelling better reflects the actual pronunciation), and the use of "Oh Kami" or "Kami-sama" in place of "Oh God". I also think "Kicchan" would've worked better as a pet name than "Kitsu-chan", but that's more a matter of taste.

So, if you even feel like giving it a rewrite, I think you only need to do so for the first ten chapters, and I think "expansion" would be a more apt term than rewrite here. Because overall, the rest of the fic is certainly good enough to outweigh the flaws in it, particlarly the Tarnished Blade arc. It's quite rewarding to see Kitsune begin to stand up to the others and Keitaro slowly growing a spine.

All in all, this is still a great fic, and I think that you ought to be proud of yourself for both writing it and for completing it. For myself, I'm glad I came back to it and gave it a reread, it was definitely worth it.

I wish you all the best, and hope that you, someday, might find your way back to writing again. Take care. :)

Med Vänliga Hälsningar,
Nederbörd
MegaDarkly chapter 1 . 4/28/2020
I've come back and reread the story again after 7 years and its just as good as the first time. I gotta say, I love the irony that Naru became a drunk and Kitsune stopped drinking. Brilliant.
Rebmul chapter 20 . 6/29/2019
id love to see a kei Motoko fic from you
SpookySaint chapter 20 . 1/3/2019
Great man. This work of yours doesn't work as a fanfiction but as a real omnibus novel to how would the things have turned out in a different way, especially with how canon you were with all their dialogues and reactions although the character of Keitaro became a bit OOC but that character development was essential to the story. On the other hand Naru acting like a bitch, Kitsune's behaviour as a flirty badass, and others were same as the anime and manga. And I was really glad to read a story worth my time when most of the stories for Love Hina are cluttered with absolute nonsensical things on this site.
Steeltemplar chapter 20 . 12/28/2017
“A Friend in Need” does an excellent job of establishing an endearing romance between Keitaro and Kitsune. In fact, it is so beautiful that I finished the story with Kitsune firmly established as my favorite match for Keitaro. At first glance, the two of them seem too disparate from one another to work. However, as we see in this story, if they are able to open up to one another and understand each other, then they actually offer each other important things missing from themselves. Keitaro thrives from Kitsune’s boldness and zest for life as well as her building of his confidence through genuine observation of his strengths and easy-going reaction to his flaws. He can grow as a person with her. Kitsune finds in Keitaro someone who is stable and grounded, with a strong sense of personal responsibility and work ethic. He provides her with some balance to her excesses. I think that we can see this dynamic quite well in the story.

The initial premise of “A Friend in Need” is actually a delicate one to write. Kitsune’s heart is opened to Keitaro at first because of sympathy. She sees that he is hurting and has compassion for him. That interaction is done completely in-character and did a wonderful job of bringing the reader into the story. However, once sympathy is established, the difficulty is in how the writer will evolve the relationship into one of love between equals and avoid any sense that Kitsune might be dating Keitaro out of her sympathetic feelings. I think that the writer handled this situation artfully, providing a natural progression of emotions in the relationship and giving a real sense that Kitsune got to know Keitaro through friendship and then fell in love with the man whom she got to know.

In general, there were a great many wonderful romantic moments, ranging from the amusing character bits (e.g. Kitsune's boldness in insisting that Keitaro carry her in front of the other girls - a classic moment) to more intense love scenes. I hesitate to try to make a list, but there were many great passages.

I really appreciated the characterization in the story. Most of the characters are well within what I would consider the range of their canon identities. At the same time, we do get to see some expansion of the main couple as well as some others as the plot progresses. That deepening is both consistent with the original story and satisfying to read. In particular, I appreciate that Kitsune is portrayed as a party girl, but not as an alcoholic. As well, I appreciate that Keitaro is neither a completely pathetic figure nor as a out-of-nowhere badass. He is given some additional abilities which were not in the canon, but they are actually in keeping with his character as they are extensions of his most prominent traits of kindness and compassion. Also, the additions to his character are one of my favorite explanations yet as to his seeming “indestructible” nature.

The secondary story concerning Motoko and the Shinmei-Ryu was extremely well done, both in terms of character and the plot itself. Original content like that is not easy to write in a compelling fashion, but Tezza succeeded in doing so as well as tying it into the main plot quite deftly. I loved Motoko’s character progression and actually found this portrayal of Tsuruko to be one of my favorites.

It’s difficult to say just how in or out of character Naru is in this story. In Akamatsu’s original, she was very much a tsundere. As such, it’s not surprising for her to be brash and hot tempered. I’ve seen a wide variation of how she is portrayed in fanfiction, sometimes to the point of being outright unhinged. Naru in “A Friend in Need” seems more belligerent than the canon version of her character, but I actually see this as a reasonable conceit to the plot. She isn’t shown as a madwoman or a total villain, just someone with some real self-centeredness, anger problems, and bitterness about the opportunities she has missed. And that she does have some introspection at times really helps as well.

Mutsumi is probably the most out of character, though she was never that well defined in the original canon. I can buy the concession that she is capable of more harshness than she lets on. I also think that the scene in which Mutsumi snaps at Naru about the way she talks about Keitaro. That, perhaps, gives more depth to the reasons for her bitterness.

There are a lot of things which came together to make this a great read, but I do want to mention that I liked the use of Kitsune’s diary entries. They were a fun and intriguing look into her thoughts and the way she narrates her own life story. It was a good device and not overused.

This was a long fanfiction and I am glad that it is. I loved reading it and am grateful for all of the tremendous work which went into writing it. My most serious suggestion would probably be to give us a further epilogue so we can see the happy couple married. But then I have a soft spot for such things. All in all, the ending, along with the entire story, was very satisfying.

Now for the awards…

***Red Eye*** (Awarded for a story which kept me up late into the night reading)

***Read It Again, Sam*** (Awarded for a story which inspires me to repeatedly go back to reread favorite passages)

***Page Turner*** (Awarded for a story which I had difficulty putting down)

***Epic Tale*** (Awarded for a story which of extended length which remains compelling throughout)
Simon D. Uzumaki chapter 20 . 5/3/2017
as to the switch you are right, mutsumi and keitaro made a promise at 5 years old to go to toudai and love each other forever. as he was leaving, mutsumi how ever went up to naru, and saw the look she had at keitaro, so she switched it with naru before even fully left the hinata inn. that basically, made the promise invalid in the first place, and he wasted his life basically up to the point he got into hinata inn to be the manager. even then, she did not tell him, she watched as he was abused daily, and even made things worse for him until finally near the end of the manga, when she finally breaks down and tells him that she was promise girl, but gave their promise away to naru. as you can tell, he went thru some mental battles for a few chapters, till he finally calmed down and things started to end on a happier note, wont spoil it for ya thou lol
DredgenVayn chapter 1 . 8/16/2016
I want to say I love this story and it's in my top 5 favourites.
DredgenVayn chapter 20 . 8/10/2016
Great story, but I would have liked to see Naru arrested for assault.
Officer Hotpants chapter 20 . 4/29/2016
Four-and-a-half years & three readings later it still holds up. You truly should be proud of this story. I failed to mention it before but the choice to end it in Motoko's perspective was a good one.
Rhazhah KetsuekiBara chapter 1 . 4/29/2016
I have to tell you, this is one of my favorite Love Hina stories. Never was a fan of Kei/Naru stuff anyway. And this is beautifully done to hook him up with Kitsune.
RandomReader chapter 20 . 3/17/2016
Who's reading this in 2016? Me!
I found this yesterday and binged on it 'til I was done.
Anyway, I see that you're done with writing this and fan fic in general, but just in case you happen by I just wanna say this was AWESOME! Wished it would have went 40 chapters!
Best of luck in your current endeavors!
Guest chapter 20 . 10/23/2015
Pretty damn good. Can't say I was into all the original backstory in the Tarnished Blade arc, but damn good otherwise.
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