Reviews for Knotted
kitkit11183 chapter 1 . 2/26/2012
Very cute! Excellent job with the characterizations. Mitsuru's sheltered upbringing really stood out with a comedic flavor.
Rayless Night chapter 6 . 7/17/2011
Goodness, Ken in long pants? I can't imagine it.

Amidst all the supercrazy drama, I liked the brief tenderness from Akihiko when he sees Mitsuru's body. I can't help it. It really gets me.

And the supercrazy drama, which is super, crazy and dramatic! Nice work balancing the action with some final moments of character-building. There's a very strong bond among all of them, maybe stronger and more interconnected than even the game showed.

To say nothing of the humor. "pile of goop with a red sweater vest". And Aigis and Junpei's teamwork. And the roll call. And Junpei giving Fuuka a piggy-back ride.

Also Minato - very grim, very creepy the way he seems to have a sense of what's coming at the end of January. And the way he says he'll make it up to them - good foreshadowing.

Crit:

As a technical issue, Junpei's PSP wouldn't work during the Dark Hour.

loop on her [belt]

had adorned upon itself - awkward, maybe "was adorned with"?

probably [its] counterpart

the slow movements, although agonizingly slow - redundant

scene break before "Ken held back a cry"

Mitsuru had [already] suffered

coolly stood in its way...move out of the way - redundant

[became] entombed

hidden from the shadow['s] senses

pulled her [evoker] out and aimed it point blank - though technically, Aigis doesn't have a visible Evoker

against the shadow['s] neck

crumbling shadow [;] now his only [prerogative]

running [amok]

in general was becoming [sparse]

precise stalwart attacks - "precise" isn't the right word here

Garudyne at [its] feet

Through no talent...critical attack. - I don't follow this line.

as the bad sign it was - extra "a" there

opposite side of [the] bridge

dog [abided] happily

Okay, now for two thematic crits. I feel like the symbolism is off. We've had this amazing story and this amazing fight, all centered on the power of friendship and trust and love and strength and courage and sacrifice, and when our heroes find themselves in an impossible situation, they're saved by... the Persona named after the prince of darkness and evil incarnate? I see that it's a powerful Persona and it shows the crazy lengths Minato will go to, but it really, really struck an off chord for me. Power of Love and Satan. It just doesn't balance out. Admitted, the Persona isn't actually Satan, but the symbolism is there, and when it's such a well-known figure, it's hard not to be confused.

Which comes to my second thematic crit: I was let down by the fact that Minato saves them all at the last minute. For one thing, he's already going to do that against the Nyx Avatar, so this feels somewhat redundant. But more importantly, this fic was centered on the strength of *all* of their relationships, not simply their trust in Minato (as the S-Links are). I really wanted to see them defeat the Shadows all together, showing how powerful their bonds were in their own right.

end crit

I really loved the character studies, and for the main part, this worked as great climax. And that's a perfect final line - just a short statement that says a lot. This kind of trust wasn't always easy for all of them, but now it's second nature.
Rayless Night chapter 5 . 7/17/2011
A frightening version of Minato here. He's very much a void, from his laid-back responses to summoning Thanatos - he seems possessed there. Like little more than a vessel.

On a lighter note, Yukari is pitch perfect. Great writing of her throughout. She has this reputation as being an upbeat, outgoing, popular girl, but when you actually see her in-game, particularly during SEES business, she's serious and forceful. In this chapter, Minato seems to be the one who draws out that side of her personality, both when she's with him and when she's silencing the gossip about him.

Crit

remnants of the [girls'] laughter

retract under the suffocating pressure - "retract" is an odd word choice - maybe "draw back" or "recoil" instead?

saved her life (ironically) in him - I'm not clear on what the "in him" is conveying. Maybe "through him"?

Tartarus, not Tarturus

seized the opportunity - two words

pierce the knight['s] armor

but [could not] move beyond that simple action - next line, I think "stretched out" doesn't quite work for the evoker

This is a personal taste issue, but the second scene was written from both Yukari's and Minato's perspectives - I think keeping things in one pov per scene makes the writing more even.

end crit

Good stuff. *cracks knuckles* Now it's time for a really long, really crazy epilogue, isn't it?
Rayless Night chapter 4 . 4/27/2011
This might be the most frightening dog I've ever seen. But the idea of playful, fluffy Koro-chan actually being this stern, unyielding, tiny badass is both very funny and very fitting. I like how Akihiko thinks of him as a soldier and a warrior - says a lot about the two of them.

In fact, part of what makes this oneshot so good is how seriously Akihiko takes Koromaru. He doesn't see him as a dog so much as a companion-in-arms - pretty much an equal. It lets Akihiko respect him, it allows Koromaru to, um, advise Akihiko about his grief. It also, hilariously, makes Akihiko jealous of Koromaru.

Actually, Koromaru's particular flavor of therapy is kinda similar to what Shinjiro would do - I could see Shinjiro beating up Akihiko in this instance. Hm. No wonder he and the dog got along so well.

I focused a lot of Koromaru here, because I don't think I've seen you take him on before, but your Akihiko was also excellent. The scene where he lies back and shouts - it's painful, even to read, but it's good to see him finally releasing his feelings like that.

Crit:

Second line is somewhat awkward.

Some verb tense agreement typos.

Naganaki [S]hrine

Tartarus, not Tarturus.

[gnaw] off your leg

"The last straw had finally been pulled" - mixing up the image. I believe it's the last straw that breaks the camel's back.

[sidle] up to Akihiko

end crit

I kinda want to see more of this sweet/badass dog now.
Rayless Night chapter 3 . 2/21/2011
Having read "Pressure Cooker", I find it so interesting going to these earlier fics and seeing how you initially took on these themes. This may be the darkest chapter of the series, it's definitely one of the longest. You give yourself - and us - a lot of room to examine Shinjiro's dilemma.

I like how you set him against Fuuka. It's something I feel like the game was trying to do but couldn't quite accomplish - he's the one who tells SEES that she's gone missing, she gains her new Persona because of him dying, and then P3P gives their possible friendship the tongue in cheek treatment during his S-Link. In-game they pretty much have no interaction and hardly what you'd call affection, but here, you bring Fuuka forward, and while the two of them don't become close confidants, she sort of becomes a lightning rod for him. The contrasts are good - his violence, her hesitation, his gruffness, her mildness, and also the way he attempts to protect her from himself and she disregards it.

Amazing descriptions again - Shinjiro's dream is one of the grossest things I've ever read. "Pestilent" - really unexpected adjective in this context, but it also really works.

Rogues Gallery of Favorite Lines and Details:

"As she stifled her trembling, Fuuka placed her hands delicately on Shinjiro's face, and when his eyes revealed nothing, Fuuka leaned into Shinjiro and put her forehead on his. Shinjiro's breathing quickened, and his hold on Fuuka's throat began bordering on choking.

"Look at me." Fuuka squeezed out a firm voice she didn't know she had."

The scene where Yukari notices the bruises - everyone feels really true to character there.

And the ice cube scene.

The way you don't draw attention to the way Shinjiro uses Fuuka's first name after he hits her.

"Maybe because it was the first time she'd seen him look open." - really love this sartorial detail. I don't think it's simple laziness on Atlus' part that Shinjiro only has one outfit, and he's wearing a double-breasted coat and a cap even in the blazing summer.

"I don't know, stand in my doorway and just throw shit at me until I wake up" - thanks for a hilarious mental image

Crit:

I'm not sure about the outward manifestations of Shinjiro's dream - the screaming and thrashing, to the point where he's shredding his blankets. First off, wouldn't one of the other guys hear? As for the blankets, it felt over the top. The uninhibited violence of his dreams worked for me, so some of the outward stuff felt gratuitous.

Don't know if I just missed it, but what was Shinjiro going to ask before Fuuka burned herself?

Fuuka's "mock shock" - is she teasing him there? It feels out of place, given the circumstances.

I love the final conversation, but the ending feels a little weak - maybe some sort of conclusion from Fuuka's perspective as well?

Some odd word choices here - "retroactive green sky", "prolific red moon"

"Akihiko sat on his [haunches]"; "boys'/girls' floor"; "grandeur irritation" - maybe "great irritation"?; "Fuuka gave [a] deflated sigh"; "garden [gnome]" - great line there
Rayless Night chapter 2 . 2/3/2011
I love this one. So much. So very much.

Your Junpei voice is strong, easy-going humor masking some pretty intense pain and thoughtfulness. Your Aigis is just - wow. I love the comparisons you draw between her and a child. Her wingmanship is done brilliantly and I just love the beatdown she delivers at the end.

Crit:

Junpei's rebound does feel a little fast. He's hugely broken up about Chidori in-game, so it's hard to imagine him leaping back into the fray this soon. But the story couldn't really work before Chidori, seeing as Aigis isn't that sympathetic yet, and Junpei does appear to be somewhat out of it, so it's not a huge crit.

Fuuka struck me as a little too savvy here. In-game, she seems pretty inexperienced when it comes to fashion and/or dating.

"epiphany [hurtled] at him"; "Junpei impatiently [snorted]"

"Aigis' serious [demeanor/demeanour}"

"have not abided [by] my request"
Rayless Night chapter 1 . 2/3/2011
So...Ken is the first male in all of Port Island history to successfully ask Mitsuru out on a date.

These are some amazing oneshots, not only for the depth of the characterizations but because you pair them up so unusually. It just shows all the potential that went unexplored in the game itself.

I also dig the title, for two reasons. A knot is something that's hopelessly, inextricably tangled, much like these characters and their difficult pasts/presents/futures. But a knot also hopelessly, inextricably holds things together.

Okay, let's get more specific. Ken and Mitsuru. Darned if you didn't make me like Ken. This really gives a sense of his youth and the way he seems to have been left behind - by his mother - but also on a day to day basis, just because he's the youngest of the group.

And your Mitsuru is wonderful. I love how you write her - the elegance, the reserve, the vague aura of intimidation. But you also use her well for humor, especially when Ken first asks if they can go to the park and as he introduces her to the wonders of shaved ice. Her self-consciousness rings true. Her teaching him how to be a good motorcycle passenger seems to do a lot towards restoring her confidence.

"The dynamics of this park are quite eloquent. The urban planners are to be commended for their choice of trees and emphasis on walkability."; "He did not notice the flash of guilt that momentarily clouded Mitsuru's eyes." - great stuff. The strength of your characterization comes out a lot in the details.

"He reminded her-" Hm. I wonder. Of Shinjiro? Of herself?

I also like how they bond without it coming across as forced or sappy. I can totally see this playing out.

Crit: This fic is pretty old, so I know this won't be as useful, but I hope you don't mind.

It's wordy at times. I think you overuse adverbs, like here: "Ken took a deep breath before quietly taking a trip down the stairs and slowly walked down the hallway, trying to think of what to say. "Will you play with me?" Ken thought over, mockingly." Adverbs can sometimes muffle writing, or draw it out too long, so I think they should be used sparingly. (she said while using an adverb)

Similarly, lines like "Mitsuru flashed a smile down at Ken and he returned the happy smile." can be condensed.
iandin123 chapter 6 . 7/8/2010
I'm sorry I haven't reviewed all the chapters, but I just power read this.

Really loved the story! I can't really criticize, cuz I'm not that great of a writer, but even I can say that this was well written, and you captured their characters very thoroughly.

Personally, my favorite was the Minato and Yukari chapter(With Junpei and Aigis coming as a close second and everyone else and even closer third). They have a somewhat awkward friendship at first, but in time grow to become very loyal to each other, quite possibly being even better friends than Minato and Junpei themselves. Also, their trust in each other, was superb, and humorous(SP?) if you thought about it.

"Don't thank me for something that comes naturally."

Best. Line. EVER.
Jojo Bean chapter 6 . 1/26/2010
I loved this story to pieces. Definitely makes me wish these characters had interacted more game wise.
SamJaz chapter 6 . 1/1/2010
Super happy fun time for all!

Damned good set of stories, and an excelent ending. Good work!
Knight of shadow chapter 6 . 12/13/2009
THis was awesome from the very beginging to the end which was wonderfully done by the way. It had engery that really filled you and made see what was happening. The heartwarming moments really made the struggle at the all the better.
Anon chapter 6 . 11/15/2009
Wonderful journey that culminated to one epic battle! Though shame that Minato had to step in and use the 'win' button, but hey gotta show how badass he is right? Nice work as well as your proofreaders on the text for I found no noticeable errors as I read through the text. I hopefully expect more P3 stories from you!
PreseatheKitsune VGCG chapter 6 . 8/5/2008
... That's it. I have to start drawing fanart for your stories! XD They're too awesome to leave them without! :3

This ending was great and how you showed the previous relationships from the other chapters... you are one of my megaten idols. *bows*
NeoChick chapter 6 . 8/4/2008
Epic indeed! THAT WAS AWESOME! I loved every minute of it, definately showed off every character relationship spectacularly. Thanks for writing this fantastic story and I look forward to reading more of your works.

Smiles,

Neo
NeoChick chapter 5 . 7/29/2008
Aww I thought that was really cute in that angsty hopelessness kind of way...if that makes any kind of sense. Anyway well written Character wise as always and I can't wait for this epic epilogue!

Smiles,

Neo
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