|Reviews for Kannazuki no Shimai|
| Jen-chan-shaw chapter 12 . 12/11/2014
Ah Reiko... okay... now I feel sorry for you. :(
Not too much happening in this one; a couple of talky scenes... and then we discover that Abe is dead. This really surprised me the first time I read this, and I couldn't figure out why this would have happened. As I think I've said before, I *liked* Abe, and his story resounded with me, so I kept thinking, 'nah! He's not really dead! He'll come back!', mostly because I don't think I could wrap my head around the possibility that the necks *could die* - since none of the original necks in canon ever 'died' - they were just defeated.
Even when you went on to explain that only another one of the necks could kill a neck, I kept thinking, "naaah! No way! He's not dead! You're trying to trick me!" Heh! Oh, how wrong I was proven! Lol!
(And to add further insult to injury, it still didn't click - the scene explaining how Abe could die, followed right up with the introduction of the Eighth neck. Ah! Now that I re-read this... I feel so dim! ;; I guess that's the problem with reading a multi-part story after it has been finished; it's so easy to push the 'next' button to find out What Happens Next!)
I also quite enjoyed the last scene with Reverend Ohgami and Chikane. It made me smile when he implied Himeko just meakly followed along with Chikane's lead, and Chikane rebuffed him with "you really don't understand us at all, do you?"
| Jen-chan-shaw chapter 11 . 12/11/2014
So the first time I read this, I completely missed the significance of the first short scene of this chapter, and it is only now re-reading it that I get the significance of the hawk. ;;
But despite the significance of that foreshadowing, this chapter is really all about Reiko vs Chikane, round two, and then, just as importantly, the fallout of that fight between Chikane and Himeko.
As for the fight itself, I proooobably shouldn't admit to gleefully enjoying it as much as I did, since Chikane was being very, very cruel, needlessly so, and needless cruelty is the hallmark of any monster... can I just attribute this gleeful feeling down to the fact that it was really easy to enjoy reading this because it was very clear you enjoyed writing it? *sheepish smile*
(It's kinda hilarious for as I re-read this chapter and type out this review, "rains of castamere" have started to play on a random music playlist in the background, which sums up the fight pretty well on a meta-level).
Oh Reiko... I feel like I should feel sorry for you, but... it was just so *satisfying* to watch Chikane be all competent in battle. *sigh*
There were a lot of really good lines in this chapter - several of my favorite in the entire series, including:
"So" *slam* "was" *slam* "I"
"... be a genuine Reiko instead of a fourth-rate, imitation Chikane."
and Himeko's, "Did I ask for an apology?"
After two chapters of Himeko being a bit more on the apologetic-for-reasons-she-shouldn't-be side, I found it very satisfying to watch her shout that back at Chikane. (What can I say? Women with backbones FTW!)
I also must say that I am very glad that you included your thoughts on the difference between Anime!Chikane and Manga!Chikane in your author's notes. The Chikane as presented in KnS is very different from the one I've got in my head (based on 10 years of thinking about Anime!Chikane with rose-tinted glasses), and for me, anyway, these notes really helped to reconcile this at-times uncomfortable incongruity, so thank you.
| Jen-chan-shaw chapter 10 . 12/11/2014
Ah! I can't believe it's been a whole month since I reviewed! Where does the time go?
Anyhoo, for this chapter; the description of the red bow in Himeko's hair becoming undone and spilling like blood over her shoulder was really easy to visualize - probably my favorite "visual" of this chapter, but not my favorite scene...
... 'cause that would be two scenes after, at the hospital!
We know Chikane has been worrying about the consequences of Himeko not being the solar priestess anymore, but I believe this is the first time you really spell it out in her voice for the readers, and it's very effective. It's kinda ironic that the destiny that guarantees their sorrow (ie, one must kill the other) is also what guarantees happiness too (that they'd find each other again). And - essentially, Chikane *did* put them in this position not in small part because of pride. There was a very similar scene in the anime where the rites were clearly taxing Himeko, and Chikane wanted to keep going because she wanted a giant robot of her own - this really echoes that nicely!
Hehe - Marika has a really good knack for showing up just when Himeko & Chikane are about to spiral down into their "natural" states of angst, which, now that I think about it, are kinda similar shades of the same inferiority complex (re: i'm not good enough for her)...?
(So I've now gone and read (and loved!) AmeMite, and I gotta admit, I'm a little sad that Marika no longer exists in the universe anymore (though shades of her soul appear to have been reborn in Alice, so yay!). Contrast with the next lifetime, Chikane really is still very broken here. I can't help but wonder if it isn't because she had Himeko as a crutch to lean on for her entire life. Had they not been sisters this lifetime, would they have both healed a bit more in absence of each other? Or did they need this 19 years together first ( a short eternity in the shrine) before they could use another 16 years apart to grow...? Hmm...!)
I really liked the detailing you went into in highlighting the oddity that is nobody freaking about about Chikane carrying around a sword. Having watched a lot of anime in my life (and been around a lot of cosplayers, lol), I guess I just no longer bat an eye when I see people walking around with what appears to be weapons, as I would right away assume they were props, but I guess most people should boggle.
The conversation between Marika & Himeko was hilarious. Orgasms-per-day. *lololol!* Oh Marika! Never change! *grin*
And then Reiko shows up in the car-park and I have never been so happy for a 'next' button as now! XD
| Jen-chan-shaw chapter 9 . 11/11/2014
This line of Chikane's made me feel really, really sad: "To me, our family is just a place I happen to occupy for a short time." Maybe it's just me and my value system, but for Chikane to be able to sum up her family in such a manner just about broke my heart. And while I can appreciate the context of this conversation in the mythology of this universe, and how broken Chikane really is, part of me just wants to shake Himeko while pointing at Chikane and say, "fix her! Fix her!" D:
I am glad you chose to address the memories that would have been associated with returning to the place where Chikane assaulted Himeko fom canon from Himeko's point of view. As I have said many times before, I'm really not comfortable with Himeko's reaction, so being able to read about it through Himeko's POV (and specifically in her head, as opposed to at her elbow) was really helpful.
I like the structure of the paragraph in which Himeko goes over the first three 'things'; it's strong.
The fourth 'thing'... hmm... gives me very complicated feelings that I can't quite articulate because I can't help but feel like this fourth 'thing' is giving just a little too much positivity to an atrocious act even though I get the impression that that's not what Himeko is trying to say at all. *sigh* Sorry - I'm probably not making much sense.
In any case, if I wasn't a Himeko fan at the beginning of this chapter, I certainly became one by the end of it because she totally *rocked* this chapter. Heh! I will freely admit that Himeko as a character reeeeeaally wasn't my favorite for years after KnM canon, but you have totally managed to completely change my mind on her through your fanworks alone, Dezo. XD
| Jen-chan-shaw chapter 8 . 11/11/2014
Vestments! vestments is a word! I know you've used this before, Dezo, but I didn't realize that there was *actually* a better word than *uniform* to describe the Solar/Lunar preiestess garb! XD And there is something absolutely hilarious about Himeko totally perving on Chikane while she's putting on something as solemn and serious as 'vestments!' XD I loved it!
The scene with Kei and Reiko also gave me a strange sense of satisfaction; because they are working together, they are finally taking steps forward rather than remaining stuck in the same place, even if they weren't entirely successful. I know I shouldn't *want* Orochi to succeed, but I'm seriously feeling sorry for them, and do want them to be able to put up a good fight.
This chapter felt a little short to me, but then I went to the next one and realize that this was probably the place that makes the most sense to break, considering What Happens Next (tm)!
| Jen-chan-shaw chapter 7 . 11/11/2014
Ah! A lot of fascinating exposition in this one!
The first was Reiko mentioning the impact of Kei's action on her family, and not wanting to hurt them until the world ends. This suggests to me that, despite despair being her primary driver, Reiko is not actually a bad person and is still somewhat 'whole' in some manner. Perhaps that's how Souma was able to reject his oroch-ness in Canon? Had this story gone down another path, perhaps Reiko might have had an opportunity to shine like he did.
The second was Reverend Ohgami sharing the epiphany that the 8 gods of destruction had been sealed. I gotta admit, when I first started reading this story, I thought maybe you just didn't like giant robots, and wanted to replace them with shadows instead, and that the action in this fic was going to be more of the martial-arts variety than a mecha one. This exchange with Chikane doesn't make it seem like that's going to be the case anymore. Yay! (I've discovered, relatively recently, that time has brought to me a certain fondness for giant cheeseball robots that I *never* would have once thought possible. Lol).
And while I know this fic is set in the manga, I feel like the gods being sealed around Mahoroba isn't in-congruent with the anime, though I never would have guessed at the significance of those 2 minutes from the first episode of KnM showing the eight gods "unsealing" around town. I just thought that it was a flashy way for Souma and Take no Yamikazuchi to make an entrance with no real substance behind it (like Kazuki and Yukihito climbing a snowy cliff to reach some shrine to find the missing piece of the puzzle. That locale came from out of nowhere!). Maybe I haven't been giving this show the credit it's been due all these years! XD
The birthday present exchange between Chikane and Himeko was warm and waffy and made me feel all nice and fuzzy on the inside. They both got pretty awesome presents for each other, didn't they? Even if they won't get to use Chikane's gift, it's the thought that counts, right? (Hmm... I recall the KnM drama CD had Chikane and Himeko still participating in a school play during a cultural festival that happened during the godless month. Despite the gravity of that situation, they still managed to enjoy 'normal' lives for a little while. Maybe they could have made it out to Kyoto if they put up an 'on holidays!' notice on Oogami shrine? XP)
| Jen-chan-shaw chapter 6 . 10/30/2014
Ahh! After a few talky chapters, the action in this one was really satisfying.
Despite the fact that it's Chikane with the weapons and the powers, it was really Himeko who shone in the action scene and was truly heroic, first with pushing Marika out of the way and using herself as bait, then with a very well-timed rock. (I really have a soft spot for people who resort to throwing rocks in a fight. There's just something so... *noble* about an action so scrappy. P)
(Something tells me the scene with Takeshi and Minako is important, but I gotta admit, my attention is just a liiittle more engaged with Chikane's knife fight right now.)
Anyway, back to the fight with Akemi, which was significant, not necessarily because of the physical altercation, but because Akemi's backstory prompts Chikane and Himeko to have a pretty frank discussion about the previous life rape. (You know? I'm feeling pretty dim right now, because I did *not* see the pretty obvious connection between Akemi's backstory in the first chapter, with the single most controversially memorable event from KnM canon. Hrmph.)
And I'm really glad you're addressing this, because I've always felt that it's a key issue they have to work through if they want their relationship to work. And while Chikane and Himeko in this story has had 19 years together to work through this already, I am glad that it is not simply back story to the reader but is something we get to read about.
And as to the execution... Aaah. I am sorry that I can't find better words to describe what I'm feeling right now, but after 10 years of this show and these characters, I freely admit I *still* have problems not with what Chikane had done, but with Himeko's reaction.
*sigh* Thank god for your headcanon about how Himeko became such a *tough* *cookie*. Without it, I'd just... argh.
| Jen-chan-shaw chapter 5 . 10/30/2014
Ah! I really liked this chapter! It feels like not very much happened in this chapter, but the conversation between Chikane and Himeko in the hallway was really important from a character-understanding perspective, and it was delicious!
I really appreciate the paragraph where you described the tightness in Chikane's face that shows that Chikane can feel anger towards Himeko. That Chikane is capable of being angry with Himeko is really healthy, which I am super happy grateful for, since this Chikane really isn't all that right in the head. It's also a realistic aspect of any lovers' relationship, but one that generally doesn't ever get shown in Chikane & Himeko's, in canon or fanon, really! This is really fascinating to me - even mindblowing! D
Chikane's cold logic and pragmatism versus Himeko's wide-eyed idealism was a great one. On the one hand, I was quite horrified that Chikane was so coldly rationalizing away death and dismemberment of innocents to *Himeko* of all people, and on the other hand, I really couldn't argue with her, because, honestly, if you can count on a cosmic reset, then why would you risk being able to save the world for billions for a paltry handful? It's like those ground-hog day stuck-in-a-time-loop comedies where the person who lives the timewarp starts acting out in really loopy ways knowing none of it matters anyway - except in Chikane's case, it's less 'loopy fun' and more 'soul-crushing-moral-dilemna'.
I think my favorite line of Himeko's in this chapter was the part when she said it was probably *smart* to let people die and get hurt in their place, but that it wasn't *right*. Oh Himeko, you so paladin. That part of me that loves Tenjou Utena and Suzushirou Haruka is cheering wildly right now. XD
The part where Himeko essentially 'gets her way' with Chikane is highly amazing and amusing to me, not because she 'got her way' but because she got it in a way that essentially also does not allow Chikane to say that Himeko got her way, but that 'Himeko's way' was actually congruent with 'Chikane's way' so that Himeko doesn't feel *bad* about 'getting her way'. If that makes any sense at all. XD (I feel like this happens in my household. A lot.)
And I appreciate the conversation between Marika and Himeko, and how timey-wimey stuff gives her a headache. Lol! Great lampshade!
| Jen-chan-shaw chapter 4 . 10/30/2014
I found Himeko & Chikane's conversation about the technicalities of virginity while on the bus ride to Ohgami shrine highly entertaining, and it amuses me greatly that you took the time to explain this point to the readers, as some may have found it to be a sticking point (especially if they've already read and enjoyed KnS: Moving Day, like I have, lol). Himeko & Chikane should be very thankful that apparently Ame no Murakumo (or whoever came up with these rules) is a bit fuzzy on female anatomy as tied to sexual pleasure. :)
Reverend thinking Reiko tried to kill Chikane with a cup of coffee was a great line! XD
I really liked Professor Oogami's skepticism when Chikane tried to prove she was the lunar priestess. The fact that showing the mark was not enough evidence (as it could have been anything), but that Chikane then made the lunar mark glow and seem like inlaid metal was a nice detail (though I remember wondering if even that would have been enough to convince a skeptic like the Professor. There are LED lights and stuff these days that cosplayers use to make some truly cool tricks, but I digress).
The infighting already happening amongst the orochi was inevitable, eh? Is it weird that I feel badly for them, and want to tell them to stop squabbling and work together? I am glad that you're sending out Akemi as the next neck though - Ozawa's logic is very sound. Among the 7 necks, at this point, Abe's story resonated the most with me, but I find myself looking forward most to reading about Reiko, Saori and Akemi.
I enjoyed the sibling banter back and forth between Professor Oogami and Reverend Oogami when they both offered to look in the library together. The line about professor Oogami's arrogance coming back to bite her in the butt felt like she was apologizing for years of looking down on her brother somehow, and it was nice how Reverend Oogami didn't rub it in her face.
So this chapter didn't answer the big question at the end of the last chapter as to why Himeko is not the Solar Priestess, but that's okay. At this point, I am going to bet that Himeko is going to be the Solar Priestess somehow, because I am having supreme difficulties wrapping my head around the possibility that she is not! :)
| Jen-chan-shaw chapter 3 . 10/26/2014
Mr/Miss Bear made me smile, and then made me wonder if Chikane really *would* get jealous of a stuffed toy that she herself gave to Himeko. (Given what you say later on in the chapter: probably!)
The main thrust of this chapter was to awaken the new necks of Orochi, including Reiko's awesome scene with Chikane, and I really appreciate the detail that was given to that. I find it fascinating that I am actually more intrigued by the villians than by our heroes at this point, mostly because I don't know anything about the villians at all. They are the most original and, so far, boldest part of this continuation-of-the-original-story-fic.
And in the Chikane/Reiko scene, the line that sticks out the most to me is the sentence about Chikane not accepting gifts because it implied of a connection she didn't feel *or want*. Perhaps I am adding that emphasis on 'or want' inappropriately, but this sentence was highly intriguing to me. I definitely feel like she'd rather spend all of eternity inside the shrine with Himeko, and isn't all that happy about having come back onto the mortal coil at all, mostly because she has to share Himeko with others now. It's... really not a healthy headspace to be in, I think, and kinda makes her come off a little on the creepy side (but still totally in character). Hmm!
The fighting was cool! I liked how you invoked a part of the priestess' powers that I often overlook - the ability to set up barriers. I keep assuming they'd both just be amazing at offense, what with being priestess of the sword rather than priestesses of the shield, but in the anime, as far as fighting go, they don't really do very much besides set up the barrier for the town, with Souma doing most of the fighting, eh?
The bit with those two friends laughing at the expense of the guy who tried to pick Chikane up was a nice injection of levity to an otherwise action filled chapter. And Himeko had a great line with, 'I don't see any giant robots stomping through the trees right now.'
Chikane ripping apart Himeko's shirt to confirm the lack-of-sun-symbol was very reminiscent of what Kyoshiro did to Kuu in the Kyoshiro anime, and made me think as poorly of her as I did of him, but I suppose, given the urgency and confusion of the situation, she could be excused. Maybe. P
As to the end of this chapter... this was a very mean way to end it! But luckily the whole story has already been completed so I can just hit the next button, haha!
And finally, jen-chan has learned a new word today thanks to this chapter! Maudlin! What a great word! :D
| Jen-chan-shaw chapter 2 . 10/20/2014
Ah, the opening "Himeko. Himeko. .Ko" made me smile. It's nice homage to the opening scene in the first episode, and the redux in the last.
I like how you addressed, right away, any potential squick ('unsisterly' - lol!). I'll be the first to admit that it's taken quite a few years of maturity for me to become comfortable with the twinny reincarnation of the manga, and I'm glad I have so I can finally enjoy this fic. The fact that their blood-related-ness in this fic is what keeps the two from being publically affectionate seems a very fitting parallel to the circumstances from the original series too; it really helps to retain the original flavour.
I like Marika. :) She totally is what would have happened if Souma and Mako-chan were combined, and the fact that Chikane would essentially stalk Himeko on their day off because she's jealous of the attention Himeko gives to other friends is highly amusing to me.
As for Chikane's pyschology, I can't help but feel like you've nailed this less-than-pretty side of how she works on the head with the paragraph about keeping the 'unhappiness inside where Himeko cannot see it'. Aaah. I want to hit her with a halisen, but can't help with agree with you that this is *exactly* how Chikane would work. At least, in the beginning of a long fic anyway. :)
I like the fact that the girls had the good sense to approach Oogami shrine and let them know who they were right away. Heh. That would have been a fun flashback! Hmm. I wonder how 'grownup' the both of them would have been as children. If they remembered everything from their last lives, did they start walking and talking earlier than other children?
Interesting that this is happening on their 19th versus 16th birthday - I like the evolution you've spun into the age-old legend for occurances that happened during the last cycle!
And, bar none, my favorite line in this chapter was that bit from Himeko about needing to get 2-3 cats to become proper crazy cat ladies. Lol! My whole household laughed at that one!
| Ayanokoji Akuno chapter 18 . 10/19/2014
Reading this definitely opened up some old memories and feelings for me. Despite my history, I'll take my remembering of them as a good thing out of this story.
I really can't find words to describe how amazing I found this work. KnM amazed and grasped me a long time ago, and, I think it's one of the most memorable anime I've watched. I've actually read the other works before reading this, so it was...in awe, that i read this.
| Jen-chan-shaw chapter 1 . 10/18/2014
Ah! I am really enjoying your Orochi necks! It was a really nice touch to give them their backstories up front. It makes them waaay more *real* as far as sympathetic villains go, and their various life circumstances that have lead to their succumbing to despair are very believable and way more nuanced and interesting when compared to the original orochi 8. I like how the new orochi seem to have corresponding 'archetype lifestyles' comparable to the original orochi 8 (but better executed lol).
Ozawa is clearly Tsubasa, Hirata the Forger is the new Reiko-Mangaka, Saori is Corona, Kei is Girochi. Hmm does that make the rapist killer the new Miyako perhaps? And the salaryman replaces Nekoko? So is Reiko Himemiya meant to be Souma, had he actually listened to his Orochi calling (with unrequited love for Himeko?) Or is Reiko Himemiya actually meant to be Chikane (also with unrequited love for Himeko?) I'm looking forward to finding out!
In particular, I really enjoyed the introduction of Reiko and coming to the realization that she was not the reborn Chikane as the first couple of paragraphs of her section led me to believe!
| Syein chapter 18 . 10/8/2014
wow I messed up the reading order lol. I should have read kannazuki no shimai first before I went on with red string. And again, I love your work!
I agreed with you about Kaishaku's artstyles and flaws story plot. However, I'm really glad the author created Chikane and Himeko. They are by far, my most favorite Yuri couple. The love is just extreme. Your story yet again, send me many "squeal" moment. x)
| SwordHeart21 chapter 18 . 2/23/2014
This is my 3rd time reading this story (My 1st and 2nd time was a year ago(?), months ago perhaps? Anyway, I believe it was after I became addicted to Kannazuki no Miko) and still I can't express how I LOVE this fic and is continuously wishing that this be fully animated XD I mean really it deserves to become one XD So anyway, despite only posting a review now. I'd have to say that this and your other works and I am seriously hoping to read more from you :))