|Reviews for Rebuilding|
| Hana13 chapter 1 . 1/7
Please continue this story! It's great!
| psychowriter101 chapter 25 . 7/16/2013
Are you ever going to update this story?
| Guest chapter 25 . 6/28/2013
Just finished and...wow, I'm speechless...I'm gonna have to read this again. ASAP! :D
| Lady Maestro chapter 25 . 3/21/2013
Hello! This is my first time reviewing for your story but to be honest, I've been following your story since about 2009. I am ashamed to admit that actually reviewing during all these years never really occurred to me (a bad habit I really have to work on!). It was only after re-reading your story for the nth time that it struck me as really surprising that such an excellently written story did not have more reviews. Then I realised that I was guilty of not helping to up those numbers in the first place and so here I am, writing a review on FF after what seems like forever.
You might not even read this review (hopefully you do!) but I just wanted to finally give my two-cents worth on your story.
To put it lightly, I think your story is basically one of the best written stories here on the FF7 fandom. Your style of writing is amazing, coupled with an Austen-esque touch that few people can actually manage to pull off as well as you do. It's one of the reasons why I love your stories so much that I can keep re-reading your stories over the years and yet still feel anticipation regarding your character's actions, reactions and emotions. I'm amazed at how well you can fit your storyline into canon verse in a way that feels as though it actually could be canon.
Just a few thoughts on your characterization of Rufus and Elena though:
Regarding your characterization of Rufus, I actually think that your characterization of him - though not perfect – is one of the best I've read so far among all the stories I've read here (and I've read a lot!). Writers would have their own interpretation of the characters and this is especially tricky when dealing with characters that were not actually created by their own hand. It is how a good writer interpret the characters and make them their own while sticking as close to cannon as possible that makes it so interesting.
That being said, the previous reviewer before me (Matrineal) made some very valid points about your characterization of Rufus and Elena. Rufus here feels like the Rufus from the original FF7 game without any of the changes shown in his character in canon materials post-FF7. I won’t give an in-depth analysis of his character but I do think that it’s a pity that he doesn’t really show the humanity that the Meteor event invoked in him. The state of the world is the fault of Shinra and yet Rufus here doesn’t show much of the regret and remorse that he portrayed in AC. However, I do think it would be incorrect to say that your character is hollow. He is just a different interpretation of the character. If you disregard post-FF7 materials, your characterization of him might even be mostly accurate.
Elena, on the other hand, shows very little of her personality traits from FF7 or post FF7. I understand that you portrayed her in a way that would be understandable for a person who had undergone a traumatic experience like Elena had in the Northern Crater. However, I had hoped that as the story progressed, she would regain some of her bumbling foot-in-the-mouth personality albeit with a maturity that her experiences could bring. She shows that in some moments with Rufus but on the overall, Elena here remains unchanged, melancholic with a broodiness that honestly does not fit with what we know of her character. I do believe that she is much stronger emotionally than how you portray her.
I don’t dislike how you portray her though. She does have many weak moments but I disagree with Matrineal when she said that Elena felt like an empty character with no opinions of her own. Matrineal may have forgotten that it was Elena who spoke up about Deepground, influencing Rufus to release the files not to mention the various moments throughout your story where she shows her feelings and thoughts through her words or passive-aggressive actions. There any many ways to express one’s thoughts and opinions and I think you covered it pretty well.
With all that being said, I don’t actually wish that you would change the traits of your characters – especially so late in the game. The story isn’t perfect but it is still an excellent one and it is definitely my favourite Elena/Rufus story.
I have been periodically checking your profile for updates over the years and will continue to do so. Matrineal mentioned that you are still working on this story and I fervently hope that is true because it would be a shame (almost a crime!) to leave a nearly completed story (and a brilliant one at that) uncompleted. It may take you many more months or (hopefully not!) years to finally complete this but I want you to know that you would have at least one eager reader patiently waiting for more.
| Matrineal chapter 1 . 3/4/2013
Hey, I heard from a friend that you were working on this and while the plot is quite intriguing, however there are a few things I feel I must give attention to.
First off, I know Rufus is a very difficult character to write. I've spent years trying different styles and toying with possible plots to get him right. And trust me, I've been flame broiled the entire time, but that didn't stop me. I'm still working on developing his character and it's come a long way. Rufus has a lot to him, though I feel there is so much more you could add in this pilot chapter to make him stronger. The fact that you threw in his loss of an eye, though not a bad concept at all with making life more complicated for him, is a bit weak. It doesn't show us how he deals with this in every day life, what challenges he has, what sensations he feels because that eye isn't there. Naturally when a person looses an eye, they remove it since it no longer has any usage and either give him a patch, or a glass eye to match the one that still functions. They don't leave it in the socket to rot, since that's what dead cells do. It gets gross...
Now, his character...
As I've said before, Rufus Shin-Ra is a very complex man. No one can paint him pink and still say he's going to be cool with it. He's not that flat. We all know he's cold in the game. That's a given. In fact I'm pretty sure a majority of us hated him the first time around because of him being so cold. But that didn't make him unfeeling. He cared about the success of the company, he gave the Turks a pardon when his father was going to do away with them by saying they're his responsibility and not the former president's. He made that quote about his ruling the people with fear, which speaks volumes in its own context about what kind of person he was. True, he didn't care about the people at all when we first meet him, and he continues this throughout the game up until Diamond Weapon blows up his office. From my understanding this is Post AC, which means we've seen Rufus change from the cold heartless man who neither bleeds nor cries, to one who feels he owes the planet more than he can give. He also shows more of a concern for the people around him. Especially during his conversation with Cloud when he makes a remark about the children living with him. Also, he wasn't spared from the Geostigma, so he has to deal with the same amount of pain as everyone else with it. Possibly more depending on how bad his case was. That in itself brings him down to a lower level after Shin-Ra Inc. fell and he lost so much power over the people. They start to rebel against him and blame the Company for the Geostigma because there was no one else who they saw as a threat. He makes this point too in their conversation. He has a lot to deal with on his plate. Sephiroth's possible return, two Turks missing who he doesn't know if they're dead or alive, keeping Jenova's head hidden from Kadaj, suffering from a broken leg, the Geostigma and an injured eye all in one boat is a lot for one person. In a sense, Rufus has evolved from his cold and callous attitude that we see in the game, to a person who will do what it takes to make sure Sephiroth wouldn't win despite all the handicaps thrown at him.
This is where I feel your characterization of him is greatly lacking. To be blunt, Rufus feels like a shell of himself. You could have done so much with him, shown us how complex he really is. Shown us that he is a man of mystery; one who says a million things in one glance alone that he would never say aloud. How he always keeps people guessing and never allowing them leeway towards any hidden agenda. Fore, he always has a hidden agenda. He doesn't let them see him for the person he is, though I imagine that facade can slip in very rare instances. He still possesses fragments of his former personality from the game and you've shown that. What you don't show is what's going on in his mind. How much he has changed because of everything that happened to him. You don't let us in on his personal thoughts about the WRO and his Turks. (I'll get to Elena in a minute.) I feel that this story's distance is supposed to be a close one, focusing on mainly Rufus, and that's fine. It's a valid form of writing. There's no wrong way, all rules are meant to be broken. But Rufus feels very empty. I can't sympathize with him anymore like I did in Advent Children when he jumped off that building, not caring whether he lived of died as long as he rid the planet of Jenova. You lose a lot of emotional connection with him and make him, (for lack of a better term), hateful. There's no background as to how much he's been through and what forced him to make an attitude adjustment in the first place. He had to make that adjustment for his own sake. He couldn't keep his current face about the planet, the people, the company, because essentially, it was his fault. You mention this, yet I don't see a change from how he was in-game.
As for how he speaks..
Rufus is the head of the world's largest organization, therefore he would speak with a formal tone to let everyone know where he ranks above all other people. Even though he may not be ranked as high as he once was back in the day, he's still the most powerful man alive. That's no excuse for him addressing anyone in a beyond casual tone. You can tell a lot about a person by how they speak. Dialogue is the main thing that leads a story forward. It forces us through by catching our attention with things people might say. Your portrayal of Rufus is far too casual with how he speaks. he would never say "You know I wish I could help you Reeve. I'm afraid the old man wasn't one for sharing. Kept me at arm's length doing admin work in Junon for most of his presidency." It's too casual. He'll still talk to Reeve with reserve, even though Reeve has left the company. We all know how Rufus feels about his father. He never was close with him on an emotional level and we see this in-game when he speaks so callously about him. Speaking about his father and how he wasn't one for sharing, we all know. How Rufus may feel about the prospect, we don't know. Obviously he's sharing because he's funding the WRO. And the WRO were the ones to first excavate Deep Ground. It's true that Rufus wouldn't be thrilled with Reeve telling him of his father's secret project. However, Rufus wouldn't have said "I wish I could, but no I can't help you". He would have been curious about how much Reeve knows, then would have taken precautions and even developing plans to find out more about it. He would have funded it to see what his father could have possibly managed to keep hidden from everyone, even himself. You don't show all the possible thoughts that go through his head and his responses are a bit bland sometimes. I find it hard to tell who's talking since Reeve seems to have a more formal way of speech than Rufus. I don't know whether you meant that to go along the lines of age difference, or what, but you should probably study how Rufus speaks more. Reeve and Rufus both speak with formality. They're in an environment where casual conversation wouldn't be tolerated. Surely it wouldn't have been with how his father was. The way he calls his father 'old man' is to show how distant the two were. It's not an excuse to think that Rufus could get away with such derogatory terminology. There are plenty of ways to insult a person using a formal way of speaking that are much worse than anything our modern usage of language could amount to.
Alright, now about Elena.
Elena's character is a lot more challenging to work with than that of Rufus' in many ways. We get a sense how she may act from the game and a small window in Advent Children Complete. That's nowhere near enough to form a solid character from. However, with this challenge, it also gives us more freedom to formulate her as we see fit. Many times I see Elena written in stories that doesn't match my perception of how she should be. Yes, she is a rookie when we meet her. And she often makes mistakes. Jumping from her being a rookie to her being so distant, doesn't sound like Elena. She's dealt with as much as Rufus has, perhaps even more because she's a Turk. She deals with being reprimanded by her superiors, often messing things up, though not on purpose and is quite clumsy as we see her in the game. In the movie, she has more confidence and still keeps her upbeat attitude despite being tortured. The way you've portrayed her doesn't show this. I don't mean to be harsh, I'm just being honest. Elena feels just about as empty as Rufus. She went from welcoming Tseng and having this major crush on him that can barely be contained, to being melancholy. She's the one who gets flustered easily. Though it may be true that Tseng is made of 'tougher stuff' Elena's character could only be made stronger because she has him as her partner. She's not weak when she's with him. But she's not so strong that she would never smile.
As for her speech, we've seen how formal she is because she's talking to a superior. Even so, she still has a voice. I have a feeling that Rufus would like to hear more from her than just the 'yes man' repetition that's seen here. This is how I see her as an empty character. She has no opinions of her own, except for the instance where she questions Rufus in his funding the WRO. Elena isn't nearly as good at hiding her feelings in comparison to Rufus. I doubt anyone could even match up to him, save Rude. But other than that, Elena shows what's going on in her mind through use of facial expressions. I don't see much of that here. Her brow furrowing is hardly enough for us to see what may be going on in her mind and have it be what she's thinking about. It's a long shot. I can't see Elena as a 'husk of her former self', as you put it. I couldn't see her so far down, consumed by all that has happened to her to the point where she doesn't often speak. That's not E
| Guest chapter 25 . 2/18/2013
please continue this story is amazing!
| DeliciouslyDangerous1 chapter 25 . 1/1/2013
I like it!
| Bobbie chapter 25 . 10/9/2012
Hoping this doesn't stop here.
I have to agree with some of your au notes and reviewers in that the slow build and the tensions between the characters do emulate regency-type, nineteenth-century Brit Lit. You can tell you draw from characters like Darcy and Rochester for Rufus in this story, but you do it in a way that's subtle and believable.
You've made me into a fan of this pair, and I hope to see it through to the end.
| kinokokichigai chapter 25 . 8/12/2012
aw damn i just realized this hasn't been updated in two years. my heart is broken.
| Cattycheeno chapter 24 . 8/2/2012
And my heart just shattered as I come to the realization that this story was last updated in 2010. *glues it back together and hopes nonetheless* I really enjoyed this. Poor Elena. Rufus won't let her quit. I must say that I cheered when he tore that letter up. And his words? VICIOUS. *hearts* NEVERTHELESS, LANEY, SHINRA NEEDS YOUUU. :3
| Cattycheeno chapter 25 . 8/2/2012
OH DEAR! OH DEAR!
I LOVE YOUR VERSION OF RUFUS HE IS SUCH A... I HAVE NO WORDS!
| Guest chapter 25 . 8/1/2012
Please update! It's be two years! T-T
| Chocoborider92 chapter 25 . 7/16/2012
I had forgotten how good this story is... Until i found it and read it all over again. Pllllease consider an update! This story is captivating and sooo romantic! i just want to know of rufus and elena end up together. And i looooved the jane eyre reference in the last chapter
| damagectrl.07 chapter 25 . 3/28/2012
I just started reading this a few days ago. It's really great! I love the Rufus/Elena pairing... It's too bad there aren't many works of them.
I love the development between them in your story, I can't wait to see what happens next!
It's been a while since you updated but I hope you'll continue this!
| Veretai chapter 4 . 12/9/2011
Hi, just stopped to say that I started to read this again, and I was taken back by your writing skills again. The way you descripe Elenas feelings is marvelous. If you are still writing in other places in net, or are attempting to write anyting like a book or novel in "real" life, please please tell us about it in here!