Reviews for Elementary, My Dear Natsuki
J. T. Hobbes chapter 1 . 11/20/2017
You know, I could read this series over and over as I have pretty much done already. For it still is as good as the first time I had read it. It’s beautifully written and it’s been hard since to find another quite like it on this platform. But alas like all good things it came to an end.
connielkm chapter 4 . 9/11/2015
Exciting and very interesting.
Crosswood chapter 1 . 9/5/2015
This series is as good every read over as it is the first time out of the gate. It's just a well written story; it's got richness and suspense enough to make the jump from mystery (which it most certainly is on the first run through) to satisfying thriller when the reader knows the ending.

I was reading the original Sherlock series, and thinking about, specifically, the British adaptation of Sherlock with Cumberbatch. This particular show makes Holmes a bit of a dickhead - the arch-typical white male who's smarter than everyone in the room, and who celebrates this by ridiculing otherwise competent people in particularly unsavory ways. (I am not entirely sure what it says about the writers of those shows, but I certainly wish they would stop.) Anyway, although the original books have traces of that kind of sneering superiority, the effect is probably unintentional and is also more than countered by Holmes' warmth and gratitude to the contributions of particularly everyone - especially Watson (who is a badass). The web of relationships and the generosity of these leavens Holmes' intelligence with compassion and leaves him a human being.

All of which prompted the re-read of this particular set of stories. Your Shizlock character also has warmth and emotion. Actually, probably more than Holmes if we're being honest - you have two sets of source material to draw on, and that means that certain relationships can be layered multiple times. And although there *is* something robotic about Holmes, which you capture with Shizlock, this particular Shizuru is also emotionally intelligent. She shows it when she defends the competency of Haruka. She is compassionate towards those impacted by the crimes. Finally that control slips and we see what happens when overwhelming emotion is coupled to ruthlessness and logic. It is rather magnificent, but it is also a remarkable achievement in characterisation.

So I suppose what I am saying is that the first time I read this it was the mystery that griped me. Then I read it over again about once a year because it also makes an excellent thriller. But this time I read it because I love the character - I love seeing how you take your material and make it a person who is scary and competent and unsettling, but is also genuinely probably a good person who is capable of human kindness (barring that one crazy time).

Thank you for writing this story. (My apologies for posting the review here - as I reviewed breathlessly as the chapters came out, I could not post again on the final chapter of "The Empty House.")
TypoThread chapter 1 . 1/11/2015
hand-delivered by a messenger boy rather than in the past - hand-delivered by a messenger boy rather than in the pOst
Sye-inv chapter 1 . 11/30/2014
I finished watching mai-hime, and now I finally drop by your Mai-Hime fic.
I read the story and was a bit surprised to see how Natsuki and I are so similar. I guess those detective Conan manga didn't help me much (pretty sure I have a big question mark on my head the entire time during the story). When I read detective novel, I would usually skimmed the deduction part and went straight to the ending for the answer...(totally understood Natsuki's frustration-excepted I hate cigarette) :x
I love mystery and such, but wow, I totally let the characters do the work for me.
Guest chapter 1 . 12/5/2013
The question is, why did you stop writing?
WeirdRaptor chapter 4 . 11/25/2013
Yeah, I figured it had to be Mr. Clark. It could have been Arthur, I guess, but he'd have to have been rock stupid to murder his dad if he was set to inherit the family business.
xx Catty xx chapter 4 . 2/9/2013
Finally I got to this series! C: And I can say with complete certainty that this first story of series was a very interesting read! Although I must say it's very difficult to imagine Shizuru as a сonsulting detective with Sherlock-Holmesian talent for 'deduction'. In my opinion, even though Shizuru is my favorite character from Mai-Hime, still this role does not suit her, because canon Shizuru was very intelligent, but she definitely was not a mastermind or a genius. She always was being manipulated by someone (in Mai-Hime she was just a pawn in the hands of Obsidian Lord, in Mai-Otome also she was being manipulated by Tomoe). In my opinion, the role of a detective is more suited for Natsuki, although also not as a detective with Holmesian deduction, but rather as a detective of Noir type C:
Golden Mean Fallacy chapter 1 . 1/28/2013
I've been meaning to review this series ever since I read it, since I do feel that it deserves a solid, comprehensive critique. But let me get this out of the way first- I'm the opposite of most of the people that probably read this- I've never seen My-HiMe or its sequels (although that is something that I plan on doing), but I am a big fan of Conan Doyle's Holmes stories and love seeing other people's take on them. After seeing this series advertised in your profile, I decided to check it out, since typically not knowing the source material doesn't hurt one's enjoyment of AUs much anyway. So, I'll be looking at this series less from the perspective of a Hime fan, and more just from a general writing standpoint.

Let's start with what I liked, because there is plenty to talk about. From what I've seen, you seem far more comfortable writing third person than first, so I'm incredibly impressed with how well you did in this first(?) outing. You did a great job at adapting Conan Doyle's writing style, yet still making it your own. You do a great job at really adding color to Natsuki's recollections, and giving us an excellent view of what's really going on in her head, yet leaving a good deal to the imagination. The first-person narration manages to have plenty of callbacks to Sherlock, while never feeling particularly derivitive.

The writing itself is in general pretty solid; perhaps it lacks description here and there, but in general you do a good job at painting enough of a picture that I can follow along. The amount of references you managed to splice into the story almost seamlessly is quite impressive, and really shows how big a fan you are of Doyle's work. The only glitch I found is the discussion with the beggar in Chapter 2- you did a great job at the dialect, but I couldn't quite follow the train of dialogue my first time through; I'm pretty sure that it isn't the manner of speech, given how easily I was able to follow the rest of the fic. Unfortunately, I can't pinpoint the exact problem either.

Your use of language on a whole is very good- it's a pleasant surprise given how accustomed I am to you writing Japanese works, but you manage to capture Victorian language quite well. The characters speak in a realistic fashion, and you do a very solid job- from what I can tell- of keeping out anachronisms and things that just wouldn't make sense for Victorian englishwomen (and men) to say, especially for an author living in the 21st century.

Onto the characterization- I'm honestly surprised at how great it is, given how in most Sherlock adaptations, the characterization is honestly the weakest point. Natsuki is a great Watson- she seems to be perfectly intelligent, charming, witty (Natsuki's thoughts and commentary are often a joy to read) and most importantly has a life outside the confines of the story. Just as the reader got swept into Shizuru's world, you can really feel the same thing happening to her. She works fantastically as an author avatar. There are plenty of things that this story really makes me wonder about Natsuki that don't get resolved, but instead of making the story feel incomplete, it acts as a solid sequel hook that Doyle's works really didn't have.

Shizuru, however, definitely steals the show. One of the biggest difficulties of a Sherlock Holmes adaptation is creating Sherlock. The writers either make him completely unlikable, or far too generic. Here, you strike a perfect balance- while you can understand how Shizuru's behavior and mannerisms could be incredibly irritating, I found it a blast reading her. For one thing, you actually bothered to make her her own character. While there are plenty of similarities to Holmes (which I'll get to in a second), she still has her own mannerisms, a radically different sense of humor, and her own tastes that both make her interesting and keep Shizuru from feeling like a Holmes clone.

That said, Shizuru is obviously still based on Sherlock. She clearly intelligent (and it takes talent to really manage to make Holmes look smart enough that it doesn't feel like an informed attribute), and you definitely captured Holmes' egotism and aloofness, which really makes the character an excellent blend of inspiration and original creation.

Now, for the few problems that I had.

Overall, the characters that aren't Natsuki and Shizuru end up feeling rather... flat. This is understandable- it's not a particularly long story and we're seeing everything from Natsuki's POV- but it's still there. The writing works great overall, but there are a few places where the word choice doesn't quite seem to gel (I won't give examples simply because this review is going to be long enough as it is) and the lines feel a bit clunky.

My other main complaint is really the mystery itself. Don't get me wrong, it's an intelligent mystery and quite solidly told. But it still feels rather... pedestrian. There's really nothing in particular that makes it stand out and everything really flows in a somewhat predictable fashion- Shizuru goes to the scene, quickly pieces some stuff together, chats with the culprit (and a couple other characters), figures everything out, and then we have our sum-up. I don't think it helps that I'm a big fan of the classic Golden Age "The killer is YOU, sir!" type of reveal and confrontation with the responsible party (which, to be fair, you say you are as well) rather than the Holmesian sum-up after-the-fact. It just feels more emotional and real when you actually get some kind of confrontation, and see the culprit's side of the story. Which may play a role in why this mystery ended up feeling rather flat to me, but it did.

On a whole, though, those problems were more incidental than anything. The character and writing quibbles didn't stop me from greatly enjoying the story, and truly the mystery is more incidental to the story which is really about the meeting and initial interactions between Shizuru and Natsuki, and that is told quite excellently. Besides, I've always found a Study in Scarlet to be one of Holmes' weaker works, and if I were to rank the adaptations of "Sherlock" and "Watson's" meeting that I've seen, this one is definitely near the top.

I could probably think of more to say, but this is already an incredibly long write-up. So, on a whole, this is an incredibly good story that I thoroughly enjoyed. Cheers.
Guest chapter 4 . 9/1/2012
nice fic . . :D
Chimzap chapter 1 . 7/27/2012
Whoa- this story is pretty cool so far.
Michael S. Repton chapter 2 . 7/26/2012
Wow - a really good mystery and clues, too, and those are very hard to invent. Shizuru really has the Sherlock manner down perfectly, while still being completely in her own character. And "Vamberry the Wine Merchant" is a delicious in-joke. Love this story so much :)
Michael S. Repton chapter 1 . 7/26/2012
I can't believe what I just read. The characterisation is brilliantly written and fits perfectly into the Sherlock Holmes mould, managing to create a gripping and entertaining opening that is at the same time hilariously funny - mostly just because it's hard to believe this could be made to work. I have to read the whole story now to see whether the rest is as good as this!
laneige-girl chapter 1 . 7/23/2012
how did i miss this fic ever?
i love sherlock holmes movies and started reading the novel too :)
gonna move on to the next chapter now XD XD XD
jo-Kaon17 chapter 4 . 5/26/2012
i never read mystery stories, but this one sure is great...
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