|Reviews for Spiral|
| imuffinator chapter 1 . 6/2/2012
From the moment that I discovered this story when preparing for my physics exam last month...I was just surprised.I had been falling in love with the show K-ON and all of the characters at the time, but this story just managed to reinforce it all. I love the way that you describe each scene because I can feel the tension and emotions of each character. I do not mind waiting for any future updates because this story is worth waiting for. You have inspired me to learn to play K-ON songs and write my own fanfictions (Which is saying something since your other work "No,Thank You" has also added to the inspiration and I am usually not easily inspired). I completely admire what it is that you are writing and I am anxiously waiting to find out what will happen next in this amazing story! You have truly blown me away with your style of writing.
| ookami desu chapter 11 . 5/23/2012
I love your writing. It stirred something in me. And now, I feel it sinful if I do not write a K-ON story myself.
| bcbb1d5d chapter 11 . 5/21/2012
Wooahh! You write like God! Ooh, really, the story line is so complicate but you do it so easy to understand, and so interesting!
Wahhh, yes... This is so amazing
I love your work
Have a nice day! (ｰ)ノ
| InsertCatchphrase chapter 1 . 4/28/2012
Ritsu is probably the character we really know the most about, and to a degree she feels like a walking contradiction. She manages to be both playful and vindictive at the same time. Both cheerful and mournful. Both open and secretive. It can be really hard to tell what is a facade and what is real with her, which makes her really interesting. I think that it's hard to really judge her character before she's really opened up, and that hasn't quite happened yet.
Yui, despite being the main focus of HTT, we really don't have that much information on, like Tsumugi. It feels like her cold exterior has touched her interior in some ways, yet now that she's with Azusa, somebody that she can fully love and who can fully love her back, that exterior is slowly fading into the kind of Yui that we know from canon- an empathetic girl who really cares about her friends and doesn't want any harm to come to them. We also know that the dark exterior really exists both as a result of pain (over what pain exactly we can't be sure- it may be primarily over Ui's illness, but she was already starting to implode after her stepfather's death) and guilt, which she tries to drown out through anti-depressants. That's about it for now. Like Ritsu, pretty well constructed, but we'll have to see more from sure before I can really come to a concrete judgment.
Azusa rounds out our cast. She comes from a rather formal background; one that she partially accepted, but more out of necessity than anything. It was just all she knew. She felt extremely powerless and out of place, with her own life being completely out of her control.
Hence, when she saw HTT, people who seemed so passionate and able to drive their own lives, she became enthralled. And of course, that hero-worship turned into shock once she found out what they were really like. But due to pressure from the others (led on by Yui), she was forced to stick around, and she began to really feel for these people. She seems to have, in a way, found them a bit like her- lost and needing somebody to help fix them. And thus, she has turned that into her goal and purpose, with also having fallen in love with Yui; a girl who has the passion that she had always missed from her own life, and yet has something very important missing in her, just like Azusa.
She's a fantastic protagonist, and you did a great job with her characterization. She feels deep, she feels human, and she's really fascinating to follow. My only real complaint regarding her is that it feels like she kind of slips into the HTT routine a bit too easily. Despite her "go with the flow" lifestyle and ambivalence (if not slight distaste) for her conservative household, it is all she knows. And this new hedonistic lesbian harem that is the relationships that HTT have with each other should just be something that she truly can't handle at first. But overall, it isn't enough to disrupt my enjoyment of her character all that much.
The romance between all of the character is quite interesting and believable, with one exception that I'll get to later. Overall, I feel for all the parties involved- I can buy the way that they would all fall in love with each other; out of jealousy, necessity, or just pure romantic adoration. At times it's cute, at times it's a bit eerie, but most of all: it feels thoroughly human.
The only exception is Yui and Azusa's relationship. It just feels like it happens way too fast, with not enough actual buildup. There's some moments of passion, and then they're suddenly in love, even if they don't realize it at first. It feels artificial to me, which makes it incredibly out of place with all these other complex relationships.
Now, finally, onto the technical writing aspect of the story.
Your writing is pretty good. You don't have many typos, which is a rarity in fanfiction writing. Your word choice is usually effective, though you have a tendency to lean towards purple prose (I've always hated the usage of "orbs" instead of "eyes". It just feels pretentious to me). That usage of purple prose can at times make the writing seem a bit more melodramatic than necessary, which is really harmful given the plot. The descriptions are relatively effective- I can typically visualize the scenes quite well, although they were a bit more vivid in the beginning, before the story took a form. Now it feels more like they're put in out of necessity than anything else- simply more basic and bare. You overall have a good grasp of how people talk, and your dialogue is well spoken and well structured- the people don't feel robotic at all when they speak.
On a whole, despite a couple minor complaints, the writing is extremely solid.
That's pretty much this story as a whole- it has its flaws, but it is a multilayered and thoroughly enjoyable experience, and I'm excited to see what direction it takes next.
| InsertCatchphrase chapter 11 . 4/28/2012
... Spiral. Oh, Spiral. How am I going to deal with you? The thing is, that this story is just far too much to be dealt with in one 10000 character review. It's not so much the length as it is the complexity; I'll get into that in a moment. There's so much that one needs to talk about when reviewing this story, that it doesn't feel like 10000 characters is adequate. Unfortunately, and it feels like spamming, I'll probably have to split this one up into two parts. Hopefully that's all.
The plot of Spiral is... well, I'm not sure where to begin here. And there emerges its first problem- in my opinion, there's just far too much to it. You had various fascinating ideas, but you decided to jam them all into one fanfic, and by the end it's just become profoundly chaotic. I mean, we have the current relationships between HTT, the past relationships between HTT, Azusa trying to fix everything, the conflict between Azusa's conservative parents and the lifestyle she is shaping for herself, the competitions for the new bandmate, Jun's father attempting to get rid of Azusa so that Jun can get into the band, Ui's disease and Yui desperately trying to take care of her... the amount of subplots in this story is simply staggering.
It makes it rather difficult to really keep track of who is what and all that is going on at some points, because everything is moving so incredibly fast. It would probably be one thing if there were clear breaks in the action for each, or if each chapter was devoted to a different subplot.
Yet, with them all occurring simultaneously and all getting some degree of coverage in each (or every other) chapter, it can just make your head hurt trying to keep your mind on the nuances of each plot. And yet you have to, particularly when it comes to the plot points that are key to the story. It just feels like there should be... some sense of balance here that there isn't.
As for the plots themselves... let's go over them now. We'll start simple and work our way up. The whole "get rid of Azusa" plot is, in my opinion, relatively unnecessary. It fits with the story superficially, but it just feels like it adds another layer that simply doesn't need to be there. It does allow certain events to occur, which is nice, but they aren't events that could ONLY have occurred as a result of this particular storyline. To a large degree, it just seems superfluous.
Ui's disease is a rather interesting little plot point that just hasn't gone anywhere yet, so I don't feel like I can really say much about it. I'll just say that I'm interested in learning more. You did a good job with the build-up though, mentioning both Ui and Nanako a few times, and implying that something is wrong with Ui, but never explicitly stating what it was.
The utterly unnecessary "personality contests" are rather interesting, and they do flow with the story extremely well. The way that you have divided each story so that it to some degree focuses on the character in question, before the contest itself arrives, is a nice little gimmick. My main complaint in this regard is that at times, it feels a bit uneven. For instance, it felt like we learned a lot more about Tsumugi than we did about Mio prior to their contests respectively. Of course, the story's letting on that we know far less about Tsumugi than it initially appeared anyway.
The situation with Azusa's family could be a bit more emphasized than it is. I'll discuss this later when I go over Azusa's character, but this conflict between her conservative upbringing and the hedonistic nature of HTT really should be emphasized a bit more than it was. Until things suddenly came to a head in the latest chapter, it just felt like the whole thing was brushed aside, which really made the confrontation more jarring than anything.
Now, to the main plots of the story. These are structured relatively well, the memories pretty well interspliced with the rest of the story. The new dynamic between all these characters is quite fascinating, if completely wretched to watch.
You really do feel for all of them adn the horrible situation that they've been thrown into, even though it's gotten to the point that they can't help themselves. The flashbacks to better, far more innocent times, only increases the pain and strengthens the juxtaposition between the characters that we know, and the characters in this AU.
It really is interesting to see the twisted interplay between lust, love, and friendship continually intermingle here. The way that all the band members have retreated to lust, now that their friendship has fallen apart and their hearts have been torn to pieces is fascinating. It really does feel like the way people would interact, if taken to an extreme level. In essence, what you've done is just take the tone and universe of K-On and turn it on its head. Quite an interesting idea on a whole.
Now, my first real complaint. It feels like the hedonistic relationship between the group devolves into the despair and pain that is really there a bit too fast for me. It just doesn't feel that realistic. People change their attitudes, but they typically don't change THAT quickly. It feels like this is something that could have used buildup, and not just occurred all of a sudden once the plot revs up.
Another problem is just the fact that I can't really imagine them disintegrating that fast the moment Azusa enters the equation. They appear to have just become so reliant on this lifestyle that for it to give way that easily seems fake to me. I can see Azusa being able to work with them and help them overcome their difficulties eventually; it just feels like the progress should have been slower than it ended up being.
The final real problem I have with the plot is that, in essence, it felt like the same theme was being repeated over and over again. I think what you wanted to do was emphasize how dysfunctional the relationships in HTT are, but I personally believe you did it for a bit too long. In the end, it just ended up being them being cruel to each other, with the same point being established over and over again, which turned legitimately good drama into slight melodrama. Hyper-dramatized events aren't necessarily bad, but when it feels like you're repeating them without need and after you have established the purpose, you just start to cross the line.
Aside from those factors? I think the plot is quite good. You took a base idea and executed it in a really interesting way. The buildup it did go through was well done, even if I feel like there should have been more, and on a whole there isn't THAT much to complain about on that front.
Now then, onto the characters.
As with the plot points, let's start small and work our way up. Evil Executive basically has no personality aside from being an Evil Executive. It just feels like he was created so that there could be a human presence to fight against later, and really... it just feels a bit artificial to me. Sawako doesn't really have much of anything to her, and I would like a bit more screentime from her to see how exactly she ticks. It feels like she was there, and then forgotten by the writer after a while. Azusa's parents are also not really there- they exist to create conflict, and that is essentially all they do. There doesn't seem to really be three dimensions to them, though I suppose that not all characters need to be 3D.
Now, let's move on to the more fleshed out members of the cast. Jun is one of the more interesting people in the story. She's really, aside from Azusa, the most superficially sympathetic. She just is truly a nice, good person. She doesn't let her mild fame get to her head, and clearly does care about others. She was happy to make friends with Azusa, despite everybody else's distaste for her, and desperately wants to protect her against all the forces that she doesn't know about, and can't claim to understand. She's quite likable, and you did a really good job at making her; she feels really human.
Tsumugi is a really interesting character. It really feels like you know a lot about her, and yet you don't at the exact same time. She comes across as such as genuinely kind and sincere person, and even with the slightly sultry side to her, it never feels like it is more than the rest of the group's influence on the girl. The memories seem to match this overall- just a doe-eyed innocent who really wants to help her friends.
But then, when you really think about it, she has been absent through a good chunk of the story. She's really been on the sidelines a lot of the time, either just not having much of a presence, or not in the scene for whatever reason. The fact that at the end of Chapter 10 she seemed to be out and out implying that her goal was now to completely break everybody else psychologically in order to get the violent cycle to stop, instead of actually trying to heal them, really emphasizes how little the audience actually knows the girl. Overall, quite well constructed.
Mio is also interesting, but feels somewhat simplistic. Despite the aggressive exterior that she lays out, she is still really the shy girl on the inside, which she tries to hide as a result of her shame and her broken heart. In essence, that's really it. I kind of wish there was more about her to learn, simply because on a whole, the rest of the characters just seem to outshine her when it comes to complexity thus far. Maybe there's more to her we just don't know about yet, though.
| stalker01 chapter 11 . 4/28/2012
Your masterpiece shall continue soon, ne?
| whatsinaname chapter 11 . 3/30/2012
...Wow... All I can say is wow. The story... its just to perfect. I really wish I found this fic earlier. Its just too awesome to describe. Can't wait for the next update.
| Anony6 chapter 11 . 3/20/2012
When I first started reading this story, it just seemed like mindless sex. The more i read into it however... well, its most definitely a intresting read, and is easy to get caught in it (like a spiral, hur hur). My only problem was when Yui first opened up to Azu, I couldn't tell if she had beaten her or just had very rough sex. I'm interested in what's gonna happen to Jun, i would like to see more of her in this story (but thats just me). Very much waiting for the next chapter.
| SalemXYZ chapter 11 . 3/19/2012
Finally, I have the time to actually get hold of the internet long enough to read and review. Of course, I've arrived too late at the game and I know nothing about classics (I guess I'll have to wait for Athyra to tackle that).
So what is left for me to ramble about? I suppose I can always tackle the the Yui issue again. Like some reviewers already mentioned, the identity of Yui is dubious at best. There are several clues why this 'Yui' isn't the guitarist of HTT we've been reading about.
The way this Yui acted is rather innocent and meek, which could just be how she treated Azusa like she did chapters ago in her better moods. However, even then, the 'feeling' was off. This Yui was very gentle and considerate of Azusa, it was only later on that the brunette resembles the aggressive one we know.
"That's not the case, Azunyan," Yui whispered distantly, "In the end, they just want to do what they think is best for their daughter…"
This line stood out to me the most because it's probably the only clue that hinted Yui's pre-high school past. We know by now that the stepfather was a bastard who probably sexually assaulted (both) his stepdaughter(s). What of the sisters' real parents though? What happened to them? And why was it that this Yui did not blame them for whatever they had done? Mio's narration of the past was even clearer than the previous versions. Yui was obviously unsure of her new friends but quickly grew accustomed to them, especially Ritsu her best friend. Even after what she did to Azusa, Yui did not blame Ritsu at all. Was it guilt or something else? Also, perhaps Mio censored it on purpose, but she did not mention Ui at all.
"Go to sleep… Azusa-chan."
Another line that really stood out and increased the possibility behind my little theory here. Yui has never, ever called her that throughout the story, I'm sure. (watch I'm proven wrong…)Everything I've mentioned above pointed that the Yui in this chapter and the one in high school sound like and act like the girl in the hospital, which would make the current one in the band Ui…?
Gah, this is giving me a headache yet I can't stop trying to figure out. ghikiJ mentioned chess there, so I'll have to look up some stuff about that. For a beginner chess player, I sure know nothing about its origins.
Ok, fail attempt at analysis done. I'm getting really rusty. Now onto personal thoughts on the chapter.
I was very impressed. Reading Spiral has always been like going on a roller coaster ride that leaves you breathless at the end, whether it be a cliffhanger or on an ominous tone. Each segment, short and long, had their own powerful impact. Jun and Azusa's part showed how jaded Azusa's perspective is now, that she can no longer trust genuine friendship (or at least that's how I see Jun). Instead, she sought the very darkness that tainted her in the first place because she felt she belonged with them, that only they could understand her.
Then we have your epic Mugi saying those epic lines. She didn't even say much. Her presence was enough. She and Sawako. It's a self-explanatory scene.
Next we have Azusa's confrontation against her parents. Everything flowed smoothly, and your specific diction showed just how different she was compared to even just the last chapter, let alone the Azusa back in arc1. She was decisive, cold, and even sadistic to an extent. She now knew the pleasure of causing pain to others, and enjoyed it. As expected, Mio would be the one she turned to because they shared similar characteristics.
Spiral Mio is definitely my favorite version you've portrayed in your stories, Adrena. Calculating and so very broken, she was still tittering the edge of salvation and condemnation as shown here. She was kind to Azusa, it could even be sincere, yet there was ulterior motive as well. On the grander scheme of things, she needed Azusa to exact her revenge and satiate her bitterness. Therefore, she must keep the younger girl around even though she probably still wanted to break her.
"Yes, only you understand me," Azusa lifelessly slumped against her.
Very powerful lines, especially the way you narrated it. In essence, the former Nakano Azusa was gone, wasn't she? And Mio's smile was very ambiguous, and that was what made it sinister and forboding.
With your thrilling preview on DA, I certainly look forward to more of this new Azusa.
SalemXYZ who has been failing in analysis since 2011
| Leathersacotule chapter 11 . 3/19/2012
Fun and sexy story, good job with it so far.
The drama portion of it could be toned down a little bit. When you have as much 'citrus' content as you do in this story, all that melodrama can come across as a tad silly and uneeded.
But aside from that, this stories is one of the jewels in the rough of the K-ON! archives. So please don't stop writing and keep shoveling out the goods.
| yamineko chapter 11 . 3/19/2012
TT_TT just when i thought things would work out for them
even though it hurts me, im actually glad to see this new azusa, because she's cooller and looks like she can really handle herself. that producer wont be able to match up to her!
mio in this story is just so awesome!
| AokigaharaAzuNyan chapter 11 . 3/18/2012
I'm absolutely in love with this story.
The portrayal of Azusa and Yui's relationship is superb. And to where Yui's personality has been flipped to this mysterious casual sex person was extremely well done.
I love the new Yui's much more than the original. You should write a light novel. It was amazing.
| Scrya V chapter 11 . 3/16/2012
gah, i read this chapter like as soon as you uploaded it! ...but then i couldn't leave a review then cuz i had to rush out the door to get to my uni lecture... which i think i missed half of and then decided not to show anyway... such a model student i am. xD
BUT ANYWAY, as usual, chapters of spiral are outrageously dark. remembering the fluff stories you have in ur arsenal, i have to ask; where do you get it from?
no matter. it's good to see azusa getting stronger and finally, FINALLY, giving her parents a good "FUCK OFF", and seeing mio be all nice... but then there's the inevitable foreshadowing and ridiculous ambiguity... so once again i have no idea what's really going on in the minds of these HTT members.
i look forward to reading the next chapter! and good luck with your uni application and hope you get into the one you want! it's really not that bad. and don't worry about chapter delays! with the stuff you pump out, it's well worth the wait. 8Db
| yamineko chapter 11 . 3/15/2012
everytime i prepare myself before reading a chapter but im still shocked everytime
the way you write is beautiful and really emotional
i can't wait for the next chapter!
| closetotaku711 chapter 1 . 3/15/2012
Normally, I'd write a longer review but I find myself speechless. I'm completely enthralled.
To be honest, I'm not sure if I can read/watch K-ON the same way again. At least not for quite sometime.
You are a brilliant storyteller. And I'm very much looking forward to the next update.