|Reviews for The Dark Lords Strike Back|
| Zaru chapter 3 . 11/24/2011
What a chapter. This was by far one of tr best fights I've seen written, like on par with LD 1449, rk oujirou, Artful Lounger, and Cap'n Chyrssalid.
But the end has me confused. Is Ranma in a dream?
| Reader Just A chapter 3 . 11/24/2011
wow that was epic! Great chapter! thanks for writing. I look forward to more.
| Rowan Seven chapter 3 . 11/24/2011
If I had to hazard an assessment, I'd say that holding Arkham City hostage as incentive paid off. This chapter was epic, poignant, and more than worth the wait.
In particular, I like how you structured the chapter so Ranma's journey paralleled Sailor Moon's in the anime with him losing one friend and ally after another, finding the resolve to go on and turn the tide of battle, and in his own way pulling off a miracle at the end. Seeing the toll such colossal personal loss took on Ranma and how the words and sacrifices of his friends ultimately gave him the strength to continue fighting was riveting and made for some of the richest character exploration yet in this saga of yours, and I felt like cheering when he found a way to meaningfully contribute in the final battle despite being completely outclassed in power.
I will also say that I believe you made the right choice in working this chapter (largely) around Sailor Moon's Season 1 finale instead of retelling the finale's events wholesale in the update. This chapter works best with knowledge of the Season 1 finale, but that episode of Sailor Moon is so widely known that covering those events again might have been redundant and certainly would have taken up a lot of time, taken attention away from the Nerima characters, and possibly bogged the story down. Framing this update as an equally important side-story that shares the climax of the Sailor Moon saga was a good decision, in my opinion, and fleshed out what was going on behind the scenes of the anime.
The deaths of the Nerima Wrecking Crew were powerful and caused me to tear-up at several points (I'm a sap when it comes to things like this). Ryouga's came as a surprise because-Cologne's death aside-at that point I still wasn't sure if the story was heading in that direction, and Kuno's was filled with pathos because by then I could see what was coming. The last stand of the Fiancée Brigade was tragic and strangely uplifting at the same time because it was pleasant to see the four of them put aside their differences and unite, even if it was only in the last moments of their lives. The omission of Mousse's fate seems a bit odd in retrospect since you covered the rest of the main players, but that thought only occurred to me hours after I finished reading the update and Ryouga and Akane's demises had already gotten Ranma into the mental state he needed to be in so catching up with Mousse could have been extraneous.
The battles were well written, and I like how you handled the Musk and Prince Herb. Their fight against Queen Beryl was gripping, and Herb's determination and willingness to take such extreme measures to win had me rooting for him. His combination attack with Soap seemed especially emblematic of his drive and ruthless approach to combat. It was also fun to see Beryl get off her throne and go all out for a change, and you did a great job both describing her magical attacks and giving her character a depth that's easy to overlook in the anime (at least in the DIC dub, anyway).
Queen Serenity's inclusion was a nice touch, and her heartfelt grief at having led her daughter to this-despite knowing that it was for the good of the world-was moving. Beneda's defiance of Metallia and resolve to save lives instead of take them was a similarly poignant character moment and helped prevent her from being completely overshadowed by everything else that was going on.
With that said, though, I think this chapter could have benefited from an additional scene between Cologne and Meihui as they died together on the Juuban end of the portal. It's appropriate on many levels that their last act was to cooperate with each other, but you injected their relationship with such a strong personal dynamic that I would have liked the closure of knowing what went through Cologne's head in those final moments and whether they made a peace of sorts with each other.
Similarly, I think the same case can be made for Sailor Mars and Modra. This is perhaps the one anime scripted confrontation that gained new layers from your prequel story, and even though the outcome was already known I think the climax of Modra's vendetta against Sailor Mars might have been more powerful if it had been told from either the youma or fire senshi's perspective.
Criticisms aside, though, this was a great chapter and I truly enjoyed reading it. It is impressive how natural you've managed to make fitting Ranma 1/2 into Sailor Moon look, and I'm eagerly anticipating the next chapter. And now, just for fun, here's some wild speculation.
Do the Nerima Wrecking Crew remember Beneda and their Dark Lords escapade? I'm guessing no which could cause an amusing misunderstanding down the road where the Sailor Senshi find Ranma and Ryouga again and still believe they're evil supervillains while Ranma and Ryouga have no idea what they're talking about.
With Metallia and Beryl dead and the most powerful youma in the Dark Kingdom destroyed, youma civilization is probably in complete disarray. The moment seems amenable for a social revolution, and if Beneda stays with the survivors her acts of kindness and healing could fundamentally change youma culture. On the other hand, Jadeite might still be alive albeit trapped in Eternal Sleep, and if someone gets it into their head to break him out that could cause problems of its own.
Will the third installment in this story involve the Black Moon Clan? I'm tempted to say no because I feel you want to write a story centered around the Sailor Senshi and NWC, but with the scale of both this story and its prequel I'm not sure if a conflict between those two groups alone would have the same magnitude. I would guess instead that an original antagonist that may have ties to one of the Senshi's enemies will drive the conflict in the next installment alongside misunderstandings and interactions between the Sailor Senshi, NWC, and youma remnants.
And of course, the most suspenseful loose end of all: can Nerima survive the boy-crazy antics of Jupiter and Venus, or will those two cause more damage than the NWC in their quest for boyfriends? -chuckles-
| IOException chapter 3 . 11/24/2011
Great ending! I couldn't stop reading. Kinda sad that you killed off the Nerima gang, but knowing that a Deus Ex Machina was coming (it is a SM crossover after-all) it didn't hurt much. i still hope you add a bit of comedy to any planned epilogue now that all the action is over. It was the only thing missing out from this intense second part of the Dark Lord's (hopefully) trilogy. Thanks!
| Bolo chapter 3 . 11/24/2011
Epic just epic but I do have some concerns. In The Dark Lords Ryouga was more of a main character but it seems that hes been replaced by Ranma in this one, any reason or it just flowed that way story wise. Hes death seemed mindless as charge was all he did, I would have hoped he would have used all his techniques or have some other plan besides what he did. Mousse was absent during this chapter, what happened to him? Still enjoyed it greatly cant wait for more.
| flairina chapter 3 . 11/24/2011
That was... that was...
Seriously, quite an awesome chapter. I figured everyone would revive at the end (or at least, I was going "THEY SURE AS HECK BETTER REVIVE AT THE END!"), but that was still packed with awesomeness. Thanks for not splitting this up by the way, it's so much more enjoyable when I can read it all at once. I look forward to the conclusion and sequel! (Though I'm not sure how you could really top this.)
| Maximara chapter 3 . 11/24/2011
I never liked the whole memoryhistory reset at the end of the first season of Sailor Moon - if the Ginzuishou was THAT powerful then why did the Moon Kingdom have to die? Furthermore the huge number of grandfather paradoxes and internal inconsistencies that exist in the series as a whole makes the ending suspect.
Never mind the power creep in Sailor Moon is pretty ridiculous (Sailor Saturn is a living Death Star and things go up from there.) I took the tack of dealing with the insane power levels at the start and explaining why that can't use them right off the bat-they don't know enough. But this fanfic seems to set Ranma on the path of becoming Goku Jr. by the time Sailor Galaxia and that is not a good thing.
| Guile chapter 3 . 11/24/2011
The fighting scenes were good, but it just wasn't as 'Ranma-y' as your last fic. Or, well, maybe that's not right; it's Jusendo Ranma rather than 'I have a clever/stupid plan' Ranma.
So the sequel... Ail and Ann, maybe?
| quickshot0 chapter 3 . 11/24/2011
Pretty neat plot wise, you certainly managed to work out the details and have things make even more sense like this. I can't really think of anything right away where I'd say it didn't make sense at all, is impossible or wouldn't happen, nor can I really think of any plot holes at the moment... The thing that stands out the most I guess is that now dead Queen still had enough power to transport Ranma, that's probably the most speculative of the entire thing... Though it does explain why he was at the final battle and no one else made it.
| RyougaZell chapter 3 . 11/24/2011
I'm speechless. I can't put unto words what I'm thinking. This chapter was just... perfect... simply... perfect.
| Zealot of Reading chapter 3 . 11/24/2011
Why? Please, for all that is holy, why? You wrote your best damn chapter yet, everything was very intense, characterization spot on, the battle realistic! And then! THEN! You simply HAD to resurrect everybody! Damn it, why?
| yog chapter 3 . 11/24/2011
When discussing this chapter on SpaceBattles, may people said that it was a canon rehash, albeit a very awesome canon rehash. I cannot agree with this - Usagi SURVIVED (bold letters) and seems to have retained her memories, perhaps even her memories of Ranma saving her. This alone, is a very important divergence.
The other part is that Ranma (perhaps due to being the last one standing) also seems to have retained at least some memories. This can only mean one thing - LEVEL GRINDING! Because let's face it - Ranma just saw the best and most powerful of his friends/rivals slaughtered. He won't let the history repeat itself. If I has any grasp on his character, he'll train till he drops and then some more - start using pressure point technques to unlock his potential (like finding the master who drew the mark of the battle god on Ryoga and persuading him to teach it to Ranma, then painting it on himself and using shadow incense for clone training / painting it on Ryoga and sparring with him), start learning all techniques he can get his hands on (he will, at least, learn bakusai tenketsu), start inventing techniques, perfect the sealed schools and unseal them.
Oh, and teach Akane and others (including Kuno) what he can. Because no matter how much he may dislike them, he doesn't want to see them die again.
At least, this is my understanding of the logical way this would proceed.
And besides, to even feature on Senshi radar, Ranma and Co. have to grow exponentially stronger.
| Spica75 chapter 3 . 11/24/2011
Quite a magnificent chapter.
Sure the end might be predictable for those who knows SM canon, but that doesnt lessen the excellent writing that brought it all together.
| HakumeiJin chapter 3 . 11/24/2011
The sheer epicness of this chapter has blown me away completely. I can't believe how much the deaths affected me even knowing that all of it would be reset in the end.
The desperate attacks of the fighters from both sides were incredible and Kuno was Incredible, even though he is normally a character I find meaningless/useless you somehow managed to make me nearly cry at his death and he was actually still in character even during that.
And while there were so many other characters that also had awesome last stands I have to say Ranma was the best. That desperate last attack and finally having lost everything being ready to give up his own life force to save Sailor Moon ... it really just brought this whole thing somewhere magnitudes higher than the canon of either series. Even though the Sailor Senshi were able to do all this alone this way seems so much better and more believable. And to think that this is just an interlude... Keep up the good work. It doesn't matter how much we wait if you can create stuff like this in that time.
| Scarmagista chapter 3 . 11/24/2011
I do hope that Beneda wasn't destroyed by the Ginzuisho, she had far to much development to just be thrown away.
Will Ranma's life force being used within the Ginzuisho have any lasting effects on him other than keeping his memories? What kind of effects will dealing with war and death have on his personality?
Also, how far back in time are they? Is it some point during R1/2 canon that will be rehashed with a more competent and/or distorted Ranma? Could it even be near the beginning of the series, just before everything gets truly crazy? If Ranma ends up being sent back over a year, will his grades in Furinkan be improved over what he remembers?
And will Usagi seek out the dark lords of Nerima or her mysterious saviour?
You had some of the most incredible war scenes that I have ever seen in fanfiction. I remember HIVEMinded having a damn good fight scene, but the 'anyone can die' feel of yours put it head and shoulders above SlayerAnderson's work.
Kuno's Death scene was particularly poignant, and I was glad that you had him come to a realization, rather than making him an outright idiot to the end like some others do.