|Reviews for Turning Points: Chess Match|
| Aynessa chapter 11 . 2/19
I have to confess, the ending seems rather far-fetched to me. I can't imagine the world being very pleased to find out that Zero was a Britannian prince the whole time, or being pleased that he would rejoin Britannia in the end, even if they did reform. It seems a little rushed and sort of thrown together, but that's ok because it's happy, it's sweet, and I am a sucker for happy endings where Suzaku and Lelouch reconcile. (And yes, your fandom roots definitely show, lol...I kept double checking the "Friendship" genre at the top, cause I wasn't quite sure where you were going with their interactions.) BUT, I will say that the interactions between the characters are flawless and SO the best part of this story. So excellent. I think I will go check out your other fics now..
| Aynessa chapter 7 . 2/19
This is absolutely AMAZING. I do not have enough words to describe the sheer mind-bogglingly awesomeness that is this story. The incredibly, unbelievably *flawless* dynamic between Lelouch and Suzaku...you have literally blindsided me. I don't even know what to say. The way Lelouch trusts in him, in his unfaltering character and conviction, the way he lets him just walk all over his carefully laid plans because he loves his best friend that much, and steals a hug from that friend while he's too unconscious to recoil in hatred...omg. Just amazing. I am in awe.
| Aynessa chapter 5 . 2/19
This..! You are an amazing writer. Simply amazing. The way you captured these characters' interactions and personalities is absolutely flawless. Especially the Lelouch-Suzaku dynamic, a cycle of broiling hate and tender friendship and loyalty and betrayal and just..! Ah! Love this so much.
| Aynessa chapter 3 . 2/19
OHHHH. Yes! YES. The intensity, hatred, fury, sheer *emotion* between Lelouch and Suzaku in this chapter...so amazing. Such accuracy in their interaction. You have astounded me with this chapter. It is disgustingly hard to find good CG fanfiction, so happy to have found this masterpiece.
| Aynessa chapter 2 . 2/19
Wow! The most amazing part of this chapter is Lelouch's twisted reasoning. Very spot on and accurate to his character! It's chilling.
I'm immensely enjoying this.
| Komi V chapter 11 . 9/28/2014
Really enjoyed this story! The plot shifts felt completely believable, and it was really interesting to see the consequences of this scenario. Looking forward to checking out the other Turning Points stories.
| Sapadu chapter 11 . 5/18/2014
Alright, our final conclusion - this fic took forever for me to get around to reviewing, but reading it just seems to go by in a flash. I will say that the action sequences tend to be… lacking… but then again, I've never found action sequences able to hold my attention in written media - they always seem to be the domain of visual media, and just reading about 'Person A threw a punch at Person B' has never held my interest. And, you always keep the focus on the drama and emotional intensity, which really is where it belongs.
Something, though, that caught my attention was Kallen's discussion with Zero!Lelouch - that Zero is a mask for someone who's broken enough that they NEED to hide behind the mask. It's… actually very true and it kind of makes me go back and think about what it says about both Suzaku and CC that, in series, they're the only ones to ever take up the mantle. (Also, does Kallen ever learn about CC being on Charles' side for a time? Or does Lelouch conveniently forget to tell her? I always did wonder how Kallen would react to learning that bit about her friend.) But, of course, it's not dwelled on long, in typical Lelouch style as he doesn't want to focus on what it says about him. Which, of course, makes the ending more poignant with how he reacts to the idea that, maybe, the whole story could have been avoided. Maybe and Could Have being the key words. It's a really solid punch to the gut and I, being the masochist I am, love rereading it every, single time. This is still solidly up there in my favorites and I always love coming back to it.
| Sapadu chapter 10 . 5/17/2014
Again, small complaint is just how RUSHED the explanation of Marianne's geass and the backstory and everything was in this chapter. But… again, it was rushed in the show, too - easily one of the weakest points of Code Geass' plot and story. Really rushed, felt very forced, and it's not like there was any build-up or foreshadowing leading up to it, so it felt phoned in and lacking, and when that's transferred over to written media (at least the show had gorgeous animation, brilliant music, great acting, and emotion-laden art and expressions for the characters, so that at least made it entertaining for the first time watch) it's gonna be cringe-worthy pacing. So… yeah, not your fault. If anything, you get it over quickly, and get us to the good stuff quick - that is, the emotional climax of Lelouch retaliating, saving Rolo (Yay!) he and Nunnally coming to terms (Aww!) This was a good climax.
Also: Suzaku makes a quip. Lelouch responds "You're not funny." It's become sorta a running gag in a lot of your fics and it always makes me chuckle.
| Sapadu chapter 9 . 5/17/2014
The only thing about this fic that I don't like is that you start this chapter off from Marianne's perspective. I kinda wished you'd saved the suspense for a later chapter, for when it would pack a really solid emotional punch. Of course, as this is assuming the readers have SEEN the entirety of Code Geass, I guess that we were never supposed to really be surprised so… yeah, we can let that one go. Now how does the rest of it hold up?
Well, it's fairly well-paced, and keeps everything close and personal. By the end of it, what with seeing the scenes all played back-to-back - from Rolo and Nunnally being captured, played off against Anya (Marianne) and CC showing up (and I love that you throw in the detail from the show that CC just HAD to stop and get her Cheese-kun LOL) and effectively taking Suzaku hostage, and all of it culminating in EVERYONE showing up where they need to be… It ends on a NAIL-BITING note.
| Sapadu chapter 8 . 5/17/2014
I always did wonder how Suzaku managed to work directly for the Emperor when, logically, he must have seen so much of his own father in the man, not to mention just being angry on Nunally's (if not Euphie's and Lelouch's) behalf. It always struck me as odd that, even with his self-proclaimed desire to make Britannia better and to work within the system (though, yeah, even he knew that was a load of bull) how did he so much as face the Emperor knowing that it was diametrically the opposite. This was a nice way of explaining it in this chapter. I also really love the way that Suzaku reacts to the Emperor's… ultimatum. It shows some of his character and I love how it contrasts with a SIMILAR scene in a different fic of yours (but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it)
| Sapadu chapter 7 . 5/17/2014
The two parts that stick out for me in this chapter are Suzaku's interaction with Tamaki (but not Todou, oddly enough. I still can't figure out why) because it's pretty much perfect for Tamaki's character and how silly and stupid he can be. And, on top of that, it shows a little bit of maturity to Suzaku that he reacts as calmly and relaxed as he does. And also "I'm just sayin' Zero mighta been tricked by this guy." "That's the same thing." Pfft!
The other is Lelouch's moment with Suzaku, asking for him to return to being part of Britannia. It's a really emotional moment, because Lelouch - LELOUCH, of all people - is ASKING Suzaku to return to fight with Britannia. AS in, 'Please, go back to being my enemy again, because I want Nunnally to have someone by her side'. It tugs on the heartstrings just because of how desperate it comes across, and thus, it shows Lelouch at a vulnerable moment. And, on top of that, it show's Suzaku in the same light, and it comes across as a great moment of emotional honesty for both of them, and that ALWAYS gets me.
| Scarease chapter 11 . 5/7/2014
This is a great story man good job.
| Sapadu chapter 6 . 5/4/2014
Again, since C.C. (without her code) is so heavily featured in this chapter, she feels like the main focus. And, oddly, she's used to good effect, which, ironically, is the only thing that she CAN be good for when she is like this and has, in effect, no character of her own. I like the little touches of how Kallen cares about her, but the big focus is on how Lelouch and Suzaku react to her - oddly enough, I think Lelouch passing Suzaku over and foisting C.C. on him is a GOOD thing. Manipulative, yes, but Suzaku's the absolute worst of himself when he's angry, cruel, and pretty much the entirety of his personality in R2. So, more or less forcing him to interact with C.C. makes him think about someone else… for THEIR sake, as opposed to when he's on the battlefield and fighting under the pretense of protecting someone, but he's really trying to get himself killed. It's good for him. And, of course, Lelouch is perfectly portrayed as someone who is selfless… but selfish about it - he's worried about C.C. and does really want to help her, but part of him focuses on how HE'S being inconvenienced and he justifies his worry as 'This is how it impacts me' despite the fact that he is also worried for C.C.'s sake. There's a lot of little lines that show the layers of these characters in pretty much every scene.
And, with all that said, there's still a lot going on - the dynamics of relationships seem to shift, only a little bit, but it's enough to completely change the game. It's pretty cool.
| Sapadu chapter 5 . 5/4/2014
Oddly enough, the focus of this chapter seems to be on Lelouch and Nunnally. Maybe because that's the first 'conflict' in that it's what really throws Lelouch for a loop, or maybe because so much weight is put on it… and that's definitely a good thing - one of the downsides of R2, I think, was that it kept Lelouch and Nunnally separated FOR SO LONG. Just a little while, would have been fine for tension. But the entire damn season? We didn't see any of their relationship or of how much Lelouch really cared about his sister, or how much she affected him… and we also saw so little of Nunnally that she devolved into kind of a non-character. This brought the emotional crux of Lelouch's entire scheme right to the front and center, and it felt like a punch to the gut.
And then… it ties in nicely to Suzaku's emotional involvement and conflict - sure, half of what he does is because he's a self-loathing, passive-aggressive suicidal ball of grief (I'm still angry about Euphie's death, especially how he's now mostly just leaning on it as an excuse to hate Lelouch) but I honestly believe the other half comes down to how much he cares for Nunnally and Lelouch, and wants to protect/help them. And this chapter played with that expectation so well. In fact, I think my favorite scene is when Lelouch pulls him into the shower and makes him tea to warm him up after sleeping outside. Because Suzaku reacts just like I'd expect him to… but I also get the sense that he's trying to look for a bit of good in his friend… and then hating himself for being so selfish (but that's me just reading a little too much into it) If I had to pick a single line out, it's when Suzaku, angry that the war is ending and it's because he's no longer able to fight Lelouch on the battlefield, calls Lelouch 'A disgusting human being'. It actually half expected Lelouch to snort and retort something along the lines of 'You need to be a human being before you can be a disgusting one.' or something likewise disdainful and witty (actually, I'm totally nabbing that one, too) so it makes me think there's even more emotional turmoil going on inside their heads that you DON'T put on the page, and that's really good character writing.
| Sapadu chapter 4 . 4/27/2014
Lemme tell you, Suzaku's frustration at being unable to die, and then how that frustration gets to him and makes him feel even more ashamed/frustrated rings VERY true. I feel for this guy. Bravo.
But, by the same token, I also totally feel like Kallen - and you do a great job making her just as emotional as she ever was in the series, but also as cold and rational as she ever was. It's a delicate balance and you pulled it off really well, by having her able to rationalize away why she follows Lelouch, but still recognizing how royally screwed up it is that they're still, by legal definition, children and have been involved in wars and shit that many adults don't ever face. It IS messed up, and the world is messed up for dropping this on them. And that's emotional, too.
And, actually, pretty much everything in this chapter is emotional - it's melodramatic, actually, but in a good way, the way the series was. Because melodrama is basically the presentation of emotional intensity over the mundane, making conversations enough that they warrant gasps, screams, and tears, both from the audience or from the characters or both. And Code Geass often pulled it off with extraordinary circumstances and situations back-to-back with everyday, petty dilemmas, and showing the exact kind of emotional response that real people WOULD have if they were in these circumstances (kind of like the way shell-shocked vetrans react when they have to return to civilian life) and you manage to mirror that spirit PERFECTLY, by giving a scenario that would be laden with emotion, such as Suzaku talking to Lelouch about Euphy (and, is it just me, or is Lelouch seriously repressing an emotional response out of guilt or something, because when Suzaku says 'I hate you' and Lelouch replies '…I know', it felt like he was saying something else without saying it. That's good atmosphere and character writing, right there) And then… Oh god, Shirley… I was mostly indifferent to her in the series - basically, she felt more like a plot device and written in to flesh out other characters than as her own character, but at least she wasn't god-awful annoying and did have a small character of her own (even if it was more a bare-bones personality that was then used as a tool to bounce other people off of it rather than be able to exist on her own) so, the fact that you brought that out here and made it… actually something of a character that was, well, more, is pretty special, and I honestly felt bad for her. More applause.