Reviews for Meimei
Guest chapter 1 . 12/12/2013
Hello!
I kinda have to ask it here coz my account does not work properly, but can I request a fic?
A palletshipping (Satoshi/Shigeru)? There's not much of 'em here
I know it'll take a while (that is, if you accept) but I would really be glad if you guys write
Ian R. Moros chapter 1 . 3/7/2012
I liked this a great deal. The emotions came off as genuine and the story was an interesting one with a compelling structure and involving characters. I would say that there are two themes at work in this piece, although they are quite closely related. The first of these is that of family—something a lot of your works have dealt with. Obviously the title should be a big hint at the importance of family in this particular work, but it does not stop with that or with the obvious importance of family in Jen’s reflections. There are many other conspicuous mentions of family, such as Takato’s relationship with his parents, how Takato knows that his dad wants grandkids, Takato’s mom and her cousin, and Takato and Kai being like brothers. None of these references were necessary to the story being told, but each and every one adds to the atmosphere. Each mention of family brings more life to the story and gets the reader into Jen’s state of mind.

The second theme in play is a sense of belonging and community. This is very closely related to family, but has distinct features. Even when not actually related, Jen, Takato, Kenta, and now Xiaochun experience a bond of belonging to a community, a “family” in one sense of the word. But for each of them, this feeling of belonging follows and is diametrically opposed to profound feelings of isolation. I think Jen’s use of the term “broken” best describes how he and probably the rest of them felt prior to realizing they weren’t alone. Once they have these bonds in their own lives they feel invigorated, normal, whole. In some respects, it was less important that Jen be able to say “I’m gay” and more important that he be able to say “I’m the same.” To be able to speak to someone who knows what he’s going through and has been there is crucial for his well-being, just as it is for Kenta and for Xiaochun.

These two themes converge and mix in ways that keep the reader engaged throughout the story. That Jen feels both blessed and cursed by his family comes up a few times, like the paradoxical affection and frustration Jen feels when it comes to his older brother’s antics, or to Xiaochun’s pestering. When these feelings crash up against how he feels about being gay—from isolation and fear to joy at being with the one he loves—the emotional complexity takes on many shades, from fear of his family’s reaction to relief at Xiaochun’s support. And each of these characters has to deal with the same thing, though we only see bits and pieces of how the others contend with these issues, from Takato’s worries how his parents and cousin will take it, to Kenta’s difficulty in dealing with his orientation to Xiaochun’s hiding the truth from Jen even at the end. Actually, that last part does bring up another interesting point—we see another grand Li tradition continue: lying to one’s family. Jiangyu and Jen lied to one another and to the rest of the family all the time in the series, usually to justifying it to themselves as protecting the rest of them, and now Xiaochun is doing the same thing. That is one more thing to make note of when it comes to family—no matter how different they seem to be, you can see aspects of every person in every other family member. That is a key point that connects the themes of this piece—seeing a piece of yourself in someone else, and building a bond around that. Experiences people have in common but see through different lenses.

I will note, though, that for a story with such a heavy focus on family, the parents are noticeably absent. Sure, they get some mention, but for as much as Jen talks about Xiaochun and Lianjie, he doesn’t seem to think about his parents much. With Takato, his parents are literally gone for his entire time in the story. Again, references are made to them, but their presence is, to say the least, downplayed. And really, there was no need for them to be a topic of discussion for this story, and maybe their absence makes the whole work more tightly-written, but I can’t help wonder if making more mention of them would add a bit more depth.

I really liked how you structured this story, alternating between the present and flashbacks. It felt like it was slowly building, going back and forth with more and more detail added each time the past came up until there was the whole scene where Takato finally came out to Jen. That slow build and the hinting at what happened without delivering it until later helped spur me on, made me need to keep reading to see what happened. And it was all set up with a great hook—Xiaochun desperately seeking Jen’s help. Right away the reader wants to see what the payoff is to that. And it is a pretty good payoff; while the ending isn’t super surprising, there are a lot of hints sprinkled throughout the piece that only become apparent on subsequent readings, so this piece actually improves when reading it a second time; that is something both rare and wonderful. Your writing structure works very well, but if I had to identify a weakness it would be that it can be difficult to form an image in one’s head to go along with the words on the page. A few more visual cues would help, I think, but it can be a difficult thing to do and I know I am no one to provide lessons on how to achieve the right effect, but it is worth experimenting. One exception to this overall feeling was the scene where Takato came out to Jen; I had a very strong image in my head during that sequence, from the TV to how they were sitting, it worked quite well. I would suggest looking back over that scene again to see what worked about it.

While some of the humor worked quite well in this story, I feel that there were some places where it either fell flat or felt one-dimensional. To be more specific, I think you relied far too heavily on only two jokes: the nosebleed gag and the long-hyphenated-phrase-to-demonstrate-annoyance gag. With the nosebleed gag, it can be very funny but suffers from some pretty severe diminishing returns when used more than once or twice. You might try replacing one or two of these with a good old-fashioned boner joke—it is, in essence, the same joke, but by mixing it up a bit the joke gets less tired. As to the second type of joke, I know why you would use it, and it can be effective, but its use here was clumsy more often than not. Maybe you intend it as adding some personality to Jen’s internal monologue, and I certainly won’t fault you for trying that, but it just seemed like those jokes could have gotten more of a laugh if they were a bit punchier. In humor, timing is everything.

Anyway, enough dwelling on where there could be improvement. This was a great story and themes are great fertile ground for emotional dynamics that a nicely fleshed-out. The characters are relatable, deep, and likable. The pacing is just right, building slowly but delivering punches where it needs to and not overstaying its welcome. When the jokes worked, they worked really well, and that was mostly because the characters work. The dramatic moments were truly suspenseful and engaging. It was a rewarding read and a fine showcase of your talents as a writer.
master-anime-archer chapter 1 . 3/4/2012
This was sooo cute! Im swimming in adorable fluff. As far as actually beig constructive I liked the way there were little hints that Xiaochun was ended up going after Ai. It was well crafted. I also like the way the Chinese was used correctly. I'm taking my first year of Chinese do it's always fun to see it used properly. I simply have one humble request. May I please visit your turtle farm one day?
master-anime-archer chapter 1 . 3/4/2012
This was sooo cute! Im swimming in adorable fluff. As far as actually beig constructive I liked the way there were little hints that Xiaochun was ended up going after Ai. It was well crafted. I also like the way the Chinese was used correctly. I'm taking my first year of Chinese do it's always fun to see it used properly. I simply have one humble request. May I please visit your turtle farm one day?
rrm chapter 1 . 2/21/2012
Nice job! I love how you are able to combine humor with romance.

Heh, Black speedo Ryou. Also, yes, what were the writers trying to imply with that "Hand-holding while being shot with love arrows"?

However, as it was said before, it was very obvious how this was going to end. Not that it made it any less cute, but it must be said.

Now I'll just wait for some Ruki fics.

Also, That mini-fic, lolwut. I hope your psychic powers are real.
Kayori Matsuda Li chapter 1 . 1/20/2012
Glad to her from you two again!It's been forever:)

It was a great story, as always

Can't wait for more stories;D

Love,

Kayori ML
Kohaku chapter 1 . 1/18/2012
Sempai, that was... incredably obvious. I love the story, it's utterly adorable, but you should work on... Subtly.

Also, what do your mean " not that official"? Yours killing me sempai. I want something hot and saucy... behind the school maybe? Yum.
Darkness Within Us chapter 1 . 1/18/2012
OMG! Finally a shoujo-ai!

I thought you guys didn't want to write a shoujo-ai

I wanted to ask, but it came! YAY! But I was sort of expecting Ruki-Juri fic P
Riku Murasaki chapter 1 . 1/17/2012
I've decided it's called "Xiaoi" because reasons. But actually, because it sounds like "yaoi", which would make it an amusing pairing title, even if the pairing would classify more appropriately as yuri. (Interesting fact: it peeves me when slash writers use "yaoi" as the content warning in their summaries rather than "slash", as said individual is not writing in Japanese, nor is he/she drawing his/her story in a manga format.)