|Reviews for The Island of Misfit Toys|
| Luna Rapunzel chapter 14 . 2/2
Eek, this is lovely. You've done a great job of taking an extraordinary situation to do with war and conspiracy and outlaws and made it relatable by entangling it with Saji's wish that he could get back together with Louise and everything be miraculously normal again in spite of everything that's happened. That's a very human thing to want and added a nice feeling of realism to an otherwise very fantastical plot. (Not that I'm trying to discredit the entire fantasy genre, lol, but like you know what I mean.) This part - "To wake up at a lunch table to find Louise scolding him for sleeping…to open a door and see her on the other side waiting impatiently for him to come shopping with her…to watch her nodding off in the middle of class…to have just one of the experiences he had once considered "ordinary" back, he would've done anything." - was the moment when I knew I felt properly connected to Saji as a narrator, because even if his circumstances are different than those of anybody else who's lost a significant other or who's having relationship problems, the emotions all ring equally true.
I liked how you led into Saji's reflections using the ring as your opener; it was a nice transition and natural for him to think back when prompted by the ring's symbolism. I also thought your wording was really powerful in the closing two paragraphs, how you're repeating what you'd said earlier about how "deep down, he wondered whether that was really the reason why he chased after her so desperately." And especially being fandom-blind, I appreciated the blend of information you gave us in the first half of the fic explaining the situation with the war and Celestial Being being the sort of scapegoat good guy organization - it wasn't too tell-y but set up nicely the exposition of the story and the moment Saji's in in his life at the time that everything's going down with trying to find Louise and why he's thinking so much about her and why he's trying to rescue her in the first place.
| rhinosgirl chapter 2 . 1/28
Hi, NinthFeather! Rhino here –hugs- I am completely fandom blind here, so please forgive me any canon ignorance, including having no idea what Celestial Being is.
The first two sentences immediately immersed me in the grief and angst of the story and I thought I was prepared for the sadness that was to come. Man was I wrong!
I think the opening sentence of the third paragraph (An armed organisation isn’t like a locket or a photograph) would benefit from the addition of the word “though” at the end. In my opinion, this would make it clear to the reader that there is a comparison being made to the sentence before it.
In saying this, the differentiations you make are very strong ones. With lockets and photographs, the “heaviness” and “care” is physical. With Celestial Being, they are obviously emotional.
When coupled with the loss of her mother and father, the constant changes in the people around her, who, I presume, would have been her only support system, could have been disastrous to Feldt’s psyche, and led to the breakdown of Celestial Being. But she showed the strength of her character in remaining. Whatever the reason, she stayed. I see this as the crux of the story because it gave her way of life, and her people’s, a chance to survive
I’m glad Feldt realised that she had changed along with everybody else. I am sure this knowledge was a great help in her coming to terms with her parent’s deaths, and claiming Celestial Being as her own.
Thanks for writing this story. I really enjoyed reading it.
| bkwrmnlvnit chapter 3 . 1/27
Howdy, heydy! I'm back, though admittedly no more familiar with the canon and terribly late. Apologies for that - I hope it doesn't cause any setbacks.
Oh, this story is just as good as I remember it, right from the start. Instantly I'm loving the development of the relationship between Kinue and Saji and the utter devotion from Kinue that seems to be there right from the start. The fact that she counts her ability to raise her brother unquestioned as a fortunate event and has zero regrets or complaints about how hard life is just shows not only how unvaryingly dedicated she is to her brother and how close they are, but the kind of person she is. She doesn't waste time moping. She does what needs to be done, and she moves on because she is strong enough to take it, and whenever she isn't strong enough she makes herself be anyway. Absolutely love that image.
Again, this relationship between Kinue and Saji is amazing. The sort of sacrifice that Kinue puts herself through to keep him happy and him safe is absolutely touching. Most people would have just been like 'he has to toughen up sometime' but she does the exact opposite and tries her damnedest to protect him, and to me, that's beautiful. I really have to appreciate the fact that she takes the time to do that, because not only is it rare, it's far from easy and she knows that and she does it anyway because ultimately, the most important thing to her is always going to be Saji and his feelings, not herself and any struggles she may endure for his sake.
I also admire her for being able to set aside her own feelings in relation to not only how their life is, but her brother's choice of girlfriend. She may not be fond of her, but she doesn't get all five ways twisted about it either, and that's honestly amazing. I love the way that this character is so magnanimous but also down to earth - she's dedicated to her brother, and her head is clearly on her shoulders, but she also is smart enough to know how and when to set herself to the side to view a situation through a clear lens, so to speak, and that's amazing.
And how fitting, that it should end like this for her. She's lived her life trying to protect her brother and be everything for him, and she's basically always set herself on the back burner to focus on the fact that there were always bigger problems and more important issues than what she had going on. The fact that she dies the way she lived, in a quest to help someone else understand and feel better and breathe easier, is both tragic and beautiful in my mind. It's a great loss to have someone this wonderful die, but it's also so infinitely, undeniably beautiful that she could have lived her life this way and gone out in a manner she deserved, even if it was all too soon.
All in all, this is another amazing chapter to this story. You use emotion to great effect, and I love how well you characterise every single person and make sure that we really truly know them so we're reading a story about people who are important rather than a string of unconnected faces. This truly is amazing work - well done! Keep it up and thanks for posting!
| bkwrmnlvnit chapter 4 . 1/27
Heya! Back again with even more raving and the usual amounts of fandom-blindness. Not that it will make a difference, but I thought you should know. :)
Oh man, this first paragraph just sets the scene perfectly and right from the top I'm loving it. Not only does this do a great job of illustrating what's going on - and considering that he's fighting a horribly inappropriate urge to laugh, I'm guessing whatever's happening is pretty bad - it also does a great job painting a picture of who Setsuna is. He's no angel, but he doesn't feel like a bad guy either. He feels like a kid almost who is reacting the only way they know how, and that's to laugh.
And you just go on to prove that right immediately after this opening paragraph by explaining his past just enough to where we know that whoever he is, he is young and oh boy is he screwed up. But what hits me the hardest is the fact that he describes the most traumatic and hurtful thing he's experienced as not some undoubtedly terrible war crime he's witnessed or been victim to, but rather the fact that Lyle is mad enough to be punching him in the face.
I love the subtle way you introduce the background story here without slapping the reader in the face with it. You just tell us what we need to know in the simple manner in which we need to know it, and that's fitting for not only the moment, but also the character. Setsuna knows what he's done and he regrets it, but he can't change it and so he's not even going to try to BS some defense. I think that's a really strong testament to his character, really - he doesn't try to make up for something he knows he can't make up for. It really paints him as being very grounded in reality in my mind, and that's an interesting image to sort of contrast with considering that his mind doesn't seem to wander on particularly straight tracks.
Man, this breaks my heart here with his connection of Lyle and Neil - he knows it's not Neil, but he still can't shake that pain off of being on the end of such hatred from someone even sharing his face. They're totally different people, but even the image of Neil being so /furious/ haunts Setsuna, and the fact that that's true hits me really hard in the feels because it just shows so well how much Neil means to him. I get the impression that Setsuna values very few people, so the fact that he values his friend so well just speaks volumes, and it makes it so much sadder that this is happening.
Man, and this ending. Fricking kick me in the feels, why don'tcha? Joking aside, this is just...Wow. I love the sort of circular notion to it, and the depths of the feelings. Again, it's the fact that Neil and Setsuna were so close and now they've (I'm guessing) been forced apart by what I assume is Neil dying, and it's the fact that they're both alone now. But above all else, it really is this sort of feeling that though it's a different person, it's still the same face staring at Setsuna with the same hatred as if to say he's done it again, because this carries on the revelation that history is really repeating itself. At one point, Neil had hated Setsuna for a crime he'd committed that he couldn't undo, and now it's Neil's brother that's hating Setsuna for another wrong that he still can't set to rights. It's a really somber feeling that gives a whole new meaning to the phrase 'nothing changes but what it stays the same', and it breaks my heart.
The amount of emotion in this story is overwhelming. You're still totally rocking the imagery, the characterisations, and above all else, the sheer feeling of everything. I'm so attached to the characters of each chapter that it's ridiculous, and I love them all. Well done! Bravo and thanks for posting,
| bkwrmnlvnit chapter 1 . 1/1
Oh my holy cheese. So I was really just wandering through the RLt archives and Story of the Week thread and I found this gem and I am so glad I did because WOW. I have never seen this fandom, though I've heard of it, so I'm completely canon blind but one chapter in and I already love it. WOW. This is beautiful!
Ahem. I'm going to try and keep this coherent, I swear. I'm just really hyper right now and already loving this, so forgive me if you will. XD
First off, this opening line totally drew me into the piece, even being canon-blind. I'm a real sucker for stories about hurt and comfort and broken people being misfit families, and I love the way that you instantly make it clear that that's what this story is about. That sort of blunt statement is the kind of thing I just adore in the start of a story. It gets right into the heart of it, and that's wonderful.
Love the way you elaborate on this too in the next few paragraphs. Already I'm viewing Celestial Being as sort of a place where a lot of people go who maybe aren't wanted in 'normal society', and I see it as a somewhat sad place because of that because really, these are all the rejects who society can't be bothered to help. It's a really powerful image that makes me feel for these characters right off the bat because they've essentially been abandoned. The fact that they're so close to the edge of oblivion (Which is an emotion that I totally understand, by the way) and yet have been cast aside makes my heart break for them, because clearly this is where they were pretty much thrown to rot because no one would help and that's just tragic. Love the fact that so much emotionally intensity is packed into so few words. NICE!
Seriously, how do you do this? The sheer amount of emotion here is just mindblowing. The description of all the people and how Neil is the only one helping them is just heartbreaking, especially when it comes to Allelujah because the way you describe him, like holy crap I KNOW THIS and yeah. WOW. This helps me so much in connecting to the characters so quickly, and I'm automatically feeling Niel's pain in wanting to help them. I'm also automatically loving Niel because he wants to help them. This paragraph you have in here about how he tries so hard but he doesn't feel like it's enough and it's not what he's cut out for just rings so true to me and I identify with it so well, and I instantly love the fact that he is trying so, SO hard for all these people to make them feel a little better. It's not something he has to do, but he's doing it anyway, and that sort of altruism and kind-hearted beauty is just wonderful. I love this.
Man, this is beautiful. The description of how Niel can't help trying and why sums up every feeling I have about people who are broken. I love how he sees these people are absolutely beautiful underneath the brokenness, and, unlike the majority of society who obviously threw them out, he is TRYING to make them better so the world can finally see what he knows about how these guys are just so, so wonderful. To me, this is beauty and it is so true, because no matter who you are, there is always something worthwhile there if you look and yeah, I'll save my philosophical rantings for later dates but just know that this is gorgeous.
Again. AGAIN. The fact that he describes what these screwed up people could have been if the world hadn't screwed them over and describes them as part of the reason that he can't stand the world because it's not looking or listening is just WOW. I love this. I love the fact that he sees the truth in that their brokenness is not their fault unlike everyone tends to think, and it should not be brushed off and ignored. I love the fact that he's giving them second chances and trying to save them when no one else will. I love the fact that he's fighting to make sure the world doesn't just get to peace, but that it also changes for the better and starts to realize what it's missing and maybe becomes a little brighter in not simply shucking off the broken ones and making them be alone. This is just so infinitely noble and beautiful, and I admire it so deeply and love it so much. Absolutely wonderful.
All in all, the sheer amount of emotion in this story is just MINDBLOWING. Every single character is just so strongly characterised already, and I'm already identifying so strongly with every one of them. Right off the bat, I'm hooked into this absolutely beautiful story. WOW. Love love love it and hope to read more soon because this is gorgeous! Bravo and thanks for posting!
| SkylanTorian2014 chapter 22 . 12/19/2014
Finally! Finally! I can bloody do the review for chapter 22 after one week wait! But excited! So, I triple check, highlight correctly and the meant to review. So, here we go, buddy!
It has been a very long time since I last did my review and so I check where I left off. Now that the month of November is over, I can officially go back to reading again. So, back to business.
I really like this chapter - a lot. It is very imaginative, even for a fandom blinder like me. The description on the character such as Tiera, Marie and Fedlt was really great! I also like the opening chapter, what Tiera was seeing in his dream. I can definitely imagine that.
You really weigh on a lot on the psychological effects areas. I really enjoy the silent Tiera being close up about his nightmare. Plus, the mention of Mr Strato was something I did not expect, but well tie in about the Celestial Being and him dying unexpectedly.
Your drabbles never fail to entertain me! Well done!
| SkylanTorian2014 chapter 27 . 12/12/2014
I'm glad to see this chapter longer. I like the whole made up scene which I thought it really fitted well. Wow, Setsuna is strange - wanting Allelujah to die at the end of the battle? His cold, man! But, there is a strange bond that somehow form between them.
The psychological effect was definitely an excellent side story. I love the tale that Setsuna explain to him, how he was meant to swallow a tablet and ended up being almost killed by two guards but rescued by KPSA. As you know, I really love the crime side stories.
I love the emotions you had also portrayed. The way you describe it, the way you foretold the story, it almost got me too! I really love this chapter.
Don't tell me this is the ending to your drabble, I hope there's more down the track! If so, this is a very well constructed drabble I had ever read despite me being fandom blind.
Excellent side story! I really don't have criticism for this chapter!
| SkylanTorian2014 chapter 26 . 12/12/2014
This chapter was really short! Nevertheless, was hilarious to see four of them getting drunk. First time I heard of Christina Siera and find her a funny character to have upbend a table with the drinks flying and making it steady. Poor Allelujah, getting orange juice splayed on his hair.
| SkylanTorian2014 chapter 25 . 12/12/2014
This is a very intimidating chapter indeed! You have actually showed how serious the terrorist Celestial Being group can be, such as Lyle being confronted with fierce threat and being given a clear warning. Whoo! I actually have to use a paper folder to fan myself on this chapter.
Naughty, naughty Lyle. What did he get himself into to get his ass being his ass kick! At least they didn't blind fold him and use him as a punching bag. It took me awhile to remember that he did have a twin.
I say it is also intimidating because Lyle didn't expect him to be caught in camera. It's something that did thrown him off balance. His punishment is fair and I'm surprise how strict it is and it is a fair law for him to kiss Feldt is considered sexual assault.
| SkylanTorian2014 chapter 24 . 12/12/2014
This chapter made me laugh so hard! I really enjoyed the interaction between Yoichi Tsubaragi and Saji Crossroad, A LOT! You didn't over do it and that was the best part! This is nothing off the Big Bang Theory you had implied on A/N note. I only SORT OF know the show and is commedy one. But, this isn't overdone. Big kudos on that!
What I really love about this interaction is that you go the talk on every graduate students would think about - like the point you made, it doesn't mean that you have a degree or certificate or such, you get the job. Like Saji can tell how much Yocihi's teaching isn't his passion. But, Yoichi doesn't like teaching at all give his description that he had the degree in physics. Love the line when you put - look at where it got him!
I also like the fact you thrown in at the end about Louise, Saji's girlfriend and she being in the hospital. I like how you portray her time in Yoichi's class and her subjects. The fact that this 'Louise' only enjoys a subject and she gets really good grades.
My favourite quote? "Your lack of availability is just a convenient excuse' - Lovely, it's like his teacher is implying while Saji is not good at other things, his best job was making excuses.
Okay, one tiniest critique I had for you, somewhere on the third paragraph, "And Crossroad always took notes". I think it should be "always takes notes" sounds better.
Overall, two thumbs up from me cause I really enjoy this chapter! I don't know how many favourite chapters I have because there's way too many I select. Excellent work!
| SkylanTorian2014 chapter 23 . 12/12/2014
It took me awhile to remember who was Marina Ismail until I re-read one of your chapters just to refresh my memory. Cause, it has been a very long time since I go back to this series.
Anyway, I thought she's a very strange princess and she acts more like a Queen than an ordinary princess. Like, one of those fairy tales that sings the story of a princess marrying a good prince and living happily ever after. No, she's nothing like that at all.
She sounds like she had the passion for looking after her country. Meeting all twenty national leaders and trying to keep the terrorist such as Celestial Being? It's a huge responsibility. As she rightly stated, 'War is wrong and no one should be fighting'. That my friend, is a very strong quote. I think she'd seen enough blood bath spilled enough on her country.
I really don't have much to criticise, cause I am enjoying every single chapter! )
| Ersatz Einstein chapter 27 . 11/19/2014
Hi! Sorry that I haven't reviewed in awhile.
There was only one definite typo ("if he still had the strength too"), but I also found the comma use ("wore her hair up, now") and repetition ("was still here, and some of the people here," "'to be back,'... and smiled back") a bit disconcerting in places.
The open quality of the ending, where you never quite clarify his response to Setsuna's offer, meshes well with the general sense of the team and the chapter (namely, that members have the right to be as psychologically involved or uninvolved as they choose). And while I know it's more or less incidental, the shift from the lighter tone of the preceding chapter to this wasn't forced. Setsuna's description of what happened was appropriately dramatic, yet understated.
| Ersatz Einstein chapter 26 . 10/27/2014
I don't think that there should've been a repeated subject in "Allelujah glanced at Ms. Sumeragi, taking in slightly red-rimmed eyes and flushed cheeks, then he inhaled..."
That aside, it was nice to get a bit of a light, short, filler chapter. It really is a "good break from all the angst." The casual mention of Christina's balance of a martini glass between two fingers set up a nice parallel to the main "talent" of the chapter: they all have somewhat oddly applied abilities. Serious analysis aside, this was deeply amusing. The snippet of opening conversation, with the anticipation accompanying "Wait, you can tell?" was in some ways funnier than the reveal.
Is Ms. Sumeragi's tendency to drink canon? This is at least the second time it's come up.
| Luna Rapunzel chapter 13 . 10/23/2014
I'm going to be an absolutely terrible reviewer for this chapter because the best I could do if I spent more time on it would be to quote every single line of it back at you, all of my comments saying the same thing - that this is a moving, powerful, and expertly crafted fic that portrays so vividly and emotionally the character's reaction to impending death. Really, really, really well done, just like the previous one.
| Luna Rapunzel chapter 12 . 10/23/2014
'Tieria had scowled through the entire lecture, as if the very idea that he might destroy such a valuable piece of equipment under any circumstances less dire than the Apocalypse was an insult to him—which it probably was.' - That's an excellent piece of characterization there, succinctly summing up a great big personality trait with such a small moment in time, which I say especially coming from a place of fandom-blindness where I'm not already familiar with the character and immediately feel more like I am.
'There wasn't much of a question about it, after all. Dynames's self-destruct hadn't yet been activated, but Neil Dylandy's had.' - Great line there - there's intrigue in it, because you've just laid out how drastic the consequences are for this and we can see straight-up that Neil's come out of it okay because obviously he's the narrator. The following sentence, is great, too - again the succinctness of it, and the idea that /such/ a trivial act would have such a powerful, powerful impact on the course of the story, and your wording when you lay out the specific circumstances by varying expertly between the facts of the situation and the tone and emotion behind them that motivate the character to unwittingly do something so impactful.
I'm not a smoker/have never smoked anything before, so I don't have any conflict of interest there, but even if I did, I don't think I'd be offended by your portrayal of it just because you're not presenting it in a manner in which the voice behind the story coupled with and even underneath the narrator's attitude isn't harshly accusatory of the practice in general anyway - it's just a really well-written depiction backtracking to earlier backstory that helps us understand the narrator's emotional response in the 'present' of the story, and you stuck it in the perfect place in the fic, too, right where it's relevant and in such a manner that it doesn't feel distracting from the immediate storyline/narrative. And this bit - 'But he also had this suspicion that his self-destruct mechanism was still online, so to speak. The fact that he'd joined an armed organization knowing that ticking off pretty much every nation on Earth was part of the plan was a pretty good indicator that something still wasn't quite right in his brain.' - gave the entire thing even more significance, relevance, symbolism, power.
Great wording in ever sentence ever in this drabble, great just everything. Everything. Absolutely one of my favorite chapters so far.