Reviews for Cicadas, Volume II: Dirge of the Furthest Future
ItsaRandomUsername chapter 17 . 6/5/2013
On one hand, it's not a real chapter so that's a bit of a bummer.

On the other hand, a timeline-recap of events is just what this story needed. It was also surprisingly enlightening. The bit about the siblings looking for the Frozen Flame was something that I could not have foreseen nor expected, for instance.

Nothing really much can be else said about it. Cicadas II is better off for it, at least.
ItsaRandomUsername chapter 16 . 4/28/2013
Higanbanas. Demons. I see what you did there, sir. Hah.

Funny mental image when I read "tied to a poll." Twice. Those there be typos. I don't usually nitpick 'em but this time I wanted to point it out because it especially made me chuckle. I wouldn't worry about it - in a massive chapter like this, mistakes are bound to slip through the cracks here and there.

Aaaand welp, nice job breaking it, Yatagarasu. The hint that he is actually Astaroth, and the (alternate universe) father of Nebiros, and how this helped catalyze among other things Hanyuu's turn just made the first half of the chapter hit especially hard.

So yeah. Lots of curses and tragedy being thrown around in this one, especially near the end. Not that that needs to be pointed out, especially in a review to the author.

Coincidentally, Light and Darkness *was* in fact my background music of choice for the pertinent fights in this update. Imagine how amusing it must have been for me to see it namedropped specifically at the end.

...the downside of this is that I'm going to have to re-remember what mysteries I have left to try and solve because I cannot for the life of me remember which arc I left off at.

Needless to say, this update was a much appreciated one. Keep on trucking.
ItsaRandomUsername chapter 15 . 4/11/2013
Took me far longer than I'd have preferred to get to reading this update, but better late than never. It didn't disappoint, which is good in my book. My inner Grammar Nazi scowled like he espied some minorities at some of the minor typos, but that's nothing to get uppity about. The rest of it definitely made up for it in spades.

It was a pleasure to see ED K1 back in action. Not only did it trigger the Fanfiction Nostalgia Switch, it served to further cement the well-documented notion that Dirge is indeed the sequel. That and I was kinda tickled that he and Serika once more become more-or-less an item.

And a trip to Egypt for the climatic showdown? Sure is JoJo up in here. Not necessarily a bad thing. The adventure game vibes that the pyramid's interior had were also fun.

*Azure* Hollow *Crow*s everywhere Hahaha I see what you did there clever ain't ya.

So yeah. Gonna go and patiently wait for the next update. And scare up some time to come to another conclusion about the previous mystery if I've got it to spare.
Michael S. Repton chapter 14 . 3/24/2013
Well, well. I see that some time soon, I'm going to have to re-read End Dreamer and this story up to this point and try to make sense of it all. I do like a good mystery. For now, I'll just review this chapter by itself.

As usual, excellent writing. I loved the way you bring the story full circle by re-showing Keiichi's introduction to the village, and looking at what it now means to us with hindsight. The build-up of despair and the final, inevitable, eruption of disaster are very well created, particularly the horrible sequence where she finds Keiichi and the others dead. And Satoko's air of resignation, almost acceptance, from that point on really tugs at the heartstrings.

The final revelation was certainly intriguing. The whole thing about the sealed demon reminded me a lot of the Black Demon in RTH :) And now I'm running out of things to say. It's hard to take in such a long chapter.

Very much looking forward to more, naturally!
Michael S. Repton chapter 12 . 2/27/2013
Well, well. The return of the Sumideras, Teppei, and Jack the Ripper of all people. Lots of nastiness going on, and as usual, I have absolutely no idea what to make of it. I'm pretty sure I will need to re-read End Dreamer at some point. Especially considering the role Satoshi played in that story.

To be honest, I'm not really sure what to say in this review. Your writing is great, but I've said that plenty of times. I noticed a couple of typos, both in Episode 2, "allude" for "elude", and "cutting tires" for "cutting ties". Satoko is well portrayed - someone a while back, I think either Wolfeden or Cherrylin, pointed out that she's very rarely used as a main character, so it's interesting to get her side of the story for once. The alternation between the recollections and the 1981/2 narrative works very well in terms of helping the reader to take stock and try to solve the mystery along with Satoko and her mysterious companion. The scene with Oryou was particularly good... very interesting to see her and Satoko interact. And yes, I'm intrigued to see what happens when 1983 rolls around, though I know it's not exactly going to be pleasant ;)
Michael S. Repton chapter 11 . 2/12/2013
Awesome chapter. I'm very sad for Chinami, of course - I think I mentioned before that I have a soft spot for her - but getting to see the backstory of Riku and Hanyuu was excellent, and the whole sequence was very well realised and well paced.

Very much looking forward to Satoko's arc! (And yes, I remember where we've heard the name Juusa before.)
Michael S. Repton chapter 10 . 2/12/2013
Michael S. Repton chapter 9 . 2/12/2013
Very good. Very nasty. Very confusing.

Let's see... the first thing I'm confused by is why, at the start, Mion decides that Irie is impossible as the culprit. Maybe I'll pick that up next time I re-read this, as I'm sure I will before trying to solve the mystery, when there are more chapters available. Then, Mion's already been told in bold text that she can't save *everyone*, but she seems to act as if she'd been told she can't save *anyone*, which isn't logically the same proposition. For the most part, I don't think you butchered Mion's personality, but the one bit I would question is when she refuses to look at Keiichi's body - I'd have thought she would run to him and desperately cling on to any hope he might be alive, until she actually saw him to prove beyond a doubt that he was dead.

Anyway, we have a very nice locked-(boiler)-room mystery here. I can't guess the solution yet; it looks impossible, but I'm sure you have something up your sleeve. Time to read on again...
Michael S. Repton chapter 8 . 2/12/2013
(Is the bold text kind of like the coloured text in Umineko? Not that I actually know anything about Umineko, except for little bits and pieces I've picked up from other fanfics that have some Umineko in them.)

Anyway. You're playing to your strengths here, another very bleak set-up in which the only real question is how many days the characters can hold out, and how exactly all the deaths are going to pan out. Excellent build-up of tension leading up to Satoko's death and the discovery of Satoshi - now it gets really interesting :) I don't have any speculation yet, though - I'm better at creating mysteries than solving them!
Michael S. Repton chapter 7 . 2/12/2013
Time to catch up :) I think this is the first chapter I haven't reviewed yet, but it seems familiar, so maybe I did at least read it. Anyway, it's great to get back into this story - the set-up is very well done, and Mion's dilemma gives the story a powerful engine. That said, there's one point... in the first confrontation with Saturn Anne, Mion was offered the option of finding the killer, and only when she said she couldn't do that did he bring up killing Keiichi. Seems to me she should have responded by backtracking and agreeing to find the killer, or at least *trying* to do so. So I wonder, very much, what she was actually up to in the rather large timeskip between that and the next scene. Maybe we'll find out later.

Another thing I notice is the size of the building - "eighth row, ninth room" - sounds like it's far larger than is implied by the earlier remarks on how well-hidden it is. Well, that could just be a detail hinting at its supernatural nature. Okay. I'm going to read on now :)

(By the way, I will be posting RTH III.1 soon; I'm just giving Parts I and II a quick edit before moving on.)
ItsaRandomUsername chapter 11 . 1/12/2013
At first I was going to make a comment about how many darned Riku Furudes are there, and if there is some kind of connection - blatant or otherwise - amongst them.

Then I realized that yes, there are only two. One in the past, and the false identity that Satoshi had back in End Dreamer. None for a potential future. That was just my mind misremembering the events in first chapter.

Well, I guess that question at least still stands - aside from being a random throwaway name is there anything else that ties Riku Furude with "Riku Furude."

...and here I was thinking that Frozen Flame sounded familiar. V:
No further comment to give on that aspect of it because I just failed my Chrono Trigger Plot Memory Roll. :V
I am, however, curious as to the purpose for its inclusion and what the implications from that are.

By the way, Hanyuu as uber Christmas Cake MILF. Whodathunkit?

Also, the part of me that digs black comedy is somehow darkly amused by how the next arc is going to be rather Satoko-centric, considering her all-around untimely fates in the previous arcs. Third time's the charm, Houjo? At any rate, that's something to look forward to.

And to end it all, I will be SHOCKED if the sealing of Mao Sonozaki doesn't come back to bite someone in the ass Dirge's future.
ItsaRandomUsername chapter 10 . 1/5/2013
In this chapter its fairly safe to say that the deck has been shuffled, in regards to Serika's situation with Astaroth and Nero (who I am not surprised by when I found out that she's apparently the purest representation of Rena's yandereness distilled to its very essence.), okay, so it wasn't Serika bopping around at the end of Greatest Fear. She wasn't in Rika, apparently...? The mystery is still there, though, and I'll need to save solving that for later when I've got my head in the game.

Anyway, my sneaking suspicion that Nebiros - which I've had for some time, now - is somehow connected to Saya now seems to hold more water, in light of this new chapter.
ItsaRandomUsername chapter 8 . 12/19/2012
So I first read this a couple weeks ago when it was first uploaded, but at the time I couldn't bring myself to spare the time in good faith to properly review.

That time, however, is now.

I concur - it is a bit of a shame that the 07th Expansion fandom is kind of scattered the way it is. At least there's going to be an upcoming Higurashi Outbreak OVA(?)/movie(?), which will hopefully inject some renewed interest in the series. Fingers crossed, hope for best, prepare for worst kind of jazz here.

Anyway, on to the actual story content and possible speculation, yes? Thanks for making note of the new bodyswitching date for Serika and Nero. I might've missed that if you hadn't explicitly said "hey you reading this, this is different now." So yeah, good call. I can't really tell if the change has actually happened yet from what little info I have but my gut says that it either has happened or is about to soon.

So yeah, first of all the angry mob is most definitely news of the bad variety. Also, poor living conditions under a medical clinic are poor, needless to say. Guess the shift in Rika's personality is because of Serika possession then, huh? Maybe. Dunno. Anways, fun-fun shenanigans with Mion and Battler. And by fun-fun shenanigans I mean headtrips. Gotta love these mindgames. Best part of anything in 07th (or something emulating that 07th feel). Good talk about being backed into a non-existent corner there, Battler. Shame that its right before everything goes all pear-shaped.

And oh look. A literal "door to the truth." Cliche, effective, and a powerful, creepy image.

Something that drew my attention was Battler mentioning plain and simply that "Saturn Anne is dead." Like in the previous arc he's now gone. But the circumstances behind it are mindwracking because I cannot immediately think of any obvious reasons as to why.

Yowch. Looks like poor Satoko got the short end of the stick. Again. She is one unlucky girl. Never got the chance to see her sick, comatose brother down there. That's okay - now its time for the other characters to get affected by his appearance!

So yeah. A pretty stream-of-consciousness review, but it addressed a few points that held my attention.
ItsaRandomUsername chapter 7 . 10/14/2012
It's not easy being green. Or at least, one of the green-haired twins. This is going to end up badly, I just know it - and yet that's a reason for me to stick around and watch what happens.

Unless I'm horribly off the ball for whatever reason - be it failing my memory check of 07th Expansion since its been ages since I've been involved in anything When They Cry related or it's a twist I wouldn't see coming because I'm just an audience member and as such not in on the finer, secret details - I'm pretty(?) sure that the man Mion kept thinking she was hallucinating was Battler. Possibly. Again, assuming I'm not totally wrong there. As to why she's seeing him remains to be seen, as is the reason for Saturn Anne wanting Keiichi dead.

Keiichi's mental state seems to be on the fritz, too. Not that that's not unexpected in a Higurashi story but it's the way it's happening which is causing me to take careful notice. Good choice for using that to call back to End Dreamer, as I'm pretty sure I recognized Saya (;_;) and the developments that certain other characters took.

I have my concerns over how this arc is to go. Wasn't it mentioned in B-Chapter that Serika and Nero will pretty much get one shot at offing Nebiros in this fragment, or am I just misremembering? Because if that is the case, and things do go south right down the crapper, what'll that entail for Astaroth's plan of wiping out the demon and preserving the safety of the fragments? Speculation tells me that there are still too many unknown factors before a definitive conclusion can be reached.

Still looking forward to seeing how this'll progress, and will continue to follow with vested interest.

And snap, I'm supposed to try at least try to sniff out the truth of the Nebulous Dream mystery, ain't I? Might have to re-read that arc before I can come up with a somewhat viable answer, then.

PS Thank God for CtrlZ. I almost lost this review.
ItsaRandomUsername chapter 5 . 10/13/2012
Apologize for an infodump chapter? Why do that when the information given is so damn interesting?

So there's a "Saturn Anne" Astaroth and a "Saturn Anne" Saturos, Nero is a Rena who suffered a fate similar to the Rena in Nebulous Dream...presumably, and Serika is the original Rika, the Rika of Rikas.

Otherwise, not much to say besides commenting on how much of a total wham episode this is. I'm still trying to process what happened and as such am finding difficulty in putting into words what I feel like saying because of how engrossed I was.

Hey, keep at it because you're doing something right.
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