|Reviews for Cicadas, Volume II: Dirge of the Furthest Future|
| ItsaRandomUsername chapter 3 . 10/12/2012
What is this? My favorite Higurashi fanfiction has a sequel? I'm in.
Seems as if the Hinamizawa Crew just can't catch a break, can they? Even when they beat the original arc they're still forced to loop back into a New Game hard mode, what with the presence of the killer demon(s?). On the topic of hard times even though - by that I mean the main characters - is most certainly trying their best to enjoy the festivities its still quite clear that Rena's condition still weighs very heavily on their consciences.
Caught the reference to the Rose Guns Days' battle system, by the by.
Seems as if the Yamainu are getting more active earlier, although that's just a first impression, and when I consider your writing that's likely far from or at least not the whole truth.
As for the man in the trenchcoat and the hat if that's who I think it is, and as such cements the connection that Dirge of the Hollow Forest has with Case of the End Dreamer then this is going to get *good*. He was definitely my favorite character from it.
What else is there to say? I'mma follow this one, too. Consider me curious.
| Michael S. Repton chapter 6 . 8/22/2012
Great chapter :) To start with, I loved the opening narration - that kind of mythopoetic tone is very easy to do badly, but gives the story a real sense of world-altering epic when it's done well, as it was here. Once we met the characters, some of the phrases and concepts were startlingly modern - though given the way the rest of the story leaps about in time, it doesn't feel out of place, since Riku-as-narrator could just be updating for our benefit. Chinami is an excellent character - oh, one could certainly understand why Riku found her irritating, but that just made their interaction all the more enjoyable to read. Her warm heart certainly shone through, and if they weren't in a Higurashi story, would have made me hope and expect to watch them grow closer and end up admitting they always loved each other. As it was - the chapter ending was hardly a surprise, but certainly a tear-jerker.
The minor characters were also well-drawn, and I enjoyed spotting the references in the names. (Was "Kizuna" a nod to RTH?) Good luck with the next chapters and with real-life stuff. I shall look forward to the next update, whenever it comes :)
| Michael S. Repton chapter 5 . 8/16/2012
I enjoyed this chapter a lot, though it's certainly very difficult to know what to say about it. This is rapidly turning into one heck of a mind screw, just like the previous story. Astaroth and Nero come across as fun characters - to read about, I mean, not to be in the same room with - and I'm definitely looking forward to finding out more about them, though I have to admit I prefer the Hinamizawa chapters. Still, I thought this worked well for what it is, and didn't come across as too much info-dumping - the previous chapters have made us care about what happens to the viewpoint character, and it's clear the information is important.
| Michael S. Repton chapter 4 . 8/1/2012
Another excellent chapter. Satoko's death was a real shock, and from there to the end the intensity didn't let up for a moment. Kasai's death was very well handled, with the suddenness of "Was that a grenade?" adding to the impact. And I'm not the world's greatest Keiichi/Mion fan (ironically), but the dialogue between them after she was shot was beautiful, absolutely right for the characters and showing their great strength and the depth of their feelings.
So - the arc's over, everyone's dead, but these scenes have brought the characters to life and made us care about finding out who killed them. And I love a good mystery anyway :) so I shall be eagerly looking forward to more. Presenting what we know in list form is very helpful, and I'll make sure to keep looking back to it, but I doubt I'll be much of a match for your ingenuity :)
A few isolated thoughts... The first heading, "16 days remain (June 10th)" doesn't add up. "Rika let out a gasp, while Satoko remained completely silent" (after Satoko is known to be dead) is a nice moment of black humour. When Keiichi-as-narrator says the bodies among the ruins of the Sonozaki estate were all Sonozakis, does he mean blood relatives or henchmen? Either way, how does he know? "Saturo An" is suspiciously similar to "Saturn Anne" from End Dreamer; especially as "Saturo" can't be a Japanese name (in Japanese, "tu" always becomes "tsu"). I'm afraid I don't know what "Maple Street" is referring to.
| Michael S. Repton chapter 3 . 7/22/2012
This is brilliant: I think it's your best chapter so far (overall, including End Dreamer). Keiichi's narration is excellent, and so are the portrayals of the other characters and his interactions with them. Most of all, the sense of mounting unease as we are given space to recover from the shock that ended the previous chapter, but we need answers and we don't get them, and we learn just enough to keep ratcheting up the tension. What happened to Rena is a real gut-punch, and knowing that it's a demon and Keiichi doesn't know how to fight it makes the reader feel the same sense of helplessness and terror. I love the mystery of what's going on with the twins, and Mion's letter is an excellent device: I'm sure I'll enjoy re-reading this later after getting some more explanations and seeing how it all fits together.
Hoping to see more soon, as always :)
| Michael S. Repton chapter 2 . 7/16/2012
Oops. One thing I don't like about FFNet's new reviewing system is that it's much easier to fail to notice when your log-in has expired. So, yes, the previous unsigned review was mine.
So. We're back in 1983, and Rika is narrating. That's already awesome; she's an extremely difficult character to write, even just for dialogue; I'm certainly not brave enough to try writing her narrative. You capture her mood very well. And I'm definitely intrigued as to why time has looped back again like this. And curious about that "24 days remaining" - until what? The end of June, obviously; but Rika's death was always well before the end of the month, so I wonder what especial significance it has here.
Mion's section is even more intriguing - that cryptic reference to the "Guardians", and especially the details about the murders. This had better be the main mystery of this story - I love a good murder mystery :) It's much too early to speculate about it, though. A couple of small slips in this section: you have Ooishi's name in Japanese order, when the rest of the story uses Western order. Mion uses the name "Oni-baba", which is Shion's name for Oryou. She refers to Watanagashi being "a week away", when this section is dated 7 June. Watanagashi is always on the third Sunday of June, and in 1983 that falls on the 19th.
Keiichi's section is also very good - so far, each character is written well, and there are some great touches of humour, as there would have to be in a Keiichi section. But at the same time, the little hints and the mentions of rumours add up to a disquieting atmosphere. And then Rena - very intense indeed, and I really like the way the mood is created by building on what we already know of her character. So, the thing that killed the girl was some kind of demon; what Rena was looking for in the trash pile was probably the Kusanagi from the prologue; and by the end of the first episode, she's already lost an arm? But all that's only if her narrative can be taken at face value. We shall have to see :)
Looking forward to more!
| Guest chapter 1 . 7/16/2012
A sequel to End Dreamer? With Rena as one of the main characters? It's like an early birthday present :)
This is a very nice start - the emotions are well captured, and the scenes have an immediacy and sense of mystery that draws the reader in at once. 2036? I would say that I hope we get to see what Hinamizawa is like in that year, but you said not many OCs, so I assume we won't. Still, I'm definitely looking forward to getting more pieces of this puzzle and starting to work out how they all fit together.
A couple of criticisms - you switch between past and present tense quite a lot, and it's rather jarring as soon as one notices it. Another recurring error was failure to hyphenate compound modifiers, e.g. "deep seated fear".
Got to go now, but I'll review your next chapter as soon as I can!