|Reviews for Suzumiya Haruhi no Yami|
| Leez chapter 6 . 3/10
Is this itself a yuri?
| shanejayell chapter 6 . 2/10
Oooh, very nice. Human Yuki is still recognizable, while still coming to grips with what had happened. Well written scenes.
LOVED the scene with Kimidori. :D YUKI of all people dropping the F-Bomb... Ha. Made me grin.
Also lol'd a bit at the club room scene with Yuki. "This body has needs." Bet poor Kyon thought he'd wandered into a H-anime by accident. Yuki becoming a 'yami' is interesting... does that mean Mikuru might be a third part of the triangle too?
Speaking of Mikuru... So, Asahina's superiors are getting antsy. I wonder if older Asahina will be sent in, and our heroes will discover her origins? My current pet theory is that both Asahina's are in fact the same being... and possibly her 'superior' is in fact older Asahina herself. Would be very tidy at least.
Tsuruya being a Haruhi-construct surprised me. Seems a waste of energy to just create a side-kick character, instead of just, I dunno, reprograming someone. Rewriting? ;) Of course that may mean she's important to your story later.
Looking forward to next bit!
| ninemil con'd chapter 4 . 2/7
...manipulate,” but goes on to say “but theirs was right out there where we could disrupt it with our own.” I’m guessing my interpretation of this is correct, in that the two assailants were unable to manipulate ‘data’ to combat the sliders as they might have done with normal opponents, but were vulnerable to damage from the sliders because they were being attacked by other Souma wielders? While that was my interpretation, the use of the word “shielded” kinda also implies that this ability to attack and do real damage was one-sided, and that Asakura-san and Kimidori-san would have been unable to do the sliders permanent damage. Given Hazuki’s ‘respawn’ after returning to the library, and that ‘trade secret’ bypass to explaining it, the text does kinda leave the potential for the misinterpretation (?) that Hazuki and co were somehow impervious to the Entity’s attacks. (Which of course doesn’t make sense in a Yamiberry piece, where Hazuki is always getting a chunk torn out of her as part of the job description :p) I don’t know if other readers saw the same potential for confusion, or if it’s just me, but perhaps a line to consider editing slightly?
The meta is otherwise amazing, tho, and deliciously complex. I love the onion shell analogies, I love the emotional implications of Yuki being unplugged from the collective, I love the way you explain away that whole ground-hog sequence in the Haruhi canon and *actually give it narrative purpose,* when it seems to be so intensely hated by the Haruhi fanbase at large. I love the time-travel limitation. I love the way the whole explanation sequence is broken up tidily by Kyon’s wtflesbian snarks, and you lampshading Ituski and Mikuru’s own reveal with the reference to her having been out of contact with her superiors. It’s all so damn slick, so perfectly executed. You’ve been sitting on this for a fair while now, am I correct? Either that, or you just fluked your way through degree level mathematical modelling on a whim and a prayer :p You really should be proud of this. It’s a feat unto itself.
Which of course then leads us to that final reveal… So I guess this is why Kyon is the only one without superhuman powers then…? He’s the only ‘real’ one there. Good shit. (Which of course rose more questions for me as to whether Haruhi is actually creating sources, or simply manifest Souma into things as part of her universal illusion…)
Speaking of which - your reference to Mu-chan’s ‘real’ transference event, btw – I’d love to read more of this at a later date, if just as an aside piece into the history of Love Hina’s connection to the Yamiberry universe, and also to delve into what it is that Mu-chan actually did, and whether it’s different to what Haruhi is doing with individuals such as Yuki, and whether she actually replicated the process that Eve put all her sisters through? A lot of potential for deep storytelling there, particularly with regard to how Naru-san and Keitaro-san might have reacted to it, if they did at all. Yes, I know, that’s more shit to write, but if you’re gonna wave a bone before of a dog’s face, the dog’s gonna wanna chew on it :p
Anyway, despite everything that’s happened in this chapter, I’m still here without any clue whatsoever about how you’re going to resolve all this… (Running theme in my reviews of this piece, ne? :p) If anything, I only have more questions. Just how do you go about undoing the kind of mess that Haruhi has made here? And more to the point, how, as Team Coven, do you going about asking a number of individuals to help fix it, when you know that part of the solution may actually involve their destruction? Just *how* many people has Haruhi brought into existence in the same manner as she has with Yuki, Itsuki and Mikuru, (the Entity too, for that matter,) and what happens to them if the source book at the centre of this cosmic onion is freed?
I smell a rather large number of new refugees entering the library sometime soon, unless you’ve got tricks up your sleeve to close all this, and not completely alter the Haruhi universe forever :p But perhaps that’s the plan? :D
Looking forward to seeing how you progress. w00p for another amazing trip out! :D
| ninemil chapter 4 . 2/7
“But the subtleties, man, the subtleties!”
Speaking of meta-physical rich, and working the tropes :p
So I’ll deal with the little remarks and the finer details as I go, but the crowning moment of this chapter has to be that non-sexual double entendre regarding Yuki crying as she stands by the balcony. It’s so far in advance of the actual reveal as to what’s happened to her meta-physically, that I couldn’t help but crack a smile when it landed, and the chapter sailed on regardless. I even doubted myself for a second when the conversation immediately shifted tone, but jeez – the execution here was flawless. Perfect feint and lead in
I won’t lie – I think from our previous chapter meta that you could tell I’d whiffed what you were up to with Yuki’s Souma and what would happen to her upon returning to the library – but the way you’ve gone about structuring this plot development, including the further step into extrapolation by applying it to Asahina-san and Koizumi at the end, is perfect. I absolutely adore how in encroached and involved it in is the mechanics of each property’s setting, and while that may have put up barriers for readers who aren’t as familiar with your Yamiberry canon, I’m firmly of the belief that the story has benefited far more than it might have suffered due to the potential issues with accessibility. This is rich stuff. Deep, philosophical, and complicated. Absolutely what the doctor ordered, in an era of shallow storytelling, and fickle authorial direction.
I smiled at the sidestep regarding Hazuki’s hair :p I know it presented a bit of a barrier at a point in time at which you wanted to get going, but I’m definitely gonna nudge you over it occasionally, for the potential wealth of extrapolation that I feel it represents. It’s one of the reasons this review has taken so long, since there are so many questions one can raise off the back of it, and it’s such a delicious mental trap to fall into. During sequences where Souma-carriers have been wounded in the past, you’ve often described Souma rushing from their wounds, much akin to blood escaping from a cut, as their source pumps Souma toward the wound in an attempt to heal it. Chikaru is noted for being able to channel available Souma to aid that process and to help the wound close, so perhaps this happened off-screen after the last chapter ended, and much akin to a vampire, Hazuki simply regenerated her hair by returning to a physical form similar to the one she had when she originally gained her source? (Hence perhaps the unfading scar on her leg?)
But in the case of Yuki, she had Souma, but was unable to regenerate a new body to replace the shell stripped from her when the Entity released her, and Mu-chan had to hold that Souma together to stop ‘Yuki’ from dissipating. That implies Haruhi hadn’t transfered a source to her as such, but simply ‘manifested’ Souma into Yuki’s Entity-created shell. Since the shell itself would have been an extension of the Entity’s own Souma, how do these constructions actually work? How does Souma imprinting onto a life form actually work, and what is the definition of a life form when Souma is involved? Which part of Yuki in the before and after case is… well, Yuki? (The same going for Itsuki and Mikuru now.) The Souma, or the shell? I presume Eve has now given Yuki her own source, so perhaps this is why a permanent body has now manifested for her? But does this then mean that Haruhi’s willpower is the only thing holding all these other individuals like Yuki together?
That would be some pretty terrifying shit, were I Asahina-san or Itsuki.
I therefore find myself wondering if a Souma source perhaps represents an inner-self, like the traditional model of a soul, which somehow defines and strengthens the shell that houses it, but is separate to it in nature? That would perhaps mean that the Souma given to Yuki from Haruhi could be considered an almost alien-like entity that had usurped and altered her own original construction as an extension of the Entity, raising the immediate question of whether Yuki is still Yuki, now that her connection to the Entity has been severed. Of course, that statement also implies that the Entity is somehow a standalone being - a separate Souma source from Haruhi herself - and while that may be the case now, we’ve already been told that it wasn’t in the past. Regardless of what Yuki and the others actually are, I get the distinct impression that this whole story is going to collapse back onto a single moment when someone very dear to Haruhi left her in a green flash of light. After all, it’s had such a profound effect on so many of the previous individuals whose stories document the same experience, is it that far reached to believe someone with Haruhi’s extraordinary talents couldn’t create a thousand, thousand existential shells to shield herself from having to remember the painful truth?
The big question then, is what happens to everyone created in the interim?
Either way, I think the thing to take away from this, is that regardless of the actual meta-physical outcome you’ve selected for the story’s core plot, you’ve got an incredibly well constructed setting here, which can provoke deep philosophical consideration as to its workings. It reminds me a lot of my early experiences with Ghost in the Shell, and how blown away by that universe I was, too. And that’s a pretty loftly calibre to be holding against you, my friend. Rain dun good here.
So, back to the actual prose. Interesting to see Haruhi’s continued objectification here, and her lack of actual lines and screen-time presence. Not having read the books, I don’t know if this simply follows in tone, but whether it was an intentional choice or not, keeping the reader out of direct contact with Haruhi does a lot to add to the sinister undertone surrounding her powers and past actions. I’m not entirely sure how to vocalize the mechanical manner by which it comes across, but having her constantly referred to in absence really adds to the mental space in which the later comments about the potential for everything to go wrong dwell, as well as unsettling the reader further when you drop the revelations regarding Mikuru and Itsuki’s humanity. I guess it’s taking Haruhi as a character out of the realms of being a ‘person,’ and into the role of being this ‘thing,’ with massive destructive powers and the potential for existential harm. That’s a poor way of putting it, but I guess it’s hard to visualize a school girl as being a universe-threatening time bomb if she’s walking and talking like an average highschool senior :p
I loved Kyon’s snark about Hazuki’s ‘pretty girl’ tease. He really is a tortured soul, isn’t he? I also loved the comment about Hazuki’s red jumper. I’m guessing that probably *is* Chikaru’s jumper from the other night, which carries with it a heart-warming extrapolation about Chikaru’s implied level of comfort with intimacy within the Coven, if by this point they’ve taken to sharing clothing. Perhaps I’m reading too much into an off-comment, but it’s a desirable aside, given the level of torture Chikaru is going through back in the main canon, in the years prior to this point.
Nice to see Japanese formality given proper due attention, despite the incredibly large white elephant in the room at the time. Nothing says good old skool Japanese culture more than taking the time to observe tradition, regardless of events surrounding the moment. Kyon’s narrative frustration with this also adds greatly to his implied level of emotional commitment to Yuki, as well as his underlying personality. Working that first person nicely there, in what could otherwise have simply been a corridor paragraph :p
I guess that kinda raises the potential for a shipping point, doesn’t it? After all, Yuki is human(ish) now, certainly more human than she was before. And she’s also free from the Entity as such too. Does this mean Kyon can finally get his karmic dues and enter into a relationship with her? You’ve always seemed to have a soft spot for these two when you’ve referred to the series in the past. I’d love to see an appearance in the main canon later as a happy couple, but god knows how much further into core Yamiberry you’d have to go to make that possible :p It’s a cute shipping possibility, all the same, the issues of a human - Souma-barrier pairing aside
I feel like the line about ‘calling in a favour’ should carry weight with me, but without being up to date in the main canon, it’s hard to tell if I’ve missed something. Who’s favour, and who called it in, one wonders. Is this in reference to Yamiberry of the Dead? I thought that was repaid with the Koihime-reference thing? (See, I dodged the spoiler this time :p)
During the oppai joke, I also noticed specifically for the first time that you’re intentionally dropping honorific for Itsuki from Kyon’s point of view, but not for Asahina-san. Is this a habit picked up from reading the books, I find myself wondering, or an conscious manipulation of honorifics, because it’s very much correct for the age and kind of guy Kyon is. Nicely done :p
And then we’re into the meta-physical. Heavily into the meta-physical. As I’ve already said once, I love everything you’ve done here, and for the most part it makes complete sense to me. One quick aside, tho.
During Hazuki’s explanation of her fight with Asakura-san and Kimidori-san, she says “our energy was shielded from their ability to manipulate,” but goes on to say “but theirs was right out there where we could disrupt it with our own.” I’m guessing my interpretation of this is correct, in that the two assailants were unable to manipulate ‘data’ to combat the sliders as they might have done with normal opponents, but were vulnerable to damage from the sliders because they were being attacked by other Souma wielders? While that was my interpretation, the use of the word “shielded” kinda also implies that this ability to
| World of Dragons Productions chapter 5 . 2/6
I skipped doing the review for chapter four since this one came out. So, I'm going to do a review of both 4 and 5 here.
There's a lot of information being tossed about in these two chapters and I'm still wrapping my head around most of it. But, a lot of it would tie into the series over where everyone comes from. But it still leaves the question of how Haruhi got her powers-unless I skipped over the chapter that explains it.
I'm also still trying to figure out how Mutsumi and Rushuna got involved in this and how they got their souma too. Unless I skipped over those chapters too. Hm, I guess I don't have as much to say as I thought. I can say this though, this is the most reading I've done in a while, so I'm happy for that much at least.
Anyway, keep writing and I'll keep reading. Hopefully in the next chapter I'll have something more elaborate to say.
| shanejayell chapter 5 . 2/5
Well, well. You REALLY write a good Koizumi and Kyon conversation. The TONE is right for the novel Koizumi, and I do actually feel sorry for him. Nicely done.
HA. LIlith-chan is being naughty I see. And... nice twist on the meta there. I was actually gonna point that out at one point, that having Kyon as first person narrator implied victory, but you've handled that nicely. Ha. Poor guy.
And the obligatory closed space bit. (Yes, I have read enough Haruhi fics to know THAT.)
What... huh. Interesting. So... Imouto is presumably when Haruhi got the power. And about the same time Kyon met her time traveling? Was THAT the first time she changed reality? Is Haruhi-imouto the 'center' of the onion of worlds, so to speak?
Waiting on next chapter...
| shanejayell chapter 4 . 1/27
I STILL think you shoulda gone with my suggestion.
"How did your hair grow back?"
Anyway... *lol* LOVED the Nagato bits. I really hadn't considered how she would react to being taken to the Great Library, considering how much of a Bibliophile she is. Sweet moment. The fact that she's now human will be interesting...
I like your explaination of what Haruhi is doing. It's very clever, AND it fits the canon more or less. Raises some issues which I assume you'll address later, such as why Haruhi is that powerful etc etc. Or do all makers have that kind of potential? If so that's kinda scary.
So, Asahina and Koizumi are suma too? NOT people who were given souma somehow? That's going to be rather earth shaking for both of them to deal with.
I would GUESS that Adult Mikuru is in fact another Souma entity and not a aged Mikuru. (Assuming you choose to deal with her at all.)
Looking forward to more...
| World of Dragons Productions chapter 3 . 1/27
You know I originally wasn't going to read this because of my seething hatred of Haruhi (the character). But then you started updating this repeatedly over the course of 2-3 days. So, I guess I might as well break my... Ok, I'll just swallow my pride and check this out.
I decided to start here because I did thumb through this chapter when it was posted. This is rather nice. Kyon's first-person narration of the story was a bit jarring, probably because I'm used to a more traditional third-person, but it was nice to read. Been a while since I read anything with decent prose-be it fanfiction or even a professional novel-so it's good to have something I can sink into.
Kyon had always been the thing I liked from the anime. He was the guy you could most relate to, he was smart, witty, fun-loving and down to earth. This story had seen him reacting quite a bit to all the pretty girls appearing and the yuriness happening, but you had him handle it in a mature manner. Which makes me wish he'll eventually get to sack up with someone (someone other than Haruhi unless you can make out to be something other than a self-centered bitch) by the end.
But, his narration also made the action scenes feel lacking. Now, this isn't really your fault for that. Kyon's a bystander who-for the most part-lacks the ability to really make sense of what's happening, so he can only say stuff like '... A fight for the ages...' and such. Which works fine in the context, but I've always been a fan of highly technical fights.
There's not much to say of the other characters except I'm surprised that Rushuna's here and now I'm wondering when and how she got involved in this madness. Mutsumi is unfamiliar to me, but she seems to share Chikaru's traits in terms of powers.
When I get the mental preparation to read the other chapters, I'll read them and give my thoughts. Hell, your frequent posting got me to finally post the next chapter to my own story. Anyway, you'll hear from me sooner or later, so keep it up.
| ninemil chapter 3 . 1/22
But god, the hair! Please, god, think of the hair!
Wonder if that’s where Hazuki’s usual tanking DR comes from, or is she an all dex build, hence why she’s so damned squishy when someone finally lands a blow? :p I do agree with the class change, tho. Dumb tank doesn’t even know the instance, ffs. You’d think she was a PUG… Basic aggro fail on the boss’s secondary ranged skillz :p
Think Tamao and Chikaru can help her regen her hair back, or will she have to wait for it to grow? :p
Great stuff Very fun chapter, that played nicely with an absolute tonne of anime and movie tropes, but in a way that was both accessible yet also unique enough not to detract from the enjoyment. Definitely cool to see the gang’s level progression thus far, (okay, I’ll stop with the gaming terminology now :p)
Did enjoy the battle sequences, and as I’ve expressed elsewhere, I hope they felt a bit more comfortable to write. As ever, there was little difference in perception to the reader – the scenes are fluid, vivid, and fun at this end – but it’s never nice when you know the author has had to go up against it to complete a scene. I don’t know if it was the use of first person, but this particular outing did feel a lot more grounded than some of the more abstract fighting pieces you’ve written. There were moments of blurred background action, but enough blow-by-blow to keep interactions between characters and their respective positioning vivid, and visualized. Something without which, I doubt the ‘will-he-make-it’ moment with Kyon and the book trolley would have worked.
Abstract is great and all when you don’t want to get too involved, but this level of specificity can make engagements so much more gripping. Fight scenes don’t have to be the sole domain of visual mediums after all.
I have a feeling it may be beneficial in this regard to dissect the action a little, to perhaps illustrate where you’ve done particularly well with the construction? Sometimes we aren’t always consciously aware of the tools we use in narrative, so perhaps this will help identify what worked well, making it a little easier to choose what to slot in, if you find yourself feeling uncomfortable with penning a combat sequence in future? Feel free to skim if this is unnecessary.
Most importantly, when it kicks off, it kicks off straight away. Coming into a new chapter, the reader is already engaged and wanting to read, so having it kick off as soon as eyes hit the page really helps as your momentum is already provided for you. I’ve always felt that a chapter or scene break before moments of tension works in your favour, since it’s a trick Hollywood uses incessantly, so the majority of the readership is already somewhat brainwashed into the desired behavioural response for you.
Next, you chose a perspective and stuck with it. Yes, this is inherent to the narrative style you’ve selected, but it really helps in action sequences, as it grounds the reader somewhere specific within the field of battle, and allows them to keep better track than if events are abstractly sowed from some up-on-high ethereal point of reference. Sure, using an overview perspective has its place, but I would argue more one of an emotional vista, as the selection of descriptive tones you have available to use firmly pushes any account attempted as such into basic exposition territory – this happened, then this happen, then they went home. There’s not the same level of engagement to it without being in the thick of battle.
You’ve also chosen the weakest link. This can be overused, but works massively in your favour when it comes to instilling a real sense of danger and adrenaline. Kyon has absolutely no chance against a Souma user, and he’s already handicapped himself further by wanting to help protect Yuki, who is prone next to him. This is a perfect recipe for suspense, in what might have otherwise been a fairly trivial ‘superhuman’ exchange. His apparent ‘normality’ also gives a point of reference for the ‘stunning slashes’ and the ‘amazing skillz’ that would otherwise just have been a narrative assertion. (And nothing smacks worse of Mary Sue than the narrative alone pointing out how abnormal a situation or character is.)
When it came to describing actions within the battle itself, your choice of adjective synonyms remained relevant and accessible, (the one Shannon highlighted aside,) and you only covered blows that had narrative significance, rather than piling on too much information, and slipping into an exasperated and droll account. Introducing new participants was done snappily, with just enough descriptive to paint a picture, but not enough to slow pace. You also followed each descriptive paragraph with a catchy line of internal monologue, or character-to-character dialogue, which helped hurry the reader along and away from the previous chunk of text.
When the lines of battle began to settle, you also switched the scenario up tactically, introducing new threats promptly and from a faction unexpected by the point of reference, to ensure the engagement stayed fresh. There’s nothing worse than watching from the back line, if you’re not going to get poetic about the loss and futility of war.
And finally, you maintained a good sense of progression. The battle has a definite beginning, middle, and end, and you can feel the odds slipping toward the heroes favour, with the final blow landing in a timely manner. There’s still the sense of danger and concern regarding Yuki, but it soon becomes obvious that Asakura-san is over-extending, making the outcome inevitable, even if the question of Kyon and Yuki’s survival is not.
All in all, it was a perfectly scripted and paced engagement, and really shows off your progression with the scene type. I loved the dialogue exchanges, I loved the snarkiness and sass, I loved the new outfits, I loved Kaname, (but not quite as much as I loved that powerplay from Ren, goddamn that girl hits hard!) and most of all, I loved how unashamedly entrenched in the meta-physical setting it was. Phrases like ‘my data space,’ the Souma green and white-shell imagery, the phone and the distorted text messages. You really, really worked your selection of tropes, and the chapter really shone for it. Great stuff, really impressive.
Nice to see some gun-play after the years of Bushidou. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good blade fight as much as the next guy, but the added dynamic that modern weapons brings is nice, and despite my personal dislike for Rushuna-san’s choice of personal image and attire, the scene benefited for her presence in it. The bullet vs bullet sequence, obviously being the crowning point of that. Given the nature of the cast in the HOTD cross, do you feel perhaps this helped you prepare for the changed landscape on the battlefield that YOTD will bring? How do you feel about writing characters such as Kohta, who is ranged only? (I’m not sure how much gun-play has featured in your previous works?) Everything tends to happen so much quicker in a gunfight, and with much less foreplay about each action.
I’m once again at a loss with regard to predicting an endgame for Asakura-san’s faction, and sadly didn’t remember Kimidori at all. The way those two took damage during the altercation interested me, however, with the presence of a Souma source hidden beneath the Humanoid Interface shell. Whose Souma is that, one has to ask. You might presume Yuki’s was given to her by Haruhi, but Asakura-san? Surely not. Does that therefore mean that the Entity is a Souma carrier of sorts and has passed it on to Asakura and Kimidori? But that would mean the Entity would have in common, the one thing that Hazuki’s exposition piece in the first chapter told us would set Haruhi apart – the fact that as a Souma carrier, she was able to instil Souma in other people.
Perhaps the Entity is part of Haruhi? Perhaps Haruhi created the Entity subconsciously with her own Souma as part of some odd psychological defence mechanism to deal with having lost Eve? (This presuming Haruhi *was* actually a Sister at some point, a fact that hasn’t been explicitly stated yet, has it?)
Even if the setting itself is less familiar to me than usual, I feel like there’s still a lot here for me to engage with at the meta-physical and character development level, even if I am just barking up the wrong tree and going off on tangents :p If I ever do crossovers, it’s a tactic I’ll be sure to take note of.
Tamao and the phone was awesomesause. I promised to keep an eye on its accessibility elsewhere, and can definitely say that her role in matters came across clearly, and in a way that anyone with just an inkling of the Yamiberry canon will understand. And even then, for absolute Suzume CA beginners, I think you made it work. There’s nothing here that would break immersion by confusing the reader too much. The phone thing is a known trope, after all.
So there you go. I could probably waffle praise for another hour or two, but as I know you’ll have to read it at some point, I won’t overdo it, for fear of sidetracking you from your current drive. I think if I had to raise any criticism at all, I could perhaps suggest the slightest of OOC from some of Kyon’s comments during the combat, but his monologue slipping into standard third-person narrative style was bound to happen to a degree, given how little time you’ve spent penning the character. It’s a real nitpick, so nothing worth bothering yourself over, particularly given the short construction time, but maybe somethin to be conscious of for next time, in fast paced first-person sequences?
Either way, another amazing instalment, and a pleasure to spend more time with these characters. Looking forward to more yay for a productive January after all!
| MissGardenia chapter 3 . 1/21
Hey, wait a second, Grenadier canon pairing is totally het, what's the blonde awesomeness of Rushuna doing here? ;)
| ninemil chapter 2 . 1/21
Ara ara, ships ahoy Good to see you back, author-san. A break does us all good, but given how badly I know you’ve been wanting to pen stuff, it’s great to see you getting work out of the door.
A little difficult again for me to review this without making uneducated assumptions, due to my failing recollection of Haruhi, and my total lack of exposure to Love Hina. Obviously, a forgiving ear to my commentary if you would, as I have no idea who some of these characters are. It is very obvious though, from comparing lines in the two chapters thus far, that you have a fair amount going on here. You mentioned this morning that it felt like it was running away with you, and looking at the amount of background movement between character factions, their respective organizations, and the comparable meta-physical systems in each setting, I can well believe it. I never really explored the Haruhi concept in depth as a philosophical idea, (it kinda just felt like an excuse to obsess over a koukousei, tbh :p) but you’ve brought the best out of it, connecting it tidily to the Keepers-Library-Book system from Yami (with KoiBerry edits.)
That’s quite a mouthful to be chewing all at once, my friend :p It’s no wonder it’s firing off tangential sparks. Hope you’re finding it an enjoyable process. Personally, the act of slotting everything together in a plot has always been my favourite part of writing, especially when it runs itself as a result, but I know how frustrating it can be if things run too far ahead after. Easy to lose track sometimes.
In this regard, I definitely think you stopped in the right place for this instalment. Not so much for the reasons you gave elsewhere, but more because I fear that had you not done so, the audience might not have had the breather to reflect on this instalment in reference to the first.
All the way through the conversation during the walk to the library, I felt as though I was missing something buried within the meta-physical discussion, especially with regard to the vague nod toward Yuki, and Hazuki’s comment about ‘…all of them.’ I don’t know whether to presume this was a lampshade toward Yuki being controlled by someone else, or a lampshade toward the nature of the controller, or what, but I definitely felt out of the loop for not knowing the characters better.
The prior conversation about touching, too, also had me wracking my brains back to the first chapter’s ‘these are the rules of the crossover,’ and what recollection I have of Haruhi. Kyon not feeling a Souma connection, despite having been in the presence of the Souma spewing Haruhi for so long, feels like it should be relevant. Either I’m being blonde, forgetting something, barking up the wrong tree, or perhaps Kyon really is the player in a harem game external to the Keepers-Library system, and just hasn’t realised it yet :p
Sounding like much is going on, anyway, and while I was completely blank to things like the in-joke surrounding eliminating Yuki first, it’ll be fun to find out what you’re up to as the story progresses.
I love how much deeper you’ve utilized the first-person narrative in the second outing. It really shows off your aptitude with the style, and makes Kyon a much more interesting character for it. The opening monologue is insightful and intelligent, and doesn’t shy away from politically-incorrect opinions and attitudes, as a monologue should not if those are the opinions and attitudes that the character in question subscribes to, (I got slated for Ginji’s band in Tokyo, but those were the viewpoints I had experienced from people similar in character whilst out East… I could hardly lie, could I?) Blunt and perhaps a little flippant as he may be at times, it’s obvious that Kyon’s aware of his limitations and is challenged by them. But he’s also uncompromising in his assertion that they are currently part of who he is, and any change to that, if actually desirable, will be a gradual thing. The fact that he doesn’t immediately roll over and bury his squicks and prejudices reflects the maturity with which you’ve approached his mind set – you’re not making narrative excuses for it, in the fear that you might have offended while putting the character across. It’s just Kyon, being Kyon, and please leave the political meta at the door, thanks.
We’ve spoken in depth about his outlooks and admissions elsewhere, so I won’t repeat them here, but second pass impressions remain just as positive. It did feel as though you’d edited it slightly, although that might just be the veil of my own work clouding my recollection. Parts of his commentary do remain a little Americanized, perhaps, but this is hardly surprising given you’ve never actually been a seventeen year old Japanese school senior yourself, to have the same perspective to put across. Kyon, in the context of the show and setting, has hardly had a day-to-day life experience either, so the parts that do stand out as ‘not quite Japanese’ aren’t jarringly so, and I’m glad you’ve not overdone the honorific from his perspective to compensate, the way some might have, as this would have come at the cost of characterization. (One valid criticism of western reviewers with 47 Ronin, for example, is that Reeves never engages the western audience’s displeasure at his treatment as a halfu, since it would be impolite of him to do so, and his personal imperative was to always remain humble and polite. Realistic for the eastern-audience, but a non-starter for the western. Sometimes, a little step away from realism goes a long way in terms of making stories approachable, lest we make it inaccessible to our target audience…)
I felt you hit a good balance, either way. It cements our view of who Kyon is as a person in a way that readers can understand and relate to, whilst still passing interesting commentary on characters we already know (or don’t :p) from a different perspective. I know this is also part and parcel of working in third person, but it’s so much more immediate in first. First gives you that extra space to state and specifiy, and you’ve not shied away from doing either. So props for daring to expand the range of narrative styles on offer in your portfolio, and for executing it so effectively.
I’ll get the inevitable squee at Mutsumi-san wrapping herself around Hazuki out of the way. As well as the lulz at Tamao’s text message response. Mu-chan is a lot of fun, for sure, and while I do enjoy how deeply you explore the core characters in the main Yamiberry canon, it is nice to have a much broader cast from time to time. Headcount here is significantly higher than in some of your other updates, and the story feels like it’s benefited for it. Fresh opinions, fresh interactions, more variation, etc… Not suggesting that the rest of your work is any less engaging for its familiarity, but the supplementary and the change in pace is nice. The higher ‘left turn’ quota within the Haruhi setting perhaps complements Yami(koi)berry that bit better? Who knows.
Speaking of which, I do love the not-yet-level-20 Matrix-esque feel of having Tamao reading from above as the others work. I’ve always loved the meta-physical possibilities of having her as a maker, working alongside the others. Healing and channelling is cool and all, (hi Chikaru,) but being able to see the construction of a world through the words of the book was a very funky concept indeed. Fun to see you explore it out of context of the main canonical limitations. I’d love to see later further-levelled extrapolations at some point, to see where you see these characters in the future, and just what they’ll learn to do with Eve’s gifts.
Hearing Mu-chan’s ‘Ara’ is very cool after watching so much Japanese cinema lately, and once again raises my bugbear with the general railing against using Japanese spoken colloquialisms in English fiction. Little things like ‘Get!,’ ‘Are?’ etc, add soooo much authenticity to a setting, (hell, even my sensei giggles at my ‘Are Are?’ bunny impressions during class,) most fictions seems the lesser for not featuring them. Perhaps we can set a trend, eh, and get that stupid rule overturned. After all, if you want to read about a culture, surely it’s not *that* much work to research unfamiliar terms? The author shouldn’t have to break immersion with footnotes… *sigh*
Meta-physically, it doesn’t overly surprise to see Asakura-san has been tasked with knocking off Hazuki. I’m guessing this statement isn’t exclusive of the other members of the Library’s ‘Fix it’ team, as what little recollection I have of the Ryouko Asakura conjures the impression of maintaining world order, which I guess to anyone outside the Library’s privileged few, it would appear the Library works very much against. Eve and Lilith do, after all, spend a vast amount of their time fucking with other people’s existences :p Perhaps the Entity does want Hazuki specifically, but I’m sure there’s a tale behind that to be told first, if that were the case.
As mentioned before, though, I have no idea where you’re taking this as such, particularly in reference to the previous ender that outed Haruhi as a prior Sister of Eve. It’s gonna be interesting see it all play out, even if I don’t know some of the cast so well and can’t catch all the in-jokes. Looking forward to sinking my teeth into the next, (already released, nice! ) instalment soon :D
Good to have you back publishing, my friend. Keep at it!
| shanejayell chapter 3 . 1/21
Only one errorish bit I caught... "strictly hand to hand" No, blade to blade. There may also be a specific term for it, but I can't think of it. Blade duel?
Love the dialog, and you did a very good job with the fight scene. Asakura, in your version at least, is a LOT more dangerous than I expected, since it took four souma users to take her down. You might even have OVER-powered her, since your souma users are arguably empowered by the force of creation and the data entity is the creation of one souma user. Something to consider anyway...
So, are we gonna see a stort where they meet Mutsumi and Rushuna? Or have we already and I missed it?
| shanejayell chapter 2 . 1/20
Okay, THAT was a twist I wasn't expecting. Congrats, you are not going where I expected with this, which is always a good thing in my opinion.
The Kyon bit on gays reads well, and seems more or less in character.
Also liking your version of Mutsumi, tho I'm still curious to see how she hooked up with the YamiHime gang. Is that going to be a seperate fic, or did it happen and I just miss it?
Looking forward to the next bit!
| Joker-ZX chapter 2 . 1/20
just a simple question
is this before or after Astonishment?
THIS IS IMPORTANT!
A F*CKLOAD OF CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT DEPENDS ON THIS SINGLE QUESTION!
| MissGardenia chapter 2 . 1/19
Obligatory: But that OT3 conflicts with my Kanako/Keitaro OTP ;X