|Reviews for Petals and Pens|
| RandomNumbers523156 chapter 1 . 7/31/2013
I enjoyed this story! The most interesting thing is that it's still PMMM, sending little girls to fight wars, the original was a war in which the line between fantasy and reality was blurred and this fic is one in which war is real, bleak, but both are unending.
As for the characters, I enjoyed Mami because she was mature. I mean, she knows that her job is be the drill sergeant, but she showed to know when to be harsh and when to be kind (the part with she supporting their friendship). The human Kyuubey is also frightening.
I also really liked how you portrayed Homura, it takes a lot of ability to convey so much character development in 6k words. Even considering the bleakness of a possible neverending war, I must commend you for bringing a bright note in the end of the chapter, with the reunion.
Two small things are this frase: "I suppose I should leave a memento", I mean, it seemed out-of-place because it wasn't in italics; and this one: "Gods time had flown", I guess it should have a comma or a "'s" after God.
| StormRex Lancer chapter 1 . 3/30/2013
War...war never changes. In terms of content, I have to say that this is some of the heaviest content I have read. Been a fan of Madoka and Homura, to expect anything other than a roller-coaster ride of emotions leading to their close bonds between each other will be a shock. You have not disappointed me.
The fear of the Operation completely changing Madoka's life makes me feel for Akemi too. I mean, going to a mission in which will change her life, and the effect of PTSD settling in, and possibly even change her outlook on life, friends, and even love in general. War is never fun.
The pacing is strong too. From the time where Homura first encounters Madoka, to their promise of being together, as friends, close friends, to the struggles in training and Homoura's hatred of whoever let Madoka into so much bad things meant to 'train her'. Those militarizes are such dicks ain't they?
The letter was written well, truly captured Madoka's brother's fear. The fear that Madoka might be fighting a losing battle internally. And the ending leave somewhat of a open-ended possibility of a sequel. I like that, it leaves me wondering, given that Madoka's voice was dipped in melancholy, has PTSD slipped into Madoka? What will be the relationship between Homura and Madoka from then on? Will it be Spec Ops: The Line all over again?
Very content heavy, but well worth it. War is never fun, and you tackle that subject very, VERY well. Which is saying a lot since I have been disgusted by many FPS shooters thinking that fighting in a war makes you feel like a bad-ass or some such bullcrap.
| warriorfist chapter 1 . 1/26/2013
What did I just read?
Now I mean this is in a very, very good way. Because, right now, I am suffering from an overdose of FEELS!
Your thought process is so idiosyncratic, yet so mature, and your characters are so distinct and random yet so utterly heartfelt...it all made for a very heady mix of emotions by the end. Awesome, completely natural dialogue that really added a whole another dimension to the characters.
I love how you harnessed your genuine passion for these characters and all that creativity, and then bundled them into such an organic product. Your narration has this unique mixture of distant observation and brief, meaningful moments of close introspection, and I just can't put my finger on it.
The most soulful experiences I have had with anime are when the emotions are expressed without the enthusiasm overload or excessive melancholy, and the end results were something universal, something that I could completely relate to without ever having experienced anything remotely like it before in my life. And that's what you have achieved here.
You used such a freeform structure here, but it definitely paid off. It's a bit like life in certain respects: you can't structure how it progresses, only deal with what happens as best as you can and move forward. The ending was pitch-perfect in that regards, and it couldn't have been any better.
| thats-a-moray chapter 1 . 1/5/2013
Good introduction. I have a basic idea of the fandom and what's going on in the story. I know that it's not usually necessary, but in RLt I really appreciate a fic that goes through the trouble of establishing setting and characters. Knowing that you won't leave me in the dark makes me want to review more of your stories - even in fandoms I'm not familiar with.
"It was in her golden eyes that always sparkled with love towards her soldiers yet ran them through drills rain, snow, or tornado." Minor point: I think 'wind' would be better than tornado. Tornado made me think of a literal tornado and made this sentence funnier than I think you meant it to be.
"Not only that, she was determined to make them crash every day." This, on the other hand, is great. Failure can make people strong.
"They were examples of fine humans… even though now she was here, wiping mud from her glasses." The use of the word 'human' shows a certain level of arrogance or apathy toward other human beings. If this was your intention, awesome. If not, 'people' is a better word. :) I also liked the detail about wiping mud from her glasses.
Seeing these characters grow during their stay at this boot camp is really fascinating. I feel sorry for Madoka. It's strange that so many of these girls seem to be crippled in some way. Madoka with her muteness and artifical leg and Homura with her heart operation.
I love the way Madoka and Homura are able to communicate with each other. It's very sweet that Homura is able to understand her through gestures alone and shows how close they are. I also like Homura wondering about what being 'cool' means and how she goes back to that question when the opportunity to see Madoka again comes up.
"The whole thing had been quite painless reportedly." I'm not sure about the word 'reportedly' here. It implies that someone else told her it was painless, but they wouldn't know. Only Homura would know.
I like how Homura has started swearing. To me that was a huge flag that she's changed since becoming a Witch.
"Compared to that, North Hell where she resided, was like an ambulance, almost a flower field." This is kind of confusing. How is an ambulance like a flower field?
I loved the ending, the stuff about going back in time. Great job. Other than a couple of odd word choices, which I mentioned, I didn't find anything wrong with this story.
| Green Phantom Queen chapter 1 . 12/31/2012
I've only heard bits about the anime, aside from the fact that it's a very dark series for something about magical girls. However, I am well versed in war based stories (All Quiet on the Western Front being one of them), so this is basically is a recipe of darkness.
Your writing is really good, and your SPaG is nice and shiny. Your descriptions are well thought out and I can tell bits and pieces of everyone's personality. I really feel sad for Homura and Madoka and all the hell they go through, but hopefully these two get a well deserved happy ending. This is a very good one-shot and it's made me interested in to seeing Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Good job.
| Her Royal Nonsense chapter 1 . 12/29/2012
I remember tagging you several weeks back and being absolutely floored by the eloquence of your writing. Well, you certainly do not disappoint because this was absolutely marvellous. I have to admit, I've only ever read anime fics per review tag and nine times out of ten I find them to be a little daunting, solely because I often find myself overwhelmed by all the names and obscurish nouns and subjectsI've to keep track of... but that is not the case with you and that's wonderful. It's easy to follow and it flows together so seemlessly, but at the same time your writing is perfectly crafted and beautiful.
I find that the deployment of young girls instead of men for use in war to be a heartbreaking piece of storytelling and a fascinating contrast to real life where often these gender roles are reversed. I sense some serious political undertones here in that regard and it makes for one very mature piece and I can certainly appreciate that. The fact that soldiers are only called 'Women' after fighting in war and doing awful things is an interesting addition as well... the concept seems so completely foreign.
I read somewhere that you wrote that no girl was entirely 'angles' or something like that.. what did you mean by that?
Anyway, well done, this was a fabulous read!
| GreenGlassCannon42 chapter 1 . 12/28/2012
War is always a terrible thing and to send out girls that are not even adults yet is something that made my blood boil in anger. If you're hope is that the reader will come to care for the girls and be disgusted by the vast injustice done to them, you have succeeded. That first scene where the girls are being driven off to fight a battle they really want no part of, that made me step back a bit and go "Those poor girls".
But even in these dark times I have to smile at the friendship of Homura and Madoka. Even though life handed the latter a bad hand, she's still willing to be friends with Homura. That's a pretty heartwarming thing right there, let me tell you that. When I got to the part where Homura read the letter from Madoka's little bro, I felt close to crying. I'll admit when Madoka finally said something I was happy. Even in war there is light.
| Buffalo Knight chapter 1 . 12/28/2012
I’m cannot accurately say how I happy I am to have received this in the inbox. I didn’t expect it honestly to be a Madoka x Homura fan fiction. I must say that I enjoyed it a LOT. You are right; it brought my spirits right up!
As you usual, you handle the canon characterization well while equally putting some of your own thought into the work as well. A part of me being me loved the type of military feel you added into this fan fiction. That may be cause of too much CoD or I’m too masculine at times, but it really just made me smile seeing characters that I know in this type of environment.
I definitely enjoyed all of the main characters. You did a good job wrapping all of the characters together in this fictional world. My favorite side character was Mami, mainly because every line she said I heard her in her voice saying it. Thanks for that!
Of course, there were some really sweet parts that I couldn’t help but smile. I actually really like the ending. I think you handled it well! Also, I think adding in Madoka’s little brother really added to the touch of the story. I didn’t think that you would add him in the story!
I don’t have complaints. That might be partly because it’s my present and I was just so excited to read it! Thanks for putting a smile on my face! This was a really good present for me!
| Edhla chapter 1 . 12/28/2012
Warning: I am a canon ignoramus.
Preliminary squee: I am so excited that I managed to tag you at long last, considering you have cleaned up my entire canon. :D
"It was the girl at her side who was more interesting"- my grammar is woeful, but I think when it's a person it's "who" and when it's an object, it's "that." My Word documents keep getting corrected that way, anyway. That said, your description here is incredibly vivid.
"Blabbering of the blue girl" is awesome alliteration.
I was fascinated by "Woman... she had been to war... she had done horrible things." I'm not sure what the connection is between the name and the reasons why the name is given, but damn, it's well-worded and bloody interesting.
"That was the first letter"- OOH. I LIKE SENTENCES LIKE THIS, THEY ARE OMINOUS AND COOL. :D
"Let's be good friends okay? You, me, Hitomi-chan, and Sayaka-chan too! Sayaka-chan can be really headstrong but she's a nice person, just like you!"- oh Lord, I love this. The tone is brilliant. It's so incredibly... schoolgirlish? Stupid word, but my niece prattles like this (she's nine), and I love her for it :D
"Pale flowers and scratches of ink." Damn you, I will never write a description this succinctly perfect. DAMN YOU.
I would drop the "it was almost symbolic" sentence, since symbolism is wasted on those who need it spelled out for them :p
"She had woken up gagged and with a body that felt like it was burning. She could see the ceiling through raw eyes and she found herself not wanting to. A slender hand was gentle on hers. Let go, she wanted to say. I'll burn you. Let go…" - I am now having a coronary of jealousy. Damn, woman. Your writing. Your descriptions. YOUR DESCRIPTIONS.
All-round, this is brilliant. You could write your way out of any paper bag you wanted to- I'm going to say it again: YOUR DESCRIPTIONS. I would expect to see that calibre of writing in a published work, and I've only said that to one writer so far besides you :p Beautiful work. Some of these images and turns of phrase are going to stay with me for a long time, I believe xx
| Madohomuu chapter 1 . 12/28/2012
Really an enjoyable read! You write really well!
Hope you would make more stories about this two cutey pies!