dmxrated: (AVGN)
A Wallbanger is about a plot point so utterly stupid and ridiculous that it exceeds all thought. Many of the examples eventually became simple Fridge Logic and complaining about plot points they didn't like, no matter how insignificant.

-TV Tropes: Square Peg Round Trope. (Of course, the line between any of those is blurred. What fails to make sense to one person might make perfect sense to someone else or with sufficient understanding of its context, and there are also such things as Fridge Brilliance and misunderstanding what actually happened.)

I'll try not to be overly critical of anything. This is just an honest attempt to understand why people in general agree on certain maxims in regards to writing, such as abiding by characterization and/or world-building, avoiding ass-pulls, and not putting stuff in for no particular reason.

Before I begin, though, chronology was not the only thing I had brought up in my reviews that Blood told me off for (although he did highlight that), nor was it the only thing I listed under Wallbangers: Other (only the first. And yes, it does factor in, albeit indirectly, to the actual events of a given fic).

On that note, even though I linked to both post and thread just recently, here they are again in case I show this particular entry to him:

http://forums.luckystarshrine.com/showpost.php?p=230081&postcount=6 (World-building in general)

http://forums.luckystarshrine.com/showthread.php?t=4871 (The thread itself, for context)

And, here is a certain entry in which I had already talked about the concept of appreciation:

http://dmxrated.livejournal.com/561848.html

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With that out of the way, let's start with an example of something at its most primitive:

[M]ost early filmmakers chose to shoot boring real-life events, like people walking or a baby being fed[.]

-Cracked: 9 Terrifying Old Movies That Put Modern Horror to Shame

That was 1895, when motion pictures were a relatively new thing. While anyone could put such stuff up on YouTube or Facebook today, it would not be sufficient on its own even as a one-off joke in any newspaper comic or yonkoma manga. They have potential as building blocks, but on their own, they don't carry any appeal.

(Well obviously, people walking wouldn't, unless the focus was on anything they might be talking about. Feeding a baby could have appeal in cuteness, as would a one-off shot of Tsukasa opening her mouth to eat some toast (ep. 13, 7:30).)

Everything, from funny things people record in real life, to simple storybooks, cartoon shorts, or music videos, to full-length movies and multi-episode TV shows, is designed for people to follow along with and appreciate. Most of the time, what that is is a set of circumstances, stuff that happens, and what changes as a result. This, of course, needs to be much more than what you're taught in grade school as examples of cause-and-effect. We need to know who the characters are and how things work in order for things to unfold in such a way that we can follow along with and appreciate.

For some examples, Kagami and Konata are established to have a playfully rough friendship, and that's one thing we grow attached to them for. Miyuki stands out as the most reserved of the main four, and if she were to say something like "Far out!", unless for instance she was attempting to emulate someone else's speech pattern (which she and several others do for a game late in the manga), people would be like "Huh!?" Konata's mother is explicitly dead, and even appears one time as a ghost; it would not become of the show to re-introduce her as still alive and having been there the whole time. Tsukasa keeps texting Kagami incessantly despite both of them living in the same house, of course the latter's gonna get annoyed, even if she keeps her cool upon confronting the former. That's just basic cause-and-effect; no one with better things to do would appreciate such an ongoing distraction, we know her character isn't gonna allow her to just keep answering her, and she's too good friends with her to ignore outright (unless she were to persist even after the one approach, which itself would be OOC for her).

While minimal in Lucky Star, character development is a major form of cause-and-effect, while out-of-character behavior is an effect without a cause.

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One thing I take pride in about Starbound has particularly to do with time, and especially involving to its alternate-POV spinoff fic Birthday of Destiny. To start with, I like the day-by-day flow of events as the story progresses, with chapter 1 covering two days (though only one conversation on the first day), chapter 2 covers the remaining events of the second night in its first two scenes, the third day (which one can tell is a Saturday) is covered from there until early in chapter 5, and so on. Throw Birthday of Destiny into the mix, and you have the added bonus of figuring which events involving MCK-transplant protagonist Rokuna Hiiragi happen in relation to which involving anyone canon. And with Rokuna's birthday confirmed externally as November 8, a given school and year's arts festival taking place around Nov. 3, and even plans of mine for Rokuna to mention at some point having gone with her friends to Ryouou to see Akira Kogami, I've got myself one hell of a way to properly tie it all in with the anime and something to let readers actually put together. It's a challenge of their intelligence.

It is true that the anime was not very plot-oriented, but it is still cohesive in other ways, such as with its flow of events. Similarly to Birthday of Destiny, one can watch the OVA and follow certain clues in order to determine which events would fit naturally within the anime's timeline:

Want them spelt out? )

The way episode 24 segues the events of Lucky Channel into the main show is also a great example here, although I did mostly stop watching LC at some point during my first watchthrough without ever coming back to it. Those events will also become relevant during Starbound, when Minoru spoiler )

(Never watched Miyakawa-ke no Kufuku in depth either (passively been meaning to), but I do understand that certain characters from the main series do appear in that show. Its two mains do have a planned cameo for shortly before the events mentioned above, though.)

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So, finally, here is where the school schedule comes in:

To "Americanize" the school year despite all that's been shown, is to do the opposite of what I described: To insult the intelligence of everyone reading one's work, and the hard work that the creators of the original anime and manga did to walk them and their fellow fans through something inextricably linked with everything that happened. Instead of building upon what's in place already, they dismantle it (or even tear it down) to build back up their own way. The original creators took the time to make the events correspond with the flow of time, reserving anything for a specific time of year for either said point in the anime or the OVA, when they could easily have created something timeless instead.

To be fair, though, I already described my own initial experiences before, and it's possible that, for all his references thereto, Blood actually only watched the anime in-depth once. On my part, I Was Kagami Hiiragi was the only fic of his I ever read more than once (and even with that one, I just skimmed through most chapters when it was up the first time, interested mostly in how Kagami meets her fate in the prologue), but I do remember most of the events of all his older fics on a superficial level, and a few of them actually stood out enough that I took the time to re-read them upon receiving copies of his stuff post-deletion. But, that's only a theory anyway.

It also helps that the events of canon are independent enough of one another that they could conceivably be rearranged to fit an Americanized school year. Such exactly was the case with certain events between the anime and the manga, the latter which came first and placed the main four in the beginning of their freshman year to start with, instead of in their junior year.

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Well, different writers and readers alike assume different priorities. I'm not trying to convince anyone to hate or abort anything. For all its faults, Blood's current fic does have appeal in other areas to make up for it, as did the manga adaptation of Mon Colle Knights and the season 1 finale of The Legend of Korra. What I pointed out before the shit hit the fan between the two of us was just for on the sidelines; my main interest until then was the big moment when the active antagonists actually get what's coming for them and whatever would have happened to everyone else involved. If you like seeing how a bunch of people's lives fall apart or such vile people as those responsible doing what they do to make their comeuppance that much more exciting, Cries Unheard might just be for you (at least if it were complete already instead of sitting at chapter 15 for over a year now). But, to quote Simply Hiiragi (who even dismissed time as an issue) from during an exchange I had with him in the events leading up to my own fic:

Everything happened way too easily and I just wasn't buying anything that was happening.

(Jake, Yincira, anyone else reading this, if you have any thoughts about all that, feel free to comment, okay?)
dmxrated: (Kagami)
Well, Yincira still has yet to critique those spritesheets I've emailed her, and the person I commissioned for Madoka's fic needs some time to refine what she's already re-written. So, to fill the time in, I've decided to start looking at Bonds earlier than I was expecting to. Was originally gonna wait until Fanfiction.net's document manager discards all chapter copies of I Was Kagami Hiiragi after their 90-day storage period, in case I need to make any unexpected changes to anything, but with 34 chapters of that and 20 comprising Bonds, I will only have to discard four from IWKH in order to see things through here.

As it turns out, Blood had started the fic by describing a warm spring day on which everything starts out peacefully. Honestly, I don't know how that had eluded me for a whole year until he started hosting Crap Unread. Hell, I didn't even notice this the first time with Luckier Star, weeks before reading Blood's first two fics (which in turn was before Blood started hosting Bonds). Yeah, I did ditch that one almost immediately, but only because of some cockamamie that its author pulled out of his ass to keep everyone at Ryouou High even after graduating (which was pointed out in a review; nevermind that the manga still goes on with all the same characters even after some of them graduate and move on to different colleges).

I will admit, though, that I myself wasn't always aware of when the school year ends and starts anew in Japan. For one thing, it took me a whole year and a half (May '09 thru Jan '11) to watch the whole series through the first time around. In general, I prefer to watch anime on DVD the first time around, before re-watching it online at any point. Most anime I watched at the time was rented from Netflix, and it tends to be a matter of months between points that I feel like watching anything. The way each episode jumps from subject to subject did not help me keep track of things, and the show itself was just one more before growing onto me only gradually.

Even when I went on to think up the basic premise of what would be Starbound around Thanksgiving of '11 and got all then-eight volumes of the manga for Christmas the month after, I was just relying on what the show was in general. It wasn't until much later on that I would re-watch the anime in-depth on YouTube (more than once) and come to put everything together, and even to this day and after multiple read-throughs, I still don't remember every single thing that took place in the manga.

Having realized that, I suppose that might explain the conflicting chronology between Blood's fanfics and canon, provided his situation was similar. Would have been reason enough to spell it out for him while reviewing Crap Unread, unless he had been clearer with his response when I brought it up the first time.

In any case, I'll be sure to rewrite everything involving the weather and the time of year before I actually put the chapter up.
dmxrated: (Makoto)
Just to get this much off once and for all, let me just say that part of the reason I re-uploaded I Was Kagami Hiiragi (and by extension, why I chose that one first) has to do with bloodscorpionwhatever's refusal to acknowledge Japanese scheduling as it was shown all canon long.

To start with, the first of two times I brought the issue up with him a year ago, was in a review asking if he's aware of how the school year was shown to work. All he said in return was "...ok...", and I didn't know whether to interpret that as "Yeah, so?" or "Okay, got that."

Right before he posted chapter 9 of Crap Unread, that's when I left all of three reviews that elicited only rebuke. There were actually several reasons, and in hindsight, I can't say I was thinking too clearly, given how badly the story in question was still affecting me. I realized afterwards that I might have been in his face about the school schedule in particular, and even Yincira agreed later that having elaborated on it was probably condescending.

Even putting the big picture aside, I will never understand why he blatantly ignored how far apart the girls' summer activities and the break between school years are, juxtaposed by various things that can only take place during certain times of the year. True, Crap Unread is such a poorly written fic in general, but he already answered me that even if he were to start over, he would still maintain this blatant fuck-you to canon.

That being the case, I'd say it's a great thing that he lost all his work from up to a year earlier, and it would've been better still if he actually never did come back (which mariofan48 relayed from him in that forum thread that he wouldn't). Only way to do justice to that (and I've got someone to thank for emailing me copies of most of his work) would be to make certain corrections myself.

During that whole week that I uploaded everything I have of IWKH, I made a point of reading every word before posting each chapter (barring 26, for reasons I specified in an author's note there), so as to make any edits necessary. Only real issue was with Miyuki ending up in the hospital and missing a scheduled flight to France. Given how much earlier Kagami's beatdown upon her would have taken place in my new version, still relative to their graduation ceremony (which would take place in April, not June or July), she should logically be able to schedule a new flight. Better yet, said flight could've just as easily been scheduled much later on in the first place, if mainly to allow her to still see her old friends for a last few months.

If Blood confronts me by any chance about hosting his work after certain antics I've pulled on him, I very much doubt I will simply comply with him. Depending on what he actually does ask me, I might try to reach an agreement with him that would involve him starting Crap Unread over and actually acknowledging canon chronology for what it is. On the same token, though, I am open to the off-chance that we actually will reconcile (which happens between Kagami and Patricia due to unexpected circumstances late in Broken Dreams), in which case I might take down Stage One: Thwarted. But, this is all just in case; chances are good that he won't confront me in the first place, given how useless a removal demand would be if I already had the balls to taunt him with a blatant mockery of his current fic.
dmxrated: (Mai)
To start with, the main reason I brought everything in the previous entry up with Brian, is due to conflicting feelings between how much I used to like Blood's old works and how badly ruined our friendship has been since then. To mind in particular comes the time I received copies of his works around this time last year, and read everything I had previously skipped of I Was Kagami Hiiragi.

Then again, this Photoplasty list is of all kinds of things similar involving stuff from people's childhoods. It's natural enough for one's fond memories to become tarnished in hindsight by either later events or learning certain things in their background, but Brian said that I shouldn't let them be.

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I've already mentioned differences in priorities two entries ago. So far, Brian is the second person to have told me not to get so worked up about school schedules (the first being Simply Hiiragi), and that Blood's focus may have been to face certain personal demons, unless he just has some kind of morbid fascination in the stuff he writes about. I do suppose that he might have just wanted to keep things simple, but that still doesn't excuse having ignored stuff that's been presented to him throughout a 24-episode anime and then-eight-volume manga (especially given how many references he drops to canonical events).

He also said pretty much the same thing about what I said regarding everyone's out-of-character behavior, saying that human relationships are more important than human-character relationships. He did say later, that all points I raised were still valid, but the way Blood handled Kagami and Tsukasa in particular is even more insulting than "seasons". With most anime or games, I just want to be entertained, and tend not to focus on how much things actually make sense. With Fanfiction, the reason one looks for fics of a particular fandom, is because they appreciated the work of origin. I liked the characters in Lucky Star for who they were, so barring AUs such as Fists of Rage or The Library, I want to see everyone act the way the would have in canon, changing only due to circumstances (such as how Tsukasa and Kagami's Face Heel Turns in The Loss of Innocence and I Was Kagami Hiiragi respectively result from being raped, the deaths of two loved ones, and the emotional overloads that they go through following those respective incidents.) Blood barely explains shit about the way Kagami behaves throughout chapter 3 of Crap Unread, and no, butterflies in the stomach might cloud one's judgment, but it doesn't cost them all regard for their friends' well being. (Kagami was warned about Yuka's intentions against Tsukasa in IWKH, but unlike Riku in CU, Yuka had yet to actually do anything to anyone, and Kagami had reason enough to trust her not to.)

(I will admit that while Soujiro is also a bit out of character by allowing Konata to date Kenji after "getting to know" him (he did object to her finding a boyfriend in episode 20 of the anime), I'm also guilty with him myself in Starbound. He gives Konata permission offpage to leave with her friends during a dangerous situation in chapter 1, even though Konata says in anime episode 7, "Fathers always worry about their daughters; it's what they do best," after the twins both receive a call from Tadao within only a few minutes. But, both cases are minor issues.)

Also, to clear something up, Blood did tell me before, that he just writes stuff based on curiosity, such as "What if Tsukasa was raped?" or "What if there was a shootout at Ryouou High?" I Was Kagami Hiiragi was an exception, because it was based on experiences he once had involving a cousin of his. (If there actually is an excuse for his disregard for continuity, that could be it. Crap Unread has none.)

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Regarding the way Blood reacted to my initial critiques, Brian said that, even kids aside, there are plenty of people who need nothing but validation, or else their self-confidence suffers. (I told him that this was actually a major point in I Was Kagami Hiiragi.) Even back in college, he himself couldn't accept any kind of criticism.

(Simple did tell me before, that he used to be Blood's favorite critiquist, back when he was active as bloodscorpion88, although he had given up on him after reading Crap Unread and seeing what a mess that fic really is.)

He also said that, with some people, it only takes one stupid thing to say for them not to take someone seriously anymore. Here, though, I'd say that what got to him was me bringing up schedule differences for a second time when I critiqued his work, and even spelling it all out. However, he did also say that by apologizing to him, I might've made him feel even worse by validating his feelings. (Yeah, I remember feeling that way when Dad told me early in 9th grade, that maybe I was right about Mrs. Bandows treating me like a kid when she was still with me before being let off half a year earlier.)

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One way or another, he did say that he wasn't trying to encourage me to make up with him, especially since I already have attempted that. It is possible that we might reconcile, but I won't be seeking that with him in the foreseeable future.

If for any reason he actually does apologize to me for having slighted me when I tried doing the mature thing first, then I probably would take down Stage One: Thwarted. Let's remember that what got to me is that he seems to want nothing more to do with me just because I said a few off things, and to just let that go wouldn't do any favors for my ego. Simple told me recently that the characters are still OOC in SOT, but that's not such a big deal, because the bigger point behind that fic was to piss all over Crap Unread and humiliate Blood on a public website for making me feel like I don't matter. (Of course I matter; that's the same reason why I write to this blog and write fanfiction.)

I still wouldn't read Crap Unread unless he actually were to start the fic over (something I said something about, and that Simple told me of having also suggested to him). Between the shoddy storytelling and the emotional impact of what goes on, I should mention that SOT, while written primarily to bash Blood, has also helped to deny most of what happened so far in CU, partly because if I were to ask him any further questions about that, he would probably say "Why should you care?", if even that. Removing that, though, there's still everything I've written in the Other page for TV Tropes: Wallbanger, although redlerred7 did cite possible psychological reasons why the antagonists play the games they play w/ everyone when I asked him about that recently. (Reasonable to assume Blood will explain those in due time, but his near-lack of an explanation for Kagami's actions in chapter 3 still stands.)

Also been considering commissioning for something of his aforementioned OC Yuka, mainly for my own reasons. If I actually do get around to that, I will likely ask the artist to keep me anonymous and share it with mariofan48 to share in turn with Blood, asking him not to say it was from me unless he asks. Yes, I still despise Blood, but not enough that I'd want him to miss out on something he be interested in otherwise.

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On a lesser note, Brian did say that what I had written had reminded him of another, apocalyptic fic I brought up with him and Marie a year and a half ago. I told him that he was thinking of No Birds, No Bees, in which all human males are dead while the female half is reduced to killing and torturing one another for survival. Yincira says that such a scenario wouldn't make sense after any kind of apocalypse, but I personally wouldn't know whether the key to survival would be to compete or to work together. Its author Arkytal told me that that whole thing was based on survival tactics used by soldiers in the Vietnam and Gulf Wars, so who knows.

What was really heartbreaking about that fic, though, was that the idea of the entire male population dying inexplicably and all females competing lethally to survive could take place after just about any other fic, including my own. Arkytal did tell me at some point, though, that it actually departs from canon during episode 6, during the girls' offscreen trip back home from the beach, although this obviously should have been specified from the very beginning.

That essay

Mar. 23rd, 2015 12:05 pm
dmxrated: (AVGN)
Appreciation...

What exactly do I mean by that?

Well, to start with, it was two years ago that I first browsed the Lucky Star archive on Fanfiction.net, after having published Starbound to it and becoming part of a new community. People who might read my own story, and whose own stories would be worth taking in in exchange. I had the good pleasure of reading such stories as To Blossom In Winter, Miyuki Magic, A Cluster of Stars, and several much darker stories. Even one of my least favorite stories in hindsight, StarCrossed, was interesting, to read about the fates of various characters and the events leading up to them.

Initially, bloodscorpion88's fics The Loss of Innocence and Broken Dreams were just two more for the taking, already complete when I decided to read them. Next came Bonds, which I read along as it went, although what made that one, and subsequently Blood himself, special would occur later still.

And then came I Was Kagami Hiiragi. At first, I only read the prologue, not buying that Kagami would actually do drugs for any reason at all. I tuned in later, when she finally decides to make an appointment w/ Dr. Nagisa Kishimoto, and it was from there that I learned why she started drugging and thus went back to read what I previously skipped [until coming across the point where she sells some family heirlooms for drug money]. (Keep in mind that Blood and I were on much better terms back then.)

(Still, how did I fail to notice the Americanized school schedule way back then? If I actually paid attention to that, I would have likely stopped reading during the first chapter.)

Anyway, what I mean by appreciation, is really several things.

First of all, certain scenes in three of his old fics are some that I enjoy thinking about in particular. Can't really say the same about any other stories, besides Starbound (one of my own).

Second, comparing certain things across the different stories, such as what becomes of two different characters in particular.

And, also how similarly dark the subject matter is in what he writes. The Loss of Innocence begins w/ Tsukasa being raped, and focuses on how she gradually breaks down before causing all kinds of trouble for her friends and family. Broken Dreams is about terminal illness and an abusive boyfriend. Bonds is about a school shooting. I Was Kagami Hiiragi starts with the events leading to two characters' deaths, which in turn establishes why Kagami delves into drugs and subsequently destroys all her relationships. Blood's current LS fic deals with the yakuza, and he's also writing an Azumanga Daioh fic in which Tomo has committed suicide, leaving all her friends to deal with her death.

Really, though, I cannot appreciate his current fic, Cries Unheard (or, Crap Unread, given how broken the storytelling is and my current lack of respect for him). His utter disregard for not only the school schedule (as was shown throughout canon) but for everyone's character (especially Kagami's) just so everything could play out is simply insulting.

Even putting aside the way he treated me, this is like James Rolfe's take on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III. It's a disgrace, and he has pretty much jumped the shark at this point. This could have been an interesting new installment, had it been done right.

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Even apart from Lucky Star fanfics, I appreciate Lucky Star itself, by citing all kinds of things from the anime and the manga. I once appreciated this Sonic fic called Ancient Ways, Ancient Evils, by thinking about various scenes in its events; while I did notice a few errors along the way, it wasn't until I shared it with Yincira, who then began sporking it, that I would learn how much was really wrong with it.

I also appreciated all the different mons that a site called Digidex offered info on, enough that I then wanted to write my own Digimon story, the same way I had appreciated the Pokemon video games enough to later plan Parasitic Trio.

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One thing I never truly appreciated, despite enjoying nonetheless, was Mon Colle Knights. Rather, I was obsessed w/ its two main characters, mainly because they were cute and I was still relatively new to anime as a whole. I planned my own kind of stories out to involve them in, but never really paid attention to rules and other stuff already in place, or even involved any canon mons in most of what would have happened. In retrospect, I realize that I would have likely done much more with them, if only there was an archive of all mons in the Monster Collection franchise.

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To like something and to appreciate something, despite the similar definitions, are two different things. There is a trope called So Bad It's Good, which describes anything poorly designed and/or written but still enjoyable in general. Furthermore, some works are not meant to be appreciated, but to cater to simpler interests such as fanservice or fetishes.

Inversely, while I ended up not liking StarCrossed or Bonds in hindsight, I did find them interesting nonetheless. Both of them were written quite believably, rushed as the former may have been, and despite the contrasting atmosphere to Lucky Star canon. Bonds was also a nice installment among Blood's different darkfics, and Crap Unread could have also been, if not for a dozen Wallbangers in its storytelling.

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(And, if I can remember enough of them, I'll be sure to make another entry describing certain points Brian and I discussed in response to all that.)
dmxrated: (Kagami)
Santa came on the firetruck yesterday. I went out just to greet him, and so did our neighbors Eddie and Donna Stein. Oddly enough, their kids weren't with them, just their dogs Romeo and Juliet. Even more curiously, only I got a bag of candy, even though none of us are kids anyway.

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And, I still wonder if my aversion to Crap Unread actually has anything to do with the shit that happens to the characters, or if it really is about his shitty writing. Stage One: Thwarted is the most direct reason why I deny its events, so let's just do the math once and for all:

If it were written much better, I wouldn't have critiqued it in the first place, and Blood and I would be on much better terms, although I'd still be waiting for him to finish the fic already. If he continued to update regularly after August 3, I don't know what I would have done to get back at him, other than writing a fuck-you review, and I wouldn't have found out how shoddily-written the fic really is, although at least then I'd get to see the fates of the antagonists play out once and for all. If any of Fanfiction.net's moderators actually took the damn fic down, I would've been able to just forget about it like I did with Battle Star Royale, since at least it wouldn't be coexisting right with my own two stories. If it were the first fic of his that I ever read, I would've backed out after reading "school ends for summer vacation", and there wouldn't be any issues to start with.

And finally, if I actually do change my mind at any point and give it a second chance, not only is there the fact that Blood officially wants nothing more to do with me thanks to SOT, but I'd have to swallow an inconsistent school schedule with canon, some blatantly out-of-character behavior on Kagami's part, and some epic Fridge Logic by virtue of the antagonists being brilliant enough to keep everyone divided but lacking the common sense (a fundamental element of planning) to get information directly from those it pertains to. Summer vacation between school years was also present in I Was Kagami Hiiragi, but at least that fic was believable in general. And even though I never did like Bonds ever since that fic was completed, I can still appreciate it as part of an anthology of Lucky Star fics written by a single person.

I've just come to realize that how I feel about that whole fic is exactly how Yincira felt about Shinzo, an anime which she used to project her values upon, but upon realizing how shitty it actually was, spent some time rationalizing its flaws (if I recall correctly) before hating it with all passion. Kagami's first time out with Satoshi and meeting Riku really is a bunch of, should I say "Kagamimi*"? The only thing explained (poorly, at that) is why she decides to come with Satoshi into the urban part of Tokyo. She flat-out ignores Tsukasa while talking to him and Riku, even leaves her to fend for herself while they go see a scary movie**, and in the next chapter, ditches her for Riku during a shopping trip she specifically meant to make it up with. In fact, Tsukasa is rather OOC herself; apparently, she didn't even try to be involved in their conversations, which she is in every canon conversation involving her.

(*Here, have yourself a bilingual bonus.)

(**It is true that Kagami and Konata once did bring her to see a horror movie against her will, but that's likely mainly because she didn't have the will to voice her opinion against it. She tells Miyuki that if she had a choice, she never would sit through any such movies, but it seems likely she actually does have a choice but doesn't want to impose her own wishes upon her friends or family or deny them her company. I don't think they'd actually force her to sit through one, but my actual point is that Kagami would never leave her all by herself just to see the damn movie that she and the boys watched. She would've more likely picked a different movie instead.

In fact, what the hell got into Yuichi in episode 5 of Kanon, dragging Ayu to see a scary movie that she clearly did not want to see (with tickets that she bought, no less)? Isn't he a better friend than that most of the time?)

Here's the thing: Attachments to a particular author's works make it harder to part with any of theirs in particular than it normally would be. Personal animosity, on the other hand, makes it easier, but those two opposing things were the reason I was still torn as to whether to read it or not even after he jumped down my throat and then ignored me when I did the mature thing and said "sorry" instead of "fine!"

Finally, let me just say, that writing is an art. You can do it sloppily, or you can make an effort to do it elegantly. If something fails to make sense in order for something else to make sense, then there's no point trying to make sense in the first place, which is exactly one of the core aspects of writing itself. I already scrapped most of Monster Collection Chronicles due to so many things failing to make sense, after having discussed it with Yincira and failed to rework it, and I am not interested in reading anything similarly illogical and broken. To read something is to acknowledge that it happened, and I'd rather not acknowledge such inconsistency with world rules, a character's behavior with her character, or the idea of a big, cunning plan born from a critical, fundamental error that only a dumbass could make. (Getting security information from a CEO's daughter? Geez, just take your secret footage of Miyuki in the shower, threaten Jiro with it, and leave Miyuki herself out of it.)

(If Blood ever does update again, and especially if he says anything about Stage One: Thwarted, I am planning to leave one, last, abusive review on his story, just to make it clear to anyone who may have read my previous reviews, that my main issue isn't with the "seasons" so much as the way he fucking treated me even after I apologized for my errors.)

Addendum

Nov. 21st, 2014 02:40 pm
dmxrated: (Kagami)
And yet, I continue to wonder why I don't just read the deaths of the Yakuza boys play out whenever it finally happens and just have it over with. Various things that remind me of the events in that fic do not help, either. However, if I actually were to indulge in those two scenes, then I'd likely become curious as to what happens to Kai and Yukiko, what becomes of everyone else who isn't already confirmed dead, who recovers from the whole ordeal and who doesn't, and whether the arms shipment at the center of everything goes through or gets stopped. None of it is worth acknowledging, because everyone each needed an Idiot Ball in order for things to even happen.

Again, yes, I was going to rewrite things to be more believable, but doing so would require eliminating most of the abuse that defines the story. Those boys have no real reason to assume that Miyuki would have the information they need in order to carry out their plans. If they wanted the others out of their way, then one has to wonder why they don't just kill them outright, because they're already committing crimes for which one would spend life in prison. What they do instead requires a lot more work, and there's still the risk of them contacting authorities anyway no matter what they do, and the only reason left to play the game that way is their sadism. Even though they're presented as Magnificent Bastards, they seem to care more about inflicting pain than making money (illicitly or otherwise), hence why they're actually rather stupid for having come up with a much more convoluted scheme in the first place than necessary.

If their abuse of everyone was the goal itself, instead of a means to their real goal, then that would be one thing. Given what their real goal is, the fact remains that they should be keeping a low profile, not going on such a rampage as they're on. Hence why I suggested the fic's actual plot to be secondary to the author's rape fantasies, especially given how much of that is involved compared to anything else the boys put their victims through.

Really, if something isn't worth writing, then obviously, it isn't worth reading. Between all the abuse and the money the boys were aiming to make via an illegal deal, something would've had to give. Minus either half, you don't have the same story anymore. Any possible way to write a believable version of that fic was basically ruled out, and that's why Stage One: Thwarted is what you got instead. Game over before it even started.
dmxrated: (Kagami)
Writing this entry so that I can stop rehashing in my head why not to ever get the curiosity to see what Cries Unheard is like, even long after it's complete. No, not even the comeuppance scenes. I've already written about it in a notebook, but chances are, I'm eventually gonna discard that once I fill it out, as opposed to this blog, which I'll probably maintain for the rest of my life.

To start with, the abuse itself isn't my issue with it. After reading chapters 5 and especially 8, I mainly wanted to see the antagonists' comeuppance actually play out, although I did also fear what would become of everyone else and whether or not Miyuki and Kagami would go to jail despite the necessity of having killed their tormentors. Another concern of mine, though, was that it seemed possible that the antagonists' in-universe schemes would revolve mainly around the main four, even though they're going to abuse everyone from the show. Kagami tells Yui in chapter 13 (a flash-forward chapter) that whenever anyone tried to get close to her, Konata, or Miyuki, they would pay the price, and then avoid them like the plague. (This was also true with Tsukasa, given what happened to Minoru, whom we have yet to see again, while Konata herself is also avoiding everyone due to the control the boys have over her.)

In case that turns out to be true, I would have waited until the fic is complete, and then read only the prologue chapters, comeuppance scenes, and reviews, before deciding whether or not to read the entire fic through. That, of course, went out the window when author bloodscorpion4ever snapped at me for the critiques I left, and then ignored me when I apologized to him and then asked him one more question later. That leaves me only interested in the comeuppance scenes afterwards, but since he took a whole three months off from the fic at that point, I assume the fic dead and decide to take it upon myself to continue the fic start the fic over and write it on my terms, mainly for closure.

It says something when both Simply Hiiragi (whose past critiques Blood did appreciate) and redlerred7 agree that the fic is rather poorly written. The former of those two declined to have anything to do with it, but I managed to get Red and some others who reviewed CU involved in it. Not too far in, though, Red told me that to give equal focus to everyone would complicate things for both me and the in-universe antagonists, and while it would be possible to create a masterpiece in that way, it would only be more practical for them to keep their actions to a minimum.

That is the reason why I wrote Stage One: Thwarted, as well as deriding the antagonists as Stupid Evil (especially given certain other ways they went on about things) and the fic itself as an excuse for Blood to live out his rape and abuse fantasies. (Not that I'm much better with the sumo fic... or with Katsuo, who would've felt right at home with those boys when I first introduced him.)

As far as I'm concerned, most of the events of Cries Unheard never happened. To read any of it now would be to acknowledge the events leading up to it, which would go against the purpose of writing SOT in the first place. Blood pissed me off, SOT has killed any chance that we ever will reconcile, and I find it insulting not only that he consciously chose to ignore the school schedule as depicted throughout canon (especially given his tendency to refer to events from canon every now and then), but that he could also have Kagami act so blatantly out of character from the very beginning (and especially when Misao speaks to her after having been tormented by Riku and Kenji) just for everything to happen. In fanfiction (or even fiction in general), most of us agree that rules and characters' personalities be kept consistent, only changing in ways that are believable, not warped to one's own preferences or to plot demands (barring Alternate Universes or continuities). To read something is to acknowledge that its events happened, even if only fictionally and apart from one's own stories, and Cries Unheard simply should not be, for reasons I have just explained.

(For the record, while I never intended to re-read Bonds to begin with, even upon receiving a copy from PricyKoopa, there are still certain scenes I like in The Loss of Innocence, Broken Dreams, and I Was Kagami Hiiragi.)

-----

While I'm writing this, let me say these few things as well, just to get them out of my system.

First of all, if Cries Unheard was the first fic of Blood's that I started reading, I would probably have avoided any of his works in the first place, just like with Acsuperman with Luckier Star. Summer wasn't even an issue in his first three fics. The Loss of Innocence takes place during the weeks following New Year's, everyone is already past college in Broken Dreams, and the main story in Bonds spans for only a single day. Not sure, though, why I didn't back out when I read the beginning of I Was Kagami Hiiragi when I decided to read the beginning of its main story. Even its prologue, which I read from the get-go, said stuff about starting college next "fall", and I'm not sure why I didn't notice that until about a year later, when Blood came back to FF and posted Cries Unheard.

(Guess he and I weren't so different after all, huh...)

Also, here's something interesting that occurred to me a week ago, involving CU's summary:

Something new and terrifying has entered the world of four ordinary high school girls. Though this new force affects them in different ways, they will soon be united by the same concept: the fear that haunts them every time they meet this force.

That, ironically, is exactly what goes on in Stars Above. The antagonists' plot in one fic revolves mainly around Miyuki; those in the other fic mainly want Tsukasa and Kagami. And for good measure, SA has Tsukasa actually finding happiness with one of its antagonists, the Second Demon Desideria disguising herself as Miyuki (while the real Miyuki remains trapped inside her own glasses for most of the fic), similar to Kagami finding false happiness with Riku Kitamaru in CU.

I will admit that I never even thought about who suffers equivalently to whom while reading SA, but in retrospect, it is clearly more favorable for me, because Homura, whom the main four become genuine friends with, gets equal focus to each of them and suffers in different but equivalent ways. There, it's the main four plus someone else who suffers equally onpage, as opposed to just the main four in CU w/ everyone else on the sidelines.

Not that I actually intend to show that to Blood or SA author BHS. Like I said, it's over between me and Blood, and I have no interest in recommending CU to anyone because of both that and how stupid the fic itself is.

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