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Author Topic: The El Hazard of Haruhi Suzumiya  (Read 5211 times)
Triple_R
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« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2009, 10:02:48 PM »

Quote
Apologies for the lack of recent feedback on my part. I've been in the process for the past week of moving into my brother's house for the summer and starting an internship so I've been pretty preoccupied. I'll try to read the newest update and write some C&C soon, but in the meantime let me commend you on the trailer. The use of Haruhi's "ordinary" soliloquy followed by the far from ordinary Jinnai was well-timed and quite effective, and I really like the choice of music. It really is quite a good way to get pumped before reading this.  ^_^V



I'm glad that you liked it! I'm glad you liked the Haruhi soliloquy followed by Jinnai laughing opening - I felt it made for a nice, dramatic opening that explained, in a nutshell, just why Haruhi was allying with Jinnai (not that she's fully aware of exactly what he's doing, mind you - not yet anyway). I wanted epic music for this (so Haruhi's music was out of the question), but I wanted something a bit less... classical/happy and upbeat than the various El Hazard opening scores. Hence, I used the musical score from the recent Batman movie. ;)

I eagerly look forward to your review of Chapters 4 through 7 (Edit: Chapter 7 just finished today)! No problem on the late review - I know how 'real life' can be taxing some times.

A separate note - I've commissioned an artist over on DeviantArt to draw a Bugrom Queen Haruhi for me. Here's his sketch work thus far...  

http://oceansama.deviantart.com/art/Sample-for-GhostRoswell-123305305

He said he should have this picture fully inked and colored in about a week and a half. :)
« Last Edit: May 29, 2009, 03:32:08 PM by triple_r » Logged
rowan_a._seven
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« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2009, 02:43:18 PM »

Heh, this story certainly continues to entertain. The line about Haruhi beginning to feel like a second character was incredibly amusing considering the context and everything she's dragged the SOS Brigade through, and Haruhi and Jinnai's interactions and continued convenient misinterpretation of each other's words are one of the highlights of the tale. The adventures of the other main characters are beginning to feel more interesting too, though that might be helped by your excellent work with Alliele and Fatora. Those two don't rank highly on my list of favorite El-Hazard characters, but you're doing such an utterly fantastic job with their dialogue that I've actually enjoyed their inclusion. Nanami's slight jealousy at Makoto's interest in Yuki was a nice touch too.

I'm still not entirely sure what to think of SOS Man. It's funny at the moment but could quickly grow old, and the image of Jinnai in a "superhero" costume is somewhat odd considering of all the Earthlings he's the one who's clung to the Shinonome school uniform the longest. It's given him some great lines, though, and seems to be edging him slightly towards a higher level of behavior which fits in with this "redemption" angle you've introduced. Koizumi's earlier musings on good and evil was a nice foreshadowing of this, and while Jinnai becoming a "good guy" of sorts is unlikely it isn't impossible since he does have some positive traits, and if TV Ifurita could have a good influence on him in The Wanderers it's certainly possible that Haruhi could have a similar effect here. And Jinnai is also crazy and petty enough that if someone convinces him that bringing peace to El-Hazard is the perfect way to one-up Makoto he might actually do it. ("Mwhagwaha! You might have saved the world once, Mizuhara, but I've saved it and ended thousands of years of war! Beat that! MwahahaHAHAHAHA! ^_^V ) The fistfight between the two of them was well depicted too.

The scenes with Mikuru were all right. Her meekness bothered me, but that's an issue I have with the character herself and not your writing. And the mental image of her being chased by the lascivious duo of Fatora and Alliele was rather amusing. The Saturn brothers and Prince Randorm confused me a bit, though. I'm not sure whether they're supposed to be cameos or original characters.

Anyway, in addition to everything I've written above I want to reiterate that I'm enjoying reading this, but there are also a few criticisms I want to make. First, the scenes with the Phantom Tribe seem strikingly...well, bland compared to the other parts of the story. Nahato and Galus come across as rather one-dimensional and not in an amusing, over-the-top way, and their dialogue isn't terribly exciting either. There's a lack of dynamism where they're concerned that's in sharp contrast to the interactions between the other groups. As for Nanoha Inverse, I'm of two minds about her. When I first saw the name I thought of Nanoha Takamachi and Lina Inverse, and an amalgam between the two of them is a...bizarre mental image, to say the least, and while she seems to have been inspired in part by Lyrical Nanoha she also isn't acting at all like her namesake and that's causing a sense of incongruity for me. I'm really not sure what to make of her yet.

Also, much as I like your dialogue, it can be a bit wordy at times. For example, when you had Miz say, "Still...meeting up with Makoto and the others is a good idea. I'll place the three of us within a restorative air bubble within a ten foot tall steady stream of water. That stream will then carry us to wherever Makoto is!" I was left wondering if she'd actually say something like that. It sounds more like a detailed description that would fit better in the narrative than in a conversation.  Something more like "Still...meeting up with Makoto and the others is a good idea. I'll place the three of us within a restorative air bubble and we can use that to reach Makoto," with the part about the ten foot tall steady stream of water included in the text rather than the quote might sound more natural. You don't need to explain and describe everything in conversation.

The next thing I want to add is more of a piece of advice than a criticism, but with the subplots beginning to converge try to be careful about executing the story in a plausible manner. As previously stated, going off the beaten characterization path every now and then is understandable, but go too far and it just seems unrealistic. For example, for Koizumi's plan to try to negotiate with Jinnai it seems that he thinks it would be best if he and Kyon went by themselves, but considering that those two are complete strangers in an alien world it seems highly unlikely to me that Fujisawa and Makoto (being the responsible adult and compassionate guy, respectively) would let them go alone. I'm not sure what your plans are, but it would probably make sense to throw either Alliele or someone else into their party as a guide.

Regardless, good job overall and I'm really impressed by the speed and length of your updates. Don't be afraid to take more time if you want it, though. I like the polished new chapters more than I dislike the wait between them.

Oh, and out of curiosity, have you explained yet how the SOS Brigade traveled to El-Hazard? I might've missed something while reading, but as far as I can tell you haven't shown how their trip to Shinonome High to investigate the ruins ended up teleporting them to another dimension. If you haven't already, you might want to mention what set this adventure in motion.

P.S. Nice picture, by the way. Please give my compliments to the artist.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2009, 02:45:26 PM by rowan_a._seven » Logged
Triple_R
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« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2009, 07:28:42 PM »

Thanks for that awesome feedback, rowan! It's greatly appreciated, and I'm glad that you're finding the fanfic entertaining and enjoyable so far at least.

A few general points and responses...

1. Prince Randorm, Nanoha Inverse, and the Saturn Brothers are all original characters (unlike, say, Sasuke, which is simply the name I gave to the tiny bugrom that used to fly around Diva's ear in the actual canon). In longer fanfics, I tend to like to throw in a few original characters unless I'm working with a property just stuffed with loads of good secondary/one-shot characters (the El Hazard OVA simply wasn't long enough to have that, imo).


2. I thought long and hard about SOS Man. I certainly understand your reservations - it's a substantial shift for Katsuhiko's character. Still... I think that the pros to the change outweighed the cons. In addition to the pros that you and Spanner mentioned, I also like how it helps to juxtapose Haruhi and Jinnai a bit - i.e. Haruhi becomes more Bugrom Empire by becoming Bugrom Queen while Jinnai becomes more SOS Brigade by becoming SOS Man. It helps bind them together in their new found friendship a bit more.

I will say that Jinnai is not going to be talking constantly about truth, justice, and the bugrom way. I made his dialogue here a bit heavy in the Makoto fight/Groucho discussions to emphasize that, yes, SOS Man is effecting him psychologically - but with that accomplished now, most further SOS Man-esque dialogue will be subtle. Also, I may move him in and out of the SOS Man guise through out the fic.


3. I'm really glad you like my Alielle and Fatora work so much! I have been extra careful with their dialogue, I will admit. My thinking is that of everybody on the clear-cut protagonist side, they can most readily serve as "dynamic comedic relief", so that's where I've gone with them. Funny thing is that I'm not a big Alielle or Fatora fan myself - but they have distinctive personalities that lend themselves to good dialogue.


4. I hear your Shadow/Phantom Tribe comments loud and clear. I have to admit that in the El Hazard canon itself, I saw them as pretty straight-forward manipulative antagonists. Clever and shrewd, but not terribly interesting beyond their "incognito" status (which is largely gone for this fanfic, of course). Perhaps I'll rewatch some of their El Hazard OVA scenes to gain a greater appreciation for their characters. Maybe I'll include a special scene or two to give a touch more of a sympathetic flavor to Galus and Nahato.


5. I picked the name "Nanoha Inverse" for laughs, and to cast just that Nanoha/Lina fusion image you were referring to, I'll admit (well, that, and 'Nanoha' struck me as a good Shadow Tribe name given that they already have a 'Nahato'). But, yeah, I see your incongruency point. I'll try to address that in some way.


6. I'm basically writing Mikuru in-character, and using some naturally flowing comedic relief scenes for her. Truthfully, I'm not a big Mikuru fan myself - I see her as a very nice girl, but overly meek and prone to explosive crying or fright.


7. With Chapter 7 having a lot of exposition, I tried to fancy up the wording in a few places to keep it fresh and non-repetitive. Maybe I overdid it a bit. I'll try to keep dialogue a bit less detailed and technical in the future.


8. Thanks for the plausibility point. I'll seriously consider your Alielle-goes-with-Kyon/Koizumi suggestion.


9. I have a bit of a twist planned for the very end of the fanfic that will explain how Haruhi's SOS Brigade came to El Hazard. Explaining it now would ruin the surprise. ;) Nice suggestion on your part, all the same.


Well... again, thanks for the great review! I think I probably should reveal that I have major plot points for the fanfic planned out right to the finale now - allowing me to focus more on dialogue than deciding where to go next with the story.



Quote
Heh, this story certainly continues to entertain. The line about Haruhi beginning to feel like a second character was incredibly amusing considering the context and everything she's dragged the SOS Brigade through, and Haruhi and Jinnai's interactions and continued convenient misinterpretation of each other's words are one of the highlights of the tale. The adventures of the other main characters are beginning to feel more interesting too, though that might be helped by your excellent work with Alliele and Fatora. Those two don't rank highly on my list of favorite El-Hazard characters, but you're doing such an utterly fantastic job with their dialogue that I've actually enjoyed their inclusion. Nanami's slight jealousy at Makoto's interest in Yuki was a nice touch too.

I'm still not entirely sure what to think of SOS Man. It's funny at the moment but could quickly grow old, and the image of Jinnai in a "superhero" costume is somewhat odd considering of all the Earthlings he's the one who's clung to the Shinonome school uniform the longest. It's given him some great lines, though, and seems to be edging him slightly towards a higher level of behavior which fits in with this "redemption" angle you've introduced. Koizumi's earlier musings on good and evil was a nice foreshadowing of this, and while Jinnai becoming a "good guy" of sorts is unlikely it isn't impossible since he does have some positive traits, and if TV Ifurita could have a good influence on him in The Wanderers it's certainly possible that Haruhi could have a similar effect here. And Jinnai is also crazy and petty enough that if someone convinces him that bringing peace to El-Hazard is the perfect way to one-up Makoto he might actually do it. ("Mwhagwaha! You might have saved the world once, Mizuhara, but I've saved it and ended thousands of years of war! Beat that! MwahahaHAHAHAHA! ^_^V ) The fistfight between the two of them was well depicted too.

The scenes with Mikuru were all right. Her meekness bothered me, but that's an issue I have with the character herself and not your writing. And the mental image of her being chased by the lascivious duo of Fatora and Alliele was rather amusing. The Saturn brothers and Prince Randorm confused me a bit, though. I'm not sure whether they're supposed to be cameos or original characters.

Anyway, in addition to everything I've written above I want to reiterate that I'm enjoying reading this, but there are also a few criticisms I want to make. First, the scenes with the Phantom Tribe seem strikingly...well, bland compared to the other parts of the story. Nahato and Galus come across as rather one-dimensional and not in an amusing, over-the-top way, and their dialogue isn't terribly exciting either. There's a lack of dynamism where they're concerned that's in sharp contrast to the interactions between the other groups. As for Nanoha Inverse, I'm of two minds about her. When I first saw the name I thought of Nanoha Takamachi and Lina Inverse, and an amalgam between the two of them is a...bizarre mental image, to say the least, and while she seems to have been inspired in part by Lyrical Nanoha she also isn't acting at all like her namesake and that's causing a sense of incongruity for me. I'm really not sure what to make of her yet.

Also, much as I like your dialogue, it can be a bit wordy at times. For example, when you had Miz say, "Still...meeting up with Makoto and the others is a good idea. I'll place the three of us within a restorative air bubble within a ten foot tall steady stream of water. That stream will then carry us to wherever Makoto is!" I was left wondering if she'd actually say something like that. It sounds more like a detailed description that would fit better in the narrative than in a conversation.  Something more like "Still...meeting up with Makoto and the others is a good idea. I'll place the three of us within a restorative air bubble and we can use that to reach Makoto," with the part about the ten foot tall steady stream of water included in the text rather than the quote might sound more natural. You don't need to explain and describe everything in conversation.

The next thing I want to add is more of a piece of advice than a criticism, but with the subplots beginning to converge try to be careful about executing the story in a plausible manner. As previously stated, going off the beaten characterization path every now and then is understandable, but go too far and it just seems unrealistic. For example, for Koizumi's plan to try to negotiate with Jinnai it seems that he thinks it would be best if he and Kyon went by themselves, but considering that those two are complete strangers in an alien world it seems highly unlikely to me that Fujisawa and Makoto (being the responsible adult and compassionate guy, respectively) would let them go alone. I'm not sure what your plans are, but it would probably make sense to throw either Alliele or someone else into their party as a guide.

Regardless, good job overall and I'm really impressed by the speed and length of your updates. Don't be afraid to take more time if you want it, though. I like the polished new chapters more than I dislike the wait between them.

Oh, and out of curiosity, have you explained yet how the SOS Brigade traveled to El-Hazard? I might've missed something while reading, but as far as I can tell you haven't shown how their trip to Shinonome High to investigate the ruins ended up teleporting them to another dimension. If you haven't already, you might want to mention what set this adventure in motion.

P.S. Nice picture, by the way. Please give my compliments to the artist.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2009, 07:29:17 PM by triple_r » Logged
rowan_a._seven
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« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2009, 10:23:20 AM »

Quote

4. I hear your Shadow/Phantom Tribe comments loud and clear. I have to admit that in the El Hazard canon itself, I saw them as pretty straight-forward manipulative antagonists. Clever and shrewd, but not terribly interesting beyond their "incognito" status (which is largely gone for this fanfic, of course). Perhaps I'll rewatch some of their El Hazard OVA scenes to gain a greater appreciation for their characters. Maybe I'll include a special scene or two to give a touch more of a sympathetic flavor to Galus and Nahato.


Hm, I might be expecting too much from those two anyway. You're right that they were pretty much the "straightforward manipulative antagonists" in the OVA series, but Galus' presence and active role in Florestica helped make him and by extension the Phantom Tribe a more compelling faction. With him and Nahato sitting back, making sinister remarks, and occasionally issuing orders to underlings to ensure that things play out as they desire instead, the sense of danger and menace they once embodied seems somewhat understated. Perhaps exploring the dynamics between Galus and Nahato or the larger Phantom Tribe society as a whole might add some more depth to these segments of the story? Galus does seem to be acting a bit mysteriously and his return from the dead was amazingly convenient and sudden, so there's room for Nahato to begin having suspicions about his resurrected lord. And even if Galus is what he seems, there could be room for dissent within the Tribe. Nanoha, for example, seems to rather enjoy being alive and, while loyal and wanting revenge against the humans, might not be quite so certain about the desirability of destroying the entire world.  

Quote

7. With Chapter 7 having a lot of exposition, I tried to fancy up the wording in a few places to keep it fresh and non-repetitive. Maybe I overdid it a bit. I'll try to keep dialogue a bit less detailed and technical in the future.


I probably made a bigger deal of that than I should have, anyway. The remark of Miz's I quoted was the one that stood out the most to me, and for the most part the rest of the dialogue felt more natural. It's just something I wanted to point out because you seem to veer in that direction with conversations.
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Triple_R
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« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2009, 07:40:49 PM »

Chapter 8 is up!

You can find it here: http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?t=269068&page=3


Well... I tried something a bit out there based on your feedback, rowan.

I hope that you like it!  ;)
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rowan_a._seven
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« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2009, 09:35:26 PM »

I must admit, I'm impressed. Despite my dubiousness over the plan to split into two parties presented in the last chapter, you executed it incredibly well. Fujisawa makes great sense as Kyon and Koizumi's third party member, and you're probably right that he's the most likely of the entire gang to go along with Koizumi's improbable and risky gamble (and actually believe there's hope Jinnai can reform). I kind of feel sorry for Makoto who's forced to crossdress again because Alliele's tagging along with him and Nanami, though. ;)

As for the new backstory featuring Gihren Zala, I both like and dislike it albeit more so the former than the latter. It goes a long ways towards making the Phantom Tribe more sympathetic and resolving the incongruity created by Nanoha's pseudo-crossover status, and it matches my own suspicions that there's more to the Human/Bugrom conflict than just Bugrom aggression. On the other hand, though, it goes so far as to almost BE a full-fledged crossover with Lyrical Nanoha rather than a homage which is kind of distracting not to mention a "bit out there" as you put it, and you could probably have gotten the same effect and pathos by having Galus' wife and daughter die. The reference to Gihren Zala seems a bit out of the blue too and may have worked better with more foreshadowing, but since it's a new development its sudden inclusion is understandable. And, above all else, you certainly answered my criticism about the Phantom Tribe.

The rest of the chapter was fairly good too. Mikuru continues to play a very Mikuru role and I don't know whether to pity her or look forward to the costumes Haruhi will indubitably create for her to wear to cheer the Bugrom on. Jinnai and Haruhi's continued misunderstanding of each other's intentions is beginning to seem farfetched, but then again and as you rightly pointed out both are the type of people who stubbornly cling to their own views of the world despite contrary evidence. And it appears that Haruhi is slowly beginning to suspect anyway.

Anyway, here's looking forward to the battle royale of Super Fujisawa, Esper Koizumi, and magnetic Kyon vs. the duo of Demon God Yuki and Phantom Assassin Nanoha.
^_^V
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Triple_R
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« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2009, 11:38:06 PM »

Thanks for the largely positive review, Rowan!

Just three short points...

1)  I, myself, felt that I got the best handle of the Rohstarian/protagonist group in this chapter out of all eight of them. I'm glad that you agree with Fujisawa as being the most appropriate third member of the Kyon/Koizumi "let's reform Jinnai!" party.


2) I might in fact make this a full-fleged crossover with Lyrical Nanoha - with the Nanoha anime kind of making a cameo appearance in an El Hazard/Haruhi Suzumiya cross over, you could say. I always found it odd how the father of Precia Testarossa's daughter Alicia in the Lyrical Nanoha anime was completely absent. Beyond that, I always thought of El Hazard every time that Precia mentioned "Al Hazard" in the Lyrical Nanoha anime.

Adding in a third anime of note, and adding it in a way that makes a couple pretty good anime antagonists (Galus and Precia Testarossa) seem a fair bit more interesting, makes the fanfic seem a bit grander in scale to me, which appeals to me. I'm still undecided here, however.


3) As for Haruhi and Jinnai... at this juncture, if it's not coming through that I'm slowly developing a serious romance between them (you can call it a crack-ship, if you like), then I'm not writing that aspect of their scenes well. ^^;

Either that, or the idea is too beyond the pale for anybody to take seriously, even after I've hinted at it quite a bit, I feel. If that's the case, then I really need to know that now, as shipping Haruhi and Jinnai is ultimately a big part of this fanfic, and I plan to have it picking up considerably in the next few chapters.

My idea is that if you really like a guy or a girl, you might be a bit more forgiving of some of the strange or odd things that he or she says... and also that you'll have a natural inclination to see their words in a positive light. You certainly won't want to think the worst of someone that you like that way (Haruhi would hate to find out that Jinnai is a bloddy warlord at this point; Jinnai, likewise, would hate to find out that his perfect ally doesn't believe in literal war).


Edit: Also, Jinnai really isn't misunderstanding Haruhi all that much at this point. Jinnai really does intend to try to get every civilian El Hazard human to join the SOS Brigade, and Jinnai now considers himself part of the SOS Brigade.

Him and Haruhi really do share the same desired ends now - it's just that Jinnai's intended means (i.e. partly violent ones) aren't what Haruhi would like them to be or would even knowingly approve of, but then remember what Diva told Haruhi about how the Bugrom Queen doesn't overly concern herself with the means of the Supreme Commander... ;)


Quote
I must admit, I'm impressed. Despite my dubiousness over the plan to split into two parties presented in the last chapter, you executed it incredibly well. Fujisawa makes great sense as Kyon and Koizumi's third party member, and you're probably right that he's the most likely of the entire gang to go along with Koizumi's improbable and risky gamble (and actually believe there's hope Jinnai can reform). I kind of feel sorry for Makoto who's forced to crossdress again because Alliele's tagging along with him and Nanami, though. ;)

As for the new backstory featuring Gihren Zala, I both like and dislike it albeit more so the former than the latter. It goes a long ways towards making the Phantom Tribe more sympathetic and resolving the incongruity created by Nanoha's pseudo-crossover status, and it matches my own suspicions that there's more to the Human/Bugrom conflict than just Bugrom aggression. On the other hand, though, it goes so far as to almost BE a full-fledged crossover with Lyrical Nanoha rather than a homage which is kind of distracting not to mention a "bit out there" as you put it, and you could probably have gotten the same effect and pathos by having Galus' wife and daughter die. The reference to Gihren Zala seems a bit out of the blue too and may have worked better with more foreshadowing, but since it's a new development its sudden inclusion is understandable. And, above all else, you certainly answered my criticism about the Phantom Tribe.

The rest of the chapter was fairly good too. Mikuru continues to play a very Mikuru role and I don't know whether to pity her or look forward to the costumes Haruhi will indubitably create for her to wear to cheer the Bugrom on. Jinnai and Haruhi's continued misunderstanding of each other's intentions is beginning to seem farfetched, but then again and as you rightly pointed out both are the type of people who stubbornly cling to their own views of the world despite contrary evidence. And it appears that Haruhi is slowly beginning to suspect anyway.

Anyway, here's looking forward to the battle royale of Super Fujisawa, Esper Koizumi, and magnetic Kyon vs. the duo of Demon God Yuki and Phantom Assassin Nanoha.
^_^V
 
« Last Edit: June 02, 2009, 03:40:30 AM by triple_r » Logged
Triple_R
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« Reply #22 on: June 02, 2009, 07:21:48 PM »

Also... Chapter 9 is now up!: http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?t=269068&page=3

I hope that the battle royale meets with your approval, rowan.  ;)

Edit: Also, Bugrom Queen Haruhi shaded and colored!

Link here: http://oceansama.deviantart.com/art/Bugrom-Queen-Haruhi-124646965

« Last Edit: June 03, 2009, 08:21:56 AM by triple_r » Logged
rowan_a._seven
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« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2009, 07:14:50 PM »

Quote

3) As for Haruhi and Jinnai... at this juncture, if it's not coming through that I'm slowly developing a serious romance between them (you can call it a crack-ship, if you like), then I'm not writing that aspect of their scenes well. ^^;


Oh, I noticed that. I just wasn't sure if I was reading too much into it or not since, while not beyond the pale (After reading Fish's infamously good Shayla/Jinnai hook-up, Haruhi and Jinnai doesn't seem _that_ bizarre), romance has never seemed like something those two megalomaniacs were seriously interested in. Plus, one of my first thoughts after picking up on that subplot was "Whahoo! This means Kyon's finally free to hook up with Yuki!" and I didn't want to hex that possibility by bringing up the subject. ^_^V

As for turning this into a triple crossover by bringing Lyrical Nanoha into the mix, while the idea itself isn't bad per se I'd warn against it. This started off as a Suzumiya Haruhi/El-Hazard crossover and adding a third series in a major way to the story could diffuse the focus without contributing a whole lot to the plot at this point. You'd really have to insert the crossover convincingly, and at the moment there are some aspects of your use of Precia that stand out as troublesome if she is in fact THE Precia, not least of which is her motivation in Lyrical Nanoha compared to her motivation here.

SPOILER! Skip paragraph to avoid!After all, Precia's reason for gathering the Jewel Seeds was to travel to Al Hazard to bring her daughter back from the dead. Now, if we incorporate your story, you can justify some of her backstory by claiming that she was successful in traveling to Midchilda to cure her daughter's poisoning but her dimensional research to find a way back to El-Hazard backfired by killing the recovered Precia. That is reasonably plausible. However, why would she think El-Hazard could resurrect the dead? You're going to have to answer such questions if you want to pull off this proposal well.End SPOILER!

Anyway, as for the actual update, not bad. The battle was decently described and had a couple highlights, but there was a bit of a disjunction between the action and dialogue, I felt. Although I know that everything didn't stop as the characters spoke, it kind of seemed that way. Galus and Nahato's displeasure at Nanoha for revealing the Phantom Tribe's involvement also seemed somewhat out of place since I don't think she'd previously been described as hiding her Phantom Tribe heritage and being attacked by a blue-skinned humanoid would certainly give their role away. The story could benefit from more physical/environmental detail on occasion, I think.

The scenes of Jinnai and Haruhi laughing together and Jinnai leading the Bugrom army to Gagnon came across as the strongest, in my opinion. Jinnai is often at his best with a military force to command and that was certainly the case here. I also really liked Kyon's musing that his "low assessment of a situation was actually not low enough." That fit his sarcastic personality fantastically and was hilarious to boot. I also commend you for keeping me guessing about which way the story's heading. I felt pretty certain that Fujisawa, Kyon, and Koizumi would make it to the Bugrom Hive and meet up with Jinnai and Haruhi, but you surprised me again.

At any rate, thanks for sharing. I might criticize a lot, but I am truly enjoying reading this. And my compliments to the artist again. That's a nice drawing.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2009, 07:17:17 PM by rowan_a._seven » Logged
Triple_R
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« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2009, 08:35:02 PM »

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Oh, I noticed that. I just wasn't sure if I was reading too much into it or not since, while not beyond the pale (After reading Fish's infamously good Shayla/Jinnai hook-up, Haruhi and Jinnai doesn't seem _that_ bizarre), romance has never seemed like something those two megalomaniacs were seriously interested in. Plus, one of my first thoughts after picking up on that subplot was "Whahoo! This means Kyon's finally free to hook up with Yuki!" and I didn't want to hex that possibility by bringing up the subject. ^_^V  



I'm relieved that neither you nor Spanner (by far the two people following my fanfic the most, after all) are wedded to Haruhi/Kyon in the least (assuming that I'm reading Spanner right). Your Kyon/Yuki preferance is noted, and since I had no strong romantic plans for either of them, I might incorporate that into my fanfic. Indeed, Kyon could be to demon god Yuki what Makoto is to Ifurita. Such a shipping might be perfect for an El Hazard/Haruhi Suzumiya fanfic anway.


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As for turning this into a triple crossover by bringing Lyrical Nanoha into the mix, while the idea itself isn't bad per se I'd warn against it. This started off as a Suzumiya Haruhi/El-Hazard crossover and adding a third series in a major way to the story could diffuse the focus without contributing a whole lot to the plot at this point. You'd really have to insert the crossover convincingly, and at the moment there are some aspects of your use of Precia that stand out as troublesome if she is in fact THE Precia, not least of which is her motivation in Lyrical Nanoha compared to her motivation here.

SPOILER! Skip paragraph to avoid!After all, Precia's reason for gathering the Jewel Seeds was to travel to Al Hazard to bring her daughter back from the dead. Now, if we incorporate your story, you can justify some of her backstory by claiming that she was successful in traveling to Midchilda to cure her daughter's poisoning but her dimensional research to find a way back to El-Hazard backfired by killing the recovered Precia. That is reasonably plausible. However, why would she think El-Hazard could resurrect the dead? You're going to have to answer such questions if you want to pull off this proposal well.End SPOILER!  



Those are good points. I'll keep them in mind. In any event, even if I do bring Lyrical Nanoha officially into it, it'll be fairly subtle and a minor plot point or two.


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Anyway, as for the actual update, not bad. The battle was decently described and had a couple highlights, but there was a bit of a disjunction between the action and dialogue, I felt. Although I know that everything didn't stop as the characters spoke, it kind of seemed that way.



Hhmmm... do you think that added sound effects would help? I focused mostly on describing the visuals of the battle, but perhaps that wasn't enough on its own.


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Galus and Nahato's displeasure at Nanoha for revealing the Phantom Tribe's involvement also seemed somewhat out of place since I don't think she'd previously been described as hiding her Phantom Tribe heritage and being attacked by a blue-skinned humanoid would certainly give their role away.



It was briefly mentioned in a previous chapter that Nanoha had been warned to be careful around Nanami since Nanami can spot Shadow Tribe members. I thought that was enough to convey the fact that Nanoha was in "human skin" disguise, but it was probably too subtle in retrospect. I might go back and edit in a line or two concerning Nanoha's disguise then.


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The story could benefit from more physical/environmental detail on occasion, I think.



Ok, I'll keep that in mind.


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The scenes of Jinnai and Haruhi laughing together and Jinnai leading the Bugrom army to Gagnon came across as the strongest, in my opinion. Jinnai is often at his best with a military force to command and that was certainly the case here. I also really liked Kyon's musing that his "low assessment of a situation was actually not low enough." That fit his sarcastic personality fantastically and was hilarious to boot. I also commend you for keeping me guessing about which way the story's heading. I felt pretty certain that Fujisawa, Kyon, and Koizumi would make it to the Bugrom Hive and meet up with Jinnai and Haruhi, but you surprised me again.  



Good to see I've regained my strength in the Haruhi/Jinnai sections at least. Also, I want at least a couple narration lines per chapter to really reflect Kyon well, so I'm glad that one line came through nicely. :)


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At any rate, thanks for sharing. I might criticize a lot, but I am truly enjoying reading this. And my compliments to the artist again. That's a nice drawing.



Well, if you're enjoying it, that's the main thing. Well... that, and I hope that it's coming across as fairly plausible, at least (character dialogue, character interactions, the way the plot moves, etc...).

Other flaws I might go back and re-edit over time, but basic plot believability and enjoyment is harder to change after its already out there, of course.

Plus, I really appreciate the thorough honest reviews. This fanfic is going to be long enough for chapter reviews to help improve my writing of the broader fanfic as I'm going along. For example, I had intentionally intended to have Makoto and the El Hazard heroes to just go along with Itsuki and Kyon going off on their own. Your points there were right on the money, though, and hence I took the time to pick out who I felt would be the perfect 3rd party member for Kyon/Itsuki - Sensei Fujisawa. Fujisawa definitely added to the battle royale too.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2009, 08:46:56 PM by triple_r » Logged
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« Reply #25 on: June 06, 2009, 10:47:01 AM »

New update with Chapter 10 now up!: http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?t=269068&page=4

I hope that everybody here reading it likes it!  :)
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« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2009, 09:09:06 PM »

Fight scenes are something I typically struggle with myself so I'm not sure how good any advice I offer on the topic is, but the occasional use of onomatopoeia might be of some help as might interjecting parts of the battle inside the conversation, such as:
"Yuki, stop-" Koizumi hurriedly raised his arms to block the staff and winced as the metal stave slammed into his defending limbs. "-this! This is madness! We are your-" The esper hastily flipped sideways in mid-air to avoid the Demon God's follow-through attack, eyes widening as his opponent's weapon passed above his head and missed by less than an inch. "-friends! Please, try to remember us!"

Of course, overuse of either can also be problematic but a little bit of both here and they may help your battles come across as more fluid.  Different techniques suit different writing styles, though, so I would also recommend you keep experimenting till you find something that works well for you.  

As for what I said about the story possibly benefitting from more physical descriptions, for the most part you're fine.  This is partially told from Kyon's perspective and it wouldn't make sense for him to intimately detail each and every thing he encounters, and you are also writing with the assumption that readers are already familiar with both series. However, small reminders every now and then of what the characters and environments look like could be helpful and appreciated.  Take the scene in the rebuilt Bugrom throne room in your most recent update, for example.  Even though you could have simply left the description at "an exact replica of Queen Diva's royal hall in the former Bugrom hive" and most of us would have been able to form a mental image of the setting, by providing additional details you helped jog clearer memories of the previous royal hall and added an additional layer of depth to the scene.  And the same can go for characters, as I think a bit more time spent on Nanoha's physical appearance might have avoided the confusion I felt earlier about Galus and Nahato's words.

Anyway, I really liked this new chapter.  It read very smoothly and, overall, might be one of your strongest so far in terms of actual writing quality.  The wording of Makoto's party's reasoning maybe could have been phrased slightly better since it initially sounded a bit logically stretched to me, though on a second reading that impression lessened considerably.  All of the scenes with the characters were nice, and in Haruhi and Mikuru's I might have even detected some foreshadowing ("I-I don't have to go around fighting Yuki again, do I?" - Not at the moment, no, but in the future? Heh) in which case kudos.  I look forward to the next update.  

P.S. This recently occurred to me, but at some point you might want to have Kyon mention his little sister since, as he's stranded in an alien world, he should be worried about her too.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2009, 09:13:00 PM by rowan_a._seven » Logged
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« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2009, 01:54:47 PM »

I have returned from my vacation! And I see that you have written plenty more fanfic for me to enjoy! ;D

With so much new material, I'll try to keep my critiques brief, so this doesn't go on and on forever.

Chapter 6:

The scene in the Bistro was well-handled, with all kinds of characters coming together at once and behaving as they should. Fujisawa's gallantry was marvelous, and Mikuru's nigh-heroic attempts to maintain her composure, followed by her near-hero-worship of Fujisawa were all very much in-character. It was fun to see the interactions of your original characters, Prince Randorm and the Saturn brothers. Then Fatora's lechery, and the Bugrom stumbling onto the scene - so much chaos!

Then, the chase, the Shadow Tribe's ensuring a Bugrom victory, Makoto's and SOS Man's face-off - I have no complaints about any of it. In fact this whole chapter was great!

Typo: "harms" should be "arms"

Chapter 7:

Aw, no triumph over Makoto for Jinnai! I sometimes feel sorry for the guy. Still, he managed quite the consolation prize with the capture of Fatora and Mikuru!

I really enjoyed Diva's heart-to-heart with Haruhi. You've developed her character well - perhaps even better than the original source material, if saying so isn't a heresy of the highest degree. Diva's speech shows her as being quite understanding of her role as Queen, and sheds new light onto why she decided to grant Jinnai as much power as she has. (The original, conversely, painted Diva as being somewhat dimwitted.)

Jinnai seems to have a crush on Haruhi... Very nice. Could see some interesting things there.

Itsuki and Kyon want to reform Jinnai? There's a tall order. The crush could help, though... not to mention Haruhi's "new vision" for the Bugrom.

Galus is taking Itsuki and Kyon seriously... bad news for them. At least we'll be seeing more of Demon God Yuki soon!

Chapter 8:

Haruhi and Mikuru, reunited at last! And now... Mikuru has to clean the fortress! I'm seeing shades of Wanderers-version Ifurita here, and I definitely approve. Mikuru needs some Wanderers-version Ifurita cosplay to make the image complete.  ^_^V

It was good to see that Itsuki's plans to split off from the rest of the team with Kyon didn't work out without some compromise, in the form of Fujisawa accompanying them. He worked out well, too, in that he's probably the only one among them that would be open to the idea of reforming Jinnai (as you noted at the end of the chapter). Somehow, I doubt the alliance will be all that eager to let a war criminal like Jinnai get off scot-free, even if they DO manage to reform him.

I was definitely not too pleased with the backstory involving Galus's wife Precia and their child Alicia. Up until now, you've limited your crossover tendencies with a few names and gadgets here and there (excepting, of course, the main crossover of Haruhi and El-Hazard), but now it looks like Nanoha's being added as a third leg. You're running a lot of risk of overcomplicating the story.

Probably what most annoys me, though, is the reference of Precia being a "mage". All of the magic-like abilities in El-Hazard (and, indeed, in Haruhi, as well) are explained as being the product of science and technology - magic doesn't exist in either continuity. Even the priestesses don't refer to their powers as "magic". In the continuity of Nanoha, on the other hand, while they do use devices to enact their spells and abilities they are clearly regarded as magical.

I might be being a bit overcritical, though; the denizens of El-Hazard do seem to be superstitious enough to believe in prophesies, and I think I remember Londs mentioning "Sorcery" or "Dark magic" or something along those lines. Even so, the presentation of the story seemed to imply that magic does not exist.

Chapter 9:

The battle between Kyon's team and Yuki's, was... okay. It had a decent amount of action, but it struck me as being a bit too similar to Makoto's encounters with Ifurita, with Yuki being alternately confused and infuriated by Kyon's and Itsuki's attempts to reason with her. Fujisawa's leap-on-the-staff trick was repeated here, as well.

We have a little more development of Nanoha Inverse from a heartless Shadow Tribe assassin into... well, into Nanoha Takamichi. Galus's and Nahato's play-by-play only serves to rub it in. I have to admit, though, that I'm kind of a sucker for the whole "beautiful assassin falters because the hero charms her" thing so it's hard for me to complain too much. I wonder if Nanoha's going to fall for Kyon?

Then, there's Itsuki's supposed death... At the moment, I don't doubt for a moment that he'll pull through somehow - but if he doesn't, and actually stays dead, that's a pretty darned bold move. I wonder how stoic Yuki would react, once getting her memories back, in knowing that she'd killed one of her own friends?

Typo: "signal" should be "single".

Chapter 10:

Yup, Itsuki's not quite dead. I'm neither pleased nor disappointed by this development. It's just kinda there; a bland part of the story to digest before getting back to the spicy stuff. It did interrupt the heroes' plans to find and talk to Jinnai and Haruhi - but honestly, I think I'd have found a plot like that more interesting than the find-a-cure-in-six-days plot we have.

It's good to see Yuki starting to put two and two together. Of course, even when she realizes the answer is four, that may not change her loyalty to the Shadow Tribe - even if she was once friends with our heroes, that doesn't change the fact that she's still a demon god servant. It'll be interesting to see how she takes the revelation.

Haruhi revelling in her new chambers was fun, and it's good to see Mikuru keeping her good company. For her sake, Haruhi will hopefully soon become aware of Jinnai's... overenthusiastic methods for "expanding" the SOS Brigade in time to prevent its and her own reputation from being too thoroughly muddied!

Overall:

I'm still enjoying this story, and the "good" is still far outweighing the "bad". I put those in quotes, of course, because the "bad" here is mostly just my personal opinion. While it's good to see original characters like Nanoha Inverse receiving some character development, I'm not personally comfortable with seeing that development leading to an additional crossover element.

That, along with a bit of "recycled plot", are my only complaints this time around. The rest of it was at least good, and frequently great. Please, keep up the good work!
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« Reply #28 on: June 08, 2009, 02:16:12 PM »

Now that I've read the rest of this thread with Rowan's critiques, I thought I'd bring up a couple of additional things:

First off, yes, I noticed the story spinning in the hazy direction of a Jinnai/Haruhi pairing, and I don't object. I will note, however, that while Jinnai's leanings are pretty clear, I can't say the same for how Haruhi feels about Jinnai. It could just be that she hasn't had the same opportunities to "bend to accomodate" Jinnai as he has had for her, but at the moment the only vibe I'm getting from her toward Jinnai is how excited she is to be associating with someone that has so much influence over aliens. I'm just not picking up on the romance on her end, while it's blatantly clear on Jinnai's, as much as he'd deny it.

I will say, by the way, that you're wrong about me not being "pro-Haruhi/Kyon". ;) I LOVE the pairing; their faults and virtues seem to complement each other perfectly, with Haruhi's endless enthusiasm and commanding personality drawing Kyon out of his complacency, and Kyon's caution and rational thinking helping to keep Haruhi from spiralling too far out of control. I'm not so fanatical about the pairing that I'd condemn a story that doesn't include it, but I'll definitely say that it's my favorite pairing from the Haruhi franchise. (Yuki/Kyon is a distant second; I see some potential there, but I've yet to read a fanfic that attempts it without unforgivably mauling Yuki's character.)

Honestly, if you're going to try to pair Kyon with someone, I'd prefer to see it with someone from the El-Hazard side of the cast - or even one of your originals. I already mentioned that the interaction with Nanoha during the assassination attempt was cute. If you were REALLY ambitious you could expand in the weird rapport they seem to share and hook him up with Fatora - though, that would require a sexual orientation shift on her part or a gender shift on his and no doubt enrage Fatora fans across the world. ;D

Don't worry TOO much about Kyon, though. It's dangerous territory to get too worked up about pairing up characters in fanfics. All too many wind up tied in horrific knots due to the author's paranoia about leaving anyone without a partner; write the story you intend, and if Kyon's meant for someone then it'll just happen.

I'd noticed Nahato's and Galus's "blandness" as well, but as has been mentioned it's kind of their schtick.

On Kyon's sister... Honestly, I disagree with Rowan on that point. I doubt Kyon would worry too much about his sister. As far as he know's she's perfectly fine at home. The only times that Kyon even seems to think much about his sister are when they're actually together (at which times he tends to lament about what a pest she is), or when his sister is legitimately in danger (such as on the island during the murder mystery sequence). He might think about his sister, but I think it'd be more in the context of missing his family, in which case he'd think about his mother and father as well. Kyon's definitely not the stereotypical anime brother who has a little sister complex.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2009, 02:28:11 PM by spanner » Logged

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« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2009, 03:59:31 PM »

Spanner and Rowan - Wow, you've both given me A LOT to think about. Nice to see you back from vacation, Spanner!

I might have more to say about your reviews later - I'm going to take some time to digest them first, however.

In any event - it's clear that you, Spanner, like the chapters that I enjoy writing the most (Chapter 6 was by far my favorite chapter to write of the past five), while Rowan likes detailed physical descriptions. It shouldn't be too hard to combine both into one.

Also, I referred to Precia as a mage just because that's what Precia Testarossa is in Lyrical Nanoha - making it easier to fuse in Lyrical Nanoha if I later chose to do so. However, since both you and rowan dislike the idea of a third wheel, I'll try to maneuver this back into homage (as far as other animes outside the main two here are concerned).

At this juncture, I'm mostly interested in... have I remained fairly true to all of the characters? Is there any particular character that you feel I haven't done justice to?

I would say that I'm probably half-way through the fanfic now - particularly if I decide to speed it up a bit, given what you said, Spanner, about preserving the image of Haruhi and the SOS Brigade.

Anyway, I wrote a little comedy bit connected to Jinnai's Operation: Permanent Vacation. Perhaps you'll recognize the jingle that it's based off of. ;)

I later decided that this jingle is a bit too silly for the fanfic itself, but I hope you get a laugh out of it at least...



Rapper 1:       Haruhi Suzumiya, the Queen in the blouse!
Rapper 2:       Lord God Jinnai, the dope is in the house!

Haruhi:       I'm Haruhi Suzumiya and I went to Shinonome.
            I'm now in El Hazard and the Bugrom are my hommies! <Bugrom cheer>

Jinnai:            Queen Haruhi's on my side since she wandered from Japan.
           I made the perfect plan because I'm the genius man!  

Diva and Haruhi:      It's Operation Permanent Vacation! <Jinnai laughs>
It's Operation Permanent Vacation!

Haruhi:      The bugrom are my people and I refuse to let them down
           So Princess Rune, hurry up and hand me over your crown!

Jinnai:            And Makoto Mizuhara, I think it's important for you to know what is true.
           If Rune doesn't surrender, Haruhi will unleash all the fires of hell on you!

Diva and Haruhi:      It's Operation Permanent Vacation! <Jinnai laughs>
                 It's Operation Permanent Vacation!

Jinnai:            And with Fatora missing, the threat of the Eye of God does fade
           So it's time to accept the rule and domination of the SOS Brigade!       

Haruhi:       Rebels are back in jail, I will never fail!
               But Mikuru is gone. Where is she? Something's wrong.
           She should be now here singing, but she isn't in my song!

Diva and Haruhi:       It's Operation Permanent Vacation!

Mikuru:       Operation... Oops, it's over now. I'm going to get gonged!
« Last Edit: June 08, 2009, 04:08:19 PM by triple_r » Logged
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