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Author Topic: The El Hazard of Haruhi Suzumiya  (Read 5367 times)
Spanner
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« Reply #60 on: June 29, 2009, 10:41:16 AM »

On the topic of Yuki, I think I'm beginning to understand your difficulty and frustration. It might assist you in your writing if you understood how I viewed her character initially in the context of your work.

Having read a great deal of Haruhi fanfiction, many of which cover topics WELL outside of the scope of my personal knowledge of the franchise, I knew from the start that Yuki was ridiculously powerful. There are some that say that her power even outstrips Haruhi's, or at least parallels it (though I suspect those folks to be Yuki fanboys). For example, (and this may be a spoiler, if you choose to pass it over), at one point Yuki completely rewrites the world to exclude Haruhi and to transform herself, Mikuru, and Itsuki into ordinary humans. She is eventually forced by the Integrated Data Entity to undo the changes, and would have even been severely disciplined by them if not for Kyon's intervention.

Even if you go by the first book / first anime season, it's pretty apparent that human interfaces like Yuki have a ridiculous amount of power. Ryoko had Kyon pretty much entirely at her mercy when she tried to kill him. The fact that she tried to kill him with a knife and allowed him to run free for a while seemed more to do with her own personal curiousity as to how humans react to death, rather than any limitation on her part.

The reason Yuki works as a character in the original works is that she's primarily an observer, and rarely executes her power. When she does execute her power, the author is careful to have her do it in such a way that it serves a specific purpose; pretty much the only time it's used as a deux ex machina, for instance, is when she saves Kyon from Ryoko. In that case, it was a neccessary intervention to prove to Kyon (and the readers) that she really IS an alien life form.

In this story, you've transformed Yuki into an antagonist which, while I found it to be an exciting and interesting idea, is potentially disastrous. The amnesia you gave her was an excellent idea, as was transforming her body into that of a Demon God. Either or both were great potential ways to limit her usual godly power into something the protagonists could handle. Heck, the fact that I'm considering being changed into a Demon God as a DOWNGRADE should give you a hint as to how troublesome Yuki's power could be unfettered. ;D

Instead, though, it seems that you actually intended not to limit Yuki's power at all. The purpose of the amnesia was to allow her to attack her friends without mercy, and the purpose of the Demon God form was to put a leash on her that Galus could hold. This, I think, may be at the heart of the troubles you're facing now. You want Yuki to have all the power of a fully-fledged Data Entity, and also have her be an unrestrained antagonist. This may be a pretty tall order to try to tackle - I'm pretty sure that I, myself, couldn't come up with a satisfactory solution.

Don't let me get you down, though - I don't think you've TOTALLY painted yourself into a corner, but it might take some careful waffling to provide a convincing reason. You might want to back down a bit from giving Yuki all of the powers and abilities demonstrated in the novels, at least until she reestablishes contact with the Integrated Data Entity. Again, her amnesia and new body are good excuses to use to prevent her from being totally unstoppable.

On the topic of Haruhi's being able to change into a fully-functional copy of Ifurita, I don't necessarily think that's unreasonable. After all, Haruhi does have virtually unlimited abilities to change reality (her shackle is the fact that she doesn't KNOW she has such powers), so her shapeshifting abilities could work pretty much any way she wants them to. Essentially, her abilities are limited only to what she THINKS they're limited to. This might seem overly versatile, but bear in mind that Haruhi, for all her optimistic yearning for the unusual, is a hardened skeptic and realist. She's likely to make all kinds of logical assumptions about her abilities that don't neccessarily hold true (for instance, she might be able to transform herself into the Eye of God, but given how absurd that would be, she's not likely to try it, or even think she'd be able).

Heck, before Jinnai encouraged her to stretch her wings (pun very much intended :D), Haruhi didn't show any indication that she thought herself able to change into anything other than a Bugrom Queen! I think there may be some significant danger that in the future, her association with Jinnai may prompt him to urge Haruhi to play with her abilities more and more, to push her limits and figure out what she can REALLY do. That may well be beyond the scope of this fanfiction, however. Perhaps, though, Haruhi's gradual introduction to her godlike powers will be the great breakthrough that Yuki and Itsuki mentioned way back in Chapter Two!
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« Reply #61 on: June 29, 2009, 12:12:21 PM »

Chapter 18 is up!:

http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?p=9185989&posted=1#post9185989


Now, Spanner, I think that I've found a way out of the corner that you believe me to be painted in.  ;)  Although, I'll admit that I've created a new corner for myself for dramatic purposes.  ^_^V

A few points...

1. You're very close to the full scope of this fanfic. And it was actually Itsuki and Kyon who had the conversation you were refering to, way back in Chapter 1, but kudos all the same for just remembering it at all! That certainly shows how you're a dedicated reviewer and careful reader. :)  

Let me just say that Katsuhiko Jinnai may very well be the key that Itsuki Koizumi has always been looking for in ensuring that Haruhi Suzumiya never tries to reboot the world while also ensuring that Haruhi gradually adapts into her reality altering powers. Also, perhaps Haruhi can be kept sufficiently entertained at all times by the charismatic Jinnai. ;)


2. I tend to like to end my fanfics off with a bang in the final chapter. I tend to like stories in general this way - so much so that I dislike the trend of some animes to have an entire aftermath episode after the big climax fight. I personally feel that the last episode of a major story arc should be the one in which the big climax occurs. Same with the last chapter of a fanfic. That being said...


3. Given no. 2, there's a good chance I'll write a sequel to this story at some point, delving into some of the issues that you and/or Rowan have frequently raised, but which I simply can't squeeze in to a short quarter-of-a-chapter aftermath after the big climax. I'll want to take a break from fanfic writing once I'm finished this 20-Chapter project, but in the future... who knows, maybe there will be more story to tell. ;) Would you be interested, Spanner?

4. As per 3, there's 2 Chapters left. That's DEFINITE now.

5. Thanks for all the great info and thoughts on Yuki! I was NOT aware of a lot of that.  :o   My thinking was that the amnesia would limit Yuki's skill at fighting, but would make her more ruthless in battle - hence, making her a much more fun antagonist in general. Putting her on Galus' leash was needed to ensure that she'd be an antagonist, and also to make Galus seem more powerful and ominous.

Finally, I intended for Yuki to maintain all of her original abilities, and simply add El Hazard demon god ones to them. Mind you, I did this with out knowing just how powerful Yuki was... yikes! Still, she was intended to be a VERY powerful antagonist... but one limited by her lack of memory.


Edit reply for Rowan:

Thanks for listing all of those El Hazard city/country names for me! I really appreciate it, and there's a couple there I may edit in to Chapter 17 later (some of those names I have to admit I don't like - mind you, Engrome sounds pretty bad too ^^; )

No problem on the late review. I'm Canadian, and so July 4th isn't a big holiday for me personally, but... if I can have this fanfic finished by July 3rd, would that be soon enough for you to read and review it all, or would you rather me hold off the final chapter until, say, July 6th?

I'm really glad you took note of the return of the Bugrom resource manual and Zala adherents! Touches like that were a big part of why I thought it was my best chapter. I also admit that I myself really liked the cabaret Mikuru idea I had - it's quite a nice visual image, I think.


As for the Jinnai scene falling flat with both you and Spanner - I think a lot of it may be how it's a painful bit to read if you like Jinnai AND you don't know what's happening next. As a Jinnai fan myself, I'd find it hard to read if I didn't know (as the author) what would be coming later. However, I think that this Chapter 17 scene might add a bit of added OOMPH to the Chapter 18 Jinnai scenes.

Let's just say I'm a sucker for Rocky Balboa-like comeback stories... ;)


As for Season 2 Haruhi Suzumiya - I've only seen the first episode yet. The outro is very different - lots of flashing lights and techo. Hare Hare Yukai is completely gone. The episode is decent slice of life. It has some nice Kyon/Mikuru and Kyon/Yuki scenes. It also includes Kyon in his John Smith role, working for a younger Haruhi (Kyon goes back in time in this episode). My main complaint is the artwork - it still looks nice, but all of the characters look de-aged to me. Haruhi could almost pass for a pre-teen, actually.

BTW - Haruhi and Jinnai are the same age. They're both 17, according to Absolute Anime, If I remember correctly.


Three special questions for both Spanner and Rowan...

1) Did you like the Alielle/Fatora dialogue in Chapter 17? Basically, do you think I'm still writing them well?


2) Having had about 16 chapters of bugrom dialogue, how do you feel about it now? Do you like the personality that I've given Groucho, for example? Truthfully, my Groucho is highly inspired by 80s/early 90s western cartoons. I even tried to give him just a touch of Optimus Prime.


3) Pertaining to the climax, I'm weighing three options...

  1) Cheesy and over-the-top, but hopefully really fun

  2) Very intense, a bit dark, but you'll probably have to suspend disbelief a bit.

  3) Most of the fun of 1 with less cheese, the intensity of 2 with less darkness, but more plot devicey than 1 or 2 ( not requiring suspension of disbelief, just plot devicey).

Any preference between the 3?


« Last Edit: June 29, 2009, 05:15:36 PM by triple_r » Logged
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« Reply #62 on: July 01, 2009, 05:56:52 PM »

Quote

Edit reply for Rowan:

No problem on the late review. I'm Canadian, and so July 4th isn't a big holiday for me personally, but... if I can have this fanfic finished by July 3rd, would that be soon enough for you to read and review it all, or would you rather me hold off the final chapter until, say, July 6th?


Take however long you want. Being something of a slow writer and procrastinator myself I'd recommend the later date to give yourself more time, but so far you've maintained a highly impressive pace and an earlier deadline could be good for you. It's your call.

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Three special questions for both Spanner and Rowan...

1) Did you like the Alielle/Fatora dialogue in Chapter 17? Basically, do you think I'm still writing them well?


Yes, definitely. You've done a great job articulating their lascivious, comedic roles.

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2) Having had about 16 chapters of bugrom dialogue, how do you feel about it now? Do you like the personality that I've given Groucho, for example? Truthfully, my Groucho is highly inspired by 80s/early 90s western cartoons. I even tried to give him just a touch of Optimus Prime.


It didn't bother me as much as I thought it would, and so far you've done a fair job with it. With a few exceptions their dialogue has been relatively bland, but considering they're an insect race with a queen that makes sense because I wouldn't expect many Bugrom to have strikingly stand-out personalities other than those who've been around Jinnai for the longest. And your Groucho's fine. It's different from my interpretation but well within his "Jinnai's friend who's also a genuinely nice guy" depiction.

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3) Pertaining to the climax, I'm weighing three options...

  1) Cheesy and over-the-top, but hopefully really fun

  2) Very intense, a bit dark, but you'll probably have to suspend disbelief a bit.

  3) Most of the fun of 1 with less cheese, the intensity of 2 with less darkness, but more plot devicey than 1 or 2 ( not requiring suspension of disbelief, just plot devicey).

Any preference between the 3?



Based solely on the options, I'd probably go for 1 or 3. However, while suspending disbelief can be something of a distraction, depending on what exactly you have planned an intense, slightly dark climax could also be the best choice. And as has been said, Haruhi's something of a built-in deus ex machina anyway. This is your story so write the ending you think is best.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2009, 05:58:35 PM by rowan_a._seven » Logged
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« Reply #63 on: July 03, 2009, 06:43:03 PM »

And so, Chapter 18 and another step closer to the finale.  There was some good, some bad, and a fair amount of entertainment in this update, and I'll start this review with the former.  First, good job with Galus' dialogue and your choice of accented words.  It's been long enough since I last watched the OVA series that I don't remember if this is how he talks and earlier in the story all the idioms came across as slightly strange to me, but they've grown on me and his speech patterns really conveyed a sense of menace here.

I also really liked Jinnai's scene where he rallied the Bugrom and departed in his rescue attempt.  Groucho's ploy to get through to his master worked a bit quicker than I would have initially expected, but Jinnai isn't the type of person to hesitate when a decision needs to be made and you conveyed his sheer disgust at having to make such a promise quite well.  His distaste at the tentative peace agreement with the Alliance also felt like a nice in-character touch, and his speech was simultaneously amusing and rousing.  You have me genuinely interested in seeing how his devious mind copes with whatever defenses Galus has available.

Koizumi's anticipation of Galus's tactics was interesting and added a more cerebral element to this encounter, though I am slightly puzzled how Koizumi knew the Phantom Tribe had installed neural inhibiters in Yuki's head.  If you mentioned it earlier I apologize, but it seems like a bit of a gamble on Itsuki's part to create a strategy based around an assumption.  You might want to emphasize a less specific goal here, such as Makoto going for the head instead of the key staff in an effort to either free her in a more roundabout, less predictable way or force communication between Yuki and the Integrated Data Entity and discovering the neural inhibitors during the ensuing link.  Does Makoto's targeting of the neural inhibitors also mean that he's been told about Yuki's alien status now, by the way?

Kyon had some entertaining bits of narrative, and I particularly liked his "Damn" at the end of his account of the triple agent.  With so much going on in the previous chapter his sarcasm came across as a bit understated to me, and I'm glad to see it returning.

As for the bad, the Phantom Scope seems like something of a gimmick to me.  I picture Dr. Schtalubaugh as more of the scholar-scientist type rather than a geneticist, and I don't remember him every displaying such proficiency with creating what appears to be a complex technological device.  And Nanami's power is to see through Phantom Tribe illusions, not detect members of the Phantom Tribe, so the Scope's contrasting radar ability seems even odder to me.  Even assuming Dr. Schtalubaugh can create such a device using a sample of Nanami's DNA, though, if the party of would-be rescuers split into two groups why would one group (Afura's) take both the Scope AND Nanami?  That leaves Makoto, Kyon, and Koizumi defenseless against any Phantom Tribers they come across, and a really good illusionist such as Nahato could probably have taken them out even before they reached Yuki.  Otherwise the members of the two parties made sense, but I'd really try to do something about this apparent oversight in logic.

Galus's method of dealing with Afura's party also REALLY felt like something out of a Saturday morning cartoon.  That's not necessarily a bad thing since it was effective (though I'm left wondering why Afura didn't take to the air and fly the moment she felt the floor slide out from under her), but between the trap door and subsequent "put them in chains and bring them to my throne room" that's the image I formed and recalling the likes of Shredder and Dr. Claw breaks the tension somewhat.  I think one way of handling this might be to emphasize its cartoony character through Kyon's biting sarcasm and hammering in the point that despite how silly it appears it worked and everyone's in greater danger now.

You also have me wondering a bit about what exactly Galus's plan is.  When it was revealed that he basically intended to have the protagonists walk into a death trap in the last chapter, I assumed his goal was to kill all of them while Haruhi watched and drive her to such anger and despair that she destroys the world.  Now he seems to have changed his mind and is more interested in capturing Haruhi's power rather than obliterating El-Hazard...or is he pursuing both and keeping the rescuers alive so he can murder them later if the Phantom Tribe's science proves incapable of copying/transferring their prisoner's powers?  I'm confused on this point.

Otherwise, the chapter's all right.  Not one of my favorites, but it moved the story along and featured some compelling developments.  With so many people in one place, though, a lot of the secondary characters felt understated to me.  I think one of your bigger challenges is going to be doing justice to such a huge and dynamic cast now that most of them are all assembled (or are assembling) together in one place.  Anyway, good luck with your writing and thanks for sharing.
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« Reply #64 on: July 03, 2009, 08:25:37 PM »

Quote
And so, Chapter 18 and another step closer to the finale.  There was some good, some bad, and a fair amount of entertainment in this update, and I'll start this review with the former.  First, good job with Galus' dialogue and your choice of accented words.  It's been long enough since I last watched the OVA series that I don't remember if this is how he talks and earlier in the story all the idioms came across as slightly strange to me, but they've grown on me and his speech patterns really conveyed a sense of menace here.


I personally recall Galus as being a gentlemanly villain in how he tried to sound polite at most times... but he would laugh at his enemy's pain (as he did in one scene involving Fatora screaming out in pain while she was held in the Shadow Tribe's hold) - hence why he laughs at Haruhi's pain here. I vaguely recall his dialogue having a certain... smoothness and refined nature to it. Hence his use of complex metaphors.

I myself haven't watched the El Hazard OVA in quite some time, aside from a few scenes that I re-watched purely for the purposes of helping myself write this fanfic. I'm writing Galus mostly by memory.


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I also really liked Jinnai's scene where he rallied the Bugrom and departed in his rescue attempt.


That was my favorite scene in the chapter as well. I'm glad you liked it.


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 Groucho's ploy to get through to his master worked a bit quicker than I would have initially expected,


Well, that's part of the reason why I had the Groucho/Jinnai scene in Chapter 17. Showing Jinnai's anguished indecisiveness over Haruhi vs. Makoto there makes his quick response to Groucho's ploy more believable in my view - we've seen Jinnai struggle with it long enough; it really is time for him to make a choice.

Also, I personally felt that Groucho's ploy was quite clever. Even if Jinnai is still undecided on Haruhi/Makoto, it makes sense for him to place more value on saving his girlfriend's life than going out of his way to ensure that his archenemy lives just so that Jinnai is the one to kill Makoto instead.


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... but Jinnai isn't the type of person to hesitate when a decision needs to be made and you conveyed his sheer disgust at having to make such a promise quite well.  His distaste at the tentative peace agreement with the Alliance also felt like a nice in-character touch, and his speech was simultaneously amusing and rousing.  You have me genuinely interested in seeing how his devious mind copes with whatever defenses Galus has available.


Thanks! I'm very glad you found the speech both amusing and rousing - a balance of the two is what I was aiming for.

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Koizumi's anticipation of Galus's tactics was interesting and added a more cerebral element to this encounter, though I am slightly puzzled how Koizumi knew the Phantom Tribe had installed neural inhibiters in Yuki's head.  


He might not. One thing I should point out - Kyon's narration is present tense, but it's told by him looking back on these events. So, if the narration mentions something, that doesn't necessarily mean that anybody other than Kyon knows. Also, Kyon himself may only know it in his narrator role; looking back on these events.

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Does Makoto's targeting of the neural inhibitors also mean that he's been told about Yuki's alien status now, by the way?


Good question. I haven't thought of that. However, I don't think it makes too much of a difference in the sense that there's probably not much harm in Makoto knowing - I mean, Makoto shouldn't be "freaked out about it" or anything like that; he is living primarily amongst aliens now anyway.


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Kyon had some entertaining bits of narrative, and I particularly liked his "Damn" at the end of his account of the triple agent.  With so much going on in the previous chapter his sarcasm came across as a bit understated to me, and I'm glad to see it returning.



Thank you. As you said, there was simply not much room to squeeze in Kyon sarcasm in Chapters 13 through 17; keeping in mind, of course, that these chapters included him frequently playing a heroic role, which doesn't always gel well with a sarcastic tone. Even in the canon Haruhi anime, Kyon had to take upon himself an atypically upbeat tone in trying to talk Haruhi into not remaking the world while him and her shared that dream together.

However, after several chapters of little Kyon snark; it was time for it to return. I'm glad you liked it.


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As for the bad, the Phantom Scope seems like something of a gimmick to me.  I picture Dr. Schtalubaugh as more of the scholar-scientist type rather than a geneticist, and I don't remember him every displaying such proficiency with creating what appears to be a complex technological device.  And Nanami's power is to see through Phantom Tribe illusions, not detect members of the Phantom Tribe,



Yes, but it's those illusions that prevent people from recognizing Phantom Tribe members when they're around. It doesn't seem odd to me that a person mysteriously gifted with the power to see through those illusions may have something within her that could be utilized to track Phantom Tribe members... since with the illusions removed, anybody could recognize them.


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 so the Scope's contrasting radar ability seems even odder to me.  Even assuming Dr. Schtalubaugh can create such a device using a sample of Nanami's DNA, though, if the party of would-be rescuers split into two groups why would one group (Afura's) take both the Scope AND Nanami?



Two points.

First of all, the Scope had already determined that there was no Shadow Tribe signals coming from the right path - the path leading to Yuki. Shadow Tribe signals were only coming from the left path.  These aren't terribly long paths - hence why there's little break in action from when the two groups break apart, and the trap being sprung on Afura and her team. With the paths not being that long, there's no reason to believe that a Shadow Tribe member (including Nahato) could sneak onto the right path out of nowhere (given the very recent Phantom Scope readings) before Koizumi's team reaches Yuki's room.


Secondly, Koizumi can only provide Time Freeze protection to those in bodily contact with him - hence, the more he takes with him, the more cumbersome it becomes to maintain such bodily contact amongst everyone, and hence the more dangerous it becomes for the team as a whole.

Makoto is clearly needed for Koizumi's plans to succeed for obvious reasons. Kyon's magnetic powers may come in very handy against Yuki.

Nanami would have perhaps been the fourth best person to have along here, but it could be argued that four people constantly touching each other while walking is a bit of a crowd and that it impedes movement.


Quote
That leaves Makoto, Kyon, and Koizumi defenseless against any Phantom Tribers they come across, and a really good illusionist such as Nahato could probably have taken them out even before they reached Yuki.  Otherwise the members of the two parties made sense, but I'd really try to do something about this apparent oversight in logic.



I don't think that there's an oversight in logic here. I think that the team formations I've made here make sense. If you still don't think that they make sense, then please tell me, and I'll consider re-editing Chapter 18.


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Galus's method of dealing with Afura's party also REALLY felt like something out of a Saturday morning cartoon.



Death traps are common in far more than Saturday morning cartoons.

I've long felt that one of the glaring weaknesses of the canon El Hazard antagonists - including OVA Jinnai himself, quite frankly - is their failure to take more care in trying to counter the powers of their enemies as well as taking advantage of the weaknesses of their enemies (Wanderers Jinnai gets a pass here because he actually did take advantage of Fujisawa's alcohol weakness).

I thought it would be nice, for a change, to see an El Hazard antagonist actually take advantage of some pretty exploitable weaknesses - hence a gas chamber of death tailor made for Sensei Fujisawa.

In my mind, the set up for this gas chamber was far more complex - simply in the type of gas used - than what you'd see on most Saturday morning cartoons.


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 That's not necessarily a bad thing since it was effective (though I'm left wondering why Afura didn't take to the air and fly the moment she felt the floor slide out from under her)



It was only a ten feet drop. That's actually a pretty quick drop. Afura has never struck me as having super quick reaction times. Also, part of the reason why I gave her the Phantom Scope was so that her focus would be a little bit more divided than normal - hence helping to explain why she didn't react so suddenly to the floor sliding out from under her.


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but between the trap door and subsequent "put them in chains and bring them to my throne room" that's the image I formed and recalling the likes of Shredder and Dr. Claw breaks the tension somewhat.  I think one way of handling this might be to emphasize its cartoony character through Kyon's biting sarcasm and hammering in the point that despite how silly it appears it worked and everyone's in greater danger now.



How is it silly? Like you said yourself, it's effective. Galus isn't familiar with 80s cartoons - for him, it's all a matter of effectiveness.

It's a good trap for him to set. Keep in mind that it's a back-up trap. If the trap was Plan A, I could perhaps see it being a bit cheesy, but as a back-up trap, it speaks well of Galus' ability to have good contingency plans and to not rely overly on Plan A. Plan A was simply for Yuki to  take everybody out during a time freeze/sneak attack from behind; Plan A became neutralized, though, due to how Koizumi is impervious to time freeze, and also since he saw through the plan hence causing three people to head towards Yuki instead of away from her.

Galus' trap also almost works perfectly - at the very least, it did leave over half of the protagonists unconscious and at Galus' mercy.


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You also have me wondering a bit about what exactly Galus's plan is.  When it was revealed that he basically intended to have the protagonists walk into a death trap in the last chapter, I assumed his goal was to kill all of them while Haruhi watched and drive her to such anger and despair that she destroys the world.  Now he seems to have changed his mind and is more interested in capturing Haruhi's power rather than obliterating El-Hazard...or is he pursuing both and keeping the rescuers alive so he can murder them later if the Phantom Tribe's science proves incapable of copying/transferring their prisoner's powers?



Well, if he gets Haruhi's power, he can still destroy El Hazard - in fact, it becomes easier for him to do so. Galus was impressed enough by his enemies bid for survival that he's had a slight change of heart on something. You're going to see that in Chapter 19.

And, honestly, your assumption was simply off. That was never my plan here. I guess that it's good that I'm still surprising you at least, eh? ;)


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 I'm confused on this point.

Otherwise, the chapter's all right.  Not one of my favorites, but it moved the story along and featured some compelling developments. With so many people in one place, though, a lot of the secondary characters felt understated to me.


A fair criticism, but perhaps an unavoidable one. I felt that too much protagonist dialogue - dialogue that would be either superfluous or casual chit-chat - would break the suspenseful tension/mood.  


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I think one of your bigger challenges is going to be doing justice to such a huge and dynamic cast now that most of them are all assembled (or are assembling) together in one place.  Anyway, good luck with your writing and thanks for sharing.


Rowan... out of curiosity, what were your favorite chapters?

Not all of the cast members are going to be prominent in the last two chapters. I don't intend for them to be. Actually, I'm kind of surprised that you haven't guessed the finale yet. A classic finale type (perhaps even cliche I will admit) is just waiting here, and it'll even include a couple neat facets and twists to it (that'll act as a neat subversion of the cliche aspects, I hope).

Anyway, a lot of cast members are there because it would be illogical to leave any of them behind for a rescue mission, and also since they should get some more screen time than what they've been given so far.

Well... given my failings in Chapters 17 and 18 for Spanner (17) and you (18 ), making this finale enjoyable for you both is going to be a challenge. All I can say is that I will try my best to meet that challenge for you both!
« Last Edit: July 05, 2009, 07:49:49 PM by triple_r » Logged
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« Reply #65 on: July 04, 2009, 03:56:36 PM »

Sorry I've been out of touch; last week was unexpectedly busy. As such, I haven't had a chance to read your new material yet. I thought I'd pop in and answer your questions, however:

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who knows, maybe there will be more story to tell. ;) Would you be interested, Spanner?

I might indeed. :)

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Finally, I intended for Yuki to maintain all of her original abilities, and simply add El Hazard demon god ones to them. Mind you, I did this with out knowing just how powerful Yuki was... yikes!

Yeah, giving Yuki the abilities of a Demon God is a bit like giving a fish the ability to swim. XD I don't think there's anything Ifurita can do that Yuki couldn't, if Yuki were motivated to do so.

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BTW - Haruhi and Jinnai are the same age. They're both 17, according to Absolute Anime, If I remember correctly.

Remember, at the start of the series (or first, novel, if you prefer), both Kyon and Haruhi are beginning their first year of High School, which, in the US, would be tenth grade. When you first see them, they are both fifteen years old, though might have become sixteen at some point during the first year. If Absolute Anime lists them as seventeen, I'd say they're either mistaken, or using Haruhi's age from the later novels (I'm not sure how many years the Haruhi franchise covers). Another possibility is that both of them were held back a year - but that seems extremely unlikely, as Haruhi is supposed to be a brilliant student, and Kyon is, at the very least, average (though given his distinct philosophical bent, I'd say he's probably a lot brighter than he gives himself credit for).

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Three special questions for both Spanner and Rowan...

1) Did you like the Alielle/Fatora dialogue in Chapter 17? Basically, do you think I'm still writing them well?

Well, it's like I said earlier; I thought that Fatora seemed a little too restrained, though, again, that could be attributed to their current surroundings. She actually asks Haruhi's permission to drag her into bed, and takes no for an answer!

Alielle seemed spot-on, though; I have no complaints about her dialogue. Fatora's off-handed way of discarding Alielle when it was convenient seemed in-character for Fatora, as well. If you're asking strictly about the dialogue between these two characters, rather than the dialogue of these two character with each other and with everyone else, I'd have to say it's good work.

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2) Having had about 16 chapters of bugrom dialogue, how do you feel about it now? Do you like the personality that I've given Groucho, for example? Truthfully, my Groucho is highly inspired by 80s/early 90s western cartoons. I even tried to give him just a touch of Optimus Prime.

I think your interpretation of Groucho is perfectly legitimate, and I enjoy it quite a bit!

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3) Pertaining to the climax, I'm weighing three options...

  1) Cheesy and over-the-top, but hopefully really fun

  2) Very intense, a bit dark, but you'll probably have to suspend disbelief a bit.

  3) Most of the fun of 1 with less cheese, the intensity of 2 with less darkness, but more plot devicey than 1 or 2 ( not requiring suspension of disbelief, just plot devicey).

Any preference between the 3?

All three options sound tempting, though it's really hard to make a judgment without knowing exactly what you have in mind. I will admit that the bit about supension of disbelief seems a bit ominous; best to avoid stretching that unless absolutely necessary. I guess I'd have to side with Rowan and say 1 or 3 would be for the best.

Before I sign off, I did want to remark on one additional thing; you expressed confusion at the idea of Haruhi taking an aggressive attitude toward Fatora, when both Rowan and I agree that she's pretty hopeless when it comes to matters of love. There's an easy answer to that: love doesn't have anything to do with it, at least not the romantic sort that Haruhi considers to be a "mental illness".

What Haruhi does to Mikuru, and what Fatora does to the women she dominates, can't really be considered love or romance. There may be sex involved (at least in Fatora's case) or sexual harassment, but it's essentially one party using the other for personal enjoyment, not a loving relationship at all.

While it may be difficult for me to swallow Haruhi falling in love with someone (or, I should say, for her to admit to herself that she's falling in love with someone), I could see her having sex with someone if it suited her to do so. As she said herself, she's a healthy teenaged girl, and she has needs. That doesn't necessarily have anything to do with love.

In the case of Fatora, I'm not saying that she should hop into bed with her. However, Fatora is clearly trying to intimidate and dominate her - and as Brigade Chief, it's not the kind of thing I think she would stand for! Haruhi, once "challenged" in this way, should take steps to bend Fatora to her will, whether it be through counter-intimidation, blackmail, or whatever other tools prove to be convenient. Not that she'd necessarily be successful - both of them have very strong wills, and a rather painful lack of common sense. Their clash of wills could be most entertaining.

Note, that's just my interpretation of both their characters. Your interpretation may be different, but it's not necessarily bad or wrong. I'll admit, though, that that's the kind of thing I hoped for when you promised a Fatora/Haruhi comedy scene. It's like I said, you can't please me all the time, and it's a mistake to even try!

Hopefully, I'll have a chance to read chapter 18 tomorrow.
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« Reply #66 on: July 04, 2009, 04:39:11 PM »

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Sorry I've been out of touch; last week was unexpectedly busy.


That's no problem. Here's hoping you and Rowan have a nice 4th of July!

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As such, I haven't had a chance to read your new material yet. I thought I'd pop in and answer your questions, however:

I might indeed. :)


I'm glad to read that. I think that I may do a largely comedy-based sequel borrowing from some of the great ideas for comedy/slice of life scenes that you and Rowan have given me. Under different circumstances than those of Chapter 17, I'm inclined to agree with you that Fatora and Haruhi would have handled the scene between them differently, and that could make for good comedy. There's probably not room to fit it in within this particular fanfic, but with a sequel... who knows.


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Remember, at the start of the series (or first, novel, if you prefer), both Kyon and Haruhi are beginning their first year of High School, which, in the US, would be tenth grade. When you first see them, they are both fifteen years old, though might have become sixteen at some point during the first year. If Absolute Anime lists them as seventeen, I'd say they're either mistaken, or using Haruhi's age from the later novels (I'm not sure how many years the Haruhi franchise covers). Another possibility is that both of them were held back a year - but that seems extremely unlikely, as Haruhi is supposed to be a brilliant student, and Kyon is, at the very least, average (though given his distinct philosophical bent, I'd say he's probably a lot brighter than he gives himself credit for).


I agree that Haruhi is a very smart student - I do put her in an intellectual class with Makoto and Jinnai, only with the three having slightly different areas of expertise.

Kyon is probably an above average student, and of above average intelligence.

Anyway, a 17 year old in a romance with a 15 year old isn't terrible, so I don't think that's a problem. Thanks for all the info though.


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Well, it's like I said earlier; I thought that Fatora seemed a little too restrained, though, again, that could be attributed to their current surroundings. She actually asks Haruhi's permission to drag her into bed, and takes no for an answer!

Alielle seemed spot-on, though; I have no complaints about her dialogue. Fatora's off-handed way of discarding Alielle when it was convenient seemed in-character for Fatora, as well. If you're asking strictly about the dialogue between these two characters, rather than the dialogue of these two character with each other and with everyone else, I'd have to say it's good work.


Good points.

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I think your interpretation of Groucho is perfectly legitimate, and I enjoy it quite a bit!


That's great to read! :)


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All three options sound tempting, though it's really hard to make a judgment without knowing exactly what you have in mind. I will admit that the bit about supension of disbelief seems a bit ominous; best to avoid stretching that unless absolutely necessary. I guess I'd have to side with Rowan and say 1 or 3 would be for the best.

Before I sign off, I did want to remark on one additional thing; you expressed confusion at the idea of Haruhi taking an aggressive attitude toward Fatora, when both Rowan and I agree that she's pretty hopeless when it comes to matters of love. There's an easy answer to that: love doesn't have anything to do with it, at least not the romantic sort that Haruhi considers to be a "mental illness".


While I personally don't recall Haruhi referring to love as a "mental illness", or implying/saying something to that effect, I now have no doubt that she did since you've brought it up twice now.  However, you seem to be attaching an inordinate amount of importance to it, Spanner.

Haruhi also (in)famously said, in a brash and bold proclamation to her entire class, that she basically only wanted to be friends with espers, time travellers, aliens, or sliders. How long did it take her to go back on that proclamation, taking into account how neither of her SOS Brigade members fits into either of the categories she provided, to the best of her knowledge? ;)

I think that you (and possibly Rowan as well) are assigning far too much weight to implications or proclamations or statements made by Haruhi that may be no more binding than the one I mentioned above.

Actually, the following is a very plausible interpretation of her character I think... Haruhi is looking for romance; hence why she had so many different boyfriends and/or dates with guys. After being displeased with every last person she dated, she eventually decided that romance was a lost cause, and hence "love is a mental disease".

It only takes one extraordinary guy (at least in her eyes) to change her assessment here, though... ;)

Beyond that, though, there's something else I want to point to. There was a Haruhi episode I rewatched in order to get a better feel for Koizumi's esper powers. That episode included a scene in which the Computer Club President's girlfriend hires Haruhi's SOS Brigade to search for her missing boyfriend. During the discussion between Haruhi and the CC President's girlfriend, Haruhi actually acted like she was empathizing with the CC President's girlfriend's romantic hurts - Kyon made incredulous narration over it, but to me, it clearly shows that Haruhi is not HARDCORE set against romance. If she was, I don't think that Haruhi could fake that empathy over romantic hurts... or maybe she's not even faking it. Maybe she was truly empathizing, given her own disappointments with guys.

It's not hard at all for me to imagine her falling for a charismatic intelligent seventeen year old Japanese male that is beloved by an empire of aliens and who is usually very nice and complimentary towards her, and even gives her a beautiful necklace that's ideal for her. Nor is it hard for me to see her acting upon genuine attraction for a guy; at least not once a sufficient catalyst is provided - the gift of the necklace being a very believable catalyst I think.

Actually, I had been much more worried about people buying Jinnai falling for Haruhi; particularly given Jinnai's reaction to Diva's advances in the Alternate World.


All of this being said, I think that I might now see the real reason why you weren't too keen on the Haruhi/Jinnai shipping - it's not Haruhi/Kyon at all; you're just afraid Haruhi/Jinnai might jeopardize a good Haruhi/Fatora scene! :D

Don't worry - I may have a way for you to get the desired Haruhi/Fatora scene(s) while still staying true to my Haruhi/Jinnai shipping. You can call it "The Compromise of Spanner and Triple R" if you want, in the vein of my naming scheme for these chapters.


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What Haruhi does to Mikuru, and what Fatora does to the women she dominates, can't really be considered love or romance.  



With the possible exception of Fatora's relationship with Alielle, I agree.


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In the case of Fatora, I'm not saying that she should hop into bed with her. However, Fatora is clearly trying to intimidate and dominate her - and as Brigade Chief, it's not the kind of thing I think she would stand for! Haruhi, once "challenged" in this way, should take steps to bend Fatora to her will, whether it be through counter-intimidation, blackmail, or whatever other tools prove to be convenient. Not that she'd necessarily be successful - both of them have very strong wills, and a rather painful lack of common sense. Their clash of wills could be most entertaining.



Ok, I totally agree with you here. I definitely see your point here, and agree with you here. It's certainly something I'll keep in mind for future writing - either at the end of this fanfic, or in a future one.

Honestly... I made the romance/sex argument concerning Haruhi more in the hopes that it would change your mind on Haruhi/Jinnai than in the hopes that it would change your mind on how Haruhi and Fatora would relate to one another. ;)


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Note, that's just my interpretation of both their characters. Your interpretation may be different, but it's not necessarily bad or wrong. I'll admit, though, that that's the kind of thing I hoped for when you promised a Fatora/Haruhi comedy scene. It's like I said, you can't please me all the time, and it's a mistake to even try!

Hopefully, I'll have a chance to read chapter 18 tomorrow.


I may have Chapter 19 up by then as well. Here's hoping!
:)


Edit: I don't know about your comparisons of Yuki and Ifurita. Do you think that you might be selling Ifurita a bit short there, or reading too much into what Yuki did? I mean - has Yuki shown an ability to travel through dimensions; to shut down an out of control Eye of God; to destroy entire cities in a few blasts of energy?

You wrote that Yuki "completely rewrote the world". Did she do that, or did she just change the world as it pertained to four people - Haruhi, herself, Kyon, and Itsuki? I mean, was their evidence of anything else about the world having changed, or was it purely localized to North High?

If it was purely localized, it might be a bit of a logic leap to say that Yuki is as powerful a reality warper as you have argued for here.

If it really was truly global... I have to say that it ruins the whole point of the canon Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya for me. I mean, if Yuki has that kind of power, then why the hell would she care the least bit about Haruhi Suzumiya? It just doesn't fit.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2009, 10:12:06 PM by triple_r » Logged
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« Reply #67 on: July 05, 2009, 11:08:10 AM »

For Rowan and Spanner...

Chapter 19 is up!: http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?p=9220734&posted=1#post9220734


Well, Rowan, I hope that you like this chapter a bit more than the last one! This is the final cliffhanger.
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« Reply #68 on: July 07, 2009, 03:51:13 PM »

All right! A few days late, but I finally dug into chapter 18!

Haruhi's conversation with smug Galus was well-handled. It's comforting to see that Galus STILL underestimates the Power of Love! And the Power of Friendship. Oh, you bad-guy types... don't you ever learn?

The "phantom scope" seemed a little too convenient, and I think it might turn out to be a bit weighty an albatross to deal with in the long run. A device like that, if widely manufactured, would all but end the Shadow Tribe as a threat! (Not to mention, render Nanami's power virtually useless.) Still, since this story is almost over, and the sequel probably won't feature them as prominently, I guess it's okay.

The scene with Jinnai's grudging vow not to kill that rat Mizuhara was well-played.

Galus's careful efforts to neutralize our heroes' abilities without killing them have my anticipation growing steadily. It's pretty clear that he could kill our heroes anytime that he wants to - if those acid shots had been projectile weapons instead, he could have easily killed Mikuru, for instance. You're clearly building up to something big for Galus to have gone through all this trouble; I very much hope it's not just a big ol' gloating session. It's always a let-down to see an otherwise careful villian on the verge of success gather the heroes because there's nothing they can do about it - only they do something about it. :P

I was pleased with Itsuki's announcement that he is immune to Yuki's time-freezing abilities. That's a good fix for the problem, and it looks like it might give Itsuki a moment in the spotlight as well.

Team Fujisawa's heroic struggle against Galus's trap was well-done, though I was a bit irked that Galus was apparently deliberately trying to kill them - and then changed his mind! As a writer, my advice would be to give Galus a mindset and then stick with it. If he needs them alive, have him spare them. If he wants them dead, keep it that way unless a legitimate reason comes up for his sparing them.

A better solution in this case, I think, would have been to either had Galus's intentions be non-lethal from the start, or allowed our heroes to escape to someplace temporarily beyond Galus's immediate reach before falling unconscious (maybe breaking through the wall would lead into a hard-to-access part of the facility, for instance).

(Edit: After reading Chapter 19, I know why Galus chose to spare them. Even so, I think this passage would have been better handled either with Galus planning to spare them from the start, planning to spare them IF they survived, or unable to kill them because they escaped. The fickle, spur-of-the-moment change of heart doesn't suit Galus well.)

Interesting, how in spite of all the preperations to deal with Yuki's time freezing ability, that ability never really came into play during the battle. :)

Finally, SOS Man leads the Bugrom in their finest hour! I enjoyed his speech (especially the part where he nearly went into convulsions regarding the Bugrom/Roshtaria truce). And so ends Chapter 18!

And now, Chapter 19. I definitely appreciated Kyon's comparison of Galus's methods to those of a certain Clown Prince of Crime. I have to admit, though, that I'm still holding out hope that there's an actual method to Galus's madness, rather than madness for madness's sake.

And now, Nanoha returns! I have to admit I was kind of expecting to see her around this point. :)

I chuckled a bit at the representation of Yuki's shackles being that of a thirty foot wall of screaming Shadow Tribe heads, and at Makoto's uneasiness both at the screaming wall and at Yuki's nonchalant attitude about it.

I enjoyed Kyon's and Nanoha's little heart-to-heart, and felt that it was quite well-done. Nanoha's reasons for changing sides were well-presented and believable, especially given her previous history.

At last, we have Galus spilling his guts in regards to his master plan! I'm glad to see that he didn't just gather all the heroes to gloat at them, but he still does seem to be taking some rather odd risks given that he's not a god QUITE yet. On the other hand, he seems to have done a pretty good job in preparing for Yuki's betrayal. That was good to see.

Then, SOS Man to the rescue! I was a bit disgruntled at Galus's utter shock that Jinnai came at all. Even assuming that Galus knew the conditions that Jinnai had to satisfy to escape imprisonment, wouldn't Galus have considered the possibility that Jinnai might LIE in order to get out? He seemed awfully confident that Jinnai was permanently removed from the equasion, when it seems like there are many ways Jinnai could have weaseled out of his predicament, even discounting those that depend on the Power of Love. While it was certainly appropriate for Galus to taunt Haruhi with images of Jinnai stewing in jail forever due to Haruhi's betrayal, it's not something Galus should have taken so far to heart himself.

That said, though, I have to admit that I loved the scenes described during the rescue. Jinnai's rescue scene was quite amusing and well-done, both in the very Jinnai-esque strategies involved (flinging a Super Bugrom at the barrier to break it down was an especially nice touch), and in the confrontation scene on the rooftop.

In the end, though, Galus reveals his Mecha-Galus powers! Will Galus triumph over his foes? (No.) Will everyone be blown to bits by the hydrogen bomb? (No.) Will Jinnai and Haruhi be reunited at last? (Yes. Well, they kinda have already, I guess.) Stay tuned for the answers to these gripping questions!!!
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« Reply #69 on: July 07, 2009, 04:11:00 PM »

Oh, I forgot to respond to your question about Yuki's powers. To be honest, I don't know how far-reaching Yuki's world-changing abilities are. I know that the events happen (they take place in Novel #4, "The Vanishment of Haruhi Suzumiya"), but I don't know whether the fanfiction authors may have embellished exactly what Yuki did in that novel.

Regardless, even within the scope of the first season of the anime, we've witnessed some rather phenominal abilities on the part of the Human Interfaces we've seen, such as Ryoko's ability to transform a classroom into a sealed environment, Ryoko's ability to hold Kyon helplessly in place, Ryoko's and Yuki's ability to transform matter from one form to another, and so on.

Ifurita's abilities, from what we saw of them, seemed strictly limited to combat techniques. Even in the case of her shutting down the Eye of God, that wasn't her own ability; it was Makoto, working through her using the Power Key Staff she'd left with him. Now, to be sure, with the techniques Ifurita has picked up over the ages she was an incredible force to be reckoned with, the fact still remains that her chosen methods for dealing with foes involves shooting stuff at them, rather than, say, transforming them into a chunk of lead.

While we may disagree on how powerful each respective entity may be, I think that the evidence we've seen shows Yuki to have the upper hand in close-quarters combat. Even if she can't nuke a city, if Yuki can render you completely helpless she's gonna win any one-on-one encounter.

Oh, good grief - this is starting to sound like one of those lame Superman vs. Goku threads. XD
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« Reply #70 on: July 07, 2009, 04:21:45 PM »

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Oh, I forgot to respond to your question about Yuki's powers. To be honest, I don't know how far-reaching Yuki's world-changing abilities are. I know that the events happen (they take place in Novel #4, "The Vanishment of Haruhi Suzumiya"), but I don't know whether the fanfiction authors may have embellished exactly what Yuki did in that novel.

Regardless, even within the scope of the first season of the anime, we've witnessed some rather phenominal abilities on the part of the Human Interfaces we've seen, such as Ryoko's ability to transform a classroom into a sealed environment, Ryoko's ability to hold Kyon helplessly in place, Ryoko's and Yuki's ability to transform matter from one form to another, and so on.

Ifurita's abilities, from what we saw of them, seemed strictly limited to combat techniques. Even in the case of her shutting down the Eye of God, that wasn't her own ability; it was Makoto, working through her using the Power Key Staff she'd left with him. Now, to be sure, with the techniques Ifurita has picked up over the ages she was an incredible force to be reckoned with, the fact still remains that her chosen methods for dealing with foes involves shooting stuff at them, rather than, say, transforming them into a chunk of lead.

While we may disagree on how powerful each respective entity may be, I think that the evidence we've seen shows Yuki to have the upper hand in close-quarters combat. Even if she can't nuke a city, if Yuki can render you completely helpless she's gonna win any one-on-one encounter.

Oh, good grief - this is starting to sound like one of those lame Superman vs. Goku threads. XD


Oh, I think that Yuki would defeat Ifurita in one-on-one close-quarters combat as well - if nothing else, Yuki is probably faster.

I'd just like to think that there's something that Yuki would gain from becoming a Demon God. That's just personal preference on my part, though.

It's interesting that you mentioned Superman vs. Goku... are you a regular poster on Comic Book Resources forums, the site where I have this fanfic up, and where Superman vs. Goku is kind of infamous? ;)

I'll have more to say in another response to your chapter reviews in a while.
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« Reply #71 on: July 07, 2009, 08:43:44 PM »

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All right! A few days late, but I finally dug into chapter 18!


No problem on the lateness! The review itself certainly made the wait for it worth it. :)


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Haruhi's conversation with smug Galus was well-handled. It's comforting to see that Galus STILL underestimates the Power of Love! And the Power of Friendship. Oh, you bad-guy types... don't you ever learn?


lol  I'm glad that you liked that scene. I did spend a fair bit of time on that scene.


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The "phantom scope" seemed a little too convenient, and I think it might turn out to be a bit weighty an albatross to deal with in the long run. A device like that, if widely manufactured, would all but end the Shadow Tribe as a threat! (Not to mention, render Nanami's power virtually useless.) Still, since this story is almost over, and the sequel probably won't feature them as prominently, I guess it's okay.



Perhaps the Shadow Tribe wins in Chapter 20 and soon after becomes the skynet of El Hazard. ;) If so, a phantom scope might be necessary for the humans of El Hazard to just have a chance at staying alive.

In any event, I understand the valid criticisms that you and Rowan made of the Phantom Scope. It was, for me, a necessary plot device in order to set up certain scenes the way that I wanted them to be set up. It also makes it a bit less difficult to write dialogue as there's now a new item upon which the protagonist can extend some focus to.

Also, I liked the Ghostbusters cartoon when I was growing up. I kind of liked the idea of Makoto as a younger Egon Spangler, you could say - using El Hazard's equivalent of a ghost detector. ;)


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The scene with Jinnai's grudging vow not to kill that rat Mizuhara was well-played.


I'm glad that came across well.


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Galus's careful efforts to neutralize our heroes' abilities without killing them have my anticipation growing steadily.


I'm glad that the suspenseful goal of me having Galus using those neutralization efforts were appreciated by you.


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 I was pleased with Itsuki's announcement that he is immune to Yuki's time-freezing abilities. That's a good fix for the problem, and it looks like it might give Itsuki a moment in the spotlight as well.



Excellent! This was my main concern for Chapter 18 - finding a plot progression and method that would logically fix the problem of Yuki's time freeze.


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Team Fujisawa's heroic struggle against Galus's trap was well-done, though I was a bit irked that Galus was apparently deliberately trying to kill them - and then changed his mind! As a writer, my advice would be to give Galus a mindset and then stick with it. If he needs them alive, have him spare them. If he wants them dead, keep it that way unless a legitimate reason comes up for his sparing them.

A better solution in this case, I think, would have been to either had Galus's intentions be non-lethal from the start, or allowed our heroes to escape to someplace temporarily beyond Galus's immediate reach before falling unconscious (maybe breaking through the wall would lead into a hard-to-access part of the facility, for instance).

(Edit: After reading Chapter 19, I know why Galus chose to spare them. Even so, I think this passage would have been better handled either with Galus planning to spare them from the start, planning to spare them IF they survived, or unable to kill them because they escaped. The fickle, spur-of-the-moment change of heart doesn't suit Galus well.)  



I understand your criticisms here as well. I'm going to explain where I'm coming from with my handling of Galus at the end of this post, since most of your negative assessments for these two chapters center around him.


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Interesting, how in spite of all the preperations to deal with Yuki's time freezing ability, that ability never really came into play during the battle. :)


Well, she did try to get it off once, but failed to do so. Later, there was no point in her using it since Itsuki was in bodily contact with Makoto and Kyon - might as well just blast at them given that fact.


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Finally, SOS Man leads the Bugrom in their finest hour! I enjoyed his speech (especially the part where he nearly went into convulsions regarding the Bugrom/Roshtaria truce). And so ends Chapter 18!



I'm glad that you and Rowan both enjoyed the speech. You and Rowan certainly share similar approaches and tastes - your reviews for Chapter 18 are quite similar.


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And now, Chapter 19. I definitely appreciated Kyon's comparison of Galus's methods to those of a certain Clown Prince of Crime. I have to admit, though, that I'm still holding out hope that there's an actual method to Galus's madness, rather than madness for madness's sake.

And now, Nanoha returns! I have to admit I was kind of expecting to see her around this point. :)



On the one hand, I was hoping that her inclusion here might have surprised you; adding to the drama (i.e. "I wonder if Triple R has forgotten about Nanoha?")

On the other hand, it's nice to know that you didn't think that I had forgotten about Nanoha.


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I chuckled a bit at the representation of Yuki's shackles being that of a thirty foot wall of screaming Shadow Tribe heads, and at Makoto's uneasiness both at the screaming wall and at Yuki's nonchalant attitude about it.

I enjoyed Kyon's and Nanoha's little heart-to-heart, and felt that it was quite well-done. Nanoha's reasons for changing sides were well-presented and believable, especially given her previous history.


Thank you!

I'm glad that these scenes resonated well. With most chapters, I have no serious worries with any Haruhi and/or Jinnai scene, so if I get some good protagonist scenes in, it gives me a shot at an uniformly good chapter.

Alas... ;)


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At last, we have Galus spilling his guts in regards to his master plan! I'm glad to see that he didn't just gather all the heroes to gloat at them, but he still does seem to be taking some rather odd risks given that he's not a god QUITE yet. On the other hand, he seems to have done a pretty good job in preparing for Yuki's betrayal. That was good to see.

Then, SOS Man to the rescue! I was a bit disgruntled at Galus's utter shock that Jinnai came at all. Even assuming that Galus knew the conditions that Jinnai had to satisfy to escape imprisonment, wouldn't Galus have considered the possibility that Jinnai might LIE in order to get out? He seemed awfully confident that Jinnai was permanently removed from the equasion, when it seems like there are many ways Jinnai could have weaseled out of his predicament, even discounting those that depend on the Power of Love. While it was certainly appropriate for Galus to taunt Haruhi with images of Jinnai stewing in jail forever due to Haruhi's betrayal, it's not something Galus should have taken so far to heart himself.

That said, though, I have to admit that I loved the scenes described during the rescue. Jinnai's rescue scene was quite amusing and well-done, both in the very Jinnai-esque strategies involved (flinging a Super Bugrom at the barrier to break it down was an especially nice touch), and in the confrontation scene on the rooftop.

In the end, though, Galus reveals his Mecha-Galus powers! Will Galus triumph over his foes? (No.) Will everyone be blown to bits by the hydrogen bomb? (No.) Will Jinnai and Haruhi be reunited at last? (Yes. Well, they kinda have already, I guess.) Stay tuned for the answers to these gripping questions!!!



Well, I'm very glad that you enjoyed the handling of SOS Man for this chapter! I had intended for that to be the highlight of it.

Now, as for Galus...

I understand where you're coming from on him. But... and I just want to throw this out there for casual consideration... do you think that you might be expecting a bit too much from him? I mean, you (and perhaps Rowan as well) seem to want me to write Galus as almost infallible.

I certainly can understand how a person reviewing a fanfic would naturally pay close attention to characters making mistakes - particularly plot-moving characters like main antagonists making mistakes. Galus absolutely made a mistake in dismissing Jinnai (and hence the Bugrom Empire) as a variable worth considering given the results of the Haruhi/Jinnai confrontation of Chapter 16.

However, is it truly out of character for him to make that mistake?

I think that upon viewing the entire Haruhi/Jinnai argument (and he did - if you reread the last post for Chapter 16, it points out how Galus watched the entire argument from afar), that Galus would tend to put himself in Jinnai's shoes and think...

If any woman had betrayed me the way that the Bugrom Queen just betrayed Jinnai, I would think "to hell with her". On top of that, there's no way I'd bow to any person's attempt to force me to promise to not take revenge on my most bitter enemy or enemies. Likewise, Jinnai is through. He's not coming back from this.

Galus simply projects his own personality unto Jinnai, and takes comfort in removing Jinnai as a variable to concern himself with. This is pleasing to Galus since now he can focus exclusively on the Roshtarian contingent. To me, it's a believable thing for Galus to do. In fact, I would say that it reflects Galus' greatest weakness - his inability to understand the drives and determinations of other people, since he himself has become very ruthless and unattached emotionally to almost everybody.

I don't think that a villain needs to be infallible in order to be compelling. I think that he or she simply needs to be a careful planner in general, and to have a certain level of power and/or influence to him or her.

Now, as for Galus' overall approach to the Roshtarians - I'll admit that I was writing him as being a bit fickle there. This is for a couple reasons...

1. I want to keep you and Rowan guessing as to what Galus will do next; to add to the suspense as it were. Part of the reason why I disagree with the "infallible villain" notion is that it makes such a villain too predictable and hence lacking in suspense, in my view.

In general, I want unpredictability to be one of the main positives to my fanfics - I want them to twist and turn in ways that surprise the readers (incidentally, I dislike how Chapter 20 seems predictable to you - mind you, perhaps a predictable conclusion is forgivable after how both you and Rowan seemed to find a couple earlier plot twists to be surprising).


2. As a writer, there's certain scenes I want to write. I conceive of scenes that I think would make for good and/or fun reads, and then I try to create a plot that will make those scenes happen.

Basically, I wanted to write a dramatic death trap scene, I wanted to write a Galus tries to coerce the Roshtarians into joining him scene, and I wanted to write SOS Man as the startling hero that shockingly appears to try to stop a stunned Galus scene - starling given how SOS Man is originally the villainous Katsuhiko Jinnai, and who has been put in quite a bind by Haruhi Suzumiya; the very same person who needs rescuing right now.

I had actually considered not showing Jinnai (or the bugrom) AT ALL until SOS Man's arrival in Chapter 19, to even add more oomph to his appearance. In retrospect, maybe I should have went that way... though I found the idea of a SOS Man/bugrom rally scene too good to pass up (and I also felt that Nanoha's long layoff before making a timely rescue was probably enough of a startling reappearance on its own).


So... sometimes, I ask myself questions like "This may be a little bit hard to swallow... but it would make for a great scene or two! Is it worth it?" - by the way, the same question went through my mind with Haruhi/Jinnai flying over the Roshtarian city walls back in Chapter 13. Is a great scene worth a set-up that requires some suspension of disbelief (obviously in the case of the Haruhi/Jinnai flying scene I decided 'yes')? Also, is it possible your readers won't even notice the questionable parts in your plot - hence all they see is the great scene?

Well, one thing you and Rowan have shown - you guys don't miss any holes at all.  :D   I certainly can't pull a fast one by you - heck, you guys even notice stuff that I myself never thought of (i.e. it honestly never occurred to me that Galus could just use a similar method to kill Mikuru instead of shooting acid into her eyes).

So balancing plot believability with fun scene creation and unpredictable plots is perhaps my greatest challenge as a writer.

Well, if after reading all of this, you'd still prefer Galus to be a more careful villain, I can make his dialogue in Chapter 20 reflect that a bit more. I just felt that I should explain why I wrote him the way that I did, as well as offering some insight into my overall approach when writing fiction - as for Galus' failure to factor Jinnai in at all, it was to make SOS Man's arrival that much more... pulse-pounding, I guess you could say - and I also felt that it may be believable for Galus to fail to factor Jinnai in; as for Galus' changing approach to the Roshtarians - yeah, that's probably out of character for him, but I thought it could make for a good scene or two.

Anyway, thanks for the great reviews! And also, this is my first major fanfic in a long time, so it's only natural for it to have some weaknesses. It's good to have them pointed out to me for future reference. :)

My final question is if you found Chapters 18 and 19 enjoyable and satisfying taken on the whole? If the pros outweighed the cons as it were?
« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 06:19:26 AM by triple_r » Logged
rowan_a._seven
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« Reply #72 on: July 08, 2009, 07:50:02 PM »

And Chapter 19 makes for quite the pleasant update.  You answered several of the issues I raised earlier and continued what I liked about Chapter 18 while shedding a lot of what I felt were weaknesses.  Makoto, Koizumi, and Kyon's encounter with Yuki was compelling, and the scene "inside" Yuki's head made for quite the amusing contrast between the totally composed, in-charge alien and the unsettled Makoto.  It was also nice to see Nanoha return.  As Spanner mentioned, her arriving in the nick of time to save the day was kind of predictable but I still wasn't _entirely_ certain, and you put the trope to good effect.  I also liked how you had the three earthlings play dead to deceive Galus rather than charge in heroically.  It suits their and Yuki's more rational, thoughtful personalities.

Jinnai and the Bugrom assault were the big highlights of this chapter, though, and they didn't disappoint.  From the Bugrom blitzkrieg of the Phantom Tribe base to Jinnai's dramatic entrance it was thoroughly entertaining.  Good use of the "Was it a bird?  Was it a plane?" bit too.  That brought a smile to my face.  And Galus's failure to take a possible counterattack by the Bugrom into consideration doesn't bother me much since he seemed pretty confident that, even if the Bugrom did attack, they'd never penetrate his headquarters' shields.

I can't say quite the same thing about Galus's offer to Afura Mann's group, though.  For someone who supposedly hates humans it seems a bit odd to me that he'd be willing to let them join him just because he's impressed by their strength, especially since some of these humans played critical roles in his prior defeat in the OVA series.  And assuming he was successful in obtaining Haruhi's powers, Galus could probably just remake them and FORCE them to serve him as he saw fit anyway.  Still, there's nothing wrong with a villain making such a proposal if for no other reason than to try to sow doubts in the protagonists' minds.

There was also a rather strong comic-book feel to this chapter between Galus and Jinnai.  It's fitting in a way since that's apparently how Haruhi wants to view Jinnai, and what she wants she often gets even though she doesn't always realize it *coughs*aliens-espers-and-time-travelers*coughs*.  It felt surprisingly natural and hilarious in Jinnai's case which is a testament to how you've developed him in this story, but with Galus I still have a hard time picturing him as a pseudo-comic book villain.  Both of his back-up plans (sabotaging Yuki and blowing up the base - I really liked Fujisawa's remark about the latter, by the way) were welcome and intelligent inclusions, but the convenient getaway copter on the roof and Spiderman-style webbing struck me as slightly...off, I suppose the word is.  It made me picture something more along the lines of "Batman the Animated Series" or one of Spiderman's cartoon series rather than El-Hazard.  Regardless, the scene with Jinnai, Groucho, Haruhi, Nahato, and Galus was still a lot of fun to read, and you have me looking forward to seeing what happens next.  You might want to offer some reason why Galus, after easily dispatching Haruhi and Grouchi, doesn't also encase Jinnai in webbing to avoid the "Aha! I'm an incredibly powerful villain with nifty powers that I don't actually use when the chips are down!" cliché, though.  And, as useful as his new cybernetic abilities are, Galus is still an illusionist so I'd be surprised if he doesn't use that power too at some point.

Anyway, thanks for sharing.
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Triple_R
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« Reply #73 on: July 10, 2009, 05:21:52 PM »

Chapter 20 - The Finale - is up!: http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?t=269068&page=7

I had the twist at the end planned from the very beginning, but I incorporated Galus into it in a way that I hope will answer all of the valid criticisms that both you, Rowan, and you, Spanner, have made concerning my handling of him.

You'll probably either like my fix of sorts, or you'll hate it. Oh well... I felt it was worth the risk.  ;D

Aside from any general review, there is some specific feedback I'd greatly appreciate for the fanfic as a whole.

Spoiler space coming up for anybody reading this post who hasn't read Chapter 20 yet...

S
P
O
I
L
E
R
!!!

Ok... How do you feel I did with each of the following over the course of the entire fanfic?


Characterization -

Basic Enjoyment/Fun Factor -

Plot Believability -

General Writing Quality -


OVERALL -



1. Which character do you think I did the best job with?

2. Which character do you think I did the poorest job with?

3. Which chapter/scene was your favorite?

4. Which chapter/scene was your least favorite?

5. Which of the following sequel ideas do you like the best (keep in mind that some are mutually exclusive)?


Prequel: The Shinonome High of Haruhi Suzumiya - This would explore Haruhi Suzumiya's time at Shinonome High in the "original" time-line, eventually showing the journey to El Hazard half-way through. This one is compatible with all of the sequel options.


Sequel Option 1 - El Hazard's Finest - Focus' on SOS Man and Bugwoman; very comic booky; by far the most action-packed sequel based on my current ideas.

Sequel Option 2 - The Conquest of Katsuhiko Jinnai - Jinnai slips back into semi-villainy with a diabolical plot to militarily conquer El Hazard that he hopes will elude the notice of peace-loving Bugrom Queen Haruhi.

Sequel Option 3 - Haruhi Suzumiya's Return from El Hazard - This is the most... standard of the sequel options and will have many different subplots, trying to evenly balance out the El Hazard/Haruhi casts. Similar in style and tone to the fanfic I just finished here, but probably with significantly less action of the fighting sort.

Sequel Option 4 - El Hazard's Lyrical Nanoha - This sequel would be told from the perspective of Nanoha Inverse, and hence she would be the big star, with Kyon a close second, and the Shadow Tribe a close third. It will be a homage to Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha.


Tangent Story - The Adventures of Haruki Suzumiya-Jinnai - Loaded with original characters, scenes, and situations, though with some focus on Haruki's life growing up, and hence on his parents and the Bugrom Empire. Cameo appearances by most El Hazard/Haruhi Suzumiya characters. Would probably have something of a Dr. Who/Flash Gordon feel.


Well, that's it for now! I look forward to any and all feedback. :)
« Last Edit: July 14, 2009, 09:53:59 AM by triple_r » Logged
rowan_a._seven
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« Reply #74 on: July 14, 2009, 08:48:37 PM »

First, let me congratulate you on seeing this through to the end.  Completing a story of this length and quality (and in this amount of time too) is an accomplishment you can be proud of.  And, overall, I enjoyed the final chapter and felt it was consistent with what came before it.  I'll answer the questions you listed more specifically later this week or this weekend and focus on the update itself for now.

The confrontation on the rooftop was well written and probably one of the story's best fights, at least equal to or better than Yuki vs. Mikuru.  Jinnai's memory-fueled adrenaline rush and Haruhi's recollection-filled encouragements were well-timed and gave the battle a pleasing sense of emotional depth, and Galus was appropriately vicious and menacing here.  I do feel that it was a bit overly comic book-y at moments, but I've mentioned that before and it's likely more a matter of different tastes between us than anything wrong with the story itself.  I also really liked the scene with the cheering Bugrom at the end, and I found Jinnai's line at Makoto's "interruption" very amusing.

Nice work with Makoto, Kyon, and Nanoha here too.  There was nothing really unpredictable about the trio, but it was entertaining to see Kyon play the optimist to Makoto's pessimist in against type but believable portrayals.  And Kyon got the girl too which was nice. :)

The peace treaty signing was entertaining, and I particularly liked Jinnai's goading of Megraton.  The allusions to Transformers made the dialogue quite amusing.  The bit with Fatora was fun too.

As for the deus ex machine at the end...I'm kind of split on it.  I liked your physical description of Haruki and the combination of Jinnai's mannerisms with Haruhi's excitement came across well, and his inclusion does wrap the story up and explain what set the metaphorical wheel spinning...but on the other hand Haruki came pretty much out of the blue.  To make a comparison with OVA1 and Ifurita, although the audience didn't know who she was at the beginning they did know that she was responsible for putting the chain of events in motion.  When the OVA ended with Ifurita sent to Earth and reuniting with Makoto there was a beautiful sense of symmetry as everything came full circle and completed itself.  With your ending, because there was no foreshadowing at all that I can remember (other than Koizumi knowing more than he should, of course, but that's typical for Koizumi *g*) the same sense is missing and Haruki partially comes across as a contrived plot device.  Had you included some mention of the "bizarre stranger who came out of nowhere and flashed the SoSBrigade with lights" in Kyon's narrative at some point in the story his sudden introduction might not have felt so abrupt, but as is it feels overly convenient.  Your use of him to explain away other "inconsistencies" exacerbated the issue too.

Still, all in all a fun chapter and a good story.  Thanks for sharing, and I'll try to go into more detail on some other points later.    
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