Subject: [FFML] Re: [FanFic][SM] NETTG - Terra in Tokyo Ch.1
From: Abdiel
Date: 11/17/2006, 9:19 AM
To: FFML

Wow. A person who rants more at the beginning of a fic than me! Not to be
outdone...

Standard C&C Disclaimer: I'd just like to remind you before we begin that I am
not God. At least not the Judeo-Christian God, as conventionally interpreted.
Specifically, I am not omniscient. I may question something that happens in
your story which is, in fact, Actual Series Canon. I have precious little
experience with many 'Actual Series' events, and a lot of my perceptions are an
agglomeration of years of fanfics, numerous anime/cartoons/TV
shows/movies/books of both old and new, and assorted other tidbits.

Further, I am not omnipresent. I will say things shaped by my experiences;
other people more than likely have different experiences. If you've got five
thousand responses saying your story is the greatest thing since sliced bread
and I (pardon the pun) pan it, that's not indicative of any greater knowledge
on my part, merely a different perception/expectation/what have you.
Alternately, if I pan a story, that doesn't preclude the possibility that other
people reading it later will think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread,
so to all you readers reading this: Don't let me stop you.

Finally, I am not omnipotent. If I say something should be changed, you do not,
in fact, have to change it, if you don't want to, and you will not be visited
by plagues of frogs or anything of the sort. If you're satisfied with a story
the way it is, or with any factors I've said should be corrected, then leave
it.

Oh, and oftentimes I'll rant. God generally doesn't.

Hello. You may not remember me, but I've C&Ced your Heart of Sugar series way
back when. Nowadays, I'm... well, I'm C&Cing this series! 

As such, my next victim is... the creator of the Atomic Starlight Knight
himself. ;) 

On 4/1/06, Benjamin A. Oliver <boliver@email.arizona.edu> wrote:
Well now!

I seem to have been absent from this particular forum for far too long. 
Myself,
I've long been stricken by the regular business of classes, attempting to
work,
get projects done, work on a couple comics, and agonize about my complete
inability to finish an actual story.

Hear, hear. I myself have a seeming inability to finish a given story, but I'm
getting there, oh yes. No Yrrep Atsirk-ing for me. :P From somebody who knows
how hard it is to finish a  particular story, I wish you luck on that endeavor.
Hell, from what I've seen so far, you're doing well on the
churning-out-regular-chapters department. ^_^

Changing the subject, I must comment that, incidentally, you wrap your lines
slightly wider than most of the stories I've C&Ced. Most people's email clients
are setup for a width of 80 characters or less, for the usual historical
reasons. It means that your posts come out looking kind of messy on my end. If
you can, I'd recommend wrapping at 72-76 columns--this seems to be fairly
standard. Then again, it might simply be my email client acting up. Oh well...

Unfortunately, as one's skill increases, so
does one's eye for flaws in one's own work.  Hence, it's often the case that
authors and artists can't bear to look at their work anymore, despite the
fact
that there's not really that much wrong with it.  They stare at a page, then
run off and go do something else, living in perpetual paralyzing fear that
they
will not live up to their own expectations.

(nods sagely) Very true. But then again, there are times when you just have to
say "Screw it, I'm writing what I want to write and I'll enjoy doing it," to
get past the writer's block/insecurities thing. At least, that's how I usually
go about it. 

It makes editing the fic a bitch, though.

I submit that
perhaps it's because writers fear getting flamed by the more experienced and
knowledgeable.  

(whistles) It's not so much flamed as getting critiqued. Then again, I'm not
exactly all that experienced or knowledgeable to know the reasons behind the
critiques of those who _are_ knowledgeable and more experienced in the realm of
fanfics, but I'm pretty sure those people don't see most of their
heavily-critical replies as flames either. 

Instead of demanding perfection in this kind of forum, I
suggest that maybe... just maybe, we should not fear writing something that's
absolutely terrible.  No, we should writhe in it, revel in the knowledge that
we're doing it because we love it.  

Again, I concur. People certainly don't write fanfiction because they get paid
to do so.

And if we get flamed or our dreams get
shattered, we should jump back in, screaming for more.

That's a nice sentiment, but let's get real here... It's not so much the
acerbic critiques but the long moments of silence and the lack of feedback that
make people not want to post in the FFML. But I digress, and it's a rant that
I'm sure has been thoroughly discussed in the midsummer 'Renaissance Thread' of
the FFML.  
 
Therefore, I present the results of simply writing without a care in the
world,
with the only goal being to get the whole thing done.  It's a dark little
bizarre alternate universe I like to call...

Nuke 'Em 'Till They Glow!!
Terra in Tokyo

(sweatdrop) I'm merely curious, so I have to ask: Whatever happened to NETTG
without the TIT (snicker)? Last I recall, the parent series had chapters within
a chapter....

But I know how muses are, so if you want to work on this offshoot fic first,
then so be it. I have faith in you and your theories about enjoying
fic-writing, dear sir. So let the ficcing begin.

---Chapter 1:  Just Plain Wrong

       "Hiya, Mister Ander!  I see you finally got Mister Robinson to give
you your
pitchfork back.  Too bad it's jabbed into your chest, huh?  Okies, gotta
go--b'bye!"

Heh. Gee, the dialogue just below the chapter title sure highlights that point.
'Okies, gotta go--b'bye!' is just... plain wrong. :P

       If ignorance was bliss, Terra was the happiest girl in the whole wide
world.

Suggest: bliss, then Terra

       When the time came to leave the land of eternal strife and shamrocks,
Terra had
just gotten out of grade school and also arrived at that special point in her
life when boys started noticing her--noticing her, that is, for reasons other
than her ever-so-pullable ponytails.

Chiyo (Azumanga Daio): (pouts in sympathy)

Therefore, especially at the tender age of
fourteen, Terra was given strict instructions that she was not to attempt to
date anyone without express written permission.

Indeed, many a fourteen year old needs an education about life's lessons or
even education in general. Case in point: the majority of fics found in
Fanfiction.net. Bad example, I know, but it highlights the point well enough.
 
       "Dear Mom and Dad," Terra wrote aloud, "I've gone off to school.  If I
meet any
nice boys and bring them home, I'll call first and then you can sign on the
line
that I'm putting on the bottom of this paper.  Love, Terra.  Hugs and kisses!
________"

       How she managed to pronounce the blank space was a mystery. 
Nevertheless, she
did it with an uncanny clarity.

Heh. Let the tongue-in-cheek chuckles begin.

       "Haaai!"  Skipping along the way, the adolescent swung her book bag
back and
forth while singing, "Junior high!  Junior high!  I don't know why, but
it's...
junior high!"  She was so excited she hardly noticed when she knocked down

Suggest: She was so excited, she hardly

Or: She was so excited that she hardly

Looking the girl over, it was obvious she wasn't from around here, but
judging
from her accent and diction, she couldn't exactly have been a foreigner
either.
 Perhaps one of her parents was European or something.  "You're not from
around

Slight formatting error on 'Perhaps one' (there's an extra space before
'Perhaps')

Being in the jewelry industry, my mom
and I know a lot of rich businessmen that would gladly stab anyone repeatedly
in the head with pointy umbrellas if you speak to them using the wrong
suffix."

Uh huh. It's either the rich businessmen or Manic Fanboys and the Fangirls who
ignore them.

       "Call me Osaka-san," Naru added a bit more forcefully and clearly in
English.

Ayumu Kasuga: (sticks out her lower lip)

       Naru threw up her hands and gave up.  "Fine, call me Naru.  I don't
care."  She
vaguely recalled that, once upon a time, their conversation had a point. 
"What
were we talking about again?"

Y'know, of all the people in the Sailor Moon Universe, Naru should be the one
most used to this sort of conversation, being Usagi's best friend and all.
Either her or Rei, anyway.

       "Oh, that.  Actually, I haven't thought about it much.  No, I take
that back.
I have thought about it.  Right now, I'm mostly just helping out my mom at
the
Osa-P store when she needs me.  I guess I'll probably study something having
to
do with business.  

Suggest: study something that has something to do with business. (I'm pretty
sure your version isn't wrong, but my suggested version reads less awkwardly,
IMHO; you're free to disagree)

Finance, maybe once I get through High School.  How about
you?"

Suggest: Maybe Finance, once I get

Or: Finance, maybe; once I

       Terra puffed up proudly.  "I wanna be an idol superstar model and have
a cute
boyfriend!  

Awww. I miss the days of 'NETTG! Classic', where Terra had higher (though vague
and indistinct) hopes and dreams concerning Universe-conquering and some such.

We'll drive around in a limo and I'll sing for people, and make
everything all better with the world!  Not that there's anything wrong with
the
world, but still, it'll be great.  

Minmei: (sticks out her lower lip)

       Naru nearly choked trying to keep from laughing.  Nearby, a tall man
in
tarnished green camouflage armor fell out of the trees, face first into the
bushes.  Just having passed the tree and hedges, the girls took no notice of
him.

Heh. Already, a cameo! And considering Terra's, erm, slight change in attitude,
I guess it is apt to name this series after the infamous 'Tenchi in Tokyo'
series.

       Naru's mouth hung open for a second before the neurons in her brain
finally
managed to go through the logs and verify that she had not used
gender-neutral
pronouns when speaking about her clumsy blonde ponytailed friend.  "What?!

Suggest: pony-tailed

       "Me and her.  We must be one, or perish."

       "That's kind of fatalistic, y'know."

       "That's the way things have to be."

(waxing nostalgic) Ah, this exchange sure reminds me of Insertion without the
uber-powerful insert that warps reality itself to suit his needs. Which makes a
_lot_ of sense, seeing that Carrot himself has confirmed NETTG a major
inspiration in writing Insertion. That, in turn, I find ironic seeing that your
own Heart of Sugar was also 'inspired' by Carrot's Insertion. Circle of life
and all that.
 
       "So, we'll follow her, find out what the problem is, and fix it."

       "And if we can't fix it?"

       "Then once we find that problem, we'll BLOW IT TO BITS!!!"

       "YEAH, BABY!"

...This, in particular, reminds me a lot of Insertion, even though you probably
came up with the 'psycho personality that likes explosions' thing first. 

       The man snapped his fingers and vanished in a flash.

       A careful observer would have been able to see mens' size twelve
shoeprints

Unless this is being narrated by Shampoo of Ranma 1/2 fame or I'm merely
misreading what 'mens' means, mens' --> men's (the plural form of man needs not
an 's', so no need to use the apostrophe-no-'s' rule here)

       "Everyone, say hello to Incognita Terra."

       "Good morning!" everyone said.

       "Good morning," Terra replied to the class.

Haruna-sensei: (admonishes) I said say HELLO to Terra, class!


       "Good morning, Incognita-san," Haruna-sensei said warmly to her.

       "Good morning!" Terra brightly said back, wearing what was quickly
becoming her
trademarked closed-eye smile.

       Everyone gasped in shock.

       Terra skipped over to her desk and sat down, oblivious to the horrific
cultural
faux pas she had just committed.

I'd probably commit the same faux pas, seeing how that just went over my head.
 
       "Oh," Haruna hesitated, "it seems that Terra is a foreigner, from
Ireland.
Therefore, she does not understand how to speak properly to her equals nor
superiors.

Ooooh. Well, if anything, the fact that this is an English language anime fic
that's pretending to make use of Japanese when it is, in fact, using English
made the fact that there's lack of honorific usage and observance of Japanese
etiquette quite funny.

Please show restraint and do not beat her to within an inch of her
life when she forgets to address any of you with proper honorifics."

Heh. I doubt it, though, seeing that the Gaijin Perimeter and the Gaijin Smash
will put these polite and xenophobic Japanese students out of the loop that is
Terra.

       The student body nodded and hummed their acceptance of this analysis. 
The last
one they had heard of to have been a party to committing such an atrocity of
missing or incorrect suffixes still hadn't gotten out of the intensive care
unit.  

Pffft. Yeah right. Perhaps in this fic canon. Then again, groupthink can be a
very scary thing to witness, and even scarier to be a part of...

       "Tsukino-san, if you're going to have the gall to cheat right in front
of my
face, then PLEASE at least try to cheat off someone who might actually have
the
right answer!"

Hehe.
 
       "No, she isn't!" the teacher shouted back.  "For crying out loud,
she's BRITISH
and she can't even speak proper ENGLISH.  Grr, I can't take this anymore!"
Screaming, she ran over and jumped out the window.

Hmmm. This scene has shades of physical comedy reminiscent of the likes of
'High School High'. Take that as you will.

       Intelligence had never been her strong point.  There came a point
where, after
a certain level of thought, she just couldn't go deeper into a subject.  It
was
like large chunks of her brain had simply been deactivated.

I'd say she's bordering Homer Simpson levels of intelligence. But not quite on
Patrick Star's level, methinks.
 
       "From this moment on, I wanna be smarter!"

And so the peripeteia commences...
 
       Then she forgot what she was thinking about and found herself exiting
the
school building while talking with Naru and Usagi.  

(facefault) I should have known.
 
       "Correct me if I'm wrong," Naru said, "but you seem to have some kind
of
learning disability."

       "I do not!" Usagi cried.

       "I wasn't talking about you."

Heh.

       But then Terra reconsidered.  If she wasn't very smart, then maybe the
snakes
in Usagi's hair were concealing themselves, thinking that the redhead
wouldn't
notice them.  That would mean that they were slowly closing in on the poor
girl, just looking for the proper moment to strike.

       "I'll save you, Usagi!"

       Terra reached out to grab the blonde's ponytails, but they fell off! 
Then they
hissed and squirmed around on the ground, rattling their tails, and lunged at
her face, sharp barrettes dripping with venom.

I do believe Osaka of Azumanga Daio fame has had similar acid dreams like
these.
 
       When Terra finally calmed down, she discovered she was at her new
Japanese
home, in her bed.  Looking at her clock, it was about four in the afternoon,
an
hour after she'd left school.  Her shoes were off and she was still dressed
in
her seifuki.

(tilts head) Shouldn't that be 'seifuku'?

       "All the ponytails were trying to eat me," Terra whispered
secretively, as if

Classic lines like this truly define your fic, 'Nuke 'Em Til They Glow!' ^^;

       "Well, would you look at the time," Naru said, quickly getting up and
sliding
out of Terra's hug.  "I need to head home to help out my mom at the store."

       "And I need to do my homework!" Usagi said.

Heh. Ah, Usagi...
 
       "Try harder!" Naru shot back quietly.  "They'll never fall for that
one."

       "Shh!" Usagi hushed.

Y'know, IMO, you don't need these other lines; I believe that the readers in
the know can easily figure out the joke without the apparent follow-up. But
that's just me.

       "Fate," Kasumi whispered.  She looked out the window and saw the Moon
in the
daylight sky and paused as if trying to make some sense out of the
conversation--to give the whole thing some sort of meaning.  Then she
shrugged
and looked back at her daughter.  

Nice one, that.

       "That too, but Japanese people aren't as... touchy-feely as your
friends in
Ireland were.  They like having space, so next time you probably don't want
to
randomly come up and hug people you've just met."

Yes, indeed. It's the Gaijin Perimeter, it is. Then again 'randomly coming up
and hugging strangers' as a faux pas isn't necessarily a Japanese thing.

       She turned to her notes on honorifics and speaking properly to others.
"Remember to use last names and add -san to people I just meet.  When I find
a
superior, I need to use humble expressions and dance around what I want to
talk
about, but I can never come out and just say it.  In fact, it's best if I
don't
use names at all.  For a classmate I know fairly well but I want to be
respectful to, add -kun to his or her name.  Children and very good friends I
feel comfortable being informal with get the -chan suffix.  Using -sama is
when
I want to... er, and -sempai works for... umm... awww, this is too hard!"  In
frustration, Terra crumpled up her notepad and threw it towards a nearby
garbage can.

Wow. Some handy tips for fanfic authors who are just getting used to the
honorific things.

Terra: Terra says! Tee-hee! 

...Though really, IMO it's better that they never know, so they'll be forced to
never use it.

       "It was one of the first things I looked up when I finally found you."

       "What?"

       "I've spent twenty thousand years searching for you!"

       "Twenty thousand years?"

Ah. Now I get the 'Terra in Tokyo/Tenchi in Tokyo' reference. If anything, this
whole fic series is a divergence to the parent canon the same way Tenchi in
Tokyo retconned events in such a way that it's now a separate continuity. I
see.
 
       The man struck a pose.  "I am the terror that blasts in the night!  I
am the
nova that wipes out my enemies' home worlds.  I am... THE STAR LIGHT KNIGHT!"

Aw. And here I was, expecting a more 'Team Rockety' approach instead of the
'Dee-Double-Yoo' way of speeches.

Green and white fireworks exploded in the sky behind him.  "I'm your Knight
in
Shining Armor, baby!"

Exactly how does camouflage armor shine? Doesn't that go against the very
nature of camouflage? And why is he not Atomic anymore?

       The man raised a glowing electric guitar high above Terra's head. 
"Breaking
the seal.  Just stand very still."

       "Why?"

       "Because, take it from me, this hurts quite a lot."

       The sweet little schoolgirl heard a harsh discord somewhere between
her eyes,
and then everything went black.

(sweatdrops)

No other comment can fully give justice to what just happened than...
(sweatdrops) And so the _true_ peripeteia commences...
 
Sailor Nuke(looks away):  Just... quit it.  (turns back to the audience)  So
remember, if you're going to Japan to be rude, BETTER PACK A LOT OF AMMO!!!
Worked back in the 'forties.  Sailor Nuke sez.  BWAHAHAHAHHAHAAA!

I don't think you need the asterisk before 'forties'.

Sailor Nuke: (nukes me)

Author(stares blearily at what he just wrote):  Oh dear.  What in the world
is
this?!

Arby: It's REVISIONIST 'istory.  Much betta' than regular history 'cause it's
been preread n' revoised!

DC and Marvel: (approves)

Hmm... If ya wanna comment, great!  You might have some changes I can
incorporate.  If not, that's fine too!  You're getting the whole story
anyway,
whether you like it or not, so there! ^___^

That's a nice attitude to have when it comes to fic writing. Who knows? It
might actually nudge your muse enough to make NETTG! Classic get a proper, slam
bang ending/continuing arc in the near future. Or perhaps it can even inspire
you to work on some of your other fics. Heck, I certainly don't mind seeing
more Heart of Sugar, personally.

Oh, and in regards to grammar comments: Well, at the very least, you don't
suffer from dyslexia. You are among the elite few I've C&Ced that make precious
little mistakes in their fics. I believe the simplicity and, ergo, readability
of your prose has contributed a lot to your fic being virtually error-free.
Either that or the fact that this fic was practically done when you started
submitting it in the FFML.

I offer hearty handshakes and congratulations on that regard. Hell, I didn't
even need to get out the ol' 'list of broken grammar rules' thing at the end of
this C&C, which is, er, just peachy. ^.^ For a fic plot so full of silliness
that's more at home in IMO spamfics than in actual stories, I salute its
high-quality and lack of errors and mistakes. Seriously, I appreciate the lack
of grammar rule breakage in prose and in dialogue, seeing that I can
concentrate more on the plot. 

As such, as for the fic's plot: It's a mixed bag, really. From the get go,
NETTG isn't really a fic for everybody, but it does have its audience,
undoubtedly. It's like Kung Pow... either you see it as comedy gold or you see
it as 'a bad Saturday Night Live comedy sketch that was given a million dollar
budget.' Either of the two opinions is correct and refers to the very same
movie, but it depends on the viewer himself which opinion he shares. As for
_my_ take on the fic, well, I think it's really silly; so silly that (like in
my Kung Pow analogy) it's like a spamfic idea that's been given the whole nine
yards in regards to fleshing it out and some such. Is that a good thing or a
bad thing? For me, it's quite okay. Perhaps the spamfic comparison may be a bit
much; underneath all the gags and the silliness lies coherency, and it shows in
the development of events and the characters themselves. But at its very core,
the fic is a gags-galore type of story that prides itself in parodying quite a
few "conventional prose and fic writing" cliches (the scene where Kasumi
considers to give Usagi's statement 'some sort of meaning' then promptly
forgets it was kind of witty, in a way) and also provides good ol' silliness
that doesn't necessarily need some sort of underlying, philosophical meaning to
be funny. Terra has indeed developed from the flat, crazy, and fast-becoming
cliche self-insert parody to the, well, still-crazy, certainly dumber, but
generally more fleshed-out girl we see here today. She even has a ready back
story to boot in the form of NETTG Classic... sort of. As I'm wont to say in
other C&Cs of continuing fic series, the Zeigarnik effect is indeed in full
swing: can't wait to provide more feedback to the rest of this series'
chapters. ^_^

Bottom line: Good intro. In general, this is not a bad intro. Then again, I
still feel it's not _that_ great of an intro. I can't say this is shaping up to
be a classic fic, ROTFLMAO fic, but it's a halfway decent LOL and chuckles fic,
to be sure. I must guiltily confess that I liked Heart of Sugar better than
this fic, but this fic is not without its good points, and besides that this is
just the first chapter anyway. By the cleanness of the grammar, the technical
soundness of the spelling, the smoothness of the simple, non-purple prose, and
the comedic timing of the gags, it's quite okay. Actually, there aren't much of
the details to polish or refine, and what I've really been doing is just give a
general appraisal of the whole thing. So, yeah... Good intro. Your tenure as a
fic author has indeed polished your writing skills so much to make this
spamficcy fic work a decent comedy piece. Keep on writing those funny fics.


Nakakamangha ang inyong abilidad sa panunulat,
Abdiel

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