Subject: [FFML] Re: [FanFic][SM] NETTG - Terra in Tokyo Ch.3
From: Abdiel
Date: 11/24/2006, 11:09 AM
To: "Benjamin A. Oliver" <benjamin.a.oliver@gmail.com>

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.

And my current victim is... ;)

On 4/10/06, Benjamin A. Oliver <boliver@email.arizona.edu> wrote:
G'day again!

Magandang umaga din sa iyo. And by 'umaga', I don't mean the wrestler.

Rantage first. 

Of course. ^_^ It's a staple of this story, it is.

Got some commentary on the previous chapters that Arby's
characterization may have been a bit excessive, and his dialogue's painful to
read and such.  

The thought has crossed my mind while C&Cing that particular chapter, but then
again... it's the ArbyFish. Him making sense is like the world making sense,
and we can't have that, can we?

So... I may modify a few of the choppy bits in future chapters
such that it's the translation from his unique brand of Cockney into
dictionary-perfect English.  

Heh. You can also make a subtitle below his dialogue reminiscent of the l33t
guy (no, not Largo) in Megatokyo or the subtitles in Austin Powers, if you so
choose. ^_^

One reader was actually hoping for a version of
NETTG without any ArbyFish in it.  ^_^

I myself am hoping for an Atomic Starlight Knight-less NETTG, but since he's
not atomic anymore, I got a quarter of my wish. :P Then again, the goofy little
author avatar grew on me as he bungled around in this version of NETTG, so I
may give him another chance. ^_^ Imperfection and well-meaning blunders make
the heart grow fonder for an overpowered fictional character and some such.

But... NETTG without ArbyFish?  That'd be like having a flambe without
lighting
it on fire!  Wouldn't be proper.  Gotta take your silliness with the story.
Else there'd be no ups and downs and such.  But... if I wrote NETTG in pure
seriousness, with lots of dark, it'd be a radically different creature.  Much
more depressing, and perhaps WAFFy in parts.

(shrugs) You had to do what you had to do. Like Ms. Bibat
said/quoted/paraphrased, drama is easy, comedy is _hard_.

Later on, the story does turn sort of dark-ish.  

O_o I couldn't imagine. Seriously, I just couldn't.

Larry F, who works with me on
the comic and hosts my fanfics, warned me to warn the readers that this story
isn't quite like your typical NETTG.  It's like reaching for a drink and
expecting kool-aid, 

(shrugs) kool-aid --> Kool-aid (tm)

Just because I'm pretty sure the people at Kraft Foods don't want this word
'genericized' and some such.

he mentioned, only to discover that it's been spiked with
Everclear.  The story at the end is quite different than the story when it
starts.  The one codenamed Chesu, who works on the sprite comic, says it's
like
it was written by 14 different people.

Suggest: 14 --> fourteen

Grammar Rule #fifty-six: Usually, it's better to spell numbers out, but
sometimes that isn't the case.

It's NETTG, the Improfanfic! And yet again, the Temporarily Misplaced Poster,
one of the Improfanfic's authors, goes ballistic when a newbie author churns
out a chapter that doesn't quite meet his expectations and high-standards.
Hell, he even gets angrier after the newbie author rejected the 'replacement'
chapter he made in order to keep the 'purity' of the improfic series. :P 

I fear I may have employed different
personalities in a similar way to how some of my own characters have
difficulty
sorting out their thoughts.

If Self-Insertion/Mary Sue-ism/Author Avatar-ism/heck, fanficcing in general
shows a reflection of the author, then... I worry about you, Mr. Oliver. 
 
Now a bit about the story where it's at.  Terra Incognita started as a ditzy
girl without working access to much of her brain.  

It was fun, in a Homer-Simpson-in-the-later-seasons-of-the-Simpsons sort of
way.

That changed radically when
the Star Light Knight came up and whacked her in the forehead with a
gas-powered electric guitar, unsealing the portions of her mind that had been
locked away.  Now, she's become a magical girl of the classic sort.  She even
has a cute animal sidekick to boot!

Sasami Kawai: (pouts kawaiily)

Unfortunately, this magical girl doesn't get a very helpful assistant.  She
would have absolutely LOVED to have someone like Luna or Artemis to work and
reason with.  

Instead she got a mutated Keroberos with a Cockney accent and a malicious
streak? 

She would have done well with someone such as Makona, 

Makona --> Mokona

Gee, I dunno... judging from the manga ending of Rayearth, putting these two
together is like having two egos of two self-inserted Mary Sues colliding. 

Gorilla Monsoon: It's the irresistible force meeting the immovable object!

Mokona Apapa vs. Terra Incognita... Author Avatar Battle, go! :P

and would
have done great things with a creature like Ryo-Ohki....  Had she had been
given the opportunity to work with Yuuno from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
(who
can freeze time, trap enemies, travel through dimensions, use esoteric magic,
and who's really a cute boy, to boot!)

But he's still a weasel... Oh well. Nothing's perfect. If I wanted to watch
perfect, faultless, multi-talented boys, then I might as well watch Gensomaden
Saiyuki. The prettier boy wins.

       As Terra rushed toward the burning jewelry shop, a part of her mind
chided her
for not having called the police or fire department.  

Pffft. Superheroes don't do that. The common sense thing, I mean. Nice and
complicated is where it's at in the superhero world.

Another part of her
psyche retorted by saying that if the building was on fire, the automatic
systems would have already tripped alarms, not to mention any passers-by that

passersby (dictionary-verifiable word, no need for the hyphen)

Grammar Rule #73: Compound-descriptors should be hyphenated, and non compound
descriptors should be separated.

The Legions of Darkness, now those would be awesome to fight
against, or even the Xenon Predators.  

'Xenon Predators' sounds Engrish enough to work as an actual villain in anime!

Plus, where there were great
battles, people got hurt, most especially the key players in them.  And when
it
was all over, sometimes all that was left was an empty battlefield and razed
landscapes.  There really was no good point to fighting, in the end.

       On second thought, maybe she really didn't want to be a heroine.

Heh. Damn that intellect of hers and her constant backpedaling and second
thoughts.

       "No!"  Terra shook her head and fought to regain her determination. 
"Naru's in
trouble, and I have to save her."

Gee, Terra sure developed a lot since her days as the evil monster child of
NETTG.

Besides, even if all that was left in the end
was a blackened landscape, not fighting at all would be much worse.  After
all,
that's why the fighters were willing to leave behind razed villages in the
first place:  in giving up, what the enemy could do to you paled in
comparison
dying in battle.

You're missing a 'to' in between 'in comparison' and 'dying in battle.'

Grammar Rule #38: Proofread carefully to see if you any words out. 
...As much as humanly possible, anyway.
 
       Terra took a deep breath.  She had been waiting for this.  It was time
to pick
a new secret superheroine name she could be proud of, one much better than
the
one she'd been given.  "I am... the Eternal Warrior, the Defender of the
Earth
and Paladin of Justice.  In the name of my ancestors and the honor of the
righteous, I am the Holy Warrior --"

       "Nope!  Don't listen to 'er," Arby interrupted, fluttering in front of
her.
"She's really just th' Li'l Anklebiter, Sailor Chibi-moon."

Hehehe. 
 
       "What NOW?!" cried the monster, turning to face the new silhouette in
the
doorway.

       "I am... Sailor Moon, Champion of Justice!  I right wrongs and punish
evil, and
in the name of the Moon, you're punished!"

       Naru sighed.  "Oh dear, here we go again."

Heh. And here I thought Terra took over the whole Superheroine thing.

feel any different than she did before "transforming."  If she got any powers
from it, she certainly couldn't feel them.  

W-ell, seeing that she had quite some power from the get go, however latent it
may be... Then again, maybe it's because she's Sailor Chibispore, and Sailor
Chibispores were never meant to be powerful. Also, I won't put 'screwing with
her head' past ArbyFish.

What she got amounted to basically
just a costume--and not much of a costume, at that.  It was more like what
young gold-digging Japanese socialites might 

Suggest: young, gold-digging Japanese socialites

wear to impress rich, lecherous
old men that might happen to pass their way.  Actually, if that were the
case,
then....

Actually, it's much darker than that. It looked like a lolicon's dream costume.
 
       One possessed woman chucked her heavy purse at him and hit him
squarely on the
chest.

       "OOOF!"

<<snip>>

       "GAARGH!" the man yelled as he was beaten in sensitive areas and
mercilessly
clawed at.  He took out his cane and frantically retaliated.  His jacket got
ripped off and his shirt torn in the violent scuffle.

Heh. 'Ey, look over there! Fanservice for the many 'fans' of Tux-boy. ^_^
Certainly, Megane 6.7'll love all _that_. :P
 
       The masked man fell off the lampost, 

lampost --> lamppost (yeah, really, it's spelled that way... with an extra 'p')

 
       Now, Terra liked a good-looking guy in a tuxedo.  If somewhere along
the line,
he mystically ended up wearing less than that, so much the better.  She
continued cheering him on. 

Er, what is this? 'Rip the clothes off the stripper' night at Chippendales?

       "Thank you so much for rescuing me!" the girl beamed at him.  He
smelled nice,
too, she noted to herself.  He was good-looking, heroic, and liked formal
wear.
 All in all, this fit well into her definition of a "cute boy."  She wondered
if

Extra space before 'All in all', please get rid of that (unless, I suspect,
it's my wacky yahoo mail client doing the weird formatting)

       "--Sailor Chibimoon.  This is obviously your first time at this.  But
what I
said was true.  If you believe in yourself--and perhaps train a bit--you can
beat any enemy.  These people here will be all right when they wake up."  The
man looked a little chagrined.  "But next time, please do some of the
fighting
yourself."

Ha. Put your money where your mouth is, Tux-boy.

       Her name, he somehow knew, would be Sailor Moon.  The perky redhead
he'd
encountered hadn't been at all what he expected.  He thought he'd find some
sort of typical damsel in distress, not an incompetent, cowardly Sailor
Senshi.

Ah, about that...

Sailor Moon: I beat the youma in the first episode by crying really loud before
waving my shiny discus thingy! ^_^

       "Wow, Sailor Moon," Naru gushed, stars in her eyes.  "Not only did you
manage
to destroy the youma and rescue me, but you also dashed into the fire, broke
into the safe, and rescued my mother who was being held there!"

       Sailor Moon brushed back one of her ankle-length blonde ponytails and
blushed.
"Aww, it was nothing."

It's always nice to see a Sue that can actually make the canon protagonist look
_good_ in comparison. ^_^;

       Naru turned towards the Knight in green Shining Armor, adding, "And
when that
monster called for its master, who opened a gate and summoned dozens of evil
creatures into our dimension... Star Light Knight, it was really incredible
when you pulled out that huge gun and blasted them all to kingdom come.  

And it's amazing how much territory we're covering by making use of 'tell, not
show' in a 'show and tell' way. Narrate some more, Naru. The narrative needs
the rest. :P

       The Star Light Knight blew the smoke off the barrel of his large
gatling
weapon, hefting it on his shoulder.

Heh. That's one of the few things that I begrudgingly admit to be cool about
the Star Light Knight formerly known as Atomic.

       "Oh, right!" Sailor Moon whispered back.  She saluted Naru.  "Anyway,
we have
to be going now, but... wherever there's evil youma to fight, we'll be there.
Wherever there's people 

there's --> there're

       Mrs. Osaka was just recovering from the shock of it all.  "Hmm.  Your
uncle
Al's still in New Mexico working on some top secret project again, so let's
find a hotel instead."

I'm guessing that's either a McGuffin or a foreshadowing device.
 
       Terra ran her hand through her hair in exasperation.  Her fingers
collided with
one of the jeweled barettes.

barettes --> barrettes

Grammar Rule #0: Watch out for speling erors and typoes.

"You know, you make it so hard to think--"

They'd be quite the pair if Terra still just had, er, half her mind.

       Usagi gasped.  "Umm, no, no, you must be mistaking me for... aww,
nuts."  

Suggest: for... Aww, nuts." ('Aww, nuts', despite being a fragment, is a
standalone clause and should be capitalized accordingly when using an
ellipsis).

       "It was more a lucky guess than anything else," Terra said in order to
not
complicate matters further.  She could explain later, if it came down to it.
"I'm Terra, Sailor Chibimoon."

I see that the unsaid 'revealing of secret identity only to people who need to
know' rule is in effect.

       "Ireland?" Terra replied, but then wished she hadn't.  Saying it like
that was
more of a smart-alec 

smart-alec --> smart aleck

       "Hi, Luna!" Terra greeted enthusiastically.  "I'm Terra."

       "Ermh," Luna said akwardly, "hello."

akwardly --> awkwardly

       "Sailor Scouts?  Is that what we're called?"  Eeww, thought Terra. 
That was
such a dorky organizational name.  The Counsel of Justice she could take, or
even the Defenders of Peace and Love, but Sailor Scouts?

(raises an eyebrow) "The Defenders of Peace and Love" is better than "Sailor
Scouts"? Is she mad?

       "Naaah...."

       "Sailor Commandos?" Chibimoon tried to bargain again.

       "Sailor Soldiers?" Usagi conceded.

       Terra smiled.  "Deal."

(sweatdrop) Wow. And here I was expecting a punch line. But yeah, agreed.
Sailor Soldiers it is.
 
       The cat raised a paw.  "Err, before you two go on and change
everything we
stand for, I'd really like to know how this happened."

Heh.

crawling with oozing, squelching
mushrooms.  "AAAH!"  Most notably being consumed were her books and her
homework.

Heh. Yeah, doing the balancing act of making a potentially overpowered (highly
intelligent, incredibly strong, probably has more powers than Superman)
character into a sympathetic one by means of putting him/her in Murphy's
Law-type of situations is indeed a staple of well-rounded characterization.
Just ask Takahashi's bitch, Ranma. It adds a bit of good ol' conflict in the
story to boot. Fanfic writers of uber-powerful characters should take note of
this, though they should take care in not going overboard and making their
characters seem like a pity-beggar martyr Cinderella/Harry Potter (when with
the Dursleys) types; that's just annoying.

       "Argh!  You're very troublesome, you know that?"

       "In-deed!"  His work apparently done for now, he fluttered out the
window,
leaving Terra a sack full of confusion in his wake.

       "Oh, it's a Sack o' Confusion," Arby called back.  "Koinda loike a Bag
a'
'Olding."

^^; So much for metaphors, eh?
 
       The next day, at school, Terra still had drag her new, potentially
dangerous

Erm, somehow I don't think 'Terra still had drag her new' is a
grammatically-correct statement; if it is, please explain just how in the world
it became grammatically correct. Perhaps I'm merely misreading it. Otherwise,
methinks it's a car-wreck sentence that needs to be scrapped immediately.

Suggest: still had drag her new --> still had to drag her new (change the verb
'drag' into the infinitive 'to drag')

       "But it's true!" Usagi interjected.  "Aliens DID abduct my homework! 
It's
probably out in the middle of a cornfield by now, naked, beaten, and lonely!
Don't you have any sympathy?!"

Heh. I like your portrayal of Usagi. She's almost M. Hudson-like in execution.
:P
 
M. Hudson: All those who oppose, bash, and mischaracterize Usagi will be
crushed... so please don't. Pretty please?

       Terra Incognita looked at her companion.  Just staring into those
sweet,
innocent eyes of her, she could feel the warm welcome, and smiled back. 
"Yeah,
me too."

       Suddenly, despite the rotten things that had happened, even outside in
a form
of undeserved detention, the world didn't seem so bad after all.

Awwww. Who would have thought that a gag-a-minute NETTG chapter could contain
such a sappy--WAFFY moment? It's nice to see you widening your horizons outside
of a gag-based, parody-filled comedy. 

Sailor Kawaii:  He's... cute in an aggressive masculine sort of way.

Suggest: aggressive, masculine
 
Sailor Nuke:  He goes ahead and blows stuff up!  THAT's how you're supposed
to

Suggest: THAT'S how/THAT is how

Sailor Nuke: (nukes me)

deal with problems!  Sailor Nuke sez.  BWAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAA!!

Sailor Kawaii:  But if you can't do that, then focus on looking pretty and
make
someone else do the work.  Sailor Kawaii says!  Tee-hee!


Hmmm. We got a bit longer a story this time around. Does it keep up with the
general high-quality of this fic series? Let's find out. In any case, here's a
list of grammar rules you've broken in this chapter:

Grammar Rule #0: Watch out for speling erors and typoes. (Something that need
not be stated, but since everyone's ignoring this very basic rule, what the
hell. But I must note that, yet again, you only had the fewest possible
spelling mistakes in your fic. So whatever you're doing, keep it up in future
chapters. Indeed, this 'using simple, easily readable grammar so that you won't
have too many grammar mistakes' technique has its merits.)

Grammar Rule #38: Proofread carefully to see if you any words out. 
Grammar Rule #fifty-six: Usually, it's better to spell numbers out, but
sometimes that isn't the case. Yeah, I'm nitpicking here.

Grammar Rule #73: Compound-descriptors should be hyphenated, and non compound
descriptors should be separated.

Four rules broken. Wow. And one of them isn't in the story proper, so it
doesn't really count. So it seems that three grammar rules broken appear to be
your present batting average. I hope it doesn't progressively become worse, but
then again that's what C&C is here for: to keep the quality of the fics checked
if you would so choose to heed my suggestions. Heck, perhaps it was I who made
hasty generalizations on the quality of this fic and it may actually be broken
grammar rules-free all along! We'll see.

As for the story itself: I like the coherency of NETTG: TIT in contrast to the
sillier NETTG: Classic (though the later, novella chapters were already in that
'coherent' direction; but still, Jadeite doing the Kame Hame Ha just isn't the
type of thing you'd see in a normal, coherent fic IMO). The thing I nag about
the most in any given story C&C is natural progression, believability, and
suspension of disbelief. Well, seeing that you've obviously matured somewhat as
a writer, I like seeing the newer balance this comedy fic has over other
elements such as drama, plot devices, McGuffins, Chekov's Guns, Peripeteia, and
what have you.

The silliness and the relentless use of subtle and overt humor is still
undeniably there, but this time around you're working on a much more stable
foundation. Instead of what seems to be a long-running spamfic, you're now
actually telling a story where humor isn't the end but instead the means to an
end. More than any other fic I've so far read from you, you're now actually
telling a story instead of running a comedy/parody/satirical standup show
disguised as a fic. I daresay that's a good thing, no offense to your other
fics.

Your other fics: (nukes me)

(groans, gets hospitalized, after a few months, gets back to typing this
review) Another point I'd like to bring up is how you've so far handled the
characterization and the goings-on around the non-Atomic Starlight Knight and
Terra Incognita. As I've mentioned earlier, I like how they're actually
experiencing conflict and problems where they can't just snap their fingers and
summon their reality-bending powers to get out of. The fact that ArbyFish _is_
the problem (so far) makes Terra a lot more sympathetic than a lot of those
Mary Sues that she intentionally/unintentionally parodies. As for S.L.K., it's
nice to see him bungle for a little while before showing his flashes of
brilliance that made him so cool to many a reader way back in NETTG Classic
(the gatling gun was a nice touch). Terra and S.L.K.'s yin and yang are quite
balanced, and as such they seem more believable to read despite the underlying
fact that they both, well, came from a world-devouring Overlord that Sailor
Moon and friends should be fighting against. 

Thing is, I daresay _Arbyfish_ is the _true_ Marty Sue of the fic when it comes
to the stuff he gets away with and the way he screws over Terra time and time
again. He truly puts the 'A' in 'ANC'... Good thing he's funny to boot, or else
he'd be a real detriment to a well-written fic. 
(EDIT: Though Bruce the ArbyFish comes a close second in terms of
overpowered-ness)

^^ And that's the best criticism I could come up with for NETTG, Tokyo Drift,
erhm, Terra in Tokyo. Shame on me, I could do better... :P

With that said, this is indeed one of the better fics in the genre of, er,
uber-powerful inserted characters/avatars/'what-have-you?' that I've seen in
_years_, truth be told. For me, it's certainly more readable than Carrot's
Insertion or Blade and Epsilon's Hybrid Theory or even NETTG Classic (and
they're all well-written, so it's a flattering point of comparison). As such,
can't wait for more. Keep on writing.


Nakakamangha ang inyong abilidad sa panunulat,
Abdiel

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