Subject: [FFML] Re: [FanFic][SM] NETTG - Terra in Tokyo Ch.4
From: Abdiel
Date: 11/28/2006, 11:15 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 4/14/06, Benjamin A. Oliver <boliver@email.arizona.edu> wrote:

No rants or commentary this time.  Just story.  

Awwwww. But the rants are half the fun! It's like a flambe without the food
itself!

(blinks) Hmmm. If the ArbyFish is the fire, and the rant is the food, where
does that leave the rest of the fic?

Terra: (shrugs) The rest of the fic's just a plate to serve the rants and the
ArbyFish?

...Sounds about right. :P

Here, we have...

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

---Chapter 4:  ...The Whole Crew Already?

Oh boy. The whole crew already? Well, somebody's fast-forwarding stuff...
 
       Weeks passed, and the events that transpired the night of the attack
at the
Osa-P gradually faded into the public background.  Naru and her mother moved
away to Okinawa to start a new life, far away from jewelry and the youma that
used them to drain energy.

...Wait. So no more best friend for Usagi, such that she'll now use the
readily-available Terra as a reasonable substitute? Awww. And here I thought
Naru wasn't just an incidental character but instead a supporting
character/foil providing comic relief/whatnot to the protagonist/s. Apparently
not.
 
       As for Terra and Usagi, the two girls got to know each other quite
well as they
worked, studied, and fought together.  There were many more strikes made by
the
Negamafoozles in an attempt to gather large amounts of human energy.  They
were
all thwarted by the brave Sailors Moon and Chibimoon, helped in generous
amounts
by Tuxedo Kamen and the Star Light Knight.

One thing I particularly liked about NETTG: TIT that I didn't find in NETTG:
Classic is the equal amount of footing that the 'added' characters have with
the canon characters (as opposed to NETTG: Classic's IMO over-focus on the
Atomic Starlight Knight; you may not have intended him to be the star, but like
Urkel, he stands out like a sore thumb)

       The ArbyFish disappeared the morning after that first fateful battle. 
Just as
mysteriously as he came, he was gone, leaving no trace save for the strange
mark hidden on Terra's neck.

The flame in the flambe is now gone. Awwww.

Terra, on the
other hand, was left with only a tattered brochure with advice that didn't
work.
 Their kitty companion was unable to help Chibimoon improve her combat
prowess,

Formatting error: Extra space before 'Their kitty'.

Hmmm? How come? And why can't she use her Pink Sugar Heart whatever? It seems
that, from being overpowered and feared, Terra has now become Underpowered
(tm).

Also, I'm curious as to whether or not Tuxedo Kamen ever met the _actual_
Sailor Soldier he's supposed to protect. I guess we'll soon find out as the
story unfolds...

       S.L.K. smiled.  "Yeah, maybe not."  He took out a rectangular
cartridge with
octograms and runic inscriptions on it, then popped out the clip from his
weapon and replaced it with the cartridge.  "But how about magic EXPLODING
TIP
lead bullets??!?!"  

S.L.K.: The King of Exclamations.
 
       "I'm sorry," Terra apologized emphatically.  "It's just that... I
don't know
what to do."

Generally, Mary Sues really don't know what to do, but act as if they do. A Sue
actually admitting she's clueless? This is a first. That, and her lack of
usable powers. This is indeed something different; a first AFAIK, or at least
one of a handful, if you will.
 
She
blushed.  "Even though the Star Light Knight helps me fight, you're there for
me if I need you."

...So Usagi doesn't even notice Tuxedo Kamen's presence because of her
uber-crush with S.L.K.? Hmmm.
 
       Perking up immediately, Chibimoon smiled at the cute little groupie,
almost
embarrassed at the praise being heaped upon her.  "Why, thank you--"

       Then the child looked a little puzzled.  "But I've got just one
question.  Why
do you suck so bad?"

Heh.
 
       Sailor Moon slapped her forehead as all her ego-boosting efforts fell
apart
with six simple words from a clueless child.  

Awww. Very sweet and in-character of Usagi to do so. Also, very typical that it
backfired. Me like sentence fragments.

       The two soldiers for Love and Justice 

Is it 'for' Love and Justice or 'of' Love and Justice? (ponders)

       "Indeed," whispered Terra sadly as she slumped over her desk, "why do
I suck so
bad?"

Probably because of a plot point or probably for comedic effect. I also
wouldn't put it past the author to use the 'underdog' tactic to make your
character feel more sympathetic towards readers, but then again I'm a cynical
bastard. And hey, it's even working!

She'd even gotten an intense perm a few days back, which
turned out instead to be a temp five minutes afterwards.

Heh.

 It wasn't that her
hair was messy.  It was actually fairly well ordered, 

Suggest: well-ordered

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

but ever since she had
her mind tampered with, her locks just seemed to have ideas of their own
incompatible with her preferences.  

own, incompatible with her preferences. (missing comma)

Grammar Rule #21: Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical
words, however, should be enclosed in commas.

       "It was the five pages of sci-fi novel you wrote after that. 
Interplanetary
monarchies founded ten thousand years ago on the principles of love, magic,
peace, and Earthling repression?  

Tsk. Well, since she's a protagonist/insert of the story, it's only prudent
that (as I've mentioned a few C&Cs back) she gets to suffer quite a bit not
unlike all the other protagonists before her. Hapless as she is, I'd suggest
for her to blame the collective karma of all the Mary Sues in fandom who have
had it way too good for too long in their respective stories.

Terra: (snifflies) Why? WHY?!?

       "I'm very glad you asked, Takeda-san.  Quite apart from the fact that
you
didn't answer the essay question, type it, or put your name on the paper, you
only wrote twelve words.  I even memorized them and considered putting them
to
music.  You wrote, and I quote in your charming rural accent, 'Feudalism's
bad.
 My granddaddy died in a feud once.  Feuds are bad.'"

Heh. Kids say the damnednest things. Also, Haruna-sensei could give
Yukari-sensei a run for her money with her acerbic-happy way of correcting her
students.

Yukari: (raises eyebrow) Whatever. (sleeps during class)

       When the next lesson started, Terra was still trying to track down the
source
of her error.  She remembered writing every word of her essay, but right now
she wondered where she'd gotten it all from.  Since her mind had turned out
to
be such an excellent source of facts, she'd taken to writing her assignments
straight off the top of her head without consulting much in the way of
outside
materials.  

It seems that Terra's gut instinct is strangely more highly-developed and
book-smart than her own preteen self. Her gut instinct is like a stegosaurus's
second brain, the one that controls its tail, only... smarter, geekier, and a
trivia-buff.

       "Curiouser and curiouser," Terra whispered.  Her mind referenced her
situation
and comment back to the works of Lewis Carroll, and found the comparison very
appropriate.  It was like she'd fallen down a rabbit hole and her life had
been
flipped upside down since the incident with S.L.K. and that gas-powered
electric
guitar.

Nice segue and nice prose flow, though the end with the gas-powered electric
guitar kind of makes it sound a bit silly. ^^; Then again, it describes NETTG:
TIT to a, er, 't'... great,
high-quality writing with hearty dosages of gags and comedy (as opposed to
NETTG: Classic, which was a running gag fic with lapses of dramatic writing,
IMO). Take that as you will.
 
---

       Outside, during lunch, Terra fell down a rabbit hole.  Or, rather, she
slipped
into one and her leg got caught and twisted a bit.  

<g> To hell with metaphors. It's the rough equivalent of slapstick in written
prose! Either that, or literalism. 

       Terra had gone behind some bushes to eat her lunch in solitude so she
could
further analyze her essay without interruptions, but it looked like those
plans
would have to wait.  "I hope there aren't any snakes in this hole."  

Nah, they're currently enjoying frequent flyer miles care of Samuel L. Jackson.

       A brunette in a uniform with a light brown skirt came around the
corner.  She
was a little tall for a Junior High student, a part of Terra thought, but
then
again, she herself was considered by many to be somewhat more developed than
average for a girl her age.

Or rather, for a Japanese girl of her age, considering the theory that in the
dub, despite Makoto's "talents" and her measuring to up to 170 cm/5' 7", her
height and endowment was downplayed (as American children does not consider
this height as unusual compared to Japanese children).

       The shapely teen titan laughed softly.  "Pretty strong, huh?"

       Terra nodded wordlessly.

Wow. The words 'Teen Titan' and 'Terra' within the vicinity of each other in a
fic without character bashing. That's new--Erhm, moving right along...
 
       "You're welcome.  Say, I'm new around here.  My school exploded--but
it wasn't
MY fault, so don't get any ideas--so I just transferred over today.  I'm
Lita.
What's your name?"

Do'h!
 
       "Call me Terra," Terra said.  "I'm very glad to meet you, Lita."  She
then
glanced at the other's new student nametag.  "But your nametag says Kino
Makoto."

       "Hmm?"  Makoto glanced down at her blouse.  "Oh, Lita's my stage name.
 I used
it when I tried to become an actress.  That didn't work out, but still, I
like
it a little better than Makoto.  Makoto sounds too much like a boy's name."

Heh. Nice misdirection ploy. It's nice 'coz I actually fell for it.

Amy Dumas: (looks at Makoto flatly) Lita is a slut's name.

       In a smooth, graceful movement, the girl in the private school uniform
reached
down and grasped the snake by the head and pulled off its ankular resting

Er, I don't think 'ankular' is a word. Correct me if I'm wrong.

       "This isn't poisonous," said the snake-handler.  She knelt down and
let it slip
back into its hole.  "It's a constrictor and doesn't hardly ever bite.  

Er, Rei... pick: 'doesn't' or 'hardly'? Either is good, but as much as
possible, don't use both.

       "And Pandas," Terra added, shuddering.  "And clowns!"

Suggest: Pandas --> pandas

       Behind them, past the bushes, a clown chased a panda through the
schoolground.

schoolground --> school ground

The panda held up a sign that said, "Don't look at me, I'm just a harmless
panda!"

^^; That's a nice cameo, but who's the clown?

Pierrotman: (blinks)

Matsuoka Suzuki: (blinks)

Hyskoa: (blinks)

Tatewaki Kuno: (blinks)

       "No problem."  The raven-haired student nodded at Terra, looking her
over
thoughtfully.  "Hmm.  We've just met and I can already tell.  You're a real
basketcase, aren't you?"

Suggest: basket case/basket-case

       Makoto chuckled.  "You're funny, Red."

       "Please, call me Terra," Terra protested.  "Or I'll start calling you
Makoto."

       "Oooh, touche."

The prose should have been told of the developments as well, for it's calling
Lita Makoto anyway.
 
       Terra smiled.  Her mind might not be able to give her a perfect life,
but at
least it could supply her with witty quips.  

Garfield: (nods sagely)

       "I did martial arts with my old boyfriend," Makoto said, and then
peered at
Terra curiously.  "Actually, you kind of remind me of--"  Her eyes started to
get sparkly and dreamy, but then she caught herself and pounded on her head.
"No, no!  What am I thinking?!"

S.L.K.: (preens)

       "You still got a better grade than I did," Usagi whined, showing her
highest
math score yet of 43. 

Nitpick: forty-three

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

       Above it all hovered the giant wavering visage of a blond man in a
grey

Nitpick: visage --> vision/apparition

Because visage connotes more to the face than to a person as a whole. Since you
mentioned the uniform, I'm assuming the 'visage' they saw was that of a whole
person, and not just his face.

uniform.  "Sailor Soldiers," his voice bellowed across the landscape.  "I am
Jadeite, First General of the Dark Kingdom!  What you see before you now is
just an illusion.  But you have become quite a bother for us as of late, so
we
challenge you personally to a battle.

Talk about cutting to the chase.

Meet us tomorrow evening at Tokyo
Airport, or what you have seen before you will become reality.  Be ready for
us.  ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, TOMORROW NIGHT, BLOOD SHALL BE SPILLED!!!"

Don't go, Sailor Soldiers! He might possibly Kame Hame Ha you to oblivion!

Sailor Mars: Let him try. (ready to go 'manga' all over Jadeite's ass)

Beryl: He better do more than just 'try'. (ready to go 'anime' all over
Jadeite's ass)

Jadeite: (whines)

Alrighty then. Let's get this show on the road.

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

Grammar Rule #21: Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical
words, however, should be enclosed in commas.

Grammar Rule #fifty-six: Usually, it's better to spell numbers out, but
sometimes that isn't the case. In general, I've seen professional authors opt
for spelling numbers out instead of writing their numerical forms. The obvious
exceptions to the rule (usually) are actual dates (October 28, 2005), exact
numbers which are large in amount (1,234,567,890) or writing the numerical year
instead of the spelled-out version (1983, as opposed to nineteen
eighty-three... though the latter is also good, IMO). In any case, a good rule
of thumb is this: if a number won't look awkward or needlessly long when
written as words, then go use its worded version... otherwise, go with its
numerical form.

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

Hmmm. Four grammar rules broken. It's still within the limits of readability.
Hell, I've seen stories that break eight to ten rules easy but their fics still
come out as quite enjoyable. It still comes down to the fic content, really.
Nevertheless, keep up the good work on the technical cleanness of your fic; a
well-proofread fic is also a plus for a fic.

As for the other story specifics: You know your audience, and you know your
fandom. Most importantly, you know just how sick and tired all the fic readers
are of hearing the origin stories of Mars, Mercury, and Jupiter repeated in
fanfic. This fast-forwarding of events is also a type of fanservice, in
retrospect. I certainly appreciate the picking up of the pace, though I
somewhat feel that Jadeite could at least have had a bit of foreshadowing to
his plans before he opted to go with his decision to have a incredible showdown
with the Sailor Soldiers.
Then again, if one considers the fact that he blindsided the readers as well as
the Sailor Soldiers, then it's... a pretty neat plot point. The glass is
half-full and all that.

...Hmmm. Poor Sailor Senshi. On one hand, the Senshi have just increased their
numbers, so it's bad news for Jadeite; on the other hand, the new bulk of
recruits, though talented, will be having their first 'barbecue' just now, so
to speak. It all evens out, apparently.

Furthermore, Terra's continuing steak of bad luck (and her lack of blissful
ignorance now that she's a bit smarter than when she was introduced) really
does make her a lot more amiable and pleasant than other 'Sues' of her ilk.
Hell, she even shows that high IQ can be a detriment in life, and it can, at
times, make things worse by making one realize that things are worse.

Indeed, having her earn her uber-powers through hardship and to have her come
to terms with herself before becoming what she was, is, and will be in NETTG:
Classic and NETTG: The Early Years is the way to go. This method to success has
been utilized to great effect in anime before: easily, Sakuragi Hanamichi,
Umezaki Naruto, Myoujin Yahiko, and Usagi Tsukino herself come to mind as
having gone through these stages of necessary
awkwardness/haplessness/tribulation before achieving and earning their
respective shot at success. It's all good just as long as you don't go
overboard and portray Terra as some sort of martyr/Pity-Beggar Mary Sue. But so
far, she hasn't turned into that. She indeed bemoans her fate, but at least
she's not at the point where you can label her as an unlikable whiner. Not just
yet, at the very least. Then again, seeing she's neither omniscient nor
omnipotent, her suffering is well-worth the risk of her becoming a whiner.

Terra: HEY!

...As for S.L.K., his limited but useful screen time is utilized to its utmost,
with him providing fanservice galore with his armed-to-the-teeth guns and
ammunition shtick not unlike the infamous Trenchcoat Mask and his rebellious
ways in execution. Who among the non-fangirl demographic (i.e., the male
population of fic readers) weren't thinking that guns are way better at
disposing youma than, say, a dance number and an escalator-themed attack? Also,
his limited screen time makes the story focus less on him, which is good in
making the story balanced overall (yeah, I still hate him so after all this
time). I mean his portrayal as a helpful assisting fighter/vague object of
infatuation works well on this fic, as opposed to his earlier portrayal as the
central, suffocating focus of the fanfic with the rest of the characters
orbiting around him and his antics in NETTG: Classic, that is. (This is my main
criticism of NETTG: Classic, though this has improved somewhat as you've
improved somewhat in the later chapters). Incidentally, I myself don't accept
'Author Avatar as a super-powered demigod' as a valid genre of its own, but
that's just me. With that said, it's amazing (and a bit disturbing) that I like
NETTG: TIT's version of the non-atomic Starlight Knight. So yeah... This is the
Best Sue fic ever. :P As such, let me repeat myself: can't wait for more. Keep
on writing.


Nakakamangha ang inyong abilidad sa panunulat,
Abdiel

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