Subject: [FFML] Re: [fic][YST/SM] Ronin Summer: Convergence 9
From: Abdiel
Date: 2/21/2007, 2:22 PM
To: Morgan Hudson

...And here I said the _last_ chapter had so many pages. @_@ 

Dear Lord in Heaven, Hypergraphia is a scary thing to witness in action. O_o
Hell, I'm pretty sure Angus MacSpon and JK Rowling are infected by this
sickne--erhm, condition; I just wish my hallucinogenic-addicted muse could
shape itself up like your muse.

My muse: Don't be such a buzz-kill, man! Your stories just have to have more
dream sequences; it's your bread and butter, man! And sandwich each and every
last character you've ever featured in your fic and feature them in reverse
order as you get into the climax of the story for the ultimate acid trip, man!

(ahem) But enough about me; while this fic is hardly the longest fic I've ever
C&Ced/preread/read this side of (old school) Jorge Pratt, Nugar, Angus MacSpon,
and John Biles, it's still respectably long. D-aymn, this better be worth it.
;P On to the C&C!

Standard 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.

It also occurs to me that my non-godly lexicon may not be at par with yours, so
any unfamiliar word I ask about isn't necessarily a correction but just general
ignorance on my part (as pointed out by a certain Thomas Michael Edwards). As
such, it'd be appreciated if you'd have the patience to clear up some of my
questions on those particular instances. Thanks.

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

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

Ah, yet another victim from the past... ^_^

On 10/19/06, Morgan Hudson <> wrote:

Well, glad I got this out of the way. I'd like to apologise to anybody who
has not gotten a response to any C&C they may have sent me: I only recently
discovered that for some reason the FFML is not sending me everything that
is posted to it, and this seems to include a number of people's replies.

Like I said in Chapter 5... It's cool. Shit happens for a reason.
Anyway, on with the fic!

NEW-AND-IMPROVED LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Legally, the Sailor Senshi belong to

(sighs) ...Wow. Now _that_ was a good laugh. ^_^ It's kind of depressing to a
degree, though; looks like I won't be doing anymore skits parodying the whole
disclaimer thingy. To think, the next one actually involves Hajime (Saito)
Yatate in Gatotsu stance, a hulked-up Yoshihiro (Toguro) Togashi, and Takeuchi
in a sailor--Well, actually, I got nothing, so good riddance to the skit. 

Kodansha and
Cloverway, and the Samurai Troopers are the property of Sunrise and Bandai
Entertainment. Creatively, I can't lay claim to them either - that would be
Naoko Takeuchi who made up the Senshi and Hajime Yatate who thought up the
Troopers. I am only borrowing them for a few chapters, and I really do
intend no lasting harm.

Orthrus: (maw a-blazing like a flamethrower as it moved towards Sailor Moon and
Sailor Mercury with murderous intent)

Sailor Moon: No lasting harm? NO LASTING HARM? I don't want to be anywhere near
this fic once you DO intend lasting harm on us!

Author: Well, how about this sort of disclaimer? "Sailor Moon belongs to
Kondasha and Cloverway, while the Samurai Troopers are the property of Sunrise
and Bandai Entertainment. Ergo, this fic also belongs to Kondasha, Cloverway,
Sunrise, and Bandai Entertainment. I doubt that they care."
       The fog lay thick over Minato Mirai 21, its roiling depths

Heh. After a quick reread of my past C&C on your fic series, I quickly realized
that Minato Mirai 21 was where Usagi and Rei wanted to go at the start of the
fic. And here we are again. And... wait for it, I do have a point... it's nice
to see authors actually remembering plot points and little nuances in their
fics a la what celebrated author JK Rowling would do (unlike some hack authors
who'd sooner use revisionist history than to actually make use of what's
already been introduced in the story itself... *coughSpidermanCloneSagacough*

       The fog lay thick over Minato Mirai 21, its roiling depths
obscuring any sign of the sun shining brightly overhead as it seeped
through the streets and billowed up the sides of the buildings until
the natural heat of the summer caused it to evaporate into nothing at
the edges of its domain. 

Let's start the grammar breakage alert off with good ol' GR #71. I'm pretty
sure you already know the 'My old college professor has a name for this sort of
sentence' spiel, so let's cut to the chase. The sentence above is a run-on
sentence, and it's composed of the following independent thoughts:

-The fog lay thick over Minato Mirai 21.
-The fog's roiling depths obscured any sign of the sun shining brightly
-The fog seeped through the streets and billowed up the sides of the buildings.
-The natural heat of the summer caused the fog to evaporate into nothing at the
edges of its(?) domain. 

So please divide and conquer the run-on and just create a cohesive paragraph
about the so-called fog. You're a good writer; you don't need suggestions on
how to do so. ;)

Grammar Rule #71: Avoid making run-on sentences that go on and on such that
each and every dependent and independent clause is connected by conjunctions,
prepositions, redundancy, and over-punctuation; it's simply not kosher to see
so many thoughts in one sentence when you can simply separate them into
standalone ones--after all, it's better to make a paragraph from several
sentences than make a paragraph out of a single sentence, even though said
sentence may seem grammatically correct to you... Keep in mind, overworking a
sentence with so many thoughts stuffed into it can lessen the impact of its
meaning, and can thoroughly confuse your reader to boot. 

Also, please clarify: "...the natural heat of the summer caused it to evaporate
into nothing at the edges of its(?) domain." (In this clause, is 'its'
referring to the 'natural heat of the summer', the 'fog', or the 'sides of the
buildings'? It's kind of vague on that regard.)

Within the pearly clouds of shimmering vapour,
even the massive bulk of the Yokohama World Porters was little more than
a shadowy blob, its ornate clock tolling with a sonorous tone that seemed
to hang in the air long after the individual chimes had stopped. 

(checks my watch) Yup. It's _that_ time once again. It's time for our MAAAAIIIN
EVE--Erhm, it's purple prose time! :P Seriously though, it's all good. At the
very least, you're prudent enough to know when and when not to use it.

any of the tourists who had thought to investigate the mysteriously cold
area found themselves slowing to a stop, gripped by an almost unnatural
stillness that left their breath caught in their throats, as if waiting
for permission to exhale. 

Another round of nice descriptive prose right there, man.

There were very few who could take more than
a handful of steps into its depths before they suddenly began to think
of very important things that needed to be done as far away from that
place as possible.

Jedi mind trick, Sailor Moon style; that or one of those magical wards against
muggles from the world of Harry Potter.
       "I don't know how much longer I can keep this up," one of them
gasped, her face contorted into a grimace as she clutched the side of her
head. "It's too hot here, Sailor Moon - I can't keep it cold enough to

Suggest: It's too hot in here, (add 'in' in between 'hot' and 'here')

       "If you want to rest, Sailor Senshi," a guttural voice snarled, as
a pair of glowing eyes pierced the gloom behind them, "then by all means,

Suggest: snarled, as --> snarled as (comma muyo)

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

monstrous form loomed forward, his lips drawn back from his massive,
sabre-like canines. His pointed ears rose from his dog-like head, and

Hey! I distinctly remember Orthrus having two dog-like heads! What gives? When
did they separate?

The scene I'm referencing is the one shown below with double reply arrow signs:

       Twin jets of flame pierced through the fog, boiling away the
pearly clouds of mist to reveal a single youma, standing half again as
tall as either of the Senshi, and with two snarling heads atop his broad
shoulders. Fire dripping from his lips like saliva, Ortrus hunched forward

Cat-Dog (Nick Toon): Two heads are more than one!

       "You can't escape me," he huffed, advancing towards the two girls
with the bent sign raised menacingly. "No matter how far you run, no
matter how well you hide, I will scent you out. You think I need my eyes

Suggest: scent --> smell

       "We haven't been beaten yet, Orthrus," Sailor Moon reminded the
youma, raising her hands and curling her fingers into fists. "And trust
me, stuff way scarier than you has tried!"

Suggest: has tried --> had tried

       "Oh, you're beaten," Orthrus assured her, as his orange eyes

her, as --> her as (comma muyo)

flared brightly. "Run, run, as fast as you can, but soon even your vaunted
stamina will fail you, and I will still be hounding your steps. There is
no escape for you now that I have your scent, girl! Sooner or later you
will have to rest, and then I will have run you to ground. My masters
wait for that moment with growing anticipation, Sailor Moon - they shall
show you the most delightful of tortures...."

Sailor Moon: ...Jeez, and people think _I_ had long speeches!
       "If you think it's going to be that easy, you must keep your
brain in your other body," Sailor Moon taunted. 

Hmmm. Must have missed the part where they split up again as I went on skimming
and snipping stuff. It's nice of Usagi to bring me up to speed on certain

Around them the mists
began to congeal, sinking to the ground and forming into large pools of

Suggest: Around them, the mists (separate the clauses, add natural pause)
and froze in place, a curled paw trapped in mid-descent. Sailor Moon
sighed in relief and quickly stepped away from the ice covered monster.

ice covered --> ice-covered (compound descriptors should be hyphenated)

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

       With a baleful howl, a lumbering black form burst from the fog
next to Sailor Moon, lunging forward and clamping its slavering jaws down
on her arm. The girl screamed, her weapon tumbling from her suddenly
nerveless fingers as she fell to her knees and tried to pull her limb
free from the second youma's locked fangs. 

Wow. First time that ever happened in the middle of a Sailor Moon finisher.
It's like this Orthrus fellow has the ability to tear through the seeming
time-freeze that occurs as Sailor Moon performs her dancing shtick. Only in
fanfics, folks. 

Jerking its massive head from
Side-to-side, the creature worried at her, knocking her down and pressing

Hmmm. Incidentally, to what does 'worried at her' connote to? Admittedly, this
is the first time I've ever seen the word 'worried' used as this. Certainly,
you don't mean that the creature was worried about Sailor Moon after he clamped
his jaws at her, right? I sure hope this isn't a 'retort' = 'loud sound'
argument again.

its weight on top of her as it twisted and tugged at her captured arm.

Mamoru: HEY! Nobody goes on top of Usako EXCEPT ME!

Sailor Moon: (drolly) Whoopie. My perverted hero.

       "Get away from her!" Sailor Mercury cried out, scrambling back
to her feet and racing towards the hulking beast. Letting the blonde girl
fall from his teeth, Orthrus rose to his full height and chortled, easily
catching Sailor Mercury's wrist as she flailed at him. 

Sailor Mercury: Hmmm. Me doing hand-to-hand combat with a muscular monster
twice my size. Not one of my better ideas.

       Cradling her bleeding arm to her chest, Sailor Moon took a deep
breath and screamed. Her shrill cry split through the mist-veiled clearing
and echoed off of the shadowy buildings that surrounded them. The large

Oh noes! Shades of the first episode can be seen in this scene (Hey, that
rhymes!). The episode where Sailor Moon avoided her doom by crying and bawling
like a little girl. My plot-hole sense is shivering in remembrance!

       Dropping Sailor Mercury to the ground, the dog-like youma clapped
his paws over his ears and reeled backwards, staggering like a drunkard.
Squeezing his eyes shut and shuddering, he lifted his head and howled
into the fog, a warbling, pain-filled noise that had nothing in common
with his previous calls. For a moment, his crazed eyes fell on the still
shrieking Sailor Moon, and his lips curled back from his bloodstained
fangs in a snarl of hatred before he broke away and scurried off into the
shifting curtains of mist on all fours, whining to himself with every
hurried step.

Oh yeah. Dog. Excellent hearing. Sailor Moon. Whiny baby with amplifier
odangos. Usagi wins. Contrived (don't worry, it was _already_ contrived in the
manga and the anime, so I don't blame the fic; the amplifier odangos are
canonically contrived), yet effective.
       "What's the matter, Miss Hino?" Shin asked, as the raven-haired
girl rose to her feet.

asked, as --> asked as (comma muyo)
       "You're probably right," Rei agreed, as she slowly eased back into

agreed, as --> agreed as (comma muyo)

       "Shin, What are you doing, man?" Shuu asked, reaching out and

Shin, What --> Shin, what

Like ELL's sig once said, proper capitalization is the difference between "I
helped my Uncle Jack off a horse," and "I helped my uncle jack off a horse."

Grammar Rule #76: Proper capitalization is the difference between "I helped my
Uncle Jack off a horse," and "I helped my uncle jack off a horse."
       "Fetch Ryo? He's still sleeping back at my house!" Shuu
complained, beginning to cram some of the still-wrapped sandwiches into
the pockets of his overalls as he tossed a handful of cash onto the table.

Y'know, this sentence kinda reads 'off' to me. 

Suggest: "Fetch Ryo? He's still sleeping back at my house!" Shuu complained as
he began cramming some of the still-wrapped sandwiches into the pockets of his
overalls while tossing a handful of cash onto the table.

Also: "Fetch Ryo? He's still sleeping back at my house!" Shuu complained as he
tossed a handful of cash onto the table while cramming some of the
still-wrapped sandwiches into the pockets of his overalls.

       "Of course I'm interested," Shin replied. "When Nise Suiko showed
up, she was the first one he attacked. 

In a slow, lethargic, almost comma-inducing manner, but his matches improved as
time passed by...

Usually that blackguard goes
straight after me, so if he was willing to pass over a chance to rumble
with his favourite enemy just to pick a fight with her, there must be a
reason. I'm betting there must be something about that girl that makes
her a threat to Nise Suiko, and I'm going to find out what."

       "You're a hopeless romantic, buddy," Shuu sighed in resignation,
as Shin gave him a confused look.


Oh, and: resignation, as --> resignation as (comma muyo)

       Orthrus turned to look in the direction of the interruption, as a
slender young man stepped out from a side alley. He was small, even for a

interruption, as --> interruption as (comma muyo)

       "My name's Nise Suiko," the slender youth explained, "and I
seriously doubt that." Running his fingers under the edge of his collar,

Heh. Hello mister badass. Give those other fanfic badasses a run for their

Carrot (the infamous self-insert): (smirks)

The Non-Atomic Starlight Knight (Nuke 'Em Till They Glow): (snorts)

Jack Carver (Self-Extraction): (stares blankly at Nise Suiko) You'll be next on
my list once you gain _too_ much power.

the air, tatters of shredded fabric trailing after him as he flailed
wildly for something to catch onto. Orthrus' other hand swooped in and
wrapped around Nise Suiko's face, plucking him out of the sky and driving

Suggest: catch onto --> latch onto

Also: hand swooped in and wrapped around --> hand swooped in and wrapped itself
around (add 'itself')

       The hand that rose to clamp around Orthrus' throat was sheathed
in crimson and charcoal, with scarlet mist swirling in its wake. As the
youma gagged and staggered back, Nise Suiko slowly pushed himself to his
feet. His entire body was encased in plates of chitinous armour, with

Once of these days, you just _have_ to tell me what 'chitinous' means.

Thomas Michael Edwards: Seriously man, eat a dictionary or something.

(munches on an Oxford Thesaurus and a Webster Pocket Dictionary as a side dish)
Mmmmmmmmm. Verbose. (regurgitates 'chitinous') "Something that is 'chitinous'
is hard and resistant to damage, but also tends to be porous and
organic-looking - it looks like a polished shell, not like a plate of metal."
Hmmm. Good to know. (continuous munching)

        "Okay," Nise Suiko said, his voice echoing from within his armour,
"now you have started to piss me off."

If Shin makes it in time, it'd be twin Shins vs. twin Orthruses!

       "Man, this is starting to suck," Seiji groaned, as he rolled the

groaned, as --> groaned as (comma muyo)

       "We keep getting back up," Tuxedo Kamen said grimly, as he

grimly, as --> grimly as

       "Gosh, I hope destroying railway property isn't illegal," Sailor
Venus mused to herself as she examined her handiwork. "If I get the cops
after me again, Artemis will never let me live it down."

Hehehehe. _Again?_ :) It would seem that, instead of Usagi-lite, Minako really
is the real source code and Usagi's merely Minako XP. ^_^
       It had been a very long time since Sailor Venus had needed to
worry about cops chasing after her, but she had no urge to start doing it
again. If her time as Sailor V had taught her anything -and she was
willing to admit that it might not have- it was that it could be very
difficult for a well-meaning super-heroine to save the day when people
kept trying to arrest her in the middle of it. If she hadn't run away to
England, faked her death, and then changed secret identities, she would
probably still be in trouble.

       She was not entirely certain she would be able to do that again,
if she needed to. Artemis had seemed very adamant that this was the only
other secret identity she had left, and she had questioned him very
thoroughly. If she managed to screw things up as Sailor Venus too, she was
pretty sure that would be the end of the rope for her. On the other hand,
this was the best plan she had come up with in months, and it would be a
real shame to let something as silly as the legal system get in the way
of trying it out. After all, her cat would probably not have given her a
disguise pen if he had not been expecting her to need to hide from the
authorities every once in a while....

LOL. Thank the Gods that this internal monologue was done through text instead
of a movie or anime! ^^; As opposed to, say, a comic or as screenplay where
this lengthy, insightful, and amusing speech would come out as awfully
monologuish (i.e., Noir-like), the drawn-out journalizing of Venus comes out as
natural, personal and humorous, like a friendly anecdote. Indeed, the advantage
literature has over visual mediums is the ability to bestow knowledge without
slowing things down like it would a movie. 

       "Venus," it asked cautiously, "why are you at the bottom of a pit?
And why is there a pit?"

Suggest: it asked --> she asked

       "Hi, Luna!" Venus said with an enthusiastic wave. "I dug a pit!
Pretty swanky, huh?"

Heh. I like the contrast between the cheerful Venus and the grim resolve of
both Seiji and Tuxedo Kamen. It's comparable to Luna Lovegood's purpose in the
later books of Harry Potter, even. As Evanna Lynch so aptly put, "People like
her because she's like a breath of fresh air because in the fifth book it gets
so dark and Harry's always cross. And then every time Luna comes in all the
tension goes and she makes you laugh because she's so funny and really honest."
 So it is too with Minako in this part of the scene.

       Luna shook her head sadly, as Sailor Venus continued.

sadly, as --> sadly as

       "But you'll destroy the entire tunnel! Every subway in Japan will
be delayed for months!"

       "You can't make an omelet without breaking some legs, Luna,"

Hehehe. XD Venus's brand of crazy is (though only subtly) somewhat different
from Usagi's. Usagi is merely clueless. Her? She's freakin' reckless and crazy!

       "And have you given any thought as to how *you're* going to get
back out?" the cat asked irritably.

       "I hadn't really planned that far ahead," Sailor Venus admitted
with an embarrassed chuckle. "Don't worry, though: I'm sure I'll think of
something brilliant."

Something involving the Venus Love-Me Chain, probably.

staining the creamy stone crimson as the young man clumsily grabbed hold
of the broken sword blade still jutting from between his ribs and tried
to pull it from his body. The sword slid out partway, and a fresh gout of
blood poured from the wound as Ryo gagged and tumbled forward, clasping
both hands tightly against his side to staunch the flow. 

Ryo: Hmmm. Me pulling out the sole thing that's keeping me from bleeding to
death before I could get to a hospital... Not one of my better ideas.

Ami: We're both just as stupid during times of great need! We really are meant
to be! (beams, kisses Ryo)

Hmmm. This is a Dream Sequence, I'm guessing. Or as the case may be, Nightmare

With a sickly
groan, he rolled onto his stomach and managed to push himself over to
the shattered remains of an ivory pedestal. The bust that had once rested
upon it lay nearby, its face a twisted mass of molten bronze. Their
enemies were being thorough, this time: soon, there would be nothing left

Suggest: thorough, this time: --> thorough this time:

Also: thorough, this time: --> thorough this time;

       Wheezing for breath, Ryo gritted his teeth and propped himself up

Suggest: gritted --> grit

       "You always let everybody down," the voice continued, as Ryo

continued, as  --> continued as (comma muyo)

       The world warped and changed around him, folding and bending
itself until he stood proud and tall in the ruined corridor, clad in the
scarlet armour of Rekka. His silver mask retracted into the beak of his
horned helmet as Ryo looked down and ran his fingers over his chest. A

Suggest: His silver mask retracted into the beak of his horned helmet as Ryo
looked down and ran his fingers over his chest. --> Ryo's silver mask retracted
into the beak of his horned helmet as he looked down and ran his fingers over
his chest. 

moment ago, he could have sworn that he was injured. He had actually
felt the blade grating against his ribs, felt the blood draining from his
body. Now, the whole thing seemed like nothing more than a dream.

...You couldn't have been any more blatant than that.

       "Who do you think I am?" the voice asked, with another chuckle.

asked, with --> asked with (comma muyo)

       "That's me," Ryo said quietly, as he looked down at his own face.

quietly, as --> quietly as (comma muyo)

       "Then Nephrite is a fool," Kaos replied grimly. "Sailor Uranus
has a battalion of our finest guard there waiting for him. Make no
mistake: your assault will not get past the Outer Senshi."

Ian Andreas Miller: Outer Senshi? _OUTER_ SENSHI?! The anime term 'Gaibu
taiyoukei san senshi" does not translate into 'Outer Senshi', it's 'Outer
Planet Senshi'. Phrases like 'Inner Senshi' and 'Outer Senshi' are inherently
vague and ambiguous. What is the 'Inner' in 'Inner Senshi' referring to?  How
are those soldiers inner? They are supposed to be inner relative to what?  How
are those 'Outer Senshi' outer? They are supposed to be outer relative to what?
 There are no definite answers to those questions. For all we know, 'Inner' and
'Outer' could be referring to the bellybuttons of those characters!
       "Hold on, Kaos! I'm coming!" Ryo yelled, leaping off of the
mountain of broken masonry and drawing his katana in mid-air. 

Ah, yes; my never-ending quest.

mid-air --> midair

Grammar Rule #57: Hyphenate words that should be hyphenated (usually
compound-descriptors) and unhyphenate words that shouldn't be hyphenated, even
though it'd seem that either form is correct (Don't leave those words hanging
in mid-air!). 

creature lashed out at him, lopping its leg off at the knee and running it
through with his sword when it landed on its back. A lizard man with steam
curling from its nostrils spun noticed him and inhaled deeply, flames

Huh? How does one 'spun noticed' a person? You've got to pick: 'spun' or

Suggest: A lizard man with steam curling from its nostrils noticed him in the
corner of its eyes, spun around, and inhaled deeply, flames

Also: A lizard man with steam curling from its nostrils spun around and noticed
him; it afterwards inhaled deeply, flames

crackling in its throat. With a swift kick to its ankle, Ryo knocked it
off balance, punching it in the stomach as he rose and doubling it over.


       "I can't save Kaos," Ryo said sadly, sheathing his swords and
folding his legs under him as he sat on the ground, "and I can't kill
Shutendoji, either. They're both dead. None of this is real. I'm being

Ryo: You cannot trick me; I will not let the Satsui no Hadou overcome me!
(blinks) Now where the hell did that come from?

(shrugs) I dunno, but I guess it goes to show that the "generic anime
protagonist plot point of having a 'dark side' and said generic anime
protagonist conquering aforesaid 'dark side'" is interchangeable to almost any

       "Most impressive," the voice boomed, as the battle and the palace

boomed, as --> boomed as (comma muyo)

faded into nothingness. "You figured it out. This was, indeed, nothing

Feh. _I_ figured it out at the very start. Took him long enough.

       "That accomplished very little," Arago said chidingly, as his

chidingly, as --> chidingly as

       "Yeah, well, it's the thought that counts," Ryo countered,

(facefault) Gee, you sure got him there, Ryo.

       "As if I'd believe anything you told me," Ryo growled. "You're
nothing but a bad memory."

Arago: I will not remain a memory.

Sephiroth: (harrumphs, stabbity-stabs Arago)
       "You," Ryo seethed, "are *not* my father."

Arago: No Ryo, I am your fa---ERK! (a Dojo Destroyer stabs him with a light

Dojo Destroyer: I hate cliche.

       "To make you strong! To help you grow in power and teach you the
ways of the Dynasty! I would have made you princes of this world, young

Freddy Mercury: (singing) ~Here we are! Born to be kings, we're the Princes of
the Universe...~
       Ryo backpedaled, flailing his arms to break free of the thick

(tilts head) Hmmm. You use Commonwealth spelling, correct? So shouldn't your
favorite word 'backpedaled' be spelled as 'backpedalled'?

see, barren and lifeless as it baked under the heat of shimmering crimson
sun. Arago's hair slid around the falling boy's waist and arms like a

of shimmering crimson sun. --> of a shimmering crimson sun. (missing article,

It's your favorite grammar rule once again!

Grammar Rule #38: Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

       "Nise Suiko is stronger than your friend could ever dream of
becoming," Arago replied scornfully. "I set him loose upon this world for
the sole purpose of breaking Suiko no Shin. The only hope that Shin has of
defeating Nise Suiko is to *become* him."

Hmmm. Interesting point.
       "That's never going to happen," Ryo said adamantly.

       "It has already begun," Arago replied with a deep chortle. "There
is nothing that you can do to stop it, now."

stop it, now. --> stop it now. (comma muyo)
       "My Masho have served me well over the centuries," Arago said. "I
am willing to forgive them their slight insubordination. Rajura, Anubis,

Suggest: them their slight --> them for their slight (missing word, 'for')

Naaza, and Kayura will all return to me of their own free will, in time.

What a nice guy, that Arago. Voldemort wasn't so forgiving of his Death Eaters,
last I recall. If only Arago had played his cards right, then he wouldn't have
fallen into some of the many pitfalls found in the Evil Overlord List.

Radanthus: (blinks as he puts down his copy of the Evil Overlord List) Hmmm?
Did you say something?

       "I was hoping we wouldn't have to," Arago replied, with a tone of

replied, with --> replied with (comma muyo)

       "Ryo, what's the matter? Is something bothering you, sweetie? It's
okay: you can tell me."

Suggest: okay: you --> okay; you
       A soft hand caressed his cheek, and Ryo bit his lip to stop from
crying out. His hand clenched into fists, trembling impotently as he

(sigh) And there I was many moons ago, happy that Ryo didn't turn into a crying
ball of angst at the mere mention of Luna during Chapter 5, and now here he is
on the verge of pulling a Toshitada Koma circa Chapter 3 (i.e. on the verge of
becoming a drama king). Tsk. Still, seeing that he is an anime protagonist (or,
hell, protagonist _period_) it's only natural for him to come to terms with
personal grief. Paraphrasing Joker from "The Return of the Joker", heroes are
made out of tragedy; just ask Batman. 

Kamui (X 1999): (nods sagely, then cries openly) FUUMA!

...And, at the very least, Ryo's not suffering from 'existential angst over the
horrible nature of his duties' in this fic. Instead, he got the affections of a
certain fan-favortie blue-haired girl that's not Akane, which is always cool.

strained against the Demon Lord's vice-like grip. She even smelled like he

       "Ryo, look at me."

       "Mom," Ryo croaked, as he slowly opened his eyes and turned his

Luna: (pouts) So it was your mother instead of me, huh? Then I'm apparently
less of a person to you than your mom is, Ryo. 

       Ryo shook his head dumbly, as he reached down with his suddenly

dumbly, as --> dumbly as (comma muyo)

freed hands and felt the coarse timbers of his cabin floor, back in the
woods. He was sitting on the floor, wearing his usual blue jeans and a
red short-sleeved shirt. What had happened to his armour? Where was Arago?

Suggest: red, short-sleeved shirt (add comma for natural pause)

       The door opened, and a young woman staggered in clutching her
stomach. She was dressed in denim shorts, with a jean jacket and an orange
ribbon tied in her long black hair.

       "Oh, no," Ryo groaned, as she turned to look at him, her golden
hazel eyes wide with fright. "Not here, Arago, not this again...."

Luna: Oh, and god forbid that I bleed anywhere near you! Don't worry, I'll find
a more convenient place to die!

       "Aw," Arago crooned, as he shouldered aside the doors and forced

crooned, as --> crooned as (comma muyo)

       "You see now, don't you?" Arago interjected, striding forward and
stepping down on the small of the girl's back. He ground his heel in, and
she threw her head back with a wail of anguish. "These women, these people
who tried to take you from me, they *had* to die. It could not be avoided.
You were never meant to be with them. You were meant to be with ME."

Ryo: EEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWW!!!! ...But it strangely makes sense, still.

       "Hmmm... could it be that our dear, departed young Luna's cries of

Suggest: could --> Could

pain no longer move you?" Arago stroked his chin thoughtfully as he idly
prodded the prone girl with the tip of his spear. "Do you no longer care
for her? Has she been replaced so quickly? I see by your shocked
expression that I have come close to reaching my mark. How cold and
unfeeling your heart is, young Sanada - how fickle and disloyal a lover
you must be! Is it that blue-haired girl I saw you with the other night?
Little Miss... Mizuno, I believe her name was? 

Luna: So that's the truth, isn't it? ISN'T IT? (runs away, tears sparkling in
the corner of her eyes as she pulls a Shinobu Maehara)

       "Now that is how I like to hear my Masho talk!" Arago replied
with an evil chortle. "Why don't we make a deal? You meet me at the foot
of Mount Osore before the O-Bon, and we will settle our affairs like
gentlemen. If you choose to decline, well, I'm afraid your little
girlfriend will be in a great deal of trouble. Perhaps I will even send
her a small sign of my affections right now, just to welcome her to the


Huh. A mind-fuck scene. We're now in Evangelion territory.

Asuka: (trembling naked in her dirty little bathtub, too spooked to agree) 

       "You were thrashing around like a madman," Shuu explained, with
a deep sigh of relief. "You nearly threw yourself through the window

explained, with --> explained with

also: explained, with a deep sigh of relief. --> explained, deeply sighing in

       Manipulating Ryo Sanada was such fun that it was practically a

Ah. Awww. And here I was thinking that it's Arago back from the dead or

hobby for him, these days. Using his powers to enter the boy's mind and

him, these days. --> him these days (awkward pause, comma muyo)

How better to punish you for what you have done, than to turn you against

done, than --> done than

       Still laughing and murmuring under his breath to himself, Badamon

Suggest: murmuring under his breath to himself --> murmuring to himself under
his breath 

scuttled out of his chambers and sealed the doors behind him. After a long
moment of silence, a single shadow detached from the wall and crept
quietly over to where his chalked pentagram and open spellbooks still lay

Suggest: spell-books

       Sailor Mercury darted down a side alley, pulling Sailor Moon after
her, and the two girls took refuge behind a large steel dumpster. Orthrus
had recovered from his earache all too quickly, and it had been a constant

Wow. I didn't know that 'earache' is a d-v-w! (lists it down)

Incidentally, C&Cing part of the reason why I learn more and more d-v-ws each
day, aside from good old fashioned reading, of course.

       "I don't think that made me feel better," Sailor Moon whimpered.
"I wish Sailor Mars was here."

Uh-oh. Your Sailor Moon is treading the Sailor Moon fanfic character you so
loathe. The whiny one, I mean.

Sailor Moon: Aw, come on! I'm not Peter Parker, or even Mayday Parker! I can't
make quips at the face of true, imminent danger, and a girl has just got to
vent sometime!

       "I'd rather find out how he's tracking us through this fog first,"
Sailor Mercury said, drawing out a small computer and beginning to type
rapidly on the keyboard. 

So Ami's kind of white and nerdy, eh?

Ami: (rapping) ~Once you see my sweet moves you're gonna stay amazed; my
fingers movin' so fast I'll set the place ablaze...~

       "Smelling us?" Mercury blinked. "In that case, maybe we could find
some case to change our scent. I would think all the soap bubbles in my

Some 'case' to change their scent? 'Case' as in what, exactly? 

Shabon Spray would have had some affect on that... unless...."

Suggest: that... Unless....

       "Unless there's something about our Senshi forms that is unique,"
Sailor Mercury said thoughtfully. "Perhaps we have some sort of magical
signature that Orthrus is able to sense? If we were to change back into
our normal forms, we might be able to escape notice."

Sailor Mercury: Either that or die a gruesome, flame-themed death after we're
left unprotected.

Batman: (nods sagely, remembering the time Chuck Norris saw through his Bruce
Wayne disguise and crushed his million-dollar head in between his Texas-Walker

       "Change back? With a drooling, slavering monster on our tails?
Let's save that for Plan B," Sailor Moon suggested. "If he attacked us
and we didn't have our powers, we might not have time to transform again
before he really hurt us, Mercury! 

he really hurt us, --> he really hurts us,

Grammar Rule #1: Verbs HAS to agree with their subjects.
       "I like that plan," Orthrus said dryly, as he leered down from

dryly, as --> dryly as (comma muyo)

the top of the dumpster with a sly grin that showed off every last one of
his dagger-like fangs. "The more of you Senshi I'm able to lure in here
the better, as far as my masters are concerned. Go ahead: call them. I'll

Suggest: here the better, --> here, the better, 

the dumpster and landing in their midst, jaws snapping as they dove out
of his way in a panicked scramble to avoid his razor sharp fangs. The

razor sharp --> razor-sharp

       "Quite a bit of water around here," Shin noted, lifting his foot
out of the puddle he had accidentally stepped into. "Seems a bit odd,
since we haven't had any rain recently. Bit strange to see fog when it's
been so bloody hot out lately, too. Is that a piece of ice over there?"

Suggest: lately, too --> lately too.
       "Ami must have been in a fight," Rei concluded, as she knelt down

concluded, as --> concluded as (comma muyo)

       "Well, here's something you don't see every day," Shin commented,
as he crouched over something further up the bicycle path. "Some beastie

commented, as --> commented as (comma muyo)

       "Ah, but they're not," Shin explained. "They're only in the place
where the fog is touching their bodies, and with my powers - eh?" Staring

Rei: (slappies) You perv! You're going to touch their bodies through the fog!

       Shin whistled softly to himself. The dagger in his hands was
almost half a foot long, with a series of jagged serrations running along
one side and a razor-like edge on the other. The grip was wrapped in
straps of sharkskin, and had indentations for each finger that fitted his

Oh, look! 'Sharkskin' too is a d-v-w! This must be my lucky day! (giggles)

hand perfectly. Sharkskin, so that the blade would not slip in someone's
grip while they used it underwater. 

(waxing nostalgic) Ah yes. The 'unperturbed by the water' episode of Ronin
Summer. Yes, it's canon, and yes, talking cats _should_ have blown my
suspension of disbelief sky high before the defiance of physics ever could, but
still... I get images of Kosaider or some other metal sentai hero battling it
'underwater' using the cheesiest of green-screen effects. But that's just me.

       "Nise Suiko," he whispered to himself as he folded his fingers

(thunderstruck) Oh my gosh, you actually used 'as' without putting a comma
before it! O_O

Author: (checks) Whoops. Typo. (puts a comma before 'as')


       "Don't worry, Rei," Shin called back to the raven-haired priestess
as he stood up. Quickly, he wrapped a handkerchief around the blood-soaked

And here again there's an 'as' sans comma beforehand! Amazing!

Author: (checks) Oh yeah! Thanks again! (puts a comma before 'as')


       "All your world is but a dream," she whispered to herself with a
wicked smile, "and I am the mother of all nightmares. Come to me, Sailor

Nice little purple dialogue, er, speech, er, quotable quote.

       "Yes, Rei," Shin said with an exasperated sigh. "I'm groping you
as we speak."


       "That is where you going with this, right?" Shin looked back over
his shoulder and winked at her. "Don't worry, Sailor Mars - I'm one of the
good guys. I'd never do something like that."

       "Oh, yeah." Sailor Mars grinned and scratched the back of her
head. "I guess that was kind of silly of me...."

(A slight cold breeze moves the fog and lightly caresses Sailor Mars's

Sailor Mars: AH! PERV! (slappies) 

       "Unless I had permission," Shin added innocently, as he turned

innocently, as --> innocently as (comma muyo)
       "You should have bloody STAYED there," Nise Suiko snarled in
response, and lunged forward with his trident raised. Shin ducked as the
massive blades speared through the air above him and batted the haft of

Is that really supposed to be 'haft' or was it supposed to be 'shaft'?

       "You're right Sailor Mars," Nise Suiko parroted, then made a rude

Suggest: "You're right, Sailor Mars," (missing comma)

       Sailor Mars looked up at Nise Suiko, perched on the lamp like a
crimson demon with his jagged ivory facemask and dimly glowing eyes. He

More like crimson gargoyle, really.

       Rei Hino was two blocks away before the first explosion rang out
behind her. The shockwave from the blast was strong enough to blow away
the fog around her, clearing a wide swath of the street and ruffling the
bows on her uniform. Shading her eyes with one hand, the raven-haired
Senshi turned and looked back the way she had come just in time to see a
twenty foot high fountain of water crest above the rooftops of the nearest

Suggest (not so sure this time): twenty-foot high

buildings. Squinting slightly, she could just barely make out the the two


Get rid of repeated 'the' in between 'make out the' and 'two'

Grammar Rule #40: Proofread carefully to make sure you don't repeat repeat any

       "Stupid Samurai Troopers," Sailor Mars groused, as she twisted her

groused, as --> groused as (comma muyo)

Or: groused, as she twisted her --> groused, twisting her

long raven hair into a thick braid and tried to wring some of the water
out of it. 

That's quite a new look for her.

       "FIRE SOUL!" Mars cried, as a bolt of flame leapt from her fingers

cried, as --> cried as (comma muyo)

       "No," she said, giving Sailor Mars a secretive smile. "I can't
shoot you - not a priest. Shooting a priest would just spoil the intimacy
of the moment. A chance like this needs to be... savoured. After all, I've
put so much effort into making everything so perfect for you. It would be
a shame to rush things and spoil the mood."

Sean Connery (as James Bond): Don't you just love it when the villain does
that? You the man now, dawg.

Rei: (eyebrow raised)

Sean Connery: You the bitch now, hoe? 

Rei: That's even worse!

Sean Connery: Who's your daddy?


       "What in the world are you talking about?" Sailor Mars asked, as

asked, as --> asked as (comma muyo)

       Orthrus snapped his jaws, and the world exploded into a massive
ball of flame. Gathering Sailor Moon under one arm, Sailor Mercury leapt
into the air and kicked off of the top of a chain link fence as the

Suggest: chain-link

slammed into the wall and tore a groove of shattered brick as it hurtled
towards him. Orthrus leapt out of the way, flipping in midair and catching

W00t! 'Midair'! Yay! My quest is succeeding! ^_^

Kicking his legs out at the last moment, Shuu thrust his arm out to one
side and caught the startled youma in the throat with his forearm. 

Huh. Kane's flying clothesline plus suicide dive. The man knows his wrestling

free from the side of the building by the force of their impact, the youma
howled as he and Shuu plummetted back down into the all-concealing mists.

plummetted --> plummeted

Okay... That's a reasonable enough word to not peg as a typo. Hell, the added
't' may actually be Commonwealth spelling, so you're still good with not
breaking Grammar Rule #0...

       "Sorry we're late," Ryo Sanada said breathlessly, as he dropped

breathlessly, as --> breathlessly as (comma muyo)

down onto the clothesline where the two Sailor Senshi were perched.
Quickly sheathing the twin katana he had been weilding, the dark-haired

weilding --> wielding

(facepalm) It's okay. It's 'technically' still not a GR #0, since it's under...

Grammar Rule #63: I before E except after C or sounding like 'a' as in
'neighbor' and 'weigh'. Unless it's weird.

       "You're *going* to see a doctor," Sailor Mercury said firmly, as
her friend pouted. Turning back to Ryo, the blue-haired girl continued

firmly, as --> firmly as (comma muyo)

       Growling, Orthrus swiped at his strangely familiar opponent with
a taloned paw, catching him in the chest and knocking him aside. To the
youma's surprise, Shuu merely staggered slightly before coming right back
at him with a series of blows that felt as though they were coming from


Triple H: I've got two words for you. So close. 

(sighs) Indeed. So close. You were oh-so-close at not getting a Grammar Rule #0
at the end of the fic! Hell, I can even let 'taloned' go for poetic
license/adverbial purposes, me needing to eat more dictionaries, the usual
Canadian/British/whatever spelling excuse, or whatnot. But misspelling Hunter
Hearst Helmsley's favorite weapon? That's where I draw the line. :P Close, but
no cigar I'm afraid.

slegehammers --> sledgehammers

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

       "Yeah, that's right," Shuu said, as he stepped in with an uppercut

said, as --> said as (comma muyo)

grimace of pain. He could feel the skin around his eyes blistering even
as he tried to shield them with his hands, the tips of his shaggy eyebrows
crinking as they caught alight and began to burn.

crinking --> crinkling

(...And spelling goes downhill in the final four pages of the fic; but it was
an admirable effort at proofreading nonetheless. Keep up the good work.)
       As suddenly as they had begun the flames were gone, and Shuu

Suggest: begun, the flames (add comma after 'begun' to separate the resulting
phrase, 'the flames were gone,' into a standalone clause)

       "You won't get me with the same trick twice, girl," he snarled,
as he spun to face his new opponents. Sailor Mercury frowned prettily at

snarled, as --> snarled as (comma muyo)

Also: Ami, this isn't the time to make cute faces!

Sailor Mercury: (frowns prettily) I can't help it! 

       "I'd tell you to warn your master about messing with us," Ryo
said menacingly, "but by the time you see him where you're going, it will
be way too late. FLARE UP, NOW!"

The fact that Nise Suiko didn't even need backup to kill Orthrus seems to speak
volumes of how badass he is in this fic.
in a burst of flame that boiled away before touching the ground. A fine
ash drifted to the ground where he had been standing, steaming gently as
it formed a small pile of smoldering embers.

Sailor Moon: Ew! It smells of charred dog here!
       "What the hell was that?" he asked, looking over at the Senshi.

       "Rei," Sailor Moon replied, sounding as though she was about to be
sick. "I think it might have been Rei!"

Shin: (screams like a little girl)

Sailor Moon: (still looking sick) That doesn't look or sound right either.

       "You're dead, mate," Nise Suiko hissed, clamping his hand over
Shin's face and twisting his head at an unnatural angle. "I'm going to rip
that dainty little head of yours clean off!"


Sailor Mars: Will you please stop doing that?!
softly and began to smoke. Straining against his doppelganger's inhuman

Suggest: doppelganger's --> twin's (just to mix it up to avoid redundancy)

       "What?" Nise Suiko asked, as he shook his head and leaned back,

asked, as --> asked as

       Scrambling to their feet, the twin warriors of Suiko bolted off
in the direction of the screaming, keeping perfect pace with each other
as they raced side-by-side down the empty street.

I understand Shin's concern... but what the hell...? 

Nise Suiko: (hurriedly) Plot point. Now bugger off!

       "My god," Shin said quietly, as he looked up at Sailor Moon from

quietly, as --> quietly as

where he was kneeling next to the fallen girl. "This is all my fault. I
never should have left her alone like that. 

Sailor Mars: Well, duh.

      "Yes you are! Shut up! You're going to be fine!" Usagi yelled,

Revise: Yes, you are! (comma needed)

Nice drama going on. For quite a long time, the fic has had a somewhat light,
adventurey feel to it. Though it's almost typical (I daresay inevitable)
nowadays for an epic SM xover to become somewhat darkish in nature as the
baddies become veritable forces of nature, the resulting drama and human
interaction between the heroes is somewhat worth it. Hell, it even highlights
Usagi's more admirable traits to boot.

      Whatever. There would be another day for him to settle his scores
with Nise Suiko - some things were more important than getting revenge.
He had forgotten that for a while, and Sailor Mars had paid the price for

Great dramatic monologue over here too.

If letting his double escape was the cost of saving her life, then
Shin Mouri would gladly pay it. After all, what was the point of defeating
a monster like Nise Suiko if he let it turn him into something just as

Mum-Ra the Ever Li--er, Badamon, the Evilest Digimon: (scowls) Fool. You weak
and codependent fool.

He wasn't like that creature - he cared about people, and they cared
about him. He wasn't alone.

      And he wouldn't be alone the next time they fought, either.

Nice cap-off once again. Hearty handshakes and salutations on that regard, Mr.



Let's take a little break with the grammar rules and ending notes; you replied
Skyefire's C&C way back on October 21, 2006 that:


Radanthus the Unconquered did not sit in the throne room of the Crimson
Nadir: he *brooded* in it. Brooding had become a second
nature to

I'm no grammarrian, but I believe that the colon is misused in this
and should be a double-

Yeah, I have no idea about that either. Maybe if we wait long enough, Abdiel 
will stop by and enighten us. Seriously, that guy caught me in grammar 

enighten --> enlighten

Whoops. Force of habit. Moving on...

mistakes I'm not sure I even knew existed. One of these days, I vow to get 
my batting average as low as DB Sommer.

Y'know what? As you can see in my assessment of Grammar Rule #0 below, you're
getting there, Mr. Hudson. Hell, you're practically there! Only two to three
honest-to-goodness typos? That's Ben Oliver-ish/DB Sommer-ish already! If only
I could ignore the rest of the rules... :P

P.S. Either the dash or colon (personally, I'd go for a semicolon) are fine in
that instance Skyfire was pointing out depending on your intentions with the
sentence. Use the dash if you want to indicate/add a natural pause between the
clauses like those found in oratory speeches. Use the colon if you want the
latter clause to highlight the former clause. The sentence is technically
capable of doing either of these things without too much of a change in its
meaning, so it's your prerogative on which punctuation mark you should or
should not use.


...Alrighty then. I think I'll just let MC Hammer do the rest of the Grammar
Rules intro.

MC Hammer: ~Doorooroo--Stop. GRAMMAR TIME!~

Grammar Rule #0: Watch out for speling erors and typoes. (I have a dream. I
dream that, someday, I will never have to list Grammar Rule #0 in my C&C of
Ronin Summer ever again. And... Wow. You were very close to fulfilling that
dream in this chapter. Three genuine typos. And for that, I applaud your
efforts. I'm actually looking forward for the next chapter, where I hope your
'batting average' would be akin to that of Mr. Ben Oliver, Mr. DB Sommer, Mr.
'Hentai Master' Nugar, or Mr. 'You wouldn't guess it by his name, but his fics
are virtually typo-free!' Flashfyre5.)

Grammar Rule #1: Verbs HAS to agree with their subjects. 
Grammar Rule #21: Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical
words, however, should be enclosed in commas. 

Grammar Rule #38: Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

Grammar Rule #63: I before E except after C or sounding like 'a' as in
'neighbor' and 'weigh'. Unless it's weird.

Grammar Rule #71: Avoid making run-on sentences that go on and on such that
each and every dependent and independent clause is connected by conjunctions,
prepositions, redundancy, and over-punctuation; it's simply not kosher to see
so many thoughts in one sentence when you can simply separate them into
standalone ones--after all, it's better to make a paragraph from several
sentences than make a paragraph out of a single sentence, even though said
sentence may seem grammatically correct to you... Keep in mind, overworking a
sentence with so many thoughts stuffed into it can lessen the impact of its
meaning, and can thoroughly confuse your reader to boot. 

Grammar Rule #76: Proper capitalization is the difference between "I helped my
Uncle Jack off a horse," and "I helped my uncle jack off a horse."

As for our grammar lessons for today, Grammar Nazi [(C) Aeire, Queen of Wands]
says: Keep one single, strong thought in one sentence. Don't overwork each
sentence by inserting multiple thoughts in it. So remember kids--there's no
excuse for bad grammar. Ever. Die, die nicht korrektes Englisch sprechen
konnen, sollten ihre genitalien abschneiden und sie den Hunden einziehen. SIEG

Also, Komma Klansman [(C) R.K. Milholland, Something Positive] says: Grammar
Rule #21 tells you how (if you can read between the lines) to use commas
properly. I now realize that _that's_ just one part of the problem. The main
problem is, of course, learning to punctuate properly. As a general rule,
sentences which use 'as' ("She said this as she did something else") don't need
to be punctuated with commas (She said this, as she did something else"). On
the other hand, sentences that don't use 'as' ("She said this, feeling regret")
should have proper punctuation 'coz they'd look weird otherwise ("She said this
feeling regret.") Fix your punctuation and syntax errors accordingly. Keep your
sentences correct, pure... and white!

So that's seven grammar rules and two unsolicited advice. Hmmm. Your batting
average is about, well, average save for the two extra broken grammar rules

Okay, now on to the more general comments to round off the specific points I've
taken note of all throughout the fic: Hmmm. Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm. Where
should I start? Oh, I know, let's start here; I hereby dub this chapter the
'Action-packed Chapter'. I believe the message I'm trying to convey is clear
enough, yes? 

Instead of the usual balance of humor, drama, intrigue, character interaction
and action, this chapter's focus was obviously, well, more into action. That's
not to say that the humor, drama, intrigue, and character interaction has taken
a back seat for the action; instead, I believe the action has somewhat become
the focal point for all of that. On that note, the whole story became an
exquisite mix of vulnerability, foolhardiness, bravery, drama (boy, do I love
drama), and good ol' fashioned storytelling. The way the elements meshed
together with the action is truly exquisite; it was sheer, delectable poetry.
It's a pleasure, nay a privilege to be able to give feedback to an author who's
obviously my superior in writing skill, technique, and most certainly output.

But before all the action, the fic still has its trademarked, er,
'lightheartedness' that is its perennial bread and butter. As per usual, it was
a barrel of laughs, especially Minako's scenes. Uniqueness in characterization
and the characters' respective reaction to each other's uniqueness was the main
theme of the introductory parts of the fic before the climactic scene. The
lighter, more cathartic-inducing side of the girls is both a welcome relief and
stark contrast to the induced depression that the climax will probably incur to
the reader. Speaking of the climax, whooooo! It was a doozie. Everyone was
running amuck, and Shang Tsung...

All: (corrects) Xiang Yao.

...Right, what'd I say? Everyone was running amuck, and Xiao Yu played them all
like, er, finely-tuned harpsichords or something. If Nise Suiko's the resident
badass of Ronin Summer, then Shang Tsai is the resident manipulative
villainess; indeed, she plays the archetype of 'pyscho-bitch-in-a-box' right
down to a t. :P Hell, what more can I say? Xiao Xiao's violent actions
obviously speak louder than her threatening words. Speaking of violence and
action... Even with the ever-present estrogen factor found all throughout the
fic, this chapter is full chock of action, boy-comic style. It's taking away
the 'ai' in 'shonen ai' so we're only left with 'shonen' and all that. 

Fangirls: (pouts)

Fanboys: (boggles)

(hem, hem) Anyway, it wasn't so much the intense action that's the whole point
of the fic but instead the resulting consequences of said intense actions; a
fallen comrade by the name of Rei Hino. Indeed, during these critical parts of
~dun-dun-duuuun!~, one could see that the fic was written in such a way that
really captured human emotion and the horrors of facing the dangers of imminent
death. Even though the dangers they all faced isn't really relatable to the
real life context, the feelings and emotions each and everyone had at that
critical point was conveyed in a very realistic manner, making them all the
more believable. 'Coz really, if you're going to get killed by a psychotic
female monster that came from a box, then it's a must for you to 'die' in such
a way that people won't adopt a desensitized, Dragonball Z-ish attitude toward
your 'death'. 

...Then again, seeing that I keep on putting quotation marks on the words 'die'
and 'death', it's quite obvious that I don't think Mars's condition is
permanent in the very least. In so saying, that's pretty much of a Dragonball
Z-ish attitude towards her 'death' already! Not your fault, of course, but... I
forgot what I was trying to say. ^^:

As a final note, _thank you_ for doing a great balancing act with the angst;
that is, there is no whiny, belabored angst, despite the dramatic climax,
seeming death of Mars, and sensational cliffhanger. There was no pretentious
effort to be as impact-filled and angsty as, say, the anime Full Metal
Alchemist's fusion-mutation of a certain little girl and her dog into a
chimera... nor is there any need to emulate such over-the-top drama. The climax
is okay as is.

Being able to focus on human interest without reading like some sort of Goth
Livejournal Entry is a great feat indeed. I've seen good authors fall into the
Ryoga-like pit of Shishi Hoku Dan despair in their fics, so the optimum use of
drama without being so 'melancholy' about it is, well, neat.

Sailor Mars: 'Neat'? I have a death scene that was handled well enough to make
the more grizzled and desensitized reader _not_ roll his eyes in apathy, and
all you can say is 'neat'?!

Me (grizzled and desensitized reader): ...Schyeah. Neat. And that's my...
(calculates) buck and a half. As such, keep on writing. I also apologize for
any spelling and grammar mistake my C&C has made. It'd be ironic for a
correction to need a correction, but we're all only human, after all. 

Continuing my quest to get people to spell 'midair' sans hyphen,

Nixeen: (singies) ~I am Nixeen, going on Neventeen...~

P.S. How about adding the URL for Convergence
( in the fic itself? Couldn't
hurt, right? The original Ronin Summer is quite a great contrast to this
incarnation of the series, btw. ^_^

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