Hindsight (5 Epilogues - Complete)

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QuietlySomething
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Re: Hindsight (5 Epilogues - Complete)

Post by QuietlySomething » Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:47 pm

---

Left to my own devices, and feeling desperate for something to do besides eavesdrop on Lilly and Masaaki, I wander a little from them and realize just how alienated I feel from the overall crowd. I would like to start a conversation with somebody else, just so I don't look like such a loner.

After a moment of searching, I finally spot Kenji, slumped against a wall in the corner of the room like he is hiding from the crowd. Since he is alone, I suppose he is as good of a candidate as any, so I approach him, trying to make myself as visible as possible to account for his eyesight.

He seems briefly startled, but says nothing as I approach, so I start. "Kenji, hello! It's been a long time!"

"Oh, it's you, Haruto," he says quickly, standing up straight suddenly and giving me a curt wave. "I thought you were one of the help."

"Uh… no, it's Hisao, actually."

"Yeah, I know your surname, Haruto, but this is a big event with a lot of strangers and we are supposed to pretend to be friends."

I am briefly taken aback. "I- what? No, it's Hisao."

"For Christ's sake." He adjusts his glasses and makes some kind of nonsensical hand gesture at me. "Do you know the goddamn night I'm having? I cannot deal with your goddamn shit right now. I do not care how you want me to address you; I am going to call you Haruto because that is what I am goddamn supposed to do!"

"Wh- Kenji, what the hell are you talking about? My name is Hisao Nakai. I don't know who Haruto is…"

He freezes, appalled. He takes a moment to think, then immediately thrusts himself to put us face-to-face and adjusts his glasses. "Oh. Oh… oh my God. I am so sorry."

"I… uh…"

"I am so sorry. I thought you were someone else."

After a few moments of looking genuinely frightened, he completely turns his persona on its head, returning to the stylish sort of smile he made when he gave his speech.

I am almost too bewildered to speak. "That's. Uh. That's okay, Kenji."

"I've had a really long night."

"That's okay."

"I don't think the people here are 'the help'. I mean, God, how pretentious would you have to be to say something like that, right? I would never say something like that."

"I don't… I mean… but… you literally just said that, though. You used those exact words."

He narrows his eyes, looking stunned. "Did I? I think you misheard me. I would never say something like that."

"Yes, you did."

"But did I?"

"…Yes."

"Alright, that's a fair point. I can understand your point of view."

"It's not- look, it doesn't matter. I don't care about that, Kenji. I just came over to say that I liked your speech…"

"Oh, did you? Thanks; my intern wrote that."

"I thought that was unscripted…"

"Ha! Unscripted! You're funny, Hiroshi."

"Hisao."

"Yeah, that too." He adjusts his glasses, apparently relieved to move on from the previous subject. "I really liked the speech, personally, but he took out the part about my statue, even though I specifically told him to add it in. And I didn't have time to revise the speech myself this week."

"Your statue?"

"Yeah, I'm having a statue of myself put in near the place where I work. Apparently the water lines didn't line up, so it couldn't be a fountain."

"That's, uh, neat…"

"Thanks, it's pretty great. I've always seen myself as a 'statue' kind of person, you know? So it's about time someone recognized me for my achievements."

I feel more than vindicated for being suspicious of him now. It's funny how much time numbed me to Kenji's sheer insanity. I'm a little surprised that he doesn't seem to remember me, but then I suppose there was no real chance of him recognizing me by my appearance alone.

"You're pretty cool; you know that, dude?" Kenji fixes his glasses, seeming to relax a little. "It's so hard to tell what kinds of people you're going to run into at this kind of thing. This place is full of crazies. I just hate those art people, you know?"

"What art people?"

"You know. Art people. Those kinds of people who think they're better than everyone else just because they get their jollies by staring at paint on a canvas."

"Oh. Uh. Yeah. I guess I understand that. I don't think I really understand art, personally."

"You know what? You get it. You get it, man. You're one of the good ones."

"…Thank you?"

"Yeah."

Kenji punches me in the arm, which I guess is supposed to be a friendly gesture, but he does it much too hard, and it ends up just making my arm sore.

"Look at 'em. You can pick some of them out just from the way they carry themselves." Kenji gestures to the crowd with a broad, sweeping gesture. After a few moments of analysis, he settles on Lilly, who is still talking to Masaaki, although she seems to have calmed down a little. "Lilly Satou," Kenji identifies. "Femme fatale. Did you know she's a communist? A rich communist, too; what irony."

I'm impressed that he can even tell who she is from this distance, let alone that he still remembers her after all this time, but I feel like there are more pressing issues at the moment.

"…Uh, I don't think she's a communist, Kenji."

"They actually hire a lot of blind people. Blind people make great spies. Did you know that?"

"Wait, what? Who hires blind people?"

"The KGB. Try to keep up, dude."

"…I don't think there is a KGB anymore."

"So naiive…" He cups his hand around his ear to make a point. "They're listening to us, man. Smartphones and shit. They have access to any information they want. They know your browsing history. All your deepest, darkest secrets." He gestures to Lilly again. "She's probably listening in on us right now. Recording this entire conversation."

"I don't think she is."

"They have sonar hearing. Like bats. It's, like, a hundred times better than our hearing, trust me. They can tell if you're lying from your heartbeat," Kenji mutters, scratching his chin. "I never trusted her, the sneaky bitch…"

"…Yeah, okay, that's my wife, Kenji. And she's not even Russian; she's Scottish."

He freezes in place again, only turning his head to glance back and forth between Lilly and I. I would probably be much more offended if I weren't so thoroughly confused.

After being completely silent for over a minute, he finally looks me straight in the eye and smiles disingenuously. "…She's a lovely woman."

"I… you just called her a sneaky bitch."

He blinks once. "Yeah… I respect that, you know? Russia is a great country. They really keep their shit under control. The Russians are tough bitches. Tough, sneaky bitches."

"You are a terrible liar."

"What, you think you're better than me?"

The tone shift is extremely abrupt, so much so that I am barely able to react to it. Kenji is suddenly red in the face, and I have no idea why that in particular set him off.

"What? No! What are you talking about?"

"You think you're better than me, just because of your perfect eyesight, and your slick, casual bedhead, and your hot Soviet wife! Well, I'm not impressed! I make more in two hours than you make in a year, buddy! This tuxedo is worth more than your house!"

"She's Scottish, and I don't know what the hell you're talking about. Why are you so upset?"

"Why am I upset? Gee, I don't know! Maybe I have a good goddamn reason to be upset! Maybe I thought you were cool! Maybe I thought I could confide in you! Maybe I just spent the past four goddamn months of my life trying to learn about a bunch of stupid, bullshit, abstract art that I can barely even goddamn see, because of one goddamn painting that I bought while I was stoned out of my mind, so that I can talk to a delusional painter that I cannot goddamn understand, so that I can impress a bunch of dumbass investors that I don't even goddamn like, so that I can contribute to a system that is making me lose my mind and is going to run our entire goddamn country into the ground!"

"…What?"

"I can't do this anymore! Do you understand me? I can't deal with these people!"

"Deal with what people?"

"Money consumes you, do you get that? It eats you alive from the inside out! All these people, they're like shells of themselves. Just gone. I'm gone. My mind is gone! I can't see anymore!"

"I thought you were blind."

"Legally blind! Good God, man! And metaphorically blind! There are so many Kenjis! So many! How do I even know who I'm looking at in the mirror in the morning? Don't you understand?"

"No. No, I do not. Not even close."

With one sudden, frighteningly aggressive gesture, Kenji throws himself forward and grabs me by the shirt collar, pulling me in uncomfortably close. His cologne burns my nostrils.

"How do I know, when I look into the mirror, and my breath fogs everything up, and I see that colorful blob staring back at me through the void? How do I know who that is? How do I know which Kenji that is? Good lord, I don't even know who I am anymore!"

Kenji releases me, and I stumble backwards, completely and utterly speechless.

"Listen to me," he says with a bizarre, measured calmness. "You're one of the lucky ones. You're a good guy. There's still time for you. You go get your hot wife. Go back to Siberia. Live in the mountains or something. Live a peaceful life. Worldly possessions are a scourge on mankind. A scourge."

"She's Scottish, but… okay?"

"Good man. Good man." He takes a deep breath, apparently starting to settle down, and wanders past me, patting me on the shoulder. "Christ, what does a guy have to do to get a tranquilizer around here?"

He wanders off, like he forgot I was standing there.

Seems about right, for a reunion with Kenji, anyway.

After a few moments, and a good pinch on the arm to remind myself that I'm not dreaming, my eyes wander back to Lilly. Masaaki is nowhere to be seen, and I realize that I basically abandoned her without a guide. Still, no doubt she had a better time on her own than I did, so it's hard to feel guilty about it.

"Lilly," I call out sheepishly.

"There you are," she says with a sigh. "I'm sorry; that took longer than I anticipated."

"It's fine. Are you alright…?"

"Yes, of course. I just really felt like I had to say something. Masaaki can be really tone-deaf sometimes. Can you believe he said that?"

"Yeah, uh, I don't know. But I'm glad you got it sorted out. Is there a reason you didn't want me to be there?"

She thinks for a moment, then waves her hand. "I'm not sure. I suppose I didn't want to lower your opinion of me."

"There isn't much you could do that would do that."

"Hm." She turns to the side and grabs onto my arm again, smiling fondly. "Let's go for a walk."

"Why?"

"Excuse me?" she scoffs jokingly.

"I was just wondering if there was any particular reason."

"I would like to go for a walk with my husband. Do I need a reason?"

"Uh. No, no, I guess not." I glance over toward the bar. I have no idea where Kenji wandered off to. "I, uh, I guess I'm just feeling a little suspicious of everything right now."

"Really? Why is that?"

"…No reason."

She obviously doubts that, but if she is curious about my actual reasoning, she doesn't make it known to me.

At her prompting, I lead Lilly out through the entrance of the cafeteria and onto the school grounds, which are now sparsely populated with graduates from the reunion. The sun has now long set, and it is very dark, lit only by a few streetlights laid intermittently along the path. It's beautiful out in the moonlight, and peaceful in the kind of way that makes you forget that you're not alone.

Lilly clings to my side like she's eager to go somewhere or do something, but I don't have any actual destination in mind as I lead her along the path. It feels good to just be able to relax after having to deal with all these people.

"It sure has been a long day," I say to the air, after a few minutes of walking around in silence. "New people are exhausting."

"Don't get all negative now. We're on a date." Lilly puts her hand on my shoulder and turns me around to face her.

Her head is tilted a little downward so that her line of sight would be around my chest. I wonder briefly if it looks strange to anyone who can see the two of us right now…

"We are? When was that established?" I ask facetiously.

"It's been established. I hope it isn't going to be a problem for you, Hisao…"

"No. Not a problem. I am just curious as to why you seem to be so invested in the idea."

"Of course you are. Because it is one of the world's great mysteries, how anyone could possibly be in love with Hisao Nakai of all people, isn't that right?" With her typical forwardness, she kisses me, wrapping both arms around the back of my neck to pull me towards her. "Now… say something romantic."

Oh, dear. "Uh. I. Think. That." I allow myself a sigh. "…I don't know. Don't put me on the spot like that."

"What about, 'I love you'?"

"Well, that's not really romantic, just because it's true."

"It's supposed to be true, Hisao."

"But saying 'I love you' is kind of mundane, don't you think? I say that to you all the time. I say that to my parents, you know? I say that to Mitsue. I would rather think of something that I would only say to you. Now that we're on a date."

"Well, that's very sweet of you." She shrugs slightly, now raising an eyebrow at me. "But that means you now have to come up with something."

"Right now?"

"Yes."

"Fine." I take a breath, doing my best to read the situation. "You… are the most beautiful woman I have ever met, and I am constantly in awe of you."

She thinks on that with a smile for a moment, brushing a strand of hair out of her face. "You spend so much time telling me how beautiful I am."

"Well, I think it would be dishonest to do anything else."

"You should come up with a compliment that I can just as easily return."

"That sounds a bit self-indulgent." I chuckle to myself. "Besides, I already know that you think I'm handsome."

She smiles at that and pulls her arms away from my neck. Instead, she rests them against my chest so she can run her hands across my face. If any spectators weren't confused before, they definitely are now.

"Oh, goodness, you need to shave," Lilly laughs quietly.

"I know, I know; I was busy with Mitsue this morning and forgot. But I kind of like it like this. It's five o'clock shadow. I think it makes me look manlier."

"You are perfectly manly, Hisao."

"I dunno."

She laughs openly at me, but I suppose that's more flattering than anything.

After a while, she finally pulls her hands away from me, though she stays just as close as she was before.

"What do you think?" I ask lightheartedly. "Am I as handsome as I was when we first met?"

"More," she says with a confident nod.

"Really? It's the five o'clock shadow, isn't it?"

She smiles and then pauses and shakes her head, becoming a bit more serious than before. "No. It's the way you carry yourself."

"What do you mean?"

"You've found yourself. You know what kind of person you want to be now. It makes you seem much more confident than before. It's very attractive."

It's a very sincere compliment, and I'm a little lost at how to respond to it at first. "Thank you, Lilly…"

She tilts her head to the side a little bit. The fact that she is beautiful is still the first compliment that comes to mind when I look at her, and I appreciate that I can tell her that without even the slightest trace of insincerity. Still, there are a hundred other compliments I could come up with aside from that… the only problem is, I don't know how many she could easily return. She sets the bar pretty high for comparison, in any respect.

This time I kiss her. It does take her a little by surprise, but she seems to appreciate the gesture.

I pull away only barely, to keep my face close to hers. "I love you."

She waits for a moment, then places her hands over mine and steps away from me. "…Well, I would say that was pretty romantic, wouldn't you?"

"Yes; I was wrong. Again."

"Tell me something, Hisao." With sudden urgency, she pulls me along by the hand onto the grass, gesturing out towards nothing in particular. "The sun is long down by now, isn't it? It seems like we're nearly alone out here. Is it pretty out? Describe it to me."

It certainly is- that's my first thought, at least. It's not often I'm out here with clear skies and a full moon. The moonlight reflects off of the grass in a way that feels kind of spectacular and beautiful.

I glance over to Lilly, who stays turned out toward the campus with a completely innocent smile.

"…You're testing me!"

She seems surprised, and turns toward me suddenly. "Hm?"

"This is a test, Lilly. You're testing me!"

Just like that, her expression immediately morphs into a guilty frown, and she turns back.

"I'm not going to dignify it with a response," I continue, scandalized.

"Well… then I suppose that means you pass, doesn't it?" Lilly replies approvingly.

"What would you have said?" I pull on her shoulder a bit. "What would you have said if I had just told you?"

She smiles with amusement, not turning. "I don't know. I was just curious to see how you would respond."

"As though I don't understand you well enough by now."

"I know you do. You understand me better than anyone I know. That is one of the things I love about you."

"Then why the testing?"

"I like to reaffirm it, I suppose." She puts a hand to her face. "…I'm not going to apologize."

"I wasn't going to ask you to."

She laughs, clinging to my arm a little. "…Well, I would have, if you had."

I wonder if being back at Yamaku is putting her in an unusually good mood. Maybe it's the air? Kenji said- or, rather, Kenji's intern said, I guess- that it was good for you at this elevation. If that's it, maybe I could get her to come work here, after all.

Either way, it will be a long time before that would even come up, as she's only in the very beginning of her pregnancy. There's still a long way to go.

I guess I'm feeling kind of sentimental again.

"Okay. Now it's my turn to say something outrageous."

She hesitates for only a second, a bit concerned but still affectionate. "I suppose that is fair."

"I was feeling a little guilty. Earlier on today. I'm not sure why, really. Maybe it's something about having Akira around to babysit."

"Guilty? What on Earth were you feeling guilty for?"

Paradoxically, it is hard to actually get myself to say it, even though it feels good to talk about it. "I'm worried about what's going to happen to Mitsue, if I… if… something happens to me."

She is quiet for a long time, then smiles a little. "…Sometimes, Hisao, I think you just say things because you like to comfort me when I start to cry."

"Oh, believe me, it would be much easier for me if you didn't cry when I tried to talk about this."

She laughs wryly, trying to relax herself a little. "Well, I promise I won't."

"Thank you."

We're both quiet for a minute or two.

"If it makes you feel better, I worry about that all the time," Lilly says seriously.

"I don't know if that makes me feel better or worse."

"I was always worried about what I would do if something happened to you. It has always been probably the most frightening thing in the world to me. But it got a hundred times worse last year, because now it's Mitsue that I'm worried about that for, and not myself."

She is serious and firm, but now that I'm looking for it, it does kind of seem like she's trying not to cry.

Eventually I come up with a response. "Does it make me a bad person if I feel regret?"

"What do you mean, you 'feel regret'?"

"I feel like… I don't know. I guess sometimes I feel like it was irresponsible to have Mitsue. Whatever happens to him… it will sort of be my fault, won't it?"

"No, it won't. And no, that doesn't make you a bad person. But you absolutely shouldn't regret anything."

"I do wonder sometimes." I shrug- at this point, I'm just thinking aloud. "There are a lot of things we could have done differently. I don't know if I regret them. But I wonder sometimes."

"I don't want you to feel guilty."

"What if you moved to Scotland? Do you ever think about it?"

"What do you mean? When?"

"In high school."

"You mean, what if you had never followed me to the airport?"

"That's right."

"No."

"No what?"

"No, I've never wondered about that."

"Things would be really different."

"Of course they would."

"I just wonder."

"There's no use in that." She sighs, taking a moment as though she is trying to come up with the proper phrasing. "Do you love me?"

"Of course I do."

"Do you love Mitsue?"

"God. Of course."

"Then why bother getting sentimental about that? How could things have possibly gone any better than this?"

I know she's right, of course. Even still… it gnaws at me a little.

"You're telling me you never think about it? Honestly."

"Honestly, Hisao." She turns to face me again. "Let me be honest with you. I will tell you the God-given truth, so that you will never have to worry about this again." She clasps her hands together. "Not for one moment. Not for one moment have I ever wondered if having Mitsue was the right decision, and not for one moment in ten years have I ever regretted staying here in Japan with you. Never. I don't wonder what it would be like. I am the happiest I could ever imagine myself being. That is the truth."

"Oh my God." …As though I wasn't feeling sentimental enough before. "I love you so much, Lilly."

"I know you do. You don't have to feel guilty about anything. I just want you to see things from my point of view." She smiles gently. "I love you."

I look out over Yamaku's campus again. Amusingly, now that Lilly said something about it, I am really tuned into how beautiful it is. I wonder briefly what the night is like for her.

I don't think anyone else outside is paying attention to us, which is good, because I would prefer not to have anything cut into the intimacy.

I feel appreciative like I never have before. Lilly is so insightful; I am so glad I have her around.

I don't know why I get so sentimental now, or why I wonder so much. It's an interesting thought, what she said… I honestly don't know if I could possibly be any happier in life than I am right now, no matter what I did.

But Lilly is right.

What's the use in wondering about it?

---

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Hindsight (5 Epilogues - Complete)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:27 pm

QuietlySomething wrote:
Mirage_GSM wrote:The thing that stuck out the most to me was how terrible both Hisao's and Shizune's memories regarding their classmates are: They spent a whole year together as a class - three in Shizune's case - and still don't recognize anyone at the reunion? I think I'd probably recognize more than nine out of ten of the people from my final year if I ran into them and it's been a lot longer than ten years...
I think the main problem I faced with this whole fic is that the VN paid very little emphasis on any of the other students that Hisao interacted with. I guess overall I was afraid that if I attempted to integrate much other students too much then I would end up giving too much emphasis to arbitrary characters or have interactions that didn't really amount to anything. So poor memory is something of a copout for me there. :P
I hope that it doesn't detract from the story too much overall, because if that's a big issue for you in the first chapter it's not going to go away any time soon haha.

Anyway I really appreciate your comments. I haven't gotten such detailed feedback on this before and a second opinion is always welcome.
Cheers!
Finished Emi's part now, and I have to say that problem is not as pronounced there - probably because their focus is so much on Rin that they hardly interact with any others except for Lilly and they both recognize her. (Hanako still gets the short stick, though...)
Oh and Misha, but in her case not recognizing her is entirely justified :-)

I like that you gave this arc a plot of its own that sets it apart from the first arc instead of just being the same party with a different viewpoint. I hope you can keep that up for the last three arcs.

I probably wouldn't have repeated all of Kenji's speech again. It's nice that it seems to provide a common feature for each arc - like Iwanako's letter does in the VN - but in the VN it is also not included in its entirety in each route. As it was I found myself skipping those paragraphs as soon as I noticed they were identical to the ones in the first arc.

Okay... I'll get back to you after Hanako's arc, though it might take me a few days...
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Zerebos
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Re: Hindsight (5 Epilogues - Complete)

Post by Zerebos » Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:41 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote: I probably wouldn't have repeated all of Kenji's speech again. It's nice that it seems to provide a common feature for each arc - like Iwanako's letter does in the VN - but in the VN it is also not included in its entirety in each route. As it was I found myself skipping those paragraphs as soon as I noticed they were identical to the ones in the first arc.
I'd have to agree with Mirage on this one, I also skipped those sections.

I did enjoy these epilogues though, they were very cool and definitely fit the personalities of the girls. Hisao in the Lilly epilogue also fit with the Hisao from Lilly's route where they are both worried about his health and dying, it's a nice touch!

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Re: Hindsight (5 Epilogues - Complete)

Post by QuietlySomething » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:10 pm

Zerebos wrote:
Mirage_GSM wrote: I probably wouldn't have repeated all of Kenji's speech again. It's nice that it seems to provide a common feature for each arc - like Iwanako's letter does in the VN - but in the VN it is also not included in its entirety in each route. As it was I found myself skipping those paragraphs as soon as I noticed they were identical to the ones in the first arc.
I'd have to agree with Mirage on this one, I also skipped those sections.
Yes that's a very good point. It's the kind of thing I didn't think about much as I was writing this in chunks but looking back it is definitely redundant to repeat it. In hindsight I should have shaved it down for the later chapters similar to what the VN did with Iwanako's letter, as you mentioned, Mirage.
Zerebos wrote:I did enjoy these epilogues though, they were very cool and definitely fit the personalities of the girls. Hisao in the Lilly epilogue also fit with the Hisao from Lilly's route where they are both worried about his health and dying, it's a nice touch!
Thanks for your input; glad you liked it! I wanted them to feel like a natural progression from their respective routes, thematically speaking; I think Lilly's was particularly explicit that way.
Last edited by QuietlySomething on Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Hindsight (5 Epilogues - Complete)

Post by HoneyBakedHam » Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:59 pm

Overall, I enjoyed these (still working on Lilly's epilogue though). I'm enjoying your work so far, between this and the Naomi route on FanFiction.

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Re: Hindsight (5 Epilogues - Complete)

Post by QuietlySomething » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:13 pm

HoneyBakedHam wrote:I'm enjoying your work so far, between this and the Naomi route on FanFiction.
Oh hey, thanks for checking me out on FF. Yeah I was thinking about putting that on this forum but to be completely honest I'm not sure how I feel about the quality of it myself yet :?

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Re: Hindsight (5 Epilogues - Complete)

Post by HoneyBakedHam » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:19 pm

QuietlySomething wrote:
HoneyBakedHam wrote:I'm enjoying your work so far, between this and the Naomi route on FanFiction.
Oh hey, thanks for checking me out on FF. Yeah I was thinking about putting that on this forum but to be completely honest I'm not sure how I feel about the quality of it myself yet :?
The route, as a whole, is great. I like how you've portrayed Naomi and Natsume. I do like the jealousy streak you have for Naomi anytime a girl and Hisao get brought up the most. That and the flirting from Naomi.

There's little stuff here and there I could pick, but they weren't that much of a notice for me to remember it and bring it up. I'd have to reread the chapters again just to call you out on something and I'm backed up with theses work and have a lazy streak, so you're safe. 😜

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Re: Hindsight (5 Epilogues - Complete)

Post by brythain » Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:40 am

I think this is an excellent pentology, so to speak. Each character is plausible and the dialogue bounces around with appropriate verve, brio, insanity or whatever motivates your characters' speech and thought. The way each arc reflects on the rest is also interesting.

Minor point: some editing needed here and there, but it's a -very- minor point, all said. :)
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Re: Hindsight (5 Epilogues - Complete)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:58 pm

Something that comes up several times in your writings:
There's a reason Lilly and her are still so dangerous around each other.
"Lilly and she"
Her and Lilly Satou, if you…"
"She and Lilly Satou"
people are together in their own gangs and don't pay Rin and I any mind at all.
she swerves around the counter and dashes up to Rin and I
"Rin and me" - both times
It's hard to imagine how she could possibly be having boy trouble, and she doesn't seem to be able to understand it, either.
I was wondering why you had given that role to Emi... Felt really stupid when I realized it...

Finished the Hanako and Rin arcs now.

Nothing much to say about Hanako's...

Rin's was exceptionally well written, but also really depressing - as most stories about Rin tend to be... At least to me ^^°
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

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Re: Hindsight (5 Epilogues - Complete)

Post by QuietlySomething » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:37 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:Something that comes up several times in your writings:
There's a reason Lilly and her are still so dangerous around each other.
"Lilly and she"
Her and Lilly Satou, if you…"
"She and Lilly Satou"
people are together in their own gangs and don't pay Rin and I any mind at all.
she swerves around the counter and dashes up to Rin and I
"Rin and me" - both times
Yeah, one of the things I really tend to shoot from the hip on... I never know what the right thing is to put lol. Thanks for the editing.
Mirage_GSM wrote:Finished the Hanako and Rin arcs now.

Nothing much to say about Hanako's...

Rin's was exceptionally well written, but also really depressing - as most stories about Rin tend to be... At least to me ^^°
I think Rin can be a pretty depressing character in general... but thanks for the praise. I think Rin's was probably the chapter I enjoyed writing most.

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Re: Hindsight (5 Epilogues - Complete)

Post by rhyozaki » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:15 am

I enjoyed your epilogues. I've been procrastinating on studying all week by reading KS stories after replaying the game the previous week. The characters feel rather accurate to the game, although Mutou's lines in Shizune's story was a bit strange. I understand you had a line in there that tried to explain his changed tone, but it feels off when I compared it to how he was in the game.

I found the different takes on the same event pretty interesting, but I can't help but think an opportunity was missed with Kenji's speech. I was hoping there would be different reactions/lines for the different stories, and was disappointed when it was the same thing. I was amused with Kenji's interactions in Lilly's story though. At first I thought the boy had become some sort of high-class snob, but then found out he still believe in some conspiracy theory. He became a lot more aggressive though. I've always just thought of him as a more passive-like character and not one to grab someone by the collar and yell profanities. I guess that's just the power of time.

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Re: Hindsight (5 Epilogues - Complete)

Post by QuietlySomething » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:11 am

rhyozaki wrote:I enjoyed your epilogues. I've been procrastinating on studying all week by reading KS stories after replaying the game the previous week. The characters feel rather accurate to the game, although Mutou's lines in Shizune's story was a bit strange. I understand you had a line in there that tried to explain his changed tone, but it feels off when I compared it to how he was in the game.
Personally I always kind of got the impression Mutou was passionate about teaching but awkward about students which is sort of what inspired how I wrote him in Shizune's. I didn't really mean for it to come off like his tone as a character had changed (which is comparable to what I did with Kenji) so much as to put him in a different context.
rhyozaki wrote:I found the different takes on the same event pretty interesting, but I can't help but think an opportunity was missed with Kenji's speech.
Yes that does seem to be the common consensus doesn't it?
rhyozaki wrote:I was hoping there would be different reactions/lines for the different stories, and was disappointed when it was the same thing. I was amused with Kenji's interactions in Lilly's story though. At first I thought the boy had become some sort of high-class snob, but then found out he still believe in some conspiracy theory. He became a lot more aggressive though. I've always just thought of him as a more passive-like character and not one to grab someone by the collar and yell profanities. I guess that's just the power of time.
I think I took a risk with Kenji that didn't really pay off; he was definitely the most changed so I definitely get how he seems mis-characterized. I did try to vary Hisao's responses to Kenji through the different chapters but ultimately I think it was more arbitrary and less shallow than I had intended going in. Overall that was a missed opportunity. :?

Anyway thank you very much for taking the time to read and for leaving your thoughts; it's much appreciated. Glad you enjoyed overall. Though you probably should have taken the time to study instead, lol.

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Re: Trial by Fire

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:17 pm

We're left alone again, and now that it's just Lilly and I, I feel...
Lilly and me
My father is very patriarchal, so I suppose he has claimed me in the name of Scotland, in a sense.
Actually it's her mother who is scottish.
Lilly's father is Japanese and Jigoro's brother in law.

Okay, finished the last part now.

I'm a bit relieved that the person in the white tuxedo was indeed Kenji. I had suspected him to be switched out by aliens or something...

Not sure how to feel about the bit wih Hanako's boyfriend. There were a few things that were hinted at but not resolved in the end. When Hanako said he was at the reunion I thought it was Kenji at first. Would have been only the second story with a Hanako X Kenji pairing that I know of :lol:

And I didn't get the thing about the test in the end...

Finally about Hisao not recognizing anyone from his year... I get that you didn't want to get sidetracked by conversations that don't add to your story, but you're not obligated to keep the camera on Hisao from start to finish. You can use time-skips and include meeting other people without writing out every conversation line by line. Just a tip for future projects.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

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Re: Hindsight (5 Epilogues - Complete)

Post by Oddball » Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:01 pm

I started to feel bad for Hisao in the Shizune chapter at first. it seems she's become even more insufferable with time. I actually started to feel bad for Hisao a the start of the Shizune chapter. She seems to have become even more insufferable than ever. Likewise her people skills seem even worse than they were in Highschool. She even seems to still be holding onto grudges from Highschool. While the end of the chapter was rather sweet and the sex on the teachers desk thing was funny, the rest had a very melancholy feel to it. The idea that Misha moved away and that Hisao didn't even remember Hananko at all were two nice touches that were sad, but made the story feel more real.

When Chapter 2 started off, I was thrown for a while. Hana made me think of Hanako but that never seemed to fit, and I was still stuck on Hisao being with Shizune so it took me a while to even figure out who's point of view the chapter was from. I didn't realize that you switched relationships between chapters. Once I did get it though, I found it incredibly enjoyable. Hisao and Emi's family may have money problems really seem like a fun bunch that really care for each other. Misha was also great in this chapter. It was very striking seeing how good she was doing here compared to how they referred to her in Shizune's version. The fact that Misha's role and status changed drastically depending on the route was interesting in itself.

Likewise,I enjoyed seeing how Hisao interpreted Kenji's speech each time in a different manner. Good job saving the payoff for the last chapter there, where we find out he's still the same old loon we know and love. I was actually worried about him in some versions.

For Emi's chapter, Rin seemed to have it bad. Depressingly "worst of Rin's route" bad. Noguchi seemed like an even worse person than Nomiya. I didn't think it could get worse for her, but then I read her own version of the route. Ten years later and they still can't talk to each other and don't know how their relationship is going. It seems Rin hasn't really changed at all, and she's dragging Hisao down with her.

I actually liked the strain in Lilly's relationship. It's not that they weren't friends anymore, but that they just weren't quite sure how to be friends with the way they'd grown. Having them meet up with Shizune, Hideaki, and the rest was interesting as well. This time it was with a far more mellow Hisao that knew everybody and was more relaxed and that only made Shizune's tale seem worse by comparison. She just does not come across well in this (these?) stories. I do wish I could have seen some of Hanako's interactions with Hisao's family though. That sounded interesting.

Lilly's chapter was a nice way to cap everything off. It seemed Hisao was more comfortable and well adjusted here than most of the others, as well as being more social. The fact you end it saying that he never wondered how else things could have turned out was a really nice touch too.

The only negative part was Hanako's boyfriend. There seems something untrustworthy and shady about that guy. Shame we didn't get anything resolved there, but I guess that wasn't her story.
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Re: Hindsight (5 Epilogues - Complete)

Post by QuietlySomething » Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:34 am

Oddball wrote:I started to feel bad for Hisao in the Shizune chapter at first. it seems she's become even more insufferable with time. I actually started to feel bad for Hisao a the start of the Shizune chapter. She seems to have become even more insufferable than ever. Likewise her people skills seem even worse than they were in Highschool. She even seems to still be holding onto grudges from Highschool. While the end of the chapter was rather sweet and the sex on the teachers desk thing was funny, the rest had a very melancholy feel to it. The idea that Misha moved away and that Hisao didn't even remember Hananko at all were two nice touches that were sad, but made the story feel more real.

When Chapter 2 started off, I was thrown for a while. Hana made me think of Hanako but that never seemed to fit, and I was still stuck on Hisao being with Shizune so it took me a while to even figure out who's point of view the chapter was from. I didn't realize that you switched relationships between chapters. Once I did get it though, I found it incredibly enjoyable. Hisao and Emi's family may have money problems really seem like a fun bunch that really care for each other. Misha was also great in this chapter. It was very striking seeing how good she was doing here compared to how they referred to her in Shizune's version. The fact that Misha's role and status changed drastically depending on the route was interesting in itself.

Likewise,I enjoyed seeing how Hisao interpreted Kenji's speech each time in a different manner. Good job saving the payoff for the last chapter there, where we find out he's still the same old loon we know and love. I was actually worried about him in some versions.

For Emi's chapter, Rin seemed to have it bad. Depressingly "worst of Rin's route" bad. Noguchi seemed like an even worse person than Nomiya. I didn't think it could get worse for her, but then I read her own version of the route. Ten years later and they still can't talk to each other and don't know how their relationship is going. It seems Rin hasn't really changed at all, and she's dragging Hisao down with her.

I actually liked the strain in Lilly's relationship. It's not that they weren't friends anymore, but that they just weren't quite sure how to be friends with the way they'd grown. Having them meet up with Shizune, Hideaki, and the rest was interesting as well. This time it was with a far more mellow Hisao that knew everybody and was more relaxed and that only made Shizune's tale seem worse by comparison. She just does not come across well in this (these?) stories. I do wish I could have seen some of Hanako's interactions with Hisao's family though. That sounded interesting.

Lilly's chapter was a nice way to cap everything off. It seemed Hisao was more comfortable and well adjusted here than most of the others, as well as being more social. The fact you end it saying that he never wondered how else things could have turned out was a really nice touch too.

The only negative part was Hanako's boyfriend. There seems something untrustworthy and shady about that guy. Shame we didn't get anything resolved there, but I guess that wasn't her story.
Wow, thanks for the detailed response. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

I definitely do see how Shizune comes across badly in this fic although that wasn't necessarily my intention. I think that Shizune is at least partly the victim of circumstance; between her tarnished relationship with MIsha and her home life I couldn't really imagine her ending up super well adjusted or having healthy relationships. I do think Hisao is good for her though and I do hope that came through at least somewhat in Shizune's chapter.

As for Rin, I think she is inherently difficult to have a relationship with, but for as much difficulty as Hisao and Rin may have I would at least hope it is still better than her situation in Emi's chapter where she is being pretty flatly taken advantage of. Or that was my thinking at least.

I wanted to end on Lilly's because the future was a pretty relevant theme for that route in the VN. And yeah, there was definitely more of a story to tell about Coen that I didn't flesh out enough. I guess in hindsight I would say I didn't want to draw too much attention to Hanako in that chapter. But a story for another day, I suppose :P

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