A pseudo-pseudo Suzu route (completed)

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bpgbcg
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Re: A pseudo-pseudo Suzu route (completed)

Post by bpgbcg » Wed May 22, 2013 1:27 pm

Sorry to bump this again for the same reason, but I recorded the "theme" I posted earlier in this thread; I think it sounds significantly better/more relevant to the arc in this than in the Finale playback (earlier mp3) so if you listened to that you might like this a bit more. Sorry about the low quality ; I just basically downloaded audacity on my laptop to record (and for my several mistakes).
Suzu theme recording mp3.mp3
(2.22 MiB) Downloaded 258 times
(Original post containing sheet music is here.)
Piano music for the KS soundtrack; I've done a few transcriptions which are on page 43 of that thread. Also, I wrote a musical theme for Scissorlips' amazing Suzu pseudo-route, which I then recorded here.

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Re: A pseudo-pseudo Suzu route (completed)

Post by doyalike » Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:53 pm

Does anyone know which chapter was the one they had phone sex (I think that's what happened) in? That's the one I left off on.

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Re: A pseudo-pseudo Suzu route (completed)

Post by pip25 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:13 pm

Okay, I just finished Act 3, but I can't keep going any longer. I need a breather, and at the risk of making myself look stupid again, I'll try to review these parts before moving on to the last act sometime later.
First of all, I can see now that there is a good reason why this thread is 57 pages long. ;) I think you are one truly talented writer. :) I do envy the way you are able to create memorable characters basically out of thin air, and create a story of this length that (minor hiccups aside) feels so well paced. I admit that I was skeptical of reading a KS fanfic where Hisao is not the narrator (although many people seem sick of him here, to me it's almost something of a genre requirement ;) ), but you managed to turn that initial skepticism around incredibly quickly.
The first two acts were nothing short of a true delight. Loved Suzu's character, her unique way of narration (though I'd suggest using some semicolons on occasion), her tangents (Stumpfist! XD), daydreams, the way her dreams melded into reality. The twist at the end of Act 2 may have been an age-old plot device, but it was executed so masterfully that I never thought of complaining about it for a moment. And all those hints during the dream too... simply put, it was awesome. :) This really is a story that can only be told from Suzu's point of view and no one else's, and man, did you use the opportunity to its fullest.

And yet... here I am, at the end of Arc 3 after choosing what appears to be the "correct" answer at the choice point, and I still cannot help but feel sad. I'm sad because, as much as it pains me to say this, the opportunity I mentioned above has turned out to be a double edged sword.
The pacing of the plot suffered a little here, as others have pointed out. I think the main problem might be that you brought up Suzu's hidden secrets and her fear of the future a bit too quickly, but obviously couldn't solve them straight away, and so things have been drawn out somewhat. Of course, they were there from the very beginning to an extent with the Battleship games and all, but you actually had a very good opportunity to momentarily put them on the backburner after Suzu won the game. In this aspect, the story reminds me of Emi's route: there, her father's death is the big secret that keeps her and Hisao apart, but a whole lot of things happen before the story starts introducing that issue in earnest, giving Hisao and Emi some time to bond first. It might have helped here too.
But actually that wasn't the most seriously problem, I feel. I realized this only after Suzu finally opened up to Hisao, and the uneasy feeling in my gut still refused to go away. Something changed about Suzu herself, and not for the better.
I find it almost bewildering when she refers to her former self at the beginning of the story as something negative, something she improved from. I don't see what she's getting at, even in retrospect. The Suzu at the beginning seemed like a fairly balanced individual; she's learned to live with her condition, she had a friend she can count on (and who can count on her; Miki's phantom pain scene was great) and things seemed to be pretty good. Well, okay, she was playing Battleship with the Grim Reaper, and she obviously hated that, but even that was treated in a slightly stoic, "oh well, that's life" manner.
In contrast, the Suzu in Act 3 spends most of her time crying, angsting, musing about how much narcolepsy sucks, wallowing in inaction and self-hatred, and then crying some more. And, my good Lord, I've read through every single part of that in her first person narrative. I suspect it might not have been so bad when people went through it one chapter at a time, but all at once like this, it's positively exhausting. Of course I know that you need to face your problems before you can put them behind you, but this is like a bit too much. Actually, not just a bit. It has gotten to the point that I swear, if I spot the phrase "I don't deserve this" one more time in her internal monologue, I'm going to scream.
It doesn't help that so far Hisao is more or less just tagging along. The canon KS routes always involve (among other things) a conflict between Hisao and the chosen heroine, and the outcome mostly depends on how, if at all, they manage to handle it. This happens here too, to an extent, but 80% of the conflict is still just between Suzu and none other than herself. Hisao is mostly just there to act as a good, supportive boyfriend. I can understand why, I mean, Suzu has enough problems already, if they had to tackle Hisao's too they probably couldn't take it - but it does strain the percieved credibility of their relationship, the feeling that they can both add something to the whole. Strangely enough, while Suzu seems to want to avoid Hisao treating her like she's made of glass, she continually reinforces the idea that she can't go on without him. But what is she giving him in return? I don't see it.

So yeah, I have to say, Act 3 disappointed me. :( I believe it hit me especially hard because I enjoyed the first two acts so much, and I can't put my head around things suddenly taking such a huge turn for the worse. I can only hope that my worries prove to be foolish nonsense in Act 4, but before I find out, I think I'll need to get some rest.

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Re: A pseudo-pseudo Suzu route (completed)

Post by Jobriq » Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:05 pm

@pip25

you must read more. Suzu demands that you read.
Fist of the North Star is a strange movie ._.
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Re: A pseudo-pseudo Suzu route (completed)

Post by pip25 » Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:19 pm

Suzu demanded that I read, and so I did.
I managed to get the good route again. My impressions of Act 4 were mixed overall, but I think it was nonetheless superior to Act 3; most of the things I'd have wanted to bring up had been said by others already, so I won't get into those again. I did realize something about Suzu, however, which may or may not have been intentional on the author's part. If Scissorlips did this on purpose, I have to say that's some pretty damn impressive characterization. Even if it's utterly depressing, and makes even the best ending look like a bad one.
Suzu appears to be completely incapable of being an independent individual, and it doesn't have anything to do with her condition or her grief. Even if she'd wake up one day to find that her narcolepsy is gone and her brother somehow miraculously came back to life, it wouldn't change a thing about her most fundamental problem: she has no desire to live her own life. She always wants to live somebody else's.
It all started with the issues around her relationship with her brother. I'm not talking about the way he died, but what came way before that. The information we're given isn't very detailed, but it's quite telling nonetheless: Remember how dreadful the last year of middle school seemed to her? Just because Seiji wasn't there? Or how Seiji himself, quite tellingly, refrained from romantic relationships at Yamaku because he already had his hands full with his sister? Or how some readers initially thought that he was Suzu's ex instead of her brother?
Suzu's attachment to her brother was so strong that it became detrimental to her growth as a person. Of course she did not need to consider the future when her brother was always there and made the decisions for her. She just did what he did; as long as they were together, the details did not matter. This behavior is apparent even towards the end of the story, in the scene where Suzu finally fills out that career survey. Seiji chose "superhero" back then, so she writes "superhero" as well, crossing out "sidekick". As if her brother's choice somehow predetermined her own. No wonder her entire world fell apart with him gone.

But did she get better during the course of the story? Like I mentioned in my previous post, most of the conflict in this route was between Suzu and her own demons, her own issues. Did she manage to come out on top?
Sadly, not really. What happened instead is this: Suzu found someone else to put in Seiji's place, and that person is none other than Hisao.

Her great fear of the future, for instance, the very thing that kept her awake at night so many times is not resolved, it's abandoned. Suzu still doesn't have any plans or goals. She wants to survive the next day and the next week and the next exam and the next graduation, but there's little beyond that. She'll just go to the same university as him, period. Which university? Is she even good at the subjects in question...? Nah. Who cares about the details, as long as they're together? That may sound romantic at first, but actually that's rather sad: it's like, ironically enough, Suzu has no dreams of her own. Well, actually she has, she'd like to live in a house with large glass windows from where she can see the ocean. But did she ever lift a finger to get closer to her dream? Nope. The thought did not even occur to her. Her condition might require physical support from others, but it does in no way require the sort of emotional dependence I've witnessed throughout the course of this fic.
And yes, she knows something's amiss, and occasionally tries to do something against it. She asks Hisao to treat her as an equal, and he tries. But it is never going to work as long as she doesn't treat herself as Hisao's equal as well. She attempts to do something for his boyfriend once or twice, but their relationship is so one-sided by then that it feels like a drop in the ocean. I suppose this isn't just Suzu's fault; the people around her are just so incredibly nice and supportive and near-perfect, it seems next to impossible for her to live up to the task of helping them back. I mean, Hisao just gave up his plan of being a teacher so he can focus on helping Suzu even with his future job. Try to match that.

Nonetheless, Suzu, perhaps this is the reason why I liked you so much better in Act Two. You were forced to fend for yourself. Yes, Miki was there, but unlike your relationship with Seiji and Hisao, that was a mutual friendship, not an emotional crutch, with its clear, obvious limitations. Now you have Hisao to lean on whether you need to or not, and I can only hope that he can take it, because if we look at things from a realistic standpoint, it won't be easy. The villains around Yamaku might have looked tough, but you have no idea about the dangers that await young superheroes at the university, and later in adult life. The time may soon come when Heartbreaker finds himself in desperate need of a partner - and not a sidekick, even though you're still very much in the latter category I'm afraid. Sure, you do your little things, like when you rescued your mutual friend Shaman Eyes during the last battle, and we did cheer you on all the way (it was one of the best scenes of the act, in fact), but Heartbreaker still had to fight the main boss, the villainous Mr. Practice Exam mostly by himself. Actually, he had to defend both of you while doing so. Sadly, the villains will only grow more powerful, and he may soon require a little more help than what you currently seem to be capable or willing to provide.

And that is partly your fault as well, dear author, because you never presented the sort of challenges that would have helped her prove that she can be a capable superhero on her own. That she can be truly there for Hisao, when he needs her. That she can in fact function as an independent person without her boyfriend's constant, unending support. You failed to provide such challenges even though they wouldn't have felt out of place in the story at all: it's quite telling how her decision to try to mend the friendship between Kenji and Hisao actually became a major positive development in her fight against her own insecurities as well. Or the scene with the lost brother and sister at the beach, which was another highlight for Suzu and also proved that you can indeed present grief without using the same narrative devices over and over.
From this point of view, I'm afraid the ending was little more than the restoration of the status quo from a couple of years before. The game still goes on, with no winner in sight.

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Re: A pseudo-pseudo Suzu route (completed)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:35 am

Thank you. You put in words better than I ever could what bugged me about Suzu's character here.
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Re: A pseudo-pseudo Suzu route (completed)

Post by Jobriq » Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:35 pm

pip25 wrote: ....
From this point of view, I'm afraid the ending was little more than the restoration of the status quo from a couple of years before. The game still goes on, with no winner in sight.
This explains why the good ending didn't feel entirely complete to me. The best part of act 4 was Kenji because lel fuck feminists.
Fist of the North Star is a strange movie ._.
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<KeiichiO>: "I'd rather look at clop than furry porn."
<CFC Kyle>: "All you do is press the quote button above someones post and WHEEEEEEEEEEEEE quoted."

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Re: A pseudo-pseudo Suzu route (completed)

Post by Blasphemy » Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:48 am

So there we go, another one who just created an account due to this FanFic, although there are other fantastic ones!

Anyways, in short I just really appreciate the characters Suzu and Miki. In fact, despite Suzu being the main character I probably preferred most parts involving Miki, granted that's probably not unusual because she's a very upbeat. But I just feel that Scissor was able to make her a very concise character that feels fresh every time she's in a scene. I basically didn't grow tired of her repeating certain actions over and over again which unfortunately ended up being the case with Suzu and Hisao.

However for now I want to focus on other positive aspects. This FanFic really opened my eyes in regards to Narcolepsy and just how badly this affects the live or those who got this "neurological disorder" (thanks wiki). It felt like in comparison to most other KS characters whose disabilities severely limit their life in some ways, Suzu simply cannot really live. I mean falling asleep potentially everywhere at any time has its horrible face already but the fact that on top of that she's pretty much always tired at least to some degree is terrifying. I mean you just don't function well when you're tired and I already hate it when I'm unnecessarily tired for a couple days be it because of stress or whatever. But the entire life... being always in a somewhat clouded state of mind, oh man.

Scissor really succeeded in translating the unfortunate implication that disorder has to the reader.

In that regard I should also mention that reading this through Suzu's perspective was a great choice. Especially since we're all well aware of Hisao's thought processes by now.


Now my biggest criticism would be in regards to pacing. As others have pointed out it's just too, too slow at times. Slow to a crawl in fact. It does somewhat fit considering you read through the perspective of Suzu but eh, that's not the best excuse. Especially pip25 pointed this out well before me: The reader knows about the bigger conflicts quite early on (that being mostly her death brother and the resulting trauma and other issues). The reader will also quickly understand that this will be solved gradually throughout the story, I mean everyone who read other KS stuff before would expect that. So really at some point it's easy to lose interest and be annoyed when Suzu reveals the next bit of information about her past and the characters go through the same thing... once again. Without even actually solving much really as it turns out. Because until the very end Suzu keeps suffering from the same fears and has the same issues.

It's not an issue that that would be unrealistic or anything, no. Of course it ain't easy dealing with such issues and just opening up to someone doesn't make them all go away. Ultimately though we would like some decent progress or at least shift these issues slightly out of focus while other conflicts or at least in some way exciting events occur.

After Suzu told Hisao about her brother the first time however little new of interest is inserted into the plot. The (extra) entry exam tests for example may play a huge role but boy is there little to get excited about. The more interesting aspects to me were for example Suzu trying to deal with Lezard as that was a different kind of problem she needed to address. In fact, a "rivaling" (potential) boyfriend that is angry at Hisao/the girl hasn't been in KS so far (excl. perhaps other FanFic).

I mean if you like the characters you're still most likely reading on and enjoying it here and there but there just ain't much suspense left.

Next thing I'd like to address are the branching story bits. I personally just don't really enjoy them that much here because I basically want to continue reading the right path, but of course also wouldn't wanna miss out. So because the last good/bad split was a rather long read I didn't particularly enjoy going through both. I mean I started with the good choice, realized that and went and read the bad one first because that's obviously the one which ends earlier, right? Now Scissor did a good job at differentiating a lot between the choices so you barely have to read through the exact same text but still. In some ways I prefer one good story being told over having 2 mediocre branches available. That's rather my personal pet peeve though and there are obviously branching parts available in KS too but yeh. Ultimately I don't feel like the "go/don't go after Kenji" dragged out everything even more.

The "good" path also felt a bit too, too obviously good if I may say so. The thing Shizune says after winning the game is almost like a 4th wall breaker. Then the survey and "superhero" business, felt corny and kinda unfitting. It just felt so contrived, especially when Mutou then even goes ahead and says the "he'd be proud about you" line.

The strong "good-ending" vibe that you get reading through all that feels even weirder if you consider what pip25 already mentioned:
"From this point of view, I'm afraid the ending was little more than the restoration of the status quo from a couple of years before. The game still goes on, with no winner in sight."
Although I may actually disagree with pip25 here. I think all things considered it IS looking much better for Suzu and Hisao. I mean at least the worst, meaning the extreme fear and nightmare/sleepwalking issues, appear to be gone. And while Suzu will have to keep fighting against her problems in the future she seems like she's much more capable of doing so now.

Anyways, despite my criticism I thoroughly enjoyed this overall. I mean that's the reason why I made this comment is because I wanted to discuss this in the first place, meaning I care about it ;P

So thanks @ Scissor for this FanFic.

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Re: A pseudo-pseudo Suzu route (completed)

Post by ProfAllister » Sat Aug 10, 2013 2:05 pm

Blasphemy wrote:This FanFic really opened my eyes in regards to Narcolepsy and just how badly this affects the live or those who got this "neurological disorder" (thanks wiki). It felt like in comparison to most other KS characters whose disabilities severely limit their life in some ways, Suzu simply cannot really live. I mean falling asleep potentially everywhere at any time has its horrible face already but the fact that on top of that she's pretty much always tired at least to some degree is terrifying. I mean you just don't function well when you're tired and I already hate it when I'm unnecessarily tired for a couple days be it because of stress or whatever. But the entire life... being always in a somewhat clouded state of mind, oh man.

Scissor really succeeded in translating the unfortunate implication that disorder has to the reader.
I hate to go all negative here, but this is an important point that I've been reiterating and rereiterating several times now. Suzu's issues here are NOT representative of the average narcoleptic. Even unmedicated, narcolepsy rarely if ever works quite like it's depicted here. The story isn't hindered by these errors, but this is NOT a medically accurate depiction of narcolepsy, and should not be treated as such. This is much more of a "Hollywood narcolepsy."

Now, if it inspired you to research narcolepsy and/or talk to an actual narcoleptic to learn more about the condition, that would be one thing. But taking the events depicted here as gospel with relation to narcolepsy and the challenges faced by narcoleptics is quite another - and a terrible idea, to boot.
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mav807
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Re: A pseudo-pseudo Suzu route (completed)

Post by mav807 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:14 am

I just finished act 2, and so far this story is amazing. But on the first page I saw that the story has choices at one point, I'm a bit confused on how that works, could anybody explain how/tell me if I'm overthinking things?

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Re: A pseudo-pseudo Suzu route (completed)

Post by NonexistentFlower » Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:44 am

mav807 wrote:I just finished act 2, and so far this story is amazing. But on the first page I saw that the story has choices at one point, I'm a bit confused on how that works, could anybody explain how/tell me if I'm overthinking things?
Links to different parts of this thread.

Yeah, you're probably overthinking things

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Re: A pseudo-pseudo Suzu route (completed)

Post by Shail » Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:41 am

Snoozu, this, I like this.
~I hate endings~ Fan fiction is the only way to keep KS alive!
~The only good ending is a sequel~
~Want to know why I REALLY fucking hate endings? Mirai Nikki Want to know why I love epilogues? Watch the Mirai Nikki OVA
~Mirai Nikki: A perfect example of endings I hate~
Hanako -> Rin -> Shizune -> ? -> ?

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Re: The Last Passenger

Post by Shail » Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:52 pm

Scissorlips wrote:The Last Passenger


“That.” I point. “I need that.”

Miki raises an eyebrow, but she pulls herself off the bed and fulfills my request.


“What are you doing?” She asks, but I bite my lip.

“This is for science.” The two of us are standing next to my bed. I hold the oversized t-rex plushy in my hands. Miki watches me with subdued curiosity, she looks like she hasn't been up much longer than me, and wouldn't mind getting a little more sleep herself.

I carefully extend my arms, nudging the boy sleeping in my bed with the stuffed animal. Hisao is still, for all intents and purposes, a medium sized slab of sediment.

I prod him harder, wiggling the t-rex a little. Hisao groans, and then, eyes still closed, reaches out and wraps his arms around the plushy, pulling it close. Next to me, Miki makes a “pffft” noise.

“Success.” I say with a grin. My boyfriend is now spooning with the stuffed animal he won for me during the festival.

I lol'd too hard at this
~I hate endings~ Fan fiction is the only way to keep KS alive!
~The only good ending is a sequel~
~Want to know why I REALLY fucking hate endings? Mirai Nikki Want to know why I love epilogues? Watch the Mirai Nikki OVA
~Mirai Nikki: A perfect example of endings I hate~
Hanako -> Rin -> Shizune -> ? -> ?

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Re: Summer's Gone

Post by Shail » Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:27 pm

Scissorlips wrote:Summer's Gone


I open my mouth to protest, what if something even worse happens because of that, but behind her, the door to the classroom opens again and Hisao walks through... flanked on either side by Shizune and Misha. He looks a little uncomfortable but still in one piece, maybe they just found him straggling and brought him here, instead of taking him on a tour of their dungeon. The one in the basement. The existence of which I have yet to prove, but at this rate I just might get to see it for myself.
OMG I read this and thought of THIS
~I hate endings~ Fan fiction is the only way to keep KS alive!
~The only good ending is a sequel~
~Want to know why I REALLY fucking hate endings? Mirai Nikki Want to know why I love epilogues? Watch the Mirai Nikki OVA
~Mirai Nikki: A perfect example of endings I hate~
Hanako -> Rin -> Shizune -> ? -> ?

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Re: A pseudo-pseudo Suzu route (completed)

Post by Blasphemy » Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:50 pm

ProfAllister wrote: I hate to go all negative here, but this is an important point that I've been reiterating and rereiterating several times now. Suzu's issues here are NOT representative of the average narcoleptic. Even unmedicated, narcolepsy rarely if ever works quite like it's depicted here. The story isn't hindered by these errors, but this is NOT a medically accurate depiction of narcolepsy, and should not be treated as such. This is much more of a "Hollywood narcolepsy."

Now, if it inspired you to research narcolepsy and/or talk to an actual narcoleptic to learn more about the condition, that would be one thing. But taking the events depicted here as gospel with relation to narcolepsy and the challenges faced by narcoleptics is quite another - and a terrible idea, to boot.
Nah I absolutely agree with you, I'll not take KS as a good indication how people with disabilities that those students have actually deal with life. As you said for this case, it's all very hollywood-fied in a way. Still it makes me think about how living with such disabilities must be. I only did some reading on wikipedia so far on narcolepsy, may do further in the future.

But yes I totally get your point and I should probably have that more on my mind.

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