Not what I expected going in, I'll say that much up front. Thanks to Prof for warning me not to read any of the discussion first - I usually read this thread as it happens, which is often before I get around to reading the actual story being discussed, but staying out of the know really did give me a better appreciation of the fic. If you haven't read it yet, you probably shouldn't be reading this post. Anyways.
Premise wasn't 'ground-breaking', but it was fairly fresh. I don't think I've ever seen another fic where Hisao displays full-on infidelity (though I certainly haven't read them all). Obviously there's the example in canon, but this was back in '09, so it wasn't taken directly from the game. I knew from the beginning what kind of angle the author was going to take with it, but that didn't really detract from the experience. It was well-written, with just a hint of poor word choice ("portal"? really?) and one or two confusing sentences. The characterizations actually felt pretty good, too, which is usually the greatest fault of stories focused on sex, so that's commendable (though, since this is pre-release and the writers liked it, maybe it contributed to the canon). Overall, I actually really enjoyed this story, much as I didn't think I would after the first minute or two of reading.
I particularly enjoyed the way the story was framed. Hisao, appalled with himself, sits there recounting the event in his mind. A bit cliche, but it definitely works. One way it really helped was with how Hisao's thoughts while talking to Emi seemed off: he was acutely aware that Emi being in his room and close to him was dangerous, specifically because he was afraid she'd make a move on him. It felt like a bit much, like he was overthinking things, even more than we normally expect from his character, and just 'happened' to foretell disaster. After all, if I hadn't read the beginning of the story, I would've thought Hisao was being overly worried about nothing. But then I realized that it made a lot more sense when framed as a retelling of the past: he wasn't explicitly thinking those things at the time, but with the benefit of hindsight, his recollection of the story would obviously focus on how "something seem[ed] very wrong". I'm not sure if the author intended that, but I think it worked out that way, at least in my mind, and improved the quality of the story as a whole.
The story would've been much better, of course, with at least a second chapter. Leaving off where it does, the reader can imagine what happens next to some extent, but the truth is that we don't know enough about the story to make any properly educated guesses. Does Hisao try to hide how he's feeling from Hanako, or does he become a zombie, unable to live normally with the visions of his past? How much does Hisao's obvious disgust the morning after affect Emi - and does she look for more from him? Did she plan this, at least to some extent? Who else finds out about all this, and when? Who do they find out from? How are all of those people affected? There are a lot of interesting questions to be answered here, that we can't really answer on our own. A continuation would likely have cleared all of that up, but alas, none ever happened. (This is my argument against Lilly being unimportant - she obviously would've been important eventually, and Hanako would've been important much sooner.)
ProfAllister wrote: ↑
Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:06 pm
I get the sense that I may be putting Hisao's thought of "These things aren't supposed to break" in greater prominence than maybe other readers might.
I thought something quite similar: only difference is that I expected her to do it in an attempt to actually take Hisao for keeps, not just as a form of revenge.
QuietlySomething wrote: ↑
Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:18 pm
I find it a little grating when the main character's thoughts in first person are just intermittently used in italics in a third person story. Makes me feel like the story should just go all the way and use first person throughout.
I can understand what you mean, but I think it's a good way to display stream of consciousness without losing reader's omniscience. Could this story have been first person? Absolutely - the only perspective we're ever worried about is Hisao's. At the same time, however, I can understand the author's desire to use 3rd person, as it makes the framing a bit easier.
WetCrate wrote:...But thanks for the comment on Emi's behavior. It wasn't really on purpose, but then again it doesn't go against the grain of the story, either. I'll have to ponder that one.
I can understand both sides of this. At the time of reading, I did consider Emi's language a bit manipulative, but in retrospect (and since I lived under the same roof as a troubled high school girl for quite a while) I don't think it was intended to be as powerful as it ended up being.
Oh, and (as if this post wasn't long enough) someone with more artistic inclination than me has given the whole banner thing a go. His name is "DoomGuy500", and he also offered up wallpaper-sized versions of the banner, if anyone wants them. Let us know what you think.
- Wallpaper (1920x1196)
- Wallpaper (1920x861)