|Reviews for ORCHID|
| Ryou Arubin 5/19/13 . chapter 9
Argh, you caught me good at the lamp smashing part. And of course, Ryan being the kind of character he is, would pass it off as "Oh... my bad."! Well, it's a good contrast between the MC and the sidekicks.
"The current going rate for bathroom passwords is calculated to be thirty-one pounds, a relative bargain for the beginning of the academic year." - Can I get one? Oh, I supposed there is a sale for the male bathroom password too, right?
Nathaniel, typical hateful character just because his father's company is in rivalry with Azure's. How did he even become the Student Body President?!
Meh, definitely saw the transfer part coming. :x
| Ryou Arubin 5/19/13 . chapter 8
"That is not it. Your grades are important, but at this time I am much more concerned about your emotional health. - I am also concerned about Azure's emotional health. Heck, he has been through everything but happy stuffs so far. I wonder if being in school would have a positive effect on him?
Oo, certainly didn't expect for Tsukiko's parents to be dead. (Same situation as Azure.)
Lord Amherst? Is Tsukiko being adopted by a royal family? (Same situation as Azure? The adoption part.)
| Ryou Arubin 5/19/13 . chapter 7
Dammit, so my guess was off the mark. I wonder what kind of implications would there be if the person is the C.E.O of Valhalla and the ruler of G.B.E.
...Which leads me to think, is Macbeth planning to claim the throne? Well, considering the R.A.I.N organisation's motives are...
R.A.I.N organisation, German Empire. Enemies closing in from everywhere...
I have never seen a character growls as much as Azure. I sweared he had growled over twenty times ever since he met Tsukiko.
| Psykofreac 5/18/13 . chapter 16
My favorite chapter so far. It seems the plot is finally taking course. I have to say, most of the earlier chapters seem to be too much of exposition. This chapter is also pretty good for laughs. The comment Arctus made about Ryan particularly cracked me up.
| Psykofreac 5/18/13 . chapter 14
The racism in this world does seem to get pretty out of hand, makes good drama of course. Nathaniel is starting to remind me too much of Draco Malfoy though.
| Thundy 5/18/13 . chapter 3
Yay Mimi is not dead!
Well, interesting turn of events at the end XD
Mercutio is seemingly killed?! But his complex language is so fun to read!
Loving him like I loved him in the tournament, Wong xD
Keep up the good work!
| Thundy 5/18/13 . chapter 2
Couldn't stop myself from reading xD
Anyways, it seems that your writing is consistent (unlike mine)! XD
This chapter was written just as well as last chapter was.
Can't wait to find out more about "mysterious girl" and how Azure's going to fare on his little adventure xD
RIP Mimi? D:
| Ryou Arubin 5/18/13 . chapter 6
Why is the R.A.I.N organisation collecting all the royal artifacts? To use them for negotiating tools! So that they can either get their wish of democracy fulfilled or topple the Empire!
So that's the significance behind Julia... I am guessing that the sword Valhalla has got something to do with the Dunbarton.
I bet five bananas that Azure's father is searching for the sword Valhalla.
Azure does seems a bit conflicted when his father asked him to succeed him as C.E.O of Valhalla... He must have thought of some other career path in his mind already. (Like becoming one of the Seraphim Knight?)
Don't mind me. I like to throw out wild speculations whenever I come across mysteries. Feel free to laugh at them. :x
| Thundy 5/18/13 . chapter 1
Wow this is really great story XD
The use of vocabulary is incredible and the descriptions are absolutely wonderful!
I also love the fact that you're using world historical context in this story XD
This was a truly fun read XD
I'll be sure to read more soon!
| Ryou Arubin 5/17/13 . chapter 5
Aww, love the Azure x Ophelia moments.
Heh, I knew that Tsukiko had a bit of a hateful side to her. Love how she toys with Azure in this chapter hahaha.
Oh, so the R.A.I.N is demanding democracy? I guess they don't like living under the rule of the Empire. Time to explore the politicial side of ORCHID.
| Ryou Arubin 5/17/13 . chapter 4
It's been a while... but I am back for more ORCHID!
"I can just see the paper headlines now! Azure Dunbarton, prodigy son of Valhalla Corporation C.E.O. Edmond Dunbarton, terrorist-fighting superhero! Just imagine the great press that'll garner…." - So much exaggeration over there, Mimi. :p
Hur, Tsukiko is going to stay with Azure from now on? I hope they get along well though...
Seeing the verbs you used are really strong, I felt that you could afford to tone down a little on the adverbs. At times, I could imagine the scene clear enough such that even if you didn't include the adverb, they would be added along or are implied solely from reading the narrative.
Loved the way you structured this chapter. Didn't really expect for such a twist to happen nearing the end (Ophelia being injured). Mysteries are starting to pile up!
| Blood-Lion 5/13/13 . chapter 20
I love this story! The alternate history/timeline you have going on, a unique setting (Japan is expected for manga/anime but I personally prefer to see manga/anime stories in other settings. It adds uniqueness, not to mention that most writers on this site are from Europe or the Americas), and relatively in-depth characters. Of course Azure and Tsukiko are by far the most interesting among the protagonists and their interactions were interesting.
I actually didn't see Tsukiko's identity coming...though I must say...why were people so surprised that she's half-Japanese. TSUKIKO is not at all an English name, lol...but perhaps they just didn't notice or something. Half asians can look as caucasian as anyone just like half-blacks can wind up looking caucasian (I have a friend like this) but the fact that her name is Tsukiko...eh, I'm sure you have your reasons.
Also, as an ending note, I was not surprised to see that Code Geass is one of your favourites and inspires you. There are several things about this story that remind of Code Geass. Note that this isn't a bad thing, you're obviously not copying it, and having a strong inspiration helps make for a better story.
Keep up the good work.
| Katsurou Shimizu 5/11/13 . chapter 20
Ah... let me see if I could do a proper review for once.
Having read to this point, I think I'll have to echo Boomer's thoughts about the switch in viewpoints. Your writing, technically, is great; there's really little that I can really pinpoint for improvement (you still do get adverb-happy at times though). But there's a considerable lack of character intimacy, especially when it comes to establishing Azure. Yep, he is a so-called weak protagonist, but I feel on occasions, there's a sense of distance that prevents me from well and truly connecting with him.
Take for instance:
[Azure, taken by surprise himself, frowns, but does not reveal any more of his inner thoughts.]
- Why not? That was the perfect opportunity for us, as the reader, to understand him even more. In fact, you could possibly incorporate his retort to Macbeth (which does sound a bit telly) into his inner thoughts, and perhaps make him respond in a curt and cold manner, and establish that tension between inner disposition and external expression. This would in turn drive up the drama even more.
Of course, I'm not advocating a switch to a rambling and a whiny approach that abuses the thought speeches to no end (which would be the equivalent of a 1st POV gone wrong). But the advantage of doing 3rd person involves the opportunity to explore different characters and their wants. In the end, that's what a story is about, isn't it? A story with different characters having different wants, and all of them conflicting with one another. You are definitely doing that with the characters actions, dialogue driving the plot, but perhaps a little more exploration of the inner psyche could help in delivering that rawness of emotion, especially when you are doing really high tension scenes.
... and screw CC, let's get down to the usual crack stuff, shall we? ;)
[Tsukiko crawls weakly out of the current, her clothes and her black hair dripping wet.]
- That was a glorious Fanservice CHAAAAANSUUU... not taken.
And that's it I have so far *shrugs*; this chapter is too serious. On the whole, I enjoyed the Bath Arc, definitely. Looking forward to the new arc, and of course, the genderbending moment. Good luck with the writing!
Til then ;)
| Razorine 5/10/13 . chapter 20
Yes, another update! It's just like waiting for a new chapter of a manga. I'll be waiting for more x3
| Boomerkid 5/10/13 . chapter 20
Been following your story all this while, and wow, good job pulling the all right goods to keep your readers reading! Guess it's about time for me to chip in another review.
I don't think I'll need to discuss your writing style in full detail. From what I've seen your quality has been very consistent, and there's nothing making my peeve meter blare with alarm lights swirling. All I can say for your writing is keep up the great work!
Your cast is well balanced. Azure is easily my favorite dude. He might not stand out in terms of flamboyance (like Mercutio) or charisma, but he's the most human and most explored so far. I would have actually preferred to have more scenes with Azure as the viewpoint character, since he is the protagonist after all and the one who's trying to figure out all the answers. Also, I felt a lot of aspects of him have not been touched upon as much as it could have; favorite things, likes and dislikes, hobbies, to name a few random examples. Sometimes it's the little things that draws out most of a character's complexity. But I'm sure you have the grand plan roughly worked out.
For the gals, gah, Tsukiko has no contest. Same reasons as Azure, and she does have a charm of coolness and aloofness that makes her stand out. There's no question that you gave much more info on Tsukiko than Azure. Other than her mana type, we've seen her more refined side when she played the piano, and her fluffier side with her stuffed animals. And she emanates a sense of purpose that she is committed to, at least that's the impression I got from her.
Ophelia screams "textbook treasured childhood friend of main protagonist" at near-supernova levels. Near-supernova because she doesn't fall into the very common "wake up, make lunch, follow main protag everywhere" subspecies. Well, the girl's in hospital after all. Tsundere would make her reach black hole level, the highest level in my meter (My levels don't really make sense now that I review myself). Still, her interactions with Azure are among my favorites in this story. Action dramas need goody girl characters like Ophelia once in a while, and she serves her purpose really well so far.
And while I did feel that the "Everyday school life" scenes went on a little bit longer to my liking, Mimi, Ryan and Arctus were what kept me going for the most part of it. It's nice to have buddies like them.
Ah, my reviews dragging on already. I have a lot of good things to say about your story, really. But well, since this does seem like a fairly serious work of yours, I'll spend more time giving my views on things I feel could be improved, and I'm feeling more critical than usual. Here goes.
First off, you switch viewpoints very, very, very often in a space of too few words. Heck, in this 1.9k word chapter there's five of them with a total of six scene switches! Azure - General Four Eyes (Forsythe's a cool name at all, but I can't contain my lame pun syndrome. By the way, how do I pronounce Forsythe?) - Tsukiko - Azure - Macbeth. Now, third-person omniscience prides itself in exploring various characters in a shorter amount of time. But knowing equally about so many, many different sides and viewpoints not only kills a majority of the suspense, it does not give enough time for Azure to shine as the main protagonist.
Keeping with Azure's character viewpoint throughout those 1.9k words could open up so many opportunities! Firstly, the suspense that we don't know the fate of Tsukiko. Any sane person would know that someone like Azure, after seeing Tsukiko plummet toward a river, would be worried sick! You could have shown more of what he thinks about Tsukiko with that anxiety. Even General Forsythe's part, while it did introduce a new character, didn't really felt like it added to the plot. It's just: Take Seraph back - Epharim got thrashed and zomg who did this? Information that is not really crucial to the advancement of the scenario.
Still, I feel that Azure's feelings and so on through thoughts and body language etc. could be explored better by keeping with his viewpoint more, especially his relationships and connections with other characters. Yes, we see what he says of R.A.I.N to their leader's face, but that is only one aspect out of so many that could be touched upon. And it is this lack of enough exploration with Azure and how he relates to everything around him throughout all these chapters, that I felt hindered your story from becoming so much better than it already is. The power of not knowing. The experience of following the main character in his quest for answers with anticipation, instead of knowing too much more than him and looking at him like, ah, there he goes again. Too many times the viewpoint switches before I have enough time to connect with one particular character. I believe this is one thing you'll have to consider. Yes, I might have been harsher than I'd like for this point, but trust me when I say that Azure has so much potential.
The second and last point is R.A.I.N and the Grand British Empire. For R.A.I.N, I won't go as far as to call them the main antagonists of the entire story yet, so I'll go for current antagonists. GBE is supposedly tyrannical and corrupt to the point of provoking a hostile rebellion at the level of R.A.I.N's, though so far I have the impression that R.A.I.N only has at most a dozen members! Intelligence, planning, chain-of-command, funding, weapons procurement/manufacturing, bomb Skyscraper One, kill Head Regent and so on, and yet I have the impression that they compromise at most a very miniscule fraction of the GBE.
Why? Because I don't actually see the corruption and tyranny of the GBE as much as I would have expected. In all these chapters, I see no comments of dissent towards the GBE by citizens or netizens, no street rallies or outcries by the people, no people debating over the GBE's performance, the lower class and unprivileged crying out about corruption, barely any people talking about how they want the GBE to be a better place and so on. Yes, we have Tsukiko telling about the GBE's misdemeanors, but in my view it has not really been shown to an extent that would give the reader an impression that yes, GBE is in a low and dire state. Code Geass on the other hands portrays a similar scenario very well, with a big impression from the get-go that the Holy Britannian Empire are scum, extreme Social Darwinists. I'm sure the GBE doesn't have to be at a level as extreme, but again, aside from scum elites and scum general, I didn't really get the impression I wanted of GBE, mainly due to lack of knowing the public opinion.
Then, R.A.I.N. They don't seem much of a threat, to Azure and gang at least. Their members (or coalition of members) should preferably number at least in the hundreds to be a reasonable force, with connections even to possibility a few big shots since, well, R.A.I.N is an organization capable of bombing skyscrapers and killing head regents and possibly head of states (without Geass. If Macbeth of someone in R.A.I.N somehow has powers equivalent to Geass, then maybe I can understand why I feel that R.A.I.N's membership is so small).
Also, apparently a good enough chunk of people feel that matters need to be taken into their own hands to reform the GBE. Reform through hostile means is already at the level of radicals, and that's why I felt that even though R.A.I.N doesn't have to go bombing stuff all over the place, they should have at least managed to rouse the voices of the people calling for reform, with possibly more activities and/or propaganda and so on to either inform the people, or request them to join their cause.
TV stations should be talking about them week by week, sometimes day by day. They should be featuring in headlines for the things they've done. Maybe it's because I don't really remember things from previous chapters, but I felt that R.A.I.N doesn't really seem as intimidating as they should be. Even more so because they just let Azure walk off scot-free, after meeting directly with their leader! No torture, no bribery to keep his mouth shut, no ransom to his father, especially since Azure is an elite. Wow, R.A.I.N, an organization so ruthless as to bomb skyscrapers, kill guests of parties and the Head Regent, is letting Azure, an elite with a big whopper of a connection, walk off free with not even a hassle, even after he's met their (seeming) leader (Yeah, Macbeth may not actually be at the top of the chain come to think of it.). And even if things got nasty between Azure and R.A.I.N in that storage room... Boom! Rescue could arrive in the form of Tsukiko or something! (I wouldn't even bother how much suspension of belief had to be applied!) Boom! Pow! Boom! Man, I could just see that scenario in my head.
Phew, this is what happens when I go overboard with critiques, too long reviews!
I'll definitely be reading this story until its end. You have a good way of ending chapters at a point that will leave readers hanging for more, and your writing's a joy to read. Your characters have great potential, and the worldview looks like it's going to be very wide. Definitely an epic in the making! I'll come back in a few chapters, possibly for another long review. So, till I encounter thou once more, I pronounce all the best unto thee! (I can't write Shakespeak...)