147 chapter 1 . 6/29/2014

As a previous reviewer had mentioned, the beginning is a bit slow; however, it remains pretty consistent throughout it all. Your vocabulary is diverse. I didn't notice any repeated or overdone phrases, and the humour is also thoughtfully placed, along with undertones of seriousness.

The 'slice of life' or 'finding myself' kind of tales in general aren't my cup of tea, but I know a lot of people enjoy it. I'm sure there are people who could easily relate to Ryo, considering many are afflicted with wanderlust these days and crave adventure like he does.

Nevertheless, well done!
Ventracere chapter 1 . 6/26/2014
I haven't read too many of your pieces, but I have to say of the ones that I have read, this one appealed to me the most. Anyways, onwards to the review.

The pacing was a little bit slow in the beginning. It wasn't that I got lost - you were clear on where you were going and which direction you intended for the one-shot to go - I felt it was just the syntax and the diction was a little too heavy. Perhaps in parts where you have larger blocks of dialogue/story, break it up a little? That might just be my personal style, so feel free to ignore.

As for characters, I felt that Ryujin had more of a voice than Ryo. I liked how you characterized him. He's the elderly man, but at the same time incredibly sprightly and unafraid of the younger man before him. In fact, I feel like the story is more about Ryujin than Ryo - and I like that difference. It gives us a different focus and encourages a reader to focus a little bit more than just the pov that the story is coming from.

Good job!
faerie-gumdrops chapter 1 . 6/21/2014
I think the opening sentence was a little hard to read, just because it’s all one large sentence, and you’re not really sure what it’s about until the very end, when you mention the lighthouse. Perhaps just cut into two sentences and rephrase a little so that right from the start we’re hit in the face with what’s actually going on?

There were also a few typos, a la ‘than babysitting the ocean[,]” Ryo quipped’ annnd ‘but a young lad[’]s life’ but nothing major :). Also, shouldn’t ‘misses’ be ‘missus’? Ignore if you’re doing a pronunciation thing (both of them sound exactly the same to me, but could be my accent :p).

So I really like how things took a strange sort of fairytale through halfway with the dragon and the story of Urashima. I like how you incorporated it into the overarching theme of Ryo wanting to stay ‘free’ – not wanting to get beaten down by fun stuff like work and real life :/. I can totally sympathise with him there. That he chose to stay behind and not run off with the dragon was lovely – I guess it shows the nice side of growing up and responsibilities – that he has this lovely girl Keiko who he loves.

I think my favourite part was the part in the sea. The writing was really soft and pretty, and the whole experience with Keiko nearly drowning was somehow pretty too. Also, your setting was lovely – I could picture the beach and the old lighthouse really well. Also, loved that description of naked Ryujin – like a sack of hairy potatoes. Bahaha. So wrong, but so right :)
m. b. whitlock chapter 1 . 6/19/2014
RG EF #5,523

This is a fascinating, exciting tale. The relationship between Ryo and Ryujin is remarkable. Ryujin's jovial attitude throughout the amazing action that takes place really makes him an iconic comic character (he feels very anime as well). I would like to know what your sources are for this story. It really feels like a genuine myth with all the surreal/incredible connotations one associates with myth and fairytale.

My favorite aspect of the story is the racing pace. It's like the action takes place at light-speed, which makes it easy to believe three hundred years swept past Urashima in three days.

I like Ryo's decision to stay with Keiko. It's also really cool that the opportunity to go with the dragon only happens once and after Ryo has decided to stay in the realm of mortals he never gets another chance to follow the dragon.

Here are some notes:

I like the quotidian, iconic aspects of the opening. I think the writing has a good rhythm here too:
"they waited every night for the arrival of the fog, and when it came they always made sure sure that the wicks were trimmed, the fuel replenished, the clock-works wound, and the brass machinery of Japan's oldest lighthouse were oiled and its lens spotless."

Are you making a reference to 'All Quiet on the Western Front'?:
""All's quiet on these Eastern fronts!""

I like the rapport, the easy going manner between these two characters, Ryo and Ryujin:
""I'd rather be on a Friday night than babysitting the ocean.""

At first this seems a little strange. I just don't picture them using hour glasses:
""Like sands in the hour glass,"" And I keep hearing "So are the days of our lives" ;)

Vivid description:
""Widely spaced, the low breakers lazily slid to shore and spilled their phosphorescent crest up to their bare feet.""

It's interesting that it's hard to tell whether or not they are joking:
""Actually they used their genetically modified dragons, you gotta think outside the box!""

Like this dream imagery:
"He wished they could just swim away and never look back, touch the shores of distant Western empires they would probably never see in their lifetime and just live their lives, Bonnie and Clyde, thick as thieves."

The story of Urashima is fascinating. You do a great job throughout this weaving in multiple tales. :)

I like the combination of mythology and contemporary society here:
""Yeah I bet I could pull mermaids if I had my Fender Guitar." Ryo said, gingerly inspecting the flute."

Like this but the second part of the sentence seems literal. The dragon really *does* have crayfish on it's skin, right?:
"a body that glistened like billions of coins and scales of black coral and crayfish."

Whoa, a drunk dragon!:
""I got some barrels of eight-fold distilled sake, you ever seen a dragon drunk off its marbles?"" That's crazy!

Like this. It's very fun. :)


alltheeagles chapter 1 . 1/25/2014
For the RG EF

I like the basic plot. It's very similar to Ray Bradbury's 'The Foghorn', only in that story the sea monster thinks it's found another of its kind, and Bradbury didn't talk about choosing between an adventurous life of the unknown and a safe predictable one either.

The dialogue of the various characters are presumably in Japanese, given their names and the general nature of the myth. For the younger characters, it's fine that they speak 'modernly' whether to each other or to the old man, but strictly speaking, in Japanese culture the younger person is supposed to speak more formally when addressing an older one. As for the old man, I find the old sea-dog parlance a little off-putting, not to mention just a tad stereotypical.
LuckycoolHawk9 chapter 1 . 1/23/2014
I liked the way that you showed the relationship between Keikio and Ryo because it gives you an emotional connection to the two characters. I also liked how you used the dragon because it became a metaphor for the unknown. It came to represent uncertainty and chaos. I however disliked the ending because it doesn't seem connected. It feels like the message got lost. I also dislike how rushed Ryo's future is becuase it is unrealistic, life doesn't happen so fast. Otherwise, this is a great one-shot.
Guy who may like dragons chapter 1 . 10/11/2013
Hmm... I like it, but there are some things you could consider.

A few positive aspects of the text first. You have a really nice imagery going, giving me clear images of the characters and the environment. Ryo was easy to relate to, mainly since I play in a band like him and since runaway was a pretty cool song, but this won't apply for all.

The biggest concern I had while reading this was if poor Ryujin would faint from lack of oxygen during his story-telling. He has to breath sometime, and I doubt that Ryo just stood there staring during a five minute story? Write these details and this particular part of the dialogue will be easier to read.

Your descriptions were pretty balanced, but always try to portray the same image with the fewest words possible, and it will give your stories a cutting edge. Maybe you don't need this particular advice for this story, but I had to put it somewhere.

And then about the dragon. It was awesome. Your descriptions brought a very clear image, but I was somewhat confused regarding what type (western/eastern) you used as a base. Eastern dragon's are usually long serpentine creatures connected with rain or water, but they seldom breath fire. So you deviated a bit from what I expected, which is good and gives the story some more originality.
lookingwest chapter 1 . 9/22/2013
The first sentence has a repeated word "sure", I think. Anyway, I thought you did a good job incorporating the fairy tale of Urashima, and I liked that. I remember reading that for a class, it's kind of like the Japanese Rip Van Winkle, right? Or a bit, anyway. So I liked it because it really brought this piece to an interesting and unique level, and it's cool you found a way to incorporate it in your narrative. I'm thinking though maybe, when you get to that part, you might want to just break up the dialogue so it isn't all one paragraph. There's a way to do that if the same person is telling a story, it looks like this, if you've never seen it before:

And he said: "Telling a story yadda yadda yadda.

"The story continues in a new paragraph, yadda yadda yadda... now it ends."

So yeah - you just make sure to drop the quotation from the first paragraph's last line, and then start a new quote with your new paragraph. End the quotation when the paragraphs/story is over and the person is done speaking. That way you can break it up. ...Sorry if that doesn't make sense, lol. I tried - you can also just look it up on Google, haha. Or maybe you do know this already, in which case. Sorry! My suggestion then is clearly just to break it up, xD

ANYWAY. Also. I really liked the scene when Ryo goes out swimming because of the imagery and of course, the Linkin Park, haha. That was a fun nod to that band. I haven't heard Hybrid Theory in waaaay too long. I liked how you incorporated that into the theme too. The scene with the ocean and losing sigh of Keiko was chilling. Foreboding too. Ending was good, kind of haunting since it gestures back to the fairy tale.