Reviews for Bitter Star of the Sea
dmasterxd chapter 1 . 11/9/2014
Okay so first off I'd like to say that Jayps and Marly are my favorite characters! Second I love you writing style it was nice and descriptive without being too descriptive and made me feel like I was actually part of the story. Also I think I read somewhere in the forums that you said this is a self insert. Which is my no means a bad thing especially if you can enchance it in some way which you most definitely did. And oh man at the end, nice twist. Even if I was expecting it to be a dream, I would've expected it to be Jayps. Awesome job!
DevilPogoStick chapter 1 . 11/8/2014
I must say...this was long and entertaining.

It's like one of those anime feature films of sorts, nobody can top Miyazaki but way better than most anime film OVAs...Like Sword For Truth but that's always been pretty bad of an OVA XD

Nevertheless, I did like the story of Jayps and Marly and it does feel like a pilot to a series of a sorts. the emotions were great and shows a lot of the struggles of the characters, both physical and emotional. Unlike a lot of things I have written so far, this one really shines through and made me..Think of my own emotions...Which is a very good thing. The action is great, again shows a lot of weight behind every blow.

One long one-shot, very interesting ride. :)

Do keep up the good work Faith. :)
Sage Young chapter 1 . 11/8/2014
Don't know if it's too late to do this, but I should really write this since I finished the entire read an all. I didn't really know what to expect out of a hurt/comfort story(other than the obvious being the characters/readers might find a bit of both in as the story goes on, of course) so I didn't have much assumptions to go on.

Writing-wise, it was fine, nothing too jarring or felt like they needed some serious change. I do wish it kept towards its more intimate style that started off the story. It seemed like as more characters popped up, the less we got to know of Jayps's inner thoughts, expressions and opinions.

Also, I do wish there was more tension when it came to Jayps fighting for his and Marly's life. More risk and cause, though I can somewhat understand that action isn't the focus of the story. But then I start asking: why have Jayps fight monsters with a sword in the story at all if that's the case? Really, the physical conflicts were so undermined they seemed tacked on somewhat.

I expected twists, as with any story I read, so I was kinda bummed that things progressed in a very textbook manner that resulted in a stable and somewhat predictable story except for Marly's rather shocking change near the end. Because of how little their interaction had been, it felt too drastic when she started ranting.

Would have liked to have some tell-tale signs or even some subtle ones from Marly herself in the paragraphs before. I know we did had some inkling from Evangeline/Martin, but I'd like to think ghosts or not, a personality isn't so opaque that you can just deduce out of a few lines and expressions like that. At least, I expected more layers maybe.

Jayps himself though, is the caregiver, the altruist and the saint, seasoned with a dash of heroism. I would have liked to have seen a more prevalent flaw to his personality in an attempt to make him more understandable though how he was portrayed was 'good enough' as per how the story went on. There was no arrogance or the idea of him being exploited which was a common weakness to his type of character. Would have liked to see how he would have overcome all of those.

In the end, the story was curt and sweet. Can't help but see you, the writer, in Jayps and your friend in Marly because of that little note before the start of the story. It drove a solid impression of how the entire story is a metaphor for your feelings and your current situation, of how regret should be handled and how you wish for the two of you(mostly your friend, I assume) to rid yourselves of the thought of death and continue living. For the rest of us observers on the bench, it was good but nothing above the mark.

I do wished the story ended with them getting back into the world of the living instead of just copping out and making the whole thing little more than a forgotten dream.
cud-b-better chapter 1 . 11/8/2014
A very good oneshot. You captured the emotions brilliantly, and it depresses me to know that people really do these types of things when the weight of the world is put on their shoulders and when crying just isn't enough. I kind of want to actually hear that song actually sung so I can grasp it, unfortunately words written on a page can't capture the emotion of song. I was kind of expecting that final abnormal to be like a shadow of Jayps what with both wielding swords also loved the incantation (I also personally have a huge love for those kind of things, creating them is so fun!).

The three ghosts were very well done and the fact they all died in different ways spurns all different emotions.

Long story short this story is like jet plane of several different emotions mixing together and flying at top speed (I wish I could come up with a better way to describe my thoughts).

The only negative is you occasionally use a bit too much of the old passive english, but this is hardly a huge problem.

Good job, I really enjoyed this one.
cmaej chapter 1 . 11/7/2014
I finished! *collapsed*

No! Don't give this story a "just a dream" ending!

I was going to say that the plot didn't make any sense. How can Jayps be so formidable with a sword when it's the first time he ever picked one up? Why are they the only ones in this strange world? Why are there restless spirits? What exactly are the "abnormals"?

What kind of name is Jayps!?

But then I realized that the story had nothing to do with such silly questions. It was all about the journey. And damn, it certainly was one heck of a journey! The spirits and environment reminded me of Corpse Party, where the living journeyed along the dead in a parallel dimension trying to appease the spirits and avoiding getting killed themselves. Of course, it's not exactly like that but I have a hell of an imagination. *w*

Once I got into the story, I was hoping that you didn't clarify the plot in the end. I had already had a theory in my mind:

Jayps is a super-human, evil swordsman who lost his memory during their accidental transport to the strange dimension. However, his past is hinted with the following quote:

"You shouldn't sound as if you've done so much bad things." - Martin

Marly is his arch nemesis (maybe a sorceress whose powers are inept in this dimension) who has also lost her memory, too. Japys protects her simply out of instinct, but then Marly gradually regains her memory. She realizes that Japys has partially regained his memory too, but has changed:

"It just feels really nice to actually help someone. It feels as if at the same time, I am forgiven of my sins in the past." - Japys

The whole time, she was plotting to take his life once and for all, but his constant rescuing and protecting was forcing her into an internal, moral battle. She finally gets agitated and explodes on him. Once she has some time alone, she realizes that she's in love with him. So distraught over falling for someone she was sworn to kill, she tries to take her own life (because she's emo like that). As a matter of fact, she tries to warn him:

"You don't know. . . what I had done in the past. The horrible things I did. . . to people that I didn't like. What would you do. . . if I ended up doing that to you too. . .?" - Marly

Finally, the final battle was when Jayps has fully regained his memory, and used his sword skills to its full potential. Maybe he now knows how to take them back to their dimension, and they will try to start over with a new life together? Imagine that! *w*

*mind-blown*
Starart152 chapter 1 . 11/6/2014
It was a very good story. It was from the beginning letting us perceived the story as a possible dream and at the same time, it seemed like it was true. The five characters were done pretty well and each had good personality. Jayps was the little draw back in the characters as he didn't have flaws in the story or any secrets compare to the others.
The writing itself was good and I didn't read anything bad. The plot was done and it didn't have any major holes in it. I was wondering why Maryl wanted to die, but it was never explained why she wanted too. She was feeling useless, but the reason wasn't explained compare to the three ghosts.
Kenshin Kojima chapter 1 . 11/3/2014
I've heard that people write songs, poems, and even make mix tapes for the one they love. But I never heard of anyone writing a story for the said person. It's great to hear that your friend enjoyed the story.

Okay, now it's time for my review. First I would like to let you know that I don't usually read a large story like this. This was a good story. You wrote it well. I enjoyed the journey that Jayps and Marly embarked on. It was an emotional journey, especially seeing how the spirits died and what their regrets were. Martin's death was an eye-opener, because he told Jayps to literally save Marly from making the same mistake as him. A very powerful scene.

Now, the finale was also a good scene, too. I liked how you had Jayps actually act like a knight in shining armor to save his princess. It does make sense that this was nothing more than a vivid dream. Quite the dream, if I say so myself. I actually wish I had an awesome dream like that.

Overall, this was a very imaginative story. Your story kept me entertained from beginning to end. It was good to see another author passionate about the story they've written.

Thanks for the read!
Daniel Kozaki chapter 1 . 11/3/2014
Whoah, quite a story there behind the scenes. You've lit my interest.
Your writings are always... you. I can tell that you're the kind of person who puts your heart in your writing, a strength I'm envious of.

20% into the story... Good prose and flow.
'I do end up as a rather round person (not fat fat though)...' - not so often you read a story in the manga section with a stout protagonist. :)
Oh yeah, just some dialogue punctuation issues, such as, '"I'm okay[," s]he said...'
Emotional narrative. Would really fit in the romance genre. And of course, hurt & comfort.
'...illuminating the sky with a more focused light but [giving] off no heat, was a star-shaped sun.'
Believable interaction, easy to visualize action and setting, nice...
Some gory description on the ghosts' part... Anyway, you set the pace well enough; you make questions form and curiosity pricked.
Ah, leading souls to pass on. A familiar concept used a lot in the story, but really fits your warm and heart-throbbing style.
Hm... should 'abnormals' be named with a capital A instead?
Bleach-like scene and setting there, and I remembered your profile saying that it's among your favorite series. Lower class Hollows? Come to think of it, I do realize how, in the first few episodes, one of the appeal of the series is its spiritual approach, yeah, you know, passing on to the afterlife and so on.
Hm... one-man-show of a fight... Probably not too tough... but this is still the beginning...
Ah, murder. Lovely.
Hm... come to think of it, aren't spirits/ghosts supposed to haunt the place where they die? This story is the opposite.
The second boss-fight... not much description on the bad guy except that he's behemoth-like with claws and large legs. The action sounds slightly detached, though, like a computer game. But... this story is focusing on the emotional values, so... would do.
Evangeline is one memorable character.
Ah, finally, I like the interesting characterization on Marly's part. This is probably what leading to the finale... dun dun dun...
'Cue the epic music, please.' - lol I slightly feel trolled, at this kinda out of place attempt at humor when things are getting serious for the finale.
It's not over until Faith-san sings. Lol, okay, sorry. No harm intended. I love the way the song gives a heartwarming note for the story's end.
I don't usually like... um, stories with simple or straight-forward or overly familiar plot and setting, but perhaps Bitter Star is among the exceptions. There are some uses of familiar cliches and patterns, but the tone of the story makes up for that.
I give this 8.2/10 (I rate my own writing 7, so it means I have high regards for this piece of yours).
Cheerios.
Darth Zannacross chapter 1 . 11/3/2014
Damn Faith, this is one intense short story all right! First of all, I could spot the nod to the Faith series lol. Lets see, this reminds me of the likes of Bleach and Yu Yu if they focused on the early aspects of guiding ghosts to there happy place. It was cool how you focused more on the aspects of death, reminded me of the recent Doctor Who episode, though they dealt the subject far differently lol.

Your fight scenes are as stellar as ever so good job on that area, and the drama was good as are ghost non buster here did well to help at least a few of the ghosts, its only natural that lingering spirits would not be the most happy people I suppose. Well, it was short but the cast had enough time to show some personality so, nice on that area to.

Not sure just how close this was to your own life Faith but, it seems to be a good short that got its job done so, feel good and give yourself a gold star or something.

Keep up the great job Faith, still looking forward to more Faith goodness so till next time, may the Ghost Busters stop by in this story to make it even more epic lol. Just kidding, (Plays the Ghost Busters theme)
360pages chapter 1 . 11/2/2014
Here I am, trying to review this giant ass one shot. I'll probably be typing this review as I read due to the length. Speaking of the length, why not make it a short story rather than a one shot? I mean, 15000 words is still quite a bit for one sitting.

Now, onto the the actual story.

When I read this was a self-insert, I was kind of strange. Not because they can't be good, actually quite of few SI are pretty good, but more due to the fact on how you were going to craft a story about yourself and make it interesting without any background info.

The story itself feels like set pieces, but I always got the feeling that I was reading someone who enjoyed fantasy, the dreams of someone who always thought of ideas of what to do. Which is always a nice read and makes me smile. Felt like that fantasy epic you would think about as a kid, but could never put into words in a way.

Each transition went into a new set piece and a new section, which matched the entire thing, in a way this story felt like an ode to imagination. Which while simple, I feel like it was somewhat in a pure form, like a writer remember something and having fun. The dream you simply remember, but never write since it was too perfect to actually ever put up for display.
Katsurou Shimizu chapter 1 . 9/26/2014
And here I am, Faith, as promised. As a writer, you have already won by sticking to your end of the bargain.

You stuck to your deadlines. And you wrote with heart.

And I read this in a single sitting.

The readability and flow of your prose has improved, really improved from what I've last remembered. While the ramblings in your magnum opus, Faith could be endearing and a tad long-winded at times, the little comments that you interject here really add to the narrative voice of the protagonist.

This protagonist screams you. It's so you that it hurts at times when you portrayed the selfishness of your selfless love, with some of the situations mirroring our conversations back when you were suffering from the blues. As a friend, I felt helpless then. As a reader, the helplessness only intensified.

The story as a whole was straightforward and less "epic" than your usual offerings, but I really loved the themes in there. The notion of helping ghosts to move on from their tragic pasts was very much the kind of stuff I would definitely write and read personally (If I remembered how to, that is). Would have preferred dem ghosts to have extended screentime, but I think in the context of this one-shot, the current arrangement works.

I don't think I need to wax lyrical on your poetry-songs since dem ghosts have done it for me already.

The ending is ironically melancholic. That's the only way I describe it. On the surface, it's a combination of acceptance and the birth of a couple, but knowing what the writer has gone through only made the ending felt like a fantasy happy-ending what-if that didn't occur in real life.

And it hurts. Once more.

Congrats, Faith. This is the best story that you have written, no questions about it.