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1/17 c4 42Martin III
This is a strong, moving story which doesn't rely on melodrama, making its impact through ordinary events and conversations, both handled realistically, and with its beautiful, faithful characterizations of Kyon and Haruhi. Please don't let the multitude of criticisms I have for it distract from that essential point.

I agree with Quis Custodiet that Haruhi having her future decided for her doesn't make a lot of sense. If her parents are controlling enough to make her go to a specific university, why haven't they stopped her spending after-school hours with an illegitimate club or handing out fliers while dressed in a bunny girl outfit? Moreover, why haven't Haruhi or Koizumi done anything to get Kyon into the same university as her? He might refuse, but you give no indication that they even tried.

As insightful and enjoyable to read as Quis's reviews are, he seems to always put in something that makes me say "What the heck?" - in this case, his rant about Kyon. His whole argument is that when the source material shows Kyon acting unaware that Haruhi likes him or hostile to the idea that he likes her, this is faithful characterization and good use of the unreliable narrator technique, but when your story (and the other fics he alludes to) do the same thing, this is OOC characterization and a failure to understand the unreliable narrator technique. I can't imagine the knots Quis had to tie his brain into to recognize the unreliable narrator technique in the source material yet remain completely oblivious to it when it appears in the fan fiction.

As for his assertion "Both suppositions are entirely false of course.", I have to correct that to "Are both these suppositions entirely false? Of course not! Both these aspects of Kyon's character have been demonstrated by words and actions, not just thoughts, so while there's room for interpretation as to just how true they are, we can't simply write them off as Kyon being an unreliable narrator or a tsundere. To do so is to reduce him to a shallow character who says and does things for no reason other to conform to a trope."

Enough - I know it's bad form to argue with a fellow reviewer. It's just that some comments are so ridiculous that I can't make myself leave them with no response.

I will say that it is inconsistent with the canon that Kyon is so shocked when Koizumi says Haruhi is in love with him; this is something Koizumi has told him many times.

Haruhi trying to stir the brigade up is an interesting idea, consistent with her trepidation about graduation. I wish you had followed through on it; she never even says what she had planned for them to do. Great dialogue in this scene, though.

Kyon's sister, I have to say, comes off as completely unrecognizable, and I don't buy Kyon's assertion that this is what everyone is like as a teen.

I'm surprised no one has yet brought up that in chapter 2, we learn that Nagato is stalking Kyon, with the implication that she intends to force him to reciprocate Haruhi's feelings. This plot thread is forgotten as soon as it's introduced, and it's not clear how Nagato intends to pull that off, or how living in Kyon's backyard facilitates it. Kyon also makes some huge leaps in logic here. First, he knows why Nagato is there just by her saying "Koizumi has explained", as if Koizumi had only ever explained one thing to him in the three years they've known each other. And he concludes that Nagato plans to kill him (which would accomplish what, exactly?) just from "Termination may be inevitable." It would be far more logical to assume she means the termination of her assignment to the SOS Brigade. Heck, even killing Haruhi would make more sense than killing Kyon; that would at least stand a chance of preventing her from destroying the world.

The conversation about people asking Haruhi out is great, nailing Kyon and Haruhi's dialogue even better than the rest of the fic. But why Kyon doesn't actually ask her out? It's not inconceivable that he would decide, "Screw the world, I'm not dating Haruhi", but here he's clearly opted to do it. So why doesn't he? Also, "She didn't strike me as the romantic type" is something you say about a casual acquaintance, not someone you've shared intimate conversations with on a daily basis for three years.

The conversation in the courtyard is even better in its way. You've perfectly captured Kyon's knack for missing opportunities.

I generally liked the bit where Haruhi tries to get Kyon to run away with her, but there are some jarring problems. First you say Kyon let Haruhi in ("I obliged, albeit reluctantly"), then you say he's refusing to let her in (which seems senselessly mean, beyond the limits of Kyon's character). Kyon's burlesque effort at lying is way out of character. In the source material he has lied over and over without a twitch. Also, while I love his speech at the end, it's unclear what Kyon is saying. It sounds like he's encouraging Haruhi to run away, which makes no sense at all.

Kyon's reflections following Haruhi's seeming disappearance are pure, emotional, and not stretched-out. "each and every memory tinged with a little piece of her" - simply beautiful. I don't understand how Quis could have read this far and still think you haven't grasped the unreliable narrator aspect of Kyon. Regardless of the point criticisms I've made about Kyon's characterization, wherever it really counts, you've captured him just right. Haruhi's reasoning for skipping the ceremony is also very in-character, and fits smoothly into the emotionally charged dialogue.

The ending leaves things open, but in a good way. The question of whether or not Haruhi can keep herself together without Kyon is a question that would require a whole novel to explore, and thematically, the tragedy of Kyon allowing Haruhi to face the world alone effectively closes the arc on which this story revolves. And it's a scene which made me feel tears start to form.
3/8/2018 c4 tomkmeng
9/17/2015 c4 11Quis Custodiet
This was fairly well written, but I had a little bit of an issue with both the plot as well as the characterizations.

From the plot perspective - I can understand Haruhi being upset about feeling like she is running out of time to confess to Kyon her feelings, but really she's not. Even if they end up going to different schools, it's as Kyon says, it's not like they won't meet again. In terms of her "future being decided for her", I never really got the feeling that this would be something she would ever be concerned with (I mean, her parents seem completely incapable of making her do anything remotely normal so far, so it stands to reason...) it just felt kind of false to me.

I dunno, it might be hard to do a good "Haurhi is having angst over growing up" story without devoting a lot of words to developing her character sufficiently so that she's even remotely mature enough for it to be believable in the first place!

Which brings me to my second quibble - Kyon in this fic isn't just a tad OOC (this doesn't bother me too much) but he's bordering on mentally retarded. I see a lot of fics that seem to interpret his character as either a) being unaware that Haruhi likes him, or b) being downright hostile to the idea that he likes her. Both suppositions are entirely false of course. The thing about Kyon that many people don't seem to get is that he's an "unreliable narrator". What he actually says, thinks, feels and what happens, isn't always what he narrates back to the audience and he DOES contradict himself, particularly when it comes to Haruhi.

This is just part of his tsundere personality (being one of the few rare examples of the male tsundere in a show). In fact, I think you flipped the characters and their motivations somewhat when it comes to certain parts of this story. Knowing what we do about Kyon, he's more likely to be irritated about running out of time to be with Haruhi and torn between that and not wanting to admit it.

Anyway, like I said, I think the story was well written from a technical standpoint (your grammar and punctuation are great for instance), but the characterizations felt way too shallow for me. I just don't feel like you understood what makes either of them tick except on a superficial level that borders on flanderization. Sorry if that hurts :(
9/19/2014 c4 2Tsu Zu Mia
That was a really touching story. I see that you marked it as complete now, which is a little sad. I'm sure we'd all love to see what happens next.
9/18/2014 c4 xxelvicioso
9/17/2014 c2 8Vertero
Personally I always found Kyon to be somewhat challenging to write about accurately but you've described his behaviour and reactions pretty well so good job. I look forward to more.
8/28/2014 c1 12Harulist
Now this is an interesting idea! I wish I had thought of it... I can't wait to see more, keep it up! I'll definitely keep tabs on this!
8/27/2014 c1 12shadows-of-ballance
I like this so far I would like to see where it goes.

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