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for School Spirit is in Their Blood

3/10/2018 c5 103Dagron
Delightfully entertaining. Thanks. :D
12/24/2016 c5 132signelchan
When compared to the rest of the story, this last chapter starts with and carries on a completely different tone. Rather than being happy and cute and fun like so much of the story so far has been, it’s painful and a bit secondhand embarrassing to read. Poor Ophelia doesn’t know what she’s done wrong (and really, she has done something wrong) and Soleil’s being such a spiteful bitch that she’s not listening to anyone tell her to make amends with someone who’s only guilty of one of the crimes held against her. Their reconciliation comes in the most stereotypical and cheesiest of ways, and with their return to being gal pals the story takes on its normal vibe.

Oh, and also there’s a cheer competition to win that shouldn’t be focused on as much as it has been, apparently. I get that Ophelia’s tunnel vision towards the comp has really damaged her time spent with Soleil, and that’s an undeniable fact, but I don’t think it’s so much that she should have been focusing less as it was that Soleil should have been focusing more. But that’s my opinion, and it gets resolved there on that ride where they kiss and make up. Yay tentative girlfriends. Don’t let them share a room. c:

So we get another taste of Caeldori and her cronies being rude to the Nohr cheer squad, but their rudeness falls apart due to an accidental perfect haiku and the fact that everyone knows Nohr is better, duh. It’s too bad that Caeldori’s mom ends up at least making amends with Owain at the end of this, because I don’t think there’s enough money in the world they could offer the girls to all get along. Some things just aren’t meant to happen. But anyway, I think it’s fitting to say that the Nohrian squad winning the competition and doing what they had set out to do (that is, crush Hoshido to the ground) is probably the best way this story could have ended, even if it’s pretty predictable that they’d get the gold eventually. Sometimes bullies just have to lose to the squad of girls (and Percy) powered by love.

Parting thought, I really like how they let Ophelia name the trophy in the end, because that’s what she does, and she doesn’t go for some off-the-wall name that no one would understand. She honors her coach with the name she picks, and it’s simply the best to see that she did that. Gives the girls, post-graduation, some reason to come back and reminisce with the trophy, yanno? Well, it does, but so does the fact that everything leading up to them winning that trophy was crucial in establishing their relationship from friends to lovers, and that might just be the REAL trophy they won.

Signel
12/24/2016 c4 signelchan
This chapter has two really memorable parts to it, even though I know I should remember more of it because there’s nonsense with the rival school and the kids attached to that place. Forgive me for not caring too terribly much about the Hoshidan kids when there’s a whole bunch of interaction between my two favorite bumbling cheer dads in this chapter. You elaborate a lot on the relationship between Owain and Inigo/Laslow, which is really cool to see because they are kind of a big part of their daughters’ lives. It’s good that you develop their backgrounds without overshadowing the surrounding plot too much—because they ARE part of the plot thanks to how much their daughters are affected by them daily. (Also, nice reference to the third member of their adventuring trio, I can /only/ wonder what she’s gotten up to, heh.)

The other part of this chapter that stands out to me is the whole prom buildup and catastrophe. These girls are still being adorable, still keeping up their cute behavior, and why not take it to prom? They doll up, they go together, they have what seems to be a good time, until Ophelia’s necklace goes missing and everything goes downhill faster than you’d want to believe it ever could. I must say, I’m glad it was her necklace missing and not, for instance, her headdress getting ruined in some way, because while I get that the necklace is also a memory of a grandmother she never met, you can’t ruin the thing that’s finishing her appearance as a reincarnation of said grandmother. You just can’t.

Okay so, as it should be, prom ends disastrously when the necklace goes missing and the cheer squad members at the function (minus Soleil who’s conveniently stepped out for the moment) starts looking for it. Who else but Percy, the lone boy and the lucky guy he is, to find it somewhere only he could, aka his shoe? Sucks for everyone, though, because as Ophelia’s thanking him for it and getting close to him to express this appreciation, in a definitely not romantic way, as you know, Soleil comes back into the picture and instantly jumps to the wrong conclusion. As you’d expect.

It’s an oft-used trope but a good one nonetheless. We’ll have to see how it plays out.

Signel
12/24/2016 c3 signelchan
I am completely aware that I am three months late on doing this, but now it’s time for me to finally get around to reviewing these chapters of your fic that I have missed. We start with these adorable girls getting to go on a date that Soleil has seriously been gunning for, but what good would a date set-up be if there’s not some steamy shower scene to go along with it? Okay it’s not really that steamy, and Soleil gets injured in the aftermath of it (her poor father checking on her and getting nothing in response, ouch), but at least she didn’t, like, die or something in the fall. A cut lip’s not that bad in hindsight.

The date’s just a bunch of two girls being awkward with each other as they get to know each other better throughout the day, doing things together that they haven’t done before. It’s cute to read through, and it’s clear you put some thought into it as you were writing it, trying to express just how romantic Soleil wants to be and how…unaccustomed to the date scene Ophelia is. Also the casual chat about their sexualities is pretty nifty, builds them a bit more as real teenage girls. Their time in the bookstore is cute, as is the naming the date thing, but I (and probably everyone else who’s read this) find that the surprise kiss at the end before the train leaves is the highlight of their date.

Then it’s back to the school grind and Soleil is quickly made to regret the whole “date for joining the squad” thing she’d started. Yeah, cheerleading’s not just something you jump into like that, completely unprepared and not entirely willing to do, and she learns that first hand after having to survive the whole tryout waiting game. At least her father-coach doesn’t give her any special treatment just because of who she is, that part’s nice (and completely unrealistic, do you KNOW how many cheer coaches with their own kids on the squad show complete favoritism? It’s too many). But that comes at the steep trade-off of him jumping straight into things that only more experienced cheerleaders would be able to handle, and that’s definitely enough to get anyone to consider quitting.

But thankfully for Soleil, she’s got Ophelia there to help her through the rough spots in her cute and quirky way, and damn if she’s not the cutest thing when she’s being a cheer guidance counselor to someone who may or may not be cut out for the job. I’m glossing over some good details here, I know, but there’s a lot going on between the second practice where Soleil realizes just how over her head she’s in this mess and the end of the chapter where the girls share what ends up being Ophelia’s first real kiss.

I have to point out, though, that if anyone actually did the no panties thing under their skirts and got found out, they would be in /serious/ trouble. You’ve got to be wearing like 3 layers under that skirt, if you go without any of it to expose yourself to the crowd to get them pumped, something’s very, very wrong.

Signel
9/28/2016 c5 80May Ravenstaff
I enjoyed this story so much. Thanks for writing it!
9/16/2016 c2 132signelchan
There is a whole lot that happens over the course of this chapter, in both terms of story events and character development, and I’m positive I could spend a lot of time just getting into the tiny, specific details of what you CAN do with some of the things you’ve presented here. Of course, you already having written and posted the next chapter, my suggestions would not be of very much use to you (although maybe it would give you a laugh to see what I had to say that directly contradicts whatever it is you do next).

So, instead, I am going to just make a few points about things you did right with this chapter and call it a review. First of all, the whole “cheer competition at an amusement park” thing is something that actually happens, complete with cheer squads going and riding rides and splitting up and hoping they all make it to the comp state on time. And yes, those kinds of events tend to have a straggler or two that isn’t part of the squad but is instead there to watch them perform—naturally, though, Soleil’s reasoning for going is, uh, a lot more than just wanting to watch, but whatever she fits that mold here.

Percy winning a bunch of animals on those games just might have sapped enough luck from the overall squad to make them lose. Or maybe it was the supposedly egregious blunders people were making. I get that hitting your hand in the shower is a traumatic experience, Ophelia, but it shouldn’t forever render you unable to execute your routine to perfection. Sheesh, and you call yourself a cheerleader. (I kid, I kid.) That there squad from Hoshido seems like a bunch of jerks, I hope these kids learn to beat them someday, if not in comp then maybe with their fists? I’m just saying, that would be an entertaining thing to witness.

But, you know what would have been better than that?

Ophelia fucking decking a bitch for calling cheerleading not a sport. I love Soleil and everything but that is not something you do, and I hope she learns to accept that it is a sport so much harder than all the others before the story’s over. Seriously, no one says that to a cheerleader and gets away with it without suffering at least a tiny bit. But to make the deal of “join the squad in exchange for a date”…well, I don’t know if Ophelia should have done that. A punch to the face would have been a better trade.

I’m off to read the next chapter now, this one was great as always!

Signel
9/2/2016 c1 43lon'quesadilla
How great that she's trying out to be a cheerleader to follow in her father's footsteps? Omg I love the father/daughter interactions. Though I don't really know the characters that well (and admittedly had to look them up to both imagine them for this and to know a little background of them), I still enjoyed how you wrote them. Moving on, not eating breakfast or lunch isn't a very good idea at all, but sometimes being anxious about something causes that to happen, and while it's not alright to do it, it's a bit more understandable. And at least it doesn't too badly affect her making the team. And Owain's excitement about that is just adorable, sincerely. This first chapter was great, and I can't wait to see where it's going next!
9/1/2016 c1 132signelchan
You’re welcome for me enlightening you to the news that Soleil and Ophelia’s birthdays are so close to each other, and therefore you’re welcome for me reminding you that you could and should write something to commemorate their birthdays. And I was expecting you’d write something…short and to the point, not something that is, at the time of this review, unfinished and already being posted in parts. Something that involves cheerleaders and the world that cheerleading entails. Which is not a bad thing, let me tell you.

First and foremost, I love the Owain/Ophelia family dynamic you’ve got going on here, because you really make their interactions not only feel authentic, but you’ve really got the “overenthusiastic dad” thing down pat in Owain. As in, his excitement that his daughter is following in his footsteps (which, btw, male cheerleader Owain? Sign me the fuck up!) is completely contagious and feels entirely real. He’s also showing that he really cares about his daughter, not just for what she wants to pursue with her time, as evidenced by him making sure she doesn’t neglect herself—which, as teenage girls do, she ignores the warning and nearly passes out later in the day.

Boy howdy though, what all happens in that day is something to behold, and despite you never having been a cheerleader in your life, you represent the fear of cheer tryouts pretty well. Of course, poor Ophelia is trying out for a squad that seems to be ran a bit differently than the squad I was part of (dear goodness if Laslow makes them run outdoors in the snow I will call the fictional authorities on his ass, no questions asked), but it’s still a nerve-wracking ordeal that her response to is accurate.

I’ve only played through Conquest once, so my knowledge of the Nohr kids is very limited, and likewise my opinion of their portrayals is probably not valid, but I did enjoy Sophie and her friendship with Ophelia. The other kids present were cool too, sure, but Sophie was best, and then there was Soleil and her…seemingly aloof behavior that I’m surprised her dad was putting up with. Let’s hope she becomes a better person over the course of the story, because I don’t want her hooking up with Ophelia being that kind of bitch.

Last point I want to make before I start getting too long-winded, I really enjoy that, even though it’s clear their friendship has deteriorated over time, I love how Laslow keeps his old friend’s behavior in mind when he tells Ophelia of her status on the squad early. It’s just a little touch that I think really brings some humanity to him before he potentially goes all psycho cheer coach on everyone.

I’m excited to see where this goes next!

Signel
8/31/2016 c1 46GreenPokeGuy
Ah yes, following in her father's footsteps to be a cheerleader. Not something I'd want to do personally, but hey, if you can do it then good on you. :P

Tsk tsk, Ophelia, you should have had your breakfast. And picking at your lunch was a silly idea, too. She'd better not keep that up.

Having Sophie as a friend is cool. It'll be nice to see how that pans out, depending on if she makes the team.

Coach Laslow, huh? Has a nice ring to it. Interesting that Ophelia didn't know about his daughter, though. Could be because Owain and Inigo have drifted apart, I guess.

I suppose there would be a certain stigma about male cheerleaders, huh? I think you represented it here pretty well.

Clever, Inigo. Telling Ophelia right away that she was in so that Owain didn't stress out about was a good move, if he'd be as bad as it sounds and made Ophelia doubt herself once she learned that she was the only one to know immediately.

Looking forward to this continuing! :D

-Green

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