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for The Golden Age: Chaotic Cosmos

3/27/2008 c96 Archangel2385
A thoroughly enjoyable chapter that somehow has left VERY confused and conflicted feelings in its wake . . . that said, 2 questions:

1) Are you comfortable where you are?

2) If not, got a Snickers? Lol, I'm sorry, forgive my stupid humor. Anyway, on to the review!

I loved the flashback scene detailing the purpose of Ultimate Coordinators and the evolution of humanity. The twist at the end of Nicholas being a Borander was AWESOME, as it nicely foreshadowed how Noah came to be and why he also is apparently an Ultimate Coordinator.

Naturally, this chapter raises many questions dealing with comparisons between Noah and Kira. For instance, while Noah's physical body hasn't apparently evolved to anywhere near the extent Kira's has, his Newtype status (Active vs. Latent) & mental powers currently far surpass Kira's. But does that mean he's even accessed his SEED mode yet? And what about that "traumatic" event that is supposed to start the evolutionary process; has it occurred already? And how has/will his cloned body respond to the physiological changes brought about by his evolution into the next stage of humanity? Ahh, so many questions, so little answers . . . fortunately, in time, all will probably be answered.

Anyway, IMMEDIATELY following that flashback sequence, a small (though noticeable) annoyance was revealed . . .

(Begin rant)

Something I meant to suggest to you a long time ago is “scene transition.” After reading dang near 100 chapters, I’ve somewhat grown accustomed to it, but the manner in which you transition from one scene to the next is still somewhat . . . confusing.

In this chapter, you clearly label the beginning and ending of the flashback scene with the appropriate titles “The Past” & “The Present,” which was great, because you generally don’t give indications of scenes changing. As a reader, this can make following your story (momentarily) confusing, because we’re reading one scene, and then all of the sudden without any warning (section titles, stars/hyphens to separate scenes, etc.), you transfer to the next scene in the next sentence.

To be fair, the level of severity differs from chapter to chapter depending on what is going on. For example, in battle chapters, you may start with an initial bombardment of enemy forces, and then cut to a conversation of allied forces/commanders, and we can follow perfectly, because the nature of the scenes is so different. But in several other chapters, particularly those that are very conversation-laden, this abrupt scene transitioning can be quite confusing (again, if only momentarily).

This is particularly pronounced and troublesome in these vacation/shipper chapters, because they have generally focused on just two characters holding extended conversations with each other; there have been several times where characters were talking about one thing in a scene, and then in the next sentence/paragraph, the scene has changed and they are talking about something entirely different, leaving me to go, "Uhh, what the heck are they talking about. Weren't they just discussing (blah, blah, blah)?"

Given the length of your story and the devotion of its fans & reviewers, this may be nothing more than a nuisance, but to new readers in particular starting in the beginning, it could potentially be a turn-off to the entire story unfortunately. A simple suggestion is to visually separate the scenes somehow, using either titles, stars/hyphens, or some other means.

(End Rant)

One of the main things that I was very adamant about is evidence of Kira physically, mentally, and emotionally changing as result of his encounter with Frost. Fortunately, you have MORE than adequately accomplished this task (tips hat), but the flashback scene curiously created a very peculiar issue . . . what changes are the result of Frost’s work, and what are the result of Kira’s evolution?

It currently is especially difficult to discern the cause of the physical changes Kira’s gone through. Dr. Hibiki notes that the next stage of humans will most definitely be “superhuman.” Unfortunately, so is Frost and the rest of the BCPUs, and most of the physical changes displayed by Kira have been seen in BCPUs, thereby significantly blurring the line between “natural” (i.e. evolutionary) and “artificial” (man-made, more specifically BCPU) augmentation.

Given Doc’s knowledge & understanding of evolution, it’s entirely likely that he purposely designed BCPUs to at least physically replicate such enhanced abilities, but this sadly comes as little consolation to a reader trying to uncover what leading Kira’s physiological changes.

It is for this reason that reviewing this chapter has been decidedly difficult, though that is not to say that the chapter was bad, just . . . vague. That said, I am already confident that further details will be uncovered as to Kira’s evolution, so if anything, maybe that was the “point” of the chapter, to show that Kira’s changing and right now (even WITH the flashback), no one knows how or why he’s changing.

However, while I am confused due to the presentation of Kira’s changes, I most definitely am neutral (leaning slightly towards against) the resolution of conflict in this chapter and the accompanying marriage proposal. In the “balcony scene,” Lacus states very firmly that earning her trust & respect back will take awhile, and yet she appears to forgive him (and essentially move on) in the same scene, and what’s more, before the end of their vacation, he proposes AND she accepts. Make no mistake, I for one am all for them getting married, but after such a big blow-out, I don’t know how I feel about this . . . it all feels so . . . sudden, given what’s happened. But perhaps greatest (if somewhat unfounded) fear is that there might not be anymore conflict between them now; I don't REALLY think you'd do such a thing, but the ease with which Kira was forgiven PLUS the fact that they will eventually be married . . . the possibility HAS crossed my mind.

Confusing and conflicting points aside, I’d be lying my butt off if I said I didn’t enjoy this chapter immensely (yes, the K/L shipper in me IS that influential). Perhaps one of the most enjoyable aspects of the entire chapter is that it was balanced; this was not just Kira’s chapter or Lacus’ chapter, it was BOTH of their chapters. For instance, despite an initial heavy focus on Kira, you still went into great detail with Lacus and her feelings on what she should have done to Sai, Cyprus, and Ramierze. We got a lot of character development from both parties, such as how they now view forgiveness & retaliation, compared to say the Yzak/Katie chapter, which while outstanding, still appeared more towards the development of Yzak and Ezalia’s character than Katie’s.

And the engagement night was flawlessly executed. It was kinda funny how all the guys, despite seemingly being so different, appear very traditional in the manner through which they romance their women (dancing, candlelit dinners, etc.). To cap it off by Lacus’ Pink kicking the bucket was hilarious (glad to see that idea implemented in the story).

If anything, I guess my hesitancy to review this chapter has more to do with the questions raised than anything else, but again, that doesn't take away from the quality of the chapter, but rather just leaves me even more eagerly awaiting future chapters which will probably answer all of my questions . . . was this your intention along, lol.
3/27/2008 c97 13Phailen
The rat thing was great, loved that part...had to force myself not laugh since my family woulda thought I was insane or something...

Anyways, the nightclub part was rightfully put into the story, I can see Cagalli wanted to go there and do what she did. I didn't really enjoy reading it though, maybe because it just doesn't match my personality.

Nonetheless, this chapter's quality is right at the level of the past ones. I gotta admit, I'm sorta interested to see if you actually do anything with the people impersonating Lacus and Athrun...I think that'd be damned interesting to read.

Nice chapter. Hope to read more soon.
3/25/2008 c95 Archangel2385
No need to hope; you can do romance-centered chapters exceptionally well.

This was truly Yzak's chapter to shine, and you did a great job on his characterization. What I like most is how you’ve managed to stay true to his character’s reservations about public affection, but also illustrate his more personal and private persona, which provides awesome contrasts & depth to his character. I just loved seeing his more sensitive side, because it's just so rarely glimpsed. Your use of creativity in regards to little tidbits about Yzak such as valedictorian of his high school class and captain of the swim team was also welcome.

I liked Ezalia’s characterization in this chapter, despite her very unconventional views (namely her openness towards sexual discussions and sex in her house). She came across as a woman, something that is sometimes forgotten by fanfic writers, as well as series' creators; characters are all based on people and people have certain concerns and desires. For Ezalia, despite her dedication to peace & politics, she is still a woman with the needs of woman, and I'm glad you touched on that. Her going for either Waltfeld or Kisaka would be very interesting, though if I had to guess, I’d say Waltfeld might be the better choice. Not sure why though . . . probably because they are both from the PLANTS.

Speaking of which, great job on all the references to PLANT society. Detail is what makes your writing style so enjoyable. I love it when you talk of PLANT society and how it operates, whether it be the legal age of independence or the harsh realities of war and how the dead are treated. Again, such things are often explored by many, and thus you set yourself above others when you comment on them.

Oh yeah, and for some reason, I was compelled to note that even though I have a favorite quote already, the atmosphere and delivery of this POWERFUL sentence was bang-on: “They decorated the ground around them with their grief, beads of crimson on pure white petals that whirled like tears in the gentle breezes.” THAT was nice right there.

Grammatically, it was kinda rough, but so just be more careful. Oh yeah, and you wanted a hobby for Yzak, huh? It's funny, but reading this chapter made me think of one . . . fashion (or just clothers) designer.

Maybe it was just his fondness for playing dress-up or his comments on the military not asking him HIS opinions on uniforms or what not (combined with how he treated that one fellow female soldier's attire that Dearka comented on earlier), but Yzak seems to possess a great deal of taste and style, and designing clothes (even if they're only military uniforms) in his spare time would almost sure be a nice, constructive hobby to pursue with potential peace-time benefits as well. Just a thought.

Favorite Quote: "He's a Joule. Pure energy, those men are." (Freakin' GENIUS!, man was that fun)
3/25/2008 c4 16CSS Stravag
Definitely the mad end for Yzak, using the footage of the Duel shooting down the recovery shuttle against him. That's a fairly strong backlash against the military of the PLANTs, especially considering the fact that Genesis did not fire more than twice, and both of those at military targets. I'm yet to see another story with that much attention to political details like what the people would do.

The commando assault was very sharp and quite graphic as to the execution. An excellent way to introduce some of your OCs, taking down one of the Blue Cosmos training camps. Never really thought about the reach of Blue Cosmos in the fashion you stated, which does make sense when you get down to it. They had plenty of reach and sway in SEED and Destiny.

I find this to be a very realistic and thorough work; extremely enjoyable and thus far lacking only in large-scale MS conflict. I sense that is coming; I think I need to read some more. Keep it coming, I look forward to the next few chapters.
3/25/2008 c95 5Asmus
I just noticed that you want some ideas about Yzak's hobbies he might have. After some thought I came up with two suggestions.

1. Stargazing - if you live in space then watching stars should be much better than doing that on Earth. Also, since this hobby is usually a one-man activity, it might explain why Yzak sometimes prefers to be alone and likes privacy.

2. Mountaineering/trekking or something like that, basically where you sort of have to "survive" in the woods. This would also be possible explanation for why Yzak values privacy and even explains why he is usually serious and doesn't like fooling around too much, because a hobby like this is a little bit risky and dangerous. However, judging by the size of PLANTs, you gave earlier, this hobby might be somewhat difficult to have in such cramped space.
3/24/2008 c3 16CSS Stravag
So, a pickup from the end of SEED? And definitely an interesting way to continue the story of SEED that rather poorly transitioned into Destiny IMHO.

I definitely got the feeling I was listening to the SEED cast there. Excellent characterizations and emotional play. Very accurate to the characters involved. I look forward to the continuation of the story and the interaction with your rebuilt elements of the future.

This is grossly overdue. I had this one in my alerts / favs list but as a placeholder for when I could get to reading it. I see now that delaying in any fashion was a bit of a mistake, especially since a work of this detail deserves more props than it is getting. As I swore in the reviewers' Circle forums, I will read and review, this is an interesting piece of work and I sense it is headed for the 'very entertaining' bin.

As of right now, I have no complaints or advice. Still a bit early for that, given you are already above 90 chaps :P

Keep 'em coming. More is the merrier and all that.
3/24/2008 c5 LordYamikage
I know you said characters will act based on what you think, but in the middle of the chapter where Dea. is telling Ath and Kira about Tolle's death, you wrote is as if it was no big deal.

Tolle's death is one of the biggest deal. His death lead Athrun and Kira to fight to death which lead Kira to PLANT. And everything after.

"Hey, I'm surprised she can stand to be around me at all." Athrun replied. "I was the one that killed Tolle after all."

Sound like Athrun is proud to killed Kira's friend.

And Dea. talk about Tolle's death without considering Kira's feeling (Dea know who Tolle was to Kira). Like I said, I know you wrote characters act/react the way you think they would've.

But this is - I don't know how to say this without being a dick - destroying the characters. It's like Kira was proud to kill all the solider he kill during whole series of Gundam SEED. Some people will find this offend. To be honest, I was offend and disappointed making characters change this much. I thought at least Dea will stop in the middle of his sentence.

Anyway, maybe you didn't realize this until after you submit the story. I don't know. I do enjoy your story, but if the characters are being runied in your story like this throughout the whole writing I wish you would reconsider character's personallity.
3/24/2008 c4 LordYamikage
I glimp through OCs in the beginning only because it didn't had to do anything significant with any Main Characters and I really do not care about OC. Also, I don't know if the OC's characters description is later on chapter(s), but there weren't any here. Can't really visualize the OC.

I really enjoy Athrun and Cagalli moment. They were unexpectly fun to read. And Ysak reaction was quite hilarious.

So two months had passed already...
3/24/2008 c3 LordYamikage
gotta fix the error I made in review, sorry. This is 1st time. Myabe because it's almost 2 am in the morning and I'm really tired. Sorry.

1. (over 800,0 words)

2. (... I ask myself WHY after SEED...)

3. (GoH.

Hopefully I won't have to make these stupid mistake again in future.
3/24/2008 c3 LordYamikage
Hi there.

To be honest, the only reasons why I decide to read your story was because this was the longest (over 800,0 words) stroy I found in Gundam SEED. And I don't waste my time reading other from TV, Book, Cartoon, Game, Movies, and other catagories not out of disrespect, but I don't have time. So why Gundam SEED? Well, this is personal reason.

Second reason is I check your profile. Said you're 21. I perfer to read someone who is actually mature - as in age - because I expect them to writer better than teenager, not that I'm saying teenager are bad. Just most of their sentence is poorly written it's hard to enjoy reading.

Anyway, about the story. I liked it(Although I ask myself what after SEED and not Desinty?). And like you warned the reader, some of the characters really act like differently from what I'd expect - which make me think twice if the characters would've really act the way you (writer) wrote. Since this is chapter 1, I do hope to see lot more improvement of the words that you pick and use.

I'm planning to review every chapter as possible. If this bother you in any way, please e-mail me and let me know (GoH.

Thank you for the fine story and keep up the good work.
3/23/2008 c96 JointVW
Again a nice chapter, sometimes i wonder how you come up with this stuff. The changes on kira bc of frost blood are nicely thought out. Even the start of the chapter was precisely what it needed. The proposal was nicely done aswell. And seeing kira get jealous was also very funny (i feel pitty for that guy)
3/23/2008 c95 JointVW
Have to say although i am not a romantic myself i loved the chapter, and i have to agree with the choice of "What I've Done" as a theme music to ysak.
3/23/2008 c91 5Rihaku
Hm. The review throttle is fifteen seconds. I suppose I could alternate review-spamming with playing levels in a mindless computer game or something.
3/23/2008 c95 Rihaku
Oh, also: think of a new name for "The Destiny War," if you're maintaining that title. Not only does it look kind of mediocre and generic, the words aren't psychologically appealing. ^_^
3/23/2008 c96 Rihaku
Excellent work, as usual. Of course, I'm a bit biased, due to the implementation of some of my suggestions, but the good thing about your writing is that even if you had vehemently un-implemented them your work could not be said to be less than excellent.

Hm. That was a pretty long sentence. In any event, bravo on extending your writing horizons and in surprising readers with a new upgrade for Kira. I'm glad it's something I didn't anticipate, and it's very cool. Now, of course, it isn't necessary for me to give a speech about keeping Kira in check, as I know you're a good enough writer to have a sense of plot balance, but I came to an interesting insight on why some people may (in their eyes, quite reasonably) feel justified in asking you to rein the Ultimate Coordinator in.

Frankly, I think it's an issue of time, and sadly not one that's easy to correct. People with long memories of specific fanfics (due to proportional time spent reading or just natural/acquired ability) will note that you spend a lot of pagespace detailing the capabilities of antagonist forces - out of necessity, since the mechanical rigor and techno-edge of your plot do require readers to understand why the Archangel is crippled by the Pulsar's activation - without spending nearly as much detailing the abilities of the protagonists. Again, this is pretty reasonable, since we don't need to be told that Athrun is exceptional at close quarters combat or that Kira is (*gasp*) an Ultimate Coordinator. Also, you have more antagonists than protagonists, compounding this fact. Thus, when people read lots of chapters of your work at a time, they can get demoralized because of the sheer weight of described power leveled against the good guys, even if, by objective evaluation, the odds aren't really that out of balance. For someone like me, who doesn't read a lot of Gundam Seed fanfiction besides yours, this chapter was a nice reprieve from the sometimes depressing onslaught of antagonist ability that is the fic's norm. However, for broader readers without as certain a memory, a single chapter detailing an already powerful protagonist's improvements can trigger a sort of reflexive don't-godmod warning.

Phew. That was long. Anyway, I think you kind of knew this in the first place, since you included the Noah bit. I really would like to see him become a 'good guy' for a while, though. That'd be really interesting, as he'd probably find it difficult to reverse the inertia of the events he planned and hopefully return to the antagonist position a much grayer character.

Oh, check your forums. Archangel posted a really long group of suggestions/critiques/etc. there.

Also, you'll probably need to come up with a justification re: Lacus detecting Melanie's mind in the Haro. Heck, with Kira's new sensory acuity, he'd theoretically be able to tell the false and real ones apart from the smell or something.

I do like how you've continued the "power corrupts" theme by changing the protagonists' behavior. As for your romance scenes, to say that they're on the level of your action scenes would be both an insult to the latter and not very useful to you. They are definitely superior to the vast majority of GSeed Fanfiction, but comparing this to the rest of the GSeed section is a bit unfair - some fics need to be in a higher category. That said, building a credible romance plot is a difficult and subtle affair that requires strategic insertion of seemingly-innocuous comments, thoughts, and emotions throughout the length of a piece. As such, women are far better at it than we are, and adding all those details to every single one of your chapters in order to maintain romantic mood would make your already prodigious chapters unnecessarily long. In short: it's hard to pull off romance well when romance is not the main focus of the fic. It requires at least a thirty percent commitment of pagespace to get an effect more appreciable than that you currently have, which is probably a waste of mental resources on your part, since you seem to be better at exposition. What you've got now is good, solid stuff that you should be proud of, but when you start Eden, consider re-centering your content if you want to tackle that subplot.

Speaking of Eden, I suggest you remove the "Gundam Seed:" before the incident name in your next title. Eden is a psychologically attractive word (due to letter placement, not necessarily connotation) and will probably get you lots of clicks.

As for the summary, I suggest "Warning: Reading this fic may result in an inability to wrest oneself from the computer for an indefinite period of time, due to excessive epicness." If you want, you can put "-Rihaku" or just "-A reviewer" if you don't want to sound arrogant.

Oh, btw, if you want to make this fic more attractive via having a larger reviews-to-wordcount ratio, I can create phantom accounts and/or reviewspam you anonymously with "THIS CHAPTER WAS UTTERLY AWESOME!" a few thousand times. Just say the word. I'm not even kidding (well, okay, I'll probably get bored after a hundred. A dozen a day, then?)
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