THP Book Club Thread Anonymous!yYT/u4PSNE 2023/02/06 (Mon) 06:40 No. 16806 ▼
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Let this post mark the inaugural session of the THP Book Club
! For those of you living Underground where news comes slow, slurred, and shōchū
-soaked, or up high on the gentle Moon where it hardly ever comes at all, this is an idea piloted by a member of our very own community here at Tea Haitch Pee dot moé
, and buoyed into reality on the updrafts of your
!) participation. The incipiatory discussion can be found in this blog post here >>16758
, as well as in the Site Events Discussion Thread
from roughly here >>16759
onwards; but just to reiterate, we'll be reading through some of the older stories on the site, one bit at a time and week over week, sharing our thoughts and impressions as we go along together
. Our hope is to lend forth a little light to stories that are somewhat shaded from the selective spotlights of mention, as well as to cultivate a climate of discussion and dialogue, by concentrating here what might otherwise be diaphanous and diffuse.
The first story we've chosen (by open and democratic vote) to get us through the rest of these seemingly sempiternal winter nights is All roads lead...
, here in >>/eientei/27619
. Let's hope the prospect of leporine loveliness (rather in fitting for the zodiacal year) will warm our hearts—or at least stoke our appetites—in light and easy "chapters" of four updates a week
. For this first week, that'll mean from here >>/eientei/27619
to here >>/eientei/27659
. Rather than recovening formally on a particular date, however, we being far-flung constellants subject to the clinamen of our individual lives, simply try to have your thoughts collected and ready to share sometime over the weekend
—after which, of course, we'll be moving on to the next "chapter" to be collectively considered and construed.
Now, and without further proemium: Go!
Anonymous 2023/02/06 (Mon) 19:54 No. 16808 ▼
Original proposer here. Thanks, mysterious organising anon. Your OP is a much better one than I think I'd have scratched out. Warms me cockles, it does.
I'd kind of hoped to go through and maybe come up with questions to help guide discussion beforehand, but time got the better of me, so I guess we'll just do it live. Hope everyone has fun regardless.
Anonymous 2023/02/07 (Tue) 13:26 No. 16809 ▼
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Third anon here, are we supposed to be discussing it as we read or are we all just going to dump our thoughts at the end of each week and talk from there?
Anonymous 2023/02/07 (Tue) 16:03 No. 16810 ▼ >>16809
4th anon here but I assume since it's four updates a week, you just read them and post your thoughts when you're done/have time.
Anonymous 2023/02/07 (Tue) 20:31 No. 16811 ▼ >>16809
I think >>16810
has it. It'd be too hard to closely coordinate everything like a real book club, so I think the best we can do is just post thonks as we can and respond as we can.
Anonymous 2023/02/08 (Wed) 07:30 No. 16812 ▼
Well, I finished my reading early, so I'll leave this here while I have the time, spoilered, of course, to not reveal anything to those who haven't started yet.
It's still the beginning and a CYOA so I went in not expecting too much detail thrown at the audience on the first few passes, especially with such small update size, so I might've missed something, but as a premise, the forest is spooky at night, so protag could possibly be a nut. A romantic nut, but a nut all the same. I don't really have any further thoughts on the matter yet.
On a separate but related, though perhaps meta note, what's everyone's thoughts on the practice of saging votes?
Anonymous 2023/02/08 (Wed) 19:46 No. 16813 ▼ >>16812
Still gathering my thoughts from a re-read, so I don't have much to say on the story at present, but I can say that saging votes is kind of a dumb thing that people used to do, though I don't think necessarily out of malice. A lot of folks didn't check the e-mail field to see if it was cleared before posting, and it probably still had the 'sage' from making another post.
Of course, there's a whole other conversation about sage in terms of its utility and whatnot. My own take is that it's a relic of a bygone day and was hardly ever used correctly in the first place. Nowadays, things that people used to get worked up about, like necrobumps, are basically a non-issue, both technically and practically. I can't see any real use case where it would be totally necessary now, and most potential ones people could bring up are likely silly and also non-issues.
...anyway, I should probably try to get my act together and actually talk about the story soon. Watch this space.
Anonymous 2023/02/08 (Wed) 22:03 No. 16814 ▼
Right, I've tried to collect my thoughts after a couple of read-throughs.
I guess, aside from more meta things that I'll remark on later, my first reaction is to wonder when exactly this story is taking place in relation to the games. There's not really much in the way of hints at this stage. Sure, it probably doesn't matter all that much, but it would make some difference to characters, their circumstances, and so on. For instance, is Kagerou doing grassroots things at this point? Is it still too early for that? A sense of 'place' is lacking even after four updates.
My reaction to the protagonist at this stage is... largely unimpressed. Even with the standard discounts made for CYOAs, there's something a little uneven about the writer's handling of him, to say nothing of how weak an idea of him is given. The initial picture is someone a bit flighty and over-cautious, but then he does a lot of things that don't seem very sensible. By the third episode, he's just kind of deadpanning at everything. You could excuse it as shenanigans based on his attraction to Reisen or madness due to her eyes, if you go for that interpretation, but it doesn't feel quite 'earned', you know? Even the bits sprinkled in about his friends and his family are a little bit 'whatever'; they don't say that much despite being used to explain certain things. I guess the way I feel about it is that, at this early point, he should either be handled in a relatively distant manner (for mystery) or should have a lot more time dedicated to establishment, and neither of those is what the writer went with.
Overall, I'm not sure how I feel about the protagonist's motivations. It's very much a 'CYOA' kind of thing where someone is given a 'mission' and bumped out there to accomplish it, but it's still a little thin. We're just kind of told that he feels this or that way based on some hasty narration that doesn't establish much. If we're supposed to treat this with at least some degree of seriousness, would a fidgety human go chasing a rabbit into the bamboo forest for the sake of infatuation? It stretches credibility a bit for me. If that's really what the case is, then is he simply an idiot? Then, why does he display strange degrees of self-analysis at times? It's a little incongruent.
Kagerou is probably harder to make much comment on. There's something about her shifts in mood that feel about as 'unearned' as the protagonist's love life. Sure, she could be swift-tempered, but then why is she patient enough to sit around being smug? If she's so concerned about a random human wandering into the mysterious and unexplained performance, why isn't she just roaring and growling at him to scare him off? The whole interaction with her feels a bit half-baked, partly for the sake of 'comedy'; it doesn't really say much or establish much about either of the characters involved. The protagonist just keeps pushing for little more than... idle curiosity? Maybe? And, yes, I know, that's how anon voted, but still. Just comes across as a bit poorly-considered on the writer's part.
Of course, that's really the character of this whole thing that sort of doesn't sit that well with me. It's someone attempting to do a 'classic CYOA', even declaring a 'fastish update schedule' as a goal, which rarely makes for consistent handling of things. To me, it feels like something that belongs more in 2011 than 2017. Granted, I'm willing to lend some leeway because I imagine the writer was newer to things. They were probably riding on a wave of enthusiasm for the CYOA form of things and just wanted to jump on it. It does seem to have involved not a lot of planning, though, which doesn't really lend itself to consistency.
Which isn't to say that I necessarily dislike what I've read. I just don't think it necessarily makes for the best reading after the fact; CYOAs played at their most pure are, generally speaking, something where the present experience is the real attractor. As a remaining artefact of that, what exists is now frozen in its final form. Thus, all I can do is quibble with that's there.
Speaking of which, the mention of 'orienteering lessons' made me think: Somehow, I doubt that would be much of a thing with humans in Gensokyo. Think about it, you're in an environment that is generally inhospitable. Are you really going to go traipsing deep into the wilderness? I highly doubt it. Humans probably stay where they have virtually no chance of not finding their way back. Kind of a niggle, but it's a bit of interpretation I disagree with.
Phew. There's probably a whole lot more I could say, but maybe I should leave it there for the time being.
Anonymous 2023/02/12 (Sun) 02:19 No. 16815 ▼
Usually I'm not a fan of "OC and/or village male embarks on (attempted) romance with a named 2hu", and this hasn't really made itself an exception thus far; but it's fairly early on and I'm willing to see if anything interesting might start happening anderswise. I also see a lot of what >>16814
has said, but I think once again it's quite early still and I'll hold back for now on voicing my agreement proper. For now I think Kagewoo is behaving fairly believably for someone who's probably young and not quite settled into what sort of a personality or image she wants to present; particularly someone living a double life as seems to be implied; and the same goes for Moroboshi except the snarking does happen to be a little out of place.
I think the latter is maybe an artefact of trying to leave his character under the "control" of the voters and so sticking with a sort of relatable, "default" personality, instead of making him too much his own person and possibly alienating the voterbase. Whether that's a good or a bad thing depends on what's being valued, of course; and it's also true that arriving after the fact will change our perceptions of that.
And, just to pick up on a side note, I think orienteering lessons are plausible enough; not only because what might be considered "inhospitable" or "wilderness" can still have exploitable value or even be actively managed in ways that don't go as far as direct settlement and intensive agriculture, but also because fairies, fox spirits, and the like are an everyday reality and bad luck in that regard can turn even familiar places into a kind of wilderness.
Anonymous 2023/02/12 (Sun) 09:53 No. 16816 ▼
Reading through tales on the story lists such as this, which hasn't been updated in years, I have to agree that one has to adopt a different set of expectations versus when reading an ongoing story that one knows is updating.
When I first read the title of this story, I thought it was the one with the blind protagonist, which also had Kagerou that I had read before, but I was wrong.
Anyways impressions so far:
Boy gazes into the eyes of the Rabbit, Boy wants to romance Rabbit, Boy follows Rabbit into the bamboo forest, Boy gets lost, Boy gets jumped by Wolf, and Boy banters with Wolf.
I think the title references the saying all roads lead to Rome. However, I assume it's a quip since the starting setting in the story is where people will end up lost. Unless the ... in the title reflect the unknown nature of interactive tales since readers could lead it anywhere, I might be reading into it a bit too much. I think titles are pretty important, as it's one of the first gauges of a story a person can utilize.
Well, the premise hasn't caught me exactly, though I don't really have a fondness for romance stories. However, the intro post does a decent enough job of laying out the situation. I've always wondered how much control and information a writer wants to give the voters when starting an interactive tale? Do they want the voters to dictate the character's motivations, or would they prefer to see how voters work in line with a character's motivations? I guess it's a question of preference of how much of the wheel one wants to share with the passengers and judging how well they understand the turns they are making.
I have yet to be drawn in by the writing style. I don't notice any glaring grammar issues or sentence structures requiring me to reread for understanding. There's enough descriptive language to give an idea of what's going on and what the characters are feeling, but not too much that I'm going to start tasting violet and having to reach for the dictionary. The character banter has not struck a chord in me for any of the banterers yet, but I suppose that might be the earliness of the chapter we're in.
The Boy seems to have a bit of a nonchalant attitude towards the whole being jumped by the Wolf and chasing after the Rabbit. I suppose it might be the whole looking into the eyes of madness affecting the Boy's responses. I know it's acknowledged that he understands that the Wolf can rip him in half and thus is nonplussed about it, but I can't help but find a bit off. Feels like a tongue-in-cheek joke, as there are mentions about youkai coming out to eat individuals like the Boy and Granny's warnings, but then there is the whole I want to love that Rabbit, lurid tales of youkai seducing men, and Granny's just jealous cause the Tengu stole her husband from her. I guess it sets the tone of this being what I would dub a light-hearted story.
Don't have much of an opinion. Never saged before, and from what I've read, it is a relic from the past.
I kind of get it, as villagers might get stolen out of their beds for someone's amusement and then need to find their way back home, but by that point, one is probably screwed. Though I recall something about how hunters exist, they may be the type to traipse into the wilderness hunting and need to find a way back. It seems to be a good skill to have, just in case.
>Story's time period in relation to the games.
I hadn't even thought about that, but I believe it's something to note and not note, as it affects the characters' portrayal in a tale. Heck, the timeline could even make some characters unavailable.
How much of the story's details should one spoiler when talking about it directly concerning one's thoughts?
Anonymous 2023/02/12 (Sun) 18:37 No. 16817 ▼ >>16815 >living a double life as seems to be implied
I didn't really read that from any of it. Can you point to any particular passage that might suggest this? >relatable [...] personality
Eh, kind of too deadpan and weird to be relatable
, imo. >>16816 >title
I took it as the writer just mirroring the bit of narration right at the beginning, possibly settling hastily for a title at the last minute before posting. At the very least, it doesn't seem like much careful consideration has gone into much with the story as a whole, so that seems more likely to me. >romance stories
Can it really be called that, though? The guy's infatuation with the rabbit seems more like something we're not strictly meant to take seriously. I mean, the story is ultimately a comedy, I'd think... though how successful it is in that
regard is debatable. >hunters
I guess. There's no indication as to how prominent/important such activity is; it could just as well be the odd, er, oddball risking their life for little reward. I'd be inclined to believe that it's a fringe activity at best. >How much [...] should one spoiler [...]
Considering this is the weekend, I'd say you need not bother. Mid-week, sure, people might have not read, so they're more warranted then, but anyone getting spoiled by the weekend has just lagged a bit much, imo.
Anonymous 2023/02/12 (Sun) 18:41 No. 16818 ▼
Whew, waited till the last day, realised I hadn't read it yet, and had to sneak it in between other things.
If there's two things that really stand out to me, one is that I like most of the narration, especially descriptions of scenery, and the other is that our so-far nameless protagonist seems hell bent on completely ruining it whenever he opens his idiot mouth or otherwise thinks of the leporine lady who's taken his fancy.
I'm really hoping Kagerou's reaction to this vote is to bite him.
Back to the first of them though, the descriptions of the Bamboo Forest as he goes through it mixed with the various anecdotes slipped in give a nice character to the story I think. It manages to paint a very nice picture of the environment.
Having now read the other posts here on top of it I'm ashamed to admit I didn't think of him being like this due to Reisen's gaze,
though I agree with >>16814
that it doesn't seem to make sense given what we have.
Overall I think it's going to take me a week or two more to form a proper opinion. It's had it ups and downs for me already, but it's still not clear what is and isn't a fluke.
Anonymous 2023/02/12 (Sun) 18:49 No. 16820 ▼ >>16816 >>16817
here again, because I forgot to comment on one last thing. >it affects the characters' portrayal in a tale >the timeline could even make some characters unavailable
In many ways, that's why I feel it's more important than not to note. Committing to some 'place' in the relative chronology at least gives some ready idea of what to expect in some cases.
Of course, I will admit that it's not necessarily that important, considering that, aside from 2hus who have explicitly only entered Gensokyo 'recently' (a relative minority of the cast), most 'hus can be assumed to have been around this entire time in some capacity, though the nature of their presence may have shifted due to events.
Anonymous 2023/02/12 (Sun) 23:12 No. 16821 ▼ >>16817 >I didn't really read that from any of it. Can you point to any particular passage that might suggest this?
Just the way she instantly shuts down any intimation of Moroboshi having seen her in the village before. Seems to me like a comedic way of showing that she's a bit of a bad liar and the opposite is true.
Anonymous 2023/02/13 (Mon) 01:40 No. 16822 ▼ >>16821
Okay, sure, I suppose that scans, though I'm not sure I take it so much as a statement that he's seen her before as much as just her being hostile to being found out being around the village. Who knows what the writer intended, I guess.
Anonymous 2023/02/13 (Mon) 03:55 No. 16823 ▼
I wasn't a fan of the story overall. I felt like the prose and narration were good, but the characterization and dialogue felt consistently odd and incoherent.
Moroboshi, the protagonist, behaves with so little consideration to things like basic social convention or personal safety that it's surprising that he lived long enough to feature in this story. He feels like the archetype of the fool from the major arcana, but rather than charming, I find him painfully boring and annoying to follow as a reader. Even with the caveat that his behavior has been altered by Reisen's eyes, it's simply not fun for me to follow his non-sequitur antics. Mokou was the only character that felt 'right' to me, and that's because most of her interaction with Moroboshi was ignoring him or parting ways with him instead of humoring his random and bizarre behavior.
I think the writer has redeeming qualities in their writing, such as their environmental descriptions, but the dislike I have for the characterization outweighs everything else. I found Moroboshi insufferable from almost the beginning and this sentiment only grew as I forced myself to continue reading. Maybe there's something that I'm not getting about this piece, but I definitely didn't have fun reading it. Maybe this is all just a noisier way for me to say "this story wasn't for me".
Anonymous 2023/02/13 (Mon) 04:02 No. 16824 ▼ >>16823 >Mokou
Uhhh, what? Mokou doesn't appear in the section we just read.
Did you... read the whole story in one go? I mean, good job, I guess, but that's really not what we're going for here.
Anonymous 2023/02/13 (Mon) 17:49 No. 16825 ▼
A new week means a new chapter. Just to be clear, we're reading from >>/eientei/27673
Also, don't be afraid to keep discussing previous chapters if you feel the need; that is one of the few blessings of our asynchronous arrangement.
Anonymous 2023/02/14 (Tue) 18:04 No. 16826 ▼
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Regarding this week's four posts, YES SHE BIT HIM SHE FUCKING BIT HIM HAHAHA THAT'S WHAT YOU DESERVE YOU STUPID WAZZOCK! On a more sane note, Kagerou is now a good girl whether she likes it or not. I do wonder what that powder he's probably completely misused is though. Oh, and >>/eientei/27704 is something I really hope the writer thought of, because his bunny-wooing being even further hamstrung by becoming her natural predator would be extra funny. I'd almost expect it to be why he threw up on mokou's shoes if it weren't for the "Bitter, sweet, white and red" making it sound like it's probably the medecine instead.
Anonymous 2023/02/14 (Tue) 18:14 No. 16827 ▼ >>16826
Cont because I hit reply like an idiot, While less happened in these posts it feels like they were a lot better done overall than the first four for some reason. Maybe it's the fact that things happened other than "idiot stumbles into woods, says ow." Kagerou especially feels like a lot more of a character now, and I feel like her time on screen was wrapped up nicely. I'm looking forward to seeing how Mokou gets characterised beyond very patient with the man throwing up blood in front of her and falling unconscious in the puddle.
Anonymous 2023/02/18 (Sat) 01:44 No. 16828 ▼
This week's chapter has left me a bit more irritated than the last. Sure, more has 'happened', but a good deal of it is nonsense. I'm even more certain now that the writer was trying to improvise the majority, if not the whole thing.
The perspective character continues to underwhelm me with his alternating blandness and 'for the lolz' fits of irrationality. Things like references to his grandmother feel like attempts at characterising him indirectly, but they ultimately just serve as non-sequiturs that add little of value. There's a slight bit of hand-wavy info dropped in the second update about him doing some kind of clerical work, and that seems to be about the majority. Every other instance of him doing or saying anything is mostly just circumstantially-dictated nonsense. For instance, leaving aside that it's the product of a vote, patting Kagerou on the head makes entirely no sense as a course of action, even if you consider him an idiot or in the depths of delusion. Similarly, his unwavering confidence about the medicine in the pouch is pretty unearned; if he really was meant to be that delusional and lacking in self-preservation instinct, then that should have been much more strongly established from the beginning rather than dripped into things as convenient. Some of the anons are right in that this guy is frankly a dead man walking with how he carries on, and if it's meant as 'comedy', well, it falls very flat.
Kagerou similarly had me wondering on no less than three occasions why in the hell she's sticking around to bite this guy and then summarily drag him off for medical attention. I mean, think about it: If she wants to avoid trouble because of being a youkai caught in the same woods as a human, all she's got to do is walk away. Even if you consider some figurative 'other motives' regarding hiding some thing or another, sticking around him makes entirely no sense. You could argue that her dragging him off is her taking some kind of begrudging responsibility for biting him, but that could have been avoided by, well, not biting him. Which is in itself a weird thing, because it's clearly not some kind of 'instinctual' reaction to being patted on the head but a conscious reaction of spite. She could have well just walked off and left him there cursing and bleeding, and it honestly would have made much, much more sense considering her annoyance at him.
Back to the guy and his mysterious medicine — which I forgot about as a detail since it was only mentioned in passing in the OP — am I the only one who found the chronology of events around his pursuit of Reisen a bit unclear? I had to go back and re-read the earlier bits a few more times, and I'm still not sure. The first few times, I was almost certain that all of this is taking place some days after his sudden infatuation, but something about the way other parts come off makes it almost seem like it's the same exact day. That is, if we assume that's true, he caught sight of Reisen, bought medicine from her, waited around, tried to talk to her again, and ended up chasing her into the bamboo forest all in the same day. If that's true, then this whole story is even weirder and poorly built-up in what it's trying to do. Though, honestly, I'm not even sure what it's trying to do at this point.
Chronology aside, what on earth did he even ingest? The effects almost sound like some kind of poison, except a poison having an effect at that low a dosage would probably have already been fatal. Even assuming it's something like an emetic, there's still the issue of it being from a (as far as I can tell) tiny bit of swallowed powder. More than that, why would he have asked for it? Why wouldn't Reisen have given him even verbal instruction regarding its usage? I mean, he can seemingly remember everything else regarding her, so you'd think he'd remember something like that. The fact that he doesn't seems to indicate it just didn't happen. That's irresponsibility on Reisen's part at best and malice at worst.
Overall, the latter end of this chapter sort of feels like a lot of filler, even down to the votes. The last vote especially feels like real filler. What are we supposed to take as the significance of it? I honestly couldn't guess, given the context. Even giving the writer some leeway as a newbie, it's kind of bad practise. Similarly, how in the hell is preventing Kagerou from leaving an option in the next-to-last vote? He is reasonably aware by this point that she wants to be rid of him, weird self-delusion aside. He doesn't even have any reason to believe that she won't just bite him again. And yet, there it is as a choice. Again, nonsensical.
I'd like to hope Mokou gets some kind of actual characterisation, but I'm not going to hold out a lot of hope based on everything else.
Anonymous 2023/02/18 (Sat) 11:07 No. 16829 ▼
Just summing up the events of this chapter for my own benefit:
Moroboshi head pats Kagerou, offending hand gets bit, Moroboshi bleeds and uses Reisen's medicine to stop the bleeding and ingests some of it as well, Kagerou licks the bit hand, Kagerou guides Moroboshi to Mokou's house, Moroboshi vomits out his guts onto her floor, and then Moroboshi passes out.
So uh, my first impression was that the protagonist was a bit off. But the events of this chapter show me now that he has no preservation instinct. I understand that the voters chose the head patting and the medicine usage, but I have to question the consequences of voter actions versus the protagonist being a freaking loon and choosing to swallow the medicine, which I strongly suspect led to him puking and blacking out on Mokou's floor.
Could the voters have foreseen that the protagonist would have swallowed what he did? I don't think so because, at times, the protagonist displays some sense of rationality, but what he did here went beyond the pale. I think it was mostly a plot device that the writer came up with to get from point A to point B. Huh, that might explain why Kagerou was written to bite Moroboshi's hand rather than deck him so he would have an excuse to use the medication and thus move along the story. If given the option, could a voter resist head-patting a 2hu? >>16828
explains the whole medicine issue very well. Don't suppose there's much of a court system to sue Eientei for medical malpractice because a simple guideline of providing medication observed since the beginning of medicine is explaining to your patient how the damn medication works and what not to do with it. But, at its very best, I think it will discourage villagers from buying more medicine if they hear that a mistake like swallowing it leads to slurred thoughts, hurling, and passing out, especially if one thinks kids are likely to accidentally eat the medication. Though I don't know if this man will even make it out of the bamboo forest to expose this. >With the same amount logical consistency that anon is renowned for.
I don't understand what this author's note means.
I can't blame Kagerou for reacting how she did, but I have to question the decision to lick the protagonist's hand. Besides the whole blood and saliva grossing me out, I cannot understand the thought process behind such an action. If the writer wanted to show that Kagerou was feeling bad about biting him, it would have been better to have her use cloth or something to bandage the hand. Yet, at the same time, I cannot see this biting as a heat-of-the-moment thing for which a person feels bad afterward, mostly because of the, in my opinion, muted reactions she has afterward. I just cannot understand unless she's playing the long game and is trying to give the guy an infection, so he loses the hand. >She even kisses the tips of your fingertips, sucking up the stray drops about to fall.
Freaky! Why writer?!
In addition, in the story, the protagonist has been provided stories about the man-eating nature of youkai and simply accepts the one who bit him, licking his bloodied hand. Why isn't there any fear in the protagonist's mind about that hunger being raised and her going to eat him? If eating humans is quite tasty for youkai, wouldn't swallowing/tasting any of a human's blood, especially one you caused to bleed, be downright euphoric for creatures made by fear? I admit my view is affected by recently reading a description in this story about how blood can provide a youkai high, >>/others/68809
Also, if the medication had such a weird effect on Moroboshi, would it not have some effect on Kagerou as she licked her hand with the drug applied to it? I guess that could be explained away by youkai having differing biology compared to humans. >Reisen's Medicine
Dry swallowing powder medication, heaven preserve this man. What generic medicines would Reisen even sell to the villagers that could have an effect close to this? >Chronology
Reading the story, I held the notion that it was taking place the same day after Moroboshi had interacted with Reisen rather than after a couple days. >Filler votes
My best guess for why trying to keep Kagerou around was consideration on whether voters still wanted her around as she was the only 2hu interacted with so far. I agree that it doesn't make sense, but Moroboshi is hopped up on some drug, is likely tired, bleeding, and is absurd. I know for a fact that I have made some pretty stupid decisions while very tired, but if one were to add in mind-affecting substances, as in this story, very mindless nonsensical things, I would do.
Anonymous 2023/02/18 (Sat) 19:42 No. 16830 ▼ >>16829 >I think it was mostly a plot device that the writer came up with to get from point A to point B.
Sums up a good deal of this story. Trying to tie things together with very weak reasoning (or no reasoning at all) is what makes everything feel particularly dumb. >could a voter resist head-patting a 2hu?
Probably not, but it's not any real excuse for dumb choices; that's also on the writer for offering it as a choice in the first instance. >Kagerou licking the guy's hand
Eh, I accepted that as 'vaguely canine behaviour'. She'd probably lick her own wound, so she's just doing the same for him. Not that it makes much more sense, considering she's still an arsehole about it, but in for a penny... >but Moroboshi is hopped up on some drug [...]
Sure, but you could excuse just about anything with that line of thinking, and whilst I'm sure the writer thought he was going for a comedy piece, there are too many weird gestures towards a more grounded story for that to work, so you can't just handwave everything — which is exactly what the writer is doing.
Really, it's as much about inconsistency of approach as anything. If the guy was meant to be this bloody stupid, then he should have just been a gibbering idiot from the start to make that clear.
Anonymous 2023/02/18 (Sat) 20:16 No. 16831 ▼
I'm going to piss against the tide here and say that, sure, the scenes seem a little bit slapdash, but it's just not that glaring an issue. I don't think characters need to always act at a consistent level of rationality, self-preservation, agreeableness, vel sim., and it's perfectly fine for them to exhibit conflicting or inconsistent behaviours borne of underlying sentiments that are themselves conflicted or inconsistent. For example Kagerou could well have decided to bite him out of spite but, not getting her expected and desired reaction, have her sense of compassion resurface and win out. What matters (in my opinion at least) is whether there's an overall arc of motion, no matter its subtility, that can be detected in hindsight; and that's hard to judge when the story has only just now gotten through its first scene.
Rather I'd say the worst sin characterisation-wise is just the fact that Moroboshi's attitude seems more like that of a tourist than of a setting native - nothing really distinguishes him, backstory-related asides included, from a clueless outsider in cargo shorts and flip-flops at this point. And, pacing-wise, probably the weirdest thing is how the hand-licking passage just comes and goes, without either build-up or release. It's a very unusual and boundary-crossing thing to be doing and yet neither of them show a hint of finding it an inch out of the ordinary, which is rather disappointing. If those things were ameliorated, I really wouldn't find too much issue with the rest of it, for now at least.
Anonymous 2023/02/18 (Sat) 20:28 No. 16833 ▼ >>16831
It's not necessarily about how irrational they are or whatever, it just the general sense that their actions aren't dictated by an internal logic to the story. They feel more like puppets being moved around by the writer, doing things Because Reasons™, which is a pretty big failing point in fiction. At the very least, I haven't been convinced there is any real life behind the characters beyond what's necessary for the story, such as it is. It's partly a problem of agency, partly a problem of... interest, I guess? There really isn't that much compelling behind any of the characters that have appeared beyond ever-present questions of why the hell they're doing the nonsensical things they're doing. >more like that of a tourist than of a setting native
I mean, this bothers me too, but I feel like it's such a typical newbie writer sin that I feel a bit inured to it at this point. >pacing
I could see that angle, but I think it's actually just something the writer didn't put much thought into at all. I'm not even sure I see what they were trying to do with it at this point, since it doesn't feel like a 'for the lolz' kind of thing.
Anonymous 2023/02/18 (Sat) 20:40 No. 16834 ▼
Also, regarding the medicine, I thought it was pretty clear that he bought the stuff as an excuse to be able to interact (however superficially) with the bun, and so probably didn't notice, listen to, or remember any verbal directions given him because he was too distracted/entranced/focused on not spilling his spaghetti, etc. As for questions like:
>The effects almost sound like some kind of poison, except a poison having an effect at that low a dosage would probably have already been fatal.
>What generic medicines would Reisen even sell to the villagers that could have an effect close to this?
The difference between poison and medicine is context and dosage. Wrong context, wrong dosage, of course it'll turn out poorly. I'm not a medical expert by any means but it could easily just have been, for example, some sort of mild stimulant intended to be diluted in water and taken with a morning meal. Dry-swallow a fat pinch of it - it absorbs too much and too quickly - makes him febrile - fever in turn impairs mental function and eventually leads to loss of consciousness. Or maybe the swallowing had nothing to do with it and it was a delayed effect from direct introduction to the bloodstream, what with him dumping it into an open wound like a packet of Quik-Clot.
Plenty of valid and likely explanations. I don't know why I'm focusing so much on this point but like... my guy Paracelsus didn't die for this, you know?
Anonymous 2023/02/18 (Sat) 21:36 No. 16835 ▼ >>16834
I think that's probably deeper consideration than the writer gave the matter.
And, well, sure, it was an excuse to talk to her. That much is trivially obvious. It just seems kind of weird in the first place that she would give him only a small pouch of medicine, questions of verbal instruction aside. I know Eientei's doc is on a whole other level compared to her lab rats
villagers, but you'd think maybe the actual vendor(s)...
Anonymous 2023/02/20 (Mon) 11:04 No. 16836 ▼
Another hebdomad, another tetrastich. This time it's >>/eientei/27725
. Seems like we've went a whit of a ways widdershins with the weird and whimsy-wedded wound-wetting wifewolf, but maybe the stanky hobo arc will freighthop us back on track again.
Anonymous 2023/02/21 (Tue) 13:49 No. 16837 ▼ >>16836
Another hebdomad, another tetrastich.
I don't think either of those apply. The posts are too long for four of them to count.
Anonymous 2023/02/21 (Tue) 20:59 No. 16838 ▼ >>16837
My dear Pedant, my dearest Anonyme:—'tis only Licence, poetick and metaphoricall.
Anonymous 2023/02/22 (Wed) 06:33 No. 16839 ▼
God imagining sitting on a porch on a cool summer's night with Mokou, watching the rain fall just sounds so blissful. The atmosphere in this story is comfy.
Anonymous 2023/02/22 (Wed) 07:53 No. 16840 ▼
Maybe just that one scene.
I don't know, I'm kind of over thinking of atmosphere after reading some kind of thinly-veiled hand fetishism and the protagonist's only vaguely active decision that isn't fooling around at Kagerou's expense being swallowing crack or whatever.
I don't really agree with the voters who claim he wasn't in his right mind either. Like if he doesn't have that ""burning romantic passion"" of his, he really doesn't have anything going for him and from an outside perspective, nothing at all makes him interesting enough to even keep alive in this setting. This would be fine if say, his goals shift to leaving the bamboo forest to escape certain death (then we'd have something to root for him to succeed at), but it doesn't, so maybe it's a comfy fic where major character death isn't a thing. The problem with that, and this is just my opinion, is that reading this thread has made me frankly quite uncomfy (see preceding paragraph).
I'm admittedly not a very good reader, but something about this tone shift feels kind of unearned. Like, Moroboshi's alleged biggest threat is never seen, and the ones we do see are pretty much his own doing, which he gets bailed out of by women he doesn't even know. Am I wrong here? Did I miss something?
I should probably think of something positive to say…
Well, we didn't have to read a vomit scene. It's merely mentioned offhand. At least the author has the sense to not include that in a comfy CYOA.
I'm sorry, this week's chapters just don't do it for me. As neat as the idea of Mokou nursing romantic-kun back to health should be, my inability to respect Moroboshi's decisions that, in my own mind, pretty much lead him here to begin with kind of kills it for me.
Anonymous 2023/02/22 (Wed) 07:58 No. 16841 ▼
This chapter is undoubtedly more mellow compared to the previous chapters. Bit surprised that Moroboshi had enough presence of mind to think about the rain relating to farm work but not reflect on his whole hand-biting episode. Does that reflect more on Moroboshi's character or what the writer considered important to write about?
It's also the first time in the story that Moroboshi tells another his name. I wonder if the writer meaningfully chose this name? The most I found with a quick search was that the name meant various star
, but there might be another meaning I did not see due to lack of trying.
So Moroboshi meets Kagerou and gets conveyed to Mokou, who then, in turn, will bring him to where he shall meet the next character. I wonder if the more grounded nature of this chapter will persist into the next one, or maybe it's just Mokou being so unperturbed that shaped it and shutting down the protagonist's wackiness like attempting a poem that did it.
Sad that the voters chose not to reveal more about the perspective character but relax instead.
The lines about his grandmother, clerical work, and fighting with a friend made me curious about his life. What in a character's background leads them to act or talk as they do is something I enjoy reading about. >You thought for sure that the a poem by the princess would do the trick.
Could someone explain to me what princess it refers to in this line of the story?
By this point, I'm feeling meh
about this story. The dialogue doesn't really stand out to me, and I don't find the way the characters were written charming, but I find the environmental descriptions pleasant. I think Mokou is my favorite story character so far. I think that's due to her seeming to have the most character despite her lack of reactions compared to Kagerou, at least, imo.
I've also realized that Moroboshi never caught Kagerou's name.
Looking at the story's postings dates, I can't help but notice that the chapters read through so far that it roughly averaged a day or two before the writer put out an update. >>16839 Can't forget the chair tipping along with watching the rain. Life always needs a bit of excitement
Anonymous 2023/02/22 (Wed) 19:45 No. 16843 ▼
Can this be sped up a little? It's tedious, if not outright draining, to see some terminally-unhappy cunt go on and on about how they hate the story every week. There is no nuance to that critique other than it not lining up to whatever snowflake expectation they wished it would be. Reality is one thing, your neckbeard unicorn-wishing is something else entirely.
Don't get me wrong, this critique sure is valid but it's not the kind of thing that should be regurgitated every fucking update like it's insightful. I get it, my dude, it's not to your taste. Move the fuck on. It's uninteresting to see the same points retreaded. These threads ought to Increase the number of updates to read per week to make this go faster or specify that repetition is uneeded. Otherwise, move on to new territory.
It's a huge fucking mistake to over-analyze a story with daily updates, clearly not written for some sort of posterirty, as some sort of deep directed thing that's worth nitpicking over. Those hastily-written —daily — updates were very clearly not meant to be the subject of all this nonsense bullshit. Feel free not to like it but, Christ, it's not supposed to be the type of story that takes months between updates like it in vogue is now. This is why I encouraged others to pick something else but no one listened to me.
Maybe I'm wrong, idk, but I see this thread as a huge exercise in time-wasting. At least the people that have spoken up don't care about the story which makes me wonder why the fuck they voted for it. No one is going to be attracted by a bunch of internet people complaining about shit that they (probably) couldn't do better themselves within parameters that they are completely ignoring. Quit jerking yourselves off with your pointless shit and let's actually have a productive conversation.
Anonymous 2023/02/22 (Wed) 20:20 No. 16844 ▼
Janitor here with a friendly PSA: the rules prohibit inflammatory posting, which means being derogatory in manner towards other posters will get your posts swiftly deleted.
If there are any criticisms to be voiced about this thread and its proceedings, feel free, but do so in a respectful and reasonable manner. Address the topical matter or the handling thereof, not the people doing it. Also, consider taking it to >>16260
to keep the thread free of meta-chatter. Thank you.
Anonymous!yYT/u4PSNE 2023/02/22 (Wed) 22:21 No. 16845 ▼
- (122.43KB, 800x534, niigata-japan-october-flock-nipponia-nippon-japane
Just to address a point that's been since deleted: the intention behind the pace that's been set was to give people generous opportunity to achieve the bare minimum of participation given real-life constraints, and also to be able to catch up easily if they happen to miss a week. Yes, it might seem excessive now, when the novelty and the sheen and the fresh thread smell haven't yet worn off and it still maintains some sort of eminence in people's minds; but it's inevitable that it will wear in and patinate and get pushed onto various backburners as these sessions go on. Just between the first two sessions we had a drop from ~six identifiably different posters down to just ~four, and that further from the eight people who voted to choose the story in the first place. So if you're one of the people who fell off the wagon, and you happen to be reading this, it's not by any means too late to hop back on! You can catch up in literally less than an hour, whenever you happen to have one at your disposal.
What that also means is that it's up to you how in-depth you want your posts to be! A short comment is fine, if that's all you judge is warranted that week, and longer posts can be reserved for when you feel the story has gotten to a point where a proper pause for recapitulation can take place. Not everyone feels the same heartbeat in these things, so I wanted to err a little on the side of generosity. All I'd really ask is that you still check in regularly with exactly such a short post, even if you don't really have anything to say that week, for the moral support of knowing that you're still with us—it's an easy thing to forget, but the fundamental nature of an imageboard is that posting is presence, and presence is posting, and nothing else is even halfway tantamount.
Anonymous 2023/02/22 (Wed) 22:40 No. 16846 ▼ >>16845
Good on you for finding a point to address constructively. >posting is presence, and presence is posting
It is easy to forget this. Sometimes it's hard to find words, much less post them, but I suppose that might be a self-consciousness issue.
Anyway, guess I ought to make a few more passes and make a post.
Anonymous ## Admin ## 2023/02/22 (Wed) 23:39 No. 16848 ▼
While you can and should make points in a more agreeable manner, just being foul and disagreeable is not grounds to delete stuff. That said, continued abusiveness is not welcome and points can be made in a more civilized manner.
Anonymous 2023/02/23 (Thu) 04:49 No. 16849 ▼ >>16840
here, am also >>16812
for whatever it counts.
I'm admittedly not a very good reader, so I am hoping someone here can see the positives I didn't notice—the plus value I didn't consider.
I brought up the voters who opted to defy pursuing Reisen because I was afraid of what would happen if the story lost its focus with so little actually having happened. I want to learn the do-alots and don't-oftens of storytelling, and I think this is a great opportunity to maybe ask or just quietly see what other people think and understand what nuance there could be that I might be missing.
Besides, at 4 bite-sized updates that were pushed out between 1-2 days per week, we're basically reading through this thing at almost the same pace it was posted, so that point is honestly negligible. Any quality issues we're experiencing is at near the same pace as the people who were first to read it as it was being updated.
Every week really is a chance to think it over with you lot as peers, and every next week is a chance to be proven wrong when I think something was without purpose. After all, I'm still kind of unsure what kind of thing this guy could be going for, but I understand that whoever they are's probably just got different sensitiveness than me.
So, I'm admittedly not a very good reader, and I hope by sticking around, I can at least learn to read better by picking up the observations everyone else tends to make and start looking for those things I wasn't looking for at first. Then again, I'm pretty stupid, and maybe I'm just fooling myself in the hopes that there's value to this song and dance. We're all different people, so I think it highly improbable I'll get nothing out of doing this.
Just to prove it, here are some things I picked up already from reading All roads lead…
1) There's a very important difference between characters who are whimsical and characters who act out of whimsy.
– I think the author's mistake that made reading this story awkward and boring is that shitpost stories where you sit voters down into a little make-believe theatre where they can fuck around consequence-free (which is what I think the author might've been trying to pull this whole time) more often would use the latter, while the initial premise we were given implies the former.
– The former is what I thought we were reading at first, given what sounded like a real ass premise at the beginning where the main character seems to have a drive and would supposedly be taking steps to achieving their goal, but now it more seems to be more of a peculiar personality trait rather than the basis of his actions, and so voters were presented with a number of strange choices the author was clearly prepared to write for that don't seem to have anything to do with the protagonist's interests were he actually focused on getting together with his one true love (who we still haven't seen after over 10 posts) rather than enamored with the idea of getting together with his one true love.
2) Be mindful of the action.
– The first post contains this whole segment about how Moroboshi is going to risk it all and defy the odds for love, and everything else so far after doesn't contain any defying the odds. In fact, the first monster doesn't even really antagonize him or faze him when she puts up a front; he honestly spends more words antagonizing her all the while getting completely sidetracked. All I'm saying is, if Moroboshi's going to talk about braving whatever monster comes out to face him, you better give him some kind of monster to brave. If belittling Kagero, who's not even trying to pick a fight is what you call braving the monster, it's handled pretty poorly, especially since the most dramatic thing that happens throughout that whole interaction is him fainting after eating crack because that's literally the most we see his life in danger despite the first post saying the worst he's gotta worry about is monsters. Like, I guess it's funny looking at it from the side, but that's certainly not how it feels actually reading through it cuz we'd also be omitting a number of other things that happen between the two points.
If anyone else has stuff like this to add, please do! There's definitely something to learn from this if something about it feels like it's gone sour, right?
Anonymous 2023/02/23 (Thu) 07:10 No. 16850 ▼
On second thought, I realize I didn't really make my point very clear.
I'll summarize it like this:
1. To me, it's not about the story or enjoying the story. Right now, it's about putting value in the experience of reading a bad story.
2. When I "criticise", I am literally just organizing and expressing the thoughts that go through my head. Ultimately, I want to learn by comparing my thoughts with what other people think and allowing people to compare their thoughts with what I think.
With what I hope is enough to explain my perspective, I sincerely ask:
If you do not want to see criticism for a story that we're all well aware doesn't hold up when not being experienced "in the moment", exactly what kind of conversation are you looking to have? What's "productive" to you? How do you "productively" discuss media without talking about what you liked and what you wished was handled better? You've only talked about what "productive" isn't without ever explaining what "productive" is. Are you just mad because it looks like this story is only to your taste and not everyone else's, or is it that you think pulpy CYOA's aren't worth being criticised? If you don't like people airing out their thoughts for others to consider all the while dressing it yourself as something meant to look insightful (it's really not supposed to be) and you also feel that everyone's time is being wasted, then perhaps this isn't for you because it seems like you are mad at people for being dissatisfied at a story that everyone is aware is not very good. Sorry to break it to you, but we choose to spend our time how we like, and pulling this story apart to figure out why it smells bad is apparently what a lot of us have chosen. If you want to read one of the other stories instead of being here, no one is stopping you.
Also, I bet you even if we picked any other story, we'd be criticising it all the same simply because it's awkward to just say "That was a good chapter, can't wait for next week" and then disappear into the aether for the next seven days, especially when one of the club's goals is to "cultivate a climate of discussion and dialogue". If we wanted to say "that was a good chapter" and leave it at that, we'd just read the story by ourselves and just drop it if we thought it sucked to much to handle.
To give you the benefit of the doubt, since "everyone" is so dissatisfied by this story, how many people actually want to stop reading this and start reading something else (as a collective, because there's nothing stopping you from enjoying THP literature on your own)? Also, how many of you plan to make a post each week not talking about what you liked and disliked about each week's selection in order to protect the people who can't stand reading negative criticism?
Anonymous 2023/02/23 (Thu) 17:35 No. 16851 ▼
Different anon here, but I don't think it's that complicated. We volunteer to participate, and by doing so we agree to follow the stated format. The said participation, the very concert, is exactly what is "productive". If we happen to produce some profound insight or distill some wisdom for writers future, well, that's gravy. But if we don't manage that, then at least we're reading and talking about stories on the site - you know, fulfilling its most basic purpose and setting an example that encourages more of the same. Trying to buck the format or enforce some sort of subjective consensus among participants is by definition "unproductive" as it only introduces unnecessary friction and dissuades people from participating.
It's a case of "better is the enemy of good", you know? Let's just take it easy and be tolerant of different perspectives and approaches.
Anonymous 2023/02/23 (Thu) 18:55 No. 16852 ▼
I was mad because I think that a book club is a good idea but I hated seeing how stupid a lot of the conversation got. To be clear: the problem is not about personally liking a story or not. There will be flaws in anything and they can and should be examined in a conversation in a book club. The problem is that several posts by what seemed to be the same person (given the writing style and format), including replies to other people's thoughts, seemed to be nothing but a hundred different ways of saying that everything is bad, not engaging in good faith discussion and just coming off as dismissive. I hate to break it to you but the atmosphere that's created by that is not conducive to discussion! Not the kind of thing that makes people want to chime up or offer their own thoughts. It becomes a matter of "why bother?" when it seems like anything will be met with or followed by overstated loathing for the story every time.
Further, because most stories on the site are about on this same level, it's probably just going to be this way with anything else that's picked in the future. That'd probably kill any chance of there being an actual fun book club where the bad is mentioned but not obsessed over and interesting things that are done in the narrative or with the writing style or whatever are noted and commented upon by different people who reply constructively to each other's posts. It doesn't have to be "productive" in the sense of some sort of checklist of goals, just not a miserable experience when reading comments and trying to discuss things. Just, I don't know, take a moment to think if you're actually saying anything new and insightful or just dumping on something week after week in the same way. There's been plenty of critical things said here by posters that haven't been obnoxious.
Anonymous 2023/02/23 (Thu) 20:10 No. 16854 ▼ >>16852
I express my opinion in the only way I know how. I'm sorry you seem to have some kind of issue with that, but you've offered no real alternatives other than 'say nothing', which I'm not going to do.
As to 'not engaging in good faith discussion', I don't know what you're talking about. I don't respond to anything with any particular goal beyond a conversation in and of itself. If that somehow comes off as 'dismissive' or 'in bad faith', then I don't know what to say.
Coming in here and throwing around insults and further trying to say that I'm somehow ruining the experience for people is itself pretty uncharitable, so you'll excuse me for not taking too kind a view and not responding very kindly.
Anonymous 2023/02/23 (Thu) 20:27 No. 16855 ▼ >>16841 >Could someone explain to me what princess it refers to in this line of the story?
There's only one in all the realm, and she ain't a fish or an overgrown bug. Or I mean that's my guess, anyways - probably just a throwaway joke based on him being blithely unaware of their "special relationship". >>16839
Sure is. I think that's one of this writer's strengths.
Really, I'm getting the impression that the writer does
have a sense of deeper character and narrative tone that they want to convey, and it gets across in the scene-setting and in the moments of introspection - it's just that the dialogue just isn't quite living up to it. That's why things seem to happen a little abruptly or for not much reason. Those are the guide-points decided by that fuller image, which the writer has nestled up inside their mind. Where the trouble then happens - is with bridging those waypoints together. And here I'm speculating a little harder, but I think there are some people for whom fluent dialogue and interaction come fairly naturally, and some people for whom each utterance is a miniature labour unto its own - and that the writer of this story is one of the latter.
In any case, writing well-crafted, characterful, evocative dialogue is hard
, and writing it quickly
requires a honing of the craft that has, plain and simply, not been attained by the vast majority of fanfiction writers. (We're frankly lucky to have so many capable writers in that regard here on this site - it's visibly disproportionate.) And so to get back to the point, when a writer who isn't quite there yet jumps into it having underestimated the task at hand, it's easy to end up with a jumble of what were intended to be solid keystone bricks being strung together instead with zip ties and chicken wire.
Take Mokou's broaching the subject of dying, for example. There's an impactful and character-fleshing exchange of philosophies that it clearly signposts and tees up for - but the execution ends up being a superficial exchange of generic LN-style repartee. Yet the scene-setting is done with the assumption that this comfortable, implicit rapport has been achieved by it, and so as >>16840
says, it ends up feeling unearned. Because, really, it is - we're marching double-time through a well-boned, but sadly sort of bloodless skeleton.
There's really no easy remedy to this, if you're in this kind of position. I know, because I've been there myself - and it might not even be the past tense that'd be apt here, really. You just have to read and observe; observe and learn; learn and then go read even more, building up the craft layer by layer of hard-won insight.
... Well, that all is my theory, anyways. It's the one that wrings the most sense out of the story so far, to my non-Detective Monke
eyes. Do tell me if you share or don't share my thoughts.
Anonymous 2023/02/23 (Thu) 20:54 No. 16857 ▼ >>16852
Also, personally speaking, I'm not at all deterred by that anon's replies. Being disagreed with isn't a personal affront and it doesn't devalue my own posts. I know there's probably an instinct these days to view it that way, what with the sorry state of the wider internet - but there aren't any consensus enforcement mechanisms or that sort of hullabaloo here. There aren't even persistent identities, for goodness' sake. I get that your concern is for the health of the thread, but it's only the third week - much too early to be diagnosing these kinds of things.
Anonymous 2023/02/23 (Thu) 22:31 No. 16859 ▼
I am over 90% confident you did not do what you think you did. You straight up tried to single out one guy by attempting to identify them by their writing style and very similar personal expressions of distress at the readings (by your own admission in >>16852
) and publicly insulted them with the words "cunt" and "snowflake" in your original post (>>16843
). If that's not an attempt at a "personal attack" or at least "a purposefully inflammatory comment", then forgive me, but in my opinion, what you posted is beyond merely "disagreeing" with someone.
On another much more positive note, I'm glad you brought a sort-of response to my post >>16840
as I had hoped someone would because I think I just figured out a sort of answer to all of my questions by actually trying to compare the philosophies Moroboshi gave with the previous events.
So, Moroboshi doesn't really care about death, and he wasn't at all fazed by Kagerou, and I realize that this is possibly actually consistent. This was the mistake in my understanding: it's not that the writer was fully intending to write the story like a consequence-free shitpost romp through Gensokyo, Moroboshi is just carefree to a fault. This can also extend into what the intention of this week's set of scenes might be about: we don't see any real external threat in the first scene because there isn't supposed to be one. After Mokou rescues Moroboshi, I think it's supposed to be implied that it's supposed to be fully realized by now that Moroboshi's biggest threat isn't any monster—the biggest threat to his life is himself, and Mokou bailing his ass is supposed to be the resolution to that first fit of whimsy we saw. That's my guess, at least.
Even thinking like this, the point of the story isn't clear yet. Supposing this was the writer's intentions, we've only really just started to understand the protagonist, but we don't know if this story is about him getting his shit together by meeting various 2hu's or something completely different. Maybe he really is enamored by Reisen and will pursue her later or maybe he's being mind controlled because the drugs put him into a more suggestable state Reisen put him in in order to hypnotize him and exploit him for money or something crazy like that. We haven't even seen her yet either; maybe she's merely symbolic of something Moroboshi internally struggles with or something, like addiction maybe, as some of the voters hypothesized.
What's everyone else's thoughts? Is there anything in the text that could dispel these ideas?
Anonymous 2023/02/24 (Fri) 06:46 No. 16860 ▼ >>16859
Whew, sorry, I think you've got me mixed up with someone else. To be clear, these are my posts - >>16855
- I'm not anon A >>16852
who's angry at the other anon B >>16854
; I'm a wholly different anon C - and in my latter post >>16857
I was replying to anon A saying that I personally was fine with anon B's posts.
Anonymous 2023/02/24 (Fri) 08:11 No. 16861 ▼ >>16860
Sorry for misunderstanding.
These kinds of things are not easy for me to discern lol.
On a separate note, it also means I have you to credit for inspiring my theory. So thanks!
Anonymous 2023/02/24 (Fri) 20:32 No. 16862 ▼
Certain bits of carping lessened my motivation to even read for a bit, so I feel a bit late in coming, here. I guess the easiest victory is simply keeping on, though.
This week's chapter surprised me by showing more of an evident sensitivity in the scene-setting than before. Yes, there were the descriptions of the surrounding forest and all that, true. To me, though, they didn't create much of a mood. Accomplishing that requires space to breathe, and these four updates, not carrying much urgency of movement, do give that sort of space. There's lots of time to take in the fact that they're caught in a rainstorm, that it's gusty out, that Mokou's dwellings are small but liveable, and so on. And it's not as if the writer has to linger too long, either; I'd say they've managed somewhat with an economy of detail.
notes, on the other hand, character interactions are a slightly lagging feature. If I'm honest, I don't see the particular 'point' of Mokou's sudden question and the following exchange. It certainly seemed like the writer might have had something
in mind there, but they haven't been too clear about it — maybe not completely settled in it themselves? As well, the feeling of 'camaraderie' felt between Moroboshi and the hobo is a bit unqualified, even accounting for the former's demonstrated faculties for overly optimistic inferences. Sharing comfortable(?) silence is certainly not without its appearances of intimacy, yet it's a fairly normal experience between complete strangers in many situations and doesn't create new bonds necessarily. Mokou's shifting mood is, similarly to Kagerou's, slightly arbitrary-seeming as well. The difference between them, in my view, is that the former shows something of an intended trajectory of "she's annoyed and detached" to "she tolerates him" over the course of the updates. Again, possibly because of more space given. I still think the shoulder-punch at their parting is a bit unearned, since we're only given the slightest
indication, vis-a-vis the offering of tea, that Mokou has some capacity for bonhomie
. I suppose the way I feel about it is that, if Mokou is meant to be taken as an awkward but otherwise friendly sort of character, the trajectory of how that's displayed is a bit off. Otherwise, I'm not sure how to take what's given.
Moroboshi is himself more grounded, in a refreshing turn. Whilst I still think his reply to Mokou is hard to do more than suspend belief over, much of what he does and says has a (generally) reasonable character compared to earlier parts. I still think he's a bit bland, inasmuch as not having much more than the most situational things to distinguish him from any other Villagertarou, but I suppose he's fine
as a perspective-eye in cases like this. It makes me wonder if the story might not have been better off having his dialogue merely implied or described over — a sort of Silent Protagonist™ situation. A good case for that is the bit where, we are told, he rattles off some poetry to Mokou's distaste; if he were simply a mute audience-eye, it wouldn't have come off quite as clumsily.
As a jaunt towards some kind of progression, I think it's fine overall. In some ways, I almost feel like the story could have perhaps, with many alterations, begun here in medias res
and the experience would have been a bit more intriguing. Either way, we finally end up at Eientei, with a decided non-youkai
(?) rabbit greeting Moroboshi. It's at this point that I wonder how much further off-track things are about to go. After all, the road to his supposed goal seems to have been relatively easy. I suspect he's going to be nowhere near his lady love anytime soon.
Further disorganised thoughts:
* I'm not certain Mokou would use her surname. Not that I have anything to back that up, but I have a feeling the banner of a big-time uji
isn't something she has much interest in carrying in her present existence. Considering she's been living kind of like a fugitive for a long time, it just strikes me as a little odd that she wouldn't just go by her slightly harder-to-place personal name.
* Are we meant to take Mokou's 'that troublesome youkai' as an indication that she's somehow acquainted, even indirectly, with Kagerou? I only note it because it's slightly unclear in its intention. We could possibly take it either way, and it would be valid in any case, but it makes me wonder just how the two would know each other, otherwise not having much grounds to interact.
* The use of ellipses in place of dialogue (i.e., "...") is one of those things that always gives me pause. It doesn't really convey much to me beyond slight visual noise, so I feel the smoother solution would be simply describing the interval intended.
* The last update's filename is an interesting one. I've not read the so-titled book, but I've heard a few scintillating titbits from a friend who has. Perhaps it doesn't mean anything, but maybe the writer was trying to indicate something? I wonder. >>16841 >I wonder if the writer meaningfully chose this name? The most I found with a quick search was that the name meant various star, but there might be another meaning I did not see due to lack of trying.
That seems to be the only meaningful reading I can find as well. I'm not sure if there's some intended significance. If there is, it's pretty well-obscured. >Sad that the voters chose not to reveal more about [Moroboshi] but relax instead. [...] What in a character's background leads them to act or talk as they do is something I enjoy reading about.
I suppose I feel similarly, though I also think the previous bits have been a little awkwardly thrown out and not particularly illuminating of much. Then again, in a slightly cosier chapter like this, maybe that sort of thing would have been more fitting. Alas. >>16849 >>16850
I don't think it's a bad
story at all, honestly; I think it's very flawed in its execution in places, and slightly unclear in what its author is aiming for. I do agree somewhat with your point on whimsicality in premise versus character action out of whimsy, though I didn't read this story as a 'shitpost' so much as one with a bit of a silly premise at odds with prose that suggested something more grounded. Perhaps that carries into your second point, though I don't quite agree there. I don't think the writer necessarily set up a struggle against the odds, so it's not exactly contingent upon them to provide something proportional. Perhaps that's an issue of a lack of clarity in intention, however. >>16855 >a throwaway joke based on him being blithely unaware of their "special relationship"
Seems a bit out-of-nowhere for that to make much sense. >some people for whom each utterance is a miniature labour unto its own Resonates far more than it should. >it's easy to end up with a jumble of what were intended to be solid keystone bricks being strung together instead with zip ties and chicken wire As does this. >You just have to read and observe; observe and learn; learn and then go read even more, building up the craft layer by layer of hard-won insight. If only. I don't feel like years of reading have done me much good. At least, I don't feel equipped to dig much actionable out of it. >>16859 >Moroboshi is just carefree to a fault
I guess? He does sort of pause and feel a bit iffy about having gone off without a word to people at home. Granted, he does brush it off mildly in the same sentence, so it's not a counter-point as such. I'm not sure whether to call it being 'carefree' or not; it comes off more as lacking sense in preceding parts. >the biggest threat to his life is himself, and Mokou bailing his ass is supposed to be the resolution to that first fit of whimsy we saw
A valid enough reading, I guess. Then again, I'm not sure 'threats' are a particularly meaningful metric here. It could be that the writer would be willing to kill off Moroboshi for his dunce-like nature, but it doesn't feel likely to me. Seems more like we're simply meant to laugh at his foolishness and take some degree of schadenfreude
from the outcome. >Maybe he really is enamored by Reisen and will pursue her later or maybe he's being mind controlled because the drugs put him into a more suggestable state Reisen put him in in order to hypnotize him and exploit him for money or something crazy like that. We haven't even seen her yet either; maybe she's merely symbolic of something Moroboshi internally struggles with or something, like addiction maybe, as some of the voters hypothesized.
I'm not sure there's much to discredit
such theories directly, so I guess all I can say is that there's not very much to support
them, either. We know nothing about his interactions with Reisen beyond what little has been described in passing, and his Polyanna attitude comes with no obvious explanation, so there's lots of room to doubt things. The degree to which all of this is meant to be taken as subjective is unclear at this point.
Anonymous 2023/02/24 (Fri) 20:50 No. 16863 ▼ >>16862 >* The last update's filename is an interesting one. I've not read the so-titled book, but I've heard a few scintillating titbits from a friend who has. Perhaps it doesn't mean anything, but maybe the writer was trying to indicate something? I wonder.
This week's last update is >>/eientei/27771
, and I'm not familiar with "after the rain" as the title of a book. Or did you mean the next update (technically for next week) >>/eientei/27783
? That one is definitely a book (and film) title, and I found that reference interesting as well.
Anonymous 2023/02/24 (Fri) 20:59 No. 16865 ▼ >>16863
Hey, dang, when I look up The Woman in the Dunes
it turns out to be already in my browser history. That means two mentions from (relatively) independent sources, so maybe that's a signal for me to put it on my reading list.
... After all these other books in my reading list - plus the other, older list I just remembered I had - that I still haven't gotten around to.
Anonymous 2023/02/24 (Fri) 21:17 No. 16866 ▼ >>16863 >off by one
Oh, for the love of... Well, I feel like a tit now.
It was The Woman in the Dunes
Anonymous 2023/02/24 (Fri) 21:41 No. 16868 ▼
Mokou and The Woman in the Dunes do have some similarities: they're both characters who live isolated from other humans, but spend their lives performing a duty that does benefit other people: guiding people through the forest for Mokou, and collecting water for TWitD. However, a major difference between them is that Mokou's lifestyle is by her own choice, while the characters in TWitD were forced into their situations by other people.
Anonymous 2023/02/24 (Fri) 22:05 No. 16869 ▼ >>16868 Is
Mokou's lifestyle by her own choice? I mean, sure, no one exactly pushed her into it, but I kind of wonder if she would think it was a choice. In a lot of ways, it seems more like something she does by default because the alternative is troublesome. After all, if some human dies stumbling about in the bamboo forest, she'll have Reimu et al. bugging her about it, and probably not very courteously at that. Sure, she could fight them off, but why bother when it's mostly Kaguya she concerns herself with? Easier to just go with the flow, help the dumb humies, and get on with her immortal non-life.
Anonymous 2023/02/24 (Fri) 22:52 No. 16870 ▼ >>16868
I've read the book. The titular woman isn't actually being forced, the protagonist of the book is.
Anonymous 2023/02/25 (Sat) 17:30 No. 16871 ▼ >>16869
Well, by that standard, how much choice does anyone
Still, I think the comparison is a little specious. I don't know what the deal is with The Woman in the Dunes
, but Mokou's lifestyle seems less out of any idea of duty or the virtues of help and more just something that she happens to do out of basic instinct in her reams upon reams of spare time. At least the way she tells it in her own thoughts is she just doesn't want to be bumping into any villager corpses. If anything a more direct comparison could be drawn with Eirin, whose choice to run the clinic is much more of a conscious choice
and comes exactly out of the idea of fitting in or fulfilling one's duties as "human".
Anonymous 2023/02/25 (Sat) 19:03 No. 16872 ▼ >>16871 >how much choice does anyone have?
Sure, a lot of people just do things because the alternative is undesirable. S'just life. Or un(?)life in Mokou's case. >fitting in
Is that really her motivation or a pretence? I don't remember how directly it's ever stated, but I vaguely recall implications/suspicions that she might be using the villagers as (supplemental?) guinea pigs without their knowledge. Even if it contributes to the face-value goal of helping humans, if that were the case, her motivations would appear dubious, innit? At the very least, it would come off as duplicitous.
Though, yes, that aside, it's certainly a volitional action, either way.
Anonymous 2023/02/27 (Mon) 08:42 No. 16880 ▼ Anonymous 2023/02/27 (Mon) 09:26 No. 16881 ▼ >>16880 > Rabbit rabbit.
What is this Suwako noise doing in this leporine story? ;)
Anonymous 2023/02/27 (Mon) 09:36 No. 16882 ▼ Anonymous 2023/02/28 (Tue) 07:07 No. 16884 ▼ >>16882
Sick dance-off. If only that were happening in this story right now. ...unless?
Anonymous 2023/03/01 (Wed) 03:00 No. 16885 ▼
The writer does an admirable job of describing locations, imo, especially with this current chapter. At least in most stories I've read so far on this site, most don't tend to go as descriptive with the settings the characters are acting within, which I think is a shame, but that's a personal preference.
So, a rabbit steals the medicine pouch and forces Moroboshi into a maniac-chasing state, which, if we think of the pouch as representing in his mind a token from his love, makes his panic understandable, or as been mentioned, his happy magic powder. Then he crawls into what I presume is a rabbit hole; considering the meaning behind a person going down a rabbit hole, Moroboshi fits right into it. Then the man gets pinned by Tewi's mallet, who acts with a more serious tone than I expected of a character like her. My mental image of the character is just a perpetual smug face, an archetypal trickster. And the chapter ends at the start of the rabbit tribunal of Moroboshi. I wonder if his bandaged hand is still okay or not. I want to hug a rabbit now, but I'll have to settle for my cat.
My bluster is gone this week. The most I could nitpick is Moroboshi being able to climb into the hole; the man is either small in stature or the hole bigger than I imagined. The rabbit stealing the medicine pouch doesn't really evoke any emotion in me, but I'm not familiar enough with rabbits to judge whether they could swipe a pouch.
I've been wondering, since the snowflake comment, how will the next story be decided upon? Will we look at those stories that were voted on earlier?
Anonymous 2023/03/01 (Wed) 04:40 No. 16886 ▼
>how will the next story be decided upon? Will we look at those stories that were voted on earlier?
My general attitude from the start has been that this whole thing at present is a try-on. Considering we're not even through one story yet, it's hard to even say if anyone will want to do it again. I think that's something we'll have to decide as we wrap up or thereabouts. Assuming we do move ahead, we probably ought to form a larger pool of suggestions first before making any decisions.
Anonymous 2023/03/03 (Fri) 18:10 No. 16887 ▼
I don't have much to say this week because of a lot of life getting in the way.
Moroboshi seems to be back to his weirdo self this chapter, albeit more reactive to things than anything. Not sure messing with rabbits in any way is ever a good idea, considering the little blighters can carry lots of parasites, though I guess that wouldn't be anything too new to the village, either. Also, Eientei's rabbits are humanoid.
Something strikes me as a little off about this depiction of Tewi, but I guess it's too early to draw too many conclusions.
The writer does like attempts at scene-setting, though it often feels a little thin. Describing things is one thing; setting a tone is another. At least, I didn't feel like a lot of the description of buildings and such conveyed all that much. I'd like to see what the writer sees.
I miss the calm Mokou brought to things. Just make that chapter the whole story. >>16885 >his bandaged hand
You know, it is funny it hasn't really been mentioned. You'd think a recent hand injury would make shuffling around in a crawlspace difficult, madness or no.
Anonymous 2023/03/06 (Mon) 00:36 No. 16889 ▼
Busy week. Gimme a few more days to get my thoughts in.
Anonymous 2023/03/06 (Mon) 20:20 No. 16890 ▼ Anonymous 2023/03/10 (Fri) 17:11 No. 16898 ▼
Penultimate chapter, huh. Feels like things didn't really get going in any real sense. Ah well, just how it goes with abandoned stories half the time.
Moroboshi's whole demeanour right at the start is weird. He's making demands from a position of clear weakness. Sure, he's dense, but it seems pretty clear even to him. And the whole 'you rabbits and your ways' attitude is, whilst I guess understandable coming from a filthy humie, a bit out of left-field. Dunno, just kind of felt like he was being intractable more for the sake of it than any real reason. But, well, that sort of goes by the wayside as soon as Tewi isn't displaying hostility.
Speaking of Tewi, I guess she's more or less 'on point' in terms of depiction. Hard to say when she's just not got much on-screen time. Inoffensive, I guess? That said, I absolutely hate the rendering 'Tei'. I get it; it's how it's actually pronounced, sure. Still hate it.
As far as other rabbits go, I'm glad the writer addressed the (other) humanoid rabbits, if only tangentially. I was beginning to wonder if the interpretation in play here was going to be a weird one. Although, I'm not sure how I feel about the introduction of a psychic rabbit OC. Pretty sure it probably goes nowhere, given where we are in things, and it feels a tad deus ex machina at that. Can Moroboshi really not be trusted to bumble his way through possible incoming nonsense on his own? Does he literally always need someone to take him — sometimes literally — by the hand and lead him on to the next plot point? Overall, I detect a sort of unwarranted antsiness about plot movement on the writer's part in some of these tendencies. Am I engaging in pareidolia? Possibly.
...I'm still stuck on two chapters ago, honestly. Just give me more of that.
Anonymous 2023/03/11 (Sat) 15:25 No. 16899 ▼
I've caught up to last week's segment so let me put in my thoughts about that first, before continuing on. >>16887
Eientei's rabbits are
humanoid, but they begin their life-cycle as ordinary leporids. No matter their form, though, Tewi's the only one we ever see displaying any kind of unambiguous sapience - unlike pretty much every other well-populated species, whether fairies, Moon rabbits, tengu
, vel sim. It really calls into question how intelligent they truly are, and it makes it hard to guess at how much intentionality might underlie their any action.
This whole sequence, for example, could have been deliberately set up by Tewi, with Mr. Flopsies a knowing accomplice to the plot, or it could just be a genuine accident instigated by a half-clever animal rabbit which she trained to snatch purses without really caring about their contents. I guess I'll find out in another post or two, but it's something I'm curious about in canon as well.
I also appreciate the scene-setting. It's simple but effective how Moroboshi has natural points of reference to compare things to, not really knowing about the inner workings of the House of Eternity. The quality and prevalence of wood (vice bamboo) is something I've had cause to consider and research myself, so that's something I twigged onto pretty readily.
Anonymous 2023/03/12 (Sun) 13:58 No. 16900 ▼
There's a certain amount of mania I've come to expect concerning Moroboshi's actions in this story. At times, he could be acting in a completely normal manner, then the very next, he brushes my notions aside and acts.
I can understand the underlying follow-through of a vote and how he will act, but if you asked me why he would act in a particular manner or how he would respond, such as revealing his changing thoughts on rabbits, I would have to turn in a hastily scrawled report stating simply, I have no idea. It messes with my expectations of how a character would act.
I understand that a suspension of disbelief is needed for any fictional story. It is a fundamental concept that comes so second nature to me that my mind naturally does the mental checks of a magical land, and talking monsters and all systems are a go. The story can be enjoyed with few questions as a bar has been set, of which Touhou has quite a high suspension of disbelief based on the setting alone.
The devil is in the details, though. There is enough left unknown in this setting for writers to come up with their own unique twists to shape a story the way they want it, but at the same time, there are precedents that get established in reading a story, such as predicting how the main character of a tale will act. I can't help but feel that we aren't even given enough details about the main character to make informed guesses. Sure, one could extrapolate the thoughts or decision-making skills of the character based on what choices are presented to vote for.
Yet, it feels like I'm grasping at straws, still trying to understand this character. The lack of care for his safety is evident, as is his overwhelming desire to meet his love, and he is a villager who has been told scary stories by his grandmother. I understand enough from the three things I've listed to expect certain responses and actions but not enough to fully explain the cracks I think I'm seeing, that my suspension of disbelief wobbles despite how high it has been set. Am I just not thinking down the right pathway? Am I not reading the choices right? Is the character proactive or reactive?
That's partly why I am a fan of scene setting in interactive stories. It gives the reader a frame of reference of how the character they control is basing their values. So, for example, a hunter could idly note remembrance of how the motions for stringing a bow, while a clerical worker looking at the weapon could have no comment beyond it being an unfamiliar tool. I don't need all the details, but some would be appreciated.
How can the character undergo growth if one cannot even determine the traits that might change? Or does a medium like this mean that character traits might stay the same due to readers identifying a starting quality and sticking with it out of a sense of in-character, so to speak? Or perhaps the growing of the beard, so to say, was going to occur, but the story got abandoned before the growth took place.
Well, enough of that, half-malformed thoughts pushed near the final line. Time for this week's chapter.
Moroboshi gets scammed, engages in the revelry of the rabbits, and gets sloshed, which results in the second break of time, the first being his puking and passing out on Mokou's floor. Waking up in a bathtub with a telepathic talking rabbit. If you told me a rabbid comes into the next scene, I could accept it without blinking an eye. I just don't know what to expect.
It does seem the writer makes the effort of not giving the common name of characters, what with Kagerou never telling her name, Mokou going by her family name, or the rendering of Tewi as Tei. I'm left unaware of why this is, but I've noticed it.
I found that Hiroyuki means extensive, good fortune, and spacious, which makes sense considering what Tei emanates.
Does the man still have bandages on his left hand? At least he had a bath, though; scrambling through the forest, being bitten on the hand, entering a fever state, puking, crawling through a rabbit hole, and drunken revelry do not make a pleasant smell. I am surprised he let go, or at least no mention of all in the chapter, of the idea of having the medicine pouch considering the loss of it, was enough to send him into quite the state. >>16899
I've always wondered about that. The whole question of sapience concerning youkai. If their existence is based on belief, at some point, there must have been the proto-youkai of a species that was just a powerful critter until some form of sentience via character traits assigned by humans gave them a set to act from. How would the thinking of those born into a society, such as with Tengu children, differ from those who arise from the air of legend? >Book club members liking Mokou
She is stealing hearts and minds. I'm also a sufferer.
Anonymous 2023/03/12 (Sun) 15:30 No. 16901 ▼ >>16898 > That said, I absolutely hate the rendering 'Tei'. I get it; it's how it's actually pronounced, sure. Still hate it.
Not using the authentic Nara period pronunciation, SMH.
Anonymous 2023/03/14 (Tue) 05:04 No. 16902 ▼
Absentmindedness made me forget until now to remind folks that this week's chapter, the very last, is from >>/eientei/27952
Incidentally, I suppose now is a good time to start figuring out whether we'd like to keep on; I think I'll make a post in the discussion thread tomorrow.
Anonymous 2023/03/14 (Tue) 21:58 No. 16904 ▼ >>16900 >How can the character undergo growth if one cannot even determine the traits that might change?
I think that presumes growth as an underlying goal, which isn't necessarily a safe bet, imho. Sometimes characters just end up being who they are, y'know? >Or does a medium like this mean that character traits might stay the same due to readers identifying a starting quality and sticking with it out of a sense of in-character, so to speak? Or perhaps the growing of the beard, so to say, was going to occur, but the story got abandoned before the growth took place.
Either one is an equally likely possibility, though I guess the former is a noted tendency. Which one it would be in this case? Bugger if I know. I'd like to believe Moroboshi was set up to have a Road to Damascus moment somewhere, but who really knows? >Am I just not thinking down the right pathway? Am I not reading the choices right? Is the character proactive or reactive?
He comes off as largely re
active to me, which is somewhat of a function of not ascribing too much to the audience-substitute, I would guess. Or maybe it's just a conscious choice by the writer. Again, hard to say.
Overall, I agree with your confusion over Moroboshi. With everything how it is, I'd like to believe the inferences made that he's either off his tits on drugs or in some kind of bunny-induced psychosis. It'd be a much more entertaining reason than simple meta-explanations. >Mokou
Eh, don't have much of a like or dislike for her in particular; I just liked the cosiness of the bit she appeared in. >>16901
Old Japanese pls go and stay go
Anonymous 2023/03/15 (Wed) 02:34 No. 16911 ▼ Anonymous 2023/03/15 (Wed) 02:39 No. 16912 ▼ >>16911
And a reed-plain heron to you too, young man.
Anonymous 2023/03/17 (Fri) 06:40 No. 16917 ▼
Behind-anon here, this is my midway post after reading last week's segment.
I think I have to repeat what I've said earlier - the author seems to have a grip on the sorts of moods and dynamics they want to portray, but the way they go about it remains somewhat stilted and abrupt. Whilst it is nice to see Tewi's relationship with the unnamed Earth rabbits fleshed out a little bit, it seems a little pat and not really all that natural. One thing I've noticed is that when Moroboshi meets a new character, she's never preoccupied or in the middle of something or carrying on with a pre-existing train of thought - she just settles straight into a sort of "showcase" of her own personality. I suppose that, in a live CYOA, this might be desirable so that the voters don't end up totally Janus-headed in their voting because of character ambiguity, but it's something that really gets my goat - I can't stand it when characters don't have other things going on and are just all-in on "being themselves". You'd think Moroboshi would remark at least a little bit on what he had to do to scrape together that dosh he's letting himself get bullied out of, for example.
... It's understandable if it's Mokou, I guess; the poor girl. I've also had times when "being myself" felt like a full-time job.
Anonymous 2023/03/17 (Fri) 06:50 No. 16918 ▼
I'm, uh, caught up.
To the end. And no Reisen. What a tease.
More detailed thoughts to come later.
Anonymous 2023/03/17 (Fri) 10:54 No. 16920 ▼
Time to see this first road's end.
I only have a little to comment on regarding the plot points of this final chapter, but the fact this story somewhat starts and ends with a Kagerou meeting and Moroboshi getting up in her personal space before being abandoned seems almost fitting. In addition, the names not being exchanged is finally addressed. Finally, Moroboshi does seem to have a talent for slipping underneath Kagerou's skin. Yet, the final choice seems to be the start of what could've been Moroboshi developing some sense of social boundaries.
Perhaps it is just my brain having been rotted from reading too much web fiction or the hand scene sticking still, but for some reason, the last paragraph gives me the feeling that a kiss is about to happen, but there was also the description about Moroboshi finding the nails digging into his skin oddly relaxing. Overall, I'm sad that despite the flaws, the story didn't reach the point of a Reisen meeting; though that tends to be my experience going through the story list and reading stories there, the plotlines still half-delved through, and the author never saying the story is officially abandoned.
Reading through the author's comments in this chapter left me with a bad taste. I can understand the author's reasoning of why they didn't accept write-ins or that they wouldn't count votes with write-ins as they gave a warning about it. Yet, calling out the voters by saying,
>I find the past few votes to be hilarious, it's the most blatant tone deafness I've seen in a story in a while.
That rubs me wrong. Or the other comment which had these lines,
>'sides you have no leg to stand on being sarky, given how every single rabbit-related choice has been overwhelmingly in favor of trusting them and following their lead. Even in a silly story, choices gotta have some consequences.
Perhaps the analyses provided throughout this book club about the story's scene-setting, the way characters act, or Moroboshi's carelessness makes me critical of the author's assertion that voters have been tone-deaf. However, I guess the main thrust of my irritation is that if we, readers from all the way in 2023, see the story's tone fluctuating as silly or serious because of details, actions, or character thoughts, the tone-deaf is downright warranted because voters can't tell the inkling of a choice's consequences. My main example of this is the medicine vote. How could the voters have predicted that choosing that option to deal with a bite would end with their character swallowing the damn thing and getting feverish?
I'm reading too into this, I think.
It makes me question how one would think a writer should interact with their interactive audience? Should the writer stay behind the scenes, not commenting or even providing author notes? Should they engage their audience? Does it depend on the mood the writer is trying to evoke? For example, a solemn scene could be underscored by readers commenting silly stuff with which the writer could or could not engage.
But possibly, this is a case of the generally silent nature of voting on this site; the writer couldn't gauge whether the intended tone was coming across.
I know that voters on this site tend to be more just, [X] vote, with no comment longer than a sentence, or that discussion between voters is rare besides some lucky stories, which I find sad. One could post a thought in a story's thread, but no one would reply, even to call one an idiot for an idiot take. At least, that's been the main feeling I've been getting when voting and reading. But this story seems bereft even of comments asking if the story was dead. Props to that last comment. It certainly wasn't the type of consolation I expected to be at the end of an abandoned story, and it made me giggle.
This book club's first run I found interesting. Though attrition did seem to set in, and the fact that the most activity was when insults were doled out was somewhat perplexing and disheartening. I do think a more complete story should be chosen next time, though I have no recommendations. Maybe we could come up with some general questions to guide thoughts or discussion, something like:
-Did the story make you feel anything?
-What did you think of the writing style?
-Was there any passages that stood out to you?
-If you could ask the author anything, what would it be?
-Would you recommend this story?
Anonymous 2023/03/17 (Fri) 20:43 No. 16921 ▼
I expected a non-resolution, but that's a pretty weird place to end up, on the whole. It's the sort of thing that makes me wonder if the writer had much in mind for the story or was simply pantsing it the whole way. It's kind of hard to tell. Kagerou's re-entrance itself was a bit 'huh?' for me. The implication seems to be that Tewi dragged her into things, but I guess we'll never know the full details there. Reading a bit too far in, I'd say it feels kind of like it was a way of pulling a gotcha to make it feel like things were moving along. Perhaps in a bit of timidity on the writer's part? Again, I feel like Moroboshi ends up having his hand yanked on a lot for the sake of plot movement, which doesn't always come off the most naturally.
As an aside, to me, it kind of pushes home the message that, in writing, it's probably best to actually have a destination in mind so you don't end up running into a segment that sounds good until you write it down, at which point you're too committed to go back. As a writer, I have done that too many times.
That we didn't end up with Reisen making an appearance outside of oblique references is indeed a shame. It leaves us with little to even speculate on regarding what might have happened if Moroboshi had met up with her. Sure, she probably wouldn't have been keen on him, given the rest of the cast's interactions with our dozy friend, but the character of such an interaction is the enticing mystery, I suppose. More disappointing is not knowing the factual character of Reisen versus Moroboshi's phantasies. If Tewi had offered even a veiled comment somewhere, the sting might have been lessened. Hell, even if it would have broken some of the cosiness of that chapter, Mokou could have even said something. Alas, we've been teased all the way to the end.
Returning to Kagerou, the whole bit there comes off as a bit padded with needless repetition of their previous interactions. Yes, we have to know that she's sort of hostile to Moroboshi, and that Moroboshi is an idiot. That's already pretty well established at this point, though. The only real unexpected part of it is how she gets put on the back foot briefly, but that feels kind of weird, too. Maybe it's deliberate ambiguity as to whether or not Kagerou is actually a 'good girl'. It doesn't quite come off to me that way. I'm not sure how it could have been done better without needing space to develop fully, though. Ah, CYOAs and pacing issues — like clams and linguine.
Really, though, I wish there was a bit more substance to all sorts of things involved in the story so that we could at least speculate about what could have happened, or even what could have happened differently
. As it's left, I'm not sure I could form many conceptions at all of either possibility. >>16917
Overall, it's the sort of thing that is, in some ways, inherent to CYOAs of this sort, though far
from exclusively so. A main character ends up being the impetus for all other characters' actions, which often feels unnatural. Sometimes that's the point. Other times, it's probably just hand-waving going on. It sort of ties back into what I've said prior about Moroboshi needing to be pulled around from plot point to plot point. Without others dropping out of their everyday to deal with him, he'd probably be dead in the bamboo groves.
It does rub me the wrong way often, but what can be done? It's the sort of thing that requires a kind of deliberation not best done in haste, I think. How much can be taken into consideration at any one point for the medium is a whole other question, and not one I feel very qualified to speculate on. >>16920 >writer attitude
As someone who's been on both sides of this, I can see both viewpoints. It's irritating as a writer when it feels like readers don't think things through very well or pay much attention to what's going on. It's irritating as a reader when the significance of things too often feels veiled and deliberately obscured, and yet you're pushed to make choices whose outcomes (or relevance) aren't entirely clear. Both are valid complaints much of the time.
In this case, whilst I can understand the dislike for unprompted write-ins, I do think the writer might have been a bit harsh and hadn't quite considered his own role in creating a degree of confusion or lack of clarity in things. However, it can also be said that such issues are a matter of communication, which the readers didn't do all that much of. This is, as you well note, something fairly common to THP. What can be done about it? I wish I knew. Seriously. Much time and energy has been spent arguing on it in the past, but the true fact is that it's as much a cultural issue as anything else. And, well, changing culture is hard and doesn't seem like something that can be done very deliberately.
The best I can think to do is to prompt discussions like these, I guess.
Anonymous 2023/03/19 (Sun) 23:58 No. 16931 ▼
So, as a writer, I personally love write-ins, as they're a sign of viewer interactions. Granted, I haven't had anything I'd consider a particularly silly or unwarranted write-in, so I might be a bit biased. I have had a few that have been fairly off-the-rails, but they've still been legitimately good (or at least reasonable) ideas based off of the information available at the time.
As far as writer interaction with the readers go, that's tricky. See, the thing is, I actually love talking about my story. I could easily throw several paragraphs in almost per update about what might have happened, or could have happened, or my thoughts on something. But I don't. I'll throw stuff in as an end-of-part coda, perhaps, but I fear to say too much.
Two reasons for this. The first is that I don't want to bias the readers with my personal commentary. Author's notes are fun, but the story must stand on its own without them. If someone who doesn't read any of the notes about what I intended comes to a completely different interpretation of the characters than what I intended, then I've screwed up as a writer, and that's a real risk if I keep outright telling the viewers what I intended after each update.
The second comes down to vanity. There was a previous community I wrote in where I got in trouble for self-advertisement, and I had a bit of a rant about how my story wasn't getting the attention it deserved compared to other, worse stories. It's not something I'm proud of, and pretty much ended my involvement in that community, as well as the story I'd been writing at the time. (Which is honestly a shame, as I wouldn't mind finishing or maybe rebooting that some day.) Because of that, I try to take a hands-off approach to commenting. It's easier for me to avoid attention seeking if I minimize my interaction outside of the updates. Or, as is increasingly the case these days, apologizing for updates being late. Alas.
Speaking of apologies, I'm one of the anons who floated the idea of participating and never did anything. So... sorry about that, I've just been busy lately. Even finding time to write has been a real struggle of late.
Anonymous 2023/03/20 (Mon) 00:53 No. 16932 ▼ >>16931 >If someone who doesn't read any of the notes about what I intended comes to a completely different interpretation of the characters than what I intended, then I've screwed up as a writer
I mean, that's going to happen no matter how much footwork you put into stage managing reader perception of things. You can outright directly tell people that things are one way or another, yet they'll still come to head-scratching conclusions based on inherent biases or whatever. I've had it happen time and again in my own writing to the point that I long gave up trying to correct people. Dunno, though. Maybe it depends how much investment people have in your story. Nobody around here really has the same experience writing, for better or worse.
As to actual book club matter, well, no real need for apologies. There was hardly a call for strong commitment. The pacing that so annoyed certain people was chosen with the assumption that people would probably fall in and out. If things go on and you happen to only find time to get involved every once in a while, that's fine enough.
Anonymous 2023/03/26 (Sun) 23:49 No. 16936 ▼
Very belated in getting my thoughts in. >>16920 >Did the story make you feel anything?
Hesitation, mostly, or a sense of "waiting for the other shoe to drop". I get the feeling in the end that it was mainly supposed to be a fun adventure focusing on personalities rubbing off on each other and which wouldn't get super into it, but it really was hard to tell because I still felt like that could have changed at any moment. >What did you think of the writing style?
I think the author is a fair hand at scene-setting and has a good sense for personality as external affect, but could probably stand to get a little deeper into a character's psyche, past, and whatnot in order to get them to really stand out from the page as fully-developed people. Of course, I haven't seen them write any characters in extremis
, so maybe they were simply keeping it up their sleeve, but the keystones-and-chicken-twine analogy from earlier still strikes me as salient. >Was there any passages that stood out to you?
Hobo silence >Would you recommend this story?
I don't think I could, in good conscience; but then again I pretty much have to have liked something nearly unreservedly in order to be able to recommend it to anyone else without a whole bunch of caveating. Besides, it just didn't get far enough.