hanakotoba hanataba Review

Title: hanakotoba, hanataba                                             Author: postscriptress

Source: Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-kun                                    Character(s): Chiyo S. & Mikoshiba M.

Rating: K+                                                                       Genre(s): Romance Humor

Chapter(s): 1                                                                    Status: Complete

Synopsis: “I am not the kind of man who’d let such a beautiful young lady like you walk in the dark, all alone.”  Definitely true, the truest of truths, straight from the bottom of Mikoto Mikoshiba’s too-large, too-fragile heart. (Or: in which Mikorin falls for Chiyo.)



Welcome Readers, we’re now in the month of February.  It’s that month of love as people prepare for the Hallmark holiday of Valentine’s Day.  Oh yes, that holiday that is even fantasized in anime and manga.  I chose not to review a Valentine’s Day story today, but I have decided to review a love confession story.  Just a little something to wet the appetite before I dive into the Valentine’s Day fiction.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am your reviewing host, the Fan Fic Reviewer; here to review the good, the bad, and those that should never exist in fan fiction.  I’m still looking for more stories for fandoms that I don’t normally read, much less review.  What can I say?  That stack of Dragon Age stories just isn’t calling me right.  This story called to me though.

For anyone who doesn’t know, Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun (Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-kun) is an anime and manga about a high school student named Chiyo who confesses her love to Nozaki but the confession gets misinterpreted.  Instead of starting a romance with her crush, Chiyo is pulled in to be one of several students helping Nozaki with his monthly shojo series.  The anime and manga are hilarious and create characters and events that are equal parts enduringly cute and funny; it doesn’t take itself too seriously and allows for everything to exaggerated while grounded in reality.

As for this particular fan fic, it’s the story of Mikoto finally working up the courage to confess his feelings to Chiyo despite her crush on Nozaki.  I know, it sounds run of the mill “love confession” type story.  In some ways it is, but it has its own charm that makes it stand out; how the characters are portrayed, how Mikoto confesses and the ending.

In terms of characters, Mikoto is absolutely in line with his anime and manga counterparts.  The cheesy lines that make him blush seconds later.  How quickly he becomes flustered or embarrassed when it comes to real people and uncomfortable situations — like him having a conversation with Chiyo about this girl he likes but he won’t confess.

Chiyo has that no nonsense, unimpressed demeanor about her that does show up in the series – particularly when Mikoto does or says something that causes him to flush horribly.  In this story though, that demeanor is softened a bit due to the passage of time and the fact that she and Mikoto have developed a friendship.  She is also shown to be a little dense too.  This is also in line with the manga and anime because there were a few instances that if someone suggested anything romantic with her and anyone who was not Nozaki, it flew over her head.  However, if it was with Nozaki then she was on the ball.  It’s not the same denseness as Nozaki – his is a special kind – but it’s similar.

The parts with Kashima, Hori, and Seo are right on too.  Seo continues to prove why she’s my favorite character by pointing out the unstated reason Kashima asks for Seo’s help (i.e. Kashima doesn’t want to be embarrassed in front of Hori).  It’s a small thing in the greater story, but I appreciate Seo being depicted so well.

I think the only part of the characters that was off point was Nozaki holding back when encouraging Mikoto to confess.  I mean, this is Nozaki and he does use real life to model for his manga so I would’ve expected him to remind Mikoto that he wanted full details to use in his next issue.  However, that’s a small grievance and it doesn’t affect the overall story and characters.

Next, Mikoto’s confession.  Most times there’s some event or trigger that occurs and sets the confessor off to confess.  In this case, why the trigger happens is a mixture of Nozaki’s insistence and Chiyo’s unintentional encouragement and the effect is not immediate.  There is a scene that builds out almost like it’ll be that confession with a big smooch on the lips but instead it ends with a whisper of what is to come.  As a fan of the slow build and anticipation, I appreciate this tease of a scene and, more so, Chiyo’s reaction.  Chiyo doesn’t think too much of the scene beyond a friend show appreciation for her listening and giving him advice.  It helps build the anticipation and frames Chiyo’s understanding / frame of mind — i.e. at that time she does not see Mikoto as a love interest.

The lead up to the confession is adorable.  I want to go into detail but I feel like I shouldn’t spoil it.  So, I will simply say that Mikoto does something fitting of his character and his knowledge of flowers.  No, it’s not that he suddenly buys a bunch of roses for Chiyo in colors that signify love, romance, etc.  It does have to do with flowers and language of flowers, but it’s nothing super corny.  If anything, what he does is so sweet that I wish my significant other would do this for me in real life.

The confession itself is a bit awkward; it’s hard for a confession not to be awkward when confessing to someone who has feelings for another person, but it’s sweet and raw.  It’s not toothachingly sweet but sweet in its understanding of the two characters’ positions and their feelings.  It has that uncertainty that comes with confessing to a friend — these things can break friendships, but also the optimism that maybe they could be more.  It’s sweet and in some ways more fulfilling than other confession stories.

Finally, there’s the ending; it makes sense given the context of the story.  It’s not a bittersweet ending but one that brings hope and possibilities.  It is as innocent as the kiss.  Which is probably the best part of the ending — the kiss.  See, most stories have the kiss on the cheek or the kiss on the lips; chaste or open mouth, tongue tangling.  This one keeps the kiss simple while conveying Mikoto’s feelings; it is an invitation.  Mikoto does not presume Chiyo’s feelings but he wants to convey his, so he does through a simple kiss on the forehead.  Probably one of my favorite kiss moments I’ve read in a while.

Would I recommend this story?  I highly recommend this story for Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun fans.  Maybe not so much for the Nozaki x Chiyo OTP crowd, but for anyone who enjoys the characters and wants some sort of romance to start developing.  It’s a short story but it’s filled with so much charm and comedy to make it worth the time.


Stars: 9.5 / 10


Hello, Nurse Review

Title: Hello, Nurse                                                                Author: bluetreeleaves

Source: Escaflowne                                                             Character(s): Hitomi K. & Van F.

Rating:  M                                                                           Genre(s): Romance / Drama

Chapter(s): 9                                                                       Status: Complete

Author’s Synopsis:  No one had come to visit this particular patient even when he had been first rushed through Emergency. Now in long-term care, he’d have to suffer as her break time hiding spot because of her strange habit: reading out loud.



Welcome Readers, it’s Friday!  It’s been a cold week in my area, the kind that makes people stay indoors, make hot chocolate, and curl up with some good stories.  Well, I curled up with my laptop and read some fan fiction.  I found an absolute gem!

Ladies and gentlemen, I am your reviewing host, the Fan Fic Reviewer; here to review the good, the bad, and those that should never exist in fan fiction.  I found a great story!  Like this was one of those stories that I couldn’t put down; I actually stayed up late just to finish reading it.  It was worth it!

Now, this is going to be a bit of a shorter review because while I could praise a lot of things about this story, I really don’t want to spoil it.  So, I won’t be using too many in story examples or describe specific scenes / events while making my points.  Just because this will be a bit shorter, doesn’t mean I’m not going to talk about the story in some detail.  After all, I have a lot to praise here and I will not be kept silent!

Let’s get started.

The story is a bit more than what the author’s synopsis makes it out to be.  Van is the long-term care patient in a coma and his room becomes Nurse Hitomi’s break spot so she may read aloud.  However, that’s only one part of the story.  There’s the other half having to do with hackers, corporate espionage, cover ups, and murder.  I know!  It sounds like a completely separate story, but it’s not.  This all happens in the story; it surrounds the main focus of Van as Hitomi’s patient and Hitomi reading her book aloud during her break.

Now, on to the meat of the story (literally).  The story is really good.  Initially, I was thinking that this was going to be like along the lines of While You Were Sleeping with a romance budding between the nurse (Hitomi) and coma patient (Van), which I would’ve been engaged to read.  However, this story has the budding romance between Hitomi and Van but also the thriller aspect of corporate espionage, people out to kill Van, kidnappings, murder, and romance rivals.  Like there is a lot that goes on in this story!  Yet, it doesn’t feel like anything is out of place, it feels like a natural build.  Van’s in a coma because he survived getting shot in the head (twice), but why was he shot?  I’m not going to say because that’s a spoiler, but it segues into the corporate espionage.  The story does things like that where it ties this simple story of nurse and patient romance into this darker thriller story.  Oh my God, the ultimate “villain” Van has to face at the end is amazing!  It’s so good that I can’t say much more without practically giving it away.

Let’s talk characters; they are awesome.  They maintain a lot of their personality foundations but now their backgrounds are tweaked to fit the modern world.  Hitomi is a nurse (still out to rescue and support others), Van is…the coma patient… Alright, I can’t actually say Van’s occupation because it spoils the story.  What I can say is that he starts off as the coma patient but his personality really comes through as Hitomi’s love life picks up and Van starts coming out of his coma.  Allen is the charming romantic rival.  Folken is…Van’s brother…damn it, I’m trying not to spoil too much.

*Sigh* I’ll make this blanket statement, the characters fit their roles and their personalities.  It compliments their actual roles from the anime.  I’m satisfied with that phrasing.

Speaking of the anime, the book Hitomi is reading in Van’s room is a novelization of the series.  I liked this idea because that’s a clever way of calling back to the source material and tying it directly into this alternate universe.  Plus, the author was clever in that instead keeping key characters’ names in the novel, they were changed to titles.  Hitomi was called the Girl, Van was called the King, Allen was called the Knight, etc.  It was a good way of distinguishing the characters and not having to completely change their names.  This is an area that I’m sure other Readers may take issue with, but I thought it was clever.

Also, having Hitomi read the novelization version of the anime helped with foreshadowing and develop Van’s history.  While Hitomi read the story, Van drew parallels between the 3 lead characters (Girl, King, and Knight) between himself, Hitomi, and Allen.  He also drew parallels between the King’s history and familial experiences and his own; betrayed by an older brother.

Now, I will say that reading the actual novelization bits was hit or miss.  Some sections felt really long but others were just fine.  It was hit or miss based on what part of the series was being read and how much commentary Van interjected.  Granted, the longer sections did help illustrate how enraptured the characters were in the story that they didn’t react, make a comment, or get interrupted.  It’s one of those things that it works but it was a bit tedious at times.

The last thing that I really enjoyed about this story is the ending.  *Phew* It’s a great ending.  Everything wraps up, there’s the happy romantic ending, and the epilogue is a nice edition.  The epilogue may not have been needed, but I’m glad it’s there; if nothing else, to know if Hitomi and Van ever finish the book.

Overall, I can’t praise this story enough.  It was not what I expected but it was definitely something I needed.  I will probably return to this story in the future and maybe I’ll start finding the flaws, but right now I think this story is a keeper.  I highly recommend Readers to take a chance on this story, whether you have seen the anime or not.  Seriously, this story does not require any prior knowledge of the series and since the novelization is in the story, anyone who has not seen the series will get a taste for it in this fan fic.

So, what are you doing still reading this review?  Go check out the fan fic!


Stars: 10 / 10

Just a Little Holiday Blackmail Review

Title: Just a Little Holiday Blackmail                                               Author: tentsubasa

Source: La Corda D’Oro                                                                  Genre(s): Friendship / Humor

Character(s): Len T., Ryou T., Kazuki H., Azuma Y., & Keiichi S.         Rating: K+

Chapter(s): 11                                                                                Status: Complete

Author’s Synopsis: Nami Amou, journalist and schemer extraordinaire, has managed to blackmail the male concours participants into holding a boy-band Christmas concert to raise money for the Journalism Club. With their secrets on the line, how much are the boys willing to endure both on and off the stage?



Welcome Readers, this is my last holiday fan fic review for December.  It’s been fun and I came across a lot of interesting stories for this month.  Since this is my last holiday review for the month, I’ve decided to go out with a bang.  I found this story a couple of years ago and it took me by surprise.  I shall not bait Readers further, let’s get to the review!

Ladies and gentlemen, I am your reviewing host, the Fan Fic Reviewer; here to review the good, the bad, and those that should never exist in fan fiction.  I’m heading this month on a high note.  I found this story a while back and took a chance on it, I was not disappointed.  This story holds strong despite (technically) being a song-fic, the characters are fairly within character, and the structure of the chapters is good for telling the story.

Let’s start with the synopsis, the author’s summary is spot on.  Nami Amou, one way or another, “persuades” each of the male concours participants to help her put on this fundraising concert.  The boys much endure 3 months of practices, song choices, choreography, and each other.  That is the premise of this story and it creates an interesting journey.

I’ll get the proverbial elephant in the room out of the way.  This is indeed a song-fic and I did enjoy it.  Anyone who has read my other reviews of song-fics know that I tend not to like them and feel that most of the time the song part of the story is unnecessary or wrongly utilized.  Well, this story took my preconceived notions of song-fics and reset the bar.

The songs aren’t just the guys singing – blocks of lyrics – or background music to the events.  This story breaks up the lyrics with concise descriptions of the choreography, the emotions and thoughts of the singers, and the crowds’ reactions.  It helps break up the lyrics and continues to build the story; plus, if anyone is like me and chooses to gloss over the lyrics, the parts between lyrics help to paint a fuller picture of what is happening at this concert.  I didn’t feel the need to read the lyrics, but I think if they were left out the concert portion of the story wouldn’t feel as alive; it’d just be descriptions of the guys’ performance with no reference to where in the song they take place.  Thus, this story has broken my previous view of song-fics and redefined what I should expect from future song-fics.

Next, let’s address the characters because I can be a real stickler.  Overall, the characters seem to stay within their established personalities from the anime.  I think the only times I questioned were the blackmail parts for Ryou and Len.  Len’s blackmail came in the form of him wanting peace and Nami not willing to give it to him unless he took part in the concert.  The build up for disrupting Len’s peace of mind is good and in some ways I can see Len giving in to the blackmail but in other ways I feel like it’s still out of character.  It’s a strange situation.  Ryou’s blackmail is – I believe – less believable.  He’s being blackmailed with “embarrassing” photos of him as a child potentially being printed in the school newspaper.  I get the idea – who doesn’t have embarrassing childhood photos? – but it doesn’t really feel like something Ryou would worry about.

That’s about it for the OOC parts.  Everything else is spot on.  Len and Ryou bicker with each other during rehearsals, Hihara accidentally gives Nami ideas for the concert, Azuma is amused by antics of the other guys and manipulates Nami only when necessary, and Keiichi has his slowed speech and misses playing his cello and classical music.  Nami is probably the best character with how she put everything together and trying to keep the guys on task during the 3 months; plus, how she handles the guys’ disgruntled attitudes and song choices.  Overall, the characters are pretty on par with their anime counterparts.

The chapters are mostly – there’s a couple that are different – structured the same; beginning with an event that happened during the 3 months and then wrapping up with the performance of the song the group was practicing.  The beginning flashback range from showing how the guys were blackmailed to depicting a rehearsal – normally tied to the song that will be performed.  I really liked how each chapter showcased what led to the concert and took turns focusing on the different guys.  It kept me engaged and made me come back to learn more about what had happened and “see” the song performed.

In the end, I found this story to be an enjoyable song-fic.  I found that the lyrics weren’t unnecessary or distracting, and I liked that the choreography descriptions were concise and didn’t pull me too out of the “visual” of the concert.  I enjoyed these characters being put into a scenario that they would never be in the anime or manga.

Would I recommend this story?  Yes.  It’s a fun story and even if Readers are like me and not fans of song-fics, I recommend giving this story a try and see if it changes your mind like it did mine.

I know there is a sequel, but I will review that for White Day.  Until then, I hope everyone enjoys their New Year!  Welcome 2018!


Stars: 9.5 / 10

Angel of a Christmas night Review

Title: Angel of a Christmas night                                            Author: Shirrlly

Co-Author: Sakura_Avalon                                          Translator: hopeful colour

Source: Card Captor Sakura                                         Character(s): Syaoran L. & Sakura K.

Rating: T                                                                                Genre(s): Hurt / Comfort / Romance

Chapter(s): 1                                                                           Status: Complete

Author’s Synopsis: Sakura was a young mistress of a rich family. Unfortunately, she caught an incurable disease. And the arrangement of destiny made her meet a young man who could relieve her self-pity and loneliness. Was that love the miracle for curing her disease? How would her fate be?



Welcome Readers, we’re getting ever closer to the end of the year and the end of the holiday season.  Who’s ready to say “Goodbye 2017” and “Hello 2018?”  Kind of like I’m ready to say “goodbye” to this story and “hello” to the next one.  I’m not going to bother sugarcoating; this was a terrible story to have unearthed from the bowels of FFN (fanfiction.net) and I want to take a shovel and bury it once again.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am your reviewing host, the Fan Fic Reviewer; here to review the good, the bad, and those that should never exist in fan fiction.  Well, this story belongs in the latter category.  Now, before I get too far and a wise-ass points out that English is not the author’s first language, let me say, I KNOW!  I read author’s notes just fine.  The translation is not the problem with the story – there’s room for improvement but the meaning gets conveyed – rather it’s the foundations and build of the story.  No amount of accurate translating could save this story.

Now that is out of the way, what is this story about?  The synopsis above is fairly accurate.  I think some of the translations make it a bit misleading – for example, the disease is curable but requires a bone marrow transplant – but the gist is there.  Sakura is a rich girl who has fallen hard into depression because of the lack of improvement in her condition during the last 2 years.  One day she faints and wakes up in the care of a poor man name Syaoran.  Maybe Syaoran is what Sakura needs to turn her test results around.

I’m going to say this now: SPOILERS ALERT.  I normally try to be vague and use specific scenes or events for examples but this time around I’m going to end up spoiling everything in this story; from beginning to end as I build my case.

The foundation of this story is Card Captor Sakura, that means even if the characters aren’t chasing down Clow cards and using magic, the core traits that make these characters should still be there.  That means that Sakura should not be this lifeless husk (“my life is a void”); if anything she should be this character who is naturally optimistic struggling to maintain her optimism.  She shouldn’t already be at the end of her rope contemplating suicide.  I’d make an argument about Syaoran’s character being OOC (out of character) too but that would’ve required his character to be developed in the story – it’s not.  Out of the characters, Tomoyo is probably the most accurate.

How this story builds itself feels like it’s meant to be a Hallmark or Lifetime movie; there’s the protagonist who is at the lowest point in her life and she gets saved by a person who comes from the “opposite side of the tracks.”  It sounds like a love story for star-crossed lovers.  That is the build and the story pretends like it adequately establishes this but it doesn’t.  It does well with the first interaction between Syaoran and Sakura – at Syaoran’s apartment after she fainted – and the follow up interaction – Sakura drops off a Thank You gift.  But it leaves it at these two interactions and wants the Readers to believe that was enough to make these two characters fall in love.

I’m sorry, but this is where I put my foot down and bring out my soapbox.  These were strong first and second encounters between these two strangers but it’s not enough to reasonable build a romance.  Disney fairy tales are more believable because most of the time the two love interests do spend some – not a lot – of time together and get to actually know something about each other.  What do Sakura and Syaoran learn about each other?  She’s rich and sick, he’s super poor that he can’t afford a cell phone.  Sure, as the Reader, we’re learn more about the characters; Sakura’s stream of disappointing medical results, her suicidal thoughts, and her belief that she’s a burden to her family.  Syaoran we learn would rather be spending his time working but his parents want him to pursue school so he does both.

That’s great that as Readers we know these things about the characters but they never open up to each other about these things so why does Syaoran feel that him going to school is so important to Sakura?  What did she care about you going to school when she didn’t know that wasn’t something you wanted to do?  This lack of interaction between the characters creates this disconnect particularly with the events at the end; like the wedding – why did Syaoran agree to marry Sakura before she died? – and him vowing to do his best at school to please Sakura – why?!

Oh yeah, no joke, Sakura and Syaoran do get hitched at the very end.  Sakura feels death closing in on her and decides to pull Syaoran out of work – how she figured out where he worked is beyond me – and drag him to church with little explanation.  Syaoran agrees to marry her because he loves her (?) – I don’t actually buy that he loves her for any other reason than plot.  During Sakura’s speech after the ceremony, she dies in Syaoran’s arms.  Pardon me while I roll my eyes.

In another story this would feel tragic and heavy with emotion, but in this story it feels a bit out of place.  What are the motivations of these characters to marry?  Was it always a dream of Sakura’s?  Was there something legal that required them to marry?  I don’t get it!

I think drawing a comparison to the movie “A Walk to Remember” is a little better.  The romance in “A Walk to Remember” made sense because it was built over time and the characters’ influences on each other subtly changed them over time.  So, when death draws near and they decide to marry, it’s because they love each other and want to devote themselves to each other even if it’s for a short amount of time.  Plus, in the movie they get to spend some months (a last summer) together before she dies.  In this story, Syaoran and Sakura get until the 11th bell before she dies; she dies on their wedding night!  What the fuck?!

Plus, where are Toya and Sakura’s dad in all this?  Or Tomoyo?  Are they cool with Sakura choosing to marry a guy she’s met twice while she’s on her death bed?  I feel like Toya would’ve kick Syaoran’s ass if Sakura didn’t provide some sort of reasonable explanation for the marriage.  And I think Tomoyo would’ve tried to talk Sakura out of it and opt for photo shopping some wedding photos for Sakura – if that’s really what Sakura wanted.

Just…why story?  Why?  You had a decent set up and an ending that is too good for you – Syaoran kissing his wedding ring and promising to call his dead wife’s cell phone at 12:30 am to tell her about his day is so sweet it gives me a toothache.  So, why do you drop the ball in the middle?  Where is the actual romance build?  Why suggest in the synopsis that the relationship between Syaoran and Sakura might lead to her recovery?  Why, why, why, why?

I give up.  Waving the white flag on this story.

In the end, I do not recommend this story at all.  Just purge it.  It has a good set up and potential but just can’t execute the romance – at all – and instead skips to an end that feels out of place because of the lack of build.  Again, this is nothing on the translator, this is on the story just not having all the parts it needs to truly build this doomed romance.


Stars: 2 / 10

My Ojousan Review

Title: My Ojousan                                                         Author:  vegie kun

Source: Gundam Wing A/C                                         Character(s): Relena P. & Duo M.

Rating:  T                                                                   Genre(s): Adventure / Romance

Chapter(s): 11                                                              Status: Complete

Author’s Synopsis:  During a stressful conference Relena meets up with a certain Gundam pilot who brings laughter and chaos into her life.  But the fun ends as quickly as it begins when a new enemy appears, headed by the most unexpected person.



Welcome Readers, I really needed a good story to read this week.  It’s been a stressful one and I had hoped to find something really good to make me forget about the stress.  Well, this story is not quite as awesome as I was expecting, but it was a great distraction.  I returned to the Gundam Wing fandom and took a look at the non-cannon couples.  It’s always interesting seeing how fans make the non-cannon couples happen and work; stories like this one make me leave saying, “Yeah, I could see those two characters as lovers.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am your reviewing host, the Fan Fic Reviewer; here to review the good, the bad, and those that should never exist in fan fiction.  Today I am reviewing one for the few Duo x Relena romances I found on FFN.  It’s amazing how out of all the Gundam pilots Duo is least romantically associated with Relena.  If he’s included in a romance story with Relena it’s normally as Heero’s boyfriend.  The fact that the romance is between Duo and Relena is what piqued my interest.

The story feels like an action movie.  Two friends reunite only to be pulled into an assassination plot and they must stay on the run to survive.  Thankfully the one leading the assassination team is none other than Heero Yuy and he’s doing everything he can to sabotage the assassination with the help of circus clown, Trowa Barton.

Similar to an action movie, this story is fun to read and I enjoyed it; however, it has some weak points.  One such point is the use of a character’s thoughts, I don’t mind it when a story shares character thoughts but they should be used judiciously and should not replace actual dialogue.  In this story, characters have full internal conversations with themselves; conversations that analyze their motives, feelings, etc.  To me there is no need to tell the Reader the entire internal dialogue a character has when it’s just as (if not more) effective to describe the internal dialogue.  It takes fewer words and can convey the message better than having the character argue with themselves.

This is more prevalent in the early chapters as Duo and Relena reunite and the seeds of romance take root.  As the story progresses those type of thoughts are replaced by more effective thoughts such as Heero trying to figure out his former assassin comrades’ plans and how best to protect Relena.  The major difference between Heero’s internal dialogue and the Duo’s is the length and topics.  Duo’s are like devil versus angel arguments to illustrate his confliction over his new found feelings for Relena, while Heero’s are concise and focused on analyzing what needs to be done.  In a way, Heero’s internal dialogue reminds me of Robert Downy Jr’s Sherlock Holmes; the quick, efficient analysis before getting right back into the action.

That’s my only real grievance with the story.  I could gripe on about how Duo and Relena fall in love within a week but since the story is written like an action movie it makes sense.  This story isn’t written to be a serious romance that is built up over long periods of time, it’s meant to be a romance that builds up during the course of a traumatic experience.  So, to me how quickly the romance comes about is not an issue.

In fact, the romance is handled well.  There is the romance between Duo and Relena, which starts off slow and a bit dating sims clichéd but as the story progresses it improves.  Suddenly, the focus is not on making these two seem like a cutesy potential couple, but two people who feel for each other while struggling with their own sense of right and wrong.  Is it right for them to feel these romantic urges for each other?  Isn’t it like a betrayal because there’s the unstated truth that Heero love Relena?  Both of them struggle with these kind of questions while still wanting to maybe pursue a relationship after they survive the assassination plot.

On the flip side, there’s the romance between Heero and Relena.  It’s not a love triangle because Heero’s not fighting with Duo to win Relena or trying to stop the two from being together.  Instead, Heero and Relena’s romance in this one is a mature one; it’s the romance where one party decides it’s time to leave and give blessing for the other party to seek love elsewhere.  Heero quite literally takes the time to tell Relena that she should stop waiting for him and follow her feelings to pursue Duo.   On Relena’s side, it’s that crossroads of not wanting to betray her first love that was never fully realized in order start a new love with Duo.  It’s a beautiful confliction that doesn’t become the focus of the story and is treated as being emotionally complex; as it should be.

How the story handles Heero and Relena’s unrequited romance is part of the reason why I enjoyed the story so much.  It doesn’t linger too long on the topic but it doesn’t shove it into a closet to never address again.  It is there and it becomes prevalent during the moments of calm – the moment when the characters can catch their breathes and their minds distract them with thoughts of “what ifs.”  This is a way to juggle the romance with the action that just appeals to me.

The last part I’ll touch on is the original characters.  There’s not a lot but there are a handful of original characters who fill in the cast and rather than becoming the Mary Sue and Gary Stu type characters, these ones feel natural.  They feel like characters that would have been found in the Gundam Wing world.  There’s the politician who is looking to gain more resources to defend his country from attack even if those resources come at the expense of the Sanq Kingdom, Relena’s life, and the lives of those in the former Sanq Kingdom.  He’s a flaw character and one with misguided motives and means, but he’s very much human.

There’s the assassins who have distinct personalities and ways of handling their missions.  One assassin has so much pride in his abilities that he cannot stomach the fact that the promotion he worked for went to a much younger and newer member of the guild.  Another assassin is a bit more easygoing; appreciative of life but enjoy his work as an assassin because “you should enjoy what you do for a living.”  These are characters who are grounded in reality while being mixed into this extreme, unrealistic situation.

I don’t always like original characters but these were the types that helped to expand the world and fill in the blank spots; they do not take the spot light away from the main cast or allow themselves to fall into obscurity.  These are the types of OCs that help build the story, not steal it.

In the end, I would recommend this story.  I do suggest hanging in there during the first few chapters because it feels a bit sluggish and it is a bit of set up.  However, once the action hits, the story takes off and it is so worth it.  If Readers have the time, check out My Ojousan on FFN.


Stars: 7.5 / 10