Omake 0.2 NOTES

shizuru
Reminder: Don’t read the Notes before reading the actual fic chapter.
*Please comment only on this and previous chapters to avoid spoiling.

*Edited 9/2, so if you read and commented on it before, please read again and do let me know if I can improve it more.

Not-so-quick and out-of-order notes:

(Otou-san = father, and okaa-san = mother, direct address. Stated elsewhere, I would normally use the English terms when the speaker speaks of either in third person, e.g. “my father,” also to avoid using “haha” since that looks weird in English. In this case, since Natsuki is maybe six years old, it didn’t seem quite appropriate in English, so I chose to use papa/mama for third person there. I could have left it just as the direct address honorifics, though–i.e. otou-san, okaa-san. Confusing? Suggestion?)

Weellll, I don’t know if this made a whole lot of sense since I’m posting it late tonight without a more thorough editing. Yes, I went overboard with the detail in some places. Sorry? Well, it’s an omake so it doesn’t need to fit in with the rest of the chapters. Guess I’ll just let it ferment for a bit, so your reviews will help. :P

This omake chapter ended up being a bit less fluffy than I intended. Also, a lot more research went into it than… necessary, possibly. Anyway, I don’t outline the omakes; I just start with a specific idea. In Omake 0.1, that idea was “Natsuki getting a fluffy toy dog is predictable, but how do I get it from her to Shizuru, since she has it in 1.6?” For this chapter, it was “What kind of present could Shizuru give Natsuki for her birthday that would be highly symbolic? No lingerie.”

inkan/hanko: I’ve seen both terms used interchangeably, but decided on inkan because that’s part of the registry office’s name. These are name seals, or small objects used to “sign” your name, and are still used in China, Korea, Japan, and perhaps other Asian countries today in varying capacities. I decided not to use just “seal” because I wanted to elaborate just a little between the Japanese types. Rather than go into an essay about that, here’s one of over a dozen links I referenced: The Practice of Using Seals in Japan. Example images here: http://japan-cc.com/hanko.htm

Now, I was already familiar with Asian seals and knew that Japanese culture used them, so I thought it would be a neat and symbolic artifact for Shizuru to give. If 15 years is the minimum age to register a jitsuin, then it should be Natsuki’s 15th birthday (though registration isn’t necessary at all for mitomein*). Some family background information courtesy again of apollyon_0 and haruka108. Since asian name seals are so tied to identity, that’s how the conversation went…

(Gem Hut) Sea Jasper Gemstones
This link is the product of quite a bit of rock hunting (seriously; lots of rocks and minerals–all very pretty and highly distracting ^_^;). There’s actually a HUGE variety of patterns within ocean/sea jasper, but those samples were the ones that I liked best.

I don’t know about Japanese obits in their newspapers.

Various links referenced for traditional Kyoto summer foods and kaiseki meals, Japanese strawberry shortcakes. I tell you–looking at all those pictures of Japanese shortcakes made me very hungry. Interesting link: http://smt.blogs.com/mari_diary/2005/02/japanese_standa.html

I really wish I could read the “Standard of Japan” site.

Next chapter: 1.10

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37 thoughts on “Omake 0.2 NOTES”

  1. P-perfect.
    Be sure your hard work paid off, I enjoyed it a lot. A lot.

    You used so many details from anime so well.
    I was thinking once if Natsuki burned this photo herself — and stopped the process. It is symbolic, but it is burnt in reality ^^’.
    So Shizuru has a sister… or she says so… and her family have a carver… intersting.
    And Natsuki behaves like child when seeing the cake. So cute :D.
    The stone is really beautiful. Great choice, Shizuru! ;D
    I need to know someday what you mean by the fluff ;)

    So thank you so much for this great omake.

    1. Thank you. :)

      Well, I tend to define “fluff” fiction as: something that doesn’t require concentration or much thought to read and understand; something that touches only “positive” emotions–no angst, anger, or sadness; something that doesn’t further plot or story. Basically, no seriousness at all. ^_^ Someday, I will succeed in writing a short, pure fluff piece! (I don’t know, is that kind of goal even worth mentioning? Ha ha.)

      1. Oh, yeah, about the burning photo and that research–
        I figured a starting point in the conversation would have to center around why it was burned in the first place. However, the anime never shows us exactly where it was when it was burning. (♥ for the screenshots! :D) I considered Natsuki burning it as well, but that would require an explanation of her mindset, additional symbolism, and possibly Shizuru jumping in (so it would be more work than I was ready to do :P). So I figured the easiest background is to say Natsuki just found it. I mean, she did go back to the abandoned lab later on and found that dirty toy dog, so this would be feasible, I think.

        1. Someday, I will succeed in writing a short, pure fluff piece!
          and if there is ShizNat involved, you will be my Hero then :).

          ..and no seriousness… even fluffy one? You know, like serious talk about the color of a new car… ;)
          or how about fluff increased by earlier anger…
          OK, ignore me :D

          Oh, yeah, about the burning photo and that research–
          Ah, you did it extremely well. I mean the scene is absolutely great. It’s just my twisted mind which wanted even more fun drama and when Natsuki told the history of the photo, I had this voice in my head “It’s lie… she wouldn’t confess even to Shizuru what she really did… she regrets it so badly now. lol.”
          Probably I didn’t expect anything so serious and deep, but this way it was nicer surprise.

          And screenshots – not big deal really, however if I can put it this way, it was worth :)

          1. Hey, don’t fill my head with useless little ideas that will never be written down. ^_~ They only impede my current project! LOL
            I’m glad you liked that part. I’ll still be editing, but overall, I’m satisfied with it too.

            :)

  2. Well, I thought it was very cute: fluffy in a sort of serious sort of way. Personally, I was seeing happy little pictures of a smiling Fujino having a little ‘talk’ with the future father-in-law – oh, how traditional roles have been turned on their heads!

    To my less than expert eyes the Japanese terms were used reasonably, not too much or little for your purposes.

    There was one thing that struck me as odd, but it could turn out to be my own failing. It just seems to me that if Natsuki went to her mother’s lab before the time we see in Mai HiME, it seems odd that she would find the picture but miss the stuffed animal she finds then. But on the other hand, it also seems odd that she would wait so long to go there, looking for information. I guess I would justify the ideas by assuming she waited until she had better information about security… an effort which Mikoto’s presence maid void. Then the photo was something she’d received at the hospital, sent from district to be added to whatever other of her mother’s effects were there.

    1. Thanks for the comments.

      That’s a valid point. I did think about the toy dog too, after I had posted my reply up there. I should find a way to reconcile that, but I also have a problem with FD sending stuff over to the hospital like that (if possible, it seems “out of character” for the organization? Or maybe they might just want to keep Natsuki somehow? Still seems odd). Maybe the lab was raided afterwards by FD again, looking for information–or maybe a certain sensei got involved? ^_^ Hmmm.

      1. The sensei option could make all of our concerns work in the face of Sunrise’s baffling sense of timing ^_^.

        Ah, my icon… The short answer would be: because I went in to photoshop and made it so. The longer answer would be more along the lines of this: A bit ago on a certain notorious message board, there was a bit of an infatuation with the idea of (genetically engineered) offspring of our kaichou and her rebel. I got to thinking how if *I* were to invent such a situation that they would appear almost like the originals except for that one detail.

  3. Great omake Ky-chan!

    Your stories always manage to brighten my day. :)

    “Or perhaps a very expensive and miniscule thong?”
    Imagining Natsuki’s reaction to Shizuru’s comment made me laugh out loud. ^_^

  4. The only thing I caught that was a bit out of place was a slight jump to Shizuru’s POV when she hugs Natsuki.

    Raising a hand to stroke Natsuki’s head, Shizuru lifted her other hand to gently rub Natsuki’s back. She felt the girl shudder in her arms and then quietly sniffle.

    This was a wonderful omake, :D Not overly fluffy or angsty and just the right amount of plotty undertones to keep it interesting. Your updates/omakes are such a great treat.

  5. i love the eloquence you portrayed in this chapter.

    i love how you embodied both shizuru’s and natsuki’s demeanors as well and how you took your time researching all the interesting facts/details in this story.

    i admire how much you spend your time with each chapter and i completely love your work.

    great job yet again, kyanobenthes

  6. This is an great omake. It really shows how their relationship became closer. The research you put into it is quite commendable. You also taught me something new about seals. ^_^

  7. Squeeee. That was adorable, educational, squeal-inducing, and extremely well done.
    Although, from reading your post on SA… A month? Oh well. I can wait. …Maybe. I’ve had this stuck in my head for quite a while now. ^^;

  8. I recently discovered “Syncope”, that being one or two days previous.

    I enjoyed it very much, and I appreciate the effort you’ve put into it, in addition to your desire to improve through others’ critque of your work.

    The unfortunate part, however, is how I am unable to enjoy the fanfiction if I am in the merciless-I-will-tear-you-apart proofreading mode. That being said though, I did notice you using “discretely” when I’m pretty sure you meant to say “discreetly” in Shizuru discretely sipped her tea and avoided looking at her.

    There is also a minor point on my part regarding diction. Now, I know, as a writer, you are, of course, free to use what you wish, but I only wish to express my opinion regarding it, so that you may take that into account if you feel that it is merited.

    Take this, for example:

    Natsuki didn’t know why her eyes were brimming with warm fluid. It’s just a damn hug.

    When I read that, I thought that “fluid” sounded rather out of place as far as the whole scene was concerned, since Natsuki likes to keep up that tough exterior and it’s rather heartwarming to see this development between her and Shizuru, with Natsuki opening up to Shizuru and all.

    Maybe it’s just me, though. “Fluid” just sounds a lot more “sciencey” than anything and doesn’t really “fit” in. But perhaps you chose “fluid” because of taking Natsuki’s unawareness of her own crying into consideration? I see how that would work too, but “fluid” just kind of shook me out of that mindset that the scene originally created.

    I think “fluid” may be just one of those words? For example, I really don’t feel negative connotations from “confession” as you expressed on SA, but I understand where you’re coming from.

    Shizuru’s words also sound a little stiff, at times. I know that she uses more formal Japanese, and there are many things that you sort of “translated” into English, like Shizuru’s “ara ara” or just Natsuki’s “itadakimasu”, so I don’t really mean that. It’s just things like Shizuru’s “you are drooling” comment, which left me staring at it for a bit before I reluctantly went on reading. It’s not much, but just sort of minor-ish things. I guess it just doesn’t really accord with teasing or a playful tone when it’s written out like that, and it made me hesitate, since Shizuru should be– at least in my mind’s eye– teasing Natsuki like that scene in Mai-HiME when Natsuki fell asleep and Shizuru commented on her drooling.

    Mm, and as far as the fluff bit went, the sudden mood shifts kind of threw me off for a bit, but this is really delving into personal preference so I won’t go too much into that. =)

    Once again, I think you’re doing a great job. In all actuality, I think that being able to write something of this quality even monthly is quite admirable. And please, do not follow meaningless social conventions and feel obliged to say thanks to my compliments towards your writing, since I rarely compliment anyone as it is.

    -I

    1. Hello
      Thanks for your time, and I’m glad you found it. :)

      > discretely Yes, you’re absolutely right. Wow, I thought I wouldn’t fall prey to homophones, but there it is. ^_^;

      > brimming with warm fluid You were pretty close in your assessment about the “unawareness;” I wanted the scene to reflect a little bit of Natsuki’s inner awkwardness towards the situation. This might be down to just individual feeling, though (good example with “confession”). I thought “liquid” would sound weirder, for instance. On the other hand, if the awkwardness ends up negating much of the scene effect, I could just cut off after “brimming.” (I also didn’t want to use “tears” for some reason. Too straightforward? ^_^;)

      > Shizuru’s stiffness(?) I’m not really sure how to address this. It’s true that I make a small effort to differentiate her diction (which really isn’t difficult to do). I think the only way to create a physical context for people to “see” the teasing nature of a straight comment like that is to write a narrative description before it, which I can still do; it’s just that conveying the more subtle features of Shizuru’s behavior in text is a bit tricky for me. :) I guess I just expected people to assume the tone she prevoiusly used in that Mai-HiME scene. It’s also true that tone quality (you know, like sarcasm and stuff) is, for the most part, lost in text like this.

      And thank you for the critique. ^_^ Some things I will change, some things I will keep in the back of my mind, while other things end being an interpretation or perspective, I suppose, but it all helps. In some previous cases, I might have glossed over a comment, but after some mulling, I’d go back to it and make an actual decision to do something differently. In most cases, I’d just need some suggestions, though. Thanks again, and I hope you’ll read all the previous chapters if you haven’t already, and maybe drop a comment or two elsewhere. :)

      1. (Actually, I’m sure all previous and subsequent chapters would require more than “a comment or two” for proper editing, but perhaps asking one person to do that is too much. ^_^;)

        1. *cough*

          I think you’ll see that I left something akin to the abridged edition of War and Peace instead of “a comment or two”. ^^;

          And curse you, (:O!) you’ve got me on a roll now.

          Of course, I’m not going to do it all in one sitting (-___-;) since the quality of the critique will, er, rather obviously go down drastically. But depending on how busy I am (and other factors, blah blah blah) I wouldn’t mind going through it.

          No promises though, since I take promises rather seriously. (Say what you mean and mean what you say, yeah?)

          1. Hey, I like long comments! ^_^

            Mwahaha, I’ve snagged another reviewer, I think. >:D

            As a side note, if you could nest your other critique comments by the “Reply to this” link instead of “Post a new comment,” that’d be great, too, since it would thread the responses for me. It’s not critical at all, though. And don’t worry about “obligatory reviews” (though that’s… awfully nice :P); just take your time, and if you run out of time, that’s no problem at all. I appreciate the time you’ve already put in. I plan on editing 1.x in its entirety before starting 2.x, anyway.

            Thanks a lot!

            1. Oh right, I was going to say something about your Three Stooges. I can’t… quite… visualise them. ^^’

              So yes, it is my fault for being a lazy bum and not checking up the hairstyle that you mentioned previously for the nurse (I’m bad at remembering names) but I quite dislike “detailed” physical descriptions as it is.

              It’s kind of like your point about skipping the first paragraph when they do that long-winded description of the Ridiculously Mundane at the beginning of a book.

              But that was just a random sort of thing I wanted to mention. I don’t think you gave visual descriptions for them (apart from the nurse’s hairstyle) yet? I may be mistaken on that point, though.

              Darn. I just lost my train of thought. Well, I’ll be off to do something and I will hopefully get to reviewing in the near future.

              Before I leave, I’d like to ask you a few two questions.

              1. Have you watched Mai-Otome?
              2. If you answered in the affirmative, then will you please tell me what you thought of Tomoe Marguerite (Tomoe Maruguritto)?

              -I

              1. > I can’t… quite… visualise them.
                I can understand that; I haven’t given them much textual description either (or I spread out the description across chapters).

                I’ve decided I really need to post that description entry before the next three chapters. I don’t like a lot of physical description either, but it’s weird to have most of the cast so easily visualized and then these three which are kind of “black boxes,” right? I honestly can’t think of any male anime character that matches my visualization of Kosei. Azami is fairly easy, and Yukio is doable, but Kosei… Maybe a younger, lighter version of Shion from Please Save My Earth but with much shorter hair (why must anime bishounen always have longish messy hair or horse-like manes?).

                The other option is to go back and rewrite parts of the chapters to sprinkle in more detailed descriptions for them. This would obviously take more finesse, but wouldn’t require a ham-fisted Description Post either. Hmmmmmmmm.

                1. Yes
                2. Predictable, flat, typically obsessive villainess. How anyone could have not seen her coming from a mile away is beyond me.

                Actually, I disliked pretty much the entire Otome series. I watched only out of a strange sense of obligation. ^_^;; The only things I liked were Improved Yukino, darker but just as hard-headed Midori, and Nao. And Chie, I suppose. Kruger was annoyingly useless, and Viola was just too powerful. As far as I’m concerned, they really had no development. And I hated the new main cast, to be perfectly honest (I kept wishing they would all die). And the story? Even more holes than Mai-HiME’s ending, I thought.

                Oops, well, you got me on a little roll there. ^_^;;; But I suppose you can be assured I’ll never write an Otome fanfic. It’s just my opinion, though.

                1. Yeah, I can’t even really get the three of them straight, frankly. Um, Kosei and Yukio are the two males, and Azami is a bit easier, since she’s interacted with the HiME characters and it’s just easier for me to “get” her.

                  Let me tell you a secret– I didn’t even know there were just three people at the time the clicky thing was revealed.

                  I only “figured it out” after you started calling them the Three Stooges. And if you were to ask me who the fanboy is between Kosei and Yukio… well, let’s just say I’d only have a 50/50 chance. It’s just a lot harder for me to even “attach” what they’re saying to who’s who and whatnot.

                  In a way, it’s “good” since they’re supposed to be the “unknown” factor in the story, but it does get kind of frustrating at times, mostly because, as you said, the other characters come so easily while they’re just faceless people. Of course, that’s rather unfair since we’ve got to assume that readers have been staring at the HiME characters for thirteen hours throughout the anime. And perhaps even more if they’re also part of the Otome cast, but Kruger is such a wuss. An attractive wuss, but a wuss nevertheless.

                  The problem with editing and sprinkling little descriptions here and there is how a lot of the readers may not want to bother with reading one or two changed words or sentences.

                  Mind, from a writer’s standpoint, such is a vital part of the process, but readers will probably not care nearly as much. My suggestion is do the sprinkley (sprinkly?) thing, but also put up a short little post for current readers. You don’t really even have to do much of a description; simply refer readers to existing anime characters and describe how they’re “different”, like you did with Kosei.

                  You know, I think I pretty much forgot everything I didn’t want to remember about Tomoe. Like that acid thing. I can barely remember it now.

                  And why does everyone like Erstin Ho? Apart from her, uh, endowments and the pool + tentacle scene.

                  Actually, I can barely remember the show at all. It was just “ignore ant”, “ignore incestuous girl”, “ignore large breasts”, “ignore (other) fan service”… and so on. Shizuru “kissing” the ant served no purpose whatsoever. =\

                  Mai-Otome was so poorly written that I don’t even support the Otome Shiznat. It was all “Kruger is psychic and gets premonition” then it was all “yay, that was fun” for Shizuru.

                  *thinks back fondly to Natsuki’s “singing”, then to Chiba Saeko’s MV*
                  I thought it was really fitting how they had a leaf motif in the MV. =)

                  (I wonder how narrow the replies will get? It was simply for that purpose– for in my mind, I found the idea of the two parts of one comment aligning to be much more pleasing. But of course, they really aren’t “separate” comments, so putting them together is quite logical and more “manageable” in a way.)

                  -I

                2. I’m going to align this comment to see what can be done about it getting “too narrow” (something I’ve rarely seen myself, and certainly never in my own Livejournals because… no one comments that much :P).

                  > My suggestion is do the sprinkley (sprinkly?) thing, but also put up a short little post for current readers. You don’t really even have to do much of a description; simply refer readers to existing anime characters and describe how they’re “different”, like you did with Kosei.
                  That’s a good idea. I’ll do just that.

                  Ah, I’ll just forget Otome as a whole. ^_^; There was nothing particularly memorable about it for me. And I wasn’t attached to Erstin. :P I have to agree with you that I didn’t even support ShizNat in that context, either. Hey, some people need to have higher expectations, right? :P I haven’t seen any of the music videos.

                  1. *frown*

                    I don’t know how to align the comments; though I must admit I am interested in seeing how narrow it’ll get. But having, say, one word per line would be quite annoying.

                    And anyway, this has strayed from “commenting” a while ago, and it’s more like some sort of correspondence, although it offers no privacy. That reminds me, I should get to 1.2 sometime soon. ^^;

                    Technically, I could just move most of the correspondence over to 1.1, but I’d like to keep this here since this is the latest update, so I can talk about clickiness to my heart’s content. Actually, the “clicky” part reminded me of that DVD special, where Mashiro (was that her name in Mai-HiME?) “introduced” Fuuka and there were images of Orphans sneaked in here and there.

                    That should be Mashiro’s name, shouldn’t it? Everyone kept his or her first name. But the “English first name for last name” thing still eludes me. =\ I liked Mashiro’s voice in HiME a lot more than Otome. Understandable, since bratty voices aren’t so good.

                    Oh, and by the way, I fould the [click] more intriguing than annoying (as I didn’t find it annoying at all), since I remember someone commenting on it being annoying a few instalments ago.

                    Oh, and I think it might be a good idea if you actually had a little link for “miscellaneous” posts, since not everyone’s going to go through all of your posts, since, obviously, you’re just going to post more and more. What I mean is, at least, categorise each post, so that it’s easier for people to get to it– since you do want your post to reach a larger audience/most of your readers.

                    For example, your squib may go unnoticed if someone doesn’t check for updates regularly or if someone hasn’t “friended” you to get updates and so on.

                    But of course, that’s just a little suggestion. =)

                    I may forego some “politeness” that I find is unnecessary due to its repetitive nature, so just be assured that I completely respect the idea that a writer always has the final say in regards to his or her writing.

                    And I have a “policy” of not ever asking for updates, since I find it impossibly rude. =P

                    I tried to look the music videos up in case you didn’t watch them, but I only really watched Chiba Saeko’s, since Mikoto’s song (I can’t remember her seiyuu’s name– something Ai) just reminded me of the swan tutu with the, uh, questionable bobbing swan head and neck, and since I don’t like Mai (or her seiyuu) very much. Oh right– the actual reason that I don’t have an URL for you is because I can’t find it. -___- Sad, I know. I’ll see what I can do though.

                    Ach, I looked for it for quite a while and I still can’t find it. The sad part is, I found the other two (Mikoto and Mai’s). But I did come across this really good MV which deals with the Shiznat interaction upon Shizuru’s “madness”, or the onset of it, at least. I’m not sure if you’d want to see it now– since you (wisely so) decided to stay away from other fanfiction so that it won’t influence/impact on “Syncope”.

                    I feel like one of those people who keep saying that they’ll get to doing something but never get around to it. So pardon my repetitive “I should get to 1.2 soon!” comments. -__-

                    P.S. Scrolling text wins. =P

                    ~Fujino Shizuru + Kuga Natsuki~

                  2. *frown*

                    There was something else I meant to say, but I can’t quite remember yet again.

                    I was just reading through another instalment though, and I noticed something and thought I’d mention it now, just in case I overlook it next time or forget by the time I get around to it. 1.8, when Azami came into the room and started asking if Shizuru needed anything, you’re missing a comma after “bubbled”.

                  3. Oh right. I was going to apologise for how the comment I put over in 1.1 (I think) ended up all the way up in the middle, since I clicked the wrong comment to reply to. So if you don’t mind, I’d appreciate it if you replied so your comment falls at the end of the page, since it’s a lot harder for me to look for your responses otherwise.

                    Arigatou. =)

                    -I

                    1. > ended up all the way up in the middle
                      Don’t worry about that; Livejournal’s instant comment feature makes the box appear that way, but comments are threaded by date, so new ones always end up at the bottom of the parent comment you replied to.

                      I don’t remember Mashiro’s full name at all. Actually, I don’t remember most of the cast’s surnames, but that happens.

                      Oh, right, you noticed the new tag category. :P It makes sense to have every entry tagged in a journal like this.

                      (Eh, I guess I’ll fix that random comma now since I’ll forget, too.)
                      ^_^

                    2. I hope you update your story soon. I know that I’m not the only one reading it. You probably haven’t seem around by remember the name “kikyo4ever”? Yeah, that person is me.

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