Date: 08/10/2008 12:18 PM Title: Chapter 1: Kikoku: Returning Home
I like this story, and it is very well written.
The end, tho...what it says is that the Galactor War(s) are only delayed. There will still need to be the Kagaku Ninja Tai, there will still need to be a Gatchaman. Brian and Kitten may be on that team, but will the rest of the characters we know be there? That is so up in the air.
Maybe Ken had a boomerang as a back up weapon.
It's easy to see why the twins are upset; Ken was the only father they ever knew, and they obviously loved him.
Date: 05/28/2007 10:27 AM Title: Chapter 1: Kikoku: Returning Home
BALANCE SHEET FOR ALARA ROGER'S 'THE KIDS THAT GOT AWAY' ========================================================
Credit: How can I not grin with anticipation at a story you've written? :D
Credit: Your story is based on a very interesting idea and you explore its implications in a thorough and engaging manner. You end it in a tantalisingly open-ended fashion which makes rereading the story a pleasure -- and by that time, you've established character and situation well enough that you *could* continue this without risking losing reader interest. :)
Withdrawal: I think your introduction clearly outlines the difference between original and fan fiction. In order to work, it depends on the reader knowing and caring about the character Berg Katse to overlook the fact that these are two unbelievably obnoxious children sorely in need of a spanking, which of course they don't get, getting instead to thrash some of their really dumb classmates. And the name Kitten is terrible... it is well that we eventually learn that it is only a nickname.
Credit: On the other hand, your introduction of Ken is much more balanced. While the reader benefits from knowing who he is, the image of a person excited to be returning to his home (even if he is aware that it will not be the one remembered) is one that stands up well on its own. In reprimanding the twins, we can see both disciplined leader of the Kagaku Ninja Tai that he is -- and the disappointed parent that he also is.
General Comment: Considering that you wrote this when you were 18, your writing technique then is remarkably similar to your current one. I'm impressed. :)
Withdrawal: This story is very heavy on a third person narrative telling us what is going on which at times works to distance us from the essence of the story since it seems as if we're listening more to a lecture on why the character is choosing to do this or that than what they're actually doing.
Credit: There are some places where you make this style work, especially when you describe the process the twins went through to become the super-individual Sosai X was hoping to create. There the drama and the extreme nature of their treatment demands explanation in order to rise above the level of mindless torture and it delivers beautifully.
Credit: While this story does not have a lot of physical description (with the exception of those of a couple of characters) what description there is is generally spot on and you have a fine hand for detailing action. The only element that really jars is...
Withdrawal: Given that Ken was sent back in time by Gel Sadra, he could not have had his boomerang with him and IIRC, he had forsworn the use of that weapon after Joe's death.
Ken is, well, Ken. :) I think that of all the characters in this story, his holds truest to canon. His sense of duty comes over everything, but he's very much human despite that.
2. Brian and Kitten Bergmann
The pair do grow on you, especially after they come to a little (well, a lot of) grief. In terms of character development, Brian's comes furthest as he tempers his propensity to react emotionally, which was such a liability to him and hones it into an ability to perceive the thoughts of those closest to him. The awareness does bring with it a responsibility to choose to take others into consideration and he leaves the 'me-me-me'aspect of himself behind, particularly effective when he intercedes on Kitten's behalf with Ken. Things aren't so clear cut with Kitten (Man changed against his will is of the same opinion still). Because she was forced through drugs and torture to a state of near madness, most of her actions after her capture do not say too much about her character, though the fact that she remains functional for so long says something about her resilience.
I suppose that given how far in the past Ken has come, he can be forgiven for not being as concerned about Galactor and as interested in its destruction as he becomes, but he takes so much of a back seat to his wife that at times he seems almost superfluous, which is a concern.
Hmmm, beautiful alien woman married to the smartest man and who has all the answers, why am I not taking a shine to her? I suppose I could justify her knowledge as specialist knowledge and she works well enough in moving the story forward but beyond her exotic origins and fantastic skills, there isn't that much substance to her.
5. Tom Radner
In showing up at just the right time for the purpose of effecting otherwise impossible escapes, handing over crucial impossible-to-get information and then disappearing, he did rather have the appearance of a Deus ex Machina. What redeems him is his existence raises the issue of Sosai X being willing to experiment with all possible solutions to the problem of finding the leader of Galactor rather than banking all his hopes on one perfect one.
7. Sosai X
You portray Sosai X particularly well -- not only is he powerful and determined to take over the Earth, he shows a great deal of resourcefulness and is undone only by his overweening pride. You leave us with the chilling idea that not only is he a scout, but that there's plenty more where he came from...and that his disappearance will surely bring their interest.
Reservations notwithstanding, this is a fine story. The finale brought together all the elements within the story well and it stuck in my head well after I put it down.