Tuesday, June 12, 2007

(Pointless) Speculation!

(Originally 13 April 2007)

After reading the first chapter, I speculate that there is no war with the humans, and that Orochi is just out to destroy the world, as per usual, using falsified history as a pretext.


Having finished the eighth chapter today, coincidentally, I've abandoned that theory and am just along for the ride. I do smell a reincarnation theory going, though. Two things don't sit well with me, though. If you're not reading this fan-novella, the following won't be relevant.

First, the author's style is verbose, maybe more verbose than in his previous KnM work. This kind of repetition and excessive description was necessary in epic poems such as the Iliad and the Odyssey, because they were passed down by rote, and repetition makes memorization easier.

My second gripe is related to the first, in that this style is necessary because it's written from Chikane's point of view, and since she is supposedly all star-struck, must resort to using lots of words to describe her lovely Himeko. I always viewed Chikane as someone who used words when she had to communicate, and even then, was pretty efficient in getting her message across. So right away, I and the author are looking at things from conflicting perspectives.

Come the eighth chapter, though, there is some justification for Chikane's behaviour in that she's never had a friend and doesn't know how to deal with friendship, let alone love, and thus she resorts to describing what she sees and feels in immaculate detail. This is a setting issue, and my issue with it is a matter of ideals.

Even though the story is arguably set in a separate universe from KnM, I am disappointed by what I perceive as an essential re-inventing of the wheel. Chikane's character, Himeko's character; they are no different than from when KnM proper started. Their promise at the end of that series — to defy fate, defy society — has been eviscerated in favour of re-telling their love story.

My feelings on the matter speak more about me than anything related to the story. I'm just tired of seeing the two characters go around in circles. For me, the bittersweet sentiments that well up after completing an immersive and powerful story, in any medium, are driven by a desire to know what happens after. Consequently, Jen-chan's post-reset stories are interesting in that they continue the development trends present in the series.