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  I generally liked this story, the Lion were appropriately brutal, and the characterization was reasonably strong for everyone (even where it was a bit extreme.) The dialog was smooth, with a bit less exposition than in the first one. That out of the way, I still have a complaint, even if I suspect this is completely pointless.

  Clan champions are not the only competent people in their clans.

  Hotaru was the big offender this time. She has to be the one killing Arasou? Really? We know there are other archers in her clan, since they just fired a few volleys. Is she the only one who can aim for a specific target? Or maybe your status is really a shield, so she was the only one who could kill Arasou ;) It stood out as artificial and a bit dumb. If he'd been killed by Doji Yettobenamed, the Lion would be no less incensed with the Crane. 

  I do not have the same complaint, by the way, about Arasou or Toturi being generals. They are the leaders, including being a war leader. They aren't the only ones out there killing their enemies - Arasou got carried away, but it worked with the berserker-ish personality they were giving him and he wasn't shown to be a superman far outshining any other Lion ever. I do hope, however, that Toturi is not later shown to be the master of all arts of war - he should need to rely on advisers for logistics, communications relaying, and of course all the courtier work that's required. 

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14 minutes ago, Joe From Cincinnati said:

How is Toturi going to change over the course of this story? He warned his brother, was right and is now more entrenched in his beliefs than ever.

I dunno. This coming from someone who doesn't write for a living. I just figure you want to show characters grow over time. Toturi seemed like he was already fully developed as soon as we heard his name.

 

Toturi's arc in the old game was always more about a change in his circumstances rather than a change in his behavior.  He's got more in common with a serialized protagonist like Batman than a film or novel protagonist.  He arrives basically fully formed with his strengths and faults, and then the plot puts him through his paces.

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13 minutes ago, Bayushi Bajie said:

Toturi always ask Hotaru for haikus whenever he's smitten and fawning over some girl in Tsuma, never once sensing that Hotaru longs for him..then came the newcomer, Kachicko and everything changes. Hotaru and Kachiko starts to hang out more often, Hotaru still does the things for Toturi but the haikus seems sweeter and smiles better..Toturi now never seemed to enjoy all his conquers but longs for time when it was just him and Hotaru..and then he realized, he is inlove with his bestfriend.

stay tuned for next season of The Gempukku Diaries. ^_^

Somehow, Toturi and Kachiko have a child named Dairu, a secret known to few. Hotaru knows though so she killed Toturi's brother out of jealousy, even arranging to make him come to her militarily so she could. Next time, Toturi unwittingly kills his son, Hotaru kills the man who kept Kachiko's secret...death and war grows.

 

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1 minute ago, agarrett said:

 

  Hotaru was the big offender this time. She has to be the one killing Arasou? Really? We know there are other archers in her clan, since they just fired a few volleys. Is she the only one who can aim for a specific target? Or maybe your status is really a shield, so she was the only one who could kill Arasou ;) It stood out as artificial and a bit dumb. If he'd been killed by Doji Yettobenamed, the Lion would be no less incensed with the Crane. 

 

Hotaru making the kill is the right call specifically due to her relationship with Toturi.  You get more character drama if Toturi has to watch his friend kill his brother. 

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19 minutes ago, Samurai Fox said:


Doji Hoturo's the beautiful princess he's hung up over and has no chance with (but just may have had a past fling with).

I would not be surprised if a future story reveals that they were once betrothed but because of Lion clan politics the betrothal ended when Totori was forced into the monastery.

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1 minute ago, Akodo_Metuki said:

Somehow, Toturi and Kachiko have a child named Dairu, a secret known to few. Hotaru knows though so she killed Toturi's brother out of jealousy, even arranging to make him come to her militarily so she could. Next time, Toturi unwittingly kills his son, Hotaru kills the man who kept Kachiko's secret...death and war grows.

 

This Pleases Fumio.
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/bd/58/55/bd5855568af12743a6331d6da5f76320.jpg

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Just now, Ultimatecalibur said:

I would not be surprised if a future story reveals that they were once betrothed but because of Lion clan politics the betrothal ended when Totori was forced into the monastery.

That would be strange though because before he went into the monastery he would have been the Lion Clan Champion successor, and she was the Cran Clan Champion successor. those 2 would be unlikely to be bethrothed

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Just now, Akodo_Metuki said:

That would be strange though because before he went into the monastery he would have been the Lion Clan Champion successor, and she was the Cran Clan Champion successor. those 2 would be unlikely to be bethrothed

Stopping the engagement could be WHY his mother insisted on sending him to the monastery...and he was engaged to Isawa Kaede even when he was living like a monk.

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Just now, williamobrien said:

Hotaru making the kill is the right call specifically due to her relationship with Toturi.  You get more character drama if Toturi has to watch his friend kill his brother. 

Yep, I never was expecting for Hotaru to show up immediately after the last fiction focus on her. But her killing Arasou and halting the Lion's morale was perfect..the killing blow, her weeping for her friendship and hoping it would matter afterwards in a matter of one/two paragraph deserves praise.

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Just now, Samurai Fox said:

Stopping the engagement could be WHY his mother insisted on sending him to the monastery...and he was engaged to Isawa Kaede even when he was living like a monk.

Isawa Kaede is not = to a Clan champion. if those 2 had been engaged one of them would have had to join the other clan when they married. instead of Toturi going into retirement they could of just had him marry into the Crane, assuring Arasou of hte Clan Championship. Although that could have been a really interesting storyline.

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Here's the big problem with both of the fictions: character introductions. I feel like we're thrown into a story where we missed a few episodes or chapters. I don't really feel anything for Tsuko or Arasou because I don't really know them. He's 'introduced' and then killed off to the point of it feeling rather lazy.

Imagine if we had two fictions before the these first two that really introduced these characters. The Crane one could have easily have been based around Nerishina and really introduced us to some of the aspects of the Crane. It could have given an outward look at Hotaru and her husband, where as the current fiction could have given that inward look. The Lion one could have been from Arasou's point of view to give more meaning with this current fiction and to go into a bit more detail between him and his brother.

I did like seeing some of the other minor samurai like Gohei and Motso.

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35 minutes ago, Bayushi Bajie said:

Everything you said, it just that it would have been good to see for the new players why Arasou was chosen instead of Toturi instead.

It's implied and even explicitly stated in the story. It's just jarring because Toturi was originally the older brother. In this time-line Arasou is the first-born.

Hence why Arasou refers to him as "Toturi-kun," and Motso's proclamation: "As oldest living heir of Akodo One-Eye, you are now clan champion."

Honestly, they may not dig as far down into Akodo/Matsu family dynastic politics and the original screwed-up parentage and childhood of the brothers in this universe. It's really not necessary for a compelling, character-driven drama. There's already enough there with Toturi's struggle with expectations, duty to family, bushido, and fealty on the one side and the elephant in the room between him and Tusko: Toturi advised Arasou correctly but Tusko's advise goaded Arasou to his death. Somewhere in his hind-brain Toturi would make this connection. Tsuko already knows the causality of her actions and has completely repressed it - instead projecting her sense of guilt into blaming Toturi for not avenging Arasou. Both of them have buried the idea of "blame" for Arasou's death in terms of "glorious death on the battlefield is the hope of all Lion bushi" Bushido-think externally, but emotionally I don't think it's that easy when your brother / fiance dies due to executing the wrong tactic someone advocated.

Edited by mlund

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5 minutes ago, Akodo_Metuki said:

Isawa Kaede is not = to a Clan champion. if those 2 had been engaged one of them would have had to join the other clan when they married. instead of Toturi going into retirement they could of just had him marry into the Crane, assuring Arasou of hte Clan Championship. Although that could have been a really interesting storyline.

But she was set in line to be the next Master of Void, which, considering the rarity of Ishiken and the Phoenix's feelings on the matter, could have made her even more valuable than the heir to the Champion to them.

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Not so. Page 5:

Quote

He was now champion, he whom his clan had once passed over for his younger, stronger, more powerful brother, Arasou. 

Arasou is still canonically the younger brother. 

Edited by Himoto

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10 minutes ago, Akodo_Metuki said:

That would be strange though because before he went into the monastery he would have been the Lion Clan Champion successor, and she was the Cran Clan Champion successor. those 2 would be unlikely to be bethrothed

Not necessarily. Remember Doji Satsume held off on naming his successor when he was Emerald Champion and had to be talked into proclaiming Hotaru his successor by his two brothers-in-law. He might have originally planned to have Hotaru marry Totori in order to make it much harder for the Lion to war with the Crane (fixing the mess with Toshi Ranbo might have been part of the planned marriage agreement) and Kuwanan might have been his original planned successor.

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10 minutes ago, mlund said:

It's implied and even explicitly stated in the story. It's just jarring because Toturi was originally the older brother. In this time-line Arasou is the first-born.

Hence why Arasou refers to him as "Toturi-kun," and Motso's proclamation: "As oldest living heir of Akodo One-Eye, you are now clan champion."

Hmm, I think in this story, Toturi is still older than Arasou and the line where Arasou is stronger/powerful is the reason why the Lion chose Arasou over Toturi needs more extrapolation or a deeper insight in the Arasou-Tsuko dynamic that make it easier for Arasou to dismiss a sound advice from Toturi.

Great catch on Tsuko repression and self-guilt..it would have been neater for the whole story to wrap up in Tsuko's POV. Her guilt and false projection onto Toturi would have greatly improved her depiction from the beginning of the story instead of coming off as (sorry to say, first thing that comes to my mind) mindless.

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23 minutes ago, Kubernes said:

...I feel like we're thrown into a story where we missed a few episodes or chapters. I don't really feel anything for Tsuko or Arasou because I don't really know them. He's 'introduced' and then killed off to the point of it feeling rather lazy.

I would have liked to see Arasou put up more of a fight. At least catch the first couple of arrows. He was the clan champion... 

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54 minutes ago, Bayushi Bajie said:

Toturi always ask Hotaru for haikus whenever he's smitten and fawning over some girl in Tsuma, never once sensing that Hotaru longs for him..then came the newcomer, Kachicko and everything changes. Hotaru and Kachiko starts to hang out more often, Hotaru still does the things for Toturi but the haikus seems sweeter and smiles better..Toturi now never seemed to enjoy all his conquers but longs for time when it was just him and Hotaru..and then he realized, he is inlove with his bestfriend.

stay tuned for next season of The Gempukku Diaries. ^_^

I would have totally watched that.

Edited by Doji Makoto

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3 minutes ago, SavageTofu said:

I would have liked to see Arasou put up more of a fight. At least catch the first couple of arrows. He was the clan champion... 

Emphasis on WAS.

 

If Bayushi Shoju doesn't do as much cool stuff as Hoturi, I may end up playing Crane when the game comes out....

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1 hour ago, Samurai Fox said:

Doji Hoturo's the beautiful princess he's hung up over and has no chance with (but just may have had a past fling with).

38 minutes ago, Ultimatecalibur said:

I would not be surprised if a future story reveals that they were once betrothed but because of Lion clan politics the betrothal ended when Totori was forced into the monastery.

Is this an in-joke I'm not aware of where we misspell the names of other Clans' Champions?

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5 minutes ago, profparm said:

Emphasis on WAS.

 

If Bayushi Shoju doesn't do as much cool stuff as Hoturi, I may end up playing Crane when the game comes out....

Unfortunately, Crane looks pretty good. At least, according to the cards they have spoiled so far... They look like a good control/honor deck. 

It will be interesting to see if you end up splashing Crane...

Edited by SavageTofu

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