[FFML] [C&C] Re: [Fanfic][Naruto] Suiren, Chapter 13: Wolves...

croaker at rochester.rr.com croaker at rochester.rr.com
Wed Aug 6 05:30:25 PDT 2008

Personally, I'm enjoying the story, and I like the worldbuilding Eimii's doing.

I like seeing that the ninja aren't the be-all and end-all of combat skills in this world. She's spent a lot of time building up the possibility with the story Sakura told Hinata about how Lord Haruno got his current position. 

It works well, and it shows that there's a reason why the ninja are a powerful force but don't run ragged over the whole country.

---- Eimii <eimii.sensei at gmail.com> wrote: 
> >> I hope this doesn't sound like a load of BS justification. I really
> >> don't want him to seem more powerful or important than he is, but he
> >> actively tries to make _himself_ seem that way -_-;...
> >
> > Hmm.  I think, basically, part of the issue is that, so far, very little
> > has happened that shows the reader that he's trying to seem more
> > powerful than he is, so he comes off as actually seeming that important.
> Hmm... bleh. From my point of view, there's plenty of opportunity for
> that later, but i guess opinions differ -_-;...
> >> They _are_ pretty one-sided, though. He's a hawk and an agitator, but
> >> before the war he was relatively harmless, and even now he doesn't
> >> have nearly enough men to be a credible threat. Konoha isn't afraid of
> >> him, it's just easier to put up with his eccentricities than it would
> >> be to eliminate him.
> >
> > "One-sided" wasn't quite the right word I guess; I meant it more in the
> > sense that in the past couple chapters we've gotten a fair bit of Lord
> > Haruno  (trying to seem) like he's always one step ahead, laying down
> > the rules that the ninja have to follow, offering veiled and
> > not-so-veiled insult, and so forth.  We haven't really seen much of the
> > other side to show that Konoha's humoring him, that it's highly unusual
> > for him to have something Konoha needs like this, and that sort of thing.
> The two aren't mutually exclusive; he might actually be as ahead of
> the game as he makes himself to be, but the stakes here really aren't
> as high as they seem. If he refuses... Konoha really has to suck it up
> and go to the capitol, risking a little loss of face, or cut the Fire
> Country out of the loop entirely and risk looking like they don't
> respect the government...
> >
> > It's a hard thing to balance and somewhat subjective.  My personal
> > reaction is only one data point, and I don't claim it's any more valid
> > than anyone else's.
> >
> > I think the thing that rubs me the wrong way the most is the idea that
> > he can openly attack (and "kill") a Konoha ninja and expect to get away
> > with it.  Even if he knows that its a Kage Bunshin - which is a little
> > iffy itself - it's still a very important act, symbolically.  It's like
> > reading about a Governor having a state trooper shoot at the US Army -
> > even if he knew that they were wearing bulletproof vests that would stop
> > them from being injured, it's the kind of thing that would have serious,
> > irreversible consequences.
> >
> > The Fire Country is not the US, of course, but in Naruto's
> > quasi-medieval society it seems like it would be just as or even more
> > serious - typically I'd expect the culture to have a traditional
> > emphasis on hospitality and protections for messengers and emissaries.
> > I just can't see Konoha (or the Fire Daimyo, for that matter) tolerating
> > that sort of behavior unless there's a good chance that Lord Haruno
> > would _win_ the ensuing conflict.  So, in my mind at least, that goes a
> > long way to making him actually appear a lot more powerful than I
> > believe you want him to seem.
> A few points to note:
> -Konoha is an independent entity; it is a _mercenary_ organization
> that is understood to work for anyone who can pay, up to and including
> enemies of the state, provided that the price is right.
> -It has been emphasized before that Lord Haruno is not very popular
> with most of the ruling elite, but his position is one that the daimyo
> cannot officially dismiss or reassign unless all of his heirs are
> dead. Therefore, a lot of people would like it very much if he managed
> to get himself offed by someone. There have been attempts, and none
> this far have succeeded, because...
> -Despite the fact that he couldn't possibly take Konoha in a straight
> fight, his castle really is pretty secure. Konoha is aware of how hard
> it would be to assassinate him, and the price they would demand for
> his head is quite high, so he is not totally delusional in his
> assessment of what he can and cannot get away. And, as we have seen in
> the case of Hyuuga Higashi, Konoha is no stranger to sacrificing their
> own for the 'greater good,' even if the other party is not acting in
> good faith...
> >
> >> Given how quickly the high-level ninja on either side seemed to be
> >> cutting each other down during the war, is it really so hard for
> >> everyone to believe that a highly trained swordsman would be able to
> >> get the drop on an infiltration/genjutsu specialist? Despite how the
> >> main characters make it seem, sometimes people die really, really fast
> >> in combat- like poor Hayate -_-;...
> >
> > The key difference, at least in my mind and I expect in many others, is
> > that it was other high-level ninja who were doing the cutting down
> > during the war.  Here, it's a non-ninja, even if it's a highly trained
> > one, and I don't think it's generally expected by readers for a
> > non-ninja to be a credible threat (without some supernatural power).
> > Doubly so when it comes to sneaking up on and ambushing a ninja.
> That is a 'not thinking very hard' argument to me. Given the examples
> we've seen of rediculous feats of taijutsu alone, i see _no_ reason
> why swordsmen can't be every bit as badass as ninja in this setting
> -_-;...
> Plus, he didn't really have to sneak anywhere; just leaned forward and
> got on one foot, as if to stand up, and performed a sword-drawing
> strike across the table.
> >
> > Kurenai may be an infiltration/genjutsu specialist, but she's still a
> > full jounin, so the expectation is that she's awesome at infiltration
> > and genjtusu but only really, really good at everything else.  I think
> > the typical expectation in this situation is that she'd read something
> > in Lord Haruno's body language, hear someone sneaking up behind her,
> > sense the swordsman's killing intent, and then the swordsman decapitates
> > a handy coat rack.
> Well, there wouldn't have been anything to read in Lord Haruno's body
> language; 'disposing' of her was arranged beforehand, so no sign was
> given, and he's got a reasonably good poker face himself. With regard
> to sensing his killing intent... There _is_ actually a reason why she
> didn't sense it, and it is a major reason why properly trained samurai
> are actually dangerous to ninja in Suiren. (zen) To samurai, the death
> of the enemy is a natural result of drawing the sword, an event that
> occurs without contemplation or premeditation (/zen), so, mechanically
> speaking, many of the really good ones often emit little or no killing
> intent, even at the moment of truth- or, at least, that's how i'm
> working it for some of these guys...
> >
> >> Maybe i could do that, i suppose, but as small of a threat that he is,
> >> he isn't _totally_ harmless. He hardly ever leaves his castle, where
> >> he is (relatively) safe, but he can still do them a small amount of
> >> political damage; for instance, he may now know the identity of a spy
> >> that Konoha had in the Fire Country court. Konoha depends on their
> >> good relationship with the Fire Country, and right now they won't want
> >> to do anything to sour it- such as assassinating noblemen.
> >
> > Mmm... yes, but the general thrust of what I'm proposing is to
> > explicitly establish that, the instant it _was_ worth the cost, Konoha
> > could crush him.
> I get that... but that threshold (and Konoha's tolerance of bullshit)
> is actually pretty high. That's a hard thing to explicity state, given
> the personalities involved. Kurenai has no illusions about how
> expendable she is under the right circumstances...
> >
> >> The 'new elements' are have been kind of over-emphasized in this
> >> chapter and the last, but i'm not sure how to remedy that without
> >> having a lot of denigrating asides regarding the lord's 'true'
> >> importance in the world.
> >
> > It doesn't need to be a lot of such asides; just one or two mentions or
> > hints would go a long way.
> There have been a few, actually, but i've probably been too subtle about it.
> >
> >> It seemed inappropriate to me for Hinata or
> >> Sakura to belittle the man, and Kurenai has some valid political
> >> worries on her plate...
> >
> > Hinata or Sakura, no, but it might fit to frame Kurenai's political
> > worries in a way that denigrates him a bit.  (After all, she's plenty of
> > reason to be upset with him at the moment.)  Perhaps something vaguely
> > along the lines of "Kurenai wished that the current political situation
> > let her properly respond to Lord Haruno's 'courtesy'..."
> Well, that depends on Kurenai's personality; as someone who has worked
> in the court, she's also probably aware that he has some reasonably
> valid reasons for being upset with Konoha as well. Their very
> existence is the death of his way of life, and the destruction of
> everything he takes pride in. In general, how much disdain to you
> picture the ninja of Konoha feeling toward the Fire Country's ruling
> class?
> >
> > Anyway, at the end of the day, these are all just my suggestions.  Make
> > of them what you will, and use them or not as you see fit.  :)
> Given how much of a rare gem any sort of meaningful discussion is, I
> feel kinda bad arguing so much about it =_=;...
> --- 
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