Reviews on A Month as a Time Walker by December

Review by Kihin Ranno 2007-05-17

And I'm done. ^-^

I have to say, this is a very interesting premise. Crossovers generally aren't my thing, but this one works for me, probably because it's grounded in a universe I'm very familiar with. Not to mention, there is definitely a huge resemblance between Terry and Mamoru, so I can definitely see the origins of this.

Good as the idea is, there are some pretty large issues that are preventing me from really loving this story. A big one is something I think I talked about in my review of RB - things are being told instead of being shown. This issue is sort of wrapped up in my other big complaint, which is that some of the more interesting bits are being skipped over.

The biggest example I can think of is Mayís introduction. It starts with her being dead, and all of the information about her is essentially rattled off by the angel she meets. I was really disappointed we didnít get to see her running into a burning building to save a kid. Actually, I think it would have been nice having a chapter that basically allowed us to get to know May Ė see her tutoring Melissa, see her working on her thesis, see her being strong in her faith Ė rather than being told all of this in the narration.

The dreams, or perhaps the amount of dreams, are also not helping matters. I realize important plot points are being disclosed, but it got to the point that any time anyone was having a dream Ė or worse, remembering a dream theyíd had Ė I pretty much skipped over it. If it isnít absolutely necessary, I wouldnít use it. For instance, Usagi doesnít need to have a dream to get her to Mamoruís apartment. She has plenty of other reasons to go there, and I think it would be better if you didnít tip your hand about Princess Serenity just yet. Up until that point, I was questioning whether or not Serenity was like her mother, and I was a bit disappointed when I got the answer. ^^;;

And this isnít the only time it happens. Weíre sailing through a lot of time with May and Yuusuke and Terry getting to know each other, which is part of the reason why I read crossovers. How do characters from different universes interact? Right now, all theyíve really been doing is fighting, and that gets stagnant after awhile. It doesnít help when Yuusukeís dialogue has a tendency to be really repetitive. Important scenes are being skipped over, and itís problematic.

As of right now, because weíre skipping over a lot of important character interactions in favor of plot, Terry and Yuusuke as rather one-dimensional. Iím not familiar with Yu Yu Hashuko, but if all Yuusuke does is sit around and yell like that and never do anything interesting, I gotta say, I wonít look into it. Actually, the problem extends to the SM characters as well. Reika in particular is really flat and generic. All this stuff is happening to her, but I really couldnít care less about her predicament as of right now. Especially since I donít feel a whole lot of sympathy for someone who strings a person along like that. And especially especially when that person is Motoki. Right now, I donít like her, and thatís obviously problematic. And thanks to all of that, the last chapter, which should have been really dramatic, fell flat because I wasnít invested in her predicament.

May isnít coming off so much as one-dimensional as she isÖ inconsistent. She seemed to be pretty zen and peace-loving at first, but the minute she met Yuusuke, she was suddenly all snippy and badass. It just didnít all seem in line with me.

I will say that Mamoru and Usagi are working fairly well for me. It probably has something to do with the fact that, as you mentioned, dreams have always had a big impact on their relationship. I do find that the romance between them is a bit lacking. Itís sort of being treated as a given when I think itís important that it be asserted since itís not certain which way heís going to go in terms of his love life as of yet.

I also take issue with how this Mamoru being threatened thing was handled. They said they were going to watch him and then theyÖ didnít watch him. And I donít see Usagi just sort of letting it go at the engagement party. I think it would be more interesting if she alerted the others to what was going on, and when May noticed that people were starting to look surly, sheíd have to get Terry and Yuusuke out of there quickly. Iím not suggesting an all out confrontation as thatís not the place for it, but I just donít see why Usagi wouldnít put forth more of an effort to protect her man.

And some little things Ė I did notice some typos reading through it, so Iíd filter it through a spellchecker or have a beta go through it and find all of them. And final nitpick, since we are working with the Japanese version of SM, Nephriteís alias in the Japanese version was Sanjouin Masato. ^-^

After reading this story, I would say that plot is definitely your strong point. I think you have an excellent idea to work with. Itís very original (I certainly never would have thought of it, although I do confess Iíve thought of crossing BB/SM before, but definitely not this creatively), and I think thatís your selling point. I just think you need to focus on your characters and the emotions of said characters to make the story work on all levels instead of just on one.

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